User talk:Zundark/archive2001-2003

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This archive of User talk:Zundark starts in August 2001 (when it was still called Zundark/Talk - no namespaces in those days). Old links to user pages have been fixed up.


Hi Zundark, welcome, and thanks for your work in the math area! --AxelBoldt


thanks for getting the other Herod Agrippa part - I hate wading thru Project Gutenberg --MichaelTinkler


Great work on Beowulf there! --Anders Törlind


What is the standard way to speicify the coordinates of the constellations? The coordinates of the alpha star probably is a good alternative. Most constellations only occupy a small portion within their bounding "rectangle", it is rather pointless to specify a large "rectangle".

Not Zundark speaking, but - how about their centre of mass? The alpha star is no good, since in a lot of constellations it lies far off to one side (Bootes, Carina come to mind).

I've been wondering about this ever since 63.192.137.xxx (that's a great name you've got there!) inserted some coordinates for Boötes. The official boundaries are often quite complex, so it wouldn't be very enlightening to give them (although we could give them as well). Centre of mass (for epoch 2000.0, say) is quite a good idea, except that it would be difficult to calculate. (Also, it's not entirely clear how you define it on a sphere.) Just giving a single point somewhere near the centre of the constellation would be OK, as long as it isn't claimed to anything more than a rough estimate. --Zundark, 2001 Sep 17
I agree that a full boundary description is an overkill here. Center of mass is not practical either. I still think coordinates of the alpha star is a good start. Star gazers find a constellation by looking for the bright stars first, the position of the brightest (alpha) star within the constellation is more significant than the real boundary coordinates for the purpose of locating the constellation with unaided eyes. Of course, it must be clear that the coordinates are for the alpha star and not the constellation itself. -- 63.192.137.xxx
I have no objection to the coordinates of the Alpha being added. I suggest to do them for epoch 2000.0. But as Josh Grosse notes, the Alpha is often far from central. (Eridanus is probably the extreme example - a huge constellation with its Alpha at an extremity.) Also, Vela and Puppis have no Alpha. --Zundark, 2001 Sep 18
Center of mass is easy to define on a sphere. Assuming you don't want it weighted by bright stars or anything, you simply calculate it the way you would on a plane but use the sine of the declination rather than the declination proper as your y-coordinate. As 63 says below, though, it might not be that useful, and could fall outside the boundaries. I'll help with the bright stars list meanwhile. --Josh Grosse
Another question. Is the center of mass computation weighed according to the magnitude of the member stars? It would make sense because the center will be more likely to fall closer to the bright stars which are what star gazers look for. On the other hand, is the effort worthwhile? What added value is a precise calculation compared to a general direction? I personally think a rough vicinity is good enough. If the objective is to provide the coordinates for the star gazers, then the location of the bright stars are more significant than the accurate boundary information. -- 63.192.137.xxx

Ideally each constellation article should have a table of brightest stars. I've done this for Caelum, but it's going to take a lot of work to do it for every constellation. Since the table should include coordinates, this would solve the problem of the present lack of location information. --Zundark, 2001 Sep 18

I think it might be a good idea to put distance, spectral class, and absolute magnitude in if feasible. For stars that have their own pages, like Sirius and Mizar, we maybe could have a standard table giving this information?
I've added distance, spectral class and absolute magnitude to the Caelum table. My source is somewhat old (1982), so there may be better figures available now, but this is just to get some idea of what the tables should look like. --Zundark, 2001 Sep 19

Zundark, you say you've been checking for plagiarism on Wikipedia pages. How do you suggest one go about this?

I just choose a suitably distinctive phrase from the page and type it into Google. For example, from the former Carl Friedrich Gauss article, the phrase "Gauss visited Olbers who had discovered Pallas in March" would be suitable. Typing it into Google (including the quotes), finds the MacTutor biography here, and if you compare this to the Carl Friedrich Gauss article which I deleted, you will see that the plagiarism is obvious. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 5

Thanks, I assumed it was something along these lines.


