User talk:StuRat

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Some of my correct Ref Desk answers[edit]

(Under construction.)

Science Math Computers and Electronics Miscellaneous Humanities Language Entertainment


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Proper use of talk threads: Example question[edit]

What are some cool irrational numbers used in math ? User:OP

Well, there's always pie. User:BOB
But that's 22/7, which is rational. User:MARY
No, 22/7 is just an approximation, the real number is irrational. User:BOB
Isn't it spelled pi ? User:Joe
Oops, typo. User:BOB
How about e ? User:MICKEY
What's that ? User:OP
See our article here....

Vicious comments from others (and a few that aren't)[edit]


Thanks ! ...wouldn't you know my first award would be for being a smart ass ? StuRat 02:32, 1 November 2005 (UTC)


Barnstar-atom3.png The E=MC² Barnstar
For your extraordinary contributions to Wikipedia reference desks, I award you this EMC² Barnstar. Keep up the good work! deeptrivia (talk) 03:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat 19:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I maynot be qualified enough to award anything but I can surely support the barnstar you got. Good on you mate! you certainly deserve it ... (My IP address is not permanent.) As per your request I put the four tildes. 19:17, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, too ! StuRat 22:25, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Puns and jokes[edit]

Here are some puns and jokes from the Ref Desk:

I don't know if this fits your request, but I was always delighted by the word "predate": to pray upon and to pre-date! -- (talk) 11:18, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
That's actually to "prey upon". Saying "pray upon" would altar the meaning. :-) StuRat (talk) 14:09, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Can African hunting dogs be bread with normal domestic dogs. Can Australian Dingo's be bread with African hunting dogs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
If you ground all those dogs up and put them in a pan with some dough, then cooked for an hour, then yes, they could all be bread together, regardless of how they've been bred separately. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:17, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
StuRat, your bias is oozing all over the place. (talk) 14:08, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
If I'm equally biased against everyone, doesn't that make me balanced (while simultaneously unbalanced)? :-) StuRat (talk) 14:15, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Which logical fallacy is inherent in the following argument(putting aside the question of whether either statement is true): "Darwin recanted on his deathbed; therefore the theory of evolution must be false"? (talk) 20:04, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
It could be the genetic fallacy, meaning that a man's otherwise decent theory is considered inherently specious, based on it's origin. StuRat (talk) 20:29, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Reference Desk and unicorns[edit]

Notwithstanding what it may say about me that I haven't written apropos of any of your quality responses to sundry questions posed at the various Reference Desks but that I write now about a jocular comment, I must commend your unicorn leapfrogging entry, about which I laughed a good deal. I should say, of course, that I find msot of your answers to be altogether excellent and that I think excellence in responding to questions at the Reference Desks is to be admired, inasmuch as the Reference Desk is often the first location at which non-Wikipedians encounter Wikipedia and its editors, such that one's being well-treated at the Reference Desk may lead one to partake of the editing work, improving the project writ large. Joe 01:13, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! And you managed to say it all in just two sentences, LOL. StuRat 01:24, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
(My unicorn leapfrog comment: "Confucius say: The truly wise man never plays leapfrog with the unicorn".) StuRat (talk) 02:17, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Reference Desk[edit]

Thank you for pointing out the template on the Ottoman capitals, I guess I was too busy looking for the capitals in the article to notice. By the way, those are a lot of edits you have. | AndonicO 12:01, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome ! StuRat 12:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Canada thanks you.

Oh StuRat, Canada stands on guard for thee as we commend you for your incredible selfless robot-like diligence in maintain intergalactic order at RD. I seriously hope you're not getting in shit at work for doing this. I'm not really sure what's happened to all the bot requests, but for the moment I have started laying out a make-shift RD that could be used to transfer the existing pages into a new stream-lined interface once there is a bot willing to handle all of the archiving. After the front page is expanded to include all the rules and stuff, I'm going to add a new RD template to each of the subpages, and see where I can go from there.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  05:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Cool. And thanks. StuRat 06:32, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of which, I've worked your reference to the previous months archive into the template directly, so it's now a part of the top bar-- 18:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good, but is this Fresh ? Just forgot to log in ? StuRat 18:53, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Nope.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  01:34, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, either that or I'm VectorPotential (: The date math in the current version of the template is so twisted I figured I was the only one who would be able to update it at this point (: Even if I am too busy with university work to continue hands-on RD maintenance work -- 17:44, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Yea, that date math confused me. StuRat 17:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
If I have some free time this weekend I'll try and template-ify some of the date math, to make the header less cluttered. Also, there's still one minor glitch concerning the years, sort of going to be a problem once we get to 2007.-- 10:39, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, cool. StuRat 10:46, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that didn't work, just made it more buggy and over complicated--Molecular Hamiltonian 19:19, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, now it does work, but only with subst--Molecular Hamiltonian 19:53, 23 September 2006 (UTC)


Hey, just a quick thanks for helping with my question on Reference/Science: "In tides, why is the eighth wave always the largest?". You're answer was really helpful. Robinoke 21:13, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

You're quite welcome ! StuRat 22:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC)


Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
Sorry this is (very) late, but I had meant to give you a barnstar for your comment at the reference desk a few months ago. In answer to how copper wiring was made you said: "Two thrifty Scots found the same penny at the same time." Thank you for lightening up Wikipedia. | AndonicO Talk 11:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Och Aye but isnt that a bit racialist these days? Plus if you said that in Glasgow.... well I wouldnt! 8-)--Light current 11:38, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! I'm partially Scottish myself, and very cheap, so claim the right to make fun of myself. StuRat 12:35, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Ah so it was you and your brother who found that penny? 8-)

Chianti and fava beans,[edit]

Before you break out the Chianti and fava beans, ...

Well done, StuRat, well done! :-)

Atlant 18:58, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 19:03, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Mathematics Ref Desk[edit]

Thanks for trying to help me at the ref desk,I'm afraid maths isn't my strong point.Also,it was really kind of you to actually do the problem yourself.I promise I'll read more about maths so that I don't annoy you too much with my silly questions :) Starkidstar 06:18, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome. If you'll go ahead and list how you did it I will look for any errors. StuRat 06:28, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I would like to second that. Legolover26 (talk) 18:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

XMAS colors[edit]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
When asked why red and green are Christmas colors, you said:"I did have another theory about why red and green are the XMAS colors, but I think it's probably only my family who celebrates XMAS by putting frogs in blenders." I keep wondering how many of these you are going to get... | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 16:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 16:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome. But thank yourself too; you earned it, and made me laugh very hard in the process. :-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 17:11, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks again, my goal in life is to make everyone wet their pants. (I secretly own the company that makes Depends.) StuRat 17:16, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Well then, get back into life! ;-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 18:04, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Is "get back into life" their slogan ? I thought it was "good to the last drop". :-) StuRat 18:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Well that too. :-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 19:42, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Now if it didnt seem like sycophancy or loyalty or something, I would award StuRat with something! Im not sure what yet! Lets wait and see what comes to mind.--Light current 00:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, you give him a barnstar; it wouldn't look good if I gave him two in a row. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 00:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
My respect for StuRat is worth more than a truckload of Barnstars!--Light current 01:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I concur; I won't say "more than a shipload" because it would seem childish.
What we need is an award for StuRat putting up with gigatons of irrelevant bullshit presented as coherent and sensible argument--Light current 01:36, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
What, you mean they aren't coherent and sensible arguments? ;-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 01:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

more on RD[edit]

Hi - I hope I didn't offend you with my latest comments on the talk thread. I get the impression you are sincerely trying to find a path to a solution and very much appreciate the effort you're putting into this. Like I say, I'm busy in real life at the moment so don't have (and will not soon have) much time to participate in this discussion. I suspect this whole thing has been quite upsetting for you - please don't give up. -- Rick Block (talk) 16:13, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 16:17, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
For a funny comment at the expense of Microsoft: "I actually like the name 'Windows' for the O/S, as it accurately portrays how paneful it is to use." I recieved a barnstar for a similar comment so I thought I'd spread the love frothT C 20:44, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat 20:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


Loved the chicken farmer joke. Bet it is nuked before midnight, though. Gandalf61 18:31, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

That would surely be fowl play! Where is it anyway. Post a link--Light current 18:39, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Glad you liked the joke, here it is: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities#Nobel_Prize_Laureate.....28Women.29. StuRat 18:46, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
And here's a copy, in case it gets deleted:

A chicken farmer had a problem rooster that was stressing out the hens with "unwanted attentions" and solved the problem by putting a bell around the rooster's neck to give the hens adequate warning. However, the rooster soon learned to silence the bell by covering it with a wing, allowing him to once again sneak up on the hens. For his study of this amazing example of animal reasoning and learning, a noted professor has received both the "No bell piece prize" and the "Pullet surprise". :-) StuRat 15:32, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

This really is pulling our Leghorns--Light current 19:05, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Howdy StuRat. It's a cute play on words, but your comment didn't really do anything to help answer the poster's question. Please, take pity on the dial-up users of the Ref Desk. If you'd like to share jokes with other editors, consider using their talk pages or email in the future. Heck, create a section in your user space; I'm sure it would be well-subscribed.
Nobody's going to 'nuke' your remark; it doesn't attack anyone and is unlikely to offend. I'm just dropping in to ask you to remember the purpose of the Ref Desk (it's there to answer questions). If you want to tell a joke on the Desk, try to work some useful information into it—that way everyone is happy. Cheers, TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:13, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I do try to do that, but this joke was at least related to the topic. I use that as a bare minimum requirement. StuRat 19:19, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Its good to see you have Standards, Stu! 8-)--Light current 19:22, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Removed.EricR 23:12, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for at least notifying me. However, your comment that it was "off topic" is incorrect, as both the joke and topic were on the Nobel Prize. StuRat 23:15, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
There's more to being on-topic on the ref desk than just being vaguely related to the question; there's also the matter of actually helping to answer the question. The ref desk, after all, is for answering questions. -- SCZenz 23:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Answering the question and being on topic are two quite different issues. For example, a request for a clarification is on topic, but doesn't answer the question, just like this joke. StuRat 23:23, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Being on-topic for the page means asking or answering a question, or doing something that works toward answering a question (like a request for clarification). -- SCZenz 23:25, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
You've got a whole new def of "on topic" there, but is this really worth arguing about ? Call it whatever you want, I don't care to fight about it. Let's just agree to disagree peacefully, shall we ? StuRat 23:31, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that what we call it isn't important. I think we agree that the reference desk should be used primarily for asking and working on answering questions, at least. -- SCZenz 23:34, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Primarily, yes. Exclusively, no. Building a sense of community is also important. And, sometimes, that can be facilitated with humor. StuRat 23:37, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
You cannot be serious! [7] 8-)--Light current 23:43, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Nicotine Addiction[edit]

Thanks. Your answer to my question about the addictiveness of nicotine at the reference desk was exactly what I was looking for. BeefJeaunt 03:03, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome, and good luck on your report ! StuRat 03:23, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

I THough Nicotine Addiction Was Bad]. (talk) 15:49, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Fundamentals of marketing[edit]

That was an awesome, AWESOME answer. Anchoress 18:19, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 18:21, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I have to second that. I just about choked on my coffee, when I saw that and laughed. Nice job!! Antandrus (talk) 18:22, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome, and here's a link for those who missed it: [8]. StuRat 18:24, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for Helping Me Out![edit]

Dear StuRat,

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question about the equation of a line. I really appreciate it =) Alex Ng 19:49, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

You're quite welcome ! StuRat 20:08, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

abridged too far[edit]

Hello - irrespective of all the issues all the regular Ref Desk posters are discussing, just wanted to express my appreciation for your most apt replies. "Abridged too far" really made me smile! Wonderful! Happy New Year --Geologyguy 00:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, that's very gneiss of you. (I don't want you to think I'm stoned or anything, I just have quite an apatite for puns, especially puns that rock. If I leave a pun out, I feel like I might gypsum body.) StuRat 01:18, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
WTF are you talcing about?--Light current 02:02, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Thats another one chalked up! Any Moh's?--Light current 02:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
We're starting to accumulate quite a conglomerate of puns here. StuRat 02:17, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
No schist! --Geologyguy 03:15, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
No you mean aggregate--Light current 02:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I think someone should get slated for al these terrible puns 8-)--Light current 03:18, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
It seams to me that you only have yourself to blame. David D. (Talk) 18:49, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Eh?--Light current 19:18, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Look up seam. I guess if you have to explain the pun it doesn't really work.David D. (Talk) 19:34, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I think I lost my apatite, as much as I enjoyed the "abridged too far." It's not that I beryl will to ya'll, but this is too much. Shame there seams to be no article on seam--it's absence diabases the value of Wikipedia. KP Botany 20:05, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that is unseamly. It stings that there isn't even an article on the song We Work the Black Seam; somebody should call the content police. StuRat 20:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Chertainly we should mica note of its absense in the disambig page. David D. (Talk) 21:46, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
OK I understand mica, but WTFs note got to do with it? Youll have to do better than this on the RDs! 8-)--Light current 21:59, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
You didn't notice StuRat's change of course? We're now going over a clef with the police in tow. At least we'll get a good view of the strata on the way down. David D. (Talk) 22:05, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I thought we could double our pun if we bass them on both geology and music. Perhaps I should add another topic so we can treble our punishment ? StuRat 22:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Dunite. KP Botany 22:45, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I think I shale call that a day. Unless any one thinks otherwise.--Light current 22:07, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
A stalag mite be the right punishment for bad punners.Edison 23:54, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Stalagmites are attached at the bottom and stalactites at the top, so what do you call them if they're attached at both ends ? A mitey-tite, of course. StuRat 00:29, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Of cuourse one easy way to tell the difference (as one of my old GFs told me) is that 'Tites' always come down! BTW do you get a prize for having the longest pun run?--Light current 01:50, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Re: Free Beer[edit]

Thanks for the comment on my userpage, the joke got a good laugh out of me at work, which is always good :D Aetherfukz 14:30, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, just try not to laugh while the boss is announcing his goals for the year. (Here's the joke: [9]). StuRat 16:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Your puns[edit]

Just wanted to let you know, I think your puns are great! I especially like the one about the vandalism to the Ireland related article raising someone's "ire". Good stuff, dude! Dismas|(talk) 20:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 20:29, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Ingemar's antics in My Life as a Dog[edit]

Woof woof arf bark whine bark. (Equal parts not wanting to give too much away and being *gasp* a bit of a prude.) Clarityfiend 03:58, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

But I have an inquiring mind and I want to know ! For example, does Ingemar prefer Coke or Pepsi bottles ? :-) StuRat 16:19, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Ref Desk[edit]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
For always making me chuckle at the Ref Desk!

Adrian M. H. 19:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat 19:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, deserved for the "splitting hares" comment alone. A pun par excellence. Rockpocket 20:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Merci beaucoup. StuRat 20:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


Bearbarnstar.jpg Bearnstar for a joke so unbelievably lame, it made me laugh

I wanted to award you a barnstar for making me laugh, but unfortunately it was eaten by a bear. Rockpocket 05:52, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Does "eaten by a bear" mean it was deleted ? StuRat 15:32, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Haha. I hope that is a clever joke (or else paranoia really is getting the better of you). No, it doesn't mean that, the link explains. Rockpocket 17:11, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, where have you been? I could have done with your support recently when a harmless joke I made was unilaterally removed. Typical, just when I need some inclusionist support, they all go awol. Rockpocket 17:13, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I had to do some actual work (gasp !). Do you have a link to the joke ? Is it too late to support it ? StuRat 01:55, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, too late, I'm afraid. Actually it wasn't the removal itself that I was bothered with (a joke is a joke, and I'm not about to claim something so flippant deserves to remain if another editor thinks it inappropriate) it was the unwarranted accusation in the edit summary of the removal.
By the way, Loomis is a hair's breadth away from being indef blocked again. I'm lobbying to give him one last chance, though I'm not sure it will carry. I don't know if you have any influence with him, or if you even care, but if you do it really would be helpful if you could impress on him that it he has a stark choice to make. Rightly or wrongly, fair or unfair, this is how it is and he has got to accept that or he will be unwelcome here for an indefinite period. Rockpocket 08:35, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the chuckle, StuRat. Bielle 23:30, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome ! StuRat 23:35, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Hobo etc....[edit]

Thanks for the info, loved the song in the nineties but never realised what it was all about...! SietskeEN 12:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC) (But it is a lot less decent than I expected it to be... :-O )

You're quite welcome ! StuRat 13:13, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

you don't happen to understand lojban[edit]

do you?lucid 03:00, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

No, but then again, I rather enjoy the ambiguous nature of English words, since that allows for the formation of puns. StuRat 03:30, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Way to read a sentence that I had intended to come off as a joke with an extremely serious tone and make a comment about the ambiguity present in the english language, thus forcing me to make a sentence that is completely unambiguous. Until you find a way to point out the ambiguity --lucid 03:44, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, since you wrote "english" in lower case, you must not mean the language, but rather the term which means "spin" as in "put some english on the ball". Therefore, your comment regards the "spin language", AKA, the language of politicians. :-) StuRat 03:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Do you play Six degrees of separation, by chance? --lucid 04:12, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Not since Kevin Bacon filed that restraining order. :-) StuRat 04:27, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


Working Man's Barnstar.png The Working Man's Barnstar
For your RD work Pheonix15 20:10, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat 20:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)[edit]

Thanks for recommending Weather Underground in WP:RD/C. was killing me on dialup, and doesn't have the hourly forecast. Wunderground seems to beat the both. What a great site. / edg 13:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

You're quite welcome, glad you like it ! StuRat 13:26, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Wunderground is also one of my favourite sites, and I'm so glad to see it being recommended :) Skittle 12:03, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Christmas Carols[edit]

Here's my own version of two songs:

Winter Wonderland

In the winter we can build a snow man,
then some kids 'll come and kick it down...
We'll ask 'em if they did it,
they'll say "no, man"...
then we'll rub their faces in the ground.
Then we'll sit, and perspire,
as we set their coats on fire...
Then we'll make 'em walk home,
when it's twenty below...
walking through a winter wonderland,
...walking through a winter wonderland.

Silver Balls

People pointing, people laughing,
At the gym and doctor's,
I'm starting to hate...
being naked.
Silver Balls, Silver Balls...
I've taken too much colloidal silver.
Silver Balls, Silver Balls...
I've taken too much, by far.

StuRat (talk) 03:22, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia Motivation Award Wikipedia Happy Funnel Award
StuRat, for your merry contribution at the Refdesk here[10] and brave signs of romantic idealism, I hereby endow you with the Funnel Award to be used very carefully. Julia Rossi (talk) 23:21, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks ! Now if only I can think of something romantic to do with a funnel... StuRat (talk) 23:33, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

You will. If anyone can, you will, : )) Julia Rossi (talk) 09:19, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

 :-) StuRat (talk) 12:34, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

You have been in extremely good form lately[edit]

As in "Waiting for Mister Right." [11]Edison (talk) 05:14, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks...and if the young, fictional woman who made that comment was criticized for her actions, I suppose she could always turn the other cheek (or perhaps a deaf ear). StuRat (talk) 18:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for your response. This has been a really difficult time for my friend and the gang has been having a difficult time consoling him. I'm going to read the article you linked me carefully. Thanks again. --Endless Dan 20:12, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Your welcome. You sound like a good friend. StuRat (talk) 20:23, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


I enjoyed the conversation over economics. We should have another soon. I did read your article on "diseconomies of scale", and I was impressed by your knowledge on the subject. I need about 20 more hours in the field before I complete my degree. I'd like to run by you some of the advanced elective courses and get your opinion on where my time is best spent.


