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November 26[edit]

Chess programming with Negamax[edit]

I have programmed a chess engine and use negamax with alpha beta pruning and my own evaluation function. However I don't understand one thing.

I evaluate a given position by calculation the total value of all pieces and some other criteria. If I search to a depth of one, then the evaluation will say that a move where a rock is taken is good, even if the players loses the queen in the following move. The same will happen for any depth of course. It will always give a high score for that kind of situations.

How do one solve this problem? I have googled it but can't find a good answer. If no one here knows how to do it, maybe someone knows where on the internet to look?

Chess Q (talk) 09:20, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Do our articles on Quiescence search and Horizon effect help? --Guy Macon (talk) 09:27, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
They certainly do, I will look into those concepts more carefully. Thanks! Chess Q (talk) 10:06, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, when I play chess I also consider board position as important, not points alone. I might very well choose to sacrifice a pawn if it gives me a better board position, even if I don't see any immediate gain in pieces. So, programming this into a chess engine would be a good idea. Of course, defining a "good board position" might be rather difficult. (This might be why chess grandmasters, until recently, could beat computers. Not that they could visualize more moves ahead, but because they could use intangibles like board position in their planning.) StuRat (talk) 05:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
True. So far I have thought of some basic ones, like double pawns are bad. But as you say, it has proven hard to define general "rules". To define what a "quiet" move is (for the quiescence search mentioned above) also seems like a challenge. I have found a few guides on the internet but if anyone knows of some good resources, books or online, that would be appreciated. Thanks so far! Chess Q (talk) 08:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Hands-off Linux[edit]

I have a request to set up a computer for a disabled person. He wants Linux - which is why I've been asked to do it. He can control a touch-pad with a toe. He cannot type in any way. Anything that is not mouse-driven must be voice controlled. I got a Linux box running with a virtual keyboard that allows him to type, but he wants to be able to do voice recognition for typing emails. I've never had a reason to do voice recognition, but I've found projects, such as "julius" and "cmusphinx" that promise voice recognition. It appears that these are libraries for programmers to use. They are not voice recognition applications. What I want is very specific: Voice recogntion/dication to type an email in Thunderbird on Linux. Does that exist yet? From what I can see, it is something that will be coming in the distant future. The tools are being developed ... slowly. (talk) 15:36, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Have you seen this article Speech_recognition_software_for_Linux. I've seen NaturallySpeaking used and that article says you can get it working under linux using WINE, i don't know how hard that is. Here's a tutorial Vespine (talk) 01:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I did look at the Wikipedia article. It lists three tools that are programming libraries, not applications. Then, it has a long list of applications. Most are abandoned. The few that aren't are in very early beta testing. It will take a lot of effort to get any of them to do anything useful. I expect to be forced to purchase NaturallySpeaking and run it under Wine, which means that this won't be a free machine and that it will break every time NaturallySpeaking or Wine gets updated since NaturallySpeaking is not part of the tested repo. (talk) 15:25, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that's basically the case. Accessibility software is a niche market already, and accessibility software on non-Windows systems is a niche of a niche. Most of the good software is Windows-only. -- (talk) 18:25, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

Music software sought[edit]

Say I make noise - such as La, La, La, - with a high and low pitch voice, according to some of the alphabets defined in the piano, is there a music software out there that will turn this vocal into instrumental music, such as piano keys? If you guys know what I mean... -- Space Ghost (talk) 05:19, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The hard part will be the vocal note recognition. Still, that sounds much easier than voice recognition. Once you have the notes recorded, and the timing, it should be simple to synthesize that as any instrument you like. But one thing you probably will need is a way to edit the notes, in case it doesn't get it quite right. StuRat (talk) 05:25, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
If you google for "voice to midi app" - you'll find a lot of applications (many for phones) that will take audio of your voice and convert it to MIDI notation. Once it's in MIDI, you can generate any kind of musical instrument sound you want from that recording. It's likely that you'll need to edit the recording to 'clean up' any small errors in the recording, tighten up the timing perhaps...and there's a ton of software out there to do that too. Recommending a precise set of applications that will allow you to follow this chain of processes is difficult - much depends on what computers/phones/tablets you have - runnning which operating systems. But it can certainly be done.
SteveBaker (talk) 06:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Some recommendations and explanations were provided when this came up in November, 2010. Nimur (talk) 12:07, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Smiley emoticons doh.gif I forgot to clarify one thing i.e.[1] -- Space Ghost (talk) 21:01, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
There are audio programs that work by including a audio as a seed. Then when you sing or record a sound on the mic, the program search for the most similar audio part on the seed audio and play this part. EVPMaker is one of those programs, but I never fully tested this feature of program (the program has other features too) to see if its really good. In theory you could record all notes of the piano in different lenghts, and then sing the song and let the program play the desired note. (talk) 10:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Face-smile.svg
I've read through the information of this software, sounds like an awesome satanic activity type of
Space Ghost (talk) 18:40, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Peeps, thank you all for helping me with this so far. I'm guessing I'll continue with this education as a private hobby at a later time in life, but will seek for software as long as I'm in this country... Regards. Face-smile.svg -- Space Ghost (talk) 19:10, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Web Archive saving problem[edit]

Im trying save many pages to Wayback Machine and usually after some time the page is not recorded and when I try again sometimes not work, what is problem? --Zunter (talk) 16:17, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

It's difficult to say without examples or more info on what error message you are receiving. For example, it's possible the pages can't be saved due to the robots.txt. It's also possible there was just some temporary problem. Nil Einne (talk) 04:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)


It was suggested at the VP in this thread that I install WinCompose to aid typing diacritics. I have installed the program but I would like to add custom rules that use the same shortcut keys as Word. On this page it says I can add custom rules in a file named .XCompose.txt placed in my %USERPROFILE% directory. I have placed the file in the directory pointed to by the DOS SET environment variables command with a single line formatted as shown on this page. The line is,

<Multi_key> <colon> <a>  : "ä" U00E4 # Umlaut a

I am expecting the sequence Alt,Shift-:,a to produce "ä". Instead it produces "�". Looking at the table of sequences from within WinCode, it lists the codepoint for the entry I have created as U+FFFD, which is not the codepoint I have written in the file. Any ideas? SpinningSpark 16:27, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

U+FFFD is the replacement character. I suspect that you saved the file in the system encoding and it needs to be in UTF-8. -- BenRG (talk) 17:03, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep, UTF-8, that got it thanks. SpinningSpark 18:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Dropbox help, only showing file is uploading...[edit]

What does that mean and how do I solve it? I want to download this file: But it won't get past File is uploading... screen. -DaSuperYoshi — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Removing a VPN setup on Windows 7 Pro[edit]

I'm trying to "sanitize" a Windows 7 Professional notebook, prior to donation to a charity. It has a corporate VPN setup on it, but I can't find a way to delete it. I cannot do a complete format and reinstall that would have resulted in a "clean" setup on this pc due to licencing issues, so I need a way to delete the VPN setup specifically. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:15, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Some googling gave me a few promising-looking links, including this and this - the key point seems to be that you need to delete the appropriate Network Adapter, and you probably have to be logged in with Admin rights. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 14:38, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure you can't do a factory reset? I think on most PCs you don't even need the Windows license key for that. If you really can't, you might want to ask the charity what they expect from donated computers. It's possible they might just wipe them all themselves and do fresh Windows installs, due to concerns about private data left on donated systems. -- (talk) 21:29, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

Setting write protection for only part of an SD card[edit]

Anyone know if the write-protection circuitry of SD cards allows for protecting only part of the memory? I'm not talking about the notch. — Melab±1 01:25, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

It depends on what exactly you mean. As I just learned from the article, every SD card actually has a portion of its memory "hidden" to the outside world, available for DRM content. But, if you mean a user-controllable functionality that allows you to mark parts of the card read-only, hypothetically it would be possible, but I don't believe such a thing is supported in the SD standard. The whole-card write-protection is actually not implemented in the card itself. A write-protected card simply tells host devices that it's write-protected, and it's up to the host device to obey this or not. To implement some kind of user-controlled "selective write-protect" you'd have to modify an SD card yourself by flashing the controller with custom firmware, or cracking it open and physically replacing the controller chip. And actually implementing such a feature in the firmware would be difficult. Flash memory controllers do all kinds of complex gymnastics under the hood for wear leveling and other purposes. The physical location of data in the memory can change every time there's a write. SD cards and similar devices like USB flash drives are designed as black boxes; it's not intended for users of the card to know or care about the internal memory layout. -- (talk) 02:16, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Where is the Linux clipboard?[edit]

Clipboard_(computing)#X_Window_System is not very clear here. It might even be that this article needs some improvement. In what file exactly is the clipboard content stored? If the xclip tool is installed, would xclip save information to a different location? --Scicurious (talk) 13:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

The clipboard content is not stored in a file. It is held dynamically in memory by the X server. Looie496 (talk) 13:49, 1 December 2015 (UTC)


November 26[edit]

Genetics of the Kalash people[edit]

Is there anyone with a little understanding of the genetics of human populations? I need an opinion on a recently added text to the wikipedia article on the Kalash people (of Pakistan) that says:

The studies show the oldest estimated date (990-210 B.C.) of DNA mixing by Western Eurasian sources most probably by Scottish sources originated from regions comprising modern day Germany and Austria, which coincides with Alexander's expansion into Central Asia around (356 to 323 BCE).[1][2]

Although I can see where in the referenced Science magazine article the bit in bold might have come from it strikes me as particularly nonsensical. Is it just me?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Uanfala (talkcontribs) 23:53, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Why do you think it is non-sensical. Ruslik_Zero 13:30, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The bit about Scottish sources is misleadingly worded at best. Scots are the modern group that accounts best for the admixture event, but that's undoubtedly because the Scots correlate best of the modern groups with the Celtic/Pictish people who dominated much of Europe before the Germanic invasions. It doesn't at all mean that the geographic source was Scotand. In fact the Science article say: "Distinct, ancient and partially shared admixture signals (always dated older than 90BCE) are seen in six groups, including the Kalash, whose strongest signal suggests a major admixture event (990-210BCE) from a source related to present-day Western Eurasians, though we cannot identify the geographic origin precisely.". Looie496 (talk) 14:16, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

Scientific, especially biological refutation of racism[edit]

I have had no success gaining information on the subject. Specifically, I was looking for basic assessment of the intro-race genetic difference vs. among races, and personality and intellegence tests corrected for social differences. All I have is some anecdotal data (like the development of iron processing in sub-Tsahara Africa) and some vague claims for Cavallai-Sforza's "Genes, People and languages". Not nearly enough. Please help. אילן שמעוני (talk) 18:57, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Pretty much anything written by Jared Diamond would be helpful, particularly some of his articles for magazines. Our article at race and intelligence has some issues, but is packed with links to articles and references on the subject. (talk) 19:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
For intro- vs intra-race genetic variation see Race and genetics#Between-group genetics, which covers the story with plenty of references. Looie496 (talk) 20:59, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
One of Stephen Jay Gould's politically correct little memes was that race doesn't exist because the variation within a race is greater than the difference between races. This shows an appalling grasp of statistics, it seems to imply that if two populations overlap then they are the same. 150 years of people defining why that is not the case seems to be ignored. Greglocock (talk) 22:58, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Gould's trick is even a little worse than that, because he's comparing some races that vary greatly to others that vary little. Still, there's a distinction between the technical point that the races aren't fully identical and the moral point that if you're going to discriminate, why do it by half-measures? If you're going to justify racism because you think whites average a couple of IQ points smarter, then shouldn't anyone, black or white, with an IQ of 150 have a right to lord and master over all the ones with 140, and those over the 130s? I think that argument is Gould's ultimate intention but he doesn't go after it in what seems like the logical way. Wnt (talk) 12:50, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
You may be able to scientifically refute the notion of race, but you can't refute the fact of racism. It's alive and well, everywhere around the world. At its core is the ancient tribal concept of "us vs. them". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:08, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I believe the OP wanted information refuting the premises, not the existence, of racism. -- (talk) 00:07, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
If so, then the initial response should give him a good start. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:28, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
A similar question came up recently and I came across a few good articles. why your race isn't genetic, and the main reason races don't exist . Vespine (talk) 01:18, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
All of one's features are genetic, including the ones associated with race. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:04, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh lord don't start. The whole point is there is no such thing as race, genetically speaking. Yes genes cause things such as skin color and eye color, it doesn't mean that all people with blue eyes are some kind of "race". It's precisely as meaningful as saying that all black dogs are the same "race" of dog, there is no basis genetically or otherwise, other than cultural. YES there ARE genes that make a dog's coat BLACK, and there are many dogs that share this gene, but no one would suggest "black dogs" is a breed or race of dog. Please please PLEASE read the articles I linked before trying to add to this "discussion". Vespine (talk) 03:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
An article titled "Race is not genetic" starts with a bogus premise, so there's no reason to read it. Racism is alive and well. Wishful thinking won't change that cold, hard fact. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I also googled "is breed the same as race", and the preponderance of opinions seems to be "Yes". Hence, you comparisons about a dog's coat are a somewhat skewed comparison, although coat is certainly an element of breed. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Neither of your replies makes any sense to me. I'm not arguing that racism doesn't exist, of course racism exists. The point is that genetically, the racist is more closely related to an African person then some other African people. Secondly I think the problem is that you are on a science reference desk, but you are "googling" the question and seeing what the results tell you. I'm sorry but reddit and straighdope do not count as scholarly references, try a search on google scholar and then tell me what the results say. Vespine (talk) 05:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Lastly, what makes the premise bogus? Because you don't agree with it? This is EXACTLY the same thing that happend last time, there are a few science ref desk editors that just can't wrap their mind around the concept. The "out of Africa" hypothesis actually predicts that ALL the other "races" combined are about as genetically diverse as the "races" remaining on the African continent. I.e. That means that if you are white, you are MORE genetically similar to Asians, Native Americans, Europeans, Mongols, Tartars, Inuits, Scandinavians, Pacific Islanders and Semites, than some populations of Africans are to other populations of Africans. population genetics clearly confirmed this is true. This means that a person from one part of Africa is genetically more different to a person from another part of Africa, than a white American is to a Chinese person, Even though the 1st 2 people are the "same race" but the 2nd two are "different race". Even our Race article says the same thing. Vespine (talk) 05:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It's bogus because it's wishful thinking. There's no question that race is a social construct. But it's not based on nothing. And it's about a lot more than pigmentation. In fact, your arguments are based on genotype. Racism, or "racialism" if you prefer, is based on phenotype. You can argue about genetics all day long, but people don't see genetics, they see phenotypic expression. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
If certain groups of people are more closely related to certain other groups than they are to others, doesn't that mean there de-facto are races - just that the traditional classification schemes are wrong. Iapetus (talk) 10:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Good point. Race and racism are not about genetic similarities, they're about phenotypic differences. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The human race is not called that for nothing. Akld guy (talk) 16:38, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The origin of the term "race" may prove interesting.[2]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:21, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

How do pneumatic quick exhaust valves work?[edit]

How do pneumatic quick exhaust valves like these ones[3] work internally? I think I understand how they're connected externally and what its functionalities are, but I'm curious as to its internal operations. If I understand correctly, air can flow from the In port to the Out port, and from the Out port to the Exhaust port. However it's not possible to flow from In to Exhaust, nor Out to In. Does this mean there are 1 or 2 one-way valves inside each QEVs? 731Butai (talk) 09:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

This document from the same site shows how the valves work. See also pop valve. Tevildo (talk) 10:28, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Human biochemistry[edit]

Am I correct in thinking that everything that happens in the human body is just a series of chemical reactions? 2A02:C7D:B901:CC00:1C60:49B4:ABF9:45E4 (talk) 12:48, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Not everything. Consider urination - an almost purely physical process, yet oh so relieving. Wnt (talk) 12:52, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The contraction of the muscles that opens and closes the valves that allow urination are no less biochemical in cause than any, and the signals to your brain that allow one to experience the sensation of relief are as well. Though the OP's realization is rather trite. All chemistry reduces to quantum mechanics anyways. It doesn't mean knowing that is useful to understanding the human body. The more interesting and informative studies come in the emergent behaviors that cannot be studied or explained at the lower levelsJayron32 13:22, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah, reductionism! This seems appropriate. (talk) 15:53, 28 November 2015 (UTC) Hey, didn't xkcd used to have a native search function?
Yes. Reductionism. According to August Comte, sociology (his own word) is reducible to psychology, psychology is reducible to biology, biology is reducible to chemistry, chemistry is reducible to physics, and physics is reducible to mathematics. That all appeared to be true in Comte's time, only that the reduction wasn't feasible in Comte's time. Unfortunately or fortunately, the problem is that physics isn't reducible to physics. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:59, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
No. I meant that physics isn't reducible to physics, because quantum physics is just weird. Robert McClenon (talk) 13:16, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: did you mean to end with biology is not reducible to physics? If so I agree, and Ernst Mayr goes int that in depth in What Makes Biology Unique?: Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline.
A better explanation for the OP: Imagine that before you go to bed you ask your husband to leave a note to remind you to drink your orange juice in the morning. But instead of leaving a note, he puts an overturned juice glass at your spot at the table. Or he lays the carton of orange juice on its side in the fridge, the top end pointing toward the door, and a little smiley face in red ink on the cap. In the morning, whether he left a note, he left an overturned glass, or he left the cartoon in the fridge in an odd way, you would remember to drink the juice.
I read the Stanford entry on Supervenience I linked to above; unfortunately it won't be scrutable to anyone without a degree in philosophy, if even then. To make the issue clearer, emergence holds that higher levels of order cannot be satisfactorily explained merely by reference to constituents at lower levels. You can't explain why a tennis ball bounces and an egg doesn't by referring to quantum mechanics; you can't explain what it feels like to see red by reference only to organic chemistry; you can't explain the unconstitutionality of a law by reference to its mass and velocity.
Supervenience recognizes the converse. Although one may not be able to reduce the explanation of guilt for a murder to a description of atoms and their velocity, one can say that there couldn't be an actual difference in the moral state of being (guilt) unless there were at least some sort of difference on the physical level. Two physically identical parallel universes cannot exist where the same person is innocent in one and guilty in another. Differences in ideas, for example, depend on biological and thus chemical differences, even if the correlation is not one to one.
Consider, for example, getting your blood sugar checked at the doctor. Today your blood glucose level is 200, yesterday it was 100. All other things being equal, there must be twice as much free glucose in solution in your blood today than there was when it was tested yesterday. But lets say every glucose atom in your blood miraculously happened to rotate 75 degrees, and then you were tested again. On the physical level there would be a definite difference, but on a medical level there would be no difference whatsoever, your tested blood sugar level would be identical, and its affects on your eyes and kidneys would be identical, regardless of the physical rotation of the chemicals.
Return to the orange juice example. You remembering to drink the juice is in no way strictly explained by a reduction to some necessary physical state. There is no law of physics that says an upside down juice glass on your spot at the table will make you drink orange juice. Not only could the glass just be there because the cabinets will be taken down by the contractor, so all the plates and dishes are on the table; there could have been an infinite number of ways for him to cause you to remember to drink the juice, an orange in you slipper, a message in tooth paste in one of whichever languages you speak on the bathroom mirror. What happens cannot "just" be tied to or explained by the physical differences, even though there must be some physical difference to remind you. μηδείς (talk) 04:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't pretend to understand that reply by Medeis and am disappointed that the Mayr reference is not an essay, merely an ad for a book. But I digress. I would have thought that besides chemical reactions in the body, there are also nervous impulses, which are not chemical in any way, or are they? Akld guy (talk) 05:41, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
why aren't nervous impulses a series of chemical reactions? They seem like it to me. Aren't these series of reactions called pathways? 2A02:C7D:B901:CC00:9597:AF2C:2F79:8F40 (talk) 17:54, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Apparenttly Cambridge has made the entirety of Mayr's work available on line in PDF form, here. Talking about my putting an "ad" for his book as a link is a bit funny, considering Ernst Mayr was a central figure in the modern synthesis, a noted field researcher, theoretician, and philosopher and historian of (biological) science. He was referred to as the "Dean of Evolutionary Biology" during the latter part of the 20th century. Chapters 2, 3, and especially 4 on reductionism are especially relevant. They are short, cogent, and accessible to the educated layman.
If the OP's question is, is there some other force at work in the body at the electro-molecular level, besides just normal chemical processes, the answer is no, and the theory that there are such unique forces is one Mayr also addresses, called vitalism. μηδείς (talk) 18:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
OP may also have a look at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Science/2015_March_9#Soul_and_neuron_action_potentials. Brandmeistertalk 19:26, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Other species throwing a football...[edit]

