Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 March 17

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March 17[edit]


After reading the question and answer about isolation above, someone mentioned Stylites and this made me curious. What's the day to day routine for a Stylite? Did they have servants bringing them food and water, and carrying out their waste? The articles I've found don't touch on such aspects of the practice, but surely something had to be done if people are spending years sitting on a pillar for years and years? Would they depend on donations being thrown up to them by passers by or would local clergy support them? Thanks. (talk) 00:31, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

You might get a better answer at the Humanities desk, but check out the stylite article. Also try finding hagiographies for these guys, but remember that since they are hagiographies, some of this stuff might be more legend than fact. Fasting was a big deal for them so they probably weren't too concerned about who brought them food. They did tend to attract groupies so there were probably lots of people to bring them whatever they needed. Peter Brown has written a lot about early Christian saints so he might have something to say about stylites (see "The Cult of the Saints", 1981). Adam Bishop (talk) 01:28, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Mysterious tile outside Australian house[edit]

A friend has purchased a house in the suburbs of Sydney and discovered a mysterious tile in the backyard. Can anyone identify it?

Fryboy (talk) 02:49, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Do you know the relationship of North to that tile? Bus stop (talk) 03:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
It certainly looks like a compass rose - I'd expect the dot to be on the North side. But failing that - is there anything interesting or significant in the direction of the dot? Any hidden trapdoors? Secret passages? Does the sun cast a shadow in that direction on the birth date of the notorious local pirate captain?
OK - I need more information. :-) SteveBaker (talk) 04:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
This is a really wild shot in the dark. Is it possible the house once belonged to or was designed by Walter Burley Griffin? He had a lot to do with houses in North Sydney and Castlecrag. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:14, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. My friend will take a compass to see if it's related to the magnetic poles. I'll keep you updated Fryboy (talk) 04:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Why the magnetic poles? I meant, it could be, but I'd expect the north pointer to indicate true north. Of course, if you know the compass variation for the area, it'll tell you both. --Anonymous, 07:05 UTC, March 17, 2009.
Oh, or alternatively, pick out the house in a Google Maps / Google Earth satellite image and see what angle its walls are aligned at. --Anon, 07:07, March 17.
Another random shot in the dark, could it point to Mecca? Nil Einne (talk) 11:47, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

My guess is that it's a platform for a sundial. You'd need to know where north was to line it up properly and the thing in the middle looks like it could be used as an attachment point for the stand. Matt Deres (talk) 14:06, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

It might just be a boring ol' Survey marker. (talk) 16:32, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I doubt it; the pattern looks more decorative than functional and it doesn't have any numbers to indicate which one it is. --Anon, 04:06 UTC, March 20/09.

Martial arts discipline[edit]

I'll apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge about martial arts and everything related, but I saw a demonstration of a particular style once and I'm trying to work out what it's called. It wasn't something I'd heard of before (like Tang Soo Do or Karate or Taekwando), and the focus was not on actually injuring your opponent, but on disarming them. I remember the girl and her partner who did the demonstration had "knives" (bamboo or wood, no sharp edges, not real knives!) and longer pieces of rattan (I'm pretty sure it was rattan) that they used to show the different forms.

