Wikipedia:Reference desk/all

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia Reference Desk - All recent questions
WP:RD/ALL redirects here. You may also be looking for Wikipedia:Resolving disputes, Wikipedia:Redirect or Wikipedia:Deletion review.

This page lists all the recent questions asked on the Wikipedia reference desk by category. To ask a new question, please select one of the categories below. To answer a question, click on the "edit" link beside the question.

For information on any topic, choose a category for your question:

Computing reference deskP computing.svg
Science reference deskP physics.svg
Mathematics reference deskP mathematics.svg
Humanities reference deskP art.png
Computers and IT Science Mathematics Humanities
Computing, information technology, electronics, software and hardware Biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, geology, engineering and technology Mathematics, geometry, probability, and statistics History, politics, literature, religion, philosophy, law, finance, economics, art, and society
Language reference deskP literature.svg
Entertainment reference deskP music.svg
Miscellaneous reference deskP question.svg
Reference desk archivesP archive.svg
Language Entertainment Miscellaneous Archives
Spelling, grammar, word etymology, linguistics, language usage, and requesting translations Sports, popular culture, movies, music, video games, and TV shows Subjects that don't fit in any of the other categories Old questions are archived daily
Help deskWikipedia-logo.png
Village pumpWikipedia-logo.png
New contributors' help pageWikipedia-logo.png
Help desk Village pump New contributors' help page
Ask general questions about using Wikipedia Ask about specific policies and operations of Wikipedia A range of services to answer newcomers' questions
Help manual MediaWiki handbook Citing Wikipedia Resolving disputes Virtual classroom
Information and instructions on every aspect of Wikipedia Information about the software that runs Wikipedia How to cite Wikipedia as a reference For resolving issues between users An advanced guide on everything Wikipedia
See also the Wikipedia department directory



February 3[edit]

more STL questions[edit]

First of all, thank you to everyone who helped me yesterday; I really appreciate it. Now, why doesn't the following code compile?

#include <unordered_map>
#include <vector>
#include <utility>
#include <iterator>

typedef std::vector<signed int> myvec;
typedef std::unordered_map<myvec, double, std::equal_to<std::vector<signed int> > >  uom;  

int f(){
    myvec v;
    uom S;
    S[v] = 4.4;
    return (0);

The compiler gives a whole bunch of error messages starting with

Applications/ error: no matching function for
     call to object of type 'const std::__1::equal_to<std::__1::vector<int, std::__1::allocator<int> > >'
       {return static_cast<const _Hash&>(*this)(__x);}
               ^19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)~
/Applications/ note: in instantiation of member
     function 'std::__1::__unordered_map_hasher<std::__1::vector<int, std::__1::allocator<int> >, std::__1::__hash_value_type<std::__1::vector<int,
     std::__1::allocator<int> >, double>, std::__1::equal_to<std::__1::vector<int, std::__1::allocator<int> > >, true>::operator()' requested here
   size_t __hash = hash_function()(__k);

I don't understand these messages, can anyone advise? Thanks, Robinh (talk) 19:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Don't use Nimur's code; it is wrong (and causing compilation errors) for reasons unrelated to your problem. To use unordered_map, just replace map with unordered_map in your code and provide a hash function for vector<int>. In the previous thread I linked to a couple of possible hash functions and an explanation of how to use custom hash functions with unordered_map. -- BenRG (talk) 03:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

February 4[edit]

Question (How are CPS made ?)[edit]

how are cps made — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jake200503 (talkcontribs) 02:34, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Can you please clarify, it's entirely not clear what you mean by CPS, even if we narrow the field to computing there's a half dozen possibilities of what you could mean. Vespine (talk) 04:12, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I added to the title to make it unique (although still not clear). StuRat (talk) 04:39, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Possibly the OP meant CPUs although even in that case some clarification would help. In the case of a computer the lay person sometimes uses CPU to mean the whole computer (minus the monitor, keyboard, mouse and other user facing parts) particularly with a desktop like device. Nil Einne (talk) 13:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

SQL query condition question[edit]

I recently ran into the following problem at work.

We have a database table that includes rows that should be processed every x months. How much x is depends on the row and is written to a field in the row. There is another field saying when the row was last processed.

I wanted to make a database query selecting every row that should now be processed, as enough time has been passed since it was last processed. Turns out this was not so easy, as the condition to write to the where section would have to change between individual rows.

Let's say the table name is thing, and lastprocessed means when it was last processed, and processinterval means how many months it should be processed between. So the format is something like: select * from thing where lastprocessed < :date and processinterval = :interval.

I ended up making separate queries for every value of processinterval (there are a finite number of them, and not quite many), computing :date separately for each of them, and then combining the results.

Is there an easier way to do this? JIP | Talk 21:02, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

If you're using SQL Server you can do something like this. If not, you could write a function that returns the specific date based on the processinterval and then call the function in the lastprocessed < :date portion, setting the :date to be getdatebyinterval(processinterval)'s return value. I'm not sure if you need specific permissions to create a function on a database; I assume so, but YMMV. I'd also assume that if you're doing this at work then you probably have the permissions. I'm not sure how good a solution this is for your particular workplace. The third option is to hit the database once and get all relevant rows in thing , and then have whatever application is using the data figure out which to process instead of having the database try to. FrameDrag (talk) 21:41, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Without data types, this is hard to answer. I have to ask why you can't add lastprocessed to interval and compare it to the current date. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
See Your table "thing": Does "thing" store a creation date+time for a record? Does it have an increasing record indetifier? When true, create a table which stores a highwater mark when Your processing runs. Use "> (select max(highwater mark) from processruns)" unjoined in the query to select the unprocessed records only. When the query finished, insert the highwatermark from "thing" or add the current date. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 02:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
BTW, this isn't a very efficient way to do things. You might get away with it, with only a small number of rows, but checking every row every time, when only a small number need to be processed, wastes resources. I would suggest a "Scheduled Events" table that lists dates and rows (in the main table) that need to be processed on those dates. You would only have the next event for each row listed in this table, and replace the date with the next date, as part of the processing step. So, if you had a million rows in the main table, and only a thousand need to be processed each time, this should be on the order of a thousand times faster (not including the actual processing time). StuRat (talk) 03:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
If the "process" is each month and a date is in "thing", extract and filter on year and month. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 21:24, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

SSD, virtual memory, thrashing[edit]

In short: will adding an SSD drive generally give notable improvements to thrashing issues?

In long: I have a series of computations I need to run for my research. This partly involves smacking together lots of relatively large arrays. Things go great for size parameters of about 45x45x10k, and the things I want to run complete in a few hundred seconds. Apparently things mostly fit into my 16GB RAM, and only a few larger swaps to virtual need to be done. But if I increase those sizes to say 50x50x15k, I hit a memory wall, get into heavy swapping/thrashing, and the thing can take about 20 times longer, and that's not ideal. It's not so much the time increase that bothers me, but that I've shifted into a whole new and worse domain of effective time complexity. So: would buying a few gigs (16?) of SSD to use as virtual memory generally help speed things up for the latter case? I know more memory would help, but all my DIMM slots are full, and I think I can get a solid drive for a lot less than 4 new RAM chips above 4Gb each. Actually I may be very confused and wrong about this, as I haven't payed much attention to hardware for years, maybe more RAM could be comparable cost and more effective. Any suggestions? (And if you happen to be decently skilled at scientific computing and are looking for something to work on, let me know ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 21:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

In short, yes, sticking the windows swapfile on an SSD is highly recommended, and considering you can get a 64GB SSD for about $70 (I don't think you'll find a 16GB one these days), it's a bit of a no brainer these days. It used to be a but controversial in the early days of SSD because it heavily utilizes the disk and early SSDs didn't have very high read write cycles, but that's not so much of a concern anymore. How much performance increase you see is hard to predict, but it could be anything from "a bit" to "loads". Vespine (talk) 22:00, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, it seems I am indeed out of touch with prices and sizes. This is for use with OSX by the way, but I'm sure I can figure out how to use the SSD for virtual memory if/when I get one. If anyone cares to suggest a make/model with good latency and value for the price, I'd appreciate that too. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:17, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Adding more memory will generally be MUCH MUCH more effective than using a faster (SSD) disk. Even if the memory in the SSD is as fast as RAM (and it almost certainly isn't), the overhead in passing a request through the virtual memory system and I/O system, sending it over the (slow) interface to the disk, getting the response back over the same slow interface, getting it back up the software stack to the requesting thread, waking up and context-switching into the thread, is going to be many times slower than a single memory access. Now consider that nearly every CPU instruction could be doing this (which is pretty much the definition of thrashing). Moving to a SSD disk will certainly improve performance over a mechanical disk, but it will be nowhere near the performance increase you would get by increasing the size of physical memory to be larger than the working set of your processes. Mnudelman (talk) 22:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not as familiar with OSX or Linux but I get the impression moving the swap file is not quite as straight forward as windows. If I were you, i would consider getting a bigger SSD instead, doing a full backup to an external drive and then restore your entire system to the SSD disk. That way you will see improvement benefits above and beyond what you'd get from just sticking the swap file there. I personally use the Samsung 840 (now the 850), they're stalwarts in the reviews for "best bang for the buck" category. Vespine (talk) 22:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
A factor of 20 is not really much for thrashing. The really horrible cases are in the thousands. The most important difference between physical HDD and SSD is the access time, so if there are lots of accesses, the SSD could lower a factor of 20 well into the single digits. If there are many threads working, e.g. 45 threads, the HDD could be busy delivering data from 45 places "at the same time". SATA NCQ helps here but cannot eliminate the physical seeks, just order them in a time-saving way. On SSDs, NCQ could well eliminate part of the communication loop, because all threads could run until they need paged data, and then the OS could ask for the whole wad in one big query. I'm not sure how that would work out in practice, though. The savings will probably be bigger with the HDD, but still not enough to catch up with a quality SSD without queueing. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 19:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Kingston 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 (for MacBook Pro, but I suspect thats not too atypical) is a bit over US$40, so for 32 GB you'd pay US$ 170 or so. As others have said, an SSD is better than a mechanical drive, but RAM is so much better than SSD that it's not even funny. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:41, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, I agree RAM is "better than SSD", but ask anyone what the best improvement to their computers has been in the last 10 years and almost universally it's getting an SSD. The other thing you COULD consider is get 16GB in 2 sticks and replace 2 of your sticks for a total of 24GB. It is "more" usual to have 16 or 24, but having 2 matching but different pairs should still work fine. if that's enough to push you "over the line" you can leave it at that, if it's not you can always get another 16GB pair later. Vespine (talk) 22:46, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that does change things in the cost/value analysis; I forgot not all RAM chips have to match (anymore)? SemanticMantis (talk) 00:16, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
As a general concept it's true that SSD is a big improvement to performance but only if the bottleneck is the disk in the first place. That's not what the OP is describing; he is in a THRASHING scenario. Improving disk speed is a terrible way to address thrashing.
Also consider that when you need to swap to read a single word, you have to free up some RAM first, which probably means WRITING a PAGE of memory to the SSD, then reading another PAGE of from the SSD back to RAM. Depending on the page size, this will be hundreds or thousands of times slower than it would be to read the word from RAM if swapping is not needed, even ignoring other overhead like disk/interface speed and context switching. Mnudelman (talk) 22:49, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Improving disk speed is a terrible way to address thrashing. Except it's not a "terrible" way at all, microsoft recommend sticking your swap file on an SSD if you can. We're getting superlatives mixed up. YES more ram is better than a faster disk but a faster disk is NOT a "terrible" upgrade. Vespine (talk) 23:27, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
My 1st reply was actually going to be "it might be hard to predict how much improvement you will see upgrading to an SSD" but they I read the 1st line again, WILL AN SSD GIVE NOTABLE IMPROVEMENT IN A THRASHING SCENARIO" and my answer, in short, which i still stand by, is yes, yes it will. More RAM will probably be better, but getting an SSD IS also just a GOOD upgrade overall. Vespine (talk) 23:29, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, an SSD for virtual memory will be faster than a HD, but not a whole lot faster. Definitely maximize your motherboard's RAM first. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:56, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Right, so I know more RAM will be the best way to solve the problem. But given a fixed budget, I'm not clear on how to optimally spend it. For example, I can get 8 more GB of ram for around $110 [1]. That will give me more room, but may well put me straight back to thrashing at 52x52x15k, to continue the example numbers from above. I can get 128GB SSD for $60 [2]. For a certain fixed size computation, that will not give me as much speed increase as more RAM would. But, if I'm hitting a RAM wall regardless, then the increased read/write speed should help me out with a lot of thrashing issues, no? It's not like it's thrashing so bad it never stops, or crashes the computer. Just puts me into a much higher exponent on time complexity. To make things up: say I was at O(n^1.1) up to a certain size N. For M>N, the thrashing puts me at O(M^3). With 8 (or 16)GB more RAM, thrashing may set in at M2=M+K, but I'm still at O((M+K)^3) after that. With a new SSD, I thought maybe I could get to O(M^2) for M>N, up to some larger cap on the size of the SSD. (yes I know this is not exactly how time complexity works, I'm just speaking in effective, functional terms of real-world performance on a certain machine, not analysis of algorithms. For that matter, nobody has yet suggested I just get better at managing my computing resources and being more clever at organizing things efficiently, but rest assured I'm working on that too :) SemanticMantis (talk) 00:10, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
In terms of bang for your buck, have you looked into just buying computing resources from a "cloud" provider instead of running things on your personal computer? -- (talk) 00:33, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
(EC)And THERE is the rub. This is a complex enough problem that it might be hard or impossible to give you a good answer. Will an SSD give you an improvement? yes. Will getting 8GB more RAM give you an improvement? yes. Which will be "better" or more "worth while"? This is going to be very hard to predict without actually just TRYING it. If I were you, I think upgrading your system disk to an SSD is just a "good upgrade" to do regardless AND it has the added benefit that your thrashing will probably improve somewhat. How big is your system disk? If you get 8GB more ram and your problem doesn't improve (because you need 16 or 32 more) , then it WILL be a waste, if your problem doesn't improve much with an SSD then at least you will have speedier boot times and an overall performance increase. Vespine (talk) 00:36, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Right, I think I'm leaning toward SSD because it is cheaper and will certainly help at least a little bit in almost all cases, even just normal tons-of-applications-open scenarios. I thought about buying/renting cloud resources but that stuff is fiddly and annoying to me, plus this shouldn't really be out in the world until it is published. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I always maximize my RAM, even if it means taking out some sticks. I usually get it from Kingston Crucial. Besides my main computer, I have three computers that I use for numerical work. Two are core i5s which I bought cheaply and bumped up to the maximum 16GB RAM. One of them is an i7 with 16GB of RAM and an SSD. My main computer is an i7 with and SSD and 32GB.
I did a speed test of sequential access my SSD vs. HD. the SSD does about 395MB/sec whereas the HD does 175MB/sec, so the SSD is 2.25x as fast. (Of course, random access will show a much larger benefit to the SSD.) So I think swapping to an SSD instead of a HD will be about twice as fast. I think you will probably be better off making the RAM as large as possible first. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:41, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Page file access tends to be highly non-sequential, so you should see a far higher gain than that from the SSD in theory. Surprisingly, I can't find any SSD vs HDD paging benchmarks online.
You would probably get large gains from using explicitly disk-based algorithms that are tuned to the amount of physical RAM in the system, instead of relying on virtual memory. But that is a lot of work and programmer time is expensive. -- BenRG (talk) 01:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Yep, but I'm the only "programmer", and too lazy/unskilled for that kind of optimization, and I have bigger fish to fry :) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
According to Solid-state drive, random access times are about 100 times faster for SSD than for HD, and data transfer speeds for both are within one order of magnitude (in both cases, there are huge differences for different models). But random access time for the SSD is still around 0.1ms. Random access time for RAM (assuming it is not cached, and assuming it's not pre-fetched) for current DDR3 SDRAM is about .004 μs, or about 25000 times faster than the SSD just to access a word - and that ignores all the additional overhead of writing back dirt pages, updating the MMU tables, and so on. So yes, an SSD is a good upgrade. I like SSDs, and I have SSDs exclusively in all my machines (even the ones I paid for out of my own pocket, and even at a time when a 1 GB SSD set me back a grand). It will certainly improve paging behaviour. But it is a very poor second best if the system is really thrashing. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:02, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I see your point but beg to differ.
If the SSD can save 9 hours of runtime on the problem I have and the RAM upgrade can save 10 but is more expensive, the SSD can be good enough and even overall better. For example if it saves 30 seconds of boot time (optimistic but not unheard of), the SSD would overtake the RAM after 120 boot cycles. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 19:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Ok, thanks all. I know this is too complicated to give one simple answer of which option is best; I mostly wanted your help in framing some of the pros/cons, and some more current estimates of price and performance. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 5[edit]

How I rename system files on pcbsd?[edit]

How I rename system files on pcbsd? I problably need use the root password (like when updating or installing printers that asks for it), but I can find a way to "enter root mode" to rename the files needed to change some boot files stuff I want to change. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

mv? try "man mv" for instructions. Maybe you need the "sudo" command as well. Or, ehm, "rename"? To be honest I have never used pcbsd. The Quixotic Potato (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
PCBSD uses KDE as the desktop manager by default. If you are logged in as yourself and not root, you won't be able to rename the system (root) files through the GUI. You can do it in one of three ways: You can logout and login as root. You can open a shell and run Dolphin as root (sudo dolphin). You can open a shell and mv (sudo mv oldname newname). (talk) 14:30, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, I was able to rename files with this info. (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed...and 'sudo' is only available if your account is a member of the 'sudoers' group...which may not be the case for your regular login account. If you know the root password, you can use 'su' (hit return, enter password, hit return) to become root - and then just 'mv' the file or add yourself to the sudoers group so you can use sudo for this kind of thing in the future.
I've gotta say that if you need to ask this question, then you're probably not sufficiently experienced to start renaming system files! It's very, very easy to accidentally 'brick' your system so it won't even reboot! There is a reason these files are locked up so only 'root' can change them!
SteveBaker (talk) 15:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

How do I change the default boot order on PCBSD?[edit]

I tried to rename files in the grub.d to 10_RestOfTheFileName, or 30_Rest_of_name ....., like the readme told me but nothing worked. The default boot is pcbsd and I want that the boot loader start with windows xp selected (and so open it if no key is pressed) (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Given this (and the previous) question, you might be better off using a GUI tool to change the GRUB settings - there is "Grub customizer", for example. Not sure if it works with PCBSD - but I see no reason why not.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:47, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Is there any computational method that's neither a numerical method, nor a symbolic method?[edit]

Is there any computational method that's neither a numerical method, nor a symbolic method, nor a combination of both? I cannot imagine another possibility, but my lack of imagination is definitely not a proof.--Llaanngg (talk) 00:42, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

What do I get when I divide one by three?
  • Numerically, I get 0.33333333....
  • Symbolically, I get 1/3 (read: "one divided by three").
  • Verbally Conceptually, I simply get: a third.
HOTmag (talk) 01:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Verbally = symbolically. --Llaanngg (talk) 01:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@Llaanngg:: 1/3 is "one divided by three" (just as 1/x is "one divided by ex"): it's symbolic, i.e. it contains some symbols, e.g. "divided by" and likewise. It's not the same as "a third", being the conceptual computation.
Please note that not every computation can be made conceptually, just as not every computation can be made symbolically: For example:
  • The solution of the equation 3x=1 can be reached, both symbolically - as 1/3 (read "one divided by three"), and conceptually - as "a third".
  • The solution of the equation x2=2, can be reached symbolically - as 2 (read: "square root of two"), but cannot be reached conceptually.
  • The solution of the equation x5+x=1, cannot be reached conceptually nor symbolically.
Here is a more surprising example, of a computation that can be made symbolically (and numerically) only, not conceptually: 51+-1 + 51--1, is a real number, that can be reached both symbolically (as indicated above) and numerically; However, there is no conceptual method for getting this real number.
Btw, there is also the "geometric computation". For example: the solution of the equation x2=2, can be computed - not only symbolically as 2 i.e. as "the square root of two" (and also numerically of course) - but also geometrically as the length of a diagonal across a square with sides of one unit of length.
HOTmag (talk) 07:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Fuzzy logic ? StuRat (talk) 01:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
On one hand "numerical" is a kind of symbolic reasoning. On the third hand, if you can think nonsymbolically, then you can compute nonsymbolically. With yet another hand, graphical calculations are possible, such as Euclidean constructions using compass and straight edge. GangofOne (talk) 02:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Computable real arithmetic is arguably not numerical (since I think "numerical methods" are approximate by definition) and arguably not symbolic (since it works with computable real numbers "directly", not formulas). -- BenRG (talk) 02:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Neural networks could be counted as neither. Fuzzy logic might also fit there too, but you could argue that all of these are symbolic, as the computation has to represent something in the problem. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Neural network uses numerical methods: the errors in the output converges to a minimum, so the output approaches a numerical value. Fuzzy logic uses symbolic methods, as you've indicated. HOTmag (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The terms are kinda vague - but I'd definitely want to add "geometrical" to "symbolical" and "numerical". There are some wonderful things that can most easily be visualized geometrically...the dissection proofs of pythagoras' theorem come to mind here, but there are many good examples out there. SteveBaker (talk) 16:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Analog computers were once used to solve differential equations. Also even now people use scale models for architecture, hydrology or wind tunnel simulations. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Standard digital computers can be understood as doing everything by symbolic methods, including numerical computation; and the way I see the word "computation", that's really the only kind there is. However, you may consider what an analog computer does to qualify as computation (rather than as an alternative method used instead of computation). In that case it would qualify as an answer. -- (talk) 23:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC) (by edit request) ―Mandruss  06:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Scraping of .asp?[edit]

How can I scrap a page accessed with It has two fields (name of artist, works) and two buttons (search, reset). How could I tell a program to go to name of artist, pick a name from a list that I have stored, press search, retrieve page and store. --Scicurious (talk) 16:36, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

wget has parameters to fill in forms. Also if all the names are linked or are findable on a query, you may be able to do a recursive query to get all the pages. Otherwise you could make a list of URLs and pass that to wget. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Go through the whole process once or twice manually. Is there something similar each time, e.g. the button to be clicked is always in the same place, or the text you need is always formatted the same way? If so, you could perhaps use Macro Express to automate the process; it has the ability to control mouse placement (so you could automatically move the cursor to a certain space, for example) as well as merely clicking and pressing keys. Since you have the list of names, you could have it copy/paste from the list. Code for that operation follows my signature. Nyttend (talk) 01:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

With a macro program like MacroExpress, it's just simulating the keystrokes that you'd be using anyway, so just write down the keys you'd press and have the program press those keys in those orders. Be careful about timing: the computer often takes slight bits of time to load windows, and while this isn't significant when you're doing things manually, it's significant for the macro, which essentially does everything instantaneously. As a result, you'll need to insert slight timing breaks (very rarely will you need anything more than a couple hundred milliseconds) after commands that bring up new windows to ensure that it has time to bring up the window before you have it start performing things in the window. Also, you should use something like Notepad, because it won't insert additional characters, and every character matters in this kind of setting. Things like C are instructions to type whatever you've written, while things within <> characters are instructions to press specific keys instead of writing those letters: CTRLD is push down the control key, CTRLU is let it up, and the same for SHIFTD/U. Since you have a list of names in Notepad, with each name on a separate line, you'll find it helpful to mark which ones you've done. I've told it to place a ` character at the start of each line with an already saved title (after it saves the page, it adds the character before the name, and then goes to the next line, where it's ready to start the next page) because that's an easy way of marking which lines you've already done, and the ` character, being quite rare in normal text, isn't likely to be found elsewhere in the document, so when you're done with the list, you can simply do a find/replace command in Notepad to delete the character, and you won't worry about deleting significant characters. Nyttend (talk) 03:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Time Machine's persistence[edit]

My external HD has suddenly become unreliable. (Nothing vital is on it.) It could be some time before I can replace it. I currently have about six months of Time Machine backups. If a year goes by before I replace the flaky drive, will Time Machine throw away what was on it, or keep the last known versions of those volumes? —Tamfang (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

The Hunting of the Snark[edit]

As a young child in the early 1990s, I enjoyed playing a range of little computer games on Grandmother's computer whenever we visited my grandparents; I'm looking for one of them now. It had a title similar to, or identical to, The Hunting of the Snark; you had to find little snark characters in a gridded board (most spaces were empty, a few had snarks, and one had a boojum that ended the game if you found it), presumably findable through some method, but I was young enough that I couldn't find them except by clicking spaces randomly. Can anyone point me to any information about such a game? Google searches produce results mostly related to the namesake original poem, and the game-related things I found were talking about a simple program that you could write in BASIC twenty years earlier, not something that would be sold commercially on par with programs such as Chip's Challenge. Nyttend (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Google DNS Server[edit]

What could be some caveats or cautions about using Google DNS Server (IP address as my DNS server? Privacy issues, maybe? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

There are two issues: performance and privacy.
Privacy: as Infoworld pointed out a while back.[3][4]
"The reality is that Google's business is and has always been about mining as much data as possible to be able to present information to users. After all, it can't display what it doesn't know. Google Search has always been an ad-supported service, so it needs a way to sell those users to advertisers -- that's how the industry works. Its Google Now voice-based service is simply a form of Google Search, so it too serves advertisers' needs. In the digital world, advertisers want to know more than the 100,000 people who might be interested in buying a new car. They now want to know who those people are, so they can reach out to them with custom messages that are more likely to be effective. They may not know you personally, but they know your digital persona -- basically, you. Google needs to know about you to satisfy its advertisers' demands. Once you understand that, you understand why Google does what it does. That's simply its business. Nothing is free, so if you won't pay cash, you'll have to pay with personal information. That business model has been around for decades; Google didn't invent that business model, but Google did figure out how to make it work globally, pervasively, appealingly, and nearly instantaneously."
The question is whether your ISP's DNS servers are worse. Are they selling your information as well? (I am looking at you, AT&T).
Performance: Most major websites use Content Delivery Networks (Amazon, Akamai,,) to serve content. A Content Delivery Network looks up your computer's IP address and directs you to the nearest server. With a public DNS server, the CDN might serve you content from a distant server, and thus your download speeds will thus be slower than if you use your ISP's DNS server. Google's DNS server information page says:
"Note, however, that because nameservers geolocate according to the resolver's IP address rather than the user's, Google Public DNS has the same limitations as other open DNS services: that is, the server to which a user is referred might be farther away than one to which a local DNS provider would have referred. This could cause a slower browsing experience for certain sites"
If you are in Australia, using the US-based Google DNS server means that "closest" Akamai cache will be chosen as in the US and you’ll see very slow download speeds as your file downloads over the international link. It's not as bad in the continental US, but it is still slower.
BTW, wikileaks keeps a list of alternative DNS servers.[5] --Guy Macon (talk) 08:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That information is somewhat outdated, Google supports an extension which can provide your subnet to the CDN's DNS server so they can provide more accurate resolution [6] and it's been enabled at least for Akamai.

