Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009 October 3

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October 3[edit]

winning the California Lottery[edit]

i was intrigued by a story posted on Yahoo's home page about lottery winners' fortunes over the years (good and bad)... apparently winners discover they have "dozens" of unknown relatives after they win big (most - of course - are 'needy')...

as a tax accountant/State auditor I understand the financial aspects of dispensing winnings... I was discussing with friends (from other states) about creating a corporation to hide identity from puplic when claiming the winnings (but, then again, the Secretary of State releases officers' names/addresses)... a friend said "why not just claim the winnings anonymously"??

I answered that it was not possible because there's an explicit agreement when playing that they will use the winner(s)' likenesses for promotional purposes... my friend vehemently disagrees (he is from Alabama)...

so I went online to discover the truth... I have been to many websites (including the California Lottery Home Page and California Lottery Act of 1984 page but this issue (seemingly very important) is not addressed..

QUESTION: other than supplying identifying info for taxing agencies, etc... does a winner have a "legal option" to direct all California Lottery personnel to keep his/her identity secret?? to exclude info from the press releases, etc??

thanks!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lizardking1969 (talkcontribs) 00:21, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

See Lotto, the chances of winning, even with a secret identity are extremely small. (talk) 00:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The OP didn't ask what their chances were. They're asking about the rules of the game in a specific locale. And your suggestion to check the Lotto article is poor since the article doesn't answer the question. Dismas|(talk) 02:41, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
A response is good if it provides some information that is helpful to the OP. A posting that doesn't add anything to help the OP and only disparages other response(s) is an ungood response. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 18:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
This suggests yes they do have the option [1] at least in some cases although it obviously doesn't say whether it's their legal right. Nil Einne (talk) 03:59, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
In the UK, FWIW, players have the right to anonymity. --Phil Holmes (talk) 11:19, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
And rightfully so in the UK: Winning leads to smiling, and publicity leads to photos. The British dental dilemma needs no further exposure. (talk) 11:39, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
We don't have a dental dilemma, we just have normal teeth. It is the US that has an unnatural obsession with cosmetic dentistry. --Tango (talk) 16:58, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
A dilemma means a choice between two options, both unpleasant; how does that word fit here, other than alliteration? —Tamfang (talk) 18:42, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe the answer depends on the jurisdiction. I believe some U.S. states allow winners to remain anonymous while some don't. The argument against anonymity is that it casts doubt on the integrity of the process -- a legitimate concern considering a scandal in Canada. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:52, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
This reflects a major difference in UK and American law. In the states winners get taxed. In the UK gambling winnings are exempt from all taxation (please note the IRS (the American tax office) will still want their cut on any overseas winnings!) Spielberg —Preceding undated comment added 23:23, 6 October 2009 (UTC).

Driving a Car with a Dual-Clutch[edit]

When driving a high-performance sports car with a "sports-tuned" dual-clutch/twin-clutch transmission with paddle shifters, does the driver experience the characteristic "shock" when the clutch is engaged after each gear shift like in a traditional manual? Acceptable (talk) 03:02, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Never driven a dual-clutch myself, but I have driven a standard traditional manual 5-speed transmission in 3 different cars for the past 17 years. When driven properly, there is not a characteristic "shock". Poor drivers or those who are inexperienced with a manual transmission will do that. If driven properly, a manual transmission should be as smooth as an automatic. --Jayron32 04:48, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

No such thing as a 'characteristic shock' from a manual gear box if the car is driven properly. Used to have to double-declutch, but not for decades since synchro came in.Froggie34 (talk) 07:18, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

