Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2010 March 13

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March 13[edit]

Subliminal messages on youtube ?[edit]

I was watching a Life after people on youtube and noticed a flashing frame with some guy, which was a bit creepy, so I tried to stop the video and take a look what is it (here`s a screenshot of the frame http:// img37. yfrog. com/i/creep.png/ ), but it`s just a guy. So now I`m curious, because I don`t know what to make of it - is it someone`s take on subliminal messaging or something ? I came here to ask two things - does someone recognize the guy (maybe he`s famous) and is he present in other videos from this episode (if someone can check - S1E3 this frame appears after Angkor and sea scene, right before it says 600 years) or is this some strange practice on youtube ? (talk) 02:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

The frame looks to me like a frame from an advert - I think it's some financial services company who's name I can't remember (so much for the power of advertising!). The style of rotoscoped/toon-shaded picture has been used in a couple of movies ("Through a scanner, darkly" is one) - and for that series of adverts. So I strongly suspect that whoever recorded this and put it on YouTube didn't successfully edit out all of the advert from the broadcast. SteveBaker (talk) 03:01, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Makes sense, but can someone verify this in some way ? Because I see slight problem with this - thought it looks like ad, it would make sense that if someone cut out advertisements beginning or end of the sequence would remain and it usually contains channel identification and even if not, this looks like what would be in middle of ad, and (at least in my region) History channel doesn`t run ads (talk) 03:34, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The version of THC that comes over my cable certainly includes ads—quite a lot of them. The brokerage Steve couldn't remember the name of is Charles Schwab; here's an example of one of the ads. Deor (talk) 04:48, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I think Frank Zappa wrote a song about this general topic. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


is there a way to hack a 40 minutes trial game and play it forever.--Myownid420 (talk) 08:11, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

It would take you so long to do this that it would be more efficient to just buy the full version. Comet Tuttle (talk) 08:29, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Trial games often only have a restricted number of levels or features that you can only get in the full game. You'd be better off just buying the full version. Chevymontecarlo. 09:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Of course you can... but we should know what trial game it is. Try googling <game name> + serial/crack. --Belchman (talk) 11:43, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Though be aware that the majority of the links that will come up these days for serial gens and cracks are just viruses. --Mr.98 (talk) 14:04, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
That couldn't be further from the truth :) --Belchman (talk) 02:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Mmm, I don't think so. The few times I've recently tried to track down cracks or keygens, I was astounded at how many of the links were bogus. (I have a Mac so I wasn't at much risk myself.) Again, just anecdotal. But in my experience most dedicated crack sites are just chock-full of viruses. (Whereas most full-program torrents seem less likely—or, at least, that they are a virus is apparent from the comments.) --Mr.98 (talk) 15:26, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Most Mac users are computer beginners, which I think is your case as well. --Belchman (talk) 23:43, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Probably not. Trial or demo games normally only include the levels you are allowed to play. Even if you managed to hack it, the data for the other parts of the game simply isn't there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fire2010 (talkcontribs) 20:34, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a citation for that? Of course, a CD that comes free with a PlayStation magazine won't have the full game, but downloadable ones can - and do. Many games that I've played (I've no idea if this is indicative of the majority) simply required a code to activate the full game (examples: Braid, Battlefield 2142 Deluxe Edition); playing witrhout one just gives you access to limited content. Vimescarrot (talk) 22:16, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
On a PC, two simple things to check are 1) Does the game have a registry entry? If so, are any of the registry fields that either indicate how long the game has been played or whether it's the trial/full version. 2) Are there any .ini files or the like in the games install directory? If so, do they have any similar fields? There was a time when a great many shareware software titles could be made full version with a little simple change like this. Lately, however, designers have done the little extra work it takes to hide the switch. This all pre-supposes that - as Fire2010 mentions - the full game is actually there.NByz (talk) 22:39, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Could a Sandbox (computer security) be used for things like this? I mean after the 40 minutes are up, you delete the sandbox and start again. The other option is to play one of the many freeware and other free games. (talk) 17:42, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm a computer games programmer - and I can tell you what we've done in the past:
  1. The trial game typically only contains the data for a single level - the data for the other levels simply isn't there. In the case of one game I worked on, we hadn't even built all of the other levels when we released the 'teaser' version of the game with just a single level in it!
  2. The game's software is missing large chunks of code that's unique to the other levels - so even if you could somehow wedge the extra data in there somewhere, you still wouldn't be properly playing those other levels.
  3. Usually, there are also time limits and such built into the trial version. These could probably be circumvented - but it makes it harder. It's usually very easy to play that same first section as many times as you want...deleting and reinstalling the trial version will often be enough.
  4. In cases where it's likely that people will try to hack the trial version in some way, there will be deeply obfuscated mechanisms to make that difficult. That's not to say that they won't be circumvented - but game manufacturers don't need to stop people from hacking their games - merely to delay the time when those hacks might start seriously eating into game sales until the game has already made 99% of the money it's ever going to make.
So basically, no. On a higher level, it's deeply unfair to people like me who put heart and soul into making games to try to steal our livelyhood from us. If we were people who did bad things to you, it would be understandable - but realise that we are the reason these fun games exist in the first're actually cutting into the quality and depth of future games by doing this kind of thing. SteveBaker (talk) 00:06, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Re the suggestion to try free games: here's a link to 70 free games, and they look similar to ones you'd pay for. (talk) 21:44, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
If you set up a Linux partition on your machine, there are 2,600 free games at - and even if you don't want to install Linux, a lot of them work under Windows too. Heck, you can even download the game I wrote with my son in 10 days over the Xmas vacation: SteveBaker (talk) 02:25, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Artistic Travel[edit]