Are any of the other great apes capable of throwing a football (American, the pointy one) of a significant distance? Are there other animals outside the primates capable of doing so? (Elephant's trunk?) I'm sort of trying to figure out what an american version of "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" would look like and was trying to imagine who other than humans would be throwing the ball. (Yes, given the original, a continuous action game would be better, but the only continuous action game played by Americans more than "Soccer" is Hockey which has even more problems.Naraht (talk) 13:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Wouldn't basketball be a continuous action sport? Rmhermen (talk) 17:01, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Not to soccer-heavy nations. They really. hate. stopping the clock. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 20:58, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The human arm is uniquely adapted for throwing and clubbing and the human hand is the only one that can make a fist. I do knot know the skill of elephants in throwing, but suspect that if they could, people would be making money off it. μηδείς (talk) 17:20, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the articles, it appears that the best of the apes in throwing is the Chimp and that the average wild chimp would do worse than your average 40 year old couch potato at throwing a round ball. The motion to get a spiral on a football would be even more difficult. (and difficult to train an ape to do) And an elephant isn't putting a spiral on it either.Naraht (talk) 23:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Just a quick note which is not really related to the OP but relates to elephants. I have worked on the behaviour of elephants in zoos. Elephants are highly inquisitive and investigate anything new in, or near, their enclosures. If they can not investigate it directly, they often throw things at it. As part of my research, I set up video cameras in their night-time enclosure. I arrived there the following day to find the cameras covered in the most readily available ammunition - their faeces. The elephants had been extremely accurate in their turd-tossing. Unfortunately, my scientific curiosity was a little lacking that day and I neglected to observe whether a spiral action had been imparted.DrChrissy (talk) 23:44, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
For a spiral action, the feces would have to be shaped in a very specific way. I'd much rather have an Elephant as the running back anyway. Though I wonder if they would be able to catch passes out of the backfield, how able are they to catch thrown objects?Naraht (talk) 04:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Medical career paths[edit]

Do doctors find high competition at every stage of progression in their career compared to other careers due to the very structured nature of their careers? And I'm guessing limited options compared to other careers? (talk) 18:15, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

That will depend very much on the country in which they are progressing their career. In the UK there is fairly strong competition. Have you read this and this and this ? Dbfirs 16:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

How do people get enough exercise if their jobs force them to sit all day?[edit]

If a person works a regular 9-5 workweek but also has to work on-call, and the job has very little physical activity beyond minor movements of the arms and legs, then how does that person get enough exercise? Are obesity and obesity-related illnesses inevitable? (talk) 21:08, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Many large companies offer exercise facilities. And being on call doesn't mean you have to sit around. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:28, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
See User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 146#Excessive sitting impairing health (October 2013)
and User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 152#Daily physical exercise routine (December 2013).
Wavelength (talk) 23:53, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Find a walking desk. I built one using a secondhand treadmill for 120 bucks, at which I can use my computer and do conference calls while strolling along, slowly. Otherwise, yes you'll die early, even if you don't get fat. Other solutions involve getting up early and swimming intensively for an hour before work, etc. Greglocock (talk) 00:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I ride to work on a bicycle, which means that I'm riding about fifty to sixty miles every week at a minimum! On average, it takes me fewer minutes to bike to work than it takes to drive to work - so I'm actually saving time and getting exercise at the same time. Besides, I get to spend about an extra hour outdoors each day (or night, depending on the season!). This is called "active commuting" by the CDC; essentially, if you structure your work/life so that you actively commute, you guarantee yourself a non-sedentary lifestyle, no matter how your work environment is set up. I would like to think that anyone who is committed to making the effort could probably do the same, but of course it depends on your individual circumstances. The sedentary lifestyles that are commonly promoted by office-environments are a real problem that has been widely recognized by epidemiologists and public health professionals: we have an entire article on diseases of affluence.
According to this 2010 study, Commute Times, Food Retail Gaps, and Body Mass Index in North Carolina Counties, your car commute time correlates strongly with your Body Mass Index; there is a full discussion of the compounding factors that you should also consider. The commute-time correlation is strong across many different types of workers - not all whose jobs involve desk-work! When you spend all those hours in a car each week, you have less time for exercising; you're more inclined to rush your food choices; and more inclined to be overweight. But, above all, chances are very high that you aren't commuting by bike or any other active method - to the detriment of your own health!
A sedentary lifestyle is not inevitable - but it takes real physical and mental effort to resist the ultra-convenient options that are available to professional workers in wealthy, developed nations.
Nimur (talk) 01:58, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Using the stairs may be more economical than taking the elevator, especially when you are just travelling through one story. If you get weekends and you want to travel to a specific location in your neighborhood, then you may bike or walk or run to that location. Choosing tap water instead of distilled water may be healthier too. (talk) 13:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
You don't need a lot of time to incorporate something like the 7-Minute Scientific Workout into your life.Denidi (talk) 14:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Forty years ago I had a sit down job 4 miles (6.5 km) from home. I got bored with walking home at night, so began jogging. Eventually I was flat-out running the first two thirds, slowing to a fast walk in the last bit to cool down. I was never before, and never since, in such good condition. After five years I was again working near home, walking while doing my duties, walking home for lunch. That made me fat, so I took up bicycling to the suburbs, which was more fun than running. Jim.henderson (talk) 14:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

micro coils[edit]

microcoils advantages and disadvantages — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:37, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Are you asking about micro coils for use in electronic cigarettes? -- ToE 17:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The OP may be asking about the microcoils used in Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, but the question does look rather like homework. In any case, clarification is needed. Tevildo (talk) 21:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Aircraft in weightlessness[edit]

How would civilian aircraft like Airbus or military planes with working engines theoretically behave in outer space weightlessness? Would they roll, bank or still be pushed forward by engines?-- (talk) 19:13, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Nothing theoretical about it, they would not do any of those things, as they all require atmosphere. Furthermore, I would strongly suspect it would explode as the pressure differential would be far greater than the plane was designed for. Fgf10 (talk) 19:56, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The second point isn't correct - the pressure at 15 km altitude (rather more than a typical airliner's cruising altitude, but still within the range of normal aircraft) is only about 10% the pressure at sea-level, so going down to vacuum wouldn't put a significant amount of extra loading on the airframe. However, the interior of the plane would (fairly) quickly become evacuated, as it's pressurized from the outside air rather than from oxygen tanks as on a spacecraft. See International Standard Atmosphere and Cabin pressurization. Tevildo (talk) 21:22, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Good point well made, posted off the cuff and didn't think things through. Fgf10 (talk) 22:15, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I think our OP is confused and is conflating two completely different properties: first, objects in orbit experience weightlessness (or "microgravity") because they are essentially in freefall; and secondly, outside of a planetary atmosphere, space is a near-perfect vacuum (except for a very very tiny quantity of stray gas particles). For your reading: here is an introduction to the space environment, published by the European Space Agency, to help you frame your understanding. Here's what I consider to be a slightly better introduction to the space environment published by NASA, but our OP mentioned Airbus, so I presume they're interested in European perspectives...
Aircraft, by their very nature, are designed to depend on air flowing over their flight control surfaces for control and stability, and for the correct functioning of the air-breathing jet engines that are common to most large modern airliners. A handful of experimental and high-performance aircraft - like the North American X-15 and the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter - had reaction control systems to supplement their aerodynamic control surfaces - so those vehicles could have operated and maneuvered correctly "above the atmosphere," so to speak.
Nimur (talk) 20:26, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Quibble: the standard F-104 had no RCS, only the NF-104A variant had. Fgf10 (talk) 21:10, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Sp, to summarize:
  • The engines require oxygen to burn the fuel - and air is used as a reaction mass - so the engines would not work.
  • The control surfaces work by deflecting the airflow over the wings and tail - in a vacuum, there is no airflow - so they wouldn't work.
  • The aircraft could probably withstand the increased pressure differential - so it wouldn't explode.
  • But the cabin isn't air-tight, it's continually re-pressurized in flight - so the air inside would soon flow out of the aircraft and kill everyone aboard. It's not clear how long this would take. My guess is that it would take a few minutes - but it's hard to know for sure.
So the aircraft would drift helplessly, possibly spinning out of control - and everyone aboard would die within minutes. SteveBaker (talk) 02:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
"How would civilian aircraft like Airbus or military planes with working engines theoretically behave in outer space weightlessness?" If you assume the bolded parts mean "if the engines magically still burn despite being in a vacuum" (for example if the place carried its own air supply to feed into the jets), then the engine would provide thrust and the aircraft would move forward. (At a very basic level, a jet engine and a rocket engine work on the same principle. The difference being that a rocked carries its own oxidizer but a jet doesn't). The other points still stand - it would have no means of steering, so it would either continue in a straight line, or spin/tumble (depending on how balanced the thrusters are). Iapetus (talk) 11:09, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, even if you hypothetically replace "jet engines" with "magic boxes that produce thrust," you still have a stability problem: aircraft are less sensitive than spacecraft with respect to the alignment of their thrust vectors with the center of mass. In an atmosphere, the aerodynamics serve to counter those torques; aerodynamic forces are exerted and act around the center of pressure. In a vacuum, those aerodynamic forces are all net-zero (because there is no air flow to exert a force). Spacecraft must be carefully designed so that their thrust does not induce a parasitic net torque. These concepts are described in our article on reaction control systems. An airliner, designed for atmospheric flight, is not mass-balanced for flight in near-vacuum: its engines are in the wrong place, and their thrust is pointed in the wrong direction, among the many other design problems. Nimur (talk) 12:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I suggest you read Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers to see how a 747 behaves as a spacecraft in space. I read it when I was a kid and I believed that 747 can fly in outer space. (talk) 04:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

If space DC-8s were good enough for Xenu, they're good enough for me! -- (talk) 06:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Those are fictional stories; please be sure to call them out as such. They may have cultural or entertainment value, but they aren't encyclopedic references for answering science questions. Nimur (talk) 12:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Lest anybody think Harry Harrison was scientifically illiterate, Star Smashers . . . was an intentionally silly parody of the Skylark stories by E.E. 'Doc' Smith from the 1920s (which were themselves somewhat scientifically absurd). {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The OP seems to be asking what would happen to a plane if all else was normal, but the gravity were turned off. I think the use of "outer space" was intended to mean "as in outer space", not actually in outer space. If that's the case, then the plane would begin to rise as it flew, since the portion of lift used to counteract gravity would be added to any lift used for an intentional gain in altitude. At this point my knowledge of the subject fails, but I wonder if the airplane would not simply do loop-the-loops. μηδείς (talk) 02:10, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I think that if the gravity were to be turned off with a dense atmosphere the steering (flight control surfaces) would still function. (talk) 04:45, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
There's nothing theoretically impossible about setting up a big bag of air in outer space - for example, if you have one of those giant rotating space colonies set up with a big empty space in the middle. Weightlessness isn't airlessness! I assume under such a circumstance a plane would fly, and that it would be something like halfway between flying right-side-up and flying up-side-down. But I've read that commercial jets (which?) aren't really meant to fly upside down, so I regard the question as open and interesting. Wnt (talk) 14:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Blood pressure and exercise[edit]

If anxiety causes dangerous temporary spikes in blood pressure, then why can't you argue the same about exercise? Doesn't exercise also cause temporary spikes in blood pressure? And what about thrill seeking activities such as Bungy jumping. Could you not argue the same for those? 2A02:C7D:B901:CC00:9597:AF2C:2F79:8F40 (talk) 22:22, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Well... Yes? Sure, but what's the point of your question? For an average, "healthy person", temporary increase in blood pressure caused by exercise or bungee jumping, or even some anxiety, should not be "dangerous", it's a "normal" part of life. For a spike in blood pressure to be dangerous suggests the person suffers from some preexisting condition for which high blood pressure is a risk factor. Vespine (talk) 01:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The mechanisms are different. Vasoconstriction increases blood pressure while blood velocity decreases it. The temporary pre-existing condition of "alive" can change to the permanent condition of dead through many different pathways. It makes us feel better to classify out-of-the-blue deaths of otherwise healthy people to an unknown pre-existing condition but I think that is more of a "feel-good" measure. A better metric is the statistics correlating death with an activity and treating it as random chance rather than searching for causation. --DHeyward (talk) 03:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
If you die out-of-the-blue, and it wasn't from an external cause such as trauma or poisoning, it's not really "normal". Your body is "supposed" to be able to deal with fairly routine things like short-term spikes in blood pressure. Determining the cause allows us to try to prevent future deaths from the same cause. For instance it used to just be more or less accepted that some people would inevitably die early from cardiovascular diseases, but decades of research (such as from the Framingham Heart Study) have allowed us to learn about the underlying mechanisms, like chronic hypertension, that promote said diseases. In more acute matters, AEDs can save many lives if they're available when needed (like when you get hit in the chest at just the right moment in your heart rhythm). -- (talk) 07:08, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The problem with stress/anxiety is that the changes aren't all that temporary. That is, if it was only for a few minutes, little damage would be done. But stress that lasts for weeks, months, or years takes a toll on your body. I do, however, think it is possible to get too much exercise, where that can damage the body too. Professional bodybuilders are one example. I'd like to see stats on how long they live, compared with the average. StuRat (talk) 13:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Estimating arm diameters using heights and weights[edit]

I know the most common way to determine the arm diameter is by measuring it. There are formulas for estimating the diameter of the arm. I saw in anthropometry of the upper arm article that the only formulas for it includes the amount of fat and muscles in the arm. I use the diameter of my middle upper arm as proxy to determine middle upper arm diameters of other people by comparing heights and weights with mine. I came up with the formula:

d_e = \frac{\sqrt\frac{w}{w_m}}{\frac{h}{h_m}} \times d_m
d_r = \frac{w}{h^2} \times 110.8 then d_e = \frac{d_r}{\sqrt{\frac{d_r}{d_m}}}

where w is weight of another person, w_m is my weight, h is height of another person, h_m is my height, d_m is diameter of my arm, d_r is the recipe arm diameter, and d_e is the estimated arm diameter of another person

Arm diameter has inverse relationship with height and direct relationship with weight, meaning a taller person who weigh the same as the other have skinnier arms than that other, while person who has the same height but weigh more than the other have fatter arms than that other.

If you want to estimate arm diameters of people you know using these formulas, you can use my height of 164.8 cm (64.88 in), my weight of 48 kg (105.82 lb), and diameter of my middle upper arm of 7.076 cm (2.786 in) as proxies. If you want to know the circumference of their arms, just multiply the resulting arm diameters by pi. I obtained my arm diameter by repeatedly measuring it until I measured the circumference of my middle upper arm then dividing by pi.

--PlanetStar 04:34, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Was there a question? (P.S. my arms aren't even symmetrical so not sure how well a formula is going to work). --DHeyward (talk) 07:18, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The question is about the reliability of the formulas. I judge the formulas are reliable enough for me to use, a reason why I made this formula in the first place. At least these formulas roughly estimate the diameters of the arms; they may or may not match the actual arm diameters. Arm diameter in this sense means diameter on the front side of the middle upper arm while person's arm is pointing down in the relaxed state (not twisting) or putting arm on the platform (like on the table) with the front facing up. I know that arms are not symmetrical, I noticed it by looking at my arm. PlanetStar 06:47, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

110 AC & 220 AC[edit]

As I have seen most electric appliances designed for110 AC do safely run on 220 AC also. Will this grinder [6] be also safe when run on 220 AC ? I am asking this because many of you will be having far more PRACTICAL know-how, especially about particular devices as such. (talk) 04:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

How do you know 110 will work safely on 220? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:12, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Some appliances are labeled to work with either, a feature that can easily be accommodated with certain designs of a Switched-mode power supply#Input rectifier stage. Others might have that internally but not be certified for more than one country's or receptacle-style's standard. Without knowing the actual product information (manufacturer and part#) of the item in question, there's no way to know. And we're definitely not allowed to provide professional advice about what might or might not be "safe" in various contexts. DMacks (talk) 05:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
You need to look at the appliance's labeling or manual. It should tell you what it's designed for. Running anything on electrical input it's not designed for can be very dangerous, with a risk of fires, electrocution, and all that. -- (talk) 06:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
An easy first-order check is if the power cord is removable/replaceable. If it's permanently connected, it likely is not interchangeable. The cord in the picture looks permanently attached so you would need a converter to make it run on 220V AC. It's not safe to cut the supplied plug off and put a different voltage or amperage plug in its place. The manufacturer will usually provide an appropriate replacement cord for products that can run in multiple countries. (computers, DVD players, various electronics often have a cord that can interchanged for the appropriate electrical system - they look like this for the consumer US market [7] - the female part connector is universal and works for many countries). --DHeyward (talk) 07:16, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
One counter example to the removable power cord check is a laser printer -- with at least the few Brother models I've seen all having removable cords. I would not be surprised if the power supply for their electronics accepts a wide range of input voltage, but the drum heater itself if AC powered and is not so tolerant. Fortunately, our 110 vac printer was protected by varistor which ensured that, when it was plugged unto a 220 outlet sans transformer, the built in fuse blew before any other damage was done. Unfortunately, I removed the the quite literally blown (into bits) varistors and replaced the fuse so that I could continue to use it while waiting for replacement varistors. It worked fine until it was again plugged directly into 220 vac, at which point the drum heater gave up its magic smoke. -- ToE 13:25, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Where did you get a compatible replacement cord? If it's not tolerant, they really shouldn't be using the universal removable cord. The whole point of interchangeable cords is that they are literally interchangeable on different systems. It's supposed to be safer, not just convenience/cost savings for the manufacturer. Now, if it was a proprietary removable cord, you shouldn't have been able to find it in the wrong voltage. For example, even though some electronics can run either 220V/50Hz or 110/60Hz, I don;t think you will find the 220V U.S. version of the cord as it isn't as safe. On lamp cord plugs, the wider blade is the neutral and it corresponds to the wire inside the ridged insulation of the cord. The line side is the smaller blade, smooth insulation and is supposed to energize the least amount of area. --DHeyward (talk) 21:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure about that? I don't see anything in IEC 60320 suggesting that any devices using them have to be compatible with 100-120V and 220-240V. I've had kettles, rice cookers and a wall paper steamer C15/C16 connectors and I strongly suspect none of them would work properly at 100-120V although I suspect they weren't dangerous. Particularly in the past, many desktop computer PSUs which almost universally use C13/C14 PSUs didn't always support 100-120V. I'm not sure that many of the CRT monitors which likewise used C13/C14 all supported 100-120V either. Likewise, I'm not convinced that all casette radios, CD players, hifi systems or VCRs I used with C7/C8 cables supported 100-120V (although some may have). The proprietary satellite decoded provided by Sky NZ also uses a C7/C8 and only mentions 230V at the bottom, although it's not that likely to be used outside NZ, except perhaps Australia and some of the Pacific Islands. And since it belongs to the company and you aren't supposed to do that, possibly they wouldn't mention even if it did support 100-120V.

In any case, even for those devices that do support 100-120V, I'm fairly sure a number of them required selection of the voltage, including again some of the cheaper PSUs (definitely), probably those CRT monitors which did support 100-120V and those casette radios, VCRs, etc. I'm not sure I see a reason why a selectable 100-120V/220-240V option is fine, but only supporting 220-240V with a clearly labelled input voltage isn't. It would help in a situation like ToE but not in many cases where a person fails to check their device is actually able to tolerate 100-120/220-240V.

Even with a limited input supply requirements, removable power cords still have a number of advantages. The most obvious one remains the easy of supplying them to different countries. Presuming the device is really tolerant of 220-240V and any frequency, this would mean most Europlug and UK plug (which remember is also used in Malaysia, Singapore, HK and some other places) as well as Australia/NZ (which admitedly is a small often ignored market) could use the device without a end of power plug adapter. Even if the frequency was limited to 50 Hz, most countries could still use it. The others would be easier transport (the cord doesn't have to be sticking out all the time), safe replacement of damaged cords etc.

