Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2007 April 1

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April 1[edit]

What was wikipedia's 1,500,000th article?[edit]

I'd really like to know. Theonlyedge 00:07, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

That would be Kanab ambersnail according to Angela Beesley's blog. —Mitaphane ?|! 01:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Though it depends on how you count (literally and in the context of "which article is the first")... I guess it's just our nature to dote over round decimal milestones. Me? I'm thrilled about milestones in base sixty... -- mattb @ 2007-04-01T02:05Z
P.S. - Happy 1500000 cuneiform.pngth article to the Kanab ambersnail. :) -- mattb @ 2007-04-01T02:30Z
I can't wait for article 1,717,012. --Proficient 03:59, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that articles get deleted as well as created - and the rate of creation and deletion is something like a couple of articles every second. So it's possible for there to be a few more than 1,500,000 articles - but by the time you've checked out the 'winner', to discover that a few articles had just previously been deleted and it's not the winner anymore. There was some significant amount of discussion about how to decide which article had won the coveted title at the millionth article mark - I'm betting the same was true at the 1.5 million level. Also, to be politically correct, we have to assume you are talking about the English Wikipedia - since the international Wikipedia has long ago blown through the two millionth article mark. I rather liked that an article about an unassuming little snail made the headlines - it's actually quite interesting. I'd have been devastated if it had been some fancruft about a non-name rap artist or a Pokemon character or something. SteveBaker 06:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You never know... Perhaps it was and the powers that be decided to massage their interpretation of the "1.5 millionth article" to make for a nicer press release. -- mattb @ 2007-04-02T12:54Z

free XXX lobster-on-donkey action[edit]

No, of course not. Today is the day for the fools of April, at least it is here in the balmy British summer time, and being the unimaginative bastard that I am I'm going to ask you for some quality pranking ideas (I'm asking here as it seems unlikely I'll try to trick you, and obviously I don't want prospective marks to be on the lookout; I'd bet you get this every year). I've already thought that I could probably sign up a bunch of dummy accounts for a game I play and post fake spam links on the forums. AND, the 'after-midday-doesn't-count' rule is for lamers. Vitriol 00:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Keep the jokes outside the articles. By the way, check Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents‎#Wikipedia Announcement. -- ReyBrujo 00:39, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Ohsnap, this is costing me money :O Also, yeah, I won't mess up articles. That isn't funny. >:| Vitriol 00:49, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I've already contributed my one joke for the day, and won't do any more. (After all, my Dagmar's Bumpers routine went real well with the CVS. @_X) Cernen Xanthine Katrena 07:27, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I want to create a portal[edit]

I want to create a portal but can't find "Create page" button .Bewareofdog 01:18, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not have a Create Page button. (For obvious reasons). You would enter your portal name as you would when creating a new article, but see Wikipedia:Portal first. See also the Help Desk for how to use Wikipedia. Adrian M. H. 13:53, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Hospital Question[edit]

I'm not asking for medical advice, I'm just wondering what the best hospital for brain injuries in the U.S. and what the best one is on the East Coast (assuming the best hospital in the entire U.S. isn't already on the East Coast). Thanks. Deltacom1515 03:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

According to this US News and World Report Survey, the top-ranked hospital for neurology and neurosurgery is the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The second-ranked hospital in this category is John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, on the east coast. Marco polo 22:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Deltacom1515 02:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

That stuff from your nose...[edit]

What is that white waxy/fatty/greasy stuff that you can scratch and squeeze out of the pores on your nose? And it is bad to do that? Or is it a good thing? Is it fat? What is that stuff? Gatorphat 04:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

See nose grease. Dismas|(talk) 04:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The pores on the area where my nose meets my face seem to produce the most of this fat/grease. Is it the same as body fat? Gatorphat 04:22, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I dont know why you layabouts can't even answer a #@@^@@!!ing simple question. I need to know this stuff!! Gatorphat 12:07, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

dude, if you're going to get all rude & annoying about this, then NOBODY is going to answer it.

Probably just kidding around. Wait until April 2 before getting too offended. dr.ef.tymac 17:16, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
It's actually called sebum. Vranak
And it's bad to do that as far as I know. · AO Talk 18:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Ask your doctor anyways though. · AO Talk 18:16, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

tattoo[edit]

how badly does it hurt to get a tatto? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 125.236.135.10 (talk) 05:09, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

That depends greatly on your pain threshold as well as the area that is getting tattooed. Dismas|(talk) 05:29, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Twice as much as a tattone? Clarityfiend 19:37, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

my shoulder. would it be agonising pain, like as bad as torture?

