Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2011 February 16

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February 16[edit]


how do I mla parenthetically cite the US census —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

"...(United States Census Bureau xx)..." where xx is the page number of the source [1]. schyler (talk) 00:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Changing the page colour[edit]

HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE PAGE COLOR — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joshuad95 (talkcontribs) 02:19, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Could you tell us what kind of page you mean? Marnanel (talk) 02:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If you are refering to Wikipedia, then once you are logged in select "my preferences" at the top of the screen, and you will then find the option to amend your choice of "skin" which is the page colour etc... Oh and please do not use caps lock as it has the effect of shouting! 13:56, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Crayons. --Ouro (blah blah) 09:27, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Utility building in Tribeca, New York[edit]

In Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom (p.347 of my Farrar Straus Giroux copy) there is a reference to a "massive Eisenhower-era utility building that marred the architectural vistas of almost every Tribecan loft-dweller". Which building is being referred to here? TriBeCa is no help. Thanks, --Viennese Waltz 09:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I have done some searching using Google Maps and cannot find a massive utility building in Tribeca that dates to the Eisenhower era. The only massive utility buildings in the area are 33 Thomas Street, which was completed in 1974, during either the Nixon or Ford presidency, and 32 Avenue of the Americas, completed in 1932 during the Hoover presidency. Marco polo (talk) 20:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

"big shoe bazaar" - question original posed as article[edit]

Hi all,
Question asked by Quuuu2 was originally created as article Bigshoebazaar.

Is there any page with the name or content under the tag of big shoe bazaar or what was its content? Can you please sort out this query? I would be extremely glad to know about the details of the page filed under the name of big shoe bazaar.

Please don't shoot the messenger, tho there are precedents enough.
--Sentry58 (talk) 11:57, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

If you click on the red link above, you will see the notice stating that the article was deleted because it was "blatant advertising ... with no meaningful, substantive content".--Shantavira|feed me 13:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Happy for not having rights[edit]

Shouldn't we be happy for not having rights sometimes? If obligations are based on rights, that implies that you don't have certain obligations. (talk) 13:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

