Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 January 22

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January 22[edit]

Simple automotives question[edit]

Suppose one is driving in a car. Currently, the engine is putting out 100 lb-ft of torque, the gear ratio is 3:1 and the final drive (or trans axle) ratio is also 3:1. Assuming no friction or mechanical losses, is the overall transmission output torque 600 lb-ft (3+3) or 900 lb-ft (3 x 3)? Acceptable (talk) 00:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Your torque will be multiplied by 3 in the gearbox, and again by 3 in the diff (while the rotational speed will be divided by 3 each time) - the diff doesn't "know" what your original torque was, so adding makes no sense. FiggyBee (talk) 00:17, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Ah ok thanks. Acceptable (talk) 00:55, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Wait, did you mean to ask the exact question you asked? What is the overall transmission output? That would be skipping the final drive. I guess you meant at the rear axle? Or were you thinking at the wheels? Keep in mind, you have yet another ratio involved there, depending on the outside diameter of the tire. Friday (talk) 14:38, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, remember gearboxes are just like electrical transformers (but mechanical)--TreeSmiler (talk) 03:39, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Are there any GOOD translation sites?[edit]

I was surfing a site to translate Japanese to English. In those sites that I searched, like Altavista, when I put in a sentence in Japanese and translated it to English, it results in an abnormal sentence, like, "I think lives in the United States of America and bodybuilding is enjoyable sports." I need a GOOD translation site to go to. I mean sites that translate a Japanese language to a correct sentence, like "I live in the United States of America and I think bodybuilding is an enjoyable sport." Are there any GOOD translation sites? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sirdrink13309622 (talkcontribs) 06:43, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

If you want something REALLY accurate you'll have to have something done by people rather than programs. Something like... !!! Bellum et Pax (talk) 06:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Concur. Automatic translation scripts/software are mediocre at best and should only be used for comedic effect. Ask a real translator to help you over there Bellum at Pax said. --Ouro (blah blah) 07:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
You have to translate with Babelfish and then think about the syntax on your own. (talk) 21:19, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

"Blue Keld" -- what's the catch?[edit]

Lately I have discovered this heaven-like brand of fruit-flavoured "mineral water" that tastes almost exactly like regular soda pop. It claims to be both no-fat AND sugar free! So... obviously, I wonder what the catch is. Is it still bad for my teeth somehow? I have never, ever tried ANY "sugar free" product of any kind that tasted anything close to good. Coke Zero and Coke Light, for example, both taste like colored water. Seriously.

Also, while I'm asking, what does "no sugar added" really mean? It is very ambigious, and possibly for good reason. I have a conspiracy theory about it. Why not simply put "contains no sugar" or "no sugar"? It would make it clear that there IS in fact NO sugar, instead of "no extra sugar added since the last time your bought it" or whatever the hell it is supposed to mean. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

On your second question, I wouldn't worry too much about the word "added". It really doesn't contain any sugar. However, it will likely contain artificial sweeteners instead, which have their own issues. --Richardrj talk email 11:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe that sometimes the "no sugar added" line is used on products that contain fruit juice. Fruit juice in general contains fructose, so the label is indicating that there has not been any additional sugar added during the manufacturing process. A close read of the ingredients label should provide clues, if not details. --LarryMac | Talk 14:09, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Just as a note, as someone who switched to Diet sodas only recently, I found that 1. sodas that I liked in non-diet form I rarely likely in diet form (I can't stand Diet Coke, though Coca-Cola was always my favorite), 2. sodas that I didn't like in non-diet form, I sometimes liked in diet form (couldn't stand Pepsi but find Diet Pepsi divine), and 3. once you totally switch to diet sodas you start getting used to them pretty quickly. In about a week I no longer noticed how "off" they all tasted from the non-diet versions, as I had lost my reference point. So stick with it. -- (talk) 15:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Diet Coke is a totally different drink which is not intended to taste like Coca-Cola. I don't know about Diet Pepsi. You will get used to weird-tasting diet sodas after a while, but by the same token you'll get used to skim milk and 100% fruit juice, so my advice to the original poster is to switch to those instead. Heck, fruit juice tastes pretty good from the get-go.
Carbonated drinks are acidic (as is uncarbonated fruit juice) and acid is bad for your tooth enamel, so even unsweetened sparkling mineral water is somewhat bad for your teeth. As for the conspiracy theory, can't you just read the packaging? At least in the US and UK there's almost always a complete list of ingredients and a table showing the amount of sugar per serving. -- BenRG (talk) 15:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Fruit juices are very high in sugar and calories, though, and as you note still very acidic. Personally I'll go with the carbonated sugar-free water. And skim milk—maybe in my coffee, but that's about it. Blech. ;-) -- (talk) 16:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, just a note: almost all sodas are just colored water and sugar and a smattering of artificial flavorings. So finding a mineral water that tastes like a soda is no big surprise. -- (talk) 15:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Elevator Buttons[edit]

