Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2011 January 23

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January 23[edit]

Requesting assistance! - Occidental[edit]

I've drafted a revision to two sections of the Occidental Petroleum article. The talk page isn't very active (still), so I'm coming back here for asking for assistance (again). Due to a potential COI, I'm seeking feedback from the community before making this addition. The draft of my suggested revisions can be found here.

If you have any feedback, please leave it on the proposal talk page (my comments are there as well), or if you think it's good enough to add to the article, feel free to make these changes.

Thanks in advance! --CBuiltother (talk) 03:12, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

preview was fine; saved edits were not[edit]


I was entering the 2010 winners of The Morris Trophy and the preview looked fine, but the saved edits were not. There is a problem with the table and I am unable to figure out how to solve it. The 2010 winner on offense, Tyron Smith, appears in a separate column that runs the length of the entire article yet it did not appear thus in the preview.

I goofed, somehow.

Thanks, RevDrTraci (talk) 04:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Here is your diff. I attempted to correct it in Pacific-10 Conference football awards#Morris Trophy Offense. --Teratornis (talk) 05:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
As you can see from the diff, your edit introduced two problems, which I repaired:
  • You inserted an odd <ref> tag in front of the section heading on the same line. That stopped Wikipedia from recognizing the section you edited as a distinct section. You may be confused about how to provide sources here. See WP:RS, WP:CITE, and WP:FOOT.
  • You deleted or overwrote the table-closing characters, |} when you added a new row to the table. Since you were probably editing in one section, rather than the whole page, the preview did not show what effect that would have on following sections. Deleting the table-closing characters caused the table you edited to "eat" everything after it, until the next table-closing characters. (This is a common problem on Wikipedia, or in any markup or programming language that uses paired delimiters - mismatched delimiters can cause bizarre, wide-ranging "damage".)
As a bonus I linked the name of Tyron Smith who appears to have an article already on Wikipedia. His article does not mention his Morris Trophy, if this is the same Tyron Smith. I'll leave that for someone else to verify and reference. --Teratornis (talk) 05:49, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

11 Wall Street[edit]

Could you tell me how to find out who owned the land in 1792 in NY, NY when the NYSE aquired it? I am trying to find the complete history of this land. Thank you Marie Baldree <email removed> —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:42, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

P art.png This page is for questions about using Wikipedia. Please consider asking this question at the Humanities reference desk. They specialize in knowledge questions and will try to answer any question in the universe (except how to use Wikipedia, since that is what this Help Desk is for). Just follow the link and ask away. You could always try searching Wikipedia for an article related to the topic you want to know more about. I hope this helps. Kayau Voting IS evil 08:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Undo SUL account merger?[edit]

I unintentionally created a global SUL account for myself. Now I have blank accounts on 3 other wikis that I do not want. Is there any way to delete the global SUL account and the accounts on the other wikis (de:, it:, ten:)? I only want to continue using my en: account for now. Thanks, Cheng (talk) 07:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that this is a problem. Due to unified login, I have accounts on 60 Wikimedia projects. Of these, 47 are Wikipedia in different languages (inc. English); 2 are Wikibooks in different languages (inc. English); 2 are Wiktionary in different languages (inc. English); and there are 9 other Wikimedia projects (such as Wikimedia Commons). I only use two of these regularly (English Wikipedia, and Wikimedia Commons), but have made occasional edits on 12 of the others. For example, on one occasion I made an edit to the same page in something like eight different languages (such as Norwegian Wikipedia), all to remove an incorrect interlanguage link that a bot kept re-adding. If I had not had the unified login feature, I would not have been able to do this.
There is a further advantage: the fact that I have a login on all those projects (even if unused) means that nobody else can create a similar login "Redrose64" and so masquerade as me.
I may never use most of them, but I don't think that having them causes any problems. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm aware of the advantages of unified login. But I created this account to test the waters. If I decide to continue using Wikipedia, I would like to usurp an inactive account. Wouldn't having a global account complicate this process? Cheng (talk) 17:13, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

what is atom[edit]

File:Bold textBig text —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Symbol move vote.svg You might find what you are looking for in the article atom. If you cannot find the answer there, you can try asking your question at Wikipedia's Reference Desk. They specialize in knowledge questions and will try to answer just about any question in the universe (except about how to use Wikipedia, which is what this help desk is for). I hope this helps.--Danger (talk) 09:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand, since you ask about "atom" rather than "an atom" on a forum on how to use Wikipedia, it is just possible you are asking about Atom, which is a syndication format used on Wikipedia to make it easier to keep track of changes, as described at WP:ATOM. —teb728 t c 10:42, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Two accounts and the veteran creation date.[edit]

