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August 25[edit]

Unable to remove program from Windows 7 Startup List[edit]

Hi, when I use 'msconfig' to remove a certain program from the Windows Startup list, it just reappears when the computer restarts. What is causing this to happen, and what can I do to prevent it? This is a legitimate program, not any kind of virus or malware. Actually it is "ABBYY FineReader", which is an OCR program. However, it keeps generating random spurious error messages, so I want to stop it running automatically, but not actually uninstall it. There are no other related programs in the Startup list. (talk) 02:15, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

First, look in the application's preferences for a "start on startup" option. It is possible that this is checked. The program will just keep recreating the startup listing as long as this option is clicked. If it is already unchecked or the option isn't there let me know and we can move onto the next step. --Stabila711 (talk) 02:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the rapid response. I don't see any option like that. Also, I am a bit confused. How can the program re-add itself to the startup list if it is not running in the first place? What process actually does the re-adding? (talk) 02:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
It is part of the registry. Editing this would be step 2. Uncheck the item in msconfig and then run regedit.exe. This needs to be run as an administrator. Navigate to the following folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and look for the program on the right side of the window. Right-click on it and click delete. This will remove the registry instructions for that program to start on startup. Restart, see what happens and let me know. --Stabila711 (talk) 02:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. There is nothing in that list related to the ABBYY program. However, I am unable now to reproduce the problem. Previously, several times I unchecked the item in 'msconfig', restarted, and it reappeared. Now it is not doing this, even though I am doing nothing different. Even if I start the program manually it does not reactivate its startup entry. So I am a bit baffled right now. But anyway, for my benefit could you shed any light on why there are these two lists (registry and msconfig)? I would expect the 'msconfig' screen merely to be another interface to the registry. Why isn't 'msconfig' just reflecting the contents of that registry screen? (talk) 02:58, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are actually three lists. MSConfig, and two in the registry. One under the file path listed above (which holds startup programs for all users) and one under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run (which holds startup programs for individual accounts). MSConfig was never designed to be used as a startup listing service. The startup list was more of an add-on that eventually overtook the original purpose of the program (system configuration). MSConfig was designed as a troubleshooting tool, not as a preference setting tool. The registry is the location where all program preferences are saved. Since some items in the registry are absolutely critical to the operation of the system it is much easier to add to it than to delete from it. For example, the registry will maintain options for programs that were uninstalled. Oftentimes when times go haywire it is because of an errant registry entry that has to be taken care of. Also, MSConfig does not require admin level access to change options. Regedit does. So, if there is a listing in the registry for a startup program and someone tries to uncheck it in MSConfig as a regular user the action won't carry over since the user does not have the proper privileges (this is a protection for the really important entries). --Stabila711 (talk) 03:09, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for your very helpful advice. I will try your suggestions again if the problem recurs or I manage to reproduce it again. (talk) 03:16, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
No problem and if it happens again please post again. The registry vs. MSConfig is one of the quirks of the Microsoft OS environment. --Stabila711 (talk) 03:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Turboboost on Intel 4790K[edit]

Last week I got a new computer from a major maker. It has an Intel 4790K CPU (the "K" means that it can be overclocked). According to the Intel spec sheet, it can run at 4.0GHZ and has turbo boost to 4.4GHz (4/4/3/2, I think). However, according to Intel's Turbo Boost monitor program, it always runs at 4.0 - whether one, two, three, or four cores are being used.

So why wouldn't I be getting any of the turbo boost? Would it require more than the stock cooling, so the maker disabled it? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Computers are designed to only use the power they need. No computer will run at full power all the time. That would put an enormous amount of stress on the components and lead to early failure. It is likely that your computer is just not being taxed enough to hit overclocked levels. For example, my computer is rated at 2.9GHz but is overclocked to 4.0. It has never gotten to 4.0 with normal use. Even running multiple high intensity games at the same time only got it to 3.2. To run a true stress test you need a really good program. May I suggest Prime95. The program calculates prime numbers to infinity. Unzip the file and run it. Click Just Stress Testing and then OK on the next options screen. The program will run and your computer will be pressed to its limits. That is the only true way to know your maximum overclocked speed. --Stabila711 (talk) 07:35, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
More information: Make sure your computer is set to high performance mode. This is under your battery settings (Control Panel -> System and Security -> Power Options). If it is set to balanced it will stop full power from being reached. Also, once you are done stress testing, I had to force stop the Prime95 program in the task manager to delete it. Just a warning if you have the same issue. --Stabila711 (talk) 07:38, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I have the power option set for high performance. I regularly use Prime95, and Intel's program that monitors TurboBoost shows no change, either in stress test or 1, 2, 3, or 4 workers. I've run other CPU-intensive things too and it never changes from 4.0GHz. I've watched TurboBoost on an older i7 and two i5s, and if the CPU is doing anything at all, they boost 0.2 to 0.4 GHz. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 17:22, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it is the Intel monitoring program. Try the task manager. Under the Performance tab there should be a real-time graph of your CPU with speed. Run the program while watching that and see if your speed increases. If it doesn't then I don't think your computer was ever overclocked. --Stabila711 (talk) 21:13, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
It shows 3.96 GHz consistently. HP has several speeds available in this machine, I selected the highest - 4.0GHz. Running three cores on Prime95 puts the CPU heat right around Intel's max of 74C. So I suspect that HP disabled the turbo mode to keep it from overheating with the cooling that they use with the slower CPUs in the line. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Microsoft Wi-Fi Sense tracking wi-fi devices globally?[edit]

I am not really that knowledgeable about Wi-Fi, but [1] concerns me. An image of the control settings says that Wi-Fi Sense requires releasing the user's location data to Microsoft. And Microsoft holds passwords to various devices that come into contact with it on their servers. Am I right to infer that Microsoft gets some kind of identifying code from every Wi-Fi device within range, and stores it to their servers? Because this would mean that any Wi-Fi device can be searched by NSA/Microsoft (if there's a difference) and they can watch everywhere it turns up that is within range of a wi-fi module - which in certain 'connected cities' is essentially everywhere, and even on an ordinary road is likely to include key commercial intersections. Wnt (talk) 11:07, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

From what I understand about WiFi Sense you have to physically permit the sharing of your connection with individuals. So "connected cities" would never really use this feature as their connection would be unprotected anyways so anyone can connect at anytime. As for tracking, if the NSA (or any government agency) really wanted to there is a much easier way to identify a particular device. It is called the MAC address and it is specific to each device. I can connect from my home or I can bring my laptop to the library and use their network, my MAC address would be the same. In any case, the WiFi Sense feature is designed to make the connection to your home network by guests easier. Like a temporary unblock on an otherwise secure network. Also, they say that the information sent to them is encrypted and as long as they are using the latest AES-256 bit encryption there shouldn't be a problem. --Stabila711 (talk) 11:15, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
@Stabila711: To clarify, I am concerned with whether they can track a wi-fi enabled device that is not connected to the internet, which the user may think of as only having 'short-range' capabilities. And since the feature is enabled by default, the question isn't whether the wired cities and other users would have a reason to turn it on but whether they'd see a reason to turn it off. Wnt (talk) 11:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If the device does not have GPS tracking abilities in it and it is not sending signal out (not connected to a network) then there isn't anything to track. Phones are one thing, they have embedded GPS chips in them that are active unless you power off the device. Computers don't have those. If the computer is not connected to a network, it isn't sending out any signals to track. Also, the feature is a Windows 10 thing. I've worked for a major metropolitan city recently and they were still running XP. I really wouldn't worry about them getting upgraded to 10 in the near future anyways so Wifi Sense is not coming to a city network near you any time soon. --Stabila711 (talk) 11:25, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The scenario I'm picturing is that the "target" T of the surveillance is carrying a small device that has no GPS or networking, but interacts at short range via Wi-Fi. The sensors A, B, C may have both GPS and internet capabilities. As innocent victim T walks around, I am asking for confirmation whether A B and C are able to obtain a unique number from T, which might be tied by the manufacturer or other contacts to the victim, and whether they in fact send the serial number of T by default to Microsoft, together with whatever location information they have available. Wnt (talk) 13:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Wnt: I am going to try to answer and I apologize in advanced if I am just not understanding your question. If a user interacts with a WiFi access point, any WiFi access point, a header is attached to the data packet that is sent (also see network packet). This packet contains information regarding the device that the person is using to connect to the network (even if that device was connected inadvertently as long as it sends data the information is sent). Contained within this header is the MAC address of the device along with other identifying information. That information is sent to the service provider that processes the data request. Theoretically, a subpoena can be issued to the service provider for all header logs sent from a particular device (all logs that contain a particular MAC address). As for location information, such as GPS coordinates, I am not sure. The location of the access point can usually be pinpointed. For example, if the person connects at home and then at the library the location data would be different and can be resolved. But headers are not designed to carry a lot of information and GPS coordinates are not usually sent with every request unless the request specifically needs them (like map directions). In any case, devices usually don't connect to WiFi access points without you telling them to (or if they do there is a setting where you can turn that off). For example, on iPhones there is a setting that says "ask to join networks" that you can turn on that will stop auto-connections. Keep in mind that this is just talking about WiFi access. Data access over the cellular network will have the same packet headers as any other data request. --Stabila711 (talk) 05:38, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

C# how to load an external libary (DLL) if it exist in directory?[edit]

Hello everyone. I have written a program to automatically calculate Musical Scales that uses an external C# library. This library contains all the scale data(the names of the scales, as well as the formulas). I also have a built in scale library. What I want to do, is I want to first check if the ScaleData.dll library exist in the folder that the program is installed in. I know how to do this already. I simply use the File class in the System.IO namespace. Next, if it does exist, I want the program to load the library and tell the program to use its classes and such instead of the built in library. How would I do this? I was thinking that I would have to use the LoadLibrary function in the WinAPI. But the problem with this is that, the function returns a handle to the loaded assembly. I would have no idea on how to access the class stored in the library. So my question is, how would I load a library and reference it in my app at Runtime? I am using VS 2010 and .NET framework 4.

Thanks for your help in advance, —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 14:16, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

You need to use Assembly.LoadFrom, not LoadLibrary. This is the appropriate page on MSDN. If you can't access MSDN, I've copied the C# example code below:

@Tevildo:Ok so the code you posted works but I am having a problem with types. I have a separate project called ScaleData in the solution. This separate project compiles the External DLL. I can't seem to convert the instance of the class without referencing the other project. If I delete or rename the DLL, the program errors out because it now relies on that external DLL. So, my question is, how to I make Object obj = Activator.CreateInstance(t); return a type of a specific class such as ScaleData? I have already tried ScaleData ExternalScaleForms = Activator.CreateInstance<ScaleData>(); but again, this requires me to reference the other project. How do I fix this? In the end, I need to access the proprieties and create an instance of the ScaleData class. The example code you posted sent me in the right direction. Its just that I am having a slight problem with types(well ok, a big problem).
Note: I am running a Windows Application. not aconsole app. I say this because I know that this makes a big difference in the Program.cs code.
Here is what I have so far:
SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 16:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, referencing the other DLL is really how you're supposed to do it. If you have to defer this until runtime, you can create a class called something like LocalScaleData which contains the properties and methods you need, then do something like:
    Assembly a = Assembly.LoadFrom(ExternalDLLLoc);
    Type t = a.GetType("ScaleData.ScaleData");
    Object obj = Activator.CreateInstance(t);
    LocalScaleData ExternalScaleForms = (obj as LocalScaleData);

Tevildo (talk) 23:31, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

This dosen't work. The LocalScaleData class doesn't have the same data as the ExternalScaleData class therefore, when I cast the obj variable to the LocalScaleData type, all the data in the ExternalScaleData object becomes identical to that of the LocalScaleData class. For example, there is a bool variable that is named ExternalData in both the LocalScaleData and the ExternalScaleData classes. In the ExternalScaleData class, this variable's value is set to true. However, in the LocalScaleData class, this variable's value is set to false. When I inspect the obj variable before I try and cast it to a LocalScaleData type, the ExternalData variable is set to true. When I do try and cast the obj variable to the LocalScaleData type, the ExternalData variable all the sudden becomes false. And on top of that, all the data in the obj variable changes to that of all the data in the LocalScaleData class. Not the ExternalScaleData class. How do I fix this without making a reference to the external DLL? —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 14:50, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Tiled high-res images[edit]

Dezoomify seems to fail when I try to save from from here and other paintings from the same source and I couldn't locate the file in Firefox' page info multimedia either. After the tiles are fully loaded in Dezoomify choosing "save image" or anything else doesn't work. Any suggestions to get those images? Brandmeistertalk 15:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I hate giving an answer like "works for me", but it does (using Chrome and Win7 Ultimate 64bit). On the first try, the Chrome window crashed, upon retry dezoomify succeeded in importing a picture with a resolution of 8917x5532. Did you try the 'usual' stuff, like closing resource-hungry applications, restarting your browser and/or PC etc? Rh73 (talk) 16:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Nah, didn't work for me again, even in Google Chrome (running dual core 2.GHz, 2 GB RAM, 32-bit Win 7 with no other applications, restarting doesn't change anything, even though otherwise my Firefox often handles such images). Tiles are loaded, but stucks when saving. Could you upload those to Commons? It's a series of five paintings. Brandmeistertalk 18:12, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
2GB ram and/or 32bit Windows could explain your problems with high res images. It should be enough but who knows what kind of overhead this dezoomify thing creates and what kind of system it expects. I'll try to download the other paintings, but I've never dealt with Commons (yet). Would you be ok with something like a link to a public dropbox instead, and am I allowed to post it here? Rh73 (talk) 19:38, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
It worked for me too but Fireofx freezed when I saved the image. I didn't find the license of the images so I don't know if we can upload them to Commons. Hunsu (talk) 08:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
@Rh73: I'll be fine with dropbox, Imgur like that (you can drop a link here). Will expect. Brandmeistertalk 09:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I had tried to upload the first painting to imgur yesterday night, but it didn't work (I'm assuming it exceeds max allowed dimension or filesize there). Right now I'm a bit busy, but gonna send you a link later today. Rh73 (talk) 09:59, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

@Brandmeister: I sent you the images. My Firefox crashed each time I downloaded the an image. Hunsu (talk) 14:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all received. Brandmeistertalk 14:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

UK unemployment of computer scientists[edit]

What are possible explanations for the high unemployment of comp. scientists in the UK? They outsource to India? They don't invest much in this industry? They educate too many of them? Too many of them immigrate to the UK?

Is any country in this situation too? --Yppieyei (talk) 00:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • There are many potential explanations, some of which you stated in your question. The problem is unemployment rates cannot be tied to one specific factor but rely on numerous things. I found this article that tries to go in depth regarding the issue as well as this one that brings up some good points. The saturation level of computer scientists in the UK may be part of the problem. There are just so many people with that degree that the field has become too competitive. What that means is that employers have such a large range of people to choose from that they often end up settling on criteria that excludes a large number of people (simply because they can). I have experienced this somewhat myself. The joke is that "entry level" jobs require 2 years of on the job experience. Unfortunately, that is less of a joke and more of a sad reality. Since the field of potential employees is so saturated with potentials, companies would rather try to hire people who have proven that they know what they are doing as opposed to a recent graduate with no experience. In addition, employers may set hiring standards too high, again, simply because they can. I think the guardian article says it the best. "Many employers complain that graduates are not being taught the skills they want and many large employers admit to recruiting only from elite Russell Group universities." Eventually something has to give either way. It just may take a little bit more time than is preferable. --Stabila711 (talk) 01:01, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

split string based on some seperator using angular js[edit]

i have a string "value1,value2,value3" i want to split this string based on comma and get all three value and print them using ng-repeat directive in angular js106.51.19.230 (talk) 07:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Create An Account[edit]

When attempting to set up an account, the Wikipedia registration screen does not accept my email address despite numerous attempts...I've tried three different emails. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Check your junk mail folder. Failing that raise it at WP:HELPDESK As that is the better place for your query. - X201 (talk)

I am getting the message below from many wikipedia pages. What's going on?[edit]

Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

This has been resolved; see Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Script error. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:54, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Windows 10[edit]

Apologies if this is a FAQ. Not asking for opinions, but references - what do 'experts' in well-regarded IT media recommend in terms of non computer-savvy individuals accepting the invitation to upgrade from Win 8/8.1 to Win 10? Is there a consensus to do it now, or wait, and if the latter, wait until when/what?

Finally, we have a somewhat buggy but pretty new Win 8.1 laptop, that likes to drop the internet connection, hates printing and is slow. Without considering any other options (check spyware, warranty etc) would this make this machine a better or worse candidate for going for Win 10 asap.

Thanks --Dweller (talk) 15:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

From experts (such as people with a PhD in Computer Science or working professionally as the manager over an IT shop of at least 50 people), you should use the most recent software. Older software is not maintained as well as the most recent software. If, instead, you want public opinion, there are plenty of people who can make up some horror story about how they know someone who knows someone who upgraded to Windows 10 and then the computer ate their beloved pet kitten. As for your buggy laptop, it doesn't sound like a software issue. It sounds like a hardware issue. Putting new software on a broken computer won't magically fix the hardware. If, as you suspect, it is malware of some kind, upgrading to Windows 10 could break everything because Windows 10 is not designed to play nice with malware. (talk) 16:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. --Dweller (talk) 16:34, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
It is a good idea to avoid using unmaintained software if it's security-critical (browsers, etc.). But Windows 8.1 is still maintained. It will get security fixes until January 10, 2023 ([2]). I would advise you to plan to stop using Windows 8 by January 10, 2023, but the existence of a newer version is no reason to stop using it now. -- BenRG (talk) 02:08, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
If a laptop's circuitry is going to go wrong it will usually do so in the first couple of months of use. So, don't throw it away yet! Try running Linux_Mint#Installation Live Linux Mint on a pen-drive and see it it runs better. If so, back up your data and then install Linux Mint. P.S.Linux is not windows... i.e., it takes time to get out of the habit of jumping through microsoft's hoops and restrictions (after all its your computer and so why let microsoft dictate what you can and can't do with it). Linux in the long-run saves much time and frustration for the home user over propriety windows. Then you will have (as suggests) one of the latest proven operating systems.--Aspro (talk) 20:54, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Here is a comparison. Windows vs Linux: The 2015 Version. P.S. Mint is the ultra stable version of Ubuntu and more so the current Windows 10.--Aspro (talk) 21:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, although running "latest OS" is often good advice, Win10 seems to be a bit... different than the others. Several sources are critical of the privacy and security concerns raised by Win10 even compared to previous MS OS, e.g. [3] [4]. (WP:OR warning:) I know of at least one large state university in the USA that will not currently allow Win10 to be installed on Uni-owned computers due to security and privacy concerns. One source even claimed that running the Win10 OS on a publicly owned computer would violate a state constitution! (sorry I cannot link a ref, this was claim was voiced via private internal university email, and I cannot find any public record.) SemanticMantis (talk) 22:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
It's not different from the others. It's going the same way as the others. Microsoft is lagging behind in the upload-everything-to-our-servers trend, if anything.
The widespread paranoia over one feature, "Wi-Fi Sense", seems like a tempest in a teapot. It lets you share your Wi-Fi password on various social networks. You don't have to do it, and it doesn't happen by default, despite what many people seem to think. See e.g. [5]. -- BenRG (talk) 02:08, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant many people seem to be treating the upgrade to win10 a bit differently than the previous Windows OSs, not comparing the MS line to other OSs. I don't have a horse in this race, but I don't recall e.g. Win7 stirring up nearly as much controversy over security and privacy issues. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:31, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Windows 10 is for suckers ! StuRat (talk) 22:23, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Despite the clickbait headline, I think the advice in that article is good. Wait for other people to sort out the problems, unless you want to be one of those people. -- BenRG (talk) 02:08, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you don't want to be on the bleeding edge. StuRat (talk) 16:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Appears like the OP's best bet is to abandon the wait for me to catch up old dinosaur operating systems concepts that Win 10 is based on and go for something more modern. Read: Secret to Desktop Linux Adoption. --Aspro (talk) 13:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)


Does Microsoft version of Office need to be deleted before installing Apache Open Source Office? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

You shouldn't have to. The two programs are completely separate from each other and should not conflict with one another. I have had open office and Microsoft office on the same computer before without any issues. --Stabila711 (talk) 23:12, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
You will have to decide what program opens the different doc types though. If you double click on a .docx, what do you want to run to open it? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
When installing, install MSO 1st, 2nd LibreO, due setting the default application for files by extension. Effects like a blank or empty table occur, when Excel is not the default application when opening a file saved by an former version of Excel. Setting the defaut application is not just open a file by its Extension XLS oder XLSX. MSO differs here in opening a file or performing an import procedure. For what reason ever, the import is beeing skipped some time. I guess it may for performance, only? Else, there is no other or general incommatibility. The office applications exist side by side on the same computer. Note LibreOffice and OpenOffice are parallel versions similar to a fork in developping. Also these apps use identical file extensins. When migrating files to a never version of the free office applications, LibreOffice kept the formatted pages in some documents as before, while OpenOffice, reformatted the documents border of rendered the letters litte different, causeing additional line feeds. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 18:09, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Shouldn't programming abstractions be easy to understand? Often I find that OO is not the case.[edit]

Wouldn't programming be much easier if instead of OO, we just used lists of commands and if/then statements?

I see many people, who are interested in learning to program, struggling with OO. However all, or almost all (there are always the really dull of mind) seem to understand a series of command. --YX-1000A (talk) 23:18, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm not quite "grasping" the spirit of your question. OO is not the "only" way to program, and I would suggest it's certainly not the best or easiest "gateway" to start learning. Comparison_of_programming_paradigms. OO is a difficult concept to grasp, especially for someone not already familiar with programming. I would suggest procedural programming is a much better place to start learning. Vespine (talk) 00:00, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I expressed myself poorly.
The point is that abstractions like OO, among others, are used so that we can grasp what the computer is doing. They are there to allow humans communicate with computers, and to communicate with other humans, what a program is supposed to do. However, many humans cannot easily deal with OO (as I said, and you confirmed). Shouldn't we all be using more simple concepts then, like some kind of procedural approach? Historically, however, we have moved from easy abstractions to abstractions which are difficult to grasp.--YX-1000A (talk) 00:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't think OOP is hard to learn. It may be that more complex software is more likely to use OOP concepts, so a randomly selected OOP library may be harder to understand on average, but that isn't OOP's fault. -- BenRG (talk) 02:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The point of abstractions is not to "grasp what the computer is doing." It is to HIDE what the computer is doing. If you want to grasp what the computer is doing, you use assembly language - which is nothing more than a loooooong series of instructions. (talk) 13:23, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
"Easy to learn" is not the main goal for many programming languages, nor should it be. For OO in particular, those using it are far more interested in code Reuse / Recycling, Encapsulation, and ease of maintenance. Nobody is forcing anybody to start with OO. Go ahead and start with procedural. When you get skilled enough to be hired on a project with millions of lines of legacy code written over many yeats you will embrace OO. Meanwhile I will keep programming microcontrollers in hand-crafted assembly language (smile). --Guy Macon (talk) 02:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
OO is not there instead of if's, then's, for's and while's. It's a higher level organizing structure. The need for OO doesn't become obvious until projects get large and big chunks of code written by different people need to be connected together. Those chunks still use if's, then's, for's and while's inside their objects - but the connection between data and code is formally made instead of informally. I strongly disagree that OO is somehow 'harder' than procedural code - once you get beyond very simple programs, working without OO gets tougher and tougher, until eventually, you find yourself kinda re-inventing OO using a procedural language that lacks the formality of error checking those things.
For large scale coding projects, I find OO to be an extremely natural way to express the walls that you must inevitably build between chunks of code in order to maintain some kind of sanity.
SteveBaker (talk) 05:09, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
It is hard to learn at first, but after a few programs, it becomes easy to understand. But if you don't like OOP, you don't have to program in it. For example, C is still very popular for new code. Many other programming languages like PHP and Perl also let you do everything procedurally. In languages like C#, VB.NET, and Java, everything is part of a class. So, you might want to stay away from those. But remember that even procedural languages like C and COBOL still have structures, which are very similar to classes. So, if you ask me, the importance of the invention of "object oriented" programming is over-hyped because people were using structs long before "classes" were invented. So, you might as well just learn OOP even if you plan to stay away from OOP, because it will help you understand structs, too.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 05:57, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Since C++ is an almost perfect superset of C, you might as well use C++ and take advantage of OOP when you need it - and not when you don't. But honestly, when you start working on a large project - and especially if more than one programmer is involved - you need OOP. It's no accident that modern languages all have those concepts built in at the core of the language. SteveBaker (talk) 15:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Somewhat related to large projects: My essay at [ ]. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:10, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The Linux kernel is almost entirely written in C. It has almost 20 million lines of code and about 1,300 developers. You don't have to use OOP for large projects.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 00:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

If we understand the question as what to learn first then I think many here give the wrong advice. Saying "learning it is easy" to someone who just laid out their problems is like saying "English is easy" to a beginner, just because you have been practicing it for many years. The argument "you might as well learn the superset" is absurd; if that were true then for any area of knowledge you might as well start learning everything at once. When my mother taught me to read and write, she started with capital letters, which was great because I could already read shop signs and express myself in half the time it would have taken if she had included lower case. From the fact that C++ is a superset of C, I draw the opposite conclusion from SteveBaker: That means that C is not like training wheels that you have to unlearn later, but it is like upper case letters that will always be useful.

But I'm not sure the question was meant as a request for advice. It seems more like a philosophical question to me. Why do methods become harder when we try to make solutions easier? This has already nicely been answered by and Guy Macon. I'd like to add one comparison: When I was a kid, I got 1.50 DM pocket money each week, and I therefore only had coins. So I didn't immediately see the need for bank notes since (at least from a mathematical point of view), one can pay any amount just with coins, just as one ((or at least Guy Macon)) can program everything in assembler. — Sebastian 19:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

(Smile) How to write an operating system, web browser, email client, and office suite in assembly language: Step one: extend human life to at least 2000 years so you have time to write the program. Step two: solve the problem that, when done, the result only runs on hardware that they stopped making 2000 year ago. Step three: see a shrink to find out what kind of crazy you are that prevents you from using C/C++ and reusing code from Linux or BSD...
On the other hand, when your program has to run on hardware that costs a fraction of a dollar for all of the electronics and has a total of 256 nybbles of RAM, put away your fancy OO tools and start learning microcontroller assembly language. Watching your product coming off a Chinese assembly line at a rate of 100.000 units per hour makes it worth the effort. :) --Guy Macon (talk) 23:14, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit][edit]

I just used, and there was a message "Rate two companies and get a free account". Because I like the concept, I went for it. But I was led through a continuing bait-and-switch loop; each time there was a message on top of the page saying something like "just do this step to get a free account", only to pop up a new one when I was done. Increasingly, answers were not optional anymore, and I was forced to enter values that might compromise my privacy. When I got to the screen that asked me to enter an interview experience, I entered "glassdoor" for the company name and used the form to provide my feedback. After that came the request to enter pictures of my work place; I spent some time searching for one, but after after I had selected it, the site returned an error message like "you have no permission to access these data". I am now wondering (a) if I'm the only one having such an experience and (b) if they had a way to check my previous input and blocked me. AnonymousUserAugust2015 (talk) 06:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes they could have checked your previous input and blocked you, but they probably didn't. It was probably a side effect of their recent DDOS attack[6]. The site isn't a scam, but they have yet to show that they have solved the problem of paid editing. Then again, neither has Wikipedia. :( WSJ seems to like them.[7]
We could really use your help in rewriting our page at Glassdoor. It needs some help from someone familiar with the site. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:56, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer and suggestion. So the technical aspect of my question can probably be considered solved. I'm still miffed at the way the company treats its reporters, and would like to hear about others' experience. But this is probably not the right place for that. AnonymousUserAugust2015 (talk) 18:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
In my experience, the continued "now enter this" is intended to get additional content for their site but you should have been given access as soon as you satisfied the initial request, and you can't access the site (beyond the "free trial") until you do contribute something and validate your account (which you didn't explicitly state that you did). HalJor (talk) 20:11, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Unsupported image type on mouseover[edit]

I'm using the Chrome browser at University and when I mouse over an image on Wikipedia, I get an error messaging popping up saying that the image type is not supported. [Here's a screenshot]. What's it talking about? If I close the dialogue and mouse over again, back it comes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm not aware of Wikipedia having any behaviour for mouseover on images; everything works okay (on Chromium on Linux) for me. So I suspect you may be seeing the problem because some extension is rewriting the page and is injecting defective javascript. Try running Chrome with extensions disabled (chrome --disable-extensions) and see if the problem persists. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 10:55, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Old URL means computer won't go to new web site[edit]

With I get forwarded automatically to

But gives me:

Internal Error: Missing Template ERR_READ_ERROR

When it first changed to It went like it was supposed to. Now the old URL gives me the above message until I enter it again.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:59, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Okay, it's not happening today for some reason. And normally, I'm on a Firefox computer when it does. At home I get "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage". Could be going there from Chrome made a difference, and then when I used Firefox on the same computer it had already been there.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 17:19, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the raw responses, an HTTP 1.1 request to gives you this:
GET / HTTP/1.1
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Cache-Control: max-age=900
Content-Type: text/html
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
X-AspNet-Version: 4.0.30319
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:53:09 GMT
Content-Length: 0
Age: 1
Connection: close
Which is a standard 301 redirect.
But an HTTP 1.0 request gives you this:
GET / HTTP/1.0
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Cache-Control: max-age=900
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
X-AspNet-Version: 4.0.30319
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:54:38 GMT
Content-Length: 225
Age: 28
This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.
<!-- pageok -->
<!-- 04 -->
<!-- -->
Which should display the "This website is temporarily unavailable..." message, even though the HTML is invalid (missing the head section, which is required). give a proper 301 redirect for HTTP 1.0 and 1.1
So that may explain the difference.
FF is supposed to use 1.1. To check it:
  • Type about:config in the URL bar and hit Enter.
  • Type network.http.version in the Filter box.
  • Make sure it is set to 1.1
  • Repeat, searching on network.http.proxy.version
Also, whenever you test things like this using your browser, go to the history and clear cookies, cache, browsing history, and active logins between each test. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Java class transportability[edit]

I have written a Java object for use in someone else's project. I do not want to give them the source code. I assume that I can send them the .class file with a description of the method calls. Then, they can write their code and compile using the class files. My concern is transportability of the class files. I know that class files are supposed to run on any JVM, but what about compiling a new class file? My class file is Benes.class. If the other guy writes, which uses the Benes object, should it be expected to compile and create the Risk.class file? (talk) 17:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, you can just give out the class file. Or if you are handing out several class files, search the web on how to package them into a JAR file - JAR is a slightly jazzed up version of a ZIP file. Lots of commercial and open source projects ship out a JAR containing only class files. One caveat: your Java versions must be reasonably similar. If, say, you are using new JDK 8 features and the other guy has JDK 7, it likely won't work. He will get an error message about incompatible class file versions if the versions are too far apart. (talk) 18:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I expect version issues will be a problem. I am running OpenJDK 1.8 on Centos. They will be using Sun's official Java on Windows. So, I'm just going to try to phrase a way to say "Here's the class file. It should work, but if it doesn't, I can send the java file." I don't want to invite them to immediately say "Send us the java file." (talk) 18:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The javac compiler has a -target parameter that may be helpful; see documentation. (talk) 20:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

