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November 21[edit]

Why the Key of A?[edit]

I have been asked to explain the lyrics:

It was just another Saturday
and ev'rything was in the key of A

from a song by Florence and the Machine Patti Smith (oops), but I am clueless. Can someone like @JackofOz: suggest what might be meant here by referring to that key? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 03:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Musical key? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:35, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The key of A is the only musical key whose name rhymes with Saturday... --Jayron32 04:39, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I have nothing really to add on why A particularly, but I can't help but be reminded of a Doonesbury strip with Jimmy Thudpucker. His conversation with his guitarist went something like this (from memory; I can't seem to find it online):
Guitarist: What's wrong, Jim? Doesn't feel good in B flat?
Thudpucker: No, it's too formulaic. I want this to be archival. It should have a tricentennial sound.
G. Oh.
G. You mean like something in an F?
T. If you've got it.
--Trovatore (talk) 04:50, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
happy baby
Hey, please, don't kid (assuming you are kidding) because I am posting this for someone else who plays the guitar and sings and who asked me to ask this here, but who doesn't have www access; and I myself am musically illiterate, in the sense that I cannot read music or tell what key something is written in, even if I can sing in harmony with some sort of key, although I might be off by an octave or a third or a liter and a half. I mean really, folks, you are going to make opossums and chipmunks cry if you mock me so. I am not joking, I am off to look for crying mammals to post here. μηδείς (talk) 04:53, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I for one wasn't mocking you, just saying something it reminded me of. I'm gonna go with Jayron's explanation, which sounds reasonable, plus there's a resonance of a grade of A or A-OK and stuff like that. I don't think there's any special emotional quality to the key of A per se, but maybe I'm just ignorant about it. --Trovatore (talk) 05:01, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, well, maybe I can accept that. Although I remember from studying music theory in the 80's that the different keys have different emotional nuances. In any case, the question is not for me, but for an innocent third party.... μηδείς (talk) 05:07, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Different keys used to have different emotional nuances, prior to the widespread use of Equal temperament, which makes every key functionally identical in terms of the spacing and ratio of notes. Unless you believe Nigel Tufnel, who claimed D minor was the "saddest of all keys". It makes people weep instantly. --Jayron32 05:49, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Even with equal temperament, keys hit the harmonics of an instrument in different ways. D makes a violin just sing, e.g., while E is much more mellow. And if you're not stuck with fixed tuning, you typically take liberties with the notes anyway: pushing that leading tone up a bit, or getting a really perfect fifth. -- Elphion (talk) 07:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Scientists might pooh-pooh the idea, but many composers chose particular keys for their works because of their emotional aspects. That is, what those keys meant to the composer, subjectively. You can find a lot about this if you search. This is one person's idea, from Christian Schubart's Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst (1806). Here are some more, and this also gets into linking keys with colours (synaesthesia), but again, there's little agreement. (Oh, I see those links are also @ Key (music)). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:19, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The song is We Three. The key of A would normally refer to A major but here I think she means the key of A minor. Contact Basemetal here 08:43, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is the song, "We Three". I will pass along the above, and a copy of our article on key. μηδείς (talk) 17:37, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I have been instructed to thank everyone for their answers, and specifically to "ask @Basemetal: why does he think that PS was talking about Am? Is it because of the sadnesses of minor chords? Or something like that?" μηδείς (talk) 21:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. Plus when she says "in the key of A" she suddenly hits an Am (coming from a sequence of major chords). It would be really weird if she thought at that moment "key of A major". Incidentally, she does the same thing at several other places in the song to accentuate the darkness and the sadness in what is already a sad song, by contrasting Am with a major chord. Since overall it is a sad song this is the kind of Saturday that would naturally fit it. The mood associated with the key of A major just doesn't. This said, most of the chords in the song are major. Overall it is something like a blues in the key of C major. Contact Basemetal here 23:16, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I should not go here as I know nothing, but the famous allegretto of Symphony No. 7 (Beethoven) comes to mind. According to our article A minor is prone to be a sad key, though the above example seems to me to be more ... pensive. Movies like Zardoz use that song, but it's like curry, where anything you flavor with it will be curry. Wnt (talk) 04:20, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't have innate perfect pitch (or at least I don't think I have), but I do have "learnt" perfect pitch, having been listening to and playing music since I was very young: I can generally identify a note or a key when it's played to me. What I can say is this: different keys have different emotions and meanings attached to them in my mind. I absolutely agree with the remarks made above about D minor and A minor. Mahler does D minor particularly well here, turning a happy children's song into a funeral march, partly just by the choice of key. I have a particular fondness for C, Cm, E, A, and Am myself, which for me always communicate particular emotions, which I've tried to summarise:
C - openness, simplicity, uprightness, honesty, simple happiness, wholesomeness
Cm - sadness, potentially deep sadness, but with the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel
E - happiness, joy, being in the presence of greatness
A - sadness, honour, depth, happiness through sacrifice
Am - neatness, honesty, cleanliness, happiness and sadness mixed together
I suspect I could probably define other keys similarly. Generally, increasing the number of sharps increases the brightness, but also the brittleness, of the emotion, while increasing the number of sharps increases the depth and profundity. As for the original question, I think the answer is this:
A - happiness and optimism, on the verge of becoming excessively so.

I don't know if this is much help, but that's how I would interpret the line mentioned. RomanSpa (talk) 10:33, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Bible translation that is gender neutral re God[edit]

ANy suggestions? Print or online acceptable, just want no 'Lord'/ 'He'/ 'His' etc (talk) 09:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

"Our nonspecific gender parent, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." Nope. Doesn't work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:05, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Just "parent" would work there. StuRat (talk) 09:41, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Our Gender in Bible translation article cites two examples. Google "gender neutral bible" and you'll find plenty more.--Shantavira|feed me 09:24, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
English seems to lack good singular gender-neutral pronouns. There are plural gender-neutral words, like "they" and "their", which can be used as singular, when the context makes it obvious, but when applied to God, that could make it sound like you refer to multiple gods. Then there is "it", but that seems rude when applied to living things. StuRat (talk) 09:39, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
"Let us make man in our image..." How many gods are in that committee? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:37, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Historically, probably in the 10s named ones, plus unnamed multitudes. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:53, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
English has more gender neutral pronouns than French or Spanish. --Jayron32 15:57, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Really? Leave aside "they" (used for "he or she") which I doubt has made it yet into a Bible translation, what pronouns do you have in mind? Contact Basemetal here 16:38, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
English has two specific gender neutral pronouns: it and they. Spanish and French have no equivalent of those. Two is more than zero. --Jayron32 20:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I had mentioned "they" but "it" is not gender neutral. "It" is for things that have no gender. E.g. "someone came while we were out and they carried away the refrigerator" never "someone came while we were out and it carried away the refrigerator". At least I've never heard the latter. Contact Basemetal here 20:32, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
First, remember that many languages use gender even for items like ships, cars or even refrigerators with non gender (under most definitions). Second and perhaps more importantly, while "it" is rarely used for humans, except occasionally recently born infants, foetuses and embryos, it's regularly used for other animals. A few people may do so because they think gender is a concept which doesn't apply to other animals, but for many people when they call a chimpanzee an "it" all they mean is they either don't know or remember the chimp's gender, or it's irrelevant or simply they find it more convient. Nil Einne (talk) 03:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
"There's someone at the door." "Who is it?" would be a perfectly normal conversation, I would have thought. And I'm sure I've heard people use "He (or She, or It)" when referring to a hypothetical God of indeterminate gender. Iapetus (talk) 16:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
French has gender-neutral pronouns - ce/cette, ça, cela, ceci. What about "on"? Adam Bishop (talk) 12:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
(Previously added to the completely wrong section, apologies) I think you can accept "Lord", it can be used and is used in a gender neutral manner, for example Lord of Mann --Lgriot (talk) 15:31, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


