Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 April 6

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Miscellaneous desk
< April 5 << Mar | April | May >> April 7 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Miscellaneous Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

April 6[edit]

Making a "wiki"[edit]

I dont know if my definition of "wiki" matches other people's definition of "wiki" but I've noticed that many sites, such as game sites have a "wiki" page made for them. I was wondering how they made it, and if I could make one myself. I'm wondering if the game's wiki page is just another wikipedia page, or a completely different thing. I dont know if I explained myself clearly or not, but thanks for the help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sokushi (talkcontribs) 04:18, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

It's a common misconception that "wiki" and "Wikipedia" mean the same thing, but they don't. "Wiki" refers to a type of software, whereas "Wikipedia" refers to, well, Wikipedia. A wiki is a collection of web pages that can be edited by visitors -- either everyone, or just registered users, or a combination thereof. While Wikipedia is undoubtedly the most famous application of wiki software, there are many, many other wikis out there, and anyone can install one for their own purposes. (I've got a couple myself.) List of wiki software may be of interest to you. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 04:30, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:TourBusStop provides links to "guided tours" of several other wikis. -- SGBailey (talk) 15:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I didn't even know that existed! Cool. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 19:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
There are really three layers to this. Firstly - the term 'Wiki' refers to a piece of software associated with a web site that allows communal document editing. There are many varieties of Wiki software - Twiki, ClearSpace, etc. The specific variety that's becoming by far the most common is called 'MediaWiki' - it's an OpenSourced package written in PHP and JavaScript that stores documents in a 'MySQL' database. It's free - and it's very easy to set up on your own website. Then, there are the specific web sites that use Wiki software - of which Wikipedia is probably the most well-known. So Wikipedia uses MediaWiki which is a Wiki. These 'game sites' you are seeing are almost certainly using the MediaWiki software - so that (by default) they look and behave almost identically to Wikipedia. However, if you look at the logo in the top-left corner, you'll see that they don't have the 'puzzle-ball' logo that Wikipedia you know that they are different. These sites are most certainly NOT related to Wikipedia (other than that they use the same software) - they don't necessarily have the same editorial standards, or the same attention to detail that Wikipedia does - they may not be 'open' and their content may not be freely licensed. For example, I run a car enthusiast's club called 'Mini Owners of Texas' - and we have a MediaWiki site at - which is not open to have to create an account in order to edit it. My personal Wiki at is even more private - nobody but me can create an account on it - so if you wish to edit it, you have to send me an email. My Wiki is customised so it doesn't look quite so much like Wikipedia either. Then there is another Wiki I use at work that is so private, you can't even read it without an account! SteveBaker (talk) 20:45, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Rape & Progress[edit]