Beats headphones[edit]

Are beats headphones worth the amount they cost compared to cheaper good quality ones like Sony. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

It depends entirely on what you are using them for. As such, the value of the headphones is completely a matter of opinion, stubbornness, and fashion. Example: My Sony ear buds fit in my nose nicely and help block bad odors. The beats headphones are a terrible replacement, but it impresses the girls more until they get close enough to notice the odors I'm trying to block. (talk) 17:15, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The general consensus online tends to be that they're produced as a fashion statement and are not worth the premium placed upon them, from a build quality or sound quality perspective. Whether they're worth it to you is a matter of personal opinion, as (to many people, anyway) they certainly are very attractive visually, and they're not *bad* headphones. As a side note, I can't recommend Monoprice's 8323 headphones enough. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 17:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
So you're saying people buy them for their sex appeal? (talk) 20:58, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Beats_Electronics#Critical_reception has some refs that explain some of the criticism. (Sennheiser headphones come highly recommended for build quality, sound quality, and price. But they don't look as hip as Beats ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 22:46, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Why is the radix point unavailable in Programmer mode of Microsoft calculator?[edit]

If I want to know what the decimal equivalent of, say, the binary number 0.101 is, I can't enter it in while the binary radio button is selected and then switch to the decimal radio button, as I can easily do for numbers greater than 1, because the radix point is unavailable in programmer mode. I have to manually in Scientific mode add 2^-1 + 2^-3. Obviously, this particular example is easy to do manually, but it stinks when I want to find out what .1100101010100001110 is. Why is there no radix point available in programmer mode? (talk) 23:52, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Just curious...under what circumstances would you ever need to do that? The actual binary representation of non-integers in real-world situations on a computer isn't usually handled like that (IEEE floating point, for example)...and I can't imagine any non-computer use where you'd be dealing with binary non-integers. SteveBaker (talk) 04:36, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I was reading a book (Applications Programming in ANSI C by Johnsonbaugh & Kalin) which described in section 0.3, Internal Representations, how IEEE single precision is done. I read how the first bit is the sign bit, how the next eight bits are the exponent, which is -126 if all the bits are zero, and the unsigned int value of the eight bits minus 127 if it is not the case that all the bits are zero, and the remaining 23 bits are the mantissa and are to be interpreted as 0.b1b2...b23 if all the exponent bits are zero and 1.b1b2...b23 if not all the exponent bits are zero. I just wanted to find the mantissa by hand a few times while learning this. (talk) 14:15, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
The determine your example, you need to convert TWO numbers to decimal the 101 from your 0.101 and the next biggest power of 10 (in this case 1000). Note/remember/store 1000(base2) = 8(base10). Then enter 101(base2), convert to 5(base10) and divide by the number you are remembering (8 here). Thus 0.101(base2) = 0.625(base10) -- SGBailey (talk) 23:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Protection rings[edit]

Are kernel mode and userland in operating systems linked to hardware-based protection rings like the "supervisor mode" found in Intel CPUs or are they conceptually separate? Do they depend on protection rings in the processor? Can there be any levels inbetween them? — Melab±1 01:54, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

New Intel technology uses a little bit different terminology: here's an overview of vPro Security. At the end of the day, the distinction comes down to virtual memory and memory protection, which is used to isolate processes. The kernel in most operating systems may access all memory, whereas userland processes cannot. Only the kernel may get to those areas of memory because only the kernel can control the virtual memory translation hardware, which all gets rolled into the broad category of Intel Virtualization Technology. This privilege to control hardware is not a single "supervisor bit", although you can sort of abstract it as such. Nimur (talk) 02:50, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
It is a single supervisor bit (well, two bits on x86). vPro is a marketing term that doesn't refer to any particular feature of the x86 architecture. Hardware virtualization is similar to the kernel/user split but it isn't the same thing. People use different terms for it: hypervisor instead of kernel, guest code instead of user code, etc. -- BenRG (talk) 03:58, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Here's another book to read - the Kernel Hackers' Guide - A Tour of the Kernel... but, it was written in 1998! That stuff barely applies to Pentium, let alone new Intel CPU architectures... and it references linux-1.x code. That's ancient! In any case, it's a good starting point, if reading kernel code directly isn't getting you the information you need in a format you can meaningfully ingest. At some point, your question becomes sufficiently technical that you'll probably only get meaningful answers by reading the code of a free software operating system.
Just keep in mind, Linux was designed as a Unix replacement for the Intel 80386. A lot of its software abstractions have historically baked in assumptions that hardware is "i386-like." Here's how syscalls work on 386 - using Interrupt 0x80 to magically "unprotect" the protected parts. Other CPUs - even ones made by Intel - have different hardware protections. This is what userland/kernel isolation looks like on ia64, arm-v7m, and arm64... those are the kinds of computers you probably use today! I won't pretend to explain how these machine-instructions actuate the hardware-based protection, except to direct you to the comments in the code, and to study the CPU programmer manuals from Intel or from your machine vendor.
Nimur (talk) 03:07, 29 August 2015 (UTC).
(EC) Not sure how likely it is that IA-64 is the kind of computer people are using today. I suspect when it comes to something like wikipedia, more people may be using even MIPS or PowerPC than IA-64. IA-64 which was only really used in servers, seems to be a dying architecture not having a new processor since 2012, and the next generation keeps getting delayed and even the long term commitment of the last major Itanium server vendor HP [8] is unclear. In terms of amd64 aka x86-64 which dominates the desktop space, I believe in long mode both Intel's and AMD's implementations still basically have protection rings, albeit only the two that were generally used i.e. those previously called ring 0 and ring 3, although they also sort of later added a lower level mode than ring 0 (I think sometimes? called ring -1) for virtualisation [9] [10] Nil Einne (talk) 04:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Argh, you are absolutely correct! "ia64" is Linux terminology for Itanium, not for x86-64. I apologize for this egregious error. Rack this one up to late night / early morning editing.
For what it's worth, xnu, a different free software kernel, has a different directory structure; x86_64 code is separate from i386 code in osmfk/x86_64. Linux lumps the two Intel architectures into mostly the same place!
Nimur (talk) 14:54, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "kernel mode" is normally a hardware supervisor mode and "user mode" is normally non-supervisor mode. On the x86 architecture there are four rings and the kernel normally runs in ring 0 and user code in ring 3. Rings 1 and 2 are rarely used, in part because they're not portable to other architectures. There's some more information here. There are some systems where a privilege separation is enforced by non-hardware means, such as the Java VM, but the terms "kernel mode" and "user mode" normally aren't used in that case. -- BenRG (talk) 03:58, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Choosing a router that's capable of the most number of connections[edit]

I'm looking for a new router for my home. Since I use bittorrent a lot, the number of total connections the router can handle is important to me. Which of the following is most important in determining how many connections a router can handle?

1. Memory

2. Number of CPU cores

3. CPU speed

My other car is a cadr (talk) 07:24, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Do you have specific requirements you can quantify? Such as having a gigabit incoming Internet connection, or thousands of files shared on bittorrent simultaneously? Because for your typical "sharing a few dozen files, downloading yesterday's TV shows and movies over an ADSL line" scenario, even a $20 ADSL modem will serve you fine. (Don't buy a $20 router/modem - the absolutely dirt-cheapest ones are made of short-lived parts. Look for something that seems reliable; spend another $20 on it. And don't configure your bittorrent client to have hundreds of peers on each torrent, that's counterproductive.) (talk) 19:47, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

What are the most common screen sizes (by pixel size)?[edit]

On phones, tablets, and desktops? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gacelisnothing (talkcontribs) 08:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Video standards.
You may be interested in our articles Display resolution and List of common resolutions. -- ToE 10:14, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

How does OpenVPN's virtual network connection work?[edit]

When I connect to a VPN using OpenVPN, it will create a virtual network interface under the Network Connections panel. So I end up with two network adapters, the real one and the virtual one. But how does the browser know which one to use? I didn't change any settings in the browser, and yet it's smart enough to use only the freshly created network interface and abandon the new one. Is this code in the browser itself or it is built-in in Windows or does OpenVPN do this? Is there some notion of a "primary interface" on Windows when you have multiple network interfaces?

Also, are all old TCP connection killed when this happens? Or does the existing TCP connections continue to use the old adapter while newly created TCP connections use the new adapter?

I noticed that not all program use the virtual interface. In qBittorrent, for example, there's advanced option to select the network interface, with the default choice being "Any Interface". Does this mean that qBittorrent will ignore any new interfaces as long as the existing one is still working? My other car is a cadr (talk) 08:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

My experience is that if you plug an Ethernet cable into a Windows machine that already has a Wi-Fi connection, old connections will continue to work over Wi-Fi.
A Windows/Unix sockets application can bind a listening socket to a particular IP address, which will restrict incoming connections to only that IP address (and probably to the associated network interface, though that isn't guaranteed). But there's no standard way to choose the interface used by outgoing connections. I gather from this article that on Windows Vista and later (but not XP), binding an outgoing socket to a local IP address will cause the associated interface to be used for outgoing packets. I think the same is true on Linux. But since it's not standard, it's not as widely supported as the incoming case. qBittorrent's network interface option might affect only listening sockets, or might affect all sockets.
You can probably use ForceBindIP to force any program to bind outgoing sockets to a particular IP address, although the documentation doesn't seem to explicitly say that it does that. You can use TCPView to check whether a process is actually using the source IP address you expect. -- BenRG (talk) 16:59, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
It's my understanding (though I don't have much direct experience of this) that Windows assigns a numerical value to each route in the IP routing table - the process used to calculate this is described here. You can also manually set route metric values with the route command, or have a fixed setting for a given adapter. When opening a socket connection, without further instruction (and maybe input from load-balancing and congestion-management stuff) the Windows networking stack will pick the valid route with the lowest metric. You can see the current routes configured on your machine by entering route print at the command line. What I suggest you do is do a route print > before.txt and then connect to the VPN and do route print > after.txt and then compare the two. I think the VPN software will create a new route and will force it to have a metric that is lower than the underlying connection - so programs trying to connect will preferentially use the VPN. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:20, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, although Linux routes also do have metric values, the Linux networking stack doesn't honour them (any more), and things like VPNs instead manipulate the IP routing table to add additional default routes. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

MS Excel thousands separator in footer page numbers and number of pages[edit]

Can it be done? The only formatting I can find for footer text is for fonts.

MS Office 365

Hayttom (talk) 11:55, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Good question! Excel certainly doesn't seem to want you to do that - likewise changing the date format and so on. Apparently you need to use VBA to do such a crazy thing as format the footer/header. I don't use VBA very much, but this seems to cover the basics of using VBA to format numbers and this provides some of the parameters you'll need to apply those changes to the footers. You'll have to do some experimenting, I'm afraid. (talk) 01:58, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
(Wow, thanks. That looks like something that will have to wait for next weekend...) Hayttom (talk) 04:53, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Dynamic IPs and IPv4 address exhaustion[edit]

How IPs such as dynamic ones can still change amid IPv4 address exhaustion? Is it just because there are still few remaining addresses that dynamic IPs temporarily usurp and exchange in turns or they now change in a IPv6 format? Brandmeistertalk 18:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

A given ISP will have a pool of IP addresses assigned to them. They dynamically lease from their pool to their customers. When a customer gives up a lease, or it expires, the address returns to that ISP's pool. It doesn't go back to some national or global pool. It's the global address space that's all used up - because it's allocated (via national numbering authorities) to ISPs and other large organisations. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
A problem for ISPs is that they used to have far more customers than addresses, but because people connected intermittently via dialup, they usually didn't run out. But now lots of people have an always-on cable or DSL connection and so need an address most of the time. ISPs would like to go to their RIR (APNIC, RIPE, etc.) and ask for more IPv4 space, but the table is mostly bare. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:10, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Self-DDOSing AOL article[edit]

Using current Firefox and NoScript, when I go to [11] the article keeps reloading itself once a second endlessly. In order to read it, it's necessary to hit the "stop" button. While obviously they are the ones who have to fix this because it costs them the real money, I am curious whether there is some computer philosophy that explains whether the bug here is at "my end" or "theirs"? Wnt (talk) 19:38, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

How do you enable/disable the feature in Microsoft Word 2013 that automatically creates bullet lists?[edit]

How do you enable/disable this particular feature in Microsoft Word 2013? This happens when I type certain characters: usually, the number "1"; or perhaps the single letter "a" or "A"; or perhaps a single asterisk (*); etc. When I type such a character, the software "thinks" that I want to start a bulleted list. Hence, the software actually starts to create a bulleted list (with the "1" or "a" or "A" or "asterisk" as the first bullet, and with appropriate indentations, etc.). How do I make this stop? Usually, I just want to type the number "1" or the letter "A" on its own, having no desire to create a bulleted list. With this "automatic" feature, it becomes a big pain in the neck. I have to "undo" what the program is starting to make look like a list. Then, when I type the number "1" or "A" again, it simply starts the bullet-list process, all over again. Very annoying. Very frustrating. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:41, 29 August 2015 (UTC) -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:48, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Perfect. Thanks. I never knew that all of those options were available to me. As I was reading that link, however, another thought came to me. What happens when I do, in fact, want to create a bullet list? I don't assume that I go in and enable that function. Right? That function setting, as I understand it, is related to automatic formatting (and enabling or disabling the feature as an "automatic" feature). But, when I specifically do want to create a bullet list, then what do I need to do? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:45, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Select a paragraph or paragraphs and click the bullet or number buttons - -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:50, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Great. Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:43, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Could or does Microsoft incorporate open source libraries into its products?[edit]

If something works better in the open source version, for example ext3 works better than ntfs, is it possible that MS incorporates it into its products?--Yppieyei (talk) 03:19, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Microsoft does use many open-source libraries in its software, such as zlib. I'm not sure whether Microsoft could incorporate GPL-licensed code into Windows without open-sourcing all of Windows. Perhaps they could, if the code was in a driver (NTFS is a driver) and they open-sourced the whole driver. Microsoft has sold at least one product that contained GPLed software (Windows Services for UNIX). -- BenRG (talk) 05:42, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The legal part of it. Depending on the license, changes in the software source code as a contribution made by the user needs to be published, avail on the internet as they got the software under this license. This software must not be sold, but it is allowed to bunde it and sell their proprietary product under its license. So the money is for the closed and proprietary source, not for the free and open source software. Using the free software, the source must be contributed to the community. Another example an automotive navigation system, using a linux kernel running its proprietary software was sold. The changes inside the kernel needs to be contributed to the community. As the manufacturer "had stolen" the open software, a court order make them publish their changes in the kernel. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 09:35, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
@Hans Haase:: not quite on topic. That does not answer whether there are or not open source libraries or ideas into Microsoft's programs. --3dcaddy (talk) 10:08, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
"Could or does…" was the question. This is the answer on "could" by showing what is behind that. "Does" is the other question. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 10:13, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Computer scientists who eschew the use of computers for their work[edit]

Are there many of them, like Edsger W. Dijkstra, who prefer to work with more primitive means, and maybe don't even know how to program? Can the newish generations of computer scientists still be like that? I assume that new generations of comp. scientists grew up in an environment where computers were everywhere, contrary to Dijkstra. That would make it almost impossible not to see the computer as a basic tool.--3dcaddy (talk) 10:38, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I expect that most computer scientists go into the profession because they enjoy technology, especially computers. There are some who go into it because they are simply good at it. Mary Allen Wilkes is one. She wanted to be a lawyer, but ended up a programmer (until she quit and became a lawyer). I've never seen anything from her about a dislike of computers. For that, there are examples. Google for "luddite programmer" and you'll find people who work as a programmer because they are good at it. However, they do not like technology and would prefer to never deal with technology. Scanning a few pages, some were forced into computer science (military or parents) and found that it pays the bills, but simply never had a taste for computers or technology. Others were eager to learn about programming at a young age, but became jaded over time and ended up with a dislike for technology. (talk) 17:55, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


Whenever I click on a link, since upgrading to Win10, in Thunderbird, it defaults to Microsoft Edge. How do I stop it from doing that? I want it to default to Firefox. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:14, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Bring up the start menu and search for "Choose Default Apps", this will bring up the settings screen to set the default apps for various things, including the web browser. (talk) 15:22, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Suggestions for free antivirus scanners for windows 7 or 8[edit]

Hi. Can anyone recommend a good free antivirus scanner for Windows 7 or 8. Note in particular that I'm not looking for a full-fledged antivirus software, which monitors your activity in the background, etc. All I'm looking for is a scanner that I can invoke to check a particular file, or a group of files (or a volume). In fact it does not have to have a GUI (a command-line scanner would be perfectly fine).

Any suggestions? -- Oddwood (talk) 17:28, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


August 26[edit]

Majors for people interested in agricultural mycology?[edit]

Hi there, I know someone who lives on a mushroom farm (the legal kind you put on pizzas) and they are curious what the best major would be for them. Biology seems like it is too much pure science based. Horticulture seems too general and like it often doesn't cover anything to do with fungi. What majors should this student look into?--2602:30A:C019:2920:7422:8630:6271:A43C (talk) 00:09, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

A degree in microbiology is probably your best bet actually. According to this website, individuals should look for universities that offer courses in mycology but the general degree would be in microbiology. After you get your degree you can choose to specialize as there are Ph.D programs in mycology. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't be all that surprised if there actually is a major in agricultural mycology these days. In addition to "the mushrooms you put on pizzas", there are many other more exotic 'shrooms, like portabellas (favored by vegetarians as a meat replacement), and more broadly, fungi products like Quorn. Mushrooms (the non-poisonous kind) seem to be quite healthy, and many people like them, too, so I expect their consumption to rise, and hence for this increased demand to be able to support a major in the subject soon. (I try to eat some every day.) StuRat (talk) 00:31, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Penn state has long historic ties with the commercial mushroom industry, as well as a minor in Mushroom Science and Technology [12]. SemanticMantis (talk) 01:00, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
In the US, many land-grant universities such as Cornell University offer a mixed program. One can attend the agricultural school, but take classes in the liberal arts college as well. I was a liberal arts major, but my botany classes as a bio major were 50/50 liberal arts and aggy majors. Your friend should also contact the relevant department heads to schools he is thinking of attending and discuss the issue with them. One very disappointing issue for me was that while Mycology 400 was in the catalog, the class was cancelled four years in a row due to underenrollment. Agricultural classes were not open to me, so I don't know for sure what they offered, but my interest was not in the applied field. μηδείς (talk) 00:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
A bit different from what you imply, but plant pathology is a major that combines those interests, and can lead to work that has high value both in terms of economic and humanitarian interests. E.g. things smut_(fungus) and rust_(fungus) are still very active research areas. Also opportunities for biological control, etc. SemanticMantis (talk) 01:00, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Why are human stools so offensive?[edit]

In comparison to other mammals, why are human droppings so offensive. Rabbit pellets leave virtually no odour. Horse droppings whilst larger are relatively benign and not stink out. Same with sheep and cow faeces.

Yet, human stools smell the worst, far higher up the ick and gross factor than any of the mentioned above. I mean, just try getting dog (or human) crap off your shoes compared to say sheep droppings. I was even reading about farmers using sewage fertilise their fields and a whole town had to practically wear clips on their nose. Sure normal farm muck spreading is bad, but there's like no comparison. And, as a vegetarian (not quite a herbivore but still) the stuff is still far, far more foul than say horse droppings.

So what gives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

@ This question belongs at WP:Reference desk/Science, not on the talk page. Do you want to move it there yourself, or would you prefer that someone move it there for you? (On the question itself, I would imagine that the fact that people [and dogs] are carnivorous, whereas the animals mentioned in your first paragraph are not, has a good deal to do with it.) Deor (talk) 13:24, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Moved from talk page. StuRat (talk) 00:50, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Skatole is one "offensive smell" component. Bile is the source of the brown color. It's used in the digestion of fats, so indeed is more common in carnivores. I'm not sure if a vegan diet would reduce bile production. As for why humans find these chemicals to be offensive, I suspect this evolved as a method to avoid picking up parasites and diseases from human feces. Herbivore feces presumably pose less of a risk of carrying diseases humans can contract, and herders needed some tolerance for these, so the evolutionary pressure to avoid those was reduced. StuRat (talk) 00:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
First of all, it is not offensive. If it is, then kindly explain why pigs love human stools? They could not eat enough of it. It is like KFC for them. (talk) 01:12, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know any definition of the word "offensive" that has anything to do with pigs. Cholera is a good reason to find human stools offensive. Vespine (talk) 06:38, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Disgust might be instructive here. --TammyMoet (talk) 11:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
This question was double-posted. I provided the same guidance as TammyMoet at WP:RDM. --Jayron32 13:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Because it's your waste. The waste of each species is most offensive to that own species (more or less). Ariel. (talk) 19:07, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, surely cats are even worse than we are, no? Wnt (talk) 01:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)


Does eating a skull give you calcium? --Kew Gardens 613 (talk) 01:11, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, any bone does, although it has to be ground up to be digested. See bone meal. StuRat (talk) 01:25, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Inert foodstuff for satiety whilst dieting[edit]

Are there any commercially-available inert food stuffs for people to use in achieving satiety while reducing calorie intake? I'm aware of Haitian dirt cookies that are made of some kind of clay. Shouldn't there be some such product available to the obese people of the west? -- (talk) 09:29, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Fruits and vegetables tend to do an excellent job of taking up space in your stomach while providing very few calories. Celery and iceberg lettuce are excellent for this, and strawberries are very good too, in addition to tasting wonderful. I would recommend them over clay since they are actual food. WebMD has a list of foods with almost no calories [13]. Someguy1221 (talk) 09:34, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Dietary fibre. While I was on the F-plan Diet 30 years ago I had to eat these horrible tablets that you had to chew very well indeed before swallowing, and they would swell up in your stomach so you didn't feel hungry. They were mostly dietary fibre. --TammyMoet (talk) 11:23, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
As noted above, if you want to chew something high in dietary fiber which fills up your stomach and provides few calories, salad greens, lettuce, celery all fit the bill quite well. --Jayron32 14:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Actually they don't. They are basically just packaged water. Celery's value as a dietary food lies in its "mouthfeel", you actually feel that you have eaten enough because of the amount of chewing you have to do! The high fibre foods in a Western diet (from memory here as we don't have an article on the F-plan Diet) are: the skin of jacket potatoes, haricot beans, wholemeal or rye bread, snd wheatbran. These foods all contain the sort of fibres that swell and absorb water in the gut. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:11, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
There's a variety of products like this - here's a few - [14] [15] [16]. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:31, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Problem is that the "Molecular gastronomy" thing is mostly theoretical, the Attiva/Gelesis-100 stuff is still in clinical trials and won't be available for at least a couple more years - so the only actually available one is the SkinnyWip "FOAM!" - which appears to be on sale only in a very few stores in California - with their online store not being open yet. SteveBaker (talk) 15:02, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The basic concept that you won't be hungry if your stomach is full is flawed, as a full stomach is only one of many factors that affect when you are hungry. Other factors that make you hungry are low blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies, seeing or smelling food, etc. And keeping your stomach full of low calorie foods 24 hours a day is quite a challenge. So, a more comprehensive diet plan will fill the digestive tract with fiber, but also provide all the needed nutrients, keep blood sugar from dropping too low or spiking too high, etc. And not having tempting foods around also helps. StuRat (talk) 16:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Boiling Saltwater before drinking it, does it make any difference?[edit]

Can you drink/consume saltwater/Seawater if you boil it first? Will the salt evaporate, or will the water still be as salty as before? I should think it wouldn't make a difference, but I'm not sure, so I'm asking...

How about boiling food in Salt-water ?? How would that affect the food? Would the salt be absorbed into the food, and thus make the food so salty as to make it unhealthy?

2A02:FE0:C711:5C41:A040:6DEA:A306:28E1 (talk) 12:50, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Boiling sea water will not cause the salt to evaporate. If anything, you will lose some water as steam leaving a more concentrated salt solution behind. However, if you condense the steam (a process called distillation) you can obtain drinkable water from sea water. Deli nk (talk) 13:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
To answer you other questions, you can cook food with sea water without making it unhealthy. It will add salt to what you are cooking and can be a reasonable way of seasoning a dish. Just Google "cooking with sea water" to learn more. Deli nk (talk) 13:10, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Hm, yeah. Distillation. I can see how that works, and it is not new to me. Quite clever, though perhaps easier said than done if caught in a "survival"-situation with no access to fresh water and little or no tools. 2A02:FE0:C711:5C41:A040:6DEA:A306:28E1 (talk) 13:29, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Drinking seawater has obvious harmful effects due to the salt content, and of course distillation can fix that. But aside from that, you got me thinking about whether drinking small amounts of seawater can be hazardous simply due to microorganisms, and whether boiling could fix that. The first example I could think of, brevetoxin in red tides, is "heat stable" according to [17] - it looks like it should withstand boiling (apart from secondary structure issues) like any protein, and it seems to have too simple a structure to be subject to protein denaturation like effects. So I'm thinking that boiling is, at first approximation, not useful - but I wonder if someone can think of an agent in seawater that could be killed by boiling. (Cholera in seawater near a beach contaminated by raw sewage would be an example, but not a natural one) Wnt (talk) 17:48, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
You've never been swimming in the ocean? It's not too hard to wind up getting a mouthful of seawater. I appear to be no worse for wear. Of course if the seawater does contain contaminants, it's a problem, but that's true of any water. My dad got giardiasis on a backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. No seawater there! -- (talk) 05:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I really wouldn't recommend anyone deliberately drink saltwater. People usually gag when they accidentally drink seawater for a reason. Drinking saltwater can lead to death as explained by this article from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. --Stabila711 (talk) 05:23, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The typical body should be able to deal with a small amount of salt water, like ingesting a little bit of seawater while swimming, or even while gargling with table-salt water. Drinking it in quantity, like you would fresh water, is what would lead to big trouble. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I've never been swimming in the ocean during a red tide. As with fresh water, seawater is sometimes particularly hazardous to drink. I have the sense that it is less often hazardous (apart from the usual salt) than fresh water, and of course red tides lead to consistent warnings over large areas. Wnt (talk) 11:36, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
"Human kidneys can only make urine that is less salty than salt water. Therefore, to get rid of all the excess salt taken in by drinking seawater, you have to urinate more water than you drank. Eventually, you die of dehydration even as you become thirstier." National Ocean Service - Can humans drink seawater? In the interests of balance however, (perhaps to be treated with circumspection) The Essential Health Benefits of Sea Water - The case for regular drinking of small amounts of sea water Alansplodge (talk) 20:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Big Bang[edit]


I hope you all good...


  1. The 'singularity', when all the forces were combined, what was it as a whole, atomic particle or subatomic particle?
  2. When it bursted and spread, did it spread in atomic particles or subatomic particles?

Space Ghost (talk) 18:44, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  1. We don't know. Per our Big Bang article, "if the known laws of physics are extrapolated beyond where they are valid, there is a singularity." The key phrase here, though, is not "singularity" but "beyond where [known laws of physics] are valid". We know that we cannot correctly describe the singularity.
  2. Subatomic particles emerged before they were able to coalesce into atoms. Atomic nuclei emerged about 3 minutes after the Big Bang. Atoms with electron shells did not emerge for about 400,000 years. — Lomn 20:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Cosmic_censorship_hypothesis may be relevant. The intro makes it seem as though Penrose thought that the naked singularity of the Big Bang did indeed exist in the universe, though that might just be poor phrasing or my misunderstanding. OP should recall that we are primarily discussing mathematical models when discussing the Big Bang, and not necessarily any true physical reality. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:13, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
One way to understand the problem with physics and singularities is to understand that a singularity (by definition) has literally zero size...not just very, very's ZERO sized. So, suppose you want to do some simple calculation about the singularity? Suppose we know how heavy it was and wanted to figure out the density of the material? Well, density is mass divided by volume...but the volume is zero. If you grab a calculator, enter in any number you like for the mass of the universe (100, for example) - and try to divide it by zero - you get an "ERROR". That's because there is no valid answer for something divided by zero - your calculator can't do it - and neither can any standard arithmetic. So we can't use any of the normal laws of physics that entail needing to know lengths, volumes or densities because those laws just blow up in your face...ERROR!
It's not just the laws of physics that break down - even pure mathematics has a hard time when there are infinities and zeroes floating around everywhere.
It gets even worse than that because the laws of gravity depend on densities - and when the amount of gravity becomes either infinite or something-divided-by-zero, that breaks down too. Then Einstein's general relativity gets into trouble because the rate of passage of time depends on the local gravitational field if we can't calculate gravity, we can't calculate the passage of time either. If time itself is beyond the laws of physics - we really can't talk about the singularity in any meaningful terms. However, at the very first instant of the big bang, the size becomes something just a teeny-tiny bit bigger than zero - and then physics and math suddenly make sense, and we can talk meaningfully about what's going on.
So question #1 is really unanswerable - pretty much everything we'd like to know is fundamentally unknowable...even time itself has collapsed. Question #2 is easier - and User:Lomn has pretty much nailed that one for you already.
SteveBaker (talk) 20:26, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
You seem to have forgotten to include any references. Let me help out a little: Singularity_(mathematics), Gravitational_singularity, Null_set#Lebesgue_measure, Point_(geometry). SemanticMantis (talk) 21:27, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
And it is also worth mentioning that singularities and infinite values are frequently tamed in physics and applied math, e.g. renormalization and Regularization_(physics) - apparent singularities in a model are not always impermeable barriers to progress. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes singularities are fixed by additional physics - for example, ultraviolet catastrophe. Also, a mathematical model may say that something reaches infinity (like the number of bounces by a steel ball on a steel plate) yet in practice it is underwhelming. In the case of black holes, some are saying Stephen Hawking's newest commentary on information retention is basically Fuzzball (string theory) all over again. [18] I don't know if the singularity at the Big Bang can be modelled by a fuzzball (if indeed matter was ever dense enough to form a black hole like density at the beginning, rather than just continually creating itself out of dark energy somehow...). Wnt (talk) 01:49, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks friends, I appreciate it.

What should I say?; Universe is where hypothesized multiverses are (I guess our Big bang universe should've been called 'bangedverse'/'shatteredverse'/'floweryverse'; something alike as stated), I guess its common to think that it came out of a 'starburst' because of the lifestyles' of a star.