The elevator in my building has two open door and two close door buttons. One of each is just the arrows: < > and > <, and one of each has a line in the middle: <|> and >|<. (I hope my attempt at replicating the symbols makes sense.) Is there actually a difference? Say, will one close the door faster than the other? Essentially, what is the point of these extra buttons? I've never seen it in another elevator, although I may just have never noticed it. I tried googling it to see if I could find a list of standardized elevator button symbols, but all I got was blogs about people complaining that they couldn't tell the difference between the open vs. close buttons quickly enough. (talk) 11:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe they think it's an air plane that needs redundancy for everything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Try pushing them all next time you're in there (on your own, preferably) and see what different effects they have, if any. --Richardrj talk email 11:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Hey there. :) The buttons with the lines, I think, hold the door open or closed. Sang'gre Habagat (talk) 11:08, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

That's what they do in my doctor's surgery(sorry for the original research)hotclaws 17:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you could take a photo of them and ask the elevator folks here? --Sean 14:40, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
User Sang has it correct - the buttons with the vertical lines indicate a state of permanence (open or closed) when they are deployed for say maintenance or trolley access or egress, particularly in say hospitals. But here in the UK, they are normally key-lockable by authorised personnel to keep mischievous fingers out of mischief. (talk) 21:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I have been in elevators where <> is "front door open" and <|> is "rear door open" (and similarly for "door close"). Or maybe the other way around. Like everyone else, I find the symbols practically unusable. --Anonymous, 01:30 UTC, January 23, 2008.

Not only that, but many people believe -- with some justification -- that elevator door open/close buttons don't actually do anything (and if so, we can quit worrying about what the labels are supposed to mean!). —Steve Summit (talk) 15:39, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
In some elevators door-close buttons are only active in some situations, giving rise to the myth that they never do anything. (I'm surprised that the Elevator article doesn't cover this -- I expected it to go into excessive length on the subject, this being something that "everybody" knows about.) But if a door-open button doesn't do anything, that is a dangerous malfunction! --Anonymous, 19:54 UTC, January 24.
Dual Door open and Door close buttons, in an elevator with two sets of doors.

You mean like these buttons (at right)? As noted above, these dual sets of door open/door close buttons occur when there are two sets of doors, and they are required by current US building codes (if both sets of doors can be opened on the same landing), so that the doors can be controlled during independent service (e.g., during emergencies). The alternative <|> and >|< buttons are for the rear doors (in case of two control panels, the "rear doors" are relative to the panel: they mean "the other set of doors"). There may be other uses (other than "second set of doors"), but I'm not aware of any. More details at Elevator: General controls, as of this edit.

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 22:20, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Social interactions[edit]