Is there any record of a child that was born as the result of rape reaching high levels of success in it's life?-- (talk) 10:12, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I suspect this isn't the sort of scenario that is often publically discussed/mentioned so unless there is a high-profile example people are aware of i'd be surprised if data were available on it. Tracey Emin the artist is frank about her being abused as a child, but from my experience discussing/noting something like that publically is extremely rare. Also you'd probably have to define 'high levels of success' - would that be earning over X a year, famous for Y, creator of Z? Maybe someone will be along with some more useful information for you, can't recall any high-profile examples of this though. (talk) 10:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Success of a sort (notability) came to Tituba, but the story that she was the product of a rape is far from reliable. --Dweller (talk) 10:58, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Here is a support group for such individuals. You could (tactfully) ask there. If you're just wondering whether it has occurred, the answer is almost always "yes" when you ask "has anybody in largish group A ever gone on to enter largish group B"? --Sean 14:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Sean, the answer may be more difficult here because a) victims of rape aren't always very keen to promulgate their misfortune b) victims of rape who had consensual sex around the same time as their rape may find it difficult to be certain whether their issue was or was not the result of the rape (especially in the days before DNA tests) and c) many of those who achieved "high levels of success" would be loathe to reveal such humble origins, even were they certain that they had occurred. So, all in all, I think this may be more accurately a case of "mathematics tells us that undoubtedly lots have, but logic insists that not many will be reliably known". --Dweller (talk) 15:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Why would a person whose male biological material came from a rapist be at a disadvantage in life? I am only considering the raping of a female by a male, because it is most common, but the same would apply in the case of a female raping a male. How does rape as the origin of life disadvantage the offspring? Bus stop (talk) 16:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
From a genetic point of view, not at all. If our experiences in life were 100% genetic, you may have a case. However, from an environmental point of view, children of rape have several disadvantages over children produced by mutual consent of his parents. Children of rape are less likely to have a reliable male presence in their lives, and women who are raped frequently suffer psycholgical trauma which unraped women do not. This trauma could certainly affect their ability to provide adequate maternal care for their child. 16:20, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the above is true. But the child produced as a result of a rape of a married woman (or an unmarried woman in a stable relationship) raped once by a stranger (whose spouse chooses to share in the raising of the offspring of the rape) would be at little disadvantage. I just wanted to state the extreme other possibility (the above), though it may be the less likely possibility. And another twist that can be added to this story is that the husband can be the rapist. It is simply a possibility. After conciliation the two may become good parents. Bus stop (talk) 16:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC) Bus stop (talk) 16:32, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I would say that it most certainly has happened. It was very common in the past for nobility to have a 'bastard son', and if you take rape with the broader definition of 'abuse of power to gain sexual gratification', I think this would apply to non-consensual adultery. For example, household servants might seem consensual, purely because they have no other choice. I can't think of any specific cases on hand, but if you do a google search on 'bastard son', I'm sure you will find plenty of famous people.--KageTora (talk) 19:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I think you might have left off a "but aren't..." between consensual and purely. Matt Deres (talk) 20:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Searching for "royal bastard" would give you an idea of how often this occurred in history. Adam Bishop (talk) 20:41, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
But it's interesting how we can't come up with any examples. The only case I can think of - and it's not even a real person - is the character Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:51, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure how unexpected the lack of results is - when you consider the population of "people who have achieved enough success that RefDeskers have heard of them" (which is probably no more than a few tens of thousands at the most) and "people who are known to have been born as a result of rape" (which is probably even smaller) it doesn't take any kind of real trend for there to be no meaningful overlap between the groups at all. ~ mazca t|c 22:53, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, though I think the emphasis should be almost completely on the second component of that equation. Unless a person's bloodline was of particular importance, the matter of their conception usually isn't a hot topic of interest. Yes, they're a bastard, which piques some interest, I guess, but until recently many victims of rape were held accountable for the crime against them; they would have nothing to gain by bringing out the facts of the conception, and possibly even more embarrassment and shame. Of the thousands of people you meet in your life, there's a very very good chance that at least some of them will be victims of rape, though you'd never know it unless you get particularly close or they turn into an activist or something; it's just not part of most conversations. Being the product of a rape would be even less likely to enter the conversation since it didn't impact the person in nearly the same way - they might not even be aware of it at all. Matt Deres (talk) 23:32, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
This claims that Ethel Waters was the product of a rape, but it doesn't provide any sources. The Wikipedia article doesn't mention this. This says so, I'm not sure how reliable it is. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 22:47, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Another problem is that in pre-modern times a man could do whatever he wanted to a woman of lesser status. So when you see that someone was born to a noble/rich father and "a peasant woman", then the peasant women may very have been raped, and since nobody really would have cared about the woman, it may never be specifically stated how the man happened to father a child with her. It may not have been a violent rape, but it would have been semi-consensual at best. Benvenuto Cellini raped lots of women if you define rape this way, he brags about it all throughout his autobiography. Medieval kings and nobles may have also raped plenty of women in this sense; I'll see if I can find any examples. Andreas Capellanus says that it is perfectly acceptable to drag a peasant girl off into the bushes and have your way with her - maybe he was joking, maybe not. An example of a child born this way may be Leonardo da Vinci. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:12, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

