Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 November 11

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November 11[edit]

Today's Date is Wrong[edit]

Today is November 10, 2009. Wikipedia tells me that it is November 11, 2009. Does anyone realize? Can someone do something about it? Am I wrong in that I have to do something in order for it to be November 10? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Samuel Rosenbaum (talkcontribs) 00:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Check out Special:Preferences, Date & Time, Time offset. Presumably server time and your local time are different - you're some hours behind the servers, which seem to be on GMT. Different parts of the USA are from 4 to 11 hours behind GMT, meaning it's the 11th in London whilst its still the 10th in the USA. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The relevant article is at Time Zones, specifically UTC, which is the time zone Wikipedia uses (because of the international nature). -- (talk) 00:29, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia uses UTC and it has just gone midnight UTC, so it is the 11th. --Tango (talk) 00:29, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It's 2pm on the 11th here - I often accidentally enter things on the wrong section of Wikipedia process pages that are arranged by date because I forget the rest of the world is so far behind :) Grutness...wha? 01:01, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not that so much; it's more that all the Time Lords have gone to live in New Zealand to be nearer their annular cousins.  :) -- (talk) 02:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
This is quite an interesting problem for databases. Sometimes people want their local time, sometimes they want a standard time, and other times they want the time of an event at its own location. I've even seen where the date of the event location is used but the time is the local time - so you can have minus hour or 36 hours past. Having a round world is a real problem :) Dmcq (talk) 10:29, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Marx, Lenin, and Stalin[edit]

I have three questions to ask you:

1. I have heard that Karl Marx bore an illegitimate son. Is that true?

2. I have heard that Vladimir Lenin contract syphilis from prostitutes. Is that true?

3. I have heard that Joseph Stalin was sued for forcing a sexual relationship upon a singer. Is that true?

Bowei Huang (talk) 00:31, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

For the first one, search for "illegitimate son" on Karl Marx. Googling "lenin syphilis" brings up this article. Googling "stalin assault" and "stalin sexual" doesn't bring up too much that seems specific to a singer, but he was no peach. --Mr.98 (talk) 01:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It would be pretty tough for Marx to bear a son... Aaronite (talk) 03:35, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Therefore the answers are, Yes, No, Don't know. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Are these three "facts" being strung together to make it appear that Communists are sexual deviants? Fribbler (talk) 13:42, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
If so, then that's nothing compared to Lavrentiy Beria! Adam Bishop (talk) 14:55, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The OP has a history here; some regulars have accused him of positing accusations as questions. Comet Tuttle (talk) 00:27, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm aware of that, hence my scepticism. Fribbler (talk) 22:36, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

1. Probably as true or otherwise as the same rumours about Thomas Jefferson. Many sources are apocryphal, or at the least vague. Possibly, but it would be difficult to prove one way or another. 2. It's been suggested, but has not been widely accepted, that Lenin had syphilis. Unlikely, but there is some possibility. 3. Stalin has been rumoured to have had so many affairs and sexual entanglements it's difficult to know where to begin with this one - but such rumours often accompany powerful men, especially ones with (how shall we put it) a darker side. However, I've never heard of him ever having been sued for sexual misconduct. It's possible, but probably not. Grutness...wha? 00:43, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I have read the article on Karl Marx on Wikipedia, and it didn't say anything about Karl Marx having an illegitimate son. I read about all those three things in the section Feigning Sincerity and Overtly Agreeing While Covertly Opposing in V. Aspects of the CCP’s Unscrupulous Nature in Part 9: On the Unscrupulous Nature of the Chinese Communist Party in Nine Commentaries On The Communist Party. I want to ask if those three things said there are true. Are those three things said there true? Are they true?