Paul Balfay NiceG3s (talk) 13:59, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good. I will also try to convince you that Bush is an idiot. I think you're about the only person who still thinks he was a good President. Amazingly, fiscal conservatives aren't happy with him, due to the massive expansion of the national debt (because of Iraq and little effort to reign in social programs), and religious conservatives are mad at him for not addressing any of their issues, like banning abortion and gay marriage. StuRat (talk) 15:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I Lol'd[edit]

[12]. :) --Sean 13:15, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Thx ! StuRat (talk) 13:32, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
You're still mr. wonderfull (of toe jam) to me. Only you could pull off having your foot iin your mouth with aplombb. X-) Julia Rossi (talk) 08:27, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but when Little Jack Horner embarasses himself, he puts his foot in his mouth with a plumb. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:02, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Haha. Are you hanging with Cookatoo lately?
I suppose I'll have to, as it's too late to hang with him earlyly. :-) StuRat (talk) 01:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Next you'll be saying that if I edit articles on abbeys in Westmeath, I must yell "fore!" first! :-D --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, if that's the rule you want to implement, I'd be happy to abbey, although, I'm sure, others would want nun of it. StuRat (talk) 14:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about a "rule", that seems like process monkery, which is a cardinal sin as you know. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 15:21, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

greenlight a movie[edit]

Thanks for your answer! So if the answer is "studio executives", then who might typically be on this panel who greenlights the project? Would it be the producer and director together? Or maybe some sort of executive in charge of finances? --Sonjaaa (talk) 21:09, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

More of the latter, I would think. At that point in the process the producer and director may not even have been chosen, yet. I would expect a team of accountants would have to OK the pic before that. StuRat (talk) 21:21, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Where you been?[edit]

Hi StuRat, missing you, hope all is well... Julia Rossi (talk) 04:12, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Julia, and thanks for the kind word. I injured my back and wasn't feeling up to using the computer much (sitting at the chair was painful). It's getting better now, so hopefully I can use the computer at least a bit. StuRat (talk) 02:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Welcome back! (sorry about that goddorfl pun) of course meaning get well soon. Sorry about your injury and a big one at that. It's so nice to see your post at the ent desk. =) take care, Julia Rossi (talk) 07:19, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll let that crack slide. Does that mean I'm spineless ? I wish ! Those lucky octopuses ! (Or is it octopi ? ... no, that's a pie shaped like a stop sign, isn't it ?) {Note that I've included a link on "stop sign", just in case Aussie stop signs are shaped like wombats.} :-) StuRat (talk) 17:09, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
No, it's exactly like the ones I ignore over here. ; ) but whenever there's a wombat one, I do take notice. Julia Rossi (talk) 21:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Then you should start a movement to have all stop signs there changed to the shape of wombats, so Aussies will actually notice them. :-) StuRat (talk) 09:08, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
haha, good one. Coincidentally I stopped for three ducks crossing today, (and there was a ducks sign). Awww, : ) Julia Rossi (talk) 08:50, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
A sign for ducks crossing right where they cross ? I'm impressed. The Aussie road crews obviously have all their ducks in a row... :-) StuRat (talk) 14:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah SR, if you could see our crews, you'd know it was the ducks getting it together,  :-) Julia Rossi (talk) 03:37, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Good form[edit]

I enjoy seeing you in good form on the desks, very fungi, as ever, helpful too –  : ) Julia Rossi (talk) 07:29, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I'm just glad there's 'shroom for humor at the Desks. StuRat (talk) 13:27, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
If not, we can start a nitting circle. =) Julia Rossi (talk) 03:29, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, picking nits off with nitting needles sounds as hard as picking rice up with chopsticks. :-) StuRat (talk) 02:22, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I presume anyone who drives through blizzards to find buzzards at Christmas is merely being modest. (You could try it with chopsticks, this is a post-modern-type nitting circle) ; ) Julia Rossi (talk) 05:54, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I have a four-wheel drive truck, so driving through inclement weather is no problem, especially when one considers the added traction provided by all those subcompacts I drive over. StuRat (talk) 17:08, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

You must have this...[edit]

Thanks ! I was afraid to open the card, thinking I'd find an elf peeking out of a kangaroo's pouch. StuRat (talk) 13:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The kangaroo would be even more afraid! Ching ching ching, ching ching ching... Julia Rossi (talk) 08:32, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Yea, those pointy elf shoes could really hurt momma roo. (Maybe that's why some of them are curled up at the end ?) StuRat (talk) 14:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Jet fuel[edit]

I wanted to say some personal Thank You! for answering my questions about jet fuel. It really helped to somewhat clear my mind and research topic farther. Vitall (talk) 08:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

You're quite welcome. StuRat (talk) 14:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png The Reference Desk Barnstar
Thanks for answering my Band Planet question on the Reference Desk! --Ye Olde Luke (talk) 07:07, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome, and I hope such questions are never banned, that would leave us with questions which are only bland. StuRat (talk) 14:22, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Pianissimo forte[edit]

Trust you to invent music terrorism, >)) Julia Rossi (talk) 08:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Ah yes, by dropping a piano on a crowd. And here I thought "musical" terrorism was those people who play their car stereos so loud that their tires rarely touch the ground. StuRat (talk) 17:13, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
You might also appreciate my Unclyclopedia entry for Ethan Allen: [13]. StuRat (talk) 17:29, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I see EA is your thought-ancestor of furniture terrorism. Did he invent buzzword terrorism in defeating the French oops British? Looks like music terrorism keeps its definition as per the bouncing car and there's an item I don't know the name of, an enclosed van with levels to burst people's ear drums in the few seconds they stay inside. Apparently the noise forces them to enjoy brief pain, then quickly quit. Is there an article on this kind of thing? *hint hint* :) Julia Rossi (talk) 01:05, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Strangely, my Unclyclopedia article appears to have been expunged, with no reason given. I'm guessing that they have a "no violence jokes" policy that even extends to historical, fictional violence during war. StuRat (talk) 15:56, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
That was quick. Can you get a pee review? Julia Rossi (talk) 09:05, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
A pee review ? "It was a pale yellow, with a nice frothy head of foam...". :-) StuRat (talk) 22:41, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
This one[14], for bringing doomed articles back from extinction (apparently). Ewww, Julia Rossi (talk) 01:14, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
And do they call for a pee review when they suspect "yellow journalism" ? :-) StuRat (talk) 14:20, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you SR[edit]

I completely forgot about disturbing the peace, disrupting traffic, and all sorts of offenses that only apply when the prosecutor is hard up. Come to think of it, if he played badly enough he would be making one big noise that would eliminate many smaller noises (i.e. his playing). Maybe he can use that as a positive defense. Phil_burnstein (talk) 01:23, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

This reminds me of the Lorena Bobbitt case. If nothing else, they should have at least convicted her of littering. :-) StuRat (talk) 15:24, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Hello friend StuRat, I am a new user in Wikipedia. Today I've been gazing through the computing reference desk and watching the others to contribute. I've seen that you are interested in the field of Science and Maths (as posted by you in your User Page). In fact, I am interested in those fields too. Then if I personally discuss with you about Science and Maths on your talk page, will you mind something? If not, will you kindly permit me to do the same? Thank you. Anirban16chatterjee (talk) 16:08, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Furthur, I present you the tireless contributor's barnstar for your nice contributions in the Computing Reference Desk Anirban16chatterjee (talk) 16:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Sure, we can discuss science or math here. However, if you have a specific question, the Ref Desk Science or Math pages might be better, as then you will get my contributions and the contributions of others. The others can be a bit mean, though, at times, so you can come here to talk if you feel abused. Also, thanks for the barnstar ! StuRat (talk) 16:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks a lot friend! I often use the reference desk, but I think it is good for me to keep in touch with someone like you, who is endowed with the golden light of knowledge, for my betterment. And, you obviously deserved the barnstar. Thank you friend, see you again. -Best Regards, Anirban16chatterjee (talk) 16:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The RefDesk[edit]

Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png The Reference Desk Barnstar
This is obviously not the first time you've received this award, but there's no such thing as too many barnstars, especially when they're well deserved! Thanks for your helpful and bite free answers. :-) Crackthewhip775 (talk) 05:31, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 05:35, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Farts and Stuff[edit]

Thanks for the Beano Advice. I'll take you up on the Yogurt with Cultures. I'm reading this book on Salt by Mark Kurlansky. In it he mentions cheese making. page 97, 'Rennet contains Rennin, an enzyme in the stomach of mammals wich curdles milk to make it digestible.' Could this Rennin be taken as a supplement maybe? I read the wiki articles, something about infant calfs developing stomachs, in the 4th stomach we find this Rennet, it curdles the milk to make it stay in the digestive tract longer for breaking it down longer. Can we say, add some Rennin to our Ovaltine? Cheers,--i am the kwisatz haderach (talk) 20:28, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

You could do that, but it might not taste very good. You can also get rennin and lactase (a milk digestion enzyme), in tablets, here: [15]. If you don't like buying things over the internet, try a store like GNC. StuRat (talk) 15:01, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png The Reference Desk Barnstar
Thanks for answering my To Catch A Predator question on the Humanities Reference desk! --Ye Olde Luke (talk) 20:00, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome, and here's a permalink: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Humanities/2009_November_11#Legality_of_To_Catch_a_Predator. StuRat (talk) 20:10, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png The Reference Desk Barnstar
Thanks for your help on WP:RD/MA! PerfectProposal 19:37, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 20:28, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

IP comment[edit]

Some IP (since blocked as an evader) suggested you and I were the same user. Should we tell them, or keep them wondering? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

So were you cloned from my toenail clippings or was I cloned from yours ? :-) StuRat (talk) 04:25, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I was cloned from the tonail clippings of Henny Youngman. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:13, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's better than being cloned from Henny Penny, as many others at the Ref Desk appear to be, based on how they think the sky is falling every time someone cracks a joke. StuRat (talk) 14:30, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point. Sometimes it reminds me of Graham Chapman's military character, who complained that the Monty Python sketches were getting "silly": "No one enjoys a good joke more than I do! Uh, except for the Colonel... and my wife... and some of her friends... come to think of it, everyone enjoys a good joke more than I do! But no matter!..." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Right, we need to send them all of for re-education at the Ministry of Silly Walks. StuRat (talk) 15:11, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Sometimes I feel like I'm in The Argument Sketch. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Or talking with Gumbys. StuRat (talk) 15:18, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


for the answer on the computing refdesk!Gzuckier (talk) 01:27, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 01:33, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Super job![edit]

A Barnstar!
The Refdesk Barnstar

Thanks for Take Five -- exactly what I needed! DRosenbach (Talk
You're welcome ! StuRat (talk) 07:31, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your Usefulness in General, and for finding Erastianism in Particular μηδείς (talk) 21:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 21:01, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

ASCII Art barnstar[edit]

For your ASCII images at WP:RD I hereby award you this ASCII art barnstar (created by Steve Baker). Cuddlyable3 (talk) 19:56, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

  *.***( () )***.*
    /*.*    *.*\
   /.*        *.\
   '            `
LOL, thanks. StuRat (talk) 20:28, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

100px For being awesome on the Reference Desk
Please accept this Physicians for a National Health Program poster in kind thanks for all the spectacular work I see you do quite often at the Reference Desks. Dualus (talk) 04:12, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 13:26, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Team Barnstar Hires.png The Teamwork Barnstar
Outstanding improvements made to the new article Otium. Doug Coldwell talk 19:38, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 19:46, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


[16]. I'm still chuckling. My wife thinks I'm crazy. Thanks for that! --Jayron32 02:17, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

As an aside, it's probably time to archive this page. Its becoming difficult to load it all... --Jayron32 02:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Yep, you're right. StuRat (talk) 12:41, 6 November 2011 (UTC)


I just wanna say this is the best summary of the two parties I've ever seen. Cheers. Hot Stop talk-contribs 15:28, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 15:35, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
thanks for the physics help Paradoxical 0^2 (talk) 06:24, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome ! StuRat (talk) 06:28, 18 March 2012 (UTC)



Thanks for your recent contributions! (talk) 13:46, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. Any in particular ? StuRat (talk) 16:57, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

An award for you[edit]

A Barnstar!
Golden Wiki Award

In recognition of all the work you’ve done lately! (talk) 23:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 23:31, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


This made me laugh. Thanks. Shadowjams (talk) 23:39, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. I would thank you for your comment, but that would be, well...
StuRat (talk) 23:52, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you[edit]

Modest Barnstar.png The Modest Barnstar
You are among the top 5% of most active Wikipedians this past month! (talk) 22:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 23:37, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

I wanted to thank you for the work on the 3D to 2D generation[edit]

I have to first offer about a million apologies for not writing a note on the reference desk sooner. The code you wrote was very daunting (and still is) and I kept procrastinating understanding it properly and converting it. The images you just added help enormously as well! This is exactly the effect I'm looking for.

As for the code, give me a little more time. I may have follow-up questions here for you. Sorry again that you didn't get more limelight while the question was more prominent, it is just really hard for me to start using. (This is probably why there aren't highly accessible tutorials online, and why I had to ask you for help with this in the first place).

I know you're a volunteer contributor, and I didn't mean to be ungrateful. Thank you again, this is hard work!!! -- (talk) 18:33, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks (I was starting to worry that you had dropped dead). I'd be glad to help with any additional questions you have or clarifications needed on what I posted. StuRat (talk) 18:52, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I just reviewed my code at the Ref Desk (Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Computing/2012_April_18#how_hard_is_2.5_d), and one thing I might change is the name of the variables "V_SHRINK_STEP" and "H_SHRINK_STEP". "V_SHRINK_RANGE" and "H_SHRINK_RANGE" would have been better (or "VShrinkRange" and "HShrinkRange" in C variable names). Also, you'll note in my last pic that having the image darken as it approaches the vanishing point really helps in making it look 3D. I didn't include the code to do that in my example, to simplify it, but would be glad to give you an example of that code, once you master the basics. StuRat (talk) 19:13, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, if you just can't get it to work at all, I can provide you with a FORTRAN executable. This could be run using a "system" call from C, etc. In that case, I'd have it read all the arguments from one input file and the bitmap from another, to avoid all the ugliness that happens when trying to pass arguments between C and FORTRAN. It would then write the projected bitmap to a new file. StuRat (talk) 19:28, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Bedrock City thanks[edit]

Thanks for the reply to my question about Bedrock City's Mt. Rockmore. I should have read the WP article. -- Zanimum (talk) 23:48, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. I'm often amazed at the info we have in our articles, myself. StuRat (talk) 02:04, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For work on the reference desk. Thank you. Legolover26 (talk) 18:03, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 03:29, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you ![edit]

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to give your input to my questions. It is appreciated. InforManiac (talk) 20:14, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 20:26, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

A kitten for you![edit]

Iris cat.jpg

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question (and surely others!) at the reference desk, and providing a link to The input and links I received from those responses has been really valuable! All the best,

  — Jess· Δ 04:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. Looks like I better put out a saucer of milk. :-) StuRat (talk) 04:58, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

csv files[edit]

Hi, I have my csv files at and; they both correspond to the same raw experimental data set. Basically, there are two columns in each file, the first being f(t) and the second being f(t+1).

If it helps to orientate you, the overall structure of the file is the aggregate of the data of many flies, such that F = [time series from one, fly time series from second fly, ... time series from nth fly]^T. (I deleted the "loose ends" used by shifting matrices) As such F(33000) does not correspond to t=33,000 for example, but probably something like t=6000 for fly #4, however each pair in F represents one f(t+1),f(t) pair, which I then plot. Thus t=10 is represented 22 times in a 22-fly aggregate data set, for example. Nothing gold can stay (talk) 03:57, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks so much for offering to help! Nothing gold can stay (talk) 03:48, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Thinking about it a bit more, I could probably be more helpful in splitting the data into the 3 distinct blobs, dropping the data where they all overlap. Then I can send you those three CSV files and you can run them against you favorite curve fitting program. Sound good ? StuRat (talk) 04:08, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I actually want to use this method repeatedly for many experiments. Can I take a look at the code that you used to process my data? (Hopefully I can decipher it and convert it into MATLAB.) Also, I know the data might be skewed but I hope I can use some regression diagnostics. If the data is basically skewed in the same way each time, I can use the algorithm to differentiate different genotypes and drugs even though the outer "arms" would be biased to have more spread than the inner arm. Nothing gold can stay (talk) 14:53, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Before I send it I'd like to add a few things:
1) Currently everything is hard-coded. It needs to allow user inputs.
2) I didn't yet write the part to output the red, green, and blue blobs as CSV files.
3) I'll add comments to make it more understandable.
I'm pretty busy Friday and Saturday, but should be able to work on this Sunday. I can post the code, but would also like to send you the Fortran executable. Do you have the e-mail option enabled on your Wikipedia account ?
Also, the program currently uses the ImageMagick convert function to change the rather large PPM ASCII graphics output file into a compact GIF. You would need to download this utility, if you want your output as GIF. StuRat (talk) 18:18, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps a test condition could be run to "decide" where to cut the curve off, and the point of this cutoff could be used as parameter. Basically my goal is to determine a bunch of parameters for each experiment and compare them. (I'm also running control tests to test for data artifacts.) Nothing gold can stay (talk) 15:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
What method were you thinking of to determine how to decide which data to drop ? StuRat (talk) 18:18, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Your comments[edit]

"Gandhi is always good, if you're in a Hindu area" at reference desk was like ROFL..I am also Hindu and you comment doesn't fit logically. What's you point ? :) GiantBluePanda (talk) 21:21, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

My point was that naming it the "Gandhi Training Institute" might work in a Hindu area, but not in a Muslim area, where Muslim student's wouldn't feel welcome. StuRat (talk) 23:09, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
But, I think you're confused. Gandhi is just a surname just like Obama. It's not a name of Hindu god. So, How you assume whether it is good or not ? GiantBluePanda (talk) 23:43, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I assumed Gandhi, without qualification, would be taken to mean Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in India, as our redirect at Gandhi shows it does in English. StuRat (talk) 00:34, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

RFA nomination[edit]

your nominator has now asked that the page be deleted due to your apparent lack of response. I'd prefer to be sure that is your intention before doing so. Beeblebrox (talk)
Yea, go ahead. I don't like the way the "Adminship for Life" works here, I'd like it be easier to become one, but be term-limited and far easier to be kicked out. As is, it seems to encourage Admins to become a ruling elite, and I'm too democratic to support that. StuRat (talk) 22:13, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:22, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

On an unrelated note: Nuvola apps important green.svgThis talk page is becoming very long. Please consider archiving. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:04, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. StuRat (talk) 22:14, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm impressed. — Ched :  ?  02:05, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
  • By what ? StuRat (talk) 02:11, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
(out of sequence post). By your approach to editing, and more specifically your views on adminship.— Ched :  ?  04:29, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I take it you agree ? StuRat (talk) 18:55, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I bet you could have succeed RFA process easily. Very sad that you declined nomination. Anyways, Keep answering best at Reference desk. :-) GiantBluePanda (talk) 02:37, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the nomination in any case. I may reconsider at some time in the future. StuRat (talk) 02:41, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
When you do please let me know. You would be the most brilliant candidate. Kittybrewster 09:08, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 09:14, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I attended Wikimania this year, and I actually had to stand in line with everybody else to get my lunch! Some of those people didn't even have rollback and yet they didn't even offer to bus my table. And I had to ride the subway, they didn't even send a limo for me! I had also assumed there was an admin's lounge with unlimited free booze, but noooo. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:24, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
LOL. StuRat (talk) 18:55, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Taken Back: Finding Haley[edit]

I know that this is a girly movie. I watched this movie only because nothing else great was coming on TV. Have you seen this movie before? If you saw this movie before, then why in the world did Haley's fake mother try to kill Haley's biological mother?( (talk) 23:31, 18 August 2012 (UTC)).