Try reading a few links from this Google search. From what I've been told, bony areas hurt more and thus fatty areas or areas with more muscle hurt less. Have you ever been tortured? If not, it's going to be hard to tell you what that's like in order for you to determine if getting a tattoo is similar. Dismas|(talk) 08:29, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
It isn't that bad, if you want a tattoo then go for it. Don’t let the thought of the pain discourage you, it doesn't last very long. Vespine 00:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Catholics -Not Really Christians?[edit]

I've heard claims that Catholics are not really Christians.

1. Is that true?

2. How have Catholics, the Catholic Church, and the Pope reacted and responded to such claims?

3. If you are a Catholic, then what do you think about such claims? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by The Anonymous One (talkcontribs) 05:56, 1 April 2007 (UTC).


You asked this question recently and it was thoroughly discussed, here. JackofOz 06:03, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


I doubt most catholics would bother to respond, as they are likely to know that they are christian :) Really there isn't any way to say one denomination is more or less christian that any other, they are just all different :) HS7 20:07, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Celebrity behaviour[edit]

Why is it that almost all the celebrities manage to mess up their life so well- 3-4 divorces in a short span of 6 years -Pamela Lee Anderson, Bizarre behavior- Britney Spears, Drug use- Anna Nicole Smith and there are many more who all of you are aware, My question is why can't they lead normal disciplined life just like millions of others and treat their profession as just another regular job? sumal 06:51, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Ever though about how many celebrities DO live 'normal disciplined' lives. Celebrities lke Britney and Anna Nicole are the exception, not the rule. We don't hear about all the 'boring' celebrities because headlines like 'Keanu Reeves pays taxes on time' and 'Stepehen Speilberg drives home sober without hitting any cars or pedestrains' make dull cover stories and won't sell many magazines. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 125.238.25.26 (talkcontribs).
People who mess up their own lives (drugs, murder, divorce, suicide, etc.) aren't exclusive to celebrities. In fact, I'd argue that "normal people" mess up their own live just as much, if not more , than celebrities if we're talking percentages here. The different is we don't hear about a lot of these "normal people" because they are invisible to us unlike celebrities. —Mitaphane ?|! 08:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course celebrities are usually extremely fortunate individuals that are blessed with wealth, good looks, and more resources than most people, the truth is that in so many cases there is a very dark side to being a celebrity. Imagine being someone like Ellen Degeneris - could she casually breeze in to her local store and pick up some gum, and then head over to a corner cafe to request a sidewalk table and order a meal with her lesbian lover? Well, I don't know, maybe *she* could, but in most cases celebrities can't. They also have to get used to being on top of the world for a while - the toast of the hour - where you honestly believe that everyone really does' love you - and then a few months later you're a nobody and your life seems to be over. That's where the drugs come in - Elvis for example - many people say he ended up on drugs because being on stage does something to you where you start looking for the high in other places. Add to this that so many people in 'the industry' are drug users (usually weed and cocaine - but obviously this is a major generalisation) - and they can easily afford the drugs - it becomes a matter of time before they start toying with drugs, and it's all downhill from there (usually because they have the money to sustain their addictions). Of course all of what I'm saying is heresay, and it's really a generalisation. But many celebrities lead detached, remote, and high-key lives that are high-pressure with dramatic adjustments and changes - so it sometimes follows that this creeps into their lives in a negative way. Rfwoolf 12:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The lack of anything resembling privacy can be debilitating, or worse. I heard a suggestion that Anna Nicole Smith didn't seek medical attention during the last days of her life because she was afraid of her paparazzi taking pictures of her doing so. —Steve Summit (talk) 23:16, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not a regular job. (When did you have a reporter or paparazzi lurking around, waiting to pounce on your mistakes?) The pressures are greater, as are the opportunities to screw up (more money, groupies, flunkies to cater to your whims). By comparison, ordinary people who win lotteries seem to mess up at about the same rate, or more accurately it's reported with about the same frequency. By the way, if anybody is conducting a study or wants to be "saved" from this gruesome fate, I'm available. Clarityfiend 17:37, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

How many celebrities would you consider 'normal', 'grounded' and so on? I can think of one over the age of 30: beloved B-movie actor Bruce Campbell. Put a couple insecure people together and a marriage is doomed to fail. Vranak