Bowei Huang (talk) 02:19, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

As can be seen from the earlier comments by myself and others, we really don't know and probably no-one really knows for some of them. Did Marx have an illegitimate child? It's impossible to say. Someone may claim that he did, but even through DNA testing it's impossible to be 100% certain (as is the case with Jefferson - it can hint at it one way or the other, but won't tell you whether the results are 100% incontrovertibly reliable). Did Lenin have syphilis? This has been suggested by a researcher in a paper published in 2004, as it says in our article. But trying to diagnose someone so long after their death is fraught with problems and in many cases cannot lead to unanimously acceptable results. There have been papers published proposing possible diagnoses for the mental or physical problems (often undiagnosed during their lifetime) of many famous people, from George II to Einstein to Roosevelt to Tutankhamun. Lenin's case is simply another theory. Whether it gains widespread acceptance is still moot, and even if it does, this does not necessarily mean that it is true. We can never know. Was Stalin sued? This is perghaps more possible of being discovered for a fact, but only if it were true. There's no way of saying "there's no evidence, therefore it's false" - evidence doesn't work that way. You can say "there's evidence, therefore it's true", but if there's no evidence you can do no more than speculate. If it were true, and it happened during Stalin's time in power, and if there were evidence, chances are that that evidence would have been destroyed anyway. But those are two enormous ifs. As far as I am aware, and as far as we've been able to find out, there seems to be no evidence, so the truth or otherwise of the statement remains up in the air. Given that even the most heinous criminals - in most civilised nations - are granted the right of being judged not guilty unless proven guilty by the evidence, it is up to the writer of that statement to show the evidence in order for us to be able to say that it is true. Grutness...wha? 06:13, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

CBS Evening News on the radio[edit]

(I admit this is a far-fetched question, but it's been bugging me for quite a while. Thanks in advance for any help.)

Oftentimes I find myself away from the television when 18:30 rolls around and the CBS Evening News comes on. I remedy this problem by turning on the radio and tuning to WCBS, which simulcasts the first ten minutes of the show. As a clear channel, WCBS should be audible throughout the eastern part of the U.S. However, oftentimes atmospheric conditions, combined with the terrain in my area, mean the broadcast is not listenable. Though the broadcast supposedly goes out over the network, I am unable to find another CBS Radio affiliate that carries the broadcast.

This brings me to my question: has anyone heard another CBS affiliate carry the broadcast? (I thought of streaming over the Internet, but usually I'm not near the computer either.) Again, thanks in advance: Xenon54 / talk / 01:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

According to this site, many CBS-affiliated radio stations offer this simulcast. Check this site for a directory. Marco polo (talk) 02:16, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response. In theory, all CBS-affiliated stations would carry the broadcast, but the reason I'm asking is because this doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Compounding the problem is the fact that CBS' own list (e.g. this one) is several years out of date, therefore hindering the search for other stations that might be in listening range. For example, my local affiliate, WTOP-FM (which carries hourly news bulletins but not the Evening News) is listed on being on 94.3 MHz, which it hasn't been since 1998!
Other CBS O&Os that I have heard - KYW, KDKA, WBZ and WINS - don't carry it either. I'm wondering if WCBS is the only station that still carries the broadcast (which is quite unusual considering it appears to have started with Katie Couric), and if it is not, if anyone has heard the broadcast for themselves on another station. Xenon54 / talk / 02:39, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Efficient Shuffling[edit]

Forgive me, I don’t know whether to ask this in the Maths desk or the Computing desk or… So I decided here!

I play a card game where the number of cards in the deck is too large to riffle shuffle. At the end of a game, the top (approx) one-third of the deck is placed back on top of the unused cards and the entire deck now needs to be shuffled. The cards used in the previous game tend to be in “sets” (c.f. Rummy) – therefore the shuffling process should attempt to break up the sets and distribute the cards throughout the deck.

Currently I have been performing four riffles shuffles as follows… Consider the desk as being in 4 parts ABCD (where A and some of B contain the cards used from the previous game). I now riffle shuffle A into D and B into C. Re-stacking the deck into parts PQRS, I again riffle shuffle this time P into R and Q into S.

Question – does this give a reasonable distribution of cards throughout the deck? Is there a more efficient riffle shuffling algorithm for shuffling such a deck? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The advantage for riffle shuffling is that it is inefficient. A perfect riffle, whereby you perfectly alternated every single card, would actually be a lousy way to randomize a deck of cards. The reason why riffling works so well is that the cards tend to stick together a bit, and since there are lots of "little stacks" of cards of varying sizes (1 or 2 or 3 cards together), the deck can become quickly randomized; certainly faster than it could via the "overhand" shuffle method. Your method sounds like a fine way to randomize a very large deck where you can't shuffle it all at once. I generally just divide the deck into two smaller, managble stacks, riffle each among itself, then recombine the two decks into one with a few rough overhand shuffles. Then I do the whole procedure again 1 or 2 more times, usually until the banal story I am relating to the other card players is over, or until I am done overanalyzing the play of the last hand. Then I pass out the cards. --Jayron32 06:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
According to Shuffling#Randomization, mathematicians have shown that you need five good riffles just to start to get randomized, a minimum of seven to achieve it. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:07, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
A friend is a dealer at Bay 101, a local cardroom, and in sometimes called upon to deal panguingue, usually called "pan". I know little about the game — it's about old ladies making melds and throwing poker chips at one another.
She says that he accepted way to shuffle the game's 320-card deck is to split it in half and shove and moosh the halves together, lather, rinse, repeat. Perhaps not an efficient shuffle, but the old ladies demand it. PhGustaf (talk) 15:15, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe that the best card games come about precisely because the cards aren't perfectly shuffled. Who remembers poker games when everyone gets pairs and triples? Meh! The whole thing somehow becomes much more exciting when people have flushes and straights and four of a kind all over the place like when James Bond plays at the bad guy's casino (and those guys shuffle REALLY badly!) So forget perfect shuffling - fair-but-imperfect is what produces the most exciting game. SteveBaker (talk) 05:29, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Meta-question: where can I find a certain video?[edit]

