Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 November 19

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November 19[edit]

Wikipedia[edit]

Who started Wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.58.153.106 (talk) 01:33, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. We have an article at Wikipedia. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 01:36, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Jimmy won't be too pleased about sharing credit... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.44.55.114 (talk) 09:39, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
No, he's not, but Wikipedians examined the reliable sources and determined that Larry was a co-founder. That's what it says in the relevant Wikipedia articles. --Tango (talk) 17:58, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Also History of Wikipedia. ~ Amory (utc) 01:37, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Company wiki[edit]

Im sure this isnt the proper medium to ask this, but im also sure that this will point me in the right direction.

i wanted to write a wiki about a small company. Nothing too different from the others ive seen, just location, company backround, services offered. But from what ive read,that is inappropriate for Wikipedia. I was hoping for a little help understanding why.... this is an encyclopedia right? Please help! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cincinnatus010 (talkcontribs) 02:42, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Read WP:Notability and Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies). They should help. --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
You might also read WP:NOTWIKI. Staecker (talk) 12:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
WP:COI would be good to read, too. --Tango (talk) 18:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that we do not encourage articles about things that are not "notable" because if we allowed articles about absolutely anything then half of the people on the planet would be writing articles about themselves, their pets...you name it. There would be no way to police all of those trivial articles for reliability, correctness or even language. It's tough enough with just three million articles - imagine if there were a billion or so! The guidelines lay out the threshold at which something (like a small company) is just too insignificant to warrant an article. It can be harsh to think that something you care about is officially "insignificant" - but that's life. Secondly, we aren't about providing free advertising space...and that's probably what you're thinking about when you are considering writing this article. But recall that this is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Do you really want your competitors carefully recording and exposing every mistake you make on the Wikipedia page about your company? They certainly could (and probably should) do that - and because we value neutrality here (as you'd expect of a reputable encyclopedia) - it's very likely that wikipedians would stand up to your protestations and demands for removal of offending material! Finally, you would not be allowed to write just what you want about this company. We have verifiability standards - you need to be able to point to reliable sources for this information - not things that the company has published, independent sources such as newspaper articles, books, etc. You can't say "The Whizzo Widget Company makes red, green and blue widgets" without finding some independent source that says that. That's because we are not a primary source of information - we require that our readers should be able to (in principle) look up the references at the bottom of the article and check for themselves that what the article says is true. For a small company - finding those independent sources can be tough...which brings us back to the notability standards. If you aren't notable enough to have had a lot written about you by independent sources, then there is unlikely to be enough verifiable material to be able to write an unbiassed article. SteveBaker (talk) 13:19, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Faulty cds- any uses?[edit]

What can u make from faulty cds instead of throwing them away. The only thing I can think of is wheels.--79.75.63.71 (talk) 04:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Beermat? --Jayron32 05:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Build a model of a high-tech Viking ship, with the CD's on the side of the boat as shields. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:10, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Hang them in the garden to scare away birds--88.109.19.101 (talk) 06:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Sew them onto a jacket or dress (shiny side outwards, of course) for an unusual fashion look. --Richardrj talk email 08:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
And deer! --Sean 13:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Place them by windows in beams of sunlight to reflect 'rainbows' around the room (some work better than others). 87.81.230.195 (talk) 09:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Put one in your survival kit - they make splendid heliographs.Alansplodge (talk) 09:50, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Use as pocket mirrors? Jørgen (talk) 10:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Send to a CD recyclers, although you have to send in a lot in one go. Lots of places have boxes where you can drop in printer cartridges for free recycling and I've often thought there should be similar boxes for CDs and DVDs.--80.195.117.33 (talk) 11:32, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Weapons. They make for good shuriken. ~ Amory (utc) 14:42, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Have fun zapping them in the microwave (takes less than 5 seconds). Astronaut (talk) 17:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Stick a cotton reel over the hole in the middle, stretch a party balloon over that, inflate it, and you have your own air hockey game. --Tango (talk) 18:02, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Here is a list of possibilities: [1] I like the clock idea and actually had one. cheers, 10draftsdeep (talk) 21:25, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I sometimes see them hanging in the vertical plane from a long piece of string outdoors as a kind of scarecrow. Have lots of them and you have a kinetic sculture that moves and flashes with the wind. I wonder if they tinkle when they hit each other. 78.146.97.208 (talk) 21:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Add a CD halo to a statue of Buddha. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 23:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Make a homemade spectrometer. Nadando (talk) 03:54, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
As others have pointed out, this is something that's often been discussed [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] www.squidoo.com/oldcd (not a wikilink due to spam blacklisting). This also applies to other common sources of useless optical media, e.g. AOL CDs and we even have an AOL disk collecting which has a few relevant links, e.g. [7]. Of course the fact they are commonly called coasters hints at a use itself and there are numerous tutorials [8] [9] [10] www.ehow.com/how_2841_create-cd-coasters.html (not a wikilink due to blacklisting) [11] [12] [13]. Nil Einne (talk) 11:20, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

throw them at your little sister? --Talk Shugoːː 18:58, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

res judicata[edit]

