Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 May 19

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May 19[edit]

Tailoring a suit jacket[edit]

I have a suit jacket that hasn't been tailored at all, and I assume that some changes should be made so it fits me properly. How do I go about doing this? Can I just bring it to my dry cleaner (who advertises doing alterations)? Will I be expected to know anything about what I want? If so, what should I be looking for? The sleeves fit fine, but I'm a fairly skinny guy and I think it needs some adjustment in that regard. Thanks for any tips. (talk) 00:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I have no background in this. But I'd just take it to a tailor/your dry cleaner guy and assume he knows what he's doing. (talk) 01:35, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

If they advertise alterations, then they should be fit to correct the size and answer your question/take your directions as to how you like the fit. Fribbler (talk) 02:05, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Check with other people around, or see if your place has a review website. Like any other service there are good and bad providers. Finding someone with a good reputation makes it more likely that your first experience with employing the services of a tailor won't be a disappointment. -- (talk) 04:22, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I was a Savile Row trained tailor for the whole of my working life. I sat cross-legged and hand-stitched flat shapes of cloth and other materials to make them "bend" around the most complex of 3 dimensional shapes (the human body), whilst standing, walking, stretching, running, working, and relaxing. I had to take account of all manner of strange bumps, lumps, projections, cavities and yes, even deformities. And no matter the shape, the garment had to fit, drape correctly, and look as though it was uniquely tailored to fit the owner/wearer. My apprenticeship took 7 years, and I had to pass a series of very difficult written and practical exams and gain accreditation to the City and Guilds of London Institute Full Technological Certificate in Men's Bespoke Training, as well as the Joint National Apprenticeship Training Council of Great Britain. And you want me to tell you how to "tailor" a garment to fit your "skinny" body in a written answer on Wikipedia? You could just as easily ask a nuclear scientist how to make a bomb! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, all due respect to your experience and skill, but you may want to take note that he wasn't actually asking for anyone to tell him how to tailor a garment to fit his skinny body. He was asking how to go about getting someone who knows what they're doing -- perhaps someone not unlike yourself -- to do it for him. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 00:18, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Certainly the best answer- of its sort- that I have seen on the Reference Desk in a long time. Would that the questioner could engage the responder to make alterations in the aforementioned garment whilst in tailor's seat. Perhaps the responder could suggest the words the questioner might employ in requesting the garment be altered to fit. Edison (talk) 02:01, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
That's easy, "Dear Mr. Tailor, I have no knowledge or skill in the art of Bespoke Tailoring, but I wish to have this ill-fitting jacket of mine altered to fit this skinny body of mine. I realise that your time is expensive and that you will need to charge me not only for making the necessary alterations, but also the time-consuming and laborious cost of unpicking the original seams, pressing them flat, re-cutting the shapes of the various panels, and re-assembling them. I expect that the cost will far exceed the cost of you making me a custom-made garment from scratch - either that or advising me where I could purchase a decently fitting ready-made garment - but in any event, I accept that the cost of altering the existing ill-fitting garment will in all likelihood be extortionate, and much more expensive say, than me taking a trip to Cambodia or Kuala Lumpur where I could have a whole wardrobe of garments made to fit my skinny body, from materials of my choice, in Summer weight and Winter weight, including my flights, hotels and food costs, for less money than a gallon of petrol would cost in the UK". How about that Edison? Will that suffice do you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that's pretty good. Personally, I would add, "And while you're at it, Mr. Tailor, please indicate now if you are extremely condescending to the point where most people would rather drink battery acid than have a conversation with you." I think that would be extremely helpful to the potential customer when he's choosing a tailor, an event which undoubtedly will take place in one fine Savile Row establishment or another. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 13:59, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, so I was the OP here and I'm now more confused than before. Is altering a jacket an unreasonable request? I bought a suit at a Men's Warehouse or some such place, and changes were made to the pants but none to the jacket. I didn't think anything of it until my friend pointed out that it didn't seem to fit me right and asked if it had been tailored. Have I just bought the wrong jacket? Should I really anticipate paying an arm and a leg for changes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Tailor over there is obnoxious, but he's entirely correct in that altering a jacket takes quite a bit of work, so it probably isn't too cheap. (Pants, by comparison, are easy in that if they fit your waist, they just need to have the legs shortened a little, which is no big deal.) On the other hand, the standards (and prices) of fully tailored Savile Row suits don't have a whole lot to do with the kind of suits most people buy in real life, any more than the prices of outrageous European sports cars have to do with the kind of money people usually pay for cars. You should really ask a couple of tailors about how much they would charge for it and make your mind up based on that. I suppose it all depends on how much you paid for the suit; if it was really cheap, you'll probably be better off buying another really cheap jacket that fits you better. Also, any tailor you talk to who doesn't know what to do about it without specific instructions from you probably isn't a tailor you want to deal with. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 18:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
There's a difference between a full-on tailoring job and a simple alteration to an off-the-peg jacket. My last suit was bought at Slater Menswear (sounds like it might be similar to your "Men's Warehouse") and altered (both jacket and trousers) by their in-house service (I've also had a suit from there altered by a small independent tailor). I'm sure The Obnoxious Tailor above would sneer at it, but for my purposes it feels like it fits well (makes me look slimmer, too!) and I'm very happy with it. Getting this sort of simple tweak made to an off-the-peg suit is definitely worth it, and I don't think mine was expensive (might even have been included in the purchase price). (talk) 21:20, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, by the way, it's not true that trousers are "easy in that if they fit your waist, they just need to have the legs shortened a little". A pair of trousers isn't just a pair of simple tubes with a single length and diameter. As someone with former-prop-forward legs I know this :-). The Slater alterations people above did a nice job along the seams of the trousers to shape them to my legs. (talk) 21:32, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, people with crazy mutant legs are an exception, of course! ;) I stand corrected. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 22:59, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Is there a place on this earth that men never stepped on[edit]