an abbreviation "IBITDA", what does it stand for and mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

The usual abbreviation is EBITDA, "Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization". Tevildo (talk) 15:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Class/hierarchy in England[edit]

Was there a class or hierarchy system in England that separated the low class, from the middle and upper/nobility? I'm thinking something along the lines of the caste system in India, but not necessarily based on religion, but based upon other factors. And if so, when did this hierarchy/classism end? ScienceApe (talk) 20:29, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

There were social classes in all of Western Europe. See Nobility. However the system was not as rigid as in India since a commoner could become a noble. The privileges of the nobility disappeared, little by little in some countries (such as England) or brutally in others (such as France): see Nobility#Noble privileges. Contact Basemetal here 20:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Our article Estates of the realm may be of help. It depends of course how far you want to go back – the structure of English society in 800AD wasn't the same as that in, say, 1300. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:14, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose the OP means the more recent past. Say, how things changed in the last 100 years in the UK. It's not surprising, but wikipedia has an article on this topic: Social structure of the United Kingdom and Huge survey reveals seven social classes in UK seems interesting too. For a more humorous treatment, there is always the TV series Keeping Up Appearances.--Scicurious (talk) 00:50, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Also A US view of the (British) class system may help and some interesting comments on Can someone explain the British class system?. Alansplodge (talk) 01:22, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
And of course how could we not include this: Class sketch --TammyMoet (talk) 20:05, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Noblesse Oblige was the definitive guide for the last century ("Phone for the fish-knives, Norman"), and the works of George Mikes may also be usefully consulted. Tevildo (talk) 23:33, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Or Tennyson's Lady Clara Vere de Vere (link):

Howe’er it be, it seems to me,
’Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

And Kipling's Epitaphs of the War (link):

A Servant
We were together since the War began.
He was my servant — and the better man. (talk) 09:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Nobles used to have specific legal privileges, beyond the mere benefits of being rich and important and knowing other rich and important people (for example, that the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand). There have also been laws restricting what people could wear, depending on rank. Obligation to military service also depended on rank or worth (in certain eras, all freemen were expected to own arms and turn up when called to defend the land. The obligations (and penalty for ignoring them) increased with the value of your property). I'm not sure how many classes were specifically encoded in law though, and it undoubtedly varied from era to era (and depends on how you define "class"). Iapetus (talk) 17:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

November 22[edit]

Stolen goods in the retail industry[edit]

The FBI agent who was Donnie Brasco wrote that his view of the retail industry took a huge knock during his undercover assignment. He saw how stolen goods were desired by even the nicest stores. Is that true? Has it changed? Thanks. (talk) 01:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Age of majority vs. voting age[edit]

I'm curious about places where the age of majority is higher than the voting age. In Alabama, for instance, the voting age is 18, and the age of majority is 19. Do situations ever pop up where parents try to force their kids to vote a certain way, or punish them because of the candidate they voted for? Do parents even have the authority in these jurisdictions to go so far as to dictate whom their minor kids will vote for? What id your parents tell you you can't vote at all? 2601:644:101:84B2:2CC8:DDB6:6C6B:2AF1 (talk) 07:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

There are laws for protecting children from different kinds of adult abuses. My guess is the right to vote is protected as well, otherwise a vote which would depend on parents will, we couldn't call it democratic rights and freedom of vote within a democracy? Akseli9 (talk) 10:14, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The whole reason behind the widespread use of the secret ballot is that, since nobody can tell how someone voted, no one can tell whether they've successfully forced/bribed/persuaded/etc. them to vote in a certain way; and therefore it doesn't make sense for them to try to. (If we didn't have secret ballots, various things would be easier, but this one reason is generally considered more important than those.) -- (talk) 16:23, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, secret ballot guarantees freedom of vote thus freedom of conscience. This is what Democracy is about. Akseli9 (talk) 17:52, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Still doesn't help if you are grounded by your parents on the election week (maybe because you disagree with the political view of your parents, or another reason). Anyone heard of case that say that grounding is illegal on election day for an 18 yo? --Lgriot (talk) 15:17, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Grounding doesn't have to be illegal, simply stopping the person from voting. I strongly suspect in many places parents can't forbid a child from going to school or some educational institution for curricular activities. They probably can't stop the child seeking medical help or go to work. Whether there are specific laws for these, or it's down to interpretation may vary. They may however be able to ground them and forbid them from going to the cinema or mall or use computers for entertainment. Nil Einne (talk) 16:09, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Getting data on number of U.S. troops stationed at military bases in the Continental U.S.[edit]

I am trying to find data on the number of active/reserve troops (and civilian contractors) that are stationed at every military base in the U.S (I'm not interested in overseas installations).

I am trying to import this data into a GIS program, so ideally it would be in a format that can be directly imported into GIS software with minimal editing (spreadsheets, CSV, shape-files, etc). But even if it is not available in one of these formats, I would still be interested in knowing where I could find this kind of information.

The only thing I've been able to find so far is the DOD's annual Base Structure Reports e.g. --> 2015 BSR

This has a lot of the data I'm looking for, but it's not in a format that is going to be helpful for what I'm trying to do. Any ideas where I could just download this data directly, instead of having to try to extract it from a PDF file?