Please, please, do not confuse the word "plagiarism" with "copyright violation"; they are entirely different things. Plagiarism is claiming someone else's work as your own, that is, claiming to have written something that you did not write. Most copyright violations correctly attribute the author. --LDC

You're perfectly correct. I only used the word plagiarism because the person I was responding to did. In the case I was referring to there was no attribution. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 22

Why do you adhere to the "BC" notation vs. "BCE" on the Proleptic Gregorian Calendar? I explained the reason for using "BC". --Tompeters

You wrote

it is traditional to represent the years preceding 1 as "1 BCE" etc.

This is factually incorrect, since it's actually traditional to represent them as "1 B.C.", etc. We should not normally use BCE and CE anyway, because many people don't know what they mean. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 23

I see your point for this particular phrase, but I disagree with your position that we should NOT use "CE" and "BCE". Besides the religeous sensitivities, European non-native English speakers may be unfamiliar with abbreviations like "BC" but familiar with the Latin "ACN" or "AC". And hypertext systems like these are excellent to give immediate explanation of terms and abbreviations. BTW thanx for referring to the existing Anno_Domini page, I will try figure out how to do that (being a newbie on Wiki). --Tompeters
I agree that those who are not native English speakers may not recognise B.C., but they are even less likely to recognise B.C.E. We can't use A.C.N. or A.C., because they are even more obscure (for English speakers) than B.C.E. Hyperlinks are of somewhat limited use in this case, because we usually want to link the whole year, e.g. 44 B.C., and in any case we shouldn't needlessly send people off to look up something when we could have used a more normal (and entirely equivalent) abbreviation anyway. I don't understand the thing about "religious sensitivities" -- I am not a Christian, but no matter how hard I try I can't get even the slightest bit annoyed about A.D./B.C. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 24

Zundark, you seem to have redirected the pages with titles like "EndlÃf¶sung" to something, but because the titles are in UTF-8 which our software doesn't support, they don't even redirect properly. If you know what they redirect to, let me know and I'll try to make sure they are coded correctly. --LDC

They redirect to Endloesung. The redirects worked when I tried them, but the pages need to be deleted anyway. I only put the redirects in because I hoped it would discourage whoever created these articles from adding content to them. --Zundark, 2001 Nov 30

Thanks for taking out the Amazon links -- how did you do it? JHK

You can see by editing the page. I just put <nowiki> </nowiki> around the ISBN number. --Zundark, 2001 Dec 6

Thanks for redirectiong DoD and Department of Defense. Next time I'll look a little harder for an existing page before creating a stuk. --Ed Poor


I'm sorry I forgot to check if something was already written about the Riemann Zeta function and thanks for redirecting the page. --Georg Muntingh


On Arc of minute you expressed a preference for a new article on Angular measure, though such an article doesn't exist yet. You also asked where the links to the stub were found. I happened to find several of the links. I'd be quite happy to clean up what I found, but I'm PAINFULLY new to the Wikipedia, and I'd be more comfortable if you could point me in the right direction on a few things. --Romaq

I suggested an article on angular measure, because this seemed to make more sense than separate articles on arcseconds, arcminutes, degrees, radians, etc., and we can just create redirects from all of those (except "degree", which has other meanings). You can move the information that is currently at radian, and add information for arcseconds, arcminutes and degrees. That's about all that's needed to start with - it would be better than the present situation at least. --Zundark, 2002 Feb 2

Question. I just created the entry on digital circuits. I had to capitalise it: Digital Circuits, because that was the only way I could get the link from Boolean algebra to work properly. You obviously know somthing I don't, because you got it to work without the unnessasary Capital Letters. Please explain what you did, and I will try and get it right next time. Thanks, user:Perry Bebbington

I didn't do anything special. I've no idea why it didn't work for you. What exactly did you do, and what happened? --Zundark, 2002 Feb 13

Zundark, you wrote: Improving the English isn't going to help this article much. It's really just one person's point of view. I don't see how to turn it into an encyclopedia article, even though the basic idea may be correct.

