Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 July 20

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July 20[edit]

Alcoholic Cola[edit]

There is a lot of populatity with "malternatives" and I was wondering how many brands sell an alcoholic cola? I have heard of Jim Beam and Cola and also Jack Daniels Hard Cola; are there any others? Is there a rum and coke RTD drink available? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.174.131.33 (talk) 01:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

In Australia a consistent good seller is "Bundy & Coke" which is a mixture of Coca Cola and Bundaberg Rum, a dark sweet rum made originally as a side-line to refining sugar (from sugar cane) in the town of Bundaberg, in Queensland.- KoolerStill (talk) 06:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Mike's Hard Lemonade Co., while not a cola, is a popular malternative in the U.S. 152.16.59.190 (talk) 08:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I just found Comparison of alcopops, which indicates whether or not a particular beverage is a cola. There are twelve cola-based alcopops listed there. 152.16.59.190 (talk) 08:32, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Atheists in armed forces[edit]

Are atheists less likely than religious people to volunteer for their countries' armed forces? NeonMerlin 01:45, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

This report from 2004 shows 21% of the U.S. military self-identifies as atheist (see pg. 25). It also states "In general, the armed forces show lower religious affiliation than the civilian population..." I've not yet found statistics for other nations. It seems that atheists may be *more* likely than religious people to volunteer for military service. Those statistics could be interpreted, however, as representing a shift in the younger demographic's religious beliefs (most soldiers enlisting are young). 152.16.59.190 (talk) 02:32, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
So you can find atheists in foxholes! Dismas|(talk) 09:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
perhaps not true, since less then 75% of the army is in a foxhole at any 1 time, perhaps the atheists are shirking their turn in the foxhole?
There is a big of a chicken-and-egg question there:is it that atheists are more likely to volunteer for military service or that people who have spent time in the military are more likely to become atheists? Working in a war zone,seeing gruesome deaths and injuries,often in the name of religion would be quite a strong factor in persuading someone that maybe there isn't a God Lemon martini (talk) 23:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Moving to Clean Country: Constipation?[edit]

Suppose if one grew up and lived all his/her life in a clean, developed country like the US and moved to a developing country as rural China or some obscure village in Africa. Suppose if that person immediately adapts to the dietary regime, hygiene habits and otherwise, the lifestyle of that developing area, one is likely to suffer from diarrhea and vomiting for at least the initial arrival right? Now, suppose if an African child from a poor village suddenly moves to a clean, developed environment, will the opposite happen? Will the child suffer from constipation, at least for the first few days? Acceptable (talk) 06:18, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I'll brush aside the medical advice caveat, and point out that diarrhea and vomiting are often caused by bugs to which one has not yet developed an immunity. So, moving from higher to lower levels of sanitation might well increase the likelihood of running into bugs of all kinds, but moving from lower to higher levels of sanitation doesn’t seem likely to eliminate the likelihood of running into any bug one has not met before.DOR (HK) (talk) 06:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Adjusting overnight to typical Western diet might be more of a problem.- KoolerStill (talk) 09:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

It is a common occurance for one's insides to get <a bit mixed up> as they adjust to the different foods, water, etc. This is normal and soon sorts itself out. But eating without knowing the source of the food! No. i.e. Fresh salad is often washed in non-hygenic water.86.209.26.36 (talk) 15:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)DT

I look at it this way: you are going to get ill no matter what, so eat and drink what you want. For example, on my first visit to Egypt I carefully followed the advice (no ice, no salads, etc.) and I still got ill. On my second visit, I made a consious decision to eat and drink what I wanted; I still got ill in about the same amount of time and spent the next day curled up in my hotel room, but I had a much better holiday because I was not worrying all the time about avoiding stuff that might make me ill. Astronaut (talk) 01:02, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I've heard that said - but it's hard to imagine any means by which your body could develop resistance to some huge range of potential diseases in just one day of sickness. However, I agree - eat drink & be merry - and if you suffer as a result, so be it. SteveBaker (talk) 03:55, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

In my experience, as someone who lives in China but returns to the UK once a year, there's a bout of diarrhoea involved in either direction as I adjust to the diet. That is, I have pretty much the same reaction on arriving back in the UK as I do on arriving in China. The only major difference is that I'm more likely to get actual food poisoning when going from the UK to China than the other way around --Daduzi talk 13:49, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

book sales in the us[edit]