Thanks! Mesoderm (talk) 09:41, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

@Mesoderm:: You can wade through the government bureaucracy, or simply pick up the phone. From p. 18 (DoD-17) of the above-linked report:
V. Personnel Assigned by Military Installations
This section is the result of our partnership with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense/Personnel and Readiness (OUSD (P&R)) to provide a section in the BSR identifying assigned military and civilian personnel by installation. ...
The source of the personnel data is the Defense Management Data Center (DMDC), a field activity of the OUSD (P&R). Questions on this section of the BSR should be addressed directly to the providers of the data at DMDC, Mr. Kit Tong or Mr. Tim Powers, at (831)583-2400.
Not readily found in quick glance at DMDC (at least not on page offering spreadsheet downloads of DoD Personnel, Workforce Reports & Publications) - I would simply call and ask for these guys by name. I'm sure they'll ask for yours! -- Paulscrawl (talk) 00:33, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
@Mesoderm: - 16 pages of PDF Personnel tables in report (PERS-1 - PERS-16; PDF pp. 188-203) converted to Excel easily enough. A very minor bit of cleanup needed to merge 11 worksheets on US deployments (one worksheet per PDF page; remaining 5 worksheets in workbook for foreign deployment kept to double check final row's calculated Grand Totals), but column breaks for all numbers look perfectly accurate. Most columns need width correction for headers and conversion of data from text to number format for alignment and computation, but looks usable within minutes without DHS background check.
File waiting for you till ~24 hours from this timestamp at Zamzar for your download. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 03:07, 24 November 2015 (UTC)


Our article on Ammon (Ammonites of the human variety) says that the word means "people". A variety of Phoenician, so far as I understood, east of Israel they worshipped Moloch, who is identified with Baal Hammon. There is also Amun, said there to be originally a wind deity before being recast as a creator god at Thebes, a.k.a. Amon Ra as an Egyptian, Zeus Ammon as a Greek. There is the Temple of Ammon, a.k.a. Ammonium (one of the 'three great oracles of ancient times', pity we don't have an article; its ruins are at Siwa Oasis).

Can someone verify that all these Ammons are of common origin, and lay out a sort of phylogenetic tree of the uses? Was Ammon originally seen as a god, or as the people? Wnt (talk) 13:07, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

What makes you think that all those names are etymologically related? Ammon and Amun are spelled in Hebrew as עמון and אמון respectively, suggesting that they are unrelated, and the lexicons I looked at (Koehler-Baumgartner and Brown–Driver–Briggs) do not make any connection. The former states that Ammon (the people) is of Semitic origin and probably meant "little uncle" originally. The article for Amun on the other hand claims that the meaning is "the hidden one" and is Egyptian in origin. - Lindert (talk) 14:43, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
There's some variety in the former at Amman, and the latter in harmoniac, etc... I don't have the linguistic background to know when it matters and when it doesn't. It surprises me that a race of people who in many places called their god Hammon or Amun would, by coincidence, be called "Ammon" as their native word for "people" in one place further east, and call their version of their god as Moloch. But your sources go some way toward convincing me it's at least not a trivial error in Wikipedia. Wnt (talk) 17:19, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Note that "Molech" is an edition of a word for "king"; other forms of the M-L-K triliteral root include "Milcom" (alternate name for Molech) and the latter half of Ebed-Melech's name. "Baal" is an edition of a word for "lord" and is often applied to other humans; if I remember rightly, it's the term rendered "lord" in some translations of Genesis 18.12. The Baal Hammon article that you cite says that the latter word's root is H-M-N, not A-M-N or ʿ-M-N, so it's maybe unrelated. Nyttend (talk) 04:58, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Fwiw, the Bible's own version of the etymology of Ammonite, is explained in Genesis chapter 19. See Lot_(biblical_person)#Lot_and_his_daughters. Lot's daughters both had the same idea of flagging up their child's incestuous origins in their names, but younger daughter's choice ("son of my people" ->Ammonite) was rather more subtle version than that of her sister ("from the father" ->Moabite) --Dweller (talk) 13:18, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

How could the price of oil fall more than 50% that fast?[edit]

An oil barrel costs around $50 now, although it was prices at more than $100 not long ago.

Even considering that some economies, like the Chinese or Indian, are not growing as much as in the past, they are still growing at a rate of 7% (hence consuming more oil). Europe and the US might only dream about such economic growth, but their economies are not plummeting (hence consuming around the same amount of oil).

I also don't believe that the supply could have doubled in the short amount of time.

Wouldn't a drop this large imply a strong shift in the demand or supply side?--Scicurious (talk) 14:56, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

What we are seeing here is one of the paradoxes of capitalism. It often happens that when demand for a commodity drops, instead of reducing supply in order to maintain prices, producers actually increase production in a (futile) effort to maintain their income. Everybody understands that production is too high, but everybody wants the burden of reducing production to fall on somebody else. The result can easily be that prices go into a "death spiral". This has happened many times. A notorious case is the collapse in farm commodity prices during the Great Depression. Looie496 (talk) 15:26, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not necessary to double supply to cause the price to drop by half. A fairly small over or under supply will cause a large price swing because demand is actually fairly constant and predictable. Motorists don't suddenly double or half the distance they travel daily just because the fuel price moved. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:14, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It makes sense that the demand side is more or less stable. So, a swing in the supply must be the problem. Can you provide a source that a small change in supply would produce a large change in price? As far as I imagine it, a x% change would produce a smaller than x% change.--Scicurious (talk) 16:43, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Imagine there is some commodity where everybody needs exactly one, or they will die, but more than one does them no good at all, let's say they expire immediately (maybe an antidote for a fatal disease that quickly spoils). In such a case, if supply falls short of demand, then there will be a bidding war and prices will skyrocket. If supply outstrips demand, then the reverse will happen and suppliers will keep slashing prices to try to sell off their supply before it spoils, and the price will plummet. Even very small changes in supply and demand could thus cause massive changes in the price. Of course, oil can be stored, although it's rather expensive to do so, considering the fire hazard. And demand for oil products does somewhat rise, when prices fall, but it takes quite a bit of time for people to replace their gas-sipping cars with gas-guzzling SUVs (and the reverse is also true). StuRat (talk) 22:48, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Besides present-day supply and demand, future expectations also play a factor in commodity pricing. The Economist explains:Why the oil price is falling. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • See commodity market and commodity futures. These prices are subject to a huge amount of market speculation and are subject to news-based fluctuations in the way the stock market is. Oil is not like milk, with a sell-by date, so much of the oil that was valued at $100/b a few years ago may be the same oil which is now valued much lower. μηδείς (talk) 19:00, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Running out of storage space would make the problem worse, as then they would need to immediately sell the oil for whatever price they could get, since they can't store it until prices rise. However, there is a price at which it becomes unprofitable to pump oil, in which case they will cap the wells and store it there until prices rise. StuRat (talk) 22:42, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I take it you saw [1]. Yet oil would seem to have plenty of storage space ... underground storage provided naturally whence it came. If people are motivated to pump it up and get it to market, why stop when you have it somewhere that costs money to store it? Wnt (talk) 04:23, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Oil drilling is a big undertaking. A lot of people incorrectly visualize it as drilling into big underground caverns full of oil just sitting there, but really oil is embedded in the rock matrix underground. Getting it out takes effort. If you dump oil back down a well, it flows back into the rock, and now you've got to extract it all over again. And if it will cost more to extract the oil than you can sell it for, no one is going to bother. -- (talk) 10:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
That's not what I was suggesting -- all I meant is, if all you're going to do is trade commodities, why not trade them in the ground? Similarly, I don't understand why countries keep gold sitting in vaults rather than just trading claims on well-characterized gold reserves. It is very tragic that such large swaths of wilderness are ravaged just so that some suits can visualize the markers they're trading. Wnt (talk) 14:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Oil in the ground is difficult to measure precisely, or to determine exactly how much it will cost to extract it. Also, there's the risk somebody on a neighboring property could drain the oil field before you do. All these uncertainties make it difficult to assign a value and thus trade it. As for gold reserves, that's so, in the case of a total economic collapse, where our current fiat currency would lose all value, the government would hopefully be able to pay critical bills with gold, long enough to start a recovery. StuRat (talk) 21:29, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The chief economist at the European Central Bank, a noted dove, says that a quarter of the price decline was due to Saudi war on new supplies (fracking, Russia, etc.) and the rest due to demand. You don't want to see extreme volatility because it does suggest something is wrong. (talk) 16:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

