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July 26[edit]

How many levels of abstraction when running ?[edit]

When I run a java program, how many levels of abstraction are there? Is it bytecode - JVM - OS - machine language - physical switch?--Bickeyboard (talk) 00:33, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

That's gonna be implementation-dependent - and very often, there is a micro-code layer below machine code and above the level of physical gates (which in turn are abstractions of transistors and such). But the OS (Operating system) isn't a layer anywhere here. In a sense, the OS is nothing more than a different program that happens to be running on the same computer. SteveBaker (talk) 02:41, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say the OS isn't a layer anywhere here. AFAIK, Java doesn't usually take care of things like file system implementations and CPU scheduling on its own; that's what the OS should do! That said, it is possible to run a complete program without any operating system (which is quite often the case in embedded systems). --Link (tcm) 14:51, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
No, of course Java doesn't do things like file systems - but the OS is more like a library as far as Java code is concerned. It's not a level of abstraction between JVM and machine way. If it were a level of abstraction, then you'd be able to point to a complete description of your algorithm described in terms of the operating system - and that sentence doesn't even mean anything! And even if it was - it would still be implementation-dependent - you can run Java code on computers that don't even have operating systems. Consider something like Haiku-vm for Arduino - there is no operating system - there is no JVM either. It converts Java source code into bytecode, then uses a small C program to interpret the bytecode. The bytecode is never converted into machine-code either. Without reference to a specific implementation, the question doesn't even mean anything. You could (in principle) write a program to run on a Babbage analytical engine that would interpret ASCII Java source code directly from punched cards. It would still be a Java program - but there would be no byte code, no JVM, no OS, no machine language, no electronics...just a bunch of gearwheels. Java doesn't care how it gets it's meaningless to make generalizations about how it runs. Now, if you said "How is such-and-such implementation of Java run under Windows 8?", then we could provide a more definite answer. SteveBaker (talk) 01:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It looks to me like the questioner thinks that the OS operates like a JVM. The OS is often referred to as an abstraction layer because programmers usually program for the OS, not the hardware. However, the OS does not convert the running program into machine code. It is a program that is running at all times and provides a common way to talk to a variety of different hardware devices. It is troubling to get tied down to a specific answer with "operating systems" because there is no universal answer to "What is an operating system?" It is clear though that it is not a "virtual machine". (talk) 13:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • In addition to the points made above, many machines have an additional layer of abstraction between machine code and the physical electronic components, consisting of microcode. Looie496 (talk) 13:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

What language uses if!, enter!, exit!?[edit]

What language uses if!, enter!, exit!?--Bickeyboard (talk) 00:35, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't know of one. Where did you see them? The context must provide some clue. Scheme has a builtin named set! and a bunch of functions with exclaimed names, but not the three you listed. Vim (text editor) uses ! as a modifier for some commands, but not those. -- BenRG (talk) 21:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I used a stage play markup language (Shakespeare?) long long ago that ran on Perl. The markup language had "enter" and "exit" as commands for a character to enter or exit the stage. Once a character was in use, the ! was a shortcut for that character. So, if I had "John: I'm saying some lines." followed by "Exit !", it would add "[Exit JOHN]" to the stage play. I do not remember any conditionals, such as "if" in the markup language. So... you are probably referring to the Ruby programming language. (talk) 19:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

replace character vs add character[edit]

I don't know how I got into this (perhaps some accidental control key combination?) but suddenly when I type text in the middle of a line, instead of just adding the next character, NotePad++ replaces the character, So, instead of adding 'c' as the sixth character of 'charater' -> 'character' I get 'characer.' What can I do? --Halcatalyst (talk) 16:49, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't know NotePad++ but I guess you pressed the Insert key or chose it elsewhere. Try to disable the unwanted feature by pressing the Insert key. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It worked, thank you! --Halcatalyst (talk) 17:47, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Unicode Alternatives to: \ / : * ? " < > | in Windows filenames?[edit]


The following characters are not permitted in Windows7 filenames:
\ / : * ? " < > |
Q: What are the Unicode characters that will look the most like them on a web page (from any browser or operating system) without giving any protests or problems from Windows when I want to use them in filenames?
(The three most urgently needed are alternatives to: the colon :, the slash / and the question mark ?).
Do you have any suggestions?
--Seren-dipper (talk) 17:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

One standard method is to use the Halfwidth and fullwidth forms - FULL WIDTH COLON (U+FF1A, :), FULL WIDTH SLASH (U+FF0F, /), FULL WIDTH QUESTION MARK (U+FF1F, ?). See the table in the article for the other symbols. Tevildo (talk) 18:10, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Try the Unicode Consortium's confusables utility for some options. For : you can often substitute a dash. -- BenRG (talk) 20:27, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Perfect! Thank you both! ☺
--Seren-dipper (talk) 01:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Presumably you're aware that people will hate you if you do stuff like that. They'll try to type the file names and it won't work. Looie496 (talk) 13:09, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

hard drive error[edit]

screenshot of the error screen

This morning Windows started giving me warnings about a hard drive error. I ran SeaTools on it, and it detected a problem. It said to run SeaTools for DOS. I did that but it said "No hard drive found"... "no controllers detected"... I ran Chkdsk /f but it didn't find any problems. Is there some other free or cheap way to test for HD errors and try to fix them? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:06, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

I suspect your hard disk controller requires a driver that was not available from the DOS version of Seatools you have. If it needs to be said, the very next thing you do before you run any more tests or whatever is ensue if you have ANY data you want to keep on this disk that it's backed up. In my experience, regardless whether you find some software that claims to have repaired your problems, a hard disk that's had an issue is just a ticking time bomb. The cost of disks these days, just replace it ASAP. Vespine (talk) 23:11, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks - it is a secondary HD and I have current backups. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:22, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
What warnings did you get from Windows, and what problem did SeaTools detect? The only problem I can think of that might be (temporarily) fixable is bad sectors. You can run chkdsk /r to scan the whole disk for bad sectors and mark them as bad so that the filesystem won't try to write to them later. If any of the sectors were in use, you'll probably lose that data. Chkdsk will allocate a new sector for that part of the file, but I don't know what it does about the unreadable data; it may replace it with zeros, which could contaminate your backup. Hard drives with bad sectors are likely to develop more of them, causing more data loss, so it would be better to replace the drive unless you really don't care about the files stored on it. -- BenRG (talk) 23:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't remember the exact errors - something about sectors, I think. I think that replacing it now is probably the best idea. I went out to get a replacement, but the stores that have internal drives wer already closed. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:24, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Warning: Inadequate try to repair may cause preventable loss of data. Use an external disk and a Linux Live-CD to backup data. Use another computer to get the CD/DVD's ISO-image. Just boot from the CD, but do not install Linux on such machine. In case of hardware damage, CHKDSK might not be able to write essencial blocks due phyically damaged sectors. First, do not overheat the drive. Second, backup You data first an mention, the files might be damaged already. Do not overwrite or delete existing backups. By booting from an other device, a damage of the operating system is skipped when accessing Your files. When finisted the backup, figure out if the drive is damaged phyically or the filesystem only which can be repaired or renewed by killing all data on the drive. To try a second backup I heard form a software called Spinrite. I suggest not to a drive with physical damage again. Even on notebooks the drive can be removed quickly. Today drives are installed in a tray or drawer of the computer as far it can be called a computer. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 08:23, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I've added a screenshot of the error. It still comes up periodically. I ran a check of the drive with HDTune Pro 5.6 overnight (it took a few hours) and it didn't find any problems. CHKDSK /F didn't find any problems. I'm running CHKDSK /R right now. It is out of warranty, but it is a 2TB internal so I can replace it for about $90, so that is what I plan to do. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 16:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Seconding Hans Haase's advice above. That error typically means the disk is indeed failing rather than needing defragmenting/repair. It may still last quite a while, but especially if it's your boot drive, you should back up your data now and replace it ASAP (as it sounds like you're doing). I had a drive (which I stored some programs on but didn't boot from) give me that error on startup for more than a year before finally dragging the whole system down to a slow crawl until I disconnected it. One of those things best dealt with sooner rather than later. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:01, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I bought a new drive to replace it; I'm waiting on an extra backup to finish. This is not my boot drive, but it is where I keep just about everything other than Windows and the installed programs.
I haven't been very fortunate with hard drives over the years - nothing near their claimed MTBF. I estimate that about 1 in 4 or 5 internal drives has failed during the live of the computer and 1 in 3 external drives. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:25, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
PS - it is getting harder to get internal desktop hard drives in local stores. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I got the new drive installed and it is being restored from a backup right now. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Good call.
Having been in charge of mainlining disk farms with thousands of disks in them, I have the following advice to maximize life:
  • Keep it cool. Heat kills hard drives. Extreme cold isn't quite as bad, but should be avoided.
  • Keep it away from vibration. Cooling fans are notorious for making the entire case vibrate.
  • Get a high quality power supply from a reputable manufacturer. Voltage spikes are bad for hard disks.
  • Powering down a hard drive one or two time a day is fine, and leaving it running 24/7 is fine, but avoid turning it off ten times a day.
  • Run the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic utilities every 6-12 months. The CCleaner program is a good way to access S.M.A.R.T. from Windows.
--Guy Macon (talk) 05:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank You all for reply. Defragging a damaged disk may cause valid data is moved from used sectors into damaged sectors. Is is causing further unnecessary loss of this data. Defragging moves blocks to get them lined up to have quick access by reducing the actuators cylinder change. Each cilinger change of the actuator is in milliseconds range. Never defrag an SSD. SSDs have loss of lifespan by writing. The each block has identical access time. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 22:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

."Wikipedia" - the name[edit]

How did The Free Encyclopedia get its name "Wikipedia"? Does the beginning of the name "Wiki" come from Latin?

"Wiki" is the Hawaiian word for "Quick" - see History of wikis. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:54, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia. Dismas|(talk) 01:15, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
...And History of Wikipedia while we're at it :) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:49, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Decoding QRCodes the hard way.[edit]

I want to write my own QRCode recognizer from the ground up...I have lots of programming and graphics experience - so you don't need to use baby-talk - but I've not done much image recognition.

What are the basic steps in doing such a thing? Assume I have a 2D array of pixels from a camera at no particular angle to the QRcode as a starting point. (talk) 01:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Erm? Do you want someone to write you a tutorial? Have you read QR? There are more than a few resources online for similar projects. Vespine (talk) 01:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm - I doubt either of those things will be of much use to our OP. QR Code doesn't say how it's decoded, and the Swift-reader description you linked can be summarized as "Call the QR-code reading library". Our OP said "from the ground up". I can't find a 'ground up' explanation.
I believe you start off using some kind of edge-recognition approach to recognize the three corner boxes (to be honest, I'm a little vague on that part!) - and once you know those positions, you can generate a matrix that you can use to transform the image of the QR code into a simple, axially aligned 2D square...and from that point on, it's just a matter of reading and thresholding the pixels in the areas where you expect the data dots to lie. There is an error-correcting code (Reed–Solomon error correction) that is applied to extract the actual data.
First you need to detect that there is a QR code. To do that you need to search for the FIPs (the three "finder pattern" squares). This paper talks about using Haar-like features; this discussion talks about using contour detection and analysis, which is a kind of feature extraction. Both of those examples use OpenCV to do the lower level stuff, but you can always choose to do that yourself. The ISO QR spec gives a rather simpler scanline-ratio based algorithm, but I don't know how robust that will be for real-world photos of QR codes. Once you've figured out the locations of the three corner FIPs, you need to transform the image so that it's square (because a real picture of a QR code will likely have some perspective distortion and some rotation) - that's discussed in the second link I give above. At some point (I guess now) you'll need to downscale so one black/white box becomes one pixel, and convert to a 1-bit image (a clever system will presumably use contrast for that, to accomodate images which have a shade gradient over them; a simple decoder might just choose to use a threshhold (based on the range of tones within the inter-FIP area)). From there, you can use the decode algorithm detailed in the ISO specification - this page links to that. If you want to read someone else's code that already solves the problem, you could try Zbar's, although I had a brief look at their QR code and it's rather tulgey. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 11:18, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The algorithms to locate barcodes can be explained rather easily. Locating a linear one, like an EIN or UPC, is nearly identical to locating a QR.
  1. Pick an angle from 0 to 180 degrees (this can be random, it can step through the angles, whatever...)
  2. Begin at a location on the left or top of the image and follow the angle across the image (the starting point can be random or step through every point...)
  3. If the pixel is blackish, record a 1.
  4. If the pixel is whitish, record a 0. (Some algorithms preprocess the image to get a point halfway between the darkest and lightest pixel to be the border between black and white)
  5. Scan the image for the sequence that indicates the beginning/end of the code, such as 1n0n1n1n0n1n where n is a quantity. You would match 101101 or 110011110011 or 111000111111000111 or 111100001111111100001111. Some algorithms allow for variance. So, this would match even though there is a missing 0: 11110000111111110001111.
  6. If you didn't find TWO beginning/end sequences (most barcodes require a special code at the beginning and end, so they come in pairs), go to the first step and start over.
  7. For QR codes, you now have a beginning/end box and the angle of the line between them. Scan at a 90 degree angle off both boxes to find the elusive third box. If you don't find it, go back to the first step.
Once you have the beginning and end of the barcode, scanning the lines or squares between them is a completely different process. This is just for locating the barcode. There are many algorithms that do this. The big trick is finding the "fastest" and "most reliable" method of locating the beginning/end codes. (talk) 13:24, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That sounds OK for 1D barcodes - but for 2D QRCodes, picked up via a camera - not so much. What you suggest presumes that the plane of the camera sensor is more or less parallel to the plane of the QR code so that a right angle in the QR code is a right angle in the photograph. If it's not then the lines between the top-left corner box and the top-right and bottom-left boxes aren't at right angles and the sizes of the blocks in the code will vary from one place in the image to another due to perspective and such. Also, the pattern of 110011110011 (or whatever) shows up in places other than the corner box. The QR code for my website ( has that pattern showing up in several places - close to the bottom-left corner of the QR code for example).
A good algorithm should also verify that the detection of the three corner boxes is correct by looking for the smaller 4th box that's inset a few blocks in from the bottom-right corner of the code.
SteveBaker (talk) 19:22, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Often an approximation of a Hough transform is used to estimate how the rotation of a photo of a 2D barcode. Then image rectification attempts to remove most of that rotation. Sometimes perspective control is used to remove most of the perspective projection distortion.
Alternately, I hear that some people use something like a generalized Hough transform#Circle detection process to detect the precise position of the 3 big fiducials (and sometimes the smaller fiducials), then use linear interpolation/extrapolation from those positions to find the approximate size and position of each "module".
Some of these steps are exactly the same for almost every 2D barcode.
"How to put your logo in a QR code" has a few details.
You might be interested in seeing how other people decode QR codes. There are several open-source barcode scanners available, including:
  • ZXing ("zebra crossing")
  • QrCode.Net [1]
  • Open Source QR Code Library [2]
  • ZBar bar code reader [3] (Thank you, Finlay McWalter)
(My understanding is that Wikibooks: Android/PhoneGap#Barcodes uses ZXing).
Is there a better place to describe and discuss techniques for decoding 2D barcodes "from the ground up", and ideas for designing entirely new 2D barcodes that are even easier to decode? (My understanding is that Wikibooks is more accepting of such "how-to" information than Wikipedia WP:NOTHOWTO).
--DavidCary (talk) 01:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Movie file[edit]

Hello, I recently collected a movie of two copies, one of which is 1.56GB and the other 4.00GB.

  1. Which one of this should I keep in my ‘treasure box’?; both copies look alike without any defects/pixel issues…
  2. What software decreases the GB?
  3. What do I lose, together with the ‘kb/Mb/Gb’/What's the difference between the two files I possess; rather than the 'GB'?

Space Ghost (talk) 18:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC) What format are the two files? What information do you have about them? Are these DVD rips? Captured streaming video?
The relevant articles are video file format, Comparison of video container formats (these two articles are actually a little redundant, it appears), and video coding format.
Basically a movie is a bunch of video data (for which there are multiple formats) and audio data (for which there are multiple formats) wrapped one of many "containers". The size of the original audio and video data, the kind of compression, and the level of compression are what lead to varying file sizes. Practically speaking, if they look exactly alike [and sound exactly alike] what kind of rationale would there be to keep the bigger one? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:02, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It might be that the larger one has a higher resolution, but this difference isn't visible at the resolution he is using. The place I find the resolution is most obvious is in the credits, particularly the tiny tiny ones at the end, like these: [4]. StuRat (talk) 19:17, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
@StuRat: Where is the resolution in that image? Are you talking about the kind of film/camera/aspect ratio the film was shot in? It's indeed true that the resolution of the bigger file may be higher than in the smaller one and the difference is small enough that OP would need a bigger display to really notice. I suppose it's possible that the credits vary based on medium such that the DVD, BluRay, streaming, etc. versions all have their own figures, but that wouldn't be the same as what resolution the video file is, because not only can you reduce the resolution to reduce the size, but you can also artificially increase the resolution (no real gain, but it would certainly take up much more space). The resolution of the file should be visible in the properties of the file as visible through any playback application. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:38, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood me. I don't mean that they list the resolution there, I mean that you can get an idea of the resolution by viewing tiny credits. If they are blurry, it's low res. The image I linked to is only 640×360, and, as you can see, it's rather blurry. A 1920×1080 image would look crystal clear, but of course, only if you displayed it at full resolution, and it had never been downconverted then upconverted back to full HD, had a lossy compression applied, etc. So, when I get a copy of a movie, I go right to the credits to see if it's a good version or if it's crap. (If it's total crap, I may try to find a better copy or just not bother watching it.)
And yes, I have noticed that newer 1920×1080 movies have started using even smaller credits, just when I finally was able to read them all. It's a conspiracy I tell you ! StuRat (talk) 20:46, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah. Yes. I did misunderstand. I see now that you're suggesting a practical test for comparing image resolution (focusing on a detail with high contrast). Makes sense. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That's right. Just looking at what it claims is the resolution won't tell you if it's been downconverted then back up, or had a lossy compression applied, but this test will. StuRat (talk) 22:30, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Rhododendrites, StuRat: '.avi' is on 1.56GB and '.mp4' is on 4GB. I heard and checked on the internet something similar to what both of you said, a long time ago, can't recall now, that either the picture/sound (or both) is affected. Based on your experience, up to what 'Kb/Mb/GB' would you guys suggest, in order to retain a movie? The bigger the better of course, but...? -- Space Ghost (talk) 22:55, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In my experience it's a completely personal preference. Sometimes I don't mind retaining even a 800MB file of a movie, but sometimes i want to retain the 4GB or larger version. Is the movie very "visual"? Does it rely on special effects and amazing cinematography? (Big file). Or is it a indy drama filmed on a low budget? (small file). Would I watch it with friends if I'm having a movie night? or am I likely to watch it on the train on my ipad? (Small file). And, certainly not the least consideration: how much disk space do you have left? ;) but if you watch both and you literally can't tell the difference, just keep the small file. Vespine (talk) 23:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Points you stated, noted, thank you.
1TB (931GB) RHDD, 560GB available. I have many useful softwares, good games and movies, and at least 10GB of adult videos (you’ll never get tired of it). I’m planning to make it a ‘treasure’ box (RHDD) for my upcoming future. -- Space Ghost (talk) 19:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
On the large end are VOB files, which is what commercial non-BluRay DVDs use. I find they take about 8 GB for a 2 hour movie. Did you do my suggested test and look at the smallest credits ? That will allow you to compare the visual quality. StuRat (talk) 00:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes I have, thereafter messaging you guys yesterday, a slight blurriness seen that can be tolerated I guess, as I would not have known/noticed it if you didn’t point it out…thanks. -- Space Ghost (talk) 19:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I thought mathematics could be used to estimate, for example if 1.50GB (.avi) file producing credible quality resolution and sound - comparing with the 4GB (.mp4) - then will at least (or less than) 1GB movie file do the trick, for treasuring purpose? Or does it also depend on the 'file extension'? If so, what 'file extension' is the best? -- Space Ghost (talk) 19:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, it's all going to depend on the time, resolution, color depth, frames per second, etc., and some types of video (like traditional animation with large areas of constant color) will compress far better than others (like a dark scene with live action). And then there's personal preference for how much quality you are willing to trade off for how much space savings. Somebody might be able to answer on which formats (file extensions) are better, although again with lots of caveats. For your particular case, since you said the visual quality is acceptable on the smaller file, I'd use that one. StuRat (talk) 19:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Hey buddy, I thought I messaged you yesterday, but the message did not appear... Anyway, I wrote "Okay, I'll. Thanks" or something like that... Take care! -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
file extension is meaningless. Even if the extension is the normal extension, the vast majority of common video container formats support different video codecs in the spec (if there even is one). Even WebM now supports VP8 and VP9. And even if you have the same video codec and the same source file, the quality is going to depend on the settings used for the codec (profile etc), and the actual encoder used. Nil Einne (talk) 20:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe file extensions are meaningless, since they determine the default program used to open or run that file. For example, an HTML extension file is typically opened with a browser, capable of displaying HTML. If you change the extension to TXT, then it will likely open with a text editor, and you will be able to edit it, but not display it, which is quite a different action. (Yes, you could alter the default actions for each file extension, but changing those two would really mess up how your PC handles those common file types.) StuRat (talk) 13:52, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I understand what you both said. I guess file extension is nothing to worry about 'for the time being' or 'ever' unless I'm dealing with it in a professional manner... -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:49, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Migrating Fedora Linux to a new hard drive[edit]

My 2 TB hard drive for Fedora 20 Linux is almost filling up. I think it won't even last until Christmas. I can buy a new 4 TB hard drive, which should last for several years, but how do I transfer my system to it? I know I can just plug both hard drives in at the same time and use cp to copy my entire /home directory partition and the entire partition where I keep my photographs in (which takes up the vast bulk of the drive). But what about the /boot and / partitions? Can I just use cp to copy them across as well and have a bootable system?

I'm also planning to finally upgrade to Fedora 22 Linux in the process. But a fresh install of Fedora 22 Linux would mean I would lose all my installed programs, only keeping my personal data and my photographs. Is there a way to copy them across or do I have to reinstall them all over again? JIP | Talk 20:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Copy the old disk to the new (boot sectors, partition tables, etc.) wholesale from the old disk to the new with dd (Unix). Then use GNU Parted to resize the partitions on the new disk to fill the disk up. I don't know anything about upgrading Fedora. (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
With Fedora, you should be using lvm virtual file system. You can put in the new drive and expand your virtual partition to contain the new drive. See the many lvm expand tutorials for how to's.
Though brief, I agree with this. If you have the ability to add the new drive along with the old drive, use LVM. Fedora's Anaconda uses LVM by default (even if you only have 1 drive). So, you should have an LVM drive that you are using - which is a virtual drive that encompasses your current drive. Now, add the new drive. Now, hopefully, you installed system-config-lvm. Run that. It is a nice and easy GUI. You will see the second drive listed as unused. Select it and add it to your LVM. Now, you will see both drives as a single 6TB drive and you won't have to copy/move any files. (talk) 13:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That would be a good idea, but my current computer is actually my company's property, and it only has two drive bays, both filled up. One has my Fedora 20 Linux system and the other has a Windows 8 system I'm not allowed to wipe clean in order to install Linux there, it must remain intact. However, I haven't actually used the Windows 8 system in over a year. I might be able to simply remove it and keep it in a safe place, and then put the new 4 TB Linux drive in its place. If my company ever wants the computer back, I can simply swap the drives again, putting the Windows 8 system back in place. Then I have to buy a new computer with more drive bays. JIP | Talk 17:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I would ask if you could just drop the Windows. The immediate answer is always "No", but sometimes you get a delayed, "Well, if you never use it and never update it and it is just sitting there wasting space, go ahead and remove it." I've been lucky. I haven't had to use Windows since 1994. (talk) 18:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The thing is, everything about this computer except the Linux drive and the Linux on it is actually my company's property, not mine. It's technically just on loan. The company has a finite amount of Windows licences and likes to hold on for them, and as well as that, the Windows drive has my company's own proprietary code on it. So wiping the Windows drive is not an option. Temporarily removing it is. And anyway, I've never used LVM like that before. My current Linux drive has separate partitions for /boot, /, /home and /storage. The last one is by far the largest and has all my photographs on it. It would be that partition I want to expand, keeping the others intact. Is that possible? And how does LVM across several physical drives even work? If the drives ever separate, will each have its own share of files or are the files themselves somehow spread? How is it determined which drive gets which files? JIP | Talk 18:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I have never converted a hard partition into an LVM partition because, since about F16, LVM was default. I'm not certain that it is possible. But, as for working across multiple disks, that is exactly what LVM is used for. Instead of having multiple mount points, you have one root. Internally, it manages the disks (kind of like a RAID with no striping or mirroring). Once you have LVM running, you can add disks, remove disks, resize the volume, etc... I've also used it to get around problems. For example, I had a JBOD with 12T of data on a very old Gateway machine (yes - that old). The server would corrupt the disks all the time because, as I discovered, the SCSI driver never expected more than 4T of space to work with. So, I split the JBOD into 4 3T logical drives (staying well below 4T) and then used LVM to make it all one volume. I've also done what you are trying to do. I added a disk to an LVM, which was rather quick. Then, I told the LVM that I didn't want to use an older disk. It took a while to get everything off the old disk. Then, when it was done, I popped out the old disk and I was done. (talk) 19:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, if LVM was default since about F16 and I have F20, it might be that I'm already using it. I'll have to check. But I still need an answer to my question about the files. Does each physical drive get its own share of the files, or is the data spread out at a lower level? And how is it decided which drive gets which data? I need to know this so I know what to do when I have to update the drives again. And I think that to preserve the integrity of the files, it's a good idea to copy them all to a new drive every couple of years instead of keeping them on the same drive for decades. After all, every physical medium is prone to fault, and physical faults in the drive's disks themselves will corrupt the files. JIP | Talk 19:54, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I just found out that F20 dropped system-config-lvm. So, there's no GUI for LVM. Why? They switched from LVM to LVM2 and the old tool wasn't apparently designed to handle LVM2. So, you are apparently stuck using command-line tools. They aren't actually complicated, just not as easy as the GUI. For example, sudo lvdisplay will quickly tell you if you are using LVM by displaying all logical volumes in use. (talk) 13:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Downloadable link sought[edit]

Friends, has anybody seen the 2D (cartoon) version of 'Transformers'? I'm planning to download the complete version (full/all the episodes or seasons) using 'YTD' (Youtube Downloader), would anyone kindly guide me to the link(s) please? I'm also willing to change the 'downloader' if required...whatever you guys recommend... -- Space Ghost (talk) 23:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Just a note that doing so is likely illegal wherever you may live. There's a 15 disc version available for purchase. Dismas|(talk) 13:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Smiley emoticons doh.gif Yeah, I forgot. Sorry.
I'd be grateful if you could let me know the title of the 15 disc version one... If can, does it have everything? All the seasons, episodes, and so on? -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Which series of Transformers are we talking about? If it's the original 1980s one I'd also be interested in purchasing this 15 disc version. JIP | Talk 19:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The 15-disc version is, to my knowledge, the original series (80's). To be certain, this is the series with Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. See it here. (talk) 19:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That's exactly what I was wanting. And the price seems affordable as well. But will the DVDs play here in Finland? After all, the entertainment industry seems to be doing its utmost to set up limits on how people can use the content they bought fully legally and paid good money for. JIP | Talk 19:46, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Only if you have a DVD player that will play Region 1 DVDs. Here is a link to the Transformers: The Complete Original Series in Region 2. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 00:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Okay guys, thanks... -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Simulating scanner distortion[edit]

I'm looking for an online service that can simulate the characteristic distortion that a scanner makes. Basically I have a JPEG image of a document, and I want a JPEG image of how said document would look if it were printed out, and then scanned. Currently I'm printing them out and then scanning them, which is A. a waste of time, and B. a waste of trees. Please help me save some trees. Thanks. My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

What type of "distortion" do you mean ? If it's just a loss of resolution, that's simple enough. Or maybe it goes from a full color image to black and white ? That's easy too. If you could include before and after pics, that would help. StuRat (talk) 14:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
You've never seen a scanned document before? Here's a random example I got off the net[5]. Notice how there are random specks of dust here and there and that the edge of the document contrasts with the white scanner bed. The resolution doesn't need to be changed, and it can stay a colored image. My other car is a cadr (talk) 15:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, so you are talking about a raw scanned image, not cropped to the document and not cleaned up to remove specks. No OCR either. StuRat (talk) 15:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I have seen thousands of scanned images. Sometimes there are specks. Sometimes there aren't. Sometimes the text looks great. Sometimes it gets some aliasing. Sometimes there are lines cutting horizontally or vertically across the document. Sometimes it is tilted. Sometimes you can see text from the other side of the sheet. Sometimes the scans are in color. Sometimes they are grayscale. Sometimes they are strictly black and white. Sometimes they get darker. Sometimes they get lighter. That is just a few things that COULD happen - and you didn't explain a single one in your question. So, why do you think it is acceptable to ask a belligerent question like "You've never seen a scanned document before?" Try putting some effort into asking a well-formed question. (talk) 15:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but I didn't see it as belligerent, they just didn't know that scanning causes a wide variety of "distortions" (defects). StuRat (talk) 16:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
For the speck/dust look, try something like this [6]. That might be good for single-page bed scanners, but it won't help with the shearing you get when a document feeder changes speed a little bit, nor things like the crease on the inside of book's spine. See also similar questions and decent answers here [7]. Here's even a way to do it in LaTeX: [8]. The Gimp has a photocopy-effect tool [9], and it looks like ImageMagick does as well [10]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much! That ImageMagick command does the trick perfectly! My other car is a cadr (talk) 16:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I liked the one suggestion of rotating it 1-2 degrees (in addition to speckle, downrez, etc). I thought that was a nice touch that really helps sell it :) Also funny that several of the other threads' OPs seemed to have the same motivation as you... SemanticMantis (talk) 18:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
BTW, I am curious, why do you want to make images look bad ? StuRat (talk) 16:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Soulless bureaucratic machine expects each document to be printed out, stamped, scanned, and then shredded. Your tax dollars at work, people.My other car is a cadr (talk) 16:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
So, you are basically cheating the government by pretending that you print, stamp, and scan the digital documents, right? However, how will you explain that there won't be any shredded paper left over? --Yppieyei (talk) 22:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
(This is off topic - OP asks questions, we give references if we choose. If you want to question the morality of the scenario, keep in mind you know very little about it. Also I'm reminded of a quote from MLK "One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." [11] SemanticMantis (talk) 13:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Unjust != Inconvenient SteveBaker (talk) 02:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]

Extracting tagged text[edit]

What algorithm can I use to, for example, extract "abc" from "xxx<abc>yyy" if I give it "<" and "> as delimiters (or another, extracting mediawiki style templates)? What is the most efficient way to do this? (talk) 01:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The usual way of completing this sort of task is to use a Regular expression.--Phil Holmes (talk) 07:04, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • sed -e 's/[^<]*<\([^>]*\)>.*$/\1/' or something like that will extract one occurence. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:04, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • sed -e 's/[^<]*<//' -e 's/>[^<]*<//g' -e 's/>[^<]*$//' will extract multiples in one line (as long as it is well formed). Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Right, that's sed, available by default on Unix (including OS X), and Linux systems, Windows users commonly access it via cygwin. Some text editors also have built-in regular expression support. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The "algorithm" is very simple. Given a value START as the start character and END as the end character, then a STRING as the string of text:
  1. Make an empty string DEST.
  2. Set a flag TAG to false (or zero).
  3. Set a pointer to the first position of STRING.
  4. Set CHR to be the character in STRING at the pointer.
  5. If TAG is true:
    1. If CHR equals END, set TAG to false
  6. Otherwise (else):
    1. If CHR equals START, set TAG to true
    2. Otherwise (else), append CHR to the end of DEST
  7. If the pointer is not at the end of STRING, increment the pointer to the next character in STRING and go to 4.
  8. DEST contains all chracters in STRING, omitting everything found from START to END.
This algorithm does not handle escape characters. It is not better than a regex as it is the algorithm used by regex. (talk) 13:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Release data of Raspberry Pi 2 Windows 10 ARM port?[edit]

Hello everyone. Does anyone know when the free ARM port of Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi 2 will be released? I would imagine it wpuld have been released when Windows 10 it self was released right? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 14:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Information about this Microsoft port is available through their developer program: Windows for IoT, as announced in Windows 10 Coming to Raspberry Pi 2, a February 2015 blog update. Here are instructions: Setting up Raspberry Pi. Here are downloadable files. If you aren't already in the developer program, consider joining; they'll give you first-hand news and information long before it hits a wider audience. Nimur (talk) 14:45, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok cool. so it has released already. Here is question 2. I have only 1 32gb sd card. So how would I setup the pi to dual boot off the sd card? For instance, on a pc you can set it up to boot into Linux or Windows on the same hard drive. How would I do this with Raspbian and Windows 10 n the Pi's sd card? —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 15:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Glympse or alternative[edit]

Background: I will be an adjunct at another university this fall. It is a little over 1 hour's drive away. I will be giving myself 1.5 hours to drive there, but in that long of a trip, there is a high possibility of traffic issues. The class period is 1.5 hours. I don't want the students to walk out after 10 minutes if I am just 5 minutes away. But, how do I let them know if I am close or still very far away? Question: Is there an application that will share my location for a certain period of time with anyone and everyone in the world? I don't want to deal with having students sign up for a service and then become "friends" in the service and then install apps on their phones and then lose their passwords and have to reset them every class... I want to turn on an application on my phone and then anyone who knows something, such as my user ID, can see where I am until I turn the application off. I looked into the following:

  • Google Maps: I don't see how to share a "here I am" pin automatically.
  • Life360: I can only share with my "family" or "circle". So, everyone has to have an account and install Life360 to see me.
  • Glympse: This looks promising, but they have almost no documentation on their website. There is a video, but I don't watch videos. I am not illiterate and I don't have time to waste when I could quickly scan text (if there was text) ... trying to avoid a rant about the general shift of the Internet to publishing all information in videos instead of text.

