Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2007 May 30

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May 30[edit]

Teacher's edition[edit]

Hi there, I am a high school teacher I wanted to know if there is teacher's edition of all high school subjects from gr.9-12 in online such as Gr.10 Addison-Wesley Ontario Principles of Mathematics and Gr.11 Nelson University Chemistry? Thanks.

Why do I get the feeling this is just a student looking for an answer key? Probably because that's what it is, huh? -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 01:43, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Addison-Wesley seem to have a number of materials online at their website. I doubt any of them are free to access though. And yes, I agree with Phoeba Wright in that this looks like a student looking for free answers due to the minimal use of punctuation and the run-on sentence. Dismas|(talk) 02:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
If you really are a school teacher, the head of your department should have given you all the information to access necessary materials, and print copies as well. If there for some reason was an online site that had teacher's editions in PDF, they would surely be leaked all over the internet by now.--GTPoompt 12:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
May I warn you against using online cheat sites? A fair number of my students have discovered a cheat site with all the answers to their vocabulary textbook; the problem is that many of the answers on the cheat site are incorrect. In the long run, you'll find it more useful to master the material, anyway. -FisherQueen (Talk) 13:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
If you really are a teacher, the publishing company should have supplied a teacher edition for every class that uses the student edition. If they failed to do this, or if copies have gone missing, your school's purchasing office should get the publisher to provide copies. On the other hand, if you are a student, the easiest way to get in trouble for plagiarism would be to use answers from the teacher edition. Teachers will be familiar with these answers and will instantly know where you found them. Marco polo 17:39, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I think you're right, phoeba wright. The question sounds alot like a students doing. :D

Energy efficient vacuum cleaners[edit]

I purchased a secondhand vacuum cleaner recently. Apparently it was made at a time when environmentalism was popular, because it's plastered with claims about how energy efficient it is. Among other statements is a rather prominent one of "Cleaning effectiveness = 17.5 per amp". It's clearly an incomplete statement (17.5 whats per amp?), but what I want to know is is there an actual standard for measuring cleaning effectiveness, or is this just an empty marketing claim? -- 02:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This may help: [1]. Rmhermen 05:01, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Yea, is that a method for rating which vacuum cleaner sucks the most ? StuRat 07:07, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Who is on the wrong side of the road[edit]

Hello and good day. I'm E, I had people at work who try to get me. It starts some months ago when I asked a co-worker out and got rejected. Not too soon after that she and her friend start to make complants about me been stalking and following her. For I have been explant to the boss what had happened. The boss tell me keep my mouth shut and stay away from her when she around. But the shits keep come back at me, such as takling to in the lift, ask her qustions, ask how she doing,etc. Slways she make a move, and I step back. For poeple like me are victom or not? I feel been bully at workplace and harass by my co-works and my boss!

We cannot answer legal questions, and we cannot give you advice on a matter like this. Her side of the story might be completely different from yours, and she may see herself as the victim here. I'd suggest you talk to someone you know (female, preferably - a relative perhaps?) and ask them if your body language, way of communicating, how close you stand to people, etc. could make someone nervous. --Charlene 06:42, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
You should speak to people in the know. Either your union, if you're in one, or your HR department. Failing either of those, I believe Australia (Your IP is Australian) has a Citizen's Advice Bureau which, if it's anything like the British equivalent, will freely help you as they will have volunteers in many disciplines and they are in a much better place to help. --Phydaux 16:01, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I would follow your boss's advice and stay away from her. If she is in the lift, don't get in, take the stairs or wait for the next one. If she gets in and you are already inside, get off on that floor and take the next lift or the stairs. Don't give her any opportunity to accuse you of inappropriate behavior. If she says "hi" while passing, say "hi" back but keep walking. If you are headed to your car and she is in the parking lot, go back inside and wait until she drives away. Bring your lunch and eat at your desk so you won't run into her in the break room or cafeteria. StuRat 06:56, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Combo Lock on Luggage[edit]

For anyone who has a eurolite hardside luggage set can the combo locks on those things be disabled so they do not lock.--logger 08:33, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Name of the Game?[edit]

I remember in the early 90's playing a computer animated game - it involved a grubby looking bank robber in a mask covering the eyes and a gun in the hand. He traveled from country to country, sometimes disguised. Several clues were given which helped the player identify the country. Once the country was identifyed, you were asked a question to which you had to answer before you could qualify to the next level. The countries involved were Japan - Tokyo, Singapore, India - New Delhi, Belize, etc. etc. This was a game I played during the time of windows 3.1!

