Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2012 December 28

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December 28[edit]

Amazing Coincidences[edit]

Which would be some amazing coincidences by dates? I'm looking especially for political events, but other events are also welcome. Here are the ones which I (and perhaps some other people) already noticed:

  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of United States independence, while James Monroe died on the 55th anniversary of United States independence.
  • Losing 1876 U.S. Presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden died exactly 75 years to the day before current U.S. President Barack Obama was born.
  • The middle date between U.S. President William McKinley's shooting (September 8, 1901) and his resulting death (September 14, 1901) was September 11, 1901, which is exactly a century up to the day before the 9/11 attacks.
  • The Curse of Tippecanoe between 1840 and 1960.

Futurist110 (talk) 02:10, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

There's the similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy: [1]. StuRat (talk) 02:26, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
True, but some of these similarities are made up (some of them are real, though). Futurist110 (talk) 03:35, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Hence my Snopes link. StuRat (talk) 03:48, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
One month before he died, Lincoln was in Monroe, Maryland. One month before he died, JFK was in Marilyn Monroe... --Jayron32 02:42, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Nope, that part is myth, see my link. StuRat (talk) 02:47, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Also a myth, your ability to recognize a joke... --Jayron32 02:48, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
If you meant it as a joke, you wouldn't have said "it's funny because it's true..." in your edit summary: [2]. StuRat (talk) 02:53, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
If you'd been able to read it as a joke, you wouldn't have needed to comb thru the edit summaries to belabor your lack of humor. --Jayron32 02:54, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I first found it in the edit summary, as I find most changes to the Ref Desks. StuRat (talk) 03:02, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Don't mind if I join in.... At least I understand, Jayron. Hahaha. Such jokes need no explanation. Bonkers The Clown (Nonsensical Babble) 03:07, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Don't mind if I join in II. Jayron's edit summary is also a joke. Hahaha. Only Sturat doesn't get it. Hahahaha. 11:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Here are a few items that may or may not amaze you:
  • Nazi bigwigs Alfred Rosenberg and Hermann Goering were both born on 12 January 1893. They were both sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials, and were both scheduled to hang on 16 October 1946. But Goering committed suicide in his cell the night before. Spoil sport.
I did not notice that before. That was pretty interesting. To be honest I think it's fascinating how both a hardcore Nazi and many Jews have the last name of Rosenberg. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
That one is pretty cool. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I think I vaguely remember hearing that one before. It sorta reminds of of Henry VIII of England dying exactly 90 years after his father Henry VII was born. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I remember this one. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Very nice. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Jeff Kennett and Carmen Lawrence were Premiers of Victoria and Western Australia whose terms overlapped. They were both born on 2 March 1948. (Richard Court and Bob Carr were Premiers of WA and NSW whose terms overlapped. They were born one day apart - 27 and 28 September 1947 respectively).
Wow. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Empress Eugénie, Consort of Napoleon III of France, was born on 5 May 1826, the 5th anniversary of the death of her husband's predecessor and uncle Napoleon Bonaparte;
Now this one is nice. I did not know that. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Purely amazing. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Holy moly! That's so amazing. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Very interesting. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I never noticed that one before. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
One day off but still pretty cool. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, both highly influential historical figures, were born on the same day, Feb 12, 1809. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:51, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I've known this one for years now. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Mark Twain's birth date and death date were close to the perihelion dates for Halley's Comet in 1835 and 1910. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:56, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I've known this one for years now as well. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Jesus was born on January 1 in the year 0. Listen thou not to naysayers who sayeth otherwise. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:49, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
There was no year 0 but I get the joke. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Christmas came late that year. Alansplodge (talk) 03:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, an extraordinary coincidence. Like when the noted historian Richard Armour pointed out that Henry Hudson arrived at Manhattan and was pleased to note that the river had already been named for him. Or when Julius Caesar failed to beware the Ides of March, and was assassinated, just as Shakespeared predicted. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:34, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Or how Lou Gehrig just happened to get Lou Gehrig's disease. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 20:05, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Am I the only one who doesn't see the examples that the OP used as "amazing"? For example, McKinley had nothing at all to do with 9/11. And Tilden has little to do with Obama other than the fact that they both ran for President. Lots of things happen on similar dates. And if you start by saying "if you add this to that and then turn the 6 over to make it a 9 then blah blah blah..." it's not really a coincidence at all. Now if Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Paul Ryan all had the same birthdate, that I would call an amazing coincidence since they were all part of the recent US elections for President at the same time. Dismas|(talk) 14:45, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
McKinley's assassination helped bring in and accelerate the Progressive Era on the national stage, just like 9/11 ushered in the War on Terror a century later. Both were very monumental events from a historical perspective. As for Tilden and Obama, Tilden was the preferred candidate of the racist white Southerners near the end of Reconstruction, whereas Obama is the United States' first black President. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The Adams-Jefferson coincidence and the "curse of Tippecanoe" have been widely discussed. The other two, as you indicate, are just messing around with numbers. They may be amusing coincidences, but not "amazing". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:15, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
See, that's why I hedged my bets with my list. What's "amaaazing" to one person may be "ho-hum" to another. We can record coincidences and such, but we can't guarantee they will amaze. That's down to the reader. Whatever their experience of the information is, it's their call to describe it any way they like. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 19:55, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
An article on the subject would have to be something like List of coincidences considered notable. Like the subset of the items listed in this section which have been widely-discussed. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:22, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Here is a near-collision of name, profession, nationality and birthday: Paul Smith (footballer born 22 January 1976) and Paul Smith (footballer born 25 January 1976). Only three days from a disambiguation meltdown. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Woah! Awesome. Futurist110 (talk) 21:37, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
From the world of entertainment... "Dennis the Menace" is the name of two comic strips featuring misbehaving young boys. One was made in the US, while the other was made in the UK. They have nothing in common other than the name, broad character similarities, and the fact that they both debuted in March of 1951. There are other such coincidences in comics (Swamp Thing v Man-Thing, etc.), but they may not be entirely coincidental. Matt Deres (talk) 15:51, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I'll need to look more into that. I'm not too knowledgeable with comic strips, but this coincidence does sound very interesting. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
See The Odd Case of Dennis the Menace. Apparently, both versions went on sale on exactly the same day; 12 March 1951. Alansplodge (talk) 03:02, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, I was born on my birthday. 1 in 365 chance of that happening. Absolutely amazing, considering I was two months premature. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 02:48, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I was born a month prematurely as well. Futurist110 (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Technically, being born on one's birthday is 100 percent probability. Kind of the flip side is the question of what a community's death rate is, and the answer is "1 per person". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
No, the point I was trying to make was, had I been born at the normal time, and had it been a leap year, I would be 10 years old now, but I wasn't, and it wasn't, and I'm not, so that's a coincidence. Three, in fact. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 01:15, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