Sorry, didn't see it. StuRat (talk) 23:35, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thank you indeed really much, be sure I wasn't trolling, I was just worried about my situation with my boyfriend. Thank you for taking me seriously. Thank you again thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alabamaboy1992 (talkcontribs) 20:37, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 21:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Help desk responses[edit]

Hey Stu, wanted to point something out to you regarding this. Per WP:RD/G/M we should actually be removing requests for medical advice, not just collapsing them. A small explanation is still a good thing, though. In any event, I didn't touch the section—I don't mean to step on your toes. BigNate37(T) 23:01, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Yea, I didn't recall how to put the deletion template there, so left that for others to do. I do oppose deleting it without any template/explanation, though, as the OP won't know what happened and will just repost. StuRat (talk) 23:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Re: Answering ref desk questions on the OPs talk page[edit]

Just wanted to let you know that I don't mean to single you out by raising this. I've seen it done quite a few times and just want some clarity. (talk) 02:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

OK. StuRat (talk) 02:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Hunting gear on the reference desk[edit]

You think they look funny in camo and orange. They turn up in the Arctic in camo. They don't need the orange because the lack of plants more than six inches high and the snow makes them really easy to see. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 02:37, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd expect them to go spend big bucks on white arctic camo, and then put the bright orange back on so they don't get shot. :-) StuRat (talk) 02:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Nah. They spend way to much money in the communities to shoot at them. Of course one or two have had heart attacks while out hunting. I once watched one sitting on the airport floor take his rifle out of the case. By the way it seems to me that only US hunters wear the camo gear. I can't recall any other nationality wearing the stuff. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 03:19, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for TV help[edit]

My friend wanted me to thank you for the TV help, we got his existing antenna working better so that all his on-air channels are coming in quite nicely without a new one being installed, and the tiling problem he was having was definitely due to a loop problem. So he has decided to get rid of the cable (which he had been getting for $20 a month, but which they recently raised to $68 for the same service) and is going with netflix, on-air antenna, and an hdmi port for internet downloads. You won't be getting any of the estimated monthly savings, however. :) μηδείς (talk) 20:21, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the cheapskate package, that's exactly what I have. :-) What exactly did he do to fix the antenna ? StuRat (talk) 02:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I stripped the cord, attached it to a new coax adapter, and put the adapter directly on the RF input, removing the A/B splitter switch, putting the cable which had been on the splitter in thru the component input instead. Last time he did the wiring himself was when he had Pong. His only problem now is that he cannot have the cable and VCR/DVD both plugged in or he gets the loop interference. But that problem will go away once the cable is cut off. Except for the occasional news, weather channel, ballgame, and TCM movie, I haven't watched TV myself in quite a while. I was curious if you are familiar with Eye TV? A friend had it in Manhattan and got his cable channels off the internet somehow, he paid a one time equipment charge and apparently he had access to satellite feeds? Do you know how that works? Just let me know yes or no here, and I will post it as a question on the entertainment board. μηδείς (talk) 03:05, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Not familiar with that one, no, but I've heard of using your own satellite antenna to get unencoded satellite channels. When I looked at them, they were mostly foreign language channels, and the startup cost was quite high, so I dropped the idea. Perhaps Eye TV gets them off the satellite feed and puts them on the Internet. I'd have to think the content providers will eventually get around to encoding their channels, though, and you would lose this ability. From the looks of the wide range of over-the-air channels available there, I don't think the unencoded satellite channels would add much to his viewing experience. StuRat (talk) 03:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
This guy was in an airshaft in manhattan with no TV reception at all. He sold me my Mac. He had cut off his cable. Unfortunately he's moved and I don't know how to contact him. He told me he paid one time for the equipment, and that somehow there was a free feed or feeds on the internet, which he didn't himself see to actively have to visit. I don't know if he accessed a URL or if the machine gathered the feeds for him. He simply ran a program with a TV Guide type interface with listings he clicked on to "DVR" for regular recording. Or he could watch live, and it did not seem to be some cheap/pirate streaming service. I know he got Fox News in various versions and downloaded various shows like will and grace which I assume was not pay. (I saw him load these shows from his DVR type file and watch them when they were not live.) I don't think he had access to pay channels like HBO. The bizarre thing is that when i visited eyetv's website they said nothing about what channels were available or how you accessed them. I did not get the impression he was pirating, the data seemed freely accessible from the networks. μηδείς (talk) 04:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's exactly pirating, more "grey market". That is, those networks aren't terribly concerned if a few people get their shows for free, it's just not worth their time to block it. However, that may change in the future, which is probably why Eye TV doesn't guarantee you anything. It might have been a good alternative in his case, with no over-the-air stations, but I don't think it is when you have a wide selection already. StuRat (talk) 04:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Makes sense. You'd think they would at least say 'gives access to "available" channels'. Not to sound like the sour grapes fox, but I don't need it, and fear it would be too complicated for my friend who would really only want certain ball games that might not be available anyway. Sorry about the bizarre deletion, can't figure out what I did, since the edit box was still open. μηδείς (talk) 04:24, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
No prob. Here's a site which discusses free satellite TV a bit: [17], along with a list of English channels: [18], and HD channels: [19]. You'd need a satellite dish with motorized control (both rotation and elevation) if you want to watch programs off more than one satellite and want to track each satellite as it moves. They also offer that service where they put the signals on the Internet for you. As you can see from that list, those stations aren't the premium ones, they are supported by advertising or donations, so allow you to view it for free. StuRat (talk) 04:33, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It would be a huge stretch even getting him to do the eye tv if that would work, since he'd be against the hdmi, even though he's got three computers. (He lets me do hdmi when I visit.) I'll pass on the internet signal option. I am quite sure the idea of rotating satellite antennae would be dismissed out of hand. But I will pass it on. Thanks again for all the help. μηδείς (talk) 05:17, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree, this is not a good option for him, although I don't understand his objection to an HDMI cable. Is it connecting the computer to the TV he doesn't like ? One drawback is that your program can freeze up when the computer is slow, which means you don't want to run anything on the computer at the same time. StuRat (talk) 05:19, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Hehe. He wants the days back when ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS were your only options, and you had to get up and turn the knob to change the channel, and bang it on the side to fix the tracking. The idea of a computer hooked to a cord hooked to a TV offends his sense of aesthetics. (Same guy I was interested in the direction speaker for, he would never accept an earplug.) Although I have actually got him blogging, which he does in all caps, (more attention getting) Lol! The bottom line question for him is, can he put up without watching Greta at 10pm, without the weather channel, and can he go without the local baseball games broadcast proprietarily on Comcast. As for me, the last show I watched in full on TV when it was broadcast was Farscape. House and Damages I have downloaded for the last five years, and they are both over now or soon. I'll keep you posted. μηδείς (talk) 05:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I can relate to his major networks desire. It seems like the more channels we get, the higher the ratio of crap to quality TV is. Some devices allow you to block certain channels (my digital-to-analog converter box does this, but not for sub-channels). This will become increasingly important as we get more and more channels of crap (there's only just so much crap you can stand to wade through before finding something you like). As for Farscape, I preferred Babylon 5 and Serenity/Firefly, myself. StuRat (talk) 05:59, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, anything with Claudia Christian, I mean, come on, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. But the Ben Browder/Claudia Black thing was also very hot. I was never able to get into Serenity/Firefly even though I am a libertarian and a Whedon fan. Much preferred Dr Horrible and Dollhouse. My golden age was the original Battlestar Gallactica, with Tom Baker as Doctor Who on weekends and Spock and Kirk in reruns. μηδείς (talk) 21:23, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

OK, that scored a point...[edit]

At 20:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC), on RD/C, you said,

I've coded in C and similar languages, and hate them with a passion, so would like to avoid doing any of that.

Y'know, we may be two of a kind after all :-). When I got out of grad school (in the days of the IBM 360), my basic attitude was, If it can't be done in FORTRAN it ain't worth doing. I will admit to finally coming to grips with C proper, but C++ and its ilk, shall we say, "accelerated my retirement" from the industry.

Peace be with you, brother!

DaHorsesMouth (talk) 20:44, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, as I mentioned before, I once worked with a C programmer, who swore that C was better than Fortran, yet he needed me to track down all the bugs in his code, which were invariably due to the confusion in C of passing variables by address, value, or pointer (or some other problem which only exists in C). They've also expanded Fortran to include most of the good parts of C, like bit manipulation, but not yet, to my knowledge, GUI interfaces with Windows. StuRat (talk) 20:52, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


I am so disappointed to see you signed that "award". That was not my goal! I agree that the pedants and mavens and Gladys Kravitzes should eff themselves. μηδείς (talk) 02:19, 28 August 2012 (UTC)


Thanks for the quick turnaround on my query just now. If I get around to finding a good online EN<>NL dictionary, I won't take up space on the WP Ref Desks with one-word lookups :-) -- Cheers, Deborahjay (talk) 06:48, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I just used Google Translate, but would reject it if the translation sounded hinky. Short titles like this seem to work well, though, in general, since complex grammar doesn't come into play. StuRat (talk) 06:51, 2 September 2012 (UTC)


Well, how's that for a reasonable response to what I said!

I'm just stunned that you'd come out with something lame and rude and irrelevant and knee-jerk ego-defensive like that, Stuart. I made no mention of time wasting - not that your's wasn't a time wasting post, but because that's not the core issue. My concern is that this is not the Suspicions Desk, or the Opinions Desk, or the Guessing Desk, or the Making It Up As We Go Along Desk, but the Reference Desk, and I explained why.

But since you've introduced the topic: If you think my post was a waste of time, then I've seriously misjudged your bona fides for too many years to count. Maybe that's a bit strong; I don't mean to impugn your good faith. But clearly your idea of what's appropriate here differs very markedly from mine, when it comes to answering questions we don't know the answers to. Just why did you feel the need to air your suspicion, anyway? Do you think the OP is going to rely on it, anywhere, at any time, in any context? Perhaps because it's generally considered the Word of StuRat is as good as gospel truth? Surely not. Then, of what possible value to the OP would your suspicion be? What would have been so hard about sitting in silence and waiting for someone who had some information to offer to come along and offer it? -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 06:52, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

My answer is probably right. If somebody finds a source which says that the Nazis treated those who converted to Judaism significantly differently, then fine, but, failing that, my answer is a good best guess. As such, it's better than no answer at all. On the other hand, constantly bickering about every answer in front of the OP does them no good whatsoever. StuRat (talk) 14:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Sheesh, where to begin? You are an absolute master at avoiding the issue and liberally spreading red herrings.
I brought it here specifically to avoid a prolonged discussion in front of the OP.
"A good best guess ... is better than no answer at all" - you cannot possibly be serious. After all the discussions about the purpose of the ref desk that have taken place over all these years, you STILL think it's OK to guess answers? Let me quote from the opening section of the Ref Desk Guidelines, which you were not backward in claiming joint responsibility for authoring, just the other day on the Talk page:
  • The Wikipedia reference desk attempts to provide services comparable to those of a library reference desk.
  • We expect responses that not only answer the question, but are also factually correct, and to refrain from responding with answers that are based on guesswork. Ideally, answers should refer (link) to relevant Wikipedia articles, or otherwise cite reliable sources.
Does a RL reference library guess answers? No, they do not. Neither should we. They direct the questioner to a suitable text. So should we. They might use their personal knowledge of the subject matter to identify better resources than their fellow librarian standing next to them might have done; but they would never suggest that their personal knowledge is all the questioner needs to have. And as for guessing, forget it. They'd be sacked, and rightly so.
Even if your suspicion proves to be 100% accurate, that is SO not the point, and I'm flabbergasted that you would still defend this approach. All that does is show StuRat is an astute student of this bit of history. But guess what, the Ref Desk is not about the respondents. We are the channel through which the OPs get the information they seek. It is not an opportunity to big-note ourselves or make it a personal ego trip. When one of us guesses or suspects, we're effectively saying "What I have to say is just as good as any damn reference book". Qualifying the answer with "suspect", "assume" or "guess" doesn't alter that.
"As such, it's better than no answer at all". Firstly, that was not the choice you were confronted with. You posted your suspicion exactly eleven (11) minutes after the OP posted their question. Eleven minutes. The OP was hardly getting desparate for an answer by then. If there had been no response after 2 or 3 days, then the argument of "any response is better than none" might be justified. But eleven (11) minutes? Gimme a break. If you were so driven that you absolutely had to be the first one to provide an answer, what stopped you from doing your job properly and looking up a reference and including it in your answer? Secondly, that statement tells me you're committed to mediocrity and not quality, and again we part company. Good day, sir. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 20:35, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
There are 4 possibilities:
1) I am correct, and somebody later confirms this with sources. In this case, no harm done.
2) I am correct, but nobody confirms it. Still no harm done. In fact, in this case, I provided a correct answer that they otherwise might not get.
3) I am wrong, and somebody proves it with sources. Still no harm done.
4) I am wrong, but nobody ever proves it. In this case, you could argue that harm was done, in that the OP is given the wrong answer. However, for a Q like this one, is the wrong answer really any worse than no answer ? Would the OP rather have his Q go unanswered, and feel ignored, or get a reasonable sounding answer ? If I asked a Q, I'd rather have people take their best shot at it, rather than ignore it entirely. Apparently you would prefer to be ignored.
In cases where the OP requests only sourced responses, I comply. If they don't say this, I assume they want everyone's best answer, regardless of sources. StuRat (talk) 02:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
You've missed my point entirely. It has nothing to do with whether your guess, assumption or suspicion turns out to be right or wrong. Expressing a guess, assumption or suspicion is itself the wrong thing to do.
We often advise our readers not to trust what they're told by anonymous jerks on the internet, because they have no idea what their backgrounds are or anything else about them. Advice from one anonymous jerk is as trustworthy as that from any other, viz. it is not safe to place any trust in it at all. So, what makes you special? The reason Wikipedia requires that all content be sourced from reliable external sources, and not just whatever the editor happens to have in their mind, is that the former can be accessed and checked and the latter cannot. If a source contains information that is later shown not to be the case, that has implications for its reliability and professional reputation, and the marketplace will respond accordingly. It's not possible to impose such sanctions on anonymous people on the internet, so the rule is that nothing should get into Wikipedia merely on the say-so of an editor, no matter what their expertise, experience, knowledge - or lack thereof - might happen to be. The same basic principle applies to the Ref Desk. We provide access to suitable sources of information, whether in WP or externally. As part of our reply we might also provide some supporting background information from our own personal knowledge of the matter. And of course our replies are always in our own words, so that personal element is fine. But the core part of the answer ought to be what the source says, not what we say. Your reply was completely lacking in the former.
You seem to be saying that it's more important to be sourced than to be correct. Here I couldn't possibly disagree more. Can you find even one OP who says he prefers an incorrect, sourced answer over a correct, unsourced answer ? StuRat (talk) 06:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
But how would anyone know an unsourced answer is correct? It certainly wouldn't be correct merely because the respondent claims it is. Would it. You seem to be saying that OPs should trust your word because ... what, you'd never lie to them? I can't believe you'd ever lie either, but surely you can see that that is just so incredibly irrelevant to this issue. Worse, it's a really dangerous position to adopt, because you place yourself and your opinions as inherently superior to others and theirs. If you asked a question, would you be happy with whatever unsourced opinion an unregistered respondent came out with as an answer? Hardly, I suggest. From the perspective of a random OP, what makes you any different from that unreg, or from anyone else? -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 09:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't require proof that every answer proposed is correct. I can judge for myself which answers seem most reasonable. For example, I recently posted a Q on the Entertainment Desk about why the sound was messed up in the movie Mrs. Brown: [20]. The only response I got was to turn on closed captioning if I can't make out the dialogue and make sure both audio channels were working on my TV. I would have been happy if somebody else who saw the movie said "It sounds like the problem might have been...".
For another example, see [21]. The answer from CambridgeBayWeather was quite helpful to me, although he was relating his personal opinion of how well it works. StuRat (talk) 15:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
If I asked a Q, I'd rather have people take their best shot at it, rather than ignore it entirely. Apparently you would prefer to be ignored.
Hoo boy! That really takes the cake. Where did you get the idea that I would prefer to be ignored? Where does it say that if a question has not received an answer within 10 minutes (!!!), the OP is being ignored? Look, this is not a work place. You may have noticed you're not being paid every fortnight or month by the Wikimedia Foundation. You do not have to be here. Nobody does. It's totally voluntary. There's nobody looking over your metaphorical shoulder and demanding an accounting of every minute of your day. So, surely you're here to be involved in quality editing of articles, and the provision of quality information on the ref desk. If not, why on earth would you be involved at all? Do you claim that the suspicions of an editor constitute "quality information"? There is never any need to act out of a false sense of urgency, and compromise quality in the process. And most particularly only 11 minutes after a question is asked!! Obviously none of us can answer all the questions on the ref desk. None of us is responsible for answering even a single question. The choice from any one editor in relation to any one question ought to be: Can I provide a good answer to this? If so, I am willing to do so if nobody else beats me to it; or, if I can add to their answer, I will. But if I cannot provide a good answer or add to another editor's answer, I should not touch the question at all. Others will be along soon who are able to contribute more than I can. The OP will never be ignored. Sometimes they ask such obscure questions that nobody has any idea what the answer is, but in those cases somebody will speak up after a day or so and ask for more information. The question you answered was not remotely in that category. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 04:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I've seen many questions go unanswered here. Did you miss them all ? (Note that they may have had responses, but that doesn't mean they were answered.) StuRat (talk) 06:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
In which case they weren't ignored either. Nowhere does it say we can answer 100% of all questions ever asked. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 09:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
We should answer as many as possible, with reasonable answers. If they can be sourced, all the better. StuRat (talk) 15:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm gonna exit at this point because I know from experience with you that, no matter what I say, you'll always manufacture some defence. Life is too short for a marathon debate that ultimately leads nowhere. My parting message is that your expressing your suspicions only 11 minutes after the OP asked their question was totally unnecessary and inappropriate. And just about as far from "reasonable" as it's possible to get. I know you know it, but I don't expect you'll ever acknowledge it. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 22:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't know any such thing. And preferring to leave a question unanswered rather than give a correct but unreferenced answer is as far from reasonable as you can get, which I expect you know, but are unwilling to admit. StuRat (talk) 22:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you are not competent to judge the correctness of your own answers. Remember when you told the dude his mechanic was going to beat him up? And when I challenged you, you came up with a totally bogus source that had nothing to do with anything except "car dealership"? No StuRat, I think your aim of providing knowledge gets mixed up with your aim to put your signature onto every RD thread you can. I sort-of respect your approach that any question can be addressed by anyone on first principles, in the same way that I sort-of respect the approach that a good business manager can manage any part of a business - but I've seen oh-so-many incompetent business managers. Your determination to answer something, no matter what, IMO leads you into situations where you are not competent to answer at all. It's a pity, because when you are in the zone you are a good answerer - but you swamp it with a tide of mediocrity. Franamax (talk) 23:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The source I provided was about a lawsuit that found, in court, that the threat of violence at a given dealership was a tangible threat, so was directly related. StuRat (talk) 23:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
That is utter bullshit, and that you apparently don't realize it is exactly my point about your lack of competence to judge your own contributions. I'll type very slow so you can understand better: you told a customer that a mechanic was going to beat him up; when challenged, you coughed up a furball about a generic TOV at "some" car dealership towards employees. The two have no connection whatsoever, except the source saying "car dealership" and the general truth that threats of violence are part of human society. You drew a specific conclusion that an individual would probably be assaulted by one or more others from that. All you proved is that you are unable to ever admit being wrong, or even contemplate that possibility. Jack's last comment above is certainly apposite here. Franamax (talk) 23:37, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say "probably", that's an outright lie. I said it was a possibility, which it is. And showing that an atmosphere of threats of violence exist at one dealership certainly proves that it is, indeed, a possibility, especially when you accuse them of cheating you. This doesn't just apply to car dealerships, of course. Whenever you plan to antagonize someone, it is safer to do so remotely than in person.
As for me never admitting that I'm wrong, I just did so today, when I spelled the word "undo", instead of the correct spelling "undue". In the last few days, I also admitted that my theory on why some glazes cause coffee mugs to heat up more than others is likely not the correct one: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Science#why_does_some_ceramic_heat_up_in_the_microwave.3F. StuRat (talk) 23:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding: "We expect responses that not only answer the question, but are also factually correct, and to refrain from responding with answers that are based on guesswork. Ideally, answers should refer (link) to relevant Wikipedia articles, or otherwise cite reliable sources". Here the issue is what is meant by "guesswork". If I just flipped a coin and answered based on what it said, then that's guesswork. However, since I have some knowledge of history, it's not a complete guess, I am basing it on all the documentaries I've watched, books I've read on WW2, etc. Now, this doesn't mean my judgement is 100% right, but it's not a wild guess either. (And, of course, historians aren't 100% right either, as shown by them frequently coming to different conclusions.) And I do frequently cite reliable sources and Wikipedia articles. Just today I answered a Q about the Japanese emperor's position being maintained after WW2, by providing both. And it does say "Ideally", not, as you seem to think, "it's absolutely required in every case". StuRat (talk) 02:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
See above. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 04:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And, in the future, please come here right away rather than starting an argument on the Ref Desk. The OP may or may not want unsourced answers, but they definitely don't want an argument to hijack their Q. StuRat (talk) 03:07, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
StuRat, if your modus operandi on the reference desk is to answer everything with a guess that may or may not be correct, and you leave it up to everyone else to prove or disprove you, you might as well be writing gibberish. If you don't know, just shut up. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:03, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
If you can't be more civil than that, Adam, please stay off my talk page. StuRat (talk) 15:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


