Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 February 24

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February 24[edit]

Mind maps[edit]

Tony Buzan says for mind mapping you should write only one word per branch so does that mean if i want to remember the definition of 'adaptations' do i have to draw like 10 branches??! branch-inherited-branch-characteristics-branch-that... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Choose what works for you. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The mind map is a tool, TB does not prescribe. If he says "one word per line" that is only to stress the need for brevity. A major purpose of the mind map is to help one to bring areas of knowledge down into easily remembered (or recalled) chunks. With each mind map different they are far easier to remember than pages of "linear notes" that all look the same. (talk) 15:26, 25 February 2008 (UTC)petitmichel

I'd avoid mind maps like the plague. I had a teacher at A-level who was somewhat under Buzan's spell and gave us the hard sell on why we should use mind maps. I was literally the only one in the class who rebelled and just took noted and crammed in the usual way. I got an A in that subject (despite not actually being a hugely outstanding student); nobody else in the class got above C - and some of these were real high-flyers who were expected to get straight As too; some even missed out on places at top universities as a result. So as far as I'm concerned, Buzan is a charlatan whose methods fucked up a lot of my friends' chances. - (talk) 15:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

What is the second largest ethnic group?[edit]

Arabs? (talk) 03:28, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

No, the second largest wouldn't be Arabs, since there are more Han Chinese (1137 million) and more Bengalis (380 million) than there are Arabs (300-350 million). Han Chinese is the largest ethnic group, as you presumably already know. You could hunt through the List of ethnic groups to see if there's an ethnic group whose size is in between that of the Han Chinese and that of the Bengalis. Of course, the whole concept of ethnic group is often vague and hard to define (hence the range for Arabs), so there might not wind up being a clear-cut answer as to which ethnic group is the second largest. MrRedact (talk) 05:06, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Bicentennial Quarter Mint Marks[edit]

I understand there were 3 mints for the bicentennial quarters; Denver, Philadelphia and West Point. I have a quarter with no mint mark. Would this have been from West Point? Thanks. ScottsinnScottsinn (talk) 07:04, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The article mint mark suggests that "Most coins of the Philadelphia Mint earlier than 1980 are unmarked", and the West Point Mint article says the W mark wasn't used until 1983. Do Philadelphia bicentennial quarters have a P mark? FiggyBee (talk) 07:45, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, one of the quarters I have does have a P. Scottsinn12.36.102.163 (talk) 08:24, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Let me rephrase that, I BELIEVE it has a P. I just recieved 2 quarters from a friend and one had no mintmark. The other was worn and the mintmark looked like a P. However, it could have been a D. Scottsinn12.36.102.163 (talk) 08:27, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The consensus from a Google search is that unmarked quarters of that era are from Philly. This answer includes a reference if you want to follow up further. — Lomn 15:59, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


is there a standard way one can identify how many wpm he/she types?i got some sw online some put me at 36 wpm others 27 wpm others 32 not disputing anything but how does one type 90wpm?is it humanly possible.which is the best online software i can download that isnt sooo big because my internet connection is limited.a max of around 10 -15 mb size.lets say one is a really good learner can i jump from 30 wpm to 50 wpm?ill practice every day..

2.any help with this riddle?i was born a new yorker from birth.whom am i and who gave birth to me?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

As far as typing speeds go, you'll gradually get faster as you practice - 90 is certainly possible, but most semi-professional typists average around 60. Definitely learn to touch-type if you can't already (it's much faster if you don't have to look at the keyboard!). You might also want to look into the Dvorak keyboard layout if you want to get really fast. No idea on the riddle, sorry. FiggyBee (talk) 11:29, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
My typing speed went from about 30 to 120 wpm in less than a year (i think), mainly through chattering like this. Variation in measured speed is to be expected; you might be stiffer one day, etc. —Tamfang (talk) 01:51, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The riddle looks wrong - "whom am I" is grammatically incorrect, unless it's some weird clue. Please check it's 100% accurate, or you could be giving us red herrings. --Dweller (talk) 11:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