Space Ghost (talk) 19:28, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

Average size of 12 year old[edit]

What is the average size of a 12 hear old? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

African, or European? μηδείς (talk) 00:45, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Assuming you mean height that is a complex question. Human height can vary between male or female and between populations. It also depends on what data is collected and can vary between studies. If you can provide a little bit more information to your question we can try to get you data for the population you are looking for. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:53, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Assuming she means human, too. Hope so, because the "average dog" question is much harder. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:01, August 27, 2015 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, male and female human children are about the same weight and height at 12 years old, according to this [19] source - roughly 90 pounds and 59 inches, with females being a bit taller and heavier than males at that age, on average. SemanticMantis (talk) 01:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
That would be 40.8 kg and 150 cm in proper units. Also, this would of course vary massively across the world. (talk) 15:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Mixing catechol with formaldehyde and HCl[edit]

I'm trying to obtain the condensation product, i.e. essentially using the formaldehyde as a protecting group for the catechol (forming a methylene bridge) but it appears that side reactions with the electron-rich ring might happen. (For example, reacting vanillin with a 250C solution containing sulfur dioxide yields vanillic acid). What happens if you reflux a reaction mixture (at 40-55C) containing 1M catechol with 1M formaldehyde and 0.5N HCl in cyclohexanol? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 01:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

The OH groups are very electron donating, so I wonder if reacting with the formaldehyde wouldn't result in any number side reactions, including perhaps some sort of hetero Diels-Alder; especially if the extra electron density provided by the two -OH groups de-aromatizes the ring, making it more diene like; formaldehyde is a perfectly good dienophile for that purpose. Catchecol wouldn't be a good candidate for nucleophilic aromatic substitution because of the electron-donating nature of the -OH groups, but on the other hand, it WOULD be a good candidate for electrophilic aromatic substitution, with the HCl providing chlorination. Just some ideas. --Jayron32 16:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I didn't see anything on the web about making MDMA out of alpha-methyldopamine, so it's probably not that straightforward. :) Wnt (talk) 18:23, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

decay/equilibrium constant for connecting tanks of unequal pressures[edit]

I wonder why the following problem is not posed in undergraduate chemistry problem sets:

10L of 1 bar nitrogen is held in Tank A. Tank B has 10L of 2 bar nitrogen. The tanks are connected by an airtight supply tube 50 mL in volume and 10 cm^2 in cross-sectional area. How long would it take for the pressures in both tanks to equalize (or what would the decay constant be) where one tank would be within 95% (or perhaps 99.7 %) of the pressure of the other? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 01:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't know, but I'm thinking that the exact shape of the "nozzle" from which the tube emanates is going to affect turbulence in the tube and that minor changes in the design will create major changes in outcome.
This may be liquid rather than gas, but I remember a certain darkroom with a large circular basin, think it was about a yard in diameter, with a drain in the middle. The sink would seem to clog up and fail to drain at any perceptible rate - you'd come back the next day and there would be dried developer/fixer/whatever all over the basin. However, you could take a piece of pipe and hold it around the stream of water produced by the sink - touching neither the tap NOR the last inch before the drain - and you could turn that stream on to any amount, full blast, enough to fill the whole sink in minutes, and it would all go straight down the drain. I marvelled about that for what must have been cumulative hours, never managed to figure it out. Wnt (talk) 01:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like airflow to me. The sink needed a vent, but did not have one. Without it air trapped in a bend prevented any water from passing. But using the pipe entrains enough air to prevent the problem. Ariel. (talk) 03:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
This sounds like something you might study in an aerospace engineering class, or a fluid dynamics class, or an applied mathematics class on modeling with differential equations. Why isn't it posed to undergraduate students of chemistry? Well, it could be - but the math is really hard, and it's not really part of a standard chemistry curriculum! Insofar as you might study gas equations in physical chemistry classes, or you might study how multiphase flow works with different species of gas, there's merit to categorizing this type of problem in the arena of "chemistry" ... but it's not by-the-book what you'd probably find in the homework sets for a standard university-level chemistry class.
Gas flow-rate through a nozzle is hard - it is literally actually rocket science. Don't underestimate how difficult it is to solve this problem with any degree of accuracy!
Here's a graduate-level textbook, Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers. Every aspiring rocket engineer should buy this book, or one of many equivalents! Chapter 2 covers the tank-filling equation, developed from the Bernouilli equation.
Nimur (talk) 02:10, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Basically that's engineering, not chemistry. You need to know about first order resonant systems, and the flow resistance of pipes. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is slightly more complex than a spring mass damper system, but I'm not going to work it out. A numerical simulation would be a good back check. Greglocock (talk) 03:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
No one has mentioned it, but for gases you also have the problem that they have different densities when stored at different pressures which will also affect the flow rate in somewhat complicated ways. In the way of spherical cows let's assume the tube has negligible resistance and length. Let's further assume that the rate is sufficiently slow that we can treat the problem as isothermal (gases will in general change temperature when they change pressure). Via Bernoulli's Law, and assuming no resistance, the flow rate from tank 2 to tank 1 could be estimated as {1 \over 2} \rho_2(t) v(t)^2 = P_2(t) - P_1(t). In the isothermal limit {P(t) \over \rho(t)} = {P(0) \over \rho(0)}, where P is pressure and ρ is mass density. So:
v(t)^2 = 2 \left( {P_2(0) \over \rho_2(0)} - {P_1(0) \over \rho_1(0)} {\rho_1(t) \over \rho_2(t)} \right)
However, since total mass is conserved,  V \rho_1(t) + V \rho_2(t) = V \rho_1(0) + V \rho_2(0) \rightarrow \rho_1(t) = \rho_1(0) + \rho_2(0) - \rho_2(t)
This leads to: v(t)^2 = 2 \left( {P_2(0) \over \rho_2(0)} - {P_1(0) \over \rho_1(0)} {\rho_1(0) + \rho_2(0) - \rho_2(t) \over \rho_2(t)} \right)
By conservation of mass, the total mass M in a tank must change as { dM \over dt } = V { d\rho(t) \over dt }= A \rho(t) v(t).
So { d\rho_2(t) \over dt } = { A \over V} \rho_2(t) \sqrt{ 2 \left( {P_2(0) \over \rho_2(0)} - {P_1(0) \over \rho_1(0)} {\rho_1(0) + \rho_2(0) - \rho_2(t) \over \rho_2(t)} \right)}.
Believe it or not, that equation has an analytical solution, but it is complicated enough that I am not going to try and write it down. The above discussion should be enough to show that the issue is somewhat complicated, even after liberally making approximations. One could make further approximations and say that the initial time constant looks something like:
\tau \approx {V \over A} \sqrt{ {1 \over 2 } {{\rho_2(0)} \over {P_2(0) - P_1(0)} } }, but that only works at early times.
In short, this is not a calculation that is really suitable for a chemistry class. Dragons flight (talk) 10:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm a chemistry graduate; dabbled in engineering (took two MSE classes) and studied a bit about Fick's laws of diffusion but having both worked in McDonald's and on the lab bench I've often thought about diffusion processes. They never mentioned "avoid turbulence" in organic chemistry lab (or when you were connecting the CO2 to the soda fountains in McDonald's) so I didn't think turbulent flow would be even a problem! (I have solved boundary layer equations in Widely Applied Physics and got an A, but I don't remember most of what I solved. If flow is so essential to chemistry why isn't it studied in chemistry? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 10:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

It is studied in some areas of chemistry but for many applied problems the best answer is either A) avoid situations where uncontrolled mixing is important or B) make measurements to determine what is happening rather than trying to figure it out analytically. For example, when mixing two tanks of gas, one would almost certainly use pressure gauges to know when they had equilibrated rather than trying to predict it. Dragons flight (talk) 11:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Have we got an article on ...[edit]

I'm looking for an article that explains the way that any "freefall" through a straight tunnel through the earth always takes the same time (around 40 minutes). I don't know what it's called, so I can't search for it. -- SGBailey (talk) 12:00, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

See Gravity train. - Lindert (talk) 12:08, 27 August 2015 (UTC)


If the atoms resulting from the Big Bang. How massed or gathered to be the first stars if atoms were traveling at similar speed of light and the distance between them fixed because it is going the same speed. What thing that stopped by and make them assembled together to be the first stars. If it were of gravity where it came from and what its source? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Abed23455890 (talkcontribs) 13:19, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia has articles you can read on the early time after the formation of the Universe. You can find this information at articles titled Chronology of the universe, Big Bang, Planck epoch, Inflationary epoch, and Baryogenesis. --Jayron32 13:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Anapoles, Majorana fermions, dark matter, invisible silicon disks, quantum computing, the non-radiation from electrons in atoms etc.[edit]

I just read [20]. Its new result seems to be that the Cartesian formula for radiation and the "vector spherical harmonics used in a Mie basis set" description were inconsistent - and the Cartesian version was wrong?! I'm not sure what of the rest is new and what is known, but it says that you can make an "anapole", a toroidal EM field that emits no radiation at a distance, where "The absence of radiation is the result of the current being divided between two different components, a conventional electric dipole and a toroidal dipole (associated with poloidal current configuration), which produce identical fields at a distance." It seems to suggest this configuration is the reason why electrons in atoms don't radiate electromagnetic energy (I'd always heard it was quantization, Pauli exclusion principle etc., but who knows?). It says that people actually made silicon wafers with fields like this in them, which were therefore "invisible" in some sense. A figure caption mentions dark matter, and that's when I went back and looked at stuff like [21] and Majorana particle. Apparently neutral leptons that have no charge for some reason are expected to have this electromagnetic field (why? Can you basically pinch off a little smoke ring of EM field and leave it out, stable, contained, as a brand new baby dark matter particle?) Anyway, I am in dire need of a clue here, any clue. :) Wnt (talk) 22:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

You can read a paper on the topic at I will comment further when I have looked at it! It looks as if his area of research is nanotech.[22] Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
OK that paper is not really on the topic, but it is trying to make cylinders invisible. But it only works at one wavelength and polarization. Note that there are currents involved with something that carries the current, so it is not just an electromagnetic only phenomenon. It looks as if here geometric theory of diffraction was applied. The formula in the paper is very cut down to just decomposing the incident radiation into cylindrical harmonics, with the actual geometric theory of diffraction scattering formula taking up half a page. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:23, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The term "Mie basis set" seems to be an invention of the press release people. Spherical harmonics#Orthogonality and normalization could be the actual basis set described here though. Other known stuff is that the neutral lepton is a neutrino which is a dark matter particle and which may or may not be a Majorana particle. Electron electric dipole moment is close to zero if not zero. Neutrino dipole is likely zero too.[23] Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
"Mie basis" probably refers to Mie scattering. -- BenRG (talk) 01:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The thing you read is a press release from ANU, seemingly quoted verbatim. It was written by a journalist who's paid to aggrandize the university, and who probably doesn't know any physics, so it's probably a bit overhyped. The paper that prompted it seems to be "Nonradiating anapole modes in dielectric nanoparticles" by Miroshnichenko et al (doi:10.1038/ncomms9069). I don't know anything about nonradiating configurations of classical charges, but Wikipedia has an article about it, nonradiation condition. Research on that subject goes back to 1910 if not earlier, and the word "anapole" dates to 1957, so this is definitely not the "new theory" that ANU's PR department says it is. My uneducated guess is that this particular paper is not very important, given that it was published in an unprestigious author-pays journal and there are some grammatical oddities in the abstract suggesting that the journal editors didn't look at it very closely (e.g. "attract" instead of "have attracted"). -- BenRG (talk) 01:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That article nonradiation condition is definitely interesting. At the moment I don't have the foggiest notion of how a model for a radiation-free motion of charges can get us to Planck's constant, though! It has other maintenance tags up on it, and is pretty short - I'd love it if someone reading this would take some time to improve and expand it. Wnt (talk) 12:25, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

Looking at Earth from Space[edit]

If someone were looking at Earth from a distance of 2,000 light years, would he be able to see what was going on here? Would he be able to see the Romans from Jesus's time? Or would the information be lost, as the light travels through space, in the same way that we cannot see a picture through a cloud? --Jubilujj 2015 (talk) 01:05, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Assuming you had the technology to resolve images at that distance (which as of today is impossible), yes, you would see the Earth as it was 2,000 years ago. Whenever you look up at the night sky you are looking into the past. In order for you to see a star (or a planet) the light must reach your eyes first. So if something is 2,000 light years away, the light would have needed 2,000 years to reach your eyes. --Stabila711 (talk) 01:17, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
There may not even be technology to resolve the light at a certain distance. Given that photons are quantized, eventually, you don't get enough photons to make meaningful images more than "kinda bluish dot". I'm not sure what the math behind such limits are, but eventually even if you could collect and perfectly resolve every single photon, you may not have enough to make a meaningful image. --Jayron32 02:23, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
@Jayron32: Valid point. We have been able to directly image a few exoplanets at this point (see: List of directly imaged exoplanets) however those are all extremely blurry images and the furthest away was 477 light years. There must be some set limit at which the photons physically can't be resolved regardless of how powerful the imaging technology is. Right now we have the technology to resolve crystal clear images from satellite range (they have been known to pick out clear shots of license plates on cars). That isn't light year range but that is still pretty impressive considering the first photograph was taken in 1822 (less than 200 years ago). I don't really doubt that in the future we will be able to directly resolve close exoplanets. As for the further away ones, only time will be able to tell for sure. --Stabila711 (talk) 02:34, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That "reading a car license plate from orbit" is urban legend - based around a myth that popped up during the cold war. Oft-repeated, never actually verified.
Let's do the math:
The angular resolution for an ideal telescope is: R = w/D (R is the angular resolution, w is the wavelength of the light, and D is the diameter of the mirror/lens). Assuming they got the thing up there in a regular rocket, the mirror is unlikely to be bigger than Hubble - and that's 4 meters. The longer the wavelength, the worse the resolution - so let's be generous and pick 400 nm, which is way up in the ultra-violet. The angular resolution is therefore: 10-7 radians. If the satellite is up at 100 km then x = tan(10-7 radians) * 100,000m - assuming it's looking straight down...but if it's looking at an angle in order to read the license plate - it'll be much more than that...but we'll be generous. So the likely best resolution is around'd need to be around ten times closer or have a ten times bigger mirror to read a car license no, they can't do that. In practice, they get around 15cm...good enough to see that the car *has* a license plate - but not good enough to read it.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
@SteveBaker: Yeah math! But tan xx for small x so "tan(10-7 radians) * 100,000m" is 1cm, not 10cm. Of course you were quite generous with other assumptions, from dropping the 1.22 factor from the Rayleigh criterion to using an altitude of 100 km. Hubble orbits at 550km, though reconnaissance satellites are often in eccentric orbits with perigees half that of Hubble's. For instance USA-245, the most recently launched KH-11, is in a 266km x 1008km orbit according to its most recent TLE. Also Hubble's mirror has a diameter of 2.4m, not 4m. One other nit: the visible spectrum runs about 390nm - 700nm, so 400 nm is not "way up in the ultra-violet", but is just plain violet. -- ToE 09:31, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
My mistake. I striked my comment in my last message. Thank you for that information. I hate when I get caught up in a common misconception. --Stabila711 (talk) 04:06, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the math, Steve. Interferometric imaging techniques can allow for sub-wavelength imaging. The CHARA array, for instance, achieves a resolution of 2.5x10-9 radians, despite having component telescopes of much lower nominal resolution than the one in Steve's example. Jayron is concerned about running out of light at long distances - the answer to that is to capture more light with a bigger telescope. You can calculate this in both directions: With a telescope of given parameters, how far can it be from Earth while still resolving something of a given size; and with a given distance, how large does your telescope have to be to resolve something of a given size? If you want to see people from two light years away, I have a feeling your telescope will be a real monster. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:40, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Interferometry, and its friends synthetic aperture and superresolution, are not magical ways to get around the angular resolution limits. What these techniques do is trade off spatial sampling against time-domain sampling. That works great if the object you're imaging is perfectly stationary. It doesn't work so well if the object moves!
Let me provide an example to tie into this question - to help develop some intuition - have a look at our article on Pluto. Until very recently - like, last month (July 2015), our best photographs of Pluto were barely a few pixels. Here's a webpage by Marc Buie on Earth-based photometry of Pluto. See how blurry the composite maps are, even after using all kinds of algorithms and technology to enhance them? That's an object in our solar system. All the biggest ground-based and space-based telescopes had photographed Pluto; all the best computational imaging algorithms had been applied; all the state-of-the-art image combination methods were used ... and the best photos we had were just a few pixels. When we talk about extrasolar planets, where ranges are measured in light years instead of astronomical units, the prospects for imaging the planet are much worse. We're lucky to know that a planet is there - one single pixel! It's far beyond our best current technologies to actually see what the planet looks like, let alone to image features or structures on its surface.
If you wanted to start playing around with theoretical physics - what could we image if we had no constraints on our telescope... suppose we could build a telescope whose collecting area had a diameter measured in A.U.s? Suppose we ignore the engineering challenges, and only concern ourselves with known limits of optical physics. Would it buy us anything to build a telescope mirror the size of the entire solar system? There are other problems besides angular resolution. The optical depth of interstellar space is non-zero: light is attenuated, and refracted, and distorted, by stray dust and atoms floating around in the cosmos. And the planet's atmosphere might not be transparent either! There are issues related to noise - there really might be very few photons arriving in our direction. We can be very quantitative about these limitations; but the reality is, long before those laws of physics dominate the problem-space for imaging extrasolar planets, the practical details of building such a device would manifest. We cannot build an optically-smooth mirror of such a size. We could not aim it or stabilize it. These are real problems of material science, control engineering, and optics - not to mention economics!
So instead of hypotheticals, take a look at what real imaging scientists do to solve more tractable problems: we use stochastic signal processing - statistics and math - to improve image quality. We use adaptive optics and active control to build better machinery. We study advanced materials to build more perfect glass for reflective and refractive optics. We go back to core principles of mathematics to formalize optimal solutions to optical questions about focus, color, illuminants, and the imaging condition. We really have entered a fascinating time - the era of computational photography - because it is now easier to build powerful computers out of silicon than to build powerful optics out of silica. This is how we are going to image in the future - whether we are photographing distant astronomical objects or nearby domestic events. You can bet that if there are any intelligent E.T.s out there on some distant world, they probably learn more about our planet by using a computer than a telescope.
Nimur (talk) 05:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
So what you're saying is...Hack the planets? Face-smile.svg -- (talk) 07:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I think what I'm saying is, I once read a book called Basic Earth Imaging, expecting to learn how to photograph Earth from space. I was still coming down off a high where I thought I might be going to the moon, and I was seeking some rad photo tips. It took me at least a few chapters before I even realized that the "imaging" exemplified in that book did not use visible light. (I now recognize this failure-of-comprehension as one of my most stubborn academic accomplishments). It took a few more chapters and a couple of years of more math to realize that arbitrary distinctions between types of waves doesn't make any difference for imaging.
It's a good thing that humans have already developed the technology to cluster, register, and synthesize composites from hundreds of millions of individual conventional photographs...
Nimur (talk) 14:53, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Would it ever be practical to use a telescope to look into Earth's past ?[edit]

OK, 2000 light years is not going to happen, but how about the very recent past, like a few minutes ago ? For example, if we had a huge telescope on Mars, could we have used it to find which way the MH370 plane had turned when it disappeared from RADAR (if Mars was facing that side of Earth at the time). I'm still rather skeptical. By the time we could construct such a telescope on Mars, I'd expect us to have enough satellites around Earth, recording every moment, that those would provide much better info. StuRat (talk) 16:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Recall that every picture is a picture of the past [24] ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:16, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah... That... --Jayron32 16:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
When you look at your reflection in the bathroom mirror - you're seeing yourself as you looked about three or four nanoseconds in the past. So, yes!
BUT no matter how big or how far away you place the mirror, you can never see anything back here on earth that happened before the day you launched it. So no matter how fast or how far you flung it, you wouldn't be able to see what happened to MH370 because that happened before the mirror was launched. The reason for this is that the sunlight that reflected off of MH370 on March 7th (~6 months ago) is already about half a light year from Earth - and speeding outwards at the speed of light. Since we can't launch our mirror at greater than lightspeed, it can never catch up with the light from MH370 in order to reflect it back towards us. The only thing we might be able to do would be to find a gigantic natural reflector out there someplace and wait for the MH370 light to bounce off of it and head back to Earth. That's really only a theoretical possibility - it doesn't seem remotely likely in practice.
We could indeed speculatively build a giant telescope on Mars and use it to record pictures of ourselves as we were somewhere between 4 and 24 minutes ago (depending on where Earth and Mars are in their orbits) - and by the time they'd been transmitted back to us, it would be like having a camera looking 8 to 48 minutes into the past.
Of course such an insanely high-resolution telescope would only be able to record a tiny area of the Earth's surface at a time, and for a good part of the year, it would be looking onto the night side of Earth, which might not be of much use. Another practical problem is that if you suddenly realised that something important happened (say) 1 minute ago, it would be too late to command the Mars Telescope to look towards that event because your radio signal to tell the telescope to move would arrive one minute AFTER the light you wanted it to capture. When you consider all of those things, it might just be easier to install a camera here on earth in the area you care about and simply video-tape the images for later viewing!
Interestingly though - you probably could do this kind of thing with sound waves. Imagine a very sensitive, highly directional microphone, maybe hovering in a drone aircraft high above a city. You could use it to listen to conversations that happened in the recent past because your commands to tell it where to point the microphone would travel much faster than the sound waves you want it to listen to. If the thing was hovering a mile above the ground, you could theoretically listen in to conversations that happened about five seconds ago. I'm not sure that really helps! SteveBaker (talk) 18:36, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
How would it know where to look for something specific? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Baseball Bugs (talkcontribs) 17:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Right, by the time you told the telescope where to look, the interesting event you were hoping to capture has already shot past the telescope, since your communications and the light from the event of interest travel at the same speed. So this would only work if the telescope were looking everywhere at all times, and at that point you may as well just have them orbiting Earth, not far away. Someguy1221 (talk) 09:42, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
And even that doesn't take into account the probability of clouds blocking the view. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
When in doubt, say "wormholes". True, it would make more sense to just wormhole right back to the past, but as an author you can plop that plot device down wherever you feel like, and nobody's likely to make off with it. Wnt (talk) 20:04, 29 August 2015 (UTC)


Did the Kriegslok have a mechanical stoker, or did they have to shovel on the coal by hand? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 05:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

From our German article, this photo seems to suggest that the Class 52 did not have a mechanical stoker; and the DRG Class 45 were only outfitted with a Rostbeschicker many years later (after 1950). Nimur (talk) 06:46, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 08:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Not mentioned in our article is the fact that mechanical stokers were hardly ever used in the UK (or I suspect, the rest of Europe). Perhaps due to the smaller size of engines used here or because a skilled fireman could distribute the coal more efficiently? I'm still looking for a source to confirm this. Alansplodge (talk) 19:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Placing telescopes on the Moon[edit]

This would seem to have some advantages:

1) Almost no atmosphere to distort the image.

2) Low gravity would make it easier to do maintenance, as tools, etc., don't float away, as in space, but they are also are much lighter than on Earth.

3) Would be easier to use electricity to rotate the telescope than in space, where any movement causes the "equal and opposite reaction" problem, requiring counter weights, etc. The Moon would be the counterweight, instead.

4) Nuclear power would be less dangerous, as you wouldn't have to worry about an old satellite falling to Earth and spreading radiation in the Earth's atmosphere.

5) If used during lunar night, that would ensure no nearby dust particles illuminated by sunlight. (Is this a problem on Hubble ? If so, do they prefer to use it during Earth night ? That would mean each observation period would be rather short on Hubble, as it's orbital period around Earth is short.)


A) Would have to rotate telescope to account for Moon's rotation. The Moon rotates more slowly than Earth, so this would be less of a problem than Earth-based telescopes. Space-based telescopes might have no rotation at all, though.

B) The big disadvantage is getting to and from the Moon. Much tougher than getting to and from Hubble, for example. Still, not something we haven't done before (45 years ago). Also, might be good practice for sending people to Mars some day. We could set up a station there for astronomers, if we decide that's important in prepping for Mars.

C) Solar panels could only be used during lunar day.

So, is there any such proposal ? StuRat (talk) 16:36, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Proposed, implemented, completed in 1972 during Apollo 16. Here's a photo of Charlie Duke setting it up. Here's our article, Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Nimur (talk) 16:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Nice, unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, the 15 year-old APOD page has some link rot issue. The scope is still there, but I don't think it can phone home... SemanticMantis (talk) 16:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
It could not be remotely controlled; and even if it could be, it was built using digital electrooptical imaging technologies of the 1970s... in other words, even though it had an electronic photocathode, it required photographic film to store images. This telescope was specifically intended to be operated by astronauts and its photographs were captured on film that had to be hand-carried back to Earth. Nimur (talk) 16:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
(EC)Google scholar is your friend here. Lots of people have thought about putting telescopes on the moon. Most of the hits here [25] are directly relevant, a few are spurious and are instead about lunar imaging, but I think you can sort that out. Here's one concrete "proposal", in that someone proposed something [26] at a NASA workshop. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
...Exactly. It's one of those things that has been so thoroughly studied, over and over and over by experts for literally centuries, right up until today, when we are actually able to build the technology and execute on it. The fact that this is not a top priority for NASA today seems to imply that a lunar observatory is counterindicated by that expert analysis of cost-benefit. Nimur (talk) 16:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yup, some info on the politics and cost/benefits of putting humans on the moon again at Constellation_program#Budget_and_cancellation. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Earlier this summer, I linked to Charles Bolden's talk at Keck on the roadmap for American space exploration. That video, and the website (which always contains a link to the present Mission Statement, the Strategic Plan, and so on) are great places to start. Our imaginations are wonderful things, but space exploration requires imagination modulated by reality - and that's what lets us really push the boundaries of human knowledge. Nimur (talk) 16:58, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
It's really hard for me to see a good reason for taking a telescope to the Moon. A telescope in space can be pointed any direction at any time, can be exposed to a constant amount of sunlight for consistent temperature, can be extremely lightweight once unfolded in the absence of any gravity, and could even (with sufficiently good control...) separate into entirely separate pieces with nothing but space in between for long focal lengths or accurate starshades. The only advantage the Moon would seem to have is that it's a source of raw materials, if you have a good robot infrastructure in place, but still, why not shoot the materials up into space for assembly? Wnt (talk) 17:05, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Many moons ago Scientific American had a cover story of a lunar synthetic aperture interferometer telescope called LOUISA (Lunar Optical-UV-IR Synthesis Array.) The Moon is nice for setting up an array of small telescopes because the surface is geologically stable. Though I suspect the advent of adaptive optics takes away a lot of the need for going off-Earth (for visible light that is, IR and UV still need to be done outside the atmosphere.) (talk) 18:12, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Are you limiting your question to optical telescopes? Far side of the Moon#Potential discusses the placement of a radio telescope there. NASA Sites Lunar Far Side For Low-Frequency Radio Telescope (Forbes, Aug 2013) describes the the far side of the moon as "the most radio quiet spot in the inner solar system". -- ToE 18:33, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. The far side will shield it from noise (from say) American truckers going: “Ah, breaker one-nine, this here's the Rubber Duck. You gotta copy on me... yahoo we've got a convoy ”--Aspro (talk) 18:42, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Why is skin more protective than mucosal membranes?[edit]

Why is skin more protective than mucosal membranes for some pathogens? What makes them more protective? Is it because they are thicker? Is it because of their composition or structure? (talk) 19:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The skin has additional layers of cells which provide additional protection. There are several, but the toughest is probably the Stratum corneum, the so-called "horny layer" that consists of dead and dessicated Epidermis cells, and has high concentrations of keratin. Mucous membranes are not properly skin, lacking the structure of skin, and consisting instead of Epithelium (the same cells that line each of your internal organs) along with types of mucus-producing cells called goblet cells. Despite being exposed to open air in some places (like the lining of the nose and the genitals) these mucous membranes aren't skin; the place where mucous membranes meet the skin are called Mucocutaneous zones. --Jayron32 20:09, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Skin is thicker and more resilient. Your skin is full of keratin, which makes it elastic and waterproof. Sweat and sebum (skin oils) inhibit microbe growth and physically trap microbes so they can be shed. And, your normal benign skin flora compete for resources with any harmful pathogens, limiting their growth. -- (talk) 20:15, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That makes sense. Sucking one's thumbs or biting one's nails is disgusting and unsanitary. And yet, people lick open wounds, suck thumbs, and bite nails. Why do people do bad habits? (talk) 20:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Kind of curious though that these habits like nose-picking and nail-biting always seem to target the parts of the body where a pathogen can be exposed to bodily secretions and dry out a while. It's as if the habit were trying to arrange some manner of inoculation with an inactivated pathogen. But I don't know that... Wnt (talk) 11:06, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Licking wounds may provide moisture which will aid in the healing process. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:31, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
See lysozyme and wound licking for our relevant articles. Tevildo (talk) 22:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Is 3D printing really "printing"?[edit]

I checked the archives and 3D printing#Terminology and methods; the former had an instance of someone referring to "3D 'printing'". My question: is 3D printing really printing in a meaningful sense? Isn't it really more like small-scale, adaptable manufacturing? --BDD (talk) 20:19, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Words mean what speakers and listeners understand them to mean. Insofar as the term is nearly universally understood to mean the process so described in our article, that's exactly what it means, and it is 100% the correct term. The mistaken belief that words can only mean what they used to mean, and thus language can never change, is called the etymological fallacy and the fallacy is an important part of that term for a reason. --Jayron32 20:24, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
3D printing is done using a printing type process for each layer so yes 3D printing is a very apt name for the process. On the other hand having a robot drill out shapes or use a lathe or punching things out or molding has nothing in common with printing. Dmcq (talk) 20:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I think it's an appropriate word here. The real difference between an inkjet printer and a 3D printer is that there is a third direction of movement...some of the liquid resin printers work by drawing a sequence of 2D images - a lot like a laser printer. But if we had to find a different word then maybe "3D plotter" might make more sense than 3D printer.
But as Jayron says - this is the name that we've adopted - it doesn't have to make sense - and that's that. It's common to re-purpose words - what makes a computer "mouse" be anything like Mus musculus? Why do we still call letters "upper case" and "lower case" now that we don't have a nice wooden case of metal type on the upper shelf of a typesetter's desk for capital letters and a separate case of type on a lower shelf for the rest? Where is the disk-shaped object in a solid-state disk drive? Why does the key that nowadays ends a paragraph, or enters data into a form called "RETURN" - well, "Carriage Return" - returning the carriage on a typewriter. Some keyboards label it "ENTER"...which makes more sense - but change is slow to happen.
Language is made up on the fly...and not always in the most sensible way. SteveBaker (talk) 04:06, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
3D plotter might be an appropriate name for the ones which extrude plastic and draw shapes rather than doing 2D images one on top of the other, I guess though they tend to work in terms of layers of 2D images at the moment. It would be interesting to see a 3Doodler driven by computer. Dmcq (talk) 14:25, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
The term 3D "printing" is about as appropriate as "dialing" your telephone. But inappropriateness never stopped people from screwing with the language. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
3D printers are not really printing. In the same way, submarines are not really swimming. --Yppieyei (talk) 15:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Stellar sized black holes, occasional collision with supermassivemassive black holes[edit]

Hello, I've certainly read popular science accounts recently of two large (megasolar mass)black holes orbiting each other and expected to collide sometime in the distant future. It would seem to me more common, enough that it could be seen a few times in a human lifespan, to happen that stellar sized black holes would be in the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole at a galactic center, and from time to time the smaller one actually gets "swallowed." Have there been verified observations of this?--I presume there are not verified observations of such things yet, but maybe there are published "candidate" observations where what was seen is hypothesized to be a stellar mass black hole swallowed by a supermassive one? What type of phenomena might be expected to be seen by telescopes from such an event, which might be a fairly hohum event from the viewpoint of the supermassive black hole? (I've read stuff already about spacetime dislocations in the case of merging black holes of similar sizes.) I would also be interested in information about white dwarfs or neutron stars being swept into a supermassive black hole, since those are also stellar sized. thanks. Rich (talk) 04:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

This source would suggest that there are indeed several candidate binary black holes, but in all candidate pairs, both holes are of the supermassive variety. A few are mentioned in Binary black hole. I assume these are just much easier to detect. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:39, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I've read that black hole mergers should lead to gravity waves - according to binary black hole they can also "kick" themselves right out of a galaxy by emitting gravity waves in one direction, which is quite surprising to me.
This may stray from the topic a bit, but I'm curious: are the event horizons of two black holes orbiting one another always at the same gravitational potential energy level? Wnt (talk) 11:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Vacuum energy[edit]

-- (talk) 09:40, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

We have an article on vacuum energy. Someguy1221 (talk) 09:43, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Some dumb questions about genetics[edit]

I've never taken a biology class but I've been self teaching myself the basics via books and papers by Dawkins, Trivers, Pinker, Dennett, etc. as well as relevant Wikipedia articles (several of which are excellent btw). But I have some nagging questions that I think are so basic its hard to find direct answers so I thought I would try here. BTW, I know a lot of computer science so that is the way I tend to try and understand this stuff as analogs to things I know from CS, which may be part of my confusion. Anyway here goes:

1) Difference between an Allele and a Gene. The Gene article says: "Genes can acquire mutations in their sequence, leading to different variants, known as alleles" This to me sounds like a Gene is equivalent to a property in object-oriented terms and the allele is equivalent to the possible values for that property. So if I was modelling a person as a class I might have a property called hairColor with the possible legal values {brown, blonde, red}. So hairColor would be (if I'm interpreting this correctly) the name of the gene and the possible alleles would be {brown, blonde, red}. Is that correct? BTW, I realize its seldom this simple and there is usually not a 1:1 correspondence between genotype and phenotype but ignoring that for these simple examples.