If one were to, hyperthetically, pay a prostitute for sex, what would one expect? I do not mean to ask "how does one have sex". I am asking, in the world of call girls, how does one go about aranging a meeting and what are the expected protocalls of engagement? How should one treat the perspective lady and how should one expect to be treated in return? Thank you for you kind and unjudgemental help. Weasly (talk) 11:31, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it would be pretty awkward. Unless it's in like Thailand or something. I think that most prostitudes are too ugly/nasty for me to be turned on by them, but who knows? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't one just walk through the Bois de Boulogne, Quartier Pigalle, Tenderloin, etc. until one finds what one is looking for at an acceptable price or gets mugged first?
Atlant (talk) 13:16, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
It's always best to treat strangers with courtesy and respect. --Sean 14:08, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
You standards seem very high, Regardless, none of you have actually given me an answer which is satisfactory. I am assuming here that one has already found what one is looking for and arranged the meeting. Now, opon arival of the meeting, how should one conduct oneself? Does one simply "jump her bones" or is there a degree of conversation required? Will she be nice in her tone of voice? Will she laugh out if, and I stress hyperthetically, ones manhood is not as large as she may be used to?Weasly (talk) 14:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry about that. She won't want to talk (unless you want to waste your hour/whatever of paid time for that) and has most likely seen many smaller penises than yours. Still hypothetically speaking, of course.
From what I have heard/seen, you drive through areas with prostitutes, and stop your car. One comes up to you, asks you if you are looking for a good time, you say yes, she jumps in the car. Then you ask her for sex and it turns out she's a cop and you go to jail. Or maybe the cops immediately surround your car as you pull away, and then you go to jail. That's what it looks like on television, anyway. ;-) -- (talk) 17:13, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I thought you have to honk then she goes in your car, drive to a secluded place and the camera points to the boot of your car. The car starts to rock and your health goes up by 25 points. Ahhh good ol' GTA times... --antilivedT | C | G 22:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

As too meeting her, it's either go to a known location and trawl round in your car.They will approach you.Otherwise ,calling cards in phone books and some do work via the internet,that is ,they make bookings over it.I would be polite,I doubt they expect conversation but "Nice day" or "you look nice" at least shows you aren't a bore.Ask up front what the price is and what you will get,ask if you get charged extra for something.Use a condom even if they say you needn't bother."Thank you,that was nice " could be said afterwards.Most will be nice to you, they want return business.They know what they are doing and are used to dealing with first time customers and putting them at their ease.hotclaws 17:59, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

It's important to remember that it's a lot like buying a used car -- it might be your first time doing it, but the salesperson has sold twenty just this week, and will be prepared for any nervousness or unease. The salesperson will also find it in his or her best interest to relax you, get you in a comfort zone, and make it as pleasant for you as possible, so you'll be willing to let go of more money. Also like buying a used car, you wanna be really conscious of safety on any equipment wherein that many people have stuck their keys. Be careful out there. Faithfully, Deltopia (talk) 19:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