What do you mean by the basic idea being correct? --Chuck Smith
I thought the article was trying to say that learning Esperanto is a good way to understand the difficulty of foreign language learning. This may be correct. (But then again, it may not.) --Zundark, 2002 Mar 12
I thought the point was to say that speaking other languages was virtually impossible and it was practically a waste of time to try. But with something that poorly written, it's hard to figure out the main idea. If he had written in Esperanto, then I might have understood it...  ;-) --Chuck Smith

151.24.144.34 writes:

Thank you for help with Sardinian language. Is there a way to use the slash without creating other sub-pages?

With the new software, slashes never create links to subpages. The links in Sardinian language were caused by a bug in the script which was used to convert to the new page format. Unfortunately, it messed up a lot of other pages too. --Zundark, 2002 March 12

Zundark, I have an inkling that you can speak Latin. How would you translate Humanae Vitae? AxelBoldt

I can't claim to know much about Latin. If the title were "De Humanae Vitae", I would translate it as "On Human Life". I suppose "Humanae Vitae" is intended to mean the same. Have you tried asking Michael Tinkler? I think he does know some Latin. --Zundark, 2002 Mar 23
But looking at the encyclical, I see that the title is also the first two words of the text of the encyclical itself, and in this context the natural translation is "of human life". --Zundark, 2002 Mar 23
I tend to agree with the "of" translation. The "-ae" ending can be genetive or dative singular or nominative plural. The correct translation will depend on the grammatical context in the rest of the sentence. "De humanae vitae" would be grammatically incorrect since the preposition "de" always takes the ablative case: "De humana vita" with macrons on the a's, which can't be represaented in 8859-1. Also ;-) since we're contributing to it, we might as well use it, see Latin language/Declension. Eclecticology
Thanks. AxelBoldt

Zundark, thanks for disambiguating Mercury, but the parenthezized word should be in lower-case, as in Mercury (god) -- or better yet, Mercury (mythology). Ed Poor

The article is already at Mercury_(god). I was just fixing a broken redirect to it. --Zundark, Friday, April 12, 2002

Zundark, do you know if every Hausdorff space admits a continuous bijective map to some compact Hausdorff space? AxelBoldt, Thursday, June 6, 2002

It's not true. If you have access to Steen and Seebach's Counterexamples in Topology, their #100 ("Minimal Hausdorff Topology") is a counterexample. It's Hausdorff and non-compact, and every strictly smaller topology on the same set is non-Hausdorff. --Zundark, Sunday, June 9, 2002
Thanks! AxelBoldt

Thanks for fixing my "occasionly" everywhere. I got it now. AxelBoldt 16:48 Sep 18, 2002 (UTC)


Zundark, have you heard anything about the correctness of Nikitin's latest proof attempt of the Poincare conjecture? AxelBoldt 01:49 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)

No, but I'll tell you if I hear anything. --Zundark 09:26 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)

What??? I removed you???. I really don't remember. Why would I have done that? Only if it was a terrible mistake. Sincerely I don't remember. If i did it, I appologise.Bogdan Stanciu,

See [the diff of your edit]. But as it was a mistake, I accept your apology. --Zundark 13:26 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

Howdy Zundark. Since you seem to have an interest in the mathematics articles, I wanted to call to your attention the WikiProject we're developing at Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics, which attempts to provide some standards and goals for math articles. Contributions requested and welcomed! Chas zzz brown 21:43 Dec 1, 2002 (UTC)


I noticed that in People on stamps you changed Great Britain to United Kingdom. The former is more correct and is what is used by the Stanley Gibbons Company. It is important to note that the Channel Islands produce their own stamps, and that British stamps are not valid for postage from those Islands. The Isle of Mann also produces its own stamps, but I don't have the information at my fingertips about the validity of British stamps there. There have also been separate regional issues for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not to the exclusion of English stamps. Eclecticology 20:40 Jan 7, 2003 (UTC)

