Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2010 July 9

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July 9[edit]

W140 S 600 Mercedes Benz first year new in Canadian dealerships.[edit]

What year did Mercedes Benz dealerships in Canada begin to sell the W140 S 600 or 600 SEL models? I always thought that most Mercedes Benz W140 S 600 models in Canada had to be imported from other countries because the model was not for sale in Canada for quite some time.00:15, 9 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Have you tried our article? Mercedes Benz W140 Chevymontecarlo 06:23, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Extracurricular for College Apps[edit]

Does going to orchestral concerts regularly count as an extracurricular activity? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:35, 9 July 2010 (UTC).

Yes. Anything you do in your free time that you could hold an intelligent conversation about is worth putting down. (talk) 09:02, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Activities such as attending concerts are "hobbies". In any case, it all depends on what the OP means by "count as"? Anything you do outside of school is an "extracurricular activity." Whether or not it will be seen by another person (i.e. an admissions officer) as being somehow "impressive" is highly dependent on the context. If you are applying to the Juilliard school, attending orchestral concerts will certainly not be as impressive as a candidate who regularly PERFORMS in orchestral concerts (unless they have a new special track for music appreciation). Applicants to college will likely want to show more impressive extracurricular activities than simply 'attending concerts'. If you are doing something relatively passive for the purpose of enjoyment, like reading a book, listening to music, attending plays, etc. it might be interesting to talk about but it probably won't "count" for much in the eyes of a person evaluating you other than to say that these are your hobbies. On the other hand, if your hobby also involves some kind of critical analysis (say, writing reviews for a local/school newspaper) that might be more of an "extracurricular activity". Medical geneticist (talk) 14:21, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
A passive activity such as a "attending orchestra concerts" could be turned into an action suitable for filling a line on a college application: write reviews of concerts for a school paper, a local paper, or some online review site. Edison (talk) 15:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I disagree that there's no point to it. The people who read these things will probably appreciate something a little non-standard (beyond Kiwanis and Boy Scouts and playing tuba in the school band). As long as you aren't kicking something out to make room for it, go ahead and put it down. It certainly can't hurt. In some cases, depending on the schools, it might help. Keep in mind that 99% of the "extracurricular activities" section is just meant to distinguish you from other people who have identical grade point averages. Anything that makes you look a little cultured cannot hurt. --Mr.98 (talk) 19:45, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

My job involves reviewing a lot of resumes, and 95% of people who include such a section head it "Extra curricula [sic] activities". I just want to commend everyone here for spelling "extracurricular" correctly. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 02:55, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm curious to know whether seeing such an obvious gaffe on a resume could (depending on the job) result in the application being tossed or at least moved to the bottom of the stack? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:36, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I kinda doubt it, unless they were applying for a proofreader's job or something similar. Most employers wouldn't even be aware of the error, and that includes employers in the education sector. It's obvious to people of our generation, but standards have slipped (or "the focus has changed", or similar rationalisations of things that, at the end of the day, remain deteriorations in quality). -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 22:11, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I've been screening teachers resumes for years and we wouldn't discard one on that basis. However, we would notice and give preference to a better written resume. Enter CBW, waits for audience applause, not a sausage. 06:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Would things like "teachers resumes" (rather than "teachers' resumes") be taken notice of and used against them as well, CBW? I'm not having a go at you, just curious about what's considered acceptable these days. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:13, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
To a certain extent but it is nowhere near as bad as their inability to write to the job requirements. Enter CBW, waits for audience applause, not a sausage. 22:18, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Annual percentage rate on car insurance[edit]

I'm looking for car insurance quotes, and one website I used has "typical APR 53.31%" at the bottom of the results page. I thought APR was a measure of how much a loan would cost. Anyone know what it means when buying insurance? (talk) 09:00, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Here's what I guess this circumstance you're describing means (I can't be sure, as you've not told us which page to look at) - If you pay in a lump payment annually, there's one price. If you spread the payment out over 12 monthlies, the total is more. By their arithmetic, the insurance company is "lending" you the lump sum payment in the first month, and you're repaying that loan (with hefty interest) over the rest. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:09, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
It means you are paying an enormous interest rate by choosing monthly payments rather than paying it in one lump sum now - over 50% a year! This is definately a rip-off - choose some other provider. (talk) 13:47, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Discounts for long stays[edit]

In Europe, North America and Australia, do many hotels, motels, inns, etc. offer discounts for longer stays (eg. several weeks or months)? Would offering a reduced burden on housekeeping (say, by proposing they changed bed linens weekly rather than daily), make getting a discount easier? Astronaut (talk) 09:49, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