So, any suggestions? On my end, I have a lot of resources. I own multiple web servers. I have an Android phone with GPS and I doubled the battery (screw the warranty). I have handheld GPS device that has WiFi. I can write my own Android app, but I would like to avoid doing so if someone else already wrote something that does this. (talk) 15:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

For a decidedly "old school" approach, you might consider walkie-talkies. Although they claim ranges up to 30 miles, the longest you are likely to get is about 2 miles: [12]. Still, if you are pulling into the parking lot 5 minutes after the class starts, you should be able to use the walkie-talkie to tell everyone you are almost there. The advantage: You wouldn't have to rely on anyone checking anything, just leave the other unit plugged into it's charger and turned on in the classroom, and it will speak when you speak on your unit, without anyone having to answer it or check anything. If theft is a concern, I suppose you could lock it up in such a way that it can still be heard (in a metal cage ?).
I also agree that video sucks for giving info. When somebody asks or "answers" a Q here with a 2 hour video and no time index, I rarely bother to watch it. StuRat (talk) 17:08, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't own the classroom. So, I would be dependent on one student to always be in the class with the other handset. Optimally, I would like to find something that I can embed in a web page. I own my web servers and I can ask that the first student in the class direct the overhead projector to my website, which would then have a map showing where I am - along with notes that I can update every day, indicating what they can do while I'm stuck in traffic. (talk) 17:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Set up a webpage someplace - write yourself a tiny Android app that sends the amount of time until your arrival to the server. All you have to tell your students is the URL. Doing this without the app is plausible - but if you're driving, you'll want something that's as close to one tap on the screen as possible. (Four big buttons: On time/5mins late/10mins late/Lecture cancelled ought to cover it). SteveBaker (talk) 02:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

More general suggestions[edit]

( I don't know, but I advise discussing the situation with your new superiors, dept. chair, etc. When I've been a lecturer, being more than 10 minutes late to class more than once or twice a semester would be grounds for dismissal. The way you write your example, you're actually running at least 15 minutes late for a 90 minute course, and many institutions would consider that inexcusable outside of rare emergency circumstances. Most universities will not consider traffic to be an emergency circumstance. The university may or may not have explicit policies on this. Some universities explicitly say the students are allowed to leave after 10 minutes of no instructor. Maybe the simplest thing to do is allot 2 hours for the drive. Sorry to give a non-answer but no amount of tech will save your job if you are consistently late to scheduled class meetings. ) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree and understand. We have discussed this - which was a reason I was very reluctant to agree to take the class. We discussed doing it remotely and moving the time. There are no good solutions to the problem. Having me race from one city to another, past two large factories during shift change, in a car that will likely not survive the semester, is the best solution they could find. Last year, they simply canceled the course, which happens to be a required course for the program. (talk) 17:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Suggestion: Have an activity at the beginning of the class that doesn't actually require your presence. A written quiz is one idea. I'd make it not graded, just so they can gauge their progress, and you would have to rely on an assistant (pick a student) to deliver it on days when you are late (give them copies the previous session), if there's no place you can leave it, that's accessible to the students. It can have answers on the back, and you can then answer questions about it when you arrive. You can also write on the quiz "feel free to ask other students for help, if you need it".
I'd also explain the situation to the students in advance, so it's not a surprise to them when you are late. And have alternate routes planned out and listen to traffic advisories, so you have the best chance of bypassing any traffic problems. Also monitor construction zones. StuRat (talk) 17:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I actually do little quizzes at the beginning of every class - it replaces the concept of taking roll. If you did the quiz, you were there. My fear is that the traffic is simply going to be hellish. As mentioned before, I have to drive past two factories during shift change. So, no matter what path I choose, I have to deal with a thousand people leaving and a thousand people arriving all at the same time - twice. Also, they just started major development projects at the start and end point. So, no way to get around either one since I start in the middle of one and end in the middle of the other. All around, this semester is going to be terrible. I'd be forceful with my "no" if I didn't really need the money. (talk) 18:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The satellite navigation app Waze can let you share your drive with your friends who use the app. This shows your approximate position and ETA to them. I'm not sure if it would be possible to rig up something to let anyone in your class see this (short of adding them all as freinds on the app), but it might be a potential solution. (It will also route you along the best route it can find, given it's traffic reports, which tend to be fairly good). MChesterMC (talk) 08:42, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm curious about how accurate and current traffic reports get loaded into it. Let's say a TV news reporter in a helicopter says "it looks like there's an accident in the right lane, the right lane is blocked. Traffic is proceeding slowly in the center lane, but moving at near normal speed in the left lane. Police are on the scene, but no tow truck is present." How does this app get that info in a usable form ? StuRat (talk) 17:45, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Networking switch query[edit]

I have 2 computers connected to powerline ethernet adapters, and a 3rd connecting to my router. This can be a little slow sometimes (at least for game streaming and stuff). To speed things up would I be able to connect the 2 PCs via a switch, and then route that switch to the router via a powerline adapter? If I send traffic from 1 PC to another does the traffic have to go all the way to my router then back (presumably what is happening now), or will it go via the switch, which should be much much faster, as both PCs have Gigabit ethernet? (talk) 15:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

What I would first do is get a crossover cable (very cheap) and plug both computers into one another. You will need to hard-set the IP of each one to something like and Then, you will have the absolute maximum speed of data transfer between the two computers. If there is lag, it isn't the network. Next, if you think you can make your network better, a hub will do. Two computers on a switch is a bit of a waste - especially when you are combining both signals into one upstream. (talk) 16:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

How to do a dual boot of Windows 8 and 10: no USB drive or DVD?[edit]

I have already created the hard-drive partition.

Currently running Windows 8.1, with a 1 TB laptop. — (talk) 16:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

There's not a single USB port on there? What input options are there? Ian.thomson (talk) 16:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Considering that upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 is done through windows update, using a USB drive or a DVD is most likely not necessary. —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 17:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
First you must create a botable image of the partition that contains Windows 8.1. Next, you must 'extract' that image onto the other partition. you will need a special program to do this. do a Google search for something like 'hard drive image creator' or 'bootable hard disk image creator.' when you find the right program, use it to create an image of your partition that contains 8.1. This file should be roughly the same size as the size of the windows 8.1 partition. You should store this file on a SEPARATE hard drive or if you have enough space, on the 8.1 partition. This will allow you to extract the image onto the other partition. It would be helpful if you gave the amount of space taken up on the 8.1 partition as well as the size of both partitions. —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 17:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is actually the exact same thing I am going to do as well except that I will use a separate hard drive instead of dual booting. —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 17:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Not an answer, but I agree with your plan for a dual boot, noting that Windows 10 is for suckers. So, committing to Windows 10 now as your only O/S would be foolish. StuRat (talk) 17:40, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I run alot of VST and audio production software on Windows 7. Thus it would be wise for me to make a copy of all me software and try and run it on Win 10. I am also not very confident in the upgrade process's ability to keep all my files intact. I was able to setup a dual boot nce with XP and Win 7 but I don't remember what software I used. —SGA314 I am not available on weekends (talk) 18:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Downloading NTSB hearing video[edit]

Hello Wikipedia! I am trying to download the video of yesterday's National Transportation Safety Board meeting on the SpaceShipTwo crash last October. Their video archives are at and I'm able to play it using the Flash Media player running in Iceweasel (rebranded Firefox) on Debian GNU/Linux, but I don't see how to download it. I installed the "Flash and Video Download 1.74" add-on, but while it seems to work on other sites such as YouTube where it lists the various formats and resolutions of video files available for download, it doesn't seem to recognize any videos to download at the NTSB video's page . Can you suggest a Linux friendly method for doing this? I am also open to Windows only methods, but would have to borrow a friend's computer.

PS Copyright is not an issue here as the recording of this board meeting is a work of the US government. 2602:306:C4D5:C340:C8FB:D7A2:D78C:2586 (talk) 18:38, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The player used on that site is JWPlayer. This video shows a Firefox extension which, it says, will process web pages which host JWPlayer and will download the flash videos embedded in them. I've not personally tried the specific extension it recommends (I'm running too many already), so I can't personally vouch for it - but if you opt for this approach, I'd be interested to know of that method works for you. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
note: I did try other flash download tools, which are often successful - youtube-dl and VideoDownloadHelper (a Firefox addon) and neither worked for this video. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank Finlay, but it (the "Flash Video Downloader" extension shown in the video you linked) doesn't seem to work on this NTSB video. The download arrow never turns blue but stays gray with a red x (even after the video starts playing), though it does work for the video on the page which is using JWPlayer.
Any other suggestions welcome.
I am also trying the rtmpdump utility, but it isn't working yet, with:
$ rtmpdump  -r "rtmp://" -o ntsb20150728.flv
RTMPDump v2.4
(c) 2010 Andrej Stepanchuk, Howard Chu, The Flvstreamer Team; license: GPL
Connecting ...
WARNING: HandShake: client signature does not match!
INFO: Connected...
ERROR: rtmp server sent error
ERROR: rtmp server requested close
I got the URL by looking inside the source of the video's page, but I think that it may need more command line options, and I'm still trying to figure out how to run rtmpsuck. 2602:306:C4D5:C340:2DE3:2DBF:6157:E5DD (talk) 20:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, the issue is still not resolved, but someone else must have managed to download it and put it up on YouTube: .
So while I no longer have an immediate need, I'd still appreciate any pointers if someone here knows how to download from the NTSB site. Thanks! 2602:306:C4D5:C340:2DE3:2DBF:6157:E5DD (talk) 18:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Windows update on Windows 10[edit]

Where is Windows update on Windows 10? It is no longer in the control panel and if I try to go to it from IE, it says that it can't find wuapp.exe. I want to make sure that it doesn't reboot without me telling it to. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Does this article address your question? 2602:306:C4D5:C340:2DE3:2DBF:6157:E5DD (talk) 21:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That is what I'm talking about, but it says to open "settings". Where is "settings" on Windows 10 desktop? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, I found settings. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
What do you think of the options it gives? I understand that W 10 keeps updates on automatic. Are the update restart options rich enough? 2602:306:C4D5:C340:2DE3:2DBF:6157:E5DD (talk) 23:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The options seem to be more limited. I don't really want to schedule a reboot because sometimes I'm running something that is going to take a long time and a reboot will lose all of the work up to that point. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Running a PC with one single application (or not much more than that)[edit]

If I wanted to run just one single application like Vi/m or emacs on a PC (an x86) what else would I need? Would I need an OS at all or can I compile it to run without one? Could a PC be run without OS like an embedded computer can?--Yppieyei (talk) 21:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

You would need a kernel and whatever libraries the program needs, at which point you now have an operating system. "Operating system" is really a vague concept. It's more of a marketing term than a well-defined technical term. Now, to clarify, you could sit down and start adding code to vim to do all the things that a kernel and libraries do, but then you will just have written your own little embedded operating system that's only designed to run vim. A lot of embedded systems run operating systems. The only computers that don't have operating systems are really basic chips that you find in things like the proverbial elevator controllers and toasters. -- (talk) 23:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
You can certainly work without an OS. That's actually how Linus Torvalds started writing Linux - he wanted a 'dumb terminal' program that could run on his PC with a modem without having to boot up DOS first...features were gradually added to it until it kinda accidentally became close enough to an operating system to actually become one! (For some reason, our articles on Linux and Linus don't discuss this very formative stage - but it's described in Linus' autobiography "Just for Fun").
I've also used PC's in things like Disney rides where we got rid of the OS entirely and ran our code on the bare metal. You don't necessarily need either a kernel or libraries or even device drivers - it's perfectly possible to write code that directly reads device registers and's really no different when you're using something like an Arduino (which has no OS) or a PC. The biggest issue with running stand-alone programs on a PC is getting them loaded into memory in the first place. In my work, we replaced the BIOS ROM with our own EPROM chip...but it's been a while since that trick became impossible.
For something like Vim, which is probably single-threaded - only has to write to the screen and to save files to a disk drive - and only reads from the keyboard and loads files from the disk drive - that might not be too difficult. But if you wanted Vim to be able to read and write files on the disk drive that also needs to be used by (say) Windows - then you'd have to add a ton of code to handle how directories are formatted, where to find free space on the disk and mark that it's been used or freed. The code to do that might easily get bigger than Vim itself! Writing to the screen might not be difficult if you used your awesomely powerful graphics card to run in very-mundane VGA mode - but if you wanted a nice high-res screen with full color, you'd need some insanely complicated emulation of (say) an nVidia card's device driver - which would probably be impossible to write because those cards aren't documented to the degree that would allow that - and which would need a total re-write to run on an Intel graphics chip.
What tends to happen when you do this is that your stand-alone program tends to absorb more and more of the functions of an operating system (like handling files and directories on a hard drive - loading proprietary device drivers, handling interrupts, creating threads - dealing with memory management, etc) - until...just like Linus' dumb terminal have actually written most of an entire operating system yourself.
Incidentally, when Linus needed disk operations for his growing dumb terminal project, he use the code from the pre-existing 'Minix' operating system - and thereby avoided the need to write his own until the project was already quite clearly an operating system in it's own right.
But for VERY simple situations, particularly if your I/O needs are very simple - you can indeed write programs without an operating system quite easily. Debugging them tends to be a bit of a challenge though - when you're running on the bare metal, you have no debugger to help you out - and even getting a "printf" to work might be a major problem!
SteveBaker (talk) 00:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
One interesting alternative is Tiny Core Linux. With Tiny core you just get the Linux kernel, BusyBox and (optionally if you want to run a GUI, FLTK). 9MB without a GUI, 15MB with. Add your application and you are done. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:18, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
If all you want is ultra lightweight cheapness - buy a "Pogoplug" for around $7 [13]. It's sold as a network backup box - but you can install Linux on it. With a USB port, ethernet and SD card slot and nothing else, it'll happily run Vim...if you have a way to SSH into it because it has no way to hook up a display.
This comes down to why our OP wants to do this. The cost of hardware that'll run an actual OS has fallen to essentially NOT running an OS has to be done for a reason. I can think of lots of reasons - security, for example. The less software that you didn't personally write, the easier it is to be secure. Maybe you want to be able to write poetry on your toaster - in which case Vim might be needed. But a $7 Linux box is hard to beat. The best advice here would come from understanding the true nature of the problem.
SteveBaker (talk) 02:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Historical CPUs were much simpler than today's systems, too. It might have been possible to write code to the bare metal of an Intel 8051 or even an actual Intel 80386. Today, even trying to boot the CPU on a modern Intel Core Architecture programmable computer requires profound familiarity with a seven hundred page manual. A lot has changed: simple architectures gave way to complex systems tuned for higher performance. Even your main memory on a modern computer - say, one that uses DDR4 SDRAM - needs a software driver to initialize and calibrate it! Heck, even to retrieve a word of data from SDRAM is complicated: you need an elaborate control command sequence. Unlike SRAM, you can't just push an address into a register and read back data! You literally need to write an algorithm to retrieve a byte from an address. This is the sort of work that you don't even realize your operating system is doing for you. The hardware designs have evolved so that their feature-sets are well-matched to sophisticated operating systems, not to make life easy for bare-metal assembly code writers.
In the absence of an operating system, you cannot take advantage of such modern hardware. The job of the operating system is to relieve programmer pressure. You don't have to engage in the gritty details of the hardware in order to use it. You could pursue ancient computing machinery with simpler hardware interfaces, but you have to go back a long way to find machines that are architecturally "simple." Nimur (talk) 13:26, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
There are boot disks (or USB drives) that will boot up a PC and run a single program. They use some operating system, but don't have all the overhead of running full Windows, for example. They seem to avoid the periodic pausing that Windows seems to do when it checks for updates or whatever the heck it's doing. For example, if the program doesn't require Internet access, it can skip connecting to the Internet. One application is utility programs, like a disk reformat program, since you really don't want to reformat a disk while it's being written to. StuRat (talk) 13:45, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Add User in Windows 8[edit]

How do I add a user account using Windows 8 on a laptop? I know how to get to the Control Panel to add a user in Windows 7, but I can't seem to navigate to a user accounts interface in Windows 8. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Is what you are looking for under "PC Settings > Accounts"? I reached PC settings by just hitting the windows key and typing PC. Vespine (talk) 06:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

What language uses if!, enter!, exit!? II[edit]

This question reformulates my previous question with the same name above. I was quoting from memory, now I checked more details. There is a sample of code below.

I saw it in a French documentary about high-frequency trading on the stock market.

In what language is the code below written?

   Effectively buy
   IF Entry! >=0 THEN
       IF Entry! >0 THEN Prof! - (Curr! - A
   BS (Entry!))
       Entry! = Curr!
       Ext! = Curr!


   CLOSE #1


   NEXT x!
   NEXT w!

Maxim! = -100 (...)

--Bickeyboard (talk) 11:26, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

This is BASIC Asmrulz (talk) 12:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Specifically QBasic, judging by the compound IF, DO..LOOP and file descriptors Asmrulz (talk) 13:14, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Even more specifically, the exclamation marks are type declaration characters, indicating that the variables are single-precision floats. Other such characters are # for double-precision floats, % for 16-bit integers, and & for 32-bit integers. Tevildo (talk) 16:01, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Convert a PDF file to Microsoft Word[edit]

I have a PDF file. Is there any way to convert a PDF file to a Microsoft Word document? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:15, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

That market is flooded. See (talk) 18:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but those seem to do the opposite. Namely, take a Word document and convert it to a PDF format. I can already do that in Word itself (under "Save As" or "Export", I forget which). I am looking for the other way around: starting out with a PDF file and converting it into a Word file. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:16, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
For simple text copy-and-paste should work. For the general solution I would guess that there is a fundamental problem: The pdf might use a font that is not available on your computer, even if the structure of the document is converted correctly, line and page breaks will be off. (talk) 00:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
You can "copy-and-paste" from a PDF file? You're kidding. I never knew that! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:59, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
No, I just tried that. And that is not what I mean. When I did a "copy-and-paste" from the PDF into a Word document, that simply "took a picture" of the PDF page and copied it onto the Word page. I want the actual text from the PDF (not just an image of the text), so that I can go in and change some words, add words, remove words, fix typos, etc. Can this be done? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:03, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
You can copy and paste text from many PDF files. If you got an image when you did that, it's probably because the PDF only contains images (of text). You will have to use an OCR program to extract the text from the images, or transcribe them by hand. -- BenRG (talk) 03:49, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
It totally depends on how the PDF file was published. You can publish PDF files to be completely readable / copyable, or you can "lock them down" to the point where all you can do is take a screenshot. Vespine (talk) 04:17, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

How to create "fillable" forms[edit]

Sometimes, I use "fillable" forms. These are forms that have most of the information already printed on them, but then I go in and "fill" various blanks (such as name, address, etc.). How does one create such a fillable form? Is there a way to do so, in Microsoft Word? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Specific instructions depend heavily on the version of Word you are using. In general, see the instructions. (talk) 18:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I am using Microsoft Word 2013. Is the link above the applicable one? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Cursing the Cursor[edit]

On my laptop running Windows 7, when the pointer stays over a control field for too long the field is "activated" as if I left-clicked it. This to me is a major nuisance, opening unwanted windows, etc.

There must be a way to disable this but I can't find it. Please help.

The pointer is moved around the screen by a touch-pad below the keyboard. I know where the touch-pad settings are located but they do not seem to govern what happens if the pointer is left too long in one place. Thank you, CBHA (talk) 20:23, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't have a Windows system handy but I think this might be controlled by some handicapped assistance settings. Try looking for that while you wait for a better answer maybe. Dismas|(talk) 21:07, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I found a program group called "Ease of Access" which seems to be relevant to the problem. I'll have to experiment. CBHA (talk) 02:11, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]

Updating to Windows 10[edit]

I have four computers in my office and I reserved the Windows 10 upgrade on all of them. I upgraded two of them yesterday and one more today. On the fourth one, until recently, it said that Windows 10 was reserved and it would let me know when I could update. But starting an hour or two ago, the Windows 10 stuff is gone and checking for updates doesn't show anything. What happened? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

You got and W10 ISO image? If any trouble was on the system, backup all data, and perform a clean install from the DVD, means all data is wiped from the computer until backup is restored. I recommend to do so, I never made good experience when upgrading an existing system of any operating system. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:15, 31 July 2015 (UTC)


July 27[edit]

What chemical properties make soap useful for cleaning?[edit]

Why is soap good at cleaning things? What chemical processes underlie the effectiveness of all soaps and detergents? I remember pondering this question during organic chemistry in college, and I vaguely recall coming up with something about "micelles" being especially good at isolating dirt and making it capable of being scrubbed away by physical force or washed away by water, but I feel like there is more to it than that. Why does soap create useful micelles when other compounds with hydrophobic epitopes don't? Is it perhaps related to the reason why soap makes long-lived bubbles with proper agitation?

Also, how is a soap's effectiveness increased or decreased by time and temperature? Does hot water really make certain soaps and detergents more effective than if they were used with cold water? Is there an ideal amount of time for which a given dirty item should be exposed to soap's chemistry, for maximum cleaning power? Thanks for your help! PJsg1011 (talk) 06:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the chemical processes, this is due to the fact that one end of the molecule is hydrophobic, whereas the other is hydrophilic -- so the hydrophobic end sticks to the greasy dirt, whereas the hydrophilic end is attracted to water and pulls the grease away from the surface being cleaned. In effect, this makes the surface of the grease particles hydrophilic as well (by coating it with hydrophilic molecules), which makes them miscible with water when normally they're immiscible. One end hydrophobic, the other hydrophilic -- THAT is the key. And yes, higher temperatures usually increase soap's effectiveness -- but this is due to the normal increase in solubility with temperature. 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 08:58, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Surfactants make the water grap nonsolvable stuff. Cheap kitchen cleaners use lactic acid to remove fat and oil. Surfactants are more expensive and some you do not taste or smell them. For that reason such cleaners have added parfume or substances we can detect by smalling them. Whe getting enging oils on your hands and use soap, the oils part is removed by water and soap but your hands feel like sill put into vinegar which is not beeing removed by the soap. Then the soap contains some glycerol which is a part of soap production, the ester can solve in water. For that reason shower gels or shampoo might be more effective aginst engine oil on the hands. Todays full synthetic engine oils are based on hydrcracked substances, some very stable compared to mineral oil are esters. Calcite is being removed by citric acid oder formic acid. This show you the major difference between bath and kitchen cleaners. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 09:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)


What rescue equipment and capabilities does a modern oilfield ESV (Emergency Support Vessel) like the Iolair have? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 08:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Anyone? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 05:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

End of domino impulse[edit]

Is it possible to estimate how many dominoes it would take to completely stop the impulse imparted by finger or hand to the first domino? This states that 3,847,295 dominoes is still insufficient to completely exhaust the impulse, resembling a perpetual motion. By impulse I mean standard force to provide watchable collapse speed, not too strong and not too slow. Brandmeistertalk 14:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Each domino contains gravitational potential energy. That means that it releases energy when it falls down. That energy goes into knocking down the next domino. You can even have each domino get slightly larger than the previous one, since the gravitational potential energy of the smaller one is more than the force required to tip over the larger one. So, there is no theoretically limit to the number of dominoes that can be knocked down. (There is a practical limit, though, as the more you have the greater the chance of them being knocked down prematurely or being misaligned so they don't all fall down.) StuRat (talk) 15:07, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I saw a this video of a chain of dominoes of increasing size just the other day. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 16:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
And there are some even bigger ones here. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 18:13, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
This is an example of a chain reaction. To achieve perpetual motion, each domino would have to bounce back up into its upright state after it had toppled. You could then create a circle of dominos that repeatedly toppled and bounced back up - but this is, of course, impossible. Gandalf61 (talk) 15:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Or just have an infinite number of dominoes. That could take a while to set up, though. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:13, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Not if you have an infinite number of people to do it! -- (talk) 19:33, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That is a genuinely brilliant response to a (no offense to Bugs who was clearly just trying to make light) nonsensical statement. Snow let's rap 12:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
An infinite number of dominoes lined up would continue to fall, one by one, without ever ending. Any extremely large but finite number will likewise continue to fall until the last one, barring the application of some external force. But it doesn't qualify as a perpetual motion machine, given all the work expended just to get them set up. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
What tickled me about the response is that "infinity" is a conceptual construct, not a real number, so outside of certain mathematical principles, any practical application of the term to represent physical phenomena defies both sense and the basic principles of the nature of the universe. Which is why I assumed, especially with the inclusion of the second statement, that you were going for humour. Regardless, the IP responded in a way that I felt hilighted the dubious usage, but did so by replicating it in a statement which "played by the same rules" even as it underscored how such usages lead to obvious paradoxes. I'm not even sure that was entirely the intent, but it made me laugh in any event. :) Snow let's rap 09:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
It's a bit of both. And it's kind of a variant on the "turtles all the way down" story. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Desert chimney[edit]

I wonder if this concept has ever been tried. In a desert, where the outside is hot but dry, if you use an inside evaporative cooler, that makes the inside air cool but potentially overly humid. If a chimney was added, wouldn't that let the humidity out of the house, but not the cool air, since cool air sinks ? You would need to arrange the chimney so sand wouldn't blow in and fall down it, and some convolutions would also reduce radiative heating. The flue on the chimney could then be opened or closed, to control the house humidity level. So, is this approach ever used ? (I realize there are also swamp coolers that evaporate outside the house, then circulate the coolant inside the house, but I'm not asking about those.) StuRat (talk) 16:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

See qanat, windcatcher ... there may be more useful terms for this tech, which has been used a very long time in the Middle East. Wnt (talk) 18:52, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That's a bit different, in that they use wind to replace the air, while I'm talking about not replacing the air, but only allowing the humidity in it to diffuse away, even without winds. (In fact, in my design, you might want to close the flue when windy, to prevent replacing cool, inside air with hot, outside air.) StuRat (talk) 18:58, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Desert termite mounds are humid and cool. They are basically very tall chimneys. The termites make them humid. They don't have swamp coolers in them, but I mention this because they remain humid and cool even though they are of the design you mention. (talk) 19:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Certainly the interior would remain somewhat more humid than outside, and, in a desert, that would be a good thing. The idea is just to keep it from becoming oppressively humid, to the point where water no longer evaporates and evaporative cooling fails to work. StuRat (talk) 19:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Enthalpy_of_vaporization, latent heat, sensible heat, adiabatic cooling, relative humidity, Evaporative_cooler#Physical_principles. Evaporative cooling works until the relative humidity is 100%. You can't let out "humidity" without letting out the cooler air. The air has less sensible heat because it has higher latent heat. That's how evaporative cooling works. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Precisely. You can't "unmix" the humidity from the cool air unless you add another processing step (e.g., an air conditioner). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This runs contrary to my experience. When it's cold and humid outside, and hot and dry inside, just opening the windows seems to make it hot and humid inside. I believe the water vapor achieves equilibrium much faster than the temperature does, and in this Q's scenario, the "unwillingness" of cold air to rise up the chimney should exaggerate this effect even more. And it's not "unmixing" the air, but really mixing it, with regards to water vapor, more quickly than with regards to temperature. StuRat (talk) 12:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
It's physically impossible that "water vapor achieves equilibrium [i.e., complete mixing] much faster than the temperature" or for water vapor to mix more quickly than heat, except in perfectly laminar flow (where the molecular diffusivity of water vapor in air is slightly higher than the thermal diffusivity of air). And I can guarantee that your example is not laminar. It may feel worse because human comfort can be more sensitive to humidity than to temperature. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:00, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like we need a chemist's input here. I recall from chemistry class that different molecules diffuse through the air at very different rates. Can we find a chart listing the diffusion rates of water vapor, diatomic oxygen and nitrogen in air ? StuRat (talk) 14:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The molecular diffusivity of water vapor in air is slightly higher than the thermal diffusivity of air, but that's utterly irrelevant because the situation you're describing is nowhere close to laminar (i.e., the Reynolds number is >>1). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
So you think there will be turbulent flow up the chimney ? Why ? There should be little or no flow, only diffusion. We could even add baffles to ensure that, if necessary. BTW, what are those "diffusivity" numbers, and does the heat diffusivity take into account the tendency of heat to rise ? StuRat (talk) 15:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
For conditions distinguishing between laminar and turbulent flow, see Reynolds number, which you can calculate. (TL;DR version -- it's challenging to create laminar flow even in laboratory conditions.) Regarding the definition of the various diffusivities, I have been told that there is a large online encyclopedia that has articles on such topics. (smiley) Diffusivity is a molecular process and takes no account of buoyancy (which in any case promotes mixing). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:31, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I've looked, but I haven't found a table, only equations. Surely somebody has done the math already ? It's not like I'm asking about the diffusivity of some rare gases in each other, after all. As for the tendency of hot air to rise promoting mixing, I have to disagree with that, as that mixing would result in an even distribution of heat in the air, but air is measurably hotter in upper floors of a house, or just by the ceiling of a single story, where it is blocked from rising further. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


As the saying goes, Google is your friend.
OK, I'll tell you the secret: the thermal diffusivity of air is about 1.9*10-5 m2/s and the diffusivity of water vapor in air is about 2.5*10-5 m2/s. With these values we can use scaling arguments to show that a significant role for molecular diffusivity in transporting heat up the chimney is falsified by comparison to observations. The thermal diffusivity of air is about K = 1.9 * 10-5 m2/s. Then the distance that heat diffuses in time T can be scaled as d ~ sqrt(KT), or conversely the time T to diffuse by a distance d would be T ~ (d^2)/K. So the time for heat to diffuse up a 3 m (10 ft) chimney would be order T ~ (9 m2) / (1.9 * 10-5 m2/s) ~ 474,000 s or about 5.5 days.
Does it take nearly a week for heat to travel up your chimney? I doubt it. The dominant heat transfer process in the atmosphere is bulk turbulent motion, not molecular diffusion. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Great info, thanks. Do you have a source for those diffusivity rates ? (Not that I doubt your numbers, I just want direct access for the future.) StuRat (talk) 15:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Meant to respond to this earlier, but ran out of time; it's a bit redundant on SM's comments now, but I'll comment briefly anyway. The thing is, unless I have misunderstood you in some way, the system which you describe is basically the standard implementation for a swamp cooler. That is to say, the system is almost always more efficient and effective if you allow the space to vent. A flue is probably an atypical means of achieving this in the context of a small domicile, but a window serves just as well under most circumstances; there might be some minimal advantage to this end-point being at elevation, but usually the cooling unit itself (which is typically set at the other end of the system in a stream-lined setup) employs a powerful fan as part of the evacuation mechanic, so any propensity for hot air to rise is going to have very little total effect on either the total heat or humidity of the system as a whole. There are variations on evaporative cooling (and hybrid approaches which employ air conditioning) in which a closed system would be more optimal, but the system you describe is generally the most energy-efficient and common form, especially in the arid context you stipulate. Snow let's rap 00:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you are picturing the swamp cooler venting directly into the chimney, while I had in mind something like a misting system venting right into the living space, with a separate chimney elsewhere to let the excess humidity out. StuRat (talk) 12:09, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
No, if you review my post you will see that I understand that the living space is situated between the cooling unit and the chimney. Indeed, it would be a virtually useless setup in any other configuration. But again, the scenario you propose is the typical way in which a swamp cooler system is employed. And in this regard it doesn't mater whether your use a misting system or a conventional swamp cooler; the two vary in how quickly they will cool a given space, but that is a quality derived from the unit, not from the venting you propose, which I assure you is very much the typical manner in which venting is configured in a structure that employs a swamp cooler (again, other than the fact that for small domiciles an open window is usually employed rather than a chimney/flue). Snow let's rap 12:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
From my reading of our swamp cooler article, it sounds like they use a fan to blow air into the house, and then vent the house air back to the outside. Hence there is a high rate of air exchange. A disadvantage of this is that cool air is blowing back out of the house at the vents. My idea is to not force any air into or out of the house. Instead, the mister creates mist without pulling in any outside air, and only the excess humidity goes up the chimney. (A regular open window wouldn't work, as here hot outside air would indeed mix with the cool inside air.) StuRat (talk) 13:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, you can vent with a chimney, and it may make more sense to do that with a given architecture, but there is no way that you'll be letting humidity out without also letting cool air out. It is true the outdraft of a chimney may be less cool than the outdraft from a window. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I realize that 100% of the humidity won't be vented nor that 0% of the cool air will be vented, but as long as more of the humidity is vented than the cool air, that seems like a successful design to me. StuRat (talk) 13:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you get it. Cool air and humidity are not separate things. When the water evaporates, it cools the air by converting sensible heat to latent heat. I don't know how many other ways to say it. Your design is in fact very similar to things the Persians worked out a thousand years ago. I don't think anyone is saying your idea is bad, only that can't selectively exhaust humidity that way. You need a condenser for that. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:43, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand why you think cool air is the same as humid air. You can have hot air which is either humid or dry, or cool air which is either humid or dry (although extremely cold air can't hold much humidity). This shows they can be separated, by natural processes. While water vapor itself carries heat, the water vapor is only a small portion of the total air, and hence that heat is only a small portion of the total. The water vapor is left cool from evaporation, but the heat from the inside air should quickly warm the water vapor back up, and in the process cool the rest of the air down. After that, it would be nice to be able to remove the now warmer water vapor. This is my goal. StuRat (talk) 14:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Of course temperature and humidity can vary. But when you use an evaporative cooler, you are making the air both cooler and more humid. This is because of the latent heat of evaporation. I don't know what else to say, maybe someone else can put it in a way that you will understand. I think your explanation of how you think it works means you're not fully understanding latent heat, but I can't explain it any better than our article already does. It is true that a chimney will tend to let out the hotter portion of air in a room, if it is ducted properly. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:09, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Let's try this. I will lay out all the logical steps, and you can point out which steps contain errors:


1) A mister sprays water droplets into the house air. No outside air is brought in.

2) Flash evaporation of water droplets into water vapor lowers the temperature of the water vapor molecules.

3) The water vapor mixes freely with the house air, and thus each reaches the same equilibrium temperature.

4) The chimney is arranged in such a way (perhaps with baffles) as to prevent turbulent motion of air. The lack of air blowing into or out of the house elsewhere prevents rapid movement of air up or down the chimney.

5) Since "The molecular diffusivity of water vapor in air is slightly higher than the thermal diffusivity of air" (2.5 vs 1.9*10-5 m2/s) per Short Brigade Harvester Boris, more water vapor will vent up the chimney than heat.

6) The fact that heat tends to rise and the air inside the house is cooler than that in the chimney will tend to retard the flow of heat even more. Specifically, hotter patches of air in the chimney will rise up and out the chimney, while cooler patches will stay in the house. Placing the chimney opening in the highest point of the house, distant from the mister, will also help to ensure that the air there is hotter than the rest of the house, so the air that is vented isn't cool air. StuRat (talk) 15:26, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

You seem to have invented a system which vents hot air out of the house without letting new air in. How long do you expect it to carry on doing that? AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:32, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
That would be a very slight flow, and all houses are "leaky" to air, so the air would come into the house through the normal leaks (around doors, etc.). This happens without a chimney, too, to ventilate the home. Presumably air is blown into such tiny leaks on the windward side and sucked out on the other side, although with this chimney design, perhaps it would no longer be sucked out by those leaks, but instead go up the chimney. StuRat (talk) 15:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
And you are expecting a 'very slight flow' to be sufficient to cool the inside of the house to a significant degree? AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
No. The airflow doesn't provide the cooling, the evaporation of the misted water does (step 2 above). StuRat (talk) 15:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't have time to go in to this any more today, but I think your step 2) may be wrong. "Evaporative cooling therefore causes a drop in the temperature of air proportional to the sensible heat drop and an increase in humidity proportional to the latent heat gain." This is all about latent heat vs. sensible heat. I'm not sure, but I don't think the water itself loses sensible heat. For step 4) as pointed out above, truly laminar flow is very hard to achieve. Turbulence occurs at all scales. It may be useful to approximate this flow as laminar, it may not. As for step 6), this will be air that was once cooled by the mister, even if it is warmer than the air that is lower. You might want to look at Psychrometrics#Psychrometric_charts, and recall that evaporation is isenthalpic, i.e. it occurs at constant enthalpy. What you really need is thermodynamics here, not chemistry, but I've said all I can on the topic at present. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The above seems too complicated to follow, so tell me if this gets the gist:

1) You have air that you pass over a wet pad (the "swampy" smell in the swamp cooler, which ironically enough doesn't work in a swamp). That can come from inside or outside, doesn't matter. 2) The evaporation of the water makes the pad, and the air passing over it, cooler. The humidity makes it heavier. Therefore, the wet air should tend to sink rather than rise. 3) Given an unlimited supply of water (indeed a fortunate thing in the desert!) one can therefore constantly cool the air passing over it to a degree determined by the starting humidity and temperature. 4) The need for air flow is dictated by the amount of heat the cooled air/water is called upon to absorb; the evaporative cooling of the water must equal that, which determines the air flow and thus the water consumption. Essentially, the moistened air can be seen as a stream of coolant at a certain temperature, and as you get arbitrarily close to that temperature the flow becomes arbitrarily large. 5) A chimney next to the house will indeed release some "coolth" through the wall for the inhabitants, but only to a limited degree. All the usual designs of car radiators and such would seem to apply - cooling fins, multiple ducts, countercurrent exchange and so forth. 6) However, that said, nothing is quite as efficient as simply releasing the cooled air into the house, together with its humidity, and if the desert is dry enough, that might bring few complaints. This system, together with a windcatcher to suck out hot air from the top of the building, would seem to be the usual Middle East installation AFAIK. Wnt (talk) 18:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

"The humidity makes it heavier." A common misconception. At a given temperature and pressure, humid air is less dense than dry air. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
D'oh! You're absolutely right, and if I'd been thinking instead of typing I would have realized it, since the ideal gas law still applies (more or less), and H2O is a lighter molecule than O2. [14] details this explanation. Wnt (talk) 13:38, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Humid air feels "heavier", even though it isn't. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Multi-cylinder IC engine[edit]

Can the same cylinder design for an IC engine be used in multiple engines, with different number of cylinders? For instance, design a 250cc cylinder, and use it in 1, 2, 3, and 4-cylinder configurations for 250cc, 500cc, 750cc and 1000cc engines? Thanks!