Also while the quoted part may be from Google, I'm not certain your intepretation is correct even ignoring the extensions. Talking about US-based Google DNS server from Australia is confusing since both and are anycast addresses. In NZ the servers responding are generally in Australia (you can tell by the latency). I didn't test the IPv6 servers but I'm pretty sure they're the same. I suspect this is normally the case in Australia too, since Google will definitely want their Australian servers to be used for Australians and I doubt many Australian ISPs care enough to fight Google, in fact I strongly suspect Google has the clout that they'll be able to resolve any routing/peering disputes which may cause problems. As a home end user, there's not much you can generally do about routing, so most likely you're going to be sent to the Australian DNS servers in Australia. And I strongly suspect the Australian DNS servers will do lookups with CDN's name servers specific for the Australian servers. That seems to be what this page is saying [7].

In other word, I strongly suspect if you're in Australia it's fairly unlikely you'll be connecting to Google's US DNS and it's also fairly unlikely you'll get US CDNs (unless they're the closest). You may still not get the best CDN's particularly if they don't support the extension. For example, some ISPs work with CDNs to provide specific servers for their customers. Likewise, I have no idea where Google has DNS servers in Australia, do they have them in both Melbourne and Sydney for example? I wouldn't be surprised if som CDNs do which means if Google doesn't you may not get the best geographically located servers even in Australia. Obviously in my case without the extension I'll be getting CDNs in Australia and not NZ even if they exist and there will be countries where the responding name server may be an even worse choice. (It can be complicated but your assumption should be if you're ISP is remotely competent their name servers should provide CDNs that give the best routing.)

One final comment, I'm in NZ not Australia but one our only major internet cable also connects to Australia anyway and I can say things are not nearly as bad as they were 5-10 ears ago. I'm using VDSL2 although the cable to my house is a bit crap or far so only get about 50mbit/s. I can maximise this even connecting to the US, sometimes even at peak times. (In fact, if you're not connecting to a CDN it's easily possible the US server will be faster than the local one.)

It obviously depends significant on the ISP and how much international bandwidth they have, and it's possible NZ ISPs tend to have more because there are fewer CDNs (and I'm not sure where trans-Tasman bandwidth is much cheaper than Californian bandwidth). The SCC is not even close to capacity (and I'm presuming a number of those connected only to Australia are similar), so it is only a cost issue. And it can get confusing what you're actually connecting to because of transparent caching/proxying that many ISPs use. Still the takeaway message is you shouldn't assume connecting to the US is going to be slower (in terms of bandwidth, latency is obviously going to be higher). Of course where it does happen, your ISP won't particularly like you wasting their international bandwidth that way. Actually another reason why it's likely they will work with Google to ensure their customers who choose to use Google Public DNS end up connecting to the right server.

P.S. This assumes that the CDN and your ISP only rely on name servers lookups to ensure you end up on right server. If they have a more complicated system, it may be that you will still end up connected to the right server even if your DNS does their resolutions to the CDN's name servers from the wrong location.

Nil Einne (talk) 13:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Generally, DNS servers can be logged. When using Google Chrome it does not matter on navigating on web pages. The license of Google Chrome makes Google own all input You enter into the URL field of the browser. Other programms can be logged by monitoring the DNS queries. Using a DNS server, You need to trust it. I think You can trust Google. Modifing the DNS entry is also an modification to Your computer. Imagine the cause of a hacked DNS server when using online banking or giving passwords to the page, Your browser displays. DNS servers also can be used as quick way to block (web)servers hosting malware. The DNS entries in Your computer and router tells what “phonebook” to use and the computer will connect to the returned IP address. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


February 5[edit]

When the freezer or refrigerator breaks, what do I do with food in it?[edit]

OK, so something is wrong with my refrigerator and freezer. I have no idea what, but I am calling the repairman tomorrow. There is nothing that I can do about it now, overnight. Basically, both parts (the fridge and the freezer) are not "cold enough" and something is causing the refrigeration and freezing to not work properly. Dead motor? Who knows? So, my question: do I have to throw all of that food out or will it be OK? And the food in the freezer, can that simply be re-frozen again? Right now, the freezer "seems" like a refrigerator (in temperature). Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:36, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

The answer depends on the items that have defrosted. General advice is NOT to re-freeze, and this should be strictly followed for any meat items that have thawed, especially if they have been thawed for some time. Some foodstuffs can be refrozen, but if in doubt, either eat or throw out. Ice cream doesn't re-freeze. Please note that this is opinion, not expert advice on a health issue. If in doubt, throw it out. Dbfirs 07:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Mostly frozen dinners. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 08:27, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Specifically, refreezing ice cream leads to formation of ice crystals, so it no longer has that smooth texture you would like. However, when you are ready to eat it, you can let it melt and basically make a milk shake. (Also make sure it hasn't been left warm long enough for bacteria to grow.)
Bread can be refrozen, but doing that too many times will lead one side to be soggy and the other to be stale.
Soup can be refrozen with no bad effects, although when you reheat you may want to boil it to kill off any bacteria.
Most of those frozen dinners are probably OK. I'd cook them normally, smell and taste them, and if they seem OK go for it. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
So would I, especially if they have never reached room temperature, but I wouldn't advise anyone else to do this, just in case ... Dbfirs 18:58, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, if you are a smoker, or otherwise have an impaired sense of smell and taste, have somebody else smell and taste it for you. StuRat (talk) 15:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The idea that you can't refreeze meat or other foodstuff is common, but it's a misconception (which doesn't mean that all thawed food can be refrozen safely or without changes in texture and taste), see [8] [9] [10]. Sjö (talk) 09:43, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
It's worth mentioning that some home-owner's or renter's insurance will cover you for the loss of food in your freezer when it fails and can't be repaired within a few hours. If you plan on claiming, take a photo of the food packages that you are tossing out. SteveBaker (talk) 14:25, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Some things that might cause a freezer/fridge to work, but at reduced cooling, are loss of coolant, coils in back covered with dust bunnies, or air flow to them reduced in other ways, or something wrong with the thermostat. You might try turning the thermostat to the lowest temp, and blowing a fan on the coils, until the repairman arrives. Also try not to open the door often, and you could pack ice or maybe dry ice inside to keep it cool. (Make sure the regular ice has a safe place to drain.) Also, if there was ice buildup inside the freezer (in a non frost-free model), ensure that you don't get puddles underneath when that melts. StuRat (talk) 16:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

So now it is the case that the repairman cannot come for several days (Monday). That will leave the food for more than three days (all of Friday, all of Saturday, all of Sunday; plus part of Thursday and part of Monday). Will those frozen dinners still be good at that point? Or is that too much time? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:13, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

If you could keep them at fridge temperature or below, then they might still be OK, but if they remain near room temperature for three days, then they should definitely be thrown out (those you haven't already eaten). Does your insurance not cover this loss? Can you find someone else with spare space in their freezer? Can you buy any ice and a large cool-box? Dbfirs 19:20, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I had assumed that the repairmen would come out the same day; I guess that's not the case. They are not free until Monday and, of course, there is the intervening weekend days. I will bring the food over to some relatives who live very close by. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:54, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I suggest using the freezer itself as the "cool box". It's reasonably well insulated and you won't lose the existing "coolth" when doing a transfer. The downside is that the freezer isn't meant to hold water, so you should use dry ice instead of normal ice. You can get that at many grocery stores and even gas stations. You could also ask neighbors if you can stow some food there until Tuesday. StuRat (talk) 21:14, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Coolth μηδείς (talk) 22:43, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I would like this to become a common word. While physics tells us that "coolth" is only an absence of warmth, that doesn't mean we can't have a word for it. By comparison, you can say "it's dark outside", not having to resort to something as ugly as "their is a paucity of light outside". Of course, there is "cold", but like warmth is less extreme than hot, so is coolth less extreme than cold. StuRat (talk) 23:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
1540s, from cool on the model of warmth. It persists, and was used by Pound, Tolkien, Kipling μηδείς (talk) 02:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
... and the OED shows usage from 1547 onwards, but it does also comment: "Now chiefly literary, arch., or humorous". Dbfirs 10:04, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Joseph, 10 lb bags of ice cost $2 each. You also presumably have neighbours who can hold stuff temporarily? My parents lost power on the June 23rd storm that devasted South Jersey, leaving them without power for 72 hours. The following morning I bought as much ice as I could find, and we stuffed their upright freezer, ice on top, food on the bottom racks, and towels in the bottom. My dad cooked a rib-roast and a ham sooner than he had planned. But there was no food lost, and great rejoicing when the power returned. Food that is thawing is in a transition state where the temperature stays constant. As long as the meat is not fully thawed it is still at 32F. The problem with repeated semi-thawing is that the meat fibre break down, and ruin the texture of the meat. For hot dogs, sausage, and ground beef that doesn't matter. But whole cuts will get ruined if frozen solid repeatedly. μηδείς (talk) 02:41, 6 February 2016 (UTC) μηδείς (talk) 02:41, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I know the OP's question concerned food in a freezer but I wanted to point out meat isn't some sort of simple liquid melting. In something like meat, conduction can be slow and I don't think radiation or convection are significant factors for heat transfer to the internal. So you can get a temperature diffential, you shouldn't expect all the meat to be at 32 F just because the middle isn't thawed. That's partly the reason many sources recommend against thawing at room temperature, the other key one is probably that people may leave the food out too long after thawing (well these are related); and the third is that people may thaw it somewhere they later use for prepration of food that won't be cooked or otherwise risk cross-contamination.

This source [11] suggests the actual difference when thawing is at 70 F (~21.1C) is fairly low, the surface temperature reaches 53 F (~11.7 C) which while in the danger zone it doesn't have to be held there for that long before the middle is thawed to be a concern. But reading it carefully suggests it would be useful to check the source which I think is an old issue of [12] which I couldn't find until I realise they had a copy [13] (I thought this was just a link to the earlier article). It seems they also tested thawing at 84F (~28.9 C) and surface temperatures there reached 63 F with the largest turkey (65 F with the smallest), and these were a concern particularly for the largest size since it took longer than the theoretical lowest 4 G time to thaw. [14] is possibly also of interest although I couldn't find read it given the age and rarity.

Interesting enough, having read that and [15] it seems that thawing in the fridge can actually result in more Pseudomonas spoilage bacteria given the longer times. Not at levels to cause safety concerns but which may negatively effect quality. Also it seems like wrapping with sufficient newspaper (or whatever) can significantly reduce the temperature differential.

The take away message would be that you definitely shouldn't assume your food was all at at 0 degrees C just because it wasn't completely thawed if it's meat or something else with poor heat transfer but that it probably isn't as a big a concern as most general sources [16] [17] [18] [19] make it out to be provide you don't leave it too long. The complicating factor if it's a big cut of meat (or a whole bird of poultry) which you don't want to cut, is how you know whether it is thawed completely. Probably partly the reason why it's often only recommend in industrial sectors where they can monitor room temperatures, times and carry out tests to determine precisely how long.

Also these all remind me how contradictory and poorly supported a lot of food safety advice tends to be. Although I know one of the reasons is because food safety agencies want simple rules of thumb people can follow like [20].

I'm pretty sure concerns over improper thawing are also partly the origin of the never re-freeze myth. (In fact two or all three of the sources provided by Sjö mention that you should only re-freeze if thawed in the refrigerator.) Even if the levels of growth aren't enough to be a concern if the food is properly cooked, if you keep doing thawing it that way eventually you're going to get concerning levels. The others concerns with re-freezing would be quality loss and people not probably accounting for time whatever the temperature. E.g. a small cut of raw meat which should often only be stored in the fridge for 6 days and may be completely thawed within a day or less in the fridge. So if it's left for 4 days then frozen then thawed and left another 4 days in the fridge then refrozen then thawed and left another 4 days before cooking, it's now probably been at least 9 days.

Nil Einne (talk) 05:15, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Yes, I have neighbors/relatives who live downstairs. So I placed all my stuff there for the time being. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:46, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

You, lucky, lucky bastard! 03:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Crane Collapses in Lower Manhattan, Killing at Least One Person[edit]

  • htt p://www.nytimes. com/2016/02/06/nyregion/crane-collapse-lower-manhattan.html
At least one person was killed on Friday morning when a crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan, the police said.
The crane came down shortly before 8:30 a.m., toppling onto Worth Street and spanning more than the entire length of a city block, officials and witnesses said.

If you see the video taken by some office Workers shortly before the collapse, you hear very strange violin-like noise made by the fallen crane. What made the weird noise? Bending metal? Vibrating cables? -- Toytoy (talk) 17:13, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

The only weird sound I hear is the sound of a saw (or similar power tool). Is that what you mean? Sławomir
17:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Here's the link. I suspect the cable was rubbing the framework due to the stress of the crane failing, I'll ask around. μηδείς (talk) 22:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Sounds like shearing metal to me. It's an unfamiliar sound because we don't often hear that much metal shear at once. StuRat (talk) 23:33, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I played this for my father (a retired engineer) and he said he had seen crane and tower collapses, but they did not make this noise. He suggested either a cable rubbing the framework or a broken strut rubbing the framework could have caused such a resonance. To me the noise sounds sweet, not like the tearing shriek of Godzilla, so I am going with resonance in a cable. μηδείς (talk) 01:05, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Each collapse will be different. There isn't necessarily shearing metal in all collapses, either. In some cases, the crane just falls over. StuRat (talk) 15:30, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
To my ears the noise sounds like it is coming from inside the room with the people talking/partying. (Something to do with the echoes inside the room and high/low band pass filtering, though I can't say exactly what, gives me that impression) Can someone confirm it actually was produced from outside the window? I'd just expect it to sound ... different from out there. Wnt (talk) 02:47, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
If the sound is coming from outside, my guess is it's a warning hooter sounded by the crane when stability limits were exceeded. Akld guy (talk) 02:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I go with Wnt. That noise is way too loud to be coming from the crane at that distance through ?double glazed windows. Even when the crane hits the ground there is an almost imperceptible thud, compared with outdoor witnesses who described it as 'like a bomb going off'. The other thing that requires explanation is the very similar repetition of the noise 3 or 4 times while the crane is in different positions. Unless a clip taken from outside the building turns up likely we'll never know. But it's nice for everyone to have a guess. Richard Avery (talk) 08:10, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
One commentator of the video (reply to leandro5455) says:

To all those wondering about the beeping or loud sound in the beginning... That is the sound of the truss structure of the crane failing and creating vibrations throughout the entire 500' length. If you look close you can see the sound increase and decrease with the speed of the end of the boom. This is also why the sound stops once the end really gets moving. I'm sure the sound was extremely loud on the other side of the insulated pane glass office windows. These things are unbelievably strong and only fail in extreme circumstances. As of right now it looks like the cause was wind. In short it was the death cries of the crane warning people to pay attention and get out of the way.

One factor against the sound originating from the crane, beyond the loudness, is that I can't find any descriptions in stories about the collapse of the noise (they mention the sounds at it crashed etc). Another thing you can learn from reading the comments is that the video was taken by construction workers (confirmed by [21]) and the building they were in was under the construction, so the possibility it was a power tool of some sort inside may not be unlikely as it would seem. (There seems to be a window where they're looking out so I presume the building was already fully enclosed.)
Also from reading stories of the collapse it seems the crane was being lowered at the time, so there's also the possibility it was some sort of warning siren.
Nil Einne (talk) 13:05, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think a power tool would be nearly that loud. Also, it wouldn't turn on by itself. StuRat (talk) 15:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
"turn on by itself"? Nil Einne (talk) 15:25, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I see I misread that bit. I thought the power tool was supposedly on the falling crane, but now I see you meant it to be in the building. StuRat (talk) 15:27, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the issue mentioned by others before I replied was that it was quite loud compared to other sounds relating to the crane (which I agree with) so perhaps it's inside the building. Under normal circumstances it'll be fairly uncommon for the to be a power tool inside a building but since these were construction workers and the building was probably under construction (or at least there were renovations going on) the possibly of a power tool inside the building is a lot more likely. Nil Einne (talk) 15:31, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
At around 1:05 in the video, you can see that this was a mobile crane, on catapillar tracks, and that it simply tipped over. It doesn't look like it broke with some loud tearing of metal or anything because the tracks are flipped upside-down, implying that the entire machine toppled as one more or less rigid structure. That seems unlikely to have happened if something major simply snapped close to the base and that the sound was tortured metal. Once it started to fall, most of it was simply under free-fall in gravity - so there would be less stresses on the structure at that point.
So I'm with the idea that this was some kind of a warning siren or an unrelated power tool inside the building. Unfortunately, the sound cuts off before there is enough movement in the crane to make for an obvious doppler-shift in the audio, so it's not easy to tell whether the noise came from the jib structure or from the base of the crane.
The thing that kinda suggests that the power tool hypothesis is good is that it cuts off around about the time that the guy holding the camera starts yelling about what's going on - which is probably when the guy with the power tool would have shut it off to come and look. It's hard to imagine why a warning siren would cut off at all. SteveBaker (talk) 16:18, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think the sound has anything to do with the crane. Sounds like an angle grinder or similar to me (sander, buffer, etc.). Pitch is modulated as the power tool contact the surface at different pressures, then stops as you say, when the shouting starts. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:58, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Is there any kind of open source software for analyzing echoes in sound? Listening to the recording I imagine there was a wall, oh maybe 20 feet behind the person speaking, and most of the voices and the "musical instrument" were clustered near but not outside the entrance from a hallway there. That's a lot of guessing though... I bet there are congenitally blind people who could do 10000% better at that kind of analysis. Still, is there something that can analyze sound and determine the timing of the echoes, correlate the L and R channels, to produce some kind of crude map? Then you might find a best fit for the "musical instrument" on the map. I bet the damned NSA has software like this that's good enough to practically make video of the inside of your house from your phone calls.... Wnt (talk) 00:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Detection of echo(s) in recorded sound is a type of Autocorrelation analysis that finds the cross-correlation of the signal with itself at different time delays. It can be applied to estimate musical pitches and tempo; it was part of the attempted (inconclusive) analysis of the John F. Kennedy assassination Dictabelt recording, and I have used it to measure varying buffer delays on VoIP links. When the source sound is uncontrolled then accidental autocorrelations greatly confuse the analysis. Extracting directional autocorrelation from a stereo room recording would only be theoretically possible with long integration of fully controlled stimulus signals, such as Chirps used in compressive Sonar, and have front/back ambiguity. Even supposing demonic assistance, the intrusive domestic mapping project that Wnt wagers the National Security Agency can do would involve very noticeable disruption to telephones and get echo maps that are irretrievably scrambled by grating lobes (no article yet). AllBestFaith (talk) 16:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

List of people who have walked on the Moon[edit]

I just stumbled upon this article: List of people who have walked on the Moon. So, is it true that no one at all has ever walked on the moon, other than people from the USA? That seems odd to me. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given that only the US has ever sent successful missions to the Moon, and the age of international cooperation in space travel didn't really get going until after Apollo was over. To me, maybe the sadder stat is that no one born after 1935 has ever walked on the Moon. I hope that will change. --Trovatore (talk) 08:15, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Quibble: Only NASA has attempted manned Moon missions (as far as we know), but other projects have successfully landed there. —Tamfang (talk) 08:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The Iron Sky link is fantastic. Cannolis (talk) 09:06, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
As for why, the only serious competitor to NASA, until recently, was the Soviet Union, and they didn't want to put in the massive resources it would take to get to the Moon, especially just to become the 2nd to land somebody there. They preferred to put their resources into places where they could be first, like first ship into space, first dog, etc. After all, the purpose of their space program was to prove to the world that they were #1, not #2. StuRat (talk) 14:52, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Arguably, that's what the US was doing too...which explains why the USA never went back there after the Apollo program was ended. The USSR had plans to send men to the moon - they just dropped them once they knew they wouldn't get there first. (See Soviet manned lunar programs). If they'd kept to their schedule, they might actually have beaten the US to getting a man onto the moon by a matter of months - but the unexpected death of their chief rocket engineer, Sergei Korolev, due to cancer - and then financial cutbacks - threw enough delays into the program that allowed the USA to beat them to it...and within a very short span of that happening, the plans were dropped and buried as if they'd never happened. SteveBaker (talk) 16:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
And, as far as the first ship into space, there's been the suggestion that some in the US didn't want to be first, both to allow the Soviet Union to establish the precedent that overflying other nations was not a violation of airspace, and to gain the massive taxpayer support needed for future programs. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Got a ref for the second claim, on airspace? SemanticMantis (talk) 16:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Here's a discussion at BBC News. StuRat (talk) 19:52, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Even before we went, no small number of Americans thought it was a waste of taxpayer money. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:11, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is my point. After seeing that space ships were possible, and that the Soviet Union could launch them, this changed the minds of most US taxpayers. Later, JFK's speech certainly helped, too. StuRat (talk)
Many, especially in the older generation, argued it was a waste of taxpayer money even after we had achieved it. Their typical response to that accomplishment was, "So what?" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I never paid it much mind. I think I had assumed that other nations (especially Russia) had done so, just with much less fanfare than the US's "first" men up there. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:11, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, the Soviets tried to land a man on the moon in the 60s, but they gave it up because their chosen booster had the rather unfortunate habit of exploding every time they tried to launch something with it (the second time, it blew up on the pad, completely destroying the launch complex in what was both the largest explosion in the entire history of rocketry and believed to be the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion ever, with an approximate explosive yield of seven kilotonnes TNT equivalent). Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 20:18, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
OMFG, that's almost half the yield of Hiroshima! I suppose that's not good for the launch complex. Wnt (talk) 00:37, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Video of failed Cygnus CRS Orb-3 mission
To be fair - many new (and ultimately successful) rocket programs go through phases of blowing up...(although perhaps not as disasterously as the N1 did). It only takes one teeny-tiny design flaw to make that happen - and quite often one explosion is sufficient to enable the designers to figure out what needs to be fixed. So just because one or two prototypes had problems, you can't extrapolate from that to say that it would never have worked had they kept working on it. The very next launch attempt could have succeeded perfectly. Just so you don't think the N1 was unique in that regard, a commercial launch at the Wallops Island launch site (under NASA auspices) left a 60' wide, 30' deep crater where the launchpad was used to be. That happened in October 2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveBaker (talkcontribs) 15:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Funny you should mention the loss of that Orb-3 flight of Orbital's Antares rocket, as its first stage was powered by Aerojet AJ-26 engines, which are refurbished, 40-years old, Soviet NK-33s which were originally intended for the N-1 moon shot rocket discussed above. An engine failed due to an explosion in its LOX turbopump. During the investigation, it was leaked that Foreign Object Debris had been detected in the turbopumps, possibly from desiccant left in a tank. The final report confirms the FOD, but states that "there is no clear forensic evidence that FOD directly or indirectly led to the E15 [engine] failure", and also reports on inadequate design robustness and a manufacturing flaw in the engine. See NASA Independent Review Team Orb–3 Accident Investigation Report Executive Summary. -- ToE 02:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm shocked that your school paid so little attention to the history of the manned space program. Of course, I lived through it, so it was front-page all the time, until Congress stopped funding Apollo four missions short of its original intended duration. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: What time frame are we talking about? Late 50's and early 60's? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:09, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes. Of course that wasn't "history", it was "current events". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
OK. That was "before my time". And I guess it lost all of its "sexiness" (newness) as a topic in school by the time I got there. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I've noticed that there's a hole between current events and history. For example, if you were in high school during Watergate, it was probably discussed as current events. And if you were in high school by the 1980's, it might have made it into the history books by then. But if you were in high school in the late 1970's, it was no longer a current event, and wasn't yet in the history books, either. StuRat (talk) 19:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Can any problem be broken down into easy to understand parts?[edit]

Is there any problem that cannot be understood when you break it down to its constituents? Can you treat a big problem as a collection of small chunks of problems? And basically, understand any level of complexity with a little brain/computer? --Scicurious (talk) 14:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

So far we haven't been able to understand intelligence just by breaking it down, let alone consciousness. We understand neurons, but that doesn't seem to be enough. More generally, any emergent property seems to require looking at the whole system, as it is somehow literally more than the sum of it's parts.
Then there are things we could theoretically understand, if we could identify all the parts, but there's just too many and they are just too small. For example, accurately predicting the weather a year from today. StuRat (talk) 14:54, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, we need to restrict ourselves to problems that can be solved. We know that in mathematics, there are fundamentally unsolvable problems. So let's restrict ourselves to problems that can actually be solved.
The question in the title is "Can any problem be broken down into easy to understand parts?" - but I think there are some small, minimum problems that can't be broken down any further. Ultimately, it starts to get difficult to break down "What is 1+1?" into sub-problems - the answer 'just is'. In mathematics, some things are taken to be "axioms" - and you can't break down an just "is". However, when you get down to those smallest constituents, I think that most people should be able to understand them. So, I think the answer to this one is a tentative "Yes"...assuming the problem is at least in principle solveable.
The hard part is in the the next question: "Is there any problem that cannot be understood when you break it down to its constituents?". Imagine what happens in a computer program. The "problem" is inherently broken down into the tiniest steps that even a totally mindless computer can understand - things like addition, multiplication, moving a number from one place to another, testing a number to see if it's zero, jumping to a different place in the program. Those steps are definitely small enough that more or less anyone could understand them individually - no single machine-code instruction that a typical computer can run is beyond the capability of most human beings with a knowledge of basic arithmetic to comprehend.
If your theory is correct - then by examining these microscopic "problems" one by one - I can understand anything that a computer can be programmed to do.
But if someone writes a program to (lets say) play chess - and we give the list of individual machine-code instructions to someone who can't play chess. Would breaking down the program of playing chess well into (literally) a billion tiny addition/move/test/jump steps help you to understand how to play the game at grand-master levels?