But you do get purple, orange and green cauliflower, don't you? :>) Bielle (talk) 21:53, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

We briefly had small orange ones, but I haven't seen them recently, just the white ones. StuRat (talk) 21:57, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
My goodness, you are missing out. The coloured ones are generally much better for you, too. Perhaps your local greengrocer could be persuaded. They are everywhere in southern Ontario. Bielle (talk) 22:01, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't buy white cauliflower. If I want to fart all week, I buy broccoli instead. :-) StuRat (talk) 22:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Military spending and corruption[edit]

I just don't like calling it corruption because it's simply so weird. "Corruption" would imply that there was some nefarious plot to make gains from buying a product with someone else's money. But in the cases we're talking about: A) The seller didn't ask for the contract; B) the end user didn't ask for the contract; and C) the buyer was never promised a kickback. Yes, the process stinks of corruption, but I feel like it should have a more specific name, but I can't come up with a phrase simpler than stupid-things-politicians-do-for-votes. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:12, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

I see. Personally I think we should label many things as corruption which are currently accepted in the US, like pork-barrel spending, earmarks, bundling unrelated things together in one bill, Gerrymandering, lobbyists, large campaign donations, etc. StuRat (talk) 04:18, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Another barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For helping out in answering many of my questions at the Reference Desk. You deserve this barnstar. :) Futurist110 (talk) 20:32, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! StuRat (talk) 20:34, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome. :D Keep up the good work. Futurist110 (talk) 21:09, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I have a question--would you be able to please help me out with this question--Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities#Non-Hispanic_Black_.26_Non-Hispanic_Asian_Populations_for_U.S._Cities_Since_1970? If not, that's okay. Thank you very much. Futurist110 (talk) 04:19, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't have an insight into that Q. StuRat (talk) 04:24, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Windows 7[edit]

Hello StuRat, I was reading the Computing refdesk; if I'm understanding correctly, you still use Windows XP. I am the same way - I am forced to use 7 while at work and dislike it over XP. I've had the laptop that runs XP since 2006 and I "fear" upgrading to a more modern machine will leave me stuck with 7. I am also the same way with Microsoft's interface changes, including ribbons in Office products, some Windows programs, and eventually Explorer itself (see Windows 8...ugh). What do you dislike about 7? -- (talk) 17:39, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

In general Windows upgrades seem to change things for no apparent reason (like when they renamed "File Manager" from that clear name to the obscure name "Office Explorer"), with very few actual improvements. It also has a tendency to be bloatware, where they add in features few people would want, which ends up slowing things down with little benefit (remember the dancing paperclip "office assistant" ?). I am an advocate of a continuous improvement process, where you only fix what's broken and "don't fix it if it aint broke". If Windows followed that model, instead of changing things for no apparent reason, it would be a much better product by now. Unfortunately, the real reason for new Windows releases seems to be marketing, not improvement in the product, which means they want it to look "new and improved", not actually be improved. Then there's the chaotic Windows version naming system (Windows 3.x, Windows 95, 98, 2000/Millenium, NT, XP, Vista, 7, 8). What should we expect next, Windows Flamingo, then Windows C, followed by Windows Mary, and Windows 13.8.9.E ? StuRat (talk) 22:33, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
As for Windows 7, my main objection is that I'd need to buy a new PC to run it. StuRat (talk) 22:35, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Just saw your latest question at the computing refdesk. Apologies if I'm prying too much, but what led to the change in your thinking? Now that you're using Windows 7, do you prefer it over XP? -- (talk) 16:30, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Old PC died on me, see here: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Computing/2012_November_15#Win_XP_SP3_won.27t_boot. I tried to find a refurbished PC with XP on it, but, as it happened, the store where I went only had Windows 7. So, I gave it a try. The only actual improvement I've found so far is some additional capabilities with MS Paint. On the other hand, many things that used to work no longer seem to, and many other things have changed for no apparent reason, meaning I have to learn how to use my PC again. Also, some rather basic utilities, like ones with the ability to unzip files, were absent. So, pretty much as I expected. If they just added the upgraded version of MS Paint to Windows XP, gave me that, and promised to continue to support XP indefinitely, I'd be a lot happier. StuRat (talk) 18:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't like people talking[edit]

about me behind my back (or telling me my questions are unanswerable, because they can't helpfully answer them...or incoherent...or badly answered by other perople, and so forth) so please see this discussion here. μηδείς (talk) 23:43, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for telling me, although taking everything less personally would also be appreciated. StuRat (talk) 00:32, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

A cookie for you![edit]

Choco chip cookie.png I like this edit of yours, but the next edit is a misconception. Anbu121 (talk me) 00:28, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 00:31, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Detroit weather[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Science#Shelf_life_for_sealed_lead-acid_battery. StuRat (talk) 20:08, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

StuRat loves to comment on all manner of things outside his competence. While he is not entirely wrong, it's pretty hard to freeze a lead acid battery, unless it is a tiny one, or you live in the arctic circle. This is because the freezing point of the electrolyte is around -7 C, and because the specific heat is about that of water, that is, very high, the inside temperature will tend to remain at about the diurnal average.
Wickwack60.230.227.185 (talk) 07:52, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I've had batteries freeze and split, as we get -7°C (19.4°F) temperatures every winter. We can have weeks where it never gets above that temperature. I'm in Detroit, nowhere near the Arctic Circle. I currently have a vehicle in storage, and have to either keep the battery charged or remove it, to prevent it from discharging, then freezing and splitting. The same issue applies to batteries on the shelf in an unheated garage. Since you apparently don't know that this is a potential issue with lead-acid batteries, I question your competence. StuRat (talk) 07:57, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I have quite a bit of experience with lead acid batteries, having worked as a photovoltaic solar power project Engineer/manager, and have been involved with computer room UPS storage. Part of the solar power role involved estimating battery temperature. I can also check Wikipedia for Detroit climate data. It says that while temperatures as low as -29.4 C have been recorded, the lowest monthly average is -3.1 C. The lowest daily average will be lower than that, but not much lower. As the battery stores heat very effectively, the overnight minimum is not relevant. Is WP wrong? It must be if you get "weeks where it never gets above -7C". Wickwack60.230.227.185 (talk) 08:14, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Averages aren't relevant. It's the extremes that matter, in this case the record lows. It's actually been warmer the last couple winters here (global warming ?), but International Falls, MN still managed to have 3.5 weeks where it never got above 20°F, in January, 2011, with lows down to -46°F: [22]. That's still nowhere near the Arctic Circle, so you statement that you needn't worry about batteries freezing outside the Arctic Circle is clearly false. Your lack of experience appears to be with lead acid batteries in cold areas. StuRat (talk) 08:20, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Not true. The daily average is very relavent. The thermal characteristics of a lead acid battery can be modelled as a thermal capacitance equal to the specific heat capacity of the electrolyte (specific heat x mass), isolated from the ambient by the thermal resistance of the case in series with a Carrier air film thermal resistance surrounding by the battery. There is some conduction to ambient via radiation (negligible) and by convection, which can be estimated by Pressman's formula, and is generally close to negligible in typical battery storage conditions. It is analogous to charging an electrical capacitor via a series resistor. If you check such modelling, you'll find that the battery electrolyte temperature tends to remain about the daily average as I said. It will of course vary, but not to the extent of the daily ambient variation, and the electrolyte minimum temperature will lag the ambient minimum by several hours, just as the voltage on a capacitor lags that of a supply voltage applied via a resistor. Wickwack124.178.155.164 (talk) 08:43, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
You didn't understand what I said. That -3.1°C average for January generally includes warmer bits at the beginning and end of the month, with cooler weeks in the middle, where, as I said, it may not get above -7°C for some time. And, of course, some years have a colder January than others. Here's an account from 2009, when Detroit hit -15°F (-26°C): [23]. StuRat (talk) 08:47, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm well aware that a monthly average min of x degrees means some days will be colder - I pointed that out. I found just now official US NOAA records at NOAA identified the recent lowest temperature months in Detroit as Jan and Feb. For 2012, Jan had only 5 days with an overnight min below -7 C, and the lowest daily mean recorded was -15.6 C and occurred on 20 Jan - the only day with an average less than -7 C. Feb had its lowest point of -11.7 C on 11 Feb, the only day with an average less than - 7 C, it averaged -9 C. All other days were sensibly quite above -7 C in daily average. So I can't quite say you are trying to flog a dead horse, Stu, but it's certainly a terminal nag. I notice you often jump in and supply poorly researched answers that don't stack up - such as windup cellphones, cat eyes, surge protectors, large scale eyes & lots lots more. Wickwack121.221.224.183 (talk) 12:18, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
As I already said, the last couple winters in Detroit have been warmer than usual. Did you really miss that or are you just being obstinate ? And, as I've proven in the International Falls case, it frequently gets cold enough, for weeks at a time, well outside the Arctic Circle, to freeze a lead acid battery. You were just completely wrong when you claimed it didn't, and this is exactly the type of poorly researched answer you are frequently guilty of. Your initial answer contained zero links or research, so, before you accuse me of not doing any research, learn to do some yourself. StuRat (talk) 20:06, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Stu, it's obvious you are a fairly smart guy. You post answers to all manner of questions, and your answers are usually not entirely wrong exactly. Many answers are really good. But many are quite wrong. Poor answers surely reduce the quality and quantity of both questions and answers on Reference Desk. People who have something worthwhile to say will look, see all the rubbish, and think "this is not what I want". It would be better if you stuck to things you know, or researched the subjects better before posting. I'm not the only person who has told you this. You attempted to defend the indefensible in your recent posts about windup cellphones. Your post on cat eyes brought this response: "Moreover, StuRat's responses are inaccurate and imprecise, at best" and that was very obviously true. Sometimes your initial post to a question is ok, but you make later posts that get further and further from the truth. For example on the Solar Panel Kits question, you started off ok, but you ended with this pearler: "Have you actually had any rechargeable batteries last 20 years ? I tried them, and they seemed to hold so little charge after a year or so as to be useless." Really? I have a Fluke 45 multimeter I bought 25 years ago. My experience is that the rechargeable Gates-type lead-acid battery it uses lasts at least 10 years before capacity drops noticeably. This year I had to buy the second replacement battery. Most consumer grade AGM and gell batteries last about 6 to 10 years in our climate, must warmer than Detroit's. Car batteries usually last 6 years or so. Plante batteries used in telephone exchanges, computer room UPS storage, and the like routinely last 20 years plus, admittedly they are built to higher quality standards. Nickel iron batteries, eg Saft type, last even longer. Some brands of so-called sealed lead acid batteries (there's no such thing as a true sealed lead acid battery - such a thing would be a dangerous bomb. They all have safety vents, though often the vents are concealed under a paper label or thin plastic film.) are no good, e.g., Schonnenshien only lasts about 2 years in warm climates, but that's just a poor quality exception. Wickwack124.178.43.122 (talk) 00:39, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Complaining, in a Ref Desk Q, about someone's answers to other Q's, does the Ref Desk no good whatsoever. Can't you see that ? If you believe my answer to the current Q to be inaccurate, then prove it so, don't just claim it, without support, as you did (that bit about freezing batteries only being a concern inside the Arctic Circle). If you would stick to the question rather than trying to pick a fight, we would all get along much better. My initial answer to this Q was entirely, 100% correct, but somehow set you off, nonetheless. Personal attacks like that have no place on the Ref Desk. StuRat (talk) 01:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Clearly, I'm not the only one who has attacked you, ie disputed your posts and/or objected to them. If you didn't keep posting bullshit, you wouldn't get attacked/disputed. Perhaps your frequent off the cuff posts, which you are so obviously keen to defend even when indefensible, are a manifestation of a desire to fight? Were you 100% correct? Not likely! Is the NOAA wrong? Does everybody in Detroit have their car batteries split open multiple times each winter? Do they use some special type of low temperature battery that the industry seems not to have heard off? I think not. If you say you had a battery crack open, I'm sure that you did. But there would have been more to it. I too have seen "sealed" batteries cracked open - it happens. Not from freezing though. Only from faulty manufacture or great age, usually combined with high ambient temperatures. Wickwack120.145.4.160 (talk) 03:03, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Now you're setting up straw men by claiming I said all sorts of things I never did. I certainly hope you understand that only a fully discharged lead-acid battery is liable to freeze, but your statements above seem to indicate that you don't understand that. My statement that you attacked was that batteries which are fully discharged can freeze and split. Are you disputing that ? I do seem to be some people's favorite scapegoat, and apparently you've decided to jump on the bandwagon. I also have many supporters, like the person who just gave me a barnstar below. With the volume of Ref Desk answers I give, there are bound to be occasional mistakes in some, while most are dead on, but I didn't make any mistake when I said that a fully discharged lead-acid battery can freeze and split (outside the Arctic Circle). When you said it couldn't, you were 100% wrong. StuRat (talk) 03:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I did NOT say it couldn't. My actual words were as follows: "While he is not entirely wrong, it's pretty hard to freeze a lead acid battery, unless it is a tiny one, or you live in the arctic circle.". Don't misread. Go back and read your own posts in the other RED questions I mentioned - you did everything I said you did. Yes, in a discharged battery, the acid concentration is less. But not zero - the freezing point will still be under -7 C if the battery is otherwise still functional, and the thermal capacity and thermal resistance willl be sensibly unchanged. Wickwack120.145.20.231 (talk) 03:45, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
What on Earth did "Does everybody in Detroit have their car batteries split open multiple times each winter?" mean ? Do you imagine we all leave our car batteries fully discharged until they freeze, then replace them, and let the new batteries fully discharge again, and again ? That makes no sense whatsoever. You are flailing about wildly, trying to create a straw man argument. StuRat (talk) 03:56, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

UPDATE: Now I see you are being accused of providing unreferenced, incorrect Ref Desk answers: [24]. StuRat (talk) 04:24, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Ref desk barnstar[edit]

Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png Ref desk barnstar
You maintain an active presence on the ref desk and help answer many questions. For this, I hereby award you the ref desk barnstar! Jethro B 02:43, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 02:53, 11 October 2012 (UTC)


I couldn't believe to find so many American Civil War veterans on board haha. Thank you for answering my question so fast. If I could I would give you another barnstar. Thank you Iowafromiowa (talk) 11:26, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 18:22, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Please be specific[edit]

Why is my hatting inappropriate? --OnoremDil 18:29, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Because telling people they are free to edit Wikipedia is an appropriate answer to any Q on missing content. That is, if you don't like that something was removed, feel free to put it back. StuRat (talk) 18:33, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Read the question again. --OnoremDil 18:35, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
OK..sorry, you did read it...but I'll disagree. Answering someone with do it yourself basically goes entirely against the idea of having a ref desk. --OnoremDil 18:37, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. One of the underlying purposes of the Ref Desk is to improve Wikipedia articles, and telling people how they can improve those articles themselves is an important part of that mission. StuRat (talk) 18:48, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
That may be a secondary purpose, but the intial response was still basically a big middle finger to the original question and the primary purpose of the ref desk. --OnoremDil 19:05, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

marbles and jews[edit]

The brief answer is, neither do I, or I wouldn't have asked the question. There does seem to be some connection, especially if you read Adam Reed's essay, to which I linked. μηδείς (talk) 03:58, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

PS, Reed's a Hungarian Jew, the name is a synonym, as is Ayn Rand's nom de plume. μηδείς (talk) 04:00, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Good luck getting an answer. BTW, Adam Reed is a synonym of what ? StuRat (talk) 04:06, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

Refdesk barnstar candidate2.png The Reference Desk Barnstar
Of all the responders on my thread about learning C, you were the first, the most patient, and stuck with me until the end. I can't thank you enough! (talk) 21:56, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
You're quite welcome. StuRat (talk) 16:00, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Editing Deferred Gratification[edit]

Glad you liked it. Fixing that numbering problem and adding pics now. I'm part of a group of grad students assigned to this edit. We'd welcome any help you can give. For simplicity, I'll be the face of the group.