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom, so I don't understand your point. The only question is whether or not we want to include Northern Ireland - and clearly we do, since British stamps are used there. Therefore United Kingdom is more correct than Great Britain. --Zundark, 2003 Jan 7

Hi Zundark. I just wanted to thank you for showing me the better way to align photos on the Boeing 747 article. Thanks, I'll use your method from now on.
Arpingstone 21:11 Feb 14, 2003 (UTC)


Hi! Just for the sake of my "education" was the final tr and td code removed from my La Defense picture formatting because it did nothing at all? Just interested (I don't know HTML code). Thanks,
Arpingstone 11:53 Feb 21, 2003 (UTC)

A TR element has to contain a TD or TH element.. (At least, I think it does. Offhand, I can't find such a requirement in the HTML specification, but the W3C validator marks empty TR elements as invalid, and I assume they know what they're doing, as it's their specification.) So it's best to remove it, as it could conceivably cause problems for a compliant browser. The stray <TD> I removed at the same time wasn't a problem, just untidy. --Zundark 13:13 Feb 21, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for correcting the mistake in cyclic group! AxelBoldt


Your heavy-handed treatment of the "Harmonic series" page is just what we don't need.

I was about to say the same to you. To change the page to a disambiguation page without fixing all the links to it demonstrates a remarkable degree of cluelessness.

To say that "everyone expects" to see an article about music is obviously nonsense,

So it's just as well I didn't say that, isn't it?

and that those who do expect that should be protected from learning anything they didn't already know is bigotry. Michael Hardy 17:14 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? At the top of the Harmonic_series_(music) page there is a note mentioning that there is a (related) mathematical meaning and providing a link to the page about it. And you know there is. --Zundark 17:41 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

What is wrong with having the foreign names of a word listed, ie number? Pizza Puzzle

Because this is not how articles are written in Wikipedia. --Zundark 09:15 21 May 2003 (UTC)

Do you have a source for that ruling? Pizza Puzzle

Keep clicking the random article link until you find a counterexample. --Zundark 09:30 21 May 2003 (UTC)

So no, you don't have a source? Pizza Puzzle

If you don't think that the entire corpus of currently existing articles is a valid source, then there's something wrong with your understanding of the way Wikipedia works.
Let me try again: We do not put translations of the article title in the article unless there is a particular reason to do so (as for Polish and German translations of Oder-Neisse line, for example). In particular, we don't fill up the first sentence with translations into a random selection of languages. You can see this by clicking on the random article link as many times as is required to convince yourself that it is true. If you're hoping to find a place where someone has written "Thou shalt not do this!", then you're probably out of luck, because people don't usually bother to state the obvious. --Zundark 10:21 21 May 2003 (UTC)

You need to work on your ability to be polite. Pizza Puzzle


Primarly, capricorn is an animal, belonging to the goats. There are links to the page Capricorn from other languages describing this animal, and now they end up on a link, which is redirected to something describing a star constellation. Looks strange. Whenever this is corrected, the language link in Swedish should be [[sv:Stenbock]] best wishes, Dan Koehl 20:43 26 May 2003 (UTC)

I wondered what this was doing on my Talk page, until I looked around a bit a discovered that it's a reply to a comment I made on Capricorn/Talk (now Talk:Capricorn) over 20 months ago. I have replied on that page. --Zundark 08:30 27 May 2003 (UTC)

Stop removing "mediæval from articles. It is one of three valid and widely used spellings for the word. It occurs widely in various places, including in many places on wiki. The use of æ as opposed to ae is particularly prevalent in history texts in British english. So too is encyclopædia and many other similar words involving ae in British english. It is perfectly correct variant of British english, is widely used will continue to be used. Wiki policy is to let whichever form of english a person uses on wiki (whether British english, American english or hiberno-english) to be left alone and not turned into standardised american english. If you are so pre-occupied with english language standards, start looking at some of the articles on computer programming written by non-english speakers. From what what I have been told by computer programmers, many of the articles in this area written by non-english speakers (or speakers who do not speak english as a first language) are semi-literate and require almost complete rewriting. FearÉIREANN 19:06 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I only removed the spelling mediæval from one article, and then only because the article contained other spelling mistakes. I checked two dictionaries before removing it - neither listed that spelling. The word is from Latin, and (as far as I know) the Romans always wrote AE rather than Æ. --Zundark 19:29 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)