Yes, to some extent. For instance it wasn't unheard of for manufacturers to chop two cylinders off a V8 to make a disgusting V6, and I was involved in a project that took a 4 cylinder and turned it into a 3 cylinder, but that did not go into production. But really you only reuse the con rod and piston and perhaps valves and liner, everything else is redesigned. Greglocock (talk) 09:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
According to something I read yesterday somewhere on the BBC website's current coverage of Formula 1, one of the engine manufacturers is currently testing a potential improvement on a single-cylinder setup (presumably a bench setup) which, if successful, will be incorporated in a forthcoming engine upgrade. This suggests that elements of the OP's scenario are valid. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
yes, research engines are often single cylinder engines. Greglocock (talk) 06:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I remember in the late 1980s some people would bolt two Yamaha RD250 engines together to create a 4 cylinder 500cc bike. A few were featured as reader specials in Motorcycle Mechanics/Performance Bikes. Hesketh Motorcycles use the same cylinder, piston and conrod for both sides of the V (unlike say a Ducati Darmah SD900 which has different cylinder casting). --TrogWoolley (talk) 13:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
A significant problem that must be solved when taking a mature engine and converting it into one with a different number of cylinders is engine balance. To achieve satisfactory freedom from vibration requires much more than a new crankshaft and adding or subtracting a cylinder and piston. See balancing of rotating masses, Internal combustion engine#Cylinder configuration and balance shaft. For a high-speed engine, re-balancing with a non-optimal number of cylinders will require more effort and expense than balancing the original engine, and will deliver a poorer result. Dolphin (t) 06:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

When drinking sweetened drink (such as cola) is it coming to the kidneys as water molecules?[edit]

18:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Water molecules among others, yes. It is delivered to the kidneys, with other waste products, through the bloodstream, after having been absorbed through the intestinal walls, and, in the case of sugars, etc., metabolized into waste products. Some of the water also leaves the body in sweat, respiration, tears, etc. StuRat (talk) 18:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
In most people (excluding diabetics with glucosuria) the body is pretty good about extracting as much energy from sugar as possible, which means that the carbons in the sugar leave as exhaled carbon dioxide. But the hydrogens in it go out the kidneys (and other places) as water, having found some oxygen (ultimately from the lungs) in the meantime. The other components are more complex - for example, if you read caffeine you'll see the various metabolites produced. (oxygen is involved there too, but CYP1A2 isn't trying to produce energy, but just to break stuff down into a form that hopefully will leave the body) The caffeine and all metabolites slowly go out in the urine, because urine is basically just blood that is filtered through a membrane and has a lot of different things the body wants to keep taken back out of it into the body, until whatever is left is peed away. Caramel color so far as I know is still mostly sugar and I'd expect is metabolized much like sugar. Wnt (talk) 19:26, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. So can I understand that it doesn't matter what you drink for the kidneys (of course for the short term), always just the liquid that comes into the kidney is almost the same thing? (talk) 19:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're asking exactly. The kidney filtrate is just your blood plasma minus the large or highly-charged molecules that can't pass through the glomerulus. So whatever's in your blood will generally make it into the filtrate. I recommend CrashCourse Biology's video on the kidneys for an introduction. -- (talk) 19:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The general recommendation is to drink lots of water (except for people with kidney failure), as that dilutes the urine and makes kidney stone formation less likely. A high protein diet puts more strain on the kidneys, as does lots of tea (tannins) and a few other things. If you are asking about yourself, then you should consult a doctor for your specific case. StuRat (talk) 02:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, almost. Urine is always mostly water, but there are a lot of substances dissolved in that water (see Urine#Characteristics for more information). The mixture of substances will vary, depending among other things on what you eat and some diseases that will change the composition. Two well-known examples are diabetes which will make the urine high in glucose, and asparagus which will give urine a peculiar smell. Both of these are because the blood holds a higher level than normal of a compound that is then excreted through the kidneys. Sjö (talk) 08:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Has any serious effort been made to build a robotic sandworm?[edit]

Sandworms come in two types: the giant kind in fantasy that infest the deserts of Dune and some town in Nevada, and the kind that actually live and burrow through (wet) sand. I'm not too clear about what can be done in between, though. Are there factors of scale that limit how large an annelid can be and burrow through sand, and could machines get around them? What would happen if you tried to make a huge metal tube with a slightly pointed end around an intake, which gathers the sand it takes in and uses a hydraulic ram to push it backward out and the rear? Has such engineering been explored seriously? Wnt (talk) 19:13, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Seems like it would be quite slow and use a lot of energy. What would be the goal, just to imitate nature ? In that case expanding and contracting, with a surface that grabs sand in one direction and slides in another, might be closer to that. Of course, this only works on a small scale, as you don't see Dune sized sandworms in nature. StuRat (talk) 19:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Microchaetus_rappi seems to be the largest Annelid. This [15] page says max diameter is 2cm. I would not suppose that this is hard physical limit to how large of a worm can burrow, but rather a limit based upon ecological niche that also incorporates life history, resource competition, predation, general body plan, etc. etc. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There should be a low limit on diameter, since sand or soil can only compact so much to make tunnels, and beyond that it needs to be removed to make room. As for the length, the limit on that, if there is one, should be far greater. Worms have multiple "hearts" to circulate blood, so could just add more. They breathe through their skin, so length isn't a problem there. As for nerve impulses, the various parts could operate only knowing what the parts on either side of them are doing, much like a centipede or millipede, so that's no issue either. The inability to hide from predators might be the limiting factor on length. Or the energy needed to send food through the long digestion tract could be a limit, but there the anus could just be moved to the side somewhere (which would leave open the Q of what would be left in the "tail"...maybe the reproductive tract ?). StuRat (talk) 21:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There are lizards that "swim" in dry desert sand [16], and lizardy robots inspired by them [17]. --Amble (talk) 20:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Here's two research papers on worm-bots [18] [19]. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:05, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There's also the sidewinder, which "swims" through sand, but only on the surface. This has led to attempts to replicate it with a snakebot. StuRat (talk) 21:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • It's rather insane to swim through sand. The golden mole does it in a way to find its food. The naked mole rat burrows in hard soil for safety and to find the tubers it eats. Herbert's sandworms used friction to power an unexplained chemical process that created Spice and oxygen. It can be discounted as unsupported fiction. The energy required is pretty much prohibitive without a huge ecological advantage. μηδείς (talk) 01:53, 29 July 2015 (UTC)±

This sounds a lot like the approximate fact that most animals that are not specialized for jumping can do a standing jump to a height of about a foot off the ground. Elephants, humans and mice...all about the same. This happens because the weight of an animal increases as the cube of it's size, but the cross-sectional area of their muscles only grows as the square of their size - so when you double the size of an animal, you don't double the height it can jump. I'd expect a similar problem with scaling up a worm - and I'd speculate that a giant sand-worm would only be able to move at the same speed as a pencil-sized sand-worm...which would seem excruciatingly slow. A robotic sand-worm could (perhaps) have a more efficient power supply - but even so, I'd expect it to have difficulties with moving at any speed.
According to this, "Bertha" (the world's largest tunnel-boring machine) manages to travel 35 feet per day - according to this, a typical earthworm manages 27 feet per hour. Bertha doesn't carry it's own power source - but has to install concrete liners into the tunnel it makes rather than allowing it to collapse behind it. Be we could perhaps imagine that a machine that's optimised for sand - and which is more interested in forward speed than in tunnel construction might maybe be able to go ten or twenty times faster - but that would only be about the same speed as an earthworm. All of which fits rather well with my intuition that all sandworms would move at about the same speed, regardless of size. SteveBaker (talk) 14:39, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]


The question is straightforward: should inventory control be merged with Inventory control system?Lbertolotti (talk) 01:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Have you tried discussing that on those articles' talk pages? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, so far nobody said anything.Lbertolotti (talk) 03:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

@Lbertolotti: Although there is no real harm in raising the issue here, the Ref desks are not really the ideal means to solicit additional opinions as relates to the best policy approach to an issue on an article. I would recommend you explore Wikipedia:Proposed mergers, WP:RfC, and (for this particular case) Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Business. The first is a noticeboard to promote merger discussions, the second is a process page which will guide you in how to attract outside input to article talk page via a method known as a "request for comment", and the third is the talk page for a Wikiproject (collection of editors with a common interest) for business-related articles. One of these methods should surely attract some attention to your request for additional input. And, of course, if you feel very confident that you have reviewed the relevant policies and that a merger would be warranted in this instance, you could always WP:BEBOLD and institute the change yourself (since no one has commented despite your best efforts to raise the issue on the talk Page) and then if someone objects or reverts the change, you can invite them via their user talk page to comment on the article talk page so you can get their views and a better feeling of how to proceed. Regardless of which route you choose, I applaud your efforts to approach the change in a slow and cautious manner and to go above and beyond to seek additional input and consensus.  :) I will give my own opinion on the talk page shortly, but you should keep the above methods for outreach in mind for the future. Snow let's rap 09:51, 29 July 2015 (UTC)


I'm updating the pictures description, if there's no objection. Lbertolotti (talk) 01:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The handedness of a dead body[edit]

Could a coroner tell if the person was left-handed or right-handed? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

It is possible if the dominant hand was used in repetitive activities, such as archery or metalworking, as the musculature will develop more and produce bone deformities. I'd say (not being a coroner but being a physical therapist) that modern life in general doesn't produce such gross deformities, the evidence would be more nuanced. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I am not a coroner, but if I were asked I'd check the middle fingers for calluses. There is likely to be one on the dominant hand, caused by writing. DuncanHill (talk) 08:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That might be harder to do these days, with people doing less writing: I can't see any obvious external differences between my middle fingers, though perhaps an export could. According to this, "[Forensic anthropologists] can tell whether the person was right or left-handed. There would be more muscle attachment on the bones on the dominant side". By the way, a coroner is a legal officer (at least in the UK), so they would not be the one doing the physical investigation. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 08:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Use of a mouse on a computer affects the wrist, indicating handedness. Constantly moving a finger over a screen causes a callus, indicating handedness. That does not include muscle mass. Most people are stronger in their dominant arm. In boot camp, everyone had to work out. It was easy to identify the left handers because they had trouble lifting weights in the right hand that were easy in their left. For everyone else, lifting weights in the left hand was harder (except for the two who were body builders previous to boot camp, one put on weight control specifically to lose muscle mass). (talk) 16:11, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Not sure this would be deterministic. My father is left handed and before wireless mice made switching easier, he simply used his right hand. I am right handed but left eye dominant so some things like shooting a rifle is left handed, while a pistol is right handed. I use the wireless mouse on the right side, but the dot mouse on the laptop I use my left index finger. Not sure why, it's just natural for me and it's not ambidextrous where I can use my right finger for the dot mouse or my left hand for the wireless mouse. Could be just training. rather than handedness. --DHeyward (talk) 21:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Many things could interfere with such presumptions. I generally carry heavy things with whichever arm has less joint pain that day. When I'm at my computer and not typing, my right hand generally rests on the arrow keys and my left hand on the mouse, so that my mousing hand has less far to move to reach the letter keys. When I shoot a pistol one-handed, my ‘wrong’ hand is steadier. — There is a faint difference between my middle fingers, but nothing like the very obvious groove I had at age 16; I no longer grip a pen with such force! —Tamfang (talk) 06:58, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
This book [20] has a chapter titled "Skeletal indicators of handedness". SemanticMantis (talk) 14:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Sink your teeth into this! There is another way to find a deceased's handedness which I found out just 2 hours ago! I took my sister to the dentist today and had a good chat with her (the dentist). I was telling her that I had heard right-hemisphere dominant people chew on the left side of the mouth and vice versa. She told me it was true, and this affects the distribution of cavities. She then went on to tell me that right-handed people brush the teeth on the right of their mouth harder (better) than on the left (and vice versa). So, right-handed people have fewer cavities and less plaque on the teeth of the right side of their mouth! Elementary my dear Watson!DrChrissy (talk) 17:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Was this what she was reporting the dentist had told her, or was it her own opinion? Is she a dentist herself? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Apologies for my unclear posting. This was what the dentist was saying to me. (My sister's input to the conversation was "Arrrggggh", "Ugggguuuuuhhh" and "thank God that's over".DrChrissy (talk) 20:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure that you have not reversed right and left for brushing. A comment by my dentist implied that it was the other way round. Dbfirs 06:55, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
In my excitement at hearing the relationship, I might have mistaken it. However, I am right handed, and it feels like I put more pressure on the teeth on the right side of my mouth. (sample size N=1 !)DrChrissy (talk) 12:00, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
A person who writes with the left hand is more likely to use the right hand to support the right cheek, which as a result will likely tend to be more concave than the left cheek. (I searched for a reference, but found none.) This question is relevant to Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Participants (including User:Doc James, User:Bluerasberry, User:Jfdwolff, User:Mattopaedia, User:Richardcavell, User:Looie496, User:Ozzie10aaaa, User:CFCF, and User:Peter.C).
Wavelength (talk) 23:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Thank you all!! Very, very interesting indeed!!! Pity, though, that I can't see the book with the "Skeletal indicators of handedness" chapter. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Late to the party, but FWIW, in both the novel and film In the Heat of the Night, Police Detective Vergil Tibbs determines that a suspect is left-handed (and therefore likely not the perpetrator) simply by feeling the musculature of his forearms. Unless the author John Ball thought this up off his own bat (is that a USA-known term?), it's presumably possible to do the same to a corpse. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Maxwell's demon and the Carnot efficiency[edit]

I'm curious whether there is a simple, straightforward way to relate the maximum efficiency of a Maxwell's demon to the maximum efficiency of a Heat engine, i.e. 1-Tc/Th. There is an impressive paper that does so [21][22] but it is somewhat difficult for the non-expert to process, and I'm not sure if the quantum mechanical features they focus on there are important for making this connection or just a distraction. Also there's a discrepancy between that paper and our entropy article on one hand and the Landauer's principle article on the other; the former use kB ln 2 for the entropy that must be produced elsewhere and/or energy cost, while the latter uses kT ln 2. I'm thinking the latter is measuring entropy in terms of joules and the former two doing something else but I'm not quite sure why. Is there a straightforward derivation by which you can start with this expression (whichever one) for the cost of erasing a bit and end up showing that the demon has the same maximum efficiency as a heat pump for reservoirs of the same temperatures? Wnt (talk) 23:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, Wnt, there's no formal definition for the efficiency of a demon, so there's no meaningful way to compare it to the efficiency of a heat engine. Nimur (talk) 00:03, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
But surely it could be measured empirically? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:33, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, if we can only find a cost-effective and safe way to obtain a statistically-significant number of demons! I'm still looking for a cost-effective and safe way to obtain a statistically-significant number of neutrons, which I consider to have more interesting thermodynamic properties... regrettably, the best I can find is a one-of-a-kind spallation source on the opposite side of this continent - but it's available to anyone with any experience or credential level, so long as the research proposal is meritous! Nimur (talk) 16:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Not sure it's applicable but see here Bose–Einstein condensate#Superfluidity of BEC and Landau criterion. Using lasers to cool through coherence seems pretty neat. QED and QM seem fundamental. For some reason, Maxwells demon seems like the simple aerator on my pool. The hot molecules leave as evaporation, cold molecules stay and the pool is cooled. It's not a closed system though but the "demon" is a pump. At some point the demon would have too many collisions with the door (i.e. similar to space-charge region in a plasma where the atom has so much less velocity than electrons at a given temperature that a charge region forms until the collisions balance and the current is zero). I would think that barrier could be QM related distance with tunneling and other effects. Black hole formation and evaporation may also have relevance. Just a thought. --DHeyward (talk) 04:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
@Nimur: I'm surprised if there isn't a formula for the efficiency, but to give an example: today I had to deal with a car issue and was waiting for a long time in a room with a soda pop vending machine. (For some inexplicable reason, the supposed pleasure of having a cooled soda pop outweighs the prolonged and annoying noise of the contraption; as I don't actually refrigerate soda, it is all very mysterious to me) Anyway, the point is, I'd like to rip out the condenser and coils and replace it with a sort of refrigerator magnet lining the box that has a thin layer of water in it and many, many demons that put the hot water to one end of the layer and the cold to the other, so as to act as a heat pump and do the refrigeration. My understanding is that the power consumption of these demons is linked to the number of times that it measures the temperature (speed) of a water molecule approaching the gate, opens or shuts it, and then has to forget what it decided to do - that last part, oddly enough, is where the entropy is charged. So just like a refrigerator, there has to be a plug in the wall to keep it running; but fortunately one expects not to hear those bazillion gates clattering open and shut every second. And so the efficiency should be absolutely, directly comparable; but it can be written either as Carnot efficiency assuming that the demon can't power some kind of steam engine that powers the demon, or as the cost of erasing a whole bunch of bits of data. I think someone somewhere might have explained the relationship of those two means of calculation in terms even I can understand. Wnt (talk) 18:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

Why does water get loud before it boils?[edit]

I notice that when boiling water in a metal or glass kettle or metal pot, a noise slowly builds before the water actually boils. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, the noise lessens. What is causing the noise? The water? The expansion of the glass or metal kettle? --Navstar (talk) 02:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

It says here that the explanation is that in the hottest area of the kettle the water is boiling, but the bubbles collapse as they rise into water below the boiling point. The collapsing is what makes the noise, and it stops happening when all the water is at the boiling point. -- (talk) 03:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Note that these bubbles are too small to see, and that the large surface area to volume ratio of such microscopic bubbles allows the water vapor to instantly cool below the boiling temperature and become liquid water again, which takes up much less room, causing the bubbles to collapse. The bubbles get larger as the heating continues, and you might be able to see them collapse briefly, or at least get smaller as they rise. StuRat (talk) 14:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The fancy science term for this is cavitation. Notably, it's also caused by things other than heating, like surfaces passing through a fluid at a high speed. This is an issue for things like propellers and turbines. And when cavitation bubbles form, they are indeed noisy, which is one way you can tell that it's happening to a propeller, pump, etc. -- (talk) 15:45, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

How many Earth plant species are physically possible?[edit]

If we could simulate Earth's entire history octillions of times with different random DNA mutations until we exhaust every possible species how many would there be? Is this even estimatable any time soon? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 02:36, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

And also randomize the shapes of the continents and their topography and when and where asteroids hits and the like cause those were random accidents. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 02:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

It's not possible to do this in a meaningful way. The largest plant genome is 150gb long. There are 4150,000,000,000 possible genomes of this size (such a big number I can't find a math program that will even display it in scientific notation). We can think about any particular variation of this genome, but without creating it, we have no way of knowing whether it would be viable in a given environment (or ever), whether it would constitute a species distinct from any other particular variation, or even whether it would classify as a plant. There's also no reason to suspect that 150gb is the upper bound for the size of a plant genome. So while we can imagine all the variations of a genome, we can't know anything useful about most of them - certainly not enough to answer your question. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:04, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
To convert a power of A into a power of B, just multiply the exponent by log A / log B (using logarithms to the same base for both numbers). log 4 / log 10 is just over 0.6, so 4150,000,000,000 is about 1090,000,000,000. -- (talk) 04:01, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
As for the continents...the number of possible outcomes depends on how different two 'shapes' have to be. If a single misplaced atom makes two topographies "different" then the answer is some kind of factorial involving the number of atoms in the earth's crust from somewhere above the height of everest to the bottom of the marianas trench. That's a truly ungodly number. I don't see much value in attempting to estimate it - the mathematical notations for such numbers start to get fairly incomprehensible.
If "different" required a difference of (say) a kilometer in the shape of a continent or the path of a river - then the number is still insanely large - but more manageable. But it's arbitrary - why one limit for "different" rather than another? That's really the problem with these "curiosity" kinds of question. Does it matter how big the number is? I can't imagine why you'd need the answer. Why bother even asking it?
It's really the same deal with the plants - there are an insane number of changes in the DNA of an Oak Tree that would still produce a viable, recognisable Oak Tree - so why count the number of possible DNA strands when it really tells you nothing about how much meaningful variation there might be.
So the best answer here is "Don't Know" - and "Don't Care" comes a close second. SteveBaker (talk) 04:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I meant changes big enough to affect the evolution of species, a kilometer probably wouldn't do it. If the dinosaurs got to evolve for longer or got killed off sooner maybe plants that never existed would happen, though. I'm kind of also wondering how many Earthlike planets would have to gain DNA-based vegetation of the correct amino acid chirality to make a wheat species that could interbreed with the Earth kind. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:50, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that the environment on Earth is 'chaotic' (in the mathematical sense of Chaos theory) - epitomised by the idea that the flapping of a butterfly wing might cause a hurricane halfway around the world a year from now. This effect (which is very real by the way) means that the most insignificant change (one atom displaced by a nanometer or so) is more than sufficient over the very long term to cause extinction or failure to evolve of an entire species. There is no lower limit beneath which you shouldn't care.
Imagine a single cosmic ray misplacing a single atom in the DNA of the sperm that was to become Richard Nixon. That resulting in it swimming 0.1% more slowly than it otherwise might - and resulting in a different sperm making it to the egg, Richard Nixon never existed but instead we got Sandra Nixon. Despite an unprecedentedly great political career, and a reputation for honesty and a high ethical standard - in 1968, America simply wasn't ready for it's first female president and Hubert Humphrey got the job instead. Being obsessed with solving the Vietnam problem, Humphrey failed in Cold War engagement with the Soviet Union. The resulting nuclear holocaust caused in the extinction of 90% of the species on earth and resulted in the eventual evolution of super-intelligent giant cockroaches who farmed genetically engineered fungi over 80% of the land area of Earth - and that caused the extinction of the wheat plant on earth. One cosmic ray - one nanometer to the left.
So, no - it's not sufficient to assume that one misplaced atom cannot make a difference!
SteveBaker (talk) 17:47, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
All of them. (BTW, besides being a flip answer, there are DNA changes that aren't meaningful for species. The human genome is fairly narrow that produces lots of variability without a "species change." I'm not sure how you can specify "species change" with DNA variation. Eye color, skin color, gender, etc, etc, are all DNA differences without species implications and there are genomes that aren't so narrow and allow "inter species" creation (i.e. Ligar) as well large variation within a species such as Dogs.) --DHeyward (talk) 04:28, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I have lots to say about this, as my research specialty is theoretical ecology of plant communities. Unfortunately I don't have much time work for free today :) The big thing everyone seems to be ignoring is that the number viable plant species depend on the community context, competition, dispersal, life history, predation, disturbance, and many other factors. The number of possible genetic combinations has nothing to do with the number of species you might expect to find in a given situation. For starters, see Chesson (2000 a,b), freely accessible here [23]. The main idea is that number of coexisting species that a system can support is limited by resident-invader differences in the covariances between environmental and competitive effects. The papers go into great detail on this if you can handle the math and follow some basic ecological terminology. If you're still interested next week, drop a line on my talk page and I'll be happy to discuss further. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:22, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
They don't seem to be asking about how many plant species can survive in one particular environment (E), but rather how many could exists (n) in every possible Earth environment (P). It's probably not as simple as n = E×P, either, as E varies widely, P is unknown, and there will be many species that could exist in multiple environments. Also note that in plants (as well as animals, etc.) with asexual reproduction, defining a species is even trickier. StuRat (talk) 15:52, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Funny, I would have thought that every possible Earth environment would include all specific and particular Earth environments. Please don't try to teach me to suck eggs until you've gotten a relevant PhD and published at least a few peer-reviewed papers about plant ecology ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:49, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Nice argument from authority fallacy. I hardly need a PhD in plant biology to be able to read a question correctly. Specifically, "randomize the shapes of the continents and their topography and when and where asteroids hits and the like" means the OP wants to know about all possible Earth environments, not merely those which currently exist. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
If you'd taken the time to read and understand the research I linked above, you'd have seen that the framework allows for descriptions of species coexistence in environments that don't exist on Earth, as well as plants that don't exist on Earth. You seem to think I'm interpreting the question incorrectly but don't seem to be understanding what I'm saying. Whether the OP thinks my refs and responses relevant is not for you to decide. Finally, I did not appeal to my authority to support my claims, my refs do that just fine. Rather, I appealed to a well-known saying, and implied that you're trying to give your opinion to an expert in the field, who most likely knows more about this than you do. Whatever, I'm happy to discuss this with OP further as I said above, but I have no more time for you today. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand what I said. Say you determine that environment X1 can support n1 species, and environment X2 can support n2 species. You can not then conclude that the total number of species environments X1 and X2 can support is n1+n2, because you don't know how many are in common. When you have thousands or millions of possible environments, the overlapping Venn diagrams become absurdly complex. So, how do you propose to calculate the total for all possible Earth environments ? Finding the number for an individual environment is interesting, but simply doesn't lead to an answer to this Q. Then there would be the issue of determining the number of possible environments that could possibly exist on Earth. And, again, no PhD is required to read the Q, and see that it's not what you are answering. StuRat (talk) 17:58, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I never said we'd sum the numbers of species. The relevant thing to get at overlaps in species distributions and overlapping environmental properties is Beta diversity. There's actually an entire body of research that explicitly addresses your sentences "Say" to "complex". Ok, now I'm done, have a nice day. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:27, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
vital advances plant evolution
  • How many species are physically possible is a meaningless question, since species can be genetically isolated due to differences in ploidy (chromosome number) but otherwise be indistinguishable. What really matters is the number of niches available and occupied.
Looking at the question ecologically, there are several different breakthroughs in plant evolution.
The first big question is photosynthesis in eukaryotes, assuming we are going to exclude bacteria from our definition of plants. There are plenty of different routes that evolution could have gone down to produce multicellular photosynthetic land organisms. It so happens that this has only really happened with the green plant phylum. But land plants could certainly have evolved from the red algae and green algae had the green algae not beat them to it. The former are still very important in the ocean, with kelp an example of a brown alga. There are several thousands of species of red and brown algae, and other types of algae, the classification is in flux.
The next two major advances on land were the development of vascular tissue, which allowed tall upright forms like ferns, rather than mosses, and of seeds, which allowed evolution independnt of the need of spores to swim through rain water to cause fertilization. These events caused the evolution of forests and the colonization of arid lands. Forests had evolved before amphibians and insects appeared on land, and there were seed plants by the time of the dinosaurs. During this time, however, plant diversity was much lower than it is today due to the vagaries of fertilization. Plant species tended to cover large areas of similar terrane such as todays boreal forests given distribution of pollen and seeds by the wind doesn't tend towards locally specialized species.
It was the development of the flower, and the mutual feedback between pollinators and food plants that allowed the huge boom in plant evolution that occurred with the arrival of guided fertilization. While there are only about 630 species of conifer, a very ancient group, there are some 25,000 species of orchid, a very small but highly specialized branch within the flowering plants. Many plants such as orchids have their own unique species of animal polinator. This means they can become highly specialized to microhabitats that are totally unavailable to plants like conifers. Some orchids are found only on specific mountains. Such evolution doesn't happen with more primitive plants; small ranges in them indicate either relict populations only found on certain islands or species headed toward extinction.
Even then, the total number of flowering plant species, which far outnumbers all other plants combined, is estimated to be only a few hundred thousand species.
In the end it comes down to what ecological niches are available to and accessible by plants. There are parasitic flowering plants, carnivorous flowering plants, flowering plants (e.g., bromeliads) that live in the branches of other flowering plants, flowering plants that are only fertilized by one species of flying organism, and flowering plants that are going extinct because the megafauna that ate their seeds, allowing them to germinate, have been hunted to extinction. μηδείς (talk) 00:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Galaxy merger - Andromeda and Milky Way[edit]

What will happen to the two supermassive black holes at the centers of the two galaxies when these two galaxies will merge? Will these two black holes merge to from a single black hole? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 05:28, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

yes Void burn (talk) 05:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

But supermassive black holes are much more powerful. Will not they engulf all the matter if they are disturbed? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 05:33, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Why would they engulf all matter? Black holes obey the same laws of gravity as anything else. Putting two of them together will release a great deal of energy in the merger, but the gravity won't be any stronger than the sum of the two black holes. Someguy1221 (talk) 05:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Why guess what could happen, when astronomers have already been studying it happen: let my type super massive black hole merger into google for you. (talk) 13:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, this week's Cosmic Video from Keck Observatory was Black Holes and the Fate of the Universe, presented by Dr. Günther Hasinger, directory of the Institute for Astronomy at University of Hawaii. This is part of the Keck Cosmic Summer School, and the videos are available at no cost. These videos are a great way to hear real scientists talking about cutting-edge research: it will help you see how they actually frame their questions.
Attention physics students: note that in his only slide with equations, the Director has conflated orbital velocity with escape velocity. Astronomers are the only scientists who can get away with such errors - a minor factor of 2x or 10x or 100x is just a "practical detail" in the field of astrophysics. Directors can get away with this type of thing, but when you calculate orbit velocity for your rocket, don't use the equation for escape velocity!.
The presentation discusses "mergers" of massive black holes, and black holes eating galaxy-sized masses, around 30 to 40 minutes into the video.
Nimur (talk) 13:38, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Might want to be a little careful. At the event horizon, the orbital velocity is the speed of light. It's also the escape velocity as it creates Hawking radiation. Ta daaa! --DHeyward (talk) 02:51, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

To elaborate a bit, you seem to be exhibiting a common misconception about black holes: that they're all-consuming monsters that want to devour everything. Black holes are just objects that obey the same laws of physics as everything else. The only point of difference is we aren't currently quite sure what happens inside their event horizons. For that, we need a full-fledged theory of quantum gravity. But outside the event horizon, the gravitational force of a black hole works the same as that of anything else, including you. Large (meaning "having a high mass") black holes are just very very massive, so they have a correspondingly strong gravitational pull, but things on the right trajectories will still orbit a black hole just like they orbit stars and planets—indeed, we are orbiting the black hole at the center of the galaxy right now. If our Sun were replaced by a black hole of equivalent mass, the whole Solar System would continue orbiting it just the same. Of course, most life on Earth would die since it's ultimately powered by the Sun, but nothing would change Earth's orbit. -- (talk) 15:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

It's probably a little early to say it's quantum gravity that is missing. All physics is a mathematical representation of observation. At the end of the 19th century, theoretical physics was "being wrapped up" as Newton and Maxwell had described evreything and there were just some small details that didn't fit. Those small details turned into quantum mechanics and relativity. We were wrong at both ends of the spectrum. Black holes appear as a singularity and I suspect the mathematics needed to describe will be as revolutionary as QM and GR. Planck time and all the things that currently defy the rules (or rather the things that make our observable approximations follow our models) --DHeyward (talk) 02:51, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

What will happen will depend on how much angular momentum they have, and the relative orientation of the spin. The binary black hole that comes about will orbit faster and faster. When a merger takes place an apparent non conservation of momentum can happen with a "kick' where the result can be pushed out at 1000km/second, gravitational waves carry the complementary momentum. Maybe the black hole will be ejected from the galaxy. Perhaps 5% of the mass will be lost as gravitational waves. Material taken for a ride may be ejected at high velocity, so stars may be sprayed in all directions from the merging core. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:19, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Does eating oatmeal increase or decrease the iron in the human body?[edit]

Oatmeal is rich in iron, but it seems that it hinders the absorption of iron by the body (see [24]].