2) Difference between selection driven by mutations that change the genotype vs. those that just select alleles from existing phenotype. Sticking with my overly simple example above it seems to me that hairColor could be selected for in two ways. Suppose that the climate changes and people with blonde hair are much harder for predators to spot. Suppose it is so dramatic that it makes a major shift in the survivability of humans and that in a few generations all humans have blonde hair. Nothing has changed in the genotype but we still have selection and a change in the species as all humans end up with blonde hair. Suppose on the other hand that there is a mutation resulting in striped hair and that striped hair gives humans natural camaflauge similar to what has been hypothesized for Zebras. Eventually all humans have striped hair after a few generations. My question is, are there terms to distinguish between these two types of selection? It seems to me in the biology books I've been reading this distinction is usually ignored and the two cases are treated as both examples of "mutations" (e.g., the quote above from the Wikipedia article) but I would say its only in the second case where the genotype changes to allow striped hair that we have a mutation driving the selection where as in the first case there is no mutation. Are there any statistics on how often selection is of one type vs. another?

3) Can genes code for continuous (analog) values or only discrete digital ones? Suppose we have a gene for height. Is it possible that the specific value that gene encodes for individuals can vary as a real number (e.g., for normal humans a value from 5 feet to 7) or does the gene only code for discrete values like {short, medium, tall} and its the environment and other interacting factors that result in two people who both have the "tall gene" still being different in height?

Hope those questions make sense, sorry if they are kind of long winded, I realize I need to get into a class where I can talk to someone one on one but I've had some health issues that make that difficult so thought Wikipedia might be helpful in the mean time. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 15:03, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

On 1 you're correct. An allele is a particular sequence of DNA. A gene is a collective term for the position on DNA that usually has something like that sequence. Now these aren't actually defined in terms of computer science - you can have a gene duplication event where (I might say) "one allele has two copies of a gene in a head-to-tail arrangement", which is probably hella confusing. The point is though, organisms can't live with totally scrambled chromosomes (at least, not yet), so there's always someplace you can go back or forward on the DNA strand and find it's a copy of the sequence every other organism of that type has. And then you can define that section, whether it is a null allele with a DNA deletion or a gene duplication or some more complicated scramble, as an "allele", and say that one organism has that allele while the other has the boring allele with one copy of the gene you expect.
On 2 I am afraid I missed the distinction between your scenarios. I think you're looking for the difference between positive selection for new (or newly relevant) alleles that turn out to be better under a specific circumstance and neutral mutation, as opposed to negative selection that removes undesirable changes. There are even specific bad mutations that happen over and over again, like Fragile X, due to the underlying mechanical instability of DNA at, say, a trinucleotide repeat. There are specific statistical tests that can discern, rather approximately, between these modes of selection. Wnt (talk) 15:15, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
On 3 height seems to be affected by a number of genes - yes if one could lock babies away and raise them exactly the same one might just about be able to detect it is discrete but no-ones going to do that! There are also some characteristics which have a gene which can have a unit repeated which may be used for fine tuning as a number of them are implicated in mental diseases when they are outside the normal range - see Trinucleotide repeat disorder. Dmcq (talk) 17:43, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Very useful. I think on 2 there are just terms I'm not familiar with yet and once I take a class it will be clearer. One thing I find interesting is how much I just inevitably try to fit things into what I already know, for example I had a confusion earlier because I thought that genes could only work at "compile time" rather than at "run time"... of course neither expression really even makes sense for human beings since we aren't programs but I just find for me at least I inevitably start thinking of those kinds of analogies as I read something on a new topic. Anyway, thanks again. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 18:06, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Your metaphor isn't all that far off ... after all, DNA presents a sequence of information that is converted into RNA, which you might call a sort of "object code", complete with compile-time switches (alternate splicing), which is then converted into the protein which is a sort of "executable file". The caveat being that as you say, they're real molecules, so sometimes catalytic RNAs have direct activity, or regulatory ncRNAs do something without being translated; indeed, sometimes the DNA itself has important characteristics like origin of replication, telomere, etc. But the sense that there are a lot of huge pieces of software being taken for granted in the process, like ribosomes and spliceosomes and RNA polymerases, each with their own sort of set of options which can lead to 'interesting' results, that's real. Wnt (talk) 18:19, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I think our OP's failed analogy is that DNA would be responsible for the construction of the animal (or plant/whatever) - but once it's built ("compiled"), the way it performs would be determined solely by that initial construction phase. This is clearly NOT the case (and therefore the analogy is a poor one) because DNA is the blueprint for a whole bunch of proteins and enzymes that are continuously regenerated as they are used. So DNA most certainly continues to have a profound effect on living things long after their "construction" phase is complete. Perhaps a better way to consider it is that DNA is the software - and it runs both during the initialization phase and inside the main loop. There isn't really an analogy for "compiling" - it's machine code, and we don't have the high level sources (and you know what a pain THAT can be!)...DNA is also exceedingly badly written code - it's modified continually by (in effect) random number generators and continual copy-pasting between programs - plus the occasional moving of a few lines of code from one place to another.
From a programmer's perspective, it's truly remarkable that any living things survive at all - but when you see some of the horrible 'hacks' that have been done on the way from the primordial cell to the present day...a software engineer just has to shudder and look away!
One of my favorite "go-to" examples is the Recurrent laryngeal nerve. Our vocal chords are evolved from the gills of fish - and in a fish there is a nerve that runs from the brain to the left gill and another to the right. As it happens, the fishes' heart lies somewhere between the brain and the gills and both nerves have to take a slight diversion to avoid it. However, as we evolved, the two gills became our vocal chords and in the gradual evolution of the larynx and the narrowing of the neck and the movement of the heart down into our chests, on of the two nerves became entangled around an artery. Hence one of the two nerves that controls our voices goes directly from brain to larynx - and the other goes down the neck, around the heart and back UP the neck to the larynx. This is only mildly inconvenient for most animals - but the poor giraffe has one side of the larynx connected via an 18" nerve and the other one by a 20 foot nerve. The resulting timing differences down the nerve fibres make it almost impossible to synchronise the poor animals vocalizations - and (unsurprisingly) don't make a whole lot of fancy noises.
That's such a classic example of really terrible programming - where an old piece of code really, really needs to be just want to dive in there and refactor that tiny little subroutine to fix it so that the poor giraffes can communicate better. There are many, MANY other examples of that in nature. IMHO, it's the best reason to deny the existence of an intelligent designer...nobody in his right mind would have deliberately designed the giraffe that way...but, hey, the guy only had seven days to write the whole damned thing - I suppose some bugs and inefficiencies are inevitable!
SteveBaker (talk) 02:28, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

voice announcement of circuitbreaker[edit]

circuit breaking voice announcement by circuit breaker for project — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:03, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

This sort of project will need a microcontroller. It needs a way of getting the state of the circuit breaker (closed, tripped, or switched off - this will need some external electronics), a way of finding out when the breaker trips (polling or interrupt-driven?), and a way of sending out the voice announcement (a separate device, or on-board? Loudspeaker, telephone, or Internet?). Tevildo (talk) 08:51, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
You get plug-in devices that beep very loudly when their power is removed. They are normally used by electricians to quickly determine which breaker controls the circuit they are about to work on. LongHairedFop (talk) 11:02, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Fuel consumption of front vehicle during tailgating[edit]

During tailgating, the vehicle in the back is saving energy, however, is the vehicle in the front spending more? --Scicurious (talk) 15:26, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The vehicle in front also expends less energy, because the tailgating vehicle will reduce its aerodynamic drag.--Shantavira|feed me 16:49, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
See drafting (aerodynamics). -- (talk) 19:13, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
The space in front of a moving vehicle is at higher pressure than the ambient air - and the space behind it is at lower pressure than the ambient air. The net drag force on the vehicle is dependant on the difference in pressure between the front and the back. But if someone is tailgating sufficiently closely, then the air between the two vehicles is just moving along at the same speed that they are and so long as the distance between them remains constant is more or less at ambient pressure. So the front vehicle saves fuel because there isn't as much pressure differential from front to back, and the tailgating vehicle gains for the exact same reason. The details of the relative sizes and aerodynamics of the two vehicles matters - as does things like turbulence and the Bernoulli effect - anything involving non-laminar flow is tough to do the physics on...but you would expect there to be at least some savings for both vehicles.
SteveBaker (talk) 02:07, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Many vehicles where designed as moving containers or boxes benefit from aerodynamic drafting, a German translation in word by word is the "wind shaddow". Ostraciidae, called boxfishes, inspired a better desing to the automotive industry. Many customs use a much wider windshield than tail windows. The area of plain tail windows is gone. Aerodynamic drafting is a violation of safety restrictions, even a trailer is not close enough. Articulated buses use gaiters for several reasons. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 10:07, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
@Hans Haase: I am having a hard time trying to decipher your message, not to speak about how it could relate to my question or other posts, if at all. --Scicurious (talk) 12:13, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Boot camp and circuit[edit]

What is the difference between a boot camp class and a circuit class? They seem the same to me. Both work on power, strength over the whole body and cardio. (talk) 18:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't believe either has a particular formal definition (it's not like Spinning or Zumba, which have programmes prescribed by the companies that own those trademarks). A given gym or instructor might set a different programme for those two classes, but how they differentiate the two is up to them. If you're thinking about the offerings of a specific gym, you'd have to ask them. You might find bootcamp is early in the morning, is the more intense of the two, or simply is outdoors and contains more running. But you're quite right that they're often very similar classes. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:43, 29 August 2015 (UTC)


Why is it that fitness drops significantly when you haven't trained for a while and also picks up quite quickly when you start again? Whereas people often say those who have never trained before & start have a much tougher time building up Fitness? (talk) 19:16, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

You will find some relevant information at Cardiorespiratory fitness and Physical exercise. Dolphin (t) 07:10, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Dealing with the polarity of a DC plug[edit]

Normally, DC connectors, contrary to AC plugs, force the user to connect in a certain way.

If it were not possible to assure physcially that the device gets connected to the power source at the right polarity, how could we deal with it?

Could an electric component just "guess" what pole is connected to what cable? Could a device just adapt cable A (or B) to the + or - that it's getting? That would imply that it does not matter whether the user connects A to + or A to -. --Scicurious (talk) 12:22, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

You could use a Diode bridge as it will force the polarity to the connected device stays constant even if the source is changing its polarity like AC or swapped DC cable (talk) 12:43, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

ROC curves[edit]

Sorry about cross-posting, but I suspect that some of the contributors to the Science Desk would be able to help me with a question that I've posted at the Maths desk. Please answer at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Mathematics#ROC_curves. Thanks. NorwegianBlue talk 14:36, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


August 21[edit]

Polynomial expansion[edit]

Looking for Taylor expansion of (1 + a + b)^n. Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:47, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

If n is a positive integer, see our article on trinomial expansion.Gandalf61 (talk) 08:39, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
I expect it to also generalize to complex n like with the binomial series.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:33, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

August 24[edit]

Concatenated primes[edit]

Consider the sequence of numbers given by concatenating the first n integers in reverse order (1, 21, 321, 4321...). The first prime value in the sequence occurs when n = 82. I haven't found any more for n <= 500. Are there any more prime numbers in the sequence? Are there infinite primes in the sequence? (talk) 17:24, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't know - but the OEIS is a great resource for this kind of thing - see their page and refs on the sequence here [27]. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Heuristically there should be an infinite number of primes in the sequence: We know that a(n) isn't divisible by 2 and 5, but apart from that it probably behaves like a random integer for primality testing purposes, so by the Prime number theorem the probability that a(n) is prime is approximately \frac{2}{1}\cdot\frac{5}{4}\cdot\frac{1}{\ln(a(n))}. Excluding the range you've already tested, the expected number of primes remaining in the sequence is \sum_{n=501}^\infty 2.5/\ln(a(n)). Given that a(n) < 10^{n(\log_{10}(n) + 1)} and that \sum_{n=2}^\infty \frac{1}{n\ln(n)} diverges, the expected number of primes is infinite. To get an idea how far you'd have to search to have a 50% chance of finding the next example, you could try solving \sum_{n=501}^N 2.5/\ln(a(n)) \geq 1 for N with a computer. Egnau (talk) 22:42, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
oeis:A176024 says the next term is for n = 37765, found by Eric W. Weisstein in 2010. It has 177719 digits and is only a probable prime so far. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:09, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
The corresponding sequence base 2 contains primes for n = 2, 3, 4, 7 at least. --JBL (talk) 23:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Up to n=1000 we have 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 13, 25, 97, 110. Strangely, this sequence isn't in OEIS. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 10:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Pentagonal Tiling[edit]

At Pentagonal tiling there is a list of the 15 known "monohedral" tilings, which I understand means that all pentagons are identical, also allowing mirror images. Then there is a section "Dual uniform tilings", which shows three more tilings: Prismatic pentagonal tiling, Cairo pentagonal tiling and Floret pentagonal tiling Why don't these three qualify to be in the same category as the previous 15? They are all made up of identical pentagons, aren't they? (talk) 02:03, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

These three are special cases of the 15. Their symmetry is higher, and gemeometry is defined by their dual uniform tilings, 3 of the uniform tilings. Tom Ruen (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. The article is not at all clear about this. I will make further comments on the article talk page. (talk) 11:30, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I see someone has already clarified this in the article. Thanks to whoever did that. (talk) 11:38, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
You can find all changes to the article with their authors in the page history: --CiaPan (talk) 06:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

The 'roots' of functional inversion....[edit]

Has anyone tried to generalise the notion of functional inversion to a full phase rotation the way negation was generalised through complex numbers to arbitrary roots.

So, I guess, you'd have some equivalent to a square-root of inversion, which would be analogous to multiplying by i in C or rotation by Pi.

This way you could take arbitrary 'inversion-roots' which subdivide the transformational/algorithmic 2pi of 'phase' between a function and its inverse.

I guess the main question is whether or not there can be conceived some kind of state/extent of orthogonality to what we currently consider to be functional operations or transformations.

Perhaps this only makes sense in the context of quantum algorithmics where phase is preserved generally by operators, but it's not clear to me that 'pure' categorical generalisation of function are actually strongly bound to classical information theory or quantum. These seem to relate to the fundamental discrete unit of information, but is there an equivalent fundamental discrete unit of operation that comes in classical and quantum (complex probabilistic) forms?

Kindest regards, -nsh (talk) 22:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

I think Functional square root might have relevant information. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 23:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

"There will come a day when I'm either an ancestor to all living humans, or to none of them."[edit]

"There will come a day when I'm either an ancestor to all living humans, or to none of them." [28]

Does the math really work out behind this?

What if I, and all my offsprings, only have one child? Wouldn't the number of my living descendants be limited to the single digits at any given time? Given that the total fertility rate in my country is already 1.5 and is dropping fast, this scenario is becoming more likely by the day.My other car is a cadr (talk) 03:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

You are assuming that you will continue to have descendants and that other people also will. That's fine as a hypothetical case if the population remains large, but what the author might have in mind is that eventually our species will die out, and presumably not all in the same instant. If not, then there will be a time when there is a last human L. Then for any particular human H in our time, either L (now constituting the entire species) is a descendant of H, or L isn't. QED. -- (talk) 04:01, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The day arrives only almost surely, that is, with probability 1. HTH, Robinh (talk) 05:30, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
This speaks to the concept of Most recent common ancestor, but I am not sure if I agree with the sentiment here. Just looking at the picture from the article
you can see plenty of "individuals" who are an ancestor to neither "all" or "none" living humans. So that day will surely come when the species dies out entirely, but until then, I don't see any reason why there can't be several "streams" of descendants during the lifetime of our species. Vespine (talk) 05:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Identical ancestors point is more relevant here than Most recent common ancestor. If our species continues for thousands of generations and doesn't get extreme separation like space colonies without travel between them then it does seem very likely that all currently living people will either be an ancestor to all living humans, or to none of them. The scenario of getting exactly one reproducing child for numerous generations in a row is extremely unlikely. Over thousands of generations your descendants are almost certain to either die out, or branch out until they are all living humans. With our current travel activity and single planet, it wouldn't surprise me if it only took hundreds of generations. PrimeHunter (talk) 06:02, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

When the human species is extinct then you are an ancestor to all living humans, and to none of them. Bo Jacoby (talk) 13:32, 27 August 2015 (UTC).

The meaning of the strip is discussed at AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:39, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
@vespine: your scenario is possible, but has probability zero if the species continues forever (and if it doesn't, then you are the ancestor of noone). Robinh (talk) 06:09, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Joining dots with lines[edit]

An arbitrary number of dots are joined by an arbitrary number of wiggly lines -- any number of lines can converge on any point, and the lines can be as wiggly and convoluted as desired, provided only that they do not cross one another. Is it always possible to rearrange the dots so that the lines can all become non-intersecting straight lines while preserving the essential structure of the diagram (i.e. which points are connected to which others)? I feel the answer should be 'yes', but I'm not 100% sure. (talk) 11:49, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Fary's theorem, I think. (talk) 12:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, it seems to be more or less the same, although I see now that in my description I did not explicitly eliminate some cases that would cause the theorem not to apply (and the straight-line rearrangement to be obviously impossible), namely "loops" and more than one line connecting one pair of points. (talk) 17:04, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

ROC curves[edit]

I would appreciate your feedback about whether my understanding of ROC-curves is correct. I also have a couple of questions at the end. As this post clearly shows, my mathematical capabilities are limited, so please be gentle, and cautious about introducing terminology that I might have trouble understanding. If necessary, please translate my statements into more conventional terminology.

In my understanding, a ROC curve is a plot of true positive rates (TPR, Y-axis) vs false positive rates (FPR, X-axis), when the cutoff (CO) between what is considered a positive and a negative observation is varied such that it covers all reasonable values. The tangent at a given point (CO), can be estimated as


hence TPR(CO)/FPR(CO) is the derived function of the ROC curve, and the ROC-curve the antiderivative of the function TPR(CO)/FPR(CO).

In the following, I'll use the ROC curve in a medical context, and let 'm' represent the observed value of a diagnostic test, for which we have a ROC curve availabe. Then

TPR(CO)/FPR(CO) = p(m = CO ± eps|Disease)/p(m = CO ± eps|No disease) = the likelihood ratio function.

Q1: Am I right in thinking that the probability ratio in the previous line should be the probablity of 'm' being close to CO (in my notation ± eps), and not greater than CO?

Q2: I've read a couple of places (such as here: Choi BC (1998) Am J Epidemiol 148:1127–32. PMID 9850136) that it is valid to draw lines between several points on the ROC curve, say corresponding to "negative", "weak positive" and "strong positive", and that the slope of each line is a valid estimate of the likelihood ratio for test results that fall within the corresponding interval. Sounds reasonable, but exactly why is that so?

Q3: I've read many places (including in our article) that the area under the curve corresponds to the probability of a randomly chosen diseased individual getting a higher test result than a randomly chosen individual without the disease. Again, this sounds reasonable, but exactly why is it so.

Thanks, NorwegianBlue talk 14:32, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


August 25[edit]

First Nations and Native American men and long hair[edit]

I have read several of the articles here and may just have not seen the answer. My query is with respect to First Nations and Native American men having long hair. I know this is culturally important, but am not sure why. Can anyone enlighten me as to the cultural significance? Thanks. (talk) 00:43, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Interesting question! For starters, you can see the Wikipedia article on long hair. There is a brief paragraph or two, under the heading "Native Americans". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. It is a start. I will do some more googling and perhaps will be able to add to the reference above. (talk) 22:16, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

  • There is not one answer, as there are over 500 different tribes, just in the U.S. Some have long hair, some do not. Some tribes favored scalplock or roach style. Some had free-flowing long hair, some braids. There is no single style. GregJackP Boomer! 23:40, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

It's the very first item on TVTropes' Hollywood Indian Dress Code. This has been the rule since before many Natives today were alive, and old Hollywood is the leading source for images of "traditional". Notwithstanding those who do it for other reasons, many are just trying to "keep it real". They're not black enough for dreadlocks, white enough for crewcuts or brownish-yellow enough for bowlcuts. According to Hollywood, not me.
Part of the reason longhaired Hollywood Indians took over is long hair flows dramatically in the wind, bounces dramatically on a horse and whips back dramatically when a cowboy shoots them. Works for pro wrestlers, too, of any race. If you're a Hollywood Indian Princess, you get more flowers per square inch and it can hang over your nipples for a PG rating (or many moons ago, to appease the thunder gods). InedibleHulk (talk) 02:51, August 28, 2015 (UTC)

Whole Earth Catalog copyright[edit]

I'm attempting to review an image from Commons, File:Whole Earth Catalog (1975) - Picture fuddling by computer (15418025739).jpg, but I'm missing some relevant copyright information. The Flickr source has a clear cc-by license tag, but that doesn't address everything: this is a photo of a page from the 1975 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. Has anyone a copy of this work that's available to check? If the publisher included a copyright statement, the work is still under copyright, but if not, it's in the public domain. Nyttend (talk) 05:34, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

My copy is in deep storage, but surely still copyright by the Portola Institute, the Point Foundation &/or Penguin Books (distributor in 1975) or Random House (publisher in later years). Perhaps an email to Online Archive of California - Guide to the Whole Earth Catalog Records, 1969-1986? -- Paulscrawl (talk) 05:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
WorldCat record for The (Updated) last whole earth catalog : access to tools - 16th. ed, 1975. Publisher: Point (Foundation) [San Francisco]; Distributor: Penguin. ISBN 9780140035445 - OCLC 1890408 -- Paulscrawl (talk) 06:20, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Did the Whole Earth Catalog reprint content from other publications? That's not my recollection, but I never looked at it much. Look at the right-hand side of the image: this is obviously a letter to the editor of a magazine, and the magazine in question is presumably the one named above the letter: Popular Mechanics. The letter itself mentions Popular Science magazine. I tried a Google Books search for the first 10 words of the short article (as a phrase), and did find it in a magazine. But, curiously, this was Popular Science magazine (specifically, page 56 of the April 1971 issue, as part of Arthur Fisher's "Science Newsfront" column) and not Popular Mechanics, it was at the bottom and not the top of the page, and there wasn't a letter to the editor beside it. Still, it's typographically identical to the one attributed to the Whole Earth Catalog, so presumably the same identical item was published in more than one magazine. To determine whether there was a copyright notice, you'd need to find the first publication. -- (talk) 06:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

WEC usage may fall under fair use, as it added editorial comment and reviews to short extracts, but that does not apply to taking their gleanings of copyright material out of WEC's fair use context. An independent case for fair use would need to be made.
Most likely all editorial content copyright the Point Foundation, at least as of 1985, when the online community The WELL was founded. From p. 142 of Fred Turner's From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. University of Chicago Press. 2006.
"Whatever profits the system made would be split fifty-fifty with the Point Foundation, non-profit owner of the Whole Earth publications. Brand accepted the financial arrangement and took day-to-day responsibility for the system."
I spent an otherwise academically abortive freshman college year pretending to work in the campus library while systematically browsing the library's holdings described in this very edition of The Whole Earth Catalog - a great liberal and liberating education in itself. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 06:57, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Both my copy of the The Last Whole Earth Catalog (1971) and my cherished beat up copy of The Next Whole Earth Catalog (1980) have copyright notices. -Modocc (talk) 11:48, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
In any case you still need to find the first publication of the content. -- (talk) 16:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The content on the left about picture fuddling is from Popular Science and the content on the right is a letter to the catalog from the editor of Popular Mechanics about Popular Science and Popular Mechanics as to which is better. Both of these also appear on page 127 of my 1971 edition. Thus it's a copy violation to photocopy this without permission or fair use rationale even if the originals were free (which these are clearly not) since it is an original composite. --Modocc (talk) 17:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Importance of the United States cabinet[edit]

I have a question about the importance of the cabinet in US politics compared to parliamentary systems like the UK or Australia (where I am). The question is inspired by the aging show the West Wing--that show has (according to wiki) been lauded as fairly realistic (at least in terms of the depiction of US politics and institutions, if not the pure motives of the characters). Anyway, it seems in the show that the cabinet play a very small role in decision-making. Is this accurate? In one episode, President Bartlet says of a cabinet meeting 'Actually, I find these meeting to be a fairly mind-numbing experience, but Leo [chief of staff] assures me that they are Constitutionally required, so let's get it over with'. Is this kind of attitude realistic? I have found some sites describing the US cabinet as having an advisory role, where ultimately the power is with the president and he can pretty much ignore them. Is this true even of the high profile positions, i.e. secretary of state? Thanks. (talk) 08:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