A little different but I once hired a moving company to transfer a piano from one house to another in the same town and the bill was $88.00! I still am so tickled by that! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

How exactly is that a coincidence? Futurist110 (talk) 21:35, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
A piano has 88 keys. Dismas|(talk) 22:12, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
As when Tom Lehrer performed a folk song and asked the audience to pretend that he was playing "an 88-string guitar". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
My purchases at a 7-Eleven, one time, added up to $7.11. —Tamfang (talk) 18:59, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Thus enabling Robert to live to old age, and to be either present or in the vicinity of three presidential assassinations. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:11, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
  • In the US in 2012—"Sandy", hurricane, and "Sandy Hook", site of elementary school shooting. Maybe not an amazing coincidence, but slightly odd, both negative occurrences, one human-centered, the other nature-centered. (And both involving the name "Sandy" of course.) Bus stop (talk) 18:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to confirm this rumour, but there's apparently more than one song about love. Who'd have thought? If true, what an amazing coincidence!  :) -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 20:26, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but they're not all about a Sandy, and they're not all by New Jersey native Springsteen, who, by the way, has performed at at least two benefit concerts for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. He didn't sing the Sandy song, though. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:49, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
For an ironic and creepy coincidence, much of the wreckage of the World Trade Center was moved to Fresh Kills Landfill after 9-11. StuRat (talk) 21:48, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Oy! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:53, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis died the same day. —Tamfang (talk) 18:59, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Children and Sexuality[edit]

I have the follwing questions to ask you:

1. How many percent of people in the world marry before the age of 18?

2. How many percent of people in the world have sex before the age of 18?

3. How many percent of people in the world give birth to a child before tha age of 18?

4. How many percent of people in the world get pregnant before the age of 18?

5. How many percent of people in the world have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship before the age of 18?