Would consuming regularly some commercial product as Dr. Oetker's Oatmeal increase or decrease the iron level in the blood? Do producers enrich the product with iron to avoid a decrease of iron in the body?--Yppieyei (talk) 10:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Does Dr. Oetker's actually sell plain oatmeal ? A Google search yielded products containing oatmeal, but not the oatmeal itself. Here's their oatmeal muffin mix nutrition: [25]. At only 2% RDA iron, they apparently haven't added any.
And note that when iron is added, it's just to make their numbers look better, they don't actually care if it can be absorbed or not. StuRat (talk) 14:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Note that you're just being cynical and not doing any research or citing any references. Most forms of iron fortification do get absorbed by the body Human_iron_metabolism#Dietary_iron_uptake explains quite clearly that the common form of added iron is absorbed by the body at a rate of 10%-20% of intake. Animal sources of iron are absorbed at 15%-35% intake, but that is easily compensated by ingesting a bit more iron salts (Iron(II)_sulfate#Nutritional_supplement). Other forms of iron used for food fortification include Ferrous gluconate. Here's a nice report from the WHO that covers the use of food fortified with iron [26]. OP might like to take a look at that last link, it does list several foods and compounds that interfere with iron absorption. Finally, you don't even need fancy iron compounds if you get enough total iron, the Lucky Iron Fish [27] has already made huge improvements in anaemia levels, and that's just a simple lump of iron that you boil with your soup. Anemia#Oral_iron also has some good info on some of the common supplements and food additives. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:01, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I included a reference listing the iron content of one of their products. StuRat (talk) 15:24, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Duly noted, I should have said "any references that support your final claim" ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:27, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, in many countries, including the U.S., the government requires that refined grains be fortified with nutrients, including iron, that are found in the bran and cereal germ, which are removed during processing. Whole grains retain these, so they aren't required to be fortified. -- (talk) 15:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Train deceleration[edit]

Why do trains in Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea accelerate and decelerate so fast? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Because they can? Fast acceleration gets the train up to its very high maximum velocity quicker, and fast deceleration permits it to continue at maximum speed longer before stopping. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, let's look at some factors:
1) Reduces total trip time.
A) Uses up more energy, particularly in the rapid decel (as opposed to allowing the train to slowly decelerate due to friction). Some type of regenerative braking could reduce that.
B) In the case of traditional brakes, rapid decel causes wear on brake pads. However, in a maglev train, probably not, although heating might cause wear.
C) Can be uncomfortable for the passengers to undergo either rapid accel or decel, although depending on if the seat faces forwards or backwards, one of those should be easier on them than the other. Getting caught walking with a cup of coffee would be bad, too, so some warning would be appreciated. StuRat (talk) 18:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
So, they must feel the pros outweigh the cons. The main factor that might vary in Asian nations is more maglev trains, reducing concern over B. StuRat (talk) 18:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't actually use more energy for the acceleration or deceleration itself. It uses more power, but uses that for a shorter time. It also uses more energy due to the higher air resistance at the higher speeds achieved earlier, of course. Regenerative braking should be fairly standard for electric trains in most advanced countries today. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Of course, that's assuming that the energy-efficiency for the train's power plant is uniform at all power levels. Is this accurate for, say, the Shinkansen bullet train? Nimur (talk) 18:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
In reply to StuRat's C), the comfort of passengers is determined mainly by the rate of change of acceleration (see Jerk (physics)). This can be high even on slow British trains, and is regularly felt on slow buses especially if badly driven. Dbfirs 20:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
To take a slightly different epistemological angle, countries like Japan and South Korea have invested heavily in high-speed rail. This means the rail infrastructure tends to be designed for higher speeds. High-speed rail also generally is designed to allow trains to accelerate and decelerate more rapidly, since the whole point is to get people to their destinations quickly. It's kind of a waste if your train has a high top speed but it takes forever to get to that speed! Designing for high top speed and rapid velocity changes generally goes hand-in-hand anyway. Tracks need to be sturdy, level, and as straight as possible, trains need to be able to withstand high stresses and have powerful engines, etc. -- (talk) 18:28, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
They can accelerate and decelerate because each axle is a traction motor (see Electrical multiple unit). By distributing the traction engine, the train isn't limited by a central traction system. Every car is driven and the distributed mass and drive improves both acceleration and deceleration. It's all electrically driven. By contrast, diesel electric trains have electric motors only on the locomotive. Synchronizing all the axles is not trivial and is why it's not done everywhere and is one of the reasons high speed trains in Europe don't accelerate or decelerate as fast (see AVE Class 102 for example of high speed train in Spain that has only 2 drive units). Most braking is done using with either regenerative brakes or more commonly, Eddy current brakes so pad wear isn't an issue. --DHeyward (talk) 21:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
No, this is quite wrong. Provided that there is sufficient weight on the powered axles for the necessary traction to be achieved, the maximum acceleration of a train is determined by its power-to-weight ratio. It doesn't matter if there are a large number of small motors or a small number of large ones. The two "power cars" (locomotives) of that AVE class 102 have a total of 8 motors developing 1,000 kW each, and the train weighs 322 t (metric tons), so that's a ratio of 8,000/322 = about 25 kW/t. The N700 Series Shinkansen, built about the same time, has 56 small motors developing 305 kW each, and weighs 716 t, giving almost the same ratio at 17,080/716 = 24 kW/t. The acceleration capacity of the two trains should be about the same, provided that the AVE locomotives are heavy enough for the force from the motors to be practically used. Multiple-unit trains do have two big advantages (against a downside that is mostly in cost): they're easier on the track (no heavy locomotives) and they can be made to divide into shorter trains by simply uncoupling. But they don't have an advantage in performance. Also, there is no need to "synchronize the axles". -- (talk) 04:50, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
The original question implies that trains in Asian countries DO accelerate and decelerate at a greater rate than similar trains outside Asian countries. I'm skeptical. What is the evidence before us that there IS a significant difference in rates of acceleration and deceleration? Dolphin (t) 06:44, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Go ride them :). Japan most certainly accelerates faster. Spain acknowledges it in their design docs but it's not an issue on a long run, only when there are lots of stops. --DHeyward (talk) 07:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Your caveat is why it's not equal (and also why a car with wide driving tires accelerates quicker than narrow tires for the same power to weight ratio). In practical high-speed trains power to the motor is regulated and measures slippage and creep. Power has to be reduced when wheels starts slipping too much but slippage is required for maximum acceleration. By distributing the weight and a driving motor each with it's own power control, the available torque is much higher. There's much more driving wheel surface in contact with the rail, all the weight of the train is on driving wheels (it's all the normal force of the full train weight, not just normal force of the mover weight), and each motor is driving with the optimum slippage. Top end speeds are the same but acceleration is much greater in the distributed case because the motors are running with maximum tractive force throughout the acceleration cycle. Japan has many stations and stops so they use distributed motors to maximize acceleration but it doesn't help top speed. When acceleration is a significant factor in trip time, distributed is better. For that reason, N700 Series Shinkansen accelerates to top speed much quicker than the AVE class 102 even though top speed is about the same and your power to weight is about the same. Distributed power delivery and control must be coordinated (synchronized was a bad word considering its meaning wrt motors) and it is more complicated with EMU's and is not simple and it's more expensive. --DHeyward (talk) 07:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]

What do the galaxies, galaxy clusters and galaxy superclusters revolve around? Do they change place?[edit]

The Moon revolves around the Earth, the Earth revolves around the Sun, the Sun revolves around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Now a question will arise. What does the Milky Way revolve around? Is it that, like binary star system or triple star system, the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies revolve around themselves?

Do the galaxy groups also revolve around themselves? Do the galaxy superclusters also revolve around themselves?

But even if the galaxies, galaxy groups and galaxy superclusters revolve around themselves, this means they are fixed at a particular location in the Universe, they are not moving away from that place. The Sun is changing place within the Milky Way because it is revolving around the galactic center. But the galaxies, galaxy groups and galaxy superclusters are not revolving around something at the center of the Universe. So they are in a fixed place, right? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 02:30, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

The thing is, the moon doesn't technically orbit "the earth". The moon and the earth both orbit their common Barycenter. As far as galaxies go, they are definitely not "stationary", the discovery of this being one of the greatest discoveries of modern cosmology. , Vespine (talk) 04:22, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
It's all an illusion. Everything moves in a straight line. Mass and energy warp space to create the illusion. The 2D example is to travel on a great circle on the surface of the earth. You travel due east and eventually "orbit" to your origin but that doesn't change the straight line motion. The 2D plane you travel in is warped around a 3D sphere. Gravity warps 3D into at least 4D to appear to orbit. --DHeyward (talk) 04:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)


July 25[edit]

The Great Mathematical Problems review[edit]

A while ago I posted a message on Talk:The Great Mathematical Problems#Science News: I have found a review of The Great Mathematical Problems here, but I can't read beyond the first paragraph. I'm not sure if I'm in the right place here, but if anyone is able to access the review and summarise its main points under the Reception section of the book's article, that would be greatly appreciated. Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 15:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

Differential equation[edit]

What are the solutions of (f \circ g)' = g \circ f'? Examples include f arbitrary and g(x) = x, and f(x) = x2 and g = sin. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 01:33, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

an obscure root-finding problem[edit]

I expect the answer is No, but anyway: if y=r e^{x/r}, is there a closed expression for r given x,y? —Tamfang (talk) 08:40, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

There is! But it requires use of the non-elementary Lambert W function: r=\frac{-x}{W(-x/y)}. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:15, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Looks like I need to install SciPy. —Tamfang (talk) 19:56, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
...or work out the Taylor series (with y as the variable, in my application). —Tamfang (talk) 21:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

A closed expression is not necessarily useful. Set s = r–1. Then the equation is 0 = exs–ys. Expand the exponential: 0 =\sum_{k=0}^\infty a_k s^k=1+(x-y)s+\sum_{k=2}^\infty {x^k \over k!}s^k. Leave it here until you need numeric solutions. Bo Jacoby (talk) 22:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC).

Numeric solutions are, as it happens, all I need. —Tamfang (talk) 21:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If that. It hit me last night that the idea for which I asked this question was backward. Is that a valid reason to mark it Resolved? —Tamfang (talk) 06:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Let f(s)=\sum_{k=0}^\infty a_k s^k and f_N(s)=\sum_{k=0}^N a_k s^k. A root s in the algebraic equation 0= f_N(s) approximately solves the transcendental equation 0= f(s) when N is not too small. If you supply values for x and y I'll show you how to solve it. Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:54, 28 July 2015 (UTC).

July 28[edit]

"Root mean-n-power"[edit]

Let A be a (finite) sequence of b nonnegative real numbers with nth term denoted by an. Define F(m)= \sum^b_{k = 0} {a_k}^m.

For m = 1, \frac{F(1)}{b} is simply the ordinary mean, while \sqrt{\frac{F(2)}{b}} is the root mean square. We know that \lim_{m\to\infty} (F(m)/n)^{1/m} = \max(A) where max(A) is the biggest number of A, as can be demonstrated by L'hôpital's rule, assuming there is a unique maximum (i.e. there are not two numbers for max(A)).

My question is then whether I can claim the same in the continuous case. Let f(x) be a continuous function on the positive real line that doesn't take negative values. Then, over an interval [c, d] somewhere on the positive real line with d > c, G(m) = \int_c^d f(x)^m dx ; d could possibly be infinite, in which case it must be assumed that f vanishes sufficiently quickly for the integral to always converge. Unfortunately, my technique using L'hôpital's rule fails to resolve the question \lim_{m\to\infty}(G(m)/(d - c))^{1/m} because in a quotient of integrals (as I obtain) you cannot cancel factors in the integrands. I do know that integrals are defined as the limit of finite Riemann sums, each of which can have the discrete method for F applied, but I am also wary of the interchange of limiting operations.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

See also Power mean inequality. --JBL (talk) 19:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I had been looking for the name of the discrete case. And it turns out that it's not even necessary for max(A) to be unique.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Since f is continuous on a closed interval it has a maximum M and some x for which f(x)=M (I'll assume x \in (c,d) but the proof is the same if x is c or d). For every \epsilon>0 there is \delta>0 such that |t-x|<\delta\implies f(t)\ge M-\epsilon. Then G(m) = \int_c^df(t)^m\ dt \ge \int_{x-\delta}^{x+\delta}f(t)^m\ dt \ge \int_{x-\delta}^{x+\delta}(M-\epsilon)^m\ dt = 2\delta (M-\epsilon)^m. So (G(m)/(d-c))^{1/m} \ge (M-\epsilon)(2\delta/(d-c))^{1/m}. Since the second term goes to 1 as m\to\infty, \lim_{m\to\infty}(G(m)/(d-c))^{1/m} \ge M-\epsilon. This is true for every \epsilon so \lim_{m\to\infty}(G(m)/(d-c))^{1/m} \ge M. It is obviously not greater, so it is equal to the maximum. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 07:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. What an elegant proof that didn't even rely on interchanging limits!--Jasper Deng (talk) 08:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
More generally, a similar proof will show that for any measurable function f on a finite measure space (X,μ), \left(\int_X|f|^m\,d\mu\right)^{1/m} tends to the essential supremum of f as m\to\infty. (It's also true for an integrable function, without the assumption that the measure space is finite.) Sławomir
11:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]

General solution of heat equation in polar coordinates[edit]

As a followup to my earlier question, I figured that polar coordinates would offer the most promising route because I found that this region is most easily described in it. Firstly, if the rink is longer than it is wide (as are real rinks), then it can be transformed to the "square" (as long as it is wide) case that I can treat using ordinary polar coordinates using a simple change of variables (scaling). Secondly, it's easier to deal with edges defined by trigonometric functions than by the square roots you would need in the Cartesian coordinate system.

Still, to better understand the equation itself, I'm attempting to find a general solution for the circular case to see an example of a generalized Fourier series. But after separation of variables, it looks like I must put some artificial restrictions on the angular (theta) component for the solution to be meaningful. But that becomes the least of my problems. Here's my work.

Assume a solution in separated variables T(r, \theta, t) = R(r)F(\theta)G(t). Then \frac{FG}{r} \frac{\partial}{\partial r} ( r \frac{\partial R}{\partial r}) 
+ \frac{RG}{r^2} \frac{\partial^2 F}{\partial \theta^2} = \frac{RF}{\alpha}\frac{\partial G}{\partial t}.

Divide both sides by the product RFG and it becomes clear that since the left side is now only a function of r and theta, and the right side a function of only t, they must be equal to some constant which I will call -\lambda_1: \frac{1}{Rr} \frac{\partial}{\partial r} ( r \frac{\partial R}{\partial r}) + \frac{1}{Fr^2} \frac{\partial^2 F}{\partial \theta^2} = -\lambda_1 = \frac{1}{G\alpha}\frac{\partial G}{\partial t} (that constant will later be the cause of most of my headaches). We now have for G, \lambda_1\alpha G + \frac{dG}{dt} = 0, and for R and F, \frac{1}{Rr} \frac{d}{dr} ( r \frac{dR}{dr}) + \frac{1}{Fr^2} \frac{d^2 F}{d\theta^2} = -\lambda_1. Multiply the second equation by r2 on both sides and subtract the first term on the left hand side from both sides: \frac{1}{F}\frac{d^2F}{d\theta^2} = -\lambda_1r^2 - \frac{r}{R}\frac{d}{dr}(r\frac{dR}{dr}). The left only depends on theta and the right only on r, so again they must both be equal to a constant -\lambda_2: \frac{1}{F}\frac{d^2F}{d\theta^2} = -\lambda_2 = -\lambda_1r^2 - \frac{r}{R}\frac{d}{dr}(r\frac{dR}{dr}). So we have three separate linear ordinary differential equations for each of R, F and G:

  1. \lambda_1\alpha G + \frac{dG}{dt} = 0
  2. \lambda_2 F + \frac{d^2F}{d\theta^2} = 0
  3. r^2\frac{d^2R}{dr^2} + r\frac{dR}{dr} + (\lambda_1r^2 - \lambda_2)R = 0

The solution of the first two of course is easy. The third is a bit trickier; the change of variables x = \sqrt{\lambda_1}r transforms it into Bessel's equation, and the Bessel function I want is that of the first kind: R_{\lambda_1, \lambda_2} = C_0J_\sqrt{\lambda_2}(\sqrt{\lambda_1}r). Here is one part I am not sure of: I don't want weird behavior at the origin so I don't want the Bessel function of the second kind. Is this really wise though?

Proceeding further, it becomes clear that F must be 2pi-periodic, so that I don't have a jump discontinuity at theta = 0, 2pi. This rules out \lambda_2 < 0 because the sum of two exponentials won't have this property. Then I must have F_{\lambda_2} = C_1\sin(\sqrt{\lambda_2}\theta) + C_2\cos(\sqrt{\lambda_2}\theta). For this to be 2pi-periodic, \sqrt{\lambda_2} must be an integer; hence it must be a nonnegative integer. This is also good news because the Bessel function of the first kind now becomes entire (while that of the second kind will still have an undesirable singularity).

There's no such restriction on \lambda_1, although to avoid complex numbers it too would have to be nonnegative.

The issue (along with that of not using Bessel functions of the second kind) is that a Fourier-Bessel series, which I wanted to use for the radial component, can only be used for a Bessel function of a single order, not of variable order. How would I decompose an initial value function using what I obtained here? It would appear that I have to appeal to an "inner product" of these functions involving a double integral over the disk rather than relying on being able to calculate univariate generalized Fourier series in each variable alone. Does anyone know which inner product on the disk these are orthogonal with respect to?--Jasper Deng (talk) 06:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Why not call the constants -\lambda_1^2 and -\lambda_2^2 to obtain a tiny simplification with not cost? Bo Jacoby (talk) 07:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC).
Generally when I separate variables, I have no expectation that the square root is the only way the constants show up. Indeed, for the equation for G there is no square root taken. When I build a generalized Fourier series, I use something other than them anyways. This is mainly a notational convention I was taught to use, especially when I had no expectation of the form of the solutions.--Jasper Deng (talk) 07:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
When the square root shows up you may regret your choice before submitting the problem to the public:
  1. \lambda^2\alpha G + \frac{dG}{dt} = 0
  2. \mu^2 F + \frac{d^2F}{d\theta^2} = 0
  3. r^2\frac{d^2R}{dr^2}+r\frac{dR}{dr}+(\lambda^2 r^2-\mu^2)R=0
  4. x = \lambda r
  5. R_{\lambda, \mu} = C_0 J_{\mu}(\lambda r)
Bo Jacoby (talk) 16:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC).
You fed in that the angular component needs to be periodic, which gives a strong restriction on \lambda_2. You need to do something similar with the radial component, and impose zero boundary conditions (the "free" Bessel functions appear because the Fourier transform on R^2 has a continuous spectrum in the radial directions, but this discretizes when we restrict to a disc). It seems to me that the "natural" Bessel functions for this problem are J_0, because these are the eigenfunctions of the radial Laplacian. The differential operator L(f) = r^{-1} (rf')' is self-adjoint with respect to the inner product \int_0^1 f(r)g(r)\, rdr that one gets by integrating radial functions in polar coordinates. So there's a basis of eigenfunctions, of the form J_0(u_n r), where the u_n are the positive zeros of J_0 (here I'm assuming that the radius of the disc has been normalized to 1). The general solution will then be of the form A+B where A is a particular solution with nonzero boundary conditions (which we can use ordinary Fourier series to write in the form J_0(r)\sum c_n e^{-n^2t+in\theta}), and B is a solution with zero boundary conditions that will be of a Fourier-Bessel form. I should add that to to this in dimension four and higher, you will use Bessel functions J_{n/2-1}, because these are the eigenfunctions of the radial Laplacian in n dimensions. It seems like we can solve the problem without Bessel functions in three dimensions, since the radial eigenfunctions are basically just exponentials in that case. Sławomir
13:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Would this not then put further restrictions on \lambda_1, \lambda_2? I feared that by using a Bessel function of only a single order I could lose some generality. In particular, wouldn't choosing J_0 imply \lambda_2 = 0 and then my angular component becomes constant? I'm still elementary with solving in more than one spatial dimension (I usually have not been asked to perform separation of variables in more than one spatial dimension).--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

July 31[edit]


July 26[edit]

history of the current european immigration laws.[edit]

Please do not publicize my Ip. I am a contributor to Wikipedia and probably have an account. My questions is this: how do I go about finding info in Wikipedia as to the history of the current European countries immigration laws?

Thank you,

Ilona Proska

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:243:1:9385:6040:9d25:aaed:dc37 (talkcontribs)

To clarify the message you were shown before posting without logging in:
"You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits."
If you have an account but post without logging in, your IP address is automatically logged. See WP:IP.
If ypu need help to recover your password &/or username, check Help:Reset_password
On your question, try Immigration law. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 04:54, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia English or American?[edit]

I know the language of Wikipedia is supposed to be British-English, not American-English. My question is not about language, it is about, how should I put it, which mentality, which way of thinking, which standards. Thanks. Akseli9 (talk) 11:32, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Confusingly and irritatingly, it is both, depending on the article subject and/or who originally wrote it. See WP:ENGVAR. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:39, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Who says "the language of Wikipedia is supposed to be British-English, not American-English"....? "The English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other." Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:42, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
... and the fundamental standards of Wikipedia are the five pillars. I don't think these are particularly British or American. How could you tell ? Gandalf61 (talk) 11:56, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Canadian English exists too, eh? InedibleHulk (talk) 06:27, July 28, 2015 (UTC)
Debatable. Face-grin.svg General Ization Talk 19:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
In some respects, it's actually French. The "Wikipedia mentality" (openness, collaboration, pursuit of knowledge, objectivism, the view that the common people can contribute, etc.) derives in large part from Enlightenment philosophy, which comes from all across Western Europe, but it often identified most closely with French thinkers. More directly, it stems from similar views as the open-source movement and free software movement (both worldwide, but associated with American "founders") - but applied to knowledge, rather than software. Even more directly, Wikipedia was created in America by Americans (Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger), but with the intent of a global reach. -- (talk) 17:45, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

American neutrality or common mistake?[edit]

Thank you all for your useful comments and links. As I said, my question was not about the language and British-English (thanks again for the links). I have a question about the article July 24, and in general, about the way we should handle notable people's place of birth, nationality, and appurtenance (where people belong, where people feel they belong). In such article as the July 24 article, I can find many examples of what I would call a typically American way of thinking people's nationality, people's appurtenance. My question is, is it just a mistake by one random contributor, or is it more about an American logics of assigning nationalities and appurtenances?

There would then be a subsidiary question about the choice of forgetting "West-" and keeping only "German", for people whose notability exists only within the cold war period when there were two distinct Germanies. Makes me recall also the Yugoslavian example, which is sometimes wrongly replaced by "Slovenian" or "Serbian" or such.

Thanks. Akseli9 (talk) 09:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry Akseli9, I don't understand the question. Specifically: I don't know what you mean by "American" or "British" mentalities or standards. What is a "typically American way of thinking people's nationality, people's appurtenance", and which ones do you think might be "mistakes"? Iapetus (talk) 12:13, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry for being so unable to make myself clearer. With the help of your focussed questions we shall eventually reach the point. I think a "typically American way of thinking people's nationality, people's appurtenance", is to view it the way they view it in American countries (especially the US but I'm thinking also of Brasil). In such article as the July 24 article, you find a list of people who sometimes are just "American", and sometimes can be "South-African American", or "Polish-American", etc. You find also some Germans who according to precedent contributor was not German but "West-German". You find also that interesting case of a French who was born in French Algeria (before 1962, thus not in Algeria), who according to some contributors, becomes an "Algerian-French" or an "Algerian-born". My focussing on American logics comes from the fact that American culture is so omnipresent in our very lives and indeed thoughts, I was wondering if this way of assigning nationalities to people, was perhaps coming from this constant americanization of ours? One obvious mistake in the July 24 article or in her own article, was to consider French alpinist Catherine Destivelle as an "Algerian-born" or as an "Algerian-French", but I'm wondering whether there could be a lot of similar mistakes in the entire encyclopedy? Akseli9 (talk) 12:40, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Please give an example or two of where someone is described as "American" and you think it is a mistake. Regarding your example, it is not a "mistake" to describe someone as French-Algerian rather than French. This is a matter of opinion and Wikipedia style, and it is not as clear-cut as you seem to believe it is. Furthermore, you seem to think that describing someone's nationality in a particular way is somehow a distinctively American thing to do, which is also incorrect. --Viennese Waltz 12:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In the July 24 article, Robert Graves is described as an English-Spanish. In the same article, Ed Mirvish is considered an American-Canadian. These two examples are just two quick picks I could pick at first glance. Please tell me (no irony here I just would like to understand) how is it not a mistake? What makes Robert Graves a Spaniard? The fact that he spent his last years and died in Spain? What makes Ed Mirvish an American? Just because he was born in the US? But more on topic of my original questions, how can it be that unimportant to misassign a nationality to someone? Akseli9 (talk) 13:47, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about Graves, but Ed Mirvish states that he was born in the US, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Austria, and moved to Canada when he was nine. So what do you think that makes him? He could be described as American, Canadian, Lithuanian-Austrian or any combination of those, and (this is the point) they would all be correct. Calling him "American-Canadian" is not "misassigning his nationality". You seem to think this stuff is black-and-white, when it clearly is not. --Viennese Waltz 13:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand your point, now please try to understand my question: Isn't it so American to think this stuff can be left loose and to think it can so easily cope with mistakes and approximations? Akseli9 (talk) 14:07, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Your question proceeds from a misapprehension, that describing someone's nationality in a particular way is a mistake, loose or approximate. As to whether describing someone's nationality in a particular way is a distinctively American thing, no it is not. Going back to your original point about the supposed cultural bias of Wikipedia on this matter, bear in mind that the description of people's nationalities in these articles is the result of an edit made by a single contributor, which can always be amended or reverted by another contributor. Those contributors come from all over the world, and there is no evidence that nationalities are described in response to any particular cultural viewpoint. --Viennese Waltz 14:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
So, if I understand correctly all you said, you wouldn't mind if someone corrected Robert Graves' line and took away his qualification as a Spaniard, making him a mere English author, poet, and scholar, not Spanish anymore? You would think that the matter is not as clear-cut as you would need to revert such edit, right? Akseli9 (talk) 16:04, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
But things may work differently if the revert is by another user. You should be able to build upon this nonetheless if you want to argue Graves as a British expatriate rather than as an dual citizen, the former is how he's viewed regarding that matter, by The Guardian. Not a one-off either regarding Graves, from the Guardian [28]. --Askedonty (talk) 18:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Whether Wikipedia's article describes Graves as English or English/Spanish is a matter for debate on that article's talk page and by reference to any policy or guideline on the matter. According to this site he lived in Spain from the age of 34 onwards. Does that make it wrong to describe him as Spanish? No, because there is no right and wrong in this matter. You think it's wrong to describe him as English-Spanish because he wasn't born in Spain, yet you also think it is wrong for Ed Mirvish to be described as American-Canadian even though he wasn't born in Canada. Make up your mind. --Viennese Waltz 19:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
There is not the slighest doubt in my mind that Robert Graves is English (or British) and that he is not Spanish. There is not the slighest doubt in my mind that Ed Mirvish is not American, not Austrian, not Lithuanian, that Ed Mirvish is Canadian. The doubt in my mind is that I believe people who see that stuff your way are Americans, not Europeans. About this I'm not so sure, thus my original questions. Akseli9 (talk) 19:44, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
A person can be English by nationality, British by citizenship, Spanish by residence, French by adoption, and a citizen of the world by common consent. It all depends on what exactly you're talking about. Also, saying that someone is "Spanish" (by whichever of the preceding measures may apply) is not the same as saying they are "a Spaniard". I think there's more than a subtle difference between those words. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
By that argument, Douglas Jardine was an Indian cricketer, and Rudyard Kipling was an Indian poet. Hmmm... Tevildo (talk) 21:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
And J. M. Coetzee is an Australian Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and Albert Einstein was an American scientist. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Well I'm British, not American, so there you go. --Viennese Waltz 20:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The Graves change was made about a year ago, by a still-active account.[29] You could ask him why he made the change. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
On Wiki voyage American English is wholeheartedly rejected. Only "british-English" is allowed. Void burn (talk) 23:28, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Another reason to avoid it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and one could ask also why it doesn't seem to bother that the two articles are inconsistent. Akseli9 (talk) 03:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
It clearly bothers you, so I recommend you talk to the editor who made the change a year ago and ask him why. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:09, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
My question was not about one single example that I quickly picked out of a long list. My question was about how should we handle nationalities in general in this Encyclopedia. Akseli9 (talk) 07:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
And as I've already said, that is a matter of Wikipedia style, policy and guidance. The only guidance I've found on the matter is in WP:MOSBIO: "In most modern-day cases this [i.e. the given nationality] will mean the country of which the person is a citizen, national or permanent resident, or if notable mainly for past events, the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable." You're welcome to apply this guidance to any article on Wikipedia. You might wish to discuss any changes you wish to make on the article's talk page before doing so, although this is not mandatory and you might encounter resistance. That's how this encyclopedia is made. --Viennese Waltz 07:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Albert Einstein long cat quote[edit]

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." -Albert Einstein [30][31]

Did Einstein really say this? If so, is there an authoritative source proving it?

I have a feeling this is a recently invented quote that's mis-attributed to him, since it sounds suspiciously like the the mash-up of two memes: longcat and series of tubes. My other car is a cadr (talk) 12:08, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

[32] gives an anteceding quote a date of 1866. Result: Not Einstein. Collect (talk) 12:29, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks.My other car is a cadr (talk) 14:14, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Not so fast! The 1866 version was only about the telegraph, not radio. The punch line that with radio "the dog is imaginary" was not added, according to the source Collect cited, until 1917. Of course that doesn't mean that Einstein said it; but it does mean that we can't rule it out on the grounds of the date alone: his career as a physicist was well established by then. However, according to the same source, the 1917 version was originally rendered in "heavy dialect", and Einstein's name was not mentioned in connection with it or with a 1924 version that's close to the one we were asked about. I'd say that makes it extremely unlikely that it was him. -- (talk) 21:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not in The New Quotable Einstein. That doesn't prove he didn't say it, and not everything he ever said is in there, but it's the sort of quote likely to get a guernsey if it were authentic. (The internet has spawned a whole new industry of misattributed quotations, some of which are patently absurd and obviously made up, but which then get copied as gospel truth and enter the belief systems of people who don't know any better, who often then strenuously defend the veracity of the attributions because first impressions last.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:38, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Schrödinger: "Hold on there, Albie. Maybe there's a cat, and maybe there isn't. Did you look?" Clarityfiend (talk) 22:34, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

Oldest named animal[edit]

Who was the oldest historically verifiable animal (not myths or gods) given a name? An animal older than Bucephalus. Are there any records/documents in which a pet dog or cat or warhorse is given a name/refer to by a name dating prior to the 4th century BC?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

[33] People in ancient Egypt gave names to their dogs - as evidenced by names on their collars. Say 3000 BCE or so. Cats appear to have been generally called "Cat" ("Mau" or "Miw") or the like - but since they were gods, giving one a demeaning name would have been problematic <g>. Collect (talk) 02:15, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
If I had to guess (and I do, because there are two question marks in the IPA pronunciation), that dog named himself. Like Polkaroo or McGruff. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:25, July 30, 2015 (UTC)
Or no, I don't have to guess. Someone else already did in the article. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:29, July 30, 2015 (UTC)

Christian missionaries involved in Mangareva and the Gambier Islands[edit]

I'm trying to understand Catholic missionaries that were active in Mangareva and the Gambier Islands in the 19th century besides Honoré Laval. I know of Francois Caret, Columba Murphy, Cyprien Liausu, Étienne Jérôme Rouchouze, and Louis Désiré Maigret. Can somebody help me out with finding names of additional missionaries in the islands at the time?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Here’s one more: Frère Gilbert Soulié [34] who came in May 1835 with Mgr Etienne Rouchouze. I don't know how you feel about original research, but the Pipcuiens have a website with an email address [35] If you were able to get in touch with Père André Mark (former archivist for the fathers), who wrote that article that mentions Soulié, he might have a list of all the Pipuciens that went to Gambier Islands. (talk) 01:34, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Why would Congress want an even number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court?[edit]

I was reading the introductory paragraphs in this article: List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States by court composition. It seems that there were many times during which our U.S. Supreme Court had an even number of seats. Why would the legislators desire that? I always assumed that, in situations such as this, an odd number of voters is preferable (to avoid ties and "split" courts). An even amount of "voters" (justices) makes no sense. What would be the rationale or the thinking back then? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:33, 27 July 2015 (UTC) --KAVEBEAR (talk) 05:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Very interesting article. Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
A tie vote, as I'm sure you're aware, affirms the lower court's decision. I suppose that there could be some political edge to a court that would have a predisposition to affirm, but I'm not sure what it is. GregJackP Boomer! 06:20, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Excellent question. One possible political edge/advantage might be judicial stability? Maintaining the status quo? That is, cases getting affirmed (i.e., settled) more often than being "disturbed" (changed). I guess that can be an advantage, though not necessarily a political one. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
(EC):Technically "ties" in the Supreme Court aren't considered ties. A "tie" in the Supreme Court is treated the same as "win" for the defendant (the lower court's decision remains in effect). SCOTUS tradition holds that ""no affirmative action can be had in a cause where the judges are equally divided in opinion as to the judgment to be rendered or order to be made."[36] This happens more often that you'd think, even with an odd number of appointed Justices, mostly due to a Justice recusing him/herself, but also due to the President not being able to get his nominee confirmed in time to hear cases. Even with today's full nine Justice panel, a 5-4 (or sometimes even a 6-3) ruling is still often considered a "split court", especially if one of the majority issues a concurring opinion that differs substantially from the majority opinion. And while that doesn't change the outcome of the case, it considerably weakens it and can leave a lot of issues open for scrutiny in later cases. So, having an odd number of seats isn't as important as it may seem at first blush.
No, a tie is not the same as a win for the respondent (the side that won in the lower court). See Supreme Court of the United States#Decision. It's the same as regards the outcome that particular case, but it's deemed not to establish a precedent; very likely a similar case will be appealed to settle the question as soon as there are 9 justices available. -- (talk) 07:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Excellent point. That is a very subtle – but critical – distinction. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
As to your question, I believe the thinking behind having an even number of seats was that a 4-2 ruling, for example, was clear-cut and made more of a statement than would a 4-3 ruling. Also, as our article Supreme Court of the United States says near the top: "Because the full Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was also made by two-thirds (voting four to two)." Also in that same article, it points out that the Court grew with the nation, adding Justices for each new judicial circuit created. "As the nation's boundaries grew, Congress added justices to correspond with the growing number of judicial circuits: seven in 1807, nine in 1837, and ten in 1863." The number of Justices wasn't fixed at nine until 1869. Then there was FDR's attempt to pack the Court, but that's a different story.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 06:22, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, all. I just read the article linked above (And Then There Were Eight). It states: "Alternately, a 4-4 tie would send the case back to lower courts—either to the states or the federal circuits." So, that statement is incorrect? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 07:31, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
If you read the sentence in context, it's clear that the author means "sends the case back unchanged", i.e. lets the lower courts decision stand. The phrasing is a bit unfortunate, but its not strictly wrong. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I see your point. But, it doesn't really "send anything back", correct? It just allows the lower decision to stand. Or does it "send it back" to the lower court, and then the lower court has to "do" something? (Like "affirm" its last decision?) Or "enter" its last decision as a final judgment? Is there anything "physical" or "affirmative" that the lower court has to "do", once the Supreme Court sends it back? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 08:19, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
An order is entered saying, "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court." A copy of the order is sent to the lower court for their formal information, but it doesn't direct the lower court to do anything. Since the Supreme Court usually grants certiorari to review final judgments (in state-court cases that's usually a jurisdictional requirement, and in federal cases it's a factor considered in deciding a cert. petition), that will usually mean the case will be over; but in some circumstances the case would continue in the lower court, just as if the Supreme Court hadn't granted cert. to begin with. Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:36, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
While the information provided above is generally accurate, the answer to the original question has been kind of lost. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the number of Justices corresponded to the number of judicial circuits. This is because each Justice sat as the Circuit Justice of a Circuit and, for many years, the Justices actually "rode circuit" and held court within their respective circuits. So, for example, when additional states were admitted and warranted creation of an Eighth Circuit, an eighth justice was added to the Court, and likewise later for a tenth justice. The issue of equally divided votes within the Supreme Court itself does not appear to have received a great deal of attention at that time. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:21, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Mute turns verbose[edit]

I read once about someone who went on to become famous (possibly a philosopher) who was mute as a child until aged four or five he came out with, as his first words, a long and complex sentence, possibly witty, which was aimed at a servant and possibly began with the word, "Madam". Can anyone help from these slender clues? --Dweller (talk) 08:53, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I think you are talking about Thomas Babington Macaulay. I don't think he was mute before, but on having had hot coffee spilt on him at the age of three, is said to have announced: "Thank you, Madam, the agony is sensibly abated". The story is recounted here, but I observe it is not in our article or in wikiquote:Thomas Babington Macauley. --ColinFine (talk) 09:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That looks right, thanks. Wonder where I got the mute bit from? --Dweller (talk) 09:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In the version I read, he had not previously spoken up to that point; there may have been confusion in variant accounts between "mute" meaning "not speaking" and "mute" meaning "unable to speak." {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm reminded of a joke, which when told to me was about a young German boy though the gender and nationality probably varies based on who's telling it. The boy had not spoken for the first five years of his life. Finally one day when his mother serves him some cold schnitzel, he tells his mother that it's cold. At that she exclaims "You can speak!" He says "Of course I can." She asks, "Why have you not spoken until now?" and the boy responds "Up until now, everything was satisfactory." Dismas|(talk) 13:54, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
You beat me to it! Yes, that's an oldie of unknown origin. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Deleuze & Guattari[edit]

How exactly did they co-write Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus? Did they sit down together and thrash out every sentence between them? Did one of them write certain parts alone and the other redrafted it? Etc. --Viennese Waltz 09:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

My understanding was that it was almost entirely done through letters, but mostly assembled into the final product by Deleuze. But page 84 (and elsewhere) in this book talks about it specifically: Deleuze and Guattari by Ronald Bogue. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Biographical research....[edit]

Any experts on Mid 19th century hymanls? see-

There are some entries that are surnames only, or in some case INITALS only.