What "rights" are you referring to? Can you give some representative examples of the sorts of "rights" we should be thinking of, and even their corresponding "obligations"? I think we should have a more finely-honed question so that our responses can be more targeted. Bus stop (talk) 14:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
That's the argument that slavery apologists used to use: "Oh, they're better off as slaves; they're fully employed, free room and board," etc. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
And in practice, if that is all you are looking at, there was some truth for that. Arguably the position of many slaves (whether in the American South, or the emancipated serfs in Russia) was far worse after they had been liberated than it had been before. But that calculus clearly does not take into account the fuller ramifications of slavery, of human needs. --Mr.98 (talk) 13:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
For some odd reason, the slaveowners apparently never actually asked the slaves that question, opting instead to "speak for them". Once slavery was ended, most of them split, and that was as good an implied answer as any. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Err, actually, when slavery ended, most of them became share croppers, which had arguably worse conditions than under slavery. I'm not apologizing for slavery. But I think it's important to emphasize that things got worse for many before they got better. And they didn't get close to parity with the white population until well over a century later. --Mr.98 (talk) 19:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Nonetheless, they had some measure of choice. Under slavery, there was no choice. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Had every freeded slave been given 40 acres, 50 dollars, and a mule, they would have had meaningful choices and all of us would have been much better off today. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 10:03, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I wonder what obligations you have in mind. I think if you made it clear what those obligations were, you'd see how "happy" you should or should not be. Do you think that the Soviet people were pleased by lacking the obligation of voting once every few years? --Mr.98 (talk) 13:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the only thing we're "obliged" to do is obey the law. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
In some cases not having the rights of citizenship in a country can allow one to avoid the obligation of military conscription—so in that case I think a lot of people would be real happy. Qrsdogg (talk) 14:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Note that that is not the case for the American Selective Service System. All males within the age range must register, regardless of citizenship status, unless they are in the USA only for a specified temporary visit. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Conscription is not everything: if you are a US-citizen, you get taxed on your worldwide income, no matter where you are (exemptions apply, for avoiding double taxation, for example). That's a right that I don't want to have. Quest09 (talk) 14:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
You'd rather have your taxes be at the European level??? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If I got the same services, then yes, certainly. (Speaking as a European who is currently paying US income tax.) Marnanel (talk) 14:49, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Your European taxes level includes health care (in Spain, UK and France, at least) and discounted college fees, sometimes even free. Quest09 (talk) 15:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
You're paying taxes for it. It's not "free". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
It's free at the point of use, and entirely free for some people. That's a perfectly usual meaning of the word "free". Warofdreams talk 16:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Nothing is free. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Every single time this comes up, an American (usually Bugs) feels the need to 'explain' this to people who live in a country where precisely how it is funded, and what is covered, is mentioned at every election, and in much of the political discourse in between. Do you think the electorate of these countries are so stupid they do not know how taxation works? And given you are replying to a message that explains the tax includes the price of healthcare, what are you even trying to prove? That you don't understand?
Income Taxes By Country 2005.svg
Anyway, look at this 'huge' difference in tax rates between the UK and the US, then remember the UK citizens paying that tax don't have to pay health insurance or hospital bills, and if they received higher education they are paying off much lower loans. Which is the point Quest was making: you're not usually going to be worse off, financially. (talk) 17:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
You've only been here since the 9th, so you can't possibly know what I do "every single time" regarding anything. And you continue to call something "free" that is not "free". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:59, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Really, Bugs, you're going to judge an IP's longevity based on the record first post? That's a fairly big logical error. Even named accounts can have different origin dates. I have been here for a very, very long time, myself, much longer than this account lets on. --Mr.98 (talk) 19:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
He's free to elaborate if he wants to. Until then, I only know that he started on the 9th. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
She's been here since 2003, and it's pretty obvious from my comment that I've been around longer than this IP address: I'd expect most people to be able to put that together, but then I'd also expect most people to realise that the word 'free' does not usually mean 'nobody paid for it at any point', and that Quest was even specifically referring to cases where some people actually do receive something that is free for them. After all, I paid no tax in order to get free eye tests and glasses in my childhood. I 'buy one, get one free' without assuming the supermarket magicked the 'free' product into existence without anyone paying anything. And I edit a 'free' encyclopedia that requires huge amounts of donated money to run. 'Free' does not only have the single, narrow meaning you imply, and it is frankly insulting to 'explain' that things paid for from the public purse require money from the public purse, every time someone mentions that the taxes of many countries include the price of healthcare for all citizens. (talk) 19:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I see no evidence of your existence here prior to 9 days ago. And nothing comes free, even if you want to believe it's free. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:13, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I see no evidence that anything exists outside my personal experience at this precise moment: I'm surprised you see evidence I'm anything other than a fleeting thought in your dreaming mind. Once we reject that mode of thought, we have to accept less rigorous proof. And at some point, you have to decide: is everyone else using a word wrong, or does the word have a different meaning to what you thought? You are using the word 'free' to mean something different to the meaning people have explained it means in this sentence, and then are insisting that they are wrong because the sentence isn't true if the word means this different thing. If "nothing is free" following the meaning you are using, and people are explaining how many things are free, perhaps the solution is not to assume they are all too stupid to realise this, but perhaps to assume your meaning of the word is not the relevant one. (talk) 20:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeh, the typical IP attitude, feeling free to take personal attack shots at others without having to account for it. And you wonder why I have such rock-bottom regard for IP's. However, in the case of "free" goods and services, "free", as in "free of charge" means "not having to pay money for it". How are you not having to pay money for it? Or have you figured out a tax dodge so that you can stick everyone else with paying for it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Please, feel free to point out where I have made a 'personal attack shot', since that is a policy violation and I take Wikipedia policy seriously. I do not wonder why you have such rock-bottom regard for IP's: life is too short, and it is not relevant. "After all, I paid no tax in order to get free eye tests and glasses in my childhood". I pay taxes so that the health service and schools and fire brigade and police and functioning roads are available for everyone: using them is free for me, and for anyone else who needs to use them, regardless of how much or little they have paid into the system. I pay the same amount in tax, whether or not I use them. Using them is free for me, and was before I had paid any tax at all. What costs money is providing the system, and I pay for that. Reading Wikipedia is free for me, although money has to be paid by someone at some point for it to be available. As explained, this is the usual meaning of the word 'free' in this context, and is the meaning people have in mind when they say "we have free healthcare". It is "free at the point of use", although obviously it has to be paid for by society as a whole. When someone explains that the taxes paid include the cost of healthcare, which is free, they clearly are not using the word 'free' in the way you have defined it, and responding to them with 'nothing is free' is not especially productive. (talk) 21:01, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, so "brain in a vat" was supposed to be a compliment, then? OK, you can continue to delude yourself as to what "free" is, that's up to you. And I will continue to point out that delusion when it arises. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Under 86's logic, it would appear that any insurance payouts are free money, regardless of how much their premiums cost them. If you want to consider that free, I guess no one can stop you, but I won't buy into that delusion. Googlemeister (talk) 22:07, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Paying insurance premiums is not a purchase of payouts. It is purchasing freedom from possible loss(es) that may also give freedom from worry and FUD. I hope Googlemeister doesn't find that the insurance he buys turns out to be an illusion. State healthcare is a form of insurance. Quest09, Warofdreams and IP user have all used "free" in a comprehensible way. It is a pity that Baseball Bugs expresses his persuasion that state involvement is undesireable in bombastic terms that do not advance any cogent analysis of the subject. User is no less worthy of regard than Baseball Bugs, is wrongly accused by the latter of personal attack where they made none, and gives a reasoned account for what they are saying. However it is as unhelpful to categorise what Americans do "every single time" as to categorise negatively our IP-using contributors. I don't where "brain in a vat" arose but it is a notable philosophical concept that can be traced back to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 14:57, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I'm personally very happy I don't have the right to randomly shoot strangers in the street, that is, rather, that I'm happy other people don't have that right. After all, we could have a society where people were free to do what they like - anarchy (of either sort) - and that isn't so hard to believe as a possible. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 17:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I assume you're describing America, as there is no right to randomly shoot strangers in the street here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Well no, I was describing the vast majority of nations on the planet, including my homeland. But it does of course hold for the US. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 18:08, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Just to reiterate my point, you have to outline the real "obligations" first to know if they are worth the trade-off. Example: I am obligated, every so often, to show up for jury duty. That is perhaps kind of a hassle (though honestly I have never gotten to the stage where I've even had to show up to the courthouse, much less been drafted into a jury, personally), but if you compare not having to do that with the costs of having a jury-less legal system, it seems like a pretty minor sacrifice. Another example: I am (in the US) obligated to register with the Selective Service and potentially be drafted. That might be somewhat scary, to be sure, but this is actually a pretty compromising position, if I don't want compulsory military service (which is common in societies with less "rights", as well as a number of liberal democracies as well) or don't want my nation to be totally undefended should it get into a big war (which would have high costs for me as well). That's a more questionable compromise, though I'm not sure a society with "less rights" would be a better alternative there (one could argue that a nation should have an entirely volunteer army, which is essentially what the US has in effect, and that seems to be working more or less well in terms of security). Another example: I have to pay sales and income tax. Question: Would a society with less rights