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November 28[edit]

ATM PIN security[edit]

Strong computer passwords should have letters numbers and symbols. The longer the better. ATM PIN protects life savings. More important than computer accounts. So why ATM PIN can only 4 to 6 numbers? Should be easy for smart people to hack. But never see ATM PIN hacking case in the news. PIN is stored in the card or the ATM server? --Curious Cat On Her Last Life (talk) 02:35, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

First, to steal someone's savings through an ATM, a crook needs their card (or a copy of it) and their PIN. That's two-factor authentication and explains why the precautions for a strong password are not so important with an ATM PIN.
Second, even if they have both the PIN and the card, the banks will limit the amount of money that can be withdrawn in per day. This means that the crook does not have access to the victim's whole "life savings", unless the victim remains unaware of the crime for an extended period (or doesn't have much money to steal anyway), or unless the crook also is able to use a method of hacking that works around the limit, as Andrew Stone did.
And no, the PIN is not stored on the card.
-- (talk) 05:04, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Also I believe it's standard practice to lock out the card after a certain number of failed PIN entries, to deter brute-forcing. Another dimension to the issue: though it varies, a fraudulent transaction will often be reversed by a financial institution if it's reported by the account holder in due time. Financial institutions carry insurance against losses, including fraudulent transactions. If there were a huge problem with fraudulent use of PINs, financial institutions would have already done something about it, because it would result in costs to them. Really, every security measure is about a balance of trade-offs: increased security versus the costs associated with the measure ("cost" in this sense meaning not just financial costs, but things like inconvenience). -- (talk) 09:58, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
With Chip and PIN the PIN is stored in encrypted form on the card. See this for one example saying this.--Phil Holmes (talk) 11:33, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Where does it say that? I see an answer that says "It also stores the card number and a hash of the PIN." -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 12:33, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Is a hash of the PIN not the PIN in an encrypted form? I also only gave this as one example of where it is said that the PIN is stored on the card. Other places say that this also allows C&P verification to be performed offline.--Phil Holmes (talk) 13:55, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Calling it "encryption" is at best an unfortunate wording, implying there could be "decryption", which there can't. What they surely store is a hash of the (PIN+unique salt), to prevent someone who had extracted the hash data from the chip from using a rainbow table to brute-force the clear PIN. An offline reader can read the salt (which isn't secret), compose it with the PIN, and calculate the hash. If the hashes compare, the PIN is correct - but, because the card doesn't really store the PIN, there is no way a reader could know, for example, which digit was mistyped. Given the tiny size of the PIN keyspace, surely the salt is much bigger than the PIN. -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 14:18, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I should correct that - the PIN verification is done by the crypto processor on the card itself - the terminal sends it the PIN and the card itself does the hash verification and simply returns a success/fail code to the terminal. I think that the exchange of the PIN between the terminal and the card is encrypted (on a session created with public key cryptography between the card and the terminal) so the clear PIN isn't transmitted in plain between the two (over the relatively vulnerable ISO/IEC 7816 physical connector). -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 14:26, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
What they surely store is a hash of the (PIN+unique salt)... An offline reader can read the salt (which isn't secret)... - Huh? If Mallory can read and offline, and the hash function is a (known) part of the protocol, they can easily brute-force the pin since the search space is so small. I am not sure, even having read the links, but I suspect either (1) there is another ingredient in the hash, for example a public cryptographic key whose private counterpart is in the bank's servers a second salt that is stored in the bank's server but not in the card, or (2) hardware security prevents direct access to those (i.e. the chip requires you to follow the interrogation protocol, which fries the card at 3 unsuccessful attempts). My money would be on option #1. TigraanClick here to contact me 15:27, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
(2) is certainly true - the card will lock itself if multiple tries are attempted. And it has various layers of tamper-resistance, wherein attempts to debond it or drill into it will cause it to destroy itself permanently. -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 15:42, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
The links say that the card should suicide if accessed improperly, so in that sense, (2) is true; in the context here, I meant "effectively, the pin is stored, but there are physical protections around it". I hope this is not the only line of defense (especially since there is an easy cryptographic way to add a bit of security; I simplified my proposition above). Of course, that is by no way a proof and security has been botched numerous times, but still. TigraanClick here to contact me 15:55, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
On 47's point, the fraudulent transactions are a problem, but not in the form the OP envisages. The biggest problem is skimming, where the card is read and PIN entry recorded and a cloned card is used. This causes problems for financial institutions so there are efforts to counter it but increasing PIN length isn't one thing that's going to help. While it can be annoying to some customers and can cause some temporarily loss of money and the effects thereof, it doesn't generally result in the loss of life savings even for very poor people for the simple reason the money will be returned by the financial institution. Less common but with stolen wallets etc, there can be a problem with people writing down their PINs and storing this with the card. However increasing PIN length is if anything going to make this more likely. There are also cases where people are forced to give up the PIN, PIN length isedit: isn't going to help here. Finally you have the small number of cases where the PIN is simply guessed due to some knowledge of what the person is likely to choose. Increasing length may help with this but since it's such a minor concern (remember brute forcing is limited to very few tries) edit: it's not likely to be forced. Nil Einne (talk) 12:30, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
So why ATM PIN can only 4 to 6 numbers?
From the Personal identification number article: "The inventor of the ATM ... had at first envisioned a six-digit numeric code, but his wife could only remember four digits, and that has become the most commonly used length...". The PIN management standard ISO 9564-1 allows for up to 12 digits (noting that longer PINs are more secure but harder to use), but I don't know if any bank actually allows that many. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:46, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
An observation: Some friends were discussing this very topic a couple of years ago, and we all had 4 digit PINs, comprised of 3 different digits. I received a new PIN last week and there is still a repeated digit. I don't know how that affects security. --TrogWoolley (talk) 12:13, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Some banks allow you to change your PIN to be longer than the typical 4 digits. One of my friends did this several years ago. At the time, I was surprised that it was even possible, but apparently it is an option. For what it is worth, my bank now defaults to a 6-digit PIN. Dragons flight (talk) 12:33, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Some friends were discussing this very topic ... we all had 4 digit PINs, comprised of 3 different digits. ... I don't know how that affects security
Disclosing some information about your PIN to your friends (or anyone else) increases the probability that they could guess or shoulder surf your PIN, so it decreases your security. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:04, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
4 digit PINs, comprised of 3 different digits. ... a repeated digit.
Given a random 4-digit PIN there's about a 50% probability of it having at least one duplicate digit, ie not 4 different digits. Four digits gives 10,000 total combinations. There are only 10*9*8*7 = 5,040 combinations with all 4 digits different. (10 possible values for 1st digit, 9 possible values for 2nd because you can't re-use the first, 8 for 3rd digit because you can't re-use the first 2, ...) Mitch Ames (talk) 13:24, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • In the specific case where a person knows what digits are in your PIN, but not the order, then a PIN with one repeating digit is more secure. This isn't a big deal for bank cards, but it can make a difference for alarms and security systems where an attacker can look for fingerprints or wear on the buttons. If your PIN number consists of four numerals, 1,2,3,4, there are 4*3*2*1 = 24 permutations (1234, 1243, 1423, 1432 and so on). If it consists of three numerals, 1,2,3, but one is duplicated, there are 36 permutations: 12 of the form 1,1,2,3, 12 like 1,2,2,3 and 12 like 1,2,3,3. This means that it should take an attacker 50% longer on average to crack the code by brute force. Two duplicate numerals however make you less safe - you only have 14 permutations (4 like 1,1,1,2, 6 like 1,1,2,2, and 4 like 1,2,2,2). If all your digits are the same, change your PIN! Smurrayinchester 09:51, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It's enough. To "brute-force" a PIN, you're going to have to stand there for a long time. Hundreds of tries per card, probably. That's a lot of tries - odds are someone will notice you at the cash machine or the bank software will lock you out. Even a three-digit PIN would be "pretty" secure unless had hundreds of stolen cards you were going to try. People are forgetful and really need cash in emergencies - you need to balance something everyone can remember with something that's secure enough. If PINs were ten digits, you know people would write down the code in their wallet and it would be right next to the card when someone snatches your wallet. Also, the longer the code, the longer the queue at the cash machine. Blythwood (talk) 21:41, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Bandwidth costs[edit]

I have been asked to do an editorial for the Signpost, and I am doing research for it. Specifically, in 2005 Jimmy Wales told a TED audience the following:

"So, we’re doing around 1.4 billion page views monthly. So, it’s really gotten to be a huge thing. And everything is managed by the volunteers and the total monthly cost for our bandwidth is about 5,000 dollars, and that’s essentially our main cost. We could actually do without the employee … We actually hired Brion because he was working part-time for two years and full-time at Wikipedia so we actually hired him so he could get a life and go to the movies sometimes."

Question: is there any reason to believe that bandwidth costs per page view have gone way up or way down in the last ten years?

Related (and a bit off topic) question: how many page views per month are we seeing ten years later?

For those interested in what I am working on here, see Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-11-26/Op-ed. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Erik's stats page has page-views per month per wiki - -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 10:38, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! says it's about 16 million billion page views per month, so unless I made a silly mistake that's roughly ten times more pages we are serving since ten years ago. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Presumably you mis-typed, and meant "about 16 billion page views per month", Guy? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 16:17, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Of course it is billions. See what I mean about making silly mistakes? :( --Guy Macon (talk) 16:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Please compare Note that says we are excluding traffic from spiders and banner impressions. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:21, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia Blocked[edit]

How do I get a trusted certificate so that Wikipedia is not blocked? I cannot tell from the globalsign website what certificate goes with Wikipedia. Can you help me out with getting a valid certificate for your site? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Hmm. The fact that you're posting here suggests that Wikipedia can't be totally blocked. Can you clarify what it is you're trying to do (e.g. register for an account, view an article, etc) and what error message, if any, you are seeing? A screenshot or the exact text of the error would help enormously. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 15:12, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
You should not need to manually obtain a certifica to use wikipedia on most configs. If you lack the necessary GlobalSign root certificate, it may be wise to consider why you don't have. Most browsers and OSes will have it enabled by default. If it's not present in your config, perhaps it was removed intentionally (so maybe you shouldn't be adding it back) or accidentally/maliciously (in which case there may be bigger problems) or parts of your software are in need of serious updates. Nil Einne (talk) 06:49, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Try using Wikipedia from outside the US Department of Defense Network. Dbfirs 09:26, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

How can I offer an online course?[edit]

It is more than lectures (actually lectures are a minor part). It's basically a series of texts and exercises. What software would it run on? I heard about moodle but do not know how to get started with it. Do I need my own server, domain, and hosting plant to upload an online course using it? What are other options? Hofhof (talk) 12:43, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

A good place to start your research is Learning management system. --Jayron32 13:03, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
The sixth form college where I work use Moodle. The teachers have almost all of their learning materials on there and students can access it at will. We host it ourselves. You could host it yourself on your own server or on some rented server space or you could use a Moodle partner to host it for you (see the Moodle website). DIY hosting will (probably) be cheaper, but you will have to rely on community support (which is very good). Partner hosting will include support, but you won't have the flexibility for customization. Moodle is quite easy use at the basic level, but the more advanced features (such as assignments and grading) require an effort to learn. There is plenty of documentation on the Moodle website on getting started. (Other VLEs are available.) --TrogWoolley (talk) 12:00, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Wayback Machine limitation?[edit]

I can find the main page of, but is there a way to see a subpage? (At, I want to see the details of the $50 savings bonuses - I think they may have ripped me off.) Clarityfiend (talk) 20:34, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Generally, links from a Wayback Machine page (at least within a site) point to their saved copy of the linked page, if they have one. For example, on the page you linked, the Savings Account link (from the Saving pulldown near the top) links to If you need to do a search to find the subpage you want, that's another matter. -- (talk) 23:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
The link I want doesn't work. Thanks anyway. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:01, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Can't visit Blue Dart website[edit]

I can't visit Blue Dart through any browsers on my PC. In Chrome it gives error code: ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED. I've already tried,

  • Restart DNS client
  • Change IPv4 DNS Address
  • Try resetting TCP/IP
  • Reset Chrome

Any help will be appreciated. --Joseph 04:28, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Have you tried restarting the computer and router? In any case, it's possible you have been blocked by the website for some reason. Nil Einne (talk) 06:44, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Tried that already. No luck.--Joseph 07:06, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Open the command prompt (cmd). Type "ping" (sans quotes) and press enter. I get as the ip address - it may be different for you. Type the ip into your browser address bar: (talk) 09:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
As a troubleshooting step, try a different browser? IE or firefox?Vespine (talk) 21:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It was stated "browsers" above which I assumes means more than 1, but not which other ones. Nil Einne (talk) 07:05, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Getting rid of a malware popup[edit]

I was just using my laptop for to look at a consumer review site (not even clickbait or a porn site!), when I got an annoying malware popup stating that my PC was infected and I should call a stated number to get tech support from Microsoft. Ignorig that ploy, I ran Malwarebytes which did not anything harmful, and I am running a full scan by Norton, which has been going on for hours. I am now on a different computer. What additional antivirus/antimalware products would it make sense to run to be sure the pesky malware is expunged? I did not think to photograph the popup, so I do not recall the exact text, making it hard to google possible solutions. Edison (talk) 19:53, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

No expert, but was it just a website or dialog box? If it was just a new page that opened and you closed it without clicking anything you should be fine if your browser and OS are up to date, no? Blythwood (talk) 21:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It was a square popup which covered up a portion of the page I was reading. I was unable to remove it by clicking on its "x" closeout box. It was somewhat persistant, not leaving when I tried to close the page and the Firefox browser. I'm using Windows 10. Somehow I was able to open the Start window and the apps list, then run the malware and antivirus programs I mentioned, which only found innocuous things like cookies. Someone suggested setting up two users on the laptop, one for financial use (bank, broker, etc) and the other for email and websurfing, But if the websurfing "user" was seized by malware which sought to encryot the contents of the hard drive, or to install a keystroke logger, would those also screw over the banking "user?" Edison (talk) 21:09, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I had a very similar experience last week (not for the first time), except that the popup opened up a new tab and occupied the whole of the screen, so I had to hard switch-off. (I had already disconnected from the internet by dint of pulling out the telephone socket connection, which is set up to be within reach.)
As on previous occasions, when I started up the PC again and opened up that browser, the popup was still present on it (though by now it might have been closeable, as sometimes before), so I shut down and booted up again, ran several different free anti-malware scans including Malwarebytes from existing apps on my desktop (as with you, none reported finding anything egregious), and then using a different browser went to the Microsoft site's Downloads for Windows page, and downloaded & ran the Malicious Software Removal Tool (linked at the bottom of that page). As on previous occasions, this overall seems to have solved the problem, though I can't tell at what point.
I can't answer your last question, but my layman's guess would be: quite possibly – malware doesn't conform to expected rules and behaviour, after all! {The poster formerly known as} — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Someone suggested setting up two users on the laptop, one for financial use (bank, broker, etc) and the other for email and websurfing, But if the websurfing "user" was seized by malware which sought to encryot the contents of the hard drive, or to install a keystroke logger, would those also screw over the banking "user?" - It depends on your threat model. If malware gets in, a dedicated attacker will surely find one of your software with a privilege escalation vulnerability which means any account separation is meaningless; however, some just throw a lot of commands around and go for the low-hanging fruit. In that case, they will "only" get your current account (but even then, it can still have write access to a lot of files that you would prefer not to be lost).
In any case, the best antivirus you will ever have is between your two ears. Any company that claims its users can "rely on them" 100% for computer security is lying. Frequent scanning is no substitute for computer hygiene. TigraanClick here to contact me 09:32, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

Generalization of Pell's Eequations[edit]

Hi, I am looking for an efficient algorithm for solving diophanite equation of the form , where a,b are positive integer parameters, and x,y are the variables, and are constrained to be integers. Thanks in advance! (talk) 14:12, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Do you mean Diophantine?-- (talk) 01:48, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it was a typo.. (talk) 08:02, 2 December 2016 (UTC)


I'm trying to get the largest value in a column except certain values in that column. I apply conditional formatting to the values I want to ignore: Format Cells > Number > Text. Doing so, I'm assured by the dialog box that "Text format cells are treated as text even when a number is in the cell. The cell is displayed exactly as entered."

And the cell is indeed displayed exactly as entered (just the number and nothing else), but this formatting does not affect the cells in any way except for changing their default alignment from right to left (which I can easily change back to right anyways). The values in question are still not ignored either when the largest of them is selected or when they are sorted my magnitude.

I'm aware of the TEXT() function, and I've tried it and it works, but it requires another column, which I don't wish to have. How can I force Excel to actually treat as text the selected values in the same column, as if they're produced by TEXT()? --Szerekes (talk) 19:56, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

That's odd because my old version of Excel ignores cells formatted as text when finding the maximum in a column, and it sorts text last, not on number value. Have Microsoft changed the behaviour in newer versions? Dbfirs 20:32, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
This doesn't work in (at least) later versions of excel because numbers formatted as text are still treated as numbers, unless converted to text using =TEXT().
What you can try as a workaround is inserting conditions you want to apply directly into the =MAX() formula itself. To do that you need to use an array formula (you enter array formulas by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter instead of just Enter). For example, formula =MAX(IF(A:A<8000;A:A)) returns the largest of values in column A that is smaller than 8000. Remember, that you will have to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to make the formula work and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter every time you edit the formula. More about array formulas and examples here. No longer a penguin (talk) 11:19, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
... or use Excel 2000 which doesn't treat numbers in cells formatted as text as numerical. I know I'm sixteen years out of date! Dbfirs 18:24, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 2[edit]

Is a Windows computer ID (e.g. DESKTOP-S5VAG67) sensitive information?[edit]

Is a Windows computer ID (e.g. DESKTOP-S5VAG67) sensitive information? -- (talk) 12:29, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

The computer ID is available to anyone monitoring the network and any server you communicate with. It is an identifier, but it is not sensitive any more than your personal name is sensitive. Like your personal name, other computers will use your computer's ID more than your computer will. (talk) 15:58, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Post Review[edit]

Could someone review this post please and provide a satisfactory answer. (talk) 18:13, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

A-163 16 Port USB 3.0 Hub[edit]

I’ve planned to buy the entitled product (brand new) with all the extras that should come along with it, but I’m unable to find it. I require a reliable source where could buy this product with all the extras (brand new). I'm unable to retrieve a feedback from the webpage... (talk) 18:13, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]


November 29[edit]

Causes of sudden death in dogs[edit]

Is there a list of causes of sudden death in dogs? One of my two dogs just died about an hour ago out of the blue.Uncle dan is home (talk) 02:39, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

It's going to be essentially the same as in humans: Cardiac arrest, arrythmia, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, poison and pulmonary embolism. There are other, more rare circumstances, but they'll generally be some major defect in in breathing or circulation. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
My condolences. I looked at your user page and saw that your dog was 15 years old, so it was likely something related to old age. Our pet cat developed cancer at around the same age, and we had to have him euthanized. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, it's possible the cold weather may have exacerbated an underlying health issue. That's why I went to your user page, to see if you stated your location. Let me clarify that I'm certainly not accusing you of neglect; no matter how warm and cozy you are, your body has to work harder to maintain its temperature in cold weather. Also as most people know infectious diseases spread more in cold weather. -- (talk) 06:25, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to hear it. We have an article on Dog health which lists common diseases of dogs as well as the foods and chemicals that commonly cause poisoning, and one on Aging in dogs. Neither makes for very pleasant reading though. Smurrayinchester 09:22, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
When I lost my last dog, it turned out that she had cancer throughout her body and in many vital organs. She'd shown no sign of it until a couple of days before she died. Our vet remarked that dogs are incredibly tough animals and can keep going despite amazing amounts of disease and injury - but when it finally overwhelms them, they go quickly. There is much to be said for that, I think.
FWIW: The only known cure for the loss you feel from losing an old friend is a new puppy...they have a way of providing the ideal distraction. SteveBaker (talk) 14:52, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
A new dog -- not necessarily a new puppy. We adopted a sweet little terrier who was maybe 10-12 years old at the time. Already housebroken, and old enough to be calm and not chew up the furniture. There's something special about older dogs, just like there's something special about puppies. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