It sounds like a grounding issue to me. It you can't fix the problem, you might try rubber soled shoes and gloves. (talk) 11:30, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The shock that I am referring to arises from the fact that in a traditional manual, the clutch needs to be disengaged and re-engaged. As a result, the car experiences a temporary pause from acceleration and then suddenly re accelerated. The same phenomenal exists in quick-shifting automatic. Since the dual clutch can provide power without disengaging, will it still have this pause? Acceptable (talk) 16:46, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I see. Well some cars Triumph Spitfire, for example had an optional electronic overdrive on the shifter. Does your car have such a device, or possibly some other electrical contraption that could be a factor during shifting? What we need here, I believe is more details on the vehicle and any specifics you have on your being shocked. (talk) 18:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
So given the (already stated) caveat that a correctly driven manual transmission doesn't jerk abruptly between gears - the claim is that the dual clutch arrangement avoids that problem. However, it can't be perfectly smooth.
  • Imagine a dual-clutch transmission with the engine turning at (say) 4000 rpm at 50mph. When you shift up to the next gear which has a higher ratio, the car cannot instantaneously accelerate to whatever speed the car travels at when it's turning 4000 rpm in the new gear. The computerised shifter can shift in an amazingly short amount of time - maybe 10 milliseconds(!) - but the car can't change speed that fast - so instead, the engine has to change RPM abruptly - and that causes a 'jerk'.
  • With a pure manual shifter, the driver is supposed to adjust the engine RPM while the clutch is depressed so that the speed of the car in the new gear and at the new RPM is exactly what it was in the old gear and at the old RPM. Done right - this is a very smooth operation - but not many people drive that smoothly - so there is this myth that stick-shift transmissions always "jerk" when you shift.
  • In a conventional automatic, there are fluid clutches that are designed to slip until the RPM's sort themselves out with the speed of the car - but that's wasteful and slow.
Personally - I HATE any kind of 'sequential' gearbox because I often want to shift by more than one gear. If I'm cruising along on the freeway in 6th gear (for economy) and I need to kick in with a blast of power to overtake - I'll skip 5th gear and drop all the way to 4th so that the car is at the peak of the torque curve in the new gear and I have maximum acceleration available to me. Shifting through 5th is just pointless. But with the dual clutch arrangement, it's literally impossible to shift by anything other than one gear at a time - so you have to shift through 5th and then down to 4th - and while the individual shifts are fast, somehow shifting twice is just painfully slow compared to a decent short-shift manual gearbox. However, these dual-clutch arrangements do save fuel compared to a full automatic - so unless the continuously variable transmission technologies take off - we're probably going to see more of them in the future. SteveBaker (talk) 00:22, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Having driven a Golf V GTI with a DSG gearbox (and I'm talking pedal-to-the-metal, not a gentle Sunday cruise), I can report that you feel absolutely NOTHING whatsoever during gearshifts. If it wasn't for the fact that you HEAR the engine revs dropping as the gearbox shifts up you wouldn't know that the car had just changed gear. It is literally that smooth. For this to happen however it must take the engine 8 MILLIseconds (the gear-change time for that particular gearbox) to match the engine revs for the next gear, it doesn't seem possible but somehow it works. Can't remember if the downshifts were as smooth as the upshifts, but they were definitely smoother (and quicker) than I've ever managed to change gears in my life. It is literally in one gear NOW, and the next instant it's in the next/previous gear and you haven't felt anything.

Oh snap, just re-read your question and you're asking about sports cars in particular, so what I've said above might not apply. Apparently the Audi R8 R-tronic gearbox isn't as smooth as the others in the VW/Audi group. Guess we'll wait for a 911 or Nisaan GT-R owner to pop by. Zunaid 15:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I've heard reports that some of these gearboxes jerk pretty badly when the engine is cold - and that may well have something to do with it's inability to change RPM quickly when not up to operating temperature.

Price Quote for a 2004 Nissan Sentra[edit]

My friend has a 2004 Nissan Sentra SE for sale and would like to know how much it can be sold for.

  • It has roughly 95,000 km (59,000 miles) on it.
  • Minor rust on the bottom of the door.
  • 5-gear manual transmission
  • New tires

Thanks, Acceptable (talk) 03:04, 3 October 2009 (UTC) is the website for the Kelly Blue Book. You can look it up there. --Jayron32 04:46, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Without taking it for a testdrive, or at least seeing some photos, I can only offer you $500.00 (talk) 11:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that the Kelly blue book is regional. Here in Texas, the private resale value is probably around $8,000 - but it makes a difference where you are situated. SteveBaker (talk) 23:41, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

fish & chips[edit]

is the fish in the "fish and chips" boneless? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