have more or less taxes? Technically speaking I can affect how much I am taxed, though in principle that can be complicated and difficult. That is actually a tremendous "right" in the American system. Going to a system with less rights would probably result in me having no control over that process, and would probably still result in taxation (which seems inevitable anyway). Another example: I have the obligation of voting once every few years. Does that "burden" (election cycles, endless advertisements and articles, the actual work of voting) balance out against the "convenience" of having no control over my government? It looks like an absurd formulation when you put it that way. I think one cannot talk about the abstract principles here without actual concrete examples, and I think most examples lean on the side that the "burdens" are relatively light compared to the "benefits" of being without rights. --Mr.98 (talk) 19:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Everyone has obligations, regardless of whether they also have freedom or are living in a totalitarian state. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:42, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
@Mr.98, it is surprising to hear that you are obligated to vote in the US. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 20:56, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm reminded of what Will Rogers said about that grand and glorious experiment in freedom called the Soviet Union. When someone griped about the American income tax, Rogers retorted, "In Russia, they ain't got no income tax. But they ain't got no income!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
\Here's a concrete example: I am delighted that my own goverment denies me the right to keep a gun in my home. I have no wish for my daughter to find it and accidentally kill herself or her sister with it, or for a burglar to take it off me and kill me with it if I attempt to use it to defend us. I have no desire to kill anyone. I happily forgo any responsibility for maintaining or licensing a gun, or keeping it locked securely away, in exchange for a law that says ordinary citizens don't need them and will be punished for owning them. As recompense for the "tyranny" of the state preventing me from keeping a gun in my house, I expect said state to use my taxes to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to get hold of illegal guns, and to lock up anyone caught with one for a long, long time. Society balances individual rights against the general good, and one man's indispensable right may be his neighbour's unwanted responsibility. If the pendulum swings too far one way, you have anarchy; too far the other way and you have totalitarianism. Everything else is a compromise of sorts. Karenjc 23:50, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
... and I'm happy that the same government as Karenjc's (I think) allows me the right to keep a (licensed) gun in my home, and that it imposes some very onerous restrictions on where I keep it and how I use it, and makes it difficult to obtain a licence. I agree that these balances are all compromises, and I think the governments on both sides of the pond get things roughly correct in balancing freedoms against responsibilities for their respective populations. We do have the power to change things if most of us think that they are getting it wrong. Dbfirs 08:53, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
As long as we're on opinion, I don't think it's about right. I'm for much more individual liberty and much less emphasis on social order. I further claim that whether most of us think it's about right is not the point. --Trovatore (talk) 09:06, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Well you do have more liberty in your country, and some other countries have less, but at least we can change the situation if most of us want to do so. I'm with you in supporting individual liberty, and I often wish there was less regulation here, but I'm willing to compromise if the majority want to keep the legislation. Dbfirs 09:17, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, see, I'm not. In my opinion it's a violation of natural law, which the collective has no authority to alter. --Trovatore (talk) 09:19, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, I think I could live happily in your Utopia, and I'd be delighted with just nineteen laws, but what happens when others have a different interpretation of how "natural law" should work when our freedoms clash? In a large society, who acts as "Arbitrator"? Dbfirs 09:57, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
It is a problem. --Trovatore (talk) 19:58, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, who decides which laws are "natural"? One of the reasons people generally prefer democratic deliberation over appeals to natural law is that one guy's natural law is another guy's arbitrary theocracy. (Whether you appeal to Nature or to the Good Book or whatever, it is still an appeal to authority parsed through human interpretation.) I find natural law to be a pretty ridiculous thing to base one's convictions on; even the Declaration of Independence is rather ridiculous if you read it as actually trying to describe how natural law would work (is it really "self-evident" that all men are created equal? I admit it is not self-evident to me in the least!). --Mr.98 (talk) 14:44, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
"Created equal" simply means with equal basic rights, not the same. And, it's a target not a description of a status quo. Quest09 (talk) 15:32, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Read the whole of the 2nd sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence that begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." to understand that this is neither a claim nor an observation but an asserted intention. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 09:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Despite the DOI saying "all men are created equal", you still had widespread organised slavery for around a century afterwards in the US. (talk) 11:37, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy that I don't have the right to buy a gun, as it means that I and my children relatives and friends are unlikely to be shot by a nutter or criminal, or by accident. I understand the clip of the grandmother who attacked people trying to rob a jeweller's has been shown in the US - you can see that nobody is worried about getting shot. Wordsworth wrote a poem relating to the OPs question: Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room. Most people are content to live by the rules of society, in return for what it brings, rather than having the right to do whatever you like in an anarchic wilderness. (talk) 22:22, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Best sized Cruiser bicycle?[edit]