Is there a place on this earth that men never stepped on(apart from the bottom of the ocean,of course)? (talk) 01:33, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. There's probably some little islands here and there that nobody's ever been on. Useight (talk) 01:35, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The not-quite bottom of the ocean? ;) (talk) 01:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd imagine that there are vast areas of Antarctica that humans have never actually walked on - though they may indeed have flown or driven over them when traveling from place to place. Possibly parts of the High Arctic too. Or the most remote parts of the large deserts - places where people wouldn't really have any good reason or desire to be wandering around on foot. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 01:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
[ec] Also, there are almost certainly very steep mountain slopes in the higher elevations of the Himalayas or Andes that have never seen human footsteps (because they are too steep for a person to stand and/or covered with snow and ice). Likewise, there are probably places on the ice sheet of Antarctica where no person has ever walked. (talk) 01:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The OP may be looking to name somewhere/be the first to explore somewhere. I don't think anywhere on earth is left but Inaccessible Island still needs a thorough going over, and anyway isn't it a tempting name? Fribbler (talk) 01:48, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a challenge to me! Is there an island-naming equivalent of WP:BEANS? ;) --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 01:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
New islands are occasionally thrown up by the sea (or more strictly, volcanic activity beneath), Home Reef being (apparently) the most recent. *Someone* is going to have to be the first human to take a stroll there, rite? I guess that you just have to be in the right place at the right time... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 01:55, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Does it count if an island was "repaved"? If so, I'm sure most of the now volcanic rock-covered parts of Montserrat are still probably untouched. Paragon12321 (talk) 01:56, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The mantle/inner crust/core of the earth as well as the upper atmosphere, to be literal, although there are some places (such as Lake Vostok) which have been declared unsteppable. Also, there's also the top fo a sequoia tree and such other things. There are untold thousands of virgin caves. Man hasn't gone very many places in the grand scheme of things. Ziggy Sawdust 02:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Some parts of Fiordland, New Zealand, have never been stepped on; similarly parts of Patagonia in Chile remain "unexplored". If you want somehwere in the earth, then there are many cave systems around the world which have never been explored. Gwinva (talk) 02:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I've just installed new carpeting and there are several areas that have not yet been stepped on (I think).  ;-) --hydnjo talk 02:49, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
There are many unclimbed peaks in the Himalayas. The highest summit on which no-one has yet stood is Gangkhar Puensum. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
See Highest unclimbed mountains for more. Neıl 10:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure quite large chunks of Australia haven't yet been visited, although finding out exactly where everyone has ever been in that country would be rather difficult, so I don't actually know which parts are still untouched.HS7 (talk) 17:46, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Blue Mountains Nation Park, Australia[edit]