Is this legal concept the same as double jeopardy? DOR (HK) (talk) 06:46, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Not exactly, it's more of a parallel to it. Read both articles (which I have now linked) and perhaps the distinction will become clearer. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:52, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, BB. Couldn't make heads or tails of the difference myself. 210.176.69.125 (talk) 09:46, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Res judicata means that the legal issues involved have already been firmly decided and are unlikely to change. Double jeopardy says that the same person can't be tried twice for the same crime. I suppose that most cases of double jeopardy are also res judicata - but not vice-versa. Res judicata comes up in (for example) hearings of the US Supreme Court where they may decide not to hear some particular case (deferring it to some lower court, perhaps) because they have already ruled on similar cases in the past so that the legal issues involved are res judicata - even though different defendants are involved each time so that double jeopardy does not apply. SteveBaker (talk) 13:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually that last sounds more like stare decisis. I don't know much about res judicata but the impression I got from the article is that it has to do with questions of fact, not questions of law. --Trovatore (talk) 21:13, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Are there any national financial capitals that aren't[edit]

also the national publishing and advertising capitals?

Seizethemonth (talk) 08:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Germany: Frankfurt am Main (finance) vs Hamburg (media). Advertising may be evenly split between those two (with Berlin and Munich as further centres). --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 09:17, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Hong Kong. 210.176.69.125 (talk) 09:47, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
USA - Wall Street isn't in Washington DC!Alansplodge (talk) 09:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone would consider Washington DC to be either a publishing or advertising capital. Dismas|(talk) 12:04, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed - I didn't read the question properly...Alansplodge (talk) 13:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Canberra , Australia seems like it would qualify. Googlemeister (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Again, I don't think Canberra is a financial, publishing, or advertising capital. Marco polo (talk) 15:33, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if it is still the case, but in the 1980's, through a quirk in legislation, Canberra (more correctly the ACT) was the hardcore porn publishing centre of Australia. --80.176.225.249 (talk) 23:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed there is many a porn to be had in Canberra, but like Marco polo said, Canberra definitely is not the financial, advertising or publishing capital of the countryl. - Akamad (talk) 00:27, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
For China, Shanghai is arguably more important than Hong Kong as a financial center within China. Hong Kong is something of a city-state unto itself. Within China, advertising is split among Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, with Hong Kong firms also heavily involved. However, Beijing is really the main publishing center. Marco polo (talk) 15:41, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
How does a city with no convertable currency or free movement of capital qualify as a financial capital?DOR (HK) (talk) 02:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
India: Mumbai is the center for finance and advertising, whereas New Delhi is the center for publishing. Marco polo (talk) 15:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Not 100% certain, but I think that Wellington is still regarded as New Zealand's financial capital (it's definitely still the legislative one), while Auckland is the centre for advertising and publishing. Grutness...wha? 00:16, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

why does a minute have 60 seconds???[edit]

thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.197.253.31 (talk) 13:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Because it does. It's a tacit, consensus-approved convention. Also,
The fact that an hour contains 60 minutes is probably due to influences from the Babylonians, who used a base-60 or sexagesimal counting system.
I'm sure this also applies to the second-minute ratio. Vranak (talk) 13:58, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
...and also the 360 degrees in a circle. It wasn't really a base 60 system, though, but alternated between bases of 6 and 10, as follows:
    The 1st digit went up to 6.
    The 2nd digit went up to 60 (6×10).
    The 3rd digit went up to 360 (6×10×6).
    The 4th digit went up to 3600 (6×10×6×10).
You also see the 3600 seconds in an hour in there. Now, you might ask why they used an alternating system of 6's and 10's. The 10's are obvious, as that's how many fingers we have (except for those who play with fireworks). The 6's, on the other hand, may have come about as a way to get a number close to the number of days in a year (360≈365¼). They also have the advantage of being a number you can probably just look at to count (rather than going 1, 2, 3, ...). StuRat (talk) 16:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
For pre-decimal days, 6 works better as a number base because it's more convenient to do fractions in. (Dividable by 2,3,6 - add in the 10, and you get 2,3,4,5,6,10,etc.) -- 128.104.112.237 (talk) 17:41, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I also heard somewhere that part of the reason a second is the length it is because it roughly approximates a human heartbeat at rest. Don't know if there's any truth behind that... TastyCakes (talk) 16:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
For a possible alternative system, see Decimal time. --Richardrj talk email 16:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
In a world without calculators, base-60 makes a lot of sense because 60 is evenly divided by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20 and 30. No other reasonably small number can do that. Choosing base-10 just because we happen to have 10 fingers was a poor decision in retrospect! SteveBaker (talk) 19:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course, you then need to have sixty different, distinguishable symbols to represent all of the numerals. And what child will remember his multiplication tables? If you'd like, you can pretend that we have a base-100 system now — just take pairs of digits in a base-10 number. Then you've got a base that is evenly divided by 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 25, and 50. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:24, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
...which is more or less exactly what they did - using pairs of symbols in base 6 and 10 as StuRat explained above. I agree that learning to multiply in such a system would be tough. It's interesting to note the issues with going the other direction - computer software people are "really" working in base 2 - but that's so incredibly inconvenient that people started to work in base 8 (octal) in order to have shorter numbers, using more symbols. Gradually, it became clear that base 16 was yet more convenient. Octal is now more or less obsolete - most people work in "hexadecimal" - complete with 16 symbols (0-9,A-F). SteveBaker (talk) 03:49, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

In the 16th century the astronomer Taqi al-Din in his observatory at Istanbul built the first mechanical clock which divided each minute into five seconds. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 23:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

In a world without calculators, base-60 makes a lot of sense because 60 is evenly divided by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20 and 30. No other reasonably small number can do that. Which is especially useful in the time when fractions were the way of math, and decimal math was far in the future. Pfly (talk) 07:47, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Page Count[edit]

Hi, I once stumbled on a link to a page where you can see the count of your contributions on Wiki, so I obviously got hooked, and now I'm page-count-dependant, so how do I reach it? It should be a site outside the orthodox Wiki, and anyway does it count all contribuitions on wiki or only WikiEnglish (eg. contribuitions in italian)? Help a poor Wikiatic...--Amendola90 (talk) 13:38, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

A list of edit counters is available at Wikipedia:WikiProject edit counters. The most popular one is by User:X! at http://toolserver.org/~soxred93/ec, and it can count contributions on any language Wikipedia individually. --Mysdaao talk 14:22, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Gotcha, thanks for the help.--Amendola90 (talk) 16:44, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Also, see WP:NOTWIKI. Thanks, gENIUS101 22:22, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
If you mean that you wish to know how many edits you have done, it's listed near the top of your "my preferences" page. B00P (talk) 08:42, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

I did not realize I was torturing users calling Wikipedia Wiki, but I suppose it could bother some people, I used it just so I didn't have to repeat Wikipedia over and over. Anyway WP is all I need as abbreviative. Thanks --Amendola90 (talk) 13:01, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Viatical settlements[edit]

A viatical settlement is where a person with life insurance sells beneficiary rights to a third party who pays the premium until the insured person's death. Usually beneficiaries are close to the insured and have a financial incentive, so notifying the insurer of death is not an issue, but that's not the case with a viatical settlement. How does the viatical settlement purchaser ensure that they are notified when the insured dies (assuming they don't do the logical thing and take out a hit on the seller)? Thanks. --Sean 14:28, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Usually in such cases the insured person is terminally ill when the benefits are assigned, so they won't have very long to wait. The settlement will stipulate that they are notified of the death, and if for some reason this does not occur, they can always search the register of deaths. -Ehrenkater (talk) 15:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

By the way, some life insurance policies have an early benefit (often called "accelerated benefit") provision, wherein a terminally ill person can collect a portion of his benefit before he dies, thus reducing the incentive to make an arrangement like a viatical settlement. The Hero of This Nation (talk) 15:33, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

True - most term protetion policies have a 'Terminal Illness Benefit' which pays out the life-insurance amount on diagnosis of a terminal illnness (usually qualified with being given less than 12 months to live). Firms also have 'orphan funds' with millions in payouts that haven't been claimed. 194.221.133.226 (talk) 16:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

If you buy something, and the price drops substantially, and you are still within the return period...[edit]

Will the retailer usually refund you the difference, or will they require you to return it and then buy it again?