I also remember her saying that they learned to fight with a weapon against someone else with a weapon, as well as fighting unarmed against an armed attacker. And the only other thing I remember is the belt colors, if that's any help- they went white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, red, and black, as I recall. The girl had a green belt and her partner had a blue belt, and he had just started intense knife training, whereas she didn't have very much. If anyone knows what this is called, I would appreciate it! --Alinnisawest,Dalek Empress (extermination requests here) 02:25, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Some possiblilities with an emphasis on disarming listed on a Yahoo answers page: Krav Maga, Kali/Arnis/Escrima/Filipino Martial Arts, Jujitsu, Defendo, Progressive Fighting System, RealContact Stickfighting. Rmhermen (talk) 02:59, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Krav maga doesn't typically use belts. Eskrima does emphasize knife fighting, but I don't think it has a belt system, either. Was the martial art itself focused on disarming instead of injuring, or was that merely the purpose of the demonstration? If it's the former, then aikido springs to mind, although aikido traditionally uses only white and black belts. --Fullobeans (talk) 04:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd second aikido, my daughter did sports aikido and a lot of it did involve defense against an armed opponent. The adult group had a number of policemen and a psychiatric nurse at a "secure unit", who all said that the skills were useful professionally. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:46, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
It sounds very much like aikido (合气道 - whoops, that's Chinese 合気道) to me. The only other one I can think of would be bagua zhang (八卦掌). Steewi (talk) 00:45, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe it was aikido, as I've heard of it, but I may have misheard the name completely. To Fullobeans, as I recall the focus of the martial arts was indeed to disarm without causing injury to either party. Well, aikido appears to be closest to what I saw, anyway... looking at the articles (and related ones), it is likely something quite similar to that. --Alinnisawest,Dalek Empress (extermination requests here) 01:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

People with intersting/rare diseases[edit]

In countries where medical care is privatised, do people who have rare medical conditions get free treatment because of the opportunity to learn more? Or will they still need insurance/money? (talk) 02:37, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

In the US, the grant-giving NIH has an Office of Rare Diseases, and there is also a non-profit organization called the National Organization for Rare Disorders. There are often special incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for rare diseases which due to their rarity are not profitable. See Orphan drug. Researchers, regardless of the rarity of the condition, will frequently provide some sort of compensation for volunteers participating in studies; i.e. subsidizing part of the cost of a gym membership and a personal trainer for one day a week over the course of a trial period for volunteers in a study examining the long term effects of knee injuries. I can't think of any cases off the top of my head where a patient gets treated at no cost without some form of sponsorship. Sifaka talk 04:23, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
In the US, people with a certain condition may be able to take part in a study for free. Some of the people selected will get free (although experimental) drugs, but others will only get placebos. StuRat (talk) 14:37, 17 March 2009 (UTC)


if nothing seems to be working in the professional and the personal front is abound with a thousand tensions how de we inspire and motivate ourselves to stay focussed to the goals and be happy .is this called depression? iy yes how do we rid ourselves from this?Anybody —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:21, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

it's called bad luck. Depression is where you are unhappy no matter what is happening —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Though the way depression affects perception it may seem to depressed people that everything is fraught with tensions. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:41, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Depression is a medical condition, though the term is used by people to describe all different levels of the feeling of sadness. It's impossible to say how to make yourself feel less depressed for certain but perhaps - a) actively try to read about positive circumstances - seeking out what good things people do may renew your confidence in the idea that things might improve b) have achievable, realistic goals. Don't lose the (less realsitic) dreams, but try to be more realistic - achieving your goals will build confidence. Goals should be difficult but not impossible to achieve. (talk) 12:09, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

And definitely, if you are unable to feel happy, you need to see your doctor, who can provide you with a number of options - most not involving drugs. Steewi (talk) 00:49, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Does O- Level results matter if you are willing to attend an American University???[edit]

Hey, this is Firenze here. I am from India. I always wanted to study in an American University. But due to an illness, I couldnt do good enough in my O levels. O level exams are exams that we take when we turn 16. I got 4 As and 4 B s of the total 8 subjects I gave in my Cambridge Ordinary level exam. Someone told me that the 4 B's that I got will ruin my dreams of studying engineering in USA. I am skeptical. Whether the Ordinary Level qualification matters, I am unsure. So could someone please help me out??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