What are some of the most popular attractions in the Blue Mountains National Park besides the Three Sisters? (talk) 03:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Have you read Blue Mountains National Park? Fribbler (talk) 11:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Wentworth Falls Lake (not far from the village) – a lake that was created to provide water for steam engines in the old days, and a "hanging swamp". In the Blue Mountains article, the first panorama is likely from the Govett's Leap track on the way to the Bridal Veil Falls (via Blackheath). Julia Rossi (talk) 12:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Eric Winter[edit]

Eric Winter is not just an actor but a very important children's illustrator. He illustrated Ladybird books in the 1970's and if you can find out any more information, it would be very much appreciated. All i know is that he died in the 1980's and that he used to illustrate The Eagle. thank you michele smith

Smithm31 (talk) 06:35, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Michele. Obviously the Eric Winter article is about someone different, being an American actor born in 1976. As far as I can see, no one's done a Wikipedia article on the Ladybird Books illustrator, and I for one think there ought to be. Perhaps you could create one yourself by clicking on Eric Winter (illustrator) and entering what you know along with references. Alternatively, you could request an article by adding Eric Winter (illustrator) to the appropriate place on this page.-- (talk) 07:28, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi, heres a start for someone [1] Mhicaoidh (talk) 10:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I've started it, but information is pretty scant. Angus Lepper(T, C, D) 15:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

IQ Tests[edit]

If a person gets every question right on an IQ test what is their score? --Candy-Panda (talk) 08:45, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

It depends entirely upon the details of the test and how it has been calibrated. However, any "theoretical" result that you get from a perfect score is likely to be inaccurate. Our intelligence quotient article says:
"Each IQ test, however, is designed and valid only for a certain IQ range. Because so few people score in the extreme ranges, IQ tests usually cannot accurately measure very low and very high IQs."
A perfect score indicates that a different (more difficult) test must be administered if an accurate measure is required. And the utility and meaning of the standard IQ measure becomes dubious for people at the extreme ends of the general intelligence distribution, or who have an outstanding ability in one particular field. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:13, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Their score is unknown. IQ tests compare people with other people. If a hundred people take the test, and four get all questions right, all we know is that those four people are in the topmost four percentile of that population. That only gives a lower limit to their IQ — whatever it is when you take the top 4% of the gaussian distribution with which IQ is defined. To get the IQs of the four people you'll need more tests and more people to compare with, so you can figure out where on the distribution those four fall. (Disclaimer: IQ measurement is not exact, there is criticism on the concept, yadda yadda; read the criticism section in IQ.) Weregerbil (talk) 09:19, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I remember IQ tests I took at school had a disclaimer saying that this test was only accurate for scores between 80 and 140, and that other specific tests should be used for results outside that range. I guess that if you got 100% correct it would mean that your IQ was at least 140, but you would have to take a further test to give an exact result. I imagine that if you got 100% in that test then you would need a harder one still, and so on. -- Q Chris (talk) 10:32, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Complicating things further, there's some evidence that IQ distributions do not follow a simple bell curve, but rather a three-bumped curve. --Carnildo (talk) 22:27, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (1955) manual includes maximum IQ scores for getting the maximum score (202) from correct answers (combined verbal and performance) of IQ159 for ages 16-17, IQ157 (ages 18-10), IQ155 (ages 20-24), IQ155 (ages 25-34), IQ157 (ages 35-44), IQ161 (ages 45-54), IQ165 (ages 55-64), IQ168 (ages 65-69), IQ174 (ages 70-74)and IQ179 (ages 75 and over). The same exact set of correct answers would gain you a higher IQ score if you were elderly, because it is a comparative measure relative to your age peers, and old people did not get that many correct answers compared to young people. This has been true of other IQ tests as well. Edison (talk) 01:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Cuban cigars[edit]