Nil Einne (talk) 03:31, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

From the lede of IEC 60320:
Different types of connector (distinguished by shape and size) are specified for different combinations of current, temperature and earthing requirements. Unlike IEC 60309 connectors, they are not coded for voltage; users must ensure that the voltage rating of the equipment is compatible with the mains supply.
The Brother HL-2140 sitting next to me (110V - 120V ~ 50/60Hz 8.6A) has an IEC 60320 C14 inlet with this specific cord (p/n 8121-0740) connecting to the mains via an IEC 60320 C13 plugging into the printer and a NEMA 5-15P plugging into the wall outlet, but if I were in the UK I could buy this C-13 to BS 1363 cord (described as a "Standard UK Computer Power Cord") and plug the printer into 220 vac mains much to its detriment. -- ToE 03:55, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Where have you seen that "most electric appliances designed for 110v AC do safely run on 220v AC also"? That statement is FALSE and DANGEROUS to make. Apologies for shouting, but you should not connect any electric motor to a voltage higher than that for which it was designed. Dbfirs 09:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Electrical appliances designed for 110V AC DO NOT RUN SAFELY on 220V AC. Perhaps you have been fooled by laptops computers that can run on both 110V and 220V AC. I have news for you. Those laptops run on 18V DC. Their charger can take both 110V AC and 220V AC. (talk) 10:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The questioner may also have been misled by hearing that 110 vac / 60 Hz appliances often run safely when used with a transformer plugged into 220 vac / 50 Hz, so that the appliance is receiving 110 vac / 50 Hz. (See mains frequency.) The question of running a 60 Hz motor at 50 Hz or vice versa is more subtle and a web search on "running 60hz motor at 50hz" yields much advice, with this discussion by Keith Cress summing things up nicely. While much depends on the nature of the load, it is generally safer to overspeed a 50 Hz motor to 60 Hz than vice versa. I've done both, and the few problem's I've had have been while underspeeding a 60 Hz motor at 50 Hz. -- ToE 13:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
One way to tell is if they have a toggle switch, usually by where the power cord plugs in, to switch between them. Do not use a 110-120V volt device on 220-240V unless you are absolutely certain it's designed for that, or there could be a risk of fire. (Using a 220-240V device at 110-120V isn't as likely to be dangerous, but could damage some devices. Others will just run slowly or be dimmer, in the case of incandescent lights.) StuRat (talk) 13:38, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Be careful with intrests in given information. A motor might be designed by changeing manually its parallel or inline connected parts. Refer datasheets, not reley information of a reseller, only. Todays active PFCs are a buck converters behind a rectifier, used in switching mode power supplies. Some Rice cookers split the heaters into two 115 volts parts, see drawings on commons.[8] A former solution was the voltage selector switch. Convetional Transformers were configured with it by two independent 115 volts inputs, SMPSs use the delon circuit, used in PSUs for computers. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Quicksand: Shear-Thinning or Shear-Thickening?[edit]

Is quicksand a shear-thinning or shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluid? I have seen various sources that support either case, but do not know which ones can be expertly verified and trusted.

Here's a brief, freely accessible Nature communication [9] that says:
--But it's complicated. The viscosity also increases with time after the liquefaction, unlike suspensions of clay or sand alone. See the figures for more details, and this [10] recent full Nature article that discusses some modern research on mechanisms that control jamming an flow in similar systems (it is sadly not freely accessible, ask at WP:REX if you'd like a copy). SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Measuring Solar Radiation Pressure[edit]

What equipment do I need if I want to measure solar radiation pressure close to the sun? (Hypothetical question, I'm not really going to launch a satelite and measure it) (talk) 12:45, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

You could measure the total of solar wind and radiation pressure, by using a pair of solar sails, each on a mast, and attach a sensitive strain gauge to each mast. (You need a pair of sails, on opposite sides, to prevent rotation.) You might find the pressure is too low to measure directly, so do better to measure the change in position of the ship, over time, and infer the radiation pressure from that. Of course, this assumes that you aren't so close that all this sensitive equipment will be destroyed. StuRat (talk) 13:29, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! But how do we differ the radiation pressure's effect from the solar wind's effect? (I don't know a lot about the topic, sorry if my question sounds silly) (talk) 14:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
For clarity: solar radiation pressure is the pressure produced by absorption or reflection of light -- photons -- emitted by the Sun. Solar wind pressure, on th eother hand, is the pressure produced by stopping or reflection of charged particles -- mostly electrons and protons -- escaping from the Sun. The numbers for solar radiation pressure at various distances from the Sun are given here: Radiation_pressure#Solar_radiation_pressure. At 0.2 a.u. from the Sun, the radiation pressure is 227 mkN / m2 = 2.27×10-4 Pa. The formulas for solar wind pressure are given, for example, here: [11] or here: [12]: turns out, a typical star like our Sun emits an order-of-magnitude of 109 kg of solar wind per second, and typical speed of solar wind particle is in the ballpark of 600 km/s. Using these (very approximate) numbers, we get the following. Let us first find how much solar wind crosses a 1 m2 area per second. Since 0.2 a.u. = 3×107 km = 3×1010 m, the 0.2 a.u. sphere around the Sun would have an area of 4 × pi × (3×1010 m)2 = 1.1×1022 m2. Assuming the particles are emitted by the Sun uniformly in all directions (which is not quite accurate, but this is only a rough estimate), we get that the mass of solar wind crossing one m2 of this imaginary sphere is roughly 109 / 1022 = 10-13 kg/m2/s. Now, the pressure is simply the change in momentum flux. Thus, for 600 000 m/s particle velocity we find - assuming the solar wind particles are stopped and do not bounce back - the pressure of 6×105m/s × 10-13 kg/m2/s = 6×10-8 kg/m/s2 = 6×10-8 Pa - way smaller than the radiation pressure. Hope this helps. Dr Dima (talk) 02:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

the temperature in the "outskirts" of the sun[edit]

Do we know what the temperature is in certian points or areas close to the sun? (I'm thinking about apprx. 0.2 au from the sun) (talk) 13:05, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

At that distance you have basically empty space, which doesn't have a well-defined temperature. You could ask for the temperature of the very low concentration of gas that is present, and the answer would be very high, but it is meaningless for practical purposes because the amount is too low to conduct heat to a macroscopic object. Heating at that location is determined by solar radiation, which is independent of temperature. Looie496 (talk) 13:19, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
At that range, heating from coronal mass ejections might be an issue. StuRat (talk) 13:59, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The questioner may also be interested in reading Black-body radiation#Temperature relation between a planet and its star. -- ToE 14:32, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Specifically, that where
T_P = T_S\sqrt{\frac{R_S\sqrt{\frac{1-\alpha}{\overline{\varepsilon}}}}{2D}}
gives a temperature at 1 au from the sun of 254 K (-19 °C) for a sphere with the albedo and emissivity (but not the greenhouse effect) of Earth, of 274 K (1 °C) for those of the Moon, and 279 K (6 °C) for a gray (flat spectrum) ball, these temperatures would be √5 times higher at D = 0.2 au, giving 569 K (296 °C), 613 K (341 °C), and 623 K (350 °C) for a sphere with those respective albedo and emissivity values. -- ToE 15:24, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

See Corona, specifically the "Coronal heating problem" section. A recent study [13] of a comet's tail suggests that magnetically driven turbulence heats the corona/solar wind after it leaves the sun. I believe the temperature can be calculated from [14] but they don't seem to give a temperature graph directly that I can see - (paper from 1967, men were men, giants walked the earth, and people didn't reprint the same semilog graph with different scales, I guess. Wnt (talk) 15:16, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

At 0.2 au from the Sun it is actually Solar Wind. Its temperature is usually defined as a dispersion of particle (mainly electrons) velocities with some coefficient. Ruslik_Zero 12:55, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

String Theory[edit]

My (admittedly rudimentary) understanding of string theory is that there is no observational evidence that supports it. If that is true, is string theory enduringly popular because physicists have "nowhere else to go," or because of its mathematical elegance? Or for some other reason? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

String_theory#Phenomenology says "...there is so far no experimental evidence that would unambiguously point to any of these models being a correct fundamental description of nature." For a gentler introduction to the aims and goals of string theory, see Introduction_to_M-theory. Part of why string theory is popular is because it is thought to be a good thing to research that will help lead to a Grand Unified Theory, see Grand_Unified_Theory#Proposed_theories for other frameworks that also have plenty of current research. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
See this course on superstrings, therein the professor says that superstrings aren't physics yet, they're just applied maths. It's just a promising hypothesis, but there isn't even one jot of evidence that it might be true. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:48, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The gist of the hypothesis is that both quantum mechanics and relativity are accurate (which is rather problematic, because they are incompatible as they have been formulated), so professors do complicated math which has to account for both as special cases. Superstrings are of course one of many possible scenarios for accomplishing this. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The problems for string theory go further than the lack of observational evidence. The theory actually predicts that the energies involved in proving it are beyond the reach of experiments...that makes it unfalsifiable - which is a problem that most scientists find hard to forgive in a hypothesis. SteveBaker (talk) 04:07, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the string theory is yet to make any testable predictions. Ruslik_Zero 12:57, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
That's not what falsifiability means, and it is not the case that strong theory is unfalsifiable, especially because of what you just said - string theorists can propose experiments that could falsify the theory, we just can't do them at present. To clarify: Popperian falsifiability is about the type of statement, not the current experimental apparatus. To quote our article " A statement is called falsifiable if it is possible to conceive an observation or an argument which proves the statement in question to be false." (emphasis mine). String theory does make claims that are in princicple falsifiable, even if current technology cannot demonstrate them false. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:03, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

What is it "Gaseouse atom"?[edit]

I tried to get information on wikipedia (and on Google) and I didn't find. (talk) 18:31, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

That's a poser. Using the search, the term "gaseous atom" shows up in various articles, but it doesn't have an article of its own, nor does it appear in Gas, which would seem an obvious place to define it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Might you be looking for Monatomic gas? -- ToE 18:45, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It's used as a term to distinguish between liquid or solid or chemically bond atoms. It is used to describe energy required to free electrons from the atom without having to worry about other effects that change it. Freeing a valence electron from a gaseous carbon atom is different than freeing an electron from a graphite sheet or freeing it from a hydrocarbon. It's a way to describe the atom as a unique and unbound entity even if that is not the way it is found in nature. Gaseous hydrogen atoms are different H2 molecules and have different energies but "gaseous hydrogen atom" data is more useful in describing how hydrogen behaves with other atoms and molcecules. Deriving energies for H2O is easier to start with the gaseous atom properties of valences of hydrogen and oxygen rather than energies of, say Methane and O2. --DHeyward (talk) 21:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

How plate tectonic works[edit]

1) Because I were told in college different place on the indicated plate (ie Africa plate) is moving in different direction, part of African plate is moving to ENE, part of it is du-east, it has NE and north-northeast, and it has northwest movements too. Is individual plates like Africa also moving to different speed too? Anywhere between 1 and 3 CM per year?

2) Australia is the same part of it is moving to the NW part of it is NE part of it is 4 CM per year, 7 CM per year. Do plates like Africa and Australia move in just one direction or one speed for entire place or different place on the plates is moving different direction and different speed.

3) Because [15] and Ron Blakey's website and Pangaea Ultima, Chris Scoteses website or article about Amasia. Which subfields are more detailed about plate tectonics? Geophysics or paleogeography?

4) Does recent date like 1999, 2009, 2013 also matter how accurate is the information about plate tectonics?

5) And also when scientist references Africa to be stationary plate and everything else rotates in respect with Africa, can scientist use other plates like North America or Antarctica to be stationery plate and everything else rotates with the respect of these plates?-- (talk) 04:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I added numbers to make answering easier:
1 & 2) Plates are composed of subplates, which move with respect to each other. Also, each plate is somewhat plastic, and they can be compressed or stretched to some degree. Compression causes mountain building, as in the Himalayas, while being stretched can eventually cause a rift and split a plate in two.
5) Yes, since no plate is attached to the core, you can use any plate as your fixed reference point. StuRat (talk) 04:18, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Maybe a little pedantic, but the Himalayas are not being formed by the action of one plate compressing, but we are quite certain by the collision of 2 plates.Vespine (talk) 05:37, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • File:Global_plate_motion_2008-04-17.jpg is a good place to start. You'll note that several thing Stu and Vespine note above are shown in that map. Notably 1) Plates do not necessarily move in linear ways. Many plates turn or twist. The North American plate, for example, is very clearly turning around an axis located somewhere near the Gulf of Mexico. 2) Plates themselves are subject to stresses and strains based on how they interact with other plates, so for example, a plate edge will often be being shoved in a different direction than a location at the plate middle. This can be seen on that map where the Nazca plate is meeting the South American plate; the South American plate is generally moving N/NW, but along the edge where the Nazca plate is subducting under it, you see it is being shoved east. This shoving is in large measure responsible for the buckling of the South American plate, creating the Andes mountains. Just some more things to think about here. --Jayron32 13:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Where can I print or download the computer models which are currently accepted by the scientific community which prove climate change incontrovertible?[edit]

I met with my physics professor at a major american university which is about 1 tier below ivy league and we had a long chat that went way off topic into global warming and how the american physical society has unequivocally vouched for the strongest possible language in utmost support of the conclusions of climate scientists. (which is risky because Physicists as a group are tying their reputation and credibility to something which 33% of its members openly do not support)

This professor has done tons of current and recent research into quantum theory and collaborated with the LHC guys and helped advise on the design and setup of at least 3-4 particular experiments which the LHC ran for the benefit of quantum theory physicists. He was on the quantum theory "committee" which decided which atoms to smash at what velocity and what type of detection models to implement for the experiments.

He used a term "regressing on past data" which I'm sure makes sense to you guys. Basically his criticism is that climate change is so slow that the models are unfalsifiable in anyone's foreseeable lifetime because of 2 reasons: a) the definitive tracking of climate change is very problematic because climate itself has other variables which must be accounted for such as "negative feedback loops" in weather patterns and whole bunch of crazy stuff that happens in top layers of earth's atmosphere & b) the short term variance in weather patterns is allowed to contradict the long-term trend (i.e. it is perfectly acceptable to have a 15 year "cooling trend" within an overall 400 year "warming trend")

Long story short, I'm not asking for general information about climate change or anthopogenic global warming. I will outlive my physics professor and I just want a permanent copy which I can print or download that is the most currently accepted theoretical model which the current scientific consensus believes is the best model as of Dec 1 2015 (or if there is a 2-way or 3-way tie, I'm happy with that too) as long as I can either print it or save it onto my computer as a filetype which can be opened or read by a software program that is free or costs less than $100 for a personal/student license.

Lastly, I was a ref-desk sci regular for 5 years back in the mid & late 2000's when the "gang" was Stevebaker, tenofalltrades, jayron32, sturat, kainaw, the guy with fancy blue & white box username, and 5-6 others whose names have escaped me. It's good to see some familiar names from the good old days. (-: Adwctam (talk) 05:45, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

There is no such thing as "the most currently accepted theoretical model which the current scientific consensus believes is the best model". The point is that a range of models, with varying assumptions and varying levels of detail, show increasing CO2 levels producing an increase in temperature. If you identify a particular study, there is a good chance that the authors will give you access to the source code it used, but the thing you are asking for here does not exist. Looie496 (talk) 12:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
No computer model is incontrovertible. A model is only an attempt to generate hypotheses and check existing theory; it needs observation to say if it's true or not. The incontrovertible part has more to do with the Instrumental temperature record. This year will probably be the warmest year ever worldwide, as may next year... we'll see about the year after that (El Nino might end for now) but it won't be long until that record too is broken. Wnt (talk) 14:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, even if it isn't the warmest ever, it wouldn't disprove climate change. Climate is about averages and trends, not about any specific event. Over time, the earth is trending warmer, but that doesn't mean that every minute is warmer than the last, or even that every year is warmer than the last. It's that, if you plot worldwide average temperatures over a long period of time, it is clearly trending upwards. --Jayron32 15:17, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
For those interested in the background of the incontrovertible kerfuffle, see American Physical Society#Statement on global warming. Note that the "incontrovertible" wording is not in the APS 2015 Statement on Earth's Changing Climate. -- ToE 15:22, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

(EC)The previous responses are good and relevant, but IMO missing some of the spirit of your question. I think you're mostly looking for references and access on the latest climate models. That's what I'll provide, but let's digest the above first: there is no one perfect/best model, and models don't prove things about the real world, and even given empirical records don't technically prove anything in the strong sense. But all of these help us muster evidence. (I'm talking about the nature of possible experiments, falsifiability, science is not math, etc. Please ask if you'd like more clarification of what I mean here).
But there are lots of cool models, and they can help us learn a lot! Part of the problem is that even though we can identify a few of the leading current models, there are several different types or classes of model that work completely differently. I do research in an adjacent field and there is a whole menagerie and ontology of model frameworks, assumptions, techniques, user-bases, governmental support, private support, and other issues, leading to a tangled mess of "models that we use to study climate change" The point is that a general circulation model is very different than the Upper-atmospheric_models. Some do dynamic radiative forcing, some do oceans separately, some do soil processes, some even model tree growth! Things like net primary productivity and ecosystem respiration are actually very important for regulating feedbacks to the carbon cycle, but no one model can currently handle everything.
For an overview of the current and best modeling systems that we use to research causes and consequences of climate change, you'll do well to read the publications associated with the Atmospheric_Model_Intercomparison_Project. One of the leading model products today is the Community_Climate_System_Model developed by NCAR. That's mostly for atmosphere only, when oceans are dynamically integrated the model would instead participate in the Coupled_model_intercomparison_project. The CCSM itself is not even a single monolithic model, but modular affair with lots of different submodels that can be swapped out. You can technically get the code and run it but--fair warning--it is going to be very hard work to get it up and running from scratch.
For additional bibliography, see the documentation for CMIP5/6 at WCRP's website [[16]], that has both technical specs for model-intercomparison, and also lists publications that review model performance. If there's any one specific model or group you'd like to know about, let me know and I can find more specific references. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:44, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I'll also add that it's a little unclear whether you want the actual models (code, inputs, runtime environment, quality control, gap filling methods, etc. etc.) or perhaps just the output? Because you'd never want to print out everything that goes into something like the CCSM. I'm not even sure there's enough paper on Earth, depending on the grid size and sampling frequency of input data... Anyway, the output is much easier to come by, and you can get data dumps from the electronic supplementary material in e.g. most of the CMIP publications. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:53, 1 December 2015 (UTC)


November 26[edit]

Most Disproportionately Popular[edit]

What's the name for the technique in statistics that was used to generate this map of the "most disproportionately popular cuisine" in each US state?

Thanks! -- (talk) 07:02, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Unless they state which methods they used, we can't tell for sure, but to me it looks like they divided restaurants into a few dozen categories, determined the national average for percentage of each type, then compared each states's averages with the national average. For example, if 1% of all restaurants nationally are Taiwanese, but 2% of those in California are, then that's 200% the national average. If that was the highest percentage they found, then it wins for California. (I assume they had more significant digits than my example, BTW.) StuRat (talk) 07:48, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The article explains what method it used! The categorizations were taken from Yelp, but otherwise it is as Stu says. But that isn't what we were asked. -- (talk) 08:26, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. I do understand the method that was used to derive the results, I was just wondering if there's a concept or term in statistics for the subset of data points that are "most disproportionately x." Does that make sense? I looked at articles like statistical distance, for instance, but that didn't seem directly relevant. `-- (talk) 09:32, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The article didn't explain it in much detail. It said "it compared each percentage with the cuisine's representation in restaurants nationwide". But compared how, exactly ? That's where I made an educated guess, previously. Note that the method I described will tend to choose smaller categories of restaurants, as it's a lot easier for a state to have double the national average of a restaurant category that nationally only is at 1% than one that's nationally at 20%. Hence the rather obscure ethnic categories for many states, rather than the larger ethnic food categories you might expect, like Italian food. StuRat (talk) 07:30, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Calculus in Fractional Dimensions?[edit]

I saw something about a college curriculum that I don't know whether it was a spoof or not. Within multivariate calculus, do you have the concept of Calculus over Fractional (like 3.5) dimensions?Naraht (talk) 14:50, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Analysis on fractals is certainly a thing. Perhaps most fundamentally, fractals have a self-similar hausdorff measure, which allows functions on fractals to be integrated. Fractals are metric measure spaces, and so differential calculus is also possible in some sense. Probably the most important results concern the study of diffusion on fractals (e.g., percolation theory). But this all well outside of any standard "college curriculum" that one might teach to undergraduates in a multivariable calculus course. Sławomir
15:02, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Fractal derivative is possibly relevant. Additionally, Lebesgue integration can be applied to the Hausdorff measure of a fractional-dimensional space. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, while this is a completely different thing than what you asked, I think an answer to a question that includes the words "fractional" and "calculus" should at least mention fractional calculus. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Is gambling sometimes worthwhile?[edit]

Is it worth sometimes to play a lottery? I know that they normally have negative expected value (in the same way as roulette, sport betting or horse races, among others).

