Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2007 March 8

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March 8[edit]

Maryland misprinted quaters[edit]

This question was moved from the article mainspace--The Dark Side 01:26, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I was just wondering my mom has a quater with it looks like an acorn or a diamond on george washingtons chin of the new state quarters .... didnt know where else to go to get help on something like this ... Is there a way to contact the people directly or how would I go about that ... it is a Maryland (P) quaters ... thanks in advance for anyone that can help me out ..


Can you take an up-close picture of it and post it? 50 State Quarters does not mention any odd defects regarding Maryland quarters. V-Man - T/C 02:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

And, by all means, save the quarter. Misprinted coins and stamps can be worth big money to collectors, especially if your stamp has an upside-down airplane on it. StuRat 07:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


When uploading an image i have created, how do i tell which license to put up? Simply south 01:27, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Assuming you are happy to give it away - pick GFDL (Self). SteveBaker 01:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Or you consult Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/All and ask yourself a couple or three questions:
  • Do I have the capacity to place the image under this licence (e.g. you do not have the capacity to put an image in which a third party owns copyright under a GFDL or PD licence - you'd be breaching their copyright by doing so.)
  • Is the licence accurate / appropriate. (No point in using a PD-USGov-EPA (an Environmental Protection Agency image) if the image was by NASA)
  • Am I happy to use a particular licence, given my understanding of its terms. (Generally relates to your choice to place your own copyrighted images under GFDL or PD OR CC or whatever.)
Clearly you need to know a couple of things:
  • The source / ownership of the rights in the image
  • The nature of permissions given under various licence terms - again, I'm particularly thinking about PD, CC & GFDL. --Tagishsimon (talk)

Weight Loss[edit]

If somebody lost 20kgs, would it make their face look a bit thinner? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:19, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Yes. Kaldari 03:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Unless the Chainsaw diet is what was implemented to lose said 20 kgs. V-Man - T/C 04:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd say, unless they weighted 200kg where 20kg wouldn't be much significant, in a more common case I think their face would look a lot thinner, not just a bit. --Taraborn 07:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I gained more than 20 kilograms very quickly a few years ago, and it didn't make my face look any different, or any other part of me :) HS7 19:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you asked anyone else (who lacks tact) if they can see the increase? Edison 23:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


I remember reading some news about a disease spreading among the cacao plants, threatening them with extinction. I don't see anything in the appropriate articles. What happened? Clarityfiend 03:54, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

This Google search dug up some good sauce. This website discusses the Endophyte Trichoderma as a threat to cacao in relation to Pigeon peas; this makes general remarks about disease and gives some statistics; this goes into some detail about specific diseases. V-Man - T/C 06:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Tree Falling[edit]

My teacher was saying in class that if a tree falls, and no one hears it, it does not make a sound. But doesnt it make a sound? When it falls doesnt it emit sound waves? Just because no ones there to hear the sound , does it mean it doesnt make one? Wouldnt it be the same thing as saying that it doesnt cause movement if it falls if no one is around to feel it? But the ground still shakes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

See koan; also If a tree falls in a forest. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
If you really want to get technical about that kind of thing, I'd recommend the book Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy by Robert Jourdain. It has wonderfully fascinating details about how sound waves are produced, and how our bodies are able to transform them into electronic signals and piece them together as understood sound in our minds. Quite provocative. V-Man - T/C 04:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
That's a great book. The person I gave it to as a birthday present said it changed his whole concept of sound and music, and he's a musician. JackofOz 04:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I heard that technically, it doesn't cause any sound, just vibrations. It isn't by definition sound until it's been processed by the brain. Boring explanation, possibly... 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 05:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Does it have to be processed by your brain or just a brain? because it would be hard to find a forest without any animals or insects that would be close enough to hear it.--ChesterMarcol 05:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
^ChesterMarcol took my question. ;) --Candy-Panda 05:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I almost agree with that. Problem is, in a forest there would be lots of animals and insects to receive the vibrations and interpret them as sound. If you could absolutely guarantee that in the forest there is no sensate being with a capacity to hear, then I would agree it's just vibrations and not sound. But that's a hardly likely scenario. JackofOz 05:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Then we are inclined to address exactly what needs to be present in order to "experience" the sound. A brain? If so, how developed must it be? Human? Dog? Flea? What about other living organisms? I'm sure the grass the tree falls on must somehow sense the shock of a tree crushing it. If you are not a blade of grass, you will not be able to fully know what it feels... What about the tree itself? Can it "feel" itself falling? If we are to move to completely objective reasoning, how about a completely lifeless meteor striking another? Is there a flash of light? If so, who or what sees it? Does light need to be seen in order to be light? I think Hakuin Ekaku was on to something. V-Man - T/C 06:54, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