How can I get Cuban cigars? I live in Maryland. Jussen (talk) 10:17, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Fly to Cuba or fly/drive to Canada. Dismas|(talk) 10:29, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Flying to Cuba may cause difficulties; I don't know how serious these would be. Our article also suggests buying on the internet, though no sites are given. Algebraist 10:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
It is possible for an American to visit Cuba. I know of one bird watcher who was granted permission, though it was far from easy due to legal hoops that he had to jump through. Dismas|(talk) 10:33, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If you happen to have two passports, you can do it easily (going via a sensible country). Algebraist 10:38, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
You don't need two passports; you just need to travel through a country (like Canada) that isn't pandering to voters by maintaining a ridiculous embargo. Cuban officials won't stamp your U.S. passport [2]:
"...But these measures are easy to get around, and some American tourists do. It’s similar to visiting Israel and knowing that you might well visit Dubai, Doha, or Muscat in the future, and the Cuban authorities, as the Israeli officials, will stamp a separate paper on your arrival and departure, rather than marking the pages in your passport."
Where you may get into trouble if you follow that strategy is on your return. While you can purchase Cuban-made products legally in Canada, generally speaking you can't take them back across the United States border. U.S. customs officials may also wonder why you packed shorts and sunblock for your midwinter visit to Toronto, and they may be inclined to ask awkward questions. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
That's interesting, thanks. I hadn't realised you could circumvent the whole visa thing like that. Algebraist 13:54, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I suspect this thread needs to be removed now. We can't offer legal advice - but we are willing to offer advice on breaking the law? Rmhermen (talk) 14:10, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
As a citizen of the European Union, I am required by law not to comply in any way with the US blockade, so I certainly can't remove this thread. Anyway, meta-discussions should probably go on the talk page. Algebraist 14:54, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Tis true. From Helms-Burton Act:
The European Union introduced a Council Regulation (No 2271/96) (law binding all member states) declaring the extra-territorial provisions of the Helms-Burton Act to be unenforceable within the EU, and permitting recovery of any damages imposed under it. The EU law also applied sanctions against US companies and their executives for making Title III complaints.
Fribbler (talk) 15:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Fribbler's quote does not support Algebraist's comment. I don't think that there is any law "requir[ing]...not to comply in any way with the US blockade", which by the way is an embargo, not a blockade. Rmhermen (talk) 15:38, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

You don't have to go to Cuba. I'm sure Cuban cigars are available in Canada or Mexico, and other Caribbean and European countries. But you won't be allowed to import them into the US. Corvus cornixtalk 16:12, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
According to our article, you can import them if you remove the cigar bands. Also, I've heard numerous accounts of people bringing Cuban cigars into the US because they were only bringing a few for personal use. If you were to try to bring in large quantities, then more eyebrows would be raised. Dismas|(talk) 21:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I have read in years past that it was legal to have pre-Castro Cuban cigars in the U.S, but by now they are probably getting pretty crumbly. If anyone gave me some, I would burn them, one at a time. Edison (talk) 01:53, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


How do I use this page to find out what the weather is. If Wikipedia is the sum of all human knowledge, shouldn't this page tell me what the weather is like in every city all over the world? (talk) 13:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the sum of all human knowledge, nor does it attempt to be (an ill-judged comment by the founder notwithstanding). It is, rather, an encyclopedia. As such, it does not contain up-to-date weather information. There are plenty of weather websites out there; some are listed in the article you linked to. Algebraist 13:58, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Yes you can use this page to find out what the weather is like in world cities. Just go down to External Links and voila! Fribbler (talk) 13:59, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The article on Weather forecasting has more helpful links (in the "External links" section). Providing current weather forecasts would not only be unfit for an encyclopedia, it could also be seen as an extreme case of recentism, a problem Wikipedia is struggling with as it is. ---Sluzzelin talk 14:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If we Wikipedians are doing our (unpaid)jobs, you should be able to learn the climate of every city in the world; how hot and how cold does it typically get in the summer and winter, how much rain is there typically in each season. But we are not the daily news and weather, we are an encyclopedia. Therefore it is unrealistic to expect us to update the articles for every city in the world to tell you whether to carry an umbrella today. Edison (talk) 00:29, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Not legal advice, just curious, in UK law, is it illegal to be on drugs? It is illegal to buy, sell, transport etc., but what about use? If someone put MDMA into your spagetti, could you be charged with something? Thanks (talk) 14:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Zionist