It depends on where you are. A single man walking down Wenceslas Square in Prague late at night will undoubtedly be approached by a prostitute asking, "Want sex?" Elsewhere in the world, there are cities where certain parts of town are known for their streetwalkers. Drive your car by real slow, roll down your window and if she's a hooker, she'll come up to you. I used to live in a town where there were several "Oriental massage parlors" widely known to be fronts for prostitution. My understanding was that you would go in and pay for a "massage" which would be performed by an illegal immigrant from China wearing a bikini. She would remove your clothes as part of the "massage." The customer would ask for one type of sex or another. In yet other places, "escort services" are the fronts for hookers. One time at a hotel in Toronto, I opened the phonebook looking for a restaurant. The phonebook opened to the "escort services" page, and inside was a piece of paper with a bunch of names and breast measurements written on it! Apparently, a previous guest called around looking for a properly shaped prostitute! -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:37, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I would expect that it would vary depending on the approach used. A prostitute picked up off the street may not be expecting much in the way of courtesy and conversation, but a legal prostitute at a licensed brothel would expect a level of respect, and will have a couple of well-muscled friends nearby in case of her being disrespected. Regardless of the context, most people will enjoy sex more if they are with a partner who they hold a vague amount of respect for. If you're nice to the woman (assuming woman here), she's likely to be nice in return. If you hold her in contempt, you're more likely to end up with a cold fish. A prostitute is a woman and a human being, so it is considered good taste to treat them like one, rather than an object for use and discarding. It might also be appropriate to treat the whole deal as a purchase of services, which, in a way, it is. Would you treat a sales person with respect when you're buying something off them? Steewi (talk) 01:08, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
One more thing - Apparently it is not uncommon for people to want conversation as much as sex, so if a client is nervous or having their first time, they can say so and they'll know to explain things as they go, including house/personal rules such as limits and requirements, (extra) costs, etc. Steewi (talk) 01:11, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course, there's no such thing as a "legal prostitute" or a "licensed brothel" in the U.S. outside of parts of Nevada. Just in case you were going to look for one. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:18, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I happen to have known a sex worker or two over the years. These days, most of the contacts are made online, but as in the days when johns looked for hookers by driving down certain streets, both parties need to watch out for police entrapment. I'm not sure, but I think that you can ask straight out something like "Before we get too far, I need to ask, are you a member of a police force or connected with the police?" I'm not sure, but I think that in the US, police can't lie about this. Still there could be some risk. I agree that once you meet the person, you should be respectful. You should agree to a price at the outset to avoid ugly and potentially dangerous disagreements later on. Also, talk about what you want to do to make sure that the other person is willing to do those things. Whatever you do, use a condom for both of your sakes. Particularly if you are dealing with an online "escort", they will want the repeat business and will certainly not laugh at your appearance. It is fine and pretty normal to want to talk before, during, and after the act. A decent sex worker should be prepared for that. Marco polo (talk) 03:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Not so with the "cops can't lie" angle, I'm afraid. [1] As Dureo (talk · contribs) so impressively detailed at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 December 30#Undercover cops..., not only can they lie, but they can expose themselves and even be fondled (at least in some US states) without prejudicing the arrest. Rockpocket 03:34, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Some of the comments above seem to be mildly tolerant of prostitution, if not quite encouraging the original poster. No one wants to be judgmental, I suppose. But some discouraging words are in order. First, having sex with a streetwalker is extremely dangerous. Sex with strangers is always somewhat risky, since condoms can break and are not 100% secure against all sex-related infectious diseases. It's even riskier with a prostitute, who may have had hundreds of partners before you. It's not just AIDS -- there are STDs out there far more common among heterosexuals that can wreck your life too. You might be safer in a place where prostitutes are licensed and monitored by the government. Secondly, you should think about what you're encouraging by frequenting prostitutes. In my area, the vast majority of prostitutes are on drugs, and many are victims of child abuse or domestic violence. They really need support from the social safety net, not the continuation of their current lifestyle. When you're buying sex from a hooker, you may be handing drug money to an addict, basically. (Others are illegal immigrants basically enslaved by their smugglers.) Finally, you get what you pay for. As a result of living the above-mentioned lifestyle, streetwalkers tend to be pretty hideous-looking and "worn out." A more attractive prostitute from an "escort service" may run you hundreds of dollars -- and she may not look like you expected when she shows up. So your options are to pay through the nose or sleep with a burlap sack. You've got to ask yourself if it's really worth it.

End of sanctimonious lecture. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:25, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Dayton Steele Foundry[edit]

Do you have information on the Dayton Steele Foundry? My results need to be specific. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jhughesw (talkcontribs) 12:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Your questions need to be equally specific. -- JackofOz (talk) 13:18, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
There was a Dayton Steel Foundry corporation which later became Dayton-Walther, but I don't see anything in Wikipedia about it, though Google may have some more information. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 19:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Pellet gun shooting[edit]

HOw do I keep from wavering and shaking when holding a pellet gun (or any gun I suppose) in the standing position (no rests or benches)? I plan on enlisting in the USMC after highschool, so this is obviously a serious concern of mine. Is holding a gun something I'll just get used to over time, or am I doing something wrong? --AtTheAbyss (talk) 13:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Without knowing your shooting technique, any diagnosis is quite impossible. Practice is likely to improve this, and bear in mind that the problems can be both physical and mental (concentration, anxiety, things such as that). Perhaps there's a local gun club you could visit to gain insight? Hands-on experience with practiced shooters is likely to do you good. Bear in mind that there's a strong chance that the Corps will require you to abandon previous rifle techniques and learn to shoot "the Marine way", though I think prior experience would be of benefit regardless. — Lomn 14:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
To be honest I haven't been shooting long enough to have any technique. I bascially just point the rifle at my target, center it through my scope, and gently squeeze the trigger. --AtTheAbyss (talk) 14:25, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