I bought a Tivo DVR from Amazon less than 30 days ago, and now it is selling for almost $42 cheaper. Will Amazon refund me the $42 or should I return it and buy it again? The Hero of This Nation (talk) 15:30, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

P.S. No "Ask Amazon" answers please. I am asking them -- I just want to know what others' experience has been. The Hero of This Nation (talk) 15:38, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Unopened/unused items with a purchase-receipt - yes you should be able to get a refund from most retailers and then re-buy in the sale. Amazon automatically 'drop' the price if you pre-order something at one price and it is then subsequently released at a cheaper price (it recently happened to me - I bought a game at £35 on pre-order, but by release it was £25 so got a £10 refund). I very much doubt they would automatically do that for non pre-order purchases (since you are buying the item there and then). It's a company by company issue. 15:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.221.133.226 (talk)

Unless there is something wrong with the item, you may find you have to return it at your own expense, including insurance in case it goes missing. In the UK at least, vendors are not obliged to refund your money if there is nothing wrong with the purchased item: once you've accepted it the contract has been completed. (Sorry if this is bordering on legal advice.)--Shantavira|feed me 17:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
It's bordering on incorrect legal advice. In the UK, Amazon is obliged to accept goods back if they are returned within 7 days, under the Distance Selling Regulations. (There are conditions attached to how they must be returned). --Phil Holmes (talk) 10:51, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't know about Amazon, but a lot of places charge a 10-15% "restocking fee" on electronics (along with return postage), which would eat into your profit on the return-and-rebuy deal. Unfortunately, the "Ask Amazon" is the best answer you're going to get - each retailer has it's own policy, and I am unaware of any law which would force them to refund you the money. It is, however, good customer service, so it may be likely that they'll do so if you ask nicely. -- 128.104.112.237 (talk) 17:37, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
My family does this all the time; it seems sketchy to me, but I think they do it on purpose for some reason. They've never had a problem getting a refund for the difference between the normal price and the sale price. Occasionally they will need to bring the item back, get a full refund, and then buy it again at the sale price. This is at big retail stores in Canada, where, I suppose, the teenagers working for minimum wage are too apathetic to care. Adam Bishop (talk) 18:08, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
If the store allows full refunds without a specific reason, then there's not really anything the cashier could do about it even if they did care. Rckrone (talk) 20:47, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The OP is hoping for two things that in Law are separate: 1) Voiding of the original purchase with a full refund. 2) A subsequent purchase of an article. (It makes no difference whether it is the same or a duplicate article.) Depending on the terms of sale, the Seller may not be obliged to do 1). The Seller is not obliged to do 2) (and can always claim to be sold out). Cuddlyable3 (talk) 23:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Some brick-and-mortar retailers have a "price guarantee" offer: if they cut the price within a certain period after purchase (usually one week or 30 days), you bring in the receipt and they'll refund you the price difference. --Carnildo (talk) 01:29, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
From my experience this all depends on the refund policy of the company because not all places have fancy "price guarantees". The refund policy will dictate the terms of refunding the item. However, most refund policies also indicate that the item must be in a sell-able condition, so for example, let's assume you are still within the return period, but you are actually only interested in getting refunded the price difference and not interested in actually refunding the item, but your item has been used and isn't really "sell-able" - in which case the manager would have to be called to issue a refund and immediately sell it back to you. I guess, this whole system also means that if the price is reduced and your return period is up, you cannot get the better price -- and that sounds pretty fair to me :p Rfwoolf (talk) 11:26, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

What stops her from going mad?[edit]