In the UK you normally need A-levels or equivalent to attend university. The grades at this level will take precedence over your O-level grade. The only exception is that you normally need a "C" grade or above in Maths and English O-level (unless you take Maths and English at advanced level). I would imagine the same goes for USA universities. BTW, Four A's and for B's is by no means bad, if it includes Maths and English it would be a pretty average grade. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:36, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I know a friend who's son got worse O-level grades (2 A's, B's and C's) and but really worked at A-levels and got straight A's. He is due to start in UCL (University College London - which has a good reputation) next year. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:39, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Generally the most important academic qualifications for entry in to university are your highest ones. If you plan to get in to any university with your current qualifications then given the fact you didn't do extremely well I expect this would be very difficult since getting in to university with the O level alone is never the easiest of tasks. Realisticly you'd be far better off with a higher level i.e. pre-university qualification such as the A level or since you plan to attend a university in the US probably the SAT. If you do extremely well in your SATs (or A level) your O levels would likely be less important indeed they may not even be considered in many instances. However for highly competitive universities and scholarships, they may still take your O level results in to consideration. But don't lose hope, there are lots of other things that will also make a big difference, for example your participation in co-curricular activies and if the movies/TV shows are to be trusted, there's also likely to be some sort of entry essay. P.S. If you have some evidence your performance is likely to have been affected by illness this will often be taken in to consideration if your O level results are of any importance. Also re the above comment by Q Chris, a good IETLS or TOEFL result is likely to be sufficient for any English language requirements Nil Einne (talk) 11:43, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd suggest your first line of attack, after trying to get better grades, should be working on getting a stellar TOEFL score. Find a study buddy and/or take a preparation course, check out TOEFL sites and forums online e.g. [1], [2]. "Studying at an American University" has two parts: First, finding a university you'd like to study at and who will accept you. Second getting a visa.
  • Finding a university you can study at gets easier the farther down the list from the most desirable choices you go. Anything you can throw into the scales in your favor helps: grades, internships, relevant job experience, a very good SAT score [3], any engineering project you've completed (schematics, calculations, pix), essay that knocks their socks off, etc. Take a look at Caltech's catalog [4] (from p. 115) and admission information [5] to get an idea. Big Us have special programs and facilities for foreign students, at a smaller one you'll have to "swim with the sharks". Credits for foreign degrees vary, but you might consider doing a BS at home and then finishing up in the US.
  • Before you apply for a visa you'll have to have your financing firmly in place. That's a deal-breaker if you ignore it. Be aware that relying some standard avenues of financing, like part time work, is not an option here. You'll have to show sufficient funds to pay the tuition fees, have a roof over your head and money to live on for the period of Visa you're applying for. Getting accepted by a reputable university used to be pretty much sufficient to get you a visa, that's changed radically! If you rely on scholarship monies you'll probably need a bank guaranteed promissory note or some such. It also helps with visa proceedings if you have a place to stay (friends, relatives, prearranged dorm room) before you apply. Hope this helps. Good luck. (talk) 16:56, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Remember that there are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. and each has its own admissions standards - some very tough, others not. And admissions for foreign students may have to meet different standards from local students anyway. A good start would be to narrow down where you would like to go and contact their foreign students department. This general background page may help. India, by the way, is the top source of foreign students in the U.S., having sent 94,563 here last year.[6] Rmhermen (talk) 18:43, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
(Of course, 94,563 is probably still pretty selective given the total number of Indian students entering college each year must be quite large.) -- (talk) 00:05, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Classes for Fear of Rollercoasters in US?[edit]