However, what if a lottery has a jackpot that accumulates at each draw without a winner?

If the lottery has 1,000,000 numbers, $700,000 in prizes and each ticket costs $1, it is not worth playing without a jackpot. But how about buying 100,000 numbers in the same lottery with an accumulated jackpot of $2,000,000.--YX-1000A (talk) 16:17, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Generally, as the jackpot goes up, more people play, so it never gets to the point where there's a positive ROI. This is especially true because the ROI is so low to begin with (lower than just about any other form of gambling). Also, once you figure in the tax implications, that makes the average ROI even worse. Then the advertised jackpot value is sometimes spread over many years, meaning you have to figure in inflation between now and then.
Also, buying more tickets does increase your odds, but at a decreasing rate. Consider if there were just 2 tickets sold, in a contest where tickets are drawn from a barrel, and you had one and somebody else had the other. Then you would have a 50% chance of winning. But if you spent twice as much and bought 2 tickets, then you wouldn't double your chances of winning, but only increase the chance to 2/3. StuRat (talk) 16:30, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
A gamble can be worthwhile even if its expected value is negative, if your utility function has a nonconvex region. Usually the utility function is convex, so the variance of a gamble adds insult to the injury of its negative expectation, but in some case it can be beneficial. This can happen if there is something you need badly, but can't afford.
Example: Your life-long dream is to travel to space. Your utility will increase by 1 unit if you manage to do it at least once in your life. Other uses of money will give you utility equal to the logarithm of your net worth (in $).
There are companies that will allow you to do this if you pony up the $$$ - $250K to be exact. But you can't afford $250K - paying this amount is either impossible or decrease your utility by more than 1.
If your net worth prior to paying for space travel is $X, then your utility without space travel is \log X, and after buying space travel, 1+\log(X-250000). So your optimal strategy will give you the maximum between these two values, and bends at X=395494. If you are close to this bend (to its left), you can increase your utility by gambling. For example, if your net worth is $395,000, then buying a ticket which costs $200 and has a 1% chance to give you $10K, will increase your utility by 0.000131. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 17:36, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • At least one lottery operator put this argument succinctly: "You can't win if you don't buy a ticket." -- (talk) 22:18, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "...and you almost certainly can't win, even if you do." StuRat (talk) 08:04, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The example I like to give is thus: "You owe X dollars to a loan shark, who is waiting outside the casino you are inside and is going to kill you unless you pay it back, in full, when you leave. The casino is about to close, you have less than X now, and nobody is willing to lend you money or buy anything you have. Thus, it's in your interest to gamble, with the best odds you can find, even if those odds are against you. (But for God's sake, if you manage to get X dollars, don't decide you are on a winning streak and let it ride !)" StuRat (talk) 19:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
See Run, Lola, Run. Or for that matter, Casablanca. -- (talk) 22:18, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
If you don't account for enjoyment of the activity itself, spending $10 on lottery tickets makes more sense than spending $10 on a movie ticket, because at least you're not absolutely certain to lose money. If you do account for enjoyment of the activity itself, gambling is justified if you enjoy gambling, which as far as I know is the main reason people gamble in real life. -- BenRG (talk) 06:46, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
That argument is promoted by the gambling industry, but I don't buy it. I see that people would enjoy when then win money, but most of the time they will lose, and I don't believe they enjoy losing. Thus, there's a net loss of enjoyment. Why would they do it then ? Well, like any addictive behavior, they only think about the positives, and ignore the much greater negatives. (The junkie shooting up only thinks about the high, not the misery he will be in for later when the high wears off.) StuRat (talk) 07:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Gambling is a special tax for bad mathematicians. Bo Jacoby (talk) 07:54, 27 November 2015 (UTC).
Stupidity tax. StuRat (talk) 08:01, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The expected value is the likely averaged outcome if you play enough times for the the law of large numbers to apply - that would be enough times to achieve several wins and several losses. In the case of the lottery (unlike roulette), you will never be able play that many times, so the expected value is nor relevant to the question. --catslash (talk) 00:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be misunderstanding what is the meaning of "expected value". Expectation is the single most important attribute of a random variable/distribution. There is a theorem of decision theory saying that, given a few reasonable assumptions, any rational agent can be modeled as maximizing the expected value of a utility function. Expectation is definitely not something which is only relevant to things that are repeated many times. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 10:01, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Expected utility is different to expected value I think. --catslash (talk) 16:37, 29 November 2015 (UTC) Are you referring to the expected utility hypothesis? --catslash (talk) 16:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Expected utility is the expected value of the utility. "Expected value" is a general term that can be applied to any variable.
You may have been talking about "expected money". Expected money does not tell the whole picture, but if the expected money is negative it gives a strong indication that the expected utility is negative as well. So I certainly wouldn't call expected money irrelevant, either.
And yes, the von Neumann–Morgenstern utility theorem is the important decision theory result I referred to. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 23:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

To answer the OP's question, it can happen and does, rarely. There was a lottery in Virginia (or a neighboring state), I believe, about 30? years ago that had badly drawn up rules and a prize that had accumulated. Some alert European syndicate bought up almost all the limited number of tickets and won the prize, making a few million in profit. It may have been noted in Harper's Index back then. That is my recollection, sorry I can't support it better.John Z (talk) 21:11, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Maybe you're thinking of this case in the Massachusetts state lottery. A group of MIT students, for several years running, waited on building jackpots and bought significant proportions of the tickets and managed to make a lot of money. Staecker (talk) 23:58, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
No, I never heard of that case, I am pretty sure mine was around when I said - meaning I would be surprised if it was actually only 20 years ago. :-) Desultorily looked for it on the web, couldn't find it. In any case, more and much better evidence that this does happen occasionally.John Z (talk) 00:39, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

I am trying to recall a math joke about binary numbers.[edit]

I am trying to recall a math joke. It's not so much a joke, per se. Rather, it's a witty saying that one might see on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or such. It involves the binary notation of "0" and "1". And I think -- but am not quite sure -- that the joke revolves around the fact that the number "2" (in decimal) is written "10" (in binary). So, in other words, it appears (to the uneducated mind) that the number "10" (ten) is confusingly somehow the same thing as the number "2" (two). And the witty saying is something like this: "There are only two people in the world who understand binary." or "There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't." or something like that. But, of course, the actual saying (that I cannot recall exactly) is actually funny and witty. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:186C:D475:39EF:E0EC (talk) 07:00, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

WHAAOE: Mathematical joke#Jokes with numeral bases. -- BenRG (talk) 07:06, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Repeating here for completeness: "There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't." -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:40, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
"Where did you learn binary numbers ?"
"In Math 101, of course." StuRat (talk) 07:33, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

There are only 3 types of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't. Bo Jacoby (talk) 12:05, 27 November 2015 (UTC).

Once upon a time I've combined the two jokes... And it was here, on Wikipedia – see Talk:Kolmogorov complexity#Compression, just before the table.
Smile eye.png --CiaPan (talk) 12:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Yes, that was it! This one: "There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't." Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:A8EE:8AAC:331:7E78 (talk) 06:02, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 06:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

What for inverting matrices by hand in an algebra course?[edit]

Indeed, how important is it to invert matrices at all, not only by hand? The corresponding article (Invertible matrix#Applications) has some uses of it, but often inverting can be avoided. It seems to be more of an attention exercise than actually maths. --YX-1000A (talk) 15:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Have you read Don't invert that matrix? catslash (talk) 00:40, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Limit of Infinite Sum and Difference[edit]

Given d(x)=\sin x (where x is a natural number) and D(x)=\sum _{m=1}^x\left(d(m)\right), what is the value of  \lim_{x \to \infty} \frac{1}{x-1}\sum _{n=1}^x\left(d(n)-\frac{D(n)}{n}\right)^2? This is not for a homework assignment or anything, just asking out of pure curiosity. Thanks for your help. (talk) 05:35, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

This isn't exactly rigorous but there may be potential to make it so. What you're basically asking for is the average value of (d(n)-D(n)/n)2. Since d oscillates between -1 and 1 with no preference for positive or negative, its average value, namely D(n)/n, converges to 0. So the D(n)/n term can be ignored and the problem reduces to finding the average value of (d(n))2 = sin2 n. But sin2 n = 1/2 - 1/2 cos 2n. Arguing as before, the average value of cos 2n is 0 so the average we want is 1/2. --RDBury (talk) 18:11, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Great answer, thank you! (talk) 22:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Generalizing a Property of the Ellipse[edit]

The ellipse has the property that the normal (perpendicular) to the tangent bisects the angle formed by the point of tangency with the two foci. What is the locus of the points in a plane with the property that the normal (perpendicular) to the tangent trisects the angle formed by the point of tangency with two fixed points ? — (talk) 05:38, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Since no one has responded in more than 24 hours I'll do so even though I don't really have an answer. First, it's a bit nit picky but the word "locus" usually means the set of points satisfying a condition, but the condition you're placing on the curve depends on the curve itself. So it's not a locus in the traditional sense. The condition given is more like a differential equation so the result is a family of curves rather than a single curve as would be defined as a locus. As I understand it, the angle bisection property of an ellipse is a consequence of the fact the sum of the distances to the two foci is a constant. You get the same thing with a hyperbola where the difference of the distances to the two foci is a constant, only this time the lines are bisected the other way. With a parabola you get the tangent bisects the line to the focus and a line parallel to the axis, which you might call the line to the focus at infinity. So you might look at replacing the condition that the sum of the distances to the foci are constant with one where the distance to the first focus plus twice the distance to the second one is constant. This defines a member of a family of curves known Cartesian ovals. Unfortunately, this doesn't lead to a simple relationship between the angles, though you do get a relationship between their cosines as in Snell's law. To get back to the original question, it's much easier to find a differential equation for a family of curves than to find a family of curves that satisfy a differential equation. When I tried to set this up as a differential equation, even simplifying by placing one of the foci at infinity as in the parabola, the result looked too complicated to be solved easily and there's no guarantee that it would have a solution in closed form. There may be a trick I'm overlooking though so I won't claim there is no such solution. --RDBury (talk) 16:48, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Actually there was a trick I was missing, at least to find a solution when one of the foci is at infinity, namely polar coordinates. In fact it works for angle bisection, trisection, tetrasection, or any other linear relationship. The angle of inclination of the line from the point to the origin (taken to be one focus) is θ. The bisector of this line and a horizontal line will have inclination θ/2, the trisector angle θ/3 or 2θ/3, or generally, say kθ. So we want the angle of inclination of the tangent, the tangential angle φ, to be kθ. The angle between the tangent and the line to the origin is called the polar tangential angle ψ and the relationship between these angles is φ = θ + ψ. Eliminating φ we get ψ=(k-1)θ or ψ=nθ where n=k-1. Now ψ is given by (see the tangential angle article)
\tan \psi = \frac{r}{dr/d\theta}.
So we get the differential equation
\tan n\theta = \frac{r}{dr/d\theta}.
This is easily solved by separation of variables to get
r^n = a^n \sin(n \theta)
which is the equation for a sinusoidal spiral. For k=1/2 (bisection), n=-1/2 this is the parabola as expected. For k=1/3 or 2/3 (trisection), n=-2/3 or -1/3 which is Tschirnhausen cubic in the second case and an unnamed curve in the first. I don't know if this can be adapted to the case where both foci are finite, but it now seems slightly less improbable that a solution can be found. --RDBury (talk) 18:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand what angle exactly the normal to the tangent is supposed to trisect... (talk) 01:24, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Putting two foci at (0.1, 0.0) and (0.9, 0.0), I wrote a simple ODE that is valid as long as the curve stays above the x-axis. Wolfram Alpha can solve it numerically and give a rough plot:
- bisects (ellipse) [17],
- trisects with the small angle on the right [18],
- trisects with the small angle on the left [19].
The last case shows that the curve can cross the line between the two foci at a 60° angle, which is not something that can happen with an ellipse. Egnau (talk) 19:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Vector calculus terminology[edit]

I know that div D = ρ. But does the inclusion of a charge source/sink actually bend (diverge) the electric flux (density) lines. In other words: why is it called 'divergence'?-- (talk) 02:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

It's called Divergence as a general concept, nothing to do with electric stuff. Basically it's measurement of how much "stuff" gets pushed apart or away from the focal point. The vector field in question could represent sand on conveyor belts or fluid particles or anything else. This is in a sense a metaphorical use of the term "diverge" for abstract math, but it is basically the same as the normal English definition of Diverge - "To run apart; to separate; to tend into different directions. " [20]. So I think that the problem is that you're thinking of "diverge" in terms of "bending", but bending isn't really part of the notion, it's more about separating. Does that help? SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Euler's totient function[edit]

For two positive integers m and n, when is \phi(mn) = m\phi(n) true? GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 03:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

When the primes dividing m all divide n. For example ϕ(100⋅40)=1600=100ϕ(40). Note, it's always the case that ϕ(mn)≤mϕ(n). --RDBury (talk) 07:00, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Coprimality depends only on the distinct prime factors. If every prime dividing m also divides n, then mn has the same distinct prime factors as n and hence an integer is coprime to mn if and only if it is coprime to n. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 14:48, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
That's not what I meant. For example every prime dividing 4 (namely 2) also divides 6. In this case ϕ(4⋅6)=4ϕ(6) but you can't say an integer is coprime to 4 iff it's coprime to 6 (3 being a counterexample). --RDBury (talk) 15:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
But it is true that an integer is coprime to 24 if and only if it is coprime to 6. I said "coprime to mn", not "coprime to m". GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 15:29, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
My bad, I misread what you wrote. --RDBury (talk) 16:55, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]


November 26[edit]

Do the world think about the German understanding what the internet is?[edit]

Germany enforces web seach providers to cut results from the search hits.[21][22] The Störerhaftungs law effectivly resticts motels and cafes to provide free internet access in Germany. Again for reason of copyright abouse the internet is beeing filtered. Is Germany stil performing themself what they have China blamed for? Or is it still missing knowledge how to handle negative information by individuals? --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 16:25, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Your question is quite tough to parse. Answering it would imply trying to guess what you meant. --Denidi (talk) 23:39, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
No I do not think about what the Germans think the internet is. (talk) 01:31, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Most (if not all) western countries oblige ISPs and search providers to block certain copyright infringing websites, and Germany is not unique in making the owner of an internet connection legally responsible for its use (although German laws are stricter than many there). Right to be forgotten, which is what your links refer to, is an EU-wide provision, so it's not limited to Germany. Here's what Havard Law School (so Americans) think about the German/European understanding of the internet. The difference between somewhere like Germany and China is that political censorship is limited/non-existent - you can write what you like about Merkel and pretty much as long as you don't make a death threat the Polizei won't be knocking on your door, whereas it's very difficult to criticize the government in China without resorting to bizarre code. Internet censorship by country has more information. I can't parse the last part of your question. Smurrayinchester 09:49, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I think the last part may have something to do with the right to be forgotten, but I'm not sure what. Note that I'm fairly sure the right to be forgotten doesn't really exist in China unless you happen to be a member of the political class or otherwise have the right connections, then may be you can get the censorship authorities to remove info on you you don't want people to know. (It could also be removed incidentally.) So even in that aspect it isn't really comparable. As for copyright issues, I'm fairly sure most of those who criticise China on censorship, including the US but also Germany would be very happy if China cracks down on sites considered to be havens for copyright violations. Nil Einne (talk) 17:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Smurrayinchester, about the last Question: For example, in the web is information about a company or person is running out of money. The effects may be like, customers pay later or abuse the information in an other way. Or don't order there due later warranty issues or simply know they can have cheap service in time. A typical German view is to recognize less money similar to a disease and treat them like a sick or banned person. If everyone would try to save just himself, they might find themselves in similar situation. Somebody in Silicon Valley said: “We hired «experienced» staff” as a result of owning such information. This statement sounds like having the ability to know and handle the truth. It also includes the habit in owning such information to prevent damages without causing further damage to anyone else. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 13:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

How long did Corbyn get to work on his letter?[edit]

I'd be grateful if a UK editor could clarify this for me: November 26 Cameron made a statement to the Commons in favor of British airstrikes in Syria. A some point after that Corbyn sent a letter to his MPs saying that he'll vote against such strikes as Cameron's arguments hadn't convinced him. But how much time did pass between Corbyn's becoming aware of Cameron's arguments, taking some time to think about them, deciding they did not convince him, writing his letter and sending it. It all seems to me to have happened pretty fast. Did I miss something? Contact Basemetal here 23:04, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

It's been clear for weeks (at least) that Cameron would be calling for airstrikes sooner or later, and Corbyn's position agin 'em has likewise been clear for a long time. DuncanHill (talk) 00:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok but since the letter (text) purports to be an answer to Cameron's statement Corbyn could have waited till Friday or even Monday before he sent it, to make it at lesat look like he really gave Cameron's arguments some consideration. This letter came so fast that it looks like nothing Cameron could ever say would ever convince Corbyn. Is that the case? Contact Basemetal here 05:57, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The Independent says the letter was produced "within hours" of meeting the Shadow Cabinet to discuss Cameron's case. According to Channel 4 News there was an agreement among the Shadow Cabinet to wait a weekend before making a statement, but that Corbyn released the letter early apparently to maintain initiative and to get Corbyn's supporters (who currently make up a majority of the Labour membership, but a minority of the Parliamentary Party) to start needling MPs over the weekend. On an important issue like this, you can't waste a moment. "A week is a long time in politics", as RAB Butler Harold Wilson once said. As for the second part of your question - we can't read Corbyn's mind. Smurrayinchester 10:00, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't take long if we could. DuncanHill (talk) 13:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The Guardian, the main left-of-centre broadsheet newspaper, says "Corbyn wrote to his MPs on Thursday saying Cameron had failed earlier in the day to explain how an aerial campaign would protect UK security" and that the "letter was met with surprise among the most senior Labour MPs, who were believed to have agreed to spend the weekend sounding out constituents on the issue before presenting their position next week". [23] Alansplodge (talk) 16:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
It's perhaps worth remembering that the length of time it would take to consider something would depend on several factors including the length and complexity of what you're considering, and how much new info there is that hasn't been revealed before. For example, it's probably fair to say someone who rejects the TPP an hour after the full text is released didn't read and understand the proposed agreement in entirety. (Of course this doesn't mean your objection is illconsidered, it could be that there are certain parts so untenable that the rest of the agreement is irredeemable.) Cameron's statement was long, but not that long and it doesn't seem like much of it was really new or unexpected. Nil Einne (talk) 17:53, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
DuncanHill's comment above puts me in mind of this gem from Beyond My Ken's blog (posted on 30th January 2006 but still worth repeating):

This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out, "It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication and the other involves a groundhog." … Correction: I should have made clear that the Air America comment dates from last year, 2005, when Groundhog Day and the SOTU address coincided.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

How does one contribute to a charity in someone else's name?[edit]

Not sure where to post. So I will post this here. How exactly does one contribute to a charity in the name of another person? I mean ... I will write the check or pay with a credit card. So, the "payer" is obviously going to be me (my name), on the check or the credit card. Does one simply put a notation on the "memo" line of the check? And, if not paying by check but rather by credit card, what does one do? And, how exactly does the person get notified that a contribution was made in his name by me (through me? or through the charitable organization? or does he not get notified at all?)? I want to give Christmas gifts and this year my gifts will be donations to a charity in the name of, say, my friend. I will be doing this with several gifts (several friends), not just one. So how exactly does one go about this? Thanks. If it matters, this is in the USA. 2602:252:D13:6D70:186C:D475:39EF:E0EC (talk) 06:47, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

In the cases I have seen they already have a system set up for this. On the form you just check the box that says it's in somebody else's name, and provide their name and address, then they send that person a card telling them the gift was made in their name. If the charity you have in mind doesn't do this, you could call them and ask if they would. I suspect most would be willing to do so, if the contribution made it worth the effort.
One warning, though, is that the charity in question now has the names and addresses of two people they view as potential revenue sources, so you both can expect junk mail. Therefore, if you give to PETA, the recipient of your gift can look forward to a continuous chain of letters with pics of tortured animals, until they agree to give (my Mom gets those). StuRat (talk) 07:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, man. I didn't even consider the "junk mail" component. But, you are right. I have contributed to many charities. I often "regret" it, when I start getting a ton of junk mail of their solicitations for more contributions. That's not fair of me to foist that upon another person -- a friend of mine, no less. And in the name of a "gift", no less. Wow. I am glad that you mentioned it. I had not thought of that at all. 2602:252:D13:6D70:186C:D475:39EF:E0EC (talk) 10:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
This is what spam filters and shredders are for. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:53, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes. But, still, I think it would annoy the recipient of such a "gift". And rightly so. 2602:252:D13:6D70:A8EE:8AAC:331:7E78 (talk) 06:01, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Some charities are less obnoxious, and rather than send you pics of tortured animals might send you useful things, like return address labels, notepads, and calendars (hopefully with pleasant pics). StuRat (talk) 14:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's true. 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 06:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 06:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Economic logic behind timing of discounts[edit]

Resolved: (talk) 22:16, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I was looking at this "ultimate guide to what to buy every month of the year", and was curious about how the explanations behind different products seemed to contradict.