In London, the Metroplitan line has no cameras on its carrages, is this the cause of tghe high level of grafitti? I ask this because the Bakerloo line has cameras, and very little graffiti. What percentage of people are caught creating graffiti? is a person arrested for every peice of writting? what is the percentage? Why is it so rare that anything is actually readable? most things say something like SKUM MEVK WAHPR, surely these people are stupid enough to do graffiti on their own train but they must be able to spell a few three to four letter words correctly or am I giving these idiots to much credit. I would not mind it if I could readwhat it says. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:16, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, graffiti can be one of the reasons why there's cameras on the underground, but they're there for other stuff too - assault, vandalism, suicides, accidents...they're there just to make sure everything's running smoothly. The reason why a lot of graffiti is unreadable is because a lot of people spray their 'tags' on stuff. This is basically their name or nickname that they use whenever they graffiti. But I agree with you, a lot of the stuff people spray is completely random and pointless. I suppose there are figures out there for the number of people who have been arrested for graffiti but it'd be hard to find that out. Many graffiti artists pose as painters or work late at night when there's not that many people around. Chevymontecarlo. 09:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Part of the aesthetic of graffiti is its incomprehensibility, in many cases. It is kind of like the psychedelic rock posters of the 1960s that were intentionally hard to make sense of or read unless you were "in the know"—part of the select community, one of the cool kids. They are usually spraying their "tags"—street aliases that identify them as graffiti artists. Anyway, as for statistics... this page has a good deal of statistics, though I admit my unfamiliarity with the British justice system makes me uncertain as to how to interpret them. I think graffiti is considered "criminal damage to a dwelling/building", and if I read the tables correctly, there were some 27,000 cases reported in 2007, but only some 2,200 prosecutions. Now we could imagine that each of those offenders was responsible for 12 tags, but I think it is probably a bit optimistic to think that everyone, or even a majority, get caught. This is a nice concise write-up of graffiti in the London Underground: how much damage it costs, why people do it, what happens when they are caught, etc. --Mr.98 (talk) 22:49, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The Metropolitan line is also mainly overground (35.5 overground, 6 underground) and has long stretches between stations (nearly 4 miles between Chesham and Chalfont and an express service cutting out some stations), giving vandals ample time and opportunity to do whatever it is they do - on the train, to the train and to the infrastructure. The sidings at Neasden and Wembley Park are also relatively easy to access by fence-jumpers and the like. Met trains are also currently being upgraded from the 50 year old London Underground A60 and A62 Stock to London Underground S Stock which add CCTV and aircon. Nanonic (talk) 00:58, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd support Nanonic's suggestion that it's the sidings that are key. The most egregious graffiti is done overnight and the sidings in NW London are very accessible. They're also exceedingly grim. --Dweller (talk) 14:18, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

English language in a Youtube video[edit]


What does the voice say at 0:10? "Keep arms down, head back and *****" Thanks. --Belchman (talk) 11:45, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

"Hold on". FiggyBee (talk) 12:11, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that's what I was thinking. --Belchman (talk) 12:26, 13 March 2010 (UTC)