In my experience (both in North America and the UK) it is. Or at least it's supposed to be; occasionally you may get a piece that's not cut right and has some bone. --Anonymous, 04:17 UTC, October 3, 2009.
Pretty much, yes. You might get a tiny bit of bone every now and then, but for the most part it will be boneless - it is designed to be eaten with nothing but a tiny wooden fork, after all. (This is based on UK experience, I've never seen a fish 'n' chip shop anywhere else.) --Tango (talk) 04:38, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Actuallly the 'tiny little fork' is recent. The correct way to eat fish and chips is out of newspaper with one's fingers. Yummy!Froggie34 (talk) 07:17, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I like my fish and chips with lots of malt vinegar, so my fingers would get really messy that way. But still, needs must - if there are no tiny forks, one must make do. --Tango (talk) 22:20, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Depends on what you eat. For example, rock salmon (or rockfish is another name you might find on the menu) contains a central bone. It is normal to serve cod and haddock (and their relations) filleted, i.e. boneless. However, you may well find the odd bone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TammyMoet (talkcontribs) 09:19, 3 October 2009 (UTC) oops forgot to sign!--TammyMoet (talk) 09:20, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Discussion about international terms for chips. The Reference Desk is not a chatroom

The real question is why do they say "Chips" in Fish and Chips. Though I prefer the Fries, I somehow feel like a swindle has occured whenever I purchase the meal. (talk) 11:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the real question is why don't the people who call them "fries" call them "chips". A "fry" could be anything that's fried - meat, bread, rice, icecream, eggs, and yes, even chipped potatoes or other vegetables. (cf. a "roast" is anything that's roasted; a "bake" is anything that's baked; a "slice" is anything that's sliced; "eats" are anything that's eaten; "drinks" are anything that's drunk; I almost wonder why a salad isn't referred to as a "rip, cut, squeeze and toss".) -- JackofOz (talk) 11:48, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Anything can also be "chipped" (and frequently are - yams for example). It's just usage. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:20, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
What about the word "pickle"? That annoys me more than "fry". "Pickle" just means a way of preserving food using vinegar, it doesn't refer only to a pickled gherkin. --Tango (talk) 22:20, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
"Fries" are what Americans, French, Spanish, etc. call them. It would seem that it's the British who are at odds. But what do you expect from a country who's leading newspaper once ran the headline, "Fog In Channel - Continent Cut Off". :) →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 20:31, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Citation needed. (talk) 13:20, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
And why do Americans call crisps chips? They're thin slices fried to a crisp. Chips are honest-to-god potatoe chips designed for the working man whilst fries are a frenchy weedy thing. I suppose fries is better if you're going to use a poncey wooden fork. :) Dmcq (talk) 14:15, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Potatoes originated in the Americas, so we get to call them whatever we want. Ditto for corn (maize), tomatoes, chocolate, peppers, pineapple, beans, squash and pumpkins, peanuts and tobacco. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:00, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Look, it's simple - foreigners often get the names of English things wrong, so if Americans want to call chips fries and crisps chips, let them. I'm fairly sure though that beans aren't notably American in origin. DuncanHill (talk) 20:05, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
See common bean. Beans on toast uses baked beans made from navy beans. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
There are plenty of other beans that aren't American in origin, including the beans which Pythagoreans abstained from long before Cabot discovered the American mainland. DuncanHill (talk) 13:58, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
And let's not forget scones vs. biscuits. "Corn" is the dominant cereal grain in a given country. Hence terms like "barleycorn", and also "Indian corn", which is shortened to "corn" in the USA and is called by its proper Anglicized name "maize" in countries where "corn" means a different grain. →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 20:26, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
They originated in America sure. They didn't originate from the United States of America. Just because you guys tried to annihilate the natives, doesn't mean we should ignore their names... Nil Einne (talk) 23:13, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Oooh snap --antilivedT | C | G 23:17, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
If nothing else, at least those chips are typically boneless. →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 20:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
<sarcasm>You guys are all idiots.<end sarcasm> They're both chips. <sarcasm>Anyone who talks about fries or crisps is an idiot.<end sarcasm> Nil Einne (talk) 23:13, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The bigger question is why - if Americans insist on calling chips "fries" - don't they call fish and chips "fish and fries"? At least we Brit's are consistent. SteveBaker (talk) 23:34, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
"We Brits"? According to this [2] you've just insulted yourself. At this point, I don't know what to believe. :) →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 06:43, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The Long John Silver's chain calls them Fish and Fries, or at least they used to. →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 06:32, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding "crisps", truth to tell the word "chips" is easier to say than "crisps". →Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 06:33, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
It's easier to say chips then fries too. Now what did I say earlier...? Nil Einne (talk) 07:02, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Because "Fish and Chips" is a British phrase that has been imported intact. (Long after our two languages diverged.) APL (talk) 15:16, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