We have an article on the Cabinet of the United States. There is no constitutional requirement for the President to ever meet with his cabinet, though it would be unusual for him not to. Each cabinet member is typically the head of a major federal department and exerts significant control in their respective areas, basically serving as a vessel for the President's authority since he cannot do everything at once. However, they are also entirely under the President's authority, so he may choose to dismiss, override or ignore them at will if he so chooses. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:40, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The main difference with a parliamentary system is that, in the United States, Cabinet as a whole does not really have any specific powers. There is not Prime Minister, so all Secretaries report directly to the President, and there is no provision for decisions to be taken by the Cabinet collectively. There are of course meetings of small groups of Cabinet-members that make critical decisions (think of the members involved in national security issues), but there is nothing similar on a whole-of-cabinet level. Any meetings tend to be symbolic ("I'm convening the whole cabinet to discuss this because it's so important") although the issues are decided elsewhere. This is nicely satirized by Kurt Vonnegut in the novel Jailbird, whose main protagonist is a junior Cabinet member who gets to meet President Richard Nixon exactly once, at such a meeting convened entirely for public relations purposes. --Xuxl (talk) 09:09, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
There is one very important yet never-used Cabinet power: 25th Amendment, section 4. Neutralitytalk 23:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm going to disagree with some of the sentiments that the Cabinet has no authority or power. Policy runs both ways through the Cabinet in the U.S. On the one hand, the Cabinet members meet regularly with the President (as noted, by tradition rather than statute, but that doesn't make it unimportant or illusory. The entire British political system is also built on tradition rather than a written Constitution, and it isn't like power doesn't exist there!) and in those meetings, advise the President on how policy should be shaped in their own areas, as well as general and frank discussions of various issues. People who have the President's ear in that way are very important. Secondly, policy also goes in the other direction. Each Cabinent member is the director of one of the United States federal executive departments, and as such, have a LOT of power in the work those departments do, from implementing policy, to personnel decisions, etc. etc. --Jayron32 09:44, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • As Someguy1221 notes, President Bartlett is quite wrong. The original text of the Constitution doesn't even mention a Cabinet or the heads of the executive departments (or executive departments at all), aside from one spot in Article II providing that the President "may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices". So obviously the executive departments were envisioned, but their heads weren't expected to exercise significant influence. As far as I remember, the executive departments also aren't mentioned in any amendments to the Constitution, aside from Article XXV, which provides for the temporary removal of the President "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide", a provision that's meant for when the President's been physically disabled; this provision was intended for situations like the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, which happened fourteen years after the amendment took effect, but it's never been used. Nyttend (talk) 12:29, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Oh, the confusion caused by our language. One very important thing to remember, and one that often gets missed in these sort of discussions, is the different meanings of the word "constitution". In the basic understanding, the constitution of a national government is its operating principles. Every government on earth, from the UN and national governments, on down to student councils and clubs and the like, has a constitution. If it exists and it has rules on how it operates, and it governs something, it has a constitution. There also exists, sometimes, a document with the title "The Constitution", like the United States Constitution, which is a document which, in one location, spells out most of the really important rules. We can think of these concepts as the "little-c constitution" and the "Big-C Constitution". The important thing about drawing this distinction is that a) You don't need a Big-C Constitution to run a country (the UK has done without one for most of its history, TYVM) and b) even if you have a Big-C Constitution, you don't need to (and it would be quite impossible to) list every single, little rule for how the Government is supposed to work. Even in the U.S., for example, which is in love with writing everything down, there are lots of "constitutional principles" which are not explicit within the Constitution, but are nonetheless important rules for how the nation should be run. Famously, things like judicial review and right to privacy are not in the text, but still are considered constitutional principles. There are, of course, critics adhere to original intent and strict textualism, though of course there will be questions of how to deal with issues that did not exists when the text was written down. What does that mean for us? It means that even though something isn't written down in the Big-C Constitution doesn't mean it isn't a constitutional (little c) issue. --Jayron32 14:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • It is all written down, in the sense that every constitutional principle someone has written on a paper somewhere. After all, it isn't passed down through oral tradition, is it? There aren't bards wandering around preserving laws solely through their song? There is no single document titled The Constitution of the UK, so it has no big-C "Constitution". Like every country, it has a little-c constitution, and like all laws and statutes, they're all written down somewhere. --Jayron32 14:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • We haven't excluded the possibility that some of what is written down is records of existing practices whose origin is lost in time. If judges rely on such indirect evidence or scholarly summaries in the absence of legislation, do such writings become law? —Tamfang (talk) 06:43, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • As individuals, the various Cabinet members (the Secretaries of the various Cabinet level Departments) have a lot of administrative authority and power... as a body, "the Cabinet" is purely an advisory council for the President. Of course, a wise President will seek that advice and follow it ... but nothing requires him to do so. So... I would put it this way: "the Cabinet" as a body, has no designated powers ... but it does have a lot of influence on the decision making of the executive branch (and influence is a form of "power" in itself). Blueboar (talk) 14:10, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • We have to remember that the Australian constitution (relevant because the question was asked by an Australian) is far more similar to the US constitution than are the constitutions of other Commonwealth realms. The issues Jayron raises are comparable to uncodified concepts like the necessity of the government to maintain the confidence of the House of Representatives, but unlike in Australia, pretty much all of the ordinary procedural situations are either written out or considered "optional", i.e. people don't object on constitutional grounds when normal operating procedures aren't followed. For example, if the Senate were to reject a money bill passed by the House of Representatives, difficulty might happen because federal spending would potentially not happen for a while (the term is "government shutdown"), and people would criticise the Senate because the poor federal employees have to wait a little while for a paycheck, but unlike in 1975 in Australia, nobody would object that the Senate's action was fundamentally unconstitutional. Nyttend (talk) 15:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't quite follow this. You say (as I understand it) that Australians generally don't consider a procedural move unconstitutional unless it violates the written constitution, but as I understand it, Malcolm Fraser and his party did adhere to the terms of the written constitution in 1975. --Trovatore (talk) 03:46, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Nobody ever took them to the High Court of Australia to argue otherwise. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:18, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Hypothetically, if such a challenge had been made, what issues were there to raise? Reading the story from an outsider's perspective, it appears to me that, while Kerr may have acted deceptively so that Whitlam wouldn't have him removed before he could remove Whitlam, everything was pretty much done according to the letter of the law. I note in passing that any criticism on the basis that Whitlam's removal was "undemocratic" will have to contend with the fact that Labor lost the resulting election fairly decisively. (Not, certainly, that that is the only possible criticism that could be rendered.) --Trovatore (talk) 05:30, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
A big issue was the Governor General's unprecedented use of the reserve power of dismissing the Prime Minister without advice. As noted in the Advice (constitutional) article, "the convention that the head of state accept ministerial advice is so strong that in ordinary circumstances, refusal to do so would almost certainly provoke a constitutional crisis", and taking such a significant action without advice is also likely to lead to controversy. Nyttend (talk) 03:31, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Conventionally, the only person able to advise the G-G to take such a significant step as dismissing the Prime Minister, is the Prime Minister himself. This happens whenever a general election is won by the Opposition. The Opposition Leader becomes PM, but not until such time as the incumbent PM advises the G-G to terminate his commission, and to commission the OL in his place. In 1975, however, an election was not part of the equation. Kerr dismissed Whitlam without seeking advice. Not from Whitlam, anyway; he would obviously never have advised such a course of action. Kerr had previously sought Whitlam's approval to take advice from the Chief Justice, Sir Garfield Barwick, and that approval was denied, but Kerr went ahead and approached Barwick anyway. Barwick, while now officially neutral, was a former Liberal politician and Attorney-General. He advised Kerr that he had the power to dismiss the PM if he could not obtain supply. I'm not enough of a constitutional lawyer to be able to say whether dismissal of a PM in these circumstances is covered by the written constitution (I suspect not), but it's easy to spot the potential COI problem if anyone had taken a case to the High Court. The Chief Justice would have been sitting in judgment on an action he personally had advised the G-G was within his powers. Or perhaps he would have had to recuse himself, and leave it to his brother justices to cast judgment on their boss's advice. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. But is it not also conventional that a PM who cannot obtain supply is expected to resign? So arguably Whitlam was the first to break convention. --Trovatore (talk) 00:42, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know that much about the Australian conventions but AFAIK it's within the conventions for the PM to call for fresh elections, although what form these should take I'm not sure. In any case, in the specific example of 1975, it's not so simple. Whitlam never really lost supply, Senate deferred the bill rather than defeating it. (And they did so not because they disagreed with the bill, but wanted to force a dissolution.) So if you want to go to a case of who's first to break convention, it would probably be the Senate majority following the advice of Fraser, which isn't to say anyone comes out perfect in the mess. In fact, I'm not even sure whether there is even any convention that a Prime Minister has to either call for fresh elections or resign if they lose supply due to Senate action. While Senate have the power to reject supply bills, it's generally accepted that only the house of representatives can forcefully bring down the government, hence why only they can vote in motions of no/confidence. On possibility is for the government try and use other means to ensure supply [29]. In truth, I think Australia is somewhat rare in modern Westminster style governments in having an upper house capable of completely blocking supply, so there's no simple convention on how to handle it when it happens, but I think it's quite commonly suggested however it should be handled, it's not how it was in 1975, in particular not Kerr's actions (including hiding his plans from Whitlam). Nil Einne (talk) 06:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Trovatore, as Nil Einne says, Supply was never denied, just postponed. Fraser kept insisting Whitlam had to either call a general election or resign, but Whitlam countered that he had the confidence of the lower house, and that an election was for the PM alone to call at a time of his own choosing, and he would not be railroaded into calling one just because the Opposition demanded one. So, no, Whitlam had no duty to resign. If the deadlock had just gone on indefinitely, a time would have come when the government would run out of money. Whitlam could see this looming, and he was starting to have discussions with the banks to finance government operations until Supply could be obtained. It never got to that point, but some say that this apparent plan to govern without Supply was itself reprehensible enough to warrant the governor-general sacking him. Well, Kerr did sack him, but not on that basis. An hour after the dismissal, Supply was granted to the new Fraser government, although most of the Labor senators who voted for Supply had no idea Whitlam was gone and Fraser was now in power. Whitlam didn't tell them (an oversight he lived to regret) and Fraser certainly wasn't going to tell them. He didn't even formally advise the Parliament that he'd been sworn in as PM, until after Supply had been granted. So, there were reprehensible circumstances on both sides. The House immediately passed a motion of no confidence in Fraser, and the Speaker went to the G-G to advise him of this to secure the termination of Fraser's commission, but was kept waiting for a couple of hours while Kerr was having the papers drawn up to have the parliament dissolved. By the time the Speaker was finally ushered into Kerr's office, the Parliament had been dissolved and an election called, and there was no longer any reason for Fraser to resign. So, reprehensible circumstances were not exactly in short supply in those heady days. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:17, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Colonies with political representation in the mother country[edit]

Are there examples of colonies that has fair political representation in the mother country? As in, citizens of the colony could vote in the same general election as the citizens of the mother country.

Just to clarify, I'm not asking about Home rule, where colonials have political representation within their own colony. My other car is a cadr (talk) 12:41, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Sort of... France has what they call a "département d’outre-mer" (see: Overseas department. An example is the island of Réunion. They also have smaller overseas collectivities (collectivité d'outre-mer) (such as Saint Pierre and Miquelon) which send senators and deputies to the National Assembly. These are former French colonies, that are now considered fully part of the nation of France. Blueboar (talk) 13:26, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Another "sort of" example, French again, was French Algeria, where locals could choose to become fully French citizens if they renounced their coranic ruling. Akseli9 (talk) 13:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. If I understand correctly, Réunion ceased to be a colony in 1946 and became an Overseas Department. So did Réunion resident/citizens have the right to vote in French elections before 1946? My other car is a cadr (talk) 14:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
One-word loose answer would be: yes. But the real answer is not that simple. Firstly, Réunion was never a colony in the sense that this island was not populated and was firstly discovered by some Europeans and some Arabs during Middle Age. They started to populate the island, and they were landlords under the rule of the Kings of France. Then they brought in slaves from Africa just like the US did and also the French West Indies islands and the British Caribbean too. Then during French revolution and during the Napoleon era and what followed, some other people were called in, again for working and for running businesses, this time not slaves from Africa but free immigrants from China and India. During all this time from Middle Age to 1946, one could say in a word that Réunion was fully part of France in the sense that its landlords were dying for France in European wars etc, then when France became a republic they still were representing France and are still feeling fully French until now. Akseli9 (talk) 15:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • A tangential reading related to this topic is one of Virtual representation, which is a philosophy of parliamentary representation which holds that, while representatives are elected from specific geographic districts, once elected they are supposed to represent the interests of the whole nation. Under that doctrine, for example, the Parliament of the UK claimed to represent all British subjects equally, even those which did not vote for them directly, such as colonists. --Jayron32 13:49, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
One example that almost happened is Taiwan and Korea during WWII: House_of_Representatives_(Japan)#The_House_of_Representatives_as_part_of_the_Imperial_Diet_1890.E2.80.931947. My other car is a cadr (talk) 14:08, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know if the case of Ireland while it was still a part of Great Britain counts here, where they had MPs and peers sitting in Parliament. (I guess not because it had the sasme status as Scotland and England and Wales, but it's an interesting case.)--TammyMoet (talk) 18:02, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Although the Kingdom of Ireland before 1800 might have been effectively a colony, it was legally a Personal union. Alansplodge (talk) 21:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Ireland has never been part of Great Britain - you mean (some version of) the United Kingdom. (Even today, Irish citizens resident in the UK can vote in UK elections). AndrewWTaylor (talk) 08:31, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Before 1800, Ireland was not part of a United Kingdom, but was under the control of Great Britain because the King of Great Britain was also the King of Ireland. See Acts of Union 1800. Alansplodge (talk) 19:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Until the demise of the fascist government in 1974 Portugal's overseas possessions were considered an integral part of the country. They were officially provincias - nobody used the term colonias (you had to be careful what you said in those days and if you stepped out of line Salazar's dreaded secret police would soon put you right). In practice they were referred to as ultramar (beyond the seas). The secret police went by the name of Direccao-Geral de Seguranca (General Directorate of Security) otherwise referred to by the name of Policia International from their original title Policia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado (International State Defence Police) popularly known by the acronym PIDE. After the revolution the Pides (secret policemen) were the object of some violence by the citizens of Lisbon. Those were the days when tanks sat in the street surrounded by crowds of happy Lisboetans and the soldiers sported carnations in their rifle barrels. There was only one casualty - a Pide took aim from the window of the secret police headquarters, killing a demonstrator in the square outside.
In the immediate aftermath of the revolution a process of saneamento (cleansing) took hold and some people took exception to the use of provincias in the independence debate saying they should be called colonias "because that is what they really are". (talk) 12:38, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Is Evensong part of high-church Anglicanism or low-church Anglicanism?[edit]

Is Evensong part of high-church Anglicanism or low-church Anglicanism? In terms of high-church and low-church, what in the world is a middle-to-low church? I think Evensong is a high-church ritual, because it implies that the organization celebrates an evening liturgy full of song. Do Anglicans have a fancy term for some kind of morning service or hold a service in the morning? (talk) 13:44, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

There are not governing bodies which decide these things, it would be better to think of Anglicanism as a continuum between "high-church" (very Catholic-like) to "low-church" (very Protestant-like), with all churches lying somewhere in between those extremes rather than at one of them exclusively. The distinction is one of liturgy and style-of-worship rather than theology. That is, in a broad sense, all churches that are part of the Anglican Communion profess to the same basic understanding of their faith, in terms of what they believe and what their relationship with God is. Now, a completely different question is what it looks like when you sit through a worship service, or how one's belief should inform their actions, and things like that. The continuum between "Catholic" and "Protestant" determines what that looks like. If someone described a particular congregation as "middle-to-low church", that would mean to me that they were pretty close to the protestant end of the spectrum, while retaining some catholic elements. --Jayron32 14:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
And to answer the OP's last question: see our article Morning Prayer (Anglican). Between that and Evensong (repeated to link for convenience), most of the OP's quandries should be met. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:09, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Having been raised in an Anglican church, I would say that the very term "Evensong" implies a high church, since it implies a musical service, almost certainly with a choir. If a low church were to have an evening service, they would call it "Evening Prayer", and any music would be limited to the congregation singing from a hymnal, perhaps with a piano accompaniment.
While Jayron is right in very general terms that high churches have a style of worship that is more "Catholic" than low churches, I'm not sure that really captures the distinction, since worship at most Roman Catholic churches is probably plainer than worship at really high Anglican churches. High church involves the use of colorful vestments by priests and other officiants, the presence of a choir, altar boy, and other assistants around the altar, each with a colorful vestment, a rich musical program involving the choir, certainly a pipe organ, and liberal use of incense. In a low church, the priest or other officiant will typically wear much simpler vestments, with black and white the dominant hues, any other people assisting around the altar will wear ordinary street clothes (such as a dress for women or a jacket and tie for men, or even more casual clothes), music will be limited to hymns sung by the congregation, perhaps with piano accompaniment, and there will be no incense. Also, high churches typically refer to their clergy as priests, and low churches refer to the clergy as ministers.
Jayron is right that there is a continuum. Churches don't decide to be either high or low, with no options in between. For example, a middle-to-low church might have most of the features of a low church, but maybe with the addition of a pipe organ and the use of more colorful vestments for holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Marco polo (talk) 14:58, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
To be fair, there's a wide range of liturgical styles even within Roman Catholicism; there are Traditionalist Catholic congregations which still follow pre-Vatican II styles, and there are Catholic churches with acoustic guitars and tamborines which meet in sanctuaries which look much more like protestant churches. --Jayron32 16:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I would only add (besides a link to BBC broadcasts in the Evensong article - check out their extensive archives!) that High Church / Low Church is a very dated and culture-bound distinction of little contemporary use by scholars of the contemporary communion. Consider:
"It has been claimed over and over that the response to the question of what Anglican believe is lex orandi, lex credendi, that is: “if you want to know what we believe, come and pray with us.”
In just a single city in the United Kingdom, however, we could attend numerous examples of Anglican churches that all pray in very different ways. There is a church that proclaims it is Bible-based and relies on the preaching of God’s word to feed the congregation; nearby we could go to a church where the emphasis is on the present experience of the Holy Spirit and gifts and ministres are exercised during worship. Close to that church is another Anglican congregation where ritual and ceremony are practiced meticulously and seem a little different from the local Roman Catholic Church.
There is also a “family-friendly” church where liturgy is very low-key and the atmosphere is informal to the point of chaotic, while down the road is an Anglican church offering the beauty of holiness through liturgy and stillness. And there is more, for further on is an Anglican church where issues of the day are wrestled with in an atmosphere of inquiry, and the prayer book firmly adhered to. Other churches offer a varied menu that might be Common Worship one week and Book of Common Prayer the next, with Taize services and Celtic liturgies in between.
How can all these be Anglican? If we were to widen the picture to take in the world-wide Anglican Communion, we would soon discover that these distinctive types of spirituality would increase in number in some places, while in others they would seem meaningless."
Hoare, Elizabeth (2013). "The Spirituality of the Anglican Communion". In Marckham, Ian S.; J. Barney, Hawkins IV; Justyn, Terry et al. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 714–15. ISBN 978-0-470-65634-1.  -- Paulscrawl (talk) 16:43, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
That said, as Marco Polo noted, Evensong is perhaps the quintessence of High Church in the English tradition. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 16:53, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
While agreeing with the above, I have seen services advertised as "Sung Evensong" which implies that there is a said evensong too! --TammyMoet (talk) 18:00, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I've heard that too, but I think it's a tautology; spoken Evensong is Evening Prayer. The term "Choral Evensong" implies (as in a cathedral) that the choir does the singing and the congregation listens. I'm not sure that I agree about the correlation between High Church and Evensong; back half a century when there was still a distinct High / Low polarisation, Evensong was one of the services that would be similar in either style of worship, the big difference would be in the Communion service. Certainly my own parish would have identified itself as on the Low side in the 1960s, but still had Evensong with a chanted psalm, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, hymns, and outside of Lent and Advent, an anthem. Over the years, as we moved up the scale towards Anglo-Catholicism, Mattins and Evensong were gradually abandoned. Alansplodge (talk) 21:06, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The pipe - organ is an integral feature of an Anglican church (like the bells) so its use shouldn't be a determiner of how high or low church the minister is. The Anglican church is all things to all people - it's not the evangelical/high church dualism we should worry about but the growth of the so - called "broad church". Some Anglican churches are so high it is very difficult to distinguish them from Catholic. You can go in and they will be using the Roman service, the priest will be "father" and the Communion will be "mass". However, Anglican churches do not have as many masses on a Sunday as do Roman ones, and sometimes doubt when looking at the noticeboard can be dispelled by finding the word "Churchwarden" in the list of officers. Catholic churches don't have wardens. In my local Catholic church the main entrance is on the east side, so they don't appear to observe the rule about positioning the altar on that side.
Coincidentally I attended Parish Communion at my local Anglican church for the first time on Sunday morning and I was bemused by what I saw. The rector was wearing traditional robes and delivered the bread but a woman dressed in white (and described in the service sheet as a "Communion assistant" along with another woman) participated in the service and delivered the wine. Just before Communion ended two men dressed in ordinary clothes left their seats in the pews and delivered the wine to some parishioners who had been waiting in a separate group since the Communion started. Under the old order you knew what was what - the priests and deacons were all male and the women in robes were members of a separate lay order of deaconesses. Nowadays it's difficult to determine who is ordained and who is just "helping out". (talk) 12:03, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
The details of how lay people can be licensed to assist with Communion are here. Alansplodge (talk) 16:40, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Stock market index futures[edit]

The trading of stock market index futures seems to extremely similar to zero-sum bucket shop trading. I've noticed several differences between index futures and other derivatives:

-Because of the cash settlement, there is really no underlying asset to exchange. As I understand it, the buyer of the contract does not receive any stocks that make up the index, even in a ETF form. With other futures contract, particular commodities, there seems to be a possibility of actually receiving an asset.

-With calls and puts, you get the right to actually buy or sell the security, giving the option value. I don't see that here.

-Other types of derivatives, like credit default swaps, can act as insurance which can benefit both the buyer and seller. Again, I don't see that here.

This product just seems to me to be naked betting, even using it a hedge, without any other real financial benefit.

Am I wrong? (talk) 03:39, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Any stock market investment can be compared to betting, due to the element of risk necessarily involved. Stock market index futures have legitimate investment, trading, and hedging purposes, which are briefly discussed in our article. They differ from bucket shop trading in that they are not susceptible to the abuses in which bucket shops engaged, primarily because the future derives from a broad-based index rather than particular stocks that may be subject to manipulation. John M Baker (talk) 14:57, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

My point was there is no physical settlement of any actual asset, unlike other forms of stock and option investing, so it just seems very similar to a bucket shop. Also, I did look at the article. (talk) 02:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The rule of the thread of the channel and organized incorporated territories[edit]

I have these two questions:

  • Should the boundary between Washington, DC and Virginia be added to the list of exceptions to the rule of the thread of the channel?
  • Is Washington, DC an organized incorporated territory of the United States? The linked article says it's not, but what is the difference? It is (1) a part of the U.S.A. and (2) not a part of any of the states and (3) subject to a government established by an act of Congress. Those seem to be the essential characteristics of an organized incorporated territory. Michael Hardy (talk) 06:53, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
On your second question, have you read Organized incorporated territories of the United States#District of Columbia? Rojomoke (talk) 11:53, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
On question 1) Do you have a source? The other parts of that list have no sources (I do know that all three are true, but my knowing them true is not sufficient). I'm fairly certain you are correct; so if you can dig up a good source to confirm it, and then site that source, you can add it. While your at it, if you can find sources for the other claims, that'd be good too! --Jayron32 14:03, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Looks like there is an exception not just for D.C. but for the boundary between Virginia and Maryland, which is the low-water mark on the Virginia side, see Virginia v. Maryland, 540 U.S. 56 (2003). John M Baker (talk) 15:28, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

At the risk of looking ridiculous: my source for my first question is Google Maps. For the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire, the source that comes most immediately to mind is a ruling of the United States Supreme Court in 1933, although I've seen a few things from the 18th century about that. Vermont wanted the boundary to be the thread of the channel, but New Hampshire won, and the boundary remains the west bank. I think that may go back to King Charles II, who was beheaded. He made a grant to the Duke of York, and included all of what is now the state of Vermont within the province of New York.

Could someone correct the following if it is wrong: a result of the Seven Years War, whose North American theater is sometimes called the French and Indian War, was that Canada, which had been a French colony, became a British colony, and in 1763 the British parliament made the north bank of the Ohio the southern boundary of Canada. That was superseded by the treaty of 1783, establishing peace between the United States and the United Kingdom, but the north bank of the Ohio remained the southern boundary of the Northwest Territory, which ultimately became five states and part of a sixth state, and three of those five states extend southward to the north bank (not the thread of the channel) of the Ohio.

I have no idea how the boundary between Delaware and New Jersey became the west bank of the riveer. Michael Hardy (talk) 05:59, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

The Delaware/New Jersey border with regard to the Delaware River is explained at Twelve-Mile Circle. Delaware has an interesting boundary story, Wikipedia has individual articles on each part of the Boundary, including the north-south portion of the Mason-Dixon line, the Transpeninsular Line, and The Wedge (border). --Jayron32 13:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
As to the Ohio: The area north of the Ohio River was claimed by Virginia, which called it Illinois County, Virginia. The Virginia legislature in 1783 voted to cede this region to the federal government, and the cession was effected in 1784. The Virginia cession was of land "situate, lying and being to the northwest of the river Ohio." This has long been recognized as meaning that the southern boundary of the Northwest Territory, and later of the states to the north of the Ohio, is the low-water mark of the Ohio on the northern side. The current boundary is governed by the Supreme Court's 1980 decision in Ohio v. Kentucky, which ruled that the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky is the low-water mark on the northerly side of the Ohio River as it existed in the year 1792, and not as it exists today. John M Baker (talk) 15:26, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
See also Handly's Lessee v. Anthony (functionally "Indiana v. Kentucky"), another Ohio River border case. This is greatly at variance with Ohio v. Kentucky and therefore not hugely relevant today, since Handly's Lessee predated Ohio by 160 years, although it's still relevant as precedent for using the low-water mark of a river, rather than a high-water mark or an only-during-floods mark. Nyttend (talk) 18:45, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I presume the "thread of the channel" is the middle of the waterway. I would guess the border between Mexico and the United States runs down the middle of the Rio Grande just as the border between Portugal and Spain is the middle of the River Guadiana and the demarcation between the London boroughs (and the City of London) is the middle of the River Thames.
At one point Canada and the United States are, I believe, separated by a very narrow channel. This is not clear from the maps I have but if I remember aright Detroit, Michigan is very close to Toronto, Ontario. Again I would imagine that the midpoint of the channel is the border. (talk) 11:16, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

What is the point of an established church?[edit]

What is the purpose of an established church? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

If you mean state religions, it depends on the religion and which sect thereof. For Christianity and Islam, the usual justification is usually along the lines that the government ultimately derives its authority from God, and that the state religion is the spiritual parallel to the state government (or that the state government is the political parallel to the state religion). Just as the government issues laws to protect its citizens' social and physical interests, the state religion issues doctrines to protect its citizens' spiritual interests.
Of course, there are some who argue that the "state" portion invalidates the "religion" portion, as the religion becomes reduced to "be a good citizen," even when the religion originally rejects citizenship. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:04, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Got it. So, what about the concept of the mandate of heaven in imperial Chinese society, where natural disasters and poverty and rebellions are signs of the end of one dynasty and beginning of the next? Does that count as a state religion? Is the state religion established by the government or just something that the majority of the population holds? (talk) 19:14, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Going back to the purpose of an established church, a historical answer to the question is that from ancient times until fairly recently in the West and the Middle East, religious institutions were crucial to the control of the population by the state. Parish churches were in effect local offices of the state, performing marriages and funerals. They were also the main sources of education and entertainment, and therefore indoctrination, and generally central to community life. In this context, the state wanted to control the religious affiliations of its subjects partly to ensure their loyalty and partly to prevent opposition. Priests would have had an interest in helping the state to snuff out any opposition to their monopoly on religious practice. The situation was similar in most Islamic states.
As for your second question, the Mandate of Heaven was not the same thing as an established church. It was an idea supported by Chinese philosophy. Through most of its history, China did not have a sole state religion, though Confucianism was the preferred religion/philosophy of the state during many periods. Still, other traditions, such as Taoism and Buddhism were usually tolerated, and religious institutions did have the same role as arms of the state in premodern China that they did in the premodern West. Marco polo (talk) 19:39, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Could this be why premodern China's Jews were assimilated into the greater society (taking imperial examinations that emphasized Chinese literature and history) while European Jews were either persecuted or converted or discriminated against? Did state churches perform weddings and funerals for Jewish families? How did Jews live with a Christian government? (talk) 20:10, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
In the West, they were isolated into ghettos, where they managed most of their affairs by themselves. State churches would have refused to perform any religious rite but conversion for the Jews. Interaction between Jews and nominally Christian governments otherwise usually did not end well for the Jews (see Alhambra Decree, Edict of Expulsion). Some more pragmatic rulers generally held that the Jews should be left alone so long as they paid their taxes. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:17, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
That's not entirely the whole truth; see Resettlement of the Jews in England which describes how in the 17th century, the government spent considerable sums of money attempting to lure Jewish traders to London, at a time when the supporters of the established Church of England had recently caused the expulsion the Catholic James II. Although there were Jewish communities, there were no ghettos in London. The synogogue that they founded is still up and running; see Bevis Marks Synagogue. Alansplodge (talk) 18:40, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Is the state religion established by the government or just something that the majority of the population holds? The former. A majority religion isn't necessarily the state religion; in some cases, the government has actively rejected and sometimes even suppressed the majority religion, e.g. the actively atheistic policies of Soviet Russia and the earliest French Republic sought to get rid of the majority Orthodox and Catholic churches, respectively. Nyttend (talk) 18:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
However, the original question was "What is the purpose of an established church?", rather than what it was centuries ago. The answer seems to be, in the case of England, that it symbolises for the state the relationship between the Head of State and Christianity, which may serve as a national moral compass. For the Church of England, the benefits are some legal privileges and representation in the House of Lords. For those with time on their hands, the issues are argued from a number of perspectives in CHURCH AND STATE: Some Reflections on Church Establishment in England. According to that, most other European countries have secularised their constitutions over the preceding decades, with perhaps only Denmark, Norway and Greece having anything similar to England's arrangements. (p. 72) Anglicanism in Ireland and Wales has been disestablished for some time, and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland has a much looser degree of establishment. It is notable that, according to the linked document, whatever the historical iniquities of establishment, non-established churches in England seem to see some virtue in the current arrangement, whereas it is vigorously opposed by the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society. Alansplodge (talk) 19:38, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
From the church's point of view the point is more power, e.g. bishops in the House of Lords and so forth. Thus in the current debate on the relaxation of Sunday trading laws the Church is not just another pressure group - it can vote on whether the legislation is to be implemented or not (I believe the bishops have the same voting rights as temporal peers). (talk) 11:25, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Although since the Parliament Act 1911, the House of Lords cannot defeat bills from the House of Commons, they can only send them back for a second look. The bishop's 26 seats in the Lords do not confer power as such, but do provide a platform since controversial debates are reported in the media; it also allows the bishops to question ministers directly, whereas enquiries from non-Parliamentarians might otherwise be fobbed-off onto public relations people. The downside of establishment for the CofE is that it is somewhat hamstrung by the remnants of Parliamentary control of its self governance; new bishops, for example, are appointed by the Prime Minister, although this is generally presented as a Hobson's choice and the PM has little real say. Alansplodge (talk) 16:21, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

What happens with a criminal conviction when an appeal is taken but the defendant dies?[edit]

Let's say that a defendant is arrested and charged with a crime (let's just use murder as an example). If the defendant dies after he is arrested – but before any conviction – he cannot legally be considered a convicted murder. (Obviously.) If the defendant dies after a conviction, he can legally be considered a convicted murder. (Again, obviously.) What is his legal status if he dies after his conviction, but while an appeal is pending? Is he legally considered to be a convicted murderer? Or is he still presumed "not guilty", and, as such, he is not a convicted murderer? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