Does anyone remember this game? How do I get hold of this to play on my computer? I am keeping my fingars crossed!!!

Thanks in advance for helping me.


That reminds me of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. 09:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
That was my first thought too - especially with countries the OP mentioned. Icthyos 10:52, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Writing questions and answers for that game was one of the many ways I financed my education! Marco polo 17:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Way cool. I would have loved doing that. (Then again, maybe it's best that I didn't, or all the answers would point to Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky and Dildo, Newfoundland, etc.) StuRat 06:29, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

word question III[edit]

Sorry about all the trouble I have caused, but I have decided not to bother with a word that means something both ways. However I do still need to know one thing. If I were to write a word so that placing a mirror across the last letter, it formed another word in the mirror, and I wanted to be able to read this word without it appearing backwards, is there any way of writing an e so it looks right both ways? If it helps, the way I am writing it means there will probably have to be a line under the e, that can be incorporated into it.

So can anyone suggest ways of doing this, or point me to a website, or give me any advice. Or tell me it is impossible if it is.

Try the external links in our article Ambigram. Making mirror ambigrams with the letter "e" is pretty hard - a rotational one is often easier, because an upside down "e" looks just like an "a". Laïka 10:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

So it can't be done then? I don't want it to be an a. Anyone else got any advice? Anything?

Sorry, the problem is that I want it to be a differnt word when looked at the other way. I considered rotational ambigrams, but then there were even more letters that I couldn't get to work.

What I have are two words, one of which is the other spelt backwards. And I want to arrange them one after the other, so the first letter of one is the same as the last letter of the other, and so they look like a mirror reflection. But then some lwtters would be the wrong way around. Are there any ways of writing letters so they look the same both ways?

With somewhat standard block letters, there are only a handful that appear the same in mirror images, e.g. W, T, Y, U, I, O, etc. A creative talent such as Scott Kim can probably create an ambigram out of many words containing other letters; you might want to look at the sites linked from the article about Kim to see if you get any ideas. --LarryMac | Talk 15:03, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I've figured it out now. I used part of an L to turn the e into an E on one side. It sort of works.


Does anyone know any dramatic, interesting and mostly blue ways of colouring in letters?

Are we talking paint, crayon, chalk, or computer? Bielle 17:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Mostly blue? That limits your options. Perhaps try using gradient or texturize your colored text with bubbles or something. --GTPoompt 20:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
If you are thinking of using it on wikipedia, try the following <span style="Text-decoration:blink"><font color="Blue">Hello</font></span>, which produces, Hello. Make sure to view this with Mozilla.
--Tλε Rαnδоm Eδιτоr 20:34, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Blink tags are evil. Evil I tells ya! Ever see an entire page filled with rapidly blinking text? If so, you'd think that they were evil too... ;) --Kurt Shaped Box 21:34, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

OOps, Sorry about that. I only saw the preview for what I wrote, not for what came after. Bielle 21:54, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I kinda like this >example< (idea stolen from another user's signature, as some of you can probably easily tell). ---Sluzzelin talk 02:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Nuclear Weapons exploding[edit]