A recent study by Drew Pinsky found that celebrities have considerably higher (16%) rates of narcissism than average Americans. I expect that this, plus money, attention, and fame, leads to considerably more erratic lifestyles in a highly-visible minority of celebrities. --24.147.86.187 23:19, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Another factor is that people who want to became famous frequently "need" fame. When they get it, then lose it, they are devastated. By contrast, somebody who never sought fame, but had it thrust upon them, could probably deal with the loss more easily. StuRat 20:37, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The group of people who deal with the loss of fame properly tend to fade more quickly in the public's memory. Singers Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, for example, just went on with their lives after their fame ended, and the paparazzi leaves them alone because they don't "smell blood in the water". StuRat 20:46, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Squash[edit]

If squash contains 10% from orange conentrate, what goes in the other 90%? 147.197.251.136 11:51, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

If my understanding is correct...water and, potentially (depending on brand/type) additives etc. Look at concentrate and orange juice for a little more detail. If i'm right it seems that 10% concentrate means 10% is from frozen concentrated oranges and the rest is 'other' but likely water to bulk up the volume. ny156uk 12:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Any squash containing 10% from orange concentrate is probably not squash at all. Cernen Xanthine Katrena 19:18, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
When you squeeze juice out of an orange, most of what makes up that juice is water. Since the juice often has to be transported long distances, it's much cheaper to take out most of the water (leaving all of the 'good stuff' behind) - transport just the concentrate - and put the water back at the other end. Water is just water - it doesn't much matter whether it was the original water or different water! The problem with concentrated OJ is that the concentration process destroys some of the flavor...not that it has 90% added water - because they just put back the water that they originally took out! SteveBaker 06:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
In orange squash I have drunk? Water, sugar, sweeteners, colours, stabilizers, etc. This is assuming the UK definition of squash; there may be others out there! Skittle 20:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
How about squash labelled high-juice (30-55%)?... 147.197.251.136 22:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Probably much the same, but less so! Try looking at the labels when you're next looking at a bottle of squash/high juice, whether in the cupboard or in a shop. The ingredients list will tell you everything that's in it, usually starting with the thing there is most of, going down in order. So, if it is mostly water, water will be the first thing on the ingredients list, followed by the thing there is next most of, possibly sugar or sweeteners. This is all assuming the UK :-) I'd look for you myself, but it's the middle of the night and we don't have any squash... Skittle 23:23, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, I'm thoroughly confused, is orange juice called "squash" in some part of the world ? StuRat 20:22, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I believe they must mean Squash (drink). (I'd never heard of it either.) Friday (talk) 20:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Judging by the squash (drink) article, it sounds something like what I would call Italian soda, except without the soda. --Trovatore 20:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, the italian soda article says you use a fruit syrup to flavour it, while I wouldn't really describe squash as exactly a syrup. It's a cheap, sweet alternative to juice with a long shelf-life. You buy the concentrated squash, which isn't usually very syrupy (although ribena is), and mix it with water to create a sweet, fruity drink. The concentrate lasts for ages, and a bottle makes loads and costs little, hence the appeal. It is separate from juice, and cannot be called juice. As described above, orange squash concentrate is made of concentrated orange juice, water, sugar and/or sweeteners, colours, flavours, stabilisers, etc. You can get 'no added sugar' versions. Skittle 22:12, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Bridge Identification needed[edit]

Pictured here - http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/372/desktopvp7.jpg

Thanks AlmostCrimes 13:15, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Darn good question. I don't think it's any of the ones listed at Cable-stayed bridge or Category:Cable-stayed bridges. —Steve Summit (talk) 15:05, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Looks a little like Skybridge (Vancouver) although its not it.
Note the rail tracks down the middle -- that narrows down the possibilities a lot.
Does anyone know how Wikipedia's alleged new "category intersection" feature works? Theoretically, this bridge should be found at the intersection of Category:Road bridges, Category:Railway bridges, Category:Road-rail bridges and Category:Cable-stayed bridges (if we have an article about it at all). —Steve Summit (talk) 20:48, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Is the Wikipedia:Category intersection feature online? I've been trying Structurae with various google searches: site:en.structurae.de/structures/data road "metro rail" "cable-stayed" with no luck so far.—eric 21:35, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Looks like it's the Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam. I found a photo at Corbis.com where the streetlamps and traffic lights appear identical to those in your photo (don't know how to link directly, but if you search for cable stayed bridge or Erasmusbrug there you'll find it). --Cam 02:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
OK here's a photo of it showing the lights. --Cam 02:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Well done! I've added the missing categories to Erasmusbrug. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Encirclement / Flanking[edit]

On a tactical level, why are encirclement and flanking maneuvers so disastrous to a defending military force?