A follow-up question will follow, after I ascertain the answer to my above question. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:27, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Oswald was never even put on trial, but conventionally he is referred to as the assassin of JFK, with no qualifications. Likewise with Booth, who was killed before he could be arrested for assassinating Lincoln, but he is always referred to as Lincoln's assassin. As to their legal status, "dead" pretty well covers it. But in terms of whether they're convicted or not, one of the main guys in the Enron case was convicted, but he died before the appeals process was done, so the conviction was "vacated". For all the good it did him. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:32, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, Oswald and Booth can never get the legal status of "convicted murderer", obviously (despite public opinion and even despite 100% airtight evidence – if it existed – proving to a certainty that they committed the respective murders). Yes, I thought there was some notable case (you mentioned an Enron guy) that fell into the category that I was questioning. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Kenneth Lay is the Enron guy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. Yes, that's the one! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:34, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
ISTR that there was a capital murder case in Texas where the defendant died before the trial finished, or maybe before it started; not quite sure. The prosecution went ahead with the case anyway (and tried to have him sentenced to death!) for some reason that I think had something to do with inheritance. I don't remember how far they got with it. --Trovatore (talk) 06:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Wow. I can't imagine that a trial can be held when the defendant is not there (to defend himself). I can't see how that can be constitutional? I know that they have trials "in abstentia", but I believe that that can only occur when the defendant willfully and deliberately avoids the trial (e.g., fugitives from justice). A death, I presume, is involuntary (unless, of course, the defendant deliberately killed himself). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
There are good reasons to have such a tiral, however. Inheritance is an important one. By law in I believe every US state, you cannot legally inherit money from someone you have murdered. So if you are suspected of murdering someone who left you money or other property, and then die yourself, the courts may need a decision on your guilt to know who gets that property. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Here's one example of such a case (although it hinges on life insurance rather than inheritance). Smurrayinchester 10:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
That is an extremely interesting case. However, I believe that that case is referring to a civil trial (against his estate). I don't think there was a criminal trial referred to in that article. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:39, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Putting a dead person on trial would be unconstitutional. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:47, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I think that I have to agree. Putting a dead person on trial would be unconstitutional. Perhaps that is only for a criminal trial. I guess (?) it is possible to proceed with a civil trial against a dead person (i.e., his estate). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, definitely possible. Nyttend (talk) 16:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Joseph mentions the essential difference: in the case of a dead suspect, a civil trial, not a criminal trial, will be held to determine the disposition of the estate. For example, if a suspected murderer dies, the victims relatives can still sue the estate for damages due to a wrongful death. Convictions can also be overturned or pardonned posthumously, the details will vary by jurisdiction. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The Texas case was absolutely 100% definitely a criminal proceeding. Now, whether they got away with it or not, I either don't remember or never found out. --Trovatore (talk) 19:22, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I have searched high and low for the Texas criminal case. I was able to find nothing. Perhaps, "they" (the prosecutors) tried, but were unsuccessful. So, the case (and the story) went nowhere. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Putting a dead person on trial is simply useless, not unconstitutional. Because a dead person is not a person anymore. "They" are not American, they have no rights and duties, no money, no care at all for life, liberty or the pursuit of anything. If you prick them, they do not bleed. If you defame them, they do not mind. If you sentence them to death or one trillion years of probation, they simply do not recognize this court. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:47, August 28, 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all. So, back to my original question (in which I had indicated I wanted to follow up). Let's say that we have an appeal. The defendant dies before the appeal is decided. When the defendant dies, does the appellate court (or Supreme Court) just throw the case out? Or do they still proceed, as if the defendant were alive, in order to answer/resolve whatever the legitimate legal issues presented were? And, does it matter if it's civil or criminal? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:17, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Where? Surely it will differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Nyttend (talk) 18:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, of course. The USA is where I was asking about. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Under the doctrine of abatement ab initio, the death of a criminal defendant in a proceeding in federal court in the United States pending direct review of a criminal conviction abates not only the appeal but also all proceedings had in the prosecution from its inception. If further proceedings are needed (e.g., to recover property stolen by the defendant), they must be in separate civil proceedings. There is a good discussion in United States v. Lay, which is the Kenneth Lay case. In a civil case seeking damages (as opposed to, say, injunctive relief against the defendant), the defendant's estate will be substituted for the deceased defendant. John M Baker (talk) 21:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I believe John M Baker is correct. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
So, let's say that the case is before the U. S. Supreme Court. Now, for the most part, they have accepted the case because they think that it presents an important legal question that needs to be resolved at their level. So, the defendant dies. The U. S. Supreme Court will just throw out the case? Now, by that simple happenstance (the death of the defendant), the U. S. Supreme Court (and the parties, and the legal community at large) is no longer concerned with the important legal questions that need to be resolved at their level? The Supreme Court's reaction will essentially be: "Oh, well, I guess we will take up this important legal question next time around, when – and if – a new defendant comes along with the same legal issue to be resolved. Until that happens – if indeed it ever happens – we are happy to just keep the important legal issue unresolved for now." Is that the essence of what happens? Seems quite bizarre. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:16, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
See the Confrontation clause of the constitution. A dead defendant cannot cross-examine his accusers. According to this article, the Supreme Court has held the rule applies to state hearings as well. μηδείς (talk) 17:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That's a right of defendants. A dead defendant cannot defend itself in any manner, so it's not a defendant. That we routinely bury and burn the dead clearly shows they're exempt from rights. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:08, August 28, 2015 (UTC)
Again, we need to take into account the difference between a criminal and a civil case. Both have "defendants". But the confrontation clause says: "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him." I am quite aware that in the past and in local jurisdictions all sorts of things like animals and dead bodies have been put on trial. And courts have wide discretion in the US when the law does not limit their authority or jurisdiction. But this hypothetical case of the Supreme Court ruling on the criminal guilt of a dead man not convicted while he was alive is implausible in the extreme, if only for the fact that trial courts convict, not appellate courts. μηδείς (talk) 04:17, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: (μηδείς) - Which hypothetical U. S. Supreme Court case are you referring to? Your above posting has me totally confused. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:51, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
"So, let's say that the case is before the U. S. Supreme Court." That's a hypothetical. μηδείς (talk) 16:09, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: (μηδείς) - Thanks. Yes, I put forth a hypothetical. Maybe my hypothetical was not clear, which is why your reply confused me. So, let me clarify. In my hypothetical, I did not specify criminal or civil. (And I am not sure if the distinction really matters? Maybe yes, maybe no?) But, in my hypothetical, there is a live defendant. He "loses" the case (i.e., he is convicted criminally or found liable civilly). His case presents an important legal question that is as of yet unresolved. The U. S. Supreme Court finds the case "important enough" to accept, so that this important legal question can, finally, be resolved. After conviction or finding of civil liability – but before the U. S. Supreme Court decides the case – the defendant dies. Now, there is "no defendant" any more (due to his death). But there is still that lingering important legal issue, still unresolved, out there. That was the essence of my hypothetical. This is the statement of yours that has me confused: But this hypothetical case of the Supreme Court ruling on the criminal guilt of a dead man not convicted while he was alive is implausible in the extreme, if only for the fact that trial courts convict, not appellate courts. (As I said, maybe my hypothetical was unclear and not specific.) But, the confusing parts of your comment are as follows. (One) The defendant was convicted while alive; he died later; your comment states "dead man not convicted while he was alive". (Two) Who is saying that the appellate court would "convict" him? In my hypothetical, the appellate court (U. S. Supreme Court) is reviewing the appeal (i.e., reviewing the conviction); they are not convicting him outright (as that was done by the jury, already). Please clarify. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:05, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
You have to consider the difference between a trial court and an appeals court. I am not sure about treason, but no other crimes are first tried in the Supreme Court. Federal crimes will be tried in federal district court, as was the Boston Bomber case (U.S. v. Tsarnaev). If there was no criminal conviction in a lower court, there's nothing for the Supreme Court to try.
In criminal cases, the only thing they will hear will be appeals, which they can agree or decline to hear. But at this point the trial is a review of the lower court's actions, not a new criminal trial of the original defendant. The defendant's being alive at this point is not directly relevant to the court, because the prosecution is not allowed to put forth evidence that was not presented in the original trial court. Hence the defendant doesn't need to be given a chance to rebut any new evidence.
At this point, even if the defendant dies, the Supreme court could still decide on the appeal and uphold or overturn the prior ruling, or in effect vacate the ruling by sending it back to the lower court for retrial, which would be impossible. An example of the latter would be something like the Rod Blagojevich trial, where certain of his charges were vacated by an appeals court, and could have gone back for retrial. In his case the prosecutors have decided not to bother, but if they had, and Blagojevich had died, there would be no way to convict, so the charges would be dismissed.
So yes, the Supreme Court could refuse to hear an appeal; or could uphold, overturn, or vacate a conviction. (Normally a federal court will simply dismiss such cases as moot) But the latter would be a comment on the lower court's actions, not a new verdict in trial court. Please also keep in mind that I am not a lawyer or anywhere close to it, so at this point I'd prefer to withdraw from further comments. I think the sources I have given are clear enough to speak for themselves. μηδείς (talk) 20:08, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: (μηδείς) Thanks for the reply. But, no, this last reply of yours has me even more confused. I am quite aware of the difference between a trial court and an appellate court. But, I have no idea of how that distinction plays a role in my questions above. Or in this thread, at all, really. But, yes, let's both move on. Thanks for the input. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:18, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I should mention this quote from the mootness article: "The obvious fact of life is that most criminal convictions do in fact entail adverse collateral legal consequences. The mere possibility that this will be the case is enough to preserve a criminal case from ending ignominiously in the limbo of mootness." Sibron v. New York. In other words, an appeals court will still hear an appeal if the defendant is dead if the case involves some sort of consequences like forfeiture of property or a criminal fine that effects the victims or the heirs of the deceased accused. μηδείς (talk) 20:44, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
You might also want to look at inquest and the Warren Commission where responsibility for a murder was determined without a criminal trial of a living defendant. μηδείς (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but ... they (the Warren Commission) did not assign any legal responsibility for the murder. Just investigatory. (And a dog-and-pony show, at that!) Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:40, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
How have animals and dead bodies been put on trial? Do they bring the corpse into the courtroom and empanel a jury?
In this country there is a legal maxim actio personalis moritur cum persona which means that a person's legal rights are extinguished when he dies and cannot be enforced by his estate. Sometimes people who have been criminally convicted are given a posthumous pardon - Alan Turing is a good example. Many people who commit crimes commit suicide shortly afterwards. I've never known the police to instruct the Crown Prosecution Service in those circumstances to secure a conviction. (talk) 11:07, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
In which country? My question above is about the USA. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I mentioned animals being put on trial as a matter of context. See google, although some of the hits are about medical trials on animal subjects. μηδείς (talk) 16:09, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
We also have an article on animal trials. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:55, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Medeis says

At this point, even if the defendant dies, the Supreme court could still decide on the appeal and uphold or overturn the prior ruling.

She cites Sibron v. New York as authority for this but that case had nothing to do with an appellant who had died. (talk) 14:28, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't follow what you are saying. Yes, Medeis did indeed say: "At this point, even if the defendant dies, the Supreme court could still decide on the appeal and uphold or overturn the prior ruling." And, yes, Medeis did indeed cite Sibron v. New York. But, these comments were made in two completely different paragraphs, in two completely different posts. So, I do not believe that Medeis was using the Sibron case to support the proposition quoted (about "even if the defendant dies"). Medeis cited the Sibron case as it relates to mootness. Mootness may, or may not, involve a party's death. That was my understanding of Medeis's comments. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

What university rankings are relevant to choose the right degree at the right place?[edit]

What university rankings are relevant choose the right degree at the right place? I'd consider choosing a different degree, if that implies a better education. --Jubilujj 2015 (talk) 01:53, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

That depends entirely on what your goals are, and what part of the world you are located in. --Jayron32 02:17, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
For a better chance of a good job after university, try Oxbridge in the UK or an Ivy League university in America. (A contrasting view is that you will get a better general education by travelling the world for three or four years.) We have an article on College and university rankings that you might like to read. Dbfirs 16:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Why take a more expensive name brand drug when a less expensive generic drug is available?[edit]

Is there any valid reason why a patient would want/need to take a name brand drug, when a generic is available? Likewise, is there any valid reason why a doctor would require (prescribe) a patient to take a name brand drug, when a generic is available? I mean, are the two really the same? Or are there some differences? I specifically avoided putting this question on the Science Help Desk, because I didn't want a lot of scientific/pharmacological type of replies. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I think placebo and its validity is relevant from the patient's perspective. Marketing methods of drug companies might be relevant from the doctor's viewpoint. The difference between the generic and the branded drug is often a matter of the production licence/copyright having expired and the ability of any drug company to make a generic version of a previously branded drug. Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre might offer some interesting further reading. Richard Avery (talk) 06:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah see Pharmaceutical marketing and [30] for example. Nil Einne (talk) 07:26, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The excipients (i.e., the ingredients other than the actual drug or drugs) are frequently different. The patient could be allergic to, or have some other issue with, one or more of these ingredients. Also at least in the U.S. sometimes brand-name drug manufacturers have rebate/discount programs, which, when taken into account, can in some cases make the brand-name drug cheaper than a generic version (or at least an insured patient's copay; this is a whole topic in itself). And there's always individual preference. Some people have an aversion to generic drugs because they perceive them to be of lower quality. In developed countries with adequate regulation of drugs, generic drug manufacturers are required to demonstrate that their product is functionally identical to the brand-name version, so they should be interchangeable. There have been occasional incidents where this was found not to be the case. One example a few years ago was a delayed-release generic version of bupropion that did not release the drug at the proper rate. -- (talk) 06:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
This is of interest. Apparently, expensive drugs work better than cheap ones. Or, at least, people think they do - so they do. (talk) 12:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Besides the above mentioned issues, (and as 71.119 already hinted) there is also the question of whether the quality control standards at generic drug manufacturers match those at name brand drug manufacturers. There may be systemic studies of the issue that other refdesk responders may know of, but here is an article, which shows why this is at least a concern. Abecedare (talk) 17:36, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Follow up question[edit]

Generic drugs are basically dirt cheap (when compared to the name brand drug). Thus, how do the name brand drugs manage to command such an exorbitantly high price in the marketplace? How does the market (economics) "allow" for that? Also: When the generics start to come out, why doesn't that put the name brand drugs, essentially, out of business? With such huge price differences, how do the name brands even manage to stay (compete) in the market at all? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Actually, prices on name brand drugs often fall once generic versions become available. This is one reason why name brand drugs are initially so expensive... the company that produces a drug wants to get maximum profit while they still have the patent on it. Blueboar (talk) 14:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The price may fall from its original name brand price. But, the price doesn't drop so low as the generic brand price. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:14, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Part of it is because people are used to a certain brand and trust it. Once the patent expires, and generic alternatives become available, the patent owning company has a big head start in terms of reputation. But probably the main reason I think is related to Pharmaceutical marketing. Remember that the people who prescribe these drugs (medical professionals) are generally not the people who have to pay for them. Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to influence doctors. - Lindert (talk) 14:52, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • This is anecdotal, but my sister's endocrinologist insists that she get the brand-name version of levothyroxine (for hypothyroidism) as it is supposedly better manufactured, with a more reliable dose. She had not responded well at first on a generic. (The drug is dispensed in micrograms, and apparently what is tested is the entire batch as it is made, not the mode dosage of individual pills. Again, this is what my sister reports her doctor as saying.) My mother and I both take the drug as well, but our doctors have said the generic is fine. μηδείς (talk) 17:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:29, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Maximum behavioral differences between men and women[edit]

I am inclined to reject a recent article about Ashley Madison as plainly false, based solely on what it says. If I were to believe it, only 0.03% of the real users of Ashley Madison were female, and all the rest were men - and my gut tells me that such a difference between the sexes is impossible, so the hackers must have removed the women from their dump, or the authors of the article misinterpreted the computer data. To illustrate, 0.003% of males seek sex reassignment surgery, according to transsexual, while at least 0.05% are thought to identify as female. So unless androgen-blocking drugs have a highly reliable tendency to squelch people from looking at Ashley Madison, there should be more transsexuals identifying as female on the site than the reported number of active women.

But it does make me wonder what the largest observed difference in behavior really is. I know this is a tough question to ask because often many other people will get on and try to enforce sex differences in behavior (e.g. Osama (film)). Even in the Ashley Madison signups it can argue that the fear of external pressure would have conributed, so it's hard to say where a 'pure' figure would be applicable. Something like sexual orientation implies something vaguely in the neighborhood of a 20:1 (or is it 2:1?) difference may be possible innately, but that too is hard to say is a pure measurement. Still... is there a way that people have tried to analyze this? Wnt (talk) 12:39, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't really know what you're talking about, but I am inclined to reject your initial assertion that the article (the Gizmodo one, not the Yahoo one) is "plainly false". The person who wrote it spent many hours analysing the leaked data and came up with the conclusion that "Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all." Who are you to query that scholarly finding, when you've done no such analysis of any kind yourself? --Viennese Waltz 12:50, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Objection - some blogger self-publishing data analysis, even if vaguely credible, is not any sort of "scholarly finding". SemanticMantis (talk) 14:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I thought it was common practice for such sites to falsely inflate the number of female profiles in order to "bait" male users. I think there was even a lawsuit to that effect against a site, at one point. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Warning first link in OP autoplays video - even on a fairly locked-down browser - check your speakers before you click (my ears!) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Of course you know behavior differences are utterly snarled up with nature vs. nurture, both in the specific case and in the wider cultural norms. This paper looks at gender differences in personality traits across different countries and cultures [31], this Nature paper was headline fodder when it came out [32], coming to the amazing conclusion that men and women respond to sexual stimuli differently. Here's one about hormonal influence in cognition [33]. Here's one on hormonal and behavior effects on infection differences [34]. Here's one about sex differences in response to the always fun major histocompatibility complex - [35]. I don't know if any of those are "maximal" to you, but at a skim there's plenty of documented behavior differences, sometimes they pile up. The one on effects in different countries and personalities is probably the most relevant/interesting, because it is one of the few I can find that attempts to understand and control cultural variation. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Coast Guard on US Navy ships[edit]

Looking for a response to Joseph A. Spadaro's suggestion that a court case can't exist when the defendant is not there (to defend himself), I checked one of my favorite-named articles, United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins (where the fins were the defendant), and was surprised to read that the original seizure was performed by a Coast Guard crew working from a Navy boat. Why would this situation arise? If commanders deem it appropriate to have Fife in the area, why wouldn't they want it to have a Navy crew? Or if commanders deem it appropriate to have a Coast Guard crew performing these operations, why wouldn't they have them use a Coast Guard vessel? Nyttend (talk) 14:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The Navy and Coast Guard cooperate and coordinate use of vessels and personnel. As noted in the first paragraph of the article United States Coast Guard, the President and/or Congress has the authority to move command of Coast Guard assets to the Navy in times of war. It also works the other way on a smaller scale; naval assets (either personnel or vessels) can be transferred from Naval command to Coast Guard command as well, I can't find the specific example you note, but here is an official press release from 2001 noting exactly such an event. So yes, the Coast Guard are sometimes given command of Naval Vessels to staff with Coast Guard personnel. --Jayron32 15:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
See: Posse Comitatus Act. The Navy, as a branch of the US Military, is limited by law from conducting certain "Law Enforcement" activities... The Cost Guard, on the other hand, is (during peacetime) explicitly a law enforcement agency (it was originally a branch of the Treasury Dept., although now it falls under the Dept. of Homeland Security). Now... the Navy has all sorts of nifty gizmos for finding and tracking ships at sea... and the Coast Guard can (and does) call upon the Navy for assistance when necessary. Thus, they put Coast Guard personnel on Navy ships... the Navy can do the finding and tracking, but they can't perform arrests or seizures... that has to be done by Coast Guard personnel. Blueboar (talk) 15:26, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Messing it up further is that the Navy can and does operate in US "territorial waters" apparently. [36] IIRC correctly, very few US universities cover much maritime and admiralty law. Amazingly enough, the USNA has courses in maritime law enforcement. [37] avers that the POTUS has the power to direct the USN to enforce laws on the basis of "Homeland Security" under current US law; [38] notes the Posse Comitatus Act itself, specifies currently only the Army and Air Force as falling under its stricture, and the rules about the Navy are by act of DoD only. In short - scads of articles thereon, but they all seem to agree that the DoD or POTUS have the power to use the Navy for law enforcement. Collect (talk) 17:12, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Low-angle shots[edit]

I think I ended up here from the Pounds of Shark Fins, although I can't remember how...Low-angle shot talks only about images of people. Is the term restricted to images of people, or can it refer to other subjects too? Consider the difference between File:Looking Up at Empire State Building.JPG and File:Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock.jpg; the former image exemplifies a statement in the article, "Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is that it makes the subject look strong and powerful." Would we say that the former image is low-angle, or does it not qualify because it's a building? Nyttend (talk) 15:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The examples are all people, but the first sentence and the cited definition make no restriction on subject. The angle of a photo has nothing to do with the nature of the subject. The examples just tend to be human because of WP:BIAS :) Also all the current examples are from famous film scences, and for perhaps the same biases, we don't tend to talk about famous film scenes of buildings, but rather famous film scenes of people. So I say feel free to add some of these low-angle shots of buildings to the article - it would round out the concept better, IMO. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

A sculptor's quote[edit]

I remember hearing, once, of a famous sculptor being congratulated for the peculiar beauty of one of his works and his humble answer being: "Well, it was in the marble: I just broke the marble so that it could come out" or something like that. The actual wording might be completely different but that was the main idea. Is it possible to find who the sculptor was and the actual words of the quote? Thanks in advance! (talk) 15:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Lots of places online give something like this "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it" - Michelangelo, e.g. BrainyQuote here [39].
Unfortunately, this [40] well-referenced post from QuoteInvestigator chases down the quote and concludes that there is no good evidence that Michelangelo said anything of the sort. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Another quote commonly attributed to Michelangelo is "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." Has there been a similar analysis performed on its origin? Tevildo (talk) 16:00, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The link I gave above is the best de-bunking I've found, and I take it to be a strong indictment against any similar quotes. Brainyquote does have several similar variants [41], but honestly I don't trust anything they say - they give you a link to cite their shoddy product, but contain (almost) no citations themselves! Wikiquote at least has some decent refs [42] to support their quotes from Michelangelo, but they don't have anything like the quotes in question. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:26, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Looked a bit more at google scholar [43], and google books [44]. It's a bit telling that the top scholarly hits are from "Journal of pain and symptom management", "European Psychiatry", etc. The books link at least has a few hits to real books about M., but at a skim they look relatively unscholarly, and I couldn't find any that gave a source. Of course the persistence of the "quote" is reasonable - even if he didn't say it, people seem to get a lot of value out of the idea. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:33, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
It would seem to be a good capsulation of how a stone sculptor would work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:12, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Let's attribute it to "Pseudo-Michelangelo", in the style of referring to other pseudepigraphical authors as "Pseudo-Aristotle", "Pseudo-Ambrose", "Pseudo-Dionysius", etc. But then, I don't see this style of address used for recent misattributions; does anyone use it for "new" hoaxes anymore? Nyttend (talk) 18:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

[I′m the IP who opened the discussion] Thank you all for your answers. Even if it wasn′t Michelangelo, it′s a great quote for sure! And I don′t think that it′s a recent missattribution. I′d bet that it has been around for generations. 2A02:582:800:3E00:9075:6533:7A83:310E (talk) 20:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I remember exactly when I first heard it attributed to Michelangelo. That was a generation ago. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

How about his sonnets? For instance, the line: "The more the marble wastes / The more the statue grows" ?

"Michael Angelo conceived of a statue as something complete from the first, but concealed in the marble, and released from its covering by the chisel. This graceful and poetical idea is expressed in a sonnet which was addressed to Vittoria, in which he compares himself to such an unhewn block :
As when, lady mine, 
With chiselled touch 
The stone unhewn and cold 
Becomes a living mould, 
The more the marble wastes 
The more the statue grows ; 
So, if the working of my soul be such 
That good is but evolved 
By Time's dread blows, 
The vile shell, day by day, 
Falls like superfluous flesh away. 
Oh take whatever bonds my spirit knows, 
And reason, virtue, power, within me lay.

Michelangelo, sonnet addressed to Vittoria Colonna; tr. Mrs. Henry Roscoe (Maria Fletcher Roscoe), Vittoria Colonna: Her Life and Poems (1868), p. 169. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 07:05, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Again, his sonnets:

The best of artists hath no thought to show
  Which the rough stone in its superfluous shell
  Doth not include: to break the marble spell
  Is all the hand that serves the brain can do.

Michelangelo, "The Lover and The Sculptor" in The Sonnets of Michel Angelo Buonarotti tr. John Addington Symonds ([1877] 1904, second edition), p. 17. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 07:28, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (17th ed., 2003, p. 143) also cites the line from Michelangelo's sonnet reprinted above: "The more the marble wastes / The more the statue grows" - as did the 10th ed. (1919) here -- Paulscrawl (talk) 14:06, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Michelangelo wasn't a jeweler, and "Diamond in the rough" is more of an idiom than a quote, but in the right light, even clay may shine. "Bake the hall in the candle of her brain", and all that jazz. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:32, August 29, 2015 (UTC)

Replicated areas[edit]

Why do areas/towns/theme parks/museums which replicate buildings or styles of another country look fake? (talk) 23:49, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

In many cases, especially theme park structures, they're not built with original materials, which also doesn't help with the authenticity. But at any rate, they're from another place: they aren't a "native" part of the local built environment, and they just don't fit in. This opinion page has some additional comments that make a lot of sense. Nyttend (talk) 00:27, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
For one thing, replicating artifacts like the Matterhorn and the Eiffel Tower to full scale could be a bit daunting. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:40, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I would consider that to be an example of cognitive bias.
A couple of subtle examples: If you have little knowledge of history / architecture, you may be impressed when seeing Castle Neuschwanstein or a random Neo-Gothic church. If your education tells you that this is just “faux-architecture”, you may still appreciate the design and the fine craftsmanship but you will do so with the proviso of it being a “copy”, built in a different culture and using advanced building methods. Of course, children (and those of comparable mental age) won´t be aware of this.
Matters get more complex when you consider Cologne Cathedral or the Sagrada Familia. Is this Gothic / Gaudi “by numbers”? --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 13:09, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Modellers can answer this -- for most "parks" the scale used for a replica is not 1:1 - Disney was proud of using "false perspective" in reproducing "Main Street", etc. Collect (talk) 20:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Was Perseus on the Argo?[edit]

User:Drawingpad has edited the Argonauts article to indicate that Perseus was on the Argo, with no source given. Is this true, and can someone give a source? It seems implausible, because his great-grandson Heracles was also on the ship for a short while. – b_jonas 08:57, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

No, Perseus is a character in Argonautica but was not himself an Argonaut. Someguy1221 (talk) 09:08, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Stairway to heaven?[edit]

In our flats a lift tower has been built out in front of the staircase, which connects the balconies of the different floors. Between the stairs and the lift on each floor there is a landing with a wide ledge on each side. At lunchtime yesterday as I passed one landing on the way out I saw the ledge on the side adjacent to a Chinese family's flat piled high with the most wonderful meal - all different kinds of sweetmeat and fruit and bordered with candle holders. It reminded me of what I saw, on a smaller scale, when I went into a temple in Kuala Lumpur 44 years ago. When I returned later in the afternoon it had vanished.

My question is - is this something to do with a Chinese religious festival? Yesterday was a full moon and I heard that the eighth (August) moon is an important (dragon boat?) festival. If the Chinese New Year was about three weeks into January (as it sometimes is) this would tally, but if it was about three weeks into February (as it also sometimes is) then it wouldn't. Is this traditional and what might have happened to the meal? I could of course simply knock on the Chinese family's door and ask but I don't really know them and I don't want to be thought nosy. (talk) 10:48, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

By the time your returned, maybe they had finished defrosting their refrigerator. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:38, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
But why the candles and all the bother of taking the food outside when they could just leave it on the work surface? There was nobody around so if this was just routine housekeeping there was the added disincentive that any passing resident could tuck in or divert some of it to their own use. (talk) 12:12, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Traditional Chinese holidays says Aug 28 this year is the date for the Ghost Festival. (talk) 15:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Non whites in the UK (1960s/70s)[edit]

How visible were black and Asian people in Britain's streets in the 1960s and 70s? I am referring to average towns not including London or Birmingham. Thank you. --Edmund-islington (talk) 20:44, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Just personal anecdote here, but while I was at school in a provincial county town in the late 60s to mid 70s, we didn't have a single black person in the entire school. The only people of non-British origin were a second-generation Ukrainian and an Iranian. Rojomoke (talk) 21:56, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Another personal anecdote: my primary school class in 1966 in Leytonstone, East London was all white British. In our last year at primary school, 1970, of 32 children there was one girl from a West Indian family and one girl from India, although some of the other classes were a little more mixed. At my comprehensive school, by the mid-1970s, we were about two thirds white British with a lot more Indian and Pakistani children, many of whom seen to have come from Kenya. The total population of that borough, Waltham Forest, is now 62% "from minority ethnic background". [45] Alansplodge (talk) 23:26, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Another personal anecdote, growing up in rural North Wales, I was about 10 years old when I first saw black people in the flesh, a group of kids at the Marine Lake amusement park in Rhyl, who if I recall from their accents were probably from Birmingham; I remember being amazed (probably just as much at Brummies as their being black). When I started secondary school in 1969, out of over 600 kids in school there were two - an Indian kid whose dad was a doctor in a local hospital (I remember our teacher taking a survey of what language we spoke at home, getting the usual answers of "English", and "Welsh", and being totally flummoxed by "Merathi" and having to find out how to spell it!), and an Italian kid with distinctly olive-coloured skin who was a bit unusual. Later on we had a couple of Chinese kids whose parents ran the take-away. The biggest ethnic minority in our area at the time was Polish, as one of the biggest post-war resettlement camps had been around 20 miles away. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 08:41, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
It even varied between villages in conurbations. Aged 9, I moved from a school in one part of the borough which was about 40% non-white, to a school the other side of the borough which was totally white. It's much the same now to be honest, but such neighbourhoods are fewer and farther between. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:55, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
We could do with a bit less anecdotal evidence here, and more direction towards reliable sources. Unfortunately, the raw information from the 1971 census is not at all easy to track down online - but that is where surely we should be looking. (But, it should be noted that in 1971 questions were only asked about birthplace and parents' birthplace, not specifically about perceived ethnicity.) You may be able to find the original documents in your local public library, of course. And, an "average town" is difficult to identify - the original enquirer needs to specify more precisely whether we are talking about a medium-sized city, a medium-sized rural market town, or somewhere in between. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:15, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Most of the Asian (Indian-subcontinent) and Afro-Caribbean immigration to the UK was immediately post-WWII (Modern_immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom#Post-war_immigration_.(1945–1983) ); I'm not sure what time-period most of the Oriental (Far-East) immigration to the UK occurred. Given that, most of the Asian and Afro-Caribbean immigrants would be either first or second generation immigrants, you could dig through the census for several representative towns, finding those who were born aboard, and check the ages of their children (if that was asked in the census). LongHairedFop (talk) 11:20, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The phrase "immediately post-WWII" may need qualification, our MV Empire Windrush article says it is "best remembered today for bringing one of the first large groups of post-war West Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom... in 1948" so the peak period of Caribbean immigration would have to be later than that. Alansplodge (talk) 17:08, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Population Trends - Stability and change in ethnic groups in England and Wales (Pdf 166Kb) may help. It is a report on a group of people who were picked randomly from the census and then followed from 1974 to 2004. Therefore, the people were a sample of the entirety of England and Wales. Although ethnicity wasn't asked about on earlier census, it was after 1991, so they were able to find out retroactively the ethnicities of their sample in 1974.
Numbers aren't my forte so I welcome correction, but if you look at the chart on page 39, it seems to say that they were following 417,514 people in total. Using their best retroactive guess, in 1974 392,582 or 94% were white. 3392+1225+1235 or 1.4% were from the Caribbean or Africa. 8576+4310+1652+1341 or 3.8% were from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. 1118+2053 or less than 1% were from China or ticked “other”.
I didn’t read on to see if these data were broken down by location, so do that, Edmund, but if they aren’t you’ll still need the anecdotal information given above. (talk) 12:07, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The anecdotal information is still needed because the OP asked about "visibility" which you don't get from boring old statistics. A census can tell you where someone was born, but it won't necessarily tell you who was white (for example, Colin Cowdrey or Cliff Richard) or who was black or Asian: nor will it tell you what their habits were, whether they socialised openly and were visible on the streets. --TammyMoet (talk) 17:55, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Psychological/rhetorical device[edit]

I'll try my best to explain this. On TV I heard a very egotistical/self-centred presenter say, "I would never use a child as a weapon. I don't care what anyone says." It is a rational and common sense position to hold to never use a child as a weapon in, say, a divorce. The second sentence he uses frames that logical and "correct" opinion as less than commonly held in order to portray himself in an even greater positive light. Is there a technical name for that particular "technique"? If I haven't explained myself well, I apologise. (talk) 11:56, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Subdivisions of BiH[edit]

  • What is the status of Sarajevo and Istočno Sarajevo exactly? Both seem to exist above the municipality and below the Canton and RS respectively. Are they both sui generis on a level of government with no equivalent elsewhere?

--Quentin Smith 12:32, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Geschiedenis van ???scafanders???[edit]

"hoe komt het dat ik geen informatie kan vinden over het geschiedenis van scafanders?" wrote Cosyn,david (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) in an article I've just deleted. I suppose most of us here can get the gist of the Dutch. But what the Bachman–Turner Overdrive does "scafanders" mean? A place in the Netherlands? "Other sheep"? Something completely different? --Shirt58 (talk) 12:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

The English word is scaphander, "scafander" is a Dutch spelling (though I had to google it). It is derived from French scaphandre, and denotes a type of diving suit. - Lindert (talk) 12:56, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Are the JMSDF ship naming conventions codified somewhere?[edit]

The JMSDF avoids using Imperial Japanese Navy ship names due to their historical associations[46]. Is this just an unspoken rule or is it actually codified somewhere? Is it a law passed by the Japanese Diet or an internal self-defense force regulation? My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:31, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Frontline management[edit]

Why are frontline management staff in customer service, retail, leisure, tourism, security etc often not very well paid, compared to office staff, despite the fact they work longer hours and have a lot of responsibility. (talk) 14:09, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Depends how strong the union is. The non - office staff on London Underground earn a huge amount, possibly because they can hold the public to ransom by bringing London to a grinding halt. They're not very popular at the moment because they're holding a series of strikes to derail the night tube due on 12 September. (talk) 14:23, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

What is the racial composition of each major political party in the USA?[edit]

What is the racial composition of each major political party in the USA? Can someone fill in the following blanks, with any reliable sources?