What is the best sized Cruiser bicycle for a man that is 5'11" - 24" or 26"? --Endlessdan (talk) 14:49, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

One that is not too big, or too small, but just right.-- (talk) 14:53, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I favour larger diameter wheels as they ride the bumps better. Saddles are adjustable so you should fit any bike. -- (talk) 18:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

According to this source, you want the 26" bike. Marco polo (talk) 18:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
That is what I was looking for. Thank you very much. --Endlessdan (talk) 15:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Rifled bullets[edit]

Would a bullet with spiral grooves on the outside fired from a smoothbore gun spin as a smooth bullet fired from a rifled gun does? If so, why is this mechanism unused? If not, why not? (talk) 16:19, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Bullets are made from soft(ish) material. Bullets swage when fired - you need to form a good seal between bullet and barrel so the expanding gasses push the bullet instead of rushing past it. So, this does not sound like it would work very well. Whereas rifled barrels do work quite well. Friday (talk) 17:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Rifling inside a bore not only imparts spin, but the bore itself imparts straightness to the trajectory, at the same time that it is imparting spin. I would think that grooves added to the outside of a bullet would be much less tolerant of imperfection, as any such imperfections would be magnified over the course of the long flight of the projectile. Imperfections that might be found in the rifling inside the bore are negated by the control exerted by the straightness of the bore. Once the projectile leaves the bore, all but the slightest imperfections I think would be likely to introduce perturbations that would be magnified in the course of a long flight. Bus stop (talk) 18:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Some shotgun slugs have inclined protrusions around the outside, but they provide no spin; instead they reduce friction inside the barrel and allow the slug to pass through the choke. The gas seal is provided by wadding. anonymous6494 19:01, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Some modern tank guns - ie Rheinmetall 120 mm gun - are smoothbores, but fire mainly fin stabilised shot with an outer casing or sabot that falls away after the round leaves the gun. The sabot makes the seal and protects the fins during the initial blast. I'm not sure if the fins impart a spin or not. Alansplodge (talk) 18:29, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Cote de Pablo[edit]

How can I write to Cote de Pablo?

James Irwin <e-mail removed> —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Through her agents. Go to and sign up, but be sure to terminate the registration after 14 days or you will be charged. Corvus cornixtalk 19:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
On May 22, 2010, Cote de Pablo was at Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach, FL.[2] You can send a letter to the spa and ask them to forward it (although the agent approach might be better). -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 10:19, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Wheel cover[edit]

Do hubcaps serve any purpose besides decoration? Do I have to replace it if one falls off? (talk) 22:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Hubcaps are decorative and not functional. You don't have to replace if you don't want to. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, they probably reduce the chances of the lugnuts getting frozen due to moisture working its way into the threads. Looie496 (talk) 23:15, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Water vapor condenses onto cold metal when it is below the dew point. Few if any hubcaps provide an airtight fit over a solid wheel. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:25, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
They can guard the wheel from debris which could chip the finish. A chip in the finish could accelerate rust formation. Dismas|(talk) 23:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
They're mainly decorative, but you may wish to replace it if you intend to sell the car at some point in the future. Buyers may subconsciously view a missing or non-matching hubcap as a sign of neglect, in the same way that they'd subconsciously regard an unwashed floor in an otherwise pristine house for sale. --NellieBly (talk) 01:39, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Hubcaps serve as a cheap means of imitating the styling of magnesium or aluminum alloy wheels, display the car marque and prevent dust entering the wheel bearing. Special hubcap designs modify airflow or are non-rotating for diaplaying advertisements. A wheel cover can also refer to an overall cover on an external rear-mounted spare tire on some off-road vehicles. EDITABLElink— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cuddlyable3 (talkcontribs)
Girly OR here, but on the occasions I've changed a car tyre, my hands have been much cleaner when the wheels have had hubcaps on! Guess it keeps the wheelnuts clean. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Although with some wheel covers the nuts come through the cover (often holding it place) and therefore would not get the nuts clean... 14:21, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
It's important to keep your nuts clean. You never know who's going to be eating them. :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 17:39, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Some plastic wheel covers carry fake nuts, possibly this one, Cuddlyable3 (talk) 22:49, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Back when I owned a car, the most useful function of the hubcap was to hold the lug nuts while you're changing tires. Sure beats watching them roll down the sewer opening! DOR (HK) (talk) 08:31, 21 February 2011 (UTC)