Summer will be here soon and I am usually the lame one, watching all my friends go on rollercoaster rides while I stand by and wave. Are there any programs or classes or something anywhere in the US that helps people who are terrified of rollercoasters(or the ride itself)? Last year, my very patient boyfriend tried to get me over it. He took me to a mini-coaster that was meant for smaller children. But that didn't work. The only thing maybe that I can stomach is the log water ride. The only thing that gets me is when we drop from a very high point. If I don't scream my head off, the sick feeling in my stomach goes into my throat and I literally panic and want to get off the ride immediately. So I guess, its the dropping from a high point and going upside down that terrifies me. --Emyn ned (talk) 15:07, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this qualifies as a phobia, as that's an unreasonable fear, and it's quite reasonable to be afraid of roller-coasters. They are, after all, designed to cause fear. You may have a bit more fear than others, but nothing abnormal. I don't have any desire to subject myself to a roller coaster, either (or the long lines before the ride). I suspect that a fairly large portion of the population doesn't. Unfortunately, your friends aren't among us. Aside from working your way up from small rides, I can suggest keeping your eyes closed. Also, go to the bathroom right before the ride and avoid eating several hours before, to avoid making a mess. Finally, I think of people who intentionally engage in apparently risky behavior for the "thrill" to be the defective ones, not those of us who avoid it, as the evolutionary purpose of fear is precisely to prevent such behavior. StuRat (talk) 15:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, I changed the title --Emyn ned (talk) 15:56, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I would say that actually this could be considered irrational. I see a fear as rational if the object of fear could actually do something to you, but rollecoasters are designed to be, as well as scary, completely safe. I always hated rollecoasters, but found the most effective way of overcoming the fear was to be with friends. If everyone around you seems fine, it all seems a lot smaller. I also agree with closing your eyes. I also find it helpful to engage in conversation with your freinds while in the queue. Most queue lines are layed out in a way to invoke tension in the people waiting, either through scenery or views of the ride itself. Taking your mind of these can help reduce anxiety Chaosandwalls (talk) 16:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Since everyone who rides a roller-coaster feels some fear (that being the whole point), that would mean everyone has a phobia. After all, if your heart beats faster and adrenaline pumps into your blood when you see a butterfly, that would be a (weird) phobia. But that's because the fear of butterflies is unreasonable, while the fear of roller-coasters is not, because people do occasionally die on them, and far more often are made sick by them. StuRat (talk) 16:11, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Interestingly, in this article, Andy Hine, founder and chairman of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain (RCCGB) recommends "Keep your eyes open no matter how scared, because the imagination only creates worse". I have no idea what his US equivalent would advise... Stulock holmes (talk) 16:06, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
No matter how safe the roller coaster may be, it is safer to not go on the roller coaster. I would say that the fear is rational, because there is no benefit to be gained from riding a roller coaster. Bus stop (talk) 16:15, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
What? Of course there is a benefit to be gained from riding a roller coaster: it is (for most people) a highly enjoyable activity. Algebraist 16:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused by the notion that being afraid is a prerequisite for riding a roller coaster. Plenty of people I know enjoy roller coasters and are not afraid of them at all. They find the ride itself (the speed, the curves, etc) fun. Roller coaster afficianados are often called enthusiasts, after all. Tomdobb (talk) 19:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
It is a common consequence. I don't think you could deny that many people experience fear contemplating the riding of a roller coaster. Bus stop (talk) 19:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree that fear is a common consequence, but I'm confused by statements like "everyone who rides a roller-coaster feels some fear (that being the whole point)." I don't agree that that's the case or that it's the point. Tomdobb (talk) 23:39, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The "sense of excitement" that comes from something apparently dangerous is because it creates a fear response, which causes adrenaline to be released into the blood, increasing respiration and heart rate, among other things. StuRat (talk) 15:49, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
My only point would be that roller coasters are peripheral to basic needs of life, for most people, most of the time. Therefore any degree of fear associated with roller coaster riding has to be evaluated against the backdrop of the relative unimportance of the activity. If a starving people (group of people) were fearful of procuring food by hunting fearful animals, that might be a fear worth examining. (That is just an attempt at coming up with an analogy. Other analogies may be better.) But the "benefits" of riding a roller coaster are, in my opinion, of a different order. The "thrills" of riding on a roller coaster are a luxury, and therefore any fear associated with the activity are sufficient reason to just dismiss the activity from one's itinerary without a second thought. It is simply unimportant, and it is a fear not particularly worth examining. Editing this question has been a roller coaster experience. Bus stop (talk) 00:16, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

