Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 May 12

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May 12[edit]

Hair Color[edit]

Do people with blonde or red hair have blonde or red colored pubic and arm pit hairs, respectively? Acceptable (talk) 01:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

In my experience with ladies, I can say yes for some. However, the colour of pubic hair and arm-pit hair is actually the same as their eyebrow colour (for people who have dyed their head hair).--KageTora (영호 (影虎)) (talk) 02:45, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
No one's body hair is exactly the same color as their head hair, but yes, it'll be sort of a faded version. --Masamage 03:18, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
You may find this previous discussion interesting. manya (talk) 04:09, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Speaking as one myself, no and no. They both started as black but have now faded to a sort of light reddy brown. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I dye my hair red, and I dye ALL of it, not just on my head —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:35, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
In my case (medium blond) and my ex-wife's (red), yes. Contrary to KT, I reckon my pubic hair most resembles those parts of my scalp-hair that are least exposed to sun; my facial hair is generally brighter. —Tamfang (talk) 03:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, my pubic/underarm hair is dark brown, but not black - just like the hair on my head.--I've Never Been to Me (talk) 00:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Any skateboard or rollerblade fanatics here?[edit]

I'm refurbishing and upgrading my homemade CNC milling machine - the business end of the machine rolls along on rollerskate bearings (which are super-cheap, built to bear heavy loads and pretty free-running - and designed not to let dust and dirt into the moving parts). The trouble is that the bearings tend to wear out faster than I'd like.

The question is - what are the hottest, trendiest (but not too expensive) skate bearings. I see lots of places selling them - but no way to figure out which ones are good. I bet there is some skateboard-geek magazine out there that has all of the info I need. (I need about 40 of these bearings - so price matters!)

SteveBaker (talk) 02:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

You have a homemade CNC milling machine! I'm impressed. But what the hell do you use it for? Astronaut (talk) 12:38, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, right now, I want to use it for making myself a 3D printer (a RepRap)...but I suppose you're just going to ask what I'm going to use that for...and the answer to THAT is a much more interesting question! SteveBaker (talk) 20:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Let me guess... you'll use the 3D printer to crank out milling machines?  :-) -- Coneslayer (talk) 12:18, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I was going to use it to make a drill-stand so that I could make better parts for my next milling machine...but you have the right idea! Well - actually, the RepRap manifesto is to have these machines be able to make copies of themselves so that (like OpenSourced software) we can have designs for small physical objects freely available on the Internet that people can download and "print" - but also improve and update. The RepRap machine becomes the Linux of the physical world. The plastic and metal used by the RepRap system to build stuff can be recycled using another machine (which you could theoretically make using your RepRap machine) so that we don't fill up landfills with discarded plastic and metal objects anymore. You incentive to recycle is much stronger when you get to reap the benefits directly by having more plastic with which to make new objects that you find you need. There are related projects to print electronic circuitry using modified inkjet printers and to make larger structures from concrete. SteveBaker (talk) 19:56, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

You're probably already aware, but there is the ABEC scale for skate bearings. It doesn't allow you to compare bearings of different brands very accurately but it does give you a rough idea of the quality. I'm not sure which brands of bearings the shops near you might carry, but here in skate shops like West 49 they tend to push Bones Reds or Destructo Sendai's as a cheap option for bearings-I've used both and been satisfied. The things to be wary of are "blank" bearings (which are most likely no-name ABEC 1s) and expensive ABEC 7s or 9s-they may be more precisely made and roll faster but they usually are no more durable than the cheaper options. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't already aware...that is a very useful answer! My criteria are kinda mixed at this point - ideally, I need smooth, fast, cheap AND durable - but I think it's clear that I can have any two or perhaps any three of those things! I just wanted a way to compare the options. Thanks! SteveBaker (talk) 20:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Have you consider using other types of bearings like Fluid_bearings? --Mr.K. (talk) 17:09, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It's incredibly difficult to make things like that in your garage at home! (Especially when your home-made CNC machine has stopped working!) But in any case, I need three orthogonal axes - which is hard to do with fluid bearings! Four skate bearings (which are very cheap) are bolted to a piece of L-section aluminium channel so that they face inwards towards each other at 90 degrees. They will roll beautifully on a longer length of L-section aluminium. The L-shape keeps things nicely aligned so there isn't any significant sideways or vertical motion. Three pairs of those 'tracks' at right angles provide the X, Y and Z axis motion - and you drive it with stepper motors that are rotating long bits of threaded rod. A simple nut will thread onto that rod and can be attached to whatever needs to be driven along it's length. With care and software that's aware of backlash issues, this gives you sub-millimeter precision over about a 1.5m x 1.5m x 0.3m working volume. You can cut, drill or carve wood, plastic, foam or (with extreme care) thin metal, under control of your PC - so if you can draw it - you can pretty much make it. The cutting head is an off-the-shelf router with an old vacuum cleaner sucking the shavings out of the way. The baseboard is made of perforated hardboard with a second ancient vacuum cleaner making it like a 'reverse air-hockey table' that sucks the workpiece down so you don't have to clamp it (well, in theory at least!). The stepper motors are driven by an Arduino computer with high level commands ("move the cutting head from (x1,y1,z1) to (x2,y2,z2) in time 't' and tell me when you get there"). You send the commands to the Arduino using a USB port from a regular PC (I'm thinking about going 'wireless' this time around and using a WiFi hookup). Easy! The thing cost me about $200 and three or four weekends to build originally - but several parts are badly worn now and it needs a bit of an upgrade. If you want to build one, a distant descendant of my old machine is beautifully described here [1]. SteveBaker (talk) 20:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Wow -- Wikipedia has an article on it: Homemade CNC milling machine. Bus stop (talk) 18:49, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Kinda. SteveBaker (talk) 20:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Stupid toilet[edit]