It would be nice to expand them, response here or at wikisource. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Not an answer to your question, ShakespeareFan00, but you can wikilink to other Wikimedia projects. eg. [[q:Talk:A Comprehensive Index of Names of Original Authors and Translators of Psalms and Hymns]] displays as q:Talk:A Comprehensive Index of Names of Original Authors and Translators of Psalms and Hymns. --ColinFine (talk) 17:50, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Why did France declare war on Britain in 1793?[edit]

Why did France declare war on Britain in 1793? I know tensions had been worsening since the execution of Louis XIV earlier in 1793, but it was France that declared war on Britain. And I wanted to know what the specific reasons the French Republic gave to justify opening war with the UK. --Gary123 (talk) 23:33, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

England was rather hawkish - and had expelled the French Ambassador it seems before the declaration of war, with the war basically seeming a tad mutual by that point. As for "reasons for war" - the war had already started a year or so earlier - and had the "usual reasons" I suppose. Collect (talk) 23:44, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Most likely a preemptive strike since they also declared war on the Dutch Republic in 1793 and the region was of strategic value to the British defense from a continental invasion. Also France was pretty much at war with almost every major nation in Europe during this period. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 23:46, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Although they don't really specifically answer the question, our articles about this are French Revolutionary Wars and War of the First Coalition. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
According to Carlyle: "England declares war,-- being shocked principally, it would seem, at the condition of the River Scheldt. Spain declares war; being shocked principally at some other thing; which doubtless the Manifesto indicates. (23d March, Annual Register, p. 161.) Nay we find it was not England that declared war first, or Spain first; but that France herself declared war first on both of them; (1st February; 7th March, Moniteur of these dates.)-- a point of immense Parliamentary and Journalistic interest in those days, but which has become of no interest whatever in these." Tevildo (talk) 13:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

No dark ages in middle east[edit]

Why wasn't there a dark age after Muslim armies conquered the Middle East like there was in Europe after Germanic armies invaded Europe?

There wasn't really one in Europe either, it was just invented by people in the Renaissance who had ridiculously high opinions of themselves. See Dark Ages (historiography). Adam Bishop (talk) 09:12, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I thought pretty much the opposite: that the term was invented by a bloke* who had a high opinion of the period preceding the Dark Ages? *who arguably lived before the Renaissance, but leave that to one side --Dweller (talk) 09:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Read Bryan Ward-Perkins The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization: the case for the fall of Rome leading to a heavy decline in quality of living is pretty strong. Although "Dark ages" is perhaps still an unfair term for the period I guess."Brustopher (talk) 20:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand the question. What's the purpose of the last part ("like there was in Europe") if "Muslim armies" didn't conquer Europe? Asmrulz (talk) 09:38, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Aren't the early Middle Ages until the time of Charlemagne called the dark ages?

Historically I tend to think of places like Egypt and Asia Minor as being more toward the "center of civilization" with the largest access to a wide range of knowledge. I think if you look at the great physicians and inventors of the Roman Empire, a lot of them came from or lived in points east. The Romans are typically given credit for absorbing a lot of knowledge from the Greeks, and held only temporary or tenuous control over much of Europe. So medicinal herbs such as opium, which was a mainstay of the surgical procedures of antiquity, became essentially unknown in Europe once trade collapsed, forcing the adaptation of local substitutes of varying effectiveness; by the time Paracelsus came back with his "stones of immortality" it sounded like witchcraft.
Of course today, with the brutal events in the news and isolation from world trade and science, it seems like the Middle East has fallen almost completely into a lasting Dark Age - I'm thinking really though credit goes at least all the way back to Wahhabi for this one; also the Ottoman Empire's status as the "sick man of Europe" seems relevant. The fall of empires such as Rome didn't happen in a year or a century ... it was very slow, and not altogether monotonic. Wnt (talk) 10:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Whatever you call the period from the Late Roman Empire (at least in the West) to maybe the 11th or 12th century, didn't urban life, economic life, especially the monetary economy, the centers of learning, intellectual and artistic life and population size all experience a drastic reduction in Western Europe, if not a collapse? But by the 11th century or 12th century I think Europe was experiencing a resurgence. So this may not necessarily coincide with the traditional concept of the "Dark Ages". Contact Basemetal here 10:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
My understanding of the primary meaning of the term is that, to quote from the lede of the Article, "the period is characterized by a relative scarcity of historical and other written records at least for some areas of Europe, rendering it obscure to historians." That there was no comparable "Dark Age" in the period of Muslim domination of the Middle East the OP refers to is because the Muslim cultures of the time (as well as many of those over which they held sway) were relatively literate and there are a good deal of surviving records.{The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Western Europe had its Dark Ages hundreds of years ago. The Middle East's Dark Age is happening now.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:43, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
How so? Adam Bishop (talk) 14:51, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
When religion becomes the major focus of society, learning ceases. Ergo, the dark ages. It happened with Christianity, now it is happening with Islam, where changes are opposed for religious reasons, and you have religious zealots create crusades or jihads. GregJackP Boomer! 15:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Nah. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:04, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I guess the Condemnation of 1277 didn't really happen. Nor did Michael Servetus get burned at the stake either, for teaching things that the Church disapproved of, like the circulatory system and non-trinatarian issues. Or Giordano Bruno, or any number of others. I guess that the pope didn't order Galileo to abandon heliocentricism.
  • "The Dark Ages were ushered in not by barbarians but by the fundamentalist ideologues and bookburners of the church hierarchy who waged a systematic war of repression not only against the Roman classical religion and other faiths (including dissident Christian ones) but against mostforms of secular learning and literacy itself." Michael Parenti, Blaming the barbarians, 58 Humanist 38 (1998).
  • We are seeing the same thing today, where religious fundamentalists are trying to stop the teaching of science. GregJackP Boomer! 03:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The Condemnation of 1277 targeted the religious claims favoring astrology and an eternal world with no beginning, not scientific claims. Furthermore, the ideas could be studied by theologians as historical beliefs, they just couldn't be taught as true. To draw a modern parallel, one cannot teach the Mahayuga cycle as scientific fact, but you can learn about it in the religious studies department.
Michael Servetus was executed by Calvinists, not the Catholic church, and was executed purely for religious teachings. Was that wrong on civil grounds? Yes. But it had nothing to do with science.
Giordano Bruno was executed because of his theological teachings, such as pantheism. Again, wrong on civil grounds, but still ecumenical politics unrelated to science. Unless you want to claim that every star in the universe does indeed have its own Earth, with another you who is doing things slightly differently, so that some form of everyone gets into Heaven. And no, Bruno wasn't suggesting multiverse theory, he didn't know about wave-particle duality.
The Pope ordered Galileo to teach his ideas as hypothetical until he got more evidence for them, but was otherwise fine with them being taught. Galileo's response was equivalent of some modern worker starting up a blog (with no attempts to hide names) titled "my boss is a shithead and I'm totally going to beat him up" and wondering why he gets fired. If Galileo hadn't been so blockheaded about it, he would said "fine," taught the ideas as a hypothesis, and used his students to help him gather evidence. Instead, he chose to start shit.
I guess there wasn't an entire medieval religious movement dedicated to education, which developed the scientific method, and introduced Europe to optics, magnetism, and gunpowder. I guess Occam's razor wasn't named after a Franciscan friar. I guess a pope didn't promote Arabic numerals in Europe and reintroduce Western Europe to the abacus, armillary sphere, and Aristotle. I guess a pope didn't try to hire professors for universities or call for Western Europe to study Greek. I guess the Black Death was a plot by the Catholic Church to force people to focus more on surviving.
Pretending that the relationship between science and religion is only negative only plays into the "religion vs science" narrative that your average Young Earth Creationist buys into. It's also historical revisionism rooted in early modern Protestant sectarianism. Ian.thomson (talk) 04:49, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Right. To put things more simply, GregJackP may have noticed that these things took place up to 1000 years after the "Dark Ages" and for the most part did not even occur in the Middle Ages at all. We're not even having remotely the same conversation here. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. I think presenting learning and religion as opposites is a simplistic caricature. Religion was still a major focus in Europe during the Renaissance. Gandalf61 (talk) 16:12, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The Crusades reintroduced ancient Greek thought to Europe. The problem wasn't that Europe was arguably more religious, the problem was that they simply didn't have much data available due to larger problems completely disconnected from religion. Imagine that you've got three siblings growing up, and you've know for a fact that one of them's going to die before you turn 10, and another before you turn 20 -- if you don't die yourself. When you're old enough to work the fields, that's what you do. The Church is actually willing to try to teach you how to read, even read some Latin, all for free, though you can't afford the private lessons or the equipment to learn how to write. That's nice and all, but it's not going to stop your children from starving -- but despite knowing that, you don't really know for sure what is going to stop your children from starving.
Now, in that situation, you might say that the peasant was the religious one -- but they would have said "no, religion is the priest's job." The idea that religion should be the focus of one's life usually resulted in charges of heresy (see Cathars, Meister Eckhart), and was something that markedly separated early Protestantism from the Catholicism of the time.
If anything, learning and religion were tied together in the middle ages, and even in the renaissance, when the thinking "to know the world is to know the mind of God" became popular.
The idea that education or science was worse in the middle ages because of religion is the irreligious (originally Protestant/anti-Catholic) equivalent to the Fundamentalist evangelical claim that homosexuality destroyed Rome -- a religious myth that replaces history. Ian.thomson (talk) 12:30 pm, Today (UTC−4)
Assuming that the questioner is referring to the drastic drop in standard of living and cultural achievement in Europe in the 5th and 6th centuries, the Muslim conquest of the Middle East was very different from the barbarian invasions of western Europe. The barbarians who invaded western Europe were interested in looting and personal aggrandizement. Few showed much interest in maintaining state structures, the well-being of the public, or cultural achievement. Also, their conquest itself caused economic harm partly due to pillaging but also through their disruption of trade routes and the institutions that facilitated economic activity. By contrast, the conquering Muslims had as their ideological goal the establishment of a just and righteous society. (See Rashidun Caliphate.) While the wars of conquest certainly involved destruction, once the conquest was complete, the Muslim conquerors, especially under Umar, aimed to maintain social order and promote economic activity, not least to boost tax revenues. Also, unlike the barbarian invaders of Europe, early Muslims valued learning, probably in part because of the centrality of the Quran to their religion. Marco polo (talk) 18:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Germanic people overrunning the western part of the Roman Empire was a consequence, not a cause, of the collapse of the political and economic structures there. Already around 300 the capital of the empire was moved to the East, then people tried to mess with political structures (Tetrarchy, etc) to try and fix things, and around 400 the empire was split. All of this before the Germanic people started pouring in. None of this seems to indicate things were going to plan. What caused all this? Population collapse? Tax revenue collapse? Epidemics? Family values collapse (no kidding! some have even blamed homosexuality)? General "moral" collapse? Growth of slavery? (Free peasants being put out of business by competition from slave labor, which forced them to move to cities, hence reduced both fertility rates (slaves were less fertile than free people and urbanized people less fertile than rural people) and tax revenues (free labor is more productive than slave labor)?). The Romans themselves did not seem to understand why things were falling apart. Some even blamed the Christians and the fact that people stopped sacrificing to the gods. Contact Basemetal here 20:51, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Sugar of lead. Seriously. See Jerome Nriagu. And, of course, the other, less counter-intuitive, theories mentioned in the linked article. Tevildo (talk) 21:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Just read Historiography of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. An interesting twist in the context of the OP's question is the so called "Pirenne thesis" that not only did the Germanic people not cause the "dark ages" but that it was in fact the Arab Muslim invasions in the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, that caused not "dark ages" in the Middle East, but the Western European "dark ages", by cutting off Western Europe from international trade routes. Of course this thesis, like any other having to do with this topic, has its critics. But I thought this is an amusing twist in the tale you might enjoy. Contact Basemetal here 23:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Correct, the vandals, visigoths, and other Germanic peoples who featured prominently in the final epoch of the western empire were generally invited, or indeed sometimes dragged, into entanglements involving the Italian peninsula and neighboring regions through the machinations of Rome's own feuding factions. Indeed, by this point, the notion of what distinguished a true roman from members of these ethnicities had begun to blur. Snow let's rap 10:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
It isn't true really that the Germanic tribes were simply "invited" into the empire. Rather, when they threatened to invade, an effort was often made to buy them off through land grants on the frontier in return for a commitment to help defend it. See, for example, the aftermath of the Battle of Adrianople. Basemetal's argument that the western Roman empire was in serious decline before the Germanic migrations is an old one, but Bryan Ward-Perkins argues compellingly in The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization that the economy and institutions of the western empire functioned fairly well into the late 4th century (after overcoming a 3rd century economic and demographic crisis), and that a serious decline set in only in the 5th century, when the barbarian invasions simultaneously severely damaged the tax base and required greatly increased military expenditure. The empire just couldn't cope financially, and therefore could not repel the invaders. Ian Morris's recent Why the West Rules—For Now supports this argument. Marco polo (talk) 13:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
When a 70 year old with a heart condition dies of a flue that a healthy 20 year old would barely notice was his death caused by his heart condition or his flue? When someone with AIDS dies of pneumonia did he die of AIDS or of pneumonia? Are those people arguing the exact same influx of people would have brought down the Empire at the height of its power, for example under Trajan? What are those people saying? That there were no structural fundamental problems with the Empire and that, had not this unfortunate series of events occurred entirely by chance the Empire could have lasted another 2000 years? I don't know what they mean that the late 4th century empire functioned fairly well. There were long term trends such as urban settlements getting smaller and smaller, agricultural land left uncultivated, etc. Was this suddenly reversed in the late 4th century? We're getting into the philosophy of the concept of cause. No wonder there are more than 200 theories regarding what happened to the Roman Empire. An added problem is that the event has such symbolic value that many people bring their agendas when examining the evidence and use it to make a wider point. Note how Ian Morris's book is not even a book on the end of the Roman Empire at all. If it uses someone else's theory to push its point of view, that can hardly be called two historians reaching the same conclusion independently. Contact Basemetal here 16:15, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, we can parse the semantics of "invited" here until the cows come home, but that would miss the gist of what I was getting at. What is a certainty is that the late western empire made extensive use of German foederati as auxiliaries to conventional legions, both within Italy and (increasingly in the decades immediately before the sacking of Rome) in buffer regions near the peninsula. If not for this practice (and the role these forces played in the internal power struggles of the empire, also just prior to its fall), there would have been very different conditions than those which enabled Alaric's invasions of both the western and eastern empires, from the regions his people had been allowed to settle immediately north of both their capitol regions. Remember also that Stilicho's downfall set off a massacre of thousands of Germans, including many within Italy itself, which caused many of their surviving comrades to flock to Alaric, driving said invasions. My point was, and remains, that the Germans were not some outside unified state invading another. They were a collection of peoples who were already deeply involved in a complex manner with Rome's military function and politics and their invasions were the result of a perfect storm of conditions, in which the late western empire's questionable leadership played an important role. Snow let's rap 10:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Rome's problem was they didn't have the mechanical clock. Asmrulz (talk) 18:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

respectable interconnections[edit]

I was watching a YouTube video. It was a promo for a documentary called USS Arizona: The Life and Death of a Lady. At the beginning, they showed the launching of the USS Arizona (BB-39) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There were some delegates from the State of Arizona. A girl from Prescott was also there. They used champagne and some Arizona water in the battleship's launching. I suddenly remembered the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. (They were stationed with the Prescott Fire Department.) All of that triggered an idea. At least 19 long-stemmed roses and some Arizona water should be sent to the USS Arizona Memorial. There, in a special ceremony, those mentioned items can be dropped onto the decks through the opening in the floor, to remember the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. (I'm well aware there are some USMC personnel entombed within the Arizona. One of the Granite Mountain Hotshots served in the USMC.) I know it would cost a fortune for the 19 long-stemmed roses, the Arizona water and the shipping charges. What's the best way to go about completing that type of task?2604:2000:712C:2900:CCBC:9979:1653:FCB1 (talk) 07:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Click on your own wikilink to the USS Arizona Memorial. Scroll to the External Links section and click on Official Website. Choose the Contact Us link in the left margin and make your proposal directly to the administrators of the memorial. (talk) 12:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]

The world's northernmost medieval building[edit]

Are there any medieval buildings north of Trondenes Church? --Ghirla-трёп- 09:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

There "is" Vardøhus Fortress, far to the east and north, established in 1300. A first church in Vardø was established in 1307 [37] by Archbishop Jørund av Nidaros; Vardø is the easternmost town of Norway. The original buildings (earth, stone, wood, later brick) did not survive the climate. Looking only superficially I found nothing else; Steinvikholm Castle is much more to the south, near Trondheim. This site says that stone building came to Norway after the Norse left paganism, it's indeed a whole set of technologies, and Steinvikholm is southern to Trondenes. It requires more resources for building a fortress than for a simple church, and the time that Steinvikholm was built, the Middle Ages were already mostly passed. --Askedonty (talk) 13:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The truth in Nazi germany[edit]

George Orwell (the author of 1984) has said that "Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as "the truth" exists. ... The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, "It never happened" – well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five – well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs". I'm interested in that way to manage the truth (1984 is very illustrative, but I want to know about the real case that Orwell spoke about, before actually writing that book). Do we have some article about it? Cambalachero (talk) 12:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

This seems to be a reference to the Führerprinzip. Neutralitytalk 13:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The effort to re-write the past to suit current objectives is covered by Historical_revisionism_(negationism). SemanticMantis (talk) 17:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Michel-Gaspard Coppenrath[edit]

Can someone help me find other sources that talk about the descent, early life, or parents of Michel-Gaspard Coppenrath and Hubert Coppenrath? I recently found this which call them demi (half Polynesian) and wonder if more details exist out there.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 18:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Can you access this page on ? The two brothers' father is named Clément: here on "ancestry", his date of birth is given as 1 May 1888; the French Wikipedia states "approximately 1885": [38]. --Askedonty (talk) 20:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks!--KAVEBEAR (talk) 21:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)


Where is Papaoa in respect to Arue, French Polynesia?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 19:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

According to the government of Arue, the district of Papaoa was renamed Arue on the accession of Pōmare I. According to the French Wikipedia article fr:Arue (Polynésie française), Papaoa was the name of the royal estate there. Elsewhere, though, I've seen reference to a "quartier" within Arue called Papaoa. This historic map labels a specific location as Papaoa. It seems to be the same location labeled in Google Maps as "Papava" (probably a typo). It seems to correspond to the present-day location of the Radisson Plaza Resort and the neighborhood just to its west. Marco polo (talk) 20:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
[It is not to be confused with Papamoa.—Wavelength (talk) 21:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)]

Entering the UK from France as Illegal immigrant[edit]

If they are already in France, why take the risk (not only of being caught but also of dying) to sneak into the UK? What makes France or other EU countries like Germany or Denmark less attractive? It seems to be a mass phenomenon, with hundreds and hundreds waiting in Calais for the best moment. --Yppieyei (talk) 22:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

BBC News: Would Calais migrants really be better off in the UK? Fgf10 (talk) 22:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
One thing we can be sure of: They're not fleeing to the UK because they think the food is better. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Are we sure? They could be sick of frogs' legs and snails and pining for some spotted dick and bangers & mash.Nelson Ricardo (talk) 00:45, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
This coming from the country that has spay-on cheese? Fgf10 (talk) 08:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
See the very good answer with references provided by Nanonic when this was asked on July 4: [39]. (talk) 18:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

Is it still called religious conversion?[edit]

I read a synopsis of the novel on Sparknotes, just so that could give be some background information before I started reading the actual novel. The Sparknotes synopsis says that Crusoe has a religious conversion. But when I read the novel, I felt that there was no way that could happen. The narrator Crusoe automatically reads like a Christian narrator. He worries about his disobedience against his parents in times of trouble and when times are good, he forgets his troubles. He assumes that the world was created, presumably by God. He knows that Providence is with him and can work against him. I don't get it. It's pretty obvious that he is raised Christian and is probably a practicing Christian since the beginning of the novel. Maybe loss of faith and then regain of faith count as a conversion from Defoe's perspective, while assuming a Christian worldview since birth does not make one a Christian? Similarly, I have read and seen contemporary narratives, such as the movie In the name of God (2014), and it always seem that even though the protagonist is portrayed as an atheist in the beginning, it feels like the protagonist has been Christian all his life during his confession of faith. It seems as if being reared as a Christian doesn't count as a religious conversion-at-birth, even though I'd assume that religious conversions can be accurately applied to individuals without any Christian background who later adopt Christian belief, not cradle Christians who lose faith and regain them. (talk) 04:27, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps changing denominations counts as a conversion?Void burn (talk) 05:14, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
On top of that, C.S. Lewis has been described as a "convert" to Christianity, even though if you read his biography, he just lost his faith and regained it - the same branch too. Apparently, that is treated as a religious conversion. I am very suspicious about the use of word "atheism" to describe someone's life, especially if that someone is raised as a Christian and has never completely lost his childhood worldview or sensibilities. (talk) 09:15, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it (and it's been a while since I read it, and I probably read a badly translated bowdlerised edition - it's usually treated as a YA adventure story in Germany), Crusoe converts from the normal default ("yes, sure, I'm Christian, I go to Church every other Christmas, and I try not to steal my neighbours car") to a deep inner Christianity. Of course, his original position is 18th century, i.e. culturally more Christian than the default today, but what matters is his inner journey in which his faith becomes meaningful and he gains real trust in his religion. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
That sounds more like spiritual growth and formation to me than a religious conversion. I think Sparknotes is biased. Sparknotes has written on the Bible too, and its character analyses, though interesting, are highly suspicious. I always wonder what theological tradition the author follows. I wonder if there is a "secular" interpretative tradition. (talk) 10:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Stephan is correct. This isn't spiritual growth and formation; it's a radical transformation of the character. There's a huge difference between "statistical" Christianity, i.e. the normal default that Stephan summarises, and what Defoe would consider true Christianity, i.e. one's life based on the Christian faith, following an event that theologians call regeneration. Nyttend (talk) 12:34, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Did OP read the freely accessible academic paper on conversion in Defoe's life and works, "The Conversion of Robinson Crusoe", linked to here just one week ago, WP:Reference_desk/Archives/Humanities/2015_July_23#Conversion_to_Christianity_in_the_1700s_-_Robinson_Crusoe? Far better than SparkNotes. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 18:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Looking for the title of a science fiction novel published in the last 10-15 years[edit]

Hello, I used to work at a book store from 2006-2011, in that time I read in publishers Weekly of a science fiction novel, (near future, semi-dystopian/cyberpunk). The story was about a corporate driver in the UK, where on the motorways, executives would engage in road combat to defend their position in a company, or alternatively attempt to take the job of another executive.

I do not have the title or author, but strongly feel that it was published in the mid-late 00s.

Any assistance would be appreciated, I've been trying to relocate it for over five years now. (talk) 05:59, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Market Forces by Richard Morgan. – iridescent 06:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Indeed. Thanks. You beat about 14 RL librarians in Pittsburgh in less than 15 minutes. Much thanks. (talk) 06:48, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I imagine this is one of those "either you've read it or you haven't" situations, since it's not particularly well known. FWIW the only bits that are decently written are the action scenes and the rest is a dull and plodding attempt to be "satirical" which works about as well as Mission Earth. – iridescent 07:01, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Who said "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth"?[edit]

--IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 13:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

According to "q:Joseph Goebbels#Misattributed" it has been misattributed to Joseph Goebbels. Gabbe (talk) 13:24, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
It was Mark Twain. It was Mark Twain. It was Mark Twain. Seriously though, it wasn't Mark Twain. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:00, July 30, 2015 (UTC)
You can't prove a negative. You can't prove a negative. You can't prove a negative. You can't prove a negative. Contact Basemetal here 14:03, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Vladimir Lenin gets credit often enough, for a lie that's told often enough. I say he didn't speak English. Boris Zhukov certainly does. It was probably him. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:13, July 30, 2015 (UTC)
Try not to confuse it with the big lie. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:18, July 30, 2015 (UTC)
Lenin actually did speak English and several other languages, although I don't know how often he went about giving pithy quotations in a non-native language. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Figured he might have, so went with "I say...". That's one way to spread misinformation without lying. Not condoning it, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:11, July 31, 2015 (UTC)

Measuring the Effectiveness of the Civil Rights Act of 1964[edit]

I am working on a project on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and I want to be able to compare the effectiveness of it in combating workplace discrimination with how well it did after it was amended in 1972, but I am having a hard time finding any good publicly available numbers to quantify it. Is there anywhere I can find records of something like that? Maybe the total number of Civil Rights lawsuits per year or something? Rabuve (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

You could dig into Bureau of Justice Statistics and Bureau of Labor Statistics. You might compare unemployment rates for various groups protected under the law such as women or ethnic groups, or rates of workplace harassment? (talk) 19:53, 30 July 2015 (UTC)


If banks block suspicious transactions especially abroad, why are many scams while on holiday where large sums of money are taken often not blocked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Who says so? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Who were the Northallerton glasshouse mutineers?[edit]

This story talks about a "glasshouse riot" at Northallerton Prison in 1946. It says that (at least some of) the rioters were from "a unit which had mutinied in Italy". I'm interested to know details of that initial mutiny (what happened in Italy, not Yorkshire). The best I've found is this Glasgow Herald story, which lists 11 soldiers on trial at Catterick Garrison for their part in the riot. But that lists their regiments, and they were drawn from a motley assortment of various British Army regiments, not a single unit. Can anyone find a source which would explain what happened in Italy? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:59, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I've never heard of the riot, but the Salerno Mutiny of September 1943 might be pertinent. Alansplodge (talk) 21:36, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Just noting that "a unit which had mutinied in Italy" does not necessarily mean that any of the soldiers in the riot were also part of the mutiny. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 00:49, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Picpus Fathers[edit]

If priests are called "Picpus Fathers," what are non-priest members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary called?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 19:29, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

The French article states that the name of the order as a whole is the "pères et religieuses des Sacrés-Cœurs de Picpus", which would imply in this case "père" is not restricted to the ordained priests. I would ask whoever stated in the English article that only priests in the order are known as "fathers" to explain that. In any case that claim is not sourced. Contact Basemetal here 19:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]


July 25[edit]

More mystery Chinese characters (and a dash of Tibetan)[edit]

I have a second instalment of puzzling characters which I'd appreciate help with.


Transcription of Om mani padme hum. Judging by this page, for the second-last character I'm looking for the mouth radical plus 17 strokes; it doesn't seem to exist in Unicode. Is this right?

Here, the first footnote means "August Guard of the Gate of Heaven" -- 威X天門 -- but I can't find the second character (presumably meaning "guard").

Here the second character in the Chinese here looks simple, but seems not to exist. This is the name of the Moso or Mosuo people.

Here the second character is another simple-looking, but elusive character using the "比" element. This is the name of the Lisu or Liso people.

Transcribed as "T'ai Ho Chên"; the name of a small town. The closest I can find for the third character is "鍖" -- could it be a variant form?

Here "郤" plus moon or flesh radical seems not to exist.


The book also includes a few Tibetan words which I've tried to reproduce using the Tibetan alphabet page, with limited success.

Om mani padme hum. "ཨོམ་མ་ཎི་པད་མེ་ཧམ་" looks like a transcription of the Tibetan (apart from the vowel(?) on the second-last letter, which I can't find), but all versions which I find online are quite different. Is the book's text wrong?

brTen. First word in footnote 4: the closest I can get is བརཷན་, which doesn't seem quite right. Similarly with the second word: "སང་བ་" is not quite right. Both these words refer to an amulet or charm.

Treasury-hand and lieutenant. No idea about either of these words.

Long title. No idea. I got as far as "ཧ་དབར་བ", which has no Google hits.

A-jol. This is the Chinese Adunzi in Yunnan, but I can't find the Tibetan version of the name.

Ajang. No idea about the Tibetan name here.

Thanks for any help you can give me with these! HenryFlower 06:43, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Your second Chinese question: the "guard" character is probably a poorly written "" [40]. The character in the town name "T'ai Ho Chê" (your second-from-last question) might be the same character too, as it seems to appear regularly in town names. Fut.Perf. 08:09, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks -- that looks plausible. HenryFlower 12:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
For your first Tibetan question, the Tibetan is properly written ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྃ Tibetan script is derived from Indic scripts and uses the Anusvara (the small open "cirlce" above the initial consonant) for final "m" in om and hum. Also, as an Indic-derived script, it employs "stacking" for consonant clusters such as the "-dm-" in padme so the "m" portion is written under the "d".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 19:38, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
For your second Tibetan question, brTen is written བརྟེན "b","r","subscript t","e" (over the "rt" combination), "n". And srung-ba is written སྲུངབ (the "u" vowel in the book you link looks a bit different, but I suspect it is a font issue). Tibetan writing hasn't changed much in the last 1000 years while the language has changed substantially, most notably by simplifying consonant clusters. The word written brTen is actually pronounced in modern Tibetan as "ten" and srung-ba is pronounced sung-wa (sung means "to protect" and "wa" is a noun-making particle, hence "protection"). If you don't have the ability to type in Tibetan fonts, you can use character picker sites such as this to write most words.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:13, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Do you just want the Tibetan text transcribed?
  • brTen: བརྟེན་
  • srung-ba: སྲུང་བ་
  • Treasury hand: ཕྱག་མཛོད་
  • Lieutenant: སྐུ་ཚབ་
  • Long title: ཧ་དབར་བདེ་ལིགསརྒྱ་ལ་བོ་ (seems to be run together with extra syllables at the end? Looks like misspelled "gyalpo"?)
  • ajang: འཇངས་
  • ajol: འཇོལ་
I can't vouch for whether these are correct Tibetan. Just transcribing from the images. I noticed that William Thweatt's versions are missing some of the tshegs (་).--Amble (talk) 22:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I have a bad habit of leaving those out, especially when things are (to me) unambiguous. However, those pesky tshegs (the small "dot" that serves to separate syllables) are mandatory.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 02:16, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Our Tibetan language articles only scratch the surface. But one thing I've noticed is that Old Tibetan and Classical Tibetan have impressive consonant clusters and no tones while Modern Standard Tibetan (based on the Lhassa dialect?) has simplified consonant clusters and has got tones. Have the tones arisen out of the simplification of consonant clusters? I mean, are the tones of Modern Tibetan what was left behind as the consonant clusters got simplified? Contact Basemetal here 03:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Tonogenesis occurred in Tibetan with the loss/simplification of onsets and codas. The manifestation of this, though, varies from dialect to dialect. Some dialects have contrastive phonemic tone, some are more in a pitch-register stage, some have a "tonal component" but tone doesn't contrast lexical meaning and some dialects completely lack any tonal component. Quick overview, a more comprehensive analysis, an interesting paper.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:35, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Wonderful -- thank you, everyone. That's been a great help. HenryFlower 05:06, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
The first paper is not a "quick overview", it's just truncated (not sure why SEAlang has these truncated versions of papers). The full version is here. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:23, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
de:Tibetische Sprache#Lhasa-Dialekt (in German, but the lists and tables should be intelligible anyway) shows how you get from written Tibetan (which preserves the Old/Classical Tibetan consonant clusters graphically) to the pronunciation of the Lhasa dialect. Some western dialects (the Ladakhi–Balti–Purig group, especially Purig and Balti) preserve the Old Tibetan phonology fairly well. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)


Does the word "squirt" for describing a child originate from the act of a man squirting semen into a woman? For example, "Bryan Adams was just a squirt in the Summer of '69" would imply that he was still a sperm at that point, even though he was older. (talk) 09:53, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Only by distant analogy. The French equivalent is "morveux", meaning "one with a running nose". --Askedonty (talk) 10:11, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It's more like "squirt" as opposed to a full spray. Think the squirt of a lemon as opposed to a water tap turned on full. --TammyMoet (talk) 11:14, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Harry Truman referred to the small-statured Joseph Stalin as "a little squirt", but I wouldn't say old Joe was ineffectual. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
No. Truman wasn't saying that Stalin was ineffectual. Truman deeply distrusted Stalin. That is one of the reasons that he ordered Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom-bombed, in order to end the war as quickly as possible, before Stalin ordered a Soviet invasion. FDR didn't distrust Stalin enough. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:24, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
As an aside, Stalin did not have any capability to invade Japan. The logistics problems alone would have been staggering, not to mention the Soviet navy's lack of expertise and resources. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:16, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
"a little bit of a squirt" Contact Basemetal here 16:48, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I tried to find where that Truman quote comes from. From this (paragraph 7) it looks like something he said in one of the instalments of this TV series. Here is an medley of various things he said regarding Stalin in the course of that series. Unfortunately it does not contain the squirt quote. Contact Basemetal here 22:05, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I heard it on an audio book titled The Truman Tapes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:15, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I bet the "television series" they say this audio book is based on is the one I mentioned above. Contact Basemetal here 22:26, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Very likely. I'll look for my copy when I get the chance. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Etymonline says it was first used for a whipper-snapper, i.e. a young person, in 1839. It gives no reason for it. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:58, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
A squirt is a boy who is too small to pee over the garden wall/fence. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:58, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Very likely. I'll look for my copy when I get the chance. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
That's why he "pisseth against the wall". Contact Basemetal here 17:06, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
What does that Biblical phrase mean ? StuRat (talk) 21:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
a male (heir) Contact Basemetal here 21:29, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
What a colorful way to say "male". :-) StuRat (talk) 21:42, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Not every translator likes to stay as colorful (and as close to the Hebrew) as the KJV. If you click on "Other Translations" for each passage at BibleGateway you'll get a whole bunch of different translations in a whole bunch of other English versions of the Bible. Contact Basemetal here 22:48, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if it meant "males over a certain age", as male babies wouldn't be able to "piss against the wall". I also wonder why the translators chose the word "piss", versus "urinate", which comes from Latin and is considered the more refined choice. StuRat (talk) 14:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Since my answer is too long and too off-topic I put it on Stu's page. Inviting people to Stu's place Face-smile.svg BYOB though. Contact Basemetal here 17:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
(In the 20th/21st century, not in the 17th. Languages, meanings, customs and sensibilities change.) It's not a bug, though; it's a feature. To riff on C. A. R. Hoare, the King James Bible was (well, in some ways, at least) not only an improvement on its predecessors, but also on nearly all of its successors. :-) Also, in the 17th century, urinate was not yet in (common) use and would, as a Latinism, not have been understandable, let alone familiar, to the general public, anyway, which would have defeated the purpose of the translation, namely popularisation and proselytism. Its goal was to make the Bible accessible to the unwashed masses, who had no education in classical languages. No wonder the KJV still has a lot of rabid fans – although they would not name the "dirty words" as a reason, I presume. ;-) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Why would anyone want to pee over the wall? (talk) 18:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
To get to the other side? To show they're no squirt? Face-smile.svg See pissing contest. Contact Basemetal here 18:52, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
In the example given, there was definitely a sexual double entendre, but it wasn't just about mansquirts, also female ejaculation. The author was playing with the concepts of the Summer of Love, 69 (sex position) and the I Know What You Did Last Summer soundtrack, where men and women both come together and get fucked up to music equally. Maybe more of a double double entendre (not to be conflated with Tim Horton's sweet creamy afternoon delight). InedibleHulk (talk) 21:51, July 27, 2015 (UTC)
And yeah, I meant Bryan Adams was a kid, literally, not a sperm. Still twice as old as Brian Adams was, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:53, July 27, 2015 (UTC)