And by the way, her date of birth is September 11,2002, not 2001.Uncle dan is home (talk) 00:15, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for the loss. The death of a little animal friend can cause long lasting grief that is hard for non-pet owners to understand. As for just getting a replacement, we may reach a point where we have just owned our last dog or cat, since we might not be around to tend them through their possible lifespan. As for sudden death, my vet said that a pet may start to feel pain and nausea, but conceal it to some extent, as a survival mechanism, since looking weak would not aid survival in the wild when with a group of other animals of the same species, and signs of weakness might draw the attention of predators. I knew an elderly pet who lived 6 months after the vet found a cancerous abdominal mass, which he said was inoperable due the the pet's age. The pet was seemingly cheerful and peppy until the last day when he suddenly couldn't get up. The vet said it was time to put him down. Edison (talk) 23:53, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
An animal's mother will always know if one of her newborn is sickly. If it is, when it comes to suck with the rest of the litter she will push it away, and it soon dies. (talk) 01:12, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Water temperature at the bottom of a kettle[edit]

Suppose you heat the bottom of the kettle to a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius, what will be the water temperature right near the metal layer? Will there be a sharp temperature difference or gradient? Gil_mo (talk) 09:59, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

When you boil a kettle the temperature inside eventually rises to 212 degrees F. As the water reaches that temperature it boils away. I guess this would happen here - so don't leave your kettle in contact with the heat source after the water is all gone. (talk) 10:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
What would happen is this: the outside side of the bottom of the pan would be at 200°C while the inside side of the bottom of the pan would be at 100°C as long as the water lasted. If your pan has poor conductivity (thick stainless steel) you will need less energy to maintain that 100 degree difference. If your pan has good conductivity (thin copper) you will need a lot more energy -- likely more than you have available to you in any kitchen or even industrial setting, and a steady supply of water to replace what boils off. I doubt that any flame would be enough; you would likely need something like liquid sodium at 200°C (boiling point 882.8°C). --Guy Macon (talk) 10:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
...while the inside side of the bottom of the pan would be at 100°C as long as the water lasted... - not true, even under the (possibly wrong) assumption that there is no film of gas causing Leidenfrost effect here. The layer of fluid next to the solid will have a finite temperature difference with the solid just next to the fluid; in other words, such an interface is described by a (finite) heat transfer coefficient rather than by a thermal diffusivity coefficient. TigraanClick here to contact me 12:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
So to answer Gilmo's question, there will be a "sharp temperature difference" (i.e. a discontinuity in temperature across the interface), but how much exactly (and whether it is negligible compared to conduction inside the kettle, convective effects etc.) cannot be said without more precisions. As Jayron32 mentioned, this is a complex subject. TigraanClick here to contact me 12:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
What you are asking to describe is a complex physical phenomenon; local temperature will vary throughout a substance due to various effects, including specific heat capacity, temperature differential (i.e. Newton's law of cooling), heat flux, the effect of convection in fluids, etc. There are entire higher-university level courses that are dedicated to teaching the complex relationships and mathematics involved in calculating what you are asking. You might want to read up on things like Non-equilibrium thermodynamics as well. --Jayron32 12:08, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
In short, will or will not the water just at the hot solid surface be above 100 Celsius, or not? Should we also take into account that the water at the very bottom is under pressure of the water above, thus raising the boiling point? Gil_mo (talk) 13:49, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
This image helps to visualize the water in contact with the kettle bottom. The lowest layer of molecules are water vapour i.e. Steam, superheated over 100 °C (212 °F). Water vapour is a gas and a thermal insulator so there is a steep thermal gradient through this layer. However it is usually turbulent and its depth is unstable, except in the special case of the Leidenfrost effect which can occur where there are only small water drop(s) on a very hot surface: a stable cushion of vapour forms under the droplet and insulates it from rapid evaporation. Most of the temperature difference 200°C to 100 °C is is across the vapour layer. Above this is a relatively thick layer of liquid water at 100 °C which absorbs conducted heat from below, the latent heat of vapourization that transforms it to gas. Whether there is a further temperature variation higher in the water depends on how recently the kettle was filled; the liquid may soon all be at 100 °C with streams of vapour bubbling to the surface. Blooteuth (talk) 20:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
If this layer of gas existed at the bottom of an ordinary boiling pot, we would see it as being silvery at certain angles. We don't see the silvery effect, therefore the water is still wetting the metal. Of course once the conditions are right for Leidenfrost effect (as happens when you pour water into an overheated cast iron pan), the physics change radically. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:01, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
The water will be at 100°C. under normal conditions, water above 100°C isn't water -- it is steam. The water at the very bottom will indeed be under pressure from the water above, thus raising the boiling point a bit, but for a normal-sized pot the effect will be negligible, and smaller than that caused by changes in altitude or barometric pressure. (Note that I said 100°C, not 100.0000°C.) And as long as that water is still wetting the metal, the top layer of atoms in the metal will be at 100°C. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:54, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
No. Water is a common chemical substance that can exist in three states: liquid, solid (ice), and gas (invisible water vapor in the air). Do not neglect the fact that Gil_mo's kettle will advance from nucleate to transition boiling. Blooteuth (talk) 18:56, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Let's denote the cross section of the bottom of the kettle by , the temperature on the outside , the inside temperature by , and the thickness of the kettle by . Then the heat flux into the kettle is:

where is the thermal conduction coefficient of the metal. This must be balanced by the heat escaping from the kettle which will be primarily due to the latent heat of vaporization. If the cross section of the opening is , then this is:

where is the latent heat of vaporization, the density of the escaping steam and the flow velocity of the steam moving through the opening. Equating to allows you to solve for the mass flux (note that the latent heat does not depend strongly on the temperature). Conservation of mass implies that the product of the mass flux times the cross section this flux moves through, is conserved. So, this yields the flux of escaping steam from the surface of the water. The next step is to estimate the required overpressure in the kettle that would support this flux, this is not so straightforward it depends on the frictional losses particularly at the opening. This overpressure then yields the temperature via the Clausius–Clapeyron relation. The higher the overpressure, the higher the temperature will be above the normal boiling point of 100°C. Count Iblis (talk) 22:53, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you all for your enlightening answers! Gil_mo (talk) 06:41, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

At a microscopic scale, the temperature of water/steam in bubbles can be surprising at times - see sonoluminescence. Wnt (talk) 12:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Water has a high heat capacity and a high Enthalpy of vaporization. A fascinating phenomenon which I think sheds some light on this question: you can boil water over an open fire in a plastic bottle and for the same reason you can put a cigarette lighter under (a filled) water balloon and it will not pop. An open flame is 1000+ degrees, but the water on the inside of the bottle / balloon will NOT get over 100 degrees which is not enough to melt the plastic, well very small parts or layers of the water might get a bit over 100 but no significant portion of it will get anywhere near the melting point of the plastic / rubber. Convection is very efficient, the "hot" parts of the water will carry the heat up and away and be replaced by 'colder' parts. You can find many demonstrations of this on youtube. Vespine (talk) 22:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Helicopter (in)stability[edit]

Is it true that twin-rotor helicopters are more stable than single-rotor ones? Of all the commonly used rotor systems -- Sikorsky system (conventional single-rotor), NOTAR (if different from Sikorsky system), Piasecki system (tandem rotors), Kamov system (coaxial rotors), and Flettner system (synchropter), how do they rank in the order from least stable to most stable (or if you prefer, from most stable to least stable)? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:4C25:8F4F:2BC7:C702 (talk) 10:56, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

According to our Tandem rotors article: "Advantages of the tandem-rotor system are a larger centre of gravity range and good longitudinal stability. Disadvantages of the tandem-rotor system are a complex transmission, and the need for two large rotors".
According to our Coaxial rotors article: "Because of the mechanical complexity, many helicopter designs use alternate configurations to avoid problems that arise when only one rotor is used". Alansplodge (talk) 21:51, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Helicopter yaw control[edit]

How is yaw controlled in helicopters with tip jets? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:4C25:8F4F:2BC7:C702 (talk) 10:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

If they don't have a tail rotor (like the NHI H-3 Kolibrie and the American Helicopter XH-26 Jet Jeep), I would expect that they need a rudder (like the Sud-Ouest Djinn), which would depend on the forward motion. However, I don't see one in the image of the Hiller YH-32 Hornet (unless it uses its two tail planes for that), so I don't see how that would work.
A brake could allow turning in one direction, but I don't think that would be used. Rmvandijk (talk) 14:12, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Seems to me that because there is no engine inside the body of the helicopter, the torque that normally tries to spin the body of the helicopter in the opposite direction of the rotors is vastly less (presuming the friction in the shaft is kept low). So it might not take very much at all to control the direction of the helicopter. In forward flight, a small rudder would be all that you'd might also be possible to route some of the thrust that goes to the tip jets to a couple of small jets on the tail of the helicopter. However, it's not clear what they *actually* do...these kinds of craft are rare and exotic beasts! SteveBaker (talk) 14:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, they are experimental aircraft. This means that they're "non-standard" and can be modified irregularly. Among the few famous tip-jet helicopters, some used bleed exhaust or a drive shaft from the main powerplant to power the tail rotor; some used a redundant smaller powerplant to drive the tail rotor; some did not have any tail rotor at all, like the Hiller Hornet. The point is, these were "skunk works" projects, metaphorically and literally. The designs changed any time the mission planners demanded they needed to change, sometimes bypassing regulatory testing, paperwork, and documentation.
If you get a chance to visit San Carlos, California, the Hiller Aviation Museum has tons of neat stuff. How did these weird aircrafts really work? We shall know soon - it's been nearly fifty years since most of them flew, and the details have begun to emerge... Some say that a band of rowdy helicopter pilots meet on Monday nights to dispel rotorcraft myths and share experiences.
Last week's discussion was on LAX00FA306 ([1], [2]), which has incredible explanatory power for the mandatory Special Awareness Training in 14 CFR 61. Certain helicopters - particularly a few conventional models like R-22 and the UH-1 - do not behave well in zero-G condition. If the pilot attempts to correct this unusual condition by application of cyclic or adverse yaw, the rotors flutter and flap and just ... fly away. We will probably never know if tipjet rotorcraft suffered that problem... but if you visit the CIA Memorial Wall, you can imagine whatever you want about those unmarked stars.
Here's an Army Agency for Aviation Safety video hosted on YouTube: Mast Bumping - Causes and Prevention.
Nimur (talk) 15:27, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
So, how did yaw control work in the Hornet? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 21:14, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
"Barely." From the exhibit page of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, you can read about the various modifications: in the first incarnation, a rudder (only) was used, and it was controlled by the collective. (I imagine the yaw control wires were bungeed to the stick like some early Bonanzas and the Ercoupe). Later, a (very unusual asymmetric) tail rotor was added to the aircraft, driven by the starter motor (...a battery-powered electric propulsion system). Though its performance is not explicitly described, if you have any familiarity with aircraft design, you can imagine that this probably didn't result in great yaw authority, nor great duration of flight. The Air and Space Museum lists fuel consumption rates, and computes a maximal flight time of 30 minutes; in actual truth, the helicopter probably could not fly at all. (In the United States, it is generally illegal to begin a flight in an aircraft that is carrying less than 30 minutes of fuel remaining on board, 14 CFR 91.151 - well, twenty minutes for rotorcraft, so ...).
"The flames coming out of the ramjets produced an incredibly bright white halo when the HOE-1 was flown at night. This was a considerable disadvantage in the military environment, and the effect prompted a number of UFO sightings when operated in the vicinity of populated areas.... The noise generated by the ramjets was also quite considerable, and did not endear the United Helicopter's Palo Alto, California facility to its neighbors." (Smithsonian Institution).
The interested reader will be happy to know that the Palo Alto test facility, declassified by the National Reconnaissance Office in year 2006, was not a Hiller Helicopter facility, as it was loudly and widely advertised and publicly known; but the location was in fact a CIA "General Participant" development facility for Project CORONA, America's first observation and surveillance satellite. You can find some great historical photographs of the facility during the 1940s and 1950s in this book, Palo Alto Over Time, featured in the Palo Alto Daily News. Interestingly, the location of this facility was on Willow Road, which is today the mailing address of a more modern surveillance program corporation.
When one wants to keep a secret project quiet, one has to find some excuse for moving so many engineers into and out of a building each day.
Nimur (talk) 21:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Mostly it doesn't need to be. There's no major torque reaction to deal with, so no need to counteract it. Yaw is only needed for literally yawing the helicopter. As helicopters also have a cyclic pitch which can translate them sideways, then there's not even as much need for that.
Tip jets can be hot or cold. Cold tip jets are powered from a compressor bleed on a gas turbine, implying that there's a supply of pressurised air available and so puffer jets could be used (as worked for the Hawker Harrier), although I can't think offhand of a tipjet helicopter which used them. A few helicopters, particularly the French designs, but also the Fairey Ultra-light used a tailplane with conventional rudder and their gas turbine exhaust over this was enough to give very good yaw control, even in the hover.
Hot jets, such as the British fuel-burning jets supplied with air from a central compressor, or the US designs with a self-contained jet on each rotor, have a harder time of it. The Hiller Hornet was tested as a gunship (claimed to be the first, although the Germans had tried it during WWII) but its poor yaw control put paid to that. Various Gyrodynes, such as the Fairey Rotodyne and its precursors, had good yaw control at speed, by controlling their propulsion props, but were limited in the hover. A few, such as the Jet Jeep and the (un)Flying Ocarina, took a geared drive from the main rotor hub and used this to drive a conventional helicopter tail rotor, although much undersized from the usual. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:36, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Do you know if the control surfaces at the tail of the Hiller Hornet (Are those inverted ruddervators?) gave some yaw control even while hovering by deflecting downwash? -- ToE 13:15, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The original Hornet HJ-1 had a vertical stabiliser with a rudder effect, by the whole vertical stabiliser moving. This worked with forward airspeed, but as the hinge axis was at something like 45°, this could also deflect pure rotorwash sideways in the hover.
The military Hornet YH-32, as illustrated, had the two ruddervators. As I understand it (but don't have good docs for) these moved in two axes: "pitch", as elevators, and also in "roll" to control yaw. This is why they were mounted in the V shape, rather than flat, so that rolling them gave an asymmetric side thrust and thus yawing moment. This allowed the whole helicopter to be pitched and yawed, for aiming the guns. They didn't work terribly well as a yaw control though. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:50, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Set in the stars....[edit]

Whether your favorite iconic image is Trump, Castro, or Obama, if it can be drawn with simple, heavy lines, it seems like in theory, a field of stars might line up with that artwork in a suggestive way. As a very large number of stars have been mapped by now, I'm thinking that for each of these folks there may be a constellation waiting to be promulgated, even if it might be a very small one. But has anyone designed a publicly available interface by which a piece of submitted art can be searched among all the stars at all possible scales until something abnormally suggestive is uncovered? Is there a statistical analysis possible for how good or bad a match that might turn out to be on average, given available data? Wnt (talk) 02:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Just for reference, this is a rendering of every star visible to the naked eye, in a light-pollution free area, from...somewhere, not really sure. Now, this is a bit less than you'd be concerned with, since this is everything you'd be able to see standing still, not counting what stars might be behind you, etc. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:50, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, to be clear, I didn't just mean a search for small constellations of the desired shape, but also faint ones - even if a constellation is only visible through a powerful telescope, there is still substantial amusement value to be had if someone found it and posted an image, where people could say "oh yeah, that looks like him" or have fun peering at adjacent stars and saying "you know, I think there's somebody over there behind Kennedy on that starry knoll..." Wnt (talk) 12:08, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
A bit of terminological pedantry: what you are describing would be asterisms, not constellations. {The poster formerly known as (talk) 14:14, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
You may be interested in the Coathanger. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 15:00, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If you mean that anyone looking at that set of stars would say "Wow, that's person X !", I doubt that is the case. Even most of the current constellations really don't objectively look like what they are said to represent, with a few possible exceptions, like the Big Dipper, and that's only 7 stars. To make a convincing representation of a PARTICULAR person, you would need far more stars than that, and without extraneous stars visible in the same field. On the other hand, for a generic "smiley face", perhaps as few as 5 stars could work, with 2 for eyes and 3 to form the mouth. StuRat (talk) 15:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, there are something like a billion catalogued stars at present, vs. 7000 naked eye stars. This means that I'd expect the best possible match, if obtainable, to be somewhere like 130,000 "better" than the best constellation you could find looking about by eye. Now how exactly "better" translates in terms of ... some measure ... that I can't say. Wnt (talk) 17:47, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

What's the fewest irregularly placed dots needed to form a face recognizable as a particular person ?[edit]

To go along with the above Q, does anyway have examples of this ? I suspect that some faces would need fewer than others. For example, Groucho Marx might need very few, just enough to form dark eyebrows and a cigar. Somebody with a less distinctive face may need far more, to distinguish them from other similar people. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

[3] Blooteuth (talk) 18:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Not sure who that is, Charlie Chaplin ? StuRat (talk) 03:15, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The sample image made of 2300 white dots is recognized as the iconic face of Charlie Chaplin but the technique is inadequate to distinguish faces generally. A similar number of dots could be placed with more realistic effect using a dithering algorithm such as Floyd–Steinberg. The example is limited to the dot arrangements on domino tiles. These examples of Pointillism are best viewed from a sufficient distance to lose visibility of individual dots. One can then describe the resolution of the Chaplin example as a 20 x 23 array of pixels, each of which has an average brightness of one of 10 levels. As a binary file (with no attempt at data reduction) the image could be stored as 25x25x24=16384 bits. In practice, facial images in monochrome are seldom shown as binary images but more often with much better fidelity either by halftoning in print (uses a fixed array of dots whose sizes are continuously variable) or by pixellated displays with a given Grayscale. Blooteuth (talk) 16:51, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Good info, thanks. Now for the hard part. What's the chances of finding 2300 stars so arranged, with no other stars in the field of view, given even the most powerful telescope we have ? I'm thinking essentially zero. StuRat (talk) 17:01, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Here's a class report, in which one student set out to answer a variation of your question (using a bit more technical terminology): "How many eigenvectors (eigenfaces) are required to recover an original face by some percent of the total?"
He presents an overview of the math involved, reviewing some of his cited literature: Face Recognition using Principle Component Analysis
  • Turk and Pentland's 1991 paper from MIT is often considered the "grandfather" of this line of research (PCA for face classification algorithms). Principle component analysis is the branch of applied mathematics techniques that let us find the smallest number of elements (in some abstract coordinate space) that fully and uniquely describe a data set; it's essential to modern technologies like video compression, video analysis, machine vision, and so on.
Now, you're using spare dot patterns (rather than eigenfaces), but the math is the same. Are your dot patterns orthonormal and spanning? If not, it's going to be very hard to formally answer your question without loss of generality.
Nimur (talk) 19:31, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Borked Latin taxonomic names[edit]

It seems that ungrammatical Latin taxonomic names (like Baracktrema obamai instead of correct Latin genitive obamae) have been around for at least several years. Presumably scientists are supposed to know basic Latin to give correct names. Is it centuries-old or a relatively recent phenomenon? Brandmeistertalk 11:50, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

It's been a complaint since at least the 1890s. So, depends on your definition of "recent". --Jayron32 11:56, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, didn't know it goes back to the 19th century. Weird. Brandmeistertalk 12:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Note also that the name "Obama" is not Latin: it is from a Kenyan dialect, Dholuo. In order to say that obamae is the "correct Latin genitive", you need to assume that the name is taken into Latin with the same spelling and assigned to the first declension. It would be equally reasonable to Latinize it as some other declension. If you choose to use the second declension, Latinizing by adding -us to the name to make the nominative Obamaus, then the actual form obamai is correct. And this becomes more a Language question than a Science question. -- (talk) 13:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Only tangentially related, but also check out This common mistake which also involves bad latin. --Jayron32 13:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Recall that, generally speaking, binomial nomenclature doesn't really have anything to do with Latin per se, people can and do put in any kind of nonsense they want. Binomial_nomenclature#Derivation_of_binomial_names lists some non-latin, non-greek examples. Also, while some taxonomists may be a bit sharper on their classics, modern scientists in the USA generally receive no mandatory formal training in Latin or Greek, though some of us did choose to pursue it. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/Archive65#Additional information about Hydnocarpus wightiana (December 2014).
Wavelength (talk) 18:38, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It is a constant source of amusement to speakers of a language how it is mangled by foreigners - for example São Paulo rendered as São Paolo. One area of debate on how names should be rendered into Latin concerns the spelling of the names of rulers. Following a line of authorities from JACOBUS to GEORGIVS some people wanted the present Queen's name on coins to be spelt ELIZABETHA. However, it was pointed out that the Hebrew nominative is unaltered in Latin (and it could have been mentioned that the coins of Elizabeth Tudor showed no variation in the name), so ELIZABETH it was. (talk) 01:24, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Elements 119-120[edit]