Okay, so a few months ago I moved into an awesome new apartment with exactly one flaw: the toilet clogs at every single opportunity. It clogs if you so much as look at it wrong. It's making me crazy. Is there anything I can do to it to give it a more powerful flush, or am I doomed? (And no, I don't have this problem anywhere else. :P) --Masamage 03:17, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

If it's clogging it will be nothing to do with the flush. If you give it a more powerful flush, it'll just overflow and flood your bathroom (had that problem a few years ago). You'd be best either buying a plunger and unclogging the system or getting a plumber out to look at the system.--KageTora (영호 (影虎)) (talk) 03:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Contacting a plumber looks like your best bet. [2] If you are renting; another way might be to contact management and report the problem. (Threaten to reduce the rent if they shuffle their feet or keep sending their janitor around for inefficient countermeasures.) (talk) 04:27, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I suspect that the toilet outflow is permanently partially blocked so it gets fully blocked very easily. The main ways to unblock a toilet are with a plunger[3] (although this will not clear a partial blockage), with a plumber's snake or auger which you push down the toilet (alternatively you may be able to use your hand), or with a chemical that will dissolve blockages[4] (this is easy to do but can be less effective). There may also be a large physical object stuck down the toilet, in which case you will probably have to dismantle the toilet or some piping. If you google, you'll find a lot more advice on all these methods[5]. But if you rent, definitely try your manager or landlord. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 11:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
When my toilet clogs, I find emptying a large bucket of water into the pan acts like some kind of "mega-flush" and clears the blockage. However, if it is always clogging, you might need some kind of chemical or mechanical cleaning or maybe the services of a plumber. Astronaut (talk) 12:32, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Haha! Yeah, that's what I do too. Sometimes I've had to stand on the end of my bath and hold the bucket high above my head before tipping, in order to clear the blockage. That makes a very satisfying 'whomp!' noise when it goes through... xD --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 13:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Be advised that if you use chemicals to try to clear the blockage, and then try to bring in a plumber, the plumber may refuse to do the work for some time, on safety grounds. Bucket and auger are both good low-cost and easy to DIY ideas. As is preventing people from flushing baby wipes/tampons/excessive amounts of toilet paper. In some countries I've visited in the past, I've even seen signs recommending one doesn't flush toilet paper at all. --Dweller (talk) 13:44, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah - vicious chemicals are the method of last resort. I recommend patiently waiting until the water level in the toilet gradually trickles down to a low level - then dump (and I mean "dump" fast as possible) a complete bucket of hot water with loads of washing up liquid in it. You may need to repeat this a couple of times - but I've yet to find a block that it wouldn't cure. SteveBaker (talk) 01:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There are known 'best practices' on the diameter of various kinds of pipes, but some houses have pipes that are too narrow, out of ignorance or, possibly, cost savings. The problem of narrower pipes can be aggravated by corrosion over the years. You're probably not inclined to get into the crawl space and identify and measure a bunch of pipes, though. Tempshill (talk) 14:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
If that's the problem, the solution may be expensive. If you can, IMHO you're better off replacing the pipework than getting a macerator, as, in my experience, the latter solution tends to be extremely sensitive and will break if you so much as think about flushing something hard, like a paper clip. --Dweller (talk) 14:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Couple of pointers: If OP is in the US his "new" apartment may be equipped with not quite so new "low flow" toilets. The first models are notorious for clogging. Chemicals tend to be a bad idea. They are o.k for the occasional clog if a wad of paper or got stuck. In the long run and if you have lime build up on your pipes they will eat a hole in your pipes! (For minor clogs the above methods or some baking soda followed by a little vinegar is safer than the harsh drain cleaner stuff.) If the pipes are older you also have to watch DIY auger action. Check your contracts and insurance policies before you do that. If the pipe breaks you might end up with a huge bill for repairs, both to your and any neighboring apartments. Calling a plumber may look more expensive, but is usually cheaper in the long run. Particularly since OP says the problem is persistent. Contacting your apartment association or management company will a) cover your butt if something does break/flood and they try to get you to pay. b) enable all owners/renters to take joint action. c) set you in a better position in case legal action becomes necessary. (No legal advice. Just some OR life lessons from dealing with lots of plumbing issues.) (talk) 23:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I am British and had never had a problem with flushing a toilet until we bought Italian. Oh yes, it looks good, the design - wow, the ergonomics, the style, the shape, bellissimo. But does it flush anything bulkier than a single sheet of tissue? NONONONONO. The best flushers I have ever used have been American. No Rim Flush - just a jet of water aimed at the pool at the bottom of the pan and WHOOOSH - it's gone. God Bless America. Italy - mama Mia. (talk) 23:37, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
At a school I worked at in Japan, we had the normal western style toilet, and because I didn't want my students to hear me pooping, the first time I used it I flushed it while I was sitting there. Unfortunately, the water filled up to the brim and I ended up with wet balls. Never did that again.--KageTora (영호 (影虎)) (talk) 01:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Wow, lots of good stuff here. Thanks, guys--I knew you wouldn't let me and my toilet down. XD Now that I know it could indeed be something wonky and fixable, rather than necessarily just meaning it's a lousy toilet, I'm gonna start with filling out a maintenance form and see where that takes me. Hooray for renting! And if that doesn't work, this makes an excellent reference. --Masamage 06:19, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Share dealing - HELP[edit]