French Resistance, Nobel laureates, and cricket[edit]

As ne fule kno, Samuel Beckett is the only first-class cricketer to have been awarded a Nobel Prize. He was also a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War. My question is twofold - were any other first-class cricketers members of the Resistance, and have any other Resistance members won a Nobel Prize? DuncanHill (talk) 23:03, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

For the latter: Albert Camus (who was no slouch at football either, by the way), and maybe you can count Sartre too. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:08, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Jacques Monod was also a member of the Resistance. No joy on cricketers as yet - Paddy Mayne played cricket (but not at a first-class level), and "assisted" (rather than being a member of) the Resistance. Tevildo (talk) 23:13, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
We can also add Georges Charpak to the Nobel prize list. Tevildo (talk) 23:18, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
And Frédéric Joliot-Curie. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:28, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
In what language does "As ne fule kno" have meaning? This happens to be the English language Wikipedia. Edison (talk) 04:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
[5]? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:05, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Even better, we have a redirect WIZZ, as any fule kno. Tevildo (talk) 10:50, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Any fule kno that. Contact Basemetal here 15:17, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Not sure, but Beckett is certainly the only Nobel Laureate who drove Andre the Giant to school. --Jayron32 15:38, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

November 23[edit]

UK handicapped symbols[edit]

Go to 53°54′13″N 1°11′45″W / 53.90361°N 1.19583°W / 53.90361; -1.19583 in Google Maps and start looking through the car park with Street View; you'll see what appears to be a backwards version of File:MUTCD D9-6.svg, although the wording on the adjacent Little Chef restaurant demonstrates that the picture isn't itself backwards. Is this version of the symbol, with the stick figure facing left, the normal usage in the UK (or at least in Yorkshire), or is this different from normal symbols? International Symbol of Access doesn't address variations, aside from a couple of American modifications that have been designed to placate activists. Nyttend (talk) 05:08, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I've never seen it that way before, and I've lived in Britain most of my life. Looks like a cock-up to me. By the way, you could have provided us with a direct link to the image, viz: [6] instead of making us find it for ourselves. --Viennese Waltz 08:26, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, stencils are normally used paint these things, as you see here. It's a simple matter to lay down the stencil the wrong way up (not to mention mixing up the order of a sequence of stencils). As this was a parking lot (presumably not painted with public funds) and the eymbol was comprehensible, we can guess that even if the owners learned about the error they did not think it needed fixing. -- (talk) 09:00, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The provision of accessible disabled parking spaces is required by the Equality Act 2010 but as far as I can tell, there's no compulsory signage requirement for private car parks. A government "Traffic Advisory Leaflet" of April 1995 says on page 6 that "The white wheelchair symbol in a black square as shown in TSRGD Diagram 2113 should be used..", but shows the "stick man" facing right (Figure 5) and facing left (Figure 6), both on page 7. Alansplodge (talk) 11:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
An interesting thing about that 1995 document is it actually has 3 photos of real world locations where the symbol appears to be backwards from what most mention as the normal direction (page 3, 8, 9). All have writing visible so it doesn't look like it's simply that the photo was flipped. It's possible 2 of these are from the same place (although it doesn't look like the exact same parking places and I wonder if that store was big enough to have two groups), but page 9 definitely seems to be different. In fact, I think the number of photos with the backwards direction is more than the number in the right direction (although in many photos the direction is unclear). Nil Einne (talk) 12:39, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The TSRGD themselves, Schedule 16, paragraph 34, state: "The disabled person symbol shown in diagram 2310.1. The symbol shall be shown on a black rectangle when placed on a white or yellow background on that part of the sign. The symbol shall be reversed where appropriate". Tevildo (talk) 13:10, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Need help tracking down a Thomas Jefferson quote[edit]

This wikisource link [7] has the quote:

How did Jefferson propose to convert a government of judiciary and police into the strongest government on earth? His answer to this question, omitted from the Inaugural Address, was to be found in his private correspondence and in the speeches of Gallatin and Madison as leaders of the opposition. He meant to prevent war. He was convinced that governments, like human beings, were on the whole controlled by their interests, and that the interests of Europe required peace and free commerce with America. Believing a union of European Powers to be impossible, he was willing to trust their jealousies of each other to secure their good treatment of the United States. Knowing that Congress could by a single act divert a stream of wealth from one European country to another, foreign Governments would hardly challenge the use of such a weapon, or long resist their own overpowering interests. The new President found in the Constitutional power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations" the machinery for doing away with navies, armies, and wars.

Where can I find a source for the quote ending in "...the machinery for doing away with navies, armies, and wars"?

If I'm reading the paragraph correctly, the quote came from either one of Jefferson's private correspondence or "in the speeches of Gallatin and Madison as leaders of the opposition". 731Butai (talk) 10:33, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Nothing in that paragraph implies that it is directly quoting Jefferson. Presumably it is a summary by the author (Henry Adams) of words that Jefferson did write. -- (talk) 13:03, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I was planning to say the same thing. It's a reference to the Embargo Act of 1807. The quote earlier in the sentence is the first part of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Nyttend (talk) 13:14, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree that it's unlikely to be a literal quote. We have quite a lot of Jefferson's correspondence - he kept copies of all his letters. He purposefully destroyed some later on, but those are believed to be mostly private letters. A good, searchable archive is here. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:27, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Opinion pieces as news in The Daily Telegraph[edit]

"Obama’s phony war" in The Washington Post is clearly labeled as an opinion piece, with "Opinions" appearing before the title, the byline reading "By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer", and the URL even showing that it is in the opinions section, but where the same piece appears in The Daily Telegraph as "France is trying to create a coalition to destroy Isil, but President Obama isn't interested" (subtitled "Will the leader of the free world please stand up?"), "opinion" is mentioned nowhere, the byline is simply "By Charles Krauthammer", and it appears under the section "News / World News / Islamic State".