01:59, 31 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coopercog (talkcontribs)

Changed indentation[edit]

Hi Stu. I was just wondering, was there a reason behind you de-indenting my comment on the Humanities Desk? ([25]) I'm not particularly bothered, just curious as to whether I indented wrongly in the first place. Thanks. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 19:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Your reply didn't seem to be a reply to me, which is what indenting it from mine means. Rather, it seemed to be a reply to the original Q, so I indented it from that Q.
In my case, I search through the Ref Desks by my screen name, and, if I see any comment indented from mine, I read it, since this means it's a reply to me. Having comments indented from mine which aren't replies to me therefore causes confusion. StuRat (talk) 22:32, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. I guess I indented it as a reply to you since I was sort of continuing on your line of thought, but by the time I got to the end of my comment I'd wandered a bit off track, so it came out as a reply to the OP. Apologies if I confused you! - Cucumber Mike (talk) 22:38, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
No prob. In a case like that, I'll split my comment into two, one of which replies to the one before, and is indented from it, and another which responds to the OP, and is indented from that. StuRat (talk) 23:06, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh, just a thought: I've no problem at all with what you did, but if you'd left an edit summary I would have understood why you did it, and not had to ask. Not a problem, just an observation. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 22:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Yea, I tend to get a bit lazy about those, and usually only add them for articles. (In a case like this, the edit summary might involve 100X as many characters changed as in the Q.) It would be nice if Wikipedia would have a list of my "top 10 edit summaries" and I could just pick from those.StuRat (talk) 23:06, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) See User:Equazcion/CustomSummaryPresets. Trio The Punch (talk) 23:01, 14 November 2012 (UTC)


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, StuRat. You have new messages at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities.
Message added 07:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 07:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

on israel and palestinians versus nazis[edit]

i dont think nazi germany instantly lost all its allies due to its extermination program, so there may still be a way for israel to make a credible threat to do so and then follow through if no one will take them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

The world is a very different place now than it was then. First off, the allies of Nazi Germany were mostly dictators, like in Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, and, early on, Stalin in the USSR. Second, Nazi Germany could bully it's smaller neighbors, so they either had to go along with Nazi Germany or be conquered by it. Israel wouldn't have such leverage, especially with no major allies. StuRat (talk) 23:15, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Thirdly, Nazi Germany could have plausible deniability that they were engaging in genocide, by lying about it and using propaganda films made in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In the age of the internet and satellites, no such lies would hold up. StuRat (talk) 23:29, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
You've painted a fair picture that I can believe of what would happen if Israel began a bona fide extermination program, though I'm not sure if threats would evoke the same reaction. Now let's talk about the other extreme. What do you think the consequences would be of Israel granting Palestine full statehood directly and through its allies? (talk) 23:23, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't see what diff it makes on a practical level. It changes things under international law, but Israel ignores that anyway. StuRat (talk) 23:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, I support Israel strongly, and Israel considers this a very important issue (i.e. blocking this change). Why do they consider it such an important issue while you say on a practical level it doesn't make any difference at all? (talk) 00:39, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
What I think Israel should do, is annex a small bit of Palestinian land (and evict the residents) for every rocket or other attack against them. This would make Hamas far less popular among the Palestinians. StuRat (talk) 23:42, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Again, I don't mean to be blunt, but land is just dirt, whereas lives are meaningful. Why not execute just a certain number of specially targeted civilians published in advance, for every rocket? For the first rocket, these people die, for the next one, these people, and so on. Then it is truly Hamas that is killing these civilians, and not Israel. (talk) 00:37, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Besides the immorality of randomly killing people, that would create all the same problems I described before. And land is more important than lives, to the Palestinians, but not to the rest of the world. StuRat (talk) 00:51, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Could you also respond to my response to "I don't see what diff it makes on a practical level. It changes things under international law, but Israel ignores that anyway." above? (talk) 01:31, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Nations get way too worked up about symbolic things like this (flag-burning is another), and I assume the same is true for Israel. StuRat (talk) 01:58, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

My accidental deletion of your comment on RD[edit]

My apologies, I was attempting to leave a smart reply (which I decided to delete) and touched you by mistake. I hope you have a happy holiday. Richard Avery (talk) 07:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

No problem. Happy holidays to you, too. StuRat (talk) 07:56, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Crazy things said by Mr.98 and pseudo-I/Ps from Australia:[edit]

Mr.98 personally attacks me after apparently misunderstanding the meaning of "free":


Ratbone claims A/C units never have slinger rings (but at least admits when he is proven wrong):


Wickwack claims 100% humidity can be comfortable:


Wickwack claims "deprived" always means 100% deprived:


Keit claims that power strips with LED indicator lights do not exist:


Talk:Port Arthur massacre (Australia)#Request new locator map at top[edit]

Hi. I hope you don't mind. I have made a request as a result of your talk page suggestion --Senra (talk) 16:52, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, that's a good idea, it really is hard to read. StuRat (talk) 20:01, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
 Done --Senra (talk) 18:44, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. They started from scratch to create an animated GIF from a satellite map, rather than just changing the colors on the existing image. They also didn't indicate the location of Hobart. StuRat (talk) 20:54, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Yups. But it was free! --Senra (talk) 20:59, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
There is that. :-) StuRat (talk) 21:07, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Ma'an News - RSN[edit]

You might be interested in this discussion - Ankh.Morpork 17:18, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

That's what SHE said:[edit]

[26]. --Jayron32 06:38, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

LOL. :-) StuRat (talk) 06:39, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Your biography[edit]

If you could describe yourself in one sentence, then what would it be? What is your education level? What specific field do you specialize in? How wide and how deep do you specialize in your field and other fields? How often do you contribute to Wikipedia? Do you have a day job (or night job)? (talk) 20:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Why do you ask ? StuRat (talk) 00:31, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


Hi StuRat. I happened to be reading an article this morning, and it brought to mind your questions about automatic screening of telemarketers. This 'Banana Phone' seems like it might be just the thing for you - take a look! - Cucumber Mike (talk) 10:51, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. That solution seems a bit overly complex, though. I'd be fine with manually entering numbers into the white list, for example. I think my elderly mother might have trouble entering the 4-digit code embedded in a sound clip, within 10 seconds, if she called from a new phone. It would be better for me if unrecognized numbers are only allowed to leave messages, and it plays out loud while they leave the message (on a land line), so I can pick up if I recognize the person. There should also be a black-list, which I manually enter, of numbers it hangs up on immediately. StuRat (talk) 21:34, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

A kitten for you ![edit]

Cucciolo gatto Bibo.jpg


Nirajrm (talk) 02:27, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Is it for this contribution ? Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing#Multiple_Choice_Question_building_software.2Fwebsite ? StuRat (talk) 03:15, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Your opinion needed[edit]

Hi! You might want to weigh in with an opinion here: Wikipedia talk:Reference desk#Medical advice question removed at Science Desk --Guy Macon (talk) 22:24, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

You're right[edit]

Thank you. Your comments calmed me down, fortunately war seems hard to take place. Kotjap (talk) 23:17, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 23:30, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
BTW, in the above sentence, I think you meant "unlikely to take place", not "hard". StuRat (talk) 03:52, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


I got that idea of photon when I'm dreaming. So it was wrong. So can we study when sleaping? Thankyou for your explaination. — Preceding unsigned comment added by G.Kiruthikan (talkcontribs) 06:26, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. Allegedly, the idea for the structure of a benzene ring came to the person who first described it, in a day-dream: benzene#Ring_formula. StuRat (talk) 06:32, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

re reference desk[edit]

Many many thanks for your help!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. StuRat (talk) 03:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

As I Lay Dying[edit]

Hello. I do not really appreciate your comments at the Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#As I Lay Dying, implying that I am a child seeking help with homework. Some questions at the Help Desks are, indeed, bona fide. If you are "at" the Help Desk, I assume that you are there to "help" or to offer some insights into the bona fide questions of other editors ... and not to belittle the questions of others as if they were trivial, childish, and nothing more than a veiled adolescent disguise at cheating on homework. What exactly about my question leads you to your assumption that I am a child attempting to cheat on a homework assignment, as distinguished from a bona fide question, seeking information (i.e., indeed the very purpose of the Help Desk)? And, furthermore, even if that is your personal suspicion, why act on it in such a condescending and mocking (and very public) manner? Please advise. Please reply at my Talk Page. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:52, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

StuRat, I am particularly surprised/dismayed/disappointed/hurt by your behavior. I have seen you on these Help Desks quite a bit. And, in fact, I am sure that you have helped me over the past many years, several times. This seems out of character for you. And, as such, it is particularly disappointing and hurtful. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk)
Unless I am seeing things differently than you are, it was not StuRat who posted the homework quip. StuRat, in fact, quoted from our article: As I Lay Dying in, what seems to me, a helpful attempt to answer your question --Senra (talk) 15:53, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, I tried to help as best I could. And I also added a joke, where the butt of the joke is the book itself, and not Joseph A. Spadaro. StuRat (talk) 17:08, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
StuRat, I made it explicit that I found this conduct out of character for you. Hence, making it "sting" even more. Perhaps your wording was of poor choice. But, here is my "take" on it, acknowledging that my "take" might indeed be inaccurate. The other editor (snidely) stated: "Because it makes a good homework question?". So, clearly, he was saying, "It is obvious to me that you are trying to do a homework question, and I have no intention of helping with that endeavor." Now, you, StuRat, piped in. You did not say something to the effect of "Well, hey, maybe this is indeed a legitimate non-homework question." I repeat, you did not say words to that effect. What you said, in fact, was: "At least he didn't ask us to explain Chapter 19 ...". So, my reading of your comment was as follows. Clearly, it piggy-backed on the other editor's (snide) comment. In other words, creating an allegiance in agreement with his comment; as opposed to an opposition against, or a break away from, or a disagreement with his comment. In other words, you were "joining in" on his comment and, furthermore, adding your own addendum to his little snide joke. Your addended comment began with: "well, at least he didn't do such-and-such" (i.e., ask about Chapter 19). That prefatory remark, basically says, "OK, I agree that he is attempting to get homework done, but at least he didn't go one step further ... and at least he really didn't debase himself by asking about Chapter 19" (or some variation thereof). That was (and still is) my "take". And, as I said, my "take" could be wrong. So, I am open to an explanation of the intent behind your words and, also, how you expected to manifest that intent with the words you actually used (and the context in which you used them). Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
You seem to be neglecting my previous answer, where I tried to answer your Q, as best I could, which I wouldn't do if I thought it was a homework Q. My joke was not an endorsement of this being a homework Q, it just happened to follow that statement. I placed it there since it was another aside, not an actual answer, and it's nice to keep asides together, and actual answers together. StuRat (talk) 17:50, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I do see what you are saying. Thank you. And can you understand my "take" on things (as described above), from my perspective? And how a reasonable person might easily have the same "take", albeit an erroneous take, as I did? Also, as an aside, if I read the book and linked to the article, is not it a "safe bet" that I had already read that one-sentence (unsatisfactory) blurb within the article (explaining the fire) ... and I was simply seeking "more" than that superficial one-sentence explanation? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:55, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
No, we get lots of people who either don't read the article they link to or miss the relevant bit. Some of our articles are huge and overly complex, so I can't really blame them. You should tell us up front that you found the description in the linked article unsatisfactory, if that is the case. (Also, some well-meaning but misguided editor might have added links to a Q, which makes it look like you placed the links there yourself.) StuRat (talk) 18:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
StuRat, you answered my second question, but not my first. Please advise. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I can see how you could take offense, if you jump to conclusions and take everything in a negative light. I hope to persuade you not to do that in the future. Note that it's often difficult to discern tone on the internet, due to the absence of nonverbal cues. This is a good reason to assume good faith (more on this below). StuRat (talk) 03:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Also, you do have to admit that your Q looks a lot like a homework Q. So, if you don't want it to be mistaken for one, you really should explain more. I would have added "I am a college professor, I just finished the book, and I would like more insight on that event in the novel" up front, to prevent misunderstandings like this. Don't rely on us remembering you from previous Q's, as new people are always around, answering Q's, too. So, to summarize, try to give us more info, and be a bit more patient with us, please. StuRat (talk) 18:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
StuRat volunteers at the help- and reference-desks and did not deserve your tirade. Many help desk volunteers make facetious irrelevancies, or should that be irreverent asides. We do so by enclosing such comments in <small> tags to clearly mark them as off-topic. I do so myself. Recent examples include here andhere. I echo StuRat's request for a clearer question in future. It is quite hard to divine answers from little information at those help- and reference-desks. Now let's all getback on topic --Senra (talk) 18:13, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Tirade? Really? Senra, do you know the meaning of the word "tirade"? Please review all of my posts. They were quite respectful. StuRat, did you think my messages to you were a "tirade"? I'd like you honest answer on that. Please advise. Furthermore, Wikipedia has a rule/policy of "assuming good faith". Which means, "let's assume that this question on the Help Desk is bona fide and in good faith and not a junior high school kid cheating on his homework". Your suggestion cuts both ways. You both indicate that I should offer more info, to try to pre-empt the assumption that it's a homework question. (I thought that "assuming good faith" already covered that.) I could just as easily shift the burden back on you and say ... rather than assume it's homework, why not ask a clarifying question first ... such as "this sounds like a homework question. Before I reply, please let me know if it is or not." Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:19, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say a "tirade", but it did rather seem to be a bit of an over-reaction. As I said previously, I didn't actually think it was a HW Q, but could see how others might. I might very well have asked, if I thought it was. However, each cycle of posing a follow-up Q (and waiting for a response and then responding to that) slows things down, moving your Q up the page, beyond where people are likely to read it and respond, and soon it gets archived. So, you really do yourself a favor by giving us all the info you can up front. As for assuming good faith, that applies to you, too. Don't assume we "belittle the questions of others as if they were trivial, childish, and nothing more than a veiled adolescent disguise at cheating on homework" nor that we are being "condescending and mocking". The only thing I mocked was the book, itself. StuRat (talk) 03:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
This situation somewhat reminds me of the common reply when anyone with computer problems calls the IT department: "Have you tried a reboot, yet ?". Half the callers find the question insulting, since they've obviously tried that, and half the people say no, they didn't try that. So, should the IT department stop asking the Q, to avoid offense, even though asking it can solve many problems ? StuRat (talk) 03:49, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


I am sorry, I should have come to you about this diff but all I saw was the legal problem with the potentially libellous remarks about a business. I do think you should remove the direct reference yourself, it is problematic and not necessary for your argument. But I have to apologize for not coming to directly, I was only focused on that and didn't even pay attention to the signature. μηδείς (talk) 20:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, although the name shouldn't matter. I don't see anything libelous about the statement. Many businesses sell disposable items, they are just the first motel to do so, that I'm aware of. At any rate, they can't sue Wikipedia for what one person posts here. StuRat (talk) 22:06, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Some baklava for you![edit]

Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG Heres a treat for all your good answers on the reference desk. Clover345 (talk) 19:35, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Have any wet naps ? I got honey all over myself. :-) StuRat (talk) 19:50, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

That South African guy[edit]

Letting you know about this report of mine in good faith. I neither think your comment is necessarily wrong nor that you made it in bad faith, but I do think it is over the line so far as our guidelines. Figured it's better to go to BLP than to act myself. μηδείς (talk) 04:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)


Done. The limited support is only because I don't consider myself sufficiently familiar with FL criteria in practice. Looks like it is doing pretty well!--Wehwalt (talk) 16:20, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Did you post this to the wrong page ? I have no idea what you're talking about. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm a big fan[edit]

very BIG ! really appreciate your work. —  Hamza  [ talk ] 16:41, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks ! (Presumably this is for my response here: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Science#Calculating_Shaft_Power.) StuRat (talk) 16:43, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Not particularly for that response. I occasionally read RD for its interesting content, and you are all over it. —  Hamza  [ talk ] 08:07, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

chelyabinsk meteor[edit]

An interesting article on its origins given your prior question. μηδείς (talk) 19:56, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Still looking for some underlying factor that caused the "coincidence" of the two, though. StuRat (talk) 21:52, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

IP trolling[edit]

I took the liberty of removing this personal-attack-bait from the misc. ref. desk. Since he took your name in vain, I thought you might like to know about it.[27]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, but I already saw your deletion and responding on his talk page. StuRat (talk) 23:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Good deal. I'll add some comments. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:55, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
the two of you know had you left this to me to hat there'd've been much wittier comments. μηδείς (talk) 23:57, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Fer sher. You should go to the IP's talk page and point that out. Unless he's afraid of Greeks bearing jests. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:18, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Old discussion[edit]

Hi Stu, I saw that you left a comment after me on the thread about web crawling/scraping. Since it is a bit old, I thought I'd follow up here: Basically, CiteSeer is only interested in academic publications. What I had done was put a pdf file in the public directory of It was an orphan, in the sense that nothing linked to it, but it would have been visible to a ls or dir command. I think CiteSeer just downloaded every pdf in every public folder of every page it could find, and then with some minimal processing decided that it was a "paper" that they should index (This is generally effective, as many professors post their publications in this manner). Does that make sense? I've wondered about it a bit over the years. It was actually quite embarrassing, they basically copied and hosted my content without my consent, and though it was later published, the version they included all sorts of annotations and discussion not meant for the public! SemanticMantis (talk) 17:34, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that makes sense. In addition to embarrassment, you could also find somebody plagiarizes your paper and publishes it before you. I suppose the lesson is that we should never post anything on the web we don't want to be seen by all. Just keep it on your local PC directory until it's ready to publish.
This reminds me of an issue I had with the house I bought. The price I paid was always considered a "public record". However, in the old days, this meant going down to the Register of Deeds and paging through tomes to find it. Not anymore. Now it's online and anyone who types my name into Google can find out exactly what I paid for my house in a second. That's just a tad too "public", in my opinion. StuRat (talk) 17:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)


My clumsiness with the undo button has left your comment looking out of place, but I think with a minor tweak to your opening words, it'd be a useful contribution to the thread. Hope you don't mind, but I really wanted to undo my edit - see the edit summary I left when I thought I was undoing it earlier! --Dweller (talk) 21:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

OK, thanks, I've updated my opening words. In the future, though, you might want to use strikeout, once people have responded, to remove your comments. StuRat (talk) 21:46, 5 March 2013 (UTC)


Thanks for all your help with the min/max lagrangian problem. (talk) 22:14, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

You're quite welcome ! StuRat (talk) 03:05, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


Hello StuRat, Eduemoni has given you a shining smiling star! You see, these things promote WikiLove and hopefully this has made your day better. Spread the Shining Smiling Star whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or someone putting up with some stick at this time. Enjoy! Eduemoni↑talk↓ 15:57, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 16:14, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

You deserve a barnstar[edit]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
For this. Thanks for the laugh. Ryan Vesey 03:52, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome ! StuRat (talk) 03:55, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Reversion at RD:S[edit]


I reverted your edit to my hat at the evaporation/sublimation thread. I deliberately chose to hat after both you and Ratbone had your say on the terminology, and before either of you devolved into outright personal attacks. Your silently moving that (and by extention, attributing it to me, as I have the only signed metacommentary there) to get the last word in is unacceptable. — Lomn 15:35, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Note: if you want to pursue another response on that thread, I see no reason why a civil referenced discussion between you and Ratbone about what you each mean by the terms you're using can't continue outside of (and above, for that matter) the hat. — Lomn 15:37, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
And you leaving his comment saying that I'm wrong and don't check my facts, while hiding my response, is not acceptable. I'll just hat the whole thing. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
If he had politely said "I disagree", then I'd have let it stand. StuRat (talk) 15:42, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
If you prefer that the whole thing be hidden, that's OK with me. — Lomn 15:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Follow-up on your RD question - old library books[edit]

Hi StuRat,

I don't want to incite any kind of controversy by responding in a hatted discussion, but to answer your question: yes, being an ex-library copy typically decreases the value of a book, partly because of skittishness on the part of collectors for exactly the sort of reasons your question raised (is it a legitimate library discard or was it stolen) and partly because they've usually been marked up and/or heavily used. So, without giving you legal advice, which I well know you know not to ask for on the RD </rolleyes>, your book might not be worth as much as you hope. But then again, in a free market world, things are worth what someone wants to pay for them. Best of luck. --some jerk on the Internet (talk) 13:34, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. StuRat (talk) 19:40, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of A Turning Point in National History[edit]

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The article A Turning Point in National History has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

A search for references failed to find significant coverage in reliable sources to comply with notability requirements. This included web searches for news coverage, books, and journals, which can be seen from the following links:
A Turning Point in National Historynews, books, scholar
Consequently, this article is about a subject that appears to lack sufficient notability.