They didn't. Æ was used by them and remains is widely used within historical research. AE is simply the modern way of writing Æ, largely due to the practical difficulties of typing æ on a typewriter, but now that computer keyboards provide a means of typing æ its usage is growing again with linguists, historians etc, with many people preferring to return words to their original version - mediæval in place of mediaeval, encyclopædia for encyclopaedia, etc. Its use is also increasingly being used to distinguish British-english (which uses either æ or ae) from American-English, that simply uses e. So whereas Americans write medieval, users of British english use either mediaeval (modern usage) or mediæval (older usage, overtaken by mediaeval but now growing in usage again particularly in academia now that technology makes it possible to type it.) All three are correct, all three are used and all three are easily understood as referring to a specific word. And whichever one in used should be left in place, as they are not wrong, merely different. FearÉIREANN 20:24 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You say, "whichever one in used should be left in place". So I assume you regret having changed medieval to mediæval in at least three articles. And did you think that I wouldn't check your claim that mediæval occurs in many places on Wikipedia, and thereby discover that all but two of those "many places" were due to you?
As for the Romans, they certainly wrote AE sometimes (e.g., CAESAR on many Roman coins), so it's not "simply the modern way of writing Æ", as you claim. Can you provide an example of an ancient inscription using Æ? I thought Æ was a mediaeval aberration, and you haven't said anything yet to convince me otherwise. --Zundark 21:49 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The use of æ was something we were taught about in the first five minutes of the first Latin class. And no, I am not the only person who changed spellings to use æ. In many cases it was changed from that. In some articles, different spellings of the word were used, some British-English, others American-English. Every article should have the one spelling all the way through. In some articles I changed all the spellings to one style. In choosing one for the article, if it was not clear which one it should be, I chose to use the one with æ. I have changed many articles where multiple types of spelling have been used. In the abortion article, I changed everything to the US spelling Fetus rather than foetus (even though the American spelling is one I would never ever would use myself) because that was the spelling in most of the article and was the spelling used in the original article. I have changed spellings in articles so that all used medieval when it was obvious that that was original spelling used and other alternatives were introduced by later edits. Furthermore where one spelling is used in an article title, I have created redirects to ensure that it could be found using any variant on the spelling. Where an article is a mess with rival spellings and I could not clarify which one should be used, it has fallen to me to make the decision. There I have used mediæval throughout, having asked advice and been told I could make the judgement call on which one to use. FearÉIREANN 22:03 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)

So, did you start learning Esperanto because of Wikipedia? Just curious, Chuck SMITH

No, I learnt it in 1987/1988. (Easy to remember the year I started, because it was the jubilea jaro.) --Zundark 21:49 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Cool, just goes to show that you never know who speaks Esperanto... I was like, wait, isn't he like one of the really active English Wikipedians? heh --Chuck SMITH