If I am extremely lucky, someone might recognise the video I am thinking of, but more realistically, can you suggest a forum or other location where this sort of question would have better luck?

It is a minute or so, and features only a scrolling screen of text, chunked into relatively short lines. It is read by a young woman. When she gets to the end, the scrolling reverses, and she reads it again, backwards (sometimes inserting a linking word). The first version is pessimistic and the second is optimistic. I can't remember any of the exact phrases (as my Google failure attests) but it was something along these lines:

In 30 years I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.

I refuse to accept that

My pension will be worthless.

The experts tell me that

one person alone cannot change anything.

I know.

So, reversed, and de-chunked: I know one person alone cannot change anything. The experts tell me that my pension will be worthless. I refuse to accept that in 30 years I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.

Any ideas where this is to be found, or where I could ask a more targetted audience?

Thanks. BrainyBabe (talk) 14:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Not sure if this is the one you mean, or just a variation based on it, but it's very much the same idea: (talk) 21:34, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I watched this video several months ago, but don't consider yourself "extremely lucky" as a result, because I'm also unable to find it. It was white text on a black background, if I remember correctly. Comet Tuttle (talk) 22:52, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clues. I found it! "Lost Generation" by American Jonathan Reed, based on the Argentine political campaign ad "The Truth" from Lopez Murphy. BrainyBabe (talk) 23:49, 11 November 2009 (UTC)


In how many crops indian govt.give subsidy —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mytas1983 (talkcontribs) 15:41, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Who would win in a fight?[edit]

If the USA went to war with the rest of the world (but absolutely no nuclear weapons were used), who would win? XM (talk) 16:43, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