IANAL but I think that apart from in specific circumstances (driving, flying, etc.) provided you are not causing a nuisance or danger then no. I remember reading about a case where someone was charged with possession of a hundredth of a gram of cannabis resin stuck to a knife blade to get around this problem. -- Q Chris (talk) 14:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, drugs are illegal in the UK. All drugs are illegal except maybe the most lethal and the one most people are addicted to. That is alcohol. See I think its silly that they even restrict the other drugs. If we can have alcohol, why aren't we allowed to have the other stuff?(It doesn't matter for me not a big fan of alcohol and not big fan of any other drug.) Seems a bit backwards to me.


Cardinal Raven

Cardinal Raven (talk) 16:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

That was not the question, it was, If you went to a dinner party and someone offered you a cup cake afterwards for desert, and the caster sugar sprinkled on top was in fack cocaine or some other drug, and you took it unknowingly, would this be illegal? on either side, to be intoxicated with an illegal substance, and to give some one something that you know they will enjoy, but do not tell them before hand. Thanks193.115.175.247 (talk) 16:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Zionist
You had better have an ambulance stand by in case you need to rush one of your guests off to the emergency room. There are people who react quite heavily to certain drugs. Plus you don't know what other meds someone has taken that might interact with the stuff. Given the increase in allergies all round, feeding anyone anything they are not aware of what's in it, is very irresponsible. As for the legal aspects you'd be in danger of prosecution for "possession of" and "supplying" drugs (see here [3]). And if one of your guests ends up having an accident as a result of the party, like getting involved in a car accident or diving off a roof, you'd be liable for "criminal negligence." Your guests would fall under exemption because "A general rule concerning all criminal cases is that a person has to have a guilty mind if they are to be convicted." [4] if they can manage to make a convincing argument that they were clueless as to what went on. For minor offenses authorities might not want to go to any trouble prosecuting (also depending on how they found out in the first place), but if something happens there are a lot of other things on the books they might throw at you. (e.g. Accessory (legal term) or Accomplice. For a professional opinion you should contact a lawyer. Lisa4edit (talk) 18:13, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about the UK, but in the US, it is not illegal to be unknowingly intoxicated. It is, however, generally some form of battery to get someone intoxicated without their knowlege and consent. --Carnildo (talk) 22:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, regardless of the legalities involved, drugging people without their consent or without warning them is a prime example of how to act like a complete and utter dick. And it's got nothing to do with whether or not it's okay to use drugs; it's just bad manners on a level that may well net you a pretty solid reputation as a real tool. Or a kick in the teeth. Or both. Which you would probably have coming at that point. Seriously,, that's just uncool. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 00:10, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
But if you were then stopped for driving under the influence of drugs, I think you would have a hard time convincing many people that your drugged up state was due to someone else who spiked your food or drink. Astronaut (talk) 07:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I once read a newspaper article about someone who was cleared of drink-driving caused by a particularly potent christmas cake, on the grounds that they didn't know they had consumed as much alcohol as they had. I'm not certain, but I think they may have (knowingly) had a small drink which should not have put them over the limit - the cake provided a "topping up" rather than the full 80mg/100ml. (talk) 18:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I want to know scouting skills[edit]