A reader more interested in light than heat would do well to look at H. L. Mencken's 1919 work, The American Language, and its later editions and supplements. Mencken explains in detail how American English became its dominant form, whilst British became a backwater dialect. PhGustaf (talk) 00:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

In Canada, where people mostly understand both US and British English, "Fish and Chips" is the name of the specific dish, and it's basically an acknowledgement of its British heritage. You might even a description "Fish and Chips:Lightly battered cod with a side order of French Fries..."
But in Canada, you have poutine, and you don't have to eat fish and chips at all. A place down the street has good squid and chips. Gotta think about lunch. PhGustaf (talk) 14:30, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Analyzing the composition of a piece of Toilet Paper[edit]

Suppose I have access to all modern analytical chemistry techniques and equipment, what would be the best way to determine the composition of a piece of toilet paper? For example, I want to know how much, by percentage, cotton, wool, cashmere, etc... it contains.

Would a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry work? Acceptable (talk) 03:47, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Probably not. Such a method may be able to determine the molecule-by-molecule composition, but not at the fiber level. The best options would probably be some form of microscopy. --Jayron32 04:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Won't it be made almost entirely of wood pulp (and maybe other fiber crops)? I've never heard of woollen toilet paper... I'm no chemist, but I think most chemical analysis will just tell you it is made of plant matter. A powerful microscope and a lot of expertise is probably the best way of identifying which plants - since it has all been pulped it is likely to be rather difficult. --Tango (talk) 04:47, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
You could use a simpler instrument - a pen - and write to the manufacturer's and ask. --Phil Holmes (talk) 11:02, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Would the analysis be before or after the products intended use? (talk) 11:25, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Expanding on Jayron's answer, I would suggest fluorescence microscopy, using labeled antibodies against the various fiber types that may be present. Whether such antibodies are commercially available, I have no idea. --NorwegianBlue talk 12:35, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Normally fibres will be determined by looking at the scale pattern with a microscope. Once you find that it is 100% wood, you may wish to find out exactly what wood. You could also do a trace element analysis and isotope checkup. I don't know how well this is documented. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Price of Cigarettes[edit]

Including tax, is a packet of cigarettes worth more than its weight in gold in the United Kingdom? GeeJo (t)(c) • 11:58, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

See this. At a little over an ounce per pack, the purchase price you pay would have to be quite high to achieve your criteria. (talk) 12:18, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I believe in the UK right now, gold is running around $600-$700 an ounce... so, those cigarettes better be good! :) Goatofmendes (talk) 13:29, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Silver is around $16, or just over £10, per ounce. How's that compare? --FOo (talk) 19:32, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
A typical packet of cigarettes is currently around the £6 mark - there may be some places (airports, motorway service areas, etc) that'll charge you £8 or thereabouts, but £10 would still be extortionate. Tevildo (talk) 21:40, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Vitamin D .[edit]

Do our bodies create vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun behind glass and is so is it a safer way to sun bathe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lyn Williams (talkcontribs) 12:40, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