You teacher's statement (which is an old philosophical discussion) seems to violate Occam's Razor. That is, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the best. It is definitely simpler to suppose that things behave in a similar manner with or without an observer. To suppose otherwise requires some explanation of the mechanism. Incidentally, there is a case where the presence of an observer (or more precisely, an observation) effects a system, and this does indeed come with an explanation for the mechanism, see Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. (Note that I don't use a definition of sound as "vibrations perceived by a brain"; for me, sound = vibrations, whether anyone perceives them or not.) StuRat 06:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I once read that this expression (along with "What is the sound of one hand clapping?") is used as a meditation technique to clear the mind and help you focus -- I believe it originated in Asia. It's a rhetorical question, and if you think about it, it forces you to imagine a tree falling but without making any sound -- which is quite profound. Also the stupid question "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is senseless, for it is impossible for one hand to make a clap -- so your mind gets stuck on that one, too.
The questions aren't intended to be answered. I'm sure philosophers would answer the question differently depending on what kind of philosophers there are. Some would say a sound is only a sound if someone is there to hear it - others will say that soundwaves are soundwaves regardless of whether or not they're heard. The question nonetheless has no serious answer. If you had to reask the question in a vacuum or in space - things might be different. Rfwoolf 14:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

This needs a dictionary definition of sound, and in a thought experiment you can provide any conditions you want :) HS7 20:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia no spell check[edit]

How come when you do a wikipedia search, it has no spellcheck? Every encyclopedia and dictionary ive used had spell check and correction, and I love wikipedia, but I find it very annoying that it doesnt correct mistakes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Do you mean, correct your search, or correct the edits made? In a general sense, Wikipedia's overall nature of correctness is determined by the collective correctness. V-Man - T/C 04:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I sometimmes have problms with sirchez because I dont spel good, it would be nice if it corected yur spellin fer ya.--ChesterMarcol 05:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I take that as a joke(?) but I'd anyway think it'd be nice if some kind of "fuzzy search" was implemented, á la Google etc... at least if there's no hits for the entry. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 05:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
You might be amazed how much work goes into implementing full text search. I've had the misfortune of being involved in a couple of text search engine projects, and I can tell you that for a mass of data and site the size of Wikipedia, it's no trivial task to implement fuzzy matching (much less have the compute resources to handle it). You should see the size of Google's search farm. I do, however, know that Wikipedia uses a search engine based on Lucene, which I've had some experience with. Lucene supports fuzzy matching, though I'm unsure whether Wikipedia's front end allows it. I'd test it out, but search is borked at the moment. The default Lucene syntax to enable a fuzzy word match is to append a tilde (~) to the end of the word you are unsure of. Edit: Nevermind, search isn't borked, it just provides an utterly braindead error message to indicate you're trying to use Lucene functionality that it's blocking. It's really too bad that the Lucene front end that they are using with Wikipedia is so terrible (or purposefully severely limited), because you can make a very nice text search engine using some of Lucene's capabilities (thesaurus, stemming, snowballing, fuzzy search). -- mattb @ 2007-03-08T22:30Z

Spellcheck in edit mode would also be a huge boon. Using standard word processors to spell check Wiki articles is a nightmare, what with all the wiki-formatting. I realize I could copy and paste the preview version of the article into the word processor, but I usually write offline and only import to the Wiki after I'm happy with what I've got. — Brian (talk) 05:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

If only Wikipedia could go "Did you mean...?" --Candy-Panda 05:40, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I get the funniest "Did you mean"s from Google sometimes... V-Man - T/C 05:58, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

1) As far as accepting different spellings in the search box, this can be accomplished by using redirects for common spellings.

2) A spell checker on edits would be nice, but we do have the US English vs. British English issue to deal with. You'd need to select which one you wanted for each article. I cut and paste everything into a word document and spell check it there. This only has a US English spell checker, though, so I run into trouble when spell checking an article written in British English.

StuRat 07:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

For forms editing, use a browser such as firefox. Comes with its own spell checker. Spell checking is probably properly a function of the browser not of a web application like wikipedia. To get yourself a google search box next to the wikipedia search box (google handles mis-spellings), see User:Henrik/sandbox/google-search --Tagishsimon (talk)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals)#Better search feature why we don't have such a feature. --Kusunose 09:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, if you see the answer above, you'll see that the Wikipedia servers are struggling as it is, and can you imagine the extra processing involved if Wikipedia had to know check the spelling of search terms? -- that's basically the answer as I remember it. Rfwoolf 14:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's search engine has always sucked; it would have to be able to do better ranking of results long before bonus features like a spell check were taken into consideration. -- 16:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

A problem with Google always seems to try to correct some words of British spelling to American spelling. Simply south 23:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is unique in that it is composed of works from around the world, from people whose variants of English mean that there can be no easily achieved standard spelling. This makes it unlike other encyclopaedias (encyclopedias), as many of the words may be spelt (spelled) in several alternative (alternate) ways. Any attempt to push through (thru) a standardised (standardized) spelling - or grammar, for that matter - would cause debate over which side's judgement (judgment) was better with regard to the use of the words, and which side was favoured (favored) by the result. Those cases where British English and American English are different from (different than) each other can only really be solved by way of spellchecking if two parallel English-language Wikipedias were created, one for each spelling. That would create massive redundancy and a lot of extra labour (labor) for editors. And even then you'd get problems with spellings which don't entirely agree with either, such as Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand English. To compromise, we use one spelling per article, with the local spelling used for articles relating to specific places, and in other articles sticking with whichever spelling has been used by whoever did the first major edit. There are an assortment of different varieties of English used in Wikipedia as a result, but hey, it adds a bit of colour (color :). Grutness...wha? 23:58, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Physical features[edit]

What is the reason behind the broad flat nose and large eyes of a negroid and straight nose and small eyes of a white guy?How many white races are there in this world?What are general features of caucasians?

