Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2012 November 24

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November 24[edit]

How does work?[edit]

At upon clicking on the link to "launch" the browser only downloads a .jsp file, which I have no idea how to launch or if I am supposed to. I'm on chrome but my firefox didn't work either. -- (talk) 01:46, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The file that is sent is a JNLP document intended to be read with Java Web Start. The page tells you to install the Java Runtime Environment which should contain JWS and should install a JNLP handler into your web browser. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 01:52, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I already had java installed but opening the file manually with java webstart did it. Thanks! -- (talk) 18:26, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

How to helicopters fly forward?[edit]

In video games, including the realistic ARMA II, to fly the helicopter forward, you have to tilt the plane a bit so that the nose points down. But in videos, I see many helicopters flying forward even with their nose parallel to the horizon. How are they able to do this? Why do video games require the helicopter tilt their nose? Is it just to simplify the controls? Acceptable (talk) 02:59, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Looking at our article on the subject, it looks like the propeller's not parallel to the ground even though the rest of the vehicle is. According to this, modern copters have front propellers that can lean forward while the rest of the vehicle stays horizontal. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:17, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, it's called a rotor, not a 'propeller'. As to how a helicopter moves forward, it is true that the rotor will be tilted forward a little in forward flight - but there is normally no mechanism to directly tilt the rotor. Instead, the cyclic pitch control varies the angle the blade meets the airflow as it rotates - which in turn will cause the whole rotor disc to tilt due to the aerodynamic forces. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:12, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I think there is a second smaller fan on the tail of the helicopter that pushes it forward. (talk) 05:00, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
That's not what it does. It's to counter the tendency of the helicopter to spin in the opposite direction the main rotor rotates, and can also be used to turn. StuRat (talk) 07:03, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Antitorque: Torque effect on a helicopter
Fairey Rotodyne prototype.[1]

← As Sturat said. See left diagram. Some rotorcraft have used propellors or jets in addition to the 'lift' rotor, for forward thrust. Technically they are more correctly called a Gyrodyne.
See right pic for a prototype using props. → - 220 of Borg 07:48, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The OP may have been thinking of autogyros (not helicopters) like this Groen Hawk 4 (also a prototype). - 220 of Borg 07:57, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Using the cyclic then, how does the helicopter distinguish between whether the pilot wants to go forward, while keeping the body of the helicopter parallel to the ground, vs. when the pilot wants to actually point the nose of the helicopter down (for example, to aim the miniguns on a Little Bird at a ground target)? Acceptable (talk) 23:10, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The previously linked helicopter flight controls explains how the controls work. That article's Forward flight section says "In forward flight a helicopter's flight controls behave more like those in a fixed-wing aircraft. Displacing the cyclic forward will cause the nose to pitch down" - no idea why it says displacing rather then the simpler word moving. However, some helicoptors have little winglets or elevators (compare File:AB.47J3 Carabinieri.JPG and File:YAH-64 1982 01759-1 cr.jpg for examples) and I would be prepared to speculate that these help keep the body level during forward flight. Astronaut (talk) 20:04, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Summarizing the answer, though: it can't. A conventional helicopter, nose-down, will tend to accelerate forward (subject to wind, drag, etc). A conventional helicopter, nose-level, will tend to maintain speed (again with caveats), and nose-up, will tend to decelerate. So you can get up to speed and then level off and travel at speed for a while, or start from a hover and angle down to fire rockets without moving very fast, but neither state is sustainable. That's all attitude management. Altitude management, on the other hand, gets more flexible because of the collective. A nose-down helicopter can climb, descend, or maintain altitude since the collective is an independent input. — Lomn 15:10, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. As for aiming guns, they move independently of the chopper body. Immovable guns are of little use in a helicopter, and impractical, in general. StuRat (talk) 20:48, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, with caveats. Dedicated gunships will generally have turreted guns, but many military helicopters can accept bolt-on fixed guns as well. See, for example, this list of armament options for the OH-58 Kiowa (and note also that fixed-fire rockets fill pretty much the same role, and are similarly common). — Lomn 00:15, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Fixed guns would be a huge disadvantage. Once the enemy figures out you only have those, they can fire at will until you turn towards them, then dive into a trench. The helicopter would also have to spend more time in enemy territory, as aiming the entire helicopter takes longer than aiming a gun. Perhaps some fixed guns or rockets in addition to mobile guns might make sense, though. StuRat (talk) 06:18, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I suspect the disconnect is primarily that you're trying to use helicopters and fixed-fire weapons in ways that the military doesn't. — Lomn 19:51, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Mall of America[edit]

