Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 January 16

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January 16[edit]

DNR (Do not resuscitate) orders in South Africa[edit]

Can a South African issue a DNR order or request / instruct not to be resuscitated on spontaneous cardiac arrest? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:41, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

One could of course request it, but the issue with do not resuscitate orders is whether they're honored. I read through the South African Living Will Society's web site and came away with the impression that DNRs are not universally recognized, though they didn't say so explicitly. --Sean 14:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Margarethe von Holzheim[edit]

I working on a list of Hessian consorts. And I was wondering if Louis II, Landgrave of Hesse had two wives or one. I know one is Mechthild of Württemberg but is Margarethe von Holzheim (from German Wikipedia) a legal wife of Louis II. I mean could she be counted as a consort or was she morganic wife. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 05:25, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I am just guessing about the morganic part. I can't even read german. lol!--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 05:25, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

The usual form is "morganatic". AnonMoos (talk) 11:37, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Louis II only had one wife, by whom he had at least three children, Anna, Wilhelm I, and Wilhelm II. He also had a bastard daughter Margarethe; the German article claims he also had a bastard son, John, whose mother "could have been" Ludwig's mistress Margarethe von Holzheim (saying they had 8 children together, but their source for this is unstated), and also gives Louis a 2nd legitimate daughter, Elisabeth, who died young. Anyway, for your purposes, Margarethe von Holzheim is alleged to have been a mistress, not a consort or wife, morganatic or otherwise. - Nunh-huh 11:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Actual cost of LPG[edit]

I'm having some trouble figuring out how much liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) actually costs. I found a price online, but it implied that it costs something like $70 a gallon, which doesn't sound so reasonable. I'm also unsure of how I should account for LPG's different efficiency; I'm sure driving the same distance on gasoline vs. LPG wouldn't require the same amount of each fuel. The thing causing most of this is that LPG doesn't seem to have been introduced into the U.S. (where I am) yet. Any help?--The Ninth Bright Shiner 12:17, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Seems to be £.5 per litre in the UK [1], which would be £2.25 per gallon. That would be about $3.50 per gallon. Something like £.06 per litre is a fuel duty (i.e. tax) and so the pump price exclusive of tax will probably be around $3. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
£0.50 a litre would be £1.89 a US gallon (about $3.08). DuncanHill (talk) 17:39, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Without going into too much detail, and to generalise to an extent that will undoubtedly infuriate other Wikipedians, the cost for LPG is significantly lower than that of petrol - although this varies by country according to tax laws, a saving of between 20-30% is reasonable. BUT the fuel consumption is also significantly higher than a petrol or diesel car, so in terms of cost, your average driver isn't going to notice a great deal of difference in their bills - The main advantages of LPG are lower carbon emmisions than a petrol equivalent (so lower road taxes in some juristictions) and for fleet buyers, who can get financial incentives from governments for using them. (talk) 23:27, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is the situation in NZ is largerly that it is has been cheaper to run an LPG vehicle then a petrol one if you have high fuel consumption. However because of the conversion cost it may take a while to make up for it plus while many petrol stations in Auckland do have LPG not all do and of course usually only one pump so it definitely increases the burden. But it's fairly common among taxis (which are often owner-operator in NZ) and indeed even a driving instructor I knew had it (and that was in 2003 so before the petrol price extremes). I don't believe there are any specific incentives for conversion other then the cost savings. Of course NZ as with many developed countries does have a high tax on fuel so there may be something there but I'm not aware of any. According to [2] it's 28.4% higher fuel usage on average so provided the cost difference is more then that, you will save money (well neglecting if you have to drive longer to find a refueling station and any maitance costs, as well as perhaps any extra costs if you have to refuel more often). From [3] & (note that graph is comparing the price of petrol with LPG*1.284 to account for the usage differenceas mentioned in the notes(may seem to be biased but they seem to be fairly honest to me which they probably have to be) suggest it is still cheaper even with the recent drop in petrol price although not so much. Also it's comparing pump prices for petrol to prices for LPG with their cards and I'm not really sure what discounts you get with fuel cards for petrol but the fact that it's so common amongst taxi drivers and the like suggests it is cheaper, I don't think they're all so stupid (after all some of them are nuclear scientists). However without a high fuel consumption it may not be so wise, (check question "I may as well run on petrol") does suggest if you pay normal pump prives and particularly if you use supermarket discount vouchers petrol may be cheaper and this is supported by [4] where if you compare the prices of petrol to LPG it's likely cheaper to use petrol currently. Nil Einne (talk) 09:47, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Prospering businesses in this climate[edit]