However, does anyone know if any amusement parks (Disney or whatever) offer programs for those who are a-feared of this contraptions?--Emyn ned (talk) 16:29, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Then its benefit is of secondary importance to the basics of life. It comes far after for instance: food clothing and shelter. Risk is taken for things of importance; I think it can be reasonably said that there is a degree of irrationality to the taking of risk for little potential benefit. Bus stop (talk) 16:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
If you live around Ohio, I would suggest going to Cedar Point and riding Top Thrill Dragster. Once you do, you will never fear another roller coaster again. (talk) 17:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't let people think any less of you for missing out on a so-called "great ride". You are not the only one who doesn't appreciate being whizzed around at high speed on a rickety pile of girders. Astronaut (talk) 18:46, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Benefit, Bus stop? For some people, a thrill is a huge emotional benefit (even if it comes with some fear). These are the types who will run at breakneck speed into the surf for the full-body sensation of near-fatal shock - a sensation that $1 million couldn't buy them - while their friends spend 25 minutes namby-pambying around, getting one toe wet at a time, gradually acclimatizing themselves to the temperature difference. (I'm definitely one of the latter, btw.) -- JackofOz (talk) 21:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
There are roller coaster simulators at some parks which let you design your own track and ride it. The one I tried (somewhere in the Orlando vicinity) did a pretty good job at simulating the forces you feel on a real coaster. They also come with a big stop button. If I were to try to help someone get acclimated to the sensations on roller coasters, a roller coaster simulator would be a logical first choice. Another thing to consider trying are drop towers. It will let you focus on the weightlessness feeling in freefall and the heights without all the hurtling around. (talk) 21:14, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
There are some online “how to” guides here, but I see no signs of there being an actual class anywhere. However any therapist who has experience with phobia sufferers should be able to guide you through a desensitization process. Ask your doctor for a referral. --S.dedalus (talk) 21:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Overcoming a fear, so that you acquire an ability you didn't have before, is one of the greatest feelings life has to offer. Remember the fear when first being approached by a person of the opposite sex? Roller coasters are safer than sex. Phil_burnstein (talk) 21:52, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


I just saw The Hoodlum Priest, where a criminal claimed self-defense because the victim came at him with a crowbar during a robbery, and the criminal shot him dead. In the movie, it didn't work. A similar claim might occur if police are hunting a criminal they intend to kill, and he kills them instead. Has this ever worked ? Or is there a general rule that you can't claim self-defense during the commission of a crime ? StuRat (talk) 16:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

As a not-lawyer not offering legal advice, which this would generally fall under and if you have further questions, should probably ask, self-defense is only applicable if the victim fears unlawful deadly force is going to be acted upon him by his assalaint. Or unlawful deadly force is going to used on a third party and victim acts in defense of that party. (The bolding is emphasis, not any sort of sarcastic attack, now that I read my comment) Livewireo (talk) 17:37, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't necessarily mean the situations StuRat describes couldn't be legitimate self-defence, though. For example, hunting down and killing a criminal is normally unlawful, even if you are the police. Algebraist 17:55, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Correct. However, 'commission of a crime' and 'hunting down and killing a criminal' generally take place at different times. If I were robbing a store at gunpoint, I could not claim self-defense if I shot a police officer. If that same officer came to my home well after the fact (off duty) and attempted to do his best imitation of Batman, I could theoretically claim self defense. But now we are falling to in to legal advice territory, I beleive. The Right of self-defense page has some good case law examples. Livewireo (talk) 18:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The British authorities seem to take a dim view of self defence (know they are not quite the same situation described by the OP, but see here and here). Astronaut (talk) 18:38, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Those are more about defence of property than self-defence. There is a big difference between someone breaking into your house and you using force to stop them stealing stuff and someone attacking you and you using force to protect yourself from physical harm. The latter is very clearly legal in every jurisdiction I know of (there are some differences in the details - for example, some jurisdictions have a "duty to retreat" - you have to try and run away before you fight back). The former is a much more controversial issue. --Tango (talk) 22:46, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I know of this man who shot two police in self-defence.[7] Or at least was successful in claiming so. I think quite a few people have claimed the same defence but usually without success. --JGGardiner (talk) 20:05, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