I have two accounts. User:thisisftg and this account User:darkskynet. The "Thisisftg" account was made while i was in high school. (Thisisftg was my online identity at the time). The old account has a creation date of January, 2007 and the new account that i currently i am using has a creation date of 2009. Is there anyways a Admin could make the creation date on User:Darkskynet to be the date for the old account and simply delete the old account. The old account has no edits so it would not mess with the database. I just would really like the old date. This would make my century. Cheers, --Darkskynet (talk) 12:30, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

As far as I know it's impossible to actually "delete" an account, they can only be renamed, havea read of Wikipedia:Changing username, it might be able to help you, although accounts cannot be merged. I can find nothing on changing the creation dates, so I suspect you may be out of luck there, but you could always try asking the boffins at WP:Village Pump (technical). Rehevkor 13:48, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks i've posted my question there, --Darkskynet (talk) 00:12, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

New citation template[edit]

I'd like to create a citation template similar to template:Butt-Stations for Wheeler's seminal work on the drainage of the English Fens. I have half a mind to call it template:Wheeler1896 as I only have the second edition of the book.[1]

Any comments on the naming? Any hoops I am expected to jump through first?

Any suggestions on categorisation?

The book is currently available as a facsimile of the first edition only,[2]. Should I incorporate that information into the template? It won't have the same page numbers, for a start. Since I will be using cite book, how do I refer to the facsimile?


  1. ^ Wheeler, W.H. (1896). A history of the fens of South Lincolnshire (2 ed.). Boston: J.M.Newcomb. 
  2. ^ ISBN:978-1149400531

--Robert EA Harvey (talk) 13:09, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

My apologies in advance if this is not very useful. I'm a little confused here, you want to create a specific citation template for a specific book? Is that a common practice? What advantage would that over "cite book"? As for the separate editions, I have in the past made it clear which edition I am citing from (i.e. 1st/2nd/UK/US), does the version you have have an ISBN? If not, you could either include the ISBN for the version that is available, and leave an editorial note clarifying that it is a different edition, or leave it out of the template, and put the ISBN into an editorial note. Rehevkor 13:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
In response to the question from Rehevkor, the existing example the OP mentioned is at Template:Butt-Stations, and a large number of such specific templates are included in Category:Specific-source templates (remember to show the sub-categories, with the "+" link near the top of the page). - David Biddulph (talk) 13:52, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Aye. The idea is to use the citation in many places (I've already used it about 20 times) while reducing duplication and avoiding error. As David says, it seems very common.
And no, the 1896 edition does not have an ISBN. --Robert EA Harvey (talk) 14:57, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, a better pattern is something like that used in Days of May. The book page numbers for commonly used books link down to the full book details in a bibliography section. --h2g2bob (talk) 15:17, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, it's used on multiple pages. Somewhere about 20 or 30 pages would be enough that I'd start to support a template. Templates are there as a convenience for repeating bits of text. (Btw, Butt-stephens is used on over 1,000 pages). --h2g2bob (talk) 15:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Aye. Over a 2 year period I can see it going up to perhaps 50 instances. So I'm obviously not doing anything wrong, but my original questions still stand. Robert EA Harvey (talk) 19:45, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

 Done Created that. Template:Wheeler1896. Put it in Category:Specific-source templates at the top level, which seems rather full but will have to do, until someone else changes it.--Robert EA Harvey (talk) 11:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

account lost[edit]

I have an account already - but lost my username and the password. Is there any way to avoid creating a new user account and retrieve the old one? Thanks (talk) 13:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

If there's no way to retrieve your password, see Wikipedia:Security, then you're probably out of luck. Wikipedia:USURP has some info on usurping usernames but it would be an extreme long shot - make sure to read the guidelines before you submit any requests there. Rehevkor 13:52, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
If you've forgotten the user name, but can remember the name of an article that you've edited, the "History" tab will let you see the user names which have edited that article. With the user name, you can get the password e-mailed to you, see Help:Logging in#What if I forget the password? - David Biddulph (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
There's also Help:Logging in#What if I forget the username?, with a couple of extra suggestions. -- John of Reading (talk) 15:45, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

foreign language titles[edit]

Over the past day or two, the titles on any Wikipedia page I call up are in a foreign language. The rest of the text is English, it's just certain titles that aren't. How can I fix this? Thanks. Brooksidebill (talk) 14:32, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I haven't seen this problem. Can you tell us what articles specifically you are seeing this on? --Mysdaao talk 15:35, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
And in this case please include the full URL (what you browser shows in the address bar) not just the name of the article. --ColinFine (talk) 23:17, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

introductory blocks of wikipedia entries[edit]

the introductory blocks of wikipedia entries do not have edit buttons. why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