Caucasian race is a good read for that. As far as differences in appearance, it probably has to do with Gene expression, as was mentioned by an editor earlier this week on this desk. V-Man - T/C 05:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

To take on just one issue, wide nostrils are good, in general, as they allow you to breathe in more air when running or otherwise exerting yourself. However, they have a disadvantage in colder climates, in that large amounts of cold air can get into the lungs and damage them. A thin nose warms the air more, preventing this damage. Thus, those living in colder climates tended to develop thinner noses, while those in warmer climates retained wide nostrils. Since this evolution has occurred, there have been lots of movements of people around the planet, so you will now find thin-nosed people in tropical climates and wide-nosed people in arctic climates. Since we now have ways to preheat air before we inhale it (heaters in our cars, for example), and don't often need to exert ourselves to the point where a lack of air becomes an issue, the width of the nose is no longer important for survival, so additional evolution of this trait is likely to slow. StuRat 07:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Although what StuRat just said seems to be a plausible explanation, maybe Genetic drift has something to do here too. --Taraborn 08:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm sure I read somewhere that during the ice age some people, especially in europe, had larger noses than usual, as the air was so cold :) HS7 19:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

As for the question of how many white races there are: generally 'white' people (europeans) are considered one of the three races, even though asians and native americans (often combined into a single race) also have light coloured skin, and neither of these races actually has white skin, it is just often very light brown :) And as well as this different groups of people within each race can be different colours too, and of course some people say there are no races at all, just people who don't look exactly like us :) HS7 20:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Difference in physical features.[edit]

What is the reason behind sharp contrast in physical and facial features of different stocks of people(angloid,negroid etc..)though they have evolved from the same chimpanzee? 05:03, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Ecclesiasticalparanoid

It was a long time ago human evolved, more than enough to further evolve into different "sub-types". Basically, it's adaption to the climate. Dark skin is better in hot climate, light skin in cold etc... 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 05:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, people didn't evolve from chimps. Rather, both humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor, and there have been numerous, now extinct, species in between this common ancestor and both us and chimps. StuRat 07:06, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The founder effect article might also be worth a read. --HughCharlesParker (talk - contribs) 23:40, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

scrubs music[edit]

What's the name of the song played during the dancing part in this video?

thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pennywise the turtle (talkcontribs) 05:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

I believe it is Diner by Martin Sexton. --ChesterMarcol 05:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


I read always the word "KOP" in reference of the Liverpool FC. What does KOP mean? And why the Liverpool FC is called by this term? And what is their relation?

  • It's the name of the end of the ground where the home fans stand, and thus by extension the home fans.It's from Spion Kop which means Spy Hill, a battle in the Boer war.There is more about it in the Wikipedia article(Sorry don't know how to do the fancy link thing)hotclaws**== 10:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

How does work?[edit]

How does it generate its answers?--Howzat11 10:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Educator Chris Wondra has a good explanation of the secret in his blog. Jfarber 10:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
What an evil site. I like it! --SubSeven 17:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
A co-worker and I once perpetrated a similar trick on a particularly technologically illiterate boss (this was back in the 1970's when people in general were less technologically aware). We took a microphone and placed it on a desk with the cord dropping down behind the computer (not connected in any way) - we had the computer's monitor and keyboard on the same desk. We told our boss that we'd been sent a demo version of this amazing new AI software that had voice recognition and could answer questions if you spoke to it through the microphone. So our boss would be told to speak slowly and clearly and not to use long words or colloquialisms or contractions ("Do not" not "Don't", etc). He'd ask it a question and within about 20 seconds the answer would pop up on the screen. Needless to say, I had connected a keyboard extension cord onto the back of the machine and was sitting over at my desk in the next cube along - with the computer's own keyboard sitting there disconnected. He'd ask a question - I'd hear it in the cube next door and very carefully type the answer (blind - I couldn't see the output). It was AMAZINGLY successful - and very, very simple to do. If he asked a question I couldn't answer, I'd type "This is only a demo. To obtain answers to all of your questions, please purchase the full version of this software." or something like that. SteveBaker 15:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers and comments. Muhahaha... Now for some deceiving at school--Howzat11 06:12, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Random question 1[edit]

I was reading one of the above questions about different features and i thought of something. Anglo saxon/caucasians have developed light skin due to the cold climate. However, middle easterners seem to have a LOT more hair than anglo saxons, which seems contradictory since they live in deserts while 'white' people would have been better off with the more hair to protect them from the cold. Why is this so?Cuban Cigar 11:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