--Shadarian 14:49, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

the article on Flanking lists several reasons for its efficacy. -- Diletante 16:45, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Flanking is often disastrous, but encirclement not necesarily so. Consider the examples of Tobruk and Bastogne in the Second World War. Clio the Muse 19:27, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I read the article and still don't get it either, surely it would just mean the people at the sides and back would be fighting too :? 172.207.227.196 19:33, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

It destroys an army's order and integrity, and forces it to fight on the defensive in more than one direction. Morale in the flanked army is quick to disintegrate, along with fighting ability. You might understand this better if you read some battle examples. The Battle of Cannae is a good start, as this is arguably the greatest example of flanking and envelopment in all of history. Clio the Muse 19:43, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm no expert, but it would also reduce an army's ability to retreat, resupply or reinforce their troops, what with them being surrounded. This is also why the cops yell that they have me surrounded before they ask me to come out with my hands up. --ByeByeBaby 07:55, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Cutting the supply lines and, before radio, cutting the lines of communication, were the main advantages. StuRat 20:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Historical calendars[edit]

So is the "Tuesday, August 2, 216 BC" part in the lede of that article an April Fool's joke or something, or is the date somehow really known with that kind of accuracy? —Steve Summit (talk) 02:26, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it really is known with that degree of accuracy, from various contemporary sources. The Roman way of calculating dates, moreover, was not that much different from our own. Look at the page on the Julian calendar, and have fun, Steve! Clio the Muse 02:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Back then they were probably using the Roman calendar instead, which is much more complicated, but it should still be possible to work out dates, although it could be either the date they were using then, or a modern equivalent, which might take a long time to calculate, and might not always be perfectly accurate :( HS7 13:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

There are accurately dated historical events that occurred well before then. I understand the earliest precisely dated historical event was a solar eclipse chronicled in China, now known from scientific calculations to have occurred on 22 October 2136 BC. JackofOz 06:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, guys. Part of my bemusement there, though, was based on the difficulties imposed by changing calendars. The Romans weren't using our Gregorian calendar in 216 BC, and the Chinese certainly weren't using it in 2136 BC! So have these antediluvian dates been mapped onto the proleptic Gregorian calendar, or what? (Hmm, our article suggests otherwise.) And then there's the eternal question of whether there was or wasn't a year 0... —Steve Summit (talk) 12:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Technically there wasn't a year 0 as our current calendar wasn't used until 525AD, which I think was 1277 in the roman calendar, and by the time they started using that it had probably already passed year 0, and replaced another, even earlier year :) This should, in theory, make it easier to calculate years before year 0, especially as people at the time didn't know how far BC they were :) This might also make it possible to work out if there was a year that could be given the number 0 :) HS7 20:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