It depends on the author. I'm just now reading the Heritage Trilogy in which the United States and Russia are the two last holdouts in joining an all-powerful United Nations, which ultimately ends up using force against the two powers. However, any opinion on this matter would be speculative, and more appropriate for an internet forum. For a few references, however, see: People's Liberation Army, United States armed forces, Portal:War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Taggart.BBS (talkcontribs) 16:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
For some relevant facts and figures, see List of countries by level of military equipment, List of countries by number of troops, List of countries by military expenditures and List of countries by GDP (nominal). Gandalf61 (talk) 16:54, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Why limit it to "no nukes?" Why would any future US Commander in Chief limit his options in that way? A President who insisted on fighting a war aimed at the total destruction of the U.S. without using the most effective weapons would likely be removed from power. In the 1980 BBC Oppenheimer (TV miniseries), General Groves was recruited to direct the project by the assurance that even if the Axis powers conquered the rest of the world, the U.S. could win with the A bomb. Accurate or not, that forecast did not even include ICBMs with MIRV warheads, intercontinental jet bombers and ballistic missile submarines. With conventional forces alone, and the rest of the world sufficiently riled up out of their traditional apathy and desire not to get involved in foreign military operations, invasion forces could assemble in Mexico and Canada and carve up the U.S. Getting any serious commitments of men, money, and materiel from the various countries of the world would not be an easy task, if one considers the token and grudging commitments for UN peacekeeping efforts, or armed actions in Afghanistan recently(only 9 countries contributed 1000 or more foreign troops). A passive defense in which the U.S. let a hostile world marshal forces along the Canadian and Mexican borders preliminary to an attack would be silly. An overwhelming force of troops and tanks could sweep into the U.S. if a large portion of the enumerated military resources shown in the articles cited by Gandalf61 were truly committed to the invasion. Good luck getting cooperation between Israel and the Moslem countries, or India and Pakistan. Good luck getting repressive governments to pony up the tanks and troops they use to keep their own people from rising up against them. Transporting these forces would likely require a lot of ships and a long time, and would need the harbors of Mexico and Canada. Rapid air transport of an invasion force adequate to overwhelm the U.S. military and civilian 2nd Amendment militia forces seems dubious. Ocean crossings by troopships, cargo ships and tankers could be detected by spy satellites or long distance recon flights if satellites were knocked out. Cruise missiles, airplanes and attack submarines could decimate an invasion fleet. War Plan Red, maintained by the U.S. War Department until 1939, called for the US to seize Canadian harbors to prevent the assembly of invasion forces. It went into detail as to which beaches to use for amphibious landings and which rail lines, highways and bridges to seize, along with how fast British forces could reinforce Canada's small forces during a "period of strained relations." Another of the United States Color-coded War Plans, War Plan Green dealt with preventing attack from Mexico. Mexico City would be seized within 30 daysof the invasion's start and a puppet government installed. U.S. forces would seize Veracruz, Tampico and oil fields. This war plan remained active until 1945. Parts of those two countries would have to be seized before forces for an invasion could assemble along the long and undefended borders of the U.S. The early 20th century war plans envisioned total mobilization of the U.S, with heavy losses, fighting against an invasion of the Puget Sound area by forces of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, with British and Canadian forces attacking from Halifax against the Northeast. Naval and air forces would provide the initial defense, while the general population was mobilized and equipped. [1]. The best defense might be an offense. If the world were crazy enough to try and conquer the U.S., then the U.S. might be crazy enough to conquer the Americas and add defensive naval bases in the Atlantic and Pacific from which to bomb Europe and Asia and interdict trade until they agreed to an armistice. Edison (talk) 17:08, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
If either side used nukes in such a war we would face mutual assured destruction. I would classify that as a stalemate. Any country with nukes can pretty much guarantee that they will never lose a war, but nukes don't help you win wars (they only did in 1945 because only one country had them). --Tango (talk) 18:15, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about that, Tango -- using nukes ensures your opponent doesn't win, but you can still lose. The stalemate of MAD is that both parties lose. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 00:50, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Tactical nukes could be used against port facilities, railhubs, and troop concentrations minutes after hostile forces rolled across the US borders. It is unlikely such an invasion would start without achievement of air supremacy by the invaders, and air attacks on US airbases might call for destruction of the attacking bases, again with tactical nukes not ruled out by fear of MAD. Total mobilization and allout war , followed by guerrilla warfare against possible evil occupation troops (Red Dawn?) would result in the death of a huge portion of the population, not so different from widespread use of tactical nukes against military targets. President Kennedy made such an equation in 1960. Edison (talk) 20:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I would expect the use of tactical nukes by one side to quickly result in tactical nukes being used by the other. The size of those nukes would gradually (but quickly) creep up until you have full-sized nukes being fired by both sides and you would have MAD within days. I don't disagree that there is little difference in the direct results of a nuclear attack and a conventional one (compare Dresden and Hiroshima, for example), but the indirect results are very different due to psychology. --Tango (talk) 22:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course, you also have to consider what the objectives of both sides would be. It's fairly obvious (for the reasons Edison has given) that a straight-up invasion of the US would be incredibly difficult if not completely out of the question, but what if the alliance only wanted to cripple the US's economy or military strength? Obtaining their objective would be much easier than trying to invade and occupy the 4th largest country in the world. —Akrabbimtalk 18:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
That would be easy - you just ban all trade with the US and ban the purchase of US debt. The US economy would collapse pretty quickly. It would be very painful for the rest of the world, but if the rest of the world were united they could get through it. Standard of living in the US would plummet, although it would level out - without the massive trade deficit the US wouldn't need to borrow so much and they could probably reach a sustainable economy (at a much lower level) within a few decades. --Tango (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Forgive me, but there had been multiple complaints about the RD being too forum-y (and rant-y). I’m just a lowly RD newbie but is it wise to continue with this opinion/debate thread? Royor (talk) 18:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I am going to agree with Royor..."The reference desk does not answer requests for opinions or predictions about future events. Do not start a debate; please seek an internet forum instead." This is a classic "what if" question that ultimately has no definitive answer. Further discussion should be moved to the ref desk discussion page if necessary.10draftsdeep (talk) 19:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The Ref Desk is for more than "Simple Questions With Definite Answers." It is appropriate to ask questions which lack simple straightforward answers, and to cite references in response. Note that I referenced US war plans relevant to the US defense against at least the British Empire and Japan seeking to attack the northern U.S. border, and did not just speculate. Does it really matter what uniforms the troops seeking to invade the US wear? As for the general question of possible economic warfare, the UN often imposes sanctions against rogue states, and might do so if somehow the General Assembly voted that the US were such a rogue state. Such sanctions are weakened by countries neighboring the rogue which do not comply fully with the sanctions, and are not that effective against a large country with agriculture, natural resources, and a manufacturing capability. Canada and Mexico could conduits to aid the US in marketing its output and in purchasing raw materials, if some religion or political movement had taken over the rest of the world. The political front would be used to try and break up the improbable worldwide alliance of US Haters, playing off one faction against another. In a college political science course, the textbook (which I no longer have) said that the consequences of a WW2 victory by the Axis would have left the US facing a world where slave labor and access to natural resources would enable them to undercut the price of US produced goods, while restricting access to markets and to raw materials. It was judged that economic war for an extended period would be a more likely strategy of Japan and Germany than an immediate military invasion, even while neutral countries were converted to puppet states, like the "domino theories" of the Cold Warwhile research would continue on "superweapons." Edison (talk) 19:51, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