During the night in a desert the temperature routinely drops to freezing, so hair's warming function wouldn't be completely useless. Also cultural differences probably contribute greatly to typical amount of hair. Whether "full head of long hair" or "neatly trimmed crew cut" is fashionable in your part of the world. Islam's rules on beards probably contribute to the "middle easterners have a lot of facial hair" stereotype. Weregerbil 11:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Hairy arabs is not a steryotype. Im an arab, i have arab friends, ive lived in arab countries-arab man are *very* hairy. If the excessive hair is a protection agains the freezing desert cold, why don't caucasians/anglo saxons (who live in cold/snowy climates) not have this much hair?Cuban Cigar 11:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Hair also protects the head from sunlight and heat. Think outside the box 11:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Here's a counterintuitive hypothesis: since having too much hair and wearing heavy clothes makes one itchy, and makes the body more likely to retain sweat and sweat-smells (since such things cling to the hair), and because lots of hair can cause one to retain things like fleas which can often live inside clothes, perhaps cultures which demand more heavy clothes-wearing are ones in which there is a social/dating preference for less hair in mates. How's THAT for thinking outside the box? Jfarber 13:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I am also curious about this question. I've noticed a lot of caucasian adults who don't have to shave that often and don't seem to get hair on places like their nose - and even in their 20s have little/no hair on their legs and chest - whereas others have a lot more up to the point where their eyebrows start to grow together and hair starts to envelope their cheeks! I do think it tends to depend on your ancestry's location on the globe - but what is the explanation? And, as someone with more hair than less, I'd say I'm subscribing to the seemingly western point-of-view that less hair is more attractive - and certainly more neat. And I believe I appear more attractive when (facially) shaven than not. Rfwoolf 14:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Surely darker skin would be better in cold places as dark colours absorb heat better :) HS7 19:26, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

People have evolved lighter or darker skin not in response to heat or cold but in response to abundance or lack of sunlight. The reason is that light skin, when exposed to sunlight, is better at synthesizing Vitamin D. In the higher latitudes, where sunlight is scarce, light skin helps maximize the synthesis of this vital nutrient. On the other hand, exposure of the tissues below the skin to too much solar radiation brings a risk of genetic damage or cancer. For this reason, people in lower latitudes have evolved dark skin rich in melanin, which blocks ultraviolet radiation and may have immune functions. Marco polo 23:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Lol i still don't see a defintive answer, this seems to be a hot topic.Cuban Cigar 08:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Random question 2[edit]

This has no realtion to the above question. Could someone reccomend to me any books/films where a dramatic contest is held where the subjects may be killed upon losing (eg Battle Royale, Contest or the Long Walk)? Cuban Cigar 11:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The Running Man? Neil (not Proto ►) 11:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Lol i forgot to mention that i read the long walk. Any other suggestions?

Well, the movie (The Running Man (film)) is very different from the novella The Running Man, and the novel King wrote as Bachman, The Long Walk. Battle Royale had a number of spin offs, all on the same theme, such as Battle Royale (film), Battle Royale II: Requiem, and two manga versions, Battle Royale (manga) and Battle Royale II: Blitz Royale.
You could also try Rollerball (1975 film) (not the awful remake), and the short story it was based on. Also The Most Dangerous Game, a very good book by Richard Edward Connell, which is about a hunter who is bored of hunting everything else an starts to hunt humans. Movies Punishment Park, The Game or Series 7: The Contenders (awesome film) might also be of interest. Neil (not Proto ►) 14:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
There's Surviving the Game. In the film, a homeless man was hired by a group of hunters to cook for them for the week that they would be hunting. The first night that they got to camp, they all had a big feast and then went to bed. The next morning the homeless man woke to find himself on the wrong end of a gun. He was told that he was in fact going to be hunted and that he had a couple minutes to get dressed and start running. Dismas|(talk) 18:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The Star Trek Original Series episodes Arena, Day of the Dove, The Gamesters of Triskelion, Spectre of the Gun and The Omega Glory all feature either deadly competitions or duels to the death, with "The Gamesters of Triskelion" being the most "game-like" one (and no, I'm not a nerd for knowing these; the Futurama episode Where No Fan Has Gone Before helpfully listed all the Star Trek episodes involving all such competitions). The Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon also featured a sort of deadly contest; for some inscrutiable reason, two warring nations agreed to build a giant supercomputer which would simulate the effects of thermonuclear war; anyone that the computer found to be "dead" had to report to a suicide booth to be killed. Laïka 21:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Wow lots of suggestions will try to get my hand on these books/movies. Any more suggestions are welcome.Cuban Cigar 08:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

For a story that has someone killed upon winning a contest, try The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. — Michael J 18:17, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