While all constructive 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. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. —♦♦ AMBER(ЯʘCK) 12:23, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

StuRat rules[edit]

There's something comforting about seeing your presence every time I've been on the reference desk since I was in high school and now I'm about to graduate college. All throughout my crucial formative years your knowledge has been a beacon, or something like that. All I'm saying is that you should either write a book or they should make a documentary about you. NIRVANA2764 (talk) 14:19, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, you've just put me in 7th heaven. :) StuRat (talk) 18:48, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Nomination of A Turning Point in National History for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article A Turning Point in National History is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/A Turning Point in National History until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article.

ANI discussion on Wickwack[edit]

I've reported Wickwack to ANI to see if we can get some kind of enforcement, and mentioned his history of abuses towards you. So just dropping this note to let you know about this. --Modocc (talk) 03:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Do you have a link for me ? StuRat (talk) 03:26, 13 June 2013 (UTC)] --Modocc (talk) 04:13, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again. StuRat (talk) 04:20, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Medical advice collapsed, see WT:RD[edit]

I collapsed a thread to which you had responded, and removed your answer, as it was potentially dangerous to the target audience (patients with multiple allergies). See --NorwegianBlue talk 21:12, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Muslims and Arabs' hatred of Jews[edit]

In your response to this query on the Humanities RD, I don't understand your distinction of "demotion of Palestinians outside Israel" when there is overwhelming, longstanding, and widespread evidence of Palestinian Arabs within Israel being treated as 2nd class citizens, quite literally, and the discriminatory practices by the Israeli government and military against Palestinian Arabs in the territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Outside Israel they're refugees, sometimes immigrants. These issues raise an awful lot of heat; smoke only obfuscates. Kindly stay focused when you offer answers. -- Deborahjay (talk) 20:08, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

By "outside of Israel" I include the West Bank and Gaza strip, where Palestinians are not allowed to vote in Israeli elections, despite elected Israeli politicians having defacto control of their homes. Of course, they are also treated as second class citizens when refugees in many Arab nations, and I didn't want to forget about that, either. StuRat (talk) 23:32, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

A prize for you[edit]

Hi there, StuRat.

We've been refdesk colleagues for many years now. We've certainly had major differences of opinion on certain matters and have pitted our arguments strongly against each other. But it occurs to me that you have always been polite and have never resorted to any form of personal attack or nastiness. For that, I thank you, and furthermore:

Our motto: "It's only hard if you make it hard"
The PENISS Prize
On behalf of the People Encouraging Niceness/Eschewing Nastinesss in Society Society, I hereby award you the PENISS Prize.

The prize is the highest (and sole) honour in the gift of the Society and is awarded irregularly, on merit. It entitles the awardee to the postnominal letters P.E.N.I.S.S. (in appropriate contexts, of course).

It confers automatic membership of the Society, and it thus bestows the power to award the prize to others, and they to others, in perpetuity. .

Remember, the more PENISSes in the world, the better for all of us. What a nice thought. Please continue your good work!

To present this award to others, simply type {{subst:User:JackofOz/PENISS}} on their talk page, and then sign and date your post.

Cheers and happy editing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:07, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, and also ewww. :-) StuRat (talk) 09:36, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if you celebrate Halloween but... Happy Halloween![edit]

Bat icon.svg
Hello StuRat, Miss Bono has given you an lovely bat, to wish you a Happy Halloween! You see, these things promote WikiLove and hopefully this has made your day better. Spread the WikiLove by giving someone else a lovely bat! Enjoy!
Spread the goodness of a lovely bat by adding {{subst:User:Miss Bono/Halloween}} to their talk page with a friendly message.
Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 17:45, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


Replied to your answer in (talk) 06:48, 5 November 2013 (UTC)


Hi Stu,

"That's more phallusy than fallacy". I just wanted to say thank you for brightening my working day. LOL is overused to the point it simply means "I understand you are being lighthearted", but that was a genuine, old-fashioned LOL moment for me. BbBrock (talk) 13:13, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome ! StuRat (talk) 18:39, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Nomination of Socially optimal firm size for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Socially optimal firm size is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Socially optimal firm size until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. Jojalozzo 01:45, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Don't shoot. I'm only the piano-playing alien.[edit]

I hate when my response gets archived. "Shiny circular object approaching bearing an unknown message. Sound familiar?" Clarityfiend (talk) 09:20, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, thanks for the response. I was thinking how a CD could be used as a skeet. StuRat (talk) 09:25, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Neither the commentary nor the documentary Making the Earth Stand Still talk about the ramp. However, stills of the blueprints for the saucer show:
  • a little trolley on wheels used to extend the ramp
  • notations on three of the blueprints (sometimes a bit hard to decipher):
  • "SLOPE ? WING TIP TO BE CON? WITH SMOOTH PLASTER" Clarityfiend (talk) 20:30, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm amazed they got such smooth movement from a trolley. I'd have expected the tell-tale jerks as it's wheels hit grains of sand, etc. They must have gone over it's path with a magnifying glass to remove every grain. StuRat (talk) 20:42, 22 December 2013 (UTC)


Luckily my calendar tells me it's time to wish you the season's greeting and a happy and healthy New Year. Richard Avery (talk) 14:08, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks ! And a generic Season's Greetings to you too (does that include Festivus ?). :-) StuRat (talk) 14:22, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh yes! especially Festivus. Richard Avery (talk) 08:25, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

StuRat, you are so kind!!![edit]

I really appreciate your comment as far as other individuals in Reference Section. One of the problems for me now is that I work full time in a responsible position although I can "steal" a few minutes when I am not busy to post a question or two. So, I will have to proceed slower than might be expected. Sometimes I come home and can only eat and go to sleep. The project I try to launder in Reference Desk is totally unrelated to what i am doing now at work (I am an MD) but related to what I was doing years ago and had to revive now since I got a patent for it. It is a bit difficult to juggle everything but I am sure I will eventually manage. You have helped me a lot already and I immensely appreciate it. I did a lot of software development until about 3-4 years ago and hope now it will gradually come back. Another thing the software business is developing so fast, there is so much new stuff already, it is amazing. Thank you very much but I would decline the offer to escape the Reference Desk. I can stand for myself if necessary. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 21:12, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! --AboutFace 22 (talk) 21:22, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Answering one of your questions.[edit]

"How did you go from computer programming to being a doctor?" - Well, it has actually been the other way around. At some points in my career I had enough time to pursue various hobbies and computers were one of them. I was in solo private practice for a long time and tried to write my own software. Now the situation has changed. I work for a state and I have to put in about 9 hours every day. It is a very rewarding job actually but another thing happened. I had a project which I started a long while ago and about 18 months ago on a spur of the moment I applied for a patent for the idea. I first filed myself and got rejected with a suggestion which implied that the reception by USPTO was good but my presentation was flawed. In no uncertan terms they recommended me to hire a patent attorney. Fortunately I got a very good one. I was rewarded 5 patents in about 3 or 4 months, do not quite recall. Any realization of these patents require a lot of math computations. So, I started with an appeal here to get a pointer how to hire a programmer for the job. You, see, for the past 3-4 years I haven't done much in terms of programming and restoring skills is not easy when you are full time employed. It seems I found two people at least who are interested and I will talk to one of them in a week time and possibly with the other also soon. Nonetheless I am trying to get ahead on my own donwloading software and trying to get at least a head start. I cannot do anything during the working week though--too tired by the end of the day. Thank you for your support. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 18:41, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Ok, let me know how it goes, I'd love to know. StuRat (talk) 18:48, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Speedy Gonzales[edit]

I think his actual catchphrase was ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Ándale! which means approximately, "Get up! Get up! Let's go!" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Baseball Bugs (talkcontribs) 03:22, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

This makes twice in the last few minutes that I've failed to select one or more tildes. (Ironic, given the Spanish theme). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:30, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. My English spelling is a lot better than my Spanish spelling. StuRat (talk) 14:05, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
See-see! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:39, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

please lets not help the bastards[edit]

Why is there no detailed page for Adam Lanza??? Like for example the Columnbine High School shooters Dylan Klebold ,and Eric Harris. ....... Is wikipedia an independant organization or is it doing what its told? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Talk:Sandy_Hook_Elementary_School_shooting would be the place to ask. Presumably they don't want to make killing children an easy path to fame, to discourage copy cats. StuRat (talk) 15:47, 10 January 2014 (UTC)



I just hatted the question. I'm not the OP. Rojomoke (talk) 21:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Yea, we can't give medical advice, but identifying beetles we can do. StuRat (talk) 22:54, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Quite easy to identify. Two have gone extinct because of human activities, but the other two are still up and running. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
LOL, don't forget all those "5th Beatles", like Stu Sutcliffe. StuRat (talk) 22:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

RE: Wool[edit]

Cheers, Stu, that actually answers my question. Funnily, I never get it when I am with a girl who wears a woollen sweater or jumper, but only when I wear one. I also get it in the fragrance sections of department stores. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:23, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it is an actual allergy to lanolin, then, as they do use it in many cosmetics. Then again, you might just have another allergy or sensitivity to perfume. It bothers me, too.
BTW, on your talk page, I don't know how to close the box left opened on that applause section. StuRat (talk) 22:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Second Coming and the Environment[edit]

By soon, I mean very soon. I am asking this because there are some Christians who claim and believe that Jesus will come back and the world will end very soon. They believe that there are signs of the Second Coming and many of these signs have already been fulfilled. For example, look at this article. Jesus talked about these signs in Wikisource:Bible (King James)/Matthew#Chapter 24, Wikisource:Bible (King James)/Mark#Chapter 13 and Wikisource:Bible (King James)/Luke#Chapter 24.

Great Time (talk) 00:19, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Right, but as many others have pointed out, people have been predicting that Jesus will return "soon", ever since he died, so betting everything on the latest guy's prediction makes little sense. StuRat (talk) 00:37, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Refdesk question[edit]

Hi Sturat,

Thanks for your answer in the refdesk about the structural design of the O2 arena in London. To answer your question, it has support columns at the front. Theres some pictures on this forum. [28] Clover345 (talk) 13:57, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

In that case, those on the lower level would have a partially obstructed view, if the balcony extended beyond their position. This is a good reason not to extend it very far. StuRat (talk) 14:45, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I think the limitation with the O2 arena is that its constructed within an existing structure. The roof of the arena was actually constructed off site and lifted from the floor to the top of the structure, using a lift mechanism. Clover345 (talk) 15:42, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
This was the Q about why they don't extend the balcony forward farther, wasn't it ? If so, I'm not sure how that construction method for the roof would affect it. StuRat (talk) 16:14, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
It was about why there's no top tier at the front of the arena. I thought because of the way it was constructed, maybe that's why they couldn't make the arena long enough to accommodate an upper tier. Clover345 (talk) 18:40, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Equal treatment?[edit]

Hi. I've done the right thing. Any chance of an equivalent gesture from your good self? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:44, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Done. StuRat (talk) 04:23, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:14, 26 February 2014 (UTC)


Cool images. How does one get the appropriate red-blue glasses for the 3d image? μηδείς (talk) 21:44, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks ! You can find those red-blue glasses in many places. The store Dollar Tree had them for $1 at some point, and Wendy's gave them away with kid's meals recently. I suppose any hobby store would probably have them, although you might have to buy a 3D comic book or some such thing to get them. You could also make a pair yourself by taping pieces of red and blue colored transparencies to a pair of glasses. Or you could just ask around, probably some friend or relative has a pair they could lend you. (Note that there are other more expensive types of 3D glasses, such as polarized or electronic shuttering glasses, but those won't work with my GIF.) StuRat (talk) 03:49, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for March 2[edit]

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Coffee strategy[edit]

Thanks, StuRat. It's nice that you responded to me when others just deleted my question :) Have a nice day, buddy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

You're welcome, and you too. StuRat (talk) 21:53, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for April 3[edit]

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You're a real rat[edit]

Hi. I've just noticed after all these years that your name is an anagram of Rattus, the scientific name for the rat. So you really are a rat after all. I don't hear you denying it, so ...

I have taxonomically named you after yourself: Rattus sturatticus.

Cool. Have a nice day. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:13, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

That sounds like a gladiator name, StuRaticus Maximus (which works out well, as my first name is Stu and my middle name is Max). StuRat (talk) 22:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Strange. All this time I thought his name was an anagram of "stuart". :D Yashowardhani (talk) 00:55, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Reverted changes to your user page[edit]

Just to let you know, I reverted some user box additions to your user page added by our friend on the RD who keeps posting probably copyvio nonsense about bacteria to the RD. Nil Einne (talk) 04:38, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I wonder why he targeted me. I wasn't involved in that. StuRat (talk) 04:53, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Rats deserve everything they get. :) ---- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:44, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

3D animation[edit]

Hey! I saw some of your 3D animations. They're awesome! How do you do it? :) Yashowardhani (talk) 15:47, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks ! I wrote Fortran programs to create individual frames, then stitched them together into animated GIFs using ImageMagick. If you follow the links near those animations, you'll find some of the discussions that came up regarding such animation, along with sample code/examples. StuRat (talk) 15:54, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I'll try that. You're making me repent not opting for computer science at high school! Yashowardhani (talk) 00:23, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not too late. There are even free online courses through edX etc. StuRat (talk) 00:31, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the site. Unfortunately, it only offers university-level courses. Yashowardhani (talk) 00:49, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
If they still have the Introduction to Computer Programming courses, those aren't too much to handle. And it's not like you pay for it, so if you have to drop out, there's no penalty for that, therefore you might as well give it a try. There was also a course on Computer Graphics, but I wouldn't recommend that one until you are comfortable with programming. StuRat (talk) 01:39, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
That's good, I'll ask my parents about it. Yashowardhani (talk) 03:44, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Your Recent Reference Desk Answer[edit]

Hi. Just to say that you can probably move your most recent Reference Desk answer (on what the richest people in the US are doing with their money) directly into your list of "Correct Reference Desk" answers. :-( RomanSpa (talk) 18:31, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

LOL, thanks. StuRat (talk) 18:35, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

alternative biochemistries (BN, F, etc.)[edit]

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Hello, StuRat. You have new messages at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science#Alien Worlds???....
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Maybe I should discuss this with you on your talk page or open a new thread for this, because it is kind of derailing the OP's original question (Si biochemistry). Double sharp (talk) 11:23, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

I think it's close enough to their original Q to stay there. I doubt if they meant "Tell me about silicon based life but please don't mention any other possibilities". StuRat (talk) 14:27, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Please don't feed the trolls[edit]

Hi StuRat,

It would be best to treat Alex Sazanov as a troll. Don't feed the troll. Just ignore him until he goes away.

If you provide an answer, it triggers others into answering.

Some folk have given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he is using machine translation, which can certainly put out what seems to be garbage. However, the variety of posts he's made make trolling far more likely. A very obvious thing to do when using machine translation is, after translating your native text into the target language, get the machine to translate it back again, and compare it with your original input. He's claerly not doing this. And he inventing words not existing in English, and for which there is no plausible source in Russian. He's been repeatedly asked to either use Russian Wikipedia, or type in his own language, with no apparent compliance. (talk) 14:00, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

But his Q's don't seem trollish, they seem like serious ones. Maybe he's just barely literate in Russian, then uses a machine translation to English on top of that. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Notification of automated file description generation[edit]

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Per WP:COMMONALITY, neutrality isn't about finding a NPOV or unoffensive word, but about finding common ground between spelling variations. You say "odor", I say "odour" - no big deal, but spelling differences are best avoided. I thought "smell" was a synonymous word, but perhaps there is a subtle difference in meaning. But I can't think of a better alternative: "aroma" and "bouquet" aren't appropriate in Flatulence, nor are "stink" or "stench". "Smell" does not seem to be inappropriate to me, but if you really don't like it, then please revert to "odour" as this spelling would be consistent with the rest of the article, per WP:ENGVAR. Thanks, Bazonka (talk) 22:06, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Your link above (and in the edit summary) doesn't work. It takes me to the top of Wikipedia:Manual of Style, and that gave me no clue you were talking about English variants. I'll go ahead and make it "odour". StuRat (talk) 22:56, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
The link works for me. MOS is a long page though, so perhaps it takes time to fully load before jumping down to the relevant section. I don't really see what the problem with "smell" is, but anyway, I won't argue with your last edit. Cheers, 23:06, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

What about "AC power"?[edit]

That distinguishes most household "non-mains power" from the mains within an inch of plugs that rival cul-de-sac pipes in thickness. There's "off-grid power" if you want short specificity that your outlet power happens to not be coming from real mains (which might still too small to equal the smallest non-electrical mains, at least one wire at a time). Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:52, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Baseball Bugs at AN/I[edit]

You have been mentioned in a discussion at WP:AN/I. AlexTiefling (talk) 16:08, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

ANI notice[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. Hipocrite (talk) 16:12, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

StuRat, the nannies are going after us. Including the one just above. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:29, 28 May 2014 (UTC)


Those various redlinks and IP's are from a banned user (which one, I don't know - possibly Cuddlyable3) and that's why they keep getting reverted. At this point, it's best to not respond to their questions. Give the admins a chance to block them and zap their questions. I'll try and do likewise. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:57, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Right, but which ones are and aren't banned users ? Is there any easy way to know ? StuRat (talk) 16:07, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
If it's an IP from Venezuela, it's him. If it's a redlink whose first entry is of the same obvious bent, or a redlink who has made some useless entries just to get confirmed and get past the semi, it's him. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:04, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Please-please-please don't edit-war over the quiet-as-possible removal of edits by banned users. It's exactly what the troll wants. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:00, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but an absolute minimum requirement is that any removal must list the reason. StuRat (talk) 18:54, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Any comment in the edit summary feeds the troll. However, if it will make you happy, I can say "wp:deny" instead of leaving it blank. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:08, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Otherwise we are headed to a situation where anyone can delete anything for any reason, with no explanation given. We also shouldn't delete good faith answers. StuRat (talk) 19:11, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
And stop reverting the deletion of banned-user questions + answers. Banned users are not allowed to edit, and anything they post is subject to deletion on-sight. And deleting the question and leaving the answer not only renders it nonsensical, it feeds the troll. Stop it already. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:13, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
And also, by the way, the user you've been edit-warring with, Minky543, is actually that same user, playing both sides of the game and loving every second of it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:26, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
You can't delete answers by non-banned users. Box it all up, if you like. StuRat (talk) 01:51, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to leave this alone for a little while, and let you and Schultz slug it out with the admins who are trying their best to counter the troll. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Possessive its versus contraction it's[edit]

Stu, I read your replies on the Reference Desk often and appreciate your insights and helpfulness. However, I have noticed that you often use "it's" (the contraction) when you mean to use "its" as a possessive pronoun. --Thomprod (talk) 13:48, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's intentional. I believe "it's" is more consistent with other possessive forms, like "Bob's" and "Mary's". I realize that my usage is nonstandard. StuRat (talk) 18:44, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Offensive comment[edit]

I find your comment highly offensive and ask that you choose your words more carefully in the future. It's not my fault if your comments are so unclear such that they were legitimately misintepreted by me and as I've said, it's not the first time you've asked to be clearer. Nil Einne (talk) 15:48, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Nobody considers being accused of nitpicking to be "highly offensive". And there does seem to be a popular game here to try to misinterpret someone's comments, then say they are wrong (under that misinterpretation). It would be damned near impossible to write anything that couldn't be intentionally misinterpreted. I am reminded of the Sheliak species in the Star Trek universe, who wrote a half million word long treaty in an attempt to remove all ambiguity: [29]. StuRat (talk) 16:48, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Risk assessment[edit]

If I can ask you to be clearer on something else, how does "increased risk in flying over a war zone where 3 aircraft had already been shot down is a no-brainer" measure up with "Looking at the past record is only one way to determine risk, and not a good choice for infrequent events."?

