Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2012 January 16

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January 16[edit]

Military servicemen photographs[edit]

Going through the National World War II museum today generated a few questions for me. So here's the first...

There were many exhibits of war relics which had a description of what the item was, who personally used it, etc. Next to each description was a photo of the man who the item belonged to. They were all in class A uniform and posed in the same way. These are also basically the same as the photos we have here of service members. When would these photos be taken? Does the US military get recruits/draftees (historically on that last one since we're not going through a draft right now) to throw their class A uniforms on for picture day like in grade school and then keep these on file for identification purposes? And then would the men be given a chance to have one of those photos sent home to their family? We had a picture of this nature of my brother on our mantle growing up (he's retired and I'd ask him but I'm looking not just for his experience but how this was done during war time as well). Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 00:28, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Anecdotal. During Army basic training in the 1980s, after we had our uniform measurements, we were taken to a photo studio, mock tops of the correct size were given to each trainee, and their photos taken. Very common sizes had more than 1, but 100 trainees were finished in about an hour. A cycle book and packages were available, and proofs were given. Dru of Id (talk) 22:14, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
What is a "cycle book?" You pose on a bike? Edison (talk) 14:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Erp, no. Cadre refer to each group as a cycle, but lasting a number of week. 'Year books' for much less than a year. Delivery near graduation. Dru of Id (talk) 19:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Scar on Michelle Obama's hand[edit]

Michelle Obama has a scar on her left hand, near the wrist. How did she get it?

— O'Dea (talk) 08:53, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Martin Luther King Day "observed"[edit]

My calendar entry for today reads "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed)". Why do they put in that last word? I see from the article that there has been some reluctance to observe the holiday, that it is now a paid holiday for state employees but that many private companies do not observe it. So when the calendar company includes that last word, are they just referring to the day's observance among state employers? Or are they making some kind of political point that it is not always observed but that it should be? --Viennese Waltz 10:39, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

The article seems pretty clear: Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15th, but the public holiday falls (is "observed") on the third Monday of January, whatever date that may be. --Xuxl (talk) 11:13, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that's fairly common wording. Sometimes public holidays (and this varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction) must be celebrated on the day, whether it's a weekend or whatever in which case most workers miss the public holiday, with others you get a holiday in lieu. For example my calendar (printed in USA FWIW) has "New Year's Day" on Jan 1 which was a Sunday, and then "New Year's Day (observed)" printed on Jan 2 (Mon), meaning that's when you'll get the public holiday. The MLK one two weeks later is exactly the same. --jjron (talk) 11:44, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Similarly, Washington's Birthday is Feb 22, but is "observed" (and popularly but incorrectly called "President's Day") on the Monday preceding the 22nd. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:27, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
The article you link says "commonly known as 'Presidents Day'". I don't see it says anywhere that this is "incorrect". --ColinFine (talk) 17:06, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, Memorial Day was once traditionally held on May 30, but is now "observed" on the last Monday in May. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:31, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
The last year MLK Day actually fell on the 15th was in 2007. The next year will be 2018. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:36, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought that it was called "President's Day" because it combined the holdiays for Lincoln's (Feb 12) and Washington's (Feb 22) brithday. I remember there used to be two holdiays for the two birthdays and now there is just the one. RudolfRed (talk) 19:51, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Lincoln's Birthday was not a national holiday. Washington's was. In fact, Lincoln's birthday is still observed in the states that used to do so before "President's Day" came along, and it's still on the 12th. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:14, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation RudolfRed (talk) 23:22, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
http://www.opm.gov/operating_status_schedules/fedhol/2012.asp "This holiday is designated as "Washington's Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law." --Nricardo (talk) 01:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
When some major holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, then the Friday before or the Monday after is the holiday "observed", the day when certain businesses close. The calendar will show both days, as in Jjron's example -- Sunday Jan 1: New Year's Day, Monday Jan 2: New Year's Day (Observed). However, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is always the third Monday in January, so it never needs a secondary "observed" day. I think this may be the question Viennese Waltz was asking: Why did the calendar include the word "observed" when Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is always on Monday? I agree with Xuxl, it's probably used to mean King's birthday observed. If the calendar had shown both "Sunday Jan 15: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday" and "Monday Jan 16: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (Observed)", then it would better fit into the pattern. --Bavi H (talk) 02:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The "first business day after" convention is quite common for many legal deadlines. It depends on the jurisdiction, and it only applies to longer (roughly over 2 weeks) time-frames, but often when the deadline technically falls on a holiday or a Sunday/Saturday, the next business day is the "deadline." Of course always check the details, certainly don't rely on this as a rule of thumb, but it's a common government convention. Shadowjams (talk) 07:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Banks (bless them) don't do that. Not in my experience. They will specify that your mortage or whatever is due "no later than the 13th day of each month"; if the 13th falls on a weekend and for some reason you can't pay online, you can always pay early - in their opinion. I've been caught by this when I made a payment on the Monday that was actually due on the weekend, only to be told my payment was late and it would attract a fee. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 07:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry Bavi H, while I don't pretend to be an expert on US public holidays, as I originally said my calendar made and printed in the US does include the MLK info in exactly the same pattern as the New Year one, i.e., the day printed on the Sunday, and the day (observed) on the Monday. --jjron (talk) 13:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Calendar makers do things the way they feel like. One of my calendars has the 1st as New Year's Day, nothing shown on the 2nd, the 15th as MLK Birthday (Traditional) and the 16th as MLK Birthday (Observed). The other has the 1st as New Year's Day, the 2nd as New Year's Day Observed, nothing on the 15th, and the 16th as MLK Birthday Observed. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:16, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not an expert, but perhaps a bit pedantic to claim there's a difference between the Day and the birthday. MLKJ Day is by definition always on a Monday, and thus can never be on a Sunday. If your calendar says MLKJ Day is on a Sunday, I would suggest that it is technically wrong. Realistically, we know it'd be referring to King's birthday, it'd just be a minor annoyance for the pedant in me if a non-Monday Jan 15 is labeled as the Day instead of the birthday. --Bavi H (talk) 03:27, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Translation into English[edit]