As I expect Steve knows perfectly well, there is no year 0 in the AD/BC (or CE/BCE) calendar used by historians, but there is one in the calendar used by astronomers. See year zero. --Anonymous, April 2, year 2007, 21:50 (UTC).
Right. If you tell me that something happened on "Tuesday, August 2, 216 BC", does that mean it happened on that date in:
  1. The proleptic Gregorian calendar with a year 0?
  2. The proleptic Gregorian calendar without a year 0?
  3. A sort of proleptic Julian calendar?
  4. Whatever calendar they were using at the time, uncalibrated with any of ours?
(Of course, and as HS7 pointed out, we know it can't really be #4, because they had know way of knowing that what's-his-name would be born in 216 more years.)
And I don't mean to seem pedantic in asking these questions -- as I said, I'm bemused, not belligerent -- but it's just that if you tell me that something happened in 216 BC, and you assert that it happened not only on precisely August 2, but that this was a Thursday, this precision can only be meaningful if you know which of the four interpretations applies, but since I don't, your precision is wasted on me.
I suppose I could try to work out which of the first three interpretations might apply by determining in which of the first three calendars August 2, 216 BC fell on a Tuesday...
(Curses! I am stymied on my first attempt! cal (Unix) doesn't work on negative years...)
Steve Summit (talk) 23:51, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The use of "BC" implies historian-style dating, i.e. "no year 0". The astronomers' name for 216 BC is "". I'm not sure why Steve qualified "proleptic Julian calendar" with "a sort of". --Anonymous, April 3, 2007, 00:30 (UTC).
When we get into questions like these, we find that calendars are a lot like clocks. If I tell you what I was doing in Boston at 9:00 last Thursday, you can guess this was probably what the clock on my wall said. However, if you're somewhere else, you don't know how this maps to your own personal time scale (or to GMT) unless you know what time zone Boston is in, and whether DST was in effect last week -- which of course was a somewhat tricky question last week! So it's better if I tell you "9:00, Eastern time", or to be even more unambiguous, "9:00 EST" or "9:00 EDT". —Steve Summit (talk) 00:02, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
It would be better yet if Steve mentioned which 9:00 it was. --Anonymous, April 2, 2007, 8:30 p.m. EDT (April 3, 00:30 (UTC)).
Yeah, well, I started to go into that (check the edit history), but then decided, why complicate the issue, and anyway, leaving that aspect ambiguous will give someone else the chance to chime in. (See how good it worked? :-) ) —Steve Summit (talk) 04:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Steve, this question has intrigued me for many years. I've always wondered, eg., when we say Julius Caesar was born on 12 July 100 BC, what does "12 July" mean? The Julian Calendar didn't exist in 100 BC - it was not created until 46 BC. Prior to then, the Roman Calendar was in use but it was a hopeless mishmash - see Julian Calendar#Motivation - which is why Julius had to reform it. So, is "12 July" the date the Romans used at the time, or is it the date we've worked out that it would have been if the Julian Calendar had applied prior to 46 BC, ie. the proleptic Julian calendar. I would assume the former, except the name "July" didn't even exist then, being a later eponymous honour for Julius Caesar himself. I would love to see a calibration of BC dates against the Julian Calendar (and in the case of dates pre-46 BC, against the proleptic Julian), but I doubt anyone knows enough of the details to be certain. The Gregorian Calendar introduced a discontinuity of 10 days in October 1582, but even if we look prior to then, I think it's highly unlikely that Julius Caesar was born an exact number of years prior to, say, 12 July 1582. How much the error is, I would love to be able to tell you, but I don't know. JackofOz 05:16, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

For the last question, I would assume 12 July would be in the Roman calendar, asit is the month named after Juilus Ceasar, and if he was born in that month, that might be a good reason for choosing that month to rename, and I doubt he would have bothered to proleptiate his new calendar to work out what the date should have been :) HS7 15:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Searching Wikipedia Help articles (not Wikipedia's encycopedic articles)[edit]

Hi,

I would like to search Wikipedia's help articles, etc. Bear in mind, I am not looking for how to search Wikipedia itself for public articles. Also, my question is not about searching Goolge either.

For example, I was looking for how to add color to a text in a Wikipedia article.

Thanks,

-Sdudah 16:09, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

When you do a search, at the bottom of the page you can see checkboxes that restrict the namespace of the search. Select Wikipedia and/or Help and unselect All. Also you should ask wikipedia help questions at WP:Help Desk. -- Diletante 16:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Google searches: site:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help search term and site:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help_talk search term seem to also work, and would allow use of the other Google search operators.—eric 17:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks all. With the keyword "color text" as an exercise, I found Wikipedia's search options ineffective. The Google way comes with better results that led to relevant answers. Wikipedia's search capabilities are way far from being reliable. Forgot to sign Sdudah 18:03, 1 April 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sdudah (talkcontribs) 18:02, 1 April 2007 (UTC).
This is the link I tried my exercise on [1] Sdudah 18:07, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Before doing anything you don't think you're doing correctly, please try using the Sandbox first. Cernen Xanthine Katrena 19:21, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia's Lucene (the text search API used here) front end is braindead and simply pathetic (as you are finding out). If you need to seriously search for text on Wikipedia, just use google. -- mattb @ 2007-04-03T13:00Z

Driving while Retarded[edit]