If you're talking about droit de seigneur, then possibly the firstborn of any medieval marriage would be the result.--TammyMoet (talk) 08:59, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Except for the fact, as the article states, that the droit de seigneur is probably completely fictional. -Elmer Clark (talk) 14:39, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Collectively, the RefDesk is quite right to focus on the rapes as a result of power imbalances within a stable society, e.g. of peasant women by aristocratic men. For one thing, many of these would not have been one-off events, but long-term, thus increasing the chances of conception. However, there is another whole swathe of rapes, this time within very unstable societies, namely those at war. See History of rape (and History of war). Rape in war is of interest to genealogists, among others: here is a description of genetic testing and genealogy, with reference to the Cossack massacres of Jews in Ukraine. These war rapes still go on, not as isolated incidents but structured into the conflict: ten years ago in the former Yugoslavia, today in Uganda and Congo and elsewhere. There are also customs such as bride kidnapping, again still very common today, the basic elements of which involve abduction and rape. In some countries or ethnic groups, a large percentage of marriages begin this way. Logic dictates that some of these children will go on to great things. BrainyBabe (talk) 15:42, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Good Lord, I started something here. Thanks for the answers.-- (talk) 06:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I have one: James Robison. In addition, If a person's mother was below the age of consent at conception, and the father above, then the child would be the product of rape (of the statutory variety). There are a number of successful people in that situation, including Jesse Jackson. Rockpocket 06:37, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Newspaper copyright[edit]

I'm struggling to understand copyright law.

For example, UK newspapers like The Times or The Guardian say on their website that their material is copyright and can only be copied for personal use. I understand that. So, let's say a UK organisation broke newspaper copyright by photocopying pages, I'd guess they'd be liable to be sued. Fine. But what if the organisation destroyed its archive of clippings. Would that mean it is no longer liable? -- (talk) 12:56, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

No. The crime was the copying (if done so in a way that violates fair dealing), not the possession. Just because you destroyed the product after the fact does not affect whether the initial crime was committed. -- (talk) 14:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
(EC) No obviously any liability for previous copyright infrigement doesn't end when you stop infringing anymore then if you are speeding and stop speeding you'd not be liable for your previous speeding. However clearly if you respond to cease and desist orders or whatever and destroy copyright violating material the company would be less likely to sue you, particularly if you haven't greatly benefited from your copyright violations although often they may require at least some compensation which would likely be in the form a negotiated settlement if the infringing company acknowledges wrongdoing (why fight a lawsuit you'd lose?). Nil Einne (talk) 14:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that the legal notices and warnings a lot of websites have often have little to do with what can actually be legally done. It's not uncommon for publications -- online or otherwise -- to proclaim that none of their content may be copied anywhere for any purpose, no matter what, but that doesn't mean that someone couldn't legally copy a piece of text from the site under fair use so he can use it as a part of a critique of that text, for example. And, of course, copyright law differs from one country to another, and copyright warnings that are quite valid in one country may be meaningless in another. (Obviously, this is not to say that what the Guardian's website says is crap! I'm talking in generalities here.) -- Captain Disdain (talk) 19:22, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
  • With so many newspapers going belly up in the crisis, newspaper owners should think about ways to preserve their archives of information rather than rigidly trying to keep the copyright that's likely never going to be used. Copyright is a good thing for the creator of a work, but too often I see information disappear due to financial issues and because of copyright no one was able to store it... - Mgm|(talk) 08:35, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Eh, preserving information for newspapers is not that hard. There are plenty of services that will buy up your back issues and keep them in a paid archive (e.g. ProQuest). I don't know what the answer for newspapers as a business model is going to be but I don't see weakening their copyright to be a likely solution. They don't want people to reuse it freely — such an approach does not direct revenue streams back to them in any appreciable way. -- (talk) 12:14, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Because The Guardian was mentioned, I have to point out their visionary understanding of what a re-interpretation of copyright can mean: Open Platform. They are ready for a whole new business model. (I have no affiliation with them.) BrainyBabe (talk) 15:55, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Shoot Up Hill[edit]