"i was born a new yorker from birth" troubles me greatly. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:58, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
There is some information on speed in the article on words per minute. The article on touch typing features some external links to tutors and lessons. ---Sluzzelin talk 12:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
With a riddle question that vague the answer is probably something silly like, The Statue of Liberty... - Azi Like a Fox (talk) 05:55, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The Statue of Liberty was "born" in France. --LarryMac | Talk 14:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Even could be an Warhol associate - James Slattery was born in New york and reborn as Candy Darling the transvestite again in New York. He gave birth to his new self. Julia Rossi (talk) 06:59, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

United Nations resolutions and policy statements[edit]

I would like to know where and how I can find the policy statements and resolutions by African countries at the U.N conferences.Sabby212.49.74.69 (talk) 14:07, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The Boys' in Blue[edit]

two people have a fight and one pounds the other for about 5 seconds and then it is over because one person just wanted to prove they are dominent. should one phone the police?the vicim of the assault should file a charde of assault yes, but should i? as a witnesss, after the fact? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

sorry, just to add, it was two gilrs, one much much bigger than the other. the big one physically fights her boyfriend too, but the boys in blue usually take him away. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
It is difficult to report small fights to the police and expect much, if you feel that one (or both) parties in the fight were particularly in danger/will be in danger in the future then yes you should say, but I wouldn't expect much. If every fight that occurred was reported to the police they would be extremely busy. having said this the girl who fights her boyfriends sounds like she needs help - and so may he. Husband beaters (or boyfriend in this case) are among the least reported crimes due to many reasons (embarrassment, lack of belief etc. etc.) ny156uk (talk) 16:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
This is Australia but when I reported someone being dangerously threatened and harassed in traffic (repeatedly), the police told me the report would have to come from the victim. After that, they want witnesses. As Ny156uk says, it's difficult when the people who need help don't get it (in this case the puncher and the punched). If you know the boyfriend you might get the chance to suggest something concrete, like a helpline and let him take it from there. Cheers Julia Rossi (talk) 06:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
you might get a breach of the peace charge or disturbing the peace or whatever; the judgment of the officers would play the major part. like if you were the mayor and there were two homeless people is different than if you were a homeless person and it was two police. Gzuckier (talk) 18:59, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Type up and file all the details. Then when a court asks you for the details you will have them handy. Could be years later, maybe when the person is more violent on another occasion with someone else.Polypipe Wrangler (talk) 21:58, 28 February 2008 (UTC)


I would llike to know what marquesites are? They were used in jewelry in the 1920s and 1930s, but I don't think they are stones. They look like little diamonds in the jewelry. What are they? How are they made?Judyshai (talk) 15:14, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The OED gives it as an alt spelling of marcasite, a form of iron sulphide, although in jewellery marcasite normally refers to pyrite (aka fool's gold), a different form of iron sulphide. More recently marcasite is used denote cut steel or white metal, but in the twenties it was probably pyrite. Algebraist 17:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you mean marquise cut diamonds? See in our article Diamond cut "Modified brilliants" under "Fancy cuts".--Eriastrum (talk) 19:23, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

can you teach a cat to kill?[edit]