In this case, breaking down the problem made it much harder to understand. In order to deduce the rules for playing chess, I don't want the ultimately broken-down version of the problem. I want the high-level description.
So, theoretically - yes, the information is in there - but in practice, definitely not!
SteveBaker (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The theoretical way to make a perfect chess-playing program, by looking at every possible move and response by the opponent, to the end of the game, and selecting whatever move leads to the fewest loss and tie scenarios and most wins, is pretty easy to understand. However, that turns out to be impossible for a program (other than at the endgame), due to too many possibilities to calculate. So then you get more complex programs that are difficult to understand by a human. StuRat (talk) 16:17, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
As phrased, there's no simple answer, and no uncontroversial answer, but I'll give you some refs you might like: Emergent phenomena are basically things that are not simply sums of constituent parts, and Stu is right to bring that up as something that doesn't fit well into your scheme. Nonlinear dynamics in general don't lend themselves to clean decomposition. Divide and conquer only works really well for linear and additive systems/problems. Extremal_principles_in_non-equilibrium_thermodynamics and deterministic chaos are two examples of things that aren't that amenable to solving smaller chunks to get a bigger solution. Kolmogorov_complexity is also fun to think about in this context. Self organization is another good example of the need for some Holism in our inquiry. Here's a nice comic on the topic from SMBC [22]. It's telling that analyze literally means "to cut apart" - it's a very useful method and we've done wonderful things with it. But it is not the only way, and all problems are not tractable via decomposition or deconstruction. So while your questions are a little vague and ill-defined (what is a problem, what is understanding?), that's ok, these questions must necessarily be so. My WP:OR answers to your questions are: "Yes, Often, and No." :) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

I have a related question. The law of entropy is an "emergent property", but isn't it a consequence of Newton's law of motion? If a high speed particle hits a low speed particle, their speed is going to be distributed evenly, isn't this what causes the 2nd law? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 00:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In the classical mechanics that existed before Isaac Newton, Momentum is conserved in collisions between particles. Momentum is the product of mass and Velocity. Velocity is a vector quantity posessing a direction as well as a magnitude (while <speed> and <mass> have no direction) so momentum is likewise a vector. In 1687 Newton caused to be published in Principia:
Lex. II.
Mutationem motus proportionalem esse vi motrici impressae, & fieri secundum lineam rectam qua vis illa imprimitur.
This is the second of Newton's laws of motion which essentially expresses conservation of momentum in terms of its time derivative Force and of the time-derivative of velocity which is Acceleration. Today we state that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass of the object. AllBestFaith (talk) 15:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Man with no brain[edit]

I've seen a photo of a man with no brain yet he functions normally. Does this give evidence for existence of the soul, or consciousness is beyond the brain? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 00:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Can you link us to this photo? The complete absence of a brain, or anencephaly, is lethal at or just after birth. It is true that people can have remarkably large brain defects and function reasonably well in daily life, but this is not 'no brain'. As for your other questions, the soul does not exist, and there is no evidence for conciousness 'beyond the brain'. Fgf10 (talk) 00:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Whether there are souls is a theological question outside the scope of this Reference Desk. Wikipedia does discuss the beliefs of various religions and other belief systems about the soul. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No, it's a scientific question on the Science refdesk. There is no evidence for souls in science. Whatever various works of fiction claim is of no consequence. Fgf10 (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The existence of souls, or not, is a matter of opinion, not of science. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
At the science desk? Don't be ridiculous. The soul, as described in various works of fiction, is incompatible with the laws of physics as we understand them, so unless we've got it very wrong, according to science it doesn't exist. End of. Fgf10 (talk) 12:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The so-called "laws of physics" are a human interpretation. " we understand them..." is the key point. They are their own kind of religion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I've gone far afield with this recently, so I won't again, but I should note that science has not disproved the existence of the soul, nor has it provided a satisfactory explanation of qualia. That said, I have not heard of anyone able to use skeletal muscles in a controlled manner who does not have some apparent central nervous system to control them. This is biology, so there is no law of nature that would prevent the autonomic nervous system, enteric nervous system etc. from growing efferents and somehow learning to control muscles without a brain present; or even preventing cells of the skin, muscles etc. from expressing proteins that lets them spread action potentials and think; but there's no evidence they have the capability and by this point such things would seem extraordinarily, extraordinarily unlikely, as would most other brain-free processes of control. Wnt (talk) 00:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Science also hasn't disproved the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. So what? Fgf10 (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Then it could exist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

There are various photos of men who are missing most of their brains and still function normally. This sometimes the result of extreme hydrocephaly or physical trauma to the brain. But rest assured, these people still have some brain left. If you find anyone claiming a human can function with literally no brain, you are being lied to without a doubt. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Just realized this is an election year. You'll likely be seeing lots of men with no brains walking around and even talking. Someguy1221 (talk) 10:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, let's go with malfunctioning brains - for the sake of science! SteveBaker (talk) 15:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Or perhaps they just never figured out how to use them... Double sharp (talk) 04:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
So you're advocating that they figure out how to use their brains brains? What could possibly go wrong?! :-) SteveBaker (talk) 17:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 02:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Some of those photos are real - but a lot of them are very bad photoshopped images. We do know that people can and do survive with very little brain tissue remaining...there have been cases reported where a person survived with just a 1" thick layer of brain surrounding a fluid-filled void. But with no brain at all - that's utterly impossible. The brain handles a bunch of functions such as the control of breathing - that you simply can't do without.
As for the soul - no, science has not disproved the concept - but it also hasn't disproved the concept of green aardvarks playing pianos on the far side of the moon...that doesn't mean that we have to assume that they exist. The default hypothesis in this case is that souls don't exist (and neither do those aardvarks) and since you're asking this question on the science reference desk - the scientific answer is that since we have no evidence for the existence of a soul, it is meaningless to ask whether a man without a brain (who couldn't be alive anyway) would or would not have one. SteveBaker (talk) 15:35, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Are you telling us that The Clangers did not exist? I am gutted!;-) DrChrissy (talk) 15:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The clangers were (a) not green and (b) evidently played slide whistles rather than pianos...but aside from that, of course they existed! SteveBaker (talk) 05:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Like in arguments about Wikipedia consensus, arguing about default hypotheses involves a lot of gaming about what is "default". "Flying spaghetti monster" is usually applied as an argument for the non-existence of God, but it's one thing to assume the burden of proof is against a very specific made-up religion, and something else (say) to conclude confidently that the universe was not designed, has no plan or purpose, that the answer to why people really feel things and really see beauty in it is that actually they don't, and that everything about the universe, including the laws of mathematics, is purely random. ("But where did random come from? Isn't that just begging the question?") Perhaps the better approach here is to ask -- what, specifically, scientifically, do you mean when you say the soul doesn't exist? Because maybe that's not part of the definition... Wnt (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The default is to presume that what we can measure is "real" and what we can't measure has to be demonstrated indirectly. No such demonstration of a "soul" has ever been made - and, to the contrary, when we stick someone's head into a brain scanner, we see it light up in an appropriate and consistent manner when the person thinks about different things and in different ways. There is sufficient complexity in the brain for "emergent behavior" to appear - so there is no reason to assume that there is "something else". That's not to say that there isn't a "soul" - but merely that this shouldn't be the default hypothesis.
There is no evidence that whatever religion you're considering was not "made up" too - in fact, because there are so many religions in the world - many of which are sharply contradictory - the evidence is that even if one of them turns out to be correct, at least 99% of religions must be nonsense. Wondering what the odds of 99% of religions being incorrect rather than 100% of them provides additional reason to eliminate them from the default hypothesis.
As for "beauty" - you make the absolutely classic (and exceedingly naive) mistake of presuming that atheists see no beauty in the universe - and nothing could be further from the truth. The beauty is in all of the amazing mechanisms that emerge from the simplest of representations. That the key laws of physics can be written on the front of a T-shirt (I have one) - and that is enough to understand very nearly all of it. That, to most scientific thinkers, is beauty. That the leaves of a tree are the result of random evolutionary processes that result in the near perfect optimisation for capturing sunlight - is incredible. That flowers have beautiful markings on there petals that humans can't see because they are in the UV spectrum - and that the plant evolved to put them there to help bees to figure out how to orient themselves as they land to do pollination. Please - don't tell me that you need religion to see beauty - that's complete and utter bullshit. If all I had to believe is that a magician waved his magic wand and it all popped into existence - the world would seem to be an arbitrary, ridiculous, foolish place - and much of the beauty would evaporate.
The laws of mathematics are not "random" - they may all be deduced from the most simple axioms imaginable - you're entirely mistaken if you believe that.
The randomness of the universe comes about from quantum randomness and the randomness that comes about in some systems that are susceptible to sensitive-dependence-on-initial-conditions...Chaos theory. So we're very well aware of what those sources are.
What is meant by "the soul does not exist" is not a question I really need to answer. I have not been provided with a definition for this term - it's a vague piece of description that's conveniently never pinned down. Without a definition, it's nothing more than a word. So we have not discovered any evidence for a thing that's vaguely described in the first place.
The argument that a lot of people believe in something, so it must be true has been disproven more times than I can count. An enormous number of people believe that vaccination causes autism - does that make it true? Actually - no. It's been tested beyond reasonable need - and it's not true. Despite that, only 52% of Americans believe that vaccines don't cause autism. 68% believe in god (in some form or another). Does that make them right?
SteveBaker (talk) 05:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'll leave this article, about a neighbour of mine when I lived in Barnsley, here. --TammyMoet (talk) 16:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I suspect the OP may be thinking about something like the case Tammy mentions. As for "the soul doesn't exist" I don't believe we can say that either. The definition of a soul is "the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal"[23] and all we can say is that there is no scientific evidence for that to be the case. However, we still don't have a complete theory of everything and so it is just possible that there are things or mechanisms that exist that we don't yet know about. And just to make my position clear, personally, I am 99% sure there is no God as visualised by religious people and no afterlife. I'm quite happy with that as, if I'm right, when I die my consciousness will come to an end and I won't have to worry about it. However, like everything else in life, I always entertain the possibility that I may just be wrong (a very remote possibility in this case), and if I am, it will be interesting to find out what comes next. There is the (also very unlikely) possibility that the universe was created by some intelligent entity but, if it was, then I am sure they don't really care less whether we worship and pray to them or ignore them completely. Oh, and if it does all turn out to be an experiment run by the white mice then I'm in deep shit - but that's anther story. Richerman (talk) 12:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The desire to believe that your life won't just suddenly just "end" is quite powerful. You don't have to resort to religion and the concept of a "soul" to get past that though. There is always the (MUCH more worrying) Quantum suicide and immortality hypothesis - I'm kinda hoping that's one hypothesis which turns out not to be true because it might just imply eternal (albeit religion-free) damnation! Even without the many-worlds hypothesis, you can get pretty much the same result if the universe turns out to be infinite and the weak anthropic principle is acceptable to you. Another one that I like is the concept of reincarnation - in which at the moment of your death, you are reborn as another human being - although you'd have absolutely no memory of your earlier life. Many people find that to be a much more comfortable situation than just "fade to black...nothingness" - although to all measurable tests, the outcome would be identical. So if you're OK with "no-memory-transfer" reincarnation, you have an unfalsifiable hypothesis that's every bit as good as any religious view. Then we have the Simulation hypothesis (another theory that I'm quite fond of) - and so maybe the universe will get a blue-screen and wind up being rebooted? SteveBaker (talk) 18:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

What is the meaning of the word "lead" in context of ECG?[edit]

I understand that is one of 12 electrodes, but I'm asking about the meaning of the word. I opened dictionary and I saw many meanings, but I'm not sure which one is the right. (talk) 00:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Lead is essentially used interchangeably with electrode, not any specific one. Fgf10 (talk) 00:15, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, but I'm not sure if you're right because I know that a typical ECG machine has 9 electrodes while it result give 12 leads. (aVL+aVR+aVF are augmented leads without their own electrode, so actually you can not call them electrodes, then the word lead can not be used interchangeably with electrode.) (talk) 00:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In some versions of English, 'lead' is a synonym for 'wire' or 'cable', as in 'extension lead'. Not sure whether that helps though. Akld guy (talk) 01:02, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That is exactly the relevant meaning here yes. As per a quick read, the electrodes mentioned actually physically use the same electrodes as some of the main 9, but are referenced differently, so are essentially 'virtual' electrodes. REF Fgf10 (talk) 01:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
See our Electrocardiography article. The leads run from the machine and have detachable electrodes [24] [25] which are stuck on to the patient's skin with a conductive gel. Richerman (talk) 13:03, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Do all the muscles of the body have origin and insertion?[edit]

Do all the muscles of the body have origin and insertion? and if they do have, doed the heart (as considered as muscle) also have origin and insertion? (talk) 00:31, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Hmmm, also External sphincter muscle of male urethra, external anal sphincter, iris sphincter muscle (sort of, though you can argue that starts as smooth muscle which we know is different). In the case of the anal sphincter there actually *is* an insertion, for one layer - might be worth looking deeper into the embryology to see if the circular layer is a late specialization in development? Wnt (talk) 00:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I believe the tongue does not.DrChrissy (talk) 00:51, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
From our article:
"The eight muscles of the human tongue are classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic. The four intrinsic muscles act to change the shape of the tongue, and are not attached to any bone. The four extrinsic muscles act to change the position of the tongue, and are anchored to bone."
It goes on to describe which bones the four extrinsic muscles are anchored to. So for the tongue as a whole, half yes and half no. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

In genetics, sex can be dominant?[edit]

In genetics, sex can be dominant? I mean to male or female, does one of them can be dominant just because of his sex? (talk) 00:56, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

If you mean dominant in the Mendelian sense, then one could argue that the answer is yes when sex determination is chromosomal. In placental mammals, one could say that male is dominant in the Mendelian sense because a single Y chromosome determines male sex. In birds, one could likewise argue that female is dominant in the Mendelian sense. If you mean something other than the Mendelian sense, please clarify. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert McClenon (talkcontribs)
Yes, User:Robert McClenon's comment is basically correct for mammals, insofar as the presence of the Y causes male characteristics, whatever the number of the X chromosomes. See XXY. That doesn't apply for certain birds and insects, e.g., though. μηδείς (talk) 02:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
To be nitpicky, it's specifically the gene SRY that causes development of male phenotype in mammals when expressed. SRY is normally located on the Y chromosome, but it is possible for mammals to have a Y chromosome and still be phenotypically female, to varying degrees, like if the SRY gene is broken, or if there are other conditions like androgen insensitivity. -- (talk) 07:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
How rare is this? Are they any more likely to have male traits than XX women? What happens if both the mother and the father give a Y chromosome each? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 07:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You might like to read this if you haven't already done so. Dbfirs 10:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Are there any XY females who are actually capable of getting pregnant in the first place? Certainly it wouldn't be the ones with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, because they don't have ovaries or a uterus. But I don't know for sure that it isn't possible in some other way. --Trovatore (talk) 23:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think people with 100% XY have gotten pregnant, but there are rare cases like this that come pretty close. - Lindert (talk) 23:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Very interesting. The abstract says that the daughter got a Y from the father, but doesn't say, as far as I saw, whether the mother had any viable Y-bearing ova. Is it known whether that's possible? --Trovatore (talk) 23:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Any mammalian embryo with no X chromosome is nonviable, as the X chromosome contains many essential genes. Embryos with abnormal chromosomes inevitably get created as a result of errors in meiosis. Down syndrome is a well-known example, but most chromosomal abnormalities are lethal and cause the pregnancy to spontaneously abort. The Y chromosome is not essential, which is obvious as half of mammals don't have one. Because of this, evolutionary pressure inevitably reduces the Y chromosome over time (see the article for details). -- (talk) 10:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm, I suppose you could say that maleness is a recessive lethal with some phenotypic effects in the heterozygote. (That link should go to lethal allele, but that article was written by someone who defines that term altogether differently than what I'm familiar with!!!) Wnt (talk) 18:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You might like reading about the evolution of sex and anisogamy. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Date of official information on the name of element 113[edit]

I could have asked the question any time I wanted to, but I chose now because we've reached the first time in a week when doing a Google News search on "ununtrium" doesn't reveal anything less than a week old. Can anyone predict the date I'll get official info?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Only the people at RIKEN and IUPAC will be able to answer that one. Fgf10 (talk) 01:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Odors emitted by the Feces and Urine of Mammals and Birds[edit]

Where can I find material on the intensity of odors emitted by the feces and by the urine of various mammals and birds? Thank you.Simonschaim (talk) 10:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

We don't have an article specifically on this topic (although Category:Feces might prove useful). It should be covered in any general work on woodcraft, and a web search on animal-specific terms ("bear scat", "fox scat", etc) will usually come up with the appropriate details. Tevildo (talk) 12:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Bile contributes to the smell of feces. StuRat (talk) 18:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This is a tough one. I mean... we all know from experience how much it can vary based on diet. Beyond that, intestinal microflora. If you take some lab animals and do a poo sniff-off, mostly you've learned what the lab techs are feeding the animals. I'd be wary of general statements. Wnt (talk) 18:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
It might be difficult to find information on the intensity per se, but articles the OP might want to look at include Pheromone, Vomeronasal organ and Flehmen.DrChrissy (talk) 18:31, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
As a long-time pet owner, I would point out that the intensity and nature of the smell of animal pee depends on its age and storage condition. Cat urine on cat litter which is less than a day old is different from cat urine deposited on a plastic bag or piece of fabric on the floor behind a couch which is not discovered for a week. The question seems like a readily quantifiable one.It would be surprising if no date had been collected and published. Subjects could give subjective ratings of odor strength for standardized samples under well defined experimental conditions, and we could learn the relative intensity of either a constant volume of parakeet/lizard/hamster/cat/rattlesnake/dog/human/deer/lion/bear/dolphin/horse/hippopotamus/elephant/whale urine or feces, or the relative subjective odor strength of a normal deposit of said substances. Edison (talk) 21:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Skatole is responsible for much fecal odor, and the term may help you find more quantitative assessments. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Oil drilling -- env. impact[edit]

What substances/materials (if any) which are involved in oil drilling (particularly in offshore oil drilling) are classified as highly toxic? In particular, which are toxic not only by ingestion, but also by skin contact and/or inhalation of vapors? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Here's a list of the types of chemicals likely to be used during the drilling of offshore wells - not much there on toxicity though. The oil itself may be the most toxic chemical that people may come into contact with. Mikenorton (talk) 12:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
And that last material is only moderately toxic. 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Found some data for benzalkonium chloride (used in oil drilling as a corrosion inhibitor) -- it's pretty toxic, rather more so than crude oil. Benzalkonium_chloride#Toxicology 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Oil drilling, part 2[edit]

If there's an oil spill at sea and it catches on fire by itself, is it ever put out or is it universal practice to let it burn? (I know, for example, that oil spills are sometimes deliberately set on fire as a last-ditch cleanup measure.) In what circumstances, if any, should it be put out? Is it a conceivable scenario where a burning oil slick is first extinguished and later deliberately ignited again as part of the disaster response? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

NOAA page on in-situ burning. Mikenorton (talk) 12:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Crude oil does not inflame itself. Setting it on fire deliberately is most likely motivated by "saving" near coastlines, which else have to be cleaned up later. In contrast to coasts our oceans and atmosphere have always been treated as a dump for toxic wastes anyway. --Kharon (talk) 12:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I did not mean spontaneous combustion, I meant accidental ignition from a stray source. 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 07:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Near earth approach of 2013 TX68 in March 2016[edit]

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is due to make a near Earth approach next month. Per the article and news stories, it was only observed for 3 days in its previous approach in 2013, and is too dim to be seen when distant from the earth. Stories say it could come as far as 9.2 million miles or as close as 11,000 miles,(and equivalent 2 digit precision in metric units) but that it can't possibly hit the earth. Christian Science Monitor says "There is no possibility that this object could impact Earth" in 2016, per a NASA press release. Its nearest approach time is uncertain ("sometime between March 3–8, 2016",per the Wikipedia article) and we can't see it until it is within a couple of days of closest approach. So if the largest number is "9.2 million miles," apparently to two digits of precision, how can NASA be so certain that 11,000 miles is the closest possible approach? Is this just false confidence to avoid public alarm? I've seen a lot of confidence intervals, and "11,000 to 9,000,000" as stated in some news articles is an odd one. It's like saying "4505500 miles plus or minus 4494500 miles" if we take the average as the midpoint. Then they give odds on its closest approach on future occasions, but an approach to tens of thousands of miles would cause a huge deflection in its direction, with the deflection dependent on the closeness of approach. How does the certainty that the closest approach is 11.000 rather than zero square with the a large magnitude of the farthest approach?, Given apparent uncertainty about the nearness of this approach. how can there be much certainty about the next approach? Edison (talk) 14:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

JPL has a graphic that shows possible points of closest approach given the orbital uncertainties. It seems that these points are restricted to a plane that appears to be well constrained and does not contain Earth. The closest point of that plane to our dear planet is 11,000 miles away and thus gives the minimum possible approach distance. --Wrongfilter (talk) 14:56, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In other places (HERE for example) you can see the calculations are being done to higher precision than the Christian Science Monitor a news item, journalists rarely want to write hugely precise numbers because they are hard to read and assimilate.
But I agree with User:Edison - we know the plane in which the rock orbits with great precision - and we know that this plane only comes within 11,000 miles of Earth - but we have much greater uncertainty about where 2013TX68 will be within that plane at the point of closest approach.
Perhaps an analogy would be useful: It's kinda like worrying about cars on a fast stretch of a flat, straight road going right past your house. You have no idea whether they'll be driving at 30mph or speeding way over the speed limit at 90mph - so your error margin in their speed is huge. But you do know - with great precision and high confidence - that they'll stay within that narrow corridor prescribed by the edges of the road. So if you're walking home along the sidewalk and you see a car that's 5 miles away on the horizon coming towards you. You don't have any good idea at all of how close it'll be when you reach the safety of your home...but you're confident that it's not going to hit your house with almost complete certainty. If asked how close the car might get to you as you open your front door, the larger number would be "a couple of miles...maybe?" and the smaller number would be the distance from your house to the edge of the road (18 feet 7 inches).
Your error margin on the larger number is enormous - but you still know with near certainty that your house is safe.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Confidence of it being in a plane 11,000 miles from earth is a fine explanation for the amazing figures cited.It makes perfect sense. But wouldn't a possible pass 11,000 miles from earth deflect, it putting it in a different orbit/plane? It sounds like they are forecasting approaches years in the future based on a scant 3 days of observation 3 years ago. Te graphic from JPL is odd, since it basically shows two rows of dots, and nothing between them. Is there an explanation for that? Edison (talk)
That depends on how exactly that figure was created. I assume it was some sort of Monte Carlo simulation - randomly pick a possible value of starting parameters out of the possible range in 2013, calculate the orbit, plot the position of closest approach in 2016. Now, if they picked the extremes for the starting parameters (values around, say, the 1σ contour) rather than the best-fit values, those would map to something like an ellipse in the output parameters, i.e. this graphic. So the lack of dots inside these two rows would be due to them not bothering making the computation for those values. But this is just me guessing, I can't back this up with a publication or so. The deflection during this approach will certainly affect the prediction for the next one, and it will depend on how close this approach will actually be. --Wrongfilter (talk) 21:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm - I wonder if one row of dots comes from the sunward-leg of the orbit and the other as it returns from the sun, heading out towards deep space? That would explain two neat sets of numbers like that. That's a guess though. SteveBaker (talk) 05:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The orbit of the asteroid is known to an accuracy of a few thousand kilometres. The accuracy isn't the same at every point of the orbit or in every direction, but that's the order of magnitude. The uncertainty in the semi-major axis translates into an uncertainty in the orbital period, and in the 2.5 years since it was last observed this accumulated into a quite large uncertainty in the phase of the asteroid's orbit of about 14 million kilometres. In other words, we know quite well where the orbit is and that Earth will pass at 17000 km away from the orbit, but we don't know where the asteroid will be at that moment. I assume the figure published by JPL indeed results from a Monte Carlo simulation. One row of dots comes from the asteroid passing Earth's orbit ahead of Earth, the other row comes from the asteroid passing Earth's orbit behind Earth. PiusImpavidus (talk) 11:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

sources of oxidants in natural shale gas reservoirs[edit]

A few years ago I came across a lot of industrial presentations on natural gas reservoirs, especially shale gas, and something that was mentioned is that shale gas reservoirs can become "overmature" where the hydrocarbons become CO2. This was puzzling to me because I couldn't figure out what could be oxidizing the gas only after the organic material has been sitting there for around 200 million years, when it appears to be fine from the 50 million year period onwards.

Two questions: 1) What are the source of reducing agents that reduces longer-chain fatty acids and carboxylic acids to methane? Why can't we exploit these reducing agents directly? 2) What are the source of oxidizing agents that oxidise methane to CO2 deep in the ground, underneath the bedrock?

Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 17:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with this, but the first few sources I found [26] [27] [28] [29] give me the impression that there is an "oil window" and a "gas window" in which kerogen (of which there are apparently four types) is cracked under heat and pressure. I see different estimates for the window, doubtless because some specifics of how they are measured are different, but they say roughly 50-100 celsius at 2-4 km depth produces oil, maybe 100 to 150? 200? more? celsius at 3-6 km depth produces gas. Very hot gas undergoes "secondary cracking" that the first source says can first produce wet gas, and
"Metagenesis marks the final stage, in which additional heat and chemical changes convert much of the kerogen into methane and a carbon residue. As the source rock moves farther into the gas window, late methane, or dry gas, is evolved, along with nonhydrocarbon gases such as carbon dioxide [CO2], nitrogen [N2] and hydrogen sulfide [H2S]. These changes take place at temperatures ranging from about 150°C to 200°C [302°F to 392°F]. These stages have a direct bearing on source rock maturity." (This appears to be cited to Peters KE, Walters CC and Moldowan JM: The Biomarker Guide, 2nd edition. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2005) Wnt (talk) 18:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I'll pass the ball to someone else at this point. Wnt (talk) 18:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Are all stars main sequence stars at some point in their life-cycle?[edit]

Do all stars belong either to the main sequence stars, have once been main sequence or will inevitably become main sequence stars?

See stellar evolution. It appears from that article that all protostars that are large enough to fuse hydrogen (and thus become stars rather than brown dwarves) will enter the main sequence for some period of time. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

are there compounds which are poorly soluble in aliphatic hydrocarbons (e.g. cyclohexane) but dissolve well in aromatic ones (like benzene or toluene)?[edit]

I note that neutral (zwitterionic) L-DOPA is weakly soluble in water but even less soluble in diethyl ether or chloroform. However, would it be more soluble in aromatic solvents? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 21:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Buckminsterfullerene is substantially more soluble in aromatics than in aliphatics. DMacks (talk) 21:33, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Really how important is fruit?[edit]

I've gone months of having a bowl of fruit nearly every morning and months of having no fruit at all yet feel no different during that time. (talk) 22:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

We cannot give actual medical advice here, but you might be interested in the underlying reasons for medical and public-health organizations publishing various food pyramids and promoting balanced diet. See whether it's strictly about the types of foods or the types of nutrients or the trade-offs in a real economy or other cultural/political environment. DMacks (talk) 22:33, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Nutritional advice is not medical advice (or everyone who publishes a diet book would be arrested for practicing medicine without a license), so we are free to reply. Fruit does have some good stuff, like vitamin C in citrus, antioxidants/phytochemicals in berries, lycopene in tomatoes (technically a fruit), and healthy fats in avocados, but you can also get those from other things. So, in that sense they aren't essential. On the other hand, if eating fruit for dessert stops you from eating something far worse, that's a real plus. StuRat (talk) 22:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Fruit also has soluble and insoluble fiber. On the downside, it does have a lot of sugar (at least if you're talking about the fruits most people think of as fruit, meaning not tomatoes, not green beans, etc). A lot of people track "added" sugar, but I think this is one of the tradeoffs DMacks is talking about — your body can't (or I expect it can't) tell whether the sugar is "added". But the experts don't want to discourage people from eating fruit, so they don't emphasize tracking total sugar. --Trovatore (talk) 22:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sugar isn't too bad in whole fruits, where it gets to be a problem is with juices, where all the fiber has been removed and the sugar concentrated, or where you actually add sugar, like sugar on grapefruit, whipped cream on berries, or even more sugar added to "juice". StuRat (talk) 23:09, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sugar is sugar. Well, certainly there are different kinds of sugar, but the dominant one in fruit is fructose, which is the same thing people get upset about in high-fructose corn syrup.
I don't think your body can tell whether you ate the sugar as part of a whole fruit or not. But the fruit has other benefits, which is why the experts don't want to discourage you from eating it. --Trovatore (talk) 23:36, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Reducing the amount of sugar (by eating one orange versus the juice of 10), and increasing the amount of fiber in order to slow digestion, both reduce the sugar spike, which is what leads to most of the health problems associated with sugar. StuRat (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Avoiding sugar in "too sweet" fruits is a recommendation in the low-carbohydrate diet community. Also, not all sugars are equal. Glucose is more likely than fructose to reach cells throughout the body rather than get metabolized in the liver. Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 01:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies but I'm wondering why I feel exactly the same whether or not I eat fruit. Is the effect of eating fruit everyday to extend your life by a few years or are there present-day benefits? (talk) 02:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

That's hard to answer unless we know what you're eating instead of fruit (or conversely, what fruit is replacing when you eat it). If you're eating good, nutritious stuff instead of fruit you're doing fine. If you're eating cheeseburgers and Twinkies and such instead of fruit, it will probably catch up to you over the long term, though not necessarily in a few days or even weeks. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Below, our OP also indicates an aversion to vegetables I think that it's unlikely that there is good stuff being eaten in place of fruit. SteveBaker (talk) 17:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Most of the damaging effects of unhealthy food have no immediate and obvious symptoms. For example, plaque forming in your arteries may not be apparent until a heart attack. StuRat (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

marshy gas from mines[edit]

as during mining ,the marshy gas are evolve ,why this happen? please give the scientific reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shahjad ansari (talkcontribs) 02:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

See Methane#Occurrence. AllBestFaith (talk) 10:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Formula for lens[edit]

give the formula equation for lens ,in which one longitudinal part areat n1 refractive index , second part at n3 refractive index and lens of n2 refractive index. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shahjad ansari (talkcontribs) 02:32, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, we don't do your homework for you. Check the articles Refraction and Lens (optics) for the info you need. 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 10:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Possible to change taste buds in adulthood?[edit]

I'm 20 and hate the taste of vegetables unless it's been thoroughly cooked and/or mixed with other flavours. Could I change that and if so is there a known method? (talk) 02:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Apparently it's in your genes. Googling "why some people vegetables" throws up some interesting links, including this one which suggests you need "bitter blockers".--Shantavira|feed me 11:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Technically that's a medical diagnosis, and we aren't supposed to do that. It's certainly possible that there would be some other mechanism in this case besides genetics, which is almost never 100%. Wnt (talk) 12:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Technically, that isn't a medical diagnosis, it's a biology reference. See User:Kainaw/Kainaw's criterion. Unless we're telling someone that a) they have a disease or b) what the disease is likely to do to them personally or c) how to treat their diseases, there is no problem with providing answers about human biology. --Jayron32 15:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Have a look at our long, detailed, and well-referenced article taste. It's complicated, and involved taste buds, but also psychology, nutritional needs, evolutionary past, culture, childhood development, exposure, etc. etc. Most people I know enjoy some foods at age 40 that they did not at age 20. Here's a selection of articles that discuss aspects of how taste perception can change with age [30] [31] [32]. Here's a freely accessible article that discusses a bit about how children's diet preferences are shaped by the adults around them, and you might find it interesting background reading [33]. We have some references for treatment of [[34]] and also Avoidant/restrictive_food_intake_disorder#For_adults, so I would look at the refs there if I wanted to learn more details about methods for expanding my taste preferences. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:40, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My experience is that a lot depends on how the food is cooked. Generally (as our OP mentions), brief cooking retains flavor and long cooking destroys it. Generally, short cooking is what people want because they crave the maximum amount of flavor - but I suppose that if you don't like those flavors then the reverse might be the case. Unfortunately, cooking for too long destroys much of the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables - and also destroys any crunchy, textured sensations and reduces them to an unpleasant mush. Honestly, I'd recommend re-visiting the taste of lightly cooked (or even raw) veggies...and if that's still unpleasant, dump them into some kind of sauce that you like. A chili or curry-based sauce will annihilate the taste of almost anything! Also, it's a horrible generalization to say that you don't like "vegetables" - there are hundreds of different kinds out there - and they don't all taste the same. Gone are the days when you had a choice between carrots/broccoli/cabbage/peas/french-beans/corn. Now you can get 'baby' versions of lots of things - there are 50 kinds of beans out there - there are leafy greens of 20 different kinds to choose from - there are things like asparagus (which used to be ruinously expensive - and now isn't), avocado and artechokes to play around with. It would be really surprising if you hated all of them, and even more surprising if you hated all of them no matter how they were prepared. Modern cuisine encourages us to mix weird, contrasting things together - so go ahead and mix jalapeno peppers, a little melted chocolate and peas (yes, really!) - or cook your cabbage in orange juice instead of water (one of my personal favorites!) - or mix nuts and fruit into a green salad. There is no "wrong" answer here.
I grew up in an environment where veggies were low in variety, and invariably over-cooked. When I married my first wife (who is an excellent French cook) - my eyes were opened to the incredible array of better options out there. SteveBaker (talk) 17:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My experience changing what I drink may be helpful. In my 20's I drank Mountain Dew (high sugar soft drink). Then I switched to herbal tea, but needed lots of sugar in it to make it palatable. I then gradually reduced the amount of sugar, and now I don't need any. So, I suggest you initially mix just a bit of veggies with something you like, then gradually change the ratio until it's mostly veggies. StuRat (talk) 17:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, I notice that our OP recently asked a question about eating fruit that suggests that (s)he doesn't eat that either. That's a more worrying thing. SteveBaker (talk) 17:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Falling from a building[edit]

If someone fell from the fifth floor of a building, would they die or just be badly hurt? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 03:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It depends how they land and what they land on. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
If they land on concrete? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 04:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Then it depends on how they land. But their odds are not good. Here is someone's idea for a strategy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It would be far better to land on a Life net. That's a little article I wrote a few years ago. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Obviously. But the OP specified concrete. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
On page 17 of this OSHA document [35], figure 6 shows the distribution of workplace fatalities as a function of number of feet fallen. From that, you can see that a small number of people died after falls of less than six feet - and most people in the workplace who die after falling, fell less than 40 feet...which is less than 5 floors. So for sure, lots of people die every year from falling fell from considerably less height than the 5th floor.
A few other sources I checked with suggest the the risk of death starts to go up sharply at falls of around 8 to 10 meters - with about a 50/50 chance of dying if you fall from 15 meters and a near certainty of dying at around 25 meters. A typical building floor height is about 3.5 meters - so 5 floors would be 17.5 meters - and that's about a 75% chance of death. But there really is no 'safe' fall height. People trip and fall and whack their heads against something as they reach ground level and die as a result - so even a fall from zero height can be fatal.
CONCLUSION: If you fall from the 5th floor - you have roughly a 3 in 4 chance of dying - there is no 'safe' distance.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Would it be a quick death or a long and agonizing one? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 15:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any data on that. One would presume that a head-first impact would be quick - and feet-first much less so - but it's very hard to say, and as skydivers soon discover, bodies rotate during free-fall in ways that can be hard to control. I wouldn't want to make any bets on that one. SteveBaker (talk) 17:07, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Is it best for a man/woman to see a male/female psychiatrist respectively?[edit]

Just curious if it's generally best for a man to see a male or female psychiatrist and for a woman to see a male or female psychiatrist, or if there's no recommendation in the psychology community. (talk) 05:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Most psychiatrists base their treatment on pills. I hardly see how it could matter the gender of those who prescribes you pills. Psychiatrists are also not necessarily part of the psychology community, they could be psychotherapists too, but primarily they are physicians. I suppose you want to know whether gender of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsels and the like matter.
On the practice it's clear that psychiatrists are mostly male, and the psychology community is mostly female. That reduces your chances of picking a specific gender. Anyway, the role of gender in the quality of psychotherapy seems to be negligible, in the same way that you don't need a therapist with the same age, religion, race, as you. I see that it could even be an advantage to have a certain distance from your therapist, since you both are not supposed to enter a private relationship. --Llaanngg (talk) 11:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
[citation needed] for a lot of this, perhaps most importantly on the first sentences of each paragraph. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
For some people, maybe. A psychiatrist is indeed different than a psychologist, but gender match in medical and therapeutic professions can indeed be a factor in outcomes. Here is a study that specifically looks at effects of gender matching in adolescents [36]. That one is freely accessible, these two studies [37] [38] are not, but they also discuss gender matching in therapeutic contexts. Note that all three also discuss matching of ethnicities as a potential important factor too. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Having been treated by half a dozen psychiatrists and therapists, I will say that the race/culture, age and gender of your treatment providers definitely matters in some cases, even for "pill prescribers" because your story may sound different to different doctors. For example, I've been routinely noted to have "poor eye contact" and be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder by old white men, but younger psychiatrists are more up to date on neuroscience research and my female psychiatrists (including a South Asian) tend to agree with post-traumatic stress disorder or complex PTSD. Also Asian treatment providers definitely get cross-cultural struggles and Asian cultural values like conflict aversion, whereas white providers often don't, frequently chalking it up to some personality defect or saying that you're "non-assertive". Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

cramps or a "charley horse" after orgasm[edit]

My girlfriend often has serious cramps (or a charley horse)after she has an orgasm. The cramp is usually in her lower left calf. This is not a medical question. I am just curious how an orgasm and a cramp in the lower leg can be connected (given the very different muscles involved). (talk) 05:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

For bemused readers.... Charley horse. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Orgasm often involves muscular contractions not just in the groin area, but throughout the body -- so in some cases, different muscles can cramp after orgasm. (I know first-hand, I've pulled a leg muscle once or twice during sex.) FWIW 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 08:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Differ love and porn! Porn can be violent. In some cultures sex is a secret and porn is the only “manual” and not a good advice at all. We have wikipedia and it sould give some more reliable information. The next step is You to care what You are doing. But some human are very fragile. When the charley horse is always on the same place You can find the reason. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:37, 8 February 2016


Does Hans Haase 有问题吗's post above make sense to someone? In this case and in previous cases too I am unable to even guess what he's trying to say. --Llaanngg (talk) 11:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I get the basic gist of it, and I usually can with Hans' posts. Then again, I have lots of experience reading listening to ESL. Respectfully, this is not the best place for such comments and discussion. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Our articles on this are really, really bad. Charley horse confounds multiple conditions and multiple colloquial terms until there's no telling what is what. Cramp does virtually the same - it is hard for me to accept that the usual sort of "charley horse" has anything to do with failure of ATP to loosen muscles, since generally it is a sudden onset of a muscle contraction. We'll have to look this one up from scratch... after which, we might want to rewrite those articles quite nearly from scratch. Wnt (talk) 12:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I should share the first good reference I found at [39] (I just did a PubMed search for leg cramp and this was one of the first things) Apparently there is a treatment for leg cramps ...... it involves injecting 5 ml of 1% lidocaine into the "bifurcation of the branches that is located in the distal two-thirds of the interspace between the first and second metatarsals" - this is a nerve block of "the medial branch, which is the distal sensory nerve of the deep peroneal nerve". The site is on the inside of the base of the big toe. The effect was to reduce cramps by 75% over a two-week study period. As part of their discussion they say

The mechanism(s) of leg cramps are yet to be clarified, but disturbances in the central and peripheral nervous system and skeletal muscle could be involved (Jansen et al. 1990; Jansen et al. 1999; Miller and Layzer 2005). Electrophysiologically, cramps are characterized by repetitive firing of motor unit action potentials at rates of up to 150 per sec. This is more than four times the usual rate in maximum voluntary contraction (Bellemare et al. 1983; Jansen et al. 1990). In a human study, Ross and Thomas indicated a positive-feedback loop between peripheral afferents and alpha motor neurons, and that this loop is mediated by changes in presynaptic input. This loop is considered a possible mechanism underlying the generation of muscle cramps (Ross and Thomas 1995). The frequency of nocturnal leg cramps has also been suggested to result from changes in hydrostatic pressure and ionic shift across the cell membrane in the calf muscles in the recumbent position, inducing hyperexcitability of the motor neurons. Consequently, the pain of the cramps may be caused by an accumulation of metabolites and focal ischemia (Miller and Layzer 2005). The difference in these conditions in each patient may explain the diverse symptomatology of the cramps.

So the thing I'm thinking of is possibly, not certainly, related to some kind of feedback, possibly via the spine only, between sensation of what the body part is doing and a motor response. It seems easy to picture how infrequent activities might somehow jiggle such a sensitive mechanism. Honestly, because this is a regulated phenomenon with different characteristics than usual contraction, I'm not even entirely sure it is pathological - for all I know, the body might be administering it as some sort of health intervention on itself. Note that I definitely cannot and will not diagnose the woman involved here - there are a thousand things she could be experiencing that aren't what I have in mind. Wnt (talk) 12:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Have the OP and his girlfriend tried different positions? Seriously: I myself often used to (and still occasionally do) get leg cramps when sitting on a hard chair for extended periods – this first arose during long services in a cramped (heh!) school chapel – but avoiding such a position makes them much rarer. It may be that different postures during the act might change the forces on the relevant muscles sufficiently to lessen the problem. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Jump cushion[edit]

Are jump cushions ever used in firefighting in lieu of life nets? If so, how effective are they? Do they even actually exist, given that they're not on Wikipedia? 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 10:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

See [40]. Quoted maximum jump height is 40m. AllBestFaith (talk) 10:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

How many defecators?[edit]

Is it possible to come up with a reasonable estimate of how many humans are defecating at any given moment? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

If I were to pull a number out of my ass...50 million. Make a ballpark assumption the average human spends 10 minutes a day pooping, seven billion humans, and there you go. Should be within an order of magnitude of reality. Someguy1221 (talk) 11:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Given that there are certain times when defecation is more likely (when you get up in the morning, and perhaps also before bed in the evening), the number doing it at any given time may depend on the population density of the time zones matching those times of day. First thing in the morning in China is likely to see a lot more poopers than the similar time in the mid-Pacific. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Today's SMBC comic [41] is highly relevant to this question [42] . SemanticMantis (talk) 18:29, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Perspective machines[edit]

What's a perspective machine, or in particular, a railroad perspective machine? The main source for Nester House (Troy, Indiana) says "The building's 1863 design is attributed to J. J. Bengle, the inventor of the railroad perspective machine." Google returns no relevant results for <perspective machine>, and the sole result for <"railroad perspective machine"> is this main source. Nyttend (talk) 15:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I haven't the foggiest but my guess would be that he invented a machine that helped with making accurate perspective drawings. Architectural drawings showing a building from an angle are normally axonometric projections where parallel lines stay parallel rather than using perspective. A nice perspective drawing helps with selling a design to a client. Dmcq (talk) 16:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Just had a look around and machine like what I was thinking of, the 'perspectograph plotter', was made in 1752 by Johann Heinrich Lambert, see [43], which is before that man's time. So it was either something else or a refinement on that. Dmcq (talk) 16:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There are several kinds of quasi-realistic perspective - "single point" and "two point" being the most commonly mentioned. I wonder whether the term "railroad perspective" might refer to single-point perspective - implying that the way that two parallel railroad rails seem to meet at the horizon. This is just a guess though...take it with a pinch of salt! SteveBaker (talk) 17:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, long parallel straight lines are relatively rare in nature, and in that time frame railroad rails would have been an ideal application for a perspective drawing. StuRat (talk) 17:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. Thinking about a railroad "perspective-machine" didn't get me very far - but thinking in terms of a "railroad-perspective" machine definitely makes me suspect that we're thinking in terms of a single-point projection. Our article on Perspective mentions the word "railroad" three times when discussing this - so I'm starting to believe that this must be what's meant here. SteveBaker (talk) 17:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Technology for the disabled[edit]

What is the current status for:

  1. Body part less people.
  2. Blind sighted people. exclude surgery.

Are there any satisfactory mechanisms out there to grant capability?

Apostle (talk) 18:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Fixed title to be proper English. StuRat (talk) 18:33, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
1) I assume you mean people missing body parts. See prosthetics.
2) I don't think most causes of blindness can be addressed without surgery, assuming implanting electrodes into the brain is considered to be surgery. I think there was some research on attaching a grid of electrodes (with just tape) on the back, and using those to convey visual images, so that might qualify. StuRat (talk) 18:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


February 2[edit]

Computation of trig function before computers[edit]

What exactly were the steps, or the algorithm to find out the values of the logarithm, sine or cosine tables? Back then There were like 1000 values for each table, but if you did not have the table, was it really impossible to do these calculations? (talk) 12:18, 2 February 2016 (UTC) (posted by SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 2 February 2016 (UTC))SemanticMantis (talk) 16:15, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Trigonometric_tables gives some info on how they were computed. Let us know if there's something in there you don't understand. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:49, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
The earliest method would just be to construct the triangles and measure the values directly, perhaps interpolating to find the in-between values. StuRat (talk) 17:03, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
See Taylor series. The method of computing the values in the log, sine, or cosine tables were essentially the same as the method that the computer uses behind the scenes. If you did not have the table and were not skilled in doing the laborious pencil-and-paper Taylor series, it was impossible to do the calculations accurately, although there were estimation techniques. If you did not have the table and were skilled in the laborious pencil-and-paper calculation, I suppose (but am guessing) that you could contract with a publisher to develop their version of the table. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:25, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
The following series can be evaluated by hand to as many terms as accuracy demands.

Natural logarithm

of z where 0 < z < 2,

\ln (z)  = \frac{(z-1)^1}{1} - \frac{(z-1)^2}{2} + \frac{(z-1)^3}{3} - \frac{(z-1)^4}{4} + \cdots

Common logarithm

 \log_{10}(x) = \frac{\ln(x)}{\ln(10)}


\sin x & = x - \frac{x^3}{3!} + \frac{x^5}{5!} - \frac{x^7}{7!} + \cdots

where x is in radians (1 radian = 180/pi)


\cos x & = 1 - \frac{x^2}{2!} + \frac{x^4}{4!} - \frac{x^6}{6!} + \cdots

AllBestFaith (talk) 20:38, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

The above series for ln(z) converges to slowly to be useful for numerical computation. Use
for |z|>1. (See Abramowitz and Stegun formula 4.1.28). Bo Jacoby (talk) 09:00, 4 February 2016 (UTC).
John Napier published tables of ln(x) in 1614. He could not know what equations would be published in 1964. Henry Briggs may have used a finite-difference method some years later. The judgement "converges to[sic] slowly" need not apply where the calculator devotes years to his task. AllBestFaith (talk) 13:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

We have this article: History_of_logarithms. Bo Jacoby (talk) 17:57, 4 February 2016 (UTC).

February 3[edit]

Conformal mapping[edit]

As I understand it, in two dimensions conformal maps can be almost uniquely defined by specifying a simple closed curve in the domain and another such curve in the codomain, such that everything within the curve in the domain is mapped bijectively to the area inside the codomain. I have two questions relating to this:

  1. Using complex-valued functions to represent the conformal map, is there a general procedure for finding the holomorphic function that maps the boundary of an arbitrary simple closed curve to the unit circle?
  2. Is the function thus found guaranteed to be representable by a single power series throughout the simple closed curve in the domain? I believe that the inverse map always has this property (the inverse function must be holomorphic throughout the unit disk so is representable by a single power series about the origin), but I'm not so sure about the original function.--Leon (talk) 08:47, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
1. There is the Schwarz-Christoffel mapping, which only applies to certain types of regions (but can be adapted as a numerical scheme for more general regions). There is a book by that title by Driscoll and Trefethen with lots of details and examples. 2. In general, the map will not have a single power series expansion throughout the domain. Most likely, this is never true except when the domain and codomain are both discs (or halfplanes). Sławomir
12:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, but I didn't mean a power series that converges throughout the entire domain, I meant a power series with a radius of convergence that covers the simple closed curve.--Leon (talk) 12:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
If a disc contains a Jordan curve, then the disc must contain a component of the complement of the curve. So if the power series converges on the whole curve, then it must converge on a connected component of the complement. Sławomir
12:39, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

February 5[edit]

Hessian Matrix Meaning[edit]

Let f:\R^n\to\R be a smooth function. Let x\in\R^n, such that the gradient of f at x is zero. Let H be the Hessian matrix of f at the point x. Let V be the vector space spanned by the eigenvectors corresponding to negative eigenvalues of H. Let y\in V. Then, f(x)>f(y)? or maybe f(x)>f(x+y)?