I buy shares online and I sell shares online. But I am throwing punches in the dark. Some online chatrooms try to ramp the shares up or else drive them down. Me? I make my own mind up - but others in those rooms, they are like frightened rabbits caught in the headlights - they buy - they sell - they hold - they ask for future movements and trust absolute strangers to guide their decisions. What I don't get is - where does the money go during all these frantic moves? And given that the buyer/holder of the shares has invested in the company concerned - does the company have the use of that money for its own purposes or is it floating around in some virtual gambling hall unconnected with the company concerned? By the way, I never invest more than I can afford to lose, and so far, I am doing OK. Thanks. (talk) 23:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

You aren't dealing directly with the company that issued the stock. The company issues stock and some banks, brokers and big investment companies/ funds buy them in big lots. If the company can get enough buyers it will get the money on it's accounts. (It's actually all just numbers at the banks.) The buyers that didn't buy the stock to hold it (e.g. brokers, banks) then try to sell it. That's where the individual investors come in. Sometimes they even have a list of people willing to buy the stock from so they know beforehand that they can get rid of it. The broker makes money from the transaction fees and any gains the stock has while they hold it. (If the stock lost while they held it they lose that amount.) Hope this helps. (talk) 00:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The money goes to other individuals who are in fact on the other end of the transactions. With the exception of the IPO, whenever you buy 100 shares of AAPL, your broker is matching your purchase order up with another guy who's selling at least 100 shares of AAPL ... to you. This is related to why reporters are wrong when there's a drop in the stock market and they write things like "US$10 billion destroyed in market drop" — sure, the shares in the aggregate are worth US$10 billion less than they were yesterday; but there were people on the other side of the original purchase transactions who are now holding all that money. It wasn't destroyed. Tempshill (talk) 03:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There are two parties in any share transaction: a buyer and a seller. On average, one of them will make money and the other will lose money. Generally, uninformed investors (people trusting absolute strangers on the internet, for example) are likely to come off worse than an informed investor, e.g. a multinational bank employing a warehouse full of analysts to calculate the price of the stock. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 06:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe Tempshill is wrong in what he writes above. When shares lose value, there isn't some mysterious person receiving all that money. Something that was thought to be worth ten dollars is now worth five. The other five dollars doesn't go anywhere (really it didn't actually exist). Of course that doesn't mean that someone, somewhere, doesn't profit when shares go down - but it won't be the same amount that was lost. DJ Clayworth (talk) 13:48, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Frankly, I'm very surprised that someone trading shares on-line doesn't understand where the money goes. Unless you're just gambling for fun, this doesn't sound like something you should be doing. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:03, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the OP is simply confusing the primary and secondary markets for shares... --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)