In my experience, this is true. I haven't stayed anywhere for a week or more but have seen smaller multinight discounts as well as a savings if you don't have the room cleaned every day. In the places where I've seen this, generally you leave a sign on the door knob when you go out in the morning to let the cleaning staff know that you don't require having your room tidied. Oh, and this is in the States. Dismas|(talk) 11:35, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Unless it is a Mom and Pop operation, it would be hard to negotiate a discount at a big chain motel by telling them not to clean the room. Any motel might wish to enter the room regularly to make sure a guest is not damaging it in some fashion. I recently stayed at an "Extended Stay" chain motel, where the room was cleaned once a week. You could exchange towels every day. There was a little kitchen with a refrigerator, Two burner range (hob), microwave, kitchen sink, and cabinets with 2 sets of dishes and cutlery, pots and a skillet. There was no free newspaper, breakfast buffet, or pool. You were expected to supply (or purchase) dishsoap, coffee, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and tissues. The rate was somewhat lower than for a regular motel. It worked out well because I like to cook am not thrilled with restaurant food three times a day. You could get maid service any day for a fee. Most people do not have daily maid service at home, so it should not be a great hardship to make your bed and carry out the trash and recyclables when the bin gets full. Edison (talk) 15:12, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The discounts are not because they don't need to clean the room every day, but because it simplifies the hotel admnistration's work if the rooms are let on a longer basis. Longer stays also lead to a higher occupancy rate on average, which is in the hotel's interest. Even if the hotel doesn't advertise lower rates for longer stays - most do - there's nothing to lose in asking for such a discount. --Xuxl (talk) 18:11, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I recently worked as interpreter for a group of engineers who stayed in a hotel (in some cases longer than a year), and the asked me to try and strike a similar deal with the hotel - less cleaning and towels for a discount. Didn't work. The hotel did, however, provide them with a couple of fridges and agreed to push breakfast starting hour a half an hour earlier. TomorrowTime (talk) 18:18, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Hearth hole[edit]

I recently visited the Village Historique Acadien in New-Brunswick, Canada. The original house (circa 1850), built by Mr Blackhall, a lawyer who came from Scotland, has a stone hearth with a sandstone chimney. At about 6 feet in the center of the front of the chimney, horizontal between the stones, there is a cylindrical hole near 2 inches diameter and about 8 inches deep. People from the village told us historians tried to find the purpose of this hole but did not find any clue. May be something specific from Scotland? Dhatier (talk) 12:24, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean it is on the wall of the chimney inside the house? It may have been a socket for a wooden rod. This may have been used to suspend a cooking pot from, fix a lamp, or dry clothes from. (talk) 13:38, 9 July 2010 (UTC).
Yes, inside the house. It cannot be for suspending a cooking pot, the direction of the hole being outside the heath, and there are other iron fixtures for that purpose; it is also not high enough to fix a lamp. Clothes drying could be ok, but I think it has another use. Dhatier (talk) 16:05, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
See Damper (flow), a plate that regulates the flow of air inside a chimney, turned by a handle on the outside of the duct. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 18:35, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Where to get a Venezuelan visa[edit]

Question copied from Talk:Visa requirements for Montenegrin citizens. Hopefully a better chance of more answers here. Astronaut (talk) 12:39, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone know can I apply for Venezuelan visa in Italy even I am Montenegrin citizen? Thank you in advance. Zdravko — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 6 July 2010

It seems Venezuela has no embassy in Montenegro, but according to this website, Venezuelan interests are represented by their embassy in Sofia. However, I think your first try should be to find out from the Venezuelan Embassy in Italy. Information is hard to find, but according to this website the address seems to be: Via Nicolo Tartaglia, No 11 int. 5/6, 00197, Roma, Tel: (+39-6) 8079464, 8079797 Fax: (+39-6) 8084410. There also seems to be several consulates: in Milan, Florence, Naples, Bologna. Different sources give different web addresses, none of which seem to work (which also calls into question the reliability of the other information). If you get nowhere with the embassy or consulates in Italy (eg. I would be surprised if you would find anyone who speaks Montenegrin), try the previously mentioned embassy in Sofia. Astronaut (talk) 12:39, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Here is the semi-official web page (in Spanish) of the Venezuelan mission to Italy. The consulate in Naples seems to have a separate page, also in Spanish. You don't need to understand Spanish to find the phone numbers, though you may need to be able to speak Spanish or Italian to the person who answers the phone. Marco polo (talk) 15:40, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
It might depend on your status in Italy. I am from England but used to live in Belgium, and I could get visas in Brussels for other countries because I was a long-term resident of Belgium. Anyone who was in Belgium as a tourist would have to return to their own country first. (talk) 16:52, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Lack of energy for deskwork[edit]