Now that all of the first 118 elements have been named, are scientists working some on trying to create atoms of elements 119-120?? If not, please explain what they're waiting for. Georgia guy (talk) 14:40, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

They are! But new technology is needed and 119 and 120 are stretching the limits of current technology. We should be able to get to these elements in the next five years (though it could be as soon as next year or as late as in ten years). Double sharp (talk) 15:00, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
See the Wikipedia articles titled Ununennium and Unbinilium. --Jayron32 17:25, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It might be more interesting to see different isotopes of previously identified elements. It can be frustrating because some tables - including in Wikipedia - don't clearly distinguish between isotopes that are not stable vs. never plausibly attempted. But as I recall, there are several of the "known" heavy elements where the heaviest isotope that has so far been created is also the most stable.
I should also add that due to the importance of these isotopes in the initiators of nuclear bombs (sort of a "blasting cap" if you will) I suspect we're not being told every last little thing known. Wnt (talk) 17:52, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, George, I'd like to respond a bit to the "explain what they're waiting for" bit, as it sounds like you may not understand the process under which science is done and scientists work. There aren't really avenues that scientists can explore (ethically, so I'm discounting things like just cutting off limbs to see what happens or challenges of human cloning) that they are just "waiting for," and not exploring. If they aren't doing something, there's probably a good reason. If it is beyond the limits of current technology or understanding, you can bet they aren't just "waiting," but rather are working to develop the needed technology or trying to discover the knowledge. That said, they need funding and support to do so. The lab I work in would certainly turn out results a lot faster if we could afford a new spectrometer, for example, but we don't have half a million dollars lying around to just spend on that. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 19:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Shorter: They're waiting back to hear whether their grant resubmission received a high enough score (that is, assuming it is within the "outstanding" category; if it is merely "excellent" they need not wonder) to get provisional funding, provided the budget isn't cut (which it will be). Wnt (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Genetics or disease?[edit]

What is the cause of extremely large buttocks on women if they dont over eat? Im talking at least 100" around. I saw one woman with this condition and wondered what causes it/ THe rest of her body seemed fairly normaL size but the buttocks wre HUGE?-- (talk) 20:24, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

see Steatopygia. Dr Dima (talk) 20:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Cultural_history_of_the_buttocks and sexual selection may also be relevant. Adipose tissue says, with two references "Female sex hormone causes fat to be stored in the buttocks, thighs, and hips in women." SemanticMantis (talk) 20:48, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It is worth following the Saartjie Baartman link at the end of that, more recognizable to an older audience as the "Hottentot Venus" (that referring to a somewhat offensive exonym for Khoikhoi people, a subset of Khoisan people. This is of course not the only race seen to have bizarre features by another, which is an interesting development both in terms of sexual selection[4] and perhaps in view of a potential role of assortative mating in beginning a movement toward future speciation; in particular, when the populations are exposed to each other, sympatric speciation. (I am not arguing by this that any such speciation event is yet underway, or ever will happen; only that when we look at these differences perhaps we get an intuitive insight on what speciation feels like for the populations involved. Is steatopygia repulsive or alluring? As you look at women like this more and more, how does your response to them develop? Does culture mean some people will never accept the trait while others will favor it, and if so, does that mean that culture can determine whether speciation occurs? Etc. You can think up questions to ask as fast as you can type, but it is deucedly hard to answer any of them.). Wnt (talk) 20:54, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The answer to your final question is "yes", provided that cultural norms can result in reproductive isolation. That claim is indeed hard to prove, but we do have some decent evidence. See the final two refs at sympatric speciation for what I think is some of the best contemporary evidence for sexual selection driving speciation. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Oh my, that was an interesting find! And not what I'd expected - from a few prior examples in insects I was expecting a large inversion to rule the day, not multiple small regions. Wnt (talk) 23:53, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

(OP) She was similar to Baartmaan but I think a bit bigger and rounder. Her mother was of fairly normal size. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

I am not sure if the OP is simply a racist troll (see the latest season of Souf Pahk) or historically ignorant. See Sir Mix a Lot. μηδείς (talk) 05:14, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

How can my posts be considered racist? I didnt mention the race of the woman I saw. She was white European actually so her race has no bearing on the reason for this condition. (talk) 18:03, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Make that sexist if you like, but asking what is wrong "disease or genes" with such people is a very parochial view to say the least. μηδείς (talk) 22:46, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
At no point did the OP suggest that the person or condition was "wrong", nor did they mention "diseases or genes", they merely asked the possible causes of something unusual. Are we not allowed to have any interest in the multifariousness of humanity? Putting words into another's mouth and then criticising them for those words seems to me to be sailing close to trolling in itself. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
To be clear, I tried hatting this, as casting such aspersions has no relevance to the business of answering questions but Medeis removed it. [5] And I was first to cite Sir Mixalot. I see no benefit in getting into editorializing - some people are going to love this trait and some are going to hate it, butt it is what it is. Wnt (talk) 01:21, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
OP here. Ok, lets generalise removing any contentious assumptions. What is the cause of extremely large butttocks and fat legs of people of either gender, any creed, religious belief, lifestyle, and of any race? Is it genetically inherited, or is it some sort of disease? (talk) 01:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Your question was answered in the very first response you got. You needn't ask it a second time. --Jayron32 02:07, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Light bulb life[edit]

I was about to buy these light blubs[6] until I read the fine print: "Rated Life: 750 hours". Is that a typo or what? That's a little over a month. ECS LIVA Z (talk) 22:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Looks correct. That bulb at other sites also lists 750 hours, as does the 150-watt version of the bulb. Incandescent bulbs generally seem to be listed as around 1000 to 1200 hours average life, depending on which search result you prefer (here's; it seems reasonable that a relatively high-wattage bulb would fall toward the lower end of the range. — Lomn 22:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
30% of the reviews are 1 star out of 5. I would probably look for a different bulb. Vespine (talk) 23:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
But did you read the bad reviews? It actually looks excellent. The reviews are neatly bifurcated into excellent and terrible, and specifically the bad reviews all state the bulbs were DOA. That's perfect. Either your bulbs will be broken before you open the box, or they'll all work just fine. So either they die within the return period, or you'll be happy with your purchase. Bad reviews for electronics are probably 5-10 fold overenriched, so probably most of the bulbs will be fine. In fact, the reviews go further and seem to agree that either all the bulbs in the box work, or most fail. This is the sort of review set that I look for when comparing products. I'd sooner take a fair chance of complete, immediate, and obvious failure, over a small chance of distant and subtle failure. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:29, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I think nobody reviews a light bulb after it burns out - the reviews won't give you an idea one way or the other.
Even taking ALL the above into account, a full 30% of the reviews being 1 start IS high, compare it to the reviews of other bulbs available on amazon.
I don't have a source to cite, but I believe that within conventional incandescent bulbs, if the life is shorter it's because the bulb burns hotter and therefore gives more light and a better (less orange) color of light. I've observed this myself when replacing the brighter light bulbs in my house. I'll probably replace them with LEDs soon. -- (talk) 23:16, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Was employed for a time as an industrial buyer. i.e., Sometimes bought light bulbs for use in industry. For example, bulbs that UK miners used on their helmet lamps had a tiny bit of krypton or xenon gas added. It made them burn brighter and last longer. They only cost a little bit more, so in the long run they where less expensive. Also did a lot of photography with high luminance photoflood bulbs which not only cost more but burnt out sooner. So, I was very conscious of bulb life – or rather the lack of. The long life bright industrial bulbs were not available retail to the general public (but you bet I took advantage for my torches) because there was less profit to be had by the manufacturers from selling longer lasting bulbs to uninformed hoi polloi. It all goes back to the Phoebus cartel to reduce bulb life. Now, manufacturers are promoting 50,000 hour LED (which equates to a normal night-time usage to over 30 years) but obsolescence is already being built in. Are your LED light bulbs burning out too soon?. --Aspro (talk) 01:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
All light bulbs have planned obsolescence. The could built bulbs that last essentially forever (and have, see Centennial Light), but they don't because there's no money in it. --Jayron32 02:16, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Here is an interesting article on this very topic --TrogWoolley (talk) 12:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
And because of the light being too orange. You can only heat a filament so hot and have it last a long time. -- (talk) 03:54, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You can also buy an incandescent light bulb with a very bright filament and a very short lifespan. They call them flashbulbs... :) --Guy Macon (talk) 05:08, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The Centennial light has been alive for so long because (1) it is orange, i.e. less hot than one would like it (see Black-body radiation or Incandescence), but also because (2) it is always on. What kills lightbulbs is the thermal stresses due to going from room temperature to a bit less than tungsten's melting point then back when switched, which happens multiple times per day in normal operation. If there is a cartel, that one bulb is not proof of it. TigraanClick here to contact me 12:47, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Answering the original question (kind of): if you intend to buy light bulbs in this day and age (2016) in the US, you need a very good reason to buy incandescent bulbs. LEDs are pricier when buying, but you break even quickly due to their lower energy consumption. Much longer lifetime is also an argument, but actually, based purely on electricity prices, it makes sense (in Europe at least, where electricity is more expensive) to switch to LEDs now if you own your house, without waiting for the bulbs to die off.
You can find detailed calculations online, but many are not really reliable sources. However, there is this page which says a LED saves $3.80 of electricity per year (give or take). If you assume you will use them for five years (again, assuming lifetime does not matter: a LED should last longer than that, an incandescent light bulb will often break sooner), it means you can pay $19 more for the LED than for the light bulb. The first LED I found for sale online is not even at that price. (OK, do the discounted cash flow calculations if you want, but it will be hard to come with a credible value of the rate of interest that warrants buying incandescent) TigraanClick here to contact me 13:22, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
One consideration to the contrary is that, here in the UK, most LED bulbs on sale are designed for different fittings than the "wide bayonet" of most traditional domestic light appliances and sockets, so in addition to the bulbs one would also have to replace each appliance or socket. This might well be economical during a general house rewiring or redecoration, but otherwise onerous.
A further factor is that, in the UK, we have in the last few years already gone through a government-sponsored push to replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, many of which initially proved to be too large to fit into existing appliances, lampshades etc., despite the actual wide bayonet fitting being the same; many of these early fluorescent bulbs also failed in short order, and many elderly people in particular found their colour too white and "harsh" even while their output was too dim. This fluorescent push was followed up by a more commercial promotion of halogen bulbs, which again have been difficult to find with sufficient output for many situations. LEDs therefore represent a third wave of change, following two unpopular ones, so for many the well has been poisoned. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:50, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I've had at least a dozen CFL bulbs stop working before their claimed lifetime, possibly because they are used in a cold environment where they take a long time to reach full brightness. I haven't tried halogen, and I find that LED bulbs emit more glare than illumination, though I see that the latest more expensive ones now claim a less harsh mix of wavelengths through the use of phosphor coatings. Dbfirs 00:01, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Do you mean on the LED or something else like the lens? Pretty much every white LED uses phosphor coatings. Nominally it might be possible to make them in other ways but almost no one ever does that. (The one exception is those RGB LEDs.) Raw LEDs have had many colour options for a very long time. I don't think it's been that different for bulbs although it's perhaps taken a while to get the right balance of size and heatsinking so the bulb doesn't die to fast. Actually from my experience it's much more difficult to get a real white (i.e. 5500K+) bulb than it is to get the yucky incandescent-emulating yellow light bulbs (3000-5000K) especially in good CRIs or from reputable companies and in MR16. In addition, it's true that getting a good light output profile requires a competent designer who choose a suitable LED, reflector and lens, and many of the earlier designs may not have been up to scratch. I would be incredibly surprised if it's difficult to get a wide bayonet fitting LED bulb, since it's trivial to get them here in NZ and we aren't exactly known for how quickly we get new technologies. It's true that it's better if you get a purposely designed LED fitting, but by now LED replacement bulbs seem to have reached a level where there's generally no reason not to use one in nearly all situations. The fact that other forms of LEDs are more common seems to be a moot point if it's trivial to get what you want. Nil Einne (talk) 08:19, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
It sounds as if New Zealand is ahead of the UK in this respect, or perhaps I have just not kept up with the last couple of years of improvements in the technology. I've seen standard BC LED bulbs on sale here recently, so I'll look at their light output and see if it's more pleasant than the earlier bare LEDs that I find harsh. I don't know anyone here in the UK who has moved over to LED bulbs yet, though there must be some. Cheap LED floodlights are common here, but their output is a high-temperature narrow-band wavelength, so the light is harsh and looks much brighter than it really is in terms of irradiance. Perhaps it's just my eyes that don't like single-frequency light? Dbfirs 09:49, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I recall a trick from obnoxious youth... a quick and measured flick of two fingers can put out an outdoor light bulb for good, or more interestingly, massively improve its brightness for a day or two before it dies. Wnt (talk) 19:08, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
That only worked with certain designs of filament support. After the light bulb had burnt out, careful manoeuvring of the filament could make it rejoin and weld together, burning more brightly for a while before it burnt out again. Dbfirs 19:24, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Lightbulb conspiracy makes me laugh AS IF some Chinese pirate company wouldn't have made it by now if it was so 'simple' to make a perpetual lightbulb. There's whole companies dedicated to making iPad knockoffs, but not a single factory has thought to make a lightbulb that doesn't burn out? The first company to do it would make an absolute killing. Vespine (talk) 22:16, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. In the 1970s, a company called Wynne Industries (if my memory serves me correctly after such a long time, but not to be confused with the more recent American company that uses that name) marketed "everlasting lightbulbs" in the UK. They were "guaranteed for life". They just had a higher-resistance filament that would reach full brightness at perhaps 270 volts, so emitted less light at the UK voltage of up to 250 volts. They lasted for years, with a much yellower light than normal bulbs, but eventually did burn out, by which time the company had gone out of business. They probably did make a killing, but not in an honest way. Dbfirs 23:34, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

if you are are more biologically matured for your age does that mean you will have a shortened life span?[edit]

if you are more matured for your age does that mean you have a shortened life span? (talk) 06:56, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Maybe. There's a well documented trend for faster-maturing vertebrates to live shorter lifespans on average [7], though things get quite fuzzy when you look at many individuals within a given species, with age of maturity only being slightly correlated with an individual's lifespan [8]. Specifically within humans, age of sexual maturity is associated with certain specific types of death. For instance, there is a small but very well documented increase in breast cancer risk with age of menarche [9]. Essentially, human or any vertebrate lifespan is largely dominated by lifestyle, some random uncontrollable factors, and rare but potentially significant mutations. Age of sexual maturity is going to impart a small statistical effect on the average lifespan of a group of people, but it is not individually predictive. Long story short, a group of people who mature very young probably lives a little shorter on average than a group of people who mature very late (but are otherwise all normal), but the individuals within each group will still be all over the place. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Agree. There is some evidence that the age of sexual maturity has a small impact on lifespan, such that in the aggregate women who sexually mature later tend to have somewhat longer lives. [10] Dragons flight (talk) 08:18, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Reliable evaluation of a popular science magazine[edit]

I recently learned of the magazine called Scientia [11], an imprint of "Science Diffusion" . Some of my colleagues seem to think this magazine is fine--even good. It is simply an open-access way to disseminate publicly funded science to the public around the world (see their info page, testimonials, etc at link above).

Others seem to think Scientia is along the lines of a predatory/scam journal. This guy [12] comments that it looks like an advertising agency for scientists, but admits it is outside his field of exposing predatory journals (search for 'scientia' on that page to find comment). I have searched online and found very little in the way of reliable information. Can anyone help out with assessments? One specific question: are they registered anywhere as a non-profit in good standing? Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 18:09, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I've never heard of the journal, but the publisher does not seem to be on Beall's list, which is a good sign. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:43, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • In their website, I cannot find the words "peer-reviewed" or "refereed". Thus it is anyone's guess what the quality of a specific article is. One "testimonial" refers to "go[ing] beyond the normal routes of scientific publishing"--in other words, avoiding the annoying process of peer review. Loraof (talk) 18:53, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Something like this is obviously not a "scientific paper"; assuming the rest are like it (I looked at three) this initially seems in the Science News class of publications about science rather than publications of science. Such publications are often more insightful than, say, newspapers, but they are not really a very direct source. The lack of extensive inline citations is obviously crippling. However, there is a big distinction from Science News in that, so far as I know, the writers for that publication are not explicitly hired by the researchers. An article of this type appearing in Science News would need to be marked "advertisement", because it's not strictly the call of an impartial news team initiating contacts about what they find interesting. So really, something like this is better compared to a press release like you might find on Eurekalert, except that unlike those which are typically written by university PR people, these are written by Scientia's PR people. That said, the press releases are ultimately accountable to the client, who is the researcher, and we usually welcome researchers explaining their work whether directly or via intermediary. I like Eurekalert (though it was badly dimmed after the hack - I haven't looked in a while to see if they started getting better stuff again), and often cited their press releases on Wikipedia side by side with the news articles (which are usually just slightly reworked from them) and primary publications (which do have to pass peer review, for what that's worth). Wnt (talk) 19:02, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • To be very clear: We all know this is not a peer-reviewed journal, nor does it claim to be. It does not present original research, nor any traditional "journal articles" or "research papers" or anything of the sort.
It is, as Wnt says, about science. I think it is best classed as a popular science magazine, perhaps along the lines of Popular Science or Discover or Scientific American, but I'm not sure. Like them, it does cite primary research that it reports on, usually several "real" journal articles referenced at the end. My question is more about whether this publication has esteem and reputation comparable to something like Scientific American, or if it is closer to a vanity press. I understand this is a somewhat subjective call, which is why I'm hoping to find third party comments. Yes, the scientists in question seem to pay a fee to cover publication costs in Scientia, but keep in mind that every single article we find at PLoS Biology has also had publication costs paid by the researchers, and that is not seen as a discredit to PLoS Bio, which is probably the most competitive and esteemed open-access journal. (As a side note, many funding agencies are now requiring open-access publication, and very esteemed traditional closed-access journals are now charging upwards of US$4k, paid by the researchers, to provide said access and comply with agency requirements).
Anyway, I'm still interested in other thoughts and references, just trying to clarify and avoid trips down the wrong paths, thanks. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:23, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You say it does not present original research, but the abstracts look like they are about a particular research group's research. And the testimonials (see Menu#Testimonials) say things like "the information from **our research** has now been made more publicly available" and " it has been a great dissemination of **my research**". One testimonial says the article appeared "in a recent journal edition"--note the intent implied by the use of "journal" rather than magazine.
I would say that this is less refereed than say Scientific American or Discover magazine: these publish things which the editors sought out based on what's in the literature, whereas Scientia seems to publish a particular research group's work based on the researchers asking them to. Loraof (talk) 22:47, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Right, they report on research that is published elsewhere in traditional peer-reviewed journals. The research being reported on is not original when it appears in Scientia, it is the topic of journalistic or press release type coverage. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:27, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • It looks like an article in Scientia is essentially a sort of fancy press release. In more detail, Science Diffusion is a publicity agency -- they are hired by scientists or their institutions, and then they in turn hire writers to write articles about the work done by the scientists. This is not predatory or a scam, it is simply paid editing. But clearly the results would not be usable as a source in Wikipedia. Looie496 (talk) 15:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Looie, that seems fair and accurate. User:Loraof, if you're curious, while I cannot say with any certainty that Scientia will not consider solicitations from researchers, I can say from firsthand experience that their editorial board does indeed seek out research groups to profile, which I why I asked the question. I think they must have been scanning the big grant agencies funded grant announcements to find my group. Thanks all for your input, very helpful sanity check. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:35, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

If a skyscraper's designed for weak Cat 4 hurricanes but not earthquakes?[edit]

What tornado speed is it proof for with no earthquake? What Richter scale value is it proof for with no wind? (structural damage, hurting people or snapping like a twig, not just cosmetics like a little crack or plaster chip). What's the Richter limit if an earthquake happens during that tornado or hurricane? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 21:42, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