Are people suffering from mental retardation allowed to drive? Is there any blanket prohibition on retarded people getting licenses or is it just that none try to get one? My half brother is retarded and I was thinking about having him apply for a license and take a driving test just to see what will happen. Or is that illegal? I dont see anywhere in the driving manual or in driver's ed that you can't drive just because you are retarded. Gatorphat 19:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Take him to driving school. Many driving schools in the U.S. and Canada offer courses on circuits completely isolated from real traffic and you dont need any kind of liscence to take the course. I guess the instructor would be able to tell you if he's unsafe.
I'm pretty sure that George W. Bush has a driver's license. Does that help? Clarityfiend 19:46, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
That is a highly offensive comment towards the mentally retarded, lumping them in with him. Most of them are kind, sweet, and wouldn't hurt a fly. --24.147.86.187 23:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
This is NOT the place for off-topic political insults. Do so again and there will be consquences. And could the OP please be a bit more sensative, and use a term more kind than 'retarded'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 125.238.26.222 (talk) 02:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC).
Unless you know a mentally disabled person who's closer to you than a half brother would be, I think here it's the OP's right to decide what is offensive. Damn that euphemism treadmill! Vitriol 03:41, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Did I just get threatened by an anonymous commenter with no other edits? (From the spelling, I'm guessing it's Dan Quayle???) Clarityfiend 03:53, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
In Washington state, people who are legally blind are allowed to drive. There's legal precedent, too, I just can't find it right now. Cernen Xanthine Katrena 22:01, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
No, you were threatned by a seasoned Wikipedia veteran with over 10,000 edits who has being editing as an anon IP over a proxy for over four years to maintain neutrality. Personal Attacks Are Not Allowed. And juding from your arrogannce, spitfullness, and self-righteousness, I'd say you are Hillary Clinton.
Another case of "Do as I say, not as I do." Also, couldn't you come up with a better story, old vet? Clarityfiend 06:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Some questions, for the beloved shell-shocked veteran. What was the personal attack? Is 'retarded' any less kind than 'mentally challenged' or 'handicapped'? How does "editing as an anon IP over a proxy for over four years" maintain neutrality? Thanks. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 08:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
There is almost certainly no explicit regulation prohibiting the mentally retarded from driving. It is probably quite rare, though, as they would have to be able to pass the driver's test and the written test, which can be hard (but not hard enough) for non-developmentally disabled individuals. --24.147.86.187 23:15, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
They probably would not be able to pass the test. --Proficient 02:14, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
There are degrees of mental disability - it's unlikely that a law could be drafted to put a bright line through a spectrum of ability and disability ranging from somewhat below average IQ all the way to a complete basket case. But you must know this guy about as well as it's possible to know anyone - you evidently don't think it's impossible - so clearly we are talking about someone who stands a pretty good chance. I think you need to have your brother's doctor answer as to whether it is advisable. If so, then approach a reputable driving school to get him some initial lessons and see if he has the basic aptitude required. In the end, the driving test will be the determining factor just as for anyone else. SteveBaker 06:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
There is absolutely nothing prohibiting people with developmental disabilities from acquiring a license, as long as they can pass the tests. If they have epilepsy or other physical issues as well, however, they will also be subject to conditions related to seizure activity, etc. Natgoo 18:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I was once driving behind someone in the fast lane on the expressway, when they decided it was a good idea to stop and park right in the fast lane, until such time as they could cross the other lanes and exit. So, apparently the mentally retarded can drive. StuRat 20:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Population question[edit]

Why do major Canadian cities generally have higher percentage of the population of their metro areas than U.S. counterparts? The two in Alberta have an especially high city/metro percentage..while Vancouver is more inline with similar sized urban areas in the States. adam the atomTEC 20:00, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