just wonderin'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Presumably you mean teach it to kill humans? They seem pretty good at catching mice/small birds if my friends' cats are anything to go by. I suspect you could 'teach' it to 'attack' other people but seeing as they are small and not exactly the most powerful animals it would be mostly really bad scratching/bites that would likely occur, which perhaps might lead to the victim's death but i wouldn't say they'd be a good choice of assassin. ny156uk (talk) 16:37, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the OP is asking whether they can be trained to be better mousers. To chase and capture small animals such as birds and mice is instinctual, and I would guess that if they are not following their instinct they might be encouraged by using a piece of string to play with them. But older cats seem to tire of this quite quickly. If they are being fed, and don't get out much, I suspect they become lazy.--Shantavira|feed me 18:03, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I have no sources to back me up, but I believe that large predatory cats used as guard animals were trained to attack people. They also used large cats in the Colosseum, but I don't know if they were specifically trained or not. Sifaka talk 23:54, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Robin Hobb's Tawny Man trilogy includes hunting cats in the fictional world, but I don't know if there's a real world equivalent. Steewi (talk) 04:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The only feasible way to have a killing kitty would be to have a pet tiger (surprisingly easy to obtain, actually, in the US; all you need is a permit). Otherwise, you'll be hard-pressed to have a slaying Siamese. bibliomaniac15 04:29, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Cover the victim in string, add a ton of cats, and presto! you have the ancient Chinese execution method: Death by a thousand cats. - Azi Like a Fox (talk) 05:40, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I like that one – Azi you are firing! Another alternative is to ask the one you want your cat to attack, to try giving it a bath. Julia Rossi (talk) 07:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The manner in which animals are trained during their early weeks and months affects their behavior. Mama cats teach their little ones what to hunt and to a lesser extent how to hunt it. Much of the pouncing and killing behavior is instinctual, but what to unleash it on is due to their experience. If a cat grows up in the home around what would normally be be prey, such as birds or small mammals, he will be less likely to attack and kill it than if the cat were raised as a mouser living in a barn. If a kitten is roughhoused and taught to "fight" with humans, it will be much more likely to scratch and bite humans. Adult feral animals, which were not exposed to humans in their early period, would be very difficult to tame later. An animal which was trained to attack humans might be more dangerous than one which had never been exposed to humans, although a feral one would likely run away if approached and attack if cornered. Years ago I read an account of a tomcat which killed its owner by severing the jugular vein with his claws. I do not have a link to the story. See "Animals in Translation : Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior" by Temple Grandin. Edison (talk) 15:46, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Japanese versus western cars, philosophies[edit]

Whereas western cars in the, say, seventies, were made big, and with quite big engines, with considerable torque and Hp, Japanese cars were not even comparable. Sport cars rarely had more than 100Hp, and a torque of around 80/5500ish. Generalizing here, of course, but European and American cars were delivering triple these numbers. Was there no place in Japanese culture for the feeling of freedom, that seems to be associated with going fast in big cars? (talk) 16:18, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I think you are mistaken. There are a lot of Japanese sports cars from the 70s/80s. Have a look at ( for a bit about Mazda. Look at this ( for a bit on big luxury cars from Japan. If you look at sports cars such as the Mazda Rx-7 that's been in production since 1978, look at the Mitsubishi Lancer ( and Nissan Silvia ( or the Skyline GT-R ( or even just the skyline ( It is more a case of the cars from America/European are 'bigger' cultural icons in your country/many countries rather than the Japanese cars, which have a good history of sports vehicles of varying sizes/powers. ny156uk (talk) 16:49, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
(strange edit conflict) I can't see that I'm mistaken from these links, but I may have worded myself oddly. To phrase the question better: Why are muscle cars a rather important part of western car industry, whereas in Japan, engines have traditionally been rather small? The Jensen cars, Corvettes, perhaps also the Cobra and similar cars - these don't seem to have their proper equivalents on the Japanese market. I am aware of the brands you've brought up, and how rally versions have been made for a long time in Japan, but the raw engine output still does not compare. I am wondering if economical limitations are to blame, if it has something to do with factories, or if perhaps just a difference in culture has been what has caused this difference. Necessity and efficiency, fuel consumption - these are all possible explanations in my head. (talk) 17:26, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Taxation, actually. In much of the world, including Japan, cars are taxed based upon their displacement; in Japan, the annual registration fee for a car under 1000cc is about $275, while for a six liter muscle car sorta thing it would be well over $1000. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:13, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Four obvious causes would be:
  • Japan imported and imports all oil, typically from the Middle East. There are now some reports that the country sits on enormous oil reserves, but - if correct - this was not known then.
  • Population density is 337/km2 (vs. 31/km2 in the USA). 75% of the area is not suitable for industry or housing. Of course, Japan consists of 3,000 islands and even the largest one is not even the size of California.
  • The primary market of the then (mid 1950s onward) emerging automotive industry were people who until then could not afford a car. It would have been a strategic decision to manufacture small cars for a large market instead of large cars for a small (and competitive) market.
  • jp has already mentioned the associated costs of running high powered cars. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 18:41, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Undent - thank you, excellent answers as always :) (talk) 07:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