Hi,

i'm still searching for a catalogue or database, which can give me sales figures for certain book titles. Is there any database, where i can type in for example Half blood prince and i get the book sales in the us? Thank you in advance for your help, --130.133.152.127 (talk) 08:03, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Wolfram|Alpha [wolframalpha.com] can help you out a bit - searching Half Blood Prince, gives at least the publication year and approximate [I assume worldwide] sales (65 million). Aaadddaaammm (talk) 09:20, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Testing it with some more books, it doesn't do as well - sometimes it only has the author, but more often it doesn't even know the book. Seems like it works OK for relatively recent famous books. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 09:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

eradicated disease[edit]

I read a few years ago a book in which there was a chapter about past and no longer existant deseases.There was a description of a disease that was last recorded in the 17th century or so and it was caused by a species of louse that is now extinct which would go under the skin and eat flesh,they would form boils under the skin from which when ruptured hundreds of lice would come out,the whole body would be covered in boils and the person in the end would waste away and die.Anyway in the book not even the author was sure that it really existed and i haven't been able to find anything more on it and i can' remember the name of the disease,could you plese tell me more about it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.189.163.61 (talk) 10:33, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Our article Eradication of infectious diseases doesn't seem to reference such a thing (very very quick scan through!) but may be worth trying the links and references there-in. 194.221.133.226 (talk) 10:45, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Sounds unlikely. Lice don't burrow into the skin; they are quite content to live on the skin. The symptom sounds like something from a horror movie, certainly. Tempshill (talk) 19:56, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
There are some internal parasites that will sometimes burrow their way out of the body. Those are more like worms then lice though, and I don't think they come out by the thousands, just a few. Googlemeister (talk) 20:10, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The description rings a very faint bell. I think what I read was a medieval description for lock-jaw. It was assumed to be caused by larvae/maggots in bread boards. Our Tetanus article describes lock-jaw. I don't think the two descriptions of causes are related, though. 71.236.26.74 (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm googling 'flesh-eating lice' comes up with nothing unless you happen to be a salmon or in some freaky computer game.'extinct lice' produces nothing worthwhile either(apart from a fascinating article on a now-extinct pubic louse that troubled our ancestors millions of years ago).The fact that as you put it,'even the author(who we can assume to know more than us laymen about such subjects) was not sure that it really existed' should set alarm bells ringing Lemon martini (talk) 23:22, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Scabies is caused by a small mite burrowing in the skin? Astronaut (talk) 02:48, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Here in Texas, it is almost universally believed that Chiggers do this exact thing...burrowing under the skin and living there, laying eggs and spreading. However, it's absolutely not true. If nearly everyone in a sophisticated modern society (well...OK...Texas) believes this falsehood - it wouldn't be at all surprising for a 17th Century book to contain such a mistake. SteveBaker (talk) 03:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Freelance market places[edit]

Besides Guru.com and elance.com, what are the most active freelance market places? --Quest09 (talk) 10:49, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

For what type of jobs. For what geographical area or country. There are many sites that may be more active for the specific trade or area. (I know where I fish for projects. If such clients don't offer contracts at the guru / elance sites I don't really care how many C++ code hack or typist jobs they move each day.) It all depends. 71.236.26.74 (talk) 20:24, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Specially for not web-development related jobs. Apparently, web-developing is traded over the web. But, what about other typical freelance jobs like translators, researchers, consulting...? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Quest09 (talkcontribs) 15:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Side salad[edit]

When served a side salad in a restuarant, is it better etiquette to eat it direct from the side-salad plate (and thuis be eating from two plates at the same time), or move some of it to your main plate and eat it from there? 78.146.249.124 (talk) 12:10, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I would eat it straight from the side plate but I wouldn't of thought it really mattered. I'm sure either is fine.Popcorn II (talk) 12:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd just eat it from its own plate (and yes, be eating from two plates). Although, unless you're at a rather fancy place or occasion, I wouldn't be all that concerned about the absolute fine points of etiquette. As long as you don't burp out loud or pick your teeth, you should be fine. Dismas|(talk) 13:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) For an informal meal, it is perfectly appropriate to eat the salad directly from the side salad plate: [1]. (For practical reasons, this has the advantage of preventing the mixing of salad dressing and dish sauces or gravies, and protects leafy salads from the wilting effect of hot food or plates. The salad plate may be chilled, or at least not warmed, before service.) Moreover, unless a meal is being served 'family style' from large, common bowls and trays, there's no reason to ever need to transfer food yourself from one plate to another.
For a more formal occasion or a fancier restaurant, there is generally no 'side salad' option; the salad course is served separately before or after the main dish. (Before anyone asks, it's acceptable to use your dinner fork to eat a salad which is served with the main course; there's no need to switch between salad and dinner fork when you go from one plate to the other.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I also opt for eating directly from the side plate. surely the purpose of serving it separately is to keep the two foods apart until you want to eat them. Richard Avery (talk) 14:59, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Salad is often served with a hot dish. Ergo, eat from both dishes. NB If the chef wanted the salad on the main dish that is where he would have put it. Follow the chef!86.209.26.36 (talk) 15:33, 20 July 2009 (UTC)DT