All the scouting skills that are found in scouting.If can, i hope can get more details about scouting skills.Ueioy (talk) 15:08, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest going out and buying a copy of Scouting for Boys. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, many different topics fall under Boy Scout skills, such as First Aid, Knots, Lashings, Camping, Fire building, Wilderness survival, cooking, orienteering and leadership. Shooting sports and knife and tool safety are also included. Could you be more specific? You may want to try and get the Boy Scout Handbook, as Mattbuck suggested.Sports+historyguy333 (talk) 15:32, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Depending on your age, country, and situation, you might want to become a scout or a scout leader. Great fun! Merit badges! Camping!Tents! Sleeping bags! Campfires! Knots! Hikes! Mosquitoes! Blisters! Poison ivy! First aid training! Lord of the Flies if there is inadequate adult leadership onsite! (been there). Living in the woods as if you were a survivor of a plane crashing in the wilderness and almost freezing at night! Edison (talk) 00:12, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
For some reason one day in Scouts we had a big bucket of ammonia. We were told not to smell it, so, of course, we did. And that is my most cherished memory of Scouts! Adam Bishop (talk) 08:20, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


If you became addicted to packaged cigarettes eg. Marlboro and then quit them and started smoking roll-ups, would your body notice the difference ? Would you still be craving them ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes. Cigerrattes are a drug. And your body would notice. If you have been smoking something that your body has come to like and has become addicted to then yes it will notice and yes you will still crave what is usual to your body.Cardinal Raven (talk) 16:06, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven
In my experience, sometimes I want a Rollup and sometimes I want a cigarette. If I smoke a Rollup, it will cure the craving, but I need to smoke two Cigarettes to cure a Rollup craving. However, a Cig, will cure a cig craving and a rollup will cure a rollup craving. (talk) 16:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Zionist
The active, addictive ingredient in both commercial cigarettes and roll-ups is nicotine, from tobacco. The physiological cravings will be satisfied by nicotine from whatever source is provided. (There may be psychological cravings based in ritual or habit, however.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Based on my observations as a non-smoker, I would say that the psychological cravings mentioned by TenOfAllTrades above are the worst. The physical symptoms of addiction will pass soon enough, but just about all of my friends who have quit or tried to quit smoking seem to feel very strongly that the social conditioning is the most difficult part to overcome -- lighting up a cigarette when hanging out with friends, or smoking when drinking, etc. I've never been a smoker myself, but I've at times smoked for acting purposes, and I was surprised and a little spooked how quickly certain mannerisms and physical actions started to feel natural and easy; a lot of certain type of social pressure is relieved simply by having something to do, and smoking fits the bill remarkably well. All of the little rituals -- taking out the cigarettes, lighting them up, tapping that ash... it's a weirdly efficient and pleasing social lubricant of sorts, really. Judging by the conversations I've had with people, this (pretty limited) experience doesn't seem to be unique. I wonder how well that applies outside my circle of friends. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 00:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad to see someone else recognises the powerful effect of the choreography of the "smoke" ritual. Growing up with two chain-smoking parents (without becoming a smoker myself, don't ask...) I'm still fascinated and slightly envious of the stylistics of social smoking and the body language interchange, even the separate life of the dangling hand with cigarette as seen in traffic. When did something so health-threatening look so cool (besides base jumping that is) -- Julia Rossi (talk) 09:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Automotive engine problem:[edit]

I am looking for advice as to how to remove carbon build-up inside automitive engine cylinders, without dismantling engine? (talk) 15:36, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Karl Austin

Run a higher octane fuel, it will loosen up and expel some of the dirty and grime in the cylinders, also might try some octane booster type additive and also fuel injection cleaner additives help clear up the dirt. --Nick910 (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that's bad advice. The idea that higher octane fuel will clean things up is regularly disregarded as a myth by the automotive press. Here is a link to one automotive site discussing regular versus premium. What makes you think you have harmful buildup? You may be trying to solve a problem you don't have. Friday (talk) 17:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If the engine isn't detonating ("knocking") and the fuel economy is still good (indicating that the engine isn't automatically backing-off on the ignition timing to prevent detonation), you probably have no problem worth worrying about. But if you really had a lot of carbon build-up, there's always a die grinder or Dremel Moto-Tool equipped with a wire brush...
Atlant (talk) 17:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


I have thier album 10,000 days, and while I love it I do not like the tracks such as Lost Keys(Blame Hoffman) as it is just album filler. Have they released an album that is full of fast heavy songs such as Vicarious, or Grudge and Schism from the Lateralis Album. Alternativly, what is thier best album, if one enjoys death metal usually? Thanks (talk) 16:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Zionist

