Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

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July 23[edit]

Links to external sources[edit]


Not sure where to put this, as it is not something that belongs to a certain article or topic.

I wonder why links to external sources, which are marked thusly replace the current content and do not open in a new window or tab. Why was this illogical behavior decided? Most web pages these days open links that move the user to another site in a new window or tab.

Regards Johannes — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theking2 (talkcontribs) 09:28, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

@Theking2: Some sites do it but it's far from most in my experience. I find it to be a very annoying ploy by usually commercial sites to make it hard for users to leave. Wikipedia is non-profit. Most browsers have a fast feature to open a link in a new tab, e.g. pressing Ctrl when clicking. You can usually also right click to get a menu of options. Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets has the option "Open external links in a new tab or window". PrimeHunter (talk) 10:54, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Wow, just the opposite for me. I find it helpful when sites open a new window when going off-site. Especially commercial sites that make more ad revenue every time they reload the page (like, for example, if I decide the link I went to wasn't useful and want to go back to the original page.) Anyway, you can set that in your preferences -- "Open external links in a new tab or window" is on the preference page called oddly "gadgets", though it's more about behaviors. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 16:22, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
The reason it's called is explained here Wikipedia:Gadget which is linked in that preferences pages and also on the preferences page itself Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. All these "behaviours" rely on gadgets generally developed by the community and not part of the MediaWiki software nor skin elements. Nil Einne (talk) 04:17, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I use Ctrl-click a lot to open links in new tabs but I like being able to choose it instead of a website forcing it. If I had no convenient browser feature to select it when wanted then I would be more tolerant of sites forcing it. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:06, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
There was some academic research on this about fifteen years ago that found wide variations between cultures in their behaviours and expectations. Westerners expected, and got, pages that opened in the same browser window. Egyptians and East Asians expected, and got, pages that opened in new browser windows. The paper saw this as strong support for the predictions of chronemics. Alas I don't think I could quickly find the paper now. Matt's talk 13:22, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

odd rainbow produced from light of a superior mirage of the sun[edit]

I wish to learn more about the optics & physics of highly unusual rainbows. Could you direct me to a scientist interested in this field in nature — Preceding unsigned comment added by 3d0gggs (talkcontribs) 16:11, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

You might start with the sources and links provided at Rainbow. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 16:16, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
There is some good information at this link. [1] (talk) 17:21, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Halo (optical phenomenon) may have the case you saw. Check out the gallery at the bottom of the article. Superior mirage may also be relevant. StuRat (talk) 17:50, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
See also Brocken spectre and Glory (optical phenomenon). Alansplodge (talk) 20:38, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Postgraduate education for medical doctors: specialization in Sweden[edit]


I am an Italian medicine student, 3rd year, and after my MD I want to try to go to Sweden for my specialization. I already have some basic information about my topic, but I have three specific questions in mind whose answers I'm really unsure about:

1) Are my final grade and age taken into any account during the selection?

2) How much time does paperwork (acknowledgment of my titles, language proficiency, etc...) usually take?

3) Which kind of specialization offers more chances to get a position quickly?


Muly (talk) 17:11, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

A good plan is that you prepare a Curriculum vitae that states your achievements, capabilities and objectives. Send it with a covering letter that will bring it to the attention of a specific department (that you have already learned about) to each of these teaching hospitals:
Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm; Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg; Uppsala University Hospital; University Hospital of Umeå; Örebro University Hospital; Linköping University Hospital. They all have websites where you can learn more. Blooteuth (talk) 18:58, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
You mention language proficiency in passing. Your chances of getting a placement in Sweden will be better if you show you have considered this issue from various angles. Presumably your Italian will be of little use. Your written English is good; can you prove, when writing to prospective employers, that you have good spoken English too? E.g. mention qualifications (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is handy for non-specialists, or IELTS) or time you have already spent in English-speaking countries. If your ideal job is in a lab, you might be able to get away without speaking (much) Swedish, but if your medical specialism requires you to deal with regular patients, you will need to speak to them in their language. Show the people hiring you that you have thought about how to handle this. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 08:46, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlett[edit]

Original illustration, showing somewhat blackletter-ish script.

In the Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlett, the murderer writes the German word Rache on the wall in order to mislead the police. Holmes notes:

The A , if you noticed, was printed somewhat after the German fashion. Now a real German invariably prints in the Latin character […]

I’m having some trouble visualizing what exactly Conan Doyle means there. I this about the open / ”two-story” vs. closed / “one-story” letter forms? Cheers  hugarheimur 08:22, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