  1. In the Democratic Party, _____% are White and _____% are Black and _____% are Hispanic.
  2. In the Republican Party, _____% are White and _____% are Black and _____% are Hispanic.
  3. Of all White voters, _____% are Democrats and _____% are Republican.
  4. Of all Black voters, _____% are Democrats and _____% are Republican.
  5. Of all Hispanic voters, _____% are Democrats and _____% are Republican.

Again, this refers to the United States. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:52, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

The problem with your question is that many U.S. states do not have formal registration of voters by party affiliation. Texas is the most populous such state. Another problem is that a very large bloc of voters self-identify as independent, though many sympathize with a major party. And in California, the most populous state, while voters can declare a party affiliation, primary elections (except for the presidency) are "open top two primaries" with voters free to select from candidates from any party. There is no comprehensive national list of official "Democrats" and "Republicans", so public opinion polling is the only way to approximate an answer. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 18:22, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


August 24[edit]

Compare: and vs with[edit]

Do you compare this and that or this with that? -- (talk) 09:26, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

With. You compare "with" and you compare "to". Akseli9 (talk) 09:35, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
You can also "compare .. and .. ", as in the traditional exam question formula "compare and contrast X and Y". AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:34, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
If you're making all the possible comparisons between three or more things, it has to be and: "Compare the proposals from Ford, Chrysler, and GM and pick the best one." If you said "Compare the proposal from Ford with (or to) the Chrysler and GM ones", they wouldn't be comparing the latter two with each other. -- (talk) 16:23, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

"Dog" and "nine"[edit]

"Dog" and "nine" sound similar in Chinese. Any other similarities or differences between them? GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 14:43, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

What do you mean by "Chinese"? As our articel Chinese language says, Chinese is a group of related but in many cases mutually unintelligible language varieties. The most spoken, Mandarin, pronounces the dog "gǒu", and the number nine "jiǔ" (using Pinyin), which is as similar as "go" and "Joe" in English. — Sebastian 15:41, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
And what do you mean by "them" - dogs and nines? — Sebastian 15:43, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Probably the OP was thinking of Cantonese,where 狗 'dog' and 九 'nine' are in fact pronounced the same, gau2 (in Jyutping). Of course, that doesn't answer the question what he means by "similarities and differences". Fut.Perf. 15:54, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
That reminds me of when I was mentoring in an elementary school, and one pupil of Guangdong extraction asked me to say something in Chinese. I answered in Mandarin, and she replied angrily: "No, the other Chinese!" — Sebastian 16:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
As a Chinese speaker to whom neither Mandarin nor Cantonese is native, I remember being surprised when I was first told by an Australian of British descent that there were two kinds of Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 17:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
He meant restaurants. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:06, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
What is your native variety of Chinese, if you care to say? --Trovatore (talk) 02:47, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
They have never claimed they are a native speaker of Chinese. It seems like they were taught "Chinese" (probably Mandarin or any artificial version of it), without being told which Chinese. HOOTmag (talk) 08:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
PalaceGuard did not explicitly claim to be a native speaker of Chinese, but did mention two varieties of Chinese and say that neither of them were native to him/her. Using the tacit assumption that PalaceGuard is comporting with the Gricean maxim of relevance, I infer that there is some other variety of Chinese that is native. --Trovatore (talk) 21:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Or probably a native speaker of one of the other varieties of Chinese, as Trovatore mentioned. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Why the hell a native speaker? HOOTmag (talk) 13:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Well I suppose we'll have to wait for PalaceGuard to come back, but it seems that he meant he is a native speaker of a Chinese language that is not Mandarin or Cantonese. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
So, Mr./Mrs. Palaceguard, if you hear us, please come out and tell us, both whether you are a native speaker of Chinese, and which variety of Chinese you speak. HOOTmag (talk) 14:50, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Very much flattered that I have generated enough interest to warrant an email from KageTora himself! Trovatore's theory is correct. My native variety of Chinese is Wu. The first level divisions of Chinese by number of native speakers are, in order, Mandarin, Wu, Min, then Cantonese. Not having previously encountered the view, common outside of China, that Mandarin and Cantonese are the two main varieties of Chinese, I was surprised to hear that Mandarin and Cantonese are the "only two" kinds of Chinese to that person.
It may or may not have been the same person, but I also remember being asked whether I spoke "Cantonese or Mantonese". --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 13:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure he didn't say 'Wontun-ese'? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 17:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Term for choosing a term that sounds more palatable to an audience?[edit]

I KNOW there is a term for this, but I just can't think of it right now. It's right at the tip-of-the-tongue.

Some people may say, "I am pro-choice. He is anti-choice." Then some people may say, "I am pro-life. He is anti-life." The issue is still the same, but the wording sweetens the positions of the proponents by making the opposing side look bad. (talk) 21:08, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Ameliorate? Akld guy (talk) 22:02, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Euphemize, dysphemize, doublespeak. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:10, August 24, 2015 (UTC)
"Framing" - Framing_(social_sciences)#Framing_in_mass_communication_research, Framing_effect_(psychology). One side frames the position as "pro-life", the other side frames it as "anti-choice". You may find these articles about linguistic framing in politics relevant [47] [48]. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:15, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Here's another, possibly "malreported". InedibleHulk (talk) 22:46, August 24, 2015 (UTC)
I'll also throw Cognitive reframing, Cognitive restructuring, Cognitive distortion and Cognitive dissonance out there. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:52, August 24, 2015 (UTC)
"Spin". StuRat (talk) 01:47, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
In the case of political issues such as abortion, I agree that "spin" is the best term. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:27, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Before it was appropriated by the spin doctors, abortion was a personal issue (like "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong".) Being pro or anti simply determined whether you'd get a baby, rather than whether you'd get favourable press. Strange, but true. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:47, August 25, 2015 (UTC) 20:47, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
“Just go ahead now.” What the fuck does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just garbage. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:51, August 25, 2015 (UTC)
Probably not the word that is on the tip of your tongue, but that describes "rhetoric" to me. Wikipedia article here: rhetoric. Wiktionary definition here: wikt:rhetoric. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:34, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Wordsmithing? Dismas|(talk) 04:21, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Obfuscation, Orwellian, Newspeak. Bus stop (talk) 04:29, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
It cannot be logomachy... I'd used "forced perspective", a term not properly belonging to the field semantically but which can be found giving some more or less matching results: [49]. Regarding rhetoric and ideology Kenneth Burke would be the one. --Askedonty (talk) 06:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
As framed, a complex word choice. What are you thinking of?
Diction applies to rhetorical or poetic word choice, but the OP's example of pro-choice / anti-choice vs. pro-life / anti-life suggests not mere word choice but paradigm choice, i.e., framing. Cognitive linguist and metaphor theorist George Lakoff may be the most accessible introduction to the latter; Aristotle is, of course, the first rhetorician of diction in the sense of word choice.. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 05:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

August 25[edit]

Any ambiguity in "Have you lived in the UK for 5 years ... ?"  ?[edit]

"Have you lived in the UK for at least 5 years since you were 13?" I am not sure if this question is ambiguous for a native speaker or not. If someone lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014, but they have left the UK since, should they answer yes or no? Does the question "Have you lived..." imply that the you should still live there to be able to answer "yes"? Highly related: is it incorrect to say "I have lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014" if we are in 2015? --Lgriot (talk) 14:13, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Taking your questions one at a time:
1) If someone lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014, but they have left the UK since, should they answer yes or no?
The answer depends on when that person turned 13. If the person was already 13 or older in 2004, then the answer is yes. If the person turned 13 more than 5 years before his or her departure in 2014, then the answer is yes. Otherwise the answer is no.
2) Does the question "Have you lived..." imply that the you should still live there to be able to answer "yes"?
No. It means, "Up to and including the present moment, does your time living in the UK total at least 5 years?"
3) Is it incorrect to say "I have lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014" if we are in 2015?
Yes, it is incorrect, because you have placed an end date on the time span in the past. If an activity covers a time span that ended in the past, you can't use the perfect tense. You have to use a form of the past tense, typically the simple past "I lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014." Nonetheless, you can still say "I have lived in the UK for more than 5 years since I was 13" because that statement does not include or imply an end date. It means, up to and including the present, your time in the UK totaled more than 5 years.
This is a more subtle point, but if the question were simply "Have you lived in the UK for at least 5 years?", then there would be some ambiguity, as one interpretation of the question would be that it asks whether you are still living there. Adding the "since" clause removes this ambiguity by setting up a time period running from the time the person turned 13 to the present and implying that the 5 years could be any part of that period.
Marco polo (talk) 14:27, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so adding "since" removes the ambiguity. Indeed that is very subtle.--Lgriot (talk) 14:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify a bit more, there are different verb tenses which carry different senses. There's the simple, or preterite, past tense "I lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014", there's the imperfect or past progressive "I was living in the UK from 2004 to 2014", there's the pluperfect, "I had lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014", the past perfect progressive "I had been living in the UK from 2004 to 2014", the present perfect progressive "I have been living in the UK since 2004". All of these carry a sense of "pastness", but they indicate different relationships between the speaker, the event, the present time, and the temporal relation to other events which may be related. --Jayron32 16:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Usually the simple question "Have you lived in the UK for at least 5 years?" would only be asked if the person was known (or assumed) to be living in the UK. -- (talk) 16:20, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
@Marco Polo, If you lived in the UK from 2004 to 2014 - and you left the UK in 2014, then I can still say: "You have lived in the UK for at least 5 years". Can't I ? I will be quite surprised if you say I cannot... Further, I will be totally wrong, If I claim in that case: "You have not lived in the UK for at least 5 years", won't I ? Anyways, I don't think the word "since" is needed in that case for removing any ambiguity. HOOTmag (talk) 18:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Grammatically, the strenuously correct way to say it is "You had lived in the UK for at least 5 years". You use the pluperfect tense to indicate events which happened in the past and stopped happening in the past. When you say "You have lived..." you're using the Present perfect, which implies that the "end" of the action is the present time. So, to say "You have lived in the UK for at least 5 years" usually implies that the "living in the UK" could still be going on. If you use had, you would be implying that you don't live there currently. --Jayron32 18:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree to your last claim - that using "had" means the event is over, and I also agree to your first claim that "have" means the event could still be going on. However, "have" does not mean the event must still be going on. Using "have" is grammatically incorrect - only if a specific time in the past is indicated, e.g. in the following ungrammatical sentence: "You have done that yesterday". However, "I have done my homework", does not imply that I'm still doing my homework. Similarly, "You have done this five times", does not imply that you're still doing this. I can say "You have visited me five times", even if you have already stopped visiting me. Similarly, I can say "You have lived in the UK for at least five years" - even if you have already left the UK. If you want to make sure the event is still happening, you must indicate that somehow, e.g. by saying: "His stories have always been wonderful", or by saying "I have lived in the UK since 2004". HOOTmag (talk) 19:54, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

There is quite a lot of ambiguity in what you mean by living in the UK for a year. Obviously if you take a two week break abroad you would still count that as living in the UK, but from the point of view of the Inland Revenue you could spend 182 days abroad, or in some circumstances more and still count as living in the UK for that year. -- Q Chris (talk) 09:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Soft sign and palatalisation in Russian[edit]

The introduction of the Soft sign article notes that the sign indicates the Palatalization (phonetics) of the preceding consonant, but the "Palatalization sign" begins by pointing us to Palatalization (sound change) to explain the glyph's purpose. Is the soft sign meant to indicate (phonetics) or (sound change)? In other words, does it have some historical-linguistics function (comparable to the difference between "rite" and "right", perhaps?) for two words with identical pronunciations, or does it actively demonstrate that the two words are pronounced differently, or am I misunderstanding the situation altogether? Nyttend (talk) 18:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

For examples of minimal pairs, I consulted my copy of Russian—Elementary Course—Book I, by Nina Potapova, published in Moscow in 1959, and available on Amazon. I found these examples.
For audio files, I consulted Forvo at
Wavelength (talk) 19:49, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Rule of thumb for Russian (can't speak to other languages). Generally, the soft sign does indicate a difference in pronunciation, as the opening paragraphs in the Soft sign article suggest: either a palatalization of the preceding consonant, or else a vowel that is "iotated." There are cases in Russian where a soft sign is written but not pronounced, e.g. дочь. These spellings may indeed tell you something about grammar or the development of the language.......but they're much rarer. Herbivore (talk) 20:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Right, the relevant link here is palatalization (phonetics). The soft sign makes a difference in the pronunciation of a word today, and it is used in all kinds of foreign loan words for its phonetic function. It's certainly not indicating any historical sound change when it appears in FDR or William Randolph Hearst. --Amble (talk) 21:13, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Link is now fixed. --Amble (talk) 21:16, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
@Nyttend: your question is covered in most historical grammars of Russian (the so-called process of "the fall of the extra-short vowels", падение редуцированных). Unfortunately for English-speakers, most of them grammars are expectedly written in Russian, but you might consult two Russian Historical Grammars in English either by Kiparsky (1979) or by Matthews (2003).
To give you a general idea. In Old Russian the "soft" and "hard" signs (yers) originally designated two short fronted and backed vowels respectively, supposedly they were close to /ɪ̆~ɘ̆/ and /ʊ̆~ɤ̆/. They could be either strong or weak (see Havlík's law). At the same time all consonants, that were not already palatal, were palatalized before all front vowels, namely ⟨е и ь ѣ ѧ⟩. That palatalization was not phonemic but allophonic. Then around the 12th-14th centuries all weak yers was lost, while strong yers changed: ⟨ь⟩ to ⟨е⟩ and ⟨ъ⟩ to ⟨о⟩. This led to phonologization of the previous palatalization of the consonants before the soft yers. In other words, the words like мелъ and мель were initially different in the quality of their last vowels (back ant front), but later in the quality of their last consonants (hard and soft). Or in other words, the lost of the extra-short Slavic vowels led to the phonemic palatalization of Slavic consonants. This happened not only in Russian but in other Slavic languages also (with some exceptions, but it's too much to explain here). The hard sign was written at the end of words before 1918 for some orthographic reasons (often anti-etymological), but the soft sign is still used as a palatalization sign and usually corresponds well to the etymology of words.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
What about the soft sign affecting the preceding vowel? μηδείς got me intrigued. I never heard of that. I certainly pronounce the o in both words the same. Wiktionary, too, transcribes both o's simply as [o]. Asmrulz (talk) 18:45, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know the exact rules, I only took Russian 101, and have a limited command of the Rusyn language, but the teacher explained to us that the prior vowel was subject to "palatalization" as well, so that the textbook by Slavonica publishers would transcribe the two words as [mol] and [moyly]. (This is not a standard linguistic transliteration, but one meant pragmatically for Russian students.) The difference in the vowel is allophonic, not phonemic, so it might not be noticeable in the way that most English speakers don't notice the difference between "light l" and "dark l". This [50] describes it as vowel raising, which would essentially be a form of i-mutation. μηδείς (talk) 19:15, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Because this is allophonic, and allophonic variation is rarely perceived by (native) speakers. The chapter about phonetics in Русская грамматика (1980) very well explain this issue.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:22, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, μηδείς and Lüboslóv Asmrulz (talk) 11:40, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Peggy is diminutive of Margaret?[edit]

Why is "Peggy" diminutive for "Margaret"? They don't even sound similar to each other. One begins with M, and the other a P. The vowels don't line up. (talk) 20:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

It's history seems to be based on rhyme: Margaret > Meg > Peg(gy). See Margaret#Nicknames_of_Margaret, and here [51] [52]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:53, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
As with Mary > Molly > Polly, for example. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Happens with male English names too: Richard > Rick > Dick .... William > Will > Bill .... Robert > Rob > Bob, etc. --Jayron32 18:13, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Also Edward, as Ed, which can become Ted, or in the old days, Ned. And Robert can become Robin, and in the old days, Dobbin. One of those oddities of English. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:32, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
And also Ellen or Helen > Ellie > Nellie. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:34, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm... Nellie is generally for Eleanor, see Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis and Nellie Stewart. 18:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
There's a little bit in our article on hypocorism, but far more in Zairja's response here, at Stack Exchange. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Slovenian question[edit]

Free Coca-Cola in Ljubljana.jpg

I took this photograph of people giving away free Coca-Cola in Ljubljana, Slovenia. What does the text on the Coca-Cola container say? JIP | Talk 20:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

The adverb ênkrat means "once". (See also The conjunction kot means "(just) as, (just) like", and the noun "kót" means "angle; corner". The adjective pŕvi" means "first". The noun poljub means "kiss".
Wavelength (talk) 20:48, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
So I'm guessing this means something like "Just like a first kiss"? JIP | Talk 20:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I am guessing similarly, but I need to find out more about the first word.
Wavelength (talk) 20:56, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
[Correction: Wiktionary categorizes kot as a conjunction, but the text on the Coca-Cola container uses it as a preposition.
Wavelength (talk) 04:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)]
The Slovenian expression Res je enkratna! at (published by Jehovah's Witnesses) is equivalent to the English expression It is fabulous! at Probably enkratna means "fabulous'", and then the complete text means "Fabulous (just) like a first kiss".
Wavelength (talk) 21:11, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Ioscius (talk · contribs) isn't really active on the English Wikipedia, but if you can find him, he speaks Slovenian and can probably help. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:00, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • "[As] unique as a/the first kiss". μηδείς (talk) 01:19, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
'Unique' makes sense, and if that is what is intended, 'As special as the first kiss' is probably better idiomatic English. Akld guy (talk) 02:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
See here and here. Two separate adjectives exist: ênkraten (fem. -tna, neut. -tno) means "one-time, one-off, one-shot", while enkráten (fem. -tna, neut. -tno) means "unique". The tonal marks are sometimes indicated in dictionaries, but are not part of the standard Slovene orthography, so both adjectives are standardly written enkraten (masc.) / enkratna (fem.) / enkratno (neut.). Apparently, the second one is meant here. --Theurgist (talk) 20:01, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I think that Akld guy's "As special as the first kiss" is nearly perfect, in English it's necessary to turn that definite article into a possessive pronoun, so "As special/amazing/unforgettable as your first kiss". -Ioscius 13:26, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd point out that JIP asked what the slogan says, not what would be a good way to express the sentiment idiomatically in an English language commercial. Literally, the sign says "unique as first kiss", full stop. Adding [as] and [a/the] is appropriate only as the bare minimum necessary to make the sentence grammatically acceptable in English. Starting to write polished advertising copy in English (something I have done a bit of professionally) is far beyond what was requested. μηδείς (talk) 02:19, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, nobody can complain that JIP hasn't been given enough information. You, on the other hand, would have given him the barest minimum. Akld guy (talk) 03:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Summation: literally translated, the sign says "unique as first kiss". However, a proper translation would be "as good as your first kiss". Eman235/talk 04:40, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers. I appreciate being told both what the sign literally says and how it would be properly translated. JIP | Talk 06:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Giving someone a translation (something several of us here have done a bit of professionally) typically means "expressing the sentiment idiomatically in English". I'm not sure why you'd want to give someone a literal translation alone, if it makes no sense. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, what I was asking for was both a literal translation and an idiomatic way to say the same thing in English. I can't think of how someone would think I would have been literally only interested in a literal, word-by-word translation. After all, I speak exactly zero Slovenian, so I was interested in knowing what the expression meant in the first place. JIP | Talk 19:25, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

replacing a word with its initial (e.g. "F word")[edit]

Is there a term for euphemistically referring to a word as it's initial followed by "word" (e.g. "F word", etc)? It isn't covered at the euphemism article. Thryduulf (talk) 20:55, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

The term is "Phonetic euphemism", and it is already covered ibid. HOOTmag (talk) 22:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I say "citation needed". The other things classified in the article as phonetic euphemisms relate to the sound of the word, as "phonetic" implies, whereas this particular usage is based on the name of the initial letter. That's not necessarily "phonetic" as it will often include sounds that aren't in the word being euphemized, like the initial E sound in "F word". -- (talk) 03:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Request for translation from Spanish[edit]

I wonder if a good Spanish speaker could translate this?: Estamos pensando también salir del país. Esta semana nos han saludado mucho de México, demasiado. Debe ser porque últimamente fueron los Villa y Tomo como Rey y es un granito que se deja allá. Google Translate makes a hash of it. The first sentence I understand; I'm giving it for context. The speaker is a musician from Chile (Alonso "Pollo" González from Santa Feria); his language is often very idiomatic. Tomo como Rey is the name of a musical group; there is no need to translate it. Looie496 (talk) 23:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Here is my translation, with expressions which are probably not idiomatic enough.
"We are thinking also of leaving the country. This week they have greeted us much from Mexico, too much. It must be because recently the Villas and Tomo como Rey went and it is a small thing that it is left there." (Alternatively, the last part can be "it is a small thing that is left there." The word granite can mean "granite" or "small grain".)
Wavelength (talk) 23:59, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • It's hard to be exactly sure without the wider context (e.g., are these members of another group talking?) but this sounds like:
"We're also thinking of leaving the country. We've been welcomed by much of Mexico (i.e., "seen a lot of"), too much. It must be because los Villa y Tomo como Rey recently left, and there's only a little bit remaining."
What this little bit of is (the tour, fans, the country we haven't seen?) is unclear. μηδείς (talk) 01:14, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, the last sentence is still a bit opaque but I get the gist of it. Looie496 (talk) 13:56, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Linguistic history of China[edit]

Here are quite decent maps that cover the political and cultural history of China. But I could not find maps that deal with the linguistic history of China. I read some articles but still have some (or rather many) questions:
1) As I understand Old Chinese was originally located in the Xia state. Later during the Shan and Zhou dynasties this state expanded. What were the languages outside of the original Xia state? Was the expansion an assimilation of non-Sinitic languages into Old Chinese or rather a unification and amalgamation of closely related Sinitic languages?
2) What was the linguistic situation in Southern China during the Xian-Shan-Zhou period? I suppose in (Far) Northern China there were Mongolic, Turkic and Tungusic-Manchu speakers, in Western China - Tibetan speakers.
3a) Are the southern Chinese "dialects" the result of the later migration from the Xian-Shan-Zhou area and assimilation of the local non-Chinise languages (akin to the expansion of Latin and the development of the Romance languages)?
3b) Or did the southern Chinese "dialects" already exist in the Xian-Shan-Zhou period of Northern China?
4a) If (3a) is true how did the substrata affect the southern Chinese "dialects"?
4b) If (3b) is true how did the Sinitic languages appear in their current locations?
5) Where was the Proto-Sinitic Urheimat and how was the linguistic landscape changing anyway?--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 15:03, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • History of the Chinese language has some information, and cites a few scholars. You may use that as a start of your research. --Jayron32 15:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
    • Obviously, I read that and some other things, but it hardly helps. They are either very vague or even contradict themselves.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 16:16, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I'll take a stab at this, but it isn't really possible to offer definitive or authoritative answers to most of your questions.
1) We don't know the geographic extent of Old Chinese. In any case, Old Chinese is defined as the ancestor of the modern Chinese languages spoken between 1200 BCE and the unification of China in 221 BCE. During this period, the language underwent considerable change, both linguistically and very likely in its geographic extent. The earliest specimens of Old Chinese date from the Shang Dynasty, not the Xia Dynasty. The language spoken by the prehistoric Xia Dynasty and its precursors was probably a precursor of Old Chinese. We do not know what languages were spoken by peoples surrounding the Shang state. Some very likely spoke dialects related to what we might call standard (Shang) Old Chinese, while others probably spoke unrelated languages. A major problem here is that, because written Chinese does not preserve the phonology of older versions of the language and because of a series of stages of phoneme collapse over the history of Chinese, it is impossible to reconstruct with certainty the Old Chinese pronunciation of many characters. In any case, foreign words were probably adapted to Old Chinese phonology. So it is almost impossible to use evidence such as place names and personal names from ancient Chinese in the way that those have been used to hypothesize about the linguistic affiliations of ancient peoples whose names are recorded in the phonetic scripts of ancient Greek or Latin, for example. However, the geographic area in which Chinese inscriptions occur did expand from early Shang times to the 3rd century BCE, and it is likely that the geographic area in which Old Chinese was spoken expanded with it. We don't know to what extent this expansion involved an "assimilation" as opposed to a replacement. Usually an expanding language does pick up some vocabulary from the languages it supplants, and this probably happened, but there are also cases such as Old English in which a language largely supplants its predecessor. Again, there is no evidence to indicate which process took place.
2) Scholars usually suppose that languages spoken in southern China before the 3rd century BCE belonged to the Austroasiatic, Tai-Kadai, Hmong-Mien, and Tibeto-Burman language families. There may also have been now-lost members of the Sinitic language family.
3 and 4) Most of the present-day Chinese languages are believed to descend from Middle Chinese, which probably spread beginning during the Southern and Northern Dynasties and continuing through the Tang Dynasty and supplanted (or to some extent assimilated) both other descendants of Old Chinese and languages not descended from Old Chinese that were still spoken especially in the South. Most of the present-day southern dialects did not exist as such before the first millennium CE. There was a significant migration at the beginning of the Sixteen Kingdoms period that brought speakers of early Middle Chinese from the ancient Chinese heartland along the Huang He to the heartland of the Eastern Jin Dynasty along the Chang Jiang (Yangzi). (See Jin dynasty (265–420).) A further migration south of the Yangzi into southern China took place during the Southern and Northern Dynasties, though the language probably spread not just through migration but also by adoption by speakers of other languages. There is an important exception to this pattern, Min Chinese, which seems to be descended independently from a form of Old Chinese, possibly brought to Fujian during the Han Dynasty, but also showing Middle Chinese influence. Again, because of the non-phonetic nature of the Chinese script and the process of phonemic collapse, it is difficult to know what forms derive from the internal evolution of the language and what forms, if any, are derived from other substrates.
5) We do not know the location of the proto-Sinitic Urheimat, partly because the membership of non-Chinese languages in the Sinitic family is disputed, and partly because the probable ancient diversity of Sinitic languages, which should have been greatest around the Urheimat, was probably later wiped out by the spread of, first, Old Chinese and, later, Middle Chinese. There is a pattern of cultural continuity between Yangshao culture and Shang culture that suggests that the cultural ancestors of the speakers of Old Chinese were centered in Shaanxi and Shanxi. Meanwhile, some scholars see the Bai language group as distant members of the Sinitic family. If this is true, it might suggest an Urheimat in the Sichuan Basin, bordering on the present-day area of the Tibetan languages. However, the evidence is inconclusive, so we can only speculate.
Marco polo (talk) 18:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Slightly tangentially, the OP might be interesting in today's post on the Language Log blog which discusses the origins of certain Chinese words and links to a lengthy paper examining the alleged linguistic and other evidence of whether the Xia dynasty actually existed, or was a myth invented for political reasons around a millennium later.
Some of the regular posters on Language Log are quite knowledgeable about the Chinese languages' relationships and histories. (Which is not to deny that Marco polo's own summary above is extremely interesting and useful.) {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree that, as our article on the Xia Dynasty points out, the existence of that dynasty is disputed. Still, most scholars believe that there was a predecessor state to Shang, centered at Erlitou, that largely corresponds to later descriptions of the Xia. So a majority of scholars of ancient China accept that there is a factual basis for the accounts of the Xia, even if not all of those accounts are factual in every detail. Marco polo (talk) 18:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The Chinese historiography, either in the past or in the present, has had a tendency to overage their history as a result of their ethnocentric mythology (a Chinese: "We are the greatest and most ancient civilization with the 5,000-years continuous history!" - a Western barbarian: "Ehm... OK" ☺). So I do not expect that everything said in Chinese manuscripts actually happened. Though we have at least a relative chronology (plus-munus 100-500 years - it's not too important for "the most ancient civilization" ☺).
Your answer was quite interesting. I thought myself if I could not find something clear then there is indeed little or no linguistic evidence (due to the absence of a Chinese phonetic writing in the first place). Anyway, my allusion with Latin and the Romance languages seems quite legit. The Yellow-Yangtze "Mesopotamia" might be like Italy where might be a proto-Chinese core somewhere (like Latium), and that core might be surrounded by Sinitic (like Italic) and non-Sinitic languages (like Etruscan, Celtic or Greek). The Middle Chinese expansion was like Romanization of the non-Italic tribes in the Roman empire (either by migration or assimilation), they were even close chronologically.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 07:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The expansion of Chinese was like the expansion of Latin in some ways but different in others. Unlike Latin, which spread once, between about 200 BCE and 200 CE, Chinese spread twice. There was the Old Chinese expansion, from about 1000 BCE to about 100 BCE, which left a variety of divergent dialects. Then there was a second expansion of Middle Chinese, from about 400 CE to about 700 CE, which supplanted all other dialects descended from Old Chinese with the exception of Min Chinese. So, in terms of chronological depth, Min Chinese is most distant from, for example, Mandarin. Since the divergence of Old Chinese dialects was roughly contemporaneous with the divergence of Germanic languages from Proto-Germanic, the relationship of Min Chinese to Mandarin is analogous to the relationship of Swedish to English. The divergence of Middle Chinese dialects is more recent than the divergence of Romance dialects from Vulgar Latin. Chronologically, it is more comparable to the divergence of the Slavic languages. So the non-Min southern Chinese languages have a relationship to Mandarin analogous to the relationship between, say, Czech and Russian. Marco polo (talk) 14:56, 28 August 2015 (UTC)


Do you mean the Old Chinese expansion was in the Yellow-Yangtze Mesopotamia? I think the origin of Min may be a little different: some archaic peripheral dialects (periphery always tends to be more archaic) moved southward as a result of the fall of the Yue state. The migration might be not so massive, but still proto-Min Old Chinese could assimilate the local population. The later conquest of the Min state forced that assimilation.
I don't think that the expansion of Latin happened once in the short span of time. There were rather several waves (the first one was during the conquest of the Italic peninsula) into several directions (Hispania, Gallia, Africa, the Balkans). The spread and the dissolution of the Slavic languages was also much durable, the last stages are thought to be as late as the 12th century. What confuses me is the modern Slavs still somewhat can understand each other, but as I know understanding between the speakers of the Sinitic languages is close to zero. They may be quite recent (not much than 2000 years) but these Chinese "dialects" are rather like the groups of the Indo-European family. Probably the first waves were during the Qin-Han period. And due their nature the changes and differences are more prominent than in other language families.
By the way I found in ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese a very good overview of the history of the language[53]. And I also found some interesting maps [54][55][56] (I cannot say where they are from, don't you know?).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:00, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]


Wiktionary:out-and-out tells me that "out-and-out" means "complete, utter". I already knew that, but both examples they give refer to negative things: an out-and-out idiot and an out-and-out lie. The Douglas Adams' quote refers to "an out-and-out atheist", almost as if that were akin to being a criminal.

