Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2010 May 20

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May 20[edit]

DVB-s2 Card reader[edit]

I've read your articles on this subject. I'd like to purchase a DVB-s2 PCI/USB card. The TSReader and other software's I have. Can you assist in where to purchase the Hardware?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Assist how ? You might do better to ask this at the Computer Ref Desk. StuRat (talk) 01:01, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Try a search for the item on PriceWatch. I've found very few pieces of computer hardware that the site does not have, so it's worth a shot. --McDoobAU93 (talk) 04:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[edit]

Does anyone know why is shut down? I would like it if Wikipedia could help with this answer. Thank You. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Have you tried asking the maintainers of the site? After all, the home page clearly says "Thanks for all your support. If you have questions, contact". This would seem to be the easiest and most direct way of finding out. Dismas|(talk) 04:06, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Considering what the site was about (from searches, I haven't come across the site before) my first though was 'copyright violations'. A quick search comes up with many people suggesting the same thing although I wasn't able to find anything more definitive like a statement or court case. You can try e-mailing them (and there's no harm in it, it's the only way you're likely to get an any more useful answer) but considering they didn't say either now or when they were shutting down on their website, it's possible a lawyer has advised them not to explain why they are shutting down. Or perhaps they reached and agreement with someone not to say (probably unlikely, I would expect an agreement is far more likely to ask them to direct visitors to some anti copyright violation site like [1] or otherwise warn people about violating copyright) Nil Einne (talk) 10:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Light bulb that contacts the dead[edit]

This video shows a light bulb that comes on and off at the will of the "spirits" (the live human operator). I'm wondering if anyone can confirm how it works. The board looks thick enough to hold some other electrical units, such as a radio device?? (talk) 07:28, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

A- its really dead people contacting him.
B- some electrical device. I seen something that can be done with an remote.
But I am just judging from a video. wiooiw (talk) 08:41, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm at work at the moment, and so can't watch the video, but historically lights that flash "because of spirits" are usually triggered:
  • If the operator (con artist) is touching any part of the device, by the operator touching a concealed switch
  • If the operator is holding strings or wires from which the device hangs, by the operator touching a concealed switch connected by the wires by which the device is hanging
  • if the operator is not holding the device, and the device is on a table, by the operator closing a switch on the floor or table which operates an inductive power source under the light, turning on the light
  • if there's no way for wires to get to the device, and no way for power to get to the device by induction, it's being operated by radio - yes a radio device to do that could be miniscule.
  • If it really is the spirits, why hasn't the operator claimed his million dollars from James Randi yet?
-- (talk) 08:53, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I just watched the video on my phone - the most likely answer is it turns on or not randomly based on sound detection. Given that they're advertising the device to sell, I doubt it's controlled by the operator. The electronics could easily, for example, after 10 seconds of noise (talking), followed by 5 seconds of silence, randomly either switch on the lamp or not. -- (talk) 09:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC) is probably right.It is a simple devise. Something like that could easily be done. And we are looking at a video off from youtube, so anything could be done. wiooiw (talk) 09:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The board is a 2-layer sandwich with wires concealed between the layers. The battery is held by a cutout in the upper layer. I bet it contains a magnetic switch that the operator affects by moving a magnet on his knee under the table. Around 2:48 in the video he may have bumped the table. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 22:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Cuddlyable3, these devices are being sold on e-bay as if they were really supernatural. Think of them more like a magic 8-ball than a card trick -- that is, it's intended to fool or entertain the purchaser, it requires no skill to operate. It's not intended to be cleverly operated by the purchaser to fool an observer. Also it is described in adverts as able to be used without touching it or with someone else holding it, so that leaves control only by light, radio or sound. With the presumption that it is intended to trick or entertain the purchaser/operator we have to assume that the operator does not deliberately switch the light. That leaves sound. -- (talk) 04:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC) (aka 203.202.43.*)
I disagree. I think they are being sold as trick items. Only they don't want to give away the secret of how it works, so you have to buy it to find out. (talk) 14:22, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

17th & 18th century mail coaches[edit]

Where can i find a list of mail coach numbers, especially trying to establish the number(s) of the mail coach from Bath to London / London to Bath. Each mail coach had a number painted on the side.Oaktp (talk) 11:58, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The British Postal Museum & Archive state that they welcome research enquiries. Worth an email? Dalliance (talk) 12:39, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Some of the references or links at our article mail coach may also be of use. DuncanHill (talk) 12:59, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