Origin of "pray the gay away"[edit]

I think the phrase "pray the gay away" is quite catchy. What is the origin of the phrase? (talk) 21:14, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Do you mean who in particular originated it, or what does it mean? It refers to a generally discredited view that homosexuality was a spiritual disorder that could be cured by religion. It still exists. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:15, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I know what it means. I just want to know who coined the phrase. In terms of usage, people that support gay rights seem to be the people to use it, not the people that oppose homosexuality and anything related to the gay. "You can't pray the gay away!" (talk) 21:44, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The actual history of Conversion therapy goes back to Freud's day, but I'm fairly certain the phrases "Pray the gay away" or "Pray away the gay" started in the 1980s, thanks to clinical psychology realizing that classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder was a mistake, and the American Evangelicalism's growth in both popularity and worldliness.
I haven't found who actually coined the phrase yet, but I'm willing to bet it was thought up in the 1980s or 1990s, with the conscious intention of being catchy (because Jesus definitely taught "yea, blessed are the speakers of inauthentic but catchy Christio-advertising, for they can serve God and Mammon by filling the pews"). Ian.thomson (talk) 21:29, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The earliest definite reference I can find (on a quick search) is to "Cartman Sucks" (2007), so Parker and Stone may have invented it. There was also a 2011 TV show of that title (Pray the Gay Away? - no question mark, no points). However, there may be earlier examples out there. Tevildo (talk) 21:47, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Malcolm in the Middle season 1, episode #9 "Lois vs. Evil" aired March 19, 2000 and contained the phrase "Pray away the gay": [41]. StuRat (talk) 03:37, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, catchy, like "The family that preys together slays together." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:35, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
"The family that brays together strays together." Contact Basemetal here 22:17, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
There was an advert on Aussie TV in the (??) 1960s-1970s for gray hair colour, with the slogan "Go gay with gray and stay that way". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:59, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing more 1960's than 1970's. In the 1960's "gay" hadn't yet taken on the "homosexual" meaning, for example, the Flintstones theme song said "We'll have a gay old time". By the 1970's that had changed, at least in the US. So, unless the change hit Aussie a bit later, it would have been quite a strange advertising choice to say "Go homosexual with gray and stay that way". StuRat (talk) 14:20, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I looked online before mentioning it, but could find no reference. My sense is that it was later than the 60s, because I'd have had no reason to remember it. It must have been when "gay" was starting to come into public awareness with its new meaning; until then, "camp" or "queer" were the usual words for that abomination. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall the ad being in colour, and we didn't get colour TV till March 1975. Btw, "go gay with gray" has apparently been in use since at least as early as 1951. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:47, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The Aussie word I saw on Monty Python from that period for a gay man was "pooftah" (sp ?). Was that in use then ? Is it still ? Is it still derogatory or has it been "reclaimed" by the gay community ? StuRat (talk) 15:16, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
"Poofter" was in pretty wide circulation back then. It was always a word to reserve for an appropriate audience, and never very elevating. I never heard any man refer to himself that way. It's not much heard at all these days, and would certainly be considered derogatory now (as well as seriously dating the speaker). It survives in the expression "poofter-bashing", that rite of passage whereby young males go trawling beats in order to physically assault men who happen to be there, in the belief that this means that they, the perpetrators, are not that way and can be trusted among their uber-macho mates. The short form "poof", curiously, is much less pejorative, even endearing. OTOH, "gay" is now often used pejoratively, usually by school-age kids, and often of things that have no sexual or gender component at all ("These sandwiches Dad made me are so gay. I wish Mum'd come back so I get a better lunch"). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:58, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
"In terms of usage, people that support gay rights seem to be the people to use it, not the people that oppose homosexuality and anything related to the gay." Assuming that's true, and it's my sense that it is, it makes sense. The people doing the praying aren't likely to be so flip about it. It sounds like something that would come from people deriding the attempt to pray people straight. —Largo Plazo (talk) 18:26, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
By the way, it wasn't coined from scratch. I remember, from decades ago, ads for a hair color product that promised to "wash the gray away". More rhymingly, I see products now that are pitched to "spray the gray away". —Largo Plazo (talk) 18:29, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

Missing the bark for the tree[edit]

How do you say it? Missing the tree for the bark or is it Missing the bark for the tree? (talk) 05:48, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I know "Couldn't see the forest for the trees". On that basis, it would be "missing the trees for the bark". But idioms are not necessarily logical. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Like Jack, I've never heard the expression about bark, and would assume it is a translation of a foreign idiom. The phrase familiar to me is "can't see the wood for the trees" (not "forest") but we don't have many forests in the UK. The phrase was puzzling to me as a child, because I didn't know whether it meant "wood" = "collection of trees" or "wood" = "material in trees". --ColinFine (talk) 09:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That was the point of the phrase. I'd never heard Jack's version before today but it misses the nuance. (talk) 11:02, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Strangely, Jack's version is the one we have in the US, about as far from Aussie as you can get. I don't understand what you mean about nuance. "Can't see the forest for the trees" means you focus on individual items and don't see the overall picture. What does "Can't see the wood for the trees" add to that ? It could either mean "can't see the overall picture" (where wood = forest) or "can't see the details" (where wood = material). If so, I don't see any advantage to an ambiguous saying like that. Or does it mean you only see the middle level, and neither the overall picture nor the details ? StuRat (talk) 14:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It means all those, hence the nuance. I suspect that most usage in the UK is about not seeing the overall picture, but the ability to be ambiguous is one of the things that makes our language not half bad. Bazza (talk) 16:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
There are times when ambiguity is a plus, like for double entendre, but how is it a plus here ? StuRat (talk) 17:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Because then it can mean either of two separate notions - A) you're missing the big picture because you're focused on the smaller entities (if wood=woods=forest). B) you're missing a detail because you're focused on the larger tree (if wood=biomass). SemanticMantis (talk) 17:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That's a given, as described above. The question is why you would want to be unclear in your meaning. I get it when describing a sexual act, but this case makes no sense to me. (BTW, in UK English, "wood" directly = forest, as in "Hundred Acre Wood".) StuRat (talk) 17:48, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean "We don't have many forests in the UK?" Off the top of my head I can give you Epping Forest, New Forest, Kielder Forest, Thetford Warren, Sherwood Forest, etc. Scotland is full of them. In Nottinghamshire, apart from Sherwood Forest (Robin Hood's base), when you pass Rainford going north on the main road you enter a huge forest. That was where the Black Panther (a serial killer) came unstuck. He kidnapped a driver and forced him at gunpoint to drive up that road. When they reached the last outpost of civilisation (a roadside fish and chip shop) the driver swung the car round and brought it to a stop outside. The killer started fighting and was only subdued when the police handcuffed to him to the railings outside. (talk) 11:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It's all relative. Bigger places in the world have forests which take days to go through, and may well consider what we call forests to just be oversized copses. Bazza (talk) 16:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The UK doesn't do very well compared to other European countries, only the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland have less forestation. [42] Alansplodge (talk) 00:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you may be barking up the wrong tree? Rojomoke (talk) 12:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Aboriginal name of Tasmania[edit]

Does Tasmania have an aboriginal name? It's called Lutriwita in Palawa kani, but that's a modern constructed language. -- (talk) 09:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Just as on the mainland, there were numerous tribes in Tasmania, which were as separate culturally and linguistically as the Vietnamese and the Mongols. Just as there is no "Asian language" or "European language", there is no "Aboriginal language". Now, each of the tribes would have had a word for the lands and waters they inhabited, but to talk of a word for the entire island supposes they had a sense that they were in fact on an island, and I don't know that they had such an awareness. Maybe an ethnologist can correct me. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:28, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I can understand how people living in Australia proper might not have known they were on an island, because circumnavigating it is a major task, especially on land. Tasmania is a lot smaller though, and I would expect that the natives both would have known that they were on an island, and that a larger landform (mainland Australia) was nearby. StuRat (talk) 14:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Just don't let the Tasmanians hear you talking about the mainland as "Australia proper". They're very touchy about being perceived as less than other Australians. Understandably so, particularly after the 1982 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Brisbane, where a huge stylised human map of Australia failed to show any evidence of the island state. (See also Omission of Tasmania from maps of Australia.) I once read in an American almanac/fact book that "in 1901 Tasmania merged with Australia to form a new nation". I still wince whenever I remember that grotesquely inaccurate statement being disseminated to the wider world. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:33, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Australia is an island, a nation, and a continent. The island would not include Tasmania, while the nation does, and presumably so does the continent (since Tasmania is on the same tectonic plate). So, by "Australia proper", I meant the island. You used "the mainland", but I found that to be ambiguous, since there are many mainlands. The British call the rest of Europe "the continent", which always seemed funny to me, since they are part of the same continent. StuRat (talk) 20:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In any discussion where the topic is Australia, "the mainland" has one and only one meaning. What else could it mean - Eurasia? I don't think so. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't seem so good in an archaeological context, because Tasmania was connected in the past. So, did "the mainland" include Tasmania at that time, or not ? StuRat (talk) 15:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Disingenuity, StuRat is thy name. We weren't discussing such a distant epoch; and if we had been, the word "mainland" would have made sense only from the perspective of some island off the coast of the combined Australia/Tasmania landmass. Those people who are human beings sometimes do, say or write things that are not entirely correct. Just accept that and move on. (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt as to whether you belong to the human category.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
A rapid search through "Google Books" seems to give Trowena/Trowenna as possible aboriginal names for Tasmania. I don't know if they are reliable. -- (talk) 11:07, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, this is already mentioned (in an alternative spelling of "Trouwunna"), in the already-linked Tasmania article, Section 2.2 Indigenous People. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It seems doubtful that there would have been an aboriginal name for Tasmania other than a word meaning something like "land". Tasmania lies 150 miles from the Australian mainland, and its aboriginal peoples did not have seagoing boats. The Furneaux Group of smaller islands, lying between Tasmania and the mainland, ceased to be inhabited at least 4,000 years before Europeans arrived. Genetic studies suggest that Tasmania's aboriginal population had been genetically isolated from the population of the mainland for at least 8,000 years before Europeans arrived. It is not at all likely that aboriginal Tasmanians were aware of the existence of landmasses other than Tasmania, and therefore also unlikely that they had a name for Tasmania other than "the land". Historically, landmasses have been named only to distinguish them from other known landmasses. For example, the inhabitants of the Old World had no name for it—other than "the world"—before they discovered the New World. (Note that I am aware that others had discovered it before them.) Marco polo (talk) 18:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like it would take much of a boat to make that distance. A canoe with a rowing crew could make it, during calm seas (do they have nasty seas year round ?). And how about Australian Aboriginees visiting them ? Or Polynesians, they seemed able to cover long distances by boat, did they visit ? StuRat (talk) 18:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The climate was unfavourable (cold and wet), compared to the mainland, so the interest of outsiders in the land was small (compare the relative disinterest of the Māori in the climatically similar South Island), and the aborigines, due to their small number and isolation, lost techniques they must have had originally (such as fire-making and boat-building). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
They lost the ability to make fires ? So they went back to eating raw meat then ? StuRat (talk) 19:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The assertion that Tasmanians had lost the ability to make fire is disputed, but is based on a report made in 1831 by George Augustus Robinson: "As the chief always carries a lighted torch I asked them what they did when their fire went out. They said if their fire went out by reason of rain they [were] compelled to eat the kangaroo raw and to walk about and look for another mob and get fire of them." [43] Alansplodge (talk) 00:26, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Right. And WP states: "It is claimed that they only possessed lit fires with the men entrusted in carrying embers from camp to camp for cooking and which could also be used to clear land and herd animals to aid in hunting practices. However, other scholars dispute that the Aboriginal Tasmanians did not have fire; and, indeed, a document from 1887 clearly describes fire-lighting techniques used among Tasmanians." These statements are sourced. Check the article Aboriginal Tasmanians Contact Basemetal here 21:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, Aboriginal Tasmanians#History describes it differently – apparently these questions are controversial and uncertain. But even if the Tasmanians had contact with outsiders after all before the Europeans came (which there does not seem to be evidence of), there would have been no particular reason to introduce a non-generic name for their country or for themselves. Lots of peoples, even modern people, use generic names for their homeland (e. g., something that translates to "the island") or hometown (at least colloquially, such as "the town"), and for themselves (Inuit famously means simply "people"). It's a matter of speech economy. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:22, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure there is. If you didn't come up with different names you would end up describing a meeting between natives and foreigners as "The people met with other people, who are like the people, but not really the people." StuRat (talk) 19:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm talking about endonyms, StuRat. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This might not be the same as a word of indigenous origin prior to European contact. But wouldn't the Aborigines have developed words for Tasmania or Australia when they came into contact with Europeans or European translator developed nativized rendition of Tasmania or Australia to communicate ideas to the different tribes?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 00:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
See (I am aware that Māori is native to New Zealand.)
Wavelength (talk) 01:03, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Those are all just Maori renderings of the English-language name "Tasmania". What's the relevance? --Amble (talk) 02:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The question is if an aboriginal language rendering of English-language place name (if one exist for Tasmania and Australia) constitute as an aboriginal name? Most culture usually create native language rendering for concepts/name that did not exist traditionally. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 02:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The article Aboriginal Tasmanians states (without a source of course) that Aboriginal Tasmanians were called in "Tasmanian" "Parlevar or Palawa". Same name in all Tasmanian languages, right? Another Wikipedian with a sense of humor. Why didn't that guy come up with a "Tasmanian" term for Tasmania? Contact Basemetal here 21:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
When the Europeans made contact with the Eskimos they asked them what the name of the country was, and the answer was "Canada", which is actually the native word for "nothingness". Does anyone know if this word "parlevar" or "palawa" has any additional meaning? (talk) 12:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Don't know where you got the "nothingness" story from (our article on Name of Canada suggests you may have been misremembering an obsolete folk claim), but it reminds me of the silly old German joke that the name goes back to the astonished exclamation of the first (German) explorer, on setting foot in the country: "Kaana da?!" ("nobody here?") – Fut.Perf. 12:25, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
There's an old Jewish joke that Moses brought the Jews to the ghastly place he brought them to just because he had a speech impediment: he said "Kanaan" but he had meant "Kanada" all along. Works better in Yiddish. Contact Basemetal here 15:15, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Meaning of "scenario" in the context of hypothetical prehistorical events[edit]

A third opinion is needed on Talk:Kurgan hypothesis. Thank you. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

EO's explanation of "scenario":[44]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I looked at the talk page of that article and couldn't find out which section you were referring to. Please be a bit more specific. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 14:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Both the first and last section. Sorry, I should have been more specific. Anyway, Wardog/Iapetus has already supplied very helpful suggestions. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:05, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

"Our thoughts remain with family and friends of the deceased"[edit]

What the hell is that supposed to mean? It's just a stock serif that the Police use. It is in fact gibberish, as their thoughts remain concentrated on other jobs. Why not just say, "This is a regretful incident," or words to that effect? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 13:44, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

They're trying to bring a little comfort. There's no harm in that. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:46, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe that phrase started out as "Our prayers...", but was changed to be secular. (There was a time when most people felt that enough prayers would get God to help out the survivors.) StuRat (talk) 14:04, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
You hear "our thoughts and prayers" frequently even now. Knowledge that someone is praying for them could make them feel better. Psychology. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, that is still a common phrase. But in the words of Bad Religion, " Don't Pray On Me" (song here [45]) - while some people would be comforted by the idea someone is praying for them, others may well just be annoyed or offended. I think Stu is right that it's a move toward a more secular style of condolence, but the only refs I can find are blog posts. Here's someone who doesn't like "our thoughts and prayers" because they don't like prayer [46]. Here's someone who doesn't like "our thoughts and prayers" because they like praying but don't think "thoughts" do any good [47]. So it seems that "our thoughts and prayers" can alienate both religious and non-religious people. Much like a Jewish person being wished "Merry Christmas", the general polite thing to do is accept that the speaker means well, even if something is a bit off. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:30, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't object to it in general, even if it is the most pathetically formulaic platitude ever invented. But it's not the job of the police to be dishing out stuff like this. Down here at least, they'll start their media op on the investigation of some shocking crime or accident with "This is an absolute tragedy for the family/community", then launch into "Our thoughts ...". Well, we actually knew it was a tragedy, and we didn't need anyone to confirm that. When it comes to bad things that have already happened, their focus ought to be on investigation and apprehension, not on being counsellors to the entire community. It's nice that the police wish to present a kindly and helpful and caring and human face to the community, but these sorts of scripted cliches just waste everyone's time. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Public relations is rather important for police. We've seen what happens when relations break down, then you get civilians and police at war with each other, riots, etc. Sure, showing sympathy is a small part, but it all adds up. StuRat (talk) 19:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That wasn't relations breaking down, it's something the 24-hour news built up. No matter how smooth and polite a police spokesperson is to the reporters at a press conference, the narrative will come out the way the producers want.
That's not to say American cops and blacks don't have serious failures to communicate, just that it hasn't gotten worse/more important as suddenly after Michael Brown as the TV says it has. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:34, July 27, 2015 (UTC)
When you get anti-police riots, that's tangible evidence that community relations have broken down. Long before the riots there likely was already the attitude in the community that the police were the enemy. Note that this isn't always a racial issue. For example, the Stonewall riots occurred after homosexuals were targeted by police for years. StuRat (talk) 14:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree totally with with good PR. But spouting cliches and scripted platitudes and statements of the bleedin' obvious doesn't achieve that, imo. All they achieve is to irritate this little black duck, and that's surely counter-productive. If your family was wiped out by a crazed gunman, how would it help for someone to come along and say "This is an absolute tragedy"? That's not even remotely my idea of expressing sympathy. It expresses a judgment on the event (a judgment nobody would disagree with, I'm sure, but a judgment nonetheless). They may as well say "This is a very bad thing". Well, duh! Sympathy is about showing you have some idea of the pain the person is suffering as a result of the event. It's about feelings, not judgments. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:24, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It seems similar to small talk. Do you say "Hi" as you meet people ? Why ? It doesn't actually convey any information, does it ? Human communication is about more than that, you're also conveying mood, etc. (I have a brother who says "Hi" when in a good mood, but when he walks right by I know to avoid him.) In the case of police, they may not feel any regret when some people are killed, but they still better pretend that they do. StuRat (talk) 20:31, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
What good does that pretence achieve? If we can tell they're pretending (and we can), then it comes across as inauthentic, and for anyone who has the slightest distrust of or issue with the police, that undoes whatever good relations they've created. If we can put it down to small talk, that's just another excellent reason to not get into it at all. Who needs small talk when they're dealing with "an absolute tragedy"? I want to hear what the police are doing to apprehend suspects, investigate crimes or accidents, and the like. The rest of the blather is just that, and life's too short for that. < end of blather :) >-- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:01, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Because some people will believe it. It similar to the statement I've heard: "Avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, even if no real conflict exists." Again, like much of PR, it's not honest, but it still is important. The whole field of PR is based on the difference between perception and reality. StuRat (talk) 21:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
For those who are so narcissistic as to insult well-wishers, I'm reminded of the old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:13, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
We may think we are all "so clever and classless and free" to quote John Lennon, but social conventions do still matter in most contests. So when someone has died, especially what can be described as a tragic death, using this phrase or something similar ("our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased") is just a way of expressing that the speaker understands that the deaths are a major loss for people who were close to the deceased, even if the speaker does not personally know these people. It does not mean that the speaker has ceased all activities to meditate about the lives lost or immediately headed off to a nearby shrine to pray, but simply that he sympathizes with the afflicted. It has become a stock phrase in recent years, and does in fact sound a bit cliché by now, but similar phrases have been used for centuries in such circumstances ("our deepest sympathies" or "our condolences" were popular terms in the past). --Xuxl (talk) 10:23, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Besides, many of us still believe in prayer. Got a problem with that? StevenJ81 (talk) 12:21, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
And movements like Black Lives Matter show that the perception is that the police do not value the lives of blacks, and freely kill them, rather than take the time to determine if they actually pose a danger, as in the case of the shooting of Tamir Rice. Any effort they can make to change that perception is badly needed. (Although I agree that actually changing their actions is more important than just pretending to care.) StuRat (talk) 13:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

"e" and "ä" in German[edit]

It's fairly well known that in German, "e" and "ä" are pronounced pretty much the same, as /e/, unlike my native Finnish, where "ä" is pronounced /æ/, a front vowel version of /a/. (In fact, I once had trouble teaching a native German speaker to pronounce the name of the Finnish band Värttinä correctly. He kept pronouncing it as "Verttine".)

Now why is this so? It seems inconsistent, as "ü" and "ö" are pronounced as front vowel versions of "u" and "o" in German. Actually "ü" is even more consistent than in Finnish, as Finnish writes the sound as "y". (So do all Scandinavian languages, but not Estonian.)

Also, from what I have read from German-language comic books, if someone shouts out for help it's "Hilfe!" but if the /e/ sound is lengthened it becomes "Hilfäää!". Why the sudden switch from "e" to "ä"? JIP | Talk 21:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

How far apart are /e/ and /æ/ for most people, really? StevenJ81 (talk) 12:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
In what language, English? Fut.Perf. 13:04, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
English and German. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, German doesn't have an /æ/ phoneme. Modern standard German has either two or three phonemes in the front/mid area: short half-open /ɛ/ (spelled either "e" or "ä", without phonological distinction), long half-closed /e:/ (spelled "e"), and long half-open /ɛ:/ (spelled exclusively "ä"). The functional load between the latter two is low, i.e. there are relatively few minimal pairs (Reeder vs. Räder, ich bete vs. ich bäte). The distinction is widely absent in many speakers, except in careful reading pronunciation (though the name of the letter "ä" is always pronounced /ɛ:/, even by speakers who otherwise won't use that sound in natural speech). There's also some lexical variation (e.g. for me, even though I do have the /e:/ vs. /ɛ:/ distinction, the word Mädchen has /e:/, despite its spelling.) On the other hand, confusingly, some southern forms of German have an additional phonological contrast, absent in the standard, between short /e/ and /ɛ/ (this distinction, again, cross-cuts with the orthographical one between "e" and "ä"; e.g. Mensch vs. Fest have different vowels.) Fut.Perf. 13:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The details are complicated, but the main origin of ä is Middle High German /æː/ (in normalised spelling ‹æ›), the umlauted version of /aː/ (in normalised spelling ‹â›), for example in kæse "cheese". Frequent ways to spell the /æː/ phoneme were, as far as I know, ae and the ligature æ, and ae developped (via the process explained somewhere in umlaut) into ä. By analogy to ä for /æː/ and ü for /yː/, ä also came to be used for the secondary umlaut of short /a/, namely for /æ/ (for example in mächtig "mighty"), and the primary umlaut of short /a/, namely (closed!) /e/ (for example in Lämmer "lambs"). In the Central German dialects on which Standard German is based, /æ/ merged with /e/ and /ɛ/ (from inherited Proto-Germanic *e, although this could also become /a/ in some dialects, as in Thuringian, Weimar area /ʃvastər/ "sister") into /ɛ/, and /æː/ merged with /eː/ (from /ɛː/ from Proto-Germanic *ai, and from secondarily lengthened MHG /ɛ/ and /e/) into /eː/. The restoration of the contrast between long ä and long e in the south of the German-speaking area is a fairly artificial spelling pronunciation, but probably motivated by the fact that Upper German dialects generally have not merged the reflexes of /æː/ and /eː/, compare Swiss German /xæːs/, Central Bavarian /kʰaːs/ "cheese". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:29, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Upper German dialects have also partly retained the distinction between closed /e/ (the umlaut of /a/) and open /ɛ/ (which, if I recall correctly, is in some dialects opened to /æ/ or /a/, just like in the Thuringian example), as you mention, though at least in Central Bavarian the distribution does not reflect the original distribution (I remember encountering a quaint term like mittelbairische Vokalverwirrung, i. e., Central Bavarian vowel confusion, for this phenomenon). As for Mädchen, it does not originally have a long /æː/, but is adapted from Middle Low German mēgedeken, which might be the reason that even for some of those who usually pronounce long ä as /ɛː/, it is pronounced with /eː/. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I would also like to point out that in Central Bavarian, /ə/ does not exist as a phoneme or even phone because all the inherited examples have syncopated or apocopated it or otherwise got rid of it, so the sound is alien to (Central) Bavarian (it appears to have been retained in some South Bavarian dialects, such as in parts of Tyrol) and prone to being replaced by /ɛ/ when read out or used in a Standard German borrowing. In fact, I was not aware that the pronunciation of unstressed e was /ə/ in northern German speech (often considered a neutral or "standard" accent, although northern-German-coloured speech sounds far from accentless to Upper-German-speakers); only at university I realised that my /ɛ/ pronunciation is not the pronunciation judged standard and described in the handbooks. To me, /ˈhɪlfɛ/ is normal and /ˈhɪlfə/ sounds incredibly affected, like talking with a hilariously fake French accent. :-Þ --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
To sum it up, /æ/ did exist in Middle High German (both long and short) and is actually the sound ä historically represents, and it still exists in dialects, but has merged with /ɛ/ in the standard language, which is why we tend to read ä as /ɛ/ and replace /æ/ with /ɛ/ (in English as well, although this "Bleck Hendbeg Problem" is also due to tradition). Also, the /ə/ vowel of Standard German can really be thought of as an unstressed version of /ɛ/ and is actually pronounced as such by some speakers (although this probably in essence a spelling pronunciation). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:31, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
As to JIP's "Hilfäää!" question (which no one has explicitly answered yet as far as I can tell): first of all the 'e' in "Hilfe!" is not an /e/ sound but an /ə/ sound. Now "Hilfeee!" would I suppose represent a (very) long /e/ sound, while "Hilfäää!" is meant to represent a (very) long /ɛ/ sound. The question then becomes: why when you lengthen an /ə/ sound do you get an /ɛ/ sound instead of an /e/ sound? I don't know so I'll let someone who does answer that. But I note that (conversely as it were) the WP article Standard German phonology says that "Some scholars treat /ə/ as an unstressed allophone of /ɛ/". Maybe the two things are related. Contact Basemetal here 16:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not a native speaker, but I have a couple of observations to add. The 'e' in Hilfe is an /ə/ sound in rapid, unselfconscious speech in most German varieties, but in careful speech, especially in the south, that 'e' is pronounced /ɛ/. Basemetal is right that the only way to lengthen that sound using German orthography is to use 'ä'. As for the pronunciation of 'ä', short 'ä' is pronounced /ɛ/ in all or nearly all German varieties, so it is homophonous with short 'e'. However, there is variation in the pronunciation of long 'ä' in unselfconscious speech. (The nonstandard repetition of 'ä' in "Hilfäää!" is meant to draw attention to the vowel and the [ɛː] pronunciation.) As Future Perfect says, some speakers distinguish between long 'e' ([eː]) and long 'ä' ([ɛː]). When I was living in Germany, I perceived a regional dimension to this. I lived in Berlin, and I was friends with Berliners as well as people from Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hamburg, and Niedersachsen. All of those people pronounced long 'ä' as [eː], exactly the same as long 'e'. At one point, though, I took a trip to Freiburg and was surprised to hear the [ɛː] pronunciation for long 'ä'. I think that this may be a mainly southern or southwestern, maybe Alemannic phenomenon. Marco polo (talk) 18:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Vowel hiatus in German spelling?[edit]

Given that several two vowel (letter) combinations have in German specific conventional orthographic values, is there a general way to transcribe a vowel hiatus in German? For example 'eu' has in German the value /ɔj/. So what do you do in German spelling if you want to transcribe an /e/ + /u/ hiatus? Specifically I remember a passage in one of Brecht's theoretical works where he was trying to coin a term for his concept of theater: so he says (in German) something like "let's not call it Theater let's call it Thaeter". But how did Brecht mean that coinage to be pronounced? Thäter (since in normal German spelling 'ae' has the same value as 'ä')? Or Tha-eter (that is with an /a/ + /e/ hiatus)? Contact Basemetal here 16:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

It's commonplace for the dieresis (a colon lying on it's side) to indicate that two vowels are not blended but individually pronounced. I don't know whether or not this is an option for German, because it looks like an umlaut, which modifies certain vowels in a specific way. (talk) 16:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This is exactly the problem. In French for example you can use either the diaeresis (diacritic) (trema, umlaut mark) or 'h'es between the vowels in hiatus (since the 'h' is always silent in French). Neither option is generally available in German. The umlaut for the reason you said, and the 'h' because it is not silent. So what's left? Contact Basemetal here 17:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
German normally doesn't use any diacritic to mark hiatus pronuncation: Kolosseum, Aleuten, Statue, Aida, Haiti, etc. The diaeresis is never used in this function; as you rightly said, it would be mistaken for an umlaut. Fut.Perf. 17:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Well then, how do you pronounce Brecht's Thaeter? Contact Basemetal here 17:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
No idea. Hadn't heard of it before, and I haven't found an exact quotation of the context where he introduces it, to check for indications whether he intended the pun on Täter ('perpetrator'). Fut.Perf. 17:23, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Given the analogous Brechtian coinage of Misuk (for "Musik", same switch of vowels), the fact that he (among other) used dialogue when writing about "Thaeter" (which suggests an audible pun, rather than a mere eye pun), maybe also given the fact that a more conventional spoonerism wasn't possible because the first and the second consonant sound the same in "Theater", and last and definitely least, the fact that I'd instinctively pronounce it with hiatus in juxtaposition with "Theater" and am almost certain I've heard it pronounced that way, ... given all that, most of it unreferenced, my money is on Tha-eter.
Some words (all borrowed from other languages) containing "ae" pronounced as hiatus are "Paella", "Maestro", or names ending in "-ael" such as "Michael", "Rafael", "Israel", ... and my physics teacher always made a great fuss about pronouncing "Aerodynamik" as A-Erodynamik (hiatus). I guess you just need to know. Difficult when it's an arcane word mainly used by the author who coined it. ---Sluzzelin talk 07:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
A few (very few) German surnames mark a hiatus with a diaresis on the e. The best-known example may be Ferdinand Piëch, and there's also Bernhard Hoëcker. --Wrongfilter (talk) 10:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
So there you have it. It's ambiguous, though, because standard orthography is to replace the umlaut where desired by "e", thus aepfel. (talk) 12:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Is there such an absolute rule that you can always replace the umlaut on a letter with an 'e' after? I was under the impression in normal German words the umlaut is only ever used on letters a, o and u, so that rule may only apply to ä, ö and ü. Are spellings such as Pieech or Hoeecker ever found for those names? Contact Basemetal here 14:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
A diaeresis is not an umlaut (even though it looks the same in modern fonts) and cannot be replaced with ‹e›. A spelling such as Aepfel is only an accepted workaround when umlauts are not available, but the replacement is never actually desired in standard orthography (same with ‹ss› or ‹sz› for ‹ß›). However, historically, ‹ä› does derive from ‹ae› (actually ‹a› with a tiny ‹e› above it), it's just that the ambiguity of ‹ae› means ‹ä› is preferred whenever possible. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
There have been changes in German orthography along the way, as there have been in Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish. My mother went to Europe in the thirties and brought back with her a copy of Mein Kampf, which was written in Gothic script, but in the early twentieth century German books were printed the same as everywhere else. I think that "ss" was normal, not the letter that looks like a Greek "beta". There was a reform of German spelling some decades ago - I can look up the details but the use of the Greek "beta" symbol was made the norm. (talk) 15:53, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Uhm, no, not really. Printing of German texts was regularly done in blackletter up to the mid-20th century and changed to Roman fonts afterwards. The "ß" symbol always was and still is part of regular orthography (except in Switzerland); the reform you are probably thinking of, in the mid-1990s, just shifted the distribution slightly (aligning the use of "ss" vs "ß" with the quality of the preceding vowel and thus making the use of either spelling more consistent within the paradigms of individual words). Fut.Perf. 16:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
German typesetting changed from Fraktur to "Antiqua" (?) (which is probably what Future Perfect calls Roman) in 1941. From WP Fraktur article: "This radically changed on January 3, 1941, when Martin Bormann issued a circular to all public offices which declared Fraktur (and its corollary, the Sütterlin-based handwriting) to be Judenlettern (Jewish letters) and prohibited their further use". "Judenlettern"! This is hysterical. Where did Bormann get that? The article also adds: "Fraktur saw a brief resurgence after the War, but quickly disappeared in a Germany keen on modernising its appearance." See also Antiqua–Fraktur dispute which mentions that German scientific and technical writing had been using Roman from the beginning of the 20th century. Contact Basemetal here 16:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The Ashkenazim, that is, east European Jewry, speak Yiddish, which is a German dialect. However, Yiddish is written in the traditional square Hebrew letters, such as you see in Torah scrolls (Old Testaments) and on Jewish buildings. These have thick black strokes. Bormann would have seen this German looking so like the ordinary secular German of the natives and decided that this was something the country could do without. (talk) 18:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Right. Fraktur reminded Bormann of Hebrew. Your personal speculation or do you have a source? Or you can't recall where you put your smileys? Contact Basemetal here 18:49, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
My only source is what Bormann himself said. It's difficult for ordinary, sane people to understand the mindset of the Nazis, or of Daesh for that matter. (talk) 18:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Per de:Fraktur (Schrift)#Verwendung der Fraktur in der Neuzeit, the true motivation for the phasing out of Fraktur was purely pragmatic. The Nazi leaders felt that the use of Fraktur was an enormous stumbling block for the purpose of understanding and learning German on the part of conquered and enslaved peoples, and Antiqua was far more effective. The silly term Judenlettern was merely a rationalisation they came up with on the spot to convince citizens of the Reich that the costly switch from Fraktur to Antiqua was absolutely necessary, despite the fact that Fraktur was thought of as quintessentially "German" already at the time, and Antiqua as somewhat foreign.
Stereotyping fanatics like the Nazi leaders as merely insane and unable to appreciate pragmatic considerations is very dangerous. It's their goals that are crazy, not necessarily the ways they try to achieve them. The Nazi leaders were not stark raving mad. They were frighteningly rational and effective most of the time. Nor were they a homogeneous mass. They often disagreed with each other violently. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't know why you would want to whitewash these people. Be they Bolsheviks, IRA or Daesh they all behave in essentially the same way, notably robbing banks to acquire their funding. (talk) 18:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
"Whitewash"? Who's "whitewashing"? Florian was just saying that to just call them "unintelligible unpredictable lunatics" and be satisfied with that is a very dangerous thing because that preempts any rational attempt to understand why and how they did or do what they did or do. I personally agree 100% with Florian on this. It may make you feel better to use all kinds of colorful epithets for such people ("demented", "insane", "mad", "lunatics", "crazy") but that's no substitute for a rational factual study of their motives and their modus operandi. Contact Basemetal here 19:27, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't me that used all those epithets. (talk) 20:58, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The strategy of all these organisations is defective, which is why they all ultimately fail. If the coalition showed a little gumption Daesh would be no more.
The allies in the Second World War were careful to conceal the fact that they had broken the Enigma messaging system - that was why Coventry was sacrificed and they allowed the Jews to perish in the gas chambers.
Hitler began communicating with his generals in a new "tunny" code which he thought was impregnable but was also broken. A group of psychologists was assembled who could accurately predict how he would react in a given situation. The allied commanders planned their moves accordingly and the war was considerably shortened as a result. (talk) 10:26, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Opposite of irony[edit]

Using the definition of irony to be something stated as truth when it is actually meant as false, such as "It is a beautiful day" when it is raining, what is a word that means the opposite: purposely stating something as false, meaning the truth, such as "What a terrible day" when it is warm and beautiful. All I've found is "pessimistic", which is similar, but not the same. I'm not looking for the attitude of the person, but a word that encompasses the action. (talk) 13:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Your "definition of irony to be something stated as truth when it is actually meant as false" is problematic. Try define:irony in Google.
Irony is far more often defined as a statement having the opposite implication or effect than its literal sense. Thus, true->false and false->true could both be ironic. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 13:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I would say the opposite is sincerity: something true stated as truth; or something false stated as false; a "pure" statement.[48]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, Bugs. Irony doesn't imply the absence of sincerity, exactly; it's a language tool. Someone being ironic isn't a liar, s/he is being ironic. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Read EO's definitions of irony and sincerity. Irony isn't lying, but it isn't exactly sincere, either. It's intended to be funny. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the OP is searching for a verbal distinction between deprecatory or negative irony ("It is a beautiful day" when it is raining) and laudatory or positive irony ("What a terrible day" when it is warm and beautiful). No such single words exist, to my knowledge. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 14:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Either way, it's saying the opposite. Like when someone is a good hitter, baseball commentators will often say, "Not too bad of a hitter." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Irony#Definitions. If you look at those options, most are about the difference between the literal meaning and the intended/interpreted meaning. Both of your examples have irony, specifically Irony#Verbal_irony. Getting in to truth values just confuses the issue, irony is ultimately about different meanings. (ETA, restoring my previous response, looks like User:Paulscrawl accidentally deleted it [49])SemanticMantis (talk) 13:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Starting with "Euphemy" (an archaic term for "euphemism" but which sounds a trifle classier <g>) I ended up at "Periploce" to indicate a substitution of what is pleasant for what is unpleasant.[50] Viz. Seattle "liquid sunshine" etc. Collect (talk) 15:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Apologies User:SemanticMantis,for cross-posting errors - first cup of coffee.
Truth values as a fallacious definitional assumption of irony are source of OP's question.
Two words that are not blind to truth values are litotes and hyperbole, but they are not forms of irony, rather, distinct figures of speech. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 15:10, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think what most people consider irony (our article covers it well) would be something like the following reported case:
  • A wife, feeling her husband did not give her sufficient provision, filed for divorce
  • On 31 March she secured a decree nisi in the usual form, that is to say she could make it absolute after three months
  • On 30 June the husband, who had left a substantial estate entirely to his wife, died.
  • On 1 July the wife, not knowing of the death, made the decree absolute.