In other words, does negative eigenvalue imply maximum point at the direction of the corresponding eigenvector, or maybe this is a maximum in another direction, and not in the direction of the eigenvector? עברית (talk) 06:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

See Morse lemma. Sławomir
12:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You're kind of circling around the second derivative test for functions of several variables. The Taylor expansion for f at x is
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T}  \mathrm{D} f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T} \mathrm{D}^2 f(\mathbf{x}) \mathbf{y} + \cdots
where Df is the gradient and D2f is the Hessian. In this case the gradient is 0 at x so this reduces to
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T} \mathrm{D}^2 f(\mathbf{x}) \mathbf{y} + \cdots .
Let e be an eigenvector with eigenvalue λ, and wlog take e to be length 1. If y = te, then
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \lambda t^2 + \cdots
so f has a local minimum or maximum along the line parallel to e though x, depending on whether λ is positive or negative. If e, f ... are several linearly independent eigenvectors, with eigenvalues λ, μ, ... , and y = te + uf + ... , then
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} (\lambda t^2 + \mu u^2 + \cdots) + \cdots
so f has a local minimum or maximum in the relevant space though x provided λ, μ, ... have the same sign. (The eigenvectors may be taken to be orthogonal since D2f is symmetric.) Note, this is only valid for y sufficiently small, otherwise the higher order terms in the Taylor series become significant and the approximation is no longer valid. --RDBury (talk) 12:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, great! Thank you! :) עברית (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

question in graph theory[edit]

Suppose we have a graph G where |V(G)|\ge k+1 (k\in\mathbb{N}), and for all two non-neighbors vertices it holds that d(u)+d(v)\ge2k. How can we prove that the average degree of this graph is at least k?
Tnanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Just sum over all vertices, and show that the sum is greater than |V|\cdot 2k.
The idea is to sum over couples of non-neighbors vertices.
If all the vertices in the graph are neighbors, we're done, since |V|\ge k+1, so each node has degree \ge k.
Also, if all the vertices have degree \ge k, we're done.
Otherwise, there're at least 2 non-neighbors vertices, v and u, that one of which has degree<k, and the second has degree>k.
We know that d(u)+d(v)\ge 2k. WLOG d(v) > d(u). So, d(v)\ge k+1
Now, for every vertex, u, which is not a neighbor of v, it holds that d(u)+d(v)\ge2k. So, d(u)\ge2k-n.
Now, we remain only with the neighbors of v.
If they're all neighbors, then we know that their degree \ge n-1 \ge k.
Otherwise, there are two vertices that are not neighbors - fix one of which and continue this way recursively.
Since the statement (that the average of the degrees over the fixed vertex and its non-neighbors vertices is >= k) holds all the time during the recursion, so the statement is correct.
Notice that this method of recursion is similar to inducion, that you're probably more familiar with. עברית (talk) 10:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Semi-hereditary rings[edit]

Is there a ring R that is left semi-hereditary but not right semi-hereditary? Of course, the opposite ring Rop will then be right semi-hereditary but not left semi-hereditary. Unlike for (semi-)perfect rings and (semi-)firs, where the semi version is left-right symmetric and the non-semi version is asymmetric, both hereditariness and semi-hereditariness are asymmetric. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 00:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Discrete Fourier Transform[edit]

By convention, when we take a DFT of a series, we get a series-sized list of numbers back. These numbers describe the Frequency domain of that series. My question is: what is the exact relation of each number to the original signal? Let's say we take a DFT of 1024 samples from an audio recording with a sample rate of 44100 Hz. We get back a list of 1024 numbers. The first number (or last depending on how you order it I guess, but by convention usually the first) will represent the "constant" signal of the time series, correct? The last number will represent a signal oscillating fast enough to go through a full sine wave 512 times over the course of our 1024 samples (alternating between full positive and full negative every sample), right? This corresponds to a frequency of 22050 Hz? So what does e.g. the 384th number represent?

tl;dr: I wanna tie the results of an FFT of an audio file to specific frequencies in Hertz. How do? (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi, reporting back on some of my own digging to help build the record. My first point of confusion is I've been working with a full FFT instead of a real FFT when working with Real data. The "extra" 512 coefficients are identical to the first 512 when working with real data! So, with a RFFT of the same data from the earlier example, the 512th (e.g. last) member is 22050 hz. (talk) 22:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The resulting values are evenly spaced in frequency domain. So if you have N samples and a sample rate of S, then the k-th resulting value corresponds to frequency {k \over N} S. As you already noted, k > N / 2 just repeats for real signals, so the interesting information covers frequencies S / N to S / 2. Dragons flight (talk) 11:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

"Opposite" of Normal Distribution[edit]

What is the equation of the normal distribution turned up-down? Does this distribution have some name in the literature? עברית (talk) 08:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

If you mean a distribution with an inverted bell shape, it can't be that simple, because its integral would be infinite. —Tamfang (talk) 08:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Oopss.. Thanx! עברית (talk) 10:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
As for where it might occur, I can imagine the penumbra under a moderately high object, like a flag, would reach a minimum brightness near the center. StuRat (talk) 18:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Elementary Proof of an Integral Identity involving Bessel functions[edit]

It is well known that, for positive values of a, \int_0^\frac\pi2\cos(a\cos x)dx=\int_0^\infty\sin(a\cosh x)dx=\frac\pi2J_0(a). I was wondering whether it is possible to prove the first half of the identity in an elementary manner, without any explicit recourse to Bessel functions and their various properties.

I've tried writing them both as \int_0^1\frac{f_{1,2}(ax)}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}~dx, with f_1(t)=\cos(t) and f_2(t)=\frac{\sin(1/t)}t, and then expand \frac1{\sqrt{1-x^2}} into its binomial series, and reverse the order of summation and integration, but the general terms of the two series are not equal (not to mention the fact that each is expressed in terms of incomplete gamma functions and/or exponential integrals of imaginary argument). — (talk) 13:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It's not too hard to show that both satisfy the same second order differential equation (which turns out to he the Bessel equation). Sławomir
13:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Grams in milliliters[edit]

What is 100g plain flour in milliliters? 2A02:8084:9360:3780:141:A29C:2CFA:4D6F (talk) 14:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It depends on the flour, how packed it is, and if it is from wheat, rice, barley, or other. There should be an equivalence on your package of flour for volume to weight, that you can use. Based on mine, 100g is about 0.195l or 195 milliliters. It will vary. Dhrm77 (talk) 16:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
One other factor is how dry the flour is. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That question (probably) doesn't belong on this page. This is about Math, not measurements. Dhrm77 (talk) 16:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. Conversion of units involves math, and not much else, so this is the place for it. StuRat (talk) 17:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It does involve more than math, it involves actual volume/weight ratios and unit conversions. The question might be better located here: Reference desk/Miscellaneous or in places like or Also, googling the question gives various answers.Dhrm77 (talk) 18:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Volume/weight ratios and unit conversions are maths. They're the practical maths which make everyday life possible. DuncanHill (talk) 18:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I have a cooks dry measure which gives 100g of flour as a shade under 200 ml. DuncanHill (talk) 16:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


February 3[edit]

Who has Syrian neutrality laws?[edit]

Australians apparently aren't allowed to fight for anyone in the Syrian conflict, unless they want a life sentence. Seems a bit odd for an enemy of the Islamic State to turn down help. Do any other countries, particularly those who've publicly picked a side, have similar laws? And does the Australian one only pertain to Syria, or anywhere? InedibleHulk (talk) 09:04, February 3, 2016 (UTC)

It's not a Syrian neutrality law as such, it prevents private citizens from participating in foreign conflicts: see this article about a similar case. For some explanation of the rationale, have a look at the debates behind the 2014 bill. Here is a Guardian article from the same period. Basically, the reason it does not distinguish between "good" and "bad" militant groups is because the government does not want to face questions of which faction someone was fighting for and whether that faction is "good" or "bad". Yesterday's mujahideen could quickly become today's terrorist. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, much enlightened. That bit about more general "no-go zones" was sort of surprising, too. Strange days, but I can see how the rules might make sense. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:36, February 3, 2016 (UTC)
That no-go part is apparently unique in "the West". Canada has something like a foreign fighters law, but only against helping designated terrorists. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:49, February 3, 2016 (UTC)
The Dutch authorities have begun to prosecute a former Dutch soldier who fought without government permission in Syria against ISIS. The reasoning is that killing ISIS members without being mandated by the Dutch state to do so still qualifies as murder. See [44]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:47, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I can see three possible reasons for this:
1) They really do want to maintain neutrality, so they won't be attacked. If so, this seems rather cowardly.
2) They are old laws on the books and they haven't gotten around to adding an exception for those fighting against ISIS, and they feel the need to enforce all laws, even the stupid ones. If this is the case, hopefully when they do update the law they will add a retroactive pardon.
3) They want to fight ISIS, but not this way, as it may result in Dutch citizens being held hostage. StuRat (talk) 15:29, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
The Netherlands has decided to perform bombings in Syria against ISIS targets, but that is something like war of targeted killing, which are legal. That former soldier was simply put a civilian who went to a foreign country and decided to kill people there. The difference is having a mandate from the state or not. The Dutch pilots who are supposed to bomb inside Syria are killing, but not murdering (since they kill legally); the former soldier was killing illegally, which amounts to murder. Of course, there is a public campaign in his favor, many Dutch people see him as a hero. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:54, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I would have much more confidence in somebody on the ground actually hitting ISIS targets, and nobody else, than somebody dropping bombs. StuRat (talk) 01:00, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd have more confidence in the somebody dropping bombs to not get hit back, though. There's a method in their madness, and it's right there in the title. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:19, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
It's a legal matter. Formally, YPG isn't a state army and the former soldier is no Kurdish national. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:09, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Aye, makes sense. It'd make more sense to me if it were a only a legal matter for the courts of the victim's country (laws should protect, not punish). But yeah, universal jurisdiction is a thing. Good find, thanks! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:17, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
Basically, in general, you are also simply not allowed to create your own militia, no matter whom you want to fight. In the case of the US, the country prohibits its citizens to fight for any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people as a soldier. You could be fined or arrested for that (not just when fighting against the ISIS). Not sure if this applies here, or whether the direction you are shooting really matters.
For the UK, from [45] this source: " It’s a subject that the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, touched on in his report last year, saying: “There is a real debate to be had about how the law should treat foreign fighters.” There is legislation, the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870, that made it illegal for any Briton to enlist in a foreign army at war with a state at peace with the UK, but it proved useless when nearly 3,000 Britons, most famously George Orwell, went to fight in the Spanish civil war in the 1930s. " --Scicurious (talk) 16:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Good stuff, thanks! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:17, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
Our article Mercenary also referred to some difficulty with prosecuting Britons who fought in the Greek War of Independence, because it was uncertain whether the rebels were a state. That article also discusses similar anti-mercenary laws in some other countries. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 16:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd imagine that getting paid to fight risks some further white-collar charges, too. Visa, sanction or tax problems. I once got a firm warning from a temp agency for just helping my American neighbour/neighbor tear out a bathroom. Earlier that day, Mustapha Hussein was killed for less, so I'm glad I'm only kind of foreign and just stood to misappropriate $60 instead of a dynasty. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:17, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
I don't know to what degree, if at all, the kind of Country neutrality (international relations) has been practised since the second World War, but as that article mentions, one of the obligations of a neutral country is/was to do internment of troops from either side of the conflict who come into it. I suspect there may be some complementary requirement for actions toward its own citizens who join the conflict. It is possible that these laws are relics of that kind of politics, now given different justifications. But in the second World War neutrality had considerable advantages, such as not getting conquered and having all your Jews marched off to the ovens, so I can see why they might have made it a legal default position. Wnt (talk) 21:09, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
From Vladimir Lenin to Vic Toews, back to Spanish vet George Orwell, the current global policy seems to be you're either with us, or against us. In theory, anyway. In truth, Switzerland still enjoys some considerable advantages. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:17, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
A number of U.S. citizens, mostly veterans, have joined the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in their fight against ISIL; this is the "Lions of Rojava" group (see here for a profile in the New York Times Magazine). As far as I can tell, these efforts do not necessarily fall afoul of U.S. domestic law (the volunteers are fighting for an ally, not an enemy), but there are potential pitfalls. For example, the Logan Act prohibits U.S. citizens from conducting private diplomacy. Neutralitytalk 07:16, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
That's also pretty messed up. The last bit, I mean. Thanks! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:24, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
Denmark has (had?) the largest number of foreign fighters per capita, and Aarhus has (had?) the idea that giving returners counseling, an education and a job makes more sense than fighting them. The Washington Post says this is soft-handed and dangerous. I say it's not as dangerous as giving them the same, plus war. There's probably a middle approach somewhere. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:45, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
Ok, that was October 2014. As of October 2015, Denmark is second per capita, after Belgium, and wants to get Australian about them. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:49, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
One woman asks, “How can I pose a threat to Denmark and other countries by being a soldier in an official army that Denmark trains and supports directly in the fight against the Islamic State?” No clear answer given, at least in that story, though Søren Pind says the law is "very clear". Maybe they're both right. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:58, February 4, 2016 (UTC)
There are all sorts of reasons to not want your citizens rushing off to "help" in wars that you support or intend to support. For example:
  • Chain of command. Without this, the effort to defeat an enemy is a chaotic mess.
  • Identification of friend and foe. Will these people who go off and fight by themselves hit the right targets? Will they "murder" innocents because they lack the required military intelligence? Will they even kill people on your own side by mistake? - Consider the possibility that you have spy in the enemy camp.
  • Wrecking already made plans. Suppose you plan a surprise attack on some location and a lone vigilante or militiaman gets the enemy into a state of alertness.
It's easy to see how one lone 'hero' can completely screw up a carefully orchestrated political and military strategy - so it's quite reasonable to have rather generalized laws stopping that from happening. If you have such a law and only enforce it patchily - then people will tend to assume it's OK to ignore it - so even when there are special circumstances, it makes sense to at least apply the law - even if you ultimately give the person a light sentence as a result.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:54, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
True enough, in general. Though in most cases, these wolves aren't John Rambo or Liam Neeson. They join (somewhat) established units, under (somewhat) seasoned commanders, and (particularly with former "real" soldiers) follow the gameplan. It's not hard to find examples of a carefully orchestrated political and military strategy completely screwing up under a five-star general, either, simply because war is difficult.
Seems unfair (but perhaps natural) to retain a clusterfuck monopoly for nationalized armies, especially when it comes to battling terrorists and iron-fisted dictators, who target far more Average Joes than G.I. Joes. Not much different from the right of self-defense or standing your ground, just with more cooperation. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:37, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
Cameroonians are (reportedly) not only free to fight Boko Haram, but officially encouraged to liberally apply the dark arts. That tends to always backfire in fiction, but a wizard once semi-fictionally helped win World War II. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:29, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
Sierra Leone's Civil Defence Forces seems to have featured warlocks prominently. Seems to not be remembered fondly. Things aren't always what they seem. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:41, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
While trying to find stuff about Charles Taylor and bad juju, I discovered Charles Asampong Taylor believes it's also quite real on the other world stage. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:55, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
And "Black Star" was on Rising Force, from 1984. It's finally making sense. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:02, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
This article by Vice talks about wizards fighting Boko Haram who are known for herbal healing and chucking about mandrake root. I imagine a sufficient quantity of mandrake would affect Boko Haram's health in a most salutary fashion. I'll also suggest an open mind on the weaponization of precognition, though I certainly would not recommend using it. Wnt (talk) 12:51, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Mandrake root is mainly good for appreciating "Mandrake Root" or slowly killing your spouse. The good stuff comes from the lips of an ancient three-headed hellhound. Next best thing to Hydra blood (some say). There was a Stargate Project, which the CIA claims to have scrapped as useless. The Llangernyw Yew is both poisonous and foretells death on Halloween; I have no idea if MI5 is aware of this.
In any case, Islam generally fears magic, and if that terror is fundamental enough, it might not matter if it's malarkey. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:51, February 5, 2016 (UTC)
Back on topic, the guy from the first story was apparently turned away for clerical reasons, not dangerous ones. And in his country, freelancers are as heroic as normal soldiers doing the same job. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:31, February 8, 2016 (UTC)

Dewey classification[edit]

Hi, this could easily be a stupid question, but the answer might be genuinely helpful to me so I'll try anyway. I'll be taking an exam soon, to test my ability to do a library job of intermediate skill. They give only vague ideas of what I'll be tested on. The only aspect that gives me pause is this: "Finding the proper order for items arranged by the Dewey classification." It was my understanding that the Dewey system was pretty straightforward, and that the most taxing part of it would be memorising what each of the numbers means, something only a very experienced librarian would probably know. So is their testing on Dewey classification probably going to be as simple as putting things in numerical order, or should I be learning a lot more about it to do well? One of the other sections of the exam is "Arranging items in alphabetical and numerical order" so either their exam is repetitive, or I'm missing something. Thanks! Julia\talk 21:11, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

This mock test and explanation written by a librarian may be helpful. (talk) 21:31, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm a library technician and have performed these tests myself. What is the job you are applying for? If it is shelving and checkin or other basic clerical work, then the test will likely be simply putting stuff in order. Not all materials are necessarily classified with Dewey: is it a public library? If so, then fiction will use some other system, which is why there might be a separate section for alphabetical and numerical order. Most people in any role don't need to memorize Dewey beyond a very basic level, and if their library uses a different system they won't know Dewey at all. Anyone who needs more detail will have specialized training and access to special material (and even then we just copy what someone else did). I do cataloguing myself: I just look it up. Mingmingla (talk) 04:51, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Dewey starts off easy - there is a set of magic numbers for each class of thing - and the most significant digits on the left give you the broadest feel of the subject - with the digits to the right getting down into finer and finer distinctions. Sorting books for non-fiction is basically just a straightforward matter of sorting the numbers. Where it gets complicated is with fiction, biographies and books about other books. Then there are complicated codes involving the first letter of the author's name, the first letter of the title - with books that criticize or inform about other books or their authors being placed not in non-fiction but in the same group as the book that's being discussed. Biographies are filed with the name of the person who is being talked about - not with the author so that all of the biographies about a particular person end up together. There are lots of special case 'tweaks' - and a hell of a lot of ambiguity. For example, if I write a book that compares two other fictional books - which one is my book shelved with? If I write a biography of an entire family of people - where does it go? Ultimately, the system can't possibly get it 100% right - which is why we have secondary indices - like the good old fashioned card file and more modern computerized versions of it. At that point, the main requirement is that if you can find title and/or author, you can eventually figure out the number...and then, you can find it on the shelf really easily. So even if a book about ants that's woven into the life of a famous ant enthusiast gets put under biographies rather than insects - you can at least find it at one unambiguous location on the shelves even if it's not categorized in the way you might expect.
It's tempting to ask why we don't just shelve by ISBN and have a computer find the location of book for you using Google or Amazon or whatever. But that misses out on the one hugely wonderful thing about physical libraries and book stores - the ability to browse. If you wander through the shelves to find books about your favorite author - you'll find them all together, so you'll spot books that you didn't even know they wrote - and you'll find books about those books that you might never have thought to look for. To make that work, it makes better sense to shelve using Dewey...which is why it's still done that way.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:42, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
As an aside, there are alternate classification schemes that functionally do what the Dewey Decimal system does, but attempt to clear up some of the inadequacies of it (of course, having their own shortcomings which Dewey does better. No system is perfect). In the U.S., while historically public libraries have used the Dewey Decimal system, most academic/university libraries use the Library of Congress Classification system, which uses letters rather than numbers for classifying books by category; i.e. Q = Science QD = Chemistry, and so on. --Jayron32 16:05, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Yep, indeed. Fundamentally, the idea of a perfect classification system is doomed. If the intent is solely to make it so books can be found on the physical shelves in a gigantic library - then the ISBN is as good a criterion as any and in libraries where people can't go strolling through the stacks browsing books on similar topics - that's probably the optimum solution. But if you want people to be able to browse the stacks and find books on similar topics shelved together - then there are absolutely guaranteed to be cases where books 'belong' equally in two or more places. Unless the library purchases multiple copies of the book and shelves each copy under a different number - you have a problem that no classification scheme can possibly resolve.
Honestly, these days, the answer should be to scan all of the books into computers so you can "shelve" them in multiple virtual locations according to Dewey *and* the Library of Congress scheme *and* alphabetically by author *and* alphabetically by title. Finding a book becomes no different than searching for a web page - and indeed, for non-fiction, GoogleBooks lets you do exactly that. Then you can arrange the physical books on the shelves in any order you want so you can find them again (and the ISBN works reasonably well for that since it's a widely recognized unique identifier - although some books escape it by virtue of age or by being self-published - so maybe Dewey wins on that basis). There are similar schemes (ISSN and ISMN, to name but two) that sequence other things like magazines and musical scores that libraries might choose to collect. SteveBaker (talk) 15:29, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
You should see what they're doing now with automated libraries. The James B. Hunt, Jr. Library at NC State has a fully automated robotic system for retrieving books. See here. You order your books online, and a bin shows up with all of your books on it. The organization system exists solely for optimizing the robotic system. Doesn't have to worry at all about human concerns. --Jayron32 15:43, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
With a system like that, you can have the robot shelve books just anywhere - so long as the system remembers where the book was placed, it can go fetch it just as easily as if there was some kind of classification system in place. Probably the smartest thing to do would be to keep the most frequently requested books towards one end of the stacks to reduce the distance the robot has to travel. But perhaps people frequently request a bunch of books on a single topic or by a particular author - in which case Dewey might still be the best thing to increase the probability that robots will work efficiently. SteveBaker (talk) 21:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you all for your fascinating insights! Definitely better than just reading the article. :) If they ask me anything about the pros and cons of Dewey I shall be all set! The example test the IP posted was really helpful too. Cheers! Julia\talk 19:15, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

February 4[edit]

Thought experiments, ethics, and cause[edit]

I heard a sort of thought experiment recently that I had not heard before. It's perhaps vaguely related to a trolley problem, but it's not so much about what to do as much as what has been done, and how to assign responsibility and causes. It goes like so:

Alice and Bob are on top of a very tall building. Alice pushes Bob off, a surely fatal move. Meanwhile, Carol, who is on top of another building, has the falling Bob in the sights of her sniper rifle, and cleanly shoots him through the head before he can hit the ground.
The question is, who caused, or is responsible for, Bob's death? Alice, Carol, both, or other? Alice would hold that clearly Carol killed Bob, as she fired a bullet through his head. Carol would retort that Bob was already as good as dead, and her bullet did not have any effect with regard to the outcome of the situation. Bob is of course unavailable for comment.

Now, I can puzzle over this all I like, and maybe it seems simple or silly to some, but my question for the ref desks is: Is this just a re-phrasing of some other well-known thought experiment? Or can you recommend any other similar puzzles that relate to the issue of how to assign cause? Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 17:40, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Causation (law)#Independent sufficient causes may cover this. -- BenRG (talk) 18:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! That seems to cover the legal situation for negligence in the USA, still interested in other legal or philosophical/ethical precedents. Actually, upon re-reading, I'm having a hard time reconciling our coverage with this discussion [46] of the case. Our blurb makes it sound like A and C would both be held liable in my example. But the casebriefs link seems to imply that if B fell off the building, then C would not be liable. If I'm interpreting that correctly, then that's interesting; sort of a violation of independence of irrelevant alternatives, because the liability of C seems to rest on the liability of A, even though C's actions were sufficient to cause damage! SemanticMantis (talk) 18:56, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
There's a section further down with some discussion of English criminal law. And the rest of the article covers both US and English/non-US common law positions to some degree, but a basic torts and criminal law text book (respectively) should have more details and references to cases. In terms of criminal liability in the example you cited, you would probably get all of the people responsible, either under an actual offence or under an inchoate offence. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 19:29, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
For the position in English law, see Murder_in_English_law#Causation_and_foreseeability, which mentions the concept of novus actus interveniens or "breaking the chain", although that article only refers to civil cases. This article describes a fight between two soldiers, one of whom was stabbed and then dropped twice by those carrying him on the stretcher and finally mis-diagnosed by the medical officer resulting in his death. The soldier that did the stabbing was convicted of murder but this was overturned on appeal (Regina v Smith, 1959). Not the same as your scenario, but I suspect that such a case has never appeared before the courts and would result in much wig-scratching (this is not legal advice). Alansplodge (talk) 19:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I think you misread that source. In R v Smith (Thomas Joseph) the conviction was upheld because the stab wound was the "operating and substantial cause" of death. In R v Jordan the conviction was overturned because the stab wound was largely healed but the victim was given antibiotics which he was allergic which would probably have been fine were it not for the fact another doctor prescribed the same antibiotics the next day after they had been stopped due to the allergy. This is not legal advice but while the fall may not be the "operating and substantial cause" of death it would have been the cause of death had the victim not already been dead when hitting the ground so it seems closer to Smith in so much as you can learn anything from them. (It's not like Jordan where court considered the defendent had basically survived the stabbing.) If the victim was fine after somehow hitting an anti-suicide airbag except the sniper then shot the airbag and caused an explosion because it had accidentally been filled with oxygen, then you have someting more akin to Jordan. Nil Einne (talk) 06:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Quite right, I must have done (good job I'm not a barrister). This article about the same case summarises: 'To operate as a novus actus interveniens, the intervening event must be so potent and independent of the defendant’s actions as to render those actions “insignificant”.' Alansplodge (talk) 14:37, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
SemanticMantis' exact scenario is described in the introduction to the film Magnolia, incidentally, the name of the suicide (or murder) victim being Sydney Barringer. Tevildo (talk) 20:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Except that there was no suicide in SM's scenario. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:56, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
True, "exact" is not correct - the shooting in the film was also accidental rather than deliberate. The more traditional formulation of the paradox involves the victim intending to cross the desert - one murderer poisons his canteen, the second murderer makes a hole in it. Which of them is responsible for his death? Tevildo (talk) 21:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
There are still alternative causes of death in all these scenarios too. --Scicurious (talk) 21:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
It is similar to the Ronald Opus urban legend, which is the inspiration of Magnolia, the film. Snopes has an analysis of it.
The situation you describe seems to be a peculiar form of involuntary euthanasia, of a person who had only a couple of seconds left. Scicurious (talk) 21:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
SM, according to this posts message: A and C. By Law C if C gets caught, otherwise A if you happened to catch A; still A will get out of it cause it was a sniper. - This is just a thought, not a legal advice... -- Apostle (talk) 21:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks all, very interesting stuff. @Tevildo: has come the closest to what I was hoping for, the desert scenario is definitely isomorphic for me. I may have even heard it before. While I have some interest in the legal ramifications, I'm much more interested in the philosophical/ethical/ontological considerations. Ideally, I'd like to read a scholarly essay on this "desert scenario" or one like I described, or a close variant with suicide, etc. The key I think is that either action is sufficient cause on its own, but it's challenging to assess cause unequivocally when both actions are done. So if anyone can point me to some primary philosophical documents on the matter or something analogous to our article on the trolley problem, or even help find more canonical names for the puzzle, I'd be grateful. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
An interesting real-life example is the court case resulting from the death of Sammy Yatim in Toronto, where the man who undisputedly killed him was acquitted of murder, but convicted of attempted murder. -- (talk) 06:38, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
There are many cases of people having fallen from an airplane without a functioning parachute and surviving (Juliane Koepcke for example) - so it's certainly plausible (albeit unlikely) that B might have lived had C not gone and shot him. Similarly, there are plenty of cases of people surviving a gunshot to the head (Gabrielle Giffords, for example) - and A couldn't be certain that C wouldn't miss.
So A cannot argue that she knew that C would kill B before he hit the ground - because B might have survived the gunshot. C cannot argue that A had already killed B - because he might have survived the fall had she not shot him. So both committed "attempted murder" (at the very least) - and ethically, both are 100% at clearly fault because neither of them could know for 100% sure that their actions wouldn't be the cause of B's death.
The only question that seems tricky is whether either of them gets charged with full-on murder. That brings up the medical question of whether the gunshot caused B to die instantly - or whether he was still alive when he hit the ground. That would clearly determine who committed murder and who committed attempted murder. If (for example) there is security camera footage of B's head breaking up into a gazillion pieces and a more or less headless corpse hitting the ground - then it's decided. But if forensic evidence can't tell us which was the cause of death - then it's a different matter.
There are plenty of cases of someone being stabbed or shot repeatedly by two or more people - with it being impossible to determine which stab or bullet wound finally caused the death and which person inflicted that specific wound. In such cases, all of the people who stabbed or shot are guilty of murder...and this hypothetical case doesn't seem any different. On that basis, you'd have to say that both A and C murdered B.
But the outcome of this kind of event isn't going to be clearly described in law. In the end, judges and juries will wind up deciding. Maybe C claims she committed a "mercy killing" - maybe A claims that she saw C's laser gunsight highlighting B's forehead and felt that pushing B off the roof was the only way to give him at least a tiny chance at survival? Neither seems a particularly plausible explanation - so it's down to judges and juries to determine motives.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:07, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
You are right about the chance of surviving such events (even if it's slim). However, including this information in the analysis would imply jumping the hypothetical limits set by SemanticsMantis. Such scenarios are simply not part of the question. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scicurious (talkcontribs) 15:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