See Vitamin D, specifically on UVB radiation as related to Vitamin D3. Also see UV Light. You would need specifics on the glass as to any filtering of the wavelegnths related to the above. (talk) 15:03, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget the magnifying effect of glass! Definitely not a safer way to sunbathe - unless you want the more immediate damage of burnt skin! --TammyMoet (talk) 16:17, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
What magnifying effect of glass? Certain glass lenses magnify but a flat glass window doesn't. --Tango (talk) 02:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
OR when I sit in my car, with the sun shining through a window straight onto my skin, my skin goes red in much less time than if I'm just outside. I've experienced this all through my life. My apologies if my experience is theoretically wrong! I'm aware that glass can block some of the sun's rays but not others. Whatever, the answer to the OP is no it's not a safer way to sunbathe! --TammyMoet (talk) 09:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that the very same rays that are harming your skin are the ones that cause Vitamin D to be produced - so in a sense it doesn't matter whether the glass blocks them or not - if it does - then there is no point in sunbathing behind glass - and if it doesn't then it's still dangerous to sunbathe behind glass. Either way - there is still no point in doing it. But you don't need to sunbathe to get enough Vitamin D. Just 15 minutes with nothing more than your hands and face exposed to the sun is enough to give you enough Vitamin D for the day. SteveBaker (talk) 23:27, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Wow! Useful stuff. Now I can tell my mother that when she tells me it's not good for me to sit indoors all day on my computer. Vimescarrot (talk) 01:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, there are benefits to exercise too... --Tango (talk) 02:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
It has to be 15 minutes of summer sunshine - winter sunshine does not work. There was a question dealing with this on the Science page a while ago. (talk) 19:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Avarage speed of Elfwood moderators[edit]

On Tuesday, September 29th, I created an Elfwood account and submitted some of my art for moderation. How long should it take before my pictures are published to the full site? Library Seraph (talk) 15:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I suggest you ask this at the official Elfwood forums.--Shantavira|feed me 16:31, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually, my work was accepted the day after I posted this question. It ended up in a side area of the site due to cropping issues, so I had to resubmit it Library Seraph (talk) 20:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Minitab please help[edit]

I desperately need the video tutorials for learning Minitab,is there anyone who can help me with it...please help —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

See our answer from two weeks ago. — Lomn 19:52, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Question about Facebook or[edit]

Hello, I hope to receive an answer this time,they didn't help me when I asked this question at another helpdesk of wikipedia. If I write the name of a person and I add after that name the word Facebook or,I arrive at the introduction page of that person on the site of Facebook or (the introduction page in wich you see the photo of that person with others photographs of the friends and with the favorites stores,muziek and others of that person).My question is:Can that person know who went to visit his introduction page of Facebook or if I (the person that has write the name) am not logged or registered on Facebook or I thank and hope that you will be able to help me.Isabelle-21:55,3 october 2009. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I don't know about, but no, someone on Facebook cannot tell who visits their pages, or if anyone visits them at all. --Mr.98 (talk) 20:04, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Very likely not, unless... no, 99% unlikely. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 20:08, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
See this as an indicator of what can be monitored (IP, User Agent, etc). But generally no, not at your ex-boyfriends level. However, the server that the page resides on, along with any machines sniffing the network traffic that makes it to the server is perfectly capable of tracking the IP address (and a good bit more) of the machine that requested the page. The chances of this occuring are directly proportional to the paranoia of the individual snooping around. The Computer Desk can fill you in on the trails and info that can be captured when navigating on various sites. By the way, he IS doing your "Best Friend", forget about him and get yourself an STD checkup. (talk) 21:02, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The question is not whether their servers can monitor it (they can), but whether the user can see the logs (they cannot). If you have a Facebook page, you are not able to see the information of any visitors to your page (you are given no information about visitors whatsoever). --Mr.98 (talk) 21:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I think we agree Mr.98 (2nd sentence of .246), However as unlikely as it is that Isabelle's ex works IT at the mentioned sites, she has now been informed. (talk) 21:57, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
You seem to imply in your above post that it is likely or even really possible. But it's only even possible if they really work for Facebook and are in the sort of part of it that would give them uninhibited access to server logs. That's pretty unlikely. Even in that case, pointing it to an individual reader is very, very low. They'd see (in the OPs case) that someone from Belgium, near Zedelgem, visited them. Likely that describes many people who would visit said webpage. -- (talk) 22:05, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Um, let me add ... it depends. If you're using certain Facebook apps, the app will notify the user that you have visited their page. If you use the generic Facebook software, then, no. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 00:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
See: "Can I know who’s viewing my profile or how often it’s being viewed?" and "Can I see who's viewed my profile? There's a group or application claiming I can find out who has been viewing my profile". Basically, browsing statistics cannot be tracked unless you have given consent. --Mark PEA (talk) 11:27, 4 October 2009 (UTC)