It's very common in Canada for provincial governments to unilaterally change the borders of municipalities. This is called "amalgamation." It's been done for different reasons -- in Winnipeg, I believe they did it to equalize rich and poor and prevent urban sprawl; in Ontario, it was supposed to be more efficient; and in Quebec, it was an attempt to break the power of non-French-speaking voting blocs, or so they say. British Columbia has not tried to force amalgamation on the Vancouver area, so that area looks more like an American metro area, broken up into a bunch of municipalities. -- Mwalcoff 01:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) There is actually a wide variation among U.S. metropolitan areas. For example, a large majority of the Las Vegas, Indianapolis, or Albuquerque metropolitan areas are within the city limits, while only a small portion of the metropolitan populations of Boston or San Francisco live within those municipalities. In general, U.S. city limits represent roughly the extent of the metropolitan area as of about 1900, when suburban residence (i.e. residence in a muncipality separate from the central city) became fashionable among middle-class Americans eager to separate themselves, their tax payments, and their children from the growing numbers of poor, many of them immigrants, moving into central cities. This process strengthened in subsequent decades with the migration of poor blacks to American urban centers. White flight from central cities and consequent suburban resistance to absorption by those cities brought to a halt the historic process whereby cities had annexed newly built-up areas on their fringes.
The main exceptions were cities that effectively controlled access to water or other resources, as Las Vegas and Albuquerque do to some extent. Las Vegas and Albuquerque, incidentally, have historically had very small black populations. Indianapolis is something of an anomaly. It was merged with most of its suburbs in 1970 as part of a reform apparently led by the state of Indiana. The goals of this reform seem to have been partly to make the suburban tax base available for needed repairs to the metropolitan infrastructure and partly to subordinate the city's Democratic politicians to the Republican majority in the metropolitan area as a whole. (Incidentally, that Republican majority has since eroded to a minority.)
Now, I don't know as much about Canadian cities, but I think that "white flight" has not been a significant phenomenon there. While there has been substantial immigration, apart from racism toward Asian immigrants in Vancouver (which might account for Vancouver's anomalous balkanization), immigrants have generally been seen less as threats by the established Canadian population. Therefore, cities and provinces may have faced little public opposition to efforts to rationalize local government by merging jurisdictions within a given metropolitan area. Mwalcoff's comment about Quebec is interesting. Presumably it applies mainly to Montreal, since Quebec's other metropolitan areas have minimal Anglophone populations. Montreal's fragmentation prior to the recent amalgamation may have reflected Anglophone efforts to maintain some autonomy.
Marco polo 01:41, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Your instincts about Quebec are right. Amalgamation was much more controversial in Montreal than in other parts of the province, although there were pockets of discontent elsewhere. After the Liberal Party took over, they allowed people whose municipalities had been merged to vote to de-amalgamate them. Several predominantly English suburbs of Montreal successfully regained their independence.
You're also right to mention the issue of demographics. I happen to know that there has been debate going on about government reform in both Cuyahoga County, Ohio (where Cleveland is) and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in Ontario. But the terms of the debate are quite different. In Waterloo Region, there isn't much difference among the municipalities in terms of socioeconomics or race, so the debate is mainly about local identity and the benefits of bigger vs. smaller government entities. But in the Cleveland area, you've got white cities, black cities, rich cities and poor cities. A lot of black folks don't want to lose political power to whites, and a lot of whites don't even want to live in the same city as blacks. Rich cities that are able to afford nice schools and Taj Mahal community centers and city halls don't want to lose that advantage.
But the main difference is simply that it's accepted in Canadian political culture for provincial governments to mess with local governments. In some states, there's nothing that would stop the state legislature from completely redrawing the map, but it just isn't done. One reason for this may be that under Canada's parliamentary system, policy usually comes from the "government," that is, the premier and his or her cabinet, which represents the entire province (even though they all are elected from individual districts). In the U.S., legislatures themselves do much of the governing, and the individual legislators represent only their own district. So local objections can derail policy far more easily in the U.S. -- Mwalcoff 03:08, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Going off on a slight tangent here, responding to Marco Polo's remark about how a small fraction of the San Francisco metro area actually lives in San Francisco. That's because there isn't any San Francisco metro area. The largest city in the area, by far, is San Jose, and by rights it's the San Jose metro area. I think the official name is some awkward thing like San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area (we'll see if that comes up blue) but the locals just call it the Bay Area. --Trovatore 07:02, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmm -- looking around a bit, it looks like they've split San Jose into its own metro area. I'm almost sure SJ and SF used to be together, but now they seem to talk about the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area. Weird. I bet they did it just so The City wouldn't have to take second billing. --Trovatore 07:20, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Historically, Calgary has had a policy of annexation, as part of a 'uni-city' concept, with one city government over the entire urban area. Towns such as Bowness, Alberta, Montgomery, Forest Lawn and Ogden were annexed by the City of Calgary once the city grew out to them. This is seen as having a number of benefits, such as reducing government waste. Services aren't duplicated and can be better coordinated, and specialized. A town of a few thousand people may only employ one or two municipal engineers, who worry about everything from pavement to sewers. A city of a million can afford to have specialists in very specific fields. From what I've seen in the US, there's a zillion boundaries; city boundaries, county boundaries, metro area boundaries, school board boundaries, environmental boundaries and so on. As a point of comparison, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Albuquerque have 32%, 41% and 62% of their metro population in the city proper. Edmonton runs 70.5% and Calgary 91.6%, which may well be the highest (for a large metro, at least) in North America. In Calgary's case, from what I know, the annexation came from the city with the acceptance of the nearby towns, rather than the province forcing a top-down approach. (Sadly, I think this is now past; the next set of towns are large enough and far enough that I don't think they'll be willing to give up their individual identities.) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ByeByeBaby (talkcontribs) 07:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
The San Francisco and San Jose comparison demonstrates one of the more bizarre results of U.S. metropolitan chaos. Historically, San Francisco is the core of the Bay Area conurbation. Oakland and San Jose were originally satellites of San Francisco. However, while San Francisco's municipal boundary was constrained by the county boundary with which it is now coterminous (because, I think, in California cities are not allowed to cross county boundaries), San Jose was able to expand geographically within Santa Clara County to the point where its population exceeded that of San Francisco (even though it has a much lower population density). Admittedly, during this period, Silicon Valley (which extends north and west from San Jose and includes part or all of that city depending on the definition) expanded to the point that it is probably a more important center of employment than San Francisco. However, San Francisco remains the financial and cultural center of the region and the part of the region with the strongest urban "feel" (street life, walkable neighborhoods, frequent public transportation). San Jose is a big, sleepy suburb by comparison. If the Bay Area were in Canada, it might well be one large regional municipality with its government offices in San Francisco, the historic core. Marco polo 14:20, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Do gay men call each other 'baby'?[edit]