This question is probably too localised but if possible i was wondering why a street in Cricklewood, London was called Shoot Up Hill? Simply south (talk) 15:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

It shoots up steeply. I'm not sure I find it all that steep, but hey, I grew up on a very steep hill. --Dweller (talk) 15:54, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Installing a preamp and pickup into an accoustic guitar[edit]

I wish to install a preamp and pickup into my acoustic guitar. However, I am a little nervous about cutting a hole into the side of my guitar. Any suggestions about what tools to use, or things that I could do to prevent the wood from splitting would be greatly appreciated. (talk) 17:11, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

You can get pickups that come on a little bar that straddles the sound hole (and can, with some effort, be removed without damaging the guitar), and you tape the cable for them over the outside of the soundboard. Note that this will only work if all the strings are steel (or have a steel core); a pure bronze string won't work, and the (plastic) gut strings on a classical guitar won't work either. Alternatively you can install a microphone (which confusingly is called an "acoustic guitar pickup") that replaces the heel end strap hanger (for which you might need to enlarge the existing hole) and the mic part tapes to the guitar (I think to the undersurface of the soundboard). THe kind I'm thinking about is: this kind. Enlarging an existing hole shouldn't cause splitting, and neither should drilling carefully with the appropriate bit. You might need to put some tape around the hole you're drilling, to prevent the lacquer cracking. (talk) 18:16, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Many years ago I had a Barcus-Berry. It was about 2 cm by 0.5 cm, had a wire coming out one end, and a sticky pad underneath which attached to the body. It was about the most unobtrusive way of amplifying a Spanish guitar we could find. I'm truly amazed to find (a) I spelt it right and (b) they're still around: this is their website [1] And no we don't have a page on them! --TammyMoet (talk) 18:25, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I play a Takamine Jasmine full-dreadnought style acoustic guitar, and use a Dean Markley ProMag in-hole pickup. It's a litle rectangle that wedges in the soundhole quite easily; there's little foam pads that allow it to grip the edges of the hole. I use both the single coil (in natural wood) and humbucker (in black) varieties. I've not used them with any signal processing equipment, but they sound great using a simple Countryman direct-box patch in to a sound board or PA system. They work fine too using a personal amplifier, and I have used them to record simply soundfiles on my computer as well. Versitile, removable, and sound great. They should be what you are looking for, and require no "surgery" on your guitar. See for the ones I use, I have the ProMag Plus and the ProMag Grand. 20:26, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

work on quantum mechanics[edit]

hi, I'm a student of of chemistry honours . In future I'm insterested doing work on quantum chemistry but I see many of the scientice who worked on quantum chemistry are physists. So is there any scop for me to wok on quantum chemistry and how I go ahed ?Supriyochowdhury (talk) 18:53, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

There's absolutely scope for you to proceed. Going to graduate school and pursuing a Ph. D. is an effective prerequisite for this sort of cutting-edge science, and the precise nature of your Bachelor's degree matters little in the end. Focus future studies on your area(s) of interest and an undergraduate degree of chemistry vs physics will not matter in the least. — Lomn 19:32, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
The proper way to proceed is to familiarize yourself with scientists currently working in Quantum Chemistry and to seek to study under them in seeking your PhD. Unlike your undergraduate school, which may have any of a number of reasons for you to choose it (social life, campus location, cost), you should choose a PhD program primarily for the work you intend to do while seeking your PhD. So find a quantum chemist working at a university, ask them if they have any openings in their lab for PhD candidates, and if they do, ask them how to go about applying for that spot. If they are interested in taking you on, getting through the university application procedure should be a breeze... Oh, and don't worry about whether the scientist works in the Chemistry or Physics or whatever department, just try to find one whose interests match your own... 20:18, 6 April 2009 (UTC)