In Canada, here's what the Criminal Code says about self-defense:

Defence of Person
Self-defence against unprovoked assault
34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.
Extent of justification
(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if
(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.
Self-defence in case of aggression
35. Every one who has without justification assaulted another but did not commence the assault with intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, or has without justification provoked an assault on himself by another, may justify the use of force subsequent to the assault if
(a) he uses the force
(i) under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence of the person whom he has assaulted or provoked, and
(ii) in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary in order to preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm;
(b) he did not, at any time before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose, endeavour to cause death or grievous bodily harm; and
(c) he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose.
36. Provocation includes, for the purposes of sections 34 and 35, provocation by blows, words or gestures.

It seems to me that section 35 does cover the case described by the original poster. There's another section that defines when killing someone in the course of committing another crime is automatically murder, but as far as I can see it doesn't apply here. But that's Canada. This is the sort of thing that jurisdictions might well differ on. --Anonymous, 00:26 UTC, March 18, 2009.

It's worth remembering in many countries the police are not legally allowed to "hunting a criminal they intend to kill" so it's a bit of a moot point. They may be allowed to use deadly force if it's necessary but generally speaking if a criminal surrenders and clearly does not pose a threat killing them would usually be unlawful. (There are obvious debatable cases e.g. Jean Charles de Menezes.) Therefore I suspect most courts are likely to take in to consideration that the only reason in most circumstances why your life would be in danger from the police would be if you continue to pose a threat and therefore would normally not find it resonable for you to use deadly force to defend yourself since the better option would be to surrender and make it clear you don't pose a threat. There are obvious borderline cases, e.g. if you've just been engaged in a shootout with the police is there much hope for a successful surrender but often that would mean there are sufficient cases where self-defence is not involved and more significantly perhaps, good luck convincing the court that you genuinely suddenly decided you were willing to surrender. Now a different case re: the Canadian law bit above for example would be if you try to claim you believed the police would not act in accordance to the law and police policy and would instead act unlawfully (e.g. would allow themselves to be provoked). This would likely depend on many factors but would ultimately require you convince the court it was resonable for you to believe so. Nil Einne (talk) 07:54, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

This was fictional, but there was an episode of Picket Fences that centered on the jury trial of guy who killed a cop during a police raid of his home (for warrants relating to illegal gun possession.) He (the defendant) happened to be holding a gun when the first officer came through the door. Since the man believed the cop would shoot him dead for having the weapon, he shot first, killing the officer. The jury, which happened to include the sheriff (Jimmy Brock, who must not have had anything to do with the raid) voted not-guilty. Taggart.BBS (talk) 05:34, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Rodney King? Phil_burnstein (talk) 22:05, 22 March 2009 (UTC)



I'm looking to stub-create a load of golfers, but it would be nice to have basic details about them written in, such as age and nationality. As a bot's going to be doing this, all I really need is to find a helpful website either containing a table of these uncopyrightable facts or with a semantic URL system that could be tapped into. Cheers! - Jarry1250 (t, c) 16:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Ah, I got a good one for nationalities at least ([8]). I'll work from there. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Recording a conversation over the phone[edit]

I have a friend, and I'd like to record a conversation I have with him over the phone. How could I best go about doing this? I have Vonage at the house and my computer. Would it be best to use an old answering machine (and how would I get one of those!)? RefDeskPrivateAcct (talk) 17:47, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I know nothing about Vonage, so this might be useless, but Radio Shack and other electronics suppliers usually sell an adapter to run a phone directly into a tape recorder. This may be all you need. As an aside, make sure you have you friend's permission before taping him, as it may be illegal to tape a phone conversation without the approval of both parties depending on where you live. Tomdobb (talk) 18:53, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
record the consent at the start of the conversation. (talk) 04:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


Moved to Wikipedia:Help desk DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)