Not trying to be a dick, just curious to whether you think flying there would be more, less or just as risky today. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:54, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

(Is there some reason why you didn't add a new section ? In any case, I did it for you.)
I meant the past record of the actual event in question, in this case shooting down a passenger jet. Related events, such as shooting down of military jets, are also useful for risk assessment, especially where those related events are more common.
Ironically, flying over that area would likely be safer now, even as the perception of risk is much higher, since the militants probably realize that they screwed the pooch big time, and the resulting threat of serious sanctions may cause them to lose vital support from the Russians. StuRat (talk) 05:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. Not trying to say you're wrong or right, just wondering. Didn't add a new section because it seemeed relevant to misunderstandings. My bad. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:22, July 20, 2014 (UTC)


I would like to apologize for getting a little snippy on Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing#Dataflow_driven_programming_framework. I know you're just trying to help. :-) I think you caught me in a bad mood, and took it too personally, since I've already put so much effort into understanding and accounting for every little detail of the system and putting checks in place to catch as much unexpected behavior as possible. Obviously I agree that it is always good advice to assume you haven't accounted for everything and have a backup plan in place. :-) Katie R (talk) 11:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I've just seen so many programs that failed to handle conditions which they assumed could never happen, that I always try to plan for them: "The best-laid plans of mice and men (and women) often go awry." StuRat (talk) 12:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The software I work on tests things that put mice and men and women into space, so I try to be careful. :-) Katie R (talk) 16:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Better not send any mice to the Moon, in case it's made of cheese. :-) StuRat (talk) 01:03, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Speculative "answers"[edit]

Hi Stu. I thought it would be more polite to post this here, and not distract from the thread. Do you see how this [30] is an example of why your un-cited claims bug people? Why make stuff up? Sure, it sounds reasonable that you can't use the wind to go faster than the wind -- but that's incorrect, as you would have known if you'd read the info on wind turbine land vehicles in Katie's link. It's also common knowledge among people who've been sailing, and is often mentioned as a fun factoid the first time a newbie boards a sailing vessel. It's a reference desk, not a "sounds reasonable" desk. I suppose you could say it doesn't matter because your error was quickly corrected, but for better or worse, people might believe the things you say, and there's not always someone right there with the time and knowledge to set the record straight. I'm not trying to be mean spirited. I didn't want to search through your extensive post history to find examples of this sort of thing, but when one popped up this morning, I thought I'd bring it to your attention, in light of the previous talk page thread. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm rather skeptical. The only source I found in that article appears to be this one, from an admitted amateur: [31]. And that seems to violate the conservation of energy law. So, like cold fusion, I need more proof than one experiment, before I accept it. What that source might be saying is that it can move slower than the wind, store up energy, the use that to sprint ahead of the wind for a short period. If so, that seems possible, but that still limits your average speed to below that of the wind. StuRat (talk) 14:54, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Here's another source I found, which says "Even professional aeronautical engineers can’t agree": [32]. So, if I'm wrong, at least I'm in good company. StuRat (talk) 15:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


I apologized for my snappy remark and mischaracterization in the unhealthy ingredients question - I misread what you had written and responded poorly, my fault entirely.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 21:52, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks ! I think we are really both saying about the same thing, perhaps with me putting a bit much more emphasis on individual ingredients than you. I certainly agree that processed food should be avoided, whenever possible. StuRat (talk) 04:41, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Mason jars[edit]

The term for a mason jar lid that doesn't have a separate ring and gasket lid is "storage lid" or "storage cap" - search those terms on google/amazon etc. [33]. Good luck, SemanticMantis (talk) 16:48, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, StuRat (talk) 17:24, 13 October 2014 (UTC)


"On my CRT monitor...." LOL. You should let your family know what to get you for Christmas. :-) Axl ¤ [Talk] 08:44, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It would be bad for the environment to dump my CRTs (3 TVs + 3 monitors) in the landfill. And sending thousands of dollars to a non-democratic and increasingly militaristic power, the Chinese, seems socially irresponsible, to me. StuRat (talk) 13:40, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
These things are cheaper now. Less than 1000 overall and I think most aren't even made in China anymore. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 1 Adar 5775 00:32, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

StuRat, would you kindly examine my GFortran post at[edit]

StuRat hi. I know you are an expert on GFortran. I recently had a problem and posted at a linux forum. In the end I solved the issue myself but I still do not understand why my FORMAT statement did not work.

My question is: "What is wrong with my FORMAT statement" If for some reason you will not be able to see the thread, I will post it here. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

OK, I will take a look. StuRat (talk) 21:54, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
I did get an error when trying to view it, apparently you must be a member of that forum to view it. So, please list it here. StuRat (talk) 00:04, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

I had this file with columns of data:

File gray_h_20.dat:

0 1956.353271  ; 1957.88532  ; 1958.421583  ; 242.7323189

1 3041.603197  ; 3044.183214  ; 3044.777652  ; 577.2555817

In real file the semicolons were absent. The total number of lines was 256.

program main

  real :: val1,val2,val3,val4,diff1,diff2,dcent1,dcent2
  integer :: reason = 0, ii = 0, jj = 75
  100 format (I4,f15.6,f15.6,f15.6,f15.6)   ! for reading from unit 1 file
  200 format ("reason = ",I10," jj = ",I10)
  700 format (f8.3)                   ! for writing into the unit 3 file
  500 format (I3,". val1= ",f11.7," val2= ",f11.7," diff1 = ", f8.3," or ",f6.2,"%", " diff2 = ",f8.3," or ", f6.3,"%")                ! for writing into stdout; unit 6
  open (unit=1, file = "gray_h_20.dat", status = 'old')
  open (unit=3, file = "diff_h_20.dat", status = 'old')
  DO WHILE (reason .eq. 0)
    ii = ii + 1


    read (1,100,IOSTAT=reason) jj,val1,val2,val3,val4
    write (6,200) reason,jj
    diff1 = val1 - val2
    diff2 = val1 - val3
    dcent1 = diff1 / val1 * 100
    dcent2 = diff2 / val1 * 100
    write (3,700) dcent1
    write (6,500) ii, val1, val2, diff1, diff2, dcent1,dcent2
  close (unit=1)
  close (unit=3)


I get this error, and also one line of "output" which is no output at all:


reason = 5010 jj = 75

1. val1= -0.0000142 val2= 0.0000000 diff1 = -0.000 or -0.00% diff2 = 100.000 or 0.553%  

This is how I resolved it and it began working.

read (1,*,IOSTAT=reason) jj,val1,val2,val3,val4

I would like to know why the first FORMAT statement failed.

Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 19:02, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

One question, do you have a blank at the beginning of each line in the input file ? If not, try that. I believe certain format statements expect the first character to be a special control character, and that might mess things up.
Also, instead of just using blanks to separate the columns, try commas. StuRat (talk) 04:34, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

StuRat hi, It is kind of interesting but unfortunately impractical. Someone else supplies the input file for me and it is not in the format I am using. This person sends me columns of numbers in .xlsx format which is Office Excel. I cannot use it in Ubuntu, at least I don't know how. So I copy about five columns at once to the clipboard and paste them into a .dat file in Ubuntu Terminal. Inserting commas manually is not for me.

Now the blank at the beginning of each line? There are no blanks, but entering the blanks manually? I can try that to prove the principle because this thing puzzles me. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:29, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

OK, let me know how it goes. You can delete all but 2 lines, insert a space at the start, do one test, then add commas for a 2nd test. Once we know if either of those are the problem we can look for a solution, if you want to go beyond unformatted input. StuRat (talk) 17:54, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I moved the first 10 lines one position to the right thus giving each line a blank byte at the beginning. The formatted input did not work as before. This is what I got in the output file: ******** (one line only). --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:42, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Did you try the commas ? I suspect that without those, it will read by column. For example, an I4 read will try to read 4 characters and plug them into an integer. If part of the next number is in that 4 characters, things will go haywire. StuRat (talk) 04:46, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

No I did not do it yesterday. I did it now and it gave the same result: ******** . Just one line if it can be called a line. I inserted the commas as you suggested. Even if it worked I probably would not do the commas. It is kind of ridiculous to do it by hand on a large file given the fact that unformatted input works so well. So the problem has no answer. You can actually take my code and run it and confirm. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:35, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Yea, I've had a similar experience with formatted FORTRAN reads. They are extremely particular that everything be in exactly the right place. Unformatted input is safer. StuRat (talk) 02:55, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

I forgot to mention one interesting thing. I failed to remove the commas and the line shifts one position to the right. The unformatted READ ignored the nuisance as it were not there and read the real stuff: floating point numbers.

This will close the discussion, he, he. Thank you, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:27, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

OK, and good luck. I think the formatted reads go back to Hollerith cards, when each space on the card was specifically reserved for one data type, not like the CSV files we tend to use today, where spacing is ignored. Back then, space was at a premium, so they would put one number right up against the next, not using any spaces or commas in between, and the formatted reads were designed to decipher that. StuRat (talk) 17:33, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Req Technical Advive[edit]

Hi, Stu.

You've been helpful before with TV questions. My parents have done away with cable entirely. The live 20 miles or less SE from downtown Philly and get all the Philly stations in normally very good HD reception. They have a 40-y/o outdoor antenna which works but could use replacing.

My Dad wants to install an in-attic antenna. He's looking at price and quality, but he's also interested in a hi-range antenna, since he lives 75 miles or less SW from NYC.

He'd like to get an antenna that would get the NYC stations, since it would easily double there number of stations, although much of the programming may be duplicate.

I suggested he look here

I have three main questions. Is a hi range TV that will also get NYC going to have to rotate every time he changes channels? (Frankly I think with his proximity to philly he can probably just keep the antenna aimed at NYC and get the philly due to the mere proximity of the signal.

Second is there any specific brands you can either recommend or warn him away from.

Third, is there any other issue I might not be thinking of that you suggest I pay attention to?

Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 18:17, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

I really wouldn't recommend trying to get a digital TV signal from 75 miles away, but, if you're committed to it, it will take everything you can possibly do to get it to work, and then you can still expect to lose the signal regularly. (It's not like analog TV where a weak signal is still viewable, just with some "snow".) Some additional thoughts:
1) Some antennae are highly directional while others are somewhat directional or omni-directional. For that kind of range, though, I think you want a highly directional antenna. The directional ones also usually receive signals well from the opposite direction, and sometimes from a few other directions, as well. You might want to use both the new directional and old omni-directional antenna together. You can hook them up to a switch box at the TV you can use to select between the two. I have this setup.
2) Rotating antennae can be a bit of a pain. You need to use a remote control to rotate them, it needs to be lubricated periodically, you need to keep the area clear to allow for rotation, and you have to wait for it to rotate every time you change channels. I'd avoid those.
3) In-attic might not work. It may need the additional height you get by putting it on the roof. At 75 miles, you might have the Earth in between your antenna and the broadcast antenna, due to the curvature of the Earth, unless you go higher. 75 miles is really pushing the limits, so you'd have to go all out to make it work.
4) Something else to consider is the frequencies you are trying to receive. Different antennae are more sensitive to different frequencies. Note that under digital TV, the channel number no longer corresponds directly with the broadcast RF (radio frequency) signal. So, you'd want to determine the frequencies of the TV channels you're trying to get and select an antenna good at those frequencies. You won't be able to get low VHF at that range, because they are restricted on power output. For this reason most digital TV stations are broadcasting in either high VHF or UHF. StuRat (talk) 21:47, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, that was very clear and helpful. My dad wasn't set on the NYC channels, and there was a miscommunication between us, he wants the antenna in the house itself, not the attic. His concern is that he gets pixelation when it's bad weather. He might go with on-the-roof, but he's 76 and it's not like Walmart will install it. (I can do inside wiring, but I have overpowering acrophobia (I got locked out of my apartment once and had to climb the fire escape from a 4th story to a 5th story window, which took about 30 minutes for me to do in inch by inch increments.)) The NYC signals come out of the Twinless Tower so they are pretty high, there are no mountains in between, he lives at almost the highest elevation in SJ, but that's like 100ft, so not much help.
One last question. Since almost all of the channels he gets are at 10 degrees west of due north from him, and they come in fine now on his 40 y/o antenna, is there any point in a unidrectional antenna? There are other stations, mostly PBS, which they like) that come out of Vineland and (S) Atlantic City ESE) and Trenton (N). Not knowing the right word, would an omnidrectional (?) antenna be a good idea, if there is such a thing? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:06, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes there are, but none are 100% omnidirectional, or 100% unidirectional, for that matter. What channels get the pixelation ? If those are the ones 10 degrees west of north, then a directional antenna for those and an omnidirectional antenna for the rest might work. As for brands, Winegard and Channel Master seem to usually have the best antennae. But as for putting it inside the house, and not in the attic, you have to realize that directional antennae are big and ugly, not the type of thing you want in your living room. Maybe if he has a utility or storage room, that might be appropriate, but you also have the antenna wires to deal with. StuRat (talk) 01:54, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
For his convenience, he wants an omnidirectional antenna in the living room one in the botom center of the home that will get better than the one on the roof 30 ft up. I know this will cause my mother to have apoplexy. He also doesn't want to have to run wiring other than by the current route, which is down the West side of the house from the roof and across the garage into the living room. I am going to try to convince him either to put a new antenna where the old antenna is, or perhaps one in my sister's old room which is rarely used and has a northward view from the second floor. The Channel that comes in poorly is 23 PBS out of Camden, which can't be more that 1-3 degrees away from the Philly transmitters from his transmitters.
The problems at this point seem ones of effort, esthetics, and emotion, so again your advice has been helpful. He was going to get the Channel Master C2 if I remember (don't have my email open) but was going to try to fit that in an almost below ground room in the center of the house, in an 18" space behind and south of the TV. Thanks for all the practical advice, I will pass it along shortly. μηδείς (talk) 02:12, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome, but be sure to explain to him the huge difference in reception he will get due to the elevation difference. If he wants to put a directional antenna behind the TV in that small space, it would have to be the bay type ( is a good one). However, he would be quite limited in where he could aim it.
Also, you might be thinking that a new antenna would have to outperform a 40 year old one. This is not necessarily true. Very little improvement has been made to TV antenna technology over the last 40 years, because people have been switching to cable and satellite TV. There have been improvements in cell phone antennae based on fractal geometry, but so far AFAIK nobody has tried to adapt this to TV antenna. StuRat (talk) 02:54, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Library - ScotlandsPeople - You've got mail[edit]

Hello, StuRat. Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template. Philg88 talk 06:40, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Your graphics software[edit]

StuRat, I want to know what graphics software you are using. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 22:02, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

You mean the animated GIFs from my home page ? As I said "I generate the panes using FORTRAN programs I write, then use ImageMagick to stitch them together into animated GIFs." You might wonder why I do it this way instead of using some off-the-shelf program. Well, my goal was to learn the basics, and I wanted to start from scratch to do this. StuRat (talk) 00:52, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I remember those animated pictures and this is why I asked you this question. My goal is actually different. I am not interested in animation. I was wondering if GFortran has intrinsic graphics capabilities. That was the impression I had when you showed that stuff to me. I currently use gnuplot which is outside GFortran, so I have to fill up a file with floating point values and then use a short file with gnuplot code and issue a simple command to display the graphic. There are numerous graphics program on the web. Thanks, ---AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:21, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

No, I've not found any. I believe I asked this Q at the Ref Desk some time ago. I do everything manually. The Netpbm format allows you to output a human-readable ASCII graphics file, which can be displayed directly. However, those are huge and slow, so you likely will want to convert them to another format. You could also theoretically output binary graphics files directly from FORTRAN, but debugging is problematic, since you can't read the file directly anymore. (I've actually been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet, so if you do, I'd love to get a copy.) Then graphics file compression is another issue, and even if you create binary files, you'd still likely want to use another program to compress them. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Regarding Emilie claire Barlow[edit]

I did send a self addressed stamped envelope and I got nothing. Please help me. Venustar84 (talk) 01:28, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

How long ago ? If they answer their mail personally, it can take a very long time to get caught up. StuRat (talk) 03:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
A year ago. Venustar84 (talk) 04:55, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
They still might still answer after that long, but I'd also try your other approach of catching her in person. StuRat (talk) 15:28, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the help![edit]

Choco chip cookie.png

To StuRat, Tcncv, Salix alba, Dismas and Mandruss. I gather that most of the time when you answer questions at the reference desk, you never hear back, so I wanted to let everyone involved in Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2014 August 26#Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2014 August 17#Please help me buy the right wire redux know a few months later that it made a real convenience difference in my life and is much appreciated! Thanks again.-- (talk) 18:54, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, glad we could help ! StuRat (talk) 19:13, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

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Being bullied by Baseballbugs[edit]

Any chance you could intervene here?

Every time I create a new question of the ref desk this particular editor swoops in with arbitrary removals of my question. This bully boy approach is really unhelpful and I have no idea why he feels compelled to pick on me personally. When questioned, he is unable to explain his actions. Which suggests to me that his behavior is purely driven by malice.

See my revision page.

Your Q "Why did Jimmy cross the road" seems to have been removed for good reason. If you meant something like "What was Jimmy Wales' motivation for starting Wikipedia ?", then you should have said so. Unfortunately, that question marked you as a troll in BB's mind. I suggest you sign up, then he won't recognize you. And avoid any more silly Q's like the crossing the road one. Your Q on Wikipedia biases seems reasonable to me, and I wouldn't have removed it. I'll put it back and see if he leaves it there now. StuRat (talk) 16:29, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
This time he's blocked for a week. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:52, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

"::This time he's blocked for a week. ←Baseball Bugs"

Sort of.