Okay, this might just be one of those few questions that goes unanswered in the ref desk, but I might as well try. I uploaded a friend's photo on Facebook, and tagged her, so one of her friends (from her state, Meghalaya, India) commented under it in Khasi. I don't know Khasi, and neither the commenter, nor my friend are willing to tell me what it means, but since it's been made in a very public portal, under one of my own uploaded pics, I feel I have a right to know. So here's the comment, and I'm hoping somebody here can decode it :"Lol meh dang pynkhih lbong hi? ". (PS, I guess "Lol" here is the standard "laugh out loud"). 117.227.115.215 (talk) 15:51, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

You probably will get better results if you have this posted at the Language Desk rather than here. Consider also putting the name of the language (Khasi) into the header. --Mr.98 (talk) 16:05, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
According to this online dictionary it (very) roughly translates to: burn just shake thigh its. Does that make any sense with the context of the picture? TheGrimme (talk) 18:12, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Couldn't "meh" be internet slang rather than Khasi? Since lbong=thigh is the most unambiguous word there, I'd guess it means something like "Shake those thighs" or (via metonymy) "shake that ass", which would both be very common things to write about photos. --Colapeninsula (talk) 20:12, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, idiomatically, "burn" is actually "hot" (as in physically attractive), so "That's hot - shake that ass!"? Sounds like a very plausible comment on a Facebook photo. ("meh" being the English slang expression of disinterest doesn't seem to fit the rest of it.) --Tango (talk) 00:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought that said 'bum'. I had to put it into a text editor to see it properly. Also, it looks like a question, so I would put it as 'Lol - hot - shaking those thighs?' Obviously something to do with dancing. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 01:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Just in case anyone is interested, the photo in question is this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2181860245869&l=b5b298a899 117.227.46.61 (talk) 08:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Train operator for LACMTA[edit]

How do I become a train operator for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority? I'm interested in this career because I'm a transit rider and have a interest in participating in the (public sector) transit industry. I think this career is easy to me because they use a joystick to drive the rail vehicle. Are they regulated by the DMV or the Federal Railroad Administration. Do they get Railroad Retirement Board benefits like the freight railroads? What is the salary of a train operator? WJetChao (talk) 23:05, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Here's a link to the MTA benefits offered. Looks like you get a 401K and a pension. I don't know if that is railroad pension or CalPERS. And here is the job description for train operator. If you don't have any experience, you might qualify for the trainee program. RudolfRed (talk) 23:33, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

If you go to the LACMTA website and click through About Us...Metro Careers, you can find job descriptions and qualifications. Among other things, a full-time train operator requires a Class C California driver's license, 1 year of experience as a bus driver, a good driving record for the last 5 years, and be at least 21 years of age: [1]. The position is unionized; the pay grade is U31—I don't know what that translates to in dollars. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:32, 16 January 2012 (UTC)