This is not medical advice, just curious. Which is better or worse for you, smoking roll your own cigarettes or normal cigarettes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd say that "roll your own" are less bad, since the tobacco used for them tends to include fewer additives. Also, if the inconvenience of having to roll one reduces the number you smoke each day, that's a plus. StuRat (talk) 13:15, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
First, I'd want a citation on that 'fewer additives' claim. Secondly, people I've seen roll their own cigarettes do not add a filter: this is bad. Thirdly, is it even the additives that you should be worrying about? Fourthly, people I know who roll their own are quite capable of rolling a large quantity very quickly while chatting or watching TV: they then put them in a tin to smoke as they would smoke bought cigarettes from a packet. It doesn't seem to slow them down, but they're very keen on how much cheaper it is, potentially meaning they smoke more. (talk) 13:44, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd agree with StuRat, commercial cigarettes have more additives and chemicals in them then if you rolled your own. Still not great for you though! Chevymontecarlo. 13:47, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone have a reference to a reliable source, or are there just opinions on this topic? (Remember, we're supposed to be the Reference Desk.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:03, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Apologies Ten and Warning OR follows...I did some contract work at one of the larger brands, in the production area. I was quite surprised that on the packaging floor (from raw product to sealed cartons) there was a noticeable lack of trashcans. Plenty of brooms around. I think it was safe to say that for dirt, debris, etc. there was 1 basic way out of the factory. The disgusting efficiency still amazes me to this day. (talk) 14:06, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Here's a rather extensive list of additives to cigarettes: [2]. In an OR example, I happen to be allergic to one of them, ammonia. Cleaning fluids containing ammonia cause my throat to constrict, as do cigarettes, although the degree seems to vary widely by brand. Pipe tobacco, on the other hand, has never caused this reaction, so I conclude that it's ammonia-free. StuRat (talk) 14:49, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
An obvious problem with the above examples is that there's an assumption that additives=bad. While this is a common assumption nowadays, it's often far from correct. For all the evils of tobacco companies, adding things with the sole purpose of killing you don't generally help them in any way. They may of course use additives to make you more addicted (which would generally be a bad thing to the health of the consumer) or enjoy their product more or make it work better, or they may use additives to reduce the cost (which could be either way). However they may also use additives to try and reduce harm, a smoker who lives longer & remains a smoker is clearly a better thing then a dead smoker. In the US, the FDA has decided to regulate tobacco and any health claims will need to be shown via research [3] so 'healthier' cigarettes may result. Nil Einne (talk) 04:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

For instance, RYO [Roll Your Own] smokers tend to believe that RYO cigarettes are less harmful compared to factory-made (FM) cigarettes [1] despite evidence to suggest that RYO smokers are actually at increased risk for certain cancers [3-5]." [4]

"Smokers of hand-rolled cigarettes showed an increased risk of cancer of the mouth and pharynx (odds ratio [OR] = 2.5; 95% confidence limit = 1.2-5.2) when compared with smokers of manufactured cigarettes. Also, the risk of laryngeal cancer was greater among smokers of hand-rolled cigarettes (OR = 2.7; 95% confidence limit = 1.3-5.7) as compared with smokers of commercial cigarettes" [5]

"Many smokers believe that RYO cigarettes are more 'natural' and therefore are less harmful than manufactured cigarettes. The current findings suggest that this is not the case. " [6]

"... debunk the myths associated with rolling tobacco - it's not less harmful, it's not more natural and you're just as likely to develop smoking related illnesses." [7] (talk) 15:00, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Brilliant answer, to the point, referenced, accurate, no discusions and stays on topic, if only every question could be answered like that, thank you and well done —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
That's an excellent, detailed, well-referenced response, in the best traditions of the Ref Desk — thanks! TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:12, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Medical research journal with full text for free?[edit]

I'm very interested in reading those journals about medical research that pop up in Google searches now and then; but most of them require a paid subscription to be able to read something more than just abstracts, which I find really frustrating. So, does anyone know a medical journal that one can read without paying? Thanks. --Belchman (talk) 16:59, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, Google gave me this: [8], but I still would like to hear someone's opinion. --Belchman (talk) 17:01, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Public Library of Science is licened under creative commons--Aspro (talk) 18:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, here's the link for their medical journal [9]. No idea how good it is, but they're definitely not crazy fringe hippies. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 18:17, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The PLOS journals are generally quite good. Some other publishers have at least some content that is free. For example, Highwire Press (Publisher of many medical and other science journals) has several free-access journals, and for most other of their journals, the content is free after 6 or 12 months (free journal content). At other journals, authors can pay to have their content made free, but I can't recall specific examples at the moment. -- Flyguy649 talk 18:20, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
A quick scan of the site you found doesn't throw up any red flags, they all seem to be respectable journals (some very respectable - NEJM, BMJ and Blood for example). If you are interested in specific articles which you find in searches but can't find free copies of I have had some success with looking up the authors website - search under the name of the last author and their institution, they are usually the head of the research group that carried out the work. They often post a PDF copy of their papers on their website. Alternatively get in touch with your local university library - they often allow access to local residents and should have subscriptions to all major journals. (talk) 19:45, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Another point — if you do a PubMed search (direct link), you can filter your results to only include results which have free, online, full text. In the upper right corner of the list of results, there's a panel which says "Filter your results:". Click on "Free Full Text" to see only the hits that you can download for free, usually straight from the publisher. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
While PubMed Central is not itself a medical journal, it does contain a lot of freely available peer-reviewed medical articles. Gabbe (talk) 14:08, 15 March 2010 (UTC)