This is hard to explain without a physical demo. Good technique with the rifle depends on triangles. Assuming you are right handed lock your left elbow into your body to make a strong base support. Pull the butt hard into your shoulder. Grip the rifle with your three fingers and thumb of your right hand and lock everything tight. This takes practice. An instructor would stand in front of you and strike the rifle sideways it should not move. You will have to swivel from the hips but the stance should not change. Unless you are that tight you have little chance of hitting anything. There is a lot more - but when instructing I always start with the sighting. Get that right, then move into shooting from a prone position (lying down) That gets the triangle position in place. Finally be aware that shooting from a standing position is the hardest to get right. As always, practice, practice and more practice. Good luck. (talk) 14:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)DT

thanks mate that helps alot. --AtTheAbyss (talk) 15:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Are you saying a right-handed person should pull the trigger of a rifle with his left hand/index finger? I'd always thought it to be quite the contrary - left eye aiming, right index finger squeezing the trigger? (talk) 16:04, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Pardon me, I didn't read that properly. :) Now I see you said elbow, not shoulder, which makes infinitely more sense. (talk) 17:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Not specially related I guess, but there's a technique photographers use to avoid shaking when shooting that goes something like, line everything up, take a breath and exhale slowly as you press the shoot button (squeeze the trigger). Julia Rossi (talk) 01:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, there's a lot more to shooting than just the stance. But let's do one thing at a time. (talk) 16:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)DT

Maybe more relevant when shooting from the prone (I haven't done much shooting from any other position) but it's important to check that you're pointed naturally at the target and not pulling towards it. The way to do this, once you've got into position, is to close your eyes and relax slightly. Not floppy relax, but just lie there for a second. Then open your eyes. If you were in a neutral position you should still be aiming at the target - but it's quite likely that you won't be. Shuffle slightly (usually moving your hips) in the appropriate direction, then do the eyes-closed thing again. One such repetition should be all that's needed with practice, but don't be afraid to do a couple more while you're still learning. This helps to reduce the amount by which the rifle moves during the shot. (talk) 20:41, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

"Dumle Cocoa" -- sugar fest 2008?[edit]

It says on the package, that out of 100 grams, 80 grams is "sugars". Does this mean that this god damn thing contains 80% sugar?! That's insane. Do I even have to spell out the question? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You don't. It does. Can we spell caries. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:20, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
It sounds as though you have what in the UK we call drinking chocolate, which is basically icing (very fine) sugar with some added cocoa powder: an expensive way to buy sugar.--Shantavira|feed me 16:58, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

trivia question[edit]

as i try to google the answer i wud like if any assistance can be offered on this question i got.'it was played for 70 straight days'.what is it? its probably an instrument thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Monopoly (game). In terms of the "Official Recognized Monopoly Marathon Records", the Longest Game Ever Played was for 1,680 hours (70 days), according to [2]. And here's the google search which found that factette. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Nutella vs peanut butter[edit]

Which has more calories, Nutella or peanut butter? -- (talk) 15:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, there are many brands of peanut butter and only one of Nutella, yes? Nutella has around 100 calories a tablespoon, half from fat. Regular peanut butter will be pretty close to that (maybe a little less), but also high in fat. Light peanut butter, from what I can tell, has around the same amount of calories but less from fat. You know, you can google the calorie count of just about anything. Neither are very good for you from a weight-loss point of view. Switch to light cream cheese or butter. -- (talk) 16:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Nutella and peanut butter do have about the same calorie density, but peanut butter has 3-4 times the amount of protein. Most people agree that protein is good for you. —Keenan Pepper 16:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Right, but you can get much more protein from much less caloric sources. An ounce of turkey has as much protein as a tablespoon of peanut butter but like a quarter of the calories. -- (talk) 17:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Right, but turkey wasn't in the original question. Peanut butter not only has more protein than Nutella, it also has (or at least can have) way less sugar than Nutella. You can get low-sugar or sugarless peanut butters at ordinary grocery stores in the U.S.; here in Germany you have to go to Asian food stores or health food stores. So even if peanut butter and Nutella have about the same number of calories per tablespoon, peanut butter's calories are more nutritious than Nutella's calories. But yeah, if you're looking to lose weight, you should probably scrap both of them and go for much lower-calorie and lower-fat sources of protein. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, protein wasn't in the original question either. ;-) -- (talk) 19:18, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Mmmmmmmm! Turkey butter! Could it be made in a blender out of some turkey breast and turkey fat? Edison (talk) 15:21, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Amount of information[edit]