Is it common for newspapers in the UK leave it up to their readers to identify opinion pieces by content, or is this a peculiarity of The Daily Telegraph? -- ToE 13:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

In the actual hard copy Daily Telegraph newspaper, it's usually not difficult to distinguish between opinion and hard news (my mum is a regular reader), although I agree that it's not made clear in the internet article that you linked to. Some of the British tabloid newspapers mingle fact with opinion far more freely; the Daily Mail is notorious in that respect, but the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror are little better. Alansplodge (talk) 13:34, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
As a rule of thumb, straight news doesn't use questions for headlines. And the answer to any such headline is no. Goes for subheadlines, too. Anytime a writer refers to himself or the reader, that's basically equal to an explicit "Opinion" label. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:20, November 23, 2015 (UTC)

Are Jihad and Islamic State the same thing?[edit]

I keep hearing on a radio station (not sure which channel) and reading in the Washington Post about ISIS/Islamic State, sometimes using them together simultaneously. Please explain briefly the difference. Also, explain briefly whether the war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, American war on terror are relevant, and provide links if further explanation is needed. Also, what's up with the Islamic terrorism? How did this terrorism begin in the first place? Since when did Islam start to have a negative image in American or Western society? (talk) 14:10, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Have you read the jihad article? It's a fundamental concept of Islam (meaning "struggle"), although interpretations of the concept range from personal struggle against sin to armed warfare against nonbelievers. And your final question, see Arab–Byzantine wars; after a short period of viewing them as a quirk, the Empire soon realised that the Muslims were a threat, and this got reinforced when they defeated imperial forces, conquered Palestine and Egypt, and destroyed the Persian Empire — all within a few years of the death of Muhammad. There wasn't much of a "Western society" at the time (this being the Early Middle Ages, with very little communication, in most of Europe outside the Empire), but invasions of Spain and France (to use today's names for those regions) caused the various Germanic peoples of Western Europe to become aware of their hostility. Nyttend (talk) 14:23, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Reading the relevant articles on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and for the various wars might help you out. Also, this video might help as well. Dismas|(talk) 14:33, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Note that Islam had a quite positive image in the Enlightenment, as more rational than e.g. Christianity with endless debates on the details of the Trinity and the exact role of Jesus. I don't think its historically correct to suggest that there is an unbroken tradition of enmity going back to the original era of Islamic expansion. Relationships have varied a lot, and often been dominated by other topics than religion. The same is true today. While Islam is used as a rallying cry by some fanatics, its not the underlying cause. Muslim Arabs were happily allied with the allies during WW1, fighting the (also Muslim) Ottomans. Afghanistan/Pakistan has been the subject of political machinations during the Great Game in the 19th century, Turkey controls the Dardanelles and hence Russia's access to a warm water port, and "Arabia Felix" is sitting on both the Suez canal and the largest and most convenient reserves of crude oil. All this means that the whole near and middle east has been subject to manipulation by all major powers of the day. That is not a climate that is conductive to peace and stability. As an aside, I listend to the Librivox edition of Indian Frontier Policy by General John Miller Adye a while back, and apart from his comment on the railroad as the modern marvel of the day, it could pretty much be written today. Of course, he died in 1900, but far too little has changed... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:20, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Also relevant is the long-standing Franco-Ottoman alliance which each country entered because each needed an ally against the Habsburg Empire. --Jayron32 18:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
And the Crimean War when France and the UK went to war with Russia in defence of Turkey (but soon wished they hadn't). Alansplodge (talk) 23:08, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Much earlier: see Abbasid–Carolingian alliance. But I doubt these cases had anything to do with religion, let alone with a "positive" or "negative" view of Islam. It was simply not about Islam. They're just cases where Realpolitik trumped anything else and are about of the same order as Britain, etc. siding with the Ottoman Empire against Russia in the Crimean War. Or consider the attempts to build an alliance between (Shia) Safavid Iran and the Habsburg (see Safavid_dynasty#Contacts_with_Europe_during_Abbas'_reign and more specifically the Habsburg–Persian alliance). It was all about weakening the Ottoman Empire on both sides for purely political reasons even though modern day Sunni have a reading of history where the Shia "betrayed" Islam and collaborated with the Europeans against Islam and partly blame the Shia for the Ottoman failure to conquer Europe. Consider also, during the 30 Years War, that France, a Catholic country whose prime minister was at the time a cardinal, was actually siding with the Protestant powers against (again) the Habsburgs. The French 16th and 17th c. obsession with being "encircled" by the Habsburg. There again it had nothing to do with a "positive" view of Protestantism. It was just Realpolitik. Today's Muslims have this theory that European colonization, Western imperialsm were all huge conspiracies against Islam, when they were in fact no different than what the Europeans were doing in Africa, China, India, Asia, or the Americans in South America, etc. Bizarrely many Western leftists are in the process of internalizing that Muslim view that Western colonialism and imperialism was and is especially targeted at Islam, adopting the Islamist view, which is really an anachronism. See Michel Onfray's recent suggestions to negotiate with Isis and with its "caliph". Yes Onfray seems to recognize Al Baghdadi as a legitimate caliph, I heard it in this French language interview on i-Télé that he gave in response to his name being mentioned in an Isis video. This whole story not yet in the WP article about Onfray but see for example this and a French answer to Onfray's suggestions here. Note I am not commenting (either approving or disapproving of) the substance of Onfray's suggestion. I am simply remarking that the language, the framework Onfray uses to describe the situation is mimicked from the Islamist (and in particular Isis's) reading of history. Contact Basemetal here 19:55, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Since we're talking early modern Europe, see "Liever Turks dan Paaps", a slogan of Dutch Protestant rebels against the Spanish Catholic government then ruling most of today's Netherlands. Nyttend (talk) 06:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