Is there a specific name for when a song changes in tempo, tone and rhythm? Here is an example of what I mean, at time 2:12 link (talk) 14:36, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Transition? What about trying at the Wikipedia Language Desk or the Wikipedia Entertainment Desk? Chevymontecarlo 18:24, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I will try asking at the Language desk (the ent desk is dead except for the same people who browse misc) (talk) 21:17, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

need money for collage[edit]

hew do i need to contact to git financial help for school from my tribe the northern cherokee nation of the old louisiana territory? thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I suggest you contact the college you want to go to and ask them for advice. Is English your first language, because the spelling in the question meant it took a while to understand the question being asked? -- SGBailey (talk) 16:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, here are some Native American Scholarships, but I don't think any of them are specifically for the Northern Cherokee Nation. You could go to a free scholarship search engine, like Fastweb, and search there. At Fastweb, you have to create a username and profile. The Reader who Writes (talk) 16:16, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory are not a federally-recognized tribe so scholarships would probably be limited to only those (if any) offered by that non-profit organization. (talk) 22:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Fridge dial[edit]

I have a second-hand fridge, with the usual dial tucked away inside to set temperature. Is it usually the low numbers on these dials which signify lower temperatures, or the high numbers (in which case a higher setting would mean "put more work into making things cold")? Trying to find out by experimenting is hampered by time-lag and by the possibility that the fridge is broken. (Currently the fridge is too cold for my liking and I'm getting ice in my tomatoes.) (talk) 15:36, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

In my experience higher numbers mean more powerful cooling. (I guess they go from 0 to 5 or something - sometimes you can start at 0 and turn the dial up until you hear the thermostat on the fridge switch on - and the motor starts chugging..) It's quite possible that some manufacturers have done it the other way - but higher = colder has been my experience. (talk) 15:47, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. (talk) 15:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, every fridge I have ever used has had high numbers = more cooling, so to stop your toms freezing, turn it down. DuncanHill (talk) 15:54, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't refrigerate tomatoes. See this [2] or this [3] or this [4] or this [5]. Zoonoses (talk) 00:49, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Elevator doors[edit]

How many kinds of elevator sliding doors exist in the world? -- (talk) 16:11, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Have you tried looking here? It gives a little bit of information. Chevymontecarlo 18:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Six or seven87.113.245.170 (talk) 20:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Archive question[edit]

In the question answer section the results are shown for only last five could i get my answers if by chance i miss to see it?

thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I've split this apart from the previous question since it seems to be unrelated. To search for a question that is older than five days (and thus, has been archived), use the search bar at the top of any of the individual Ref Desks (NOT the Ref Desk portal, which will just search the whole of Wikipedia). It will search all the archives. If you have a username, a great way to find your old question is to type that in...but since you're not using one, I assume you don't have one. Vimescarrot (talk) 16:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Specifically this link Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives
You can also search the archives using google or similar eg and add the title of your question or some key phrase. The archives are in googles search index. (talk) 17:34, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Or you can just go to the relevant reference desk archive and look for the question on the list there, if you know the date of it. (talk) 15:30, 21 May 2010 (UTC)


Do mens/womens trousers fly area open to one side or the other based on gender, like button-down shirts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes - and it all traces back to the old days of yore when men wore swords on their left hip (being mainly right-handed) so that in an emergency they could rip open their coat with their left hand, and gain rapid access to their sword hilt with their right hand. Naturally, the fairer sex didn't have that problem so probably chose to advertise their femininity by NOT copying the male fashion. And it followed that what happened to men's coats, eventually happened with their trousers - though to be historically accurate, men's trouser openings did not initially have flies at the front - instead they had a flap or fall, that buttoned or tied at each side. Fly front openings followed much later, first with ribbons, then buttons and finally zips. But the pattern of the coat was copied into the trousers (and again, women didn't originally wear trousers so when they did, they chose to differ from the male fashion) and hence, your assumption is correct. (talk) 21:47, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Is there a source for this myth? Cuddlyable3 (talk) 21:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
See Suit (clothing)#Front buttons. -- Wavelength (talk) 22:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I've heard both of the stories listed in our article — drawing the sword is one; women were dressed by their maids and therefore had buttons on the opposite side would be the other. Unfortunately, our article provides no cite for the latter hypothesis, and an unreliable non-academic source (a website for a clothing designer) for the former. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:53, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Obligatory link to The Straight Dope. Dismas|(talk) 01:08, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Could the design of womens' clothing be so as to make it easy for a right-handed man to remove it? Edison (talk) 15:15, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
No! I've checked my and my husband's trousers, bought in Sweden, Holland and Turkey, and all flies open to the right side (from the viewpoint of the one wearing the trousers), and we open them with our right hands.Lova Falk talk 15:55, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Swedish Universities: Academic Requirements for Postgraduate Admission[edit]