Mainly, it seems that both high demand and low demand could lead to lower prices. The low demand made more sense to me -- I understand why there's cheaper perfume after Valentine's day and cheaper camping gear as cold weather approaches. But then the guide also suggests that spring break causes luggage to go on sale, barbecue season leads to lower prices for barbecue supplies, and of course the start of Christmas shopping today (it's Black Friday where I am) means deals on electronics.

What determines which situation is at play? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The former would seem to be cases where someone is trying to get rid of excess stock which they no longer need due to lower demand and probable changes in how much they display and have on hand (i.e. clearance and similar sales). The later would seem to be when sellers (probably both retailers and manufacturers/suppliers) are competing against each other to get customers by offering items currently in high demand at lower prices. Nil Einne (talk) 17:44, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
For Black Friday electronics in particular, there's also a loss leader factor. Stick out a few flat-screens at ridiculous markdown, and you get people into your store to buy other goods at normal prices. Plus, people (think they) have to buy Christmas presents, so if they don't buy from you, they'll go to a rival. By only buying the marked-down goods, you effectively foil the loss-leader scheme. Smurrayinchester 18:06, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Percieved necessity seems like a solid determining factor. Only some folks go camping, but a lot of people barbecue. That might be the biggest distinction cause of all. (talk) 22:16, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Pricing is an art, not a science. The Chancellor of the Exchequer wanted to raise more money from Stamp Duty Land Tax so he upped the rate on homes over 950,000 pounds (not sure of the exact figure). This sounds a lot, but ordinary terraced homes in inner London suburbs sell for more. What happened was that purchasers demanded lower prices by way of compensation or didn't buy at all, so the tax take went down. Likewise, retailers filled their stores with stock for Black Friday yesterday but nobody bought it (everyone was buying online). (talk) 10:00, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Not quite sure how that is relevant. In a temperate country, everyone needs winter clothes but these will generally be cheapest on clearance after winter, if you can find your size. Even many of the examples you mentioned like many electronic items or luggage will be cheapest on clearance although these are less seasonal and more old models. Barbecue stuff is fairly seasonal and some places will definitely have clearance type sales after the season. And while camping gear may be cheapest just when it's considered out of season most places will have many sales during the season but places which do continue to stock camping stuff during the middle of winter will generally have no sales on the gear (except perhaps store wide ones) during winter after they're done with any clearance sales. Of course some sales may be a combination, e.g. in the just past Black Friday sales, Amazon US had the 32 GB Nexus 6 for $199 (less with certain discounts). Many people bought them including resellers planning to sell them on eBay, Craiglist or even back on Amazon. This sale was very likely a combination of a semi-clearance type sale (they still plan to stock it I'm sure but with the 6P and other newer phones it's no longer such a hot item) plus Christmas gadget sale. Nil Einne (talk) 13:33, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

How can Singaporeans studying in Western countries protect themselves from crime and racism?[edit]

I am Malay but some Chinese and Indian friends also consider studying overseas.

We heard racist hate crimes are common in the West, like Indian students killed in Australia, shooting blacks in the USA and attacks on Muslims in Europe. Our literature text by David Hare shows British assault Indians. Even worse is attacking Chinese mistaken for Japanese or Sikhs mistaken for Muslims.

International students, foreign workers and tourists also more likely general crime targets and more likely to face general racism. In Singapore, general crime rate is very low, racism is milder than the West and hate crimes almost never happen here. What we are taught to protect from crime in Singapore may not work for hate crimes and in other countries. Maybe can also compare racism levels in different Western countries and against each race in Singapore.

This is follow up for my previous question with more details. Also how to find old questions and the answers? Terima kasih untuk jawapan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Your old post is here: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Humanities/2015_November_18#how_can_singaporean_studying_or_holidaying_in_western_country.2C_protect_from_racist_hate_crime.3F. You should write down the reference desk and date for your Q, to make it easier to find after it is archived. The link to the archives is on the top of this page, on the right side. Better yet, come back before they are archived (in about a week), then you won't have to search through the archives to find them, you can just do a Control F on this page, and type in your name to find it. StuRat (talk) 15:23, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
As for the Q, note that your perception of attacks on foreigners in the West is likely fueled by biased press coverage in your nation. It's possible more Singaporeans are killed in Singapore than abroad, but that just doesn't make the news, as it's not as shocking. (Can anyone find the actual stats ?) Based on this [24], it seems like Singapore is relatively safe overall, but Geylang is the most dangerous area. Similarly, when traveling abroad, you need to avoid the most dangerous areas in those nations. StuRat (talk) 15:27, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We have Crime in Singapore, but that's just a stub at the moment. List of major crimes in Singapore is probably more useful. For the OP's question, Racism by country might be a good place to start. Tevildo (talk) 15:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Considering the Michael P. Fay story, I would think leaving Singapore would be liberating. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:10, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, because a single incident from 21 years ago is an infallible guide to the situation today.
ObPersonal, but when I lived in Singapore (having previously lived in Hong Kong)I found it pleasantly more orderly and cleaner than most other countries in the area I was aware of. When discussing the recent death of Harry Lee (Lee Kuan Yew) with my Father (admittedly a little right-of-centre in his views) he remarked that he would have liked Lee to have been made President of the UK for life :-) (yes, I know we don't actually have that position). {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 18:25, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The recent Oliver Fricker case shows that nothing has changed. Of course it's "orderly", with the threat of such barbaric punishments. What the OP should do, once escaping the shackles of Singapore, is to find other Singapore-born persons at his new destination, who can clue him in on where not to go, and so on. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Barbaric? From our article on Birching:
"In Britain birching as a judicial penalty, in both its juvenile and adult versions, was abolished in 1948, although it was retained until 1962 as a punishment for violent breaches of prison discipline. The Isle of Man (a small island between Britain and Ireland with its own legal system as a British Crown dependency) caused a good deal of controversy by continuing to birch young offenders until 1976."
I can assure you that a significant minority of UK citizens would vote for birching being reinstated: I myself an undecided on the subject. From our Judicial corporal punishment article:
"In Delaware, the criminal code permitted floggings to occur until 1972. One of the major objections to judicial corporal punishment in the United States was that it was unpleasant to administer."
And from our Corporal punishment article:
"One reviewer for The Economist writes about Moskos's [2011] argument that "Perhaps the most damning evidence of the broken American prison system is that it makes a proposal to reinstate flogging appear almost reasonable. Almost."
How standards change when one is discussing distant foreigners' judicial practices. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 20:04, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I think for your peace of mind, you should stay in Singapore. Better safe than sorry. (talk) 11:24, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

StuRat, thanks for explaining about the archives. Not only attacks on foreigners, but also violence against local minority races (blacks in the USA are not foreigners) seems common in the West, which also has racist parties and protects media which promote racial hatred, like Charlie.

There maybe biased press coverage in Singapore and equally, the West maybe biased against Singapore. Most Singaporeans support harsh punishments to keep Singapore safe. Only angry when innocent people get punished which is rare. Racist incidents are reported in the media, quickly deal with and scolded by Singaporeans. When terrorists want to attack Singapore, a few local Muslims found out and reported to police. So Chinese, Malays, Indians, even other races, we get along well and make good friends. Churches next to mosques and temples, void decks used for Chinese funerals and Malay weddings, we celebrate our cultural festivals with friends and neighbours from all races. Western countries cannot see or imagine this.

So why some Singaporeans want to study in the West? Because need very good grades to get into Singaporean universities and some want to study specialist courses that cannot get in Singaporean universities. Comparing racism levels in different Western countries and against each race in Singapore can help us choose universities. How to find out the more dangerous areas in a Western country? Even Geylang is quite safe to go with friends for meals. Cultural differences list can also be useful, for example, swastikas are common symbols in Indian religions but Nazi symbols in the West.

Re: "Churches next to mosques and temples", it's exactly the same in the US. For example, see List of mosques in the United States (that's just the more notable ones). This isn't reported in Singapore, however. An American Muslim recently went abroad, and Muslims in other nations were shocked to find out that he and most Muslims live in peace in the US, despite all the news they read saying US Muslims are constantly under attack. On a personal note, my brother (not a Muslim) has a Muslim friend, and my brother even went so far as to build a prayer shed for him where he can go to pray, while visiting my brother's house.
As for how to figure out which areas are dangerous, a Google Street View might help. Do you see abandoned buildings, graffiti, and the type of businesses you find in slums, like liquor stores, pawn shops, payday loan (high interest/short term) businesses ? Also stay away from any area with signs saying "LIVE NUDE GIRLS" (or "DEAD NUDE GIRLS", for that matter). StuRat (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I wonder if the OP was truly interested in the answers to the question or if they just wanted to make a statement about the "racist" West, Charlie Hebdo, etc. Their latest post came only a few days after the Paris (Bataclan, etc.) Islamist killings in November in Paris. Similarly shortly after the Paris (Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher) Islamist killings in January a user calling themself "Orang Perancis Adalah Perkauman" (Malay for "French people are racist") posted this. That user was blocked probably because of the offensive nature of their username. In the January post they claimed to be non-Muslim while here they claim to be Malay, hence probably Muslim, but given the apparent similarity of purpose, I wonder if they're not the same person. Contact Basemetal here 15:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I really don't think these contributions are in bad faith. They sound just like they come from a Singaporean who feels they need to study in the West but is anxious about coming to a country that would have a somewhat higher crime rate generally, and where they might feel out of place and vulnerable to racism. I think the only way through for the OP is to talk to Singaporeans who have studied in the West and come back safely in one piece. Maybe through their college or a students' union. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the proper place to discuss repeated posting of the same complex loaded questions of the form "racism in Australia", "police brutality in the US" and "bigotry in Europe" belong on the talk page, or perhaps as another request for an SPI Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Bowei_Huang_2/Archive. At this point maybe we should just let the matter rest. μηδείς (talk) 03:09, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Rosamond by Mary J Holmes[edit]

We have a book by Mary J Holmes. The title is Rosamond. Do you have any information on this book that would help me to determine it's value? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

It is likely to depend where you live, but if you log into eBay and search for the book, you can display completed listings to see how much it has sold for there. I'm not posting a link, because I think this only works if you're currently logged in.--Phil Holmes (talk) 18:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
For interest, presumably Mary Jane Holmes? However, that article doesn't list all her titles and doesn't mention Rosamund. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 18:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Our Mary Jane Holmes article doesn't mention Rosamund, but DOES mention Rosamond, which is the book the OP was enquiring about. DuncanHill (talk) 18:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
D'oh! {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
AbeBooks is another site which should give you some idea how much the book is worth. It seems to have been published in a number of editions over the years, so you'd need to check against when your copy was published and by whom, and also the condition of the book. --Nicknack009 (talk) 19:05, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Political font[edit]

This kind of font has been used in political banners in Italy since the 60's/'70s, especially by far right protesters. Is there anyone who knows something more about the history of this particular script?--Carnby (talk) 18:41, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Although I am not an expert in fonts, when I saw the image, I was immediately reminded of the pre-World War II Italian Futurist movement in art, which was closely associated with Mussolini's fascist movement. Fortunato Depero, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Giacomo Balla were among the designers and artists of this school. The Futurist font is reminiscent though not identical. P22 Il Futurismo is a contemporary version of a Depero design. Sorry that I can't identify the specific font, but I am confident that it is in this broad family of fonts. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Pinging Carnby. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:10, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the hint! I was able to find a version of the font which is called Ultras liberi ("Free supporters"): the name points out to soccer fans (it is a well known fact that most soccer fans in Italy are far right parties' supporters). Here's a little more (in Italian).--Carnby (talk) 13:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Carnby, one font website categorizes it as "Futurist - Retro". Here's an article in Italian in Vice that discusses the origins of the font. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 19:30, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

What kind of Atheist am I?[edit]

I visited the article on atheism and could not find an answer to the question below.

1. I am absolutely certain that there is no god 2. I do not know from my education or learning that this is so 3. I come to this position logically, though I cannot be certain that my logic is correct.

Nevertheless, I have no doubt at all that there is no god of any kind.

The definition of "strong" atheism seems to imply that one has learned or been convinced that there is no god. Neither is the case for me.

So what kind of atheist am I? (talk) 20:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, from our article Atheism, "Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism", so there isn't a "correct" label for your position, and your personal choice of label is the one others should respect. That being said, which of these statements is closer to your personal view?
  1. "I positively assert that God does not exist."
  2. "There are no grounds for asserting that God exists, therefore it is irrational to do so."
If it's 1, others would agree if you described yourself as a "strong atheist". If 2, "weak atheist" might be a better term. Our article also makes the distinction between "explicit" and "implicit" atheism, but your statements above are, I think, inconsistent with implicit atheism. Incidentally, Logic might also be a useful article; if you can express your position as a deduction from a set of axioms, you can, at least, check that your logic is valid. Whether your axioms are true is another matter. Tevildo (talk) 21:27, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Words are tools made by men to shape and communicate their thoughts. It is, ironically, an almost theological mindset that worries about terms as if they have some import beyond that of one's own usage. If necessary, one could say one is a convinced, certain, confirmed, reasoned or determined atheist, or an atheist by conviction. Which term is best will depend on the context.
Presumably you don't intend to go around volunteering the fact of your atheism to people, or to nail it on the front door of your local church? So if the subject comes up, it will most likely be because someone asks, in which case the plain term atheist is fine, and you can explain further if asked. If a missionary comes knocking on your door, "I am a confirmed atheist" should be fine.
But one is not going to score points with God by ticking off the "proper" term for atheist, since He already sees exactly what you feel in your heart. So don't worry about it too much. In the meantime there are various online thesauruses, you can search for one of the words used above along with "synonym" at google and find some good terms. μηδείς (talk) 21:57, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Fortunately the OP already knows there is no God, so they don't have to worry at all. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:32, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
He has said that, but his worry that it be worded properly brings to mind the homoousian versus homoiousian schisms, and the (especially Karaite) Jewish, Islamic, and Evangelical concerns with textual infallibility. μηδείς (talk) 05:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Point number 3 seems to contradict point number 1. If you're not certain your logic is correct, how can you be certain your conclusion is correct? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:59, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
This is a difficult one. The OP says that (s)he is absolutely certain that there is no god, but also that (s)he has not been convinced that there is no god. I would say that (s)he is an agnostic. So why not attend a church service or two, learn a bit about Christianity and rethink your position? (talk) 10:10, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Or a synagogue...or a mosque...or any other place of worship? Or none at all. Why should they rethink their position? Would you? Adam Bishop (talk) 11:32, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

"I do not know from my education or learning that this is so...I cannot be certain that my logic is correct. Nevertheless, I have no doubt..." Sounds like faith to me.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 10:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

"I come to this position logically, though I cannot be certain that my logic is correct" sounds purely scientific thinking to me. Where does your logic come from anyway? Isn't it the result of your entire history of learning since you were born? Akseli9 (talk) 11:29, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Why did you leave out the last part? The part where the OP said "I have no doubt" and "I am absolutely certain" ... - Lindert (talk) 13:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, absolute certainty is not scientific. Mingmingla (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Being "absolutely certain", while still hedging one's bets about the basis of that certainty, sounds like doubt to me. Doubt leads to questioning ... and here we are ... -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:34, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Note that the OP posed the debate-inducing question and then disappeared. This type of atheist is known as a "drive-by" atheist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:54, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed with Bugs. Saying that you are certain and have come to a position by logic, while admitting you may have made a flaw in your logic, is simply admitting the possibility of error. It's the opposite of childishness, wilfull ignorance, delusion, or zealotry. The fact that the OP says he was not convinced seems to imply he meant he was not convinced by others. But I am not sure there's any point in further dancing with angels unless the OP wants to come back and clarify questions that have been brought up. μηδείς (talk) 19:00, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

666 666 issue[edit]

Hello, I would like to know the following please:

  1. Is 'music' making and 'selling' is an Ideolotary/worship issue?
  2. Is creating 'animation' and 'selling' is an Ideolotary/worship issue?

Note: I know that being in a television without promoting God is. A clarification for the two Bulletins Numbered list will suffice aviodant.

Space Ghost (talk) 21:00, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

See Idolatry, but that question can't be answered without knowing which religious viewpoint to take. Religious music and Religious art might be useful, as well. Tevildo (talk) 21:40, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The answer will depend on the dogma of your particular sect. But the word is 'idolatry', and has nothing to do with 'ideology'. Personally I do not think either of the activities you describe could plausibly be confused with worshipping inanimate objects, but opinions vary. AlexTiefling (talk) 22:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, how does the year 666 figure into this? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:56, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Number of the Beast if anyone needs the correct link. Tevildo (talk) 23:33, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Sowi Smile-tpvgames.gif
Thanks fellas. I'll read through. Regards. -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:23, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I figured it was about the Number of the Beast, not a year, but I still can't connect that with the question about music/animation making and selling.
And what does "being in a television" mean?
What's a Bulletin in this context?
What does "aviodant" mean?
Maybe the OP can restate their question in something approaching English as she is spoke. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:11, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry! I had to think quickly to write this post. In other words, I was not thinking properly before writing this post. Sorry. -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:35, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Forget the apologies; try explaining. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:51, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  1. I read ideal worship is bad so I thought its ideolatory because I read somewhere in an article the word “idolatry”. I wasn’t sure which word it was because the ‘red line under a word’ appears whenever I try to write something meaningful in WP.
  2. I got the word avoidant from google translate. I thought the word suffice alone is rude because the villan from the Matrix movie uses it…I guess using the word avoidant is along was wrong…
Guys, to be honest, I tried to act smart with my English words in this post. Please excuse me, most of you know that I have English problem, so please don’t mind… You guys are the only people I speak to, and this is the only place I can try to write big words I’ve learnt… Please help me to get better if you can by pointing out the mistakes, so that I know my carelessness. I try to ensure whatever I write is clear enough; all comes from my heart/mind.
Space Ghost (talk) 19:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
OR, but I had more than one Muslim tell me on the Internet that music was "haram" Asmrulz (talk) 01:35, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Procol Harum? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:39, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
There's also some information at Islamic music#Permissibility of music.Sjö (talk) 15:13, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Manhattan highrise mixed zoning?[edit]

In Manhattan, are there any highrise buildings that are mixed-zoned as partially commercial and partially residential (for example, perhaps the bottom floors are commercial, and the upper ones residential), or are Manhattan highrise buildings necessarily entirely zoned as only one type from bottom floor to top floor? —SeekingAnswers (reply) 02:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I googled the subject "new york high rises with stores and apartments" and this is one item that turned up. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:34, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
For greater clarity as to what the answer is: the word "stores" does not appear on that page, but 8 of the listings mention "retail" space, mostly just one or two floors, but in one case as much as 300,000 square feet. -- (talk) 06:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Why did you think those skyscrapers might be single-use by necessity? The ground floor is most valuable for retailers as people couldn't walk right in to an upper floor and their window ads would need people to look up to be noticed and huge letters to be read. Store(s) in the bottom is almost the norm in Manhattan. Even the tallest and most landmark-y high-rises can do this. Like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and One Times Square (where the New Years ball falls at the focal point of Times Square). All have storefronts on the sidewalk. Obligatory reference that's not my memory: [25] Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 06:52, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Re: "Why did you think those skyscrapers might be single-use by necessity?" Actually, all three of your examples show exactly why I was asking: the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and One Times Square are all purely non-residential. I don't know of any famous Manhattan skyscrapers that are mixed commercial/residential. —SeekingAnswers (reply) 17:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Central Park Tower has a seven-story department store on the bottom, a hotel in the middle, and residences above.    → Michael J    20:33, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

WWII Germans wearing enemy uniforms[edit]