If a Nuclear ICBM was armed and flying through the air towards its target, and suddenly it just falls out of the air (maybe the fuel somehow leaked out), and it falls to the ground, will it explode? As well, if you were to shoot down a ICBM with a missile, will the ICBM detonate? Lastly, if you have a nuclear weapons storage facility with say, 10 nukes and one was to accidently explode, will it set off the other nukes even if they are not armed? Thanks. 21:08, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Nuclear weapons have normal explosives and then the nuclear part. In all of these cases, the normal explosives *might* go off, and the nuclear part will almost certainly *not* go off. A big part of the engineering for these devices is to make sure they don't go off unless they're supposed to. Indeed, quite a number of weapons *have* fallen out of the sky for various reasons, and none has ever had a nuclear detonation. See List of military nuclear accidents. --TotoBaggins 21:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Yep, the nukes need to be set off in a *very* specific manner. Dropping them from height, setting them on fire or blowing up something next to them won't work - that'll just break the bomb and maybe scatter a bit of radioactive material in the immediate area. --Kurt Shaped Box 21:33, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
How must the nukes be properly exploded? As well, if the nuke was already armed and flying towards its target, is there something that it has to do to successfully detonate? Otherwise, I don't see why shooting it out of the sky would not detonate the nuclear weapon. 22:03, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Wade through this article: Nuclear weapon design and then come back with further questions, if any. --Tagishsimon (talk)
As I understand it (and I'm not an expert), the warhead(s) is only actually primed very shortly before detonation. Take a look at Nuclear weapon design for the mechanics of 'make bomb go boom'. --Kurt Shaped Box 22:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
(after ec) In short, very precise conditions are required to achieve nuclear fission. Nearby missle explosions, bullet impacts, or ground collisions do not constitute "very precise conditions". For that matter, even most conventional munitions aren't like gasoline -- they're highly stable unless properly and precisely triggered. End result? Nukes (and most bombs) explode only when their fuses trigger them. "Armed", for that matter, is really only the removal of the first safeguard (the fuse is allowed to trigger). It doesn't make the bomb proper any more unstable than it would be if unarmed. — Lomn 22:19, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Steel balls png.png
Look at this image as an example of a primitive nuclear safety device. The space in which the plutonium needs to become supercritically squeezed is full of ball bearings. There is *no way* you're going to get a bang out of that. Before dropping a bomb like this, the flight crew would pull the plug and drain the BBs out. It's easy to imagine modern weapons having a variety of devices on the same principle.
For example, an ICBM could have a plug of strong neutron-absorbing material like cadmium in the middle of the nuclear pit area that is only retracted when the following sequence has occurred: 1) the permissive action link codes have been entered properly, 2) the warhead has experience enormous g forces associated with launch, 3) the altimeter has indicated that the warhead has reached 100km, 4) the gyroscope has indicated that the warhead has been inverted, 5) the microphone has heard the song "We'll Meet Again".
You can have multiple layers of these sorts of guards, making the devices very, very safe. The main thing you need to understand is that nuclear material is not a normal explosive. "Accidentally" setting it off is about as likely as an automobile crash "accidentally" compressing a solid sphere of steel in your trunk to 10% of its original size, perfectly symmetrically, in less time than it takes a bullet to leave the barrel of a gun and hit something 5 feet away (literally! that's why they abandoned the Thin Man design). If you're really interested in this area, I can't recommend Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb highly enough. --TotoBaggins 22:40, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Now we told terrorists how to make a nuke, why not tell them how to make chemical and germ weapons as well. ARE YOU GUYS NUTS ?! IF there IS another "9-11", worse than that, Wikipedia will be investigated by the Dept. of Homeland Security for any complicity in said terrorist attacks. 22:50, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
If you think this is at all secret, you're kidding yourself. We're living in a world where the bad guys have big bad weapons too, they're just deciding whether they should and could use them or not. Always look on the bright side of life -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 22:55, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
And if you liked wikipedia's "How to make a Nuclear Bomb", you'll LOVE Category:Chemical weapons. After all, as Ben Franklyn put it, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither". --Tagishsimon (talk)
I have to agree with Feba. You don't have to go to wikipedia to found out how to make a nuclear bond. By the way, aren't we getting off the subject. --Tλε Rαnδоm Eδιτоr 22:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of off subject, anyone wanna go put disposable cups in gasoline? -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 23:00, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The hardest part about make a nuke is getting the material that goes inside it. Once a terrorist has that then you are already in big, big trouble. Which is why most safeguard regimes and anti-proliferation attention is towards keeping materials safe, not about keeping things secret. Fortunately enriched uranium and plutonium are not the easiest things to procure, even for a nation-state — but there is a lot of both out there in the world, and in some places (Russia, Kazakhstan) it is not kept under optimally safe conditions. Which is actually quite scary. -- 00:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
To the anonymous poster who thinks a genie can be put back in the bottle, you might also be interested in: Los Alamos Primer (an A-bomb howto published by the US Federal Government in 1965), and Hydrogen bomb#The Progressive case (an H-bomb howto from public sources). You can't uninvent these things, unfortunately, and the only political means we have to eliminate them is both ignored and actively undermined by the world's nuclear powers. Don't buy any green bananas. --TotoBaggins 23:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Buy a cylinder of chlorine gas. Open the valve. --Carnildo 22:55, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