Didn't I see this question somewhere a couple of days ago? HiLo48 (talk) 04:04, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
It also bears stating that there's nothing particular about the age of 18 which defines someone as an adult vs. a child. DIfferent societies, cultures, and legal systems have differing definitions. --Jayron32 04:11, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Chimney pots in the UK[edit]

I cannot find material that I am looking for, which is any literature on or about the different designs used for 'chimney pots' in England; i.e., the types known as Kings/Queens/etc. currently frequently sought for garden use or decoration. When did the decorative use begin, who started it, range of titles as in the above (cf magnum, jeroboam etc for champagne sizes). Has anyone written comprehensively on this80.189.37.42 (talk) 10:35, 28 December 2012 (UTC) jean fraser-harris

I'm sorry you haven't had an answer to this yet. I was among many people who used a Victorian chimney pot as a garden planter in the 1980s. We put in central heating and had the chimney pots taken down, an act of vandalism that the subsequent owners reversed. Then: what do we do with these? Pay to have them taken away? Let's keep them in the garden and plant flowers in them. Won't that be unusual! I don't think at that time architectural salvage companies bothered with chimney pots much; they were just starting to sell fireplaces and panelled doors. So I think the current interest probably built up during the 1990s and 2000s. I also found this lovely document online: I would take it with more than a pinch of salt. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Great pdf! Some people obviously have too much time on their hands - unlike us..... Hmm.  ;-) Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:39, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Though this book seems to be genuine and may be just what Jean is looking for. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Question in Malay[edit]

Saya ada anak tiri lelaki bernama Muhammad Alif b. Rino bersekolah di SRK Seri Tasek K.Lumpur yang berjaya mendapat keputusan 5A dalam UPSRnya. Ibunya seorang 'single mother' dan telah cuba memohon untuk anaknya masuk sekolah S.M. Sains Selangor di Cheras dan S.M. Aminuddin Baki secara online namun permohonan mendapat jawapan 'tidak diluluskan'. Kami daftarkan M. Alif di Sek. Men. Tasek. Kami ini diberitahu S.M. Sains Selangor adalah bagi anak2 org yang kebanyakannya berkedudukan tinggi dan kami perlu ada 'kabel' untuk masuk. Kami adalah orang berkehidupan sederhana dan menolak kaedah tersebut dan percaya kepada sistem pentadbiran negara. Namun begitu, apabila permohonan secara 'on-line' kami gagal, dimanakah kami sebagai org golongan sederhana ini hendak membawa nasib kami? Atau kami memang sepatutnya menerima nasib kami dan menyekolahkan anak2 kami yang mungkin berpotensi ke sekolah biasa? Mungkinkah pihak yang bertanggungjawab, boleh menyiasat samada benar majoriti pelajar2 di S.M. Sains Selangor terdiri daripada anak2 org2 yang berkedudukan tinggi? Jika begini keadaannya yang sedang berlaku sekarang, bagaimanalah nasib org2 seperti kami di masa akan datang? Semogalah benar cogankata ' Rakyat didahulukan, PENCAPAIAN diutamakan'.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

This question appears to be written in Malay. The Malay Wikipedia seems to have a reference desk here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:09, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Not a factual question, more of a fairly polite rant. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:48, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Oldest Albanian + woman from Belize[edit]

Who is currentry living oldest Albanian, whose age has been verified? I have also found out that Sophia Jones, woman from Belize has turned 110 years old today, so should she be added in list of living supercentenarians although she might be pending case? (talk) 11:54, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Might get a better response at Talk:List of the verified oldest people. Rmhermen (talk) 16:08, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Hua Shan important to the Dutch[edit]