I watchlisted Shogi about a month ago, and have since seen you updating it frequently. I notice that you are one of the most diligent summary documentor on WP. Very un-Microsoft! I think explanatory summaries, like yours, draw people's attention and interest into checking the article out. Whereas zero summary are often ignored, and at best draw people's suspicion to check it out to anti-Vandalize it. --Menchi 21:34 11 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. I find it annoying when other people don't write edit summaries, so I try to set a good example myself. --Zundark 08:09 12 Jun 2003 (UTC)
This got me thinking -- I don't usually write summaries when I just correct spelling and stuff. I guess I'll try to get into the habit of writing a summary always. Thank you for pointing this out. -- Timwi 17:37 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Re: List of interesting or unusual place names: Where did you get the co-ordinates from, and where might I find the co-ordinates of other places in Germany? Thanks in advance -- Timwi 23:58 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I went to Multimap, selected Germany, typed in Wank and hit Enter. It gives the coordinates as 47°36'49"N, 10°31'17"E, supposedly accurate to 100 metres . (It's possible to check coordinates on MapQuest using the "Lat / Long" option, but there doesn't seem to be an easy way of actually getting the coordinates on that site. Strangely, MapQuest finds two Wanks, both in Bavaria, whereas Multimap finds only one of them.) --Zundark 08:25 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thank you very much. That'll be very helpful. -- Timwi 17:37 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. That is all. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 08:33 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Apropos "heck-care": it was new to me today; if you know better, fine. What do I know - I am English & 40.

BTW, I have been up the Wankberg in Bavaria to watch the hang glider pilots jumping off. Source material for a joke there I think. And have you heard about the US beer? Andy G 21:16 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It's possible that I haven't correctly understood the sense of "heck-care", so feel free to change my translation if you think it's wrong.
(The US beer must be Wanker Beer. Apparently it's promoted by Wanker Girls. The mind boggles.) --Zundark 08:15 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is there some convention to refer to open intervals with () instead of ][; if not, why are you trying to start an edit war? Pizza Puzzle

() is usual, and is what is used in Wikipedia. It was you who changed the notation first, so why accuse me of trying to start an edit war? --Zundark 14:42 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I changed it to conform with other wikipedia pages.

What other Wikipedia pages? --Zundark 15:04 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I was not trying to start an edit war, I changed a minor detail (not as a reversion of some others edits - but simply as part of my editing the article) and you immediately came and changed it and other things back (essentially an edit war attack) - I then acquiesced to all your changes (all of which were regarding minor terminology) except for one point, that the ][ is superior, clearer, and less confusing to beginners - you then changed it back. If I change it back again, you will continue to change. That is an edit war.

Yes, that is an edit war. But the point is that it was you who started it by changing to a notation that is different from that used in other Wikipedia articles, and different even from that used in the rest of the article you were editing. You should expect such a change to be reverted, and if you revert back (as you did) then you are guilty of starting an edit war. --Zundark 15:19 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Unless there is a convention on this, it is false to say that such and such is "what is used in Wikipedia". Pizza Puzzle

The use of () rather than ][ appears to be a well-established convention on Wikipedia. --Zundark 15:04 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I checked history of ISO 3166 - it seems that I was the bad guy who deleted the "index.html" in the external link. Sorry for that! I think I wanted to shorten the link, but forgot that directory listing is off Tobias Conradi 04:23, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)


You misunderstood the comment about "less confusing" than Euclid's proof. Euclid phrased it as a reductio ad absurdum, explicitly assumning the set of prime numbers is finite. The "less confusing" version did not. Read carefully! (I will revise the article to clarify.) Michael Hardy 20:50, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Euclid did not phrase his proof as a reductio ad absurdum. That was the whole point of my edit, as was clear from my explanation on the Talk page (which I referred to in my edit summary). Your revision is incorrect. --Zundark 21:54, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Sorry for bouncing on your User page. My first attempt to get direct feedback. Skeetch


Zundark, there may have been substantial change made to Naming conventions (Mormonism) after Visorstuff referred you to that meta-article. You may want to look at it again if you have already looked at it once. The short answer to your question on the Mormon article is that members of the Church should be called Latter-day Saints. B 22:06, Nov 13, 2003 (UTC)

My error. I misread your question which is not about what members should be called, but what the Church thinks non-member-Mormons should be called if not Mormons. That is an unanswered question, and AFAIK no Church authority has suggested an alternate term. B 22:23, Nov 13, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks MathMartin 20:25, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Why did remove the bullets from List of Internet TLDs GTLDs? Noldoaran 20:41, Nov 27, 2003 (UTC)

Because it looks better when everything lines up properly. --Zundark 08:21, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)