I'm sitting at my desk and I ought to be doing more paperwork, but I do not have the energy or the concentration today. What can I do to improve both of these? Thanks (talk) 13:44, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Anecdotally, breathing exercises, stretching, walking, light exercise are all reinvigorating. Over the longer term, eating a clean diet and being active were times when I had much more energy and focus. (talk) 14:12, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you are in the wrong job, or wrong kind of job?Froggie34 (talk) 14:32, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Take a break. Go for a walk around the office or something like that if you can. Chevymontecarlo 14:39, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
One thing you can do before the next day of work is get a good night's sleep. Your doctor could check out possible medical causes of unusual or new lethargy, fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities or inability to concentrate. Edison (talk) 14:58, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Try caffeine. Anecdotally, over the longer term, the month when I gave up drinking tea was the time when I had least energy and focus. Granted, this might have been withdrawal, although I'm surprised it should last an entire month, so I suspect that by the end of the month I was no longer in withdrawal and was just suffering from the awkwardness of not being able to self-administer stimulation at appropriate times. On the whole I think drugs are useful tools, which save us from being at the mercy of natural hormone fluctuations. Concentration and motivation are all about the serotonin. (talk) 15:56, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Keep yourself hydrated, Dehydration is a cause of loss in concentration (in fact it's a contributory factor to a lot of common ailments e.g. headaches). (sources: Also people commonly believe coffee (as a mild diuretic) means water-loss but from what evidence i've seen (will dig some links out) it's basically not true - the water you take in from a cup of coffee is more than the amount you end up expelling as a result of the coffee (I recall hearing this for what now seems the umpteenth time on BBC Radio 4 a few weeks back) - old tales die-hard. ny156uk (talk) 17:02, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

link to coffee thing I mentioned (Health effects of coffee#cite note-really-28) ny156uk (talk) 17:05, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Stop reading/editing Wikipedia. (This is not a joke, at least not entirely.) -- Coneslayer (talk) 03:04, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Get a cup of good (leaf) tea and do something entirely different for a while (i. e. run an errand that requires to leave your cubicle/office/gear setup you're part of/building). Take no more than 30-40 minutes, then come back and try again. Your brain should have a fresher concept and fresher approach to what you're supposed to do. --Ouro (blah blah) 09:24, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
(after I've taken a break myself) There might be something in your subconscious, mental or physical component that's making you deconcentrate. Worried about your wife's dental appointment? A song you're thinking of? Fix that. Mild hunger, an urge to pee or to talk to someone or see something might be distracting you. Take care of this first. If you're hungry, go eat, but eat exactly what you are thinking of (don't eat a sandwich if you really want a bar of chocolate, and who cares if it's unhealthy). Drink a glass of water. Visit the toilet (wash hands and face afterwards). Listen to that song. Call that friend. Take no more than just a few minutes to do this, conclude this quickly, if possible, and then come back and work. Just avoid things that might impede your later work performance (beer, energy-intensive contacts between sexes, getting into fights). Some of you might find this bogus, but for me, it sometimes is just what the doctor ordered. --Ouro (blah blah) 09:36, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi! Did some of these advices help you? Lova Falk talk 14:43, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
As the variety of responses indicate, there is neither one cause, nor one solution, for this quite common affliction. --Mr.98 (talk) 19:42, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, but I would definitely try some of them though. The effectiveness of each suggestion probably depends on what kind of person you are and the way you work. Everybody's different. Chevymontecarlo 06:22, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Try them out. It would be interesting to test different techniques in practice, if you're willing to vary your routine of utilising your work pauses. --Ouro (blah blah) 10:21, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Just anecdotally, dealing with boredom or attention deficit is not something that I think can easily be solved. In my own experience, as someone who has tried basically all of the above at various points, the differences are fairly slight. Some things are just boring. Part of being disciplined is putting up with a certain amount of boredom. Part of being human is dickering around a bit when you shouldn't be. There are also studies, if I recall, that show that more behind-the-scenes cognitive "work" is going on while dickering than is usually appreciated. In my own workflow I have learned to tolerate a bit of dickering as an essential part of the working process. --Mr.98 (talk) 12:34, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Identity of John McGuire and John Garfield[edit]

After watching the Film :This is the Life" With then child actress Jane Withers and John McGuire, I noticed how closely McGuire and John Garfield looked. Are they one and the same actor with a name change later on or are they two different actors? (talk) 21:49, 9 July 2010 (UTC) My e-mail is drdunne at sbcglobal dot net (email address redacted so spambots won't find you.)

We have separate articles on John McGuire and John Garfield with different dates of birth and different dates of death. I don't think they were one and the same person. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:00, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

What time of year are tickets from the US East Coast to the Philippines the cheapest?[edit] (talk) 22:50, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

You can find this out yourself easily by using Orbitz or a similar online booking site. Just tell it what dates you want to travel; and you can try a sample of all 52 weeks of the year if you want to put the time into it. The most important factor isn't the time of year, but whether you do a Saturday stay-over, indicating you're not a business traveler. Comet Tuttle (talk) 15:54, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Many travel sites like Bing and Hotwire will let you set email alerts for specific destinations that will tell you when a particular trip is on sale. —D. Monack talk 06:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)