Is this ever used of positive things, eg. "He is an out-and-out champion", or "I have spoken the out-and-out truth"?

Where did this expression come from, and is there a corresponding opposite, such as "in-and-in"? Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:52, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

By searching Google News, I found "five out and out world-class players" here and "out-and-out champion" here.
Wavelength (talk) 20:18, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Dictionary definitions are indexed at ( has (at the definition "complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers" and the synonyms "absolute, downright, rank, right-down, sheer, complete". A plumb line (with a plumb bob) indicates a completely vertical line, so "downright" is equivalent to "plumb": "a downright winner, a plumb winner, an out-and-out winner". Another synonym is "outright", alluding to a completely horizontal line like that indicated by a spirit level.
Wavelength (talk) 00:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Halsbury's Laws (title "Gaming") reports a nineteenth - century case on the clause in the 1845 Gaming Act which prohibits bringing legal proceedings to recover any money paid to any person to abide the result of a wager. The judge ruled that the clause meant "paid out and out" and did not operate to prevent the litigant recovering his own stake. However, before you all rush off to the betting shop to reclaim all those losing bets you've had over the years please note that although the statute makes betting contracts unenforceable they are not illegal so the bets stand. (talk) 14:13, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The Gambling Act 2005 makes gambling contracts enforceable. See here for some info. DuncanHill (talk) 14:39, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to correct the impression some readers may get that gambling contracts were unenforceable before 2005. That's not the case. Casinos can and did sue customers for the amount paid for chips where the customer's cheque bounced or was stopped. Bets with totalisators or their agents have always been recoverable in the courts because one party (the tote) cannot lose so it's not a gambling contract. The same with football pools. In one case involving Vernons Pools a client sued for a dividend not received (I would guess that either the agent pocketed the money or the coupon got lost). The court held that the provision in the rules that the transaction is a "gentlemen's agreement not intended to create legal obligations" and that the agent is the agent of the customer meant the client could not recover.
The plaintiff's lawyer argued that the agent is quite obviously the agent of the pool promoter (he hands out the coupons, collects the money, sends the coupons to the promoter, gets paid commission etc.) and then invoked the maxim "notice to the agent is notice to the principal".
However, it is true that for a legally binding contract to come into being there must be an intention to create legal obligations. So for example if two scrabble players agree that whoever loses the game will go out and buy kebabs for both at the local takeaway that is not legally enforceable. The judge agreed that the agent was acting for the promoter. As he put it, "You can say in the contract that black is white but that doesn't make it true". Nevertheless, the client had signed away his legal rights and could not claim.
The National Lottery has been sued by players for winnings in cases where either the ticket was lost or the claim under the lost ticket rule was made outside the 180 - day deadline for claims. The lottery started in 1994 and whether any cases pre - date 2005 I cannot say. (talk) 15:20, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, let's say that two drinkers are playing cards in a pub and are betting on the outcome of the hands. By closing time one player is ten thousand pounds down. Do you think his opponent can recover his winnings by issuing a writ in the High Court? The courts have always regarded gambling suits as void as being an abuse of process. Do you know of any cases which have actually been brought? (talk) 15:35, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The verse of the old music-hall My Old Dutch begins with the lines "I've got a pal, A reg'lar out an' outer", where "out an' outer" is clearly meant positively. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 16:16, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Transliteration of French into Hebrew[edit]

I need some help with something that I should really be asking about at the Hebrew equivalent of the reference desk, but I don't speak Hebrew. So I was hoping somebody could get this information for me from Hebrew-speaking Wikipedians.

I would like to find detailed instructions for transliterating French names into Modern Hebrew in a standard way, if there is such a thing. For example, this could be some agreed upon system used in Israeli newspapers or library catalogues. I would obviously prefer it if the instructions were in a Western language, but I understand such a thing may only be available in Hebrew, in which case I will make do with the Hebrew text. But first I need to find it.

Thanks for any help you can give me. (talk) 20:34, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Here is a a page of instructions for transcribing French names into Hebrew (it's in Hebrew, unfortunately).
At the Hebrew Wikipedia's Language reference desk, requests for transcriptions from various languages are a pretty usual thing, and many of the users know English, so it wouldn't be much a of a problem if you use English to post any questions you may have.
You could also ask me if you'd like to have (suggestions for) Hebrew renditions of some specific names - although I'm not really a Hebrew speaker, I'd say I do have some idea of how transcription works. --Theurgist (talk) 00:23, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. That Hebrew Wikipedia page looks like it will do perfectly. I'll start with that and ask again if I have trouble with specific issues. (talk) 01:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Life hack?[edit]

When did an idea, a suggestion, a tip or a handy hint become a "life hack"? Who dreamt up that stupid, stupid expression? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

You left out one "stupid". Bus stop (talk) 02:06, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Danny O'Brien did, in 2004, according to the article on life hacking. ---Sluzzelin talk 06:49, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:40, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Sheesh, Jack, you just gave it a whole lot more publicity. Reminds me of the way the Bible says to blot out the remembrance of the Amalekites because of what they did, thus guaranteeing that their name would live on for the next few thousand years to the present day, lol. Deuteronomy 25:19 for anyone interested. Akld guy (talk) 07:24, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Very interested. Thanks. That book (which English has the Greeks to blame for misreading) is full of spiritual Gameshark codes. There. Now they're both public. May the least stupid sounding make it (loosely translated, at least) into the history books, and may the other join what's-his-name. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:59, August 30, 2015 (UTC)
I've only ever seen it on, Jack. It basically means a way to fix something in your life. Hacking into a computer can be used for benevolent means, too. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:40, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I see it on social media all.the.time. I know what it means (see my question). I was just questioning the need for such a neologism; despite claims of it being the second most useful word of 2005, I still say there's no need for it. Anyone who doesn't see things my way is wrong, and all intolerant people should be shot. The end. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:40, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
And then there are food hacks, such as how to dice an onion[57]. Bus stop (talk) 09:49, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


August 24[edit]

P. Stands For Paddy[edit]

I just heard the Irish standard "P. Stands For Paddy" (Johnny is the fairest man), which has as the chorus of "P stands for Paddy, I suppose, J for my love, John; W stands for false Willie, oh but Johnny is the fairest man" [58]. Normally with "X stands for Y", the letters are coming from another word or have some other meaning, for example in the song L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole. Is there any additional meaning to P-J-W? Or is this stemming from a Celtic/English mistranslation issue? -- (talk) 15:49, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Interesting question - a thorough search of Google has failed to shed any light on the matter. I'm not sure how many Irish folk songs have actually been translated from Gaelic texts as English has been widely spoken there for centuries. Even if it is the case, John is usually rendered as Seán or Seaghán and William as Liam or Uilliam in Gaelic, thus giving you some different initials to puzzle over. Alansplodge (talk) 21:05, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
There is a discussion on the point here, which seems to conclude that it simply refers to a young woman choosing between suitors, and the names themselves have no special significance. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Many old forms of divination involved looking for patterns (such as your future partner's initials) in randomly formed materials (blobs of wax or lead, or dregs of tea leaves) or simply pulling them out of a bowl - see 1, 2, 3. It's possible that this woman is scrying and coming up with predictions for various possible lovers. Smurrayinchester 10:29, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Wow, those are some great -mancy words I never knew! Anthracomancy isn't mentioned in divination, but cleromancy and some others are. Maybe we need a List of mancies or similar? SemanticMantis (talk) 23:42, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Category:Divination has many of them, plus other stuff besides as well also too. Wiktionary -mancy contains a link to "English words suffixed with -mancy". I obtained these links through the obscure arcane esoteric occult art known as googlomancy.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:09, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Anyone able to identify this song??[edit]

The criteria is:

  1. Performed before 2005
  2. Sung by a woman
  3. Contains in the lyrics "And I..." with the word I being sung on 3 distinct notes in ascending order by pitch.

Georgia guy (talk) 17:04, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Wow, that's not much to go on. Any genre info - dance, pop, rock, folk, etc? Can you tell us anything about the instrumentation - e.g. was there a guitar, piano, synth etc? Where did you hear it? Can you hum or sing the bit you remember? Sometimes sharing a few hummed notes can get you a successful ID that would have been impossible otherwise. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Anyway, one song that may fit your description is I_Will_Always_Love_You. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:42, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that was my first thought: the Whitney Houston version of "I Will Always Love You". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:39, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Played to death (literally) on shows like Entertainment Tonight, anytime her name comes up. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:33, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Of course, it doesn't quite meet the description: the three notes that "I" is sung on are not in ascending order. Still, it was the one I thought of too. -- (talk) 06:21, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Jewish film directors[edit]

Do we have something like a (more or less comprehensive) list of Jewish film directors? I'd particularly prefer such in the (Western) diaspora, as I'm afraid Israeli films could be too much like Asian films because modern Ivrit also has right-to-left writing, which due to its influence upon visual culture heavily influences image compositions. I'm not necessarily looking for somebody like Dustin Hoffman, as even though I greatly admire him as an actor, I don't much see him as a director, even though Wikipedia obviously tells me he is one. My favorites so far are Kubrick, Polanski, and Woody Allen (the latter mainly for his satirical stuff he did in the 70s, not his sappy romcoms ever since), Levinson makes my good side pretty much only on virtue of Good morning, Vietnam and Wag the Dog (still trying to catch Toys, though), and Spielberg and Mel Brooks range rather low in my personal preferences most of the time. -- (talk) 06:31, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

How about our List of Jewish film directors?--Shantavira|feed me 07:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
+1. Thanks! :D -- (talk) 10:36, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

first usage of fuck[edit]

What was the first film to use the word ‘fuck?’ --Romanophile (talk) 16:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

The IMDB trivia section says that I'll Never Forget What's'isname is "often named as the first", but that "another contender" is Ulysses, both in 1967. Wikipedia has faithfully reproduced this statement here. -- (talk) 18:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
The first MPAA R-rated film to use "fuck" is often quoted as being 1970's MASH (film), see IMDB. The two films you cite include one that received an "X" rating, and one which the MPAA refused to rate on obscenity grounds. The OP also needs to carefully define "first film". Stag films and other pornography have existed since the earliest days of film. I find it hard to believe that the word "fuck" was never recorded on filmed media prior to 1967! While those 2-3 films released in the late 1960's may be the first major studio films to feature the word (due to restrictions of the MPAA and the Hayes Code), it seems patently silly to assume that no filmed recording of someone speaking the word existed until 1967... --Jayron32 20:10, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I think Romanophile is only really interested in the swearword for when something goes wrong and people get pissed, not the word in its barebone meaning of a sex act. Most porn uses don't matter much here, as they are in the latter category. Was there any consorship code prior to WWI? If not, we could come upon a silent-film dialogue card with the word. -- (talk) 21:51, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
There are several silent films with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. where people have noted that, though lip reading, one can identify him using the word "fuck". These all predate the Hayes Code of course. Likewise, in The Graduate, there's a time when Mrs. Robinson an be seen to say "fuck" through a window, though you cannot hear her speaking. --Jayron32 14:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

copyright issues / where to find international public domain traditional songs for guitar.[edit]

Hello I need to use some songs to teach online a musical instrument. I'm having a problem trying to find songs that I can use in print so I don't breach copyright. Some are prior to 1922 but not sure how to find these that haven't been further copyrighted. Any help would be so good. Thanks Michelle D — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

You might have some luck searching through this DMOZ directory of public domain sheet music. [59]. This site [60] may also be of interest, though it seems to be more focused on classical music. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

Die Hard[edit]

Is it right/appropriate to list Roderick Thorp as the "creator" of the Die Hard franchise (in the infobox)? I find it a little dubious since only the first film is based off a Thorp work, with the other four films based off of other works by different authors. I mean, yes, other big multi-media franchises are sometimes ghostwritten or have carried on forward without the original author, but their roots to the original literary work are a little deeper. Ian Fleming wrote a dozen Bond novels and also participated in the transition to film. Digging around I can see that there was only one book in the Planet of the Apes franchise, but am I just splitting hairs because the title remained the same from novel - > film? hbdragon88 (talk) 03:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, all four sequels use the main character, John McClane, created by Thorp. Die Hard 2 also uses three further characters created by Thorp: McClane's estranged wife Holly (who only gets referred to in later sequels), Sgt Al Powell, and the reporter Thornburg. The villain in Die Hard with a Vengeance is the brother of the villain who died in the first Die Hard ("Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker"), so that's another reference to the original world created by Thorp.
All that being said, I don't know what the criteria should be for naming someone the creator of a media franchise, and you probably should discuss this either on the article's talk page, or perhaps at WP's film project's talk page, or even at Template talk:Infobox media franchise. ---Sluzzelin talk 14:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
(Apologies: I just saw that some of these original characters' names in Thorp's Nothing Lasts Forever, the novel Die Hard is based on, were changed for the film: Joe Leland>>John McClane, Stephanie Leland-Gennaro>>Holly Gennaro McClane, Anton Gruber>>Hans Gruber. See also that article's subsection "Die Hard film adaptation"). ---Sluzzelin talk 17:00, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Is Yaya Dub a real smoker?[edit]

Is Yaya Dub a real smoker? Because base on my information she is a real smoker but I don't know if that is true.Chandelia16 (talk) 05:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

By "real smoker", do you mean to ask if she smokes cigarettes off-screen as well as when playing a character who smokes? Dismas|(talk) 13:52, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Is she any relation to Dubya? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Magnet magazine's rating system[edit]

Hi, would anyone know what a rating of 60 on Metacritic would translate to in Magnet's rating system? Thanks, My name isnotdave (talk/contribs) 08:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]


August 25[edit]

Why are human stools so offensive?[edit]

In comparison to other mammals, why are human droppings so offensive. Rabbit pellets leave virtually no odour. Horse droppings whilst larger are relatively benign and not stink out. Same with sheep and cow faeces.

Yet, human stools smell the worst, far higher up the ick and gross factor than any of the mentioned above. I mean, just try getting dog (or human) crap off your shoes compared to say sheep droppings. I was even reading about farmers using sewage fertilise their fields and a whole town had to practically wear clips on their nose. Sure normal farm muck spreading is bad, but there's like no comparison. And, as a vegetarian (not quite a herbivore but still) the stuff is still far, far more foul than say horse droppings.

So what gives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm just making a WAG, but your non-smelly examples are all prey species, who want to avoid being noticed. Humans and dogs are predators, so that's not as much of a concern. Clarityfiend (talk) 13:22, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Might be also that predators have territories and borders and land ownership and such, and use them as landmarks. Akseli9 (talk) 13:50, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article titled disgust. It has a lot of good information which may help answer the question. --Jayron32 13:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Surely it depends what the mammal ingests at the other end. Horses and rabbits tend to eat grass and other plants. Carnivorous or omnivorous mammals generally have foul smelling droppings; does anyone think that pig dung is "relatively benign"? Alansplodge (talk) 17:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Aye, blame protein. Breaks down into methanethiol, indole, skatole and hydrogen sulfide. Partially explained in "Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit". InedibleHulk (talk) 21:36, August 25, 2015 (UTC)
Some rabbit shit does stink, but they eat that stuff and just leave the "pellets" for us to smell, which are almost entirely fiber. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:47, August 25, 2015 (UTC)
Two articles in Wikipedia (feces and human feces) briefly touch upon the topic of the offensive odor of feces for both humans and other animals. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:10, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

How much to tip at Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC?[edit]

I'll be visiting NYC in the coming weeks and heard from colleagues that the average tip at a sit-down restaurant is 20% of the bill either pre or post-tax. How much should one tip at a high-end Michelin-starred restaurant when dining with 2 people? Whether it be one or three-starred, would it be appropriate to continue tipping 20%? Thanks. Acceptable (talk) 13:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

A 15 to 20% tip is standard in all restaurants in the U.S., as the wait staff receive lower wages than would be normal because a large percentage of their income comes from tips. This percentage does not vary whether the restaurant is a local diner or a three-star fancy place. The only difference is that some of the higher-priced establishments may already include a service charge on the bill (it will be clearly identified if that is the case). See Gratuity#United_States --Xuxl (talk) 14:02, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I basically agree with Xuxl, though I would say I am more likely to tip at 20% or higher in a low-end restaurant because workers in those restaurants earn much less in tips (and wages) than workers in high-end restaurants. If anything, my tipping percentage falls as the total bill rises, though it is expected that you will tip at least 15%, and probably a little more, for acceptable service. Look at it this way: A 20% tip on a $10 meal is just $2. On a $100 meal, a 16% tip is a much more generous $16. A 20% tip would be $20. Did the waiter at the $100 restaurant offer service that was worth 10 times as much as the service offered by the waiter at the $10 restaurant? I doubt it. For that reason, I think it is okay to tip a little more modestly at high-end places. At less expensive places, you might consider exceeding 20%. Marco polo (talk) 15:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Waiters won't agree with you. They indeed provide a top-class service that not many of their colleagues are capable who work in cheaper restaurants, and that's why they could apply in the first place for the job in such a demanding restaurant. They receive big tips from rich people, and they think they deserve it and rich people agree that they give big tips to top-class waiters and that's the reason why they prefer to eat there, because the food is good and because the waiters are topclass. Akseli9 (talk) 15:39, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I'll echo what Akseli9 said. Restaurants that can command higher prices generally do so because the quality of service follows the quality of the food. (Where that is not the case, one can certainly adjust the tip amount to reflect service that exceeds – or falls short of – expectations.) But that's not the only consideration.
Higher-end restaurants that can charge much more per plate also tend to have more staff per diner. That is, each waiter is taking care of fewer tables and fewer customers, and so receives fewer individual tips. A cheap-and-cheerful chain restaurant can run through an appetizer and main and flip a table every hour; the waiter could get tipped on three consecutive checks for one table during the dinner service. Dinner at a fine-dining establishment serving a more relaxed meal (or a tasting menu) of three or more courses might run two or three hours; the waiter is lucky to get two checks from one table during the night and may only see one. I'll leave aside the 'tipping out' costs associated with sharing tips with a proportionally larger back-of-house staff.
So...if the fine-dining waiter has half as many tables to serve, and turns those tables over one-third as make the same amount in tips the fine-dining waiter needs to receive at least six times as much per tip just to break even with the cheap-restaurant waiter. And Marco Polo wants to knock the fine-dining waiter's tips down another 25% (from 20% to 15%)? Ouch. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Just to confirm what all of the above have said; IF a restaurant is an upper echelon restaurant, the tip should STILL be the same percentage for several reasons 1) waiters at better restaurants are better trained, more experienced, and provide better service than those at your typical family restaurant. My brother works at such a restaurant (like $100 for a steak and lobster dinner sort of place) and they have very high standards for their waitstaff; he had over 15 years waiting experience before he got that job, and they wouldn't even look at applicants without at least 10 years waiting and with impeccable references. 2) Higher end restaurants have more waitstaff to pay out of tips for. Your average diner has a waitress with 5-6 tables she's responsible for, and she does it all herself. At a higher-end restaurant, there are less tables per waiter, and those restaurants also have non-table waitstaff, including food-runners, the guy who fills your water glass, a sommelier, bartenders, hostesses, etc. etc. Guess what, they also get paid a cut of the tips as well. When you short a waiter or waitress at a cheapo diner, you only short one person. When you short the waitstaff at a higher-end restaurant, you're screwing a whole bunch of people over. Now, that DOESN'T mean that you shouldn't alter your tip based on the level of service you receive (that is, if the wait staff does a bad job at an expensive steakhouse, you should lower your percentage accordingly), but good service should ALWAYS be met with the same percentage of tip regardless of how much the meal costs; largely because the more expensive restaurants ALSO provide more service and better service. --Jayron32 16:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Americans disagree about tipping, and I'd rather agree to disagree. Of course, there is no harm done, except to your own wallet, if you want to tip 30% on a $300 check. Feel free. As for myself, I adhere to the convention that the tip should be no less than 15% for acceptable service. In practice, I never let it drop fully to 15%, since that is at the lower limit of what is expected. So I would tip something like $50 on a $300 table for two at a high-end place. I agree that the waiter at the high-end place can't wait as many tables per hour and that he has to share his tips. Still, tipping $60 on that $300 table seems wildly disproportionate if my 20% tip for good service at a $50 table for two at a restaurant with a kitchen that is not an assembly line yields the waiter (and the busboy and other staff) just $10. The ratio of staff to table-hour at the high-end place is nowhere near six times the ratio at the decent but reasonably priced place. At most the ratio is three times as large, which results in twice the pay per person, averaged across the (experienced) waiter and the Mexican busboy whose tiny share of the tip is not much greater in dollar terms than at the cheaper restaurant (meaning that the waiter probably gets at least 3 times as much). Really rich people can do as they please, but I don't like that kind of income inequality, and I think it is perfectly reasonable for me or anyone else to use a sliding scale when tipping. Marco polo (talk) 17:29, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
No one ever claimed that you should tip 30%. Your objection noted immediately above is the first time anyone ever mentioned that number. The standard is always 15-20%, based on level of service. The expectation is that 15% would be for minimal service, and 20% for high quality service. $50 on a $300 dinner would be exactly what was expected, no more, no less, and would be perfect. However, to tip ONLY $45 on a $300 dollar dinner at one restaurant, and then tip, say, $20 for a $100 dinner at another for the same level of service would be wrong, given equal levels of service, one should tip the same %, regardless of the amount spent on the food itself. --Jayron32 18:41, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
If you'd like some references rather than opinion, see Gratuity, the Emily Post institute guides to tipping [61], Fair_Labor_Standards_Act#Tip_credits_and_tip_pools (see fact sheet here [62]- it is legal to a pay a server $2.13 per hour in most states (including NY), provided that they earn $30/month in tips), and finally wage theft (e.g. here for how it's done to servers [63], [64]).
But - there is a way out of this confusing and unfair nonsense - go to a restaurant that doesn't allow tips! See e.g. here for a few examples in NYC [65] [66]. That way, you'll be supporting a business that actually pays its employees fair and living wages. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
However, based on the second source, it's very possible that these two restaurants are the only ones in New York to disallow tips. So this isn't really a feasible approach to take in general. -Elmer Clark (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. However, similar "no-tip" restaurants are beginning to appear around the country: Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Philedelphia, just to name a few I know of, and I thought OP an other readers would like to know that such establishments may be available for their patronage. Here's a few other articles about the rise of no-tip restaurants, one suggesting that we may see many more in the near future, influenced in part by changes and increases in local minimum wage - [67] [68]. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
While feeding your staff a decent wage seems a good idea, even these examples (at least the original NYC one, didn't read the later article) seem to show how ingrained tipping is, since rather than simply having listed prices sufficient to cover this decent wage, they still have a surcharge. Nil Einne (talk) 05:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, at least a surcharge is clear and doesn't depend on weird subjective social norms and evaluation of service (e.g. some people will reward a chatty/friendly server with a good tip, other people hate that). The places I've been to just have a simple price list and a big "no tips accepted" sign (shout out to Black Star in Austin [] :) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:38, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I would point out that my tipping practices are entirely in line with the 15-20% range mentioned in the linked Emily Post article, except that I will sometimes exceed that range in restaurants with table service and low prices. I'm not sure I understand the source of the vitriol if I choose to give a 30% tip at the family-owned Thai restaurant where family members give great service and work long hours below minimum wage while I give a tip of just 16% (with a dollar value several times greater than my tip at the Thai place) at the Chez Grand Argent. Marco polo (talk) 15:23, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
There's no vitriol over increasing your tip. Actually there's no vitriol at all. You're invited to, and allowed to, and to be commended for, tipping as high as you want; just don't lower your tip below the 15-20% range. --Jayron32 15:26, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
In France, it is now officially since many years tips are not required anymore, alas, tradition is too strong and you still need to give a tip, otherwise you would look stingy. It is such a relief for me when I eat in a restaurant in Germany or in Finland, where tips don't exist and would be considered as offensive as corruption. Akseli9 (talk) 15:32, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
For some reason, this topic seems to bring very extensive responses whenever it comes up. Link to previous discussion on this subject. --Viennese Waltz 08:09, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Source for patches[edit]


THANK YOU , JOHN P. THIS WAS MY OUTFIT MARCH 1959 ( 2ND PLT., CO. A, 2ND BG, 8TH INFENTRY, 1ST DIV. FORT RILEY KANSAS The 8th Infantry Regiment of the United States, also known as the "Fighting Eagles,"[1] is an infantry regiment in the United States Army. The 8th Infantry participated in the Mexican War,American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and Iraq Campaign. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:31DA:7570:A4F0:7909:FD9D:FD1A (talk) 13:52, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I have added a section title, reformatted the question, and redacted the email address to protect you from spam. But there is no way of answering, because the question does not say what type of patch you are looking for. Probably you tried to include a picture with your question, but it didn't work. Looie496 (talk) 14:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
We have an article on 8th_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States), which shows a coat of arms and an insignia. Here [69] are various sellers that offer an 8th infantry patch. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Being sent edited pages[edit]

I have been receiving notices (messages) claiming I had tried to edit two or more articles and I have never done this. I just use what I read as a tool to guide me through my book writing. I do not edit or would even know how to edit anything on Wikipedia. Please notify whom is the one responsible for misleading those in the two cases. Thank you, Heather — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Heather. I expect that the notices are intended for another editor using the same IP address (though not You probably have an internet connection that assigns a different address each time you use it, and the address you have today will have been used by someone else yesterday. You can avoid these unwanted messages by creating an account. Dbfirs 16:01, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

You can see the edits made via your IP address here: [70]. Of course, if you choose to register an account, it costs nothing, takes very little time and brings a number of advantages, so come on in, the water's lovely! --Dweller (talk) 15:42, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

Is public transport less safe on Christmas or the Super Bowl or the shift when a year or millennium ends?[edit]

Are there more plane or train or bus or subway accidents per mile then? Especially in places like extroverted and very Christian Utah on Christmas? Or a big football city during the Super Bowl game when the home team is playing? Maybe the average operator is less experienced or lower quality then? I know that the New York subway drivers have to cover for others until someone retires. They have a different route and time each day are forced to do the runs no one else wants to do like late night in the ghetto. Even if it's not like that everywhere the younger they are the less likely they'll have a spouse and kids to be away from, the more likely they are to find the extra pay for working a holiday worth it (cause they're less wealthy) and maybe they won't have their full attention on what they're doing. On the other hand, there's less traffic to collide with then. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 05:18, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Are you referring to only risks coming from accidents involving the train or bus? I suspect in a number of places the biggest risk actually comes from being attacked or injured in an accident while on the train (or perhaps bus), not from the train (and perhaps bus) being involved in an accidents. Even more so if you include attacks while waiting for the train, let alone attacks or simply being involved in an accident while getting to the train station or bus stop or getting on the train etc. Nil Einne (talk) 05:42, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
(The Super Bowl location is predetermined and rarely hosts a home team.)Hayttom (talk) 15:22, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Environmental Impact of Christian Countries[edit]

Women beating men[edit]

Are there any athletic events / sports competition where the women's world record is superior to the men's world record? Dragons flight (talk) 18:44, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

See Discus throw. Widneymanor (talk) 19:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Though, to be fair, women's discus is of a different weight than men's, men throw a 2kg discus, women a 1kg discus. In ultra-Long-distance swimming, however, there are women's records that beat men's records under equal conditions. This article explains some of it, and notes several ultra-long distance swimming events where, both record and average times, women beat men. In fact, those are among the only sports I know of where, when placed on exactly equal footing, women outperform men. Oh, and childbirth. Still undefeated there. --Jayron32 19:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Next time I'm sharing a post-coital jentacular cigarette with your dear wife, I'll tell her you think childbirth is a sport. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't smoke. The way I do conception is a sport, and I have to keep my body in tip-top shape. I'm almost down to world class speed, about to beat Usain Bolt's 100m dash record... --Jayron32 02:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm the one having a hypothetical cigarette with her, so your smoker status is irrelevant here. But I'm pleased you've spilled your guts to the entire online world about your chronic premature jentaculation ejaculation. It must be so awfully embarrassing for you. Haven't the pills helped at all? I feel your pain. Naturally, I'm more of a marathon man myself.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
In the Mick Jagger sense? They're called Snickers over here these days. Tevildo (talk) 09:52, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
In 2002, Tanya Streeter held the "men or women" world record in No Limits free diving, during more than two months before Loïc Leferme beat her by 2 metres. Another woman, Audrey Mestre, was also diving deeper than most men in 2002 at the time she died, especially she was diving deeper than her teacher and coach Pipin Ferreras, although her records are not officially validated. Akseli9 (talk) 19:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Not a world record, still a case of a woman beatin men, in the 90s in Finland, competition parachuting did not distinguish men and women. Both men and women were jumping at the same time from the same plane, under the same rules etc. In 1993, it's a woman, Raija Syyrakki, who won the Finnish championship. Akseli9 (talk) 19:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Equestrian events are mixed sexes so yeah,women have often beaten men in them. Hotclaws (talk) 02:35, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Some of Beryl Burton's records still stand 45+ years after she set them. --TrogWoolley (talk) 12:39, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

Clesson Harvey, author, scientist, educator, and egyptologist[edit]

I need reliable sources for Clesson H. Harvey, author, scientist, educator, and egyptologist.

Translated the Pyramid Texts. Wrote a book entitled The Short Path.

Taught at Berkeley High School, Berkeley, California. Checkingfax (talk) 05:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

[71], also [72]--Aspro (talk) 18:00, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that Harvey's qualifications as an Egyptologist might be open to dispute - he seems to have somewhat unorthodox views: [73] AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Religion in Peru[edit]

Are you aware that Jehovah's Witnesses in 2014 had 123,000 babtised members and possibly a similar number studying the bible with them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

This is not a comment page. If you feel this information is relevant at a specific article and have a reliable third-party source to back it up, feel free to add it to that article. See WP:Teahouse if you need help making such an edit. μηδείς (talk) 03:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
  • No, I'm not aware that Jehovah's Witnesses in 2014 had 123,000 babtised members and possibly a similar number studying the bible with them. Next question! —Tamfang (talk) 04:18, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like OR to me. Citation, please! -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:08, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
So how is Tamfang supposed to find a source to prove he didn't know. Tamfang, I believe you didn't know that and I don't need a source. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 05:20, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Obviously, Tamfang should go publish a paper describing the state of Tamfang's ignorance. Preferably in an peer reviewed academic journal (no self-published sources, please). Dragons flight (talk) 10:13, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
  • That could be the longest thing I ever write. —Tamfang (talk) 07:49, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
To answer the OP's question, see Jehovah's Witnesses by country. Our article gives a figure of 194,860 for "Average Bible study", referenced to the 2015 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not sure what "average" means in this context, I must admit. Tevildo (talk) 10:00, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Peru, just by itself, must be taking up most of the storied 144,000. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:36, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

August 30[edit]


Are there any prominent examples of incidents where individuals dislike their own country, tribe etc. to the point where they support the opposing side in a war, cup final etc? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

List of people convicted of treason has some. Staecker (talk) 12:14, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Also see such topics as Self-hating Jew etc. I am unsure that this is exactly what you were looking for, but many Japanese Americans and German Americans fought for the US in WWII against the Axis. Collect (talk) 12:26, 30 August 2015 (UTC) -