Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 March 17

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March 17[edit]

Ejaculating into condom?[edit]

In Western culture, is it customary for the man to ejaculate into the condom while the penis is still in the woman's vagina after he is done during casual intercourse? Or does the male extract the penis, take off the condom and ejaculate elsewhere? (talk) 00:13, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought the whole point of the condom was not having to worry about pulling out. Is it different in other cultures?? —Keenan Pepper 00:37, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Is this in reference to a porno? Because porn is designed to excite the people watching, not the people performing. Like Keenan says, the point of a condom is to be able to ejaculate in the vagina without risk of pregnancy. In pornos, the directors want to make the money shot as visible as possible, so the man tends to pull out and then finish off somewhere more open. HYENASTE 00:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, my orignal question was a bit ambiguous. Does the man ejaculate into the condom? Personally such an action is slightly painful for me as the latex is stretching and forcing the semen back into the penis. (talk) 01:02, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the usual thing to do, though I have no sources to cite, is to ejaculate into the condom. If it's causing you pain, then you may not be allowing enough space in the tip of the condom for the ejaculate to be caught up in. A condom should not be tight against the tip of the penis. There should be a little slack at the end. If I remember correctly, it says this in the instructions on the side of a box of condoms. Dismas|(talk) 01:43, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
In fact a condom may break if space is not left at the tip. --S.dedalus (talk) 02:32, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
If a man doesn't ejaculate into a condom while wearing it, where could he ejaculate to? Ask yourself that, and you might find yourself an answer. Neal (talk) 21:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC).

What does it mean "in western culture"? (talk) 12:12, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Western culture, although I think condoms are designed to work the same way everywhere. FiggyBee (talk) 12:21, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Can't find the article condom use in western culture, please help. ok joke - why though? Is it expected to be different elsewhere? (talk) 12:58, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
It could be; it's a big wide wild world out there. Who knows how they do it in other countries. -- (talk) 14:24, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

When putting on a condom DO NOT leave an air bubble at the top. Instead, pinch the end between thumb and forefinger, to leave room for the semen. [1]. Many condoms feature a reservoir tip, you might prefer those [2]. AlmostReadytoFly (talk) 17:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

It is indeed true that sexual practices vary across cultures; see Dry sex for a life-threatening example (the article itself is not gruesome, no images). So the questioner is quite right to frame the OP that way. BrainyBabe (talk) 08:12, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

drinking laws in spain[edit]

moved from help desk Julia Rossi (talk) 00:33, 17 March 2008 (UTC) Phillstirland (talk) 09:10, 16 March 2008 (UTC)hello. i hope you can help. we are going on holiday in august this year, ( 2008 ), to lloret de mar, in spain, and my son will be 16 when we go. i am a careful and concerned parent that is seeking knowledgable advice. i have read your table of ages to purchase and to drink. however the drinking ages vary from each article or site you visit, and so it is not clear exactly what age you can actually drink in a bar in spain. can you please help me as some say you can drink at 16 in a bar but cannot purchase, which tells me that i can purchase alcohol for my son. yet some say the drinking age is 18. thankyou for your advice. phillstirland

Hi, could you call the Spanish embassy where you are, or one that has an info line? Even a travel agency could help until knowledgeable types come along here. Julia Rossi (talk) 01:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what the actual laws are, but in any event I don't think they're really enforced. Neither I nor my 17-year-old-at-the-time (or 18? I'm not sure) sister got carded a single time during our ten or so days in Spain recently. Mangostar (talk) 15:57, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Sound Waves of Jet Fighters[edit]

Could the sound waves of Jet fighters such as the F 16 and what the Blue Angels fly break glass? (talk) 01:13, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

Yes, although the plane ("what the Blue Angels fly" is the F/A-18A, incidentally) would have to be flying fast and low:

Sonic booms may cause minor damage such as shattered glass but structurally sound buildings should not suffer damages from overpressures less than 16 psf. Sonic boom exposure to communities typically does not exceed two psf. Some public reaction could be expected between 1.5 and 2 pounds. Rare minor damage may occur with 2 to 5 pounds overpressure. The strongest sonic boom ever recorded was 144 pounds per square foot and it did not cause injury to the researchers who were exposed. The boom was produced by an F-4 flying just above the speed of sound, at an altitude of 100 feet.[3]

FiggyBee (talk) 07:04, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I just wanted to know. An airshow was happening, luckily nothing was broken, but when a Jet overshadowed my house it sounded like one of my windows exploded. It was kinda scary.Why do Jet's sound waves seem to be coming from the opposite direction from where they are flying? (talk) 07:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

They don't, normally, although it may be hard to pinpoint a fast-moving aircraft as you'll hear where the plane was when it emitted the sound, rather than where it is now. If it sounds like it's in the opposite direction it may be a quirk of your local geography (you hear an echo off a hill or building rather than the aircraft directly). FiggyBee (talk) 07:31, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Things to see in Eastern and Central Ontario[edit]


I will be traveling from Southwestern Ontario to Ottawa in a couple of weeks. I'm planning to take Highway 7 there and Highway 2 back, although those plans are not definite. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for interesting things to see or do between Toronto and Ottawa, such as scenic drives, oddball roadside attractions, good diners, or just normal things worth seeing. I've already been told that I cannot think of taking this trip without stopping at the Big Apple in Colborne. Any other suggestions? '

Or, to make this a proper Reference Desk question: What scenic drives, oddball roadside attractions, good eating places and things worth seeing are there between Toronto and Ottawa?

Thanks. -- (talk) 03:29, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Asking for facts, not opinions, is what makes a "proper Reference Desk question." --LarryMac | Talk 13:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Kingston has ridiculously good restaurants. (talk) 14:06, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

And plenty of prisoners, too, to spice up your road trip. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 18:31, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Might be a little detour, but how about Algonquin Provincial Park? You'll be getting in ahead of the blackflies. --Trovatore (talk) 18:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The lift lock in Peterborough? JohnAspinall (talk) 18:54, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I recommend taking the scenic drive off the 401 through Prince Edward County, via Sandbanks Provinical park. The scenery is great, you get to see more of Lake Ontario than you would otherwise and you get a ferry ride at the end. Sandbanks is a fine Provincial park as they go, worth a stop if you like that sort of thing but nothing special. The 'Big Apple' is a a huge apple with apple-related displays and the opportunity to buy huge quantities of Apple-related products. Since you have to stop somewhere, there is as good as anywhere. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:20, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your tips. As for Kingston's "ridiculously good restaurants," any suggestions? -- (talk) 23:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The Hungry Goat, I think it's called. Good food and a community feeling -- announcements, books, a place to hang out. BrainyBabe (talk) 08:08, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Life Expectancy[edit]

What was the country that had the highest life expectancy in the world in 1900, at the beginning of the 20th Century? What was its life expectancy? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bowei Huang (talkcontribs) 04:22, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

This paper has figures for life expectancy at birth in selected developed countries circa 1900. The highest for males is Australia with 53.2 years and for females 56.8 years. I'll have a further look for any better source! SaundersW (talk) 14:59, 17 March 2008 (UTC)



Are you aware that shouting has been known to trigger unexploded bombs? Writing in all capitals is considered SHOUTING here. -- JackofOz (talk) 12:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it was REALLY URGENT? We may never know the answer. Savvo (talk) 12:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe his initial untutored efforts in this arena left him with hearing loss, and he doesn't know he's shouting. --Milkbreath (talk) 13:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

"...don't poke fun at a poorly-written question. The reference desk necessarily involves communication between questioners and respondents from different backgrounds and cultures."--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 13:24, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

If you're learning them for your personal use, a website is not going to be a good source. If you have unexploded ordnance you'd better contact local officials of some sort.
If you're interested just as a matter of interest, our article on bomb disposal techniques is not a bad place to start. As the article points out, current techniques are often not discussed publicly because knowing them would allow a bomb-maker to create ways to disable them.
If you'd like to see a tense British television show on the subject, I particularly have enjoyed Danger UXB. -- (talk) 14:20, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that series out, 98.217; it looks really interesting. *And* available on DVD - birthday present sorted!--Kateshortforbob 21:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
My (U.S.) library also had the book the UXB series was based on, "Unexploded Bomb" by Major A. B. Hartley, M.B.E, RE, and it was more explanatory than the movie and a real aid in understanding what was going on in the movie. The clockwork delay devices were there to further demoralize the population and to kill emergency workers and bomb disposal people. The clockwork was likely to stop near the end of its run, because activating the actual detonator placed extra mechanical demands on the clockwork. A battery or capacitor would eventually lose its charge, but the clockwork could still be there waiting for a very long time, until the bomb was moved or a heavy truck drove by and started it ticking the last few ticks before detonation. Edison (talk) 14:12, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Free pictures of Irak war[edit]

Hi. I'm looking for copyright free pictures of bombardments in Irak. Is there such a thing, i.e. a copyright status for pictures taken by the US army that would be close to the Nasa copyright? How do newspapers deal with the printing of pictures taken by US army or British army photographers? Do they pay to print or are these pictures given to the papers with restricted copyrights (no alterations for example)? Thank yous. Keria (talk) 13:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Photos taken by US Army photographers in their official capacity as members of the US Army are usually public domain. You can find a lot of Iraq pictures, free to use, at the US Department of Defense's image server website: But be aware they are official releases—they are often selected to make soldiers look especially heroic or the enemy look especially bad. About half of the Iraq photos are soldiers giving children hugs and things like that, which I'm not sure is actually quite representative of how they spend their time! But they're free photos. -- (talk) 14:13, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm just wondering where this "Irak" place is. Malcolm XIV (talk) 19:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The country's name is Arabic, so there isn't any official spelling with Roman letters. Please remember that there are people from other countries posting questions here. It is spelled "Irak" in the Turkish language, for example. (talk) 20:30, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking about Aïreq of course :). I'm looking for good quality pictures of the bombing of Baghdad but I'm having a hard time finding any. I want to re-use the pictures for colages (in a non-partizan way just looking for a city under siege with big explosions) and I'm wondering about the copyright issue. Keria (talk) 21:18, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Irak is also how it is spelled in many other languages (German, Russian, etc.). Believe it or not, using a "Q" to designate a "K" sound is not entirely as common as one might think! Anyway, collages are tricky copyright-wise so you're right to be looking for public domain things! Unfortunately such images seem rare—unsurprisingly the Army/Air Force/etc. doesn't seem to have had a lot of people running around on the ground in Baghdad taking pictures at the time, so the only images we really have are those by foreign press services, for the most part. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 22:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not an Arabic speaker, but I believe it's not exactly a "K" sound -- it's further back in the throat. It's still a stop, not a fricative, but it has a slightly "duller" or more "muffled" sound than the letter K in English. That's probably why a different letter was chosen. --Trovatore (talk) 02:29, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure, but in any case it's going to be an imperfect transliteration, and probably a very old one at that. In any case, far more languages seem to transliterate it as "Irak" than "Iraq", and from what I can tell it was even transliterated as "Irak" in English through most of the 20th century as well. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 04:41, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
That's interesting that it's spelled with a к in Russian. I never noticed that before. Russian has the letter х (usu. translit. kh), which I would have thought was a lot closer to the Arabic sound than к is. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:02, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


Been curious about something:
1. Why do most modern (western) women shave their vaginas as opposed to the sventies and before when the opposite was commonplace? Is this different for different cultures?
2. Is it common for wives to give their husbands blow-jobs? Or is this reserved for prostitutes and porno movies? Is this different for different cultures?

How do you know what most western women do? I bet those who are a little older (shall we say) don't do it. But how can I tell? (talk) 15:30, 17 March 2008 (UTC)DT

The word vagina does not mean what you apparently think it means. People trimming pubic hair may be more common now- I don't know a good way to tell. Oral sex is a very common practice. Friday (talk) 15:52, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The shaving of pubic hair is certainly not a modern idea. The removal of pubic hair by both sexes was encouraged by the Prophet Muhammed, and nudes have traditionally lacked body hair in Western art, from classical times to the Rennaisance. More prosaically, removal of body hair was common in ancient, mediaeval and later times for the control of lice. As to why almost all pornographic models of the 1970s sport bushy growths, people were quite keen on hair in general at that time, so it could simply be a matter of fashion. Another possible explanation is that at the time the industry was completely unregulated, and having hirsute models was one way of "proving" the girls were of age. FiggyBee (talk) 16:41, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Most women don't shave their pubic hair. Some do. And yes, oral sex (both male and female) is relatively common (but also not nearly universal) in all kinds of relationships, including marriages. --Masamage 16:43, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
1.Asking a 'why' question is rather irrelevant. I would imagine it depends on the individual. I do assume, however, that women shaving any pubic hair is more feminine. 2.I don't think so. Neal (talk) 21:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
Because Cosmo says Brazilian is in this summer and that blowjobs enhance pleasure. Kuronue | Talk 14:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Songs in Pecados Ajenos[edit]

What songs are heard when Natalia Ruiz de Mercenario and Adrián Torres start to kiss each other in Pecados Ajenos? Ericthebrainiac (talk) 17:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Mexican Hat Dance! Recury (talk) 18:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

KISS ME, I'M IRISH (Corona Beer Ad)[edit]

About 8 or 9 years ago I went on a Surf trip down in Baja Mexico. I think the place was called La Fonda. There was a umbrella table outside of the apartment we sublet. Around this and the patio was a CORONA Beer advertisement decoration. Description is like a stereotypical 'Dirty Mexican' style dude. He's got a sombrero on. He's got some nasty teeth(some gold caps). A liken to 'Gold Hat'/Alfonso Bedoya in John Huston's 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (film)', you know"stinking badges"? Great stuff. The Ad has Shamrocks and the guy smiling with the words underneath 'KISS ME, I'M IRISH'. Can us Wiki's get together and find me a pic of that online? Much obliged. --i am the kwisatz haderach (talk) 17:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Black and White Push-Processing[edit]

Hi. I recently shot a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 Professional film (rated at ISO 1000). I developed it in D-76 (stock) for 13 minutes at 20 degrees Celsius. I shot the roll at EI 6400. My negatives are fairly thin, but definitely usable. Is it normal for negatives pushed this far to come out thinner than normal negs, or should I have developed longer? Thanks! Steevven1 (Talk) (Contribs) (Gallery) 19:44, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Sports on period[edit]

Generally speaking, when female athletes are participating in a sport during their period, does their performance decrease? For example, if an elite female 100m sprinter is running in the Olympic finals during her period, even a little decrease in speed will result in large difference in place standings. Is this often discussed in sports? Thanks. Acceptable (talk) 21:18, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Since when do women ages 46-54 (50th percentile 51) run the 100 meter on Olympics? Hmm.. Neal (talk) 21:41, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
Menstruation can occur in girls as young as 12. Acceptable (talk) 21:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I interpreted as menopause. My bad. By 'period' I thought the older period, since I didn't think 12 year and 8 month old girls participated in the Olympics.. Neal (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
For Confusionists: see menarche / menstruation / menopause and ignore period. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:41, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Mmm. Your understanding of 'period' is rather confused. (talk) 08:41, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
You may want to read about exercise amenorrhoea. Bovlb (talk) 21:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
It's my understanding that elite athletes don't tend to get periods (as noted by Bovlb, Amenorrhea), since their body-fat percentage tends to be so low. So it doesn't really come up. (Neal, period means menstruation, not menarche or menopause) I found this article about menstruation in athletes, which you may find useful. [4] Skittle (talk) 12:19, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Bee Mass[edit]

I came home today and discovered a rather alarming collection of bees on the side of my house. A picture is here: [5] . I'd rather not spray them as I've no reason to want them dead, as long as they dont plan on taking up permanant residence there. Is this collection of bees something I should be concerned about? (talk) 21:56, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd call an exterminator. There's no way of knowing if they're planning on staying or not. They won't die off on their own until November or so, so I'd make a phone call as fast as possible. Especially if you have children. Useight (talk) 22:44, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
You need to call someone today. Bees can cause damage to property (wax seeping into plaster and gyprock, for instance) that can cost quite a bit of money to repair.
Not getting the exterminator out ASAP can also have insurance repercussions. About one in every 200 people is prone to severe, even life-threatening reactions to beestings. Treating a severe allergic reaction can climb into the five-figure range in the US even if the victim has an Epi-pen and takes all due steps. If you've had reasonable time to get rid of the nest and haven't done so, the victim might have grounds to win a lawsuit against you for negligence, and your insurance might not cover it because you didn't address the problem within a reasonable period of time. --NellieBly (talk) 23:06, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Oi, thanks for the info all. Guess I'd better put on a jacket and a paintball mask and grab some killer. (talk) 23:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
If you do not want to kill them there may be a beekeeper in your area that will come out for free and attempt to trap them (he will want to keep the bees of course). Don't try and do it yourself, you will get stung (talk) 02:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I still say don't do it yourself, call an expert. Useight (talk) 23:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Yep, call the bee keeper (apiarist) they take alll the sweat out of it and the bees get to live as well. (Insecticide could aggravate them anyway, then everyone's unhappy.)Julia Rossi (talk) 02:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm putting in another vote for calling a beekeeper. Bees are wonderful little flying cows and are having a rough time in many places right now. I googled for beekeeping raleigh and the first link said "We have several beekeepers who are willing to catch swarms in central North Carolina...". Perhaps you could search for a similar thing where you are? --Sean 13:26, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
We are having a major beekeeping crisis in the US, with hives dying all over the place. Bees are essential pollinators for important crops like apples, and are the main pollinators for many others. Here in Virginia, it is technically illegal to exterminate them: you must call a beekeeper instead. Moving a swarm in early spring is generally successful and the beekeeper actually makes some money on the deal when he moves the swarm "for free." Moving a swarm in the Fall is more problematic: The bees will not have time to stock the new hive before winter, and will need a lot of help from the beekeeper, so expect to be charged for the service. -Arch dude (talk) 04:41, 22 March 2008 (UTC)


I've decided that I'm never going to have children. How can I avoid a feeling of emptiness and wasted opportunity? Vitriol (talk) 22:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Be like Bruce Wayne/Batman. Adopt some children. Neal (talk) 22:30, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
I like your first idea. Vitriol (talk) 22:34, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The optimal method in life is: Allow for plan B (not to mention C and D and ...). --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Do volunteer work, perhaps with kids, perhaps not. Last summer I volunteered with a "life skills" class for teenagers who come from crappy family backgrounds, and it was awesome. There are also daycares, retirement homes, ESL schools for foreign exchange students (did that, too--got paid!), summer camps, food kitchens, sports teams to coach, pools to lifeguard, libraries to read stories at, and on and on. Being helpful for free is a lot more fun than it sounds like it should be--and it's less time-consuming than most of the other things we do. You also get a lot of warm fuzzies for it. --Masamage 22:41, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Most people who are childless by choice never have a feeling of emptiness and wasted opportunity. That's because they don't value their lives by whether someone in 300 years who doesn't even remember their name will carry 1/1,024th of their DNA. Unfortunately, a small minority of people who have children are, as far as I can figure out, deeply insecure, narrow-minded, and jealous. They can't stand that anyone can choose to be different from them; it puts their choice into question if everyone doesn't agree with them. So they call the childless "empty" and say they've "wasted opportunity". The same people often pop out with racism and homophobia, and again for the same reason: they can't stand anyone to choose differently than they did, because they see any dissent as criticism. --NellieBly (talk) 23:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
And on the contrary, not having kids will soon someday be the new fad. Especially if you take into consideration world overpopulation. Anyways, did it occur to anyone that not having kids still doesn't mean you're unmarried/without a spouse. Married couples can decide not to have kids. Heh. Neal (talk) 23:33, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
You could re-choose not to have kids, this time on the basis that it's for whatever your positive reasons are. That probably sounds pretty glib; it wasn't meant to be. I appreciate that one might make such a choice, freely, consciously, and for the very best of good reasons - and still experience feelings of regret and emptiness down the track; and nobody can guarantee those feelings won't arise at some time. It's how you deal with them when and if they do arise that matters, not trying to avoid them to begin with. If you already anticipate them, you might want to examine why you've made this decision. That's why I say re-choose, but after becoming really clear in your heart about exactly why you're making this choice; then write it down and keep it somewhere safe. It will serve you well to be reminded of this when and if such negative feelings arise. The more you consciously try to avoid some emotional issue, the more likely you are to actually bring it about, because your brain is focussing energy on it. What we resist, persists. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Instead of creating lives, how about saving them? It's ridiculously cheap and easy to do. Find a charity you trust (there's one linked on my user page if you're short of ideas) that you'd like to support and then either send them money, fundraise on their behalf (hey, that'll fill your spare time nicely - and you'll make great friends along the way) or lobby, donate gifts in kind, advocate on their behalf among your friends... There's so much needless death, illness and general misery in the developing world and it's astonishingly fixable, so long as the charity you're supporting is reputable, has its eyes wide open and doesn't throw money away on administration or into corrupt officials' pockets. --Dweller (talk) 11:45, 19 March 2008 (UTC)



There are 50 states. Anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong. Useight (talk) 22:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
So many trolls out there. Neal (talk) 22:50, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
Probably not a troll. I was in a room full of Canadians, and they had no idea how many states there were in the U.S. -- 50, 51 or 52. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:08, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
That's true, but I was referring moreso to the caps. ;/ Neal (talk) 23:23, 17 March 2008 (UTC).
Well, Americans don't know how many provinces Canada has either, much less name them. It doesn't really matter anyway. That's why maps were invented. I bet that most Canadians and Americans can't name a single Mexican state either. As long as you can locate a country on a map you'll do fine - but most people can't do that either. Chris16447 (talk) 23:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!Leamarie411x2 23:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Well said... :1 Boomshanka (talk) 23:52, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
True enough, but considering how often Canadians fret about turning into the 51st state, you'd think they'd be able to figure out how many states the U.S. has without Canada! -- Mwalcoff (talk) 07:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Same for Down Under. I've had arguments with folks who are convinced the USA has 52 states (that's not including Canada, Australia, NZ, etc; just the home-grown ones). When I've disagreed and said it's only 50, they've said that it used to be 50, before Alaska and Hawaii came on board. I say, no, it used to be 48 before then. Then it was 49 for a while, then it was 50. But they still disagree. This is usually in a situation where we're not near the internet or any reference books; a library, for example (no, only kidding - a social gathering, more likely). After half an hour of fruitless discussion, I just walk away. These are the people who laugh at Americans for not knowing the difference between Australia and Austria. Oh dear. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I think maybe it stems from misassociation. The number seems familiar, so they attribute it to the number of States. After all, there are 52 weeks in a year; 54 cards in a deck (including jokers); 76 trombones in the big parade... Malcolm XIV (talk) 09:20, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
99 Red Balloons. Useight (talk) 00:36, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that American events with representatives from all the states, like the Miss America pageant, will often have 51 or 52 participants, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. There are actually 55 entities represented in the US House of Representatives -- DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa have nonvoting delegates. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 10:57, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
You could urge them to take the next opportunity to examine the (6×5+5×4) Stars & (13) Stripes. —Tamfang (talk) 07:06, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
What, you mean there are 63 states? Or are the stripes for the 13 provinces and territories of Canada? That's part of America, isn't it? :-) --Anonymous, 14:08 UTC, March 19, 2008.
Well there is a difference between not knowing the difference between a European country and a Oceanic country and not knowing how many states there are in a country. If they were laughing at American's not knowing how many states there are in Australia perhaps... Nil Einne (talk) 19:59, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
On our way to a College Bowl tournament in 1981, a couple of us passed some time by trying to name the fifteen SSRs (we missed two), the thirty-two counties of Ireland (we got about half), and the states of Mexico (I forget how we did). —Tamfang (talk) 07:06, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(resetting indent) There are also many Americans who don't know the names of the states. There's a running joke up here in Vermont about non-Vermonters asking "What state is that in?" when we tell them that we're from Vermont. Just last week I had to explain to a guy, who was born and raised in Washington DC, where Vermont was. I was in DC at the time. Dismas|(talk) 09:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
This is sounding a bit like the urban myth that a large percentage of US high school student are unable to shade in their own country on an outline map ofthe world. That said, almost all the americans I've ever met have been pretty knowledgeable people. Astronaut (talk) 09:43, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
This survey does show a grim picture, though. 1/3 of the respondents (Americans 18-24) think the US population is "1 to 2 billion", etc. --Sean 13:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Which might just mean people have a hard time getting a handle on large numbers, though. I doubt most people really appreciate the difference between 300 million and 1 billion people. I also imagine most city-dwellers fail to take into account, in an intuitive sense, how less dense (population wise) much of the central region of the country is relative to the urban regions. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 16:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
There is a continuing column in New Mexico magazine called "One of our 50 states is missing", in which people report real-life encounters with people who don't know that New Mexico is a US state. In most cases, Americans. Corvus cornixtalk 17:22, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
"Wait, are you telling me there's a New Mexico?" (talk) 18:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
If I were in that position, I imagine I'd ask whether they think New York and New Hampshire are in England. (I've visited the Old ones more recently than the New, though i reside in California.) —Tamfang (talk) 07:02, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
It's especially funny when they ask if we take dollars, or only pesos. Or if they need a passport to get in. Sigh. seresin | wasn't he just...? 07:07, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
It was right to link to Education in the United States. Nothing they teach you in American schools (up to college, that is) is of any use. They only teach you what is on the standardized tests, because that is all this country cares about. God forbid they teach you something that isn't on the test - like the names of the states. (talk) 13:24, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
A resident of Ferndale, Michigan (less than 50 miles from the Canadian border) once asked me, "Do you guys have pizza in Canadia?" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Santegeezhe (talkcontribs) 17:30, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I highly recommend watching Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans." I don't know how to put a link in here, but it can be googled fairly easily. Of course it's not representative of the American population as a whole, but I must add that most Americans I've met (at a university-level Model United Nations conference, no less, where you would expect them to have a fairly high degree of world geography knowlege) were absolutely clueless about Canada. Of course, to be fair, the fact that Canadians usually know more about the US is probably mostly due simply to saturation of American culture in the media, and not much personal initiative to be informed about world geography. Cherry Red Toenails (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Is anyone else conerned the original IP asking the question is registered to Atlanta, Georgia? --YbborTalk 01:55, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I've heard something similar in that there are only 46 actual states-the others are Commonwealths or Plantations.Rhode Island is one for sure and I think Virginia or West Virginia and maybe Kentucky. (I'm allowed to be ignorant.I'm in England :) ) Psst..especially for many English counties can you name? They've jiggled them around a LOT lately Lemon martini (talk) 21:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

So much that it's hard to know what counts as a county anymore! Let's, see, Antimony, Arsenic, Aluminum, Selenium — wait, that's not it — Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Rutland ("twinned with Kuwait" in a cartoon awhile back), Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Westmorland, Cumberland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire – that's all the old ones I can remember offhand without looking; then there's Avon, Gtr Manchester, Gtr London, West Midlands, Humberside, Tyne & Wear, Cumbria, Merseyside ... —Tamfang (talk) 07:47, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Largest French Prison?[edit]

Can anyone tell me what the largest prison (the one with the most prisoners) in France is? I know that the Fresnes Prison is the second largest, but I can not find what the largest is. Any help would be greatly appreciated. EmilyELewis (talk) 23:12, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

You might like to google the Saint-Martin-de-Ré correctional institution (or Ile de Ré prison) which we don't have an article about. Julia Rossi (talk) 03:02, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
According to the beeb, Europe's largest prison - the 3,800-strong Fleury-Merogis near Paris--Tagishsimon (talk) 12:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


was just wondering..if a company or person is sued for like 10 million.They appeal.before the appeal ends does the guilty company or person pay.or does the appeal have to end.just for basic knowledge. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

From what I can figure, in a civil case where one party is suing another, there can be a settlement between them when a contract is organised out of court. But when a case has gone through to a final outcome, a finding, the loser can appeal. Usually an appeal is heard in a court of appeal that's higher than the trial court and depending on their powers, may overturn the appeal if it's found the lower court didn't make the correct finding for example; rather than examining material and making their own finding. Mostly I guess the appeal has to end and the finding be accepted. Usually the party found against pays. If you're asking about out-of-court settlement take a look at Settlement (litigation). Julia Rossi (talk) 08:45, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that the question is asking whether a party found liable in a lower court must pay while an appeal is pending, or whether they can wait to pay until after the appeal is over. The answer is that the liable party gets to wait while the appeal plays out. (Perhaps there is some obscure exception but I can't think of any.) In some cases this can be a very very long time. For example, in litigation relating to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the case has been in appeals for 14 years since the jury awarded $5 billion in punitive damages. If this happens, a judge will normally require the defendant to pay interest on the money that it has delayed paying, if the defendant is ultimately found liable after the appeal. Mangostar (talk) 16:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)