How much would Mall of America be worth? If this information is not available, what would be a good way to go about estimating it? Would someone like Warren Buffet be able to buy it outright? (talk) 04:53, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Retail property in the Minneapolis metro area is going for about $105 per square foot as of 2012. Given that the Mall of America has 4,200,000 square feet of space (including retail space, corridors, utility space, etc.), that would give a rough estimate of about $441,000,000 not including land. --Jayron32 05:01, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
The county or city property appraiser's website for the community that the Mall of America is located in would likely tell you the property value of the mall according to the local tax appraiser. That said, things are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and whatever price someone is willing to part with the object for, and often times property sells for prices vastly different from what the tax office appraises the said property. The Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is in Hennepin County, Minnesota. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 05:04, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, as an example, the Silverdome outside of Detroit sold in 2009 for about the price of a single family home in the Washington DC metro area. --Jayron32 05:10, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
You are probably better off thinking of Mall of America as a business than a building - just owning a similar amount of floor space wouldn't enable you to easily replicate it, so using property values isn't going to be very accurate. If you can get an estimate of its profits (I don't think it's accounts are publicly available, so that may be tricky), then you can work out an approximate value by multiplying the profit by an appropriate price-earnings ratio (16 is commonly used for rule-of-thumb calculations, although I don't know if that's applicable for this type of business). --Tango (talk) 15:05, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
In property assessment, a large commercial property would be valued either by cost (land value + depreciated replacement cost) or by income (annual net income / discount rate, i.e. a perpetuity). This assumes you want the value of the real property (land and improvements) and not the value of the business as a going concern. In my experience, the assessor will value at cost and the owner(s) will appeal with an income valuation: much of the haggling that takes place is over allowable obsolescence and the appropriate discount rate to use.OldTimeNESter (talk) 18:33, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

City Climate change[edit]

Suppose the residents of some really cold city, like Minneapolis, or St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) decided it is too cold where they live. Would it be cheaper to A) move the entire city to somewhere hospital to human survival--building an exact replica, or B) Put up a giant-ass mirror in space that reflects sunlight on the city in winter enough to warm it up to a temperature humans can survive? Also, how much would the giant-ass mirror option cost? Could it be done for less than the amount spent on the Iraq/Afghanistan wars? (talk) 04:58, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Why would they want to move? Other than the cold, both Minneapolis and St. Petersburg Russia have great reasons to be located where they are. Minneapolis is a rail and air hub located on a major river, and St. Petersburg is Russia's most important port city. Yeah, cold is unpleasant, but realistically, the exact geography of those cities is part of the reason they are where they are. Building an exact, building for building replica of Minneapolis in the middle of, say, the Texas desert wouldn't make any financial sense since much of the money that Minneapolis makes depends on it being exactly where it is. --Jayron32 05:05, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind this is a reference desk, not a "what is your opinion on something I just thought about" desk. And for anyone confused by the question, he means "hospitable". --Viennese Waltz 05:06, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
They can just wait where they are, for global climate change to warm things up. StuRat (talk) 07:07, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest that since cities have been moved before (Pi-Ramesses, for example), while a giant mirror has never been put in space to modify the climate, the former would probably be easier. For a start, the mirror would probably need international agreement in case a country decides that its climate has been adversely affected and tries to destroy it. You might be interested in geoengineering and space sunshade, and a third option would be to build a walking city. (talk) 13:15, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't installing miniature nuclear generators in their bosoms or buttocks be cheaper and less problematic environmentally? μηδείς (talk) 16:54, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
No need to go that far. Socks with battery-operated heat elements work wonders. As regards Minneapolis being "really cold"... about 10 years ago, at the summer training camp at nearby Mankato, a Vikings player died from heatstroke. So it's not always cold. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:01, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Continental climate. μηδείς (talk) 00:38, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems to suffer from the same climatic misconception as Canberra does. A significant proportion of Australians have never visited their national capital and have no intentions of ever doing so. Classic, stock-standard reason: "It's always so cold there". I've heard this lame reason literally hundreds of times. Then I assure them that, while it does indeed get cold (by Australian standards) in winter, it's also damned hot in summer. Exactly like any other inland city in this continent. It never seems to wash, though. They'd rather believe their friends who've also never been there, than someone who lived there for over a quarter of a century and knows what he's talking about. And they seem to have massive national amnesia about the 2003 Canberra bushfires, which totally destroyed over 500 houses and killed 4 people. The popular belief remains that it's freezing cold 365 days a year. I suspect they're getting confused with the temperature of the politicians' and public servants' hearts.  :) -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 00:21, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Interesting to note that the record high temperature for Canberra is the same as that of Minneapolis, 108F (42C). On the other hand, the record low for Canberra is 14F (-10C) while Minneapolis got to -41 (C or F). Rmhermen (talk) 06:27, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
41 below is rather unusual, at least in Minneapolis area. Up north, around Frostbite Falls, that's a different story. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:33, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