Firstly, Tool (band) isn't death metal by any stretch of the definition. All of the songs you mention are more likely defined as Progressive metal (I have had many debates regarding the validity of this but I don't think the refdesk is the appropriate place for another). Unfortunately, the only way to learn which is their "best" album is to get them all and listen to them yourself. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 16:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
<Slaps himself on forehead.> I see that you weren't saying that Tool is a death metal band. I'll answer on your talk page. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 16:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

bank a fire[edit]

how does one bank a fire so that it will burn all night while you sleep. as mentioned numerous times in the earths children series by jean m aeul. thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Mostly smother it with ashes so that the inflowing oxygen to the coals is restricted? Cover it with "turves" (turf) for the same purpose? Obviously, either is a delicate balance between not banking the fire down enough and completely smothering it out.
Atlant (talk) 17:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
From what I understand, completely smothering it out is not a problem, because what you want to do is retain the heat; it's not expected to actually burn any further. Coal is actually a pretty bad conductor of heat (which is why you can pick up an ember with your bare hands and toss it back in the fire, if you're quick about it, or walk on coals), so it doesn't let go of it too easily. Ash is another very poor conductor, which means it doesn't suck it away from the embers all that quickly. So, essentially, you want to use the ashes to insulate the heat of the glowing embers and make sure it doesn't escape; when you crack that sucker open again in the morning, the heat'll be there waiting for you, ready to light up some fresh firewood. Obviously, you really want to bury those embers in a good deal of ash and make sure that none of them are in contact with the ground, rocks or anything else that would make a good conductor for the heat -- and, naturally, the hotter the embers are when you do this, the better off you'll be. I'm sure there's quite a bit to the actual technique, but that appears to be the principle. A good covering of ash will probably shield the embers from a bit of rain, too, but if you're caught in a real torrent, chances are that you're out of luck.
Oh, and another point of interest: apparently "banking a fire" is also used when people mean building a ring of stones or a similar structure around a camp fire to shield it from wind and contain the fire. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 23:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

NOTE: The following is presented only for information and neither I nor Wikipedia can be held responsible if someone creates carbon monoxide or causes injury or damage with a fire. I have tried this generally without success with fireplaces and campfires. It is very hard to still have coals in the morning say 8 hours after the last fuel is added to the fire. A fire which has ashes or dirt over the coals and fuel can blaze up if the pile of fuel burns down or the wind picks up, starting the tent if not the forest on fire. A banked fire is an unattended fire and is frowned upon by camping authorities. [5] suggests using "green" (I.E recently cut) wood, and covering the hot coals with ashes and a layer of dirt. [6] is an 1897 book with detailed instructions for banking a coal fire in a power plant. [7] is a 1908 book with similar instructions (possible copyvio). [8] is a recent book with instructions for banking the fire in the hearth. [9] is a recent survival book with minimal instructions on banking a campfire. The suggestion to use dry dirt argues against the suggestion to use sod, which is fuel once it dries out. [10] is anpther modern camping book with some fire banking suggestins. [11] is a 1919 book with some cautionary notes about the formation of carbon monoxide when banking a fire. Edison (talk) 00:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Just me?[edit]

Is it just me or why is the link from the desk Desk page say this is Avril Lavinge page lol--Nick910 (talk) 18:06, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Ehh? Details please...
Atlant (talk) 18:08, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The Desk selection page with address, shows that the misc desk is now called avril lavinge for me, is this a issue with my computer or did wiki get vandalized. --Nick910 (talk) 18:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
It was vandalism, now reverted. -- BenRG (talk) 18:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
And the vandal is no longer among us, at least in that incarnation.
Atlant (talk) 18:17, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Tim Cahill,wearing a mask while nude did it.hotclaws 18:27, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


While researching Beethoven piano sonata No. 7 (Op. 10, No. 3), I came across a passage that used "col'ottava." Unsure of the meaning, I referred to trusted WP for help. After looking up the term in the Octave article, I found this sentence under "Notation":

Col 8 or c. 8va stands for coll'ottava and means "play the notes in the passage together with the notes in the notated octaves".