The main problem with this question is "not being built for earthquakes" is not a defined "standard". A concrete bunker could be built "not for earthquakes" but might survive a nuclear blast, just because it's a concrete box. You could "hurricane proof" a tall building by putting extra concrete pillars, and this might ALSO confer quite a bit of earthquake resistance, OR you could "hurricane proof" a building by tying everything (walls and roof) down with extra strapping and fixings (screws, nails, stirrups, etc) which might not confer much earth quake "proofness" at all. This would entirely depend on too many factors to have any meaningful answer. Vespine (talk) 22:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
See FEMA's website about earthquake-resistant building codes and a report about Design and Structural Concerns for Hurricane Resistant Residences. There is not much overlap between the recommended measures. Blooteuth (talk) 15:36, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 2[edit]

Rabbit habit[edit]

Is it true that rabbits eat their own crap?-- (talk) 01:45, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Read Rabbit#Diet and eating habits. --Jayron32 02:06, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
There is a difference between being unable to vomit, and being unable too eat their own vomit. The way the question is phrased makes it all sound rather unpleasant, though in fact the rabbit has evolved a very neat and efficient solution to the problem of getting enough nutrients from a diet that would fairly quickly kill a human. Wymspen (talk) 10:50, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I was familiar with the term "pseudorumination", but apparently "caecotrophy" is of relevance. [13] Wnt (talk) 18:53, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Cecotrope is the word I know for special feces that serve a nutritive function. 19:30, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Here is an article about this topic, written by a veterinarian. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:30, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Strange we dont have an opinion from our very own rabbit, isnt it? (talk) 02:30, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Identify a weapon used by the South African Army[edit]

This weapon is clearly a rocket/missile launcher, but what type is it? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:46, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Starstreak - LML variant, with one of the three positions filled. This article has this picture of the right side of an empty LML for comparison. -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 13:07, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

What is the reason that not any mammal can be reproductive from another different mammal?[edit]

What is the reason that not any animals can be reproductive from another different animal? For example, two mammals like sheep and cow or even a sex of human with dolphin can not results in shared offspring. Just few animals are known to be successful with different mammals, such as: donkeys and horses that make together mule or hinny. so the question is What does make those two different mammals to be successful in reproduction)? is it the number of the chromosomes the key for the issue? and then any mammal which has the same number of chromosomes (2n=46) is matached to be reproductive with human being? (talk) 15:47, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Number of chromosomes is a factor, but not the exclusive one. Some mutant animals have extra or fewer chromosomes, yet can still reproduce with others of their species. Also, very different animals that happen to have the same number of chromosomes can not reproduce. To understand this, think about blood type. People with incompatible blood types can not share blood. For organ transplants, there are far more such factors to consider when tissue matching. Well, in our genetics there are even more such factors, making animals with two sets of incompatible genes unable to survive, meaning they may die in utero shortly after conception, if conception even occurs. StuRat (talk)
Organ/blood incompatibility is not the limitation - see chimera (biology). The evolution of reproductive isolation is a trickier thing. See speciation, hybridization. Actually, I remain very curious whether it is possible to select organisms that are good at hybridization, say, if you cross several species and keep selecting for those that form hybrids most effectively. There are naturally occurring animals that are somewhat infamous for their ability to hybridize, e.g. mallards, and conceivably they might show surprising ways to compensate for reproductive barriers. But I don't know any of that, nor is there good reason to think it true! Wnt (talk) 19:41, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Why do animals have hearts ?[edit] opposed to each blood vessel squeezing the blood past the next valve, in a process similar to intestinal peristalsis, only faster. I understand that some simple animals, such as worms, do use such a system, which would appear to be more fault tolerant and thus I would expect evolution to favor it. However, it must not scale up well. Why is this ? StuRat (talk) 15:52, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

A very round-about way of answering is asking why we have a 4-chamber heart. Consider just the heart and lungs so this doesn't need to take 30 pages of biology... One side takes blood from the lungs, full of oxygen, and pushes it out into the body. The other side takes dirty blood from the body and pushes it into the lungs. That can be done with two hearts. One to pull blood out of the lungs and push it through the body. The other to pull blood from the body and push it into the lungs. Why do we have two of nearly everything and only one heart when our system is designed for two hearts? With one heart, we don't have to keep it in sync. Both sides beat at the same time. It is simpler - and nature seems to like simple things. With that in mind, consider having about 500 miniature valvular hearts throughout the body. There is a lot of redundancy, but there is also a lot of room for error. Throughout evolution, blood circulation was consolidated to a single structure and then that structure split into chambers to perform multiple functions per beat. Please don't read this to imply that "evolution made it that way." As always, evolution is not an engineer. Evolution is just an observation of what happened in the past. (talk) 16:49, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Consider a system where an animal had hundreds - or thousands - of pumps distributed throughout their circulatory system. The distribution of nodes might be more fail resistant (not unlike the internet) but what happens if a few of those pumps fail? What happens if they pump out of rhythm? Sometimes it makes sense to put all your eggs in one basket if you're willing to build an extremely reliable basket. Matt Deres (talk) 17:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The heart does most of the work, but not all the work, in the human circulatory system. Please see the Skeletal-muscle_pump. Dr Dima (talk) 18:40, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Of some relevance to this is that some reptiles have a 3-chambered heart - see Reptile#Morphology and physiology. DrChrissy (talk) 20:18, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Humans have a three chamber heart for a significant time during development. Many people don't fully form a wall dividing the large chamber. It leads to multiple health problems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Atomic particle identification[edit]

I don't know how to express the following, please try to understand:

There is a particle you find sometimes after an artificial (man made) atom collision that exists in two places at the same time. Does anyone know what the name is? (talk) 18:20, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

I believe that applies to all sub-atomic particles, before or after collisions. See wave function and Heisenberg uncertainty principle. StuRat (talk) 18:57, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm not thinking of anything specific either, but see two-slit experiment. Wnt (talk) 18:58, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that might be what they meant. There's no collision involved, but the particle sent towards the slits behaves as if it travels through both slits at the same time. Here we get into wave-particle duality. StuRat (talk) 19:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Are you guys sure, cause I'm not. All I recall (which could be wrong), a rare particle displays in two places at the same time after bursting an atom, in less than a milli/nano second or so... (talk) 08:10, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

supermassive black holes[edit]

Scientists have found black holes that are several billion solar masses. Is there evidence or scientific speculation of much more massive black holes, perhaps trillions, octillions or even more solar masses? (talk) 19:26, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

See Supermassive black holes, which states that there is no known mechanism for the generation of so-called ultramassive black holes, and that there is thought to be a limit of the size. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:17, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The actual paper that produced that claim [14] only states that black holes cannot grow beyond this size through the consumption of an accretion disk, while they can still grow further through black hole collisions. The maximum size of a black hole that expands through accretion is proposed to be 50 billion solar masses in ordinary conditions, and 270 billion solar masses in "perfect" conditions. Black holes beyond this size, not having a visible accretion disk, would be hard to detect. Someguy1221 (talk) 22:48, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

alcohol hand gel[edit]

Please can you tell me what percentage of alcohol this specific product contains, and whether or not it will kill most bacteria and fungi within 30 seconds. The page is vague and does not say. I see these hand gels in hospitals and I want to know if they would be effective. Thanks for your help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

You might do better by asking the makers.
As to its effectiveness, then many products will kill or remove "most" bacteria. However that's nothing like effective enough. Even the much touted TV advert claims of "Kills 99% of all known germs" are nothing like effective enough - 1% of a contamination remaining will still be "contaminated", in practical terms.
Alcohol gels are remarkably effective though, compared to handwashing with soap. Their other advantage is that they're effective even with poor technique - unlike soap, which needs conscientious scrubbing to be comparably effective. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:54, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
FYI, I had to reload your link as the first time I clicked it, I was redirected to the suppliers homepage. Anyway, the SDS for product 5665-02-INT00 is here: [15] It doesn't discuss effectiveness, but it does identify the key ingredients as Sodium Laureth Sulfate >=1 to <5 and Cocamidopropyl Betaine >=1 to <5. I would describe this as a standard hand soap. It has no particularly special properties and though all soaps are effective are removing bacteria, this one has no claim to being special in that regard. Please note that the manufacturer, Purell, also makes products that are intended for healthcare use, including ones certified for use by surgeons and others requiring a highly effective antibacterial soap. Some of those products come in similar form factors, so if you were expecting this soap to be especially germicidal, perhaps you indicated the wrong product number. Dragons flight (talk) 22:37, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]

Is Glicine not chiral?[edit]

In this video (10:20>) the woman says that the Glycine is not chiral because it has 2 different group only rather than four. Then I can understand from her things that amino acid can be chiral just in case that it has 4 different groups. But I don't understand why when even it has only two different groups it can not be chiral, here is the group of the left side can be on the right and vice versa and it is chiral since it has a mirror image as well. (talk) 02:00, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

This is one of those questions where it would help if you had something physical to model the molecule with, like any stick-and-ball molecule kit. If you were to build both glycine and any mirror-image, you would find that you could make the two molecules identical simply by rotating bonds or the whole model around, and therefore conclude that all mirrored forms of glycine are actually glycine. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:13, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
I do have a physical model here and I still don't understand why it's not chiral if you rotate it the same as doing with the hand. (talk) 02:58, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I guess I don't fully understand what the hangup is. If you take like, clay or plastic models of the left- and right-hand, it's quickly obvious that no amount of rotations will make them identical. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:20, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

What does the word "cis" (of cis isomer) stand for?[edit]

I know what it is cis but I don't know what is the meaning of the word itself. (talk) 03:00, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

It means "on this side of", the OED has "Latin cis prep. ‘on this side of’, opposed to trans or ultra, across, beyond; also used in comb. as in cis-alpīnus, cis-montānus, lying on this side the Alps or the mountains, cis-rhenānus on this side the Rhine, cis-tiberis on this side the Tiber. The two first of these esp. continued in use in medieval Latin in reference to Rome and Italy, whence Italian cisalpino, French cisalpin, cismontain, cisalpine adj., cismontane adj." and for the chemical sense "Designating a compound in which two atoms or groups are situated on the same side of some plane of symmetry passing through the compound; cis-trans isomerism, a form of isomerism in which in one isomer two identical groups are on the same side of the plane of a double bond whereas in the other isomer they are on opposite sides; so cis-trans isomer". See also Cis–trans isomerism for discussion of its use in chemistry. DuncanHill (talk) 03:16, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I've read the article here before I asked my question. Now I understand that the meaning of "cis" in Latin is "on the same side". I think that such essential information should be in the article which talks about the cis isomer. (talk) 04:44, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
If you mean the article Duncan cited, it's there in the first paragraph:
The terms “cis” and “trans” are from Latin.
-- (talk) 05:24, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

What do the letters Pk stands for in chemistry (acids & basis)?[edit]

I know the meaning but not what each letter stands for. By gogleing I didn't find the answer. (talk) 04:43, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

p = -log, K = the constant for which you want to find the -log. 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:4194:43D8:DAB4:1C6C (talk) 05:53, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
It might stand for concentration of potassium K. See pH. Dolphin (t) 06:17, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
PH#History discusses the historical meaning of "p". Sørensen never stated exactly why he chose "p", but it is generally thought to mean logarithmic power, as the IP above me stated. "K" has a long history of being used as a reaction constant in chemistry, at least since 1864 (see Law_of_mass_action#History), though I haven't found any explanation as to why the authors chose K, though it could be as simple as the fact that "constant" in Norwegian (the native language of the first author I know to have used it) is konstant. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:22, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

What the heck is a "wedge connector", and should there be a Wikipedia article about it?[edit]

Hello RD/S folks,
I deleted the article "Wedge connector" as a copyvio/advertising only page. Copyvio/advertising only pages I know about. Electrical connectors, not so much. And by "not so much", I mean that "me and a soldering iron" might be a plausible redirect to WP:CIR.
I've googled, and would appear to me that this thingumabob is a type of connector for power lines, particularly near electrical substations.
Should there be an article, or section in an article, about "wedge connectors"?
Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 09:12, 3 December 2016 (UTC)


November 28[edit]

Qualities or properties of Quadratic equations (parabola) and linear equations[edit]

For quadratic functions, I already know that we need to know the vertex, axis of symmetry, x-intercepts, y-intercepts, whether it goes down or up, and whether it has minimum or maximum value. What else do we need to know? Also, for the linear equations, I already know that we need to know the x-intercepts, the y-intercepts, whether it goes from bottom right to top left or it goes from bottom right to top left, and the slope. What else do we need to know about the linear equation? Donmust90 (talk) 02:03, 28 November 2016 (UTC)Donmust90Donmust90 (talk) 02:03, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

What one "needs to know" is context-dependent, conditional on what one needs it for. In your case, the most likely answer is "go ask your teacher." If that's not the right context then you should try to ask a better question. --JBL (talk) 03:52, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
With a linear function we can determine, just by observation, the slope, the x-axis intercept and the y-axis intercept. (If the slope is zero, the image of the function is parallel to the x-axis. If the slope is positive, the image of the function slopes from low-left to high-right. If the slope is negative, the image of the function slopes from high-left to low-right. If the slope is undefined, it is parallel to the y-axis.)
In some questions we are not told the function but instead are told the coordinates of two points that lie on the image of the function; or we are told the slope, and the coordinates of one point. In such questions we can determine the function.
With a quadratic polynomial function we can proceed in a similar way to the above, but there are added challenges. See your text book. Dolphin (t) 06:19, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Can or be constructed? יהודה שמחה ולדמן (talk) 17:28, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

You can always construct the geometric mean of two given lengths. Which means that if you are given a unit interval, you can construct the square root of any given number. This means you can construct and in general . But I believe you can't construct any other roots of 2. For example, is famously non-constructible, so can't be constructed either. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:11, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
So how do we construct as height in the right triangle with hypotenuse  ? יהודה שמחה ולדמן (talk) 18:54, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
You can see the details of the construction at -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

"Equivalent to" vs "Approximately" symbols[edit]

What is the difference between these symbols: ≍ ≈ ? I've seen "≈" used many times before (i.e. Pi ≈ 3.14). But "≍" is new to me. It seems they have a similar meaning? -- (talk) 21:06, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The ≍ symbol is sometimes used to denote equivalent "order of magnitude" in asymptotic analysis, for example, in Asymptotic notations. --Mark viking (talk) 21:49, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Wolfram Alpha indefinite integral[edit]

According to Wolfram Alpha, . Numerically and algebraically this doesn't seem right (I don't think the differential of the right hand side simplifies to the left). Does Mathematica also give this result? If this is wrong, is there a nice closed form, or what is WA doing here? (talk) 04:58, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

  • Convenience links: [16], [17]. It does not look right, but I have no idea what is happening. TigraanClick here to contact me 08:14, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • What it's doing is clearly applying the standard rule for integrating polynomials () and then substituting without realizing that this is itself a function of x. This is presumably wrong. As far as I can tell, there is no closed form solution. Otherwise, by making the substitution , you could rewrite it as , which when you ignore the constants is effectively , and this definitely has no closed solution. Smurrayinchester 09:35, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Mathematica does not have this error. Evaluating Integrate[x^Sqrt[x], x] simply gives no results, which strongly indicates that there is no elementary solution. And yes, it does seem that in this case WA treats the as a constant even though it's obviously not.
I have submitted a bug report to Wolfram about this. I wouldn't keep my hopes up though, there is a different bug report I've submitted a year ago which still hasn't been resolved.
I'm a big fan of Mathematica but things like this are rather disappointing. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:58, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
So I haven't seen an actual refutation yet. The tempting error looks suspect, but there are things like that — see sophomore's dream.
But if I haven't made a mistake, it's not hard to refute numerically. Letting
then applying logarithmic differentiation, we get
which I plugged into a spreadsheet to compare with the integrand, and they are not the same. For example, for x=0.0001, I get dz/dx=0.8659568231, but the integrand is 0.9120108394. I could have made a mistake of course. Someone could check me. --Trovatore (talk) 21:07, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Numeric refutation is the most direct, but is not easy to share. I did my own numeric evaluation before moving further, but it's not like I was going to actually post the entire calculation here. Perhaps I should have written something to the effect of "I have refuted it numerically", but it seemed too obvious.
Furthermore, there were actually two refutations here: The link by Tigraan that shows the derivative of the result is quite different from the original function; and Smurrayinchester's proof that if the function did have an elementary antiderivative, a different function would also have one which I believe is known to have none. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 23:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, checking whether two complicated expressions are equal is a hard problem, I believe undecidable in general. And even if we know that there is no elementary antiderivative of xx, it's not immediate that there's none for x3x. --Trovatore (talk) 23:34, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

December 2[edit]

Number of Factorizations[edit]

Hi, I know that (ring of integers modulo n) is not a Unique Factorization Domain (for non-prime n), so there're numbers with non-unique factorization. So, my question is: how many factorizations modulo n exist for a number m? עברית (talk) 07:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm being dim, but do you have an example showing that Zn isn't a UFD? --RDBury (talk) 00:27, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
They mean for instance 1=1x1=2x3=4x4 (mod 5). I don't know what the mean by factorizations though - one could have any number of factors like for instance 2x2x2x2 or 4x3x3. Dmcq (talk) 00:44, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Zn is not a domain (except if n is prime), so it can't be a UFD. That doesn't mean it doesn't have the unique factorization property though. But I just thought of an example: 6=2⋅3=2⋅3⋅3=2⋅3⋅3⋅3=2⋅3⋅3⋅3⋅3... (mod 12) so the number of factorizations is infinite. --RDBury (talk) 01:09, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

@Dmcq: Z5 is a field, so all values (except 0) are units, and there are no primes. None of your examples really count as distinct "factorizations" in this context; factors of units are ignored. --Trovatore (talk) 01:22, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Website that helps you make math questions[edit]

Is there a website that helps you make a math question like for example I want to make a math question about set theory. In this question, I want to make three circles Venn diagram connecting together and each circle has a number like 23 people like comedy genre movies only, 24 people like action genre movies only, 19 like horror genre movies only, 5 people like comedy and action movies but not horror, 6 people like action and horror movies but not comedy, and 10 people like comedy and horror movies but not action and in the middle of the diagram, 10 people like all three movie genres. Then, I make questions like what is A ∩ C ∩ H, A ∩ C ∪ H, and etc? Donmust90 (talk) 15:24, 2 December 2016 (UTC)Donmust90Donmust90 (talk) 15:24, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

I would approach this by Googling for blank Venn diagrams with the appropriate number of circles, then edit them to add the elements you want. You might consider just putting single letters and maybe digits in the diagram, allowing 26 or 36 elements (you can add Greek letters, etc., if you need more), and then use an index to map each to the full description. Otherwise, the Venn diagrams can get very crowded quickly. MS Paint allows you to add text to an existing pic, as do any number of software packages. StuRat (talk) 15:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]


November 28[edit]

Cixi and Guangwu[edit]

When Empress Dowager Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor fled to Xian after the Boxer Rebellion where did they live in during their exile in Xian? They left Beijing on 14 August 1900 and did not return to the capital until January 1902. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 01:17, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Well, that's a lot more obscure than it ought to be. It's not even mentioned in our History of Xi'an article. I was going nowhere until I remembered that in my far-off school days, Cixi was called Tz'u-Hsi [18] and that led me to Sian, the former transliteration of Xi'an. Anyhow, by a lot of Googling book titles, I eventually came to Through hidden Shensi (1902) by Francis Henry Nichols, an American charity worker, who arrived in Sian three weeks after Tz'u-Hsi (or Tsz' Hi as he calls her) had returned to Beijing. From page 203 to page 208, Nichols describes the Imperial progress through the countryside, staying at the residences of local governors or in official inns ("kung kwan") and accompanied by "wholesale decapitation" of those who displeased her. On page 209, he describes the former viceroy's residence "in a park in the northern part of Sian" which was renovated for the use of the Dowager Empress. "The whole area, comprising about fifdteen acres, was then inclosed with a high brick-wall, in evident imitation of the forbidden city in Pekin". A photograph of the elaborate gateway faces page 210. He managed to persuade an official to give him a tour of the complex, which he describes in the following pages. Identifying whether these buildings are still standing today has eluded me. Alansplodge (talk) 19:20, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Mini pianos with 12 keys?[edit]

Are there mini-pianos for training scales? That is, twice 12 keys? Llaanngg (talk) 01:27, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Here are some with 25 keys. --Jayron32 09:37, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Those are toys though, this kind of thing is better. --Viennese Waltz 10:14, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
That is not much more than a toy either, with its "mini keys". For "training scales" - which I assume means "learning to play scales on a piano" - you need full-size keys, preferably weighted (i.e not on springs), and at least four octaves (49 keys - which will of course only allow a scale of three octaves in most keys). For learning the fingerings one of these might be a better option. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 14:59, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
(ec) Yours is also a toy,User:Viennese Waltz , and as above, it's also designed for little fingers. And these keys are not weighted. --Llaanngg (talk) 15:02, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
The ones in Jayron's link are clearly designed to appeal to children, with their bright colours and superhero graphics. That's what I meant when I said they were toys. The one in my link may not be much good for learning to play scales either, but it's not explicitly designed to look like a child's plaything. --Viennese Waltz 17:28, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't aware the super-hero pictures altered the way it produced sound. --Jayron32 17:33, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Don't be silly! You'll be claiming that go-faster stripes don't make a car go faster next. {The poster formerly known as} — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
It's defined as a toy by what it looks like, not by the way it produces sound. --Viennese Waltz 07:59, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

2016 US House election data[edit]


I am wondering if Wikipedia has the 2016 US House election results in a data set that I would be able to use for my own research, if not, can you direct me to where your information came from? I have checked many other sites, and Wiki currently has the most complete and succinct list.