You mean the Main Page and the templates within? It's because these are extremely high visibility pages and would be otherwise ripe for vandalism/spam/whatever, so only trusted users/admins can edit them. Almost every article they link can be edited, so feel free to contribute to them. Rehevkor 15:37, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
The lede (introductary block) buttons are turned off by default. I was once told that it was for aesthetic reasons more than anything, but I'm not sure how true that is. If you create an account, there is a preference in your user account that allows them to be turned on by default. If this is what you'd like to do, once you've created an account, click the preferences button, navigate to the "gadgets" tab; under "User interface gadgets: editing", click the top box that says "Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page". Then click save, and purge your cache, by pressing ctrl+f5 on your keyboard. You should then see the edit links at the top. Best, PeterSymonds (talk) 15:41, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Though you couched your question as a "why?", and that is answered above, I thought your motivation might be to learn how to edit the first section (which is a question we've gotten many times in the past). There is an "edit this page" button at the top of the screen, which allows you to edit the entire article. You can also click any side edit button and then manually change the end of the URL to section=0.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:55, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
P.S. For the why, see also bug 156.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:01, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Dee Doocey[edit]

Error in the age in the infobox. Confused. Kittybrewster 16:54, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. Per Template:Birth date and age no matter what order the date appears in, it still goes year/month/day within the template. Rehevkor 17:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

An edit summary says I protected a page (though I'm not an admin or crat)[edit]

[1] is this a bug??? --Perseus, Son of Zeus 18:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

No protection was applied log. It's not a proper protection summary, no wiki links, looks like it was copy/pasted there. Rehevkor 20:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe Perseus understands your explanation, but I don't, sorry. The edit summary showed that when Perseus made a small change, it supposedly semi-protected the page. Sarek edited the page and added a blank (at least it's blank to the naked eye) line. Not that it's terribly important, but I don't get it. (It has since been semi-protected by another admin.)--Bbb23 (talk) 21:35, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I gave no explanation, just said what it looked like. I can see no reason for the text to be there without Perseus, Son of Zeus copy pasting it there himself, intentionally or otherwise. Rehevkor 21:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
And SarekOfVulcan's edit seems to be a null edit solely to comment on what he possibly perceived as a misguided attempt to protect his own user page. Rehevkor 21:42, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:29, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

It is a shame that Wikipedia shows the Cuban per capita income US$5,000 per month.[edit]

Hi there, It is a shame that Wikipedia shows the Cuban per capita income US$5,000 per month. And the PPP is US$9,000. Actually it is below US$20. Cuba and Korea N. are the poorest places on earth. Wikipedia is supposed to be SERIOUS! [details removed] “GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate - Total $111.1 billion[6] (62nd) - Per capita $9,700 (86th)” “GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate - Total $67.26 billion[5] (62nd) - Per capita $5,984 (78th)” —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Try bringing it up, wish your sources, at Talk:Cuba? Rehevkor 19:33, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
The CIA quote very similar figures. Do you have some reason to believe the CIA Factbook is mistaken? As Rehevkor says, Talk:Cuba would be a good place to mention it if you do. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:55, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
The article doesn't claim the figures are per month. They are per year. And Cuba is far from the poorest country. See List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:02, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

did empty sella cause binary vision[edit]

can you give me name adress of medical sight like MAY CLINIC

A Google search suggests you may mean the "Mayo Clinic"; their web site is here. Please note that Wikipedia cannot offer medical advice. Please see the medical disclaimer. -- John of Reading (talk) 10:03, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Direct Democracy - democtaic schools section[edit]

Unsubstantiated claim:

"Another tenet of Sudbury schools is giving students the power to choose what to do with their time: individual freedom, freedom of choice, and learning through experience. There are no required classes, and usually there is no requirement to take classes at all. Students are free to choose an activity that they desire, or feel the need to do. They are free to continue activities for as long or short a time as they see fit. In this way, they learn self-discipline, self-regulated learning and self-initiation. They also learn faster and retain more knowledge, thanks to the engagement in activities that they are passionate about. The students at these schools are responsible for and empowered to direct their own education from a very young age. All this is facilitated, supported and managed by the school's democratic framework."

Do they really learn faster and retain more knowledge? I doubt that has ever been shown, or proven.

please change or delete as you see fit.

ed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Seems to be a content issue, I think this question would be best suited at the article talk page: Talk:Direct democracy. Rehevkor 21:12, 23 January 2011 (UTC)