The husband's solicitors, who were administering the estate, told her she was nothing to do with it and could not inherit, whereupon she applied to the Court for the decree absolute to be rescinded and lost her case, the irony being that if she had not registered the decree she would have inherited as the lawful wife.

This "cooling off" period is valuable. I know one couple where the wife obtained a decree nisi but never registered it, and many decades later they remain happily married. (talk) 16:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

At ANI, which is about as legal as Wikipedia gets (short of a full - blown Arbitration Committee hearing) sometimes the OP (plaintiff)'s complaint (case) against the editor under discussion (defendant) is thrown out by the administrator (judge) either for lack of diffs (evidence) or because he penalises the OP instead (judgment). This latter may result in comments from the peanut gallery on the lines of Love these boomerangs. Oh, the delicious irony of it. (talk) 16:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC) Didn't Paul McCartney make a song called 'Ebony and Irony'? (talk) 01:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I'd go with "literalness". Or maybe "rusty". Clarityfiend (talk) 10:01, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Didn't Paul McCartney make a song with Stevie Wonder called 'Ebony and Irony'? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 23:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
As I recall, the lyrics go:
Ebony and ivory
Here together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, O Lord
Why don't we? (talk) 10:30, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]

Antonym (etc.) of "backlog"[edit]

Does the English language have an antonym (possibly "frontlog") for the noun "backlog" or for the verb "backlog"? It would involve tasks which can afford to be deferred (or which should be deferred) until a backlog (of backlogged tasks) has been cleared. Also, is there a term (possibly "midlog") with an intermediate sense (as a noun or as a verb) involving tasks which are in neither of the two other sets, that is to say, tasks whose speed of being performed needs no adjustment?
Wavelength (talk) 03:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

You may find project management vocabulary relevant. The Project Management Institute's PMI Lexicon of Project Management Terms requires registration to access; offers open access: Lexicon of Project Management Terms. See, for example:
Predecessor Activity: An activity that logically comes before a dependent activity in a schedule.
Successor Activity: A dependent activity that logically comes after another activity in a schedule.
Start-to-Finish: A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has started.
Start-to-Start: A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has started.
Finish-to-Finish: A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has finished.
Finish-to-Start: A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has finished.
Path Convergence: A relationship in which a schedule activity has more than one predecessor.
Path Divergence: A relationship in which a schedule activity has more than one successor.
Precedence Diagramming Method: A technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.
More at Dependency_(project_management)

-- Paulscrawl (talk) 03:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I suggest that the antonym of "backlog" is "tasks done in advance of an anticipated need". I don't think there's a single word for it, though "reserve" might work in some cases. -- (talk) 09:09, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps the tasks could be shelved until the backlog is cleared. See (2nd def.) (talk) 09:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
From a warehouse POV, the opposite of "orders on backlog" is "orders in stock". StuRat (talk) 14:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The origin of the term "backlog" and of one sense of "log" may be enlightening.[51][52]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:08, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Can someone explain why logarithms are so called? (talk) 18:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
From New Latin logarithmus, term coined by Scot mathematician John Napier from Ancient Greek λόγος (lógos, “word, reason”) and ἀριθμός (arithmós, “number”). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
If you permutate 'loga' you get 'algo' (that permutation can be written (lao)), which is entirely irrelevant Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 20:20, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Annexure- for building?[edit]

Can an annex to a main block alternately called annexure? -- (talk) 14:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Wiktionary defines the noun annexure as "something annexed". However, I've never heard the word, and I don't believe it would be common usage. Rojomoke (talk) 16:49, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This [53] explains that the surviving usage is almost solely as a synonym for "appendix" in certain legal documents. While OP might be able to defend such a usage as "That class meets in the annexure of the math building" it would be confusing to many readers, and look archaic/pompous/efete to most of the rest. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Legalese is a law unto itself. For example, in a legal document the word "user" does not mean what you think it means, it means "usage". Conversely, these special terms can trickle out into the ordinary language, as many specialist terms do. The "premises" in a lease are the conditions attached to the demise, but in ordinary language the word has come to mean the building itself. Are there any other words which are plural but have no plural connotation? (talk) 18:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Scissors, spectacles (glasses), trousers, pants, knickers, series ... and for fun, chaos and kudos. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:47, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
User:JackofOz Since when is "chaos" a plural of any sort? It's just a word that ends in -s. Straight through ancient Greek to Latin to Old Fr to Eng [54]. \chi \alpha \omicron \varsigma is just a third declension singular nominative form in Ancient Greek [55], and it originally meant "void" or "abyss", which are both singular concepts. See also Chaos_(cosmogony), which says it's from a verb, but wiktionary says that is uncertain [56]. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:37, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I did say "for fun". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
And famously grits: "I'm not sure if I'll like them, so you better just give me one grit to start with". StuRat (talk) 19:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Apropos of grits, when living in Scotland I learned that "porridge" used to be treated as a plural word: e.g. "These porridge are delicious." I gather this is now only an historical curiosity. {The poster formerly known as 87,81.230.195} (talk) 17:23, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
What I was getting at is these examples from Jack relate to more than one leg, lens or whatever. Series can be infinite. (talk) 18:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we treat them as if they were plural (we never talk of a trouser or a scissor) and they take plural pronouns (these knickers, not this knicker) but they still connote singular objects. Series can be either singular or plural depending on the context, as can sheep, fish etc, but the default would be singular. An infinite series is still just one (1) series. I'm sure there would be an infinite number of infinite series. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"A scissor" is substandard but not unencountered in AmEng. μηδείς (talk) 21:20, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Double negatives are not unencountered either. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
We do say trouser leg, when talking about one particular part of the trousers, Jack, and we can say scissor blade, when talking about one particular part of the scissors. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:45, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Wait, chao DOES have a singular. shoy (reactions) 12:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Kage, in those contexts "trouser" and "scissor" are adjectives. It's the norm to remove the plural endings when (morphologically) plural words become converted to adjectives. Thus, "I walked for seven miles today" becomes "I went on a seven-mile walk today". If someone were to eat your testicles in between 2 slices of bread, they'd be having "a testicle sandwich". There are exceptions, though: The case for one's glasses is still "glasses case", not "glass case", because the latter would connote a case made of glass. See, English is smart, that way. We make exceptions to any rule if it suits our convenience in communicating exactly and unambiguously what we mean. As long as everyone accepts the exception (rather than excepts the acception), that system works just dandily, and if it ain't broke, there's no case for it to be fixed. For example, everyone accepted that it's referred to the abbreviation for "it is" or "it has", and its referred to the 3rd person singular neuter possessive pronoun (or possessive adjective, if you prefer). That worked brilliantly; until some uneducated* people decided it was more logical to insert an apostrophe into its, thus introducing a needless ambiguity and acting in contravention of a very longstanding international agreement with which nobody had a problem. Others followed suit, and now the entire language is utterly wrecked, ruined, smashed, violated and perverted, hyperbolically speaking. (* It's the fault of the "education" systems under which they suffered.) I seem to have meandered off track. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
They are not adjectives, Jack, they are attributive nouns, which still means they are nouns, and in my examples they are perfectly fine with having singular forms. I challenge thee to a dual (and not a plural). KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 23:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I accept your jewel. Make mine an emerald, to match my eyes. Rubies and lapis lazuli are acceptable, too. But no diamonds, please; they're so common. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Uneducated people don't "get" logic. They just don't know any better. That's why you see "Potato's 25p lb" on market stalls. (talk) 10:34, 31 July 2015 (UTC)


The negation of can is "cannot". The negation of shall is "shall not". The negation of do is "do not". So, why is the negation of eat "do not eat" and not "eat not"? (talk) 18:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

It can be, in poetic language. Same for go not, speak not, write not, etc.
See Arthur Hugh Clough's "Say not that the struggle naught availeth / The labour and the wounds are vain / The enemy faints not, nor faileth, / And as things have been they remain." -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:53, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

So, it's only part of poetic language and not everyday language? (talk) 18:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

"do", "can" and "be" are auxiliary verbs, the rules are different for them. "Eat not" would be regular somewhere around the 14th century (it still works in German), but today it sounds archaic and this is also what gives such expressions their poetic quality Asmrulz (talk) 19:09, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
These constructions come about because they're frequently called on and easy to say. They are contracted for that reason. This happens in all languages: Portuguese em + o becomes no. In English you get can't, don't, won't, sha'n't (when did sha'n't reduce to sha'nt?) (talk) 20:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
According to this, "shan't" [sic] is actually older. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 20:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
See Do-support. --ColinFine (talk) 23:16, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Adjectival form of "lacking imagination"[edit]

I'm struggling with the way "imaginationless" fails to roll off the tongue smoothly, can anyone suggest an alternative? I'm trying to write something like "Such an imaginationless person shouldn't be allowed to read to children." It's a statement about a specific person thus "Someone without imagination shouldn't..." doesn't fit well either. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

How about "insipid" or "uncreative"? (talk) 19:04, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"The unimaginative shouldn't attempt...". StuRat (talk) 19:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Or more directly, "Such an unimaginative person...". -- (talk) 03:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure a person can be called unimaginative, I would only use it to describe a work or action - "unimaginative plan/decor/menu/novel". Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:07, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Lower-left-brained. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Dull. DuncanHill (talk) 16:49, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Bless, blessed[edit]

In general parlance, someone may say, "We feel so blessed at this dinner!" which means "We feel so happy at this dinner!" However, the verb form "bless" seems to depart from the happy meaning, because "We feel so holy at this dinner!" just doesn't make any sense, but "We feel so favored at this dinner!" makes sense, because the inviter probably invited the guest to be at the dinner. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that to bless someone or something means to make something holy, not to make something or someone happy, though I suppose happiness may be the result of being holy. Anyway, I find that the discrepancy between "bless" and "blessed" highlights the idiomatic uses of the words. When people ask their parents for a blessing of their marriage, I presume they are really asking their parents' permission to marry, because "approve" is one of the accepted Merriam-Webster's definitions. Can someone please clarify for me the difference between "bless" and "blessed"? Are they related terms or not? What about the emotion involved in "feeling blessed"? Why "blessing someone" doesn't mean "making someone happy"? (talk) 19:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I think you will find that those using this terminology are using it in a religious sense: favored by God. StevenJ81 (talk) 20:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
[ec] Such a use of "blessed" isn't idiomatic in UK English - "We feel so blessed at this dinner" would only be said by a very religious (not necessarily Christian) person with a deliberately religious meaning; that is, it _would_ unambiguously mean "we feel so holy". It might be used to mean "fortunate" ("We've been blessed by good weather today"), but it always has religious overtones. Tevildo (talk) 20:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if accurse and accursed would be the opposite of bless and blessed. However, I never hear anyone say, "I feel so accursed!" or "I curse you to ten years of unhappiness and bad luck!" (talk) 20:51, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you have to be religious to feel that food is provided by God's gift. When I was at school lunch ("dinner") was preceded by grace - a prefect would say "for what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful" and then everyone started eating. Cf. the Blessed Sacrament, which is a meal of bread and wine received by Christians and "manna from heaven". (talk) 20:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
71.79, that's the goodness of human nature shining through. (talk) 20:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Part of the subtlety is that there is an underlying assumption that both God and human beings can bestow blessings. If someone says "we feel so blessed" at a dinner, the implication is, as I perceive it, is that God has provided abundant food and good health to those present. But this can be metaphorical as well as literalistic. One can be grateful for nature's bounty and one's own good fortune, and frame it in vaguely religious language, without believing in a God who says to himself, "I think that I will bless that splendid McNamara dinner party in Scranton, Pennsylvania this evening", while simultaneously saying "I think that I will withold the blessings of thin soup today from that Somali family in that refugee camp, and let typhus take their child". That would be a horrifying God. Much is left unsaid when such language is used. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
"To bless" doesn't mean "to make happy" and "blessed" doesn't mean "happy", except by extension of that fact that if you were blessed you would probably also become happy as a side-effect. The original meaning of blessing was to bestow divine favour on someone/thing. (The term is Germanic pagan in origin, not Biblical, and etymologically related to "blood", which would have been used in the ritual. Similar concepts occur in many other religions though, hence its use in English translations of the Bible). Originally if parents gave their blessing to a marriage, they would literally be invoking the gods to ensure it was successful. Over time, the meaning was watered down to merely "approving and expressing hope that it was successful". Likewise, originally if someone said they felt blessed at a meal, they would literally mean that they felt as though the gods were favoring them. If people are now using it to mean simply that they are feeling happy, that is a change in meaning from the original. If people are not also using "bless" to mean "make happy", that's because English (unlike French) doesn't have anyone to force people to use words consistently. Iapetus (talk) 14:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if the meaning "happy" of blessed was also partly influenced by the etymologically unrelated bliss (which is related to blithe instead). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:50, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Syntax: not...either[edit]

Are all of the following sentences correct / acceptable, syntacticallly?

  1. "I'm not old, and you are not old either".
  2. "I'm not old, nor are you old either".
  3. "I'm not old, and I'm not tall either".
  4. "I'm not old, nor am I tall either". (talk) 21:45, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

The two that have both "nor" and "either" are wrong.
  • "I'm not old, nor are you old either" should be "I'm not old, nor are you old", or "I'm not old, neither are you old".
  • "I'm not old, nor am I tall either" should be "I'm not old, nor am I tall" or "I'm not old, neither am I tall".
The other two are fine. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lob ! Oops, I meant thanks a lock ! Oh sorry, I meant...thanks a lodge... What's this? Sorry again, I meant...thanks a log... Oh no, What's happening with me today? Thanks a loll ! No no no...
I just called, to say, thanks a lot ! Oh, that's it ! Thanks a lot ! Thank you so much, Jack, I appreciate your answer ! Thankxs ! (talk) 09:23, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd shorten them a lot, too:
  • "I'm not old, nor are you."
  • "Neither of us is old."
  • "I'm not old, nor tall."
  • "I'm neither old nor tall."
I prefer the 2nd and 4th. StuRat (talk) 14:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Me too. Your version #3 is ungrammatical, imo. "I'm not old, nor am I tall" can't be reduced to "I'm not old, nor tall". It ought to be "I'm not old, or tall". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:49, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

OP's comment: I was just looking for grammatical sentences with "not...either" (or "nor...either", had this been grammatical) (talk) 10:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

big-bigger, vs. good-"gooder"[edit]

Since English has "warm-warmer", "high-higher", and likewise, why doesn't English have "good-gooder"? Has the word "gooder" - always been abnormal - in all periods of English?

HOOTmag (talk) 22:05, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

See suppletion. It is neither uncommon with frequently used paradigms, nor unique to English. μηδείς (talk) 22:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The very phenomenon of suppletion, is well-known in many languages - including English of course (e.g. "He has" instead of "He haves"), but my question is mainly about the psychology hidden behind specific cases (e.g. "gooder" "badder"), which - due to some reason - became cases of suppletion, i.e. my question is about what this reason was.
Take "badder" as an example: I can only guess, that maybe people don't like it because it can easily be confused with "better" - which has just the opposite meaning, so they preferred the other word - "worse" - which was already used before it was preferred to "badder". Anyways, I still wonder about "gooder": what's bad in using it, and why people decided to prefer "better". Notice that I'm not asking about "better": I assume it derives from words like "beneficial" and the like: I'm more curious about why "gooder" was ruled out... HOOTmag (talk) 22:39, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Mere irregularity of form such as have~has is not suppletion. —Tamfang (talk) 05:48, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
See also the word origins, which may help:[57][58][59] [60][61][62]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not a linguist, but good-better has an exact equivalent in German: gut-besser, so that one seems to predate the separation of the two languages. (talk) 22:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is a particular example of the tension between Words and Rules, extensively discussed in Pinker's book of that name. --ColinFine (talk) 23:19, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

A more recent example is person~people. "Persons" is still used in formal writing, as is "peoples". They are historically completely different words, but have become identified with each other. Why that happened is an extremely difficult question to answer. — kwami (talk) 04:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Going by the OED, which may be out of date, it seems that 'bad' is a relatively recent word, originally meaning s.t. like 'sissy'. It used to be 'evil > worse' or 'ill > worse'. (He's ill, he's gotten worse.) When 'bad' displaced evil/ill, it inherited the comparative 'worse', and the original comparative 'badder' dropped out of use. (You can see this a lot, actually: I'm fucked, but you're worse -- does that make 'worse' the comparative of 'fucked'?) — kwami (talk) 04:22, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Interesting question. Leo Tolstoy once said to Anton Chekhov: You know I can't stand Shakespeare's plays, but yours are even worse. Worse than what? Does "I can't stand X" automatically mean "X is bad"? Not in my world; when did the definition of "bad" become "whatever Tolstoy didn't like"? Or anyone else? It seems Tolstoy is inviting Chekhov to believe that Shakespeare is bad, but he doesn't explicitly say so. I'm sure this is subtly related to your foregoing question. Somehow. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Suppletion is usually found in highly frequent words. Good vs. bad, many/much vs. few/little, big/great vs. small/little, young vs. old, high vs. low, these kinds of highly frequent adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms (and also adverbial forms) in other languages, too. There are languages in which there are only a limited number of adjectives in the first place (compare Adjective#Distribution and Part of speech#Open and closed classes), and they usually designate exactly those kinds of qualities I have just enumerated. The psychological explanation may simply be that the luxury of having separate unrelated words or roots for paradigmatically related or derived forms is only affordable for extremely frequently used concepts, while in less frequent lexemes, they tend to be regularised even if they were once irregular (as a result of sound change, for example) as otherwise they would be too big of a burden on memory. This may mean that the "default" state is actually to have completely separate, unrelated lexemes for related concepts (personpeople, kingqueen, goodwell, gowent, onefirst, healthyill/sick, bigsize), and what requires explanation is the presence of a relationship of form. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Suppletion specifically means the replacement of one or more forms in a grammatical paradigm where a regular form might be expected, by another form from an entirely different root. It has nothing to do with synonyms (small, little), opposites (young, old) or words with similar meanings (fewer, less) which are used in different contexts.
Examples of suppletion in English include good/better, person/people, and go/went. These three sets are highly susceptible to suppletion, with Spanish having bueno/mejor, persona/gente, voy/fui and Rusyn having dobry/lepszy chelovek/lyudi, idu/poshol.
Some suppletive pairs have no surviving alternatives, like good and better which do not admit of gooder and bet. Others still have regular forms like persons and peoples which retains special meanings (bodies and ethnic groups). While went is still somewhat transparently from wend, English has lost the preterite form of go, although German still has ich ging and we have lost the realization that "gang" is derived from "to go". Florian is correct that the reason suppletion is retained is due to frequency. Infrequent irregular forms of all sorts are normally lost over time. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Having worked out how to start a post with a blob, I am sure the British realise that when a Scotsman says "gang awa'" that translates as either "went away" or "gone away". (talk) 10:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

Question, A[edit]

What is it called when books or movies are written like this: "Movie, The" or "Book, A"? —User 000 name 09:38, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't have a particular name, but it usually happens when you have an alphabetical list or index of titles. If a film is called "The Movie" it appears in an alphabetical list under Movie, not The. --Viennese Waltz 11:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Usually (as with the rearrangement of personal names for the purposes of alphabetization), this is called inversion. See, for example, the first paragraph under "Titles of Works" here. Deor (talk) 11:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Bocardo Prison[edit]

What is the origin of Bocardo in the name of the Bocardo Prison? DuncanHill (talk) 21:04, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

According to this book ("Imprisonment in Medieval England", CUP, 1968 - not sure about the author), it's either from the syllogism (unlikely) or from "bog" (in both the literal and - er - metaphorical senses). Tevildo (talk) 21:31, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
That book isby Ralph Pugh. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:15, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
As a corollary, why is the syllogism called a bocardo? DuncanHill (talk) 21:36, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
See Syllogism#Bocardo (OAO-3). The important element is the vowels - O = "Some ... are not", A = "All ... are". Incidentally, it's called "Bocardo" (a regular proper noun, like "Kevin"), not "a bocardo". Tevildo (talk) 00:02, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
The Second Annual Report of the Proceedings of the Oxford University Genealogical and Heraldic Society: Volume 1, 1835 (p. 37) suggests that the name of the gateway (later a prison) was "derived from the Anglo-Saxon, bochord, a library or archive". It also says that it is "probable" that "the academic prison lent its name to logic". Alansplodge (talk) 22:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I like bochord - bookhoard, where I hoard my horde of books. DuncanHill (talk) 22:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

"ee" and "oo"[edit]

These two digraphs are pretty common in English, but they occur word-initially only in very few, mostly obscure words. Why? I'm aware that "English is weird" is often a valid enough explanation for such issues, but I was wondering if there was anything beyond that. --Theurgist (talk) 21:58, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

These two digraphs were used in Middle English for long high-mid /eː/ and /oː/ in closed (checked) syllables. What words do you expect to begin with these sounds in English? I just wonder.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:34, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
It is eerie, isn't it? --Jayron32 22:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The sound represented by the diagraph "ee" in Modern English (/iː/) does occur word-initially but is usually just spelled differently in that position: "eat", "ear", "east", "Easter", "either" "ether", etc. As for why that is, I imagine it has to do with what were historically different sounds converging to Modern (American, anyway) English /iː/.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:46, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Eephus pitch, and also the ever-popular "Eek!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
There are oodles of them. — kwami (talk) 01:25, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
The language is oozing with them even. --Jayron32 02:15, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
One of those "facts" which commonly come up in this sort of discussion is that "eel" is the only word in English of the form XXY. Is there a counterexample? Tevildo (talk) 08:14, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes there is, Bugs has provided it above. Oops... Tevildo (talk) 08:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
OOK! The Librarian (ook) 08:57, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Oom - a respectful form of address to an older man. DuncanHill (talk) 09:47, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
⟨ea⟩ was pronounced as open low-mid /ɛː/, so it is not the case. ⟨Ei⟩ in "either" is in open syllable. They could write it ⟨ether⟩ in Middle English, but it rather had some other sound than /eː/. "Oodles" is a 19C slang word of unknown origin. So we are only left with "eel", "eerie" (which is a dialectism) and "ooze".
The answer to the question this: it just simply happened. There were not many Proto-Indo-European words that could become (through Proto-Gemanic through Old English) /eːC(C)/ and /oːC(C)/ in Middle English (and then in Modern English /iːC(C)/ and /uːC(C)/. In such cases linguistics usually cannot answer "why" but only can explain "how".--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 09:26, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Eesome - "Attractive or gratifying to the eye". And I doubt eerie/eery could be regarded as a dialectism. OED does say " It has recently been often used in general literature, but is still regarded as properly Scotch." but that seems to have been hanging around since 1891. DuncanHill (talk) 09:43, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
"Scotch"? Is that the OED's standard usage? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:28, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Official translation of official documents[edit]

Let's say that I need to provide someone with an official copy of a vital record (e.g., birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, etc.). The original official document is in a foreign language. So, two questions. (1): Do you have to also provide a translation, along with the original document? Or just the original document itself? And, (2): If a translation is needed, where does one go for that? For an "official" translated certified copy, that is. A court? An embassy? A consulate? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:14, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

See Apostille Convention.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I never saw that article, nor even heard of that concept. But ... that whole process (Apostille) seems to result in a document that says "this is a valid signature on this document" (similar to a notary public). But, that does not in any way translate the document, correct? So, how does the person on the receiving end know what it says? Yes, they will know that it is a valid and official document from the foreign country. But, how will they know what the document says? I am totally confused. Help! Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:58, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Every country has its own procedures, but practically there are certified services and translator agencies, who will do the translation and write some sort of a letter, confirming the correctness of the translation. For example, some person has a document in Russian and want to use it abroad, he goes to a professional translator who translates the document, writes the confirmation letter ("I, Ivan Ivanov, did this translation...") and then goes to a notary who confirms the signature of the translator ("I, Ivan Smirnov, confirm Ivan Ivanov's identity and his/her signature"). See also an explanation. P.S. Seems I and MChesterMC were writing our answers simultaneously. --Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 09:06, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Firstly, it will depend on who you are providing the document to, and what they want. But in general, if a certified translation is necessary, this is a matter of sending it to a translator, who will then add text to the effect of "this is a true and accurate translation of document", with their signature and contact details (which may need to be notarised, depending on the jurisdiction). For the UK, see [63], and [64] is a blog with some details on the US case. For a signed document, you may need both a certified translation (to tell them what the document says), and an apostille or notarised copy (to tell them that the signature is valid). We have the article Translating for legal equivalence, but it's in a hell of a state, and doesn't seem to be that useful for most countries. MChesterMC (talk) 08:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]

etymology of Quidlivun[edit]

A feature on Pluto has been named "Quidlivun", after the Inuit land of the dead on the Moon. It's hard to tell how corrupted the form is. Does anyone know what this would be in the orthography of any variety of Inuit? — kwami (talk) 01:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Category:User iu and Category:User ik might be helpful.—Wavelength (talk) 02:00, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Good idea. Pinging those editors. @Guillermo2149: @Vellidragon: @Zanimum/Babel: @SKREAM:kwami (talk) 04:39, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Reference Desk regular Cambridge Bay Weather (talk · contribs) would likely be more helpful. Adam Bishop (talk) 09:59, 31 July 2015 (UTC)


July 25[edit]

Theme song[edit]

Hello Reference desk assistant:

    Re: Name of theme song and the name of the singer

What is the name of the song and the singer's name for the t.v. show "Stole Voices: Buried Secrets from the Information Discovery network that aired from January 2011 and for three seasons.


Julie D.F. Tallahassee, Florida 32317

Here is the IMDB page for the TV show. Maybe you could search around there for the name of the song. There's also a discussion forum for the show at the IMDB page. Maybe someone knows there. --Jayron32 16:49, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
The theme song is "Mad World". I believe this is the Gary Jules version, not the original by Tears for Fears. Tevildo (talk) 20:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, this is definitely the Jules version (AKA the Donnie Darko tune). InedibleHulk (talk) 04:49, July 30, 2015 (UTC)

Kenny G lyrics?[edit]

This study states that Kenny G comes last among 99 top-selling artists in terms of vocabulary size. That makes sense: the guy plays the saxophone. But the study also states his songs still use 809 words. That I really don't get. Are there any songs where Kenny G sings? Cause I'm not aware of any. If not, can anyone explain? Contact Basemetal here 17:59, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

A number of his songs have guest vocalists - e.g. his eponymous debut album includes "Here We Are", which has guest vocals by Greg Walker (and some backing vocalist(s), I think). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:57, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Tin Man (song)[edit]

And cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the tropic of Sir Galahad

Am I hearing this right? Any conjectures on what, if anything, it means? —Tamfang (talk) 20:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

No idea. The best answer on this forum - Tropic of Sir Gallahad was: 'Don't expect anything from the band America to make sense. They also talk about "alligator lizards in the air" and "the ocean is a desert with its life underground."' Alansplodge (talk) 20:41, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I have seen a suggestion that it uses tropic from a rare adjective form of tropism which has a secondary meaning "natural inclination"[65]. Sir Galahad was known for being "pure of heart". Rmhermen (talk) 20:46, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Note that it is possible for an ocean to be a desert, if you ignore the part of the definition where a desert is on land, since a desert is defined by amount of rainfall. As to the "life underground", I suppose that can mean "below the surface". StuRat (talk) 20:59, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Many bands seems to want their lyrics to seem "deep", but lack the inclination or ability to actually write deep lyrics, so just throw random phrases together in the hopes that those unable to decipher them will assume there is some deep hidden meaning, and keep buying their songs to attempt to figure it all out. Reminds me of the TV series Lost, which took the same approach. StuRat (talk) 21:07, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Most importantly see Prosody (music). Some composers write melodies and rhythms to fit words; others start with the melody and rhythm and fit words to it. Some songwriters aren't terribly concerned with the meaning of the words, but rather how they work in the music. Scat singing is an extreme form of this, but other songwriters incorporate the "words for their sound regardless of their meaning" mentality, much of Kurt Cobain's songwriting has little meaning of itself, but is written for it's prosody, also one things of Steve Miller's nonsense word "pompatus" or Shock G's "luptid" as other rather famous examples of making the word fit the music. Sometimes, songs lyrics have meaning. But they don't always have to, and there's no need to assume the songwriter intended any deeper meaning than "this collection of syllables sounds just right here..." --Jayron32 22:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • MacArthur Park is a bit different. The metaphors, such as the cake "melting" in the rain, are understandable, just rather saccharine (sickeningly sweet). Tin Man is beyond understanding, as it's just random nonsense. StuRat (talk) 01:35, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • "Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't already have" makes sense. What it has to do with the rest of the song is hard to tell. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Tamfang, I can confirm two things: (1) You're not the first to wonder about this; and (2) My kind and I Me and my kind have no truck with tin men. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:49, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Then don't buy any aluminum siding. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:47, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

Need help IDing a certain wuxia film[edit]

Can anyone ID this one for me? It appears to be a recently-made wuxia title which was aired at one time on a network in the Philippines, and while it took place in an eastern fantasy setting, it was sprinkled with Mel Brooks-esque anachronisms and references to films e.g. the Titanic axe scene. Blake Gripling (talk) 07:11, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

That's not a lot to go on - tons of stuff like that out there. Can you remember anything about the fantasy aspects? Any particular monster or magical ability? Category:Wuxia_films might help. Also could be something by Stephen Chow. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:36, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
There's some fantasy elements into the film afaik, but other than that I could vaguely remember the details, apart from a scene when the characters film a young woman with modern camcorders. Blake Gripling (talk) 02:29, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

theme music on the paper chase tv series[edit]

what is the orchestra style theme music on the second season of the paper chase tv series

I assume you are not referring to "The First Years Are Hard Years" (or whatever title) by Seals and Crofts? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This, which doesn't sound familiar to me, but maybe Jack of Oz or another of our music experts will recognize it. (Although I would think it was written for the show.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Glenn Yarbrough and The Limelighters[edit]

From July 1971 until July 1973 I was in California and saw Glenn Yarbrough and The Limelighters at The Sand Castle, a restaurant bar on San Antonio Road in Los Altos California. After the intermission Glenn did not return to the stage because authorities were in the audience to arrest him for past alimony. The Limelighters that night performed a 'new song" called "Considering How Much I Love You' (second line of song was Considering How Much I Care). I have never seen this song on any discography they did and an e mail with a fan site revealed no information. I would love to know if anyone can find out what happened to this song. It was a great song. Thank you R Gulmi

I can't find anything through a quick search - but you may want to contact him direct. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:10, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Here's his article: Glenn Yarbrough (it doesn't answer the Q, though). StuRat (talk) 22:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Card Game - Hawaii Five-O ?[edit]

My granddaughter said that, when she was at camp, probably two summers ago, she and a cabin-mate played a game that she thinks was called Hawaii Five-O, and that it was a lot of fun. She doesn't recall the details. I can't find a Wikipedia article on any card game with a name similar to that. Can anyone think what game she might be remembering? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Probably not it: 52 Pickup. Dismas|(talk) 02:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Not listed at Maybe she misremembered the name. It would help to have more information about how it was played.--Shantavira|feed me 08:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There is a poker variant called Five-O poker. I don't know whether that's the game in question, obviously; but if it were, one would think that your granddaughter would have mentioned the poker connection. Deor (talk) 11:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. She said that the cards spread out all over the bed. She also said, separately, that she doesn't know poker, so it isn't poker. 52 pickup would spread all over, but there would have to be some special rule to make it an actual game in order for her to think it was fun, since normally 52 pickup is just a prank. Can anyone think of a game with a similar name in which the cards spread all over the bed (or all over a table)? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Could it be another name for Concentration, also called Memory or Pelmanism? -- (talk) 20:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
No. Her sister likes to play Memory, so that if it were Memory, she would have said that it is a name for or form of Memory. Thank you. If she can't remember it, then we don't know what it is. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:48, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Scoring runs in cricket[edit]