I am British and an avowed supporter of the Monarchy though I would happily lose most of the lesser hangers-on. I watched the Queen yesterday do a magnificent - as usual - job of presenting the next set of Government Bills to both Houses of Parliament. I have met the Queen and Prince Philip on several occasions and always found them to be polite, pleasant, and utterly bland, in the same way she was during the Queen's speech yesterday. Nothing seems to excite or thwart her - she takes everything in her stride. Her life is so pre-arranged and predictable that she must know to the minute what is going to happen to her schedule for months and years ahead. How can anyone in her position remain sane when there are no surprises left, save an ex-daughter-in-law dying in a car crash, or 3 of her 4 children divorcing. Does she have some secret and private life that is kept justifiably off-limits from the press and public that allows her to be like the rest of us - at ease. Or was she, like her father and predecesors, trained for this pantomime role and therefore takes it and herself utterly seriously? 92.21.176.245 (talk) 18:17, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The queen certainly has times when she is not scheduled and her time is her own. As best anyone can tell, her private life is quite conventional. She dotes on her dogs and takes an interest in horse races. You should see the film The Queen if you haven't already. It offers what I think is a well-researched glimpse of the queen's private world. 192.251.134.5 (talk) 18:25, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
It's also a matter of what you're used to. Bear in mind that she's lived in that environment all of her life - for her, it's 100% normal. SteveBaker (talk) 19:25, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I've never heard the expression "utterly bland" used as a compliment before, but there you go, language is full of surprises. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't understand "utterly bland" to be complimentary, as used. Bus stop (talk) 21:29, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
First, what choice does she have but do go along with the dreary life you have described? Second, maybe she already has gone partly mad. Just because you go a little crazy it doesn't mean you cease to live. Vranak (talk) 20:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not so sure her life is dreary. One way to look at it is that this is her job. As a job, it's not a bad one. She does some research, so that she knows something about the various dignitaries she will meet and can carry on polite conversation with them. She is always meeting new and interesting people as part of her job. She needs to keep up with the news so that what she says is relevant. Most challengingly, she needs to inspire Britons and help uphold the legitimacy of the British state. It is her job to project the gravitas that American presidents are also expected to project, though not all succeed. Finally, the job is quite well paid and comes with some very nice perks. Marco polo (talk) 21:08, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
That will depend on your point of view I suppose. It seems like a prison with golden bars to me. Googlemeister (talk) 21:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
"..she needs to inspire Britons and help uphold the legitimacy of the British state.." LMAO, ROFL, etc. etc. I know you're US not UK, but do you really think she does that - or that most Brits think she does that, or would even want her to...  ???!!!! (There goes my chance of a knighthood, but I'd rather have a barnstar any day...) Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:46, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
When I had an office job I could tell you what I was going to be doing months or years ahead. I was stuck in an office, in the same seat with the same people doing the same paperwork with the same view out of the window (view: a wall) for years, but I did not go mad (I think....). Q has it a lot easier: she jets off to interesting places, meets interesting people, and gets constantly adored. 78.146.97.208 (talk) 21:58, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
She upholds an interesting ideal. There are expectations of how the upper crust is supposed to conduct themselves. I think that involves not revealing vulgar emotions. I think that involves not stooping to engage in expressing disagreement except from a place of remoteness. The air of nobility has to be understood in order to be cultivated, and understanding it is probably a full time preoccupation. Being the queen is thus a genuine calling, with all its quirks and demanding responsibilities. Bus stop (talk) 22:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Her "public persona may be the way it is because that's the way they're taught - just like those palace guards who look like statues. Once they're off duty, they likely engage in quite a few interesting leisure activities with quite a few frivolities. It's just that the only time you see them is when they're guarding Buckingham Palace, etc.. I'm sure the queen is the same way.
Besides, what else would you expect? Do you really expect reigning monarchs to start hurling insults at other countries, or launch into a monologue like Bob Hope? "Hey, about that European Union, I wanna tell ya, I had a bad feeling about it ever since I first saw the acronym for it; who would want to belong to a place that sounds like someone let off a stink bomb?" (Eeewwwwww) :-)
Some United States politicians have been known to have much greater senses of humor, too, than others. So, maybe her personality just isn't one to be really loud and outgoing. Some people, genetically, are just much more reserved.209.244.187.155 (talk) 22:22, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The comparison with politicians is wide of the mark. The UK monarch, whatever else he or she may be, is absolutely not a politician. They do not engage in public controversy, and are rarely if ever interviewed. They are above politics. The only time the Queen ever speaks on political matters is when she opens a new session of Parliament, where she outlines the government's intentions for the coming period; but she always reads a speech prepared for her, and it is important that she be seen to be reading someone else's words, even if they are couched in terms such as "My Government will ....". -- JackofOz (talk) 19:47, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I am sure that the lives of all you palace watchers have aspects that you would regret being widely known. The Queen has a private life that is nobody's business but hers. As a public person she would seem never excited or thwarted but if that is a mask, it can slip as when she related

Her present sanity is not in question. But their regal status kept neither monarchs George nor Ludwig sane Cuddlyable3 (talk) 23:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Regardless of The Queen's purpose or lack thereof, it's nice to give her the benefit of the doubt. She seems like a decent lady. Vranak (talk) 23:10, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