Is there any data regarding the approximative amount of data contained in all of the language versions of Wikipedia? I assume it's a few hundreds of terabytes, but then it's only my calculations... -- Leptictidium (mammal talk!) 17:38, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

When all languages had circa 3M articles, the database size was 15GB. I think we have x3 that amount now, so say 50GB. Commons has a database size of 62MB [3]. Wikipedia had 2.8M images in Sept 06 ... probably 4M by now (rate of append has somewhat dropped off as the Commons bites). Commons has 2,381,991 media files [4]. So. Decide what you think the average media size will be, and do the maths. If my maths is right, 600k per image would be 3.78TB. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:13, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Those vertical counting lines things[edit]

Sorry for not phrasing this any better, but I'm wondering does anyone know, what's it called where you count things by noting down little vertical lines like so: |||| for four items, then another one going diagonally across it for the fifth. And as you get more then you start putting down more strokes | etc., and possibly grouping the groups of five in larger units by spacing. I've tried searching but it's hard when I don't know what they're called. • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 20:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Tally marks. Bellum et Pax (talk) 20:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Perfect! Thank you! :D • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 20:58, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
C also tally stick if you are interested--TreeSmiler (talk) 22:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I've always called them 5-bar gates. SpinningSpark 23:34, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Let's see now - did I get this right???????????[edit]

So, the big banks and building societies lend loads of money at relatively low interest rates to people who otherwise would not qualify for a loan - OK so far - but then the Fed decides to gradually increase interest rates to a level that force many of those people to default on their home-loans - still with me? - then a lot of banks etc. are left with empty homes on their hands and no prospective purchasers - negative equity I think it's called - and then the bigger banks who funded the smaller banks decide to call in their loans - many of which are not forthcoming - so the smaller banks begin to collapse (thinking Northern rock here) - and the share values of the bigger banks tumble, and not just in the USA. Now, along comes nasty Mr. Recession who says, "Hey, the economy is in trouble here, and people are not only losing their homes, they are also losing their jobs, so come on down Mr. Fed and Mr. Treasury, and bring down those li'l ol' interest rates so people can buy their homes on discounted mortgages again and keep their jobs and allow this big 'ol money machine to keep on rollin' here. And guess what? Mr. Fed and Mr. Treasury roll over an' play ball. So why on earth did they raise the interest rates in the first place and cause this global credit squeeze if they now find it so easy to bring down the interest rates again? Or am I missing something here apart from an MBA and an Economics degree???? (talk) 20:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes you are missing practially everything. Firstly the banks did not give low interest rates to people who couldn't afford them. They gave loans to people who were very unlikly to meet the payments, this had little to do with the interest rates. With the large amount of people now able to get a loan, as the banks relaxed their requirements, more people brought houses and the price/value of houses increased. Then people couldn't afford the loans they were forced to sell their houses. Selling many houses at the same time meant alot of houses could not be sold for what they were loaned at. So the banks who lent the money are now in the hole. The federal reserve injects cash at low interest rates so that the banks that lent money and lost, can now get money more cheaply. If they didn't they would fold over, and the next banks would loose money. The only way for them to get money back is to increase interest rates on everyone elses loans. Which in turn means more people can't afford the loan, and more houses fall over and the cycle gets worse and worse and we head for recession. In the mean time the banks have to continue to put interest rates up, to make back the money they lost of loans that fell over. When interest rates get to high, buisness stops. THis is because there is no point in conducting buisness when all your profits are now taken via interest payments. So if the federal reserve didn't offer money at low interest rates, no buisnesses nor investors would take loans. This is also why the stock market started crashing, beacuse the banks had high interest rates and neede cash, its was more profitable to pull your money out of shares and just put it in the bank. The squeeze was caused by people buying property for more than it was actually worth. What this effectively did was give free money to an over-class of individuals who are now in credit. The best thing the reserve can do to even it up is to reduce interest rates, so that those in the credit can't make moeny off it, and those in debt can get out of debt easier. The opposite has to happen sometimes as well.-- (talk) 03:49, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The Fed raising interest rates being the sole cause of defaulted loans is much too simplistic an interpretation. Spending above one's means and not reading the fine print are (among others) also major factors. Similarly, much of the rest of your thesis looks to find the no-econ-background answer when one does not necessarily exist. Anyway, the federal funds rate is one mechanism by which the Fed attempts to manage the economy. Why don't they keep interest rates at rock-bottom lows all the time? Because it's not sustainable. Our article on inflation may prove useful. — Lomn 21:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Telenovelas filmed in Florida[edit]

