Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2011 May 26

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May 26[edit]

When a blind person wipes, how do they know when they're done?[edit]

I hope they use a bidet and just keep it on for 3 minutes just to be quite sure. That would be the easy way.

But if they can't have one, how do they figure out when they're clean enough not to need to wipe anymore? -- (talk) 03:54, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Blind people are only lacking one sense - there are plenty more that will suffice to make this determination. A quick Google search for "blind people hygiene" gave me this answer as the top result, where a blind person answers this very question. Hope that helps. Avicennasis @ 08:14, 22 Iyar 5771 / 26 May 2011 (UTC)
This is based on the assumption that sighted people look at the toilet paper after wiping. I do not believe that is prominent. I end my classes with the option to answer any question - anything at all. As a joke, a student asked this specific question. (Why? There was a blind student in the class that he didn't like.) So, without singling out the blind student, I asked everyone to raise their hand if, after wiping, they hold out the toilet paper and visually inspect it for fecal material. Very few students raised their hand. I then asked a few of them how they know if they are clean. They said that you don't have to look. You just know. Then, I asked the student who asked the question if he has a particular interest in fecal material that he wanted to share with the class. He didn't. So, I wonder if the original questioner here has a particular interest in fecal material that he is exploring. -- kainaw 13:12, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I rather suspect that embarrassment would prevent many people from giving an honest answer to your first question in front of their peers. AndrewWTaylor (talk)
And I'm curious as to what class this is and if the questions can be on anything at all. Unless this is a class on hygiene or handicaps, I don't see the relevance. Dismas|(talk) 18:27, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I had a class where such a Q might be relevant. It was "Analysis of Solids and Structures", abbreviated on the transcript as "ANAL SOLIDS". StuRat (talk) 05:15, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
A Bidet does not necessarily squirt upwards but of those that do, the linked article gives the amazing information that "Those types providing higher pressure offer a more thorough cleansing." The OP may be thinking rather about keeping an electric Washlet on (or the blind person keeping on a bidet) but why 3 minutes exactly? Cuddlyable3 (talk) 09:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

what colour is this[edit]

Please tell me what exactly are the two colours of the balloons? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

The OP also asked this question at the Entertainment desk. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:42, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Try Color Detector. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:03, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I would say black and wine, though the actual name they're sold as would vary with the manufacturer. Matt Deres (talk) 00:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
It is impossible to determine exactly the colour of anything in a photograph without a setup that includes a calibrated light source temperature and the sensor's or film's spectral response. The balloons might be dark green and purple. Or not. In any case to inflate so many must have been a big blow job. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 09:06, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

telescope again[edit]

how is the Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope compared to orion skyquest xt8 as per the clarity and depth .anyone?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Did you find the comments, links, and advice in the previous discussion helpful? What you're asking about is the difference between a fully-computerized 4" Maksutov-Cassegrain [1], and a completely-manual 8" Dobsonian-mounted reflector [2]. It's kind of like asking us which is better: a Porsche 911 or a bulldozer? The answer is going to depend quite a bit on what your needs are. I'll repeat what I told you the last time—please think about the questions that I asked in my previous response, as the way that you will use (or want to use, or be required to use) your telescope will decide which instrument you want to buy.
  • Roughly speaking, remember that twice the diameter of the main mirror means four times (two squared) the amount of light collected. All other things being equal, that means that the big 8" scope will allow you to see objects that are that much fainter.
  • The 4" scope and mount are each about half the weight of the equivalent parts of the 8" scope, and its optical tube is only about a quarter the length. If you have a smaller car (or you need to share the car with other people); if you're observing alone; if you have limited storage space; if you have to move the telescope up and down stairs—this can make a huge difference in usability and usefulness. There is an important adage in telescope buying: "The best telescope is the one that you will use."
  • The Dobsonian mount is very straightforward; you push the tube around to where you want to look. There's no maintenance required, and nothing to go wrong with it unless you drop it off a cliff. It's essentially impossible to build a simpler telescope mount. On the other hand, you have to keep manually repointing the tube, as the Earth rotates under the sky. With low-power eyepieces, you'll have to nudge the tube every few minutes to keep up with the sky; at higher powers you'll be nudging a few times per minute. This bothers some people and not others.
  • The computerized electronic mount in the NexStar will track the movement of the sky automatically once it's set up. Be warned, however, that your telescope becomes a very expensive lawn ornament if the 8 AA batteries are dead and you don't have a car battery or AC adapter handy. I don't think the NexStar is designed for any sort of non-motorized pointing.
  • Because of the tracking issue, it's essentially impossible to use a Dobsonian-mounted scope for most astrophotography (though you can sometimes get interesting short-exposure images of the moon and planets by pointing a camera down the eyepiece tube.) Hardware to couple your dSLR camera to the NexStar is readily available.
What you really should do is get in touch with a local astronomical group or society. (For example, your IP address geolocates to Bangalore; you might find the Bangalore Astronomical Society a useful resource.) At their meetings you'll be able to meet amateurs who regularly use these types of instruments; they'll be able to tell you what they like and don't like, and offer guidance for how best to get started in the hobby. You should also find out when they're having their next "star party"—that's an event where amateur astronomers all get together with their telescopes somewhere dark, and you'll be able to see instruments in real field use. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:51, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

the orion dobsonion seems to be very large and not easy to carry around. one last question tht i have is is there a scope within the price range of orion xt8 but lighter and has the similar picture quality atleast a 6ïnch... THANKS FOR THE PREVIOUS ADVICE.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

OLD Photographs[edit]

I have come across MANY OLD photos that are actually Post Cards!!! What I'm TRYING to "relate" is that on the back of the photo is an actual Post Card!! I would like to know what years this was done constantly!!!! The figures in the photos look as though they are from the 20's, 30's and 40's!!!! I can't truly be sure!!! Some are actual Wedding Photos!!!!