The OP might have meant Islamic Jihad or Islamic Jihad, the organisation, rather than Jihad, the concept from which it takes its name. In which case, while they might share certain aims, they're very different in one crucial respect: broadly speaking, both Islamic Jihads were/are Shia and ISIS is Sunni. --Dweller (talk) 14:50, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Ah, thank you for that question, Dweller; I took the original question as asking whether ISIS' actions were equivalent to the concept envisioned by جهاد‎, the Arabic term that transliterates to "jihad" in the Latin alphabet. I expect you're right. And a note on Stephan Schultz's first sentence — consider the influence of Muslims such as ibn Rushd (and his philosophy) and ibn Sina on European culture during the Renaissance. Nyttend (talk) 16:14, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The Islamic State is cobbled together from various organizations throughout its development, and has split from al-Qaida. Thus it has a line of descent back to Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, even though it is now a rival of al-Qaida. And there's Jaysh al-Jihad in ISIS. And I think there's some other group with the name that turned up in a flap about whether the U.S. was officially giving weapons to al-Qaida recently. Wnt (talk) 14:54, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Al-Qaeda itself was quite the hodgepodge of less easily memorable names. Still is, but less so, now that the default term for many jihadists in the Western media is "linked to ISIS" rather than "linked to al-Qaeda". Though sometimes the wires lumped those two together, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:35, November 23, 2015 (UTC)
Here are diagrams of sorts attempting to clarify who's who and whatnot. Plenty of plain text, too, if those diagrams do nothing. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:40, November 23, 2015 (UTC)
As for when, in modern times, Islam started to get a bad reputation in the West, I'd date it to around the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Murdering civilians at such an international forum for peace, regardless of their motivations, was not seen in a positive light by the West. Now, they weren't Muslim fundamentalists, but their religion certainly played a role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and thus the event. As for Muslim fundamentalist attacks, there was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, then a continuous series of such attacks leading up to September 11 attacks.
If you include the Soviet Union and it's successor states in "the West", then they have suffered their own attacks from Muslims, including the Beslan school siege. StuRat (talk) 21:10, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Also see Indonesian killings of 1965–66, Barbary pirates... Wnt (talk) 11:42, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Much of the trouble in the Middle East is due to Persia's fear of being "encircled" by Sunnis (i.e. cut off from the Mediterranean). Turkey claims to be a part of "the West" and they were responsible for the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Armenian and Nestorian Christians in 1915. (talk) 12:37, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Getting to know women in niqab[edit]

In Islamic countries where women wear niqab how does an unmarried single man choose a woman to approach her for dating and eventual marriage? Thanks-- (talk) 16:48, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but I expect that arranged marriage is the relevant Wikipedia article. Alansplodge (talk) 16:58, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, and a female member of the would-be groom's family will presumably get to see the bride's face and body, to ensure there is no deformity, disease, etc., before the marriage is agreed to. StuRat (talk) 21:16, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, it looks like it doesn't always work. (Same story was mentioned here too). Contact Basemetal here 21:55, 23 November 2015 (UTC) has a thing or two to read. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:03, November 23, 2015 (UTC)

Term for when characters invent dialogue[edit]

Is there a word to describe when, say, character A pretends that character B has said something? Despite B not saying anything or even existing or even being able to communicate. Outside of fiction, you'd call it talking to yourself or simply imagining how a conversation would go. Is there a technical term? Thanks!! (talk) 18:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're getting at. When a character talks to no one in particular (i.e. they speak their thoughts aloud to the audience rather than another character), that's called a soliloquy. When a character describes a scene to the audience directly, that's called narration. When an actor invents dialogue that is not on the script, that's called an ad lib. If none of those applies in this case, can you clarify or provide an example? --Jayron32 18:38, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
My fault. I am sorry. This is in a novel. The character A is narrating with an internal monologue. Within this monologue, Character B speaks several lines. But it is entirely in the imagination of Character A. B does not actually speak at all. Is there a name for this? Thank you! (talk) 18:51, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Imagination is as good a word as any. If I invent talk in my head, I call it imagining. I don't see why the character is doing anything different. --Jayron32 19:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's as far as I think I'm going to get. Thanks for your help. :) (talk) 19:21, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Specifically, the imaginary friend is common in childhood, less so in adults. Note that that link includes their inclusion in works of fiction, such as The Tempest. Adults having imaginary friends is often considered, in literature, to be an indication of mental instability. I have no idea whether this is actually the case in real life. StuRat (talk) 21:19, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Stream of consciousness (narrative mode) may be useful. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
By implication Molly Bloom's Soliloquy. Not a pretended dialogue, but an response to an entire novel. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:35, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd call this an Unreliable narrator. --Denidi (talk) 20:58, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

November 24[edit]

Popular contemporary political philosophers[edit]

I'm looking for political philosophers (broadly interpreted) whose names have exceeded 0.000250% on at some time since 1980. To clarify, this would be searching by their full names, rather than surname alone. Gabbe (talk) 07:52, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Pen names surely. Noam Chomsky fails at 0.00003% in 1994.
Sleigh (talk) 09:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Rush Limbaugh. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
He only gets 0.000019 (1997), I'm afraid. Tevildo (talk) 16:38, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Karl Marx squeaks in with 0.000258 in 1980. Dalliance (talk) 13:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Plato is comfortably above 0.001 and Socrates above 0.0005 for the entire period, but do they count as "full names"? Tevildo (talk) 13:50, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Y'all are missing the word "contemporary" in the thread title. --Viennese Waltz 13:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, yes, but no contemporary political philosopher (Rawls, Nozick, Marcuse) get above 0.00005 with the "full name" restriction. Even "Ayn Rand" (who takes the OP's "broadly" to its ultimate limit) only gets 0.00002, an order of magnitude away from the target. I think the bar may be set rather too high. Tevildo (talk) 16:25, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. A better proxy for current public interest might be number of mentions per year in e.g. New York Times or Washington Post or other prominent newspapers. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:44, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I've run through the list in Political philosophy (not, I emphasise, List of political philosophers). Excluding the classical philosophers who are only known by one name, and excluding Voltaire ("Arouet", let alone "François-Marie Arouet", is out of contention), the winner is Thomas Jefferson (0.000253, 2001). If we're allowed surname-only searches, we have three twentieth-century candidates - "Dewey" (0.000692, 1991 - although I think this is a case where the surname-only search is likely to be a bit too generous), "Habermas" (0.000525, 2000), and "Rawls" (0.000307, 1998). Top of the list with no restrictions is "Marx" (0.00289, 1982). Tevildo (talk) 21:32, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
The full table! Political philosophers rated above 0.00025.
Name Rating (%) Year
Marx 0.00289 1982
Aristotle 0.00182 1996
Plato 0.00155 1999
Jefferson ** 0.00151 2001
Kant 0.00148 2000
Nietzsche 0.00110 1995
Mill ** 0.00107 1989
Hegel 0.000983 1997
Socrates 0.000966 1999
Locke * 0.000862 1995
Hume * 0.000750 1999
Rousseau 0.000698 1992
Dewey * 0.000670 1991
Hobbes * 0.000533 1997
Habermas 0.000527 2000
Aquinas 0.000480 2004
Voltaire 0.000478 1980
Rawls 0.000331 1998
Spinoza 0.000321 2000
Paine * 0.000283 1988
Machiavelli 0.000271 1999
Thomas Jefferson 0.000253 2001
* - Likely to contain invalid references.
** - Almost certain to contain invalid references.
Tevildo (talk) 22:26, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Tools used to create Ancient Roman inscriptions[edit]