Inspite all the economic woes and massive lay-offs and closings, what businesses (in the USA) are actually making a stable profit presently? --Emyn ned (talk) 14:07, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

There are staples which people need even in bad times, like basic food items (loaves of bread, for example). There are also some items people buy more of in bad times, because they are a cheaper alternative to something more expensive. For example, Netflix movie rentals might go up if fewer people can afford to go to a theater to see movies. StuRat (talk) 15:46, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Giffen good --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Inferior good :D (talk) 16:55, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The fast-food and family-restaurant business (and associated areas) is still doing fairly well, though there's obviously a lot of variation. Even in tough times people still like to go out for supper, they just shift to less pricey options. Porn is often referred to as "recession proof", though I don't know about how true that actually is. Anything tied to addictions would have a leg up, so booze and cigarettes are probably doing okay. Isn't it a comforting thought that in the toughest of times you can count on greasy burgers, professional whores, and booze-hounds to keep things shored up? Matt Deres (talk) 16:37, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
As a cigarette-smoking booze hound, I'm just happy to be doing my bit for the economy. (I draw the line at fast food, though, and will maintain a discreet silence with regard to your "professional whores" example. Deor (talk) 02:54, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Well some people did try and seek a bailout for the porn industry [5]. They may not have been serious but they did say their industry had declined even if they expect to survive Nil Einne (talk) 10:12, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Bankruptcy lawyers, repo men, pawn shops, educators (people go back to school for more training). Clarityfiend (talk) 20:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The typical thinking is that "non-cyclical" (not following the 'business cycle') industries continue to perform at a steady pace during downturns. You'll actually see their stock perform pretty well during these periods because equity investors flock to their relative safety. They are called "defensive industries."
Consumer Non-discretionary Items - (things for cleaning (toothpaste, toilet paper), eating and household goods etc.) - Proctor and Gamble
Healthcare - Insurance providers, hospital operators, supplies manufacturers - Johnson and Johnson etc.
National Defense - Equipment manufacturers, systems etc. - Northrop Grumman etc.
Sins - Tobacco, Alcohol, definately NOT gambling however - Altria
These are the traditional defense, non-cyclical plays. If you're asking for reasons of investment, make sure your prospects have plenty of cash on hand. It will reduce their need to use global credit markets, and allow them to maintain dividends even if FCF starts to waver.NByz (talk) 22:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Expect some shake-up in the contractors supported by "defense" spending.--Wetman (talk) 03:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

For what is ABC an abbreviation?[edit]


A medal is on ebay. Quotation: The obv depicts a man in flying gear? and is inscribed ARBUTHNOT TROPHY TRIAL 1923. The rev is engraved SUB LT N.S.H. DARCY R.N. 5 H P A B C. "Flying gear" should be motor bicycle gear. Presumably 5HP means 5 horse power. ABC has me confused. Kittybrewster 14:42, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Cracked it. All British Cycles. Kittybrewster 14:53, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I was going to suggest maybe an Ariel Motorcycles, but "All British Cycles" sounds more likely as a class in a touring trial. DuncanHill (talk) 14:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

World population growth since when?[edit]

When was the last time world population decreased over a period of a year or longer? The data in World population estimates note the last decrease in the 1340-1400 period, but they do not give yearly values for the time after this. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:45, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Nothing so precise as yearly data exists anything like that far back. Algebraist 19:50, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I am aware of this, but the answer to my question might well be sometime in the 19th or 20th century - e.g. during one of the world wars.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 21:35, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that the population was so substantial after a certain point - 2 billion by 1930, 3 billion by about 1960, 4 billion by 1971 - that it would be hard for enough people to have died to outpace the births. Although if you look at the larger estimates of deaths worldwide during the Spanish Flu outbreak, 1918 might be possible.
(Edit with figures later when I had time) The increase was, on average, 33 million over 1930-1960; given its length, I doubt any one year of WW II had the deaths outweigh the births, even though it wasn't 30 million each year.
1830-1930, however, only saw an average increase of 10 million a year. While that many wouldn't have died in one year of WWI the Spanish Flu killed most of its victims in the first half year or so, meaning in 1918; which was also a very bloody year of the war and a year of a lot of deaths for Russia, I think, even with no war, considering the turmoil there. So, I'd say 1918 likely did see a small decline in world population.Somebody or his brother (talk) 00:36, 17 January 2009 (UTC)