I appreciate your time167.206.48.221 (talk) 04:21, 28 November 2016 (UTC)Crystal — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:19, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

You could do a copy-and-paste into whatever document you're working on. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:27, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • If you're looking for a good way to extract the data, just copying the HTML tables into Excel usually does the trick, although you might have to fix a bit of formatting afterwards. Smurrayinchester 09:25, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
You really need the official numbers from the US Government: says they will be available at in mid-2017; but if you need them sooner, you can go one by one to each state's election office, where they will be posted no later than Dec 19. (talk) 18:12, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
You might be able to use Pandoc to convert the wikitext of those tables into a more palatable file format, with less pain than trying to scrape HTML. Wikidata might be a good place to share the output. (talk) 02:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Betrayal of Anne Frank[edit]

Who betrayed Anne Frank, her family and the other 4 people in hiding and why? (talk) 18:15, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

According to the Wikipedia article you just linked, her betrayer has never been identified. The same article also notes several suspected informants, but no one has been firmly identified as the one. --Jayron32 18:38, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

What do you think why the unknown person informed the Nazis where they were hiding? He/she betrayed them because...? (talk) 16:16, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Since we don't know who betrayed Anne Frank, we don't know their motive for sure either. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:29, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
CautionThe person who asked this question is a multiple block evader. Please do not feed this troll. David J Johnson (talk) 22:46, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Defending abortion without defending infanticide[edit]

According to here, Abortion debate#Fetal personhood in the second paragraph it says that one person concedes that infants do not qualify as persons according to the criteria for personhood mentioned in the first paragraph. The second paragraph says that defenders of the criteria respond that reversibly comatose patients do fit the criteria, but not infants. How could one defend the criteria in such a way without defending infanticide? I'm not asking for arguments in favour of abortion which don't use the criteria.Uncle dan is home (talk) 00:41, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Given a certain definition of personhood, the difference between a patient in a reversible coma and a fetus is that the former is a once-and-possibly-future person, while the latter is merely a possibly-future person. Critics of potential-personhood-centered pro-life arguments often take the concern over potential-future-persons to the extreme and insist that one should conclude that even sperm and eggs would be protected under such criteria. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
And another definition is life starts at conception and potential human doesn't mean anything. Otherwise people should multiply as fast as possible till whatever the Earth can take (36 billion?) then instantly switch to replacement-level fertility cause otherwise they're preventing future lives. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

What about the difference between an infant and fetus?Uncle dan is home (talk) 19:38, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

It's not a sharp partition, but a fuzzy transition. But just because it is a genuinely hard problem to determine where exactly the transition takes place does not mean that we cannot identify clear examples of one case of the other. A very early foetus does not meet any definition of personhood. A healthy young child certainly meets most. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
  • The issue with the abortion debate is an issue of what social scientists call Framing. How you view the issue depends on how you "frame" the issues in context. "Should we kill innocent babies or not" is a different "frame" than "Does restricting access to abortion result in better health outcomes for society as a whole". The defense of legal abortion is not in redefining personhood to make aborting a fetus more acceptable, the defense of legal abortion centers around a more nuanced view which is that health outcomes are better in a society with access to abortion, and that reducing abortions (which is still a goal of the pro-choice crowd) is accomplished not by restricting access to abortion, but through education, access to birth control, raising the socioeconomic status of women, etc. --Jayron32 20:06, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
See also the "infanticide argument" part of Philosophical aspects of the abortion debate. Possibly of interest is the Beginning of human personhood. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 16:31, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Indigenous Protestant clergymen of Polynesia[edit]

Who was/were the first indigenous Protestant clergymen (i.e. Pastors or Reverends) of Polynesia? --KAVEBEAR (talk) 01:45, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

I haven't read it, but this book looks promising. --Jayron32 16:18, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
This page notes that Pomare II was the first Polynesian to be baptised, which was done in 1819. That would give you a date to start looking for the first native clergymen; it would have been a considerable time after that. --Jayron32 16:21, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Well I know the answer for the Hawaiian side: James Kekela in 1849. But that still doesn't mean other pastors/ministers could have been ordained before then in other parts of Polynesia. I know the early missionaries had people they called native helpers or lay preacher but I'm not speaking about those.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 19:20, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Moorish Revival landscaping[edit]

I am researching landscaping solutions that would complement a city's Moorish Revival architecture. This is somewhat complicated by the city's humid continental climate. Almost all examples of Moorish Revival architecture I find are from areas of either Mediterranean or subtropical climate, which means the plants are not cold-hardy. Can someone tell me where to look? Any significant examples of Moorish Revival landscaping in continental climate? Surtsicna (talk) 03:25, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Humid continental climate
You can use the two articles you linked to find a list of buildings that qualify as that type of architecture and are located in a city that matches the coloured-in areas on this map. Examples would include Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Neue Synagogue in Berlin, Vorontsov Palace in Crimea, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, etc. If this answer failed to understand the question, please post a clarification. (talk) 12:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Mangareva and the Gambier Islands Annexation[edit]

I'm trying to find the exact date for the annexation of Mangareva and the Gambier Islands but it seems there are two different ones reported: 21 February 1881 when the island chiefs and Henri Isidore Chessé signed an agreement and then another date "23 February 1881" which seems to be a revision of the existing native law code. My confusion with this is why did annexation dated to the latter date instead, These are the two sources I've been using [19] and [20]. However there are more ones out there. Please someone with the knowledge of French or the patience to copy and paste French text to Google Translate, help me understand the reason for this dual dating. Some sources with the 23 February [21]. Thanks.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 05:49, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The sources say the same thing but disagree on the date: that the inhabitants of Gambier Islands were convened in solemn assembly and voted in favor of annexation. The problem is, as you state, that some say the assembly was convened on February 21 and others on February 23rd. There is no indication that the meeting lasted more than a day either, so that's not the source of the discrepancy. Both sources are relatively close to the events themselves, but still a few years removed, so it's hard to say which one of them is correct. --Xuxl (talk) 14:02, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

This source [22] confirms les habitants demanderent le 21 fevrier 1881 l'annexation a la France, and their wish was granted two days later. (talk) 00:59, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

It says the treaty was ratified by the President of France the following year in January 1882 not February 23, 1887.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:14, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Here are some details which can be interesting.« An agreement [actually, a request for annexation] is concluded between the King [Bernardo, probably], the leaders of islands Mangareva (Gambier) and representative of the Government in Oceania [M. Chessé], on February 21st 1881 » [Les intérêts français dans l’océan Pacifique ; Paul Deschanel (deputy, at this time) ; 1888 ; p. 70-71].... « The annexation was pronounced on February 23rd 1881. » [Les colonies françaises, un siècle d’expansion coloniale ; M. Dubois & A. Terrier ; 1901 ; p. 1028] --Mistig (talk) 22:43, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

How do we know about usage of ancient buildings?[edit]

For example, How do we know that Colosseum was used for gladiator? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 11:27, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Archaeology and studying written contemporary sources.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 11:33, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
See, for instance, Inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre, which mentions the works of Suetonius and Cassius Dio and Martial. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:36, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
How archeology can tell us By the 2nd century BC the area was densely inhabited? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 11:43, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
You may be interested to read Post-excavation analysis, and this article from Slate. (talk) 12:10, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
One thing that we don't know is exactly how the Colosseum's awning or velarium worked, which sheltered the audience from the sun. There are a few tantalising hints by classical writers and the physical remains on the top tier, but nobody really knows for sure how the vast opening at the top of the amphitheatre could be shaded. [23] [24] Alansplodge (talk) 17:13, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

2016 Presidential Election[edit]

How did Hillary Clinton manage to lose all three battle ground states and 3 of the blue wall states. I can understand splitting but going 1 for seven? (talk) 14:56, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The polls got it wrong. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:37, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Not even very wrong. National polls were wrong by about 2%, which as it happened was enough to flip many battlegrounds and a few of the less secure traditionally Democratic states. [25] It's not magic, a more popular candidate will win more states. This year the polling was off which gave many Clinton supporters a false sense of confidence, but historically pollsters often make systematic errors of a few percentage points by misjudging who is going to turn out to vote. Dragons flight (talk) 15:58, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually, this year the more popular candidate won less states. Clinton was more popular by 1.7%, well north of 2,000,000 more votes. She only won 20 states + DC, or 21/51. Trump, with less votes, won 31/51 states and 306/538 electoral votes. The reason for that is that a vote in California (the most populous state) is only worth 1/4th of a vote in Wyoming (the least populous state). You can dominate the electoral college by appealing to the low-population rural states, which is what Trump did, because the voters in those states "count" more towards the presidential election than do the voters in high-population, more urban states. See here for a breakdown of what a person in each state is "worth" to the electoral college process, and here for a more broad-based social analysis of how Trump won. That analysis seems to show that the difference was in Rust Belt voters who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, and switched to Trump in 2016, which pushed former Great Lakes Region states, traditionally Democratic strongholds, into the Red camp. --Jayron32 18:25, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you're right, Clinton won the popular vote. In my head, I was actually thinking something along the lines of being more popular compared to expectations and thus winning more states than expected, but obviously I did not express that. Dragons flight (talk) 19:14, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, she "won" the popular vote in the sense that she got more than Trump. She was well short of a majority.
In particular, her popular-vote margin over Trump was less than half of substantially less than the votes that went to Gary Johnson. It's not clear how those voters would have voted in a two-person race. Johnson was a Republican as governor of New Mexico, and in ordinary circumstances I would expect him to pull in more votes from Republicans than from Democrats, but on the other hand a lot of the votes Johnson got from Republicans might have been from Republicans who would never have voted for Trump ever ever ever. So it's a little hard to say. --Trovatore (talk) 04:02, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
How many times did she go to these states to campain, compare to Donald Trump, after the conventions? Dja1979 (talk) 18:26, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
At least in the final weeks (not sure about right after the convention) she did relatively little campaigning in those states, with some outlets (maybe unreliably) reporting that there was major conflict within the Clinton organization because of that. Bill Clinton purportedly got into a big argument with Hillary's campaign management, saying they were making bad calls by staying out of those places. (Although Hillary herself didn't campaign much there, Bill made multiple appearances on her behalf). The usual narrative about the rust belt is that people there blamed its economic decline since the 1990s on NAFTA, a trade agreement signed by Bill when he was president, that was seen as exporting jobs to Mexico. Trump campaigned hard on a protectionist platform opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and that gained him considerable support in the midwestern industrial (rust belt) states. (talk) 02:30, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Belgium - Netherlands land swap[edit]

This article indicates that the final impetus for the land swap between the two countries is linked to an investigation, and the explanation includes how very difficult it was for the Belgian officials to cross the river by boat. I live in New Jersey, and if the Maas River is anything like the East River or the Hudson River, I don't understand what the big deal is. What is this major obstacle or crossing a river all about? DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 17:06, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The article links [26] which says "no proper landing zone for boats or equipment coming in by water" and "You had to jump from the boat onto the shore. You needed to be in shape for this." They are not building shore facilities for a few acres. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:33, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Such transfers are actually not uncommon in order to make things easier for law enforcement, and especially when rivers change course. For example, check out this book which mentions a 1950 land swap between the US states of Kansas and Missouri for exactly this reason. Blythwood (talk) 21:56, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Territorial evolution of the United States mentions several such changes. There's also the dozens of transfers between the U.S. and Mexico required when the Rio Grande gets straightened or floods. On the other hand, sometimes no one wants to change - for example, Carter Lake, Iowa, is on the west side of the Missouri and seems to have no desire to join Nebraska. --Golbez (talk) 22:01, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
There are MANY such locations in the U.S. where land swaps never occurred, not just Carter Lake, but also places like Kaskaskia, Illinois and Corona, Tennessee and the Kentucky Bend and Marble Hill, Manhattan, and many others. --Jayron32 04:03, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The Kentucky Bend is different; that simply stems from the definition of Kentucky being "the area above a certain line, on this side of the Mississippi". They didn't realize the Mississippi curled back across that line a couple of times. Similar to Point Roberts, Washington, though in that case they did appear to know the coastline crossed the border more than once and simply let it be. --Golbez (talk) 04:46, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the 49° survey would seem to have started at Point Roberts, given that the border monuments are numbered from there. —Tamfang (talk) 00:05, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Talking about odd borders and law enforcement problems, incidentally, reminds me of the slightly off-topic Yellowstone Murder Zone. Blythwood (talk) 08:47, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Successful assassination of Castro - what would it have accomplished?[edit]

Apparently at one point, the American government made great efforts to make Fidel Castro dead. Him personally, not the government he led. There were attempts to undermine and overthrow his government too, and even invade his country, but lets put that aside. I'm purely interested here in the attempts to kill him personally.

My question is, assuming such efforts had yielded fruit and Castro was killed, what would they have practically accomplished. Political assassinations of this sort, from what I understand, historically generally fail to accomplish the political goals of the assassin. Did Castro represent someone who was truly politically irreplaceable to his regime? Was his potential successor (most likely Fidel's brother Raúl) deemed any more amenable to U.S. interests at that point? (NOW, decades later, in a drastically different international geopolitical environment, is a different story). Was there the slightest chance that if Castro was successfully killed, his regime would somehow spontaneously come crashing down? Have any "alternative history" historians (those who speculate on what might have been) commented on what actually would have happened in the way of Cuba's political trajectory had Castro been successfully killed - and whether there was any realistic chance of it causing a regime or policy change in Havana which would have been favourable to U.S. interests? Or do they deem a successful killing of Fidel as something which, whilst perhaps emotionally satisfying to America, would not have really changed the overall situation? Eliyohub (talk) 15:08, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

There is some discussion here - though probably not very academic in tone - Wymspen (talk) 15:26, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that, amateur as it is. It seems that others agree that the mere death of Fidel would have been extremely unlikely to lead to any real shift in Cuba's political orientation, unless they could then bump off Raul as well, and even then, would things in Havana become more favorable to the Americans...doubtful? The Soviets could have always helped a replacement get a proper grip on power, couldn't they? Eliyohub (talk) 17:54, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The belief in the U.S. was based on the notion that Castro was a totalitarian dictator whose power was based on a cult of personality more than as merely the current leader of a particular stable government system. --Jayron32 17:28, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
That he was a totalitarian dictator, I do not doubt. But other regimes based on personality cults, the biggest example being North Korea, have survived the death of the "cult leader", and the passing of the torch to a new member of the "cult family". So is there any realistic reason to think Cuba would be any different? Or was this wishful thinking? Fidel is now dead, the transition to brother Raul was smooth, so would it have been different then? Eliyohub (talk) 17:46, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It might be instructive to read about Ngo Dinh Diem and see how well that turned out. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:04, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It may depend on a couple important factors:
1) How early it happened. Early on Cubans were hopeful for free elections and many people who favored that were still there. Decades later, Cubans who had hoped for democracy had given up, fled or been executed. Put another way, there was no civil society left to take control.
2) Whether the assassination could be made to look like an accident. The US assassinating Fidel may have made enemies out of those who were opponents of Fidel, but nonetheless are even more opposed to their leader being assassinated by a former colonial power. StuRat (talk) 18:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Humiliation of Germany after ww1[edit]

How was Germany humiliated after ww1? (talk) 18:57, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

See World War I reparations which discusses all of reparations and concessions that Germany and the other Central Powers got at the end of World War I. --Jayron32 19:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Clarification: by "got", Jayron means that these requirements were imposed on the defeated countries, like saying that a sports team "got a penalty". -- (talk) 23:11, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Yeah. I should have said what you said. --Jayron32 00:22, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
In addition to reparations, the Treaty of Versailles imposed substantial territorial changes, massively reducing the area of Germany. German people who had lived in Germany all their lives found that their homes were now in the new countries of Poland or Czechoslovakia, and that their new governments bore them no goodwill. There were also military restrictions which prevented the German Army from having tanks and artillery, the Navy from having submarines or large battleships and altogether forbade an air force. For a country used to being a military super-power, this was a bitter pill. Alansplodge (talk) 11:28, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Also, the blame of WW1 largely on Germany was humiliating, regardless of the reparations. In reality, the system of "entangling alliances" was largely to blame, on both sides, where successively larger powers were required to enter the war on the side of a smaller power who was at war, causing a tiny war to escalate out of control. StuRat (talk) 15:32, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
They weren't that innocent really; "At this time [July 1914] the German military supported the idea of an Austrian attack against Serbia as the best way of starting a general war" according to July Crisis#German attitude to war. Alansplodge (talk) 16:34, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Major academic journals[edit]

Hello! Could anyone help clarify as to weather or not Palestine Exploration Quarterly would be considered a major journal in the field of archaeology? If there is some way of quantifying the "level" of an academic journal in general, that would be helpful too. Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk 22:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Impact factor is a common means of journal ranking. --Jayron32 00:24, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Sites like this one show that PEQ is a very low impact journal. Most of its articles are never cited, and those that are cited, rarely so. For the most recent quarter, it is ranked as the 64th most impactful journal in the field of archaeology. These rankings of course mean nothing about the trustworthiness of the journal, but suggest that most of the work published therein is pretty low-profile. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:01, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
All that, of course, does not necessarily relate to whether content in such a journal merits inclusion in content here. While in general it probably would be the case that an article with contrary opinions in a higher impact journal might carry more weight, if eventually some reference work refers specifically to an article in one lower-impact journal as a source, but no articles in other, generally higher-impact journals, the piece in question could obviously still be used as a source here. John Carter (talk) 01:11, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You also need to consider whether a journal has effective editorial control and peer review, or whether they allow anything to be published on payment of a fee. (talk) 01:31, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments! I asked the question because it is the only sticking point in a deletion discussion. Basically it comes down to whether or not the article satisfies criteria 8 of WP:NACADEMIC (IE "The person is or has been the head or chief editor of a major, well-established academic journal in their subject area."). The consensus here suggests that it isn't a major journal, and therefore being its editor wouldn't grant someone notability. Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk 01:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Remember that in deletion debates, the Individual Notability Guidelines are meant to serve as aids to finding likely reliable sources and are neither meant to be inclusionary or exclusionary (i.e. everyone that meets a criteria MUST be included, or everyone without a specific criteria MUST be excluded.) The ONLY criteria that should matter is do we have in-depth, reliable, independent information about this subject we can use to help us write an article. Merely making a check-mark on a list means nothing if we don't have any information to base an encyclopedia article around. When in doubt, revert to WP:GNG or WP:42. If the source material doesn't exist, the article shouldn't either. If the source material exists, use it to write the article. The silly lists of individualized criteria, like "The person is or has been the head or chief editor..." etc. can be useful to deciding if it's worth your time to search for more sources, but ultimately, if you can't find source material, what are you going to cite in the article?!? --Jayron32 02:11, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

good place to find election and polling results?[edit]

Is there a good place to find election results and exit polls (demographics etc.) about the 2016 US presidential election? Not too concerned about pre-election polls, but want stuff like state-by-state results for both the primaries and the general, with info like "how much of the under-30 Hispanic vote did Trump get in the Illinois primary" and stuff like that. I can generally find individual statistics like that in news reports with a search engine, but ideally I'd like a single site or database with everything, so I can crunch numbers without having to constantly search around. I can access some commercial databases through my local libraries if that helps, but probably not the really good ones. Thanks. (talk) 02:00, 1 December 2016 (UTC) has switched over from predictions to post-election analysis articles. See [27] where they have several articles on analysis of the post-election polling data. --Jayron32 02:06, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, that looks helpful. I'm still looking for raw numbers rather than analysis, but this is a start. (talk) 02:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC) is a clearinghouse for all kinds of data goodies related to the USA, they should have more coming online soon, but at present you can get some pretty good info on the 2016 elections [28]. ANES data center [29] may also be of interest. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:56, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

What is the name of the fallacy that works like this?[edit]

What is the name of the fallacy that works like this?
One example:
X and Y are Z.
X and Y are legal.
W is Z.
PS:W is illegal.
We must make W be legal.