Further to what Ten said, if you eat at a restaurant (in the US) check your utensils before you start. If only one fork was provided make sure it doesn't disappear with your salad dish when that is cleared. There are places that serve a steak-knife or other suitable additional utensil with the plate for the main course, but you'll have to ask for a replacement fork or butter knife if that disappeared along with cleared plates. (lotsa OR) -- 71.236.26.74 (talk) 20:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Eat it however you please and if someone expresses disapproval, it'll be an opportunity to grow a spine. Vranak (talk) 22:08, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Geography of school shooting[edit]

According to the article about School shooting, it is apparently much more common in certain 4 regions: US, Canada, Germany and Scandinavia. Why is it like that? --Quest09 (talk) 15:58, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The "Profiling" section of that article has some data which sounds pretty speculative. They are rare enough that there is bound to be a lot of variance in the killers' personalities and "reasons" for killing, so I think anyone who directly answers your question is speculating, too. Bowling for Columbine is a documentary that explored this matter, among other things, at length (and I believe it's currently free to view on YouTube). Tempshill (talk) 17:22, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't read too much into those lists. It may be that the article had a Finnish contributor who knew a lot about school shootings in his country, but did not have a similar contributor from Brazil or Mexico or wherever. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:42, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
For US and Canada, the number of incidents in our list (76 USA, 9 Canada) is in rough proportion to the size of their populations (300M USA, 33M Canada). Next in line is Germany which has a population of 82M and 5 school shootings - that's less than a fifth the rate in the USA and Canada and not that much different than other 'civilised' societies. The numbers of school shootings in Norway and Finland (2 and 3 respectively) are really too small to be any kind of a reasonable scientific sample. So statistically - it is really only the USA and Canada that are significantly anomalous.
The numbers of school shooting events per million people living in the US and Canada are vastly more than other countries. You don't have to look far to see why: Around 50% of US households have guns - and guns are exceedingly easy to obtain - you can buy them in some supermarkets - and if you can't pass the "waiting periods" and "background checks" - you can go to one of the 5,000 gun shows that are run each year and circumvent the rules very easily. You can also get guns via mail order - $150 will get you a shiny new semi-automatic 9mm pistol - enabling a kid to swipe a parent's credit card and pose as his/her parent in order to pass the flimsy legislative rules. A kid who wanted a gun would have absolutely no trouble in getting one. Canada's gun control laws are quite a bit tighter than the USA - but still nothing like as strict as Europe. However, the US/Canadian border is vast - and only very lightly patrolled - guns flow across the border easily - and again, a determined kid could find one fairly easily. It's a LOT harder to get a gun in most of Europe.
Other countries with access to guns that is as easy as the USA include places like Brazil - where gun ownership rates per capita are only a little lower than the USA & Canada - but deaths from guns per capita is higher than anywhere in North America. Given that - it would be surprising if the numbers of school shootings in Brazil were not at least as high as the USA/Canada - yet not a single one has been reported!! One might suspect either under-reporting or that local law enforcement doesn't distinguish a school shooting from any other kind of shooting...or it might simply be a failure of our article researchers to find that information. I suppose it may be that countries like Brazil simply allow disaffected kids to not bother going to school rather than forcing them to do so and going crazy when it's all too much for them - I doubt that's it. But without data, who knows?
The actual "shootings" statistics really disguise the magnitude of the situation in the USA. The number of "gun-related incidents" in US public schools hovers around 10,000 per year. To people from the UK, that number is utterly incomprehensible. If there were even ONE "gun related incident" in a school in the UK in any given year, the outcry would be spectacular. Even if you adjust for population size (which would equate to 2,000 incidents per year in UK schools) - it's inconceivable that there could be 10 gun-related incidents for every single school day in the UK! Yet this seems to be OK to a majority of Americans.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:30, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
"Gun-related incidents" is also misleading by being over-inclusive. An adult visitor to a school accidentally bringing a gun with him and a student pistol-whipping his teacher are both "gun-related incidents". --Carnildo (talk) 05:39, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Geez, Steve, way to hold on to your pet theory in the face of contrary data. Instead of blaming the data, you could consider that there might be some other factor than "availability of guns". Bowling for Columbine considers this, for example. Tempshill (talk) 06:02, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Steve, while saying that "you can buy them in some supermarkets" is true, it gives a false impression of the proliferation of this practice. It's not like they are on the shelves next to the cereal and peanut butter. The "supermarket" that I think you're referring to would be predominantly the Super Wal-Marts. And it should be pointed out that those stores also carry clothing, cosmetics, books, dishes, furniture, and many other goods besides just food and guns. There are entire hunting/camping/outdoors sections for these stores. Also, I'd like a reference for your assertion that a child can use their parents credit card to get a gun in the mail. I have not done so myself, but I would be willing to bet that such a purchase would still have to go through a licensed gun dealer and the purchaser would have to pick the gun up, after showing proper identification, at the shop of that dealer. Dismas|(talk) 06:22, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Despite his dodgy OR reasoning about Brazil, Steve is right about some things: If the UK were to suddenly experience the same rate of gun-crime per capita (whether in schools or elsewhere) as the USA experiences, there would be uproar, questions would be raised in the House of Commons, the police would be ordered to search everyone even remotely suspicious, and even tighter gun controls would be hurried into law. Quite why the US federal government doesn't enact tighter gun control laws, is beyond reason. Astronaut (talk) 07:10, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to point at Gun politics in the United States. — QuantumEleven 08:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Astronaut, it is specifically because of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Here is a NY Times article summarizing a Supreme Court decision from last year that finally ruled that the 2nd Amendment forbids the government from banning handgun ownership. Amending the US Constitution (including repealing part of it) takes a 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress and then approval of the legislatures of 3/4 of the fifty States, so in the current political situation there's no way the Second is going to be repealed any time soon. The entire country is stuck with it, at least for now. Tempshill (talk) 17:55, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually the country is only "stuck" with it because it is what a significant portion of the citizenry wants. If the citizenry did not want it, repealing the amendment would be no problem. Googlemeister (talk) 18:12, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, agreed, sorry if "stuck" implied otherwise. Tempshill (talk) 20:38, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Lee Harvey Oswald bought his rifle by mail, so such sales (among other things) were banned by the Gun Control Act of 1968. (After which it only took thirty years to bring the murder rate below that of 1967.) —Tamfang (talk) 06:26, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Brazil might still have a lower rate of school shootings if Brazil doesn't have laws against carrying guns near schools. Most US mass murders in my lifetime have been in places where gun control ensured that no one was likely to shoot back: besides schools, there was the Long Island Railroad incident (populated by commuters from NYC), not to mention the Happyland Social Club fire (in NYC; if the killer had had a gun, likely there would have been about 3 dead rather than eighty). —Tamfang (talk) 01:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
The standard National Rifle Association rhetoric. I call "dubious" and you're going to have to cite a source for your claim, and your implication. Tempshill (talk) 05:15, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
A source for which claim? — Agreeing (in part) with an identifiable person or group doesn't necessarily make me wrong, you know. — Is this in fact a standard NRA line? The NRA regularly says, "Don't enact new anti-gun laws (other than those we help write), just get serious about enforcing the existing ones" – rather than advocating any repeals. —Tamfang (talk) 06:23, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Tim Tams[edit]