I have a little flag next to my current position on my linkedin profile. Does that mean someone flagged that position meaning they think it's incorrect or not true or something else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I believe this is Wikipedia:Help_desk material. :) (talk) 17:30, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
It isn't (it's not about Wikipedia). The computing desk might be more likely to give you an answer. Algebraist 17:33, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, here I confused linkedin as being something completely and utterly different. :) (talk) 17:47, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Honduran Tribe[edit]

I traveled on a humanitarian mission to Honduras, and I cannot remember what the name of the tribe we visited was called. They are in the Yoro Department, and villages include La Laguna, Mataderos, La Fortuna, and Calichal among others. What is the tribe called? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Omnipotence407 (talkcontribs) 18:54, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I know nothing about Honduras, but our article shows a tribe called the Tolupan or Jicaque living in the Department of Yoro. --Milkbreath (talk) 01:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

english assignment[edit]

in my assingnment i am reading Death Of a Salesman my teacher gave me an assignment and it says

How is the American Dream characteristics of American ideals and philosophy? What are the differneces between the materialistics and the idealistic values associated with the American dream ............?

CAN SOMEONE PLZZ HELP ME I DONT GET IT !!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andreac03 (talkcontribs) 23:31, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I have not read the book, but a good way to begin to answer your question might be to figure out what the terms American dream, materialism, and idealism are. You probably talked about it in class. If not asking your teacher would be a good idea. You may want to take a look at American dream, and Death of a Salesman.Sifaka talk 23:48, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, tell us what you do get, and we can go from there. It's hard to know where to begin, and there is a ton and a half to be said about it. You could write two books on the theme you've provided. Also, the Humanities Desk would be a better place to ask this question. --Milkbreath (talk) 01:29, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Ocean Water[edit]

Why exactly is ocean water salty? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

See the thread on January 16, same RD (reference desk), question 1.8, where user Saukkomies explains this quite clearly.
PS: Sorry, I am too daft to make a reference to the section. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 00:14, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It's at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2008 January 16#Salty water. Algebraist 00:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Undiscovered Land[edit]

When was the last piece of undiscovered land found on the earth? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Nitpicking, maybe, but the last pieces are not yet discovered.
The land masses beneath the ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica are approximately "known", but not precisely. Both of these are depressed by the massive weight of the ice and much of the land is now below sea level. In Greenland it seems to be an enormous interior lake, on the South Pole there are thousands of lakes.
Even if the ice were to liquify quite rapidly, the land would presumably not pop out of the ocean overnight but would require hundreds of years to gradually rise. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 00:36, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Ok, Then I was thinking more along the lines of this. Islands...How did we know when we discovered them all. Granted i know many are uninhabited, but when did we know there were no more to discover. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Antarctica is likely the last major landmass for people to visit. As recently as 1976 a satellite discovered an island. Then there are new islands which were discovered recently because they only formed recently. Perhaps the answer to "how did we know there is no more" is something like "we have been getting gradually convinced in the recent decades as analysis of satellite images has gotten ever closer to 100% coverage". Weregerbil (talk) 08:31, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Given that Landsat Island (discovered in 1976) was the first, last, and only island discovered by satellite, it seems likely that there's not much left to discover. The latest satellite of the Landsat program, Landsat 7, has a spatial resolution of of 15 meters and from polar orbit covers the entire Earth's surface in about 16 days. Any features left to be discovered would likely be smaller than that size (about fifty feet across, for American readers). How small can a body of land be and still 'count' for the purposes of this question? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:31, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman in the deserts have not yet been extensively mapped,so there may be bits of land out there.Also,I'd be surprised if the whole of Siberia and the north USSR coastline have been completely mapped,there may be odd islands floating around there that are just too inaccessible to have been found yet. Lemon martini (talk) 13:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

  • 1976? Ha. I can beat that -- how about August 2006? Humans have not stopped the march of plate tectonics, so new islands will continue to emerge and be discovered occasionally. --M@rēino 15:17, 29 February 2008 (UTC)