What does mean? --LaPianista! 19:07, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I guess it means play as you would normally and as you would with 8va notation at the same time, e.g. if G2 is written, play simultaneously G2 and G3. I'm not sure about this either. Admiral Norton (talk) 20:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing the same thing: you would play the note written and the note above or below it as a double-stop. bibliomaniac15 22:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I found Music Notation and Terminology, by Karl W. Gehrkens, which agrees: The sign Col 8 (coll'ottava—with the octave) shows that the tones an octave higher or lower are to be sounded with the tones indicated by the printed notes (when the sign is above or below the staff, respectively). --Bavi H (talk) 23:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I took a look at my copy of the sonata, and coll'ottava doesn't appear anywhere. No disrespect to Beethoven but it seems the editor, Liszt, did the right thing and wrote out the notes to be played, rather than leaving it up to the guesswork of the player. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:47, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Custom Love Potion Requests?[edit]

I would like to have a custom recipe made for a love potion (specially designed for my current situation). Anyone got any links to someone on the internet who may be able to make one for me? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

You should probably know that there is no love potion which has been proven to be any more effective than, say, a small bottle of tap water. That said, I would be happy to prepare a love potion for you for $100 + shipping and handling. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 22:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm willing to prepare one for you for $99.99, shipping and handling on me. Acceptable (talk) 23:22, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid might work... bibliomaniac15 22:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
12 cans of Guinness? Always gets me in the mood for lurve....Warning: Willingness may be inversely proportional to ability using this method ;-) Fribbler (talk) 23:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you just need to sweat a lot.--Lenticel (talk) 23:28, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Be careful with that stuff; it could end badly. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:19, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
When the wish to manipulate comes in, love has left the building (if it ever entered) imho. Still believe it or else, you can be inspired by our articles Potion and Lappish Hag's Love Potion! I'm sure any blueberries will do. As with lurv: improvise, improvise... best, ; )) Julia Rossi (talk) 08:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

What is it with Canadians and their unspeakably brutal public service announcements?[edit]

Damn, those Canucks are serious about workplace safety and domestic abuse--a bit too serious, if you ask me. Are these for real, and, if so, are all PSAs like this up north?--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 23:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The "Prevent-It" ads are real. I think the idea is to shock people into watching them. The goal seems to have been achieved. The other one, Googling reveals, appears to have been intended for TV, but no TV station would show it. I can't imagine a TV station airing an ad with profanity in Canada. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC) As an aside here is a compilation of Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland (joint campaign) road safety ads. Shock safety ads are common here. Fribbler (talk) 00:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
And then there are the PA emergency announcements: "Kindly proceed to the nearest exit." Translation = if you speak the language well enough get the hell out, otherwise please ignore this and burn to a crisp. (Haven't found a language yet where they don't do something like this. e.g. the Germans had "begeben sie sich bitte") Nice and friendly isn't always the most efficient. -- (talk) 03:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure what would be a better solution for the PA safety announcements. What language would you choose? In an international airport, for example, you'd have quite an array of possibilities. If you use the local language, it is likely that most of the people lisening will be able to understand. If I missed the announcement and suddenly saw almost everyone heading for the nearest door, I doubt I would just keep puttering along, ignoring the activity. ៛ Bielle (talk) 04:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
What I meant to indicate is that vocabulary like "proceed" is not among the things a foreign student would know until they've reached quite an advanced level. "Begeben" certainly wasn't among my first German words. As far as seeing everyone heading somewhere goes, I travel quite a bit and not uncommonly end up in public places or waiting areas with not a soul in sight. Should I start running for the door whenever someone runs past? (People run because they want to catch their flight or bus, are late for a meeting or noticed they've forgotten their wallet, too.) I know the argument of using this type of advanced vocabulary to keep the locals from panicking. I just think we should be aware of the trade-off of not reaching everyone. (talk) 06:58, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Those "Prevent It" adds ended up being unintentionally funny, I thought. They were too cartoon-y. The one where the guy gets blown out of a building and thrown onto a big truck, for example, that was hilarious! Adam Bishop (talk) 08:17, 20 May 2008 (UTC)