Another example:
W is Z.
W is illegal.
X and Y are Z.
PS:X and Y are legal.
We must make X and Y be an illegal thing.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I think that's the fallacy of Affirming the consequent. --Jayron32 11:45, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
It's not a formal fallacy but an informal fallacy. Consider the same thing rearranged, minus the normative statement at the end.
  • Cats and dogs are mammals.
  • Cats and dogs live all around the world.
  • Howler monkeys are mammals.
  • [Implied first conclusion] Mammals share each others' characteristics.
  • Therefore, Howler monkeys live all around the world.
I think you're looking at a matter of hasty generalization here. It makes me think of the commutative property of mathematics: it's seemingly equating W, X, Y with Z (making them identical to each other) instead of properly making them subsets of Z. This works when W, X, and Y indeed are equivalent to Z, but not when they're just subsets. Nyttend (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
It's certainly a generalisation error, or arguably a hidden case of inductive reasoning. One can also see it as a case of false analogy. Just because X and Y are Z does not mean that all Z share all properties that X and Y share. 10 is a number. 10 is greater than 9. 15 is a number. 15 is greater than 9. (Unsound inductive step: Therefore all numbers are greater than 9). 5 is a number. Hence 5 is greater than 9...oops. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:52, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Of the formal fallacies, illicit minor fits this situation - we're going from a valid syllogism (Darapti) to an invalid one, by changing "some" to "all" in the conclusion. Tevildo (talk) 17:17, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

A more specific example of what I am talking about: 1-Cigars and alcoholic drinks are as addictive as weed.
2-Cigars and alcoholic drinks are legal.
3-So, we must make weed legal.
So, here he assumed that since those 3 things are equal, they should share the same rules, BUT, he automatically implied they should it should follow the cigar and alcohol rules, without telling why something that share this specific characteristic (being this addictive) should be legal instead of being illegal. (talk) 10:50, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

As Nyttend mentioned above, this is hasty generalization (or secundum quid if you prefer the Latin names for this sort of thing). "Drugs A and B are legal, therefore all drugs are legal." Tevildo (talk) 17:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
This may also be a case of unstated assumption (our article is not really very good): "(Unstated: Drugs are forbidden because they are addictive) - Cigars and alcoholic drinks are as addictive as weed - Cigars and alcoholic drinks are legal - hence we should make weed legal as well". Or, with a bit more convolution, an Ad hominem, per "People claim that weed should be illegal because it is addictive. But those same people accept cigars and alcohol as legal, although they are also addictive. Therefore these people are evil hypocrites and wrong, and we should make weed legal just to show them". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:43, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Round world in art[edit]

What's the oldest known (surviving) artistic depiction of a spherical world? Our article on Christ in Majesty observes that the image sometimes depicts Christ sitting on a spherical world, but it gives no dates, and since we know that the concept of the spherical world was known among the Greeks for some centuries before Christ, and since lots of ancient Greek artistic works have survived, I'm guessing that these images postdate the oldest surviving artistic depiction of a spherical world by several centuries. Presumably the polemic scientific works of men such as Aristotle and Eratosthenes included spherical-world depictions, but I'm particularly interested in artistic depictions without a scientific purpose. Note that a Google search wasn't particularly useful; its top hits were pages such as our article on Eratosthenes, which doesn't answer my question. Nyttend (talk) 14:56, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Would something like the Farnese Atlas be helpful? --Jayron32 17:02, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Crates of Mallus may also lead you places. --Jayron32 17:03, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Historiae Mundi: Studies in Universal History (p. 136) says that a globe appears on a Roman coin of 76 of 75 BC (perhaps this one?). It also gives as an example of a Roman globe in Commodus as Hercules, which is a bust supported by a globe and the signs of the Zodiac at the base, although our article says "The meaning behind these symbols has been somewhat debated since the discovery of the sculpture". Looking at the image in the article, it doesn't look terribly Earth-like to me, but I'm no expert. Alansplodge (talk) 17:29, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
The globe on the Commodus statue is likely celestial sphere as seen in the Farnese Atlas I cited above; notably while it is a spherical map, it is a spherical map of the heavens and not of the earth, and thus not a "Globe" --Jayron32 17:59, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You may well be right, but the source I linked suggests that the author believes it to be a terrestrial globe. It looks to me as though it's decorated with flowers, so I'm not wholly convinced that it's either. Alansplodge (talk) 22:37, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
The two interpretations in the article suggests it's either a terrestrial globe with zodiacal figures indicating a significant month (in which case the flowers might represent terrestrial plant life, but why no animals or fish?) or a celestial globe with zodiac, in which case the "flowers" might be symbols for stars. At the sculpture's scale, more realistic star representations would likely be indiscernable: also, neither the artist nor its commissioner may have been particularly knowledgeable about astronomy. (As a possibly relevant aside: I'm short sighted, and without spectacles stars and other distant lights look to me like chrysanthemums, which are part of the Family Asteraceae, whose name is probably not a coincidence.) {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 22:44, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Just a thought, what is the earliest depiction of the Greek god Atlas, for whom the representation of the map of the world was named? (Atlas had to carry the world on his shoulders, and all the depictions I've seen of him depict the world as a globe.)--TammyMoet (talk) 11:35, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
No, Atlas (mythology) had to carry the sky on his shoulders, which is usually depicted as the celestial sphere. Some of the later depictions of Atlas show him carrying the Earth, but these are not accurate representations of the original Greek myth. Atlas was made to support the heavens. The name of Atlas for the book of maps comes from Atlas of Mauretania, who is a legendary (i.e. probably not-real) Philosopher-King who is credited with as the father of Astronomy, and for whom Gerardus Mercator named his book of maps in 1595. The oldest still existing statue of Atlas holding the heavens up is the Farnese Atlas, cited above, but that is a 2nd Century AD Roman copy of a much older (now lost) Greek statue. --Jayron32 12:58, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Is there a name for the concept where?[edit]

The government has no population-based components above the state/province level. Each state gets equal vote(s) in the executive council or electoral college, or it's a parliament system, the legislative branch has equal seats per state, and the other branches are similar or chosen by one of the above. Not that I think it'd be a good idea, I just want to read our article on it. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 19:39, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I'd say its one extreme case of a Federation - and the article is decent. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:57, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
It's a confederation. You've just described the Congress of the Confederation, the supra-state body of the United States under the Articles of Confederation; different states had different numbers of seats, but the number didn't matter, because the delegates voted as states instead of voting as individuals. Nyttend (talk) 20:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
But the CSA Congress had unequal delegation sizes. Did they vote as states? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 20:53, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
The name isn't particularly relevant. Canada is a confederation, yet the federal government has more power versus the provinces than the US federal government has versus the states. The CSA's constitution was largely that of the USA, with some changes, most of which removed barriers to states' power (e.g. bordering states didn't need congressional approval for interstate compacts related to navigation) and a few of which either didn't directly relate to states' power (e.g. a line-item veto for the president) or reduced states' power (e.g. states might not prohibit slavery). Nyttend (talk) 20:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Canada is a federation. The word "confederation" was used for the original process of forming this federation, I suppose because con- means "with" and the colonies/provinces were being federated "with" each other. -- (talk) 23:45, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure it has a specific name, but you've basically described the operation of the United Nations General Assembly; each nation gets one vote regardless of population. --Jayron32 13:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Humiliation of Germany after ww2[edit]

How was the German loss of territory after ww2 any different than what happened after ww1? I thought the allies did not want to repeat that. I even think that they loss more territory after ww2 than after ww1. --Llaanngg (talk) 23:34, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Read German reparations for World War II; it's quite plain to understand that, though many historians consider the reparations of WWI to be excessive given German culpability in that war, the atrocities committed by Germany in WWII were astronomically worse than in WWI. Or maybe you forgot the Holocaust... --Jayron32 02:23, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
That's rather a harsh response, Jayron. German reparations for World War II does not provide a comparison of WW1 vs WW2 territorial losses, nor does it discuss the nexus of reparations and culpability. Llaanngg seems to ask a lot of questions, but does not seem to be a troll, and is probably well aware of the Holocaust. In view of the consequences of WW1 reparations, asking about the scale of WW2 reparations seems legitimate. My doubtless very ill-informed understanding of the WW1 reparations question was that they were viewed to be excessive, fullstop, rather than excessive w.r.t. Germany's culpability. So. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't think the question has yet been well answered here or by the article you pointed to. --Tagishsimon (talk) 06:25, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Excessive can't be a full-stop concept. The concept "to exceed (something)" implies, in it's own sense, a limit or threshold which has been surpassed. The context for what defines an appropriate level of reparations can only be understood in the context of what the entity in question is being asked to repair for. In the case of WWI, the level of reparations leveled against Germany can only be called excessive if one defines the limits that one is expected to exceed. There is no absolute standard for what is excessive, merely that one compares what happened with what should have happened. Given the actions of Germany in the period 1914-1918, it was FAR different from the actions of Germany in the period 1939-1945, and as such, the expectations of reparations would be different. That is all. One cannot say that the WWII reparations are out of proportion because the WWI reparations were. The definition of excessive doesn't compare the one to the other, but rather each to the threshold of appropriateness in each case. In simpler terms, we can only define excessive based on comparing what was given to what should have been expected, and not what was given to what was given before. The second is not a valid comparison, it's apples and oranges. --Jayron32 11:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
What's your basis for saying Germany was "humiliated" after WWII? It was rather the opposite - the allies realized their mistakes following WWI and great strides were made to help Germany rebuild. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:54, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, there was the Morgenthau Plan - if the "allies realized their mistakes following WWI" is quite arguable. But the Cold War set in, and both sides of the former allies built there part of Germany up as a frontline state - hence Marshall Plan, not Morgenthau Plan, and hence the quite superficial denazification in Western Germany (where Nazi anti-communist sentiments fit with the new enemy) and the more thorough one in Eastern Germany (where they very much didn't). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:26, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Overall, Germany (the western part, anyway) was treated a lot nicer than they were after WWI. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:38, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but that does not imply that the reason for that was a wider understanding and acceptance of what had gone wrong after WW1. In other words, this mostly was the result of Realpolitik, not idealism. Judgment at Nuremberg gives a good (if fictionalised) portrayal of the era, especially in the scenes outside the courtroom. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:51, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
It seems that the entire nation was punished after WWI, whereas after WWII it was more like scapegoating the most obvious perpetrators. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:17, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
This rather misses the significantly different effects of the two wars in Germany itself. During WW1 there was little fighting on German territory, and little bombing. At the end of the war German industry and infrastructure was still more or less intact - though the economy was in a mess. In WW2 the allied invasions of Germany, and the massive bombing, left much of the country in ruins. The ability to make reparations was very different: that didn't stop the USSR grabbing anything it could, but the western allies realised fairly quickly that they had a humanitarian crisis on their hands, and it was going to be their responsibility to deal with it. Wymspen (talk) 10:41, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Another distinction, however, is the political turmoil in Germany was distinctly different following each World War. After World War I, the Entente powers imposed their peace terms on Germany, but did not involve themselves in the administration of the country. The German Revolution of 1918–19 that resulted from the collapse of the German Empire left the country in near anarchy and the political turmoil was at least as responsible for the nation's economic woes as was the reparations themselves. Following WWII, the Allied powers directly involved themselves in the post-war administration of the country and (at least in the case of West Germany) had a deliberate plan for transition to German sovereignty that assured a relatively smooth resumption of normal political control. The difference of Germany at the end of WWI and Germany at the end of WWII is that the former was in a state of open civil war, while in the latter case it was under relative peace during the martial administration of the Allied powers. --Jayron32 17:05, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
There were considerable border changes in the east, see Former eastern territories of Germany, Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) and Flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland during and after World War II. Coincidentally, I recently spoke to a German lady who had been born in East Prussia but now lives in Colchester. Alansplodge (talk) 09:43, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • It's hard to judge the intentions of "The Allies" after WWII, or even to recognise them as allies. The Western allies (and especially France) may not have wanted to "humiliate" Germany, even if purely from self-interested reasons of avoiding another "WWII began at Versailles" consequence. However the Soviets wanted revenge and plunder. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:47, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
    That's quite valid too. The motivations of the various voices at Yalta and Potsdam were not unified, and the motivation for the plans of reorganization of post-War Europe were often at cross-purposes. Even moreso that the agreements put in place were not even upheld following the war. --Jayron32 11:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 2[edit]

Another abortion question[edit]

Can the following two bits of information be verified? According to here Beginning of human personhood#Fertilization,the beginning it says "The indication of these objects itself seems to indicate that they are aberrations from nature,rather than the norm." And the next bit of info that needs to be verified is that the unique genetic identity of the zygote has been challenged. I'm not able to verify these myself. Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Uncle dan is home (talkcontribs) 06:10, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

The first statement is probably unverifiable. The truth is that the rate at which non-zygote objects are generated by human sperm-egg interactions is unknown. Estimates have been made, but who knows. You also get to the question of aberration and normal. It is not known why some zygotes do not implant. They may be defective in a way that is not understood. Now, these are actually probably more numerous than viable zygotes, so by a certain definition, the normal outcome of fertilization is spontaneous abortion, and live human infants are the aberration. As to the challenge of the unique genetic identity, it's worded in a clunky fashion, which is part of the problem. No one is challenging that a new zygote statistically almost certainly has a unique genetic profile as compared to its parents or anyone else who has ever existed. That is not being challenged. Rather, the writer of that statement is suggesting that people have challenged that feature as an essence of personhood, on the basis that individual gametes are also genetically unique, but not argued to be people. It would be trivial to produce a reference for the fact that gametes are also almost always genetically unique, but what you want is a reference to someone making an argument that this matters in the context of a personhood/abortion debate. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:40, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Conchita Wurst: "Gehen Sie Wählen!"[edit]

Is there an online transcript of the German text for this video message by Conchita Wurst calling on Austrian citizens to vote (again) in their country's presidential election and presenting the significant differences between the two candidates? I'd also appreciate a transcript of the English translation (appearing as subtitles in the clip to which I linked here). This is to expand the Conchita Wurst page here and for WP projects in other languages. -- Deborahjay (talk) 13:04, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

There are tools to download Youtube subtitles. Just google 'download youtube subtitles' and pick your favorite. I've never have any need for doing it, so I can not recommend a concrete one. --Llaanngg (talk) 14:50, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The YT clip has both english and german subtitles--click the sprocket (settings) icon to choose which language you want. Both sets of subtitles appear to have been done by humans, unless machine transcription has gotten a heck of a lot better recently. (talk) 22:59, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I checked the German subtitles, and they were most certainly done by a human being, because in addition to hearing the words correctly and using correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, they also prove they understood the content by shortening the text a bit without really changing the message (for example, within the first 20 seconds the subtitles omit the words "dazu" and "in Zukunft", and replace "so viele Menschen als möglich zur Wahl gehen" with "möglichst viele Menschen wählen"). So it's not a verbatim transcript (just like subtitles in movies). ---Sluzzelin talk 23:09, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

European Coups[edit]

In post-WW2 Europe, which countries have experienced changes of government via coups / armed rebellions / revolutions, etc.? I think a number of the Eastern European countries rebelled against Communist control, and there have been wars in some of the Balkan countries. I don't think there have been coups or armed rebellions in any of the Western European countries since WW2, but I'm not entirely sure. Dragons flight (talk) 17:13, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Carnation Revolution, a bloodless coup in Portugal in 1974.Loraof (talk) 17:18, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
If you count a war of secession, there's the Kosovo War. (Sorry, you already mentioned the Balkans.) Loraof (talk) 17:20, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The coup known as the May 1958 crisis led to the collapse of the French Fourth Republic and the return of Charles de Gaulle with the formation of the current French Fifth Republic. A second coup, by many of the same leaders, also sought to depose de Gaulle three years later (see Algiers putsch of 1961), but it failed. Still, the 1958 coup toppled a Western European government and installed a former military leader. Checks all of the boxes for a successful coup. --Jayron32 17:29, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
(E/C) We have articles at List of coups d'état and coup attempts by country and List of coups d'état and coup attempts, which is chronological, to help your research. Matt Deres (talk) 17:28, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
There were a couple of military coups in Greece, in 1967 and 1974, and one in Cyprus in 1974. See Greek military junta of 1967–74 and 1974 Cypriot coup d'état. --Xuxl (talk) 21:34, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Spanish transition to democracy (1975) after the death of Franco, involving an attempted coup followed by elections. (talk) 01:10, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

ID cards[edit]

In the USA, are ID cards issued by a state government considered the property of that state, or the property of the identified person? --M@rēino 20:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

I just looked at my California drivers license and it doesn't say anything about it belonging to the state. But I know that the police will confiscate it if they find you driving around with a suspended or expired one. (talk) 01:13, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
When I first got my driver's license, the Rules of the Road stated that the police taking the license was "in lieu of bail". Driving is a privilege rather than a right, and each state makes its own rules about that document. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:48, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
My Virginia license is like California's, and ditto with my Ohio license; when I moved here, I phoned the license bureau back in Ohio to ask if I had to return the driver's license, the license plates, etc., but the deputy registrar told me that I was free to keep them. I'm guessing that the confiscation thing is exactly that — confiscation — and not merely repossessing a piece of state-owned property, but I can't prove that. Nyttend (talk) 03:58, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]

Ruins of the Gambier Islands[edit]

I am trying to find a list of the ruins and churches (the names of the churches especially) from the mission era on the Gambier Islands like St. Michael's Cathedral, Rikitea? Rikitea#Landmarks lists some but doesn't go into the details.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:43, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Stories that use the counterfactual that ww2 never happened,or happenned much later[edit]

Are there any stories that use the counterfactual of ww2 either never happening at all,or ww2 happening much later?Uncle dan is home (talk) 07:50, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

The Red Alert series of games begins with a time traveler assassinating Hitler in 1924. The writers then assume that with such a change, WWII basically still happens, but it's the Allies (including Germany this time) fighting the Soviet Union. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:58, 3 December 2016 (UTC)


November 27[edit]

Name for a production/marketing concept ?[edit]

Electrical resistors may be mass produced, aiming for a certain ohm value, but with low-cost production methods that don't guarantee a close match to the target. The resistors produced are then tested, and the best matches are sold, at a higher price, as X ohms ±5%, the next best as ±10%, and the worst as ±20% (any worse than that may be discarded). So, is there a general term for this strategy, and are there other examples ? That is, where if the item you produce isn't quite what you wanted, you still sell it, as something else. StuRat (talk) 18:54, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

I haven't a reference, StuRat, but I believe that 3.5" floppies were manufactured on the same principle: those that met the higher standard were packaged and sold as double density, those that didn't were single density. --ColinFine (talk) 00:23, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Good example. Did they have a name for this practice ? StuRat (talk) 17:00, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • That was true for some resistors, notably from the USSR. (If it's off by 20%, then it may be within 10% of another marketable value.) This also meant that If you purchased a "10%" resistor, it was certain to be off by at least 5%, so the "10%" resistors did not show the expected normal distribution, but instead had a bimodal distribution, so you could not hand-select a precise resistor from a lot of less-precise resistors. But on to your question: a whole lot of products are sold by grade: eggs, cotton, most vegetables sold to cannerys, cuts of meat, etc. I think the term "grade" may be what you are looking for. -Arch dude (talk) 01:19, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Not quite the same, as with produce, it just isn't possible to get the plants and animals to produce the same size and quality every time. With electronics it is, but this is expensive, hence this alternate strategy. StuRat (talk) 17:03, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
For ICs, binning is the general term. Nil Einne (talk) 12:47, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, is this term used outside the IC industry ? StuRat (talk) 17:02, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
It's used for LEDs. These results suggest it's also used for resistors [30] [31] [32]. Although the last link suggests binning may not happen with resistors anymore possibly because manufacturing technology is advanced enough and production costs low enough it isn't worth it. Anyway it may be accurate to say it's used for most or all electronic components. I've never heard and somehow doubt it's used for food or manufactured items that are far from electronics, but I don't know for sure. Nil Einne (talk) 21:37, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Is there a generic reciprocal of "client" in English?[edit]

Like the pairs "father - son", "left - right", "good - evil", "doctor - patient", is there a word that is the reciprocal of "client". If I am your client, you are my <something>, that is not a designation of any specific occupation such as "lawyer", "accountant", "plumber", etc. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:36, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

In computer science, the word "server" is used as a reciprocal of "client". In the case of human relationships, however, I'm not sure there is a single word. Maybe fiduciary, but that's not a common word and has a narrow legal definition. --Jayron32 12:48, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
A term like "service provider" can be understood in general terms. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:50, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I think "service provider" is as close as we're going to get. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:05, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
In some contexts, it may be a patron. In others, the patron is the client. — Kpalion(talk) 15:12, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
A bartender may find fewer patrons patronize his bar if he serves Patrón with a patronizing attitude ("Sure you can handle that, li'l fella ?".) StuRat (talk) 17:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Vendor can also be used as a generic antonym of client in some contexts. (talk) 13:03, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
From the origin, "patron" works.[33]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:26, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Contractor often would be appropriate. Blythwood (talk) 17:48, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Sources for online linguistics courses, with videos[edit]

What are some good linguistics courses which have lecture videos available online? I just could find a few open MIT (without videos) and even fewer through Coursera. Most courses I find online are teaching a language, or related to linguistics, but not a part of it (for example, NLP, statistics, programming). --Llaanngg (talk) 17:48, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your question! Wikipedia celebrates curiosity. We are sorry that you haven't received a reply, but these reference desks are staffed by volunteers. Apparently, none of our current staff feel they have the expertise or knowledge to answer your question.