Stone-cutter's tools

What sort of hammer and chisel (or other tools) were used to create stone inscriptions of Roman square capitals? Did the tools more or less resemble the more modern ones in the photo shown here? If not, where can a find a freely licensed or public domain photo of the sort of tools the Ancient Romans used for inscriptions? —Psychonaut (talk) 13:37, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

DO any of these sources help: [8], [9]? --Jayron32 13:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

What's the point of "bringing back" extinct species?[edit]

You may have heard that the northern white rhino is basically history. Now people are talking of "bringing it back" using IVF and southern white rhino females as surrogates. But what exactly is the point? Note I do understand trying to prevent a species from going extinct by preserving their habitat, by preventing animals from being killed, poached, etc. I can understand trying to bring a species back if it is vital to some ecosystem and that ecosystem is likely to suffer in the absence of that species. But some ecologists are talking as if bringing a species back somehow "undoes" the destruction, the suffering and the fear inflicted on the extinct animals, as if it was a moral duty somehow to bring species back just for the sake of it. Now that is entirely unintelligible to me. So does anyone know of any sources that discuss the rationales of bringing species back and specifically the ethical aspects of the question? (I'm posting this here rather than at the science desk because I'm asking here about the ethical aspect, not the technical one). Contact Basemetal here 15:52, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

When you mention "[undoing] the suffering and the fear inflicted on the extinct animal", I think you might be misinterpreting the point of the moral duty (if any is implied) which the ecologists are referring to. That is, it seems like you're interpreting the moral duty as being restitution or compensation to the extinct species itself. Generally, that's not the case. Instead, think of a car that someone has destroyed or damaged. The moral obligation to restore the car is not toward the car itself, but rather to the owner of the car. You might not be able to "undo" the destruction, and there is no suffering or fear inflicted on the car, but you can "make whole" the car owner by repairing or replacing the car - and most people would argue that the party which destroyed the car would have the moral (if not legal) duty to do so. It's likely this context in which you should be viewing these arguments. The complication is that instead of a clearly identified car owner, it's a more nebulous "humanity" which has suffered the loss. A world without northern white rhinos is less of a world than one with them, and by not having them humanity is deprived of something. This may be argued to cause a moral obligation on the part of the causative agent ("humanity") to do something to fix it. Which means that "humanity" is responsible in paying back "humanity" for the loss - which can certainly add to the confusion. -- (talk) 16:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
There are also many more utilitarian and pragmatic reasons one might support de-extinction efforts, see refs below. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:39, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
(EC)We have an article on De-extinction that touches on some of these issues. The proponents would probably say that they are attempting to fill an ecological niche that had gone empty due to human activity. This is similar in spirit (though of course not technique) to Reintroduction. Consider the wolf - for a long time it was absent (or nearly so) from Yellowstone park due to human hunting. After reintroduction, some tree populations became much healthier [10], because the wolves pressure the elk, and the elk damage on willows goes down. This is an example of top-down control in the ecosystem (surprising redlink top-down and bottom-up design is relevant but doesn't mention trophic cascades, so see e.g. here [11] for the concept in ecology). Similarly, putting Wooly Mammoths (which may be successfully cloned this decade) back on the taigas and tundras may well reduce the shrubification going on there (see e.g. here [12] and here [13]), and in other ways return the landscape to a more productive state, which helps humans via ecosystem services. The shrubification of the arctic is a positive feedback to global warming via albedo effects, so conceivably (WP:OR, complete speculation for the sake of illustrating a point) mammoth de-extinction could help mitigate effects of climate change! So one way to frame the ethics of de-exitinction is to help restore function to ecosystems that humans depend upon. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:39, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
(EC) For a requested source that discusses ethical aspects of de-extinction, see, for starters, Jørgensen, Dolly (2013-09-01). "Reintroduction and De-extinction". BioScience 63 (9): 719–720. doi:10.1093/bioscience/63.9.719.  -- Paulscrawl (talk) 16:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
More academic sources found with Google Scholar search terms ethic de-extinction -- Paulscrawl (talk) 17:05, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Fascinating topic, thanks for extincting my morning free time!
See TEDx DeExtinction for a series of conference videos that are all freely available or, better yet, choose viewing options by perusing brief textual meeting notes. That widely cited 2013 National Geographic-sponsored conference apparently first popularized the term "de-extinction". To cut through popular press FUD distortions, see the balanced and select references in Notes to chapter 11, "Should We?", in recent (April 2015) book by one of the participants/organizers:
Besides conference, she cites as "excellent" the coverage by Carl Zimmer in National Geographic (April 2013 Bringing Them Back to Life) and Nathaniel Rich's article of March 2, 2014 in The New York Times Magazine (first published online Feb. 27 as The Mammoth Cometh). I thought her final chapter note was especially noteworthy — the exchange between Paul Erlich and his former student (and an organizer of the 2013 conference) Stewart Brand:
Put these resources to use while they still exist. ;) I hope to see some improvement to our de-extinction article soon. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 19:07, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Added above book by Beth Shapiro to new Further reading section in article, and just another:
  • Wow. Lots of stuff. Thanks to everyone and especially to Paul. You guys are great. Contact Basemetal here 15:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

November 25[edit]

Republic of Texas: Date problem[edit]

The following question @ Talk:Republic of Texas has been archived without any response. So, I now refer it to my eminent Refdesk colleagues:

Date problem
  • On October 13, 1845, a large majority of voters in the republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery and emigrants bringing slaves to Texas.[15] This constitution was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a US state on the same day annexation took effect, December 29, 1845.
That's fine, except the lede says:
  • The Republic of Texas (Spanish: República de Texas) was an independent sovereign country in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846.
How could it have been a state of the Union from December 1845 if it continued as an independent sovereign country until February 1846? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:29, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Or vice-versa? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:42, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks in advance. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:24, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, if you look over in the sidebar of the article, it says:
The link goes to Texas Annexation, where it says:
The bill was signed by United States President Polk on December 29, 1845, accepting Texas as the 28th state of the Union. Texas formally relinquished its sovereignty to the United States on February 19, 1846.
And again:
President James K. Polk signed the legislation making the former Lone Star Republic a state of the Union on December 29, 1845. Texas formally relinquished its sovereignty to the United States on February 14, 1846.
Presumably in 1845 the nascent Morse telegraph system had not yet connected Washington DC to Texas, so it could not have been expected that the Texas legislature would even know when Congress had passed the bill and President Polk had signed it; they only might have known when they were planning to do so. So if they wanted to formally shut down their own legislature once Texas was accepted as a state, it would have to be done afterwards. What this meant in practice in terms of whose laws were considered in effect in Texas on what date, or (for example) whether the declaration by Texas was retroactive, I don't know. -- (talk) 01:04, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
According to this document from the Texas State Historical Organization (endorsed by the State authorities, here), the State of Texas came into being on the 19th February 1846, when the first legislature of the State was sworn in, and Anson Jones officially handed over power to J. Pinckney Henderson. Between December and February, Texas was still "The Republic of Texas", but part of the USA. Tevildo (talk) 01:21, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah. So, during those dates, the USA consisted of a number of a states, maybe a commonwealth or two, some territories, and a republic? Is that the way it was? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
The commonwealths were and are states. Texas aka Republic of Texas was a state. Iowa could rename itself The Empire of Iowa, but unless it tried to secede it would still be just a state, constitutionally speaking. A somewhat similar situation happened in California, which still says "California Republic" on its flag. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Going back to the primary sources here (rather than our article, which, although I'm sure it accurately reflects the secondary sources, contains various errors, such as the obviously incorrect February 14 date), the sequence of events was:
March 1, 1845 - The US Congress resolves to admit Texas as a state.
June 23, 1845 - The Republic of Texas legislature votes to accept the USA's offer.
July 4, 1845 - The Republic of Texas resolves to create the constitution of the State of Texas (and, by implication, to dissolve the Republic).
October, 1845 - The constitution of the State is submitted to the US Congress.
December 29, 1845 - The Act creating the State of Texas is passed by the US Congress.
February 19, 1846 - The State of Texas legislature is sworn in, and Jones hands over authority to Henderson.
So, between December 29 and February 18, the State of Texas existed (on paper) and was part of the USA, but the actual government of Texas was still in the hands of the Republic. The Republic, as a legal entity, was never part of the USA, and governed the land which made up Texas independently of the USA until February 18. Tevildo (talk) 14:39, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Fascinating. Thanks for the detailed answer, Tevildo. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:27, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Details handling software[edit]