Theives keep on breaking into my shed, and stealing my things. How can I stop this, I'm shitting myself with fury here. I'm thinking of setting up a trapping system, possibly a hidden pit with spikes near the entrance, or something similar. Thanks to anyone who can help! - Richard Reynolds —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Don't do that or anything like that - if they are injured, then the police will press charges against you. I recall this happening when someone wired their iron gate up to the mains electricity supply. We used to have the same problem with dirty shed thieves, and solved it by putting one of those motion detecting security lights which turn on when they sense movement. I would also recommend not putting anything too valuable in the shed, getting a really good padlock, and putting bars on the window(s). You could also look at how easy it is to get into your back garden (or wherever you have your shed) and making it more difficult. All else fails, make sure you're well insured. And please don't shit yourself with fury. Neil (not Proto ►) 11:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Outrageous, what country do you come from buddy? France? Here in America we have the right to use lethal force against intruders. Though I don't plan on using it, I simply plan on injuring them and leaving them incapicatated until the police arrive. - R. Reynolds

Since you live in America, home of the lawsuit, don't you fear these thieves will inevitably sue you? Check out Trespasser#Duties to trespassers, which states that you have a duty to warn trespassers of dangerous conditions (e.g. "Warning! This property is booby trapped!") − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 23:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
you cant do that —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC).
The UK, where we are not allowed to murder thieves (some might say sadly!). But even in the US, while you are entitled to use lethal force against intruders, I am not sure if premeditated traps are quite what the cops would accept. Even if it is, I would try the security light first ... Neil (not Proto ►) 13:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
And even in the USA, the amount of force you're allowed to use very much depends on which state you live in. I'm pretty sure that you can't use "lethal force" against any intruder in most states (Texas probably being an exception). It depends what the intruder is doing. I'm amused that the original poster thinks France might be wishy-washy about such things. Is this another strange American stereotype about France? French law is actually pretty tough and I certainly wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of a French police officer (and I'm a British police officer!). -- Necrothesp 13:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
While I'd also check with the police first to make sure it's okay, assuming it is, I don't think I'd aim to harm intruders so much as I might aim to embarass them so much they would think it wasn't worth coming back anymore. How about finding a really nice toolbox, filling it with rancid pig guts? Don't forget to lock it tight, so the thieves take it home and THEN try to open it, rather than spewing it all over your shed. Other HARMLESS but dissuading tactics might include making the floor sticky (the thief escapes, but you keep his shoes, a la Home Alone), or putting a very sticky glue on a desirable (but SMALL) object, so that they can steal it...but not get it off afterwards. Maybe one that requires combining two substances -- put one substance on one object and one ofn the next, so only touching them in that order would cause the thief to be stuck tight? If going for the latter strategy, by the way, I recommend a vibrator -- that'll teach 'em... Jfarber 13:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Get an alarm and a sturdy lock and then call the police when it goes off. They'll either stick around and get caught or run and not come back. -- 13:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Just sit in the shed and wait for a theif.

Sad to say, if somehow you saw the thief, called the cops, they arrived and caught the guy red hande breaking into the shed, he would be out on bail in a day, and it would get plea bargained down to some minimal charge like trespassing. Consider getting a big mean well-trained dog to bite'em. I knew a man who had an auto repair shop and had guard dogs at night. One morning he found a box or useful burglar tools (pry bar, big screwdriver, etc) inside the fence with a blood trail leading to the fence. The thief made it over the fence and halfway to the building before the dog woke up. He did not come back to ask for the tools. Edison 17:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Your best bet would be to have a few simple security devices. A light that comes on automatically when a person walks near is pretty simple but surprisingly effective deterrant. It is not implausible to fit an alarm to a shed so that could be an option. If the shed is 'out of view' you might want to have a large and obvious 'mirror' that can allow the shed to be seen from a variety of places. Alternatively you could invest in a larger lock, more study doors/frame or even (though maybe not possible) move the most valuable/steeling friendly goods into a more secure environment. Setting up 'traps' is not adviseable regardless of the legality of the matter. You could 'spray' your items with that invisible-spray that shows up under black-light (?). That way if you suspect specific people you can have the police do a search and find out. If you're really rich you could have CCTV or hire a security guard, but I suspect they are not viable options. ny156uk 17:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Set traps that don't actually hurt, such as a non spike filled hole :] HS7 19:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Those 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' have no concept of law and order, which is what I was talking about to whoever made that statement. I am not rich, and do not have money for alarm systems, lest of all a CCTV system. I think it will be best If I build a pit, but do not spike it, seeing your advice. Though I may do another trap system, such as only use the backdoor of the shed, and if the front door is used, a series of very heavy weights well topple down on whoever opens it. Thank you all for your kind help, God Bless. - R Reynolds.