Hello! I am an American citizen who, in 2 years, wishes to attend the University of Gothenburg and study their Master's program in International Administration and Global Governance. I couldn't find precise academic prerequisites (GPA, etc.) that are required for admission. I am interested in applying to many Swedish universities for post-graduate studies; generally, what seems to be needed for admission into Master's programs there? Thank You! - Vikramkr (talk) 22:26, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Assuming that the program you are interested in is taught in English and you are a native speaker of English, a bachelor's degree from an English-language university seems to satisfy the basic requirements for application to a master's program in Sweden according to this site. According to the web page for the program you mention, the förkunskapskrav (prerequisites) also include 60 hec (higher education credits)—in Swedish terms the equivalent of a full year of study—in a social science discipline. So, if you studied for four years, at least 25% of your credits would have to be in a social science discipline. The other prerequisites involve results on English-language exams. You'd need to contact the program to see if they'd waive these for a native speaker with a degree from an English-language university. Under Urwal (selection) they mention further criteria that affect their admission decision. Beyond that, presumably they will want to see good grades and strong letters of reference. Generally, it's impossible to know for certain in advance whether one will be accepted into an academic program. Here is the home page for the program. Marco polo (talk) 00:48, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, this program is taught in English. They waive the requirement to prove proficiency in English if the language of instruction at the undergraduate institution was English. Additionally, I am pursuing an undergraduate degree that is interdisciplinary and completely grounded in social sciences, so that is good to know. Thank you for your help. However, as it is of course impossible to predict admission with certainty, I was hoping for some insight from Swedes in regards to the general academic requirements for admission, for postgraduate studies in Sweden. In other words, whether it be in reference to the University of Gothenburg or another university, what are the general expectations grade-wise? - Vikramkr (talk) 02:38, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Since these programs are intended for students with undergraduate backgrounds in Sweden and worldwide they usually don't have any actual expectations "grade-wise". The grading system used in undergraduate studies will be different for almost every applying student. It is also worth noting that in Swedish Academia - at least outside the technology field - there is very little focus on grades. Many undergraduate courses and programmes in the social sciences use only pass/fail grades, and it is definitely different between universities. Thus, I assume other factors are used to determine suitability of applicants, but I am afraid I failed when trying to look it up right now. /Coffeeshivers (talk) 07:31, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Great, thank you so much for your help! - Vikramkr (talk) 19:32, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Graduation Dress[edit]

What is the significance of a wide yellow scarf in traditional commencement dress? As compared to a gold rope for example. (talk) 22:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you're referring to an academic stole, the meaning and significance of which can vary widely. Our article on academic dress generally may also be of assistance. — Lomn 22:45, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing specific in either of those articles. I was looking for something more specific. (talk) 23:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The article on academic stoles tells you some of the reasons that a person might wear that garment. Unless we know where you saw someone wearing an academic stole, it will be difficult to be more specific. Marnanel (talk) 00:01, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Individual schools generally create their own system of significances for colored stoles and cords- they can represent honors, organizations, areas of study, or something else. The best way to find out what an individual one means is to ask the faculty member in charge of graduation at the specific school in question. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 01:26, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
The colors are pretty standardized. Here's a good chart: [6] Shadowjams (talk) 07:22, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Really? Because science in that list is gold, whereas I'm pretty sure it's blue in the University of Auckland or perhaps the whole of New Zealand (according to the academic dress article), which follows the University of Cambridge system I believe (so Academic dress of the University of Cambridge may also be of interest). (This Australian university [7] appears to have a similar trend.) Perhaps you meant standardised within the US?
The IP didn't give any indication they're only interested in one geographical location, in any event looks up to Canada, specifically the Université du Québec so at a random guess, they're more likely to be interested in Canada then what goes on in the US. These two Canadian universities do use golden yellow for science [8] [9] which may be the same as in the US and this one uses gold [10] which I guess is, however this one uses mint green [11], whether this is just an abnormality of it's less standardised in Canada I don't know.
More to the point, the colours and dress in the Université du Québec could easily be quite different, perhaps being based on the French dress and system, which according to our article uses Amaranth for science. (The website may say, but I don't speak French, it's unsurprisingly largely in French and I was lazy to use Google or Bing translate to research).
Nil Einne (talk) 22:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)