If you look at Kurrent or Sutterlin you will see the "latin" form of the handwritten A - so Doyle must have meant that the form used to write "Rache" was indeed the two-story form used in German typefaces at the time. In which case the illustrator clearly did not understand, as he has used the wrong A in that illustration. Wymspen (talk) 08:45, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Is that the wrong a? Or it Doyle's deliberate point that the murderer wrote it inappropriately, giving Holmes a clue that it was a red herring - and the illustrator has carefully reproduced this. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:51, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm confused. Firstly, when Doyle wrote "after the German fashion", he presumably (?) meant Kurrent. So why would a "real German" write in Latin script, not Kurrent? Secondly, pace Wymspen's point, the form used in German typefaces at the time was Kurrent, which has a one-story form for the letter a, not two-story. --Viennese Waltz 10:27, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Firstly, can anyone add the rest of the quote?
" It was not done by a German. The A, if you noticed, was printed somewhat after the German fashion. Now, a real German invariably prints in the Latin character, so that we may safely say that this was not written by one, but by a clumsy imitator who overdid his part."
As a typeface, I'm assuming that Fraktur is meant here, not Kurrent or Antiqua. This may or may not be correct for German handwriting of the time, but it is what the British readers of the Strand would think of as "Germanic". Andy Dingley (talk) 10:37, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I think you're right - this would (as Holmes knows) have been written with Kurrent. However the illustrator has gone for Fraktur. It's nothing to do with one or two storey 'a's - Antiqua uses those, Kurrent and Fraktur are both single-storey.
So not the best writing by Doyle, as he's making Holmes do something inexplicable to the readership, and failing to explain it. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:42, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
(2x ec) But he says "print", i.e. the writing is in block letters, not in cursive, thus not in Kurrent. The implication is that Germans at the time used Latin block letters rather than blackletter when "printing" by hand. Now, the small 𝔞 is not much different from (single-story) a, whereas capital 𝔄 is. Maybe the writing was all-caps 𝔑𝔄ℭℌ𝔈 (possibly simplified without the double strokes?) instead of ℜ𝖆𝔠𝔥𝔢? --Wrongfilter (talk) 10:44, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I think "print" here means little more than non-cursive handwriting. But one can still print in Kurrent, and that's still easier than writing Fraktur without both a nibbed pen and time to do it. Only the most dedicated write their graffiti in Fraktur!
Another question now is what the relative prevalence of the (declining) Fraktur was, both in Germany, and for the English perception of Germany. AIUI, it underwent something of a revival in the 1930s, so was it really seen as a ubiquitous signifier of germanicness by the British, in 1908? I think so, but I can't swear to it. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I have a few German books from 100 years ago, and they're all in Fraktur. Your statement "Only the most dedicated write their graffiti in Fraktur" of course rephrases Doyle's "a clumsy imitator who overdid his part"! --Wrongfilter (talk) 10:55, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
As to the penmanship of graffiti, I can't help but link this. -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 11:06, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Per WP:CAPTION, there should be no period after the sentence fragment. Infinite are the arguments of grammar pedants.
My early-20thC German books are of two main groups: Bauhaus-associated design books, and engineering. The Bauhaus and art books only use Fraktur to ridicule it. The engineering books show a clear break around the Great War, with Fraktur for the steam books beforehand, Antiqua for the petrol engines afterwards. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Interesting how even more-or-less contemporary illustrators didn't agree on what the lettering should look like.
Perhaps this wasn't as clear as Conan Doyle thought it was.ApLundell (talk) 17:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Holmes does say that the letter A was "printed somewhat after the German fashion", but Watson as narrator describes the word as "scrawled". To me those don't exactly go together. He also describes the lettering as "blood-red", even though it's supposed to be written in blood, which becomes brownish when it dries. Clearly a case of bad description by Watson. :-) -- (talk) 07:19, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Dried blood is surely "blood red", even if not the colour one might expect? It's hardly "Scarlett" though. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:27, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
True, but the titular reference is not to the bloody grafitti, but metaphorical: Holmes says to Watson, " "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."
The novel first appeared in a magazine, whose production schedule may not have afforded Doyle an opportunity to see and critique the illustrations, just as many modern novels wind up with covers that misrepresent factors in the story. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:04, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
By definition, liquid blood is also "blood red". So it would appear that either "blood red" is not a single colour, or that dried blood is not "blood red".--Phil Holmes (talk) 10:41, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I would argue the later. No idea about Doyle's time but I'm not convinced in modern contexts in the Western world blood red refers to the colour of any blood. And do we only mean human blood? Is any sky, sky blue? Are all of these File:Carrots of many colors.jpg carrot orange? If I GM a green cherry blossom is anyone going to say it's Cherry blossom pink? What about if I GM a fern so it's never anything close to what most would call green, is it still fair to say some part of its lifecycle it's Fern green. (The fact we're talking about part of its lifecycle also seems to be a clue.) I'm not sure if all of these are necessarily as specific as blood red (I mean what shade of green is fern green?) but it seems likely most people will accept limits on each of them. Nil Einne (talk) 12:59, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
At that point they were in a dark room examining the wall by match-light. Perhaps dried blood on a yellow background would look "blood red" in such poor lighting conditions. (Or perhaps I'm stretching to justify Watson's flowery language. Holmes would never approve.) ApLundell (talk) 14:49, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

Rock Salt Lamps[edit]

New topic for Wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:36b4:cf00:d5a5:9669:ea49:58f8 (talkcontribs)

Hi! See Himalayan_salt#Salt_lamps (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 10:33, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Is it dishwasher safe ? :-) StuRat (talk) 00:16, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

July 28[edit]