As of 2008, how many Spanish language telenovelas will be filmed in the state of Florida? Ericthebrainiac (talk) 21:12, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Power Stars[edit]

How many can you get before beating Bowser for the first time on Super Mario 64 DS? Vitriol (talk) 21:21, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Look for the video, super mario 64 in 20 minutes. This guy beats the game with 16 stars.--Dlo2012 (talk) 23:49, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Some guy did it with zero stars; have you seen it, Dlo? But the glitches involved in SM64 are probably not present in SM64DS. HYENASTE 23:33, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

YouTube annoyance[edit]

Why the hell do I have to "verify my age" every time I watch a "flagged" video on YouTube, even when logged in? (And who are these idiots who keep flagging videos?)

Incompetent Google. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You have to verify your age so YouTube doesn’t get in trouble for letting minors watch what amounts to porn. (YouTube contains R rated content, and people sometimes upload more graphic content.) People flag video’s because that is how YouTube polices its content. The people who flag videos on YouTube are being good citizens in the online community. --S.dedalus (talk) 23:07, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Note the "even when logged in" part... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think I answered that part, but maybe I was unclear. If a video is very explicit and lots of people flag it, YouTube adds a page that forces you to verify your identity. Note that you have to do this even if you have an over 18 account since many people lie when they create their YouTube account. This extra step also helps warn people who might not want to see adult content. --S.dedalus (talk) 02:17, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You might be having problems with your HTTP cookies. Some internet security programs flush out cookies way too eagerly, forcing you to log in over and over. --M@rēino 00:16, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the OP is talking about pages like this one but maybe I’m wrong. (Link does not contain graphic content directly, but the video is R rated obviously.) If it’s a problem with your computer instead the computing desk may have more suggestions. --S.dedalus (talk) 01:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
What's annoying about the "confirm birth date" page is that the page itself implies it is making some sort of change: "you are agreeing that all videos or groups flagged by the YouTube community will be viewable by this account." But in fact you have to click it every time. What makes it REALLY silly is there isn't an option to say, "Oh no, I'm sorry, I'm only 12!" I mean, it's a big button, it's the only button. It's a silly sham at best. As for who flags them—well, with any system where you have people flag things based on their own personal moralities you're going to get the lowest common denominator, by definition, because you and I, who may or may not think these videos require being flagging, cannot "unflag" them. So it's a system that favors those who like to flag. -- (talk) 01:29, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

How does this work?[edit]

How does this work? --antilivedT | C | G 23:12, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Any two-digit number minus the two digits added together will be a multiple of 9. All the multiples of 9 in the table at the end have the same symbol. FiggyBee (talk) 23:26, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Incidentally, ♌ is the symbol for Leo. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 23:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
It uses a random one each time (so it's not so obvious it's always giving you the same symbol if you do it more than once, I guess). But yeah, they're astrological symbols. FiggyBee (talk) 23:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Ahhh yes that's why. I was confused with the symbols, but didn't really look at the similarity on the numbers. --antilivedT | C | G 03:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
No satisfactory answers have been given so far. I tried it 4 times and it was always correct. Obviously not magic, but how does it work?--TreeSmiler (talk) 04:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

OK maybe FB is correct.--TreeSmiler (talk) 04:04, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