February 5[edit]

Lord Lucan and the disappearing judge[edit]

According to our article on John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, after his bloodstained car was found near Newhaven, East Sussex a search of the area was carried out but "all that was found were the skeletal remains of a judge who had disappeared years earlier". Who was this judge? When did he go missing? Was there foul play? Judges aren't the sort of people who are noted for vanishing into skeletal obscurity on the South Downs, or indeed anywhere else. The question was asked on the article talk page a couple of years ago, but answer came there none. DuncanHill (talk) 04:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I can't find the old reference desk thread, so I may be duplicating old research. The text was added in this edit, citing Pearson (2005), pp. 256–257. Searching that book actually finds it on page 160: "In the end they found a body, but it was not Lucan's. In dense undergrowth towards Ditchling Beacon they stumbled on the skeleton of a judge who had disappeared some years before. If only the body had been Lucan's, many anxious minds – and not" [end of snippet]. Unfortunately, a web search for "Ditchling Beacon" "judge" "skeleton" turned up nothing. -- BenRG (talk) 06:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The question was on the article's talk page rather than the RefDesk, and can be seen at Talk:John_Bingham,_7th_Earl_of_Lucan#Who_was_the_missing_judge.3F (nobody answered). Alansplodge (talk) 17:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I was able to see a bit more of the book at this search result, where it is on pp256-7, it does not identify the judge or say anything more than is already in our article. DuncanHill (talk) 07:09, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
While I haven't tracked down his identity yet, I've found a few more clues. It was on the banks of the River Ouse, between Seaford and Newhaven, and the judge disappeared in 1965, according to this article. Smurrayinchester 08:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The wording of that article is a little more vague. It says that the bones were found on the banks of the Ouse and that the Ouse "runs out" between Seaford and Newhaven, which it does - that's where it runs into the sea. That leaves open the possibility that the bones were found upstream somewhere. I don't know where Ditchling Beacon comes into it unless it is a way of signalling "upstream and into the Downs". Between Newhaven and Seaford are Tide Mills, East Sussex, which if I recall correctly would have already been abandoned by 1965. A large expanse of open ground covered with shingle and old channels, the kind of place someone might abandon a body, or where you could get lost and die forgotten. Until the 2000s there was a circuit judges' residence at Telscombe, a long walk from Newhaven but nearer than Ditchling. Possibly relevant? Itsmejudith (talk) 14:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, well the Ouse meets the sea at Newhaven - you can see it doing so at the top of the Newhaven article. I've walked the Ouse from Lewes to Newhaven, and bits of it are out of the way enough to lose a judge in - more so in the 60's before the path was made. Ditchling Beacon does seem to be a red herring, if the New Review article Smurrayinchester found is to be believed - and as our Lucan article says, the search was not great in extent. I'd forgot the judges' house at Telscombe - and the New Review says his car had been found a few hundred yards from his body, so our judge need not have been a great walker. I think I may need to look up some old newspapers, perhaps a trip to the library or to The Keep. DuncanHill (talk) 20:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

License to Reproduce Copyrighted Photographs[edit]

I had professional photographs taken some time ago and the photographer gave me the digital high resolution jpgs. I specifically asked the photographer whether we're licensed to reproduce them as we see fit (anticipating, foreshadowing perhaps, an issue), and he said, by email, that we could do what we wanted with them. There is no doubt that the photographer is the copyright holder, but I believe that the email from the photographer grants me a license to reproduce these photos.

With the background set, I submitted some of the photos online today to have them printed by a "large retail establishment" and was told when I went to pick them up that they could not be printed because they suspected copyright infringement. I explained the situation, and I showed them the email I received from the photographer, to no avail. They quoted their policy, which I found online later, which reads, in part: "we will not copy a photograph that appears to have been taken by a professional photographer or studio, even if it is not marked with any sort of copyright, unless we are presented with a signed Copyright Release from the photographer or studio." A store-specific form was attached.

Do I have any recourse, or does any company just have the right to refuse my business because they suspect that the activity is illegal and they fear being sued? I'm rather frustrated, but then again I suppose that the company is probably within their right to refuse my business-- it's not like they're discriminating against me on the basis of some protected class. Let me know what you think. Any suggestions for trying to get them reproduced in the future, without having to get the photographer to sign a store-specific form? There has to be a way around it without lying and saying I'm the copyright holder, which isn't true. Jared (t)  20:02, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

They are probably being ultra-cautious. Take your stuff to a local firm and see if they'll do it for you. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:58, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid we can't give legal advice on the reference desks. Tevildo (talk) 22:25, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I removed an archiving box from this question because although legal advice isn't provided, editors may be able to suggest effective ways of getting high-quality printing done -- presuming the OP is correct about the legality of his actions -- without dealing with this particular company's policies. Wnt (talk) 02:37, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Without commenting on the policies of any particular store, you'll likely find companies are much more likely to consider a signed copyright release drafted by a lawyer or paralegal or at least someone familiar with the law. Whether this release came from a store (not necessarily their store provided it clearly applies to everyone and not just the store it came from) or a generic one available online. I don't think it's that surprising a company may not give much stock to a random email with no signature and which even there's no dispute it really came from the copyright holder, may not adequately address any legal concerns they may have (and they probably won't know since realisticly no one is going to send the email to their lawyer to ask for a tiny order). Also, while I'm not really sure who you were dealing with, frontline staff are often going to just do what they've been instructed and are unlikely to be willing to make exceptions to such instruction. Often particularly with a large store, emails, social media or letters can be more conducive to getting an exception or resolution in an unusual case. More generally speaking, I'm not sure what size prints you were referring to, but I'm fairly sure some companies particularly those that are mostly online have fairly limited staff involvement in the printing process. Note that in all cases it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure you are doing something you're legally allowed to. Nil Einne (talk) 07:27, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Quite a few shops have little kiosks (often run by a company like Kodak or Polaroid) that print off photos that you bring in on a USB stick. I was in the same position when printing my wedding photos (the photographer sent me a USB stick of high-res photos that I was allowed to print for own personal use) and had no problem getting those done at a Kodak booth at the local drugstore. IIRC, you have to confirm that you have permission to print the photos, but I think you can tick that in good conscience (and it's a bit hypocritical, since the machine also offers to connect to your Facebook and print pictures of you from there, even though most of those photos probably won't have been taken by you). Smurrayinchester 09:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

Paradise for females[edit]

Can someone please enlighten me. Much has been made of the character of paradise for Muslim men, particularly those dying for the faith. What can a normal woman, a conventional wife and mother expect please? Similarly, what awaits a female suicide-bomber for example? Is paradise shared by men and women? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 08:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, paradise in Islam (see Jannah) is promised to both men and women, see for example this verse from the Quran (9:72): "Allah has promised to the believers, male and female, gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they shall live forever, and good homes in gardens of eternity. And Allah’s pleasure is above all. That is the supreme success." Since polyandry is not allowed in Islam, woman are not promised multiple husbands or men, in contrast to men, who receive special virgins as a heavenly reward. They will be married to their own husbands if those make it to paradise. Do keep in mind that the most detailed descriptions of paradise do not come from the Quran itself, but from traditions that were written down later, and Muslims disagree among themselves which of those traditions are reliable.
When it comes to suicide bombers, obviously not all Muslims consider them true martyrs for the faith, but the Quran does promise paradise to people who die fighting "in the way of Allah" (and according to some, martyrdom is the only guaranteed way to enter paradise): "Surely, Allah has bought their lives and their wealth from the believers, in exchange of (a promise) that Paradise shall be theirs. They fight in the way of Allah, and kill and are killed, on which there is a true promise (as made) in the Torah and the Injil and the Qur’an." (9:111). - Lindert (talk) 10:54, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I see a logical problem there, for husband and wife suicide bombers. If the husband's paradise is to have dozens of virgins, that would make the wife's paradise to share him with all those other women. Doesn't sound like the wife would be very happy to me. Of course, the idea of paradise of any sort seems problematic, regardless of religion, as anything, no matter how enjoyable initially, becomes boring with repetition. So, human nature would need to fundamentally change for eternal paradise to be possible. StuRat (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Logic and religious beliefs do not necessarily mix. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. Following on from that, is there a hell awaiting those who do not make it to paradise, male or female? Or does death in those circumstances mean simple annihilation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 15:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
For the basics, see Jahannam Nil Einne (talk) 16:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As far as I'm aware, belief in annihilation is not common in Islam as the Quran quite explicitly describes enduring punishment for unbelievers: "Those who have disbelieved in Our verses, We shall certainly make them enter a fire. Whenever their skins are burnt out, We shall give them other skins in their place, so that they may taste the punishment. Surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." (4:56) and "Surely, if the disbelievers have all that is in the earth, and more as much besides it, to pay it as ransom against the punishment of the Day of Judgment, it shall not be accepted from them, and they will have a painful punishment. They will wish to come out of the Fire, but they will not be able to come out from there. For them there will be a lasting punishment." (5:36-37). See also Jahannam. - Lindert (talk) 16:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Platinum jubilee and beyond[edit]

Assuming Elizabeth II lives to see another jubilee in 6 years, to this day, when would be the next subsequent jubilee and what would it be called. Given her family's longevity I think another two jubilees seems quite plausible, especially as she seems as fit as a fiddle at 90. --Andrew 17:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Six years, no? --Viennese Waltz 17:21, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Yeh, sorry --Andrew 17:30, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
It's the same naming as for weddings, see Wedding anniversary, which states that the 70th is called Platinum, and the 80th Oak. LongHairedFop (talk) 17:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
After platinum comes ... oak? It should be something more valuable than what came before, like unobtainium. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Ah yes and that exemplifies what's wrong with this world, when metals are deemed more valuable than living beings. Signed, an ageing hippie. --TammyMoet (talk) 15:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Paul McCartney was given a rhodium disc in 1979 by the Guinness Book of Records to mark his career achievement, but it's not an official RIAA certification. Tevildo (talk) 09:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
An Oak Jubilee would be particularly patriotic. DuncanHill (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Floor-crossing in UK Parliament[edit]

When Douglas Carswell changed parties, he resigned and stood (successfully) in a by-election for his seat. The article notes that he was "not required to do so", so why would he do this? Merely because he thought it the best idea (e.g. perhaps he wanted to know that his voters still supported him), or is this one of those things in UK politics that, while not required, is still considered the proper thing to do? Before Carswell, the last Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds (at least according to our list) who took the office in relation to changing parties was Cathcart Wason in 1902, and before Carswell (who is supposedly the incumbent of both positions), the last Steward of the Manor of Northstead to resign upon changing parties, according to our list, was seemingly Richard Rigg in 1905. In particular, I don't see Winston Churchill on either list, despite his famous floor-crossing from Conservative to Liberal 1904. Nyttend (talk) 01:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I would say that rather than being seen as the proper thing to do, resigning after crossing the floor is seen as rather unusual, as is suggested by our article List of British politicians who have crossed the floor. DuncanHill (talk) 02:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Just noticed the Duchess of Atholl, who crossed the floor five times from 1935-38, which must surely be some kind of record!. DuncanHill (talk) 02:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
ah, and she took the Chiltern Hundreds on the last occasion to stand as an Independent, but lost the by-election. DuncanHill (talk) 02:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I wasn't previously aware of this list. Is Carswell somehow a holder of both stewardships, or is there a mistake on one of the lists? Nyttend (talk) 02:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Mark Reckless took the Chiltern Hundreds to stand for UKIP. Carswell isn't on the list for the Chiltern Hundreds. DuncanHill (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, there are several Manor of Northstead resignations on changing party, Bruce Douglas-Mann in 1982, Dick Taverne in 1972, haven't looked over them all yet. DuncanHill (talk) 02:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm hmm, apparently I wasn't paying sufficient attention; sorry. Nyttend (talk) 02:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No need to apologise, it's an interesting subject. DuncanHill (talk) 02:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
And hence, DuncanHill, does this not make the Dutchess your first MP who was also a street-walker? μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to take care about who you call what. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In the UK, (legally) you vote for your MP, not for the party that they represent. Indeed, before about 1960, the candidates' affiliation wasn't printed on the ballot paper. Therefore, if an MP decides to change their party, then they have no legal (but perhaps a moral) obligation to resign and seek re-election. LongHairedFop (talk) 12:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This BBC article about an unsuccessful attempt to force MPs who change allegiance to submit to a by-election, records the cases of Shaun Woodward and Quentin Davies who moved from Labour to Conservative Conservative to Labour without seeking a mandate from their constituents. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
  • In the cases of Carswell and Reckless, the by-election was mostly for UKIP's sake, rather than their own. Bob Spink had previously crossed the floor to UKIP, but by not standing for a by-election his change of allegiance was almost totally ignored - especially because at the next General Election, he stood as a UKIP-backed independent (for complicated reasons to do with the lack of a UKIP whip) rather than officially standing for the party. The by-elections, coming at a real peak in popularity for UKIP, were a trial by fire that proved the party could win elections and helped its national leadership a lot - and it got them all a lot of media coverage. Smurrayinchester 10:14, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Paradise for females 2[edit]

Thanks to all those who explained the situation to me. So, the first woman started in a garden with one male companion, whom she did not have to look after, while the final women will end up in a very similar place, if they are good enough. Only now, they share it with their husband, plus, perhaps three more virtuous wives, plus more if earlier wives pre-deceased them, plus a number of virgins if the husband's conduct merited them. It seems to me that paradise might end up a female-dominated place. Surely not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 08:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

If it's not in the Quran, does it still count? For comparison, it's common knowledge that the apple was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and that the Three Wise Men were Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, or some such. However, those "facts" do not appear in the Bible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, logically it would seem that paradise according to Islam is mostly inhabited by women, but most of these would be specially created virgins. However, at least in Sunni Islam there is also a saying attributed to Muhammad that indicates hell will also be female-dominated:
"Once Allah's Messenger went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih Bukhari, 304) - Lindert (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Any treaty against ballistic missiles?[edit]

Has North Korea broken any treaty or convention by firing a ballistic missile? I am not saying that N. Korea's good intentions can be trusted, but is it illegal per se, or just scary? --Scicurious (talk) 15:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Why are you spelling it that way, instead of as the normal "North Korea" ? Are you confusing it with chorea ? As for international treaties, I doubt if they signed any. StuRat (talk) 17:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, have been reading French all day. Corrected.
The question is also whether a country has an obligation to comply with certain principles, even without signing anything. Or can it just poison, destroy, contaminate, and so on a region as long as it does not agree to not do it? --Scicurious (talk) 17:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The question of what is legal really has no bearing on reality here, as NK will simply ignore any legal decision. It comes down to if China is willing to cut off their supply line. If not, then they can do whatever they want, and will continue to do so. StuRat (talk) 17:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You are not completely right about NK ignoring everything that happens beyond its borders. They are certainly peculiar and pretty isolated, but not indifferent to the international community. The country seems to be playing a kind of whack-a-mole game. The question remains, is developing and testing ballistic technology a casus belli? Could this justify a preemptive attack? Or should the world wait and see? --Scicurious (talk) 19:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
What NK does certainly is enough of a justification for war, but, as a practical matter, they would be able to wipe on SK at the very least, if attacked, so it won't happen unless they drop a nuke on someone. StuRat (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The category Treaties of North Korea may be help. The country is apparently been signatory to at least 90 international treaties. These are not always transparently named but at a glance, most of them are not weapons-related. According to our article, North Korea was a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but withdrew in 2003. (talk) 19:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC) Posted from talk page Matt Deres (talk) 19:38, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That looks closer to an answer than the discussion above. Thanks. --Scicurious (talk) 19:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
From most sources discussing the tests, AFAIK it's generally accepted by pretty much everyone including China that North Korea is in violation of security council resolutions with their tests [47] in particular United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087 (may not be clear from our article but the text is in the earlier link) and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094 (again see the text). I think United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695 too although it isn't mentioned in that source (again see the full text).

As I understand it (and per the source), United Nations Security Council resolutions of these sort are generally considered legally binding. I believe most of these were issued under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, although only article 41 not article 42 (i.e. there was no authorisation of force). North Korea may reject the resolutions and claim they are not binding. On the other hand they remain a member of the UN and I'm pretty sure most other countries would say that as a member of the UN they are legally bound by these resolutions. (Actually I think quite a few would say they're legally binding even on non members.) Note also that most of the tests were after at least one of these resolutions (and the latest one after all). See [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] for further discussions about whether and when security council resolutions are legally binding.

BTW, I think there's also a question whether NK's withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was actually in proper compliance with the treaty, see United Nations Security Council Resolution 825 (see the text) and [54], as the treat required if "extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country". There's also a question of when they actually withdrew as NK considers they withdrew on 11 January [55] [56] [57] but the treaty requires three months notice and they only gave one day with the argument that they had already given notice in 1993. So some suggest the withdrawal was effective April 10 [58]. Note that entire sentence is correct, i.e. the source disagrees with those who suggest the withdrawal was invalid, and gives examples of similar treaties including the ABM which the US withdrew from. Also, clearly whatever countries may have said when NK withdrew, the general way it's treated now is that NK did withdraw.

Nil Einne (talk) 14:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Musical instrument[edit]

What musical instrument produces this sound, like some type of wind instrument? Heard it elsewhere too. Thanks. Brandmeistertalk 16:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

[NOTE: The instrument is audible at 0:10 and 0:23 in the video, not for the rest of the track]. It sounds like pan pipes to me. Tevildo (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
May be. I mean that at 0:25 and 1:03. Brandmeistertalk 08:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Why do we need the design right (UK)?[edit]

I have read expositions that explain why copyright provides inadequate protection on certain sorts of three-dimensional designs. However, I am yet to be persuaded. Supposedly, copying must have taken place at each stage in production for something to be deemed a breech of copyright, but why? Copyright law applies to inexact copies as well, so how can it not protect the look of a product? Saying copyright only protects art works is risible as academic textbooks are protected under copyright. And saying copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent is also indefensible, as maps are protected under copyright. So, why do we need the design right? What is the limitation of copyright that I am missing?--Leon (talk) 19:06, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Who says that "copyright only protects art" or that "copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent"? It won't cover everything produced under the sun, but the restrictions you mention seem kind of misplaced.--Scicurious (talk) 19:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Writing is considered by many to be an art form. Therefore, since the earliest days of copyright protection, authors' works have been protected. Star trooper man, what makes you think textbooks would no longer be protected under someone's (?) proposed changes? DOR (HK) (talk) 09:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that UK design right lasts for 15 (unregistered) or 25 (registered) years, while copyright lasts for "life plus 70" in most cases. So the law isn't separated because copyright provides inadequate protection, but rather to prevent an extrememly long-lasting monopoly right on useful or mass produced goods. The interaction between copyright and design right is governed by Section 51 and Section 236 CDPA, which can be summarised as: "Copyright applies, except for manufacture or copying of a work other than an artistic work or typeface, and issuing of things so made, where design right applies." (taken from my revision notes). There's also an exception to copyright for mass produced artistic works which limits the duration of copyright to 25 years (i.e. the maximum duration of design right). MChesterMC (talk) 10:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Two basic reasons: 1. you need a "lesser right" to give protection to designs which may or may not meet the higher thresholds of copyright or patents but are still valuable. 2. for mainly policy reasons copyright only protects specific kinds of works, not just any "thing". A map is a printed work and is protectable, but a Star Wars stormtrooper's helmet apparently is not a sculpture and does not fit within any other category, so is not. Example: a new design for a tablet computer looks aesthetically pleasing, but it's almost exactly the same as all flat screen devices that have come before it other than being "cooler". But that coolness is pretty valuable and there is a public interest in giving it some protection (but not as much as copyright or patent) against someone else, also working from the same precedent flat screen device designs, who comes up with something with the same look and feel.
Finally, unregistered design serves a specific need: it is acquired without formalities, has a low threshold and a relatively short term of protection, so it's useful for transient designs such as in fashion, where the value of the design will probably only last a short time and it would not be cost effective to make the proprietor go through an application process to get the protection. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Bernie Sanders[edit]

Bernie Sanders had a father from Poland, yet why does Sanders not have a Polish surname? --Figerio Addgaf (talk) 21:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Various sites (of variable levels of reliability) give his grandfather's name as "Leon Sander", and connect it (not unreasonably) with the surname Sandler - according to our article, this is "derived from Hebrew "Sandlar" (סנדלר) - "sandal-maker". Tevildo (talk) 22:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Google treats "bernie sandler" as a synonym for "bernie sanders" as well as "bernard sandler". Many American fathers don't have American surnames, but Polish ones. People travel. It's normal. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:40, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
@Figerio Addgaf: - It's quite normal for immigrant families to change their name to either something more easy to pronounce in English (or wherever they've moved to) or to a literal translation of their previous name. As many non-English speaking countries have less of a tradition of people having one first name and one surname, their original surname may not be something they're too attached to - they may only have a surname because they needed to have something to fill that slot on a form! See Patel for an Indian example of this. Blythwood (talk) 09:27, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Isn't Sandlar more likely to be Yiddish than Hebrew? —Tamfang (talk) 11:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yiddish does borrow a lot of words from Hebrew. In this case, there's at least a 2000 year old tradition of the Hebrew name Sandlar, albeit originally it was not a surname in the way we use them now. --Dweller (talk) 12:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Some Eastern Europeans have German sounding names. Llaanngg (talk) 11:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That may be because many modern Eastern Europeans had German ancestors, such as the Baltic Germans. German linguistic influence can be seen as far east as Russia as well, u.e. St. Petersburg, Orenburg, etc. Many ethnic Germans absorbed into the Russian Empire rose to prominent positions of power, (i.e. Levin August, Count von Bennigsen). Heck, some of Russia's tsars and tsarinas were German, Catherine the Great, Peter III of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna, etc. It isn't like there are permanent and never-breached walls between cultures whereby people of one culture never intermingle or move etc. Having a German-origin name in Poland would not be unusual, given the proximity between the nations and the frequent movement of people. --Jayron32 13:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
In fact, for most of the 19th century right up to the bitter end of WWI, Prussia basically was Poland (plus Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast - and of course, Northern Germany) - and even after the war, Germany had most of western Poland until the Oder-Neisse line was drawn after WWII. Many cities in Poland have separate German names for just that reason - Gdansk is Danzig to the Germans, Wroclaw is Breslau and Bydgoszcz is Bromberg, for instance. There was a lot of forced resettlement of various kinds throughout the 20th century, but a lot of German roots still remain. Smurrayinchester 15:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
(By the way, it is to some extent a two-way street. Lots of Germans (according to List of the most common surnames in Germany, 13%) have Slavic surnames, and one interesting thing on the list is that the 67th most common surname is "Böhm" - meaning Bohemian or Czech - and the 90th is "Pohl" - meaning Pole) Smurrayinchester 15:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
A different and more direct derivation of the surname is "Sender's [son]" - "Sender" being the Yiddish abbreviated form of the masculine given name Alexander#Variants and diminutives, popular in Slavic countries. Returning to the OP's query: the Yiddish-speaking Jewish population of Poland were not Polish-speaking ethnic Poles so wouldn't necessarily have Polish surnames. Yiddish surnames in Poland were commonly romanized according to either German or Polish orthography, e.g. Greenbaum, Weiss, Schwarz, Zuckermann vs. Grynbojm, Wajs, Szwarc, Cukierman. -- Deborahjay (talk) 14:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]


February 2[edit]

Spelling of La Guardia[edit]

At the German Wikipedia we are wondering how Fiorello La Guardias surname should be spelled – as one word with camelcase G or as two words? The articles of the English Wikipedia tend to the spelling with two words, however some official documents and websites such as the report of the La Guardia Committee [59] and the website of the LaGuardia Foundation [60] spell his name as a single word. Which one is right and does it matter at all? --BlackEyedLion (talk) 08:55, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