But going back to my first question, I still don't see why a nuke would not explode if it was shot (but not destroyed) out of the sky and landed with all its parts intact. Before the nuke was launched the ball bearings and safetyguards would be all removed and while it's in the air, the sensors will meet all the requirements that TotoBaggins said. What difference is there that allows the nuke to explode if it hits its desired target as opposed to falling short of its target destination? Thanks once again. 00:41, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

It depends how "smart" you assume the warhead is. If it is a very sophisticated one whose firing circuit is linked to the right values from its altimeter and GPS and etc. then it won't tell itself to go off and thus you won't get a full-fledged nuclear explosion. If you assume it is a little "dumber", i.e. not high-tech computer wizardry, then it is not that hard to imagine it going off anyway. -- 00:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
A number of nukes have fallen out of the sky accidentally. None have ever resulted in a full-fledged nuclear explosion — for the reasons explained above (all modern nukes are safe from that; even the most unsafe early nukes were primed just before being dropped in order to reduce the chance of an accident). However in a few cases the high-explosives used within the nuke detonated, making a reasonably-large (in human terms, not nuke terms) explosion and shooting a bunch of plutonium into the area that they went off — your own, do-it-at-home, multi-million dollar "dirty bomb" or radiological weapon. The worst case of this that I know of was the Palomares H-Bomb Incident (which is an article title begging to be renamed something more official sounding). There are a few other examples of things like this on List of military nuclear accidents; the other one I find most interesting after Palomares is when in 1958 a bomber accidentally dropped its payload in a South Carolina suburb (in that case the explosives did not detonate, but some of the material still got spread around). -- 00:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I was refering to nuclear ICBM's. 00:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
The point is that not only do the safeties mentioned above have to be disabled, but in addition, the different charges of high explosive have to detonate simultaneously or there won't be a nuclear explosion. And the only thing that will detonate them simultaneously is the missile's fuse system, which of course is designed to activate only when the missile reaches its target. If the missile "thinks" it has reached it, or if the fuse was somehow made to fire when it shouldn't, then yes there would be a nuclear blast; otherwise, at most you get the results already described. --Anonymous, May 31, 2007, 1,379 minutes to midnight, 01:01 (UTC).
AFAIK, modern missiles contain computer technology that only primes the warhead very shortly before it reaches its intended target area. I think that they even have inbuilt self-destruct mechanisms these days that can be remotely triggered, destroying the missile and the nuke without detonating it, should the decision to abort the attack be taken after launch. --Kurt Shaped Box 01:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

It's actually quite difficult to get a full nuclear explosion. It requires getting all the nuclear fuel packed in together very quickly. One way to do this is with a spherical conventional explosive charge that compacts it into an empty sphere. The speed must be extremely quick or else you will get a low level chain reaction when it is somewhat compacted, which will only be enough to blow the nuclear fuel away from itself and prevent any further fission. This type of "fizzle" seems likely what happened in North Korea's recent nuclear test. Having a uniform charge is also critical, as a non-symmetrical charge will also fizzle. StuRat 03:41, 2 June 2007 (UTC)