July 23 2008 ... _____________________________________

// // @name youtube - confirm // @namespace // @description confirms your birthdate automatically for you // @include* // @include* // ==/UserScript==

function $x(p, context) { if (!context) context = document; var i, arr = [], xpr = document.evaluate(p, context, null, 6, null); for (i=0; item=xpr.snapshotItem(i); i++) arr.push(item); return arr; }

var button = $x("//input[@type='submit' and @name='action_confirm' and @value='Confirm Birth Date']"); if (button.length) button[0].click(); _____________________________________ Requirements: firefox and greasemonkey

Alien Invasion ?![edit]

What the hell is going on ? Is alien contact comming soon ?! I'm in the affecetd area in which a GIANT UFO, and now other UFOs are now being reported. If this was happening over the location that Wikimedia is located, I suspect that Jimbo Wales would have to change his shorts. IF I was planning a invasion I would scout all military targets such as:

  • Military Bases
  • Food centers (Farms, ranches, etc)
  • Population Centers (incl. MAJOR cities)
  • Transport routes
  • Science and tech centers
  • Power producing and transmission
  • Communication centers
  • Governing centers
  • Incarceration centers, incl. the mental "hospitals"
  • All medical centers
  • Water —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Last and not least:

  • Area 51, similar "areas"
  • Planetary tech advancement level

UFOs have been seen over all of these areas at one time or another.

Given the signals given off by this planet, I'd evaluate it as a Threat to all, because most to all of those signals are of and about WAR.

Agree ? Disagree ?

Wikipedia is NOT CENSORED. (talk) 23:21, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Give it up, 170; what makes you think you'll get any more positive a response than the last half-dozen times? Read the bit at the top of the page where it says "Do not start debates or post diatribes. The reference desk is not a soapbox." And I'm sure that when the aliens invade, we'll all be too busy to worry about Wikipedia. FiggyBee (talk) 23:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't be so sure, I'm sure there would be a huge edit war over whether Extraterrestrial Enslavement Of Mankind deserves a ten page article, or is that just recentism, and besides, isn't putting "enslavement" in the title of the article POV? The article would fill up with graphic photographs of humans having their brain-slugs attached, and most editors would agree that there's no encyclopedic value to having two dozen brain-slug pictures, and that the article should probably be edited to just contain the picture they took themselves, because it clearly illustrates the subject the best.
Personally, I'm interested in the outcome of the inevitable debates over whether articles on our new alien masters fall under WP:BLP. APL (talk) 00:28, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
They would fall under WP:BLPP (Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Pod People). However, debates on guidelines belong at WP:Village Pump, not Ref Desk. Go away. Faithfully, Deltopia (talk) 00:47, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. —Nricardo (talk) 02:38, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
They're scouting water? --f f r o t h 12:37, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Isn't "planetary tech level" a phrase from the X-Com games? — Lomn 14:03, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
We've got nuclear missiles. I doubt that the alien ships would survive a nuclear missile attack. (talk) 21:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
If I'd managed to either find a way to travel faster then light or had bothered to put together some sort of ship capable of lasting thousands or millions of years of travel with crew, I wouldn't worry about any of that shit when it comes to earth. I could destroy it (if that was my desire) in a few minutes without anyone on earth being any the wiser. It's like earth of Homo erectus versus modern USA. There is no war. Only anhilation Nil Einne (talk) 17:08, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I for one welcome our new alien leaders.They can't be any worse than the home-grown bunch... Lemon martini (talk) 11:42, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Punkrocker years[edit]

In that "punkrocker" song (which is great, BTW), she sings something about "in '77 and '69, revolution was in the air". What exactly happened at those pretty distant years that apparently are related? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

"extolling the virtues of the rebellious days of punk rock and the psychedelic Sixties", according to Sean Coughlan in the BBC News Magazine. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I would guess that specifically the lyrics refer to the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and to 1977 as a seminal year for punk rock. In 1977, The Damned released Damned, Damned, Damned, Richard Hell and The Voidoids released Blank Generation, the Sex Pistols released Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, and Wire released Pink Flag. --Joelmills (talk) 00:02, 23 January 2008 (UTC)