She's a pretty nice girl, but she hasn't got a lot to say. I'd like to tell that I love her a lot, but I got to get a belly full of wine. Someday I'm gonna make her mine. Oh, yeh. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:56, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Let's hope that day never comes, Baseball Bugs - God save the Queen say I. Getting back to the point, there's much dispute about the nature of George III's illness which is not covered in the Wikipedia article, which just describes him as "insane". Alansplodge (talk) 09:46, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
She's already in my little black book. Just waiting patiently for ol' Phil to croak. You've heard the expression "marrying up"? Hitching with royalty would qualify. In any case, as I understand it, the royals live a fairly conservative live in private. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:32, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm British and I favour just having a prime minister without any royalty or president. I've been trying to figure out how some people accumulate big success/wealth out of mutually-willing reciprocal exchanges with others. For the OP this seems to be some of the prestige of royalty rubbing off on them. The small amount of respect that Q gets in return from each individual like the OP adds up, due to the large number of people, and maintains her current wealth/sucess etc etc. I understand that the royal family refer to themselves as "The Firm" among themselves. Ha ha ha, merely a joke of course, not at all impliying that they are posh and polite version of the Mafia who have been conning the loyal suckers for generations, oh no definately not. 78.151.128.59 (talk) 12:51, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

As an American, it occurs to me there can be some value in having a head of state who is above politics, at least in theory. Whether it's worth what the royal family costs the British, might be debatable. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:19, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
This article says it costs 37 million pounds to support the royal family each year, which seems a pittance for anything of national importance (which I disagree that maintaining a monarchic appendix is, but there's no DisneyLand in the UK, so I suppose they need something for tourists to gawk at). --Sean 19:00, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, the contributer calling himself "78.151.128.59" is in a small minority here in the UK[14][15]. Alansplodge (talk) 20:01, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I suppose its the reflected glory that you like. The Soviets probably published similar polls about their system. £37m could relieve a lot of misery if spent in the right way. 92.29.18.113 (talk) 21:39, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
To a significant extent it is support of Queen Elizabeth II rather than support of the monarchy. --Tango (talk) 21:46, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
You can't really compare the UK to the USSR. People here are free to vote for whatever political party they choose. If there was a real will to do away with the Monarchy it would have been abolished by now. Australia is having the debate now. For my part, yes, I like the pageantry, I like the continuity with our history and I believe that the Monarchy is a sure safeguard for the British Constitution. Giving up the Monarchy for me would be like asking the US to give up it's flag and national anthem. For me, Britain without a Sovereign wouldn't be Britain. Just my opinion of course. Alansplodge (talk) 22:11, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
My totally inaccurate back-of-an-envelope guesswork suggests that £37million per year would for example pay to put over 1000 people through university who would not otherwise go - thats 1000 human lives transformed every year, something like 80000 or more per monarch's lifetime. Spent in overseas aid it could I expect change the lives of many times that number. If the £37m per year was used to pay the interest on capital, then at say (pure guesswork) 5% it would be equivalent to £740million capital, which would pay for a lot of hospitals, schools etc in the UK or overseas. If you used the bank base rate as the interest rate then the capital would be much greater than that - billions in fact. 78.146.30.105 (talk) 19:04, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
It's an old argument, which also applies to spending on space programs, cultural events, pure mathematics, fashion, Christmas shopping, and a raft of other things that are not absolutely necessary for the continuation of the human species - while millions starve. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:00, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
And I thought you were a rabid anti-royalist. 78.146.30.105 (talk) 20:22, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
This isn't the place to discuss our individual positions on these matters. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:37, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget, the Monarchy technically makes a net contribution to the Treasury - the Crown Estate belongs to the monarch (not the Queen personally) but all the revenue it generates (about £230m last year) goes to the Treasury because each recent monarch as agreed to it. It would only make financial sense to stop paying the monarchy if we also confiscated all that property. --Tango (talk) 22:02, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
The Crown Estate belongs to the people of the UK, as does Buck Pal and so on. So its not true to claim that royalty pays us money. The wealth that the royals have now was taken from us in the past. Perhaps royalty has some worth in generating tourism and political stability, but the largess ought to be cut to 10% of what it is now. £3.7 million income a year is still a fabulous income. 84.13.162.136 (talk) 10:36, 23 November 2009 (UTC)