My Google skills aren't good enough to find references for this: I believe that during WWII a German unit donned American uniforms in order to sneak in behind enemy lines. There they intended to remove the American uniforms and fight in their own which they wore underneath. They were discovered and had to fight while still wearing American uniforms. They were tried and acquitted due to military necessity and that wearing enemy uniforms to avoid detection as a ruse of war is permitted (as long as you don't fight in them). I'm not talking about Operation Greif which is the closest I've found so far, and what I can find on Wikipedia about Otto Skorzeny's trial and acquittal doesn't really fit with what I remember. Sjö (talk) 09:00, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

This tactic was the stock-in-trade of the Brandenburg Regiment, the German special forces unit, who regularly donned civilian clothes or enemy uniforms for missions. Further details here. Alansplodge (talk) 16:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
You wouldn't be thinking of the movie The Eagle Has Landed, would you? They were discovered and fought, though they wore Polish uniforms and weren't tried, much less acquitted. (There's also Cross of Iron, but that was on the Eastern Front.) Clarityfiend (talk) 04:39, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it must be Skorzeny. A law of war handbook mentions that in December 1944, some of his units did battle in US uniforms. However, I can't find anything about that in the sources in the Wikipedia articles. Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding by the author of the handbook. Sjö (talk) 18:39, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
User:Sjö, you may find some answers in International Law on Use of Enemy Uniforms As a Stratagem and the Acquittal in the Skorzeny Case by Maximilian Koessler. Sorry, I haven't had time to read it myself. Alansplodge (talk) 11:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that was a good source. I skimmed it and it looks really well researched and sourced. From what I gathered it's unclear whether the Germans actually fought in US uniforms, and unfortunately the verdict didn't give any reasons for acquitting Skorzeny. Sjö (talk) 14:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Use of military infoboxes[edit]

I've noticed many infoboxes being populated with template:Infobox military person for non-military notables, especially actors. See for instance Telly Savalas and Karl Malden. The template description is vague about when to use it. Most are being macro-added by an IP, with some ruining the TOC formatting, as for James Earl Jones. --Light show (talk) 19:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

This isn't really a question for the Reference Desk, but I'm not really sure where the best place for it might be; probably the Help Desk is a better starting point. That being said, WP:AIV is the place to request a block, but the IP hasn't been warned yet, and it might be a good idea to do so before making it official. It's OK for you, or anyone else, to revert the template additions in the meantime - see WP:BRD - and the individual talk pages are the place to discuss whether or not the addition is appropriate. Tevildo (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
AIV is decidedly the wrong venue for dealing with this. This kind of behavior is absolutely, totally, and unambiguously NOT vandalism. Please do not contribute to clogging that overworked board with yet another bad report. Vandalism is not a synonym for "editing I do not agree with". This person may need to stop, but not because they are vandalizing. --Jayron32 01:18, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
This is undoubtedly Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Cause of death vandal. -- zzuuzz (talk) 08:21, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Peglike objects from the Old Kingdom[edit]

Old Kingdom

The cylinders in the hands of the Pharaohs. What is this? --Ghirla-трёп- 20:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

All three sculptures in your group have them, and many others that are not showing pharaohs, or here. Are you certain this is not something having to do with sculptural technique? Is this restricted to the old kingdom? Contact Basemetal here 21:08, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The web is awash with new-age drivel calling these "the Wands of Horus" which have reputed mystical powers. However the truth seems to be that nobody knows. You can download an article from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website called "An Elusive Shape within the Fisted Hands of Egyptian Statues" by Henry G Fischer, Curator in Egyptology, which says that the traditional views were that they either represented ceremonial staves that could not easily be represented in stone or that they stood for the empty space within an open fist; however the suggestion advanced by the article is that is that they represent rolls of cloth, rather like a handkerchief. Alansplodge (talk) 22:47, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
New Kingdom
Well, it does look like they're holding the stylized corners of cloth they're wearing on their backs, particularly in the case of of the left hand of Menkaure in the middle. If you look at what's between the figures' torso and arms, it appears closer to the viewer than the background wall, suggesting something they're wearing (or maybe I'm completely off, and it's just for stability, no broken arms unlike poor Venus de Milo, apologies for not providing any references whatsoever). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:00, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The "cloth" theory explains a total lack of archaeological evidence for this type of thing. But it does not look like cloth in the picture to the right. And why should pharaohs for several thousand years be so attached to some pieces of linen? Anyway, the subject warrants a separate article in Wikipedia. I could not find the barest mention of the subject on this website. --Ghirla-трёп- 09:13, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In the download linked above, it shows a sort of round-ended stick extending a short way out of the fist and pretty much the same at the front as the at the back. Fischer, the Egyptologist who wrote it, supports his theory with hieroglyphs - it's a bit too complicated for me to précis - you'll have to read it for yourself. Alansplodge (talk) 09:17, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, I do know a person who carries a smallish roll of toilet paper in their handbag for unexpected but urgent performances in a paperless cubical office. These generally have the size of an upright sarcophagus. Egyptologists may consider this hypothesis. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 16:23, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
@Ghirlandajo: In the case of The Bowman and The Spearman, the weapons were left out on purpose. Maybe this was the case for the Egyptian statues as well. Dismas|(talk) 18:35, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

What American states allow abortions to be performed in hospitals?[edit]

Some states in the U.S. require abortions to be performed in specialized Abortion clinics, instead of hospitals (as is the case I think for most of the countries in the developed world where abortion is legal), which makes a mockery of medical confidentiality and privacy and subjects medical staff and patients to bullying and even physical violence. My question is: In what states is this not the case? Contact Basemetal here 20:54, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It seems likely that certain types of abortions, such as those needed to save the life of the mother, could be done in hospitals under a doctor's care. That's relatively rare, though. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:15, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
This provides some general insight, though it doesn't specifically answer the OP's question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:23, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Could it be perhaps that the OP is not familiar with the fact that most hospitals in the US are privately run facilities, and that they might not want the issue of elective abortions to complicate their mission?

In countries with socialized medicine, of course the government may as a matter of economy and policy mandate that state owned hospitals perform elective abortions. Is the premise that states in the US should also require hospitalization for elective abortions? Given most such procedures are outpatient, is there some non-ideological reason that private entities should be forced to hospitalize a woman against need? My experience does not match the premise of there being any mockery of anyone's rights, any more than the case that HIV testing is often done at a known gay men's health clinic. Are there statistics that show abortions in America are more dangerous than those in other countries due to their being performed in facilities specifically designed to handle them? We've been given a bait and switch here, an equivocation on elective procedures (which are normally schedule for outpatient clinics when possible) and medically necessary abortions done in inpatient-specialized facilities. μηδείς (talk) 05:32, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Just to clarify:
  1. I didn't mean to imply that medically the quality of the procedure is lower in abortion clinics. The only issue I was concerned with is the fact that the existence of specialized abortion clinics turns them into targets. And my question was: Where in the U.S. is this not the case? It seems Medeis's answer is "nowhere" but I'm not sure.
  2. The problems with medical confidentiality I was referring to is that if a patient walks into an abortion clinic everyone knows what they've come there for. If they had the procedure in a hospital (either on an inpatient or outpatient basis) only they and the medical staff would know.
  3. There seems to be some confusion as to what universal health care (called "socialized medicine" in the U.S.) implies. It does not imply that all hospitals are public. In many countries with universal health care many if not most hospitals belong to universities' medical schools, charities, churches, municipalities, health insurance "cooperative" organizations, etc. or simply a private individual or group of individuals, or a corporate entity either for profit or non profit. Of course they have to be licensed and government issues guidelines, but I'm sure that's also true in the U.S. So the issue is probably not guidelines vs no guidelines, but what kind of guidelines.
  4. Performing a procedure in a hospital does not necessarily imply hospitalization. Outpatient procedures can be and are also performed in hospitals, so I'm confused about that whole bit.
  5. I'm not sure there is a necessary link between universal health care and the non existence of abortion clinics, since in Canada, a country with universal health care there are nevertheless abortion clinics. Someone more familiar with the Canadian situation could maybe explain that oddity.
  6. Finally "socialized medicine" is a phrase used, as far as I can tell, mostly in the U.S. In most other places it is called universal health care. Most people outside the U.S. would think that calling universal health care "socialized medicine" makes as much sense as calling universal primary education "socialized primary education".

Contact Basemetal here 16:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

2) That assumes that an "abortion clinic" exclusively performs abortions, which is not usually the case. Women may also visit such a clinic for information, contraception or (pregnancy) tests.
5) I don't know about the Canadian situation, but I question whether it really is that unusual. There are abortion clinics separate from hospitals in the UK and here in the Netherlands too, regardless of universal health care. - Lindert (talk) 17:36, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Some explanation of 5), the Canadian oddity - a 1988 landmark:
R v Morgentaler was a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which held that the abortion provision in the Criminal Code was unconstitutional, as it violated a woman's right under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to security of person. Since this ruling, there have been no criminal laws regulating abortion in Canada.
Henry Morgentaler had been providing abortions in his private clinics, and fighting court battles, for many years. The 1988 decision was much wider than had been expected; it meant that women no longer had to persuade doctors that they "deserved" an abortion. Here are some "key readings" brought together on the 25th anniversary website. The CBC also provides a timeline. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 23:12, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
There's some discussion about the widespread use of such clinics here [26]. That source also discusses something else that's worth remembering namely that some states in the US controversially require abortion clinics to be ambulatory surgical centres, and that doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals, standards which are hard to meet and generally accepted to significantly limit the availability of abortions in those states. Nil Einne (talk) 07:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Correlation between sex and and childbirth[edit]

Are there any known cultures that haven't discovered the correlation between sex and childbirth? — Preceding unsigned comment added by The dancing werewolf (talkcontribs)

There are certainly cultures that don't have the indigenous knowledge of the specific nature of spermatazoa and eggs. The usual idea is that the man's seed gives form to the woman's blood. One cannot prove a negative, but I have never come acrost an example of total ignorance of the necessity of the male's role, and the relationship in some form of menstruation with the alternative of pregnancy. I do remember being told that the story of the Virgin Birth was an obvious forgery by some rather insistent anti-Christians, because the Jews at the time of Christ did not understand conception. That claim's just risible historical ignorance. μηδείς (talk) 05:41, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
It's a very interesting topic in anthropology - interesting in the sense that, like cannibalism, we're very keen on finding people who do it/believe it. Bronisław Malinowski, one of the key figures in early 'professional' anthropology spent a great deal of time on the Trobriand Islands and ended up writing three books about it, including the charmingly titled The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia where he described the Melanesians' belief that males are not involved in the creation of children, who are instead created by/filled with baloma. Did they really believe that? Malinowski was obviously convinced and opined that it was due to the open sexuality the islanders practiced (they supposedly started having sex as young children and were pretty free and easy about the topic). They still claim that they do but it is not all evident that they're ignorant of basic biology.
When talking about "savages", it's sometimes easy to fall back on the trope that they're all simple, ignorant, people. Malinowski did. Yet it's fairly clear that their actual belief in baloma is a lot like a Catholic's in transubstantiation: a dogma you have to espouse belief in, but are not at all interested in examining critically because you know it's just a dogma. In the 70s and 80s, a lot of the early anthropology field work began to be examined more critically, particularly with the novel view that the people being studied were not all simpletons - and a lot of the early work was found to be tall tales, credulous belief in the truth of whatever you were told, and similar. Malinowski's discussions of Melanesian sex fell into those categories. (talk) 14:36, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Do me a Faber[edit]

According to Armin Faber, he was repatriated in 1944 due to (faked) epilepsy or "ill health". I find that rather hard to believe. Two questions: (1) Can anybody confirm or debunk this? (2) Were not-obviously disabled POWs repatriated during the war? Clarityfiend (talk) 05:47, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Some good detail about this kind of escape is in The Colditz Myth: British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany by S. P. MacKenzie (pp. 340-342). Annoyingly, page 341 is missing from the Google Books preview, but it does highlight the cases of Richard Pape who was repatriated after faking acute nephritis and Paddy Byrne, along with several others that he instructed, who were sent home from Colditz by pretending to be mentally ill. Alansplodge (talk) 10:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
No confirmation as such, but The Focke-Wulf 190: a famous German fighter by Heinz J. Nowarra (1965) has "(...) as a prisoner of war he successfully deceived the British authorities into believing that he was an epileptic. He was repatriated, as a result, in 1944, and flew again in action as a fighter-pilot until the end of the war, and was still alive in 1965". ---Sluzzelin talk 11:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm... this detailed article, Unintentional Gift (reproduced from the June 1986 edition of FlyPast with kind permission from the publishers), says; "Faber was shipped off to Canada and after two escape attempts he was repatriated just before the end of the war due to ill health." Alansplodge (talk) 11:38, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, possibly he was repatriated per The Focke-Wulf 190, but Unintentional Gift sounds wildly implausible. Why would the Allies have bothered when the end of the war was in sight (and for mere ill health), and why would the Germans have gone to the trouble of taking him back when they had more pressing concerns and not much of an air force left? Anyway, thanks all. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the motivation was that the Allies wanted their sick prisoners-of-war back and didn't want the Germans to claim that it was a one-way street. Repatriations were facilitated by the Red Cross if I recall correctly, so there may not have been an option to decline a repatriation without defying the ICRC. Alansplodge (talk) 11:32, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, don't underestimate actual compassion. Even in the middle of a war, with the most real of realpolitik, officials don't become completely heartless (look at Al-Megrahi – the Scottish Government released him even though they knew it would be a propaganda coup for Gaddafi and cause a diplomatic crisis with the US, because the guy had advanced prostate and bone cancer, and only had a few months left to live). Smurrayinchester 13:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Picture of David Jewett Waller, Sr.[edit]

The picture of David Jewett Waller, Sr., allegedly from the early 1830s

The picture at right, of David Jewett Waller, has been bugging me for a while. In the book where I found it, it's captioned "David J. Waller, age 18". Now, given that Waller was born in 1815, this would put the date of the photo at 1833 (or possibly 1834). But that would be a full six years before the first photograph of a person was taken! Can anyone help me pin down the actual date this was taken? Or is this by some mistake a photo of his son (in which case it would date to about 1864)? Or is this just a really accurate drawing that I'm idiotically mistaking for a photograph? --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 17:29, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It looks like an 1860s-era photo (not a drawing) and an age of 48 would be a lot more likely than 18. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree, the style of dress is more in line with the 1860s than than the 1830s. I suspect that the age stated in the source is a typo. That said... while we can call the accuracy of the source into question, we should not (ourselves) take a guess as to his actual age in the photo. Blueboar (talk) 22:25, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Contacting the book's author would be worth a try. Either he made an error himself, or the source of the picture contains the error. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:55, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Does the book include a credit for the photo? If it's not on the same page, there might be a list of photo credits at the front or back of the book. -- (talk) 09:43, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Some questions on WWII[edit]

Hello all! I was just curious about how many ships the Nazis had in the a three week period after the fall of France that could support troops. I had heard somewhere that that three week period was when the Royal Navy was not able to put forth enough ships to stop an invasion, and I was curious to see how many troops could arrive in England using what ships they had. Or if all of that was... counterfactual.


Aqua817 (talk) 02:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but I rather doubt the Royal Navy was unable to defend against an invasion at any point. (There's also the little matter of the Royal Air Force.) AFAIK, the fighting in France didn't cause anything even remotely approaching crippling naval losses. If they had, they certainly wouldn't have been made up in three weeks. Also, you can't just throw together an amphibious assault on the spur of the moment. The Germans didn't have much, if anything, in the way of naval assault transports. They had to spend a lot longer(?) than a few weeks just gathering together inadequate civilian barges from all over the place in preparation for Operation Sea Lion. That doesn't even address the logistics problems. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Operation Sea Lion states:

Even if the Royal Navy had been neutralised, the chances of a successful amphibious invasion across the Channel were remote. The Germans had no specialised landing craft, and would have had to rely primarily on river barges to lift troops and supplies for the landing. This would have limited the quantity of artillery and tanks that could be transported and restricted operations to times of good weather. The barges were not designed for use in open sea and, even in almost perfect conditions, they would have been slow and vulnerable to attack. There were also not enough barges to transport the first invasion wave nor the following waves with their equipment.

Clarityfiend (talk) 10:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, JUNE 1940: NORE COMMAND shows that the RN had at Immingham three Town-class cruisers, among the most modern and powerful ships of their type afloat, together with two anti-aircraft cruisers and two older light cruisers, plus a great mass of minesweepers. At Harwich there were 4 destroyer flotillas with about 30 destroyers in all, although a number of those were undergoing repairs after the various evacuations. Also dozens of sloops, anti-submarine trawlers, minesweepers and patrol boats. At Chatham and Sheerness there was another modern cruiser and an older light cruiser with more destroyers and smaller vessels. At Dover there was another destroyer flotilla. At PORTSMOUTH COMMAND there was a battleship, two destroyer flotillas and a submarine flotilla. At WESTERN APPROACHES COMMAND in Devonport there was an aircraft carrier, more cruisers and three destroyer flotillas. ALL of these forces were within 12 hours' steaming of the invasion beaches and the Kriegsmarine had no battleships or cruisers in commission after the Norway Campaign and precious few destroyers. And in case you think that the RN could be stopped by air power alone, consider that in the Dunkirk Evacuation, they had operated about 50 destroyers over almost a week under constant air attack, for the loss of six of them. Alansplodge (talk) 11:52, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
♫ "Three monkeys up a stick..."
I suspect that you meant if France's fleet was joined with the German fleet they would have had enough. In theory this may be true, however, the French fleet never fell into German hands, for two reasons. The first is that, despite the surrender, captains aboard French ships were not about to hand them over to their enemy. They would scuttle them before that happened. The second was that the British Navy would sink them before they allowed them to be turned over. Unfortunately, there was an incident where the French didn't scuttle them quickly enough and the British were afraid the Germans might get some ships, so they were, in fact, sunk by the British Navy (Attack on Mers-el-Kébir). There was a later incident where German forces tried to board a French ship in port, and it was scuttled. StuRat (talk) 12:35, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • OK, let me alter my statement: "The small portion of the French fleet which fell into German hands was insufficient to give Germany enough ships, along with it's own, to achieve naval superiority over Allied naval forces". StuRat (talk) 14:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The French did not scuttle their own ships, quickly or not, at Mers-el-Kébir; in fact, the battle took place, inter alia because they refused to do so. The British Navy is commonly known as the Royal Navy. There was a - largely - successful scuttling of the French fleet later in the war at Toulon (Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon). There was never any chance during the war that a combined German and French fleet would 'achieve naval superiority over Allied naval forces'. (talk) 14:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The French Navy in Operation Torch weren't acting as allies of Germany, they were defending French territory under the orders of the French government, which was neutral by treaty. The Allies were hoping that the French colonial authorities would defy their government and not oppose the landing, but the necessary political manoeuvrings were badly botched. Eventually, Admiral Darlan was persuaded to go over to the Allied cause and espouse the Free French movement rather than the Vichy regime, which to be fair, was actually the constitutional government of France at that time. Alansplodge (talk) 17:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Right, and the current constitutional government of China actually resides in Taipei. In circumstances such as those legalistic constitutional issues become somewhat moot. If you were a French general at the time I'm sure you would have based your decision as to who to go with on who you thought was going to win, not on complicated legal arguments. At most, if you didn't feel much of a gambler, you might have gone with Vichy by default but only because you might have thought it was the safest way to cover your ass whatever the hell happened afterwards, as in case the Allies won you could always explain that blah blah blah (your career though was likely to be over) whereas if the Germans won and you had gone with de Gaulle you'd be in real trouble. The legal discussion though is great fun to watch and still animates French hearts as this colorful discussion on the French WP can testify. Contact Basemetal here 18:34, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Alansplodge: Which French do you mean? Do you mean Vichy France or do you mean Free France? There were two French states at the time, the collaborationist government of Vichy France aligned with the Axis, and the DeGaulle-led Free France, aligned with the Allies. If you're saying that Vichy France was NOT aligned with the Axis powers, you're going to have to rewrite, like, every history book ever written. --Jayron32 19:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure Alan will have a much more comprehensive answer, but, no, Vichy France was not one of the Axis powers - it was not a signatory to the Tripartite Pact, it was officially neutral under the Armistice of 22 June 1940, and, although German troops were allowed freedom of action throughout mainland France, Pétain never led any French troops against the Allies. Tevildo (talk) 20:59, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. I'm sure all of the Vichy French troops who fought in the Battle of Dakar defending against the Allied invasion thereof would have been quite surprised to learn that. Pétain never personally led any French troops into battle, but no head of state did for quite a long time before WWII. --Jayron32 21:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
"Defending" being the operative word. Vichy troops also defended their territory against Axis forces during the Japanese invasion of French Indochina. Does this make them aligned with the Allies? Tevildo (talk) 22:49, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Boston Fish Pier, Boston Fish Wharf[edit]