Please get back to me and let me know the range of years that this was a "standard" thing, ESPECIALLY in Great Britian!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Just as an anecdote, I have a couple of postcards like that with photos of my mother as a child, which would put it in the mid-to-late 1920s. On one of them my Grandmother wrote that it was taken by a passing photographer on a beach, so it was presumably reasonably common around then. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
This was very common around the turn of the century; I believe it died out sometime between the wars. Before the widespread ownership of cameras, people tended to make much more use of professional photographers than we do now - it was common, for example, to get a portrait photograph taken when on the annual holiday - and if you were sending multiple copies of the prints to family, it made sense to have them printed on postcard stock rather than on "proper" photographic paper, because you could then send it cheaply and quickly. As a result, you also get a lot of unused portrait postcards - people who'd bought a set and not sent them all, or kept them as "real" photographs - which makes actually dating them quite tricky. Used ones, of course, have a dated postmark!
This site has an interesting selection of portrait postcards from Edinburgh, which give an idea of how widespread it was. Note the large number in uniform; there was a real boom in them during the First World War, with soldiers stationed in unfamiliar towns getting pictures of themselves in uniform to send back to family and friends. Shimgray | talk | 19:37, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
This article is slightly more precise; it dates most postcards to 1902 or later, when the modern-style divided postcard back was introduced. Shimgray | talk | 19:39, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
What you have are called "real photo postcards". You can check out our article on the subject or run a google search on the term for more details. Real photo postcards are not in themselves scarce, but depending on the subject some may be especially desireable and/or collectible (such as pictures of famous people, old street scenes, and buildings that no longer exist). The best way to judge the date on these is to use clues in the picture (such as the styles of clothing, types of cars, etc). You can also use clues on the back of the postcard, such as the price of postage, and whether the back was divided or not. This page has more details on how to date US postcards... although real photo postcards don't always have the "appropriate" backs for the timeframe. ThemFromSpace 20:20, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Excellent information, and very apropos as I have a number of such postcards, some of which are a little hard to date. It's clear that these were very popular ca. 1910, and the ones I have were typically (though not always) studio portraits, which are very good quality, relatively speaking. It's a nifty idea, and people still use this basic approach, typically with Christmas cards - which are typically inside an envelope, which is just as well, privacy and identity theft being more of a concern than they were a century ago. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:08, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
They're selling postcards of the hanging - Bob Dylan, Desolation Row. During the 1920s postcards of lynchings] were sent in the US. This was ruled to be a federal offence. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 08:54, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe it died out during World War 2. I have a photo of 3 generations of my family taken in 1933 which is a postcard. With the advent of the Box Brownie camera, which brought cheap photography to the masses, this practice died out. --TammyMoet (talk) 14:19, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Treatment of snakes in nc[edit]

We live in eastern nc, near water (creeks, rivers, etc). and have snakes of all varieties. I have heard that moth balls are snake deterents and that if sprinkled around foundations and perimeter of lots it will significantly retard snake visits. Is that true? If not are there any possible deterents? We have a wide variety of snakes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

What kinds of snakes do you want to deter? There are lots of snakes in Eastern NC which are beneficial to your yard. Snakes like rat snakes and corn snakes are fantastic because the eat small rodents which tend to wreak havoc in your yard (moles and voles and field mice). I tend to like seeing a few rat snakes around my yard in Eastern NC because it means I don't have to put out as much rat poison to keep the mice out of my garage and crawl space. They are also non-poisonous and so aren't a threat to you, your pets, or your children. If you have poisonous snakes living close by (in Eastern NC this is usually the water moccasin (aka cottonmouth) or the eastern diamondback rattlesnake) then you may want to try to keep them away from your kids. Both of those species tend to be wary of people; if you are out in the yard a lot, they will tend to stay away. --Jayron32 23:12, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Far as I know, all four of the standard venomous snakes in America can be found in North Carolina, of which by far the most dangerous is the Coral snake, which should be avoided at all costs. (As with other snakes, as noted by Jayron, they tend to avoid you, actually, unless they feel threatened or disturbed.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:56, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
There are far more than 4 venomous snakes in the U.S. The list of snakes in South Carolina (closest list article we have) has Copperhead snake, Cottonmouth snake, Eastern diamondback, Timber rattlesnake, Eastern coral snake, Dusky pigmy rattlesnake, Carolina pigmy rattlesnake. Rmhermen (talk) 01:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
The very incomplete List of fatal snake bites in the United States mentions two deaths each by diamondbacks and copperheads in the 2000s (and probably more occurred) - but notes only two deaths by coral snake in almost 40 years (one in 1967, one in 2006). Rmhermen (talk) 01:28, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
The source I read, some years ago, was kind of grouping all rattlesnakes together, hence the four. The danger with coral snakes is that they use a neurotoxin, like that used by asps and cobras, whereas the others use a hemotoxin. Obviously, they all require treatment. I've heard coral snakes referred to as a "two-step snake", presuming you get about two steps away before you fall over dead. That's probably an exaggeration. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:31, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
"Red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow." DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 05:48, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Another version of that I've seen is "Red and black, friend of Jack. Red and yellow, kill a fellow." This is supposed to distinguish between genuinely poisonous snakes (in Australasia, I believe) and harmless ones that (roughly) mimic them. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:16, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I think that rhyme is American. Specifically, it was invented as a mnemonic to distinguish between coral snakes and kingsnakes such as the scarlet kingsnake, whose article lists a few variations of the rhyme. In any case, the mnemonic is certainly not perfect. Matt Deres (talk) 13:52, 28 May 2011 (UTC)