Hello, I'm looking for an open source 'Customer Details' handling software which can be synchronised with smart phone to PC and PC to smart phone. A customer detail handling software which holds name, address, telephone, and so on; the more options the better... Can someone help me with this please? Regards. --Space Ghost (talk) 05:55, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

CRM is the generic term for customer relationship management applications and sales force automation is another term often used for CRM-specific software. Use each (separately) in search combined with "open source" and your main PC platform (Linux|Mac|Windows) and your smartphone (Android|iPhone) and you should find a solution your company can use for investment of time, not money.
These will most likely be client-server applications that can be self-hosted (if you have the time, know how, and server space), with some mechanism to access from phone, - sync contacts, CSV for spreadsheet, data dump in DropBox or Google Drive, or even a phone app. Might well be overkill, but we can't assess your business needs on this Humanities Reference Desk.
If you are not interested in such multi-user, enterprise-class self-hosted open source server-based solutions, but only need a personal, but business capable, contact manager to use on phone and laptop, you'll find lots of freemium cloud-based smartphone CRM solutions in Google Play Store and Apple's counterpart. CRM in search box. See if you can export from phone or cloud to CVS before expending too much time in data entry and check what you don't get with free accounts, e.g., Compare Zoho CRM editions -- Paulscrawl (talk) 08:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Internet usage been a problem for me since the year 2011. I do use internet but keep it to the minimal, e.g., I opened this edit page and then disconnected my connection, wrote my message then connected and sent it. Basically, whatever I do in my life now, since 2011, I'll be doing it with/using the USB wire. I can keep the WIFI, Bluetooth, and internet connection to minimal only, meaning, stay disconnected with certain things as much as possible. If you guys could recommend something that I can stick by for the rest of my life with, like the way you guys have with the GNUCash and MoneyManagerEX - both are being used simultaneously for zero error creation, and Kompozer - which I have not started using yet, I'll be grateful. -- Space Ghost (talk) 19:19, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Arts: Help needed[edit]

I am translating a German arts/literature article into English. I need assistance with a few concrete questions (differences in editing, legal questions etc.). I have visited the Wikiproject Arts, but there is not much happening. Where can I find help, i.e. a knowlegable person, to answer my questions? ! Bikkit ! (talk) 07:41, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Try the Help Desk — though, perhaps IRC would be faster if you anticipate a lot of back and forth questions/responses. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 07:48, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
P.S. Wikipedia IRC is linked in box on top right of Help Desk page. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 07:58, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
THX, I'll use the Help Desk! Bikkit ! (talk) 08:31, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

George Sand's Orlando[edit]

A friend of mine told me that Virginia Woolf's Orlando was inspired by a similarly-themed work by George Sand. I did some research about it but I could not find anything. Is there any truth in this claim? (talk) 15:09, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


I forgot to mention that he maintained that Sand's work was also called Orlando... (talk) 15:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

George Sand's play Gabriel (about a woman raised as a male prince, who later acts more feminine to appease her lover) has a few similarities with Orlando (it compares and contrasts what's expected of high class men and women), but lacks the magical realism (no-one is immortal, no-one is transformed by a parade of spirits). It doesn't look like she ever wrote anything called Orlando (or Roland, which would be the French equivalent), although she did adapt As You Like It, which stars an Orlando. Smurrayinchester 16:22, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Maybe some confusion with Consuelo? She appears in this website, but that means nothing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:22, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Painting reminds me of another[edit]

Carlotta, is that you?

Today's "Did you know" features a painting of Louise de Broglie, Countess d'Haussonville.

When I look at it, I get a strong resonance of a painting of "Carlotta Valdes" that played a key role in the first act of one of my favorite movies, Vertigo. It's not really that close, on a literal level. But it very much reminds me of the other image.

So my question is, does anyone have any idea whether this was intentional? Or am I maybe picking up on some identifiable conventions of feminine portraiture that I wasn't aware existed? --Trovatore (talk) 18:29, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

(1) Searching for +carlotta +vertigo +countess didn't bring up any links between Louise and this painting, but for some reason it did bring up this book, which has a bit of info about the portrait in the film - it was painted by an artist named John Ferren especially for the film. Other biographies (not ours) say he was an artistic consultant for a couple of Hitchcock films, but I haven't found anything further about this painting in particular.
(2) (A sort of answer until a painting expert appears.) Following the painting you post here to Commons lets you look at the categories it's in - 19th-century oil portraits of standing women at three-quarter length and Portraits with mirror are among those that might help determine if there are identifiable conventions of portraiture at work. We have Portrait painting, but it doesn't seem to delve too deeply into the conventions. (talk) 21:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, 184, thanks for all that; nice information. Still wondering if anyone has more.... --Trovatore (talk) 03:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Not really relevant, but I have to say that Vertigo, while not being one of my favourite movies as such, has a superb film score (by Bernard Herrmann) that's one of my 2 all-time favourites. The other is John Williams' score to Schindler's List. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:15, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
    TBH I can't even remember the music. I'll try to pay attention next time. It's one of my favorites (actually, probably my number one favorite) for reasons more having to do with the story. Too bad about the ending, though. I always felt like Hitchcock couldn't quite figure out how to end it, and the money wouldn't wait, so he just had to come up with something. --Trovatore (talk) 07:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

November 26[edit]