What happened in July on Hua Shan that mattered to Dutch speakers (source)? There's no similar jump in views for the English Wikipedia, and other people on Twitter are surprised as me. A simple glitch? Or something more interesting? My lack of Dutch skills is holding me back somewhat. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 15:18, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps it was a featured article then in the Dutch Wikipedia? That's been cited as a reason for similar jumps on esoteric topics here on the English WP. To explore this, you might want to narrow the dates down a bit, but July 2012 is found here ("Wist je dat..."), weeks 27 through 30 are July 2012, and a click on the week by number is a link to the content. I haven't studied Dutch, but merely knowing English will serve you quite well with cognates. -- Deborahjay (talk) 16:34, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Gotta be a glitch. It isn't featured, it isn't even a long article, it wasn't edited this year by any human and there isn't anything on its talk page. Rmhermen (talk) 16:42, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
There is no way this is real reader interest. According to, the second most viewed page at the Dutch Wikipedia got 1169987 views in all of 2012. and says Hua Shan got around the same for each of 12 consecutive days, but only around 8 daily hits both before and after this. The other days are so low that I cannot see them with a mouse hover but they can be read in the page source. It must be either an error in the count, or something caused millions of automatic views not requested by humans. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:53, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Maybe there's nothing to it, but I have a vague recollection of a news article on Dutch TV within the last year or so, about a mountain path being opened (or reopened). It might well have been something to do with tourism in China and Mount Hua is noted for its perilous paths to reach various temples. Unfortunately, this is something I only might have seen once one morning over breakfast and my Dutch is not very good at all. I probably changed channels to an English language news channel quite quickly and thought no more about it. I can easily believe such a small news report causing Dutch internet users to seek out similar articles and them all coming across the Dutch Wikipedia article. Astronaut (talk) 11:25, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia most searched articles[edit]

According to this BBC article ( cul-de-sac was the most searched term on the German wikipedia. Furthermore "Unusual results included the @ symbol making it into second place in the Spanish language edition, a type of Japanese holly topping the French list, and The European Regional Development Fund coming in third in Poland.", plus many other surprising results. The BBC article doesn't make any mention of the mechanism by which these results are collected and they clearly appear to be being skewed in some way. What could be causing these unexpected results? Is there discussion anywhere on Wikipedia about them? --Iae (talk) 15:21, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I *think* they're just standard pageview stats, as available at, say, . But as my post in this section above this one attests, a few of them look like they may be just computer glitches. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 15:37, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
But pageview stats don't tell you about "most searched" - sometimes people search for terms and don't click on them (so no pageview) and MANY times, people reach a page by clicking on a link without searching - which would increase the pageview stats beyond the number of people who searched on the term. Maybe they are talking about Google searches rather than Wikipedia searches? Google probably keeps those stats. SteveBaker (talk) 15:55, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Early reporting of this list seems to have listed it as "most searched" and the idea cascaded on from there. It does have some correlation with search traffic, though - the heavy traffic to "wiki"/"wikipedia" is almost certainly driven by people searching for those terms on third party search engines in order to get to WP. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:12, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
It is taken from Wikitrends on our Toolserver [4] although the link explaining where the raw data comes from is incorrect. Rmhermen (talk) 16:06, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
They are only talking about the page views at The article title says "searched" but not the rest of the article. I have heard that article titles in media are often made by somebody other than the author. This can cause problems when they don't understand the article properly. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:13, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Headline#Production of headlines says: "It is generally written by a copy editor, but may also be written by the writer, the page layout designer, or other editors." PrimeHunter (talk) 16:17, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Didn't the wikimedia foundation release some dataset of search data earlier this year? I seem to remember reading that, but I don't know where it is. There were some anonymity concerns with it that I think they attempted to address too. Anyone else remember reading this? Shadowjams (talk) 02:33, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Announcement here; pulled a day or so after it was released. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:35, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

How much could cost this…?[edit]

Hi everybody… a relative give a pair of “alfani” shoes to my grandfather as a kind of christmas gift, but the thing is he don’t likes a bit this shoes… and he wants to know how much they could cost (without asking to our relatives)
The shoes are “Alfani 360 flex”… and where shopped in usa
Any idea?
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 17:00, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
[5] --OnoremDil 17:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Can you ask starbucks to put a coffee in your travel mug[edit] (talk) 17:20, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Why don't you ask Starbucks? HiLo48 (talk) 17:30, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Of course you can! In fact, they will give you a small discount for supplying your own container. --Pete (talk) 17:38, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and it appears that you will also receive a 10-cent discount (in the United States) for supplying your own container. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:11, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I am certain that you can. Walk up to the counter at Starbucks and say, "Will you please put a coffee in my travel mug?" Neutron Jack (talk) 23:38, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Will that stop them asking for my name?--Shantavira|feed me 12:39, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Why would that matter? They don't care what your name is: they just want a pass phrase to match you to your drink. Tell them your name is "thermal mug" if you want. (talk) 15:55, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The "what's your name" question at places that don't really need to know your name is a great opportunity to pick the cool name you always wish you had. I like to go for something from a previous century. Shadowjams (talk) 02:32, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I often use the name that my algebra teacher called me by mistake. It's shorter than mine. —Tamfang (talk) 19:19, 27 June 2013 (UTC)