I'll quote footnote number 2 of the La Guardia article: "He signed his surname as a single word with no space between the "La" and the capitalized "G" which follows, but also with no space between his initial "F" and the surname; in his lifetime his surname was almost always written as two words". Lectonar (talk) 09:27, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Note that our spelling of LaGuardia Airport is inconsistent, although it's theoretically possible the WP:COMMONNAMEs are likewise inconsistent. See also this web page. ―Mandruss  13:43, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
The terminal building itself spells it with the LA and the GUARDIA separated.[61] Likewise the grave markers.[62]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:23, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly, that picture of the terminal building seems to be "Hedging its bets" on the correct spelling. There's a one-panel space between the "La" and "Guardia" and a two-panel space between the "Guardia" and "Airport", indicating that perhaps they weren't sure themselves and split the difference. --Jayron32 16:17, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Likewise, the marker shown here uses a half-space between the La and Guardia. --Jayron32 16:18, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Compromise in signage, interesting concept. Good eye. LaGuardia is more legible (parseable) than LAGUARDIA, so the half-space looks to be a substitute for camel case. ―Mandruss  16:49, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I have often seen that half-space used in names starting with "La" or "Le" meaning "The" in their original language. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:38, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not have that option, typographically speaking. Half-spaces are not available. --Jayron32 23:44, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
We do have a thin space available, which can be added by using the HTML code &thinsp; or the {{thinsp}} template—cf. LaGuardia and La Guardia. I wouldn't recommend using it in this instance, though. Deor (talk) 00:28, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
On my monitor, thinsp and a normal space render exactly the same way. --Jayron32 15:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Is that a case of extraordinary rendition? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
It is helpful to the reader when neologisms such as "camelcase" are Wikilinked to an explanatory article such as Camelcase. Google book search only shows this neologism showing up in the late 1990s so it is unreasonable to assume everyone knows what the hell you are talking about. Edison (talk) 05:28, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'd never heard of it and had to look it up. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:59, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I'm a little surprised that anyone who's comfortable with computers wouldn't have heard of CamelCase (as I usually see it called), but I'll file that data point away. Here's one in return: The early iterations of wiki markup used CamelCase instead of the double-square-brackets as a trigger for an internal link. I guess back then, LaGuardia would have been automatically wikilinked, whether you wanted it to be or not, which is presumably one of the reasons this convention was dropped. I believe it may still be in use in some variants, such as TWiki, which may still be in use internally in some companies. --Trovatore (talk) 21:08, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
By the way, while it's of relatively recent origin in the history of the English language, I would not refer to "CamelCase" as a neologism. Rather, it's a technical term, from software engineering, for a naming convention that had to be called something. What might be a little unusual is its back-application outside of programming, to English typography in general. --Trovatore (talk) 21:34, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
The website of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates LGA, uses LaGuardia. So does the website of the The City University of New York, of which LaGuardia Community College is a constituent school. The City of New York website seems to use La Guardia most often, especially with respect to the man himself, but also LaGuardia (particularly in reference to the community college) and even an odd Laguardia or two. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:34, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

February 3[edit]

Avestan script[edit]

Zoroaster, along with some other pages, use Avestan script. My browser (Firefox, latest version) cannot render the text. I've tried downloading fonts from St. Catherine's, the Iran Chamber Society, and, and none of these work. I mentioned this problem on the Zoroaster talk page, but that talk page is silent response-wise. The most relevant WikiProjects, Zorastrianism, Iran, and Central Asia, are all inactive at best. Can someone please refer me to somewhere were I can download a workable Avestan script?--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 03:54, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I was under the impression that we use Unicode for that kind of stuff. Looking into it, it does appear that the Avestan script is supposed to be in Unicode, because the characters are showing up as blocks with hexadecimal info in them. Ah, here's where to get the Unicode Avestan font. Ian.thomson (talk) 04:19, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
There must be something wrong - there were some other scripts that also showed up as hexadecimal blocks. Every single one of them displayed correctly after I downloaded the scripts, except for Avestan. Perhaps there's some sort of conflict I'm having on my computer with font scripts?--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 06:38, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I've just downloaded it (from the font made by Google link) and it shows up perfectly fine on my Mac. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:11, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I suppose (I did not download them to check) the fonts you mentioned are outdated and do not support the Unicode block "Avestan", but use the code places of ISO/IEC 8859-1, that is in the places of the letters such as àáâãäå are located the Avestan letters, so a gibberish such as àáâãäå is rendered as a normal Avestan text string. However, what you need is a Unicode font that supports Avestan, the link is already given, the Noto font family is in fact very well built, so do not hesitate to use them. If after installing the fonts they are not seen then tell us what operating system and browser you use. Normally, you do not need to configure the browser, Firefox and Chrome automatically must employ the proper font (if installed). If you need other historical writing systems check if your system has Segoe Historic installed (frankly, I have no idea why Microsoft did not include Avestan already in that font, if they have included dozens of other ancient scripts including Parthian and Pahlavi) or download fonts such as Symbola. Also you may use BabelMap to explore all the Unicode blocks as well as the fonts of your computer.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 13:41, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I ended up downloading the entire Noto font collection last night. I still have this issue only with Avestan. I know that my browser, Firefox, will automatically render those scripts, because on the multilingual support page they all converted, without me even having to re-start my browser. But Avestan will still not render.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 16:34, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
It's the same for me; I have the fonts installed, and they work e.g. in Notepad, but Avestan is not showing in either Firefox, Chrome or MS Edge (recent clean install of Windows 10). It doesn't bother me much, just reporting in case I can help diagnose the problem. - Lindert (talk) 17:12, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I've right now downloaded and installed Noto, I even did not restart my Firefox and it shows well.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 18:33, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
So this clearly is a problem on select machines. But why?--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 22:21, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Update: I found a solution that works for me (in Firefox). I had to turn off hardware acceleration in Firefox' "Advanced" settings, then restart the browser. I guess it's because I have an older graphics card that isn't fully compatible with Windows 10. - Lindert (talk) 11:48, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Lindert: That's it! I turned off the acceleration, and the script rendered. I even tried turning the acceleration back on, and the script wouldn't render.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 23:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I was nearly wanted to say we might report to Firefox developers about the problem, but I tried switching off/on the hardware acceleration and no effect, everything works fine as usual. You still did not say what is your OS, what is the version of your Firefox and if Avestan works with other browsers and applications. Anyway in your place I would report to the Firefox team in any case.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:36, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
My OS is Windows 10, using Firefox 44. I tried Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome - neither of them render Avestan correctly. Chrome I even tried turning off the acceleration, and that didn't work, unlike with Firefox. However, many other fonts also failed to render in Chrome (ironically, considering that I downloaded Google's font project). So it's not just a Firefox thing with Avestan.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 16:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Are these the same: "it's quite the contrary/reverse/opposite"?[edit]

Are all the alternatives in "it's quite the contrary/reverse/opposite" the same? --Llaanngg (talk) 14:45, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I'd regard all of those as meaning the same. I think 'contrary' conveys a slight difference in register compared to the other two, but that's a matter of style, not meaning. AlexTiefling (talk) 15:09, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Alex, but you really should give a wider context (like a full paragraph) to get a better response. μηδείς (talk) 03:19, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If I disagreed with Medeis and thought less context would be better, I could reply by saying "It's quite the contrary". The other two options don't work (in my opinion). So I must agree with Medeis.--Shantavira|feed me 09:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The other two options do work. Why would they not? "It's quite the reverse of what Medeis said." "It's quite the opposite of what Medeis said." Both work fine for me. The "reverse" and the "opposite" mean "less context" as opposed to "more context". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:15, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Disagree with Medeis? Some mistake surely :-) Alansplodge (talk) 20:00, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
You have anticipated me quite keenly, Alansplodge. Next time I break my toe I shall forego the narcotics. μηδείς (talk) 05:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
A "narrower context" is neither the reverse nor the opposite of a "wider context".--Shantavira|feed me
Well, this is all semantics, then. "More context" versus "less context" is reverse and is opposite. Perhaps not so with "narrower" versus "wider". But definitely so with "more" versus "less". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:17, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

February 4[edit]

"Suspending" U.S. presidential campaigns[edit]

Why is the term used in ending presidential campaigns in the U.S. "suspend"? The dictionary definitions of "suspend" suggest that the suspension of anything is, in theory at least, only temporary in nature (i.e. "suspension of classes", "suspension of operations", "suspended for one game", etc.). However, in presidential elections, the term is used for the end of presidential campaigns. While I have also seen that term used in the same sense in airlines ceasing operations, news reports tend to suggest that these "suspensions" were in theory supposed to be temporary in nature while efforts to save the airline were being made, but for presidential elections, "suspensions" tend to be permanent. Why the use of the term "suspend" as opposed to another, more "final" term? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 01:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

As I understand it, if you officially end your campaign, federal elections laws kick in which would restrict your ability to manage and/or accept campaign contributions, for example to retire debt. Someone can probably give a more precise answer. But it's along those lines. --Trovatore (talk) 02:03, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
And it might theoretically be possible to restart the campaign. For example, if Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both die or are unable to continue their campaigns, Martin O'Malley might rejoin them. (I wonder what happens if somebody wins the primary who is dead or withdraws before the general election.) StuRat (talk) 05:12, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If it's anything like in the early 2000s when Senator Paul Wellstone died just a couple of weeks before the election, the party bosses scramble to put in a replacement. The weirder problem is if the presumed president-elect dies between the election and inauguration day. It's uncharted territory, but presumably the party bosses could suggest the name of a new president to the electors and let them decide what to do. And if they don't come up with consensus, the US House will figure it out. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
With regard to a president-elect dying after the election - there are two scenarios. First is the president-elect dies before the electoral college meets and the second if the president-elect dies after the college meets and before the inauguration. Both are covered by the Twentieth Amendment.[63] Hack (talk) 06:08, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Quibble: The electoral college does not actually meet. The electors in each state meet, and transmit their votes to Congress, which counts them. --Trovatore (talk) 07:31, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If I remember correctly Gary Hart suspended his campaign for the 1988 primaries after the Monkey Business monkey business, but a few months later, he had a change of heart and decided to re-enter the race. He had been the front-runner before the 1988 race started in earnest, but was unable to rise from his ashes the second time and soon suspended his campaign again, this time for good. --Xuxl (talk) 09:50, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The public had a change of Hart. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:49, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Heng (letter)[edit]

This article says It has been occasionally used by phonologists to represent a hypothetical phoneme in English, which includes both [h] and [ŋ] as its allophones. Normally /h/ and /ŋ/ are considered separate phonemes in English. Really? Could someone try to find a source for this? I haven't the slightest clue where I'd start, especially as the two sounds are so different in English that I can't imagine them being conflated as allophones of one phenome. Nyttend (talk) 02:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, /h/ is only found syllable-initially in English, while eng is only found finally. So, one could represent them with the same letter, although the motivation for doing so would be unclear. See minimal pair. μηδείς (talk) 03:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, but it doesn't seem to me that you answered the question: obviously I don't understand your meaning. The intro to Phenome notes that minimal pairs need not share a related pair of different phenomes (e.g. "kill" and "kiss" are a minimal pair), so of course I can understand [h] and [ŋ] being a minimal pair, but I can't understand that being relevant. My question is about the sounds themselves, not the choice of glyphs used to represent them — how could [h] and [ŋ] possibly be allophones? Nyttend (talk) 04:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The intro to Phenome says that it's "the set of all phenotypes expressed by a cell, tissue, organ, organism, or species". You may have meant phoneme. — Kpalion(talk) 09:17, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think anybody has seriously suggested that [h] and [ŋ] are a single phoneme in English; but the case has been argued, really as a reductio ad absurdum to attack the relevance of complementary distribution in determining phonemes. I'll see if I can find a source. --ColinFine (talk) 10:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Not the most impressive source, but just as an example, [64]. HenryFlower 15:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
You misunderstood me due to my brevity, Nyttend. My point was the ironic one that one could argue that because [h] and [ŋ] are technically in complimentary distribution, they could be defined as the same phoneme, because there is no minimal pair which distinguishes them. Given the fact of their separate derivations, their utter dissimilarity, and that they never appear in the same context, I would argue as do most that the heng hypothesis is a silly one. μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't know a source either, but the kind of analysis μηδείς was referring to is called "abstractness", which you can find more information in if you google e.g. "abstractness in phonology". [65] gives an example in English in the first few pages; such analyses have also been proposed for e.g. certain Spanish vowels, and Polish vowels in Hayes' Introductory Phonology section 12.2.3. These analyses, however, even when not really ridiculous like [h] and [ŋ], are still controversial, as noted in that same book; even though they "work" in terms of the theory, it is hard to see how e.g. children would learn these patterns (as opposed to just memorizing different phonemes). rʨanaɢ (talk) 03:21, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
If we're worried about sources, it might be something as basic as Anthony Burgess, Mario Pei, or Fromkin and Rodman, (or even Raimo Anttila) all of which I read before I perused the university stacks. The best I can say is that I read a pre-1990 source that mentioned this "paradox" (if that is a good word) and dismissed it in so far as English.
In my ancestral Rusyn language, f and w are allophones of one phoneme, [f] being word final, and [w] word initial and intervocalically. But this is made obviously plausible by the use of [v] in other contexts, where the [w] and [v] of Rusyn fall together in the Phonology of Russian (e.g., /dveri/ "door(s)"). I suspect the h/ng matter is one I came acrost as an undergraduate in either a journal or a compilation, and that was a long time ago, and far, far away from my current interests. μηδείς (talk) 05:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

The book linked to by Henry Flower says: "While [h] only occurs syllable-initially, [ŋ] is only to be found syllable-finally. These sounds seem to meet the criteria for conditioned allophones, and there are no minimal pairs like hope/*ngope or ring/*rih, so one might want to suggest that they are members of a single phoneme (which we can call ‘heng’ for convenience)."

Is it possible for words loaned from other languages to break this pattern? An initial [ŋ] can be heard in ngultrum or ngapi or Ngāi Tahu, and I've sometimes heard Bahrain being pronounced [bɑhˈɹeɪn] to better approximate the Arabic. This reminds me of a situation in Hebrew, where [p] and [f] have historically been complementarily distributed allophones of the same phoneme, but the introduction of many loanwords with [p] or [f] disobeying their distribution rules in Hebrew has resulted in /p/ and /f/ being now regarded as separate phonemes. So, when/if a minimal pair contrasting /h/ with /ŋ/ does become a thing, can we then say that the "once a phoneme, always a phoneme" principle rules out the existence of the hypothetical "heng" phoneme? --Theurgist (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Study of time[edit]

What is the name for the scientific study of time -- the field of science that deals with the arrow of time, time travel, whether time is just an illusion, multiverse theory, and the question of how the universe could have a beginning if time is endless, etc.? The obvious chron- + ology = chronology is already taken. Chronics, maybe? Or temporology? Khemehekis (talk) 06:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

The International Society for the Study of Time doesn't seem to use a single word. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Horology, [66]. Bazza (talk) 11:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm. That was the first thing I thought of, but it's too narrow. It relates to the study of time-keeping, not to time itself and the matters mentioned by the OP. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
In general, the concept of "time" is so wrapped up in other stuff that there's probably no-one (barring the odd amateur eccentric) who studies time in and of itself. Relativity (special relativity and general relativity) is the study of spacetime, while thermodynamics is where we get entropy, which is the closest we've got to understanding why there's an arrow of time. Those are probably the closest to a "study of time". The study of the perception of time is a branch of psychology. Smurrayinchester 13:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Don't forget this interesting piece of time-olgy, now sadly passed into history.--Shirt58 (talk) 02:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
For longer periods of time, there's geochronology. Mikenorton (talk) 12:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

"Half-wave rectification" or "Half wave rectification"?[edit]

Rectifier circuits has both:

half-wave rectification
half wave rectification

What should it be? Or even halfwave rectification?

--Mortense (talk) 17:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Are you asking about the English language in general, or about Wikipedia style? I'm sure descriptivists would say about the former question that both forms can be found, but the right-thinking prescriptivist answer is that you should use the hyphen, and I expect this would be reflected in WP:HYPHEN, which should give the answer as regards Wikipedia style. --Trovatore (talk) 18:48, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Attributive compound modifiers are usually hyphenated.--Shantavira|feed me 18:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • This is very simple. If "The rectification was half wave" seems best use "half wave"; but if for "The rectification was half-wave", seems better, use the latter. The options are either (it is(half(wave))) or (It is (half-wave)). If half-wave is a normal adjective, use it. If it is not, don't. I don't know the physics, so I cannot comment further.μηδείς (talk) 02:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
There are two states for rectification, half wave and full wave. The OP's question is applicable to both. As a wider issue, in addition to half wave and full wave radio antennas, there are the popular quarter wave, three-quarter wave, and five-eighth wave antennas. It's possible to construct multiple wavelength antennas too, such as a one-and-a-half wave antenna. I mention the antennas to show that the question is but part of a wider issue. Akld guy (talk) 03:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I inserted the hyphen in the article just to achieve consistency for compound modifiers. I don't think the term wave rectifier is ever used in physics, and the article certainly doesn't discuss half of one of these imaginary objects. Dbfirs 22:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

French circumflex[edit]

Where can I find a complete list of the French words affected by the decision to make the circumflex (fr:accent circonflexe) optional in their spelling? I did not find such a list when I searched for "circonflexe" at

Wavelength (talk) 03:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

::Changing the rules in order to have to taste (goûter) sounding like to drip (goutter) at last! "So good an idea", they are advertising it at Poulet Frit du Kentucky (in accordance with the law for the protection of the French language). --Askedonty (talk) 13:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
First, we must know what word have been affected, I will not repeat the rules, here is a good explanation. Then we found a good French wordlist dictionary (like this) and just search for these letters and get the full list. I've already done this and got the list with around 400 words, though I did not check it manually for exceptions.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yet, there is an entire site dedicated to listing all the words. We can just copy their list letter by letter (I did not find where I could download the list as one text file, anyway 26 letters is not a big deal...). Then we just search the copied list for "C2", that is the code for the rule about circumflex.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Apparently, if you search for a comma character in their "Recherche simple", they show you the full list. --My another account (talk) 14:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I've nearly started to make up the list manually, but you save me 10 minutes of annoying copy-paste. So we have 620 French words that have lost circumflex.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 14:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

Part of speech types and acronyms[edit]

In a simplified extract from a corpus, I found following PoS acronyms: A, C, D, I, J, M, N, P, R, T, U, V, X.

For example:

    1  A  THE                
    5  A  A                  
   25  A  HIS                
   36  A  THEIR              
   42  A  HER                
   44  A  MY                 
   69  A  YOUR               
   78  A  ITS                
   79  A  OUR                
   93  A  NO      
    2  V  BE                 
    3  C  AND       
    7  T  TO         
   20  D  THIS               
   27  D  THAT               
   34  D  WHAT               
   43  D  ALL                
   58  D  WHICH              
   60  D  SOME               
   82  D  THESE              
   91  D  MORE               
   99  D  MANY               
  102  D  THOSE              
  547  D  HALF               
  620  D  LESS   
 2934  D  NEITHER            
 3761  D  MATTER             
 4547  D  NO  
   16  I  WITH               
   17  I  ON                 
   22  I  AT                 
   26  I  FROM               
   30  I  BY            
 8792  I  MINUS              
 8923  I  FOLLOWING          
 9340  I  ADJACENT           
 9407  I  OPPOSITE           
 9855  I  PRO                
 9864  I  UNTO      
  110  J  GOOD               
  141  J  HIGH               
  152  J  OLD                
  160  J  GREAT              
  162  J  BIG                
   51  M  ONE                
   80  M  TWO                
   86  M  FIRST              
  130  M  LAST       
   52  N  TIME               
   54  N  YEAR               
   62  N  PEOPLE                    
   11  P  I                  
   50  R  UP                 
   55  R  SO                 
   64  R  OUT                
   66  R  JUST               
   72  R  NOW                
   76  R  HOW                
   77  R  THEN               
   81  R  MORE               
   87  R  ALSO               
   96  R  HERE       
 2083  U  HI                 
 2252  U  HELLO              
 2961  U  MM-HMM             
 3277  U  AH                 
 3804  U  WOW  
   28  X  NOT                
   29  X  N'T

I am trying to guess what the acronyms mean:

 A = article, 
 C = conjunction, 
 D = ??? adjective ??? , 
 I = ??? preposition ???, 
 J = ??? adjective again ???,
 M = numeral, 
 N = noun, 
 P = pronoun,
 R = adverb 
 T = only the 'to' in the category, but isn't it a preposition?
 U = exclamation/interjection, but why U?
 V = verb, 
 X = Isn't this an adverb too? Anyway, one category for just two words.

Are my guesses right? What are the tags marked with '???' ? Couldn't they have used a different classification, for example, put 'a' and 'the' on one category, and 'my' and 'our' in another?

Llaanngg (talk) 02:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

D = determiner (this may be counted as a special kind of adjective or often as a distinct part of speech in its own right) (It's a little unclear why A and D are divided up the way they are; D seems to be demonstrative and quantifier. Not sure how 'MATTER' could have got in that category.)
X = negator (could be special kind of adverb or again its own category)
T = possibly a special category for 'to' used with infinitives (likely being counted as a category on its own distinct from 'to' used as a true preposition)
It would be interesting to see more examples for 'I'. Peter Grey (talk) 04:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC) (edit Peter Grey (talk) 04:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC))
More examples of 'I':
 3500  I  FAVOR              
 3652  I  RE                 
 3657  I  SUBJECT            
 3704  I  RESPONSE           
 3855  I  AMID               
 4190  I  BESIDES            
 4208  I  OPPOSED            
 4212  I  SPITE              
 4236  I  ALONGSIDE          
 4246  I  REGARD             
 4300  I  RESPECT            
 4367  I  CHARGE             
 4474  I  BEHALF             
 4644  I  ATOP  
   74  I  LIKE               
  112  I  THROUGH            
  120  I  AFTER              
  124  I  OVER               
  140  I  BETWEEN            
  149  I  OUT                
  180  I  AGAINST            
  198  I  DURING             
  218  I  WITHOUT    
Llaanngg (talk) 11:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, these are prepositions, including constituent words of complex prepositions. --My another account (talk) 18:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Is survived by or was survived by?[edit]

Hello! We have a dispute on the use of the words is survived by and was survived by in WP:DRN. The concerned article is Abe Vigoda, and I quote He is survived by his daughter, three grandchildren and a great-grandson. He (Abe Vigoda) is dead, obviously. His daughter, three grandchildren and a great-grandson are alive. What does the be verb here (is or was) refer to? And what should be used, is survived by or was survived by? Regards—UY Scuti Talk 09:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Both forms are correct at present. Since the "is" form might become false at some time in the future, following WP:MOS might be wisest for a Wikipedia article. Dbfirs 10:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Conversely, in an obituary, it's nice to be reminded that life goes on. Not so nice to infer "for now". InedibleHulk (talk) 10:19, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
... true, but Wikipedia doesn't write obituaries. Dbfirs 10:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Certainly not. I wasn't saying that as a pro-"is" point, just explaining why it's done there. Newspapers are about the moment, then they line birdcages. Wikipedia lasts (relatively) forever. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:32, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, I fully agree. Dbfirs 10:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment (I saw this at DRN, I have no other connection) I think the Wikipedia biography section is in effect an obituary. The MOS example gives 1972 as a "historical" event. The January 2016 event is not "historical"; it is news (and really is news to me). And in the context of this particular article where the subject has repeatedly been called dead, there is wit/humor in this being presented as the person's obituary (by using "is")...the reader gets to have a double-take "oh yeah, really he is dead this time, we'll see" which they only experience, or best experience, if "is" is used. It's good writing. :) And none of the survivors has died. So I think "is survived by" is accurate and most natural now, and should stay in place until one of the survivors dies or until the event has become "historical", I.e. Until a certain period has passed, and I suggest one year (with six months as the next best length of time). Some concern on the "was" side is legitimate, that we're setting up a future need for updating...what if no one participating remembers to come back and change it when 365 or 180 days have gone by? The phrasing would look bad, right? Well we could actually implement the decision right now by use of a template that chooses "is" or "was" according to whether current date is before death date plus 365 or 180. Like how "aged 35" or whatever shows in infobox of bios of living persons. (I offer to program the "is-was" template. In case the two parties might not agree on 365 or 180 or any other number, how about both stating they will each state and try to justify a number they prefer but agree in advance to abide by the impartial DRN moderator's choice of number. Hope this helps! doncram 11:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Since the daughter, three grandchildren, and the great-grandson are still alive, 'is' is correct here, since they still survive him to the present day. If one of them were to die, the 'is' should revert to 'was', since it would no longer be the case that they all survive him. Akld guy (talk) 12:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
... but they are not the subject of the sentence. Perhaps BB's solution would be best in view of the disagreements? Dbfirs 12:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Both is/was survived are passive, the subject is the same in both cases. Llaanngg (talk) 14:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
... as I said ... the subject is Abe Vigoda, and he was, though I suppose one does say is buried ... Dbfirs 14:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
We can say "George Washington is considered the father of his country by many Americans", even though he's dead. The key thing is when the considering is being done--if it's in the present, "is" is correct, and if it's in the past, "was" is correct. Same with "is survived by..."--if the surviving is going on now, "is" is correct. Loraof (talk) 18:21, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


There is a street in Shrewsbury called "Mardol". The meaning of that name is always given as the "Devil's gate", or "Devil's boundary", with no further explanation. Can anyone suggest what language might give that translation? The only likely language other than English for a Shrewsbury street would be Welsh, but Google Translate doesn't support that theory. Maybe Anglo-Saxon? Rojomoke (talk) 10:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I found this quote in a search result in Google Books, which wasn't visible in the "snippet view": "...there is also an above-average number of names apparently unique to Shrewsbury, some of which offer difficult etymological problems. ... those for Shoplatch and Waxchere are very tentative, while Cockbitestrete and Mardol have defied explanation." The Place-names of Shropshire: The major names of Shropshire, Margaret Gelling and H. D. G. Foxall, English Place-Name Society, 2004. Alansplodge (talk) 11:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that. The thing is, almost everybody in Shrewsbury knows the supposed meaning. I was hoping for a suggestion as to the language it's believed to come from. Rojomoke (talk) 11:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Google Translate autodetects it as Welsh for me. Only says it means "mardol" in English, though, so I don't know. The closest I see to a word for "devil" is the Albanian "djall", and "mur" means "wall" ("mur djall", not "djall mur"). Is there a language between Albanian and Welsh? InedibleHulk (talk) 13:33, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
Salopian Shreds and Patches: Volume I (1874) p. 52 says that according to one local, the name is; "...derived from the Welsh maur (Wikt:mawr), great, and dûl, a meadow". Alansplodge (talk) 13:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

This source explains it as "filth valley". Could be that filth is associated with the Devil? --Dweller (talk) 13:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Could you find a page number showing where that is in the text please Dweller? I could find it in a search result but not in the thesis itself. Alansplodge (talk) 14:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Sure, it's under MURDEFORD on page 130. --Dweller (talk) 14:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Erk. Sorry, my mistake. The source actually says that the filth valley idea is probably incorrect for Murdeford and it's more likely to come from the same source as Mardol, which is ... of unknown etymology. I think the answer here is that it's of ... unknown etymology. --Dweller (talk) 14:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I've got it. That page says that Mardol was first recorded as Mardevall in about 1215, which might explain why it has been linked with the devil, but rules out the Welsh theory. The author is connecting the first syllable of Murdeford (originally Merdevall) with that of Mardol (originally Mardevall), saying that the meaning of that element is unknown, and rejecting another theory that it derives from the French merde. Thanks Dweller. Alansplodge (talk) 17:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


February 2[edit]

Movie with John Wayne[edit]

Dear All

I am looking for a movie where John Wayne is the commander (lieutenant? Marshal?) of an army who has to train his soldiers. He is carrying a saber in that movie.