You may find answers elsewhere. One excellent resource is a real-life reference desk, staffed by professional librarians. There may be one in your area, often at a central branch of a public library system. In addition, your national library (e.g. the British Library) may allow online reference requests. An alternative is the New York Public Library's ASK service, which operates by text-chat and telephone. Here's a news article explaining how they work, which describes them as a "human Google".

Please feel free to ask us another question in the future, or indeed to re-post your original question (perhaps re-wording it) after a week or so, as there may be a different set of volunteer editors reading the page then. We apologize for not being able to help you at this time. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 17:54, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Occurance [sic][edit]

This misspelling of 'occurrence' is becoming very widespread, and it leads me to wonder how people who write 'occurance' think it's pronounced.

Do they actually say 'ə-kyoo-rəns'? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:08, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it's any kind of tortured phonetic reading. In fact, I assume that people who make the misspelling are simply not aware of the phonetic meaning of doubled consonants. For them, it's just the logical "occur" + "-ance". To put it another way - there are lots of people who misspell "starring" as "staring", but that doesn't mean they pronounce it that way. Smurrayinchester 09:15, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, the issue with the vowel reduction and schwa in English; when phonetically spelling a word that has a schwa, (as occurs in the last syllable of occurrence), there's not a lot of rhyme or reason to which vowel is chosen; indeed the spelling comes from a type in historical English before the vowel reduction occurred, so wheras the spelling used to make more sense, today it has become somewhat divorced from the phonetic pronunciation of the word. This is especially problematic in words like Wednesday and colonel and Mrs. and gunwale, but also shows up in many words with schwa vowels. For occurrence, consider interference from other /əns/ ending words like "avoidance" or "acceptance" or "fragrance" etc. Following regular patterns of both pronunciation and word formation, "occurance" fits a logical pattern. That it's not spelled that way is a quirk of history, and one of the many many many ways that written English is just weird. --Jayron32 12:04, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I think you meant the third syllable. -- (talk) 12:55, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
So corrected. --Jayron32 13:44, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
That leads to my next question. Has anyone ever compiled a truly complete catalogue of (a) the rules of English spelling and (b) all of the multitude of exceptions to said rules? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:48, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
JackofOz, it's called a dictionary. --ColinFine (talk) 13:00, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article titled English orthography which gives an overview and a place to start your research. --Jayron32 14:20, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
@JackofOz: There have been a lot of comprehensive and thorough researches. From the bibliography provided I would recommend you to pay much attention to the works of Bell (she has a blog), Carney, Cummings, Hanna, Venezky, as well as of David Crystal, Christopher Upward, and Greg Brooks (Dictionary of the British English Spelling System). Those are very good works, especially the latter, which can be read free (under CC BY) on Google Books.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 16:29, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Tovarisch Lüboslóv. I've had a look at Brooks' book, which seems very comprehensive, but I'd have to acquire a hard copy version. It's not quite what I was after, but it's the closest thing so far. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:39, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
@JackofOz: Probably, then, you may look at Carney's and Cummings's. The former is even more comprehensive and more scientific with statistics and many peculiar detailed rules, though he does not provide full lists of words and exceptions. But that's rather a thorough theoretical framework than a desk reference. Cummings's is more easy to read with many useful and interesting thoughts and evaluations, but may miss some details or peculiar cases. Brooks's seems still to be the most handy reference on the topic, if not the only one of such a kind.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 17:29, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
English nouns ending in -ance and -ence are related to Latin present participles of verbs of the first conjugation and of other conjugations respectively. (A relatively small number of words are derived from French, where all present participles end in -ant[e][s], and the corresponding nouns end in -ance[s]. Examples include assurance and poignance. Another relatively small number of words are formed directly from English verbs. Examples include clearance and utterance.) Likewise, English adjectives ending in -able and -ible are related to Latin verbs of the first conjugation and of other conjugations respectively. (A relatively small number of words are formed directly from English verbs, and have the ending -able. Examples include doable and movable.) For additional information, see wikt:-ance#Etymology and wikt:-ence#Etymology and wikt:-able#Etymology and wikt:-ible#Etymology.
Wavelength (talk) 19:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Here's a related ref-desk thread that Jack started some years ago. Deor (talk) 19:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
In addition to the noted irregular formation dependant from the Latin verb dependere the same is seen with "ascendant" from ascendere and "descendant" from descendere. I suspect that the French present participle, which apparently always ends in -ant, may have something to do with this. (talk) 01:08, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
That's British spelling, of course, and therefore peculiar. In American spelling dependent is the usual form. Google it at for easy evidence. -- (talk) 03:51, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
That may not be correct. My Oxford Dictionary gives dependent, or U.S. (sometimes) dependant, so it seems your claim may be back to front. Akld guy (talk) 06:24, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Oxford? What would they know about English? :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
What the OED actually says is " French dépendant adjective and noun, properly present participle of dépendre to depend v.1 From the 18th cent. often (like the adjective) spelt dependent, after Latin (both forms being entered by Johnson); but the spelling -ant still predominates in the noun: compare defendant, assistant." British English uses spelling to distinguish between adjective (with an E) and noun (one who depends)(with an A). Dbfirs 09:19, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Chinese comets[edit]

Can someone give me the Chinese characters for po-hsing and hui-hsing, which are ancient Chinese names for comets? SpinningSpark 15:23, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Also, is this Mandarin, or something else? SpinningSpark 15:27, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If they're "ancient" Chinese, they're likely to be Classical Chinese: the modern topolect called Mandarin on which Standard Chinese is based is a more recent development. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 16:50, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Hui-hsing would be wikt:彗星 (Mandarin, huìxīng, "broomstick star"). There is another word for comet that I know, wikt:掃把星 (Mandarin, sàobǎ xīng, "broom star"). I'm not sure about po-hsing. Maybe 破星 (Mandarin, pò-xīng, "broken star")? —Stephen (talk) 20:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: The translations I have for the two terms are "bushy star" and "broom star" respectively. The source is this article from New Scientist. SpinningSpark 20:55, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I think "bushy star" refers to 星孛 (xīng bó, "fuzzy star", literally, "star become fuzzied"). Other terms are: 長星 (zhǎng xīng, "long star"), 客星 (kè xīng, "guest star"), and 掃帚星 (sàozhǒu xīng, "broom star"). —Stephen (talk) 21:47, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
"Fuzzy star" or "bushy star" can't be 孛星? That fits the pattern of the others with the "star" element at the end. SpinningSpark 22:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
You're right, it can be either wikt:星孛 or wikt:孛星. —Stephen (talk) 04:52, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

Former 86-year-old[edit]

Reading the BBC News site about Buzz Aldrin being evacuated from Antarctica, they say...

"The former 86-year-old astronaut was visiting Antarctica..."

Is this correct English? Doesn't this mean that Buzz Aldrin WAS 86 years old in the past but now is somewhat older and that he is an astronaut? Wouldn't it have been more correct to say "The 86-year-old former astronaut was visiting Antarctica..."

Sorry if I'm being picky. CoeurDeHamster (talk) 14:23, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I agree. --Thomprod (talk) 14:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
The BBC agrees with you as well - their site has now changed it to read "The 86-year-old former astronaut was visiting Antarctica" - Wymspen (talk) 16:41, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Although, technically, if he were 87 years old or older, the first would be correct too... --Jayron32 16:52, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
One could pick a nit with that. First, I maintain that "The former 12-year old astronaut was visiting..." is strictly false. He never was a 12 year old astronaut. If the "86 year" version will ever become true depends on the understanding of the status as "astronaut" - is it "once an astronaut, always an astronaut", or does one lose that status when one stops being active in the role of an astronaut? The BBC seems to imply the later, hence "former astronaut". Of course, I wouldn't tell Buzz ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
How's the BBC doing on "former Italian prime minister" lately? —Tamfang (talk) 00:09, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

"Former" is an adjective, and cannot modify "86-year-old", which is an adjectival phrase. One would need to say "the formerly 86-year-old...", with "formerly as an adverb modifying the AP. In any case, the original word order is sloppy, and the corrected word order is to be preferred. μηδείς (talk) 17:26, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

86-year-old is a perfectly functional noun phrase as well. Consider Q: "Do you have any kids?" A: "Yes, I have two: a three-year-old and a seven-year-old. The seven-year-old is just learning to ride his bicycle". --Jayron32 18:55, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
It could be, in a different context. In this case astronaut is undoubtedly the subject noun, so 86-year-old can only be interpreted as an adjectival phrase. μηδείς (talk) 22:53, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
But "former" can modify "86-year old astronaut", which is a noun phrase. It has different semantics, of course. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:37, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I know he is old, but has he been an astronaut for 86 years? Dbfirs 19:06, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
That would be an "86-year astronaut" not an "86-year-old astronaut". Do keep up... --Jayron32 19:10, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
No, you keep up, and look at the hyphen(s)! ... but I apologise to Stephan Schulz for my nit-picking comment. I knew perfectly well what he intended. Dbfirs 19:13, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
It's time to 86 this discussion. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:44, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Disagree. That time was 16:41, 1 December 2016. ―Mandruss  00:19, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Splunge! μηδείς (talk) 04:48, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
There are so many alternative etymologies for these expressions. For "86" I think the best is the U S Navy stockcode "AT-6" for goods earmarked for disposal. OK is another one - I think the most likely derivation is that it's from the Scottish och aye. (talk) 08:59, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]


November 28[edit]

Who played bass on Herb Alpert's "Rise"?[edit]

Rise (instrumental) doesn't say.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:21, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

@Vchimpanzee: Did you followed the link to the original album that the instrumental solo track was issued as a single here: [34]? The bass is said to be: Pat Senatore under members. Perhaps? Maineartists (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Tricky, but I don't think it was Pat Senatore. The album features several bassists, including legendary James Jamerson ... The original album credits appear to say it was Abraham Laboriel (see for example AM Corner or discogs) but some participants in bass forums say it sounds more like Louis Johnson, (particularly the sound of the instrument being more like that of a Music Man StingRay than a Fender Precision Bass). See for example or or's forum ... ---Sluzzelin talk 22:59, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
@Maineartists: I didn't see Pat Senatore listed as a bass player in that article.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:33, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
@Vchimpanzee:In the album link: [35] at the very bottom Herb Albert under members. Maineartists (talk) 16:55, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Oh, the box.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 17:04, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

What dance style is this?[edit]

I guess hip-hop but maybe someone knows more.

Languagesare (talk) 07:03, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Locking (dance) maybe? --Jayron32 18:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Is it Prince Harry's girlfriend in the eharmony adverts?[edit]

Or just someone who looks like her? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:43, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

According to recent reports, Prince Harry is dating someone called Meghan Markle. Wikipedia has an article about her, Meghan Markle. Neither there, nor a google search, indicates she has done commercials for eHarmony. --Jayron32 12:44, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
The one with the pig. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
The one what with what pig? --Jayron32 16:22, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Accord in to e-harmony, their adverts feature their real clients, not actors - Wymspen (talk) 16:25, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The eHarmoney pig advert. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

This one? It does look a bit like Meghan Markle. Can't find any confirmation though. Here is more information on the ad, no information on the actress though. --Jayron32 19:17, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Here is a collection of ads starring Meghan Markle. No sign of the eHarmony ad. --Jayron32 19:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
May I ask a follow-up question, in my capacity as someone who is not as young as he was? The hairstyle and beard of the man in the video seem fairly consistent with contemporary fashions, but - a bow-tie? And that jacket? Is that really what people wear to dinner these days? Tevildo (talk) 21:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
He is some species of hipster, definitely. Also here is a Reitmans ad with Meghan Markle. I didn't even know she was an American actress, I thought she was just the woman in the Reitman's ads. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:23, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Heck, I live in Toronto where Suits is shot, I used to watch the show, and I regularly walk by a Reitmans store that sometimes has giant photos of her in the windows. So I was well aware of her before these recent news stories, but I didn't know she was American either; I just assumed she was Canadian. -- (talk) 13:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Tevildo, show me someone who is as young as he was, and I'll show you a dead man. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:52, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Benjamin Button comes immediately to mind, as does Merlin from The Once and Future King, and doubtless there are many other similar examples in fiction. Although it might be argued that these gentlemen are as young as they're going to be... Tevildo (talk) 13:03, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If memory recalls, Zaphod Beeblebrox was born to his own son, who in turn was born to his own son. Something about conception in a time machine or some such. --Jayron32 19:09, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
He heard the song "I'm me own grandpa" and took it as a challenge? —Tamfang (talk) 21:15, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
He was so much older then, he's younger than that now. --Jayron32 00:28, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Neverland/Pan differences[edit]

December 1[edit]

Tilda Swinton's scalp[edit]

In Doctor Strange (film), Tilda Swinton appears with no hair; I noticed scars, one of which looks as if a surgeon folded most of her scalp away. Or maybe the scars are makeup intended to hint at the Ancient One's anciency. Anyone know if she has had head surgery? (A search for tilda swinton surgery turned up only speculation about facelifts and the like.) —Tamfang (talk) 07:25, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

It's makeup for the role - see [36] (googled tilda swinton scars). Nanonic (talk) 07:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

December 2[edit]

Baseball diamond.svg[edit]

I am trying to understand baseball - which is full of jargon that at present I have not found definitions for. It may be that the answers to my questions are in the article baseball, but I have only read that as far as diagram

Baseball diamond.svg

which although claiming to be a full and complete diagram is missing vast swathes of information.

On that diagram, what is the size of the diamond - it isn't marked - and is that from the centre of a base to the centre, or is it from edge to nearest edge? How big is a base? What shape is a base? Is the pitchers mound in the centre of the diamond? What is the plectrum shaped thing in what I presume is the home base (unlabeled)? How big is the home base? Where does the running batter have to reach to have reached home (achieved a run)? How high is the pitcher's mound and does it have a prescribed shape? If the outfield is grass and the infield is dirt, what material is the diamond? What does "distance can vary from 290' to 400 to fence" mean - will an outfield delimited by a fence be within the range 290 - 400 or may it be outside that range - smaller? larger? And lastly is the diamond actually a square with 90 degree corners? -- SGBailey (talk) 00:03, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Bases are square. The thing in the center of the pitcher's mound is the pitching rubber. The "plectrum" thing is home base. Home base is roughly the same size on the non-pointy sides as one of the bases. The batter must touch home base (the white plectrum bit) in order to score a run. The brown bits are dirt. The green bits are all grass. The bases are usually white canvas. The distance varying means exactly that. Not all of the outfield fences are the same distance from home base. Not even in the same park. The right, center, and left field fences can be different distances from home plate. And yes, the diamond is 90' on a side, square. †dismas†|(talk) 00:58, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and to add more confusion to this whole thing... The outfield fences can be very tall! Take Fenway Park which is a great example of this and the distance to the fences. As it states in our article, the distance to the left field fence is 310'. Center is 389'9". And right field is 302'. But then in left field you have the Green Monster. The left field "fence" is a wall which is 37'2" tall. Meanwhile the right and center fences are much shorter. †dismas†|(talk) 01:20, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
And finally, much of this is covered at Baseball rules#General structure. †dismas†|(talk) 01:22, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The article Baseball field also covers the dimensions in exhaustive detail. Regarding the outfield wall dimensions, This diagram shows the outfield wall dimensions for all Major League Baseball fields. The history of stadium design is varied; in the early history of baseball, there were no outfield fences, most "stadiums" were just a field with some bleachers on either side. It wasn't until the early 1900s that the first outfield walls were put on stadiums, mostly for fan safety (in the pre-wall era, fans would picnic in the outfield, and players would have to contend with them as any other obstacle). When the first concrete-and-steel modern urban stadiums were constructed in the 1910s and 1920s, they were often wedged into city blocks and the shape of the field was what would fit in the available space. Only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field remain from this era, most of these stadiums had quirky, odd-shaped outfields, from the long-and-skinny Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan to Philadelphia's oddly asymmetric Baker Bowl, to DC's Griffith Stadium, whose outfield wall had a bewildering array of angles and crenelations. When teams moved to the expansive west and to the suburbs in the 1950s-1970s, we got the era of the "Giant Ashtray" stadiums: large, bland, behemoths like Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium with their astroturf surfaces and their perfectly symmetrical lines and symmetrical playing surface. The 1980s-1990s ushered in the "Retro" ballparks, which had the amenities expected of modern stadiums with the classic "charms" of the earlier era, like Camden Yards in Baltimore and San Francisco's AT&T Park. --Jayron32 01:54, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually watching a game might answer a lot of your questions about game play. †dismas†|(talk) 02:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I would suggest watching highlights before watching a full game. Anyone not familiar with bat-and-ball games might find it very confusing. Once the OP understands what's happening in the highlights (how runs are scored and how outs are made, he'll be in better position to watch a full game.
The diagram's failure to show the distance between bases is a major gaffe on somebody's part. My PC doesn't allow work with SVG's, so someone else should fix it.
Many of the OP's queries have been answered. To reiterate and elaborate somewhat:
  • What is the size of the diamond? Is the diamond actually a square with 90 degree corners? -- Yes, it's a square 90 feet on each side.
  • Is that from the centre of a base to the centre, or is it from edge to nearest edge? -- Conceptually the base are the points forming the corners. Second base is centered on its point. The other three are positioned "inside" the square. That keeps the base markers totally in fair territory.
  • How big is a base? What shape is a base? What is the plectrum shaped thing in what I presume is the home base (unlabeled)? How big is the home base? -- First, second and third base are square "bags" 15 inches on a side and several inches high. Home base (or plate) is rubber, basically 12 inches per side plus those two triangles which turn it into a five-sided object. Home was originally square too, and the two triangles were added because it was thought it would better help the umpire judge balls and strikes.
  • Is the pitchers mound in the centre of the diamond? -- Not quite. The rules specify the diagonal corners as being 127 feet 3 and 3/8 inches, which is very close to 90 times the square root of 2. So the exact center of the 90 foot square, if my arithmetic is correct, would be 63 feet 7 and 11 / 16 inches. The distance from the point of home plate to the near edge of the pitcher's plate is 60 feet 6 inches. The history behind that seemingly peculiar number would take another paragraph to explain.
  • Where does the running batter have to reach to have reached home (achieved a run)? -- Any part of his body touching a base constitutes having reached the base. Typically feet or hands.
  • How high is the pitcher's mound and does it have a prescribed shape? -- The rules are very specific about the maximum height of the pitcher's plate (the "rubber") and about the slope in the front of the mound.
  • If the outfield is grass and the infield is dirt, what material is the diamond? -- Grass also. Note that the shapes of the dirt/grass lines are suggestions rather than absolutes.
  • What does "distance can vary from 290' to 400 to fence" mean - will an outfield delimited by a fence be within the range 290 - 400 or may it be outside that range - smaller? larger? -- That factoid is misleading. The rules specify minimum distances of 325 feet along the foul lines (which, by the way, are in fair territory) and 400 feet to straightaway centerfield. However, a given league can grant a team the right to have shorter distances, for example in San Francisco where the right field line is only 309. For high school it can be closer. The absolute minimum at the professional level is 250. If part of a fence is less than 250, a ball hit over it is a ground rule double instead of a home run. Professional ball fields have always been enclosed, so they can charge admission and not have "freeloaders" watching. The first enclosed field was built in 1862.
Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:37, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Compromising on my comment above, here's a video of the top of the 10th inning of the final game of the recent World Series.[37] See if you can follow it, and get back to us with any questions. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:02, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
One extra note on the excellent summary by Bugs above is that the diamond itself can vary in designs. The one shown in the diagram is fairly standard for the professional level, but there is a lot of variation. see here and here and here and here and here. You can see from those images that there's different designs for the dirt areas and the grass/turf areas. --Jayron32 09:53, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
The evolution of the "skinned" portions of the diamond includes Boston's South End Grounds in the 1880s, which shows the early tradition of minimal dirt paths between bases and at infielders normal stations, while Chicago's West Side Park in 1906 had the more familiar umbrella-shaped grass lines. Except for the wide dirt path between home and the mound (and beyond), the field looks very much like the typical major league field of today. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)