What would happen if someone does not pay tolls (and continues to do so indefinitely)? Would this be different if the person has a drivers license/license plate that is different than the toll-collectin' state? (talk) 05:03, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

States have the power to put Liens on your property for failure to pay debts, including tolls, and fines for not paying them. If you are specifically concerned about your own non-payment of tolls, you need to contact a lawyer, Wikipedia cannot give you any specific advice about what may or may not happen to you. --Jayron32 05:07, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
If it's just once, there's usually a sign posted with a number to call in case you miss the toll. That happened to my father when his EZ-Pass transponder fell off the windshield just as he was going through the toll. In that case it was $2, and the operator, who had his license plate photographed, simply forgave the charge. μηδείς (talk) 16:51, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Im not sure if a state has the power to put liens on property you own in other states? Wouldnt that be out of their jurisdiction? (talk) 19:36, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
They can certainly seize an out of state bank account. Getting the other state's sheriff to sieze your physical property? I don't know. μηδείς (talk) 21:19, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Looking for a specific type of person[edit]

I am looking to meet a person (for friendship) with a (very) specific set of characteristics. Where could I place such an advertisement? --Immerhin (talk) 20:14, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

In your local area ? Many newspapers have personal ads which would allow you to list those characteristics. However, beware that many people who say they want "friendship" are really looking for sex. So, if you really just want friendship, you'd need to make that clear when you first call each other on the phone. StuRat (talk) 20:36, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
You probably mean that many men, not people, who say that want friendship, are actually after sex. Women seem to really mean it, when they say "just friends."OsmanRF34 (talk) 16:02, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Many people don't look for friends via classifieds or advertisements, so make sure that the specific set of characteristics you have in mind is compatible with a person who would look for friends via advertisements. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 18:17, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Some dating websites have an option to say that you are only interested in friendship. Depending on what the characteristics are, you could look for relevant societies, support groups, etc. (talk) 12:56, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
People disclose a lot of personal information in dating sites. That could be a starting point in your research, although it's a little bit awkward to contact a person of the "wrong" gender through this. Otherwise, go for a club where people with one of these characteristics socialize. OsmanRF34 (talk) 16:02, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Craigslist has free personal ads - and there is a specific "Strictly Platonic" section for this kind of purpose. SteveBaker (talk) 14:33, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Examples of diseases influencing politics?[edit]

Has there been any cases where outbreaks of diseases have influenced politics, especially the outcome of a political election? For example, there has been a few cases where terrorism has impacted an election such as the Spain train bombing by Al Qaeda that resulted in the win of the Spanish political party that supported the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Afghanistan, as well as 9/11 on the election of a "strong" president (Bush). Acceptable (talk) 23:06, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Are you using the Spanish case as an example of terrorism as a "disease", or just as an example of an unanticipated event that had to be added into the equation? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 23:10, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
The March Of Folly could be a disease. (talk) 23:56, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Governor Henry Gage's denial of the San Francisco plague of 1900–1904 resulted in his party nominating someone else for the 1902 elections. ---Sluzzelin talk 00:07, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
The start of the French Revolution has been blamed on ergot poisoning. See Great Fear. Rmhermen (talk) 06:17, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
According to our article, the 1976 swine flu fiasco may have played a part in the general election, negatively impacting Gerald Ford's chances. Matt Deres (talk) 13:37, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
From Black Death: "The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history." from HIV/AIDS denialism: "Despite its lack of scientific acceptance, HIV/AIDS denialism has had a significant political impact, especially in South Africa under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki." Then we have deliberate infections such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and the Guatemala syphilis experiment. Not a disease per se, but Political abuse of psychiatry. Browse through Category:Medical controversies for more. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:29, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
BSE was one of the many factors that disadvantaged the Conservative government in the 1997 UK general election. Tevildo (talk) 18:28, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
The Spanish flu, surely? Also the Plague of Athens, not least because it killed Pericles. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:31, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The Spanish flu was the first thing I thought of, Adam. I had a good look through it and its sister articles but found no evidence it had any appreciable effect on elections or politics generally. Which is amazing given the huge numbers of people affected world-wide (as many as 50 million, or 3% of the world's population, died; and 500 million were infected). Even more amazing is how it became so forgotten so quickly. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 01:47, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
From its article: "Academic Andrew Price-Smith has made the controversial argument that the virus helped tip the balance of power in the later days of the war towards the Allied cause. He provides data that the viral waves hit the Central Powers before they hit the Allied powers, and that both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France." (talk) 12:53, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Zinsser (sp?) Rats, Lice and History for an account of the impact of typhus. I don't know if the research has stood the test of time, but it's a great read. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:40, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
    • ^ Photo: J Thinesen, SFF photo archive