Confused by Scoring runs in cricket. Imagine that you hit the ball, run to the other wicket and back, and you return safely before the bails get knocked off the stumps, and your partner simultaneously runs to the other the stumps. Have the two of you scored two runs or four? Or in other words, you hit the ball, run to the other end safely, and your partner runs safely to the end you were defending; does the scorer award your side one run or two? Nyttend (talk) 12:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Two and one respectively, not four and two. --Dweller (talk) 13:04, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Here's the obligatory link to the "tea towel explanation". --Dweller (talk) 13:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The point is that the runs only count if both batsmen run the full length of the wicket. Law 18: "A run is scored ... so often as the batsmen, at any time while the ball is in play, have crossed and made good their ground from end to end." AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Is that fact in the article, or in Run (cricket)? If so, I overlooked it in both. If not, could it be added, perhaps in the intro? It's such a basic concept that it ought to be spoon-fed to someone like me who's unfamiliar with the topic. Everywhere I looked could be interpreted as saying either "each guy scores a run each time he makes it safely" or "one run is scored each time both guys make it safely". Nyttend (talk) 14:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
It is in Run (cricket), in the sentence beginning "The simplest way for a batsman to score a run ..". It's also explained in Laws_of_cricket#Scoring_and_winning: "Runs are scored when the two batsmen run to each other's end of the pitch". But there are other ways that runs can be scored, with no actual running involved (boundaries and extras). AndrewWTaylor (talk) 15:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. "Runs are scored when the two batsmen run to each other's end of the pitch" sounds like both of them score runs when that happens. If "a batsman" can score a run, "when the two batsmen run to..." should mean that both of them are scoring. I'm just asking for something that specifically says something like "One run is scored each time that the two batsmen run to each other's end of the pitch without either of them being dismissed." Is that a fair summary? I've changed my proposed phrase several times in the last few minutes because I'm still not confident that I'm understanding rightly. Nyttend (talk) 20:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The only person who scores runs is the batsman to whom the bowler is bowling. His partner at the other end doesn't. --TammyMoet (talk) 14:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, so the batsman hits the ball and both batsmen run for their opposite wickets. The one who hit the ball arrives safely, but the other one is put out. So the original batsman remains safe, but no run is tallied. Right? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Correct. --Viennese Waltz 15:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Correct. See the link provided above by AndrewWTaylor, subsection 9: "the batting side shall also score runs completed before the wicket was put down." So if they complete 2 runs, but either of them is run out attempting a third, two runs are scored. By contrast, if a wicket falls because of a catch, and somehow the ball was hit so high that a run or runs were able to be completed before the catch, none of them count. --Dweller (talk) 15:10, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Somewhat analogous to the baseball requirement of tagging up when a fly ball is hit, before you can advance. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I will just comment that this question appears to illustrate how cricket can be confusing to an American, because it is similar to baseball but different from baseball. I am sure that similarly baseball can be confusing to a Briton or Indian, because it is similar to cricket but different from cricket. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:13, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
They're not so different on a high level: A guy delivers the ball to a guy holding a bat, and he tries to hit it and score runs by running around (between) the "bases". We have an article called Comparison of baseball and cricket. For someone who knows something about each game, the article is a good way to reinforce and expand upon that knowledge. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Another way of thinking about it is that both batsmen have to contribute to the running, but the score is attributed to the batsman to whom the ball was bowled and who hit it away. Just as a wicket is always attributed to the bowler who bowled the ball, even if it's not a direct hit on the wickets and the getting-out was mostly a result of the skill of other fielders. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Not always - "run out" and "timed out" are just that, no mention of the bowler. Have never seen an instance of "Obstructed the field" and can't remember how that is noted. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Just that. Same with hit the ball twice (Law 34) and handled the ball (Law 33). For each, the Laws say "The bowler does not get credit for the wicket." --Dweller (talk) 10:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Known Common Ancestor[edit]

Do cricket and baseball have a known common ancestor game of the base-and-ball type, or is that common ancestor lost? (The common ancestor of association football, rugby, the other rugby-like games, and gridiron football seems to have been English town football.) Robert McClenon (talk) 17:13, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

See Origins of baseball and History of cricket to 1725. Stoolball is attested from 1450, cricket (by that name) from 1598, and baseball (by that name) from 1744, although it's not obvious that there's a direct line of descent, and there are references to other bat-and-ball games going back to the thirteenth century. Tevildo (talk) 18:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
When I lived in Barnsley, they played a form of Stoolball called Nipsy, and I was informed that its origins were lost in the mists of time. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:32, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"Rule #2 for stoolball: Obtain a ball, consisting of hard, spherical ball of stool..." StuRat (talk) 21:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Also see former England and Kent and Cambridge University cricketer (and current Test Match Special commentator) Ed Smith who has written on this subject. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:53, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

What is this popular 1970's guitar riff?[edit]

Hi there. This has been bugging me for months, what is this 1970's guitar riff? It is from a British film on named Pressure (1975) at 28:00 mins in. I have heard it before but a Shazam search returned nothing. I tried adding the YouTube link in, but it would not let me, so a the top result for a YouTube search on 'This Britain - Pressure' brings the video I am referring too. Thank you. --Manniqaarn (talk) 19:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't recognize it, but it's electric guitar, so any experts on early 70's (presumably British) electric guitar ought to take a listen. That was a bit before my time, and I only have vague memories of Peter Frampton and the like. StuRat (talk) 21:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
It's hard to place, I don't recognize the music directly, but if I had to guess, the music sounds a lot like Santana (band), the percussion especially has that Latin American sound that musicians like José Areas and Coke Escovedo brought to Santana; if it isn't Santana, it's someone trying hard to be Santana. The guitar doesn't sound exactly like Carlos Santana, that's why I have some pause, but it could be him. --Jayron32 02:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I've tried it on Shazam, AudioTag and Midomi, and none of them recognise it. It's definitely not Santana - the guitarist has tried to get that thick, bassy tone that Santana uses, and that Eric Clapton used in Cream, but he doesn't the same touch or phrasing as either of them. It might not be a record at all - it could be library music in a Cream/Santana-ish style. --Nicknack009 (talk) 07:38, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't sound like Santana to me. DuncanHill (talk) 08:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The opening (about 27:45) is reminiscent of Ram Jam's Black Betty. The rest of it isn't. DuncanHill (talk) 08:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

Dr. Murad Yassin Alrvua[edit]

  • Google Translate says: Murad Yassin Alrvua — Dr. Murad Yassin Alrvua born in 13/07/1975 Jordan Masss nomadic group without the 2010 borders and the group aims to travel approximately the world and the convergence of cultures between global communities writer and author best known for the production of the short film the seventh floor, which became a popular on YouTube in 2008, directed by Iqbal Qureshi —Tamfang (talk) 07:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Is there a question ? StuRat (talk) 15:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Bandy in Russia after the Revolution[edit]

Was there a RSFSR national bandy team in the 1920s and 1930s, as is said in the biography about Vladimir Vonog, and why is the link going to Soviet Union national bandy team? Egon Igel (talk) 11:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Good English films with good English subtitles[edit]

I'm in several social circles regularly watching good English-language movies (of high cinematic value). However any language selection has major drawbacks:

  • Watching the translated version of the film (in our case, in German) throws away a lot of the cinematic experience. Too much is lost in translation.
  • However 'our' English skills are not good enough not to miss a lot when watching the film in original (of course the English ability is very different individually, but overall, it's a relevant problem). English has very many words and idioms you won't learn in school. If you don't understand a sentence, it's simply lost - you have no chance to retrieve it.
  • Original sound track + translated subtitles is asking too much - you can't concentrate on the plot, the (often loose or faulty) translation AND the original dialogue - again, you will loose it.
  • So the best solution seems to watch the film in English with English subtitles. It is easy to join the oral and written text, and if you don't know some expression, at least you can memorize it (or write it down) and look after it later on. But this encounters the problem that many English films have only English subtitles for the hearing-impaired - the text im much more mutilated than necessary, and sound effects are put on screen ("*Squeezing*"), which is very annoying for viewers with good sense of hearing. So, after this long introduction, my concern:

Who knows good English films with good English subtitles we could choose from? --KnightMove (talk) 13:48, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, most DVDs of English-language films have English subtitles as an option, and not just those for the hard of hearing. So any DVD should do the trick. --Viennese Waltz 14:55, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
That has not been my experience. I agree with the OP. If they do offer it, it's more likely to be called "Closed Captioning" (CC). I speak English perfectly well, but at times I can't make out the dialog over background noise, so would like the CC option. Some interesting things I've noticed about subtitles/CC:
1) It doesn't always match the dialog. There's them truncating CC during fast talking, like "How are you, great to see you again" becoming just "Hi", etc. But then there're times when there's dialog in the CC that isn't spoken. Here I think the CC followed the script, while the spoken dialog was changed or edited out.
2) In a foreign language film, if you both listen to the English dub and have English subtitles on, they are often entirely different translations !
3) A nice feature of CC for the hearing impaired is where they identify a song for me. StuRat (talk) 15:35, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
This is likely to depend not only on the movie but also where the DVD is sold, since the DVDs are often created by local distributors. may be helpful for UK releases. It seems to be geared toward hearing-impaired viewers, but at least some of the reviews say "English subtitles and English subtitles for the hearing impaired". -- BenRG (talk) 04:45, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Queen of Earth (2015 film)[edit]


Anyone knows who's the narrator in the film's official trailer?

thanks so much! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Do you have a link to said trailer? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:59, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like your generic deep-voiced narrator. Since there's no Internet Movie Trailer Database (coming not so soon to a website near you), it seems you'll have to ask one of the Queen's minions. Clarityfiend (talk) 19:57, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

The green car[edit]

Does anybody know the manufacturer and the model of the green in this episode of The Littlest Hobo and it is at from 15:48 to 15:58? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I think it's a Toyota Corolla. Snowsuit Wearer (talk|contribs) 21:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, doing some research, it looks more like a late 1977-1979 Mitsubishi Lancer or one of the MOPAR (Dodge, Plymouth) clones thereof, such as the Dodge Colt. The distinctive little louvers on the rear roof pillar put it as a Lancer/Colt, and the shape is right for one of the 4-door Lancer or Colt models from that era. The headlight assembly and grille is wrong though. Still looking. --Jayron32 01:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]

Dynamics vs. tempo[edit]

With both dynamics and tempo, -issimo means very.

However, moderately is represented by mezzo with dynamics (mezzo piano, not pianetto) but the -etto suffix with tempo (larghetto, not mezzo largo.) Why this inconsistency?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:26, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

This is really a question about the Italian language, rather than about music per se. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Why is old the opposite of both young and new (in every language I know except Esperanto)? —Tamfang (talk) 08:44, 31 July 2015 (UTC)


July 26[edit]

Governor Huey Pierce Long Jr actually the grandson of William Rochelle Horton per DNA.[edit]


Is there any DNA proof that Governor & Senator Huey Pierce Long Jr is actually a grandson of William Rochelle Horton?

Thank you for any assistance.

Goodbye. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:55, 26 July 2015‎

I assume that you are referring to the Governor Huey Pierce Long Jr who was assassinated in 1935: if there is DNA evidence, there doesn't seem to be anything that Google finds to show it. If you are referring to this William Rochelle Horton [66] (the dates seem about right), it might theoretically be possible to compare DNA of living descendants (assuming there are any) but I think they might want to know why the relationship was being claimed - where did the suggestion come from? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:10, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Battery Back-up on traffic signals[edit]

Can Battery-Backup be done on traffic lights if there is incandescent on any of yellow lamp. Because when I went to meet the traffic engineers at Mission Viejo the guy said to have battery backup all three colors will have the LEDs, the way it works is for the first two hours the traffic light will still go through red, green, yellow phase cycle, then the next two hours green lights stop working, what I will see is red lights will flash, after that is full black outs. When I called City of Irvine on the phone the guy told me battery backup can be done if yellow lamps are still incadescents, it is just better when all red, yellow, green is LEDs. I have seen it happen alot when green lights stop working and red lights flash, when that case scenario does it have to do with Battery Backup. I remember ten years ago in my Metropolitan Area there wasn't even LEDs on the Yellow lamps, the LED for most of South Orange County Area were only Red and Green since they were considerably more frequently illuminated than the Yellow ones, because I remember at that time I saw Red lights flash and Green lights stop working I was wondering if it has to do with Battery-Backup.-- (talk) 04:12, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Green lights stay on when there is no vehicle in demand[edit]

I thought is weird when Green lights stay on when there is no traffic in demand, because I know the rule is when there is no traffic movement in demand, the green signal demands suppose to skip completely, but sometimes during weekday rush-hours I have seen that case when green light turns on even when there is no traffic movement in demand. Could this be programming error, when the data is not reading information properly or the computer programming are done on purpose and there is a reason why the traffic engineer done it that way. And also since I tend to obsess traffic lights and want to know all the details as possible, if I want to know left turn vs. straight turns, which corners (side A or B) are more likely to skip the green signal demand, is it better to watch the signals when traffic are greater (Weekday during high volume traffic), or is it a better idea to do it when the traffic volumes are lighter (Like on Weekends or early morning or later at night), because as I noticed when left turn pockets have smaller cars, what happens is the green signals timing are shorter on side A and green signals timing are longer on B. Because sometimes I tend to do it and ignore the fact I may not get the accurate readings I hoped when during that time green lights just goes through full demand phasings.-- (talk) 04:21, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Assuming these are questions about the US, when there is no signal it is normally dealt with as if there were a red signal. You'll want to look at the relevant state laws for your local jurisdiction. μηδείς (talk) 04:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • (Your question is very hard to understand. Please repost in your native language, and we will translate it to English.)
Most traffic lights are still timed, not using sensors to detect when traffic is present, at least where I live. And even where they do use sensors, in the absence of any input from the sensors they might still go back to timing, in case the sensors are broken. StuRat (talk) 04:27, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I am asking about battery backup does all of the colors have to be LEDs, or you can do it a battery back when the Yellow lights is incadescent or all three colors are incadescents, because I have seen it when red lights flash and the green lights shuts down. I know on that intersection the Yellow light are incadescent, I have seen it when red lights flash and green lights stops working, and all red, yellow and green lamps are incadescent, does the red lights flash and green lights stop have anything to do with battery backup, or there is some other reasons like there is something wrong with the lights traffic engineers have to go through the system and fix it. (Oops I talked too fast on the battery backup part, I do have trouble controlling myself when I discuss traffic lights topic)-- (talk) 04:38, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
(You really need to read and fix your posts, to make them clearer, before submitting.)
I always assumed the reason why traffic lights go to flashing red and yellow during a power outage was that they become unable to coordinate the timing with adjacent intersections, and it's safer to slow people down with flashing yellow and red lights than to have them continue as if nothing was wrong, even though the traffic patterns will be all messed up. A related thought is that if they get the timing signal from AC current, and lose that when they go on DC backup current, then they may have to rely on less accurate timing methods, again making coordination of timing with adjacent intersections impossible. (I've noticed that my clock radio keeps abysmal time when on the battery backup.) Another twist might be if regulations regarding how the lights behave were made when different technology was used, and the rules have never been changed. StuRat (talk) 04:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • In NJ at least, there are two reasons. Flashing red and yellow is common at rural intersections where most of the traffic is along the route with the yellow light, which need only be cautious and not stop. Flashing red and yellow seems also to be the default with outages, which would match with the speculation above. I have never seen this in NYC, and most roads in Jersey that would really need a four way stop have four stop signs or a cloverleaf (traffic) or a traffic circle. For a permanent red/yellow, see the intersection of Mathistown Road and US Route 9 {just north of Penny Lane) in Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ. μηδείς (talk) 21:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • My uncle lives in Little Egg Harbor. :-) StuRat (talk) 22:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It's a very nice area, my parents had a house on Great Bay, which they sold, luckily, a few months before Sandy. My dad keeps a boat in Tuckerton. An update on the light at Rte 9: it has been changed to a normal timed light. Used to the light remaining red, he ran it, not realizing he had to wait for the green until after he made the left on red. μηδείς (talk) 17:43, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Three Newport Mansions[edit]

I'm trying to confirm the identity of three of the mansions along lower Bellevue Ave. in Newport, Rhode Island.

  1. 570 Bellevue Ave, at 41°27′48″N 71°18′18″W / 41.4634°N 71.3051°W / 41.4634; -71.3051. According to this article, this is the address of Beechwood. Vast construction activity can be seen in the current Google Earth / Google Maps imagery, tending to confirm this hypothesis.
  2. 614-618 (approx.) Bellevue Ave., at 41°27′39″N 71°18′16″W / 41.4609°N 71.3045°W / 41.4609; -71.3045. According to Wikipedia, this is Beechwood, although I'm inclined to doubt it. This map (from the Cliff Walk website) suggests it might be Clarendon Court.
  3. 624 (approx.) Bellevue Ave, at 41°27′35″N 71°18′20″W / 41.4598°N 71.3056°W / 41.4598; -71.3056. This article suggests that this is Clarendon Court. I'm not sure how reliable this article is; I wouldn't normally look to Variety as a font of architectural or georeferential knowledge, although the article does happen to include some floor plans which are clearly much closer to the building at 624 than either of the ones at 614-618. We don't have an article on Clarendon Court, although of course it's mentioned in our articles on Claus and Sunny von Bülow.

I've also got a query open at Talk:Beechwood (Astor mansion). I've very close to changing the coordinates on our Beechwood (Astor mansion) article to match the 570 Bellevue address, but I'd like to double check by confirming what's actually at the 614-618 address if not Beechwood.

If anyone happens to be in Newport, there's a historical marker across the street from Marble House that would probably resolve this. (I was there yesterday, but it wasn't until I got back that I discovered this mystery, and I didn't think to take notes.) —Steve Summit (talk) 23:29, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Never mind on most of that; someone at Talk:Beechwood (Astor mansion) has answered already. Steve Summit (talk) 23:48, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

What is this heroic trope?[edit]

Guys what is this heroic trope? Let's say Bob is our hero and wants to kill King Charlie who rules as a tyrant in the Kingdom of Alice. Bob wants to kill Charlie for revenge and doesn't care about what happens to the Kingdom. Still, the kingdom is saved when he finished his task. The citizens of Alice wants to congratulate him but Bob simply moves on. Thanks in advance. --Lenticel (talk) 01:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC) --Lenticel (talk) 01:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Possibly either The Drifter or Mysterious Stranger. Dismas|(talk) 01:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds very much like the plot to The Postman (film). KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 02:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Dismas for the links. I've looked them I think the "Mysterious Protector" variety of the Mysterious Stranger trope is the closest if we're looking at the citizens of Alice's perspective. --Lenticel (talk) 02:25, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
In the context of Lit Hist, Knight Errant may be the medieval source model. Compare the Knights of the Round Table to Samurai and Clint-Eastwoodesque laconic heroes who travel the deserts of some autistic loneliness. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 09:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

service personnel killed during the different wars[edit]

I am the commander of a VFW from Minnesota and we are looking to build a memorial for service personnel killed during the different wars that are from Minnesota. Once we find the list we will break it down to our local community. Can you help us find this list, any help will be greatly appreciated. Commander — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rickgwynn (talkcontribs)

Here's a list of Vietnam War dead from Minnesota, with their Official Homes of Record. That's an easy one. The Civil War and the world wars are going to be much tougher. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Notable people dying at Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki[edit]

I am very surprised that not even one notable person was among those killed by the atomic bomb. I mean, didn′t these cities have mayors or governors? If someone dropped an atomic bomb today on Somerville, which has now less population than Hiroshima did in 1945, certainly there would be many people with Wikipedia articles among the dead. Maybe we have missed some from Hiroshima? 2A02:582:C55:2A00:E58C:3FFC:F108:2131 (talk) 14:29, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Yi Wu. Senkichi Awaya. --Viennese Waltz 14:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Category:Hibakusha may help. It includes survivors as well as non-survivors. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I would assume that a large fraction of the problem here boils down to two things:
  1. Since the city was mostly reduced to ashes, many of the records that would enable us to establish notability may well have been annihilated.
  2. English Wikipedia is dependent on it's contributing authors to write about such things. Only a very small percentage of us speak and read Japanese well enough to find and understand the source material, and only a tiny fraction of that faction will be interested in writing biographies and an even smaller fraction of that fraction will be interested in people from that time and place. So the pool of people who are working on such matters is likely to be exceedingly small.
Because of the way Wikipedia is written, it's inevitable that our coverage will be patchy, suffering from "recentism" and a bias towards articles about people from English-speaking countries. Please don't interpret this as people being biassed one way or the other - it's just in the nature of a set of disorganized volunteer contributors.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Ronald Shaw is one notable, a British prisoner of war in Nagasaki. Adam Bishop (talk) 12:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
He seems to only be notable for being British and killed by the bomb at Nagasaki. StuRat (talk) 18:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, yet another yankee friendly fire event. I wish your guys would f**king choose their targets carefully. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 01:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
From the British POV the dropping of the bombs ended the war early, saving millions of lives, including thousands of British prisoners in Japanese POW camps that were closer to death camps. So, that was well worth the price of one British death.
I understand that Japan is now trying to change their Constitution to allow fighting abroad by their military. If this happens, they will find out it's rarely possible to kill only the enemy without any innocents being harmed. The only alternative left is to leave ISIL, etc., unchallenged to grow and commit genocide. StuRat (talk) 14:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Favoured drinks in the American Old West[edit]

Comics such as Lucky Luke and Punaniska have shown that men in the American Old West generally drunk whisky in saloons in the west. I imagine they may also have drunk beer. In fact, one Punaniska comic shows Calamity Jane offering Punaniska some wine, which he immediately refuses, thinking it would challenge his masculinity. What was the situation in real life? Did they really almost always drink whisky? And what sort of whisky? American instead of Scottish or Irish, I should presume? Did they have any preferences or did they just want to get drunk quickly? Did they also drink beer and wine? What about non-alcoholic beverages? JIP | Talk 20:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Absinthe might be included in the list of alcoholic drinks, until banned in the US by 1915.
As for non-alcoholic beverages, there were many variations on root beer, such as ginger ale and sarsparilla. Note that while Coca-Cola has roots going back to the 19th century, it was sold as a patent medicine then, in drug stores, not saloons, as it contained cocaine. StuRat (talk) 21:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Moonshine and Corn_whiskey. Note the former has a name from England but took on its own prominence in America, while the latter, strictly speaking, is a product of the New World. Here are two relevant books I found on Google that would almost certainly give you better info and more context [67] [68]. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Bourbon whiskey was the preferred drink because (a) it was relatively cheap, being made mainly from corn (maize), the most widely grown crop in America, and (b) it was easy to store and transport. In the old west the ingredients were not available to brew beer locally, and it didn't keep well enough to be transported by railroad at reasonable expense. Wine was easier to store and transport than beer, but it was still a luxury item. It wasn't just the old west by the way -- even in the east Bourbon was by far the most commonly consumed form of alcohol. Looie496 (talk) 13:53, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Hm. As for east of the Mississippi, recall Johnny Appleseed gave the gift of booze to the (then) western frontier - his nurseries and orchards did not make tasty apples, they were used for hard cider and applejack, which were both very popular as well - very easy to make in large swathes of the country, less so west of the Mississippi at that time. I'm not saying that apple booze was more popular than Bourbon necessarily, just that it was much easier to make at home than beer, and required less special processing. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
A webpage called Saloons of the American West mentions "Cactus Wine, made from a mix of tequila and peyote tea, and Mule Skinner, made with whiskey and blackberry liquor. The house rotgut was often 100 proof, though it was sometimes cut by the barkeep with turpentine, ammonia, gun powder or cayenne" but says that the main drink was rye whiskey or bourbon, also beer served at room temperature. Alansplodge (talk) 20:52, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, now I want to try Cactus wine. Might be hard to do this weekend, but I can probably manage a Mule Skinner :) SemanticMantis (talk) 13:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Be sure to put on some Mule Skinner Blues when you do so. I'm partial to the Jerry Reed/Chet Atkins version, though the Bill Monroe take on it is choice as well... --Jayron32 19:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 29[edit]

Chance of being born?[edit]

So, at one stage you consisted of spermatozoa in your dads testicles. I read that a mans testicles make 1000 sperm a second. So that's 60,000 sperm a minute. I'll let you do the math, but on a particular day your parents decided to have sex and fertilised your mommas egg.

Have I got the premise wrong or what, but did you I and everyone else have an astronomically minute chance of even existing in the first place. I mean, if another sperm got inside the egg or you didn't survive the ride through your dads epidermis and into your moms vagina you wouldn't have existed? Would the baby born be a difference person altogether. Or are are all sperm the same.

Woody Allen in 1972 made a hilarious film about this fascinating question. Akseli9 (talk) 11:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
There must be theories that approve, and others that disapprove, that the principle of natural selection, applies also among spermatozoa. Akseli9 (talk) 11:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Akseli9: I think you mean prove and disprove. Theories are not a kind of thing that can approve or disapprove things. --ColinFine (talk) 11:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes. that's what I meant. Thanks. Akseli9 (talk) 12:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
No, they're all genetically different. See Meiosis. --ColinFine (talk) 11:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Depending on what your Mom was getting up to, our article Sperm competition may be relevant. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
You can ignore biology and instead read up on interpretations of probability, and the ontology of identity, both in terms of personal identity and identity_(philosophy). When people have sex, we can come up with an estimate of chances of pregnancy. When a woman gets pregnant, we can relatively easily look at some statistics and come up with an estimate of percent chance of live birth. But none of that rationale applies to the chances of me being me, or you being you (and we need to acknowledge that this concept is ill defined). Colin and TPFKA's links are good and relevant to the bits of biology, and you should also be aware of nature vs. nurture and twin studies and heritability. But I think this is really a question about philosophy of probability and identity :) SemanticMantis (talk) 13:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The probability of "you" being precisely, genetically "you" if anything whatever were different at the time of your conception is indeed astronomically small. However, not all of what makes you be "you" is in your genes. A lot of it is how your parents treated you, what foods you ate, what diseases you got - that kind of thing. If a different sperm had made it into your egg, a lot of that "nurture" stuff would be very similar. So, it would be as if you were your own twin (but not identical-twin). Twins that are non-identical are very often quite similar.
But in terms if being identically you - everything depends on how identical you're talking about.
If the same sperm met the same egg - but three days into pregnancy, if your mother had eaten something different than she actually did - then that would undoubtedly change some microscopic detail in that tiny ball of cells - and an entirely different "you" would emerge from that process. Genetically identical to the you that we know - but still more different than one of a pair of identical twins. (My step-daughters are identical twins - and I can tell you that they are far from identical in many significant ways).
Conclusion: The "you" that would emerge if there were a difference in some small detail surrounding your conception, pregnancy, birth and early childhood would range from roughly what a fraternal twin would be like - to roughly what an identical twin would be like - depending on whether the change happened before or after sperm-met-egg.
SteveBaker (talk) 14:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd point out that a mere difference in a meal is unlikely to have an effect on a fetus unless it contains a teratogenic toxin. The fetus will thrive so long as threshold levels of the necessary nutrients are available, and certain toxins are avoided or minimized. The sort of change that could effect a baby during development is a somatic mutation. Such a mutation at a very early stage in one of two twins might have noticeable effects. Otherwise twins are sometimes differentiated by position in the womb, especially the relative size and bloodflow from the respective or shared placentas.
The overall concept here is historical contingency. There are certain focal points such as which numbers you choose and which numbers are drawn in a lottery. The path you take to get to the store to buy the ticket might not matter at all, if you have already made up your mind on the numbers you want beforehand. In his book Wonderful Life, S J Gould examines contingency in depth. He gives the case of a single dog that is believed to have killed a significant portion of the wild Kiwis of New Zealand. Had it not been stopped, it might have driven the species extinct.
Another example is my neighbor, who did not work at the World Trade Center, but who was at a conference there on the Windows of the World restaurant, and was killed on 9/11. Certain events are canalized, and others are tipping points. μηδείς (talk) 20:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I thought this nonsense had been zapped. Be that as it may, the OP's premise is wrong. You don't start out as a sperm, you start out as a fertilized egg. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The definition of "you" is kinda fuzzy. All of the information needed to describe "you" (genetically speaking) is present before sperm meets egg - so who is to say when "you" are "you"? One of the severe problems with the abortion debate is in answering this very question - contraception for the catholic church revolves around similar issues. Personally, I liked Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Useful" song - which encapsulates a yet further extreme point of view. Coming up with a specific point of origin is horribly misleading. I'm a very different person than I was (say) 10 years ago - was I "me" then? I just don't think you can pick a single point and call that "The Moment". SteveBaker (talk) 23:29, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Even the most staunch opponents of abortion define a human being's starting point as conception. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you meant staunch supporters, BBB. I would protest that I started from a pair of isogametes. I oppose assigning gender roles such as sperm and egg. μηδείς (talk) 00:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I should have said they don't consider sperm and egg separately to be human beings. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The definition, Steve, isn't really fuzzy. Instead, you are you is axiomatic. By definition you have to be you, because if you weren't you, then the you you really were would be you, and I'd be writing in response to someone else. It's like the anthropic principle. It's not really a physical explanation of anything, but it is necessarily true epistemologically as a precursor of debate. μηδείς (talk) 00:00, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The term, from formal logic, is Tautology, which in the non-pejorative sense, just means "universally true under all conditions"; a classic example is the Law of identity or the famous Aristotlean proposition A is A. That is, we must always assume that a thing is always itself, for any given complete definition of the thing. The idea that "you are always you" is a logical tautology; for the reasons noted (if you weren't you, you'd be a different person, but that different person would still be you, and you wouldn't then have been the person you are now, so that you wouldn't be you anymore. Or, you are always you). Besides that particular tautology, is the definition of The Universe which, under it's simple definition of "everything", means that one cannot have more than one universe, merely only that one can learn more about what is in The Universe. Other classic logic or philosophy problems are based on tautologies, some with long histories, such as the primum movens argument for God, or the philosophy behind the atomists like Democritus. --Jayron32 19:22, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Today's Feature Picture[edit]

Today's feature picture of NGC 1097 shows it rotating clockwise, the picture in the posted link to NGC 1097 shows it rotating counter clockwise. Which is correct? (talk) 14:38, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

For convenience, NGC 1097. I think OP is comparing the top image
galaxy appears to be rotating clockwise
to the bottom image.
galaxy appears to be rotating counterclockwise
I think it's safe to say that the images were not take from different sides of the galaxy :) I cannot tell which one is a mirror image. I don't think it can be the case that they are showing different structures in the same galaxy from the same perspective without reflection - but I don't know much about spiral galaxies. Both images are sourced - top one is a composite image here [69] Spitzer Space Telescope, bottom one (seems to be a single image?) here [70], from the Very Large Telescope. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I downloaded them both, and rotated and flipped one of them so that their orientation is similar. The patterns of various points of light seem to match. So one of the images was flipped, either purposely or by the type of telescope they were using. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • This sort of flipping of images is quite common in old-style print media dealing with physical plates that can be reversed accidentally during layout or printing. Unless there's written words in the image it is often impossible to know which is right. This seems less likely in digital media, however. μηδείς (talk) 17:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
If you do a Google Images search on "NGC 1097" - you get a surprising mixture of clockwise and anticlockwise images. I'd say that the preponderance of them is per the top image - but it's definitely not a slam-dunk one way or the other. Most JPEG files have orientation data stored in an "EXIF" record - which should (in theory) tell you when they are rotated or flipped and in which direction. However, when people use a program to crop, recolor or adjust contrast on the image, that data is easily it's still not conclusive evidence. SteveBaker (talk) 19:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The EXIF orientation value indicates the raster order of the encoded pixels, not the orientation of the image relative to some canonical source image. Almost all software writes JPEG images in the standard raster order (English reading order) with a matching (or omitted) orientation tag, because that's the most compatible format. This doesn't destroy any (relevant) information because the raster order is a low level encoding detail, like the Huffman tables. As far as I know, no software ever writes the reflected raster orders (2, 4, 5, 7). -- BenRG (talk) 23:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. But many software packages don't pay attention to the EXIF data, resulting in these kinds of issues. I know of at least a couple of cellphone camera apps that use the reflection flag when using the 'front camera' in order that the user gets a mirror-imaged photo when taking a 'selfie' (which is what they seem to expect will happen). It's plausible that astronomy packages might use it to flip pictures from telescopes that naturally produce inverted images. That would be a fairly plausible explanation as to how this came about...but it's just speculation at this point since there are no unusual EXIF flags in either of those two JPEG files and there are many software packages that might have been used to crop the images that both ignore and destroy the EXIF information. (The EXIF flags aren't a part of the core JPEG specification anyway - so there is some justification for doing that.) SteveBaker (talk) 14:53, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Can we figure out which is correct by the LEDA entry?—eric 00:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure this out with no luck.. I am really curious and hope that someone comes along with the right answer. I did learn that some galaxies have a spin different than what you would think and based on this alone I'd put my money on the bottom image and that the top one was flipped because of the type of telescope or imaging instruments, but that's just an unsubstantiated guess. Maybe someone could repost this to the science section?? Void burn (talk) 05:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If OP or anyone else wants to cut to the chase, they could ask NASA here [71], though it may take them a few weeks to get back to you. Could probably even point them to this thread for context. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:07, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I submitted a request with the link semantic mantis posted. Whenever they reply to me I'll be sure to post it on the WP science reference desk. Hopefully this link still works for 10 to 15 days. Void burn (talk) 22:20, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 30[edit]

Article About Resona Holdings[edit]

The picture in the article shows three pictures of which the upper one is not associated with Resona. The picture called "Resona Holdings headquarters in Koto, Tokyo, Japan" is not Resona's location. Resona is located in a nearby Building few meters away. You may check this on Resona's homepage:

Regards, Thomas — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

You need to work this out on the article's talk page. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

How To Turn A Published Page into a Draft[edit]

Hi, I just created a page and would like to put it into draft mode because I dont know it if is ready for wikipedia before it gets deleted. Is there a way i can do this and if so how ? Thank you for your valued time. --NewRoyalty (talk) 18:23, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Moving a page. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
You got your answer here, but this is the sort of question that can be answered at the Help Desk or the Teahouse, which are for questions about Wikipedia. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:47, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Requests for past medical records[edit]

I am currently on Klonopin and Adderall and have been for 2 years. I recently moved and have had to see a new psychiatric provider. This new psychiatrist is demanding that I sign a release of information for him to speak with, and obtain records from, my previous provider if he is to continue prescribing those medications, but otherwise does not object to prescribing them. I do not want to release these records, and I am wondering if this is typical (for a psychiatrist to refuse to prescribe medications without speaking with and reviewing the records of the previous provider). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I would think any doctor would want to see a given patient's history on any medical matter. As to whether he can compel you to do so, that's a legal question and we can't answer it, first because we're not allowed to, and second because any laws relating to this subject could be specific to your region. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:55, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Since medical professionals don't (or aren't supposed to) prescribe medication to anyone who walks in an asks for it (especially substances with a high potential for abuse like Adderall), in order to prescribe without going through typical diagnostic processes, they would need verification from whoever performed the diagnosis and determined these two medicines are most appropriate. After all, there's no way for them to tell someone like yourself who has been taking medication and simply wants to continue it from someone malingering or otherwise being dishonest. Laws about medical privacy vary depending on where you are. If you're in the US, take a look through the Department of Health and Human Services page about sharing information related to mental health. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

July 31[edit]

Urinating / defecating simultaneously?[edit]

Are humans the only species that can accomplish the same task at once? Obviously, I only speak for myself here but I've never witnesses any other common animal do the same thing, save for birds. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:33, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

I've seen dogs do that. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:33, 31 July 2015 (UTC)