Is there a place where I can buy these in the USA? Maybe on the internet with shipping in the USA? Googlemeister (talk) 18:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Ask your grocery store to order a box [2] 71.236.26.74 (talk) 19:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
As the link says that Tim Tams are no longer available and the whole premise of the link is about sharing your memories of Tim Tams I think you may be less than lucky (unless there is some old stock about) 86.4.181.14 (talk) 14:23, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
[3] stock Tim Tams and ship to the USA.--TrogWoolley (talk) 21:16, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I think I've asked this a few years ago =P --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 06:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Large scale electrical experiment.[edit]

Was it this?

thumb|100px|right|Or perhaps this? About a year ago, I found a photograph. It showed some giant scientific machine, really huge, literally cobwebbed by lightning and sparks. I think it possibly had something to do with releasing huge amounts of electricity at once to simulate nuclear fusion, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I've since lost this photo of this giant machine and would like to find it again. I'm 50/50 sure I found it on wikipedia. Does anybody know the picture I'm talking about, and what it was? -OOPSIE- (talk) 21:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Was this the picture? See Nikola Tesla. Tempshill (talk) 21:40, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Or was it this? See Z machine. Tempshill (talk) 21:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
It was the Z machine one. Thanks a million!!! -OOPSIE- (talk) 22:31, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Resolved