And you were contradicted more reasonable, fellow Wikipedian's who kept my most current question live. Whereas you wanted to delete the whole lot. Friendly tip : best you keep that ego genie in the bottle. We all know he knows best, don't worry. (talk) 22:00, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

ANI notification[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is Does Wikipedia offer medical advice now?. Thank you. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:02, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Misc desk[edit]

I deleted it without comment because it was an obvious attempt at a BLP-attack on Wales. Please, don't start another troll-feeding bout. Revert yourself without comment. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

I have posted it on Wales' talk page so he can decide what it's about, if anything. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:12, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not at all obvious to me. Take it to the talk page and try to garner a consensus. StuRat (talk) 07:16, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Ref Desk proposal[edit]

Hi Stu, I don't know if you've been following the recent threads on the ref desk talk page, but based on some review of that material, I have a simple proposal that I'd like your feedback on before I shop it to the whole group. It's very simple: For a trial period (1 month?), we agree to not remove or hat any questions for reasons of seeking medical/legal advice (and perhaps extend to include requests for opinion). Rather than a free-for-all, we first respond with boilerplate or a template, something along the lines of this:

At that point, we can remove any responses that diagnose, proscribe, treat any illness or legal situation, but allow links to RS. Perhaps even demand that any responses include references, or risk removal. Would that seem ok to you? The thing is, we really don't get that many medical legal questions, and I like how this puts us in the position to police ourselves as respondents, rather than posters. As I see it, this proposal is consistent with our guidelines, and it might forestall some debates, because hopefully the use of a template will warn all our regulars (and irregulars) to be on their best behavior. On the upside, we can then provide useful information, such as links to other people's opinion pieces, links to WP pages that are about medical topics, peer-reviewed literature, etc. So, any thoughts? Would you support such an experiment? Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 15:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

No, I don't think that would work, as written, because of editors like Medeis, who think anything related to biology is medical advice. Give her the ability to delete responses without consensus and she would delete even more than she does now. If you add that deletions can only occur after a consensus is garnered on the talk page, then I could support your proposal. StuRat (talk) 15:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, we could do it that way. I'm certainly open to tweaking the details. The main thing I want to promote is to focus on responses, not questions. I see it as our job to behave ethically, not poster's jobs to read all our guidelines and know how to not even look like a hint of a troll or advice seeker. I was actually keeping Medeis in mind. My thought was that she could feel happy by adding that template to certain questions, and she might be less likely to delete a regular user's posted answer (i.e. not "drive-by IP" as some of them say), especially since theoretically further responses would be very careful to give advice. Oh well. Thanks for the feedback. I'll see what the others I've asked say, and maybe post on the talk page about it over the weekend. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:37, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Let me give an example. Say somebody asks how many teeth an adult human should have. Under current rules, Medeis would hat the question as requesting medical advice, then everyone else would ignore her hatting or remove it, since it obviously isn't a request for medical advice. Under your proposed rule, somebody would give the answer, perhaps with a link, and Medeis would then delete it. Others wouldn't know the correct answer was deleted, and waste time providing their own answer, which she would then delete again. That's not an improvement. StuRat (talk) 17:10, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
If the question were "How many teeth does an adult human have?", then that's not asking for medical advice, and I think if anyone tried to remove it, they would be resisted. And drama would ensure. I think my solution could make it better - here's my scenario - if we agreed on a template, it could be added to the question (even though I think that would be erroneous, I wouldn't mind) Then someone can say "see our article on Human_tooth#Permanent_teeth, which says that a normal healthy human has 32 permanent teeth" - and if anyone tried to remove that answer, they'd be wrong to do so, and I'm fairly confident our community would act to restore the response. Btw, have a look at Medeis' talk page. I dropped a line there too, and she seems basically amenable... SemanticMantis (talk) 17:43, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Her argument would be that if we tell them how many teeth a normal adult human is supposed to have, that they would then conclude that they either have the correct number or incorrect number of teeth, which is a medical diagnosis, and we should not assist people in self-diagnosis. She's renowned for this type of absurd misinterpretation of the rules. Also, since some people have wisdom teeth and some don't she would also argue that we are not qualified to answer, and that they must consult their dentist.
And yes, her deletions would be reverted, if anyone knew she made them. They will only show up on our watch-lists until the next edit to that Ref Desk is made. I for one don't comb through the history of each Ref Desk page every hour to check to see what else she has deleted, and I doubt if anyone else does, either. So, the problem with unilateral deletions is they can easily slip under the radar. Not so for hatting or consensus deletions.
And I'm not at all surprised that she would favor any proposal that allows her to do unilateral deletions. StuRat (talk) 18:32, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm in no way trying to encourage deletions - exactly the opposite is my goal - to use a template instead of deleting. How about just the template, instead of hatting/closing? With nothing about further responses, neither explicitly preventing them nor allowing them. Something like this:

The idea was just to get something fairly innocuous that we could agree on, that might both keep people from needlessly deleting things, and also help teach readers and posters about our guidelines. This form doesn't change any of our guidelines in any way, but it is designed to avoid any need to delete posts. If I can get Medeis (and others) to agree to post this template (or something similar) instead of deleting, wouldn't you call that progress, or at least a small improvement? I know I would, but I'm trying to see how others feel, so that I don't waste my time on a huge talk thread that accomplishes nothing. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:55, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
That looks OK, as long as they sign it. An unsigned template like that makes it look like it's a consensus statement, when it's really just one person's opinion. Is there a way to make a template always add the signature of the person who left it ? StuRat (talk) 01:20, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Piscine retribution[edit]

Rainbow trout transparent.png Whack!

You've been whacked with a wet trout.

Misrepresentation of the Star Wars Original Trilogy Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 1 Adar 5775 00:31, 20 February 2015 (UTC)


...on My Mind, as sung by Ethel Merman. I doubt there's a recording of it anywhere. It was something I saw on a TV variety show back in the 60s. You've heard the expression about a singing voice that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard? This was worse. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:18, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Ha. Turns out it was on the Carol Burnett Show, March 3, 1969. So it might still exist somewhere. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:23, 1 March 2015 (UTC)


please :( Doorknob747 (talk) 18:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Bedbugs question[edit]

Hi StuRat, I replied to your reply. Best wishes, Rich Peterson2601:7:6580:5E3:79CC:4600:8B68:8653 (talk) 06:27, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Areas of interest/expertise[edit]

Hi Stu, would you consider adding in some of your areas of interest/expertise to Wikipedia:RD_regulars? I know you're pretty expert on some types of computer stuff, maybe some physics and probably other things I don't even know about :) I'd like to get more people to participate so that it might become a useful resource for all of us. Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 14:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

a user who may need a friend[edit]

hello StuRat it is dfrr this user who goes by the name User:Trimethylxanthine has not been getting messages from anyone but me in fact only one other user has sent him a message when he first came here to wikipedia. so lets send him him barnstars wikiloves messages anything to make him feel like people know he is here at wikipedia. thank you and have a great springDfrr (talk) 09:27, 5 April 2015 (UTC)


Since you just brought it up: Was Darnell wearing a red shirt? The article doesn't mention it. — Sebastian 02:16, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

The pic (is that Darnell ?) seems to show a blue shirt. They weren't very consistent on shirt colors in Star Trek:TOS. StuRat (talk) 02:25, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Which pic? — Sebastian 02:30, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Right after my link to the article. Looks like he fell victim to the killer frog. :-) StuRat (talk) 02:35, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Either that or leeches, I would imagine. — Sebastian 02:42, 11 April 2015 (UTC)


Musical note nicu bucule 01.svg


Hey Stu! I believe that you have your second inequality backwards over at WP:RDMA#Algebra. Presumably Clover's wording was imprecise. Cheers! -- ToE 23:33, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Ah yes, good catch. Fixed now. Thanks, StuRat (talk) 23:47, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
It's still funky! The inequality shifts between both the first and second equation and between the second and third, though I can't quite tell which way Clover intended. BTW, I am somewhat confused at how someone who asks such a simple question can follow up with question about Rosenblatt transforms. -- ToE 00:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
The tricky part is "If x < y, then 1/x > 1/y, when x & y are both positive or both negative". We don't actually know that the left side is positive, do we ? I'm not sure what to do in this case. StuRat (talk) 02:38, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
If L is a real number, then e(-1/L) is positive. Also, I now see that Clover was clear about which inequality sign they meant where, with the first equation and the final answer using "greater than or equal to" and the intermediate equation using "less than or equal to". -- ToE 07:39, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Neutral Heading[edit]

Stu, you are well aware section headings are supposed to neutrally state an issue, not attack a single person. I am not the sole person who disagrees with you, keep you edits to the discussion because if you edit war over getting my name in the header I'll take action. μηδείς (talk) 03:20, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

As you well know, listing a person's name in the header doesn't make it not neutral. I mentioned your action and why you claimed you took it, and nothing else, in my latest version. Your "Answering opinion with opinion" header was not even close to being neutral. StuRat (talk) 03:57, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Ref desk problem - edit conflict?[edit]

Hi Stu, you seem to have inadvertently removed some other responses here. Did you have an edit conflict? DuncanHill (talk) 18:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I undid your edit so as to restore what was there before. Could you re-add your response, as it will be helpful to other readers? Thanks, DuncanHill (talk) 18:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
He probably shouldn't re-add it, as it was wrong. "Random" referred to the random order of cards in the machine, according to the magazine article (and common sense—random access is a feature of every filing system ever, so it wouldn't be a selling point). -- BenRG (talk) 19:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
No, the earliest computer systems could only read sequentially, and being able to access data non-sequentially was a real selling point. Of course, now it's like "stereo", so widespread you don't really need to say it anymore, but some people still do.
As for being able to retrieve any cards in the specific order, regardless of the order in which they are loaded, that's the same thing I was saying. StuRat (talk) 19:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Duncan. I got an edit conflict, but when I looked at it it seemed to take my changes, so I left it, not realizing it had somehow wiped out the conflicting edit. StuRat (talk) 19:27, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Change of section header[edit]

[38] It's Viennese Waltz, not Vienna Waltz. --Viennese Waltz 14:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

OK, thanks for the correction. And I striked out the comment, not because what any men think, but because Deb didn't like it. StuRat (talk) 14:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that, although I don't agree with your reason. Men are just as entitled to object to sexist humour as women are, and their objections should carry no less weight. Your argument is like saying that a racist joke is acceptable as long as a black person finds it acceptable. --Viennese Waltz 08:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Not a racist joke, but saying things like "You my nigga !", which is acceptable in some black cultures. When everyone starts worrying about 3rd parties possibly getting offended, it becomes a political correctness nightmare. To put it in legal terms, you lack "standing" to object. StuRat (talk) 13:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


I'm sitting here wondering if all that, at RDL and the talk page, would have been avoided if I had simply ignored the comment from Dodger67. If I accomplished nothing but stirring the pot, I apologize. ―Mandruss  16:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, I appreciate it, anyway. Jayron never misses an opportunity to make a personal attack on me, amazing behavior for an Admin. I chose not to engage on either page, as that will just give them more opportunities for personal attacks. There seem to be a large number of people at the Ref Desk whose main purpose is to attack others, whether posters or responders. They all need to be more tolerant, and have a sense of humor. If the Ref Desk was as dull as they want to make it, I suspect it would die, because few would be interested in responding in their grey, boring world. StuRat (talk) 18:24, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Ptolemaic numbers[edit]

Many thanks for your answer, which opened up several other interesting sidelines! I came to the conclusion that the original context must have meant Greek numbers, pity they didn't say Greek instead of Ptolemaic but it does sound more interesting / mysterious this way. Followed up Ancient Egyptian and Latin but they wouldn't work in the context: Yes, this is the inoffensive link which caused me to start hunting. I really appreciate such an expanded and encompassing answer. It's a win! (talk) 04:57, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

You're quite welcome ! StuRat (talk) 13:23, 3 July 2015 (UTC)


Needed here [39] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:06, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

If you go to his article, you should find all the refs you need. StuRat (talk) 05:22, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Pay attention[edit]

You do realize, of course, that the editor involved has been blocked indefinitely, that the question is not a request for references, and that the link will not go anywhere once the items are archived, so the clutter will serve no purpose whatsoever? Can you please explain why this material should be retained for any ref desk reason? μηδείς (talk) 01:45, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

It will remain in the archives as a record of what occurred, and is far more accessible there than if we needed to look through the history to try to find it in the future. But none of this really matters, as there was no valid reason given for a deletion. Having a dead link in no way qualifies as a good reason. StuRat (talk) 01:48, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
StuRat is spot on. DuncanHill (talk) 09:34, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: Re the link, you can wait until the target has been archived and then modify the link to either a wikilink or a permalink to the section on the archive page. It takes less than a minute, no fuss, no muss. Whatever the arguments involved here, the link shouldn't be one of them. ―Mandruss  10:12, 10 July 2015 (UTC)


Hi Sturat, can you please add your reference to your answer about the use of Latin being linked to democracy (here [40])? Thanks. (talk) 20:17, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

It sounds like you misunderstood my use of the word. I didn't mean democratic forms of government, per se, but rather "the little guy having more say in the world". The form of government is one way that can happen, but also technology changes like the internet now allow everyone to have a say (for example, by rating businesses), whereas only a few in the media had a voice before. To look at one example, let's say your lawyer throws Latin phrases at you rather than say them in simple English (say "writ of habeas corpus" versus "an order to charge or release the prisoner"). You can leave a review of that lawyer that says he does that, and find another lawyer who doesn't, all using the internet. Eventually that lawyer will learn to use simple English or lose all his clients. StuRat (talk) 20:28, 14 July 2015 (UTC)


Why on God's green earth did you feel the need to restore respond to that troll's speculations about biological warfare? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:19, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

It didn't look like trolling to me. I can certainly understand how someone might think "We defeated millions of enemies in WW2, so why can't we easily defeat a few thousand crazies ?". I haven't seen it explained on the news, either. So, I explained it. StuRat (talk) 20:56, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I almost never see eye-to-eye with user Fgf10, and we both agree it's trolling. The IP would be blocked already except the admins are asleep at the switch at AIV. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:28, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I will give them the benefit of the doubt until then. StuRat (talk) 21:32, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Who, the IP? Read his so-called contributions for today. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:35, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
The IP is now blocked. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:40, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I evaluate the Q, not the OP. If the Q seems reasonable, I answer it. Now if the OP gets banned, I will respect that, but I don't intend to start looking through all the contibutions of every OP before deciding if I will answer their Q. StuRat (talk) 21:41, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Fortunately, others will. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:44, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for answering my question. Hats off to you for breaking the mold around here and helping a questioner.

Pissing against the wall[edit]

You asked:

I wonder if it meant "males over a certain age", as male babies wouldn't be able to "piss against the wall". I also wonder why the translators chose the word "piss", versus "urinate", which comes from Latin and is considered the more refined choice. StuRat (talk) 14:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't know if the phrase means to exclude babies but in general it is considered to include even young children. I kind of doubt that babies would be excluded though because the purpose was to eradicate the male line altogether. Maybe one should not understand the present "pisseth" too literally. Biblical Hebrew finite tenses and verbal adjectives have, as far as I know, more imprecise temporal implications than English (or Modern Hebrew) equivalents. The so called verbal aspect is as important. Maybe "a pisser against the wall" would be closer to the meaning of the Hebrew (see, btw, Wycliffe's translation below). Because the Hebrew word that is translated by "pisseth" is a verbal adjective, not a finite tense, it can mean "a pisser", i.e. someone whose nature it is to (maybe not today but one day) urinate against the wall. As to your second question, some of the more recent translators do use "urinate" and some forgo the metaphor altogether and put instead some such equivalent as "male" or "male child" etc. As to why the KJV uses "piss" instead of "urinate" I don't know. Maybe "urinate" was not yet commonly used in English. EtymOnline gives 1590s for that word but maybe it was still specialized medical terminology. The oldest translations all seem to use a derivative of "piss". Wycliffe's Bible has "a pisser on the wall" or "a pisser to the wall". Since Wycliffe's is translated not from the Hebrew but from the Latin Vulgate I would assume that Jerome too picked an earthy Latin word to translate the Hebrew (but I have not checked the text of the Vulgate). Amazingly Young's Literal Translation (literal!) uses "sitting on the wall" (!) which is completely wrong. But what do you expect from a Victorian translation? In any case the earthiness of "piss" is not meant to reflect any connotation of the word in Hebrew, I don't think, since the word used is the only one for urinating (in Biblical Hebrew). This said, the Hebrew Bible does uses circumlocutions for some bodily functions, e.g. it is said to use "covers his feet" for "defecates" for example in 1 Samuel 24:4 (לְהָסֵ֣ךְ אֶת־רַגְלָ֑יו) (in fact, as far as I know, no root for "defecating" has come down to us from Biblical Hebrew, or at least not in the text of the Bible), but I don't completely understand this because this is not a verb that is used in Modern Hebrew for "covers". In any case maybe the use in Hebrew of the literal word for "urinating", especially in this phrase, instead of a circumlocution, is, after all, a popular, earthy idiom used on purpose, for stylistic reasons, by the (highly sophisticated) writers of these texts. Some day I will try to see if this Hebrew root for "urinating" is used in the Bible other than in this specific idiom. Contact Basemetal here 17:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps when they said "defile" they meant "urinate" (could be "defecate", too). "Cover the feet" seems like a bizarre euphemism for defecate. They don't mean "cover the feet with feces" I hope. Maybe they just meant putting on shoes, in order to go outside to defecate ? StuRat (talk) 17:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure it is not "cover the feet with feces", and not only because that would be gross Face-smile.svg and entirely out of character with the habits of primitive people and in any case would take some doing given the standard squatting position which was general before the invention of the toilet seat. It is unthinkable that defecating on your own feet would have been such a standard modus operandi as to give rise to a phrase, even if it could conceivably occur as an accident to a particularly clumsy or hurried crapper. However that doesn't get us close to the origin of the phrase. If the ancient Hebrews had worn pants I could imagine "covering your feet" meant pulling down your pants. (This, btw, reminds me of a particularly funny scene in "Don Quixote") But they didn't. A robe on the other hand would be more likely to be pulled up than pulled down. Maybe the ancient Hebrews wore some kind of underwear, even if it was just a piece of rag, and that was pulled down and "covered the feet" so to speak, even though you'd better cover only the front of your feet, for obvious reasons. I'll ask someone who knows Biblical Hebrew well. Contact Basemetal here 20:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
This reminds me of something interesting I heard on the radio last night. Apparently an estimated 550,000 people in India still defecate outdoors. They seem to prefer it, even when an outhouse is available (I would guess because of the smell). But, as you can imagine, this leads to the spread of disease, and sure doesn't do much for tourism. So, the local governments have started using "walls of shame", where they snap pics of offenders "in the act" and post them in town. That seems to be having the desired effect. :-) StuRat (talk) 20:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Good thing they don't put it on the net, Instagram or Flickr Face-smile.svg I've often wondered why homo sapiens is so poorly equipped for mass communal defecation Face-smile.svg When you see those seal colonies or penguin colonies or any seabird colony with millions of animals all happily defecating next to each other (try to imagine that) without any adverse effect (I'm not sure about the seals and sea lions, maybe they do it in the sea) it makes you wonder. (Do you know what the guano in Peru is? There's literally mountains of that stuff!) It is true cats are also very particular. It seems, as far as that is concerned, homo sapiens behaves more like a cat or a tiger or a predatory animal, than a social animal like a monkey ought to. I've got only two cats, but if I don't clean their litter box everyday its a revolution. I'm basically my cats' tattiwallah (or whatever that is called in India). Ok, I have to take out the turds everyday, but I've got three or four days to change the litter. But, seriously, only about half a million people? That sounds to me like a huge underestimate. The Times of India and The Hindu put it at more like 600 million. Besides hygiene and tourism there is that of domestic animals, such as dogs, eating the feces, and if it's too far from the village, the problem of attacks by wild animals, of scorpions, snakes, etc, and for women, the danger of rape, especially if done after dark. Btw, it's not always the fault of the people practicing it given the ghastly state of public toilets. I'm sure there are technical solutions to this problem (which is a problem in India and elsewhere, see article Open defecation). In my opinion, at least in the countryside, one has to start by having every family have their own toilet (preferably a composting toilet) of which they take care personally as opposed to public toilets. Relying on public toilets and professional "toilet cleaners" especially those belonging to a specialized caste who operate with minimal technology is bound to fail and the toilets will remain in that horrible state that drives people to prefer open defecation. Every family in the countryside should take care of its own toilet. In the cities, though, you have to have public toilets of course, and the problem is different. Paradoxically it seems the problem, at least in India, is more acute in the countryside. Contact Basemetal here 21:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I missed a set of zeroes. That's 550 million. As for other animals, I think it does spread disease and shorten lifespans, this being one reason why most animals live longer in captivity, since we clean up the manure. StuRat (talk) 22:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)