Does anyone of you have an idea which movie this could be?

Thank you for your answers

All the best — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:1205:5030:9C20:BCA9:CCAE:88A7:C71F (talk) 10:43, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Yikes. That could possibly be one of the Wayne / Ford western trilogy, with Wayne playing a grizzled old cavalry officer: Rio Grande, Fort Apache (notice the sabres in the movie posters in the articles) or She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (I found a poster with Ben Johnson, not Wayne, wielding one). Clarityfiend (talk) 12:05, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
He's also got a sabre in The Horse Soldiers, but I don't recall any training in it. Clarityfiend (talk) 12:10, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

I remember that the movie was in color, that John Wayne had no mustache and had to defend his fort or fortress with his troops.-- (talk) 16:27, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe The Alamo (1960 film)? --Jayron32 19:26, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

That is the movie I have been looking for, thanks Jayron!--2A02:1205:5030:9C20:18F0:CDE7:1203:B984 (talk) 21:03, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

February 3[edit]

Old soldiers' songs[edit]

Does anyone happen to know the copyright status of these 3 old soldiers' songs: "Tipperary", "Praise the Lord", and "Glory, glory, what a hell of a way to die"? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 02:33, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Can I assume you mean It's a Long Way to Tipperary, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition, and Blood on the Risers? Rojomoke (talk) 03:55, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes indeed! (BTW, I didn't know the name of the third one.) 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 01:58, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Here's a story about "Tipperary" and copyright. "Praise the lord" is still copyrighted. --jpgordon::==( o ) 05:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

That page froze on my PC. What's the gist of the story? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Two chaps called Harry Williams and Jack Judge from Oldbury wrote it and it was published in 1909. A journalist heard soldiers of the Connaught Rangers singing it in 1914 (one of their officers had heard it at a football match) and it became world-famous. Harry Williams died in 1924 having acquired the rights from Judge in return for settling his debts. Although copyright has long since expired in the UK (70 years after the death of the author) his family are still receiving royalties from other parts of the world. Alansplodge (talk) 20:18, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
[un-indent] Darn, I owe my friend 20 bucks for losing my bet :-( Thanks anyway! 2601:646:8E01:9089:9162:A046:DF97:F2B1 (talk) 08:20, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Lost English dub of Chinese anime.[edit]

The series Journey to the West – Legends of the Monkey King was one that I have enjoyed for quite some time, watching it in Chinese, only recently was I aware of the fact that there was an English dub, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere, all I have noticed was this [67], but it is only a 72 minute film, the original series had 52 episodes of 22 mins each, is the English version anywhere to be found? I have found a rare English title, which I just inserted into the article.- Champion (talk) (contribs) (Formerly TheChampionMan1234) 02:53, 3 February 2016 (UTC) Is this it? Hotclaws (talk) 11:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Cablevision and "web piracy"[edit]

I've looked up the Cablevision article to find out about a recent legal dispute where Cablevision tried to sue independent companies recording Cablevision programs off-the-air and distributing the recorded video files over the internet, which Cablevision pretty much called "internet piracy". However, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, and the Department of Justice under Obama simultaneously issued a PA statement that it considered these services perfectly legal.

This legal dispute appears to be missing from the article, and I'm trying to find the official English term for such services distributing video files of off-the-air television on the internet. --2003:71:4E6A:C902:3477:7A87:6C95:4A5A (talk) 11:39, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure what question you are asking. We have an article on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's decision in Cartoon Network, LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., which is often called the Cablevision case. Subsequently the Supreme Court issued a decision in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc., which some commentators think puts the Cartoon Network ruling in doubt. John M Baker (talk) 23:16, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

What computer game was this? (1980s, business theme)[edit]

Hi. I have long since forgotten the name of an old computer game. Very early 1980s, ran on MS-DOS, and was a COM executable (not EXE). Text mode, but had some simple text-block graphics showing skyscrapers etc. It was business-themed: you were a lowly drone in a software company and had to rise through the ranks by making choices (multiple-choice questions), e.g. which car do you choose to impress clients; do you stay late and work, or go to the boss's party? With each promotion you would see your updated contract, showing your new salary etc. Any ideas? Equinox (talk) 17:10, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Don't know, but does Chronology of business simulation video games ring any bells? --Viennese Waltz 18:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Nothing there for the PC for 1980-1985, unfortunately (except Oil Barons). Equinox (talk) 21:03, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Is it here? ( - Champion (talk) (contribs) (Formerly TheChampionMan1234) 21:53, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
@Equinox: This must be it. Matches all the descriptions you have given. [68]. - Champion (talk) (contribs) (Formerly TheChampionMan1234) 21:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes! Definitely correct. Thanks. Oddly, the name doesn't sound familiar at all though. Equinox (talk) 22:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
It might have been marketed under other names, especially in other countries. StuRat (talk) 23:37, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Totally Spies episodes[edit]

Hi, I watch Totally Spies!. And I saw that in every language that the episode's are in a another order! See this: "Queen for a day" in some languages ep 2 and some language's 12 and "Passion patties" are in some lanuages are "21" some "17" and some "13". What is the official episode numbers and titels?--Maxie1hoi (talk) 20:51, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

The lists at List_of_Totally_Spies!_episodes show episode numbers and titles. RudolfRed (talk) 00:43, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
There are numerous reasons why the episode order of a tv series gets changed around, and it sometimes becomes a hot topic among fans. Wikipedia could do with an article on the subject.--Shantavira|feed me 09:23, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Ohter wikis have to the articel: list of ts episodes and they change it nubers for some episodes.--Maxie1hoi (talk) 13:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 5[edit]

Song help[edit]

I'm trying to find a song I heard a few months back. It's a male-female duet featuring a female artist who I was told is an Iranian based in the UAE. The video for the clip features the two driving in a car. Hack (talk) 02:37, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Was this on TV or the Internet? What genre? Remember any lyrics? Were they in English? Did the guy look Persian? Clues are always good. You know what isn't so good? "Girls in Cars". InedibleHulk (talk) 09:38, February 5, 2016 (UTC)

Kevin Brown[edit]

Is Kevin Brown in the United States national bandy team in this year's Bandy World Championship the same Kevin Brown as Kevin Brown the former NHL hockey player? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

No. According to Wikipedia the NHL player was born in England and raised in Canada. According to Google's translation of this article, the bandy player was born and raised in Sweden, though he has US citizenship through his father. -- (talk) 21:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

Sega Mega Drive II games[edit]


Do we have a list of games available in this console?


Apostle (talk) 19:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

See Sega Genesis#Variations for the Genesis II / Mega Drive II. See List of Sega Genesis games for the list of games. Tevildo (talk) 19:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Also backwards compatible with these, and can attach to a Sega CD or Sega 32X like its big brother. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:31, February 6, 2016 (UTC)
Although Wikipedia's Sega Genesis article desribes the Genesis/Mega Drive as "backwards compatible" with the Master System, I think it's a bit of a stretch to use that term. To play Master System cartridges or cards, you have to connect a "Power Base Converter" peripheral to the Genesis/Mega Drive (or a "Master System Converter 2" to the Mega Drive II).--Bavi H (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Aye, my bad. I remembered it was possible, from the one kid in my class who thought he was cooler than us SNES folk. But I don't think he ever mentioned paying extra. Sorry if I got any hopes up! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:32, February 7, 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll read through peeps. Thanks. Face-smile.svg --Apostle (talk) 18:32, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Star - Kiki Dee[edit]

Who produced and played on the Kiki Dee song Star? Thanks, DuncanHill (talk) 02:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

According to, the producer was Pip Williams. According to this site (which looks fairly comprehensive), the list of musicians on "Star" is:
Bob Jenkins: Drums and Clap Trap
Gary Twigg: Bass Guitar
Bias Boshell: Pianos, Yamaha Dream Machine and Roland SH7 Synths
Pip Williams: Electric Guitars
Frank Ricotti: Sleigh Bells
Tevildo (talk) 09:35, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. DuncanHill (talk) 21:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Zelda help?[edit]

I've been playing an online emulator lately that hosts the original Zelda game. I've been in a deadlock the last two rounds - I'm supposed to "meet an old man by a grave" and find a "secret" in a "tree at a dead end."

Where on earth are those things? Has anyone played it and can help me? Theskinnytypist (talk) 06:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

GameFAQs has a walkthrough that'll help you. The old man = where you get the Master Sword, the tree at the dead end = the entrance to Level 8. Here's an interesting link that shows some of the differences between the original Japanese and the English translation, which is why some of these hints make less sense than they should. Foofish (talk) 09:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Trix and Daphne (winx)[edit]

Hi, episodes 13-26 are air it on nick aisa and more channels and I saw Daphne and the trix so my questiobn is: what's the name from the people's that voiced Daphne and the trix in the DuArt dub.--Maxie1hoi (talk) 13:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Horse racing's J.T. Lundy[edit]

I am trying to find out if infamous president of legendary Calumet Farm, John Thomas Lundy (J.T.), is still living. It appears he or someone linked to him has had the internet swept clean of facts about J.T. Lundy the person. I can read accounts of his sentencing and his release from prison but nowhere can I find if he is living and if so, still involved in racing or, if not, when he died. Wikipedia mentions him in the Calumet entry but his name is not hot-linked. Can you help?

Jack Stephens Nashville, TN — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aubie1 (talkcontribs) 15:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Daniel Radcliffe's glasses[edit]

What films or TV programmes did Daniel Radcliffe wore glasses in? (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that guy might've been in a few scenes of Harry Potter. I guess you want something other than that? Staecker (talk) 20:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
He wore glasses in Kill Your Darlings, but took them off to be buggered by a sailor. DuncanHill (talk) 21:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
We should ask Miss Manners if it's proper etiquette to remove one's glasses during such an activity. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Most people do, in my experience. DuncanHill (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My Boy Jack Hotclaws (talk) 11:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Specifically My Boy Jack (film). Radcliffe plays Rudyard Kipling's only son Jack, for whom his father goes to great lengths to get him accepted into the army during the First World War, despite Jack being badly short-sighted. Jack's final demise when he loses his glasses on the battlefield and is killed as a result may owe more to artistic licence than strict historical truth, but it's worth watching anyhow. Alansplodge (talk) 18:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]


February 3[edit]

Cities in China with one million people in the metro area[edit]

This article says there are 105 Chinese cities with one million or more people in the metropolitan area. [69] When I count this wiki list for Chinese cities by "built up area" (which I believe corresponds to metro area) with over a million people, I get about 70. List of cities in China by population and built-up area Who is then correct? Muzzleflash (talk) 21:14, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe both. One is using 2015 population and the other using 2010. RudolfRed (talk) 21:20, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
If it helps, the statistical definition of "built up area" in China (according to Chinese Wikipedia) is apparently "within the administrative area of a city, areas of non-agricultural production or development which has been expropriated by the government and actually built and developed, including the concentrated and connected parts of the urban area and inner suburban areas which have a close connection with the city centre, which possesses areas for civic construction of basically comprehensive civic public facilities (such as airports, waste water treatment plants and communication radio stations". It's not quite clear what this means, but based on the way they are drawn on maps, a "built up area" only includes the city centre and the somewhat urbanised inner suburbs. I don't know how closely this matches metropolitan area. Certainly, what is described as the "metropolitan area" of big cities in Anglophone countries may well contain swathes of forests or farmland that I wouldn't call "built up", but I might be reading the definition too literally. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 21:30, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Shrinika Purohit[edit]


Today's featured picture was of Shrinika Purohit (right). How old is she? She looks quite young in the picture. JIP | Talk 21:33, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

According to the picture's caption on the Odissi page, she was four when this picture was taken. This agrees with this newspaper article. Tevildo (talk) 21:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Cool pic! Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 02:55, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

February 4[edit]

Speed limiter[edit]

What I don't understand, and the article doesn't say, is why the speed of HGVs on motorways should be limited so much below the speed limit. So, erm, why are they? --Dweller (talk) 14:39, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Not sure if you want references or just an explanation, but if it is the latter, I think the government justifies it by using statistics, which shows that accidents at high speed involving HGVs are more likely to cause death than those involving only cars. Hopefully someone will have the time to research and give you references if that is what you expected. --Lgriot (talk) 14:53, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
This page gives stopping distances for LGVs (fig2) and cars (fig3); stopping distances, and braking times, are much greater for the large vehicles. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:01, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I wonder how much analysis they've done of the relative risks posed by people taking stupid risks around slow-moving lorries on motorways. --Dweller (talk) 15:08, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, they need to study the totality of the system, not just accidents directly involving the vehicles themselves. Having all vehicles moving at a similar speed definitely has safety advantages, as less lane changing and passing occurs, and when it does, it can be done more leisurely, taking time to find the safest place to pass. This is the reason why many freeways in the US also have a minimum speed limit, in addition to a maximum. Having separate lanes for slow moving traffic also helps, but this either requires adding new lanes or causes traffic jams by making those lanes unavailable to the rest of the traffic. StuRat (talk) 16:52, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The RAC Foundation says "Although motorways carry around 21 per cent of traffic, they only account for 5.4 per cent of fatalities and 4.7 per cent of injured". The same FAQ (A9) says "Failed to look properly was the most frequently reported contributory factor and was reported in 44 per cent of all accidents." Taken together, that doesn't suggest HGVs on motorways is a major safety issue. List of countries by traffic-related death rate show that the UK has the safest roads of pretty much every developed country and Reported Road Casualties Great Britain shows that number has been declining since the 1960s. That latter article indicates that only among cyclists and pedestrians is the decline in jeopardy, which to me suggests safety engineering effort should be directed to low-ish speed urban collisions between vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists, and not to motorways. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The fact that motorways are safer than other roads has no relation to the question of whether HGVs on motorways are more dangerous than other vehicles on motorways. Nor does failure to look being the primary cause, since that doens't distinguish between an HGV driver failing to look and a moped driver failing to look. I was also under the impression that the HGV speed limit was as much about emissions as safety (since they are generally more efficient around 60mph than around 70mph). MChesterMC (talk) 16:29, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
(EC, my first and last refs support Finlay's suggestion - speed limiters do seem to help, but cyclists and pedestrians are over-represented in road fatalities.) Looks like more and more comparative analysis is coming available. Here is a nice study that says they can't assess the speed limiters yet, but it's still interesting reading with nice relevant figures on safety [70]. This book chapter [71] has some data but still complains about paucity. This [72] is a comprehensive review, with more good refs and some survey data on limiters, and this [73], assesses the fatality savings of many safety measures, including speed limiters. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't believe the limiters are "much below the speed limit". Limiters are set to 90 kph, or just over 56 mph. The speed limit on motorways is 60 mph. So they are slightly below the speed limit.--Phil Holmes (talk) 09:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Precisely. The national speed limit for HGVs is 60mph on multiple carriage ways (dual carriageways and motorways) and 50mph on single carriageways. So not 'so much below'. Also, the article does say why, "harmonisation within the EU".--Ykraps (talk) 10:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 5[edit]

Law: Inheritance per stirpes[edit]

Two cousins:

  1. Became parents (in wedlock),
  2. Then they became widowed,
  3. Then they became parents (in wedlock) of a common boy - who consequently has now two half-siblings,
  4. Then they died,
  5. Finally, their common grandmother died and left intestate property inherited to her grand-grandchildren - being the common boy and his two half-siblings.

Is there any legal system, in which the common boy - inherits twice as much as either of his half-siblings do? (Please notice that if such a jurisdiction exists it must provide for the inheritance to be shared per stirpes). HOTmag (talk) 11:24, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

It took me a while to get my head around what you were asking with your five points! But basically, I think you're asking 'can somebody inherit twice as much as another relative'? Your question is asking for legal advice, but I think I can still point you towards will and probate. Mike Dhu (talk) 20:08, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think a question of the form "Is there any jurisdiction where the law works this way?" is a request for legal advice. However, it is a question that nobody is likely to be able to answer unless they know that it works that way in their own jurisdiction. (It doesn't in mine, I believe.) -- (talk) 22:49, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Although this is a weird set of facts that has probably never come up, the legal issue actually arises with great frequency. Suppose that Tycoon has three children, A, B, and C, and A has three children, B has two, and C has one. A, B, and C all predecease Tycoon, and Tycoon then dies intestate. Does C's child get a one-third share, based on representation through C, or does she get a one-sixth share, with the six grandchildren sharing equally? It will depend on whether the local jurisdiction provides for such inheritances to be shared per stirpes, meaning by right of representation, or per capita, meaning equal shares. The determination may be affected by whether any of A, B, and C are still alive. John M Baker (talk) 23:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The jurisdiction I'm looking for, must provide for the inheritance to be shared per stirpes. A,B,C all died, as you can figure out by reading my fifth point. HOTmag (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I think the fact pattern unpacks to something like this:
  1. A and B have children C and D.
  2. C marries E, D marries F.
  3. C and E have a child, G.
  4. D and F have a child H.
  5. G marries I, H marries J.
  6. G and I have a child K, H and J have a child L.
  7. I and J die.
  8. G and H marry and have a child, M.
  9. A, C, D, E, F, H, and J all die.
  10. B dies intestate.
Let's also presume that G never adopted L, and H never adopted K. The question is, essentially, whether K, L, and M all share 1/3 of B's estate; or whether K and L each get 25%, and M gets 50%. Under the UPC (which doesn't use classical per stirpes, but I don't think it makes a difference in this fact pattern), each would get a single share. See § 2-113, which explicitly deals with "individuals related to the decedent through two lines". Note that many states have adopted the UPC in a piecemeal fashion, so even those other than the 17-odd that have adopted the UPC in its entirety may follow the same or a similar rule. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Your nineth point includes a typo, i.e. the letter J should be replaced by the letter G. Anyway, why do you think UPC is relevant although it does not divide the assets per stirpes? HOTmag (talk) 23:50, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Intestate distribution is complicated and often unpleasant. This is not legal advice but advice to seek legal advice: If you have assets, get a lawyer to write a will. By the way, the largest and one of the most complicated intestate distributions ever was that of the estate of Howard Hughes, which was divided up among 22 cousins. The so-called Mormon will was rejected as a forgery. If Hughes had made a genuine will in his last years, it might not have survived probate because he might have been considered insane in his later years. An actress who made a questionable claim to have been married to Hughes on board an ocean liner (whose log book had then been lost) was paid an unspecified amount of money. It is interesting that, although Hughes had been something of a ladies' man in his youth, no one showed up to claim to be his illegitimate child (and an illegitimate child would have claimed the entire estate, not a portion of it). Robert McClenon (talk) 00:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@HOTmag: It's my understanding that the UPC system is substantially per stirpes, and that in the fact pattern as arranged there is no difference between strict/classical per stirpes and UPC per stirpes. Could you perhaps explain why you think it makes a difference? It's been awhile since I've flipped through my T&E notes and I certainly could be missing something. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 02:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
If the decedent - who left behind intestate property - has surviving descendants, then under the per stirpes method - the whole intestate property is (virtually) divided equally among these decedent's children each of which either is alive or has descendants alive. Please notice that this is not the case under UPC (e.g. when the decedent has no surviving children, but rather surviving grandchildren).
Logically, according to the per stirpes method, every heir - related to the decedent through two lines (e.g. in the case I've asked about), must inherit twice as much as any other hier - related to the decedent through one line - does. The reason for this, as explained above, is because the (virtual) heirs in the per stirpes method - are the decedent's deceased children - rather than the decedent's grandchildren. HOTmag (talk) 08:55, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Horoscope daily predictions[edit]

I noticed that the term Horoscope is monopolized since decades ago by those ridiculous daily predictions that many newspapers publish and even radio/tv stations broadcast. Those have actually nothing to do with the horoscope, yet now everyone thinks that horoscope means "daily predictions". Is there a more accurate term for those "daily horoscope predictions" and is there any Wikipedia article or a section in some article about those predictions? —  Ark25  (talk) 14:38, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Sun sign astrology. It's worth noting that (their writers claim) the sun sign horoscope still has something to do with astrology, but it's a very simplified system. And of course, more complex "true horoscopes" don't seem to have any more predictive power than the "You will meet a tall dark stranger" nonsense that the papers print. Smurrayinchester 15:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Astrology in any form is utter drivel, so why should you distinguish between different forms of drivel? Fgf10 (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
To be fair, people have fun keeping track of and organizing the various noble houses of Westeros as well. That something is fictional doesn't mean it isn't something people find studying or analyzing or keeping track of a worthwhile activity. --Jayron32 16:33, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The Zodiac stuff in the Old Farmer's Almanac makes the point that it's for entertainment only. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I think the distinction you're looking for here is between:
  1. The idea of writing a sufficiently generalized prediction that everyone will feel it's true - (which is what newspaper-style horoscopes do) - this relies on the Forer effect where any sufficiently generalized statement will be felt to be true by most people if they are told it was individualized to them. This works amazingly well - as Forer showed in a 1948 experiment which has been reproduced successfully dozens of times since.
  2. The idea that you can work with an individual person, and by feeding them sufficiently careful probes, gradually come up with a rather specific prediction for them. There are two principle approaches to this - one is called "Shotgunning" where you fire off a rapid selection of essentially contradictory claims - watching the persons' reaction and homing in on the claims that produce the most positive reactions.
The latter clearly isn't possible in the newspaper version of astrology - but an astrologer meeting with you in person can employ shotgunning (and other Cold reading techniques) to get something that feels more personalized. In some cases, where the person being analysed is quite famous, Hot reading allows the astrologer to produce reports that match what the victim wishes to hear - and that can strongly reinforce the "prediction" by salting it with things that are known in advance to come true.
Of course none of this is "real" has been proven by countless careful experiments in the past. SteveBaker (talk) 19:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

Bidding on eBay[edit]

Does eBay have any sort of "upper limit" check for bidding? In other words, if I make a high bid (let's say, I type in 999,999.99 or whatever), does eBay stop that bid? Or does it check with a message such as "are you sure you meant to type 999,999.99?" or something like that? I ask because I want to make a "last minute" bid. But I don't want any time wasted with intervening messages, etc. Which might delay me and bring me past the bidding deadline. Does anyone know? And, if so, what's the magic number that prompts a message? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The only restriction I see on ebay's info page is that you can't bid over $15,000 unless you have a credit card on file. Doesn't say anything about special intervening messages. Also keep in mind that coming in at the last second with a bid won't win you the item if another bidder's confidential maximum bid is higher than yours. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

How would these two (similar) American football plays be scored?[edit]

(1) The score is 6-0. Team A is going for the point-after-touchdown, specifically the kick. Kicker kicks it short, Team B's defense retrieves the ball and runs it 105 yards to the opposing endzone. Or (2) the same as before, but in the endzone, Team B fumbles, Team A picks it up and is tackled within their endzone. --Aabicus (talk) 06:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

For (1), this article[74] states that because of a 2015 rule change, "the defending team will be allowed to score two points if it grabs possession of the ball and takes it back the other way." I don't understand (2). Are you talking about the situation discussed in the second paragraph in Safety (gridiron football score)#Conversion safety? That one's worth a single point. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
"In college football and the NFL, a conversion safety could also be scored by the defense.[22] To accomplish this, the kicking team would have to retreat all the way back to their own end zone and then fumble the ball out of it or be tackled in it.[24] A more plausible scenario would involve a turnover on the extra point attempt followed by a lost fumble before the defensive player reaches the end zone, with the ball finally being downed by the offense in its own end zone. While such a conversion safety has never been scored by the defense, it is the only possible way in which a team could finish with a single point in an American football game." Ooooh yes, this is what I'm talking about. I was wondering if that were possible. Thank you! --Aabicus (talk) 08:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

A tool for counting word frequency in newspaper archives[edit]

Is there such a tool? Something similar to Google Ngram or Google Trends, but for news only. I know there's a data range parameter in Google News search, but it seems that Google didn't index as many publications few years back, so the results are seriously skewed, I think. Is there any other more reliable service anyone could recommend, for checking whether a certain topic (word) was mentioned in newspapers over time? If you reply here, please WP:ECHO me. Thank you, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Cars ID[edit]

What are brands and models of these two cars? See no clues on them, thanks. Brandmeistertalk 15:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The top one is a Smart car - a sports convertible. The lower one looks deliberately disguised, which car manufacturers frequently do when testing new models.--Phil Holmes (talk) 18:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)