Strange question I know, and there obviously won't be a definitive answer, but I'd be interested in whatever you guys have to offer. Vranak

I'm afraid this counts as original research, but in my (rather extensive) experience, American gay men do not generally call each other "baby" unless they are in a romantic relationship. Even then, "sweetie" and other terms of endearment are more common. 151.203.62.106 22:25, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
It's quite common for gay partners in Australia, in my experience. My partner and I call each other "baby", and lots of other things too. JackofOz 22:27, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I suppose I've heard of a few people do that, but I am not sure if it is common. --Proficient 02:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I think they call each other babe or honey. Something like that--$UIT 02:16, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I have never heard anyone call anyone else baby, except when talking to/about very young children, and from my less expensive experience would assume that everyone calls their partner what they want, instead of trying to be the smae as everyone else, so really some do, but not all

Especially if their partner is a diaper fetishist? − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 15:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Marcus Schenkenberg[edit]

Two questions: 1, does anyone here know approximately what Marcus earns in a typical year; and 2, despite being the most magnificent male creature alive, and being multi-lingual to the extent of 5 languages (reputedly), why, when he speaks in any one of those languages does he come across as being totally boring and without personality? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.145.241.153 (talk) 22:56, 1 April 2007 (UTC).
Rule number 1 of working is never disclose your salary (of course, professional athletes are exempt from this rule, somehow). As for 2...um...I don't know? According to his website, he seems imposing, but once you get to know him, he's "a total sweetheart" (sic). Cernen Xanthine Katrena 01:57, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I thought the "most magnificent male creature" alive was the new Mr World!? ;) --RiseRover|talk 09:43, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I would think that the answer to question one would be quite a bit. After all, according to the first sentence of the Marcus Schenkenberg article, he is "the world's first male supermodel, actor, singer, writer and TV personality born in Stockholm, Sweden but of Dutch descent." That's quite a few qualifiers to tag onto one statistic! (yes, I realize that it's a bit of a run-on sentence and could use some clarification) Dismas|(talk) 13:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The most magnificent male creature is likely to be some sort of tiger, however it is possible that he is the best at whatever it is that he does :) HS7 19:03, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, that goes without saying. :D --RiseRover|talk 12:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Brookings Oregon to San Diego California[edit]

Can someone please tell me how many miles it is from Brookings Oregon to San Diego California? I have tried using webquest and i can't seem to find it. Thank you

April —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 4.255.39.50 (talk) 23:04, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

874 miles (Google Earth) 874 mi (about 14 hours 37 mins)
1. Head east toward Chetco Ave 0.1 mi
2. Turn right at Chetco Ave 282 ft
3. Sharp left at US-101
Entering California 140 mi 2 hours 41 mins
...
4. Take the Stafford Rd ramp 0.2 mi
5. Continue toward US-101 S and merge onto US-101 S 224 mi 4 hours 5 mins
...
6. Take the exit onto I-580 E toward Richmond Bridge/Oakland 80.1 mi 1 hour 16 mins
...
7. Merge onto I-5 S 415 mi 6 hours 15 mins
...
8. Slight left at I-805 S (signs for I-805 S) 7.9 mi 8 mins
9. Take the exit onto CA-163 S toward Downtown 6.7 mi 7 mins
10. Take exit 1A to merge onto Ash St 0.2 mi
11. Turn left at 8th Ave 0.4 mi 2 mins
12. Turn left at E St 276 ft
13. Turn left at 9th Ave 223 ft
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.145.241.153 (talk) 23:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC).