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

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March 22[edit]

Why is Everything Sexual? Why do we view the body disgusting?[edit]

Why does everything go back to being something sexual? Such as nakedness. And why do we find the human body so disgusting? Such as someone saying we shouldn't be naked because its gross. It's you right therefore you are saying you are disgusting. Not everything is sexual. When you take a shower is that disgusting, is that sexual?

Thank You


Cardinal Raven71.143.3.182 (talk) 02:36, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

Regarding the first question, I believe it is the society that leads us to that conclusion. Advertisements show people getting what they want by eating the promoted chocolate to give the impression anyone can get what they want by simply eating a candy. Just as in the dark ages everything had to do with witchcraft, or when Dungeons & Dragons and metal music began to get recognized everything had to do with the devil, nowadays society thinks (or even wants) everything to have to do with sexuality. I would even quote 4chan "Rule 34": If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.
About the second question, again society is the one that leads us to believe the naked body is disgusting. Original tribes didn't cover their bodies because they thought they were disgusting, but because of feeling cold or warmth. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 03:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
You can largely thank a man named Sigmund Freud for Western culture's belief that everything must have a hidden sexual undertone. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, though. And sometimes it's a penis. You win some, you lose some, with Freud. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 03:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

But really there is nothing sexual about being naked. Sometimes the naked body is used for sexual desires, but other times it doesn't. Our bodies are our temples. Do we really want to look at our temples as sexual and disgusting beings? (talk) 04:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

What leads you to think that most, or even many people do regard nudity as being sexual? What makes you think that most people even regard sexuality as being disgusting? As for the question of why everything is about sex, this can be easily explained by evolution. A species that does not propagate will die. Therefore sex is fundamental to the way we view the world. From a humanist point of view it is our purpose in life. --S.dedalus (talk) 05:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

The majority of our society is religious, therefore leading me to think most people do regard nudity as being sexual. Many religious friends when I ask why someone can't be naked in public and they reply "because its disgusting." The naked body just doesn't mean sex. Yes, evolution does control most of what we view as sexual and non sexual. I watched a show about how woman wanted breast feeding mothers to feed there child in a restroom and somewhere nonpublic because they thought that seeing another womans breast is gross. Breast feeding your child isn't gross. Our world has a problem with viewing the body. In English dubbed versions they cut out unnecessary things such as someone taking a shower. Nudity is nudity. Sex is sex. As long as it isn't being used in a sexual way it should be all right to be naked. (talk) 07:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

I agree with you that nudity doesn't mean sex (incidentally, I'm an atheist). Perhaps when Christianism is almost completely wiped out in Europe (in a couple generation's time?) the equation nudity = sex will make no sense to most people, I guess. --Taraborn (talk) 09:50, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I think you are exaggerating Cardinal Raven - people don't see these things as disgusting at all - they just have boundarys and a sense of propietry. (talk) 12:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you really want to see everyone walking around naked? Imagine an old woman walking down the street naked. Disgusting, isn't it? Now try to get that image out of your head. You should be grateful people wear clothes now. It's just the way our minds are wired, it's got nothing to do with Christianity (one of God's earliest commands was to have sex, also a whole book about sex), so don't complain.

I don't mind. An old ladies body is an old ladies body. There is nothing different between and older persons and mine. Yeah, there are wrinkles. That's not disgusting. In our first years of life when we first evolved and stood up right. I think we were all naked. I don't see problem with that. If its a hot summer day and you need to cool down. I don't mind. Its only natural. Do we put clothes on animals? No, they walk around nude. Well, technically they have fur, but that's not really clothing. Its natures protection. I am not exaggerating were I live and who I talk to they view nakedness as disgusting. Shoot, I just have an example. Do you really want to see everyone walking around naked? Imagine an old woman walking down the street naked. Disgusting, isn't it? An old ladies body isn't disgusting. That's rude. You just viewed the human body as disgusting and traumatizing. (talk) 16:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

Why is everything sexual? False question - everything isn't. Why do we view the body disgusting? Who's we - not all people view bodies as discusting. Not all bodies are equally discusting. Wondeful - more redundant questions. Sigh. Neal (talk) 18:50, 22 March 2008 (UTC).

Good point Neal. There are many bodies one would find to be the antithesis of disgusting. Everything would balance out. --S.dedalus (talk) 21:59, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Photo ID?[edit]

Can somebody clarify? I know baseball cards are sold in (for instance) gum packs, but are they ID for the gum maker or for the printer? I'm thinking specifically of the Star Player cards (which I've heard of but never seen), & I have trouble imagining "Star Player" gum (which I've never seen, either). Thanx. Trekphiler (talk) 03:16, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I can't understand your question exactly, but Topps was originally a gum manufacturer. They began selling baseball cards in 1951 and put the two together in a package one year later. For decades, it was the norm for baseball card manufacturers to include a stick of gum with each pack of cards. During the baseball-card boom of the 1980s, new manufacturers, like Upper Deck, began selling cards without gum, which appealed to collectors (who thought gum messed up the cards). Topps stopped including gum in their packs in 1992. I have no idea what you mean about "ID." -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:32, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Black allegiance[edit]

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Have any Whites who have befriended Blacks at work, on the bus, in stores or in their neighborhood begun to experience the phenomenon I am experiencing? To my surprise the Blacks I had come to think of as compatible friends seem now to be rejecting that friendship since Obama has started running for office, as if to say "I was friends with you because you were White but now we have Obama and we do not need White friends anymore." Mind you this is not the case with every Black I know but it is the case with a large majority. What I am wondering here is was I merely thought of as a means to an end and if so how would I be treated if Obama were actually elected? (talk) 04:26, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

...but my friendships... at least the friendships I thought I had were based on the inside similarities despite the obvious exterior differences. If by "ignorant" you mean do not consider as many variables or have as many variables to consider then I could perhaps agree. But what I am asking is have Whites in the minds of Blacks now been replaced by Obama's White grandmother and if elected are we now to see a continued effort for mulattoes to displace Whites? (talk) 05:35, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

...what on Earth are you two talking about??? Original questioner - you're suggesting your black friends were only friends with you for some sort of...political gain? Feeling that they needed white friends to move up the ladder, but Obama is making them rethink that? This seems absurdly unlikely and I think you're just a little paranoid or reading into things too deeply. And Raven, I think somewhere like Stormfront might be a better location for your opinions on black people's "ignorance" and the death of the white race...ugh. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, especially for racist nonsense. -Elmer Clark (talk) 10:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm trying to find out if this is in fact why Blacks have developed and maintained friendships with me up until now when Obama is running for office and appears to be doing so on their behalf and speaking out in support of them. As far as paranoia is concerned the truth is that I could care less no different than if a girlfriend found a guy with more money or a faster car. In fact I would now like to thank Obama for exposing these pretend friends. This phenomenon, however, has not effected my friendships with females of either race, whether platonic or otherwise. (talk) 23:01, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Yup - exact same thing happened to me. (talk) 11:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

It is profoundly disturbing to read the statement "black people as you may call them are ignorant". It would be disturbing in a publication of white supremacists, it is unacceptable in a multi-cultural construct as the WP:RD is one.
I would like to express my strong disagreement with opinions of Cardinal Raven and other anonymous users. I hope to speak for the majority of contributors to the reference desk
-- (talk) 12:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC) Oops, --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 13:15, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Well were not supposed to debate things, so the question wasn't really suitable for this page. (talk) 13:25, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Surely the point of a 'multicultural construct' is that everyone is allowed to express their viewpoint...(sigh). (talk) 13:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Sigh your heart out, but nobody is supposed to be expressing their viewpoint on the reference desk. This is not a discussion forum. This is a reference desk like you see in a library. This question is out of place here mostly because it has no answer but is at best a purported attempt to conduct a poll. --Milkbreath (talk) 14:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
hummm... I was not so much looking for yes and no as in a true pole as confirmation of my interpretation of a current event from my personal experience. If you see it as a pole then please refer me to a political forum that provides a mechanism for posting a pole (like Simple Machines Forum) so I can post it as a pole and see just how many people have been so effected. Thanks. (talk) 22:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I already said that. (talk) 16:01, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I removed my comments. I didn't mean to offend anyone. Just saying something that was completely obvious. (talk) 16:28, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

You say you're trying not to offend anyone but then claim that what you said was "completely obvious?" How sincere... -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:43, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I like the phrase "Whites who have befriended Blacks" in the original post. It's like he made a special effort to go some place where blacks were congregating and he picked out one he liked and arbitrarily decided to be friends with him. Like picking out a puppy.
Just in case the original post wasn't a troll, have you considered the possibility that the reason your token black friend isn't hanging out with you anymore is because you're a racist ass? (talk) 00:22, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Whites who fail to befriend Blacks or who uphold a different set of rules than Blacks at work, school or anywhere else are usually deemed racist asses anyway. As a result the situation is very much reversed and the other way around. If I were actually a "racist ass" I would use words like "Nigger" and "Niggerhood" not words like "Blacks." I would also avoid making any Black friends and staying away from any place they are. The real issue for me in regard to race, however, is that I do in fact try to uphold a superior set of rules like not spitting on the sidewalk, which 99.99% of the Blacks I know do not uphold at all. I can quite understand when someone who upholds an inferior set of rules refers to me as a racist ass because that is what they are. (talk) 08:02, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

DivX to MP4 Converter[edit]

Can somebody find me a program that converts DivX files to Mp4 format? Also I don't want silly trial versions that only let you convert 5 mins of the file and I don't want to be buying anything!! (talk) 07:15, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Your best bet would be to ask at the Doom9 forums. --Kjoonlee 09:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Or the WP:RD/C computer desk. ;) --Kjoonlee 12:52, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC: UK versus England[edit]

I keep finding people (Roomstep444 would seem to be the latest of several) going about changing each geographic reference they find from United Kingdom → England. Is there any guidance, or better still, a rule? I'm sure this must have been asked already somewhere else ...Zir (talk) 12:54, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'd hate to see what would happen to wikipedia if someone tried to claim that Edinburgh was in England rather than the UK... I myself would personally go for UK, since I'm somewhat of a unionist, but I don't think there's a hard and fast rule. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
It's a bit touchy. What Roomstep444 is doing is changing nationalities from "British" to "English" and changing descriptions of towns in England so they say they're in England and not the UK. You're right that the UK and England are different: England is one of the four countries that makes up the nation of the UK, along with Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. (It's the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after all.) But many people in the UK strongly and vehemently protest the use of the term "British" to describe nationality. It can make them figuratively foam at the mouth. To them, someone from England is English, from Scotland is Scots, from Wales is Welsh, etc. All are citizens of the UK, but none are "British". I don't know why this is, but they will fight you almost until death about it. (Of course, much worse is what too many Americans do - call people from Scotland or Wales "English" or assume the entire country is England. It's a mess.) --NellieBly (talk) 13:14, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, but I was after something more along the lines of "house style" rather than starting a long discussion....Zir (talk) 13:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid this is far too fraught an issue for Wikipedia to have managed to agree on a house style. Wikipedia:Nationality of people from the United Kingdom is an attempt, but it doesn't seem to say much. Algebraist 13:43, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
See the numerous discussions at Wikipedia talk:UK Wikipedians' notice board and its archives, including Wikipedia:Manual of Style (United Kingdom-related articles) and its talk page. -- zzuuzz (talk) 13:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I shall wade thro' UK Wikipedians' notice board archives when I have time to spare. The others seem to favour UK, so I'll not feel toooo bad about reverting any England → UK when I come across 'em...Zir (talk) 14:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

It's easy. All the above comments are absolutely correct - BUT - whilst most folk in the UK have no difficulty with constituent residents calling themselves Scottish or Welsh etc., it is, as an Englishman living in Scotland, my experience when filling out Passport Applications etc. that clearly have a wider world context, that we generally call ourselves British. Of course, there are vehement protesters to that rule, but hey, you can't satisfy all the people all the time, including those Scots who claim to detest the English, but who spend all their summer holidays in Blackpool. (talk) 14:59, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I personally consider myself british first, then english. Generally, I think, Scots have more problem with being British than the English do, though there are exceptions on both sides of the border. Northern Ireland is a very touchy issue, and Wales... is generally just happy to be included in discussions. See also the West Lothian Question, Scottish Nationalist Party, etc etc etc. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:31, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Likewise - if asked my nationality I would always say "British", and I find the sort of insistence on "English" that NellieBly describes to be in somewhat bad taste (though I can't really say why). A few weeks ago I was a test subject for some research into the 2011 UK census, and the interviewer made quite a big deal about this question. I got the impression my opinions on the topic were slightly unusual - which if true would be a shame IMO. (talk) 12:42, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if this is wandering off the subject,but there does seem to be a rise lately in English nationalism-maybe with the devolution of Scottish and Welsh Parliaments and the strong support for their nationalist parties,the English want to state their nationality as a definite identity.Apparently in mediaeval times,'England' was used to describe the entire United Kingdom. Lemon martini (talk) 21:06, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Cost of electricity (UK)[edit]

What is the approximate cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour in the UK? I'm particularly interested in central Scotland, if the prices vary at that kind of regional level. Ta. Angus Lepper(T, C, D) 17:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Southern England. I pay 9.32pence per unit for my electricity. I have no idea how big is each unit. Richard Avery (talk) 18:25, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
And I am in Central Scotland where I am supplied with Electricity by .....Scottish Gas.......who have just this week told me to expect a 15% hike in both Gas and Electricity prices forthwith. But currently (no pun intended) I am paying 22.772 pence per kWh for the first 67 kWh and 9.962 pence thereafter - but that is subject to me getting a 5% reduction for buying both Gas and Electricity from the same supplier - and a preferential rate (so they tell me) for paying my bills by regular Direct Debits. And yes, utility prices here do vary significantly from street to street, depending on who your supplier is - we can have 5 or 6 different meter reader vans in our little street in the same day. Hope all that helps. (talk) 18:41, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Interesting... In the US I only know of one community that has two different utility suppliers serving the area. One has a line on the road back of the property and the other has a line on the road in front of the property. Do your utility companies have different lines on the same pole or is the distribution service shared on only one line with the utilities charging the same for distribution but different for supply? How does your system work? (talk) 22:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Since privatisation of electricity began in Britain in 1990, quite a large market has developed in electricity suppliers, although they all use the same lines. In the last couple of years, the idea of switching suppliers to get a better deal has really taken hold, and there are many websites which will compare electricity suppliers in your local area; there are also "specialist" suppliers which sell electricity generated from renewable sources (although it is all sent into the National Grid to be dispersed). There also exists the ability for private citizens to generate their own electricity using wind turbines etc. and feed it into the Grid: they are paid or have money deducted from their electricity bills in return, although obviously this is only a small percentage of the population. There is an (incomplete) article: Electricity billing in the UK which may give some additional information. --Kateshortforbob 00:00, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, that's now the norm in much of the US as well. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:26, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Care to provide a map and a list? We have no such thing for local telephone service or electricity, although it has been the norm from the beginning for Internet Service Providers and a little earlier for Long Distance Carriers. Local phone and electricity service in all places in the US as far as I know are limited to the original constructor of the telephone and electric lines. (talk) 07:46, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Do a Google search on /utility deregulation states/ and /local telephone competition/. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 15:43, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
In the Scottish Highlands, Scottish Hydro charge me 9.05p plus standing charge of £29.88, plus VAT (17.5%) less direct debit discount of £18.40.--Artjo (talk) 19:55, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure that you pay 17.5% VAT Artjo? I only pay 5% (response prior to your own).
SORRY! yes you are right, 5%--Artjo (talk) 13:58, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that's a good bit of information I was looking for! Angus Lepper(T, C, D) 16:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Exercises to reduce flabby waistline girdle??[edit]

I don't want surgery, I don't want to take drugs, I am already doing regular and testing rowing exercises, and crunches, walking, and other gym work, and am willing to do more specialist exercises, and I have started using an abdominal pulse-belt, but I would like to reduce the circle of girdle flab that has developed since I embarked on a weight reduction programme that will continue for some months and another 50 pounds or so. I am middle-aged and reasonably active, so is there any chance it will just shrink and if not, any advice - not medical advice - would be most gratefully received. Thanks. (talk) 18:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

If your energy usage is > than your calorie input then the difference is supplied by the reserves of your body.
In any case, if you take the high road and then take the low, or, on your travaux to Athens to accompany a moose in Greece with the bagpipes, fifes and drums you will lose on your roundabout what you have gained on your swings. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 21:25, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry - maybe I should explain - I do not speak German - and maybe you don't understand what I meant by flab - ie - it is not flesh, that has gone, what I am talking about is the loose skin remaining after the flesh went. Kaput? Danke.
It just takes time for your skin to catch up. It's possible that some sort of collagen cream would speed things up, since it's the reduction in collagen that makes skin less elastic as we get older. I know I've seen such creams around. — Laura Scudder 21:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for my infantile jokes, 81.145.
Maybe, if you are concerned about flabby skin, you should check with a dermatologist in your area. As you know, the RD is not a venue for medical advice. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I remember seeing some investigative report where they concluded that abdominal pulse-belts were essentially scams, but I can't seem to confirm this anywhere. I'd look into it at least, but since you've already paid for it I guess it doesn't really matter... -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:49, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The RD is not a venue for medical advice, but there's one point the above responders are forgetting: skin isn't fat. No amount of exercise will get rid of excess skin: none. The ability of skin to shrink back after being stretched is limited, and varies wildly due to age, sex, genetics, and avoidable risk factors such as sun exposure and smoking. (The best chance is for a young redheaded male who doesn't smoke and stays out of the sun.) If there were a better way to get rid of excess skin than expensive and risky plastic surgery, millions would be happier. --NellieBly (talk) 08:29, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


Can someone give me a link to some photos of grozny. БοņёŠɓɤĭĠ₳₯є 21:50, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

grozny links at bottom (talk) 21:57, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Learning a language[edit]

Okay, so I want to learn Arabic, right? I got this teach yourself course with cds, but the basic phonology is just so difficult to understand from their descriptions and audio. It's bothersome to the point where I've just about given up. If I can find some way to master the sounds of the language, I think I'll be good to go, but I need help with that part. Please help with both your own knowledge and outside resources. If someone knows a way to do this for any common language in general (for future use), that would be great--Abccbaqwerty (talk) 21:58, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Arabic is extremely difficult to learn on your own, especially if you only know English. You should take a class taught by a native speaker, who can teach you the sounds (it takes a lot of practise and repetition!). Just listening to the CDs is not enough, because they can't correct you, you can't see their mouths, and you can't ask them questions. I suppose this true for all languages - "teach yourself X language in 30 days" or whatever is a cash grab, no one will be ever become fluent using something like that. Adam Bishop (talk) 22:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it took me several months of living in the Philippines to get a handle on Tagalog. Useight (talk) 01:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
With no commercial axe to grind at all, I can recommend Pimsleur language audios. They break down the sound and make you speak as well, at a pace that allows your ear to become accustomed to the phonology at the same time that you practice speaking. They also ask questions that refresh your memory at just the point when you are about to forget something. On the downside, they are not cheap. SaundersW (talk) 12:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to steal your thread but how hard is it to learn English? БοņёŠɓɤĭĠ₳₯є 03:23, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Depends. Probably easier for a native German speaker than for a native Chinese speaker. Kuronue | Talk 00:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
According to my sister, a linguistics student, the best way to learn a language is to live with the people who use the langauge. You could have an Arab friend to coach you in learning their language. --Lenticel (talk) 00:33, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Differences between flaming and baiting[edit]

I don't see the difference between flaming on the internet and baiting. Can someone please elaborate?--SlaveofBetrayal (Talk)

I'm not positive, but I think baiting is saying something with deliberate attempt to make them lash out back at you, while flaming is just ragging on someone without needing a reply. Useight (talk) 23:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Im pretty sure thats it useight. БοņёŠɓɤĭĠ₳₯є 23:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, good. Useight (talk) 01:54, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Book source[edit]

I'm a book that talks about geodes. See me as Rocks and Minerals, written by Fredrick H. Pough, ISBN 0-395-91096-X. Can I be used in the Geode article ? (talk) 23:44, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

You appear to be a reliable source, so if a Wikipedia editor finds useful information from you to add to the geode article, it would be very nice if he would do so and cite you. (Interesting question format, by the way!) -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:53, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
This gives a whole new meaning to "talking books". -- JackofOz (talk) 23:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Ooh, sounds like some sort of riddle! Are you bigger than a breadbox? Kuronue | Talk 00:43, 26 March 2008 (UTC)