In Octopussy, were the octopus tattoos on Magda and Octopussy intended as an oblique reference to SPECTRE (which could not be mentioned directly for copyright reasons), or was it just a coincidence? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:80FF:78F0:F6E8:3CE2 (talk) 06:35, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

When, if ever, did Fleming specify an octopus as SPECTRE's logo? And when did that logo first appear in the films? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:46, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
In this here clip from "From Russia With Love", you can't really see because of the lousy resolution, but Blofeld is definitely wearing his ring with the octopus logo -- which shows that it was SPECTRE's symbol almost from the beginning of the series. 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:80FF:78F0:F6E8:3CE2 (talk) 07:19, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
You might be best off to bring this up at a James Bond forum site. They might have some leads on what was in the minds of the creators of the "Octopussy" film. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:34, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, but I have to think that the point of the octopus tattoos was to reference Octopussy herself, a characters so named in the original story, before rights issues reared their head. I never read Thunderball, so I can't comment as to whether SPECTRE had an octopus design from the beginning. Matt Deres (talk) 17:15, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
So, no connections between Dexter Smythe and SPECTRE? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:4194:43D8:DAB4:1C6C (talk) 03:05, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
If neither the book nor the movie claim a connection, then there isn't one. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:51, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
There are also screen captures of octopus rings for Fiona Volpe in Thunderball (1965) and Marco Sciarra in Spectre (2015) in the James Bond wiki entry for SPECTRE, as well as a big image at the top of the article. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:53, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]


November 28[edit]

Using credit card to pay rent[edit]

I would like to maximise the loyalty points I can amass on my credit card by using it to pay my rent. Of course, my landlord will only accept bank transfers, not credit card payments. Is there any way I can arrange it via some kind of transfer mechanism so that I am effectively using my credit card to pay my rent? This is in the UK. Thanks, --Viennese Waltz 09:17, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

The users on this Reddit thread think it's not possible, unless your landlord agrees - though a quick google shows a lot of warnings against doing it, which implies that at least some landlords will. It's worth noting that the landlord (or intermediary) will be paying a fee to the credit card company which will dwarf your cashback, so expect this to be reflected in your next rent rise or in the fees changed by any intermediary. It is possible to make your rent improve your credit score (see this article from moneysavingexpert), which might enable you to get better credit card/loan/mortgage deals down the line. MChesterMC (talk) 11:37, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Only those who are registered with a provider to receive credit card payments can take payment by that method. A quick check suggests that large social landlords (councils and housing associations) do accept that method of payment, and it is possible that larger letting agencies may do so on behalf of private landlords. However, if you are paying directly to a private landlord who only has a small number of properties, it is very unlikely that it would be financially sensible for the landlord to register for card services - it isn't cheap.Wymspen (talk) 12:58, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
There are services, Paypal is the largest, that act as intermediaries to allow private individuals and small businesses to accept payments via credit card. As I recall, Paypal will charge 2.9% + $0.30 on credit card transactions. A trusting landlord might be convinced to accept Paypal transactions from a long-term tenant, but they would probably want to be compensated for the transaction fees. Dragons flight (talk) 13:09, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. To clarify, what I am looking for is an arrangement whereby the landlord is still receiving money as usual direct from my bank account, with no intermediaries. He won't accept paypal or anything like that, it must be the same as usual. I googled the subject myself and found this forum thread which has an interesting post from someone who claims that it is possible to do it using Bitcoin. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. --Viennese Waltz 13:41, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
If you just want to earn loyalty points, you don't even need to pay rent. Open up a Paypal account linked to your bank, and then use your credit card to pay yourself via Paypal. Each cycle you lose ~2.9% of the transaction but gain loyalty points. As loyalty program are generally tuned to pay back 1-2%, you'd probably lose on such a scheme, but maybe you really want the points? Because credit cards charge transaction fees to the recipient, almost any scheme that uses a credit card, whether it is via Paypal, Bitcoin, or some other medium, is going to cost you money over time. If it didn't then the transaction processor would be losing money. As I recall there was a program several years ago to promote Sacajawea dollars where the US Mint would let you buy them with no transaction fees and no shipping. The program was quickly abused by people willing to buy hundreds of thousands of gold dollars just to earn loyalty points, and so the free program was shut down. Dragons flight (talk) 14:05, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Square is cheaper than paypal. They send you a free dongle for your phone, and you can link the app directly to a bank account. They charge 2.75% for a swiped transaction, which is cheaper than paypal. And you can deposit directly into your checking or savings account. So, if you wanted to do that scheme, you lose less using a Square reader than using a paypal account. --Jayron32 14:17, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Be sure to check your cardholder agreement to see if PayPal or Square purchases are eligible to generate loyalty points. In some cases, credit card companies exclude this to prevent fraud (e.g. somebody paying themselves on PayPal using their credit card).--WaltCip (talk) 17:47, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Read the terms very carefully. I did that with Square ages ago and they terminated my account. You can't charge/transfer for yourself. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 17:48, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

the white horse westbury[edit]

Was the monument vandalised, defaced or altered in any way during the 1940's — Preceding unsigned comment added by 4mpi (talkcontribs) 10:37, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

It was concreted over in the late 1950s - I can see nothing to indicate anything significant in the 1940s. Wymspen (talk) 11:51, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

USB port buy[edit]

I wish to buy this product but a brand new one which is (I'm guessing) this. Problem is, I'm unable understand whether the new one consists of all the extras, along, like the used one.

Note: Nothing is specified in the old and new product pages' of the extras.

Could you give me a reliable link where I could buy this product, with extras altogether. (talk) 18:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The old product pages on Amazon states
" Package Includes:
2.USB data cable*1
3.DC5V/5A power adapter*1 (NOTE: Power cord: US/EU/UK/AU) "

You could send a message to the seller and ask them. For obvious reasons we don't know what they supply. -- SGBailey (talk) 19:22, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Powerless Glasses[edit]

1) I'm planning on to buy powerless UV glasses for computer usage, because I use computer all the time. I also wish to wear them outside due to 'sun' and 'dust' issue; the main reason why I'm planed to get black 100% UV protection... If it doesn't fall under the 'medical advice law', what do you suggest?

2) If you state to buy separate glasses i.e. one for computer usage and one for outdoors, regardless of point (1), please give me an example of each, something extremely feather weight with a "rubber grip" section on the nose part. I would like to buy from U.S.A on-line. (talk) 19:17, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Here's a link to UV Blocking Glasses at, where you have your pick of what is available. μηδείς (talk) 01:26, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Any idea/link, if I could get this in black? Plus, does it meet point (1)requirements (just about)? (talk) 09:26, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If you have a modern, flat-screen monitor (LCD) any glasses will do, as they do not emit any UV. The older CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors did emit some - though less than a flourescent light does. Wymspen (talk) 10:10, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
How do I measure my monitor's information? - I possess "Toshiba Satellite L850-166" Laptop. What is its diagnostic? (talk) 19:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
All laptops made in the last 20 years do not have CRT screens. Here [38] is a source saying LCD screens do not emit UV light. So it's safe to say your laptop does not emit UV light. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:36, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Which part of "I also wish to wear them outside due to 'sun' and 'dust' issue" are we ignoring? The OP knows how to post here, so I suggest he search Amazon at the link above. μηδείς (talk) 05:05, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea what you or anyone else is ignoring, or why you are replying to me at all. I only replied to OP's question about a monitor, that is why I threaded my reply directly to his question about computer screens. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:39, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I suppose I could have outdented, but was responding to the general concentration on laptops, when the OP said his main reason was sun and dust. There was a reason why I said we, and not thou. μηδείς (talk) 22:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Jim Walters Mining Disaster in Brookwood, Alabama[edit]

This disaster killed one miner and twelve rescuers in two explosions at the Jim Walters Coal Mine on September 23, 2001. It was of course overshadowed by the events of 9-11, and the loss of life was small in comparison, but the injustice it represented was a rather big deal as the mine was fined only 5000 dollars for its long history of violations. However, it is only referenced on two Wiki pages and there is no article about it.

From the Walter Energy page:

2001 mine disaster[edit source] At approximately 5:15 p.m. on September 23, 2001, at the Jim Walter Resources No. 5 coal mine in Brookwood, 40 miles southwest of Birmingham, a cave-in caused a release of methane gas that sparked two major explosions, killing thirteen miners.[2]

From the Sago Mine Disaster page:

The Sago Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion on January 2, 2006, at the Sago Mine in Sago, West Virginia, United States, near the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon. The blast and collapse trapped 13 miners for nearly two days; only one survived.[1] It was the worst mining disaster in the United States since the Jim Walter Resources Mine disaster in Alabama on September 23, 2001,[2][3] and the worst disaster in West Virginia since the 1968 Farmington Mine disaster. It was exceeded four years later by the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, also a coal mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 miners in April 2010.

The link on the Sago page takes the reader back to that bare mention on the Walter Energy page.

My question is: would it be more appropriate to expand the section on the Walter Energy page or to write an article? Aside from the 1 working reference on the Sago article, I have some newspaper articles as online references but I cannot find the disaster in any printed books that I've been able to get hold of. Can you give guidance on what action I should take?

Thank you.

Viccivarner (talk) 01:59, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

I would advise gathering all of the reliable sources you do have, and writing a draft article, in either draft-space or your own userspace. If it winds up being so extensive that it would dominate the article on Walter Energy, then it should be its own page. Is there anywhere you haven't looked for sources that we could help, or any sources you know of, but couldn't get a hold of? Someguy1221 (talk) 02:03, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
DuckDuckGo has search results for Jim Walters Mining Disaster in Brookwood, Alabama.
Wavelength (talk) 03:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

How do you stop an AI from hacking itself?[edit]

Suppose you are building a robot to achieve some goal. It must have some way of knowing that the goal has been achieved, through some measuring device. If it's an intelligent robot with advanced manipulators, it might learn how to hack the electronics of its own measuring device to make it think that it has achieved the goal, instead of actually achieving it. How would you program the robot to prevent it from doing this? PeterPresent (talk) 03:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

By being more clever than the robot. Philosophically, this is the same as any problem asking how to prevent any entity from following the letter of a law or rule without following its intent. Any time you see someone scheming to find a loophole in the law, or in any work of fiction where a genie grants a wish a bit too literally, this is the problem you're dealing with. We even see this in genetics - you engineer a fly to fluoresce when a gene is on, then look for a mutation that shuts down that gene. But since your measurement is fluorescence, the easiest way to appear to shut down the gene is to simply delete the gene for fluorescence! So more formally, you task a robot with achieving outcome X repeatedly. You permit the robot to alter its behavior or even electronics/mechanics to achieve X more efficiently. But how did you teach the robot to determine that X has been achieved? If it's something like flipping a transistor, the easiest way to achieve that goal is for the robot to simply rewire itself so that said transistor flips on its own. You would prevent this by writing clever rules regarding what the robot can or cannot alter, and making more complicated rules to determine that a task has been achieved, basically an audit of the robot's activities. Basically, the same sorts of things you do to stop a human from cheating, just with wires and code instead of laws and regulations. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:54, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The OP may be interested in reading about the technological singularity. --Jayron32 03:58, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Or possibly Existential risk from artificial general intelligence. -Arch dude (talk) 17:47, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • The OP's question is a central concern of the book Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom. The book is largely wild speculation, but he raises interesting questions and it's a quick, non-technical read. μηδείς (talk) 18:52, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
    The OP may also want to read up on Futures studies and prominent Futurists, which are people who have convinced the world they should be paid for telling us when we'll have flying cars. --Jayron32 02:13, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
    I've seen plenty of "flying" cars on our highways. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Moving phone and broadband from different suppliers[edit]

I am in the UK, and have phone and broadband from two different suppliers, neither of them BT. (They both go over BT physical lines of course; but Ihave no relationship with BT).

Next week I'm moving (just a few yards, so I am keeping the phone number). There's currently no phone line connected to the house I'm moving to, so my phone supplier will be getting BT Openreach to install whatever is necessary. I rang my broadband company to ask about moving, and they first said that if the line is not yet in, they cannot take the order to move it. Then they said that if I could get the SIM (possibly called the LORN) for the line, they could accept the order in advance. I tried to get these from the phone company the same day, and the agent went away and talked to the techies, and said they didn't know, as the order hadn't even gone in yet. So I waited a week, and tried again. This time, after talking to the techies, the agent said that they will not be able to provide me with that ever.

So as it stands, when the phone moves over on Tuesday my Broadband will vanish, and I can only order a new broadband connection then, which takes 7 to 10 days.

Does anybody have any explanations that I can give to the phone company, or suggestions about how I can get through this? (I've deliberately not named the companies, because it seems doubtful that that is relevant). Obviously I've thought about workrounds like using mobile (reception's very poor here) or using a neighbour's connection (which is probably what I'll do). --ColinFine (talk) 13:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Try reading this - - and take note of the comment that the Sim transfer has to be requested at the same time as the order is placed for the line - you cannot order the line installed, then get a LORN later. You may have to cancel the order, and start again making sure that the Sim transfer is booked as part of the BTOutreach order. Wymspen (talk) 17:12, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Wymspen. At least I know now. That makes things clearer. I have no relationship with BT, and no confidence that if my phone supplier put in a new order they would even know to ask for is, and I'd lose a week. I'm just going to have to accept the delay I think. --ColinFine (talk) 23:16, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

How many URLs make up wikipedia[edit]

So I'm thinking about things at 3 in the morning and I wondered how big is wikipedia, so I found the page about how many pages there are on wikipedia with is currently about 40 million including all languages but that didn't really appease my curiosity. So I'm wondering how many URLs total fall under the banner of wikipedia, of course this is debatable what counts as a variation but in my opinion that would be any different URL that doesn't lead you to the wikipedia error page. Just wondering if anyone somehow could know this or if there is an efficient way of figuring it out without a massive server farm constantly pinging wikipedia which would slow it down tremendously . — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dusteronomy (talkcontribs) 08:32, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

It depends on how you want to count the URLs. There are 5.3 million articles on Wikipedia and 40 million articles on all Wikipedias, but these are not the only pages. Including pages from every namespace (talk, user, project, etc), you are looking at about 13 million pages on the English Wikipedia alone, so 7.7 more than just the articles. But that's not all! There are also history pages, revision pages and beyond. There have been somewhere around 860 million edits to the English Wikipedia, and about 3 billion to all Wikipedias. Each of those has an URL. But wait, there's more! For every user account (30 million total), there is a contributions page. Even contributions pages for non-existent users take you to Wikipedia just fine! And for any pair of edits, you can compare the two revisions, so..860 million squared. But wait, it just never ends! There are still more functions you can pile into the URL and still have it take you to Wikipedia. So basically, you could wind up infinity URLs that will lead you to Wikipedia if you try hard enough. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:46, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Remember that if you are counting dynamic pages you can come up with an extremely high number. For example Nbnbnvbnbvngfgdfgdf. Or Special:WhatLinksHere/Nbnbnvbnbvngfgdfgdf. Or [39]. And do you count that the same as [40]? Nil Einne (talk) 09:59, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Newsweek's report on Trump's dealings in Cuba[edit]

Kurt Eichenwald reported in Newsweek that Trump's company had illegally traded in Cuba. Has there been independent confirmation? (talk) 14:46, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

For anyone unfamiliar, the IP is referring to this Newsweek story: [41] Dragons flight (talk) 17:30, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Model no: PA5024U-1BRS, Li-on 10.8v, 5200mAh[edit]

I possess “Toshiba Satellite L850-166” Laptop, what is the highest “mAh” battery available on this Laptop/Battery model number? (talk) 19:17, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

You can generally find replacement batteries by searching for the laptop or battery model. In this case, this is the first Google search result for that battery model. clpo13(talk) 19:25, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes I've noticed, reason for re-asking is, 1) first time, I did not receive the answer requested though was assisted to a better solution which is in the subsection now below as a query, thereafter my research. 2) Due to curiosity as I'm unable to grasp this second time. (talk) 19:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

External Battery[edit]

I possess “Toshiba Satellite L850-166” Laptop, I require a battery that will replace the following: Model no: PA5024U-1BRS, Li-on 10.8v, 5200mAh.


1) Li-on battery that can be monitored from the monitor screen (just like I currently do now for the existing one using a software), and, as well as from the external battery section.

2) Capability of charging while using and not using the Laptop, while keep the external charging pin inside the Laptop...

3) A Li-on battery i.e. quick to charge e.g., like the "Mission e- Porche"... (talk) 19:17, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Purely for curiosity, (so you do not have to answer), why didn't you post this query on the 'Computers and IT' Reference Desk, where regular responders are more likely to know about this sort of thing than those on the 'Miscellaneous' Desk? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 22:36, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Cotton swab[edit]

The entitled article does not define different designs available. What are the design names and what is commonly/universally used? (talk) 21:36, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

You mean something besides Q-tips and their various knockoffs? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:39, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any designs other than a bit of cotton on the end of a stick. Some have wood sticks, some paper, some plastic. Some have cotton on both ends. Some have cotton only on one end. Otherwise, there's not a lot of variation. It's bit of cotton on a stick. There are no "design names". --Jayron32 02:04, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
They used to advertise "Q-tips, the safety swab" presumably due to its "stick" being tightly wound paper instead of being rigid like with wood. As you suggest, "single tipped" and "double tipped" could qualify as "design names". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:50, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
In the UK there tends to be a distinction between cotton buds - short, cotton wool at each end, sold for personal use - and cotton swabs - long, cotton wool at one end only, generally sterile, used in medicine and science. Wymspen (talk) 10:57, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

December 3[edit]

Using STiki[edit]

Hi, I just got STiki today and wondering how to activate it. Can anyone help me?? JustAGuyOnWikipedia (talk) 00:43, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Where have you saved the .jar file? I created a shortcut to "C:\Program Files\StiKi\STiki_2016_08_14.jar" on my taskbar so that when I click the shortcut, STiki launches. Dbfirs 00:54, 3 December 2016 (UTC)


Hello, I am making my mom 4 books with 16 pages for Christmas but I need topics. Any suggestions? Kaydiddlediddle (talk) 02:31, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

The Nativity of Jesus. The Three Wisemen. Santa Claus. Good King Wenceslas. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:45, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
A book about Christmas music could be interesting. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:11, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
The Twelve Days of Christmas and List of Christmas dishes - a list of traditional Christmas food around the world. Richard Avery (talk) 08:24, 3 December 2016 (UTC)