A single Third World country smaller than Wisconsin defeated the U.S. in a war (with help from allies). That just proves a question like this is unanswerable without knowing the circumstances and considering all kinds of variables. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:07, 12 November 2009 (UTC) ". . . with a little help from my friends. DOR (HK) (talk) 04:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that was a dark day. Comet Tuttle (talk) 00:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Victory is convincing the other guy to stop fighting, or eliminating his ability to fight. On that basis, if every other country were against the USA, the overwhelming likelihood is that the US would stop fighting. DOR (HK) (talk) 04:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

There was no "defeat" in the sense that Vietnamese troops now occupy the US and control all our activities. I am told they do operate excellent nail salons here, and the US has outsourced some manufacturing there. Retrieval of the remains of US air crews is also a profitable line for Vietnam. In the end the U.S. just adopted the initially ridiculed exit strategy of George Aiken: "Just announce we have won, and leave." In ending today's Afghanistan War, I would be happy to welcome Senator Aiken back. Edison (talk) 05:56, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I suspect the USA would quickly lose because of all the things it needs to import that it would no longer be able to import. Much as Britain almost lost WWI because of German U-boats sinking merchant shipping. --Dweller (talk) 12:41, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

See World_War_I#Naval_war parags three and four. --Dweller (talk) 13:05, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
As recent wars have shown, military might doesn't always lead to victory. If there was a USA vs Rest-of-the-world war, I imagine it would quickly degenerate into a lengthy and bloody insurgency against occupying forces. Astronaut (talk) 13:42, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Question answered. ~ Amory (utc) 14:50, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

  • So the rest of the world can lick the U.S.? Edison (talk) 19:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Again, that depends on their aims. If they are truly united and want to physically occupy the land they probably could, but there would be armed resistance for decades, and what are the chances that China and Russia and Japan (all countries with historical mistrust of each other) would unite in such a manner, or that Mexico and Canada would allow an army buildup of that size on their territory without fearing that they themselves were going to get occupied? The question thus is quite academic and our speculation should be taken as little more then theoretical discourse without practical application. Googlemeister (talk) 21:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Imported oil covers about 2/3s of US oil consumption. As such, a simple embargo by the "rest of the world" should suffice. As per our article, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of the USA would last for about a month. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
True, but in such an event, one would theorize that all civilian usage of oil would simply be strictly rationed, greatly reducing oil used. Maybe a huge economic hit but not a show stopper. Googlemeister (talk) 22:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Note that the old War Plan Green called for seizing the Mexican oil fields. Today there is also oil to be had in Venezuela. Any other nearby sources? Lots of oil goes for agricultural production, and numerous countries would have food shortages in a blocade/embargo, but the tractors would stop gulping fuel. They would not go on producing corn and beans with no external market. Of course crops could be made into biofuel for other needs. If pollution controls were relaxed, there is ample coal to replace oil used for power generation and heat. Edison (talk) 01:27, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Region of eastern China that doesn't have many people[edit]

There's a giant area of eastern China that doesn't have megacities. What's this area called? What's the geography like?