I don't believe any US state or county would allow the use of lethal force for the protection of property in a shed. The lethal force argument is for protection of life, not property. And setting up a trap is generally frowned on anywhere, even for protection of life. Corvus cornix 22:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I suggest covering the perp with paint, using the old paint above the door routine. Might make detection somewhat easier. --Tagishsimon (talk)
  • I think there's been a few misconceptions about what you can do to intruders in the US. You can only use lethal force if they threaten your life. And make sure you don't use some illegal weapon like a gun without a permit. - Mgm|(talk) 22:18, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Just watch the movie Home Alone, that will teach you all one needs to know about home security, it's really more of an instruction manual than a movie.--ChesterMarcol 23:10, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It's America, I have every right to do whatever I please. Those will tress pass on MY land, and steal MY things, will face MY wrath. Sorry of it sounds harsh, but I have the right. - R. Reynolds

I'm sorry, but that is clearly not true. You do not have the right to do whatever you please. There are laws even in America, and they are enforced. Case in point: if you walk up to someone on the street and shoot them in the face, you will be arrested, tried and (hopefully) convicted. You will then face whatever punishment that court deems appropriate, because you do not have the right to shoot someone in the face. If people in America had a right to do whatever they pleased, burglars would have a right to burgle your house, and you would be denying burglars their rights by doing anything to stop them. Skittle 00:56, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

HOW DARE YOU. I have every right to act as I see fit on my own land. I was not refering to the general public. Obviously, murder, rape, and nudity are not permitted on public spaces, and for good reason. And people do NOT have the right to rob MY own possesions, and violate ME. I WILL NOT ALLOW BURGLARS TO STEAL FROM ME. Thanks. - R Reynolds.

Which is funny, because your IP resolves to New Zealand (: VectorPotentialTalk 01:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I'm here in New Zealand on vacation for my sister's wedding, and her fiance suggested I use Wikipedia to search for a solution to my security problem back home. Apparently he edits articles here or something. But thanks for your help guys, and sorry if I came off a bit brash, I've being in a bad mood lately. Take care - R. Reynolds.

The paint on the door trick seems pretty good, so does the glue on the ground. mabye if you try both, he'll get covered in paint and you get his shoes. imagine seeing a shoeless blue guy running down the street. :D

Keep in mind the plethora of burglars who sued their victims for whatever reason. Incidentally, I had a friend who had gasoline repeatedly stolen out of a fuel container in his shed. His solution to the problem was to put a "healthy" amount of sugar in the gasoline; the next time he checked it, it was half empty, and he never had gasoline stolen from him again. V-Man - T/C 03:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Richard, I don't think anyone is trying to upset you. Just be aware that setting up traps, wounding, and / or murdering can get you in trouble with the law, no matter the provocation, as it is premeditated, and your life is not in danger. Even if it's on your own land. The security light is a good idea, and they're really quite cheap now. Your local hardware store will stock them. Neil (not Proto ►) 12:39, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego (Deluxe Edition) download needed[edit]

I'd appreciate it immensely if someone managed to find a free download of Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego (Deluxe Edition) from 1994. There's a link on Carmen Sandiego, but requires some sort of payment. I daresay it's already abandonware so if anybody decides to be a complete angel, then thank you.

AlmostCrimes 13:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It is available for download at Home of the Underdogs. Look at the section that says "Where to get it". -- 13:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

become taller?[edit]

hi I am a 15 years old and im currently 5'8.5 (174cm). Do you think I can grow 1 inch or more in a year? If yes, how? Do you think swimming or pilates will help me? If no, give another suggestion. Thank you :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

GPs will tell you that height is genetic and on a very small scale environmental. I disagree somewhat - I've observed that even within my own family, those members who are highly active and participate in sport have grown taller than others - I would say environmental issues play a significant role.
That said, you may be due for a growth spurt, anytime around 12/13 and once again anytime up til about 21 (note: This is a generalisation). You can usually tell if a bone is due to grow some more if growth plates show up on xrays or scanograms -- so if you somehow ended up with xrays of your legs that would be indicative.
So my basic answer is that there isn't a great deal you can do to make yourself grow taller - but an active lifestyle I believe may help - and that it is possible for you to have a growth spurt within the next year (usually if you haven't had one for a few years) -- but even if you don't go on a growth spurt I believe the 1 inch growth may be possible - I think in slightly more than a year though - 18 months perhaps.
What I cannot tell you is if I know whether stretching or pilates has any proof of assisting growth, but I imagine that it couldn't hurt.
Another small fact is that your height can be slightly altered by things like posture, whether or not you are flat footed or have postural imbalances, or a functional leg shortage (this is where the leg/legs are shorter but not physically - if you measure the bones they're fine) - and so in theory anything that aims to improve your posture will make you as tall as you can be at the moment - in other words I'm not saying posture work will make you grow more, but rather that posture work will make you stand taller -- but usually not by all that much.
I hope this helps - sorry I don't know any more.
Rfwoolf 14:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
"those members who are highly active and participate in sport have grown taller than others" — of course, correlation does not equal causation at all in such instances. -- 16:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Taller children are often encouraged to participate in sports. So much so, that a disproportionate number of adult athletes were born at the beginning of the year, as they got their start when they were the tallest in their age rank.--Pharos 06:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The rack usually works pretty well ;) Lemon martini 14:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