I notice that Commons has three images (really three variants of one image) in Commons:Category:Fish Wharf, Boston, and has hundreds of (mostly poorly categorized) images whose descriptions make mention of "Boston Fish Pier". Before I make a new category for the latter: does someone who knows Boston history know, are the "Fish Wharf" and the "Fish Pier" distinct structures, or is the former just an old name for the latter? Or are the three that refer to the "Fish Wharf" just badly named, possibly coming from a wrong usage in a common source? - Jmabel | Talk 06:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

There is a pier labeled the Boston Fish Pier. A wharf is typically a collection of piers. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
This is a good question, but hard to answer. The key question is, when were those three pictures (that picture) taken? The BPL doesn't narrow it down to more than "1850 - 1929 (approximate)"[27].
The current Boston Fish Pier, the one that everyone knows (and that I suspect all the rest of those uncategorized pictures are of) was built in 1914[28]. And it appears to have always been called the "Boston Fish Pier".
That old picture looks really old; it could easily be 19th century, meaning it's merely of some old wharf in Boston where fish were being unloaded, not the central Fish Pier built in 1914.
On the other hand, we can't read too much into the "Pier" vs. "Wharf" distinction: we're calling the old picture "Wharf" only because that's what one person originally penciled on the back of one copy of it (and has been dutifully propagated by librarians ever since).
It would be good if we could identify the building in the background of the old image, but there's really no detail. The only distinguishing feature is the cupola, which I don't recognize, which the current fish pier buildings don't have, and which this 1927 engraving of the fish pier doesn't show, either. (But the building and cupola in the picture could also be on an unrelated neighboring pier.)
I suspect we'll never know. Unless someone can positively put a date of 1914 or newer on the old picture(s), I think I would be inclined to create a new Commons:Category:Fish Pier, Boston containing everything that definitely pertains to the current fish pier, and then add the older Commons:Category:Fish Wharf, Boston to the Pier category with a note that the connection is tenuous. —Steve Summit (talk) 11:33, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Metropolitan France[edit]

The article Metropolitan France claims, without citation, that French Algeria was part of Metropolitan France prior to independence. However the latter article claims that French Algeria had a status comparable to some regions that are now Overseas regions. Could someone provide a clear reference for this? Hack (talk) 13:10, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

See Category:Former departments of France in Algeria, and other articles about French Algeria. Part of French Algeria (the Mediterranean Coast) was organized into Departments with equal representation in the French legislature as any other French Department. The interior part of Algeria was not organized into departments. See also fr:Département français d'Algérie, the article at French Wikipedia, which covers some of this as well. --Jayron32 13:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Not sure about a "clear" reference, as the whole thing seems to be fiendishly complicated, as although there was early representation in the French National Assembly for some Algerian departments, there was none for others and regulations enfranchised Jews but not Muslims and so forth. The best I could find is: "The Constitution of 1958 recognized that all people born in Algeria were French citizens (Article 75) and announced the end of all territorial distinctions - either in law or regulations - between the now fifteen departments of Algeria and the Sahara and the ninety metropolitan departments." Lorcin, Patricia M E, Algeria & France, 1800-2000: Identity, Memory, Nostalgia, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 0-8156-3074-3 (p. 151). Alansplodge (talk) 14:10, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
To rephrase my original question, was French Algeria part of Metropolitan France or did it have an equivalent status? Hack (talk) 14:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
That depends on how you define Metropolitan France. Under many definitions, Metropolitan France is JUST L'hexagone, that is Mainland European France (and often Corsica). However, under the law, there was no distinction, legally, between Algeria and L'hexagone, so those territories were fully equivalent to any part of it. Metropolitan France is a somewhat imprecise term. Metropolitan France is most commonly used in the way that the "Contiguous United States" is used; that is it excludes Alaska and Hawaii, even though legally, there is no distinction between those to states and the "Lower 48". Think of Algeria during that time period as being like Alaska and Hawaii. It was not European France, but during the third and fourth Republics, there was no legal distinction between European and African departments. --Jayron32 16:02, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Last formal declaration of war[edit]

On August 8, 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. Has any nation formally declared war after August 8, 1945?--DThomsen8 (talk) 22:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

WP article Declaration of war might be worth looking at. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 23:09, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
That article has a section Declared wars since 1945 with a column saying declaration of war or existence of a state of war but looking at the various articles, there certainly was the commencement of hostilities in each instance, but so far I have been unable to find a formal declaration of war. The United States formally declared war on Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania in June, 1942, and that is last time by the U.S., with less formal authorizations since then.--DThomsen8 (talk) 23:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The only instance I can find is the Arab countries declaring war on Israel at the start of the Six Day War (1967) (see [29] and [30]) - Lindert (talk) 23:29, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Specialist help may be available at WikiProject_Military history -- Paulscrawl (talk) 23:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The Convention relative to the Opening of Hostilities gives ultimatums equal standing with declarations of war. George W. Bush issued an ultimatum regarding Iraq in 2003. Gabbe (talk) 07:44, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

Who laughed at the Wright brothers?[edit]

Carl Sagan famously said that "They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Who, if anyone, laughed at the Wright brothers? There were plenty of respectable people working on heavier-than-air flight at the time, and there seems to have been a general expectation that such a thing would eventually be possible given suitable engines and materials. So did they in fact laugh at the Wright brothers? If so, who were they, and what was the context? Or is this just a stock element in inaccurate stories told to children, like churchmen telling Columbus the world was flat? --Amble (talk) 05:10, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Alternatively, were they really laughing at the Gershwin brothers? --Amble (talk) 05:16, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, possibly Lord Kelvin. Despite being an excellent physicist and an engineer, he made pronouncements that weren't so hot. Response to Major B. F. S. Baden Powell's request to join the Aeronautical Society, December 8, 1896: "I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of." (However, he never laughed at Bozo the Clown.) Clarityfiend (talk) 06:59, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Here is a large collection of quotations making predictions about aviation. Many of them are favorable, but quite a few are not. Just looking at the ones from the Wright brothers' era, we have:
  • Thomas Edison, quoted in New York World, 17 November 1895
  • Worby Beaumont, engineer, when asked if man will fly in the next century, 12 January 1900.
  • Rear-Admiral George Melville, Engineer-in-Chief USN, 'North American Review,' December 1901
  • 'Flying Machines Which Do Not Fly,' published in the New York Times, 9 October 1903
  • Simon Newcomb, in The Independent: A Weekly Magazine, 22 October 1903
  • Simon Newcomb, professor of mathematics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science, 1906
  • Engineering Editor, The Times, 1906
  • Lord Haldane, Minister of War, Britain, 1907
I have not attempted to verify the genuineness of any of these.

Marriage among the peasants[edit]

According to our article on love marriage:

According to historian Stephanie Coontz, marriages for love and personal reasons [in Europe] began to appear in the 14th century. It began to become popular in the early 17th century.[...] According to Coontz, the marriages between Anglo-Saxons were organised to establish peace and trading relationships. In 11th century, marriages were organised on the basis of securing economics advantages or political ties.

Which is fine as far as it goes for families in the aristocratic and merchant classes whose continued survival relied on trade and political ties. But what about the huge pile of people at the bottom of the feudal pyramid? As serfs of the manor, they didn't really have much property and virtually no wealth, and they couldn't easily do any work other than farming. How did marriage work for peasants? Did they too have arranged marriages, or were they freer to choose? Smurrayinchester 13:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

It will be different depending on time and place, but serfs were typically tied to the land. They weren't allowed to leave to go work or live on someone else's land, and their lord had to approve any marriage. They probably wouldn't be allowed to marry anyone who belonged to another lord. So the number of people they could marry would be small (maybe in the thousands). Marriages could be arranged by the lord, or I suppose by family members, but ideally they could marry whomever they wanted as long as the lord approved. Also, aside from differences in places and time periods, it's also hard to know exactly why serfs and peasants did anything they did, since their actions are typically filtered through someone else who was literate and wrote for or about them. Adam Bishop (talk) 13:53, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
There were differences in status among peasants, and these would have figured into marriage decisions. Family ties were more important in the past than they are today, since in times of illness or trouble, a person's only recourse was their family. So a young person would rarely have dared to defy their parents' wishes. Parents would have wanted their children to marry into "good" families, meaning families of equal or greater status than their own. Status could be measured in terms of the amount and quality of land the family leased or otherwise had access to, favor in the eyes of the feudal lord, connections to the Church, or other qualities. Attraction and sentiment no doubt played a role, as it also often did in arranged marriages among the nobility. (For example, a young male nobleman could sometimes rule a proposed fiancee out because she was too ugly or because she had a disagreeable temperament. Daughters of the nobility probably had less say, but if their parents loved them, even they could sometimes surely influence the choice of their future husband.) The key, though, is that marriage, even among peasants, was not seen as a matter of love, but instead primarily as an economic relationship, and as one moved up the hierarchy, as a political relationship. Marriage was really a lifelong commitment, since divorce and remarriage were virtually impossible, and it did not make sense to enter into such a commitment based merely on a possibly fleeting attraction. Parental wishes, especially for young women, were probably often decisive, along with the approval, where required, of the feudal lord. Marco polo (talk) 15:39, 1 December 2015 (UTC)


November 25[edit]

From the Russian: twice-bannered, twice-starred[edit]

I've just started a bit of native speaker's cleanup of the page here for the Alexandrov Ensemble, formerly known in brief as the Red Army Choir. In Alexandrov Ensemble#The renaming of the Ensemble we have the inelegant phrasing "Twice Red-bannered and Red-starred ..." I've a healthy respect for foreign entities' own English-language translations of their particular nomenclature, certainly in treating a former Soviet institution. So if this wording or another is "the official" or otherwise canonical form used in English by the Ensemble, I'd leave it in peace, adding a line to Talk:Alexandrov Ensemble#Names. (N.B. see the suggested "two times" for "twice.") . However, I'm unable to check it. The multilingual "European Homepage" in External links is broken, as is the .ru Official Home Page "Contact Us" feature (!). Meanwhile I'm leaving a message in the Guest Book of the "Unofficial Blog of the Alexandrov Ensemble of the Red Army". Perhaps in the interim there's another information channel I've overlooked? -- Cheers, Deborahjay (talk) 08:30, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Amazon use the translation A. V. Alexandrov Twice Red-bannered and Red-starred Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Soviet Army, if that's any help. I believe from previous discussions here that the "... named after A V Alexandrov" construction may be over-literal. Tevildo (talk) 11:17, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not only clumsy in English, it's also potentially misleading. The phrase "twice red-bannered and red-starred" sounds as if they won two red banners and two red stars, and this is the interpretation implied in the heading here "twice-bannered, twice-starred." But in fact, the ensemble won two banners and only one star; the "twice" is attached only to "red-bannered" and doesn't distribute to "red-starred". It's not easy to translate this kind of Soviet-era pomp into another language, especially when constructions that would be an awkward false title in English are more normal in Russian. --Amble (talk) 20:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Would simply flipping the construct ("red-starred and twice red-bannered") not solve the problem? I understand that overall it remains clumsy, but at least it wouldn't be misleading?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); November 25, 2015; 22:01 (UTC)
Ëzhiki, perhaps you could weigh in at the Alexandrov Ensemble article on how to handle the naming of the ensemble? Your suggestion is less ambiguous, but also a less direct translation. I'd trust your judgement on how to balance precision vs. clarity here. --Amble (talk) 23:30, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
A probable variant is "The two Orders of the Red Banner and the Order of the Red Star Ensemble...", how do you think? Somewhat clumsy but it means clearly what it has to mean.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
OP summarizes: Considering the input provided above, my preference is to contact the Ensemble by some means to ask for their authorized English-language version of its official name, then make this information available to the other WP language projects via Wikidata. I'll update the Talk:Alexandrov Ensemble page accordingly.-- Deborahjay (talk) 14:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
"Twice Red-bannered and [once] Red-starred" keeps the original construction while clarifying the numbering. Akld guy (talk) 19:04, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

Tunisian alphabet?[edit]

I have a micro-conflict with a user. He claims there is the Latin alphabet for Tunisian, and he puts it in the articles concerning Tunisia. But I'm sure there is no any official alphabet, he just invented it himself and pushes his own agenda. Some time ago this "alphabet" was already mentioned here in the RD (diff). But the user went on and created a "Help:IPA" article pretending this alphabet is somewhat "official". I tried to correct the page, but in vain. By my opinion, what he is doing is an original research and disruptive editing. Probably, an attention to this user from the adminship is required, but I have no much interest, desire and time to make an official complain and escalate the conflict (I stumbled across the issue by accident). I do not remember if there are any admins here? However, there is a probability that I'm wrong (I'm always ready to accept that). So I ask fellow linguists to help and participate.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I refer you and fellow editors to pages here on the Maltese alphabet which officially uses Roman characters, "the only Semitic language to do so" (per various sources, uncited). The Maltese language is mentioned as being "closely related" to Tunisian Arabic among the Maghrebi variants of Arabic. Of interest is Tunisian Arabic#Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft Umschrift giving the fairly recent but established history of using latin script for Tunisian. -- Deborahjay (talk) 14:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
As for me, I know that information and even more, I expanded a little the article about Maltese some years ago, but thanks anyway for your concern.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:04, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Fruit saying[edit]

What is meaning of phrase "grow a pear"? My neighbour is Cockaney and told this to me last week but I cannot see it is a Cockaney rhyme slang. Have no garden or trees, so this is difficult for me. It is from London song maybe. (talk) 12:17, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

The normal phrase is "grow a pair", expressing the speaker's belief that the person addressed is not behaving in an appropriately virile manner. Tevildo (talk) 13:26, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
There's two possibilities I can think of. There's a famous bit of Cockney rhyming slang: " apples and pears " for "stairs". However, if one accounts for homophones to be the source of your misunderstanding, the phrase you are mishearing is most likely" grow a pair ", as in a pair of testicles. It's a common exhortation said to someone who is being cowardly. Look it up at Urban Dictionary.--Jayron32 13:30, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed; see "grow a pair". Alansplodge (talk) 16:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'll note in passing that Cockney rhyming slang typically omits the word that rhymes with the 'real' word: stairsapples and pearsapples. To decipher pears as C.r.s., we'd have to find a word commonly paired with pears. —Tamfang (talk) 09:13, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Definitely not cockney slang, it is a colloquialism. Cockney slang would have the rhyming elememt with the rhyming word omitted like, for example "sausage roll" for "troll" but only "sausage" would be used Richard Avery (talk) 15:37, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Plural behind measurements[edit]

I walked a five kilometer long trail.
I walked a trail that was five kilometers long.

How come one needs to be plural and the other one doesn't? Is there a prescriptivist rule in English that describes this difference?

Also, is there a parallel to this rule in other languages? 731Butai (talk) 08:01, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I've heard both of them either way, although your examples are more conventional for whatever reason. The subtlety seems to be whether it's being used as an adjective or in a descriptive phrase. As in, "It was a five kilometer trail" vs. "The trail was five kilometers long." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:10, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I parse these like "five kilometer long" in the first example are three attributives represented by a numeral, a noun and an adjective, while in the second example "long" is an adverbial modifier. As nouns in the attributive function are usually not pluralized, therefore the noun of the first example is not as well.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 10:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The first example should be hyphenated: "I walked a five-kilometer-long trail." (See MOS:HYPHEN,sub-subsection 3, points 3 and 8.)
Wavelength (talk) 14:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Sure, if I was adding that sentence to a WP article. 731Butai (talk) 16:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
My Google search for hyphen measurements finds other style guides prescribing hyphenation in such expressions. For more than 12 months, I have been hyphenating attributive expressions of time measurement, as one can see by examining my contributions.
Wavelength (talk) 17:29, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I note that if one uses {{convert}} with |adj, the adjectival form includes a hyphen, eg
{{convert|5|km|mi|adj=on}} trail → 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) trail.
However if you want to append "long", you have to include the hyphen yourself.
{{convert|5|km|mi|adj=mid|long}} trail → 5-kilometre long (3.1 mi) trail
{{convert|5|km|mi|adj=mid|-long}} trail → 5-kilometre-long (3.1 mi) trail
Mitch Ames (talk) 23:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding the hyphen, note that it has to turn into a space if the expression includes an SI (metric) unit expressed as an abbreviation (officially called a symbol). It was a five-kilometer or five-kilometre trail, but it was a 5 km trail. That's because the use of SI symbols is governed by an international standard that applies regardless of which language is being used. Specifically, see section 5.3.3 of the standard, third paragraph:
Even when the value of a quantity is used as an adjective, a space is left between the numerical value and the unit symbol. Only when the name of the unit is spelled out would the ordinary rules of grammar apply, so that in English a hyphen would be used to separate the number from the unit.
The common British practice of writing 5km without a space is also in violation of the standard. (Note: I linked to the US edition of the standard because it's available online, but it specifically mentions what things in it are US-specific and this is not one of them.) -- (talk) 09:33, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Expressions like "a ten foot pole" come from the Old English genitive plural form of "foot", fota which did not have a final /s/ or vowel mutation. (See ten foot pole here at Harvard.) In essence, the expression means a pole of ten feet. Since "ten foot" is not an adjective, hyphenating it is a solecism. μηδείς (talk) 18:45, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I think that's exactly Wavelength's point, though. An adjective is required here. "A ten pole" and "a foot pole" make no sense, because neither "ten" nor "foot" is an adjective. "Ten foot" will not do either, as simply juxtaposing the two words does not convert them into one adjective. The alchemy comes with the hyphen: "ten-foot".
Back to the original question, and here are some more examples, not involving measurements: mouse plague, drug addict, pencil case, car rally, boot polish. Nobody would read these and believe the plague contained only one mouse, the addict used only one drug, the case accommodates only one pencil, the rally had only one car, or the polish is for shining only one boot. A car rally that contained 50 cars could be called "a 50-car rally", but "a 50 car rally" has no meaning, really. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, the singular is used even when the adjective is formed from a noun that is only ever used in the plural, such as "scissors" and "trousers".
Example: The main problem with his outfit was that one trouser-leg was longer than the other. It can't be "trouser leg", because there is no such word as "trouser"; that series of letters can exist only if an s is added to the end, or if it's hyphenated with "leg" or whatever. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I think I might need to press you on that one, Jack. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Only if there were a style of car called a "50". Another example that comes to mind is "Rule Book", which for whatever sport it's for, certainly has more than one rule. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:01, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Only if there were a style of car called a "50" - how does that compute? A rally of Ford cars would be a "Ford rally", not a "Ford-car rally". A rally of 30 Ford cars would be "a 30-car Ford rally". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Here is an example of singular "trouser" - "rear trouser pocket". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:25, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • In general, a "ten-foot pole" is wrong for the exact same reason that a 98.6-degree temperature is. The notion that only adjectives can modify nouns is simply false. The phrases John's dog, the dog that I saw yesterday, the dog on the corner are all perfectly cromulent.
We recently had the same issue where it was insisted that "combat sports history" should be hyphenated as combat-sports history, since "combat-sports" was supposedly being used as an adjective. But if it were being used as an adjective, then just as we could turn "black cat" or "brownish-black cat" into a cat that is black or a cat that is brownish-black, we would be able to turn "combat-sports history" into a history that is combat-sports.
And this is not just an exception because of the word history as if it were special; it's not. The terms "a socio-economical history" and a "marxist-leninist history" have absolutely no problem being turned into a history that is socio-economical or that is marxist-leninist. What we certainly do not do is turn a "500-page history" into a history that is 500-page.
Ergo, the assertion that "ten foot pole" is an adjectival phrase is wrong; it is a genitive one. And we most certainly cannot invent a "ten-foot pole" and then start taking about a pole that is ten-foot.
μηδείς (talk) 02:09, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Imagine that English is some language from New Guinea with no written records before the 20th century. Will you then name "ten foot pole" a genetive phrase? No, it is not. "Ten foot" is not an adjective, neither it's a genetive, but it is an attributive represented by a numeral and a noun.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
That's very imaginative. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:40, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It's called a synchronic approach.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 15:15, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The purpose of hyphenation is to save readers time by making the garden-path parse the correct one, or in some cases to resolve an actual ambiguity (five-hundred-foot poles vs. five hundred-foot poles). I've never heard of a rule that "A-B C" should only be hyphenated if "C that is A-B" is also grammatical. -- BenRG (talk) 18:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
If one wants to argue, BenRG, that hyphens can be used to help the reader, that's entirely fine in my book. But in that case the choice of typography is entirely arbitrary. One could just as easily say "five hundred foot poles" vs. "five hundred foot poles", or a variety of other devices like five (5) hundred (100) vs. five hundred (500).
Ljuboslov is simply ignoring that I did give both a diachronic (historical) explanation, as well as a synchronic one. You can say a brownish-black cat is brownish-black. You cannot say a five hundred page book is five hundred page. Any fully competent native speaker is at least implicitly aware of this asymmetry. I suspect it was the nagging implicit knowledge that prompted Jack to ask for an explicit explanation of his original question. μηδείς (talk) 02:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Languages on Serbian poster[edit]

Serbian poster "Sorry we didn't know it was invisible".jpg

What languages are on this Yugoslav Wars-era poster? Obviously the top one is English, but after that it looks like a mishmash of Slavic languages and the odd Romance language (is "avion ti gori" Romanian, perhaps?) switching freely between Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. Smurrayinchester 09:45, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Apart from the first English sentence (and from the first English word of the second sentence) and from the last English sentence, the rest is in Serbian. Note that Serbian uses both Latin script (known as latinica i.e. латиница) and Cyrillic script (known as ćirilica i.e. ћирилица). HOOTmag (talk) 11:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thanks! I knew Serbian used both scripts, but I didn't realize how many diacritics it had – I thought the line that used "č" was a different language to "ć". Smurrayinchester 12:19, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

"For a long time and good reasons, I have..."[edit]

Would it be considered good English to start a sentence with a zeugma like that? (I failed to find examples for practical use.) --KnightMove (talk) 15:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't know if it's "good" English but I think it's grammatical and sort of poetic and zeugmatic. In my opinion zeugma always sounds a bit lofty, and is usually used in speeches and epics, not real-life conversations. Are you also looking for more everyday examples of zeugma? Or ways to come up with them? There are several types, as described in our article, I find a good way to recognize/generate them is to focus on a verb used in two different ways (which your example does not). So, to get further examples, think of a key verb with a literal/concrete yse, then think of a metaphorical use, then smash them together. E.g. You can fall down and fall off of things, but you can also fall into debt or into last place. So "He fell into danger and water", or "She fell off the house and into trouble" and "My hopes and hand were crushed" are more mundane zeugmatic constructions. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It's the sort of thing I mostly associate with playful or comedic writing – Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams perhaps (for instance, Adams' claim that he "took a number of baths and a degree in English"). Not incorrect, but not standard (as SemanticMantis says, it can sound quite poetic), and perhaps poor style in formal writing. Smurrayinchester 16:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess in formal writing you properly follow the MPT-rule, like: "I have been staying here for good reasons for a long time"? --KnightMove (talk) 20:19, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there's an easy formal/informal split here, and your example sentence sounds awkward to me and I'd prefer the zeugmatic phrasing or a total rephrasing to what you wrote (in most circumstances). But it doesn't matter what I prefer :)
Showy rhetorical devices and figures of speech are very common in important speeches, e.g. the chiasmus in "Ask not what your country can do for you..." Are such speeches examples of formal writing? I'd think the appropriateness of zeugma is more about the expected audience and goal of the piece of writing rather than formality. So I'd say zeugmas are not that useful or welcome in most WP articles (because they might be confusing, though I can't find any guidance by skimming WP:MOS), but these devices are fine in novels, blog posts, essays, etc. They would be fine in some school projects (creative writing) but frowned on in others (technical writing). The Chicago manual of style has recommendations for use and punctuation for elliptical constructions (which often fit the broader definitions of zeugma, type 3 in our article), but I don't have a copy of CMS present and I don't know if it talks specifically about zeugma/syllepsis. So if you really want a more authoritative voice on when it's ok, then look to a language maven like Strunk & White or a style guide like CMS. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:05, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Lithuanian vocative[edit]

For almost seven years, Vocative case § Lithuanian has had a hatnote requiring attention from an expert, because it claims that it "developed new forms for several classes of nouns." What are the new forms Lithuanian developed? Thanks! — Sebastian 22:34, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if we have anyone on this desk with expertise in Lithuanian. You might have better luck contacting someone at Wikipedia:WikiProject Lithuania. Marco polo (talk) 15:30, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]

Is the word total singular or plural or both?[edit]

Is the word total singular or plural or both? Sentence A: "The total is much higher than I expected." The subject is total and the verb is singular (is). The sentence sounds fine to me. Sentence B: "A total of 17 prisoners were killed when violence broke out." The subject is total and the verb is plural (were). The sentence sounds fine to me. So, is the word total singular or plural or either/both (depending on context)? Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 08:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I am re-examining Sentence B, which states "A total of 17 prisoners were killed when violence broke out." If we remove the prepositional phrase ("of 17 prisoners"), we are left with: "A total of 17 prisoners were killed when violence broke out." Or, in other words: "A total were killed when violence broke out." Something seems "off" there? No? 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 08:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
"Total" is singular. Some words and phrases in English that are grammatically singular may be construed as plural when they refer to a group of things or people, because they are seen as referring to the things or people individually, not as a unit. Perhaps the most common example is "a number of people", which is plural because it's about the people. "A total of 17 prisoners" is another example of the same thing. -- (talk) 08:55, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I once read somewhere in my travels through the world of venery that an appropriate collective term for a group of statisticians would be "a number of statisticians". That would be a singular use.
It's clear that the answer to the OP's question "Is the word total singular or plural or both?" is: It depends on the context. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 09:05, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
What is "off" is the grammatical analysis of Sentence B. "A total" is not the subject, modified by "of 17 prisoners". The subject is "17 prisoners", modified by "a total of". This can be shown by removing the modifying phrase. "A total was killed when violence breaks out" does not retain the essential meaning of the sentence. "17 prisoners were killed when violence broke out" does. --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:48, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Looking for the essential meaning is something we were doing naturally and easily back then before the era of computers, before we started to "think" like computers... Akseli9 (talk) 12:35, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
When I was learning grammar, we used to do a lot of sentence diagramming. And this sentence would have used total as the subject, which would then have required a singular, not plural, verb. But I think that Nicknack009's version of it is really how we construe such a sentence.
I guess the problem is that the preposition "of" demands an object, and the only possible object is [seventeen] prisoners. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:53, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The word of is usually a preposition, but it can also serve as a particle linking a quantifying modifier to a noun in a phrase. Other examples are a lot of, not even one of, a variety of, and so on, where of is a particle linking a quantifier with a plural noun or pronoun. Even though the pronoun after of is in the objective case, the entire phrase serves as the subject of the sentence, with the apparent object of of determining the number of the verb. Marco polo (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The distinction being drawn here is between notional agreement and grammatical agreement; in deciding whether a verb should be conjugated to agree with the plurality of the word itself or with the plurality of the thing the word represents. This is not as settled matter grammatically, and there are lots of dialectical differences, as well as many idiomatic differences that defy direct logic or any systematic analysis. The deal is, sometimes English verbs will match the grammatical number of the word (as in "total ... is ...") and sometimes English verbs will agree with the sense of the concept (as in "total ... are ..."). There is no "one size fits all" system you can follow to fit every situation. --Jayron32 15:24, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
As the anonymous user has pointed out, it's a general problem. They gave the example "a number of people". Here are some additional examples: "most of the people", "the majority of them", "a minority of them", and the like. HOOTmag (talk) 15:56, 1 December 2015 (UTC)


November 25[edit]

Identifying a song?[edit]

Reggae-ish song in A flat. Chorus begins with "All right." Heard it many times. What song is it? Theskinnytypist (talk) 04:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Three Little Birds? Almost every reggae-ish song has "all right" or "alright" in it, but that's a very popular one. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

My first thought was "Alright alright alright" by Mungo Jerry. --TammyMoet (talk) 19:42, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

spin-off from Spin-off[edit]

how much common is spin-off from spin-off|?-- (talk) 15:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

It depends a bit on how you want to categorize things. Have a look at List_of_television_spin-offs. For example Animaniacs had the spin off Pinky and the Brain. Is Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain a spin-off of Pinky and the Brain, making it a spin-off of a spin-off, or is it just a different spin-off of Animaniacs? I'm sure both answers can be defended. Some of the spin-offs of Happy Days could also be considered second- or third-level spin-offs. You'll probably also like the coverage at TVtropes [31]. Not the same thing, but this question also reminded me of The_Tommy_Westphall_Universe_Hypothesis ([32], [33]), wherein many many TV shows are linked by in-universe character crossovers, putting everything taking place in shows like X-files and Law & Order inside one autistic kid's dream. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:44, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Also Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain is a spin-off of Tiny Toon Adventures, which is itself a spin-off of Looney tunes. So that show is a second order spin-off in two different ways. If you go into the source code for our article searching for '**' will show you the second order spinoffs, and '***' the third orders, etc. Using that method, I see that Bret_Michaels:_Life_as_I_Know_It can be considered a ninth-level spin-off of The Surreal Life, but for me personally, the notion of spin-off is very different in reality TV compared to regular shows with writers. Sabrina's Secret Life is a 6th level spin-off of The Archie Comedy Hour, making it one of the highest level "real" shows I can see. Anyway, interesting stuff, maybe someone could start a List of second-order television spin-offs by scraping the general list. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I seem to remember that All in the Family had at least one grandchild. Did Rhoda (spun from Mary Tyler Moore) have a spinoff? —Tamfang (talk) 07:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Oddly, I don't think there were any spin-offs from Spin City. Spin City itself could have been considered a spin-off, if Michael J. Fox's character had retained the name Alex P. Keaton, from Family Ties. But, despite the similarity in the characters, they changed the name. StuRat (talk) 07:52, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Tom and Jerry and Tom and Jerry[edit]

The characters Tom and Jerry were named, as we read in the article, in the following way: "Hanna and Barbera held an intra-studio contest to give the pair a new name by drawing suggested names out of a hat; animator John Carr won $50 with his suggestion of Tom and Jerry."; while Joseph Barbera, according to Tom and Jerry (Van Beuren), "began his career as an animator and storyman on this series. In 1940, Barbera co-created with William Hanna another duo of cartoon characters using the same names: a cat and mouse named Tom and Jerry." So... one of the two creators of this series started his career with a working on series of the same name, and that's a sheer coincidence? Has John Carr ever been asked for the reasons motivating his suggestion - maybe the older series played a role? --KnightMove (talk) 17:53, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

There were also "Tom and Jerry" cartoons in 1931-1932, but not about a cat and a mouse. They were quite risque since they were before the film decency code. Edison (talk) 19:24, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Those are the same (old) Tom and Jerry from the question. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:32, November 25, 2015 (UTC)
Sorry. It is odd that someone could create a 1940 cartoon series with the same name as a copyrighted 1932 cartoon series. Did they buy rights to the name? Edison (talk) 19:38, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
That would be a trademark issue, not copyright. Applying today's law to yesteryear (doesn't always work) and presuming the Van Beuren bothered to register "Tom and Jerry", they'd have to specify a purpose. Perhaps "cartoon film" was too broad, and it only extended to "Mutt and Jeff-style cartoon films". Perhaps the trademark did cover all cartoons, but Van Beuren figured he couldn't prove damages, or only enough to not cover legal costs. Remember, there was no home video nor Teletoon Retro for an infringement to eat into yet. Old films were generally just replaced by new films, inherently making the new studios richer than the old ones, and harder to fight in court. Ub Iwerks is sort of to trademarks as Nikolai Tesla was to patents.
Or perhaps Joseph Barbera (or one of his "associates") simply threatened to bury Van Beuren (one way or another) if he didn't play ball. That's how a lot of the entertainment industry has always worked (allegedly). InedibleHulk (talk) 23:16, November 25, 2015 (UTC)
Here's a bit about the various problems in protecting a film title with American trademark or copyright law. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:22, November 25, 2015 (UTC)
The initial version of the character Foxy (Merrie Melodies) was almost a direct ripoff of Mickey Mouse as he looked at the time. Copyright restrictions could be a bit blurry in those days. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:04, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
For good classic thievery, check out The Karnival Kid, then watch Circus (in that article's Reference section). Or this totally generic mouse. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:04, November 26, 2015 (UTC)
Simon and Garfunkel also went by the name "Tom and Jerry" early on. StuRat (talk) 23:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


I read an article yesterday that apparently, Pedophilia is a sexual orientation, not a disorder. Are there any references here to assert this conclusion. I must say, I was alarmed and disturbed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Isn't whether any sexual attraction qualifies as a "disorder", no matter how bizarre, like beastiality, just a matter of opinion ? I'm sure we can find authoritative opinions from reputed organizations, but that's still just opinion. (In an attempt at a neutral, objective standard, you could call any sexual attraction that can't lead to reproduction a "disorder", but then homosexuality, attraction to post-menopausal women, etc., would be so classified, and attraction to teens below the age of consent would not be. Also, non-reproductive sex seems to serve a social purpose, notably in bonobos.) StuRat (talk) 23:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
This is really not an entertainment question, but ho hum...
For the purposes of this post I use the term "paedophile" to be one who is attracted to children, and "paedophiliac" as one who acts on that attraction.
To answer your question, I think it's both really. It's certainly not what society considers to be acceptable behaviour. Although there's some debate over it, it is generally considered that you cannot change your sexual orientation. By the same manner, you can't change whether you're a paedophile (although one can obviously choose whether to be a paedophiliac). I don't think anyone can change what arouses us, and let's face it, we all have things we'd rather not be aroused by. Quite what causes it I don't know, but I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to say.
Again, I would like to state that there is a difference between feeling an attraction to something and actually acting on those desires. I do know people who are or have been attracted to children in the past, and if such things weren't somewhere in our psyche there'd be no need for all the "slutty schoolgirl" porn. Those who abuse children rightly deserve our condemnation; but they, and those who merely feel the attraction, also deserve our help. It must be hell to feel those things, and very isolating, because most other people won't see any difference between the desire and the act. Admitting you feel such things is a one way ticket to social isolation, and that discourages people actually getting counselling for it. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:15, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I think of "deviant" behaviors as like being an alcoholic: There's no cure. The only "treatment" is abstinence. That's why registered sex offenders are required to stay away from children, just like alcoholics have to stay away from booze. The difference is that the bottle is just an object, while a child is a human and has to be protected. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Alcoholics manage to do quite a bit of damage, such as wife beating and driving drunk and killing people. StuRat (talk) 08:22, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Some alcoholics. And some non-alcoholics. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:46, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
No doubt. In fact, StuRat's observation points to a major factor in the (failed) attempt at Prohibition in America. But it's the booze that they're addicted to, and the other stuff are consequences of that addiction. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:27, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Another attempt to objectively classify paraphilias as a "disorder" (or not) might be to ask the individual if their paraphilia causes a major disruption in their life. However, note that the answer is likely to be highly culturally dependent, as men who had sex with young boys in ancient Greece would answer no, because this was culturally accepted there. So then, what is classified as a "disorder" in our society would be normal for them. See cultural relativism. StuRat (talk) 08:29, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The idea that pedophilia (or bestiality, or whatever) is a sexual orientation is one frequently trumpeted by certain homophobic factions who want to paint same-sex relationships as being as horrible/unnatural/ungodly/etc. as baby-raping and animal abuse. It's a form of slippery slope edging into association fallacy where it is hoped that readers will vote against same-sex marriage rights due to fear that this will eventually lead to people marrying their cat or something. As others have mentioned, the very term "orientation" can be problematic. Is being attracted to Asian females an orientation distinct from attraction to females in general? I don't think most people would use the term that way, but YMMV. (talk) 20:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
It's true that they do say such things, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're entirely wrong. There's no right way to describe such things, and unfortunately people have a tendency to focus on the words you use rather than what you mean by it. Sexual desires are, for most people, innate. They don't choose what attracts them any more than you do. Perhaps they find it's asian women that they like, perhaps it's people being hit with custard pies. Some things they might be happy about, some they might not. I think it's best not to get too bogged down in the terminology, but I don't think it's unreasonable to say that most paedophiles probably wish they weren't attracted to children. Similarly, many gay people may wish they didn't find their own gender arousing - life would generally be easier for most people if they were straight. However, that is not to say non-heteronormativity is the same as paedophilia or beastiality. There's a difference between sex between consenting adults and sex between an adult and someone who is incapable of consenting. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:56, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't disagree with that in theory, it's just that nobody referred to bestiality as an "orientation" before the same-sex marriage issue came to the fore. It's not being referred to as such due to difficulties with nomenclature, it's a smear tactic, pure and simple. (talk) 03:58, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

November 26[edit]

Titanic (1996 miniseries) - Questionable scene[edit]

In the 1996 miniseriesTitanic, why is there a brutal sexual assault scene?

Why does Simon Doonan rape Jamie Perse's girlfriend Aase Ludvigsen?

Rape is when you force someone to have sex with you against their will and sex is commonly/generally associated with love, not with hate.

If Doonan does not like Aase, why does he have sex with her?

Why does he not slap, punch, kick or beat her up?

When Doonan walks into her shower, he says that he's gonna beat her up, not rape her.

When a woman finds her, she says that she's been beaten, not raped.

Jamie tells the woman that he would never hurt her and tells a ship crew member that she's been hurt.

That is morally brutal and morally violet.

In common/general, violence dwells on pain or injury.

Not on sex.

And violence is commonly/generally associated with hate, not with love.

Also, why is the miniseries rated 12?

Brutal sexual violence is associated with rated 15 and 18 films, not with rated U, PG and 12 films.

That moral violence was not featured in other Titanic films, especially animated ones.

That scene was disturbing and hard to watch. (talk) 22:14, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

The motivations for rape have been the subject of much thought. There's some material here and here and here. You asked a very similar question about rape a little while ago; a lot of the replies to that question also apply to this current one. (talk) 04:04, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
And that sort of spacing is better for poetry than prose. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:26, November 27, 2015 (UTC)
I wonder why the OP, who found the thing "morally violent, disturbing and hard to watch", persisted regardless, and then came here to pass their judgment. As for "Why does he not slap, punch, kick or beat her up?", is he suggesting that that form of violence would have been perfectly fine? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:36, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Perfectly fine, from a character development point of view, if the viewer presumes rape is love and thinks the rapist doesn't like her. Moot point, anyway, since the article notes she was brutally raped and beaten. The OP should already know this. Here's some tranquil music. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:55, November 27, 2015 (UTC)

November 27[edit]

What was the first mainstream example of autostereoscopy (glasses-free 3D) being used in entertainment?[edit]

What was the first mainstream example of autostereoscopy (glasses-free 3D) being used in entertainment? Ebaillargeon82 (talk) 22:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

As usual, definitions matter. It depends on how you mean mainstream: if you mean readily-available and affordable consumer products, the Nintendo 3DS was released in 2011. There were TVs launched before that, but the cost was very high ($20,000+). There are certainly many examples before these products, but nothing mainstream and affordable. Various technologies to allow this have been around for over 100 years. See Autostereoscopy. Mingmingla (talk) 02:14, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I see. I just read an article about autostereoscopic cinema. According to the article, a glasses-free 3D cinema opened in Moscow in February 1941, then closed four months later due to WWII. Then: "On 20th February 1947 glasses-free 3D cinema reopened in Moscow with Ivanov et al. replacing the radial barrier with a radial lenticular optical arrangement. This paved the way for glasses-free cinemas in other Russian cities including Leningrad, Kiev and Odessa and enabled audiences to enjoy 3D films such as Robinson Crusoe, Machine 22-12, Crystals, May Night, Aleko, A Precious Gift, and the like.". The article can be found here:

Would this example of autostereoscopy be considered mainstream? Ebaillargeon82 (talk) 09:03, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It certainly wasn't mainstream anywhere outside of Russia, and it wasn't in wide release even in Russia despite spreading to a few major cities. I'd be inclined to say no, but I would certainly agree that it wasn't a one-off either. Mingmingla (talk) 19:34, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Why did they always muffle any adult voices on the Charlie Brown Peanuts TV shows?[edit]

Whenever an adult character speaks on any of the animated Charlie Brown Peanuts TV shows, their words are merely a garbled indecipherable "wah wah wah wah" or such. Has Charles M. Schultz ever explained what his reasoning was behind this? Or is there just speculation about it? Also, were any adults ever shown in the cartoons? Or were they always off screen? I believe, the latter. Did Schultz ever explain that, also? Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:6CDA:3818:9566:48D4 