M4e (talk) 20:01, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Compare to this.--droptone (talk) 20:47, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Shameless, only tangentially related plug. TastyCakes (talk) 20:55, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Are you asking about western China? (Having lived for significant amounts of time on both coasts of the U.S., as well in London during my youth, I know how hard it is to keep east/west and coast/inland straight.) Western China, from my extremely limited and casual knowledge, is more mountainous and/or more arid than densely-populated Eastern China. Starting from the northeast, next to Korea, the four great regions surrounding the main part of China are Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Sinkiang-Uighur lands-East Turkestan (Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region) and Tibet. [The four smaller gold stars surrounding the large star in the flag of the People's Republic of China can either represent different social classes allied with the working class, four smaller parties allied with the Chinese Communist Party, or those four large ethnic/geographical regions, which have a limited form of formal autonomy under the PRC's Constitution.] While Sinkiang and Tibet were historically sparsely-populated and isolated from central China, the Beijing government has recently been increasing communications, such as a long railway to Tibet, and encouraging much Han immigration fro Eastern China in efforts to increase economic development and political control. Wikipedia's not the place for either censorship or political advocacy, so I'm trying to write as neutrally as possible without distorting important facts, but it's no secret that both areas have seen both increased nationalism and sometimes-deadly ethnic conflicts. —— Shakescene (talk) 21:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the OP means the rather "strange" hole in megacities on the map, rather than general population density, although what you say is true. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 21:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Although looking belatedly at Droptone's map, I think that my impression of Manchuria's status is rather out of date. —— Shakescene (talk) 22:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the Steppe article describes a lot of this sparsely populated area. TastyCakes (talk) 22:07, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the OP was not referring to Manchuria or the out-lying areas, but the south-central portion which apparently does not have as much population density.
The area in question is roughly southern Hunan, Jiangxi, and northern Guangdong and Guangxi.
I'm not sure of the precise reasons for the relatively lack of large cities in that area, but this area roughly corresponds with the areas of the Nanling Mountains and the mountainous areas to the south of it ("Lingnan area", or "south of the mountains"). The hilly and mountainous terrain, and the fact that the area was absorbed into China rather late, may help to explain the phenomenon. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)


I've heard that part of the problem finding bombs in Afghanistan (and Iraq) is that they're usually made with fertilizer that is widely available for use in agriculture. I have no feel for the chemistry behind this, so maybe it's a stupid question, but is it possible to turn all fertilizers into bombs? If not, couldn't the government ban the types that can be turned into bombs and/or subsidize the type that can't? Are alternatives to the bomb making fertilizers (if they exist) more expensive? TastyCakes (talk) 21:13, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

See ANFO. Comet Tuttle (talk) 22:41, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Expanding on the above: most nitrogenous fertilizers are at least somewhat amenable to use in making Improvised explosive devices, due to the nature of their chemistry. Because of their near indispensibility for agriculture, it was impractical to ban such fertilisers in the comparatively highly controlled UK and Eire when they were used by terrorists on both sides of those states' mutual border during "The Troubles". Government "control" is far, far weaker in the huge, rugged and diverse country of Afghanistan, which also has extensive un-patrollable borders. If the Powers That Be (or Would Be) can't make many inroads into the huge illegal opium-poppy growing industry of the country, cracking down on a primarily innocent and essential commodity like fertilizer is going to be a non-starter. The only effective way to stop such (mis)use is going to be to remove the motivations for it. (talk) 02:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
One option might be to "go organic" and use manure as fertilizer. It is flammable when dried, but not very explosive. I suppose if you could make it into a fine powder, blow it into the air at just the right concentration, then ignite it, you might get something like an air fuel bomb, but all that is likely well beyond the capability of the average Taliban terrorist. StuRat (talk) 04:28, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks guys, I read this article today which expands on all this. It says fertilizers that use Ammonium Nitrate are illegal and can be confiscated if found (but the person must be compensated if it may be for farming). Other fertilizers like urea based ones are allowed. TastyCakes (talk) 16:10, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Knizia elevators[edit]

Are there any Knizia elevators in Germany? -- (talk) 21:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

What is a Knizia elevator? Google doesn't get any results. --Tango (talk) 23:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Dunno, but I bet it's 'knizia than walkin'. --Dweller (talk) 12:40, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Knizia-Strelow is a German manufacturer of elevators. Official site. I'm not sure they are notable - there's no article on the German Wikipedia and this elevator "fan" site lists no Knizia-Strelow installations in Germany or elsewhere. Astronaut (talk) 13:21, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Aaargh, after lots of Kuugeling in German references: Knizia and Strelow - afer a few detours - now seem to be part of Schindler Aufzüge (the German market leader in this area). We have an article on the Schindler Group, however, it does not mention K&S lifts. Schindler also has a sizeable presence in the US, having acquired the elevator/escalator division of Westinghouse in 1989. -- (talk) 21:16, 12 November 2009 (UTC), Ooops, --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 21:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)