My daughter's the same age, and the doctor said she would gain another inch. I would make it a habit, to discuss such things with your doctor.. make a list! I would ask about body awareness and satisfaction, no matter what height, degree of skinniness, or body shape. --Zeizmic 16:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

wow these are really good answers! thx guys keep suggesting,im not so sure about the whole rack thing?! sounds painful :) :P —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:14, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

See Rack (torture). We are not allowed to give medical advice in its applicability for use... --Zeizmic 17:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Try just laying on your back for a while, it can streighten out your spine :) HS7 19:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I am no expert on this, but I would think that nutrition would play some role. My evidence is that the children of immigrants to the United States are frequently several inches taller than their parents, who may have grown up in a nutrient-deficient environment. So it would probably help to make sure that you are getting adequate protein (fairly hard not to do in most developed countries such as the United States), calcium (dairy products are an obvious source), vitamins and minerals. Supplements will provide vitamins and minerals, but it is unclear that the body absorbs nutrients from supplements as well as it does from natural foods. Your best sources of vitamins and minerals are a varied list of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, anything in the cabbage family). Marco polo 00:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Eat steak & veggies whenever you can, and take a either a capsule or a tablespoon of Cod liver oil (it tastes better with salt and lime). · AO Talk 15:07, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

War Crimes[edit]

In the book Shoah, as well as various others, there is talk of death camps crawling with SS guards as one would expect. They were needed in order for the final sollution to be implemented. Now I know about the Nuremburg Trials, which involved various Nazi leaders, but what I would like to know is what happened to the hundereds of Nazi SS that were involved in mass murder, were they ever tried and if so where, who what where when and why thanks guys and girls —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

One fairly recent case of a guard's being brought to trial, though not straightforward due to identity issues, was that of John Demjanjuk. -- Deborahjay 17:26, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I read about Einsatzgruppen Trial, and was amazed, only about 20 persons were posecuted, and only four were put to death, no-one convicted served prison longer than until 1958. Seemingly, the largest blame were put on the nation's leaders. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 17:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

You will get some information on the various trials from the page on the List of Axis war criminals. This link is also very useful [1]. There are too many other pages which deal with specific prosecuations to mention here, so that on the Dachau Trials will have to serve by way of example [2]. I would also suggest that you look at Nazi Medicine and The Nuremberg Trials by Paul Julian Weindling, Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals by A. S. Rosenbaum and Occupation Nazi Hunter: The Continuing Search for the Perpetrators of the Holocaust by Z. Efraim. Clio the Muse 20:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The article on Denazification is of relevance here. Some were tried, some were executed, some slipped away, and so on. And their fate likely would have depended which sector they ended up in, as well. --Fastfission 23:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Carb consumption[edit]

If, as every medico in the UK says, that to stop consuming carbohydrates is very dangerous, then how come Eskimos haven't died out? As I understand it, they only eat protein and fat. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jardinero (talkcontribs) 14:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

I'd recommend a read of The Inuit Paradox, and then a broader google search. In short "What the diet of the Far North illustrates, says Harold Draper, a biochemist and expert in Eskimo nutrition, is that there are no essential foods — only essential nutrients. And humans can get those nutrients from diverse and eye-opening sources." --Tagishsimon (talk)

Newbie needs help![edit]

Just created a new account to ask a question, but can't figure out how to answer one. Please help.Jardinero 14:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean. If you mean 'how do I answer a reference desk question", then the answer is "much in the same way you just asked the question here". If not, then please clarify your meaning. thanks. --Tagishsimon (talk)

Sorry to be vague, but to ask a question I clicked on "ask a new question here"; there is nothing saying "answer here". Do I click on 'edit' and write my reply below the original question?Jardinero 15:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Indent it and place it after the post to which you are responding (placing a colon in front adds an indent level). StuRat 15:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yup. Sorry, I forgot there was an "ask a question" link at the top of the page. --Tagishsimon (talk)

African King[edit]

Read a few years ago about an African King From East Africa who was taken as a slave through a rouge of trading with Europeans, and then once in europe, escaped and walked alone all the way back to his own people, to once again sit as king, and when the same slave trading Europeans came back he got his revenge. Who was this, and any other info, thanks.

Sounds like fiction to me. A king would not have been likely to be taken as a slave, as most slaves were prisoners taken by one African tribe during a war with another, who were then sold to slave traders. And walking back to Africa from Europe sounds impossible to me. StuRat 15:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like fiction to me, too, but not completely implausible. Tribe A takes king of Tribe B prisoner during war, sells king to traders. King later wanders through France & Spain to Gibraltar, and then hitches a ride to north Africa, and walks some more. Or, I suppose, if heading for east Africa, went via Italy or Turkey, 7&c. Okay, long walk. But as we mounted crusades long before Iraq Wars 1 & 2, we can take it that humans can walk long distances. (Don't even get me started on the stilt walker who went from Moscow to Paris.) --Tagishsimon (talk)
What is a "rouge of trading?" And once the "slave trading Europeans" had sold him, was there some warranty that if he escaped they had to go back to Africa and find him? Seems like the owner would be the one looking for him. If our ancestors could make their way out of Africa to Europe right after the last Ice Age, it is probably equally possible to walk the other way.Edison 17:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It would be possible to walk from Europe to Africa (with a short sail or even row between the two), but how would a penniless slave feed himself during the months that such a trip would take? This is what makes the story hard to believe for me. Marco polo 00:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
(Correcting myself:) Of course, it would be possible to walk the whole way, by going around the Black Sea, across eastern Asia Minor, and then along the east shore of the Mediterranean Sea to cross the Isthmus of Suez, but how would such a person feed himself? How long could such a person get away with crop pilferage without getting caught? How would a sub-Saharan African not attract the attention of authorities while traveling on foot through Europe? Marco polo 02:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps as he made his way through various lands he impressed people that he might indeed be royalty by his dignity , bearing, and self confidence. As a monarch, he might have known other monarchs and trading magnates in various large centers of commerce along the way. Perhaps he did the then equivalent of the constant spams we now get from people in certain countries offering us amazing wealth if we only help them out. If his country traded with any other country, or had diplomatic relations with any other country, he might have ben able to get a sufficient loan to evn buy passage back on a trading ship. Edison 21:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

"Bertrimer Subject", Russia[edit]

I am researching family history, and have found the reference: "Bertrimer Subject", Russia. Can you enlighten me please? 15:40, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Can you give a bit of context in which you have seen this phrase? It sounds odd to me, and it doesn't bring up any google hits, which makes me suspect it's not quite right somehow. --Richardrj talk email 17:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

St Patrick's Day Parade in NYC[edit]

As an African-American, is it wise to see the St. Paddy's Parade in NYC in person this year? I have heard rumors of racists groups promoting their ideals.

The only mention of racist groups and the NYC parade I can find is here, where the chair of the Ancient Order of Hibernians compared a gay and lesbian group who wish to join the parade to the KKK. It seems unlikely that such a well organised parade would permit racist groups to be involved, and therefore I would suggest you will be as safe on St Paddy's as you would any other day in NYC. Rockpocket 22:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I think the odds of being on the recieving end of any type of serious racism in a major, modern metropolis, especially in public, are tremendously slim. And New York is quite liberal relatively. At any rate, the threat of running into racism is not, in my opinion, so great (absolutely nowhere near so great, in fact) as to be a good reason not to go to the parade. 06:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

False alarm attack[edit]

Is there a term for the practice of triggering a number of false alarms when preparing to commit a crime, so that any real alarms triggered by the crime will be ignored? (Like the Boy who Cried Wolf, but where the boy and the wolf are the same person?) NeonMerlin 22:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't know if there's a jargon term for it, but it is a form of Social engineering --Tagishsimon (talk)
I can't think of an answer either, but I just wanted to mention a delightful movie from 1966 called How to Steal a Million. --Anon, March 9, 2007, 00:59 (UTC).
The Boy Who Cried Wolf is mentioned in the False alarm article, but not in the sense that you refer to. It later links to Culture of fear, but no real term is used to describe the exploitation of a false alarm. Perhaps you could make it up! V-Man - T/C 03:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
My limited vocabulary only gives me desensitize, but that's probably too broad. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 05:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
How about Bushicize? (Cheneyvate if you Bushicize for financial profit) Clarityfiend 06:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Dick'n'bushify? − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 20:33, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Marketing jargon[edit]

Define and upstream and downstream marketing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

I don't think you can have read the rules at the top of the page. The second rule says "Do your own homework". Even if your question isn't your homework, it looks so much like it that no-one's going to touch it. Try searching wikipedia for the word 'marketing' and see where that gets you. If that doesn't help, then google is your friend. --HughCharlesParker (talk - contribs) 23:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Fortunately, the other rule is "break all rules". The most succinct (actually, the only) explanation I found in the time I was willing to allot to this task is here. Briefly, upstream is "design your product/service & its marketing around your customer's needs" whilst downstream is "do what you can to sell the same old tat, irrespective of consumer need". Respecting Hughcharlesparker's position on this, you will get a Z grade if you merely cut & paste my paraphrase :) Finally, remember that this is one random web page's definition. YMMV. --Tagishsimon (talk)

The German Wikipedia[edit]

(This isn't really a technical discussion, it's really a question a general question about a website.) Why doesn't the german wikipedia do in-line citations for its sources, even in featured articles? For example, check out their featured article from a few days ago: [3] (I can read German pretty well, but I'm too embarrassed to try my hand at composing this question in german.) Jolb 23:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I've just tested it, and there's no technical reason. Don't know the policy reason, but they clearly have a different FA standard. --Tagishsimon (talk)
I think it's just that - a policy/style issue. Each language varient of Wikipedia has it's own rules on style and content and such. For example, the German Wikipedia bans the 'fair use' exemption for copyrighted images where the English version does not. Inline citations are nice once you get used to them - I'm a little surprised that the German wiki doesn't use it - someone should probably bring this up at the German equivelent of the Village Pump. Sadly, my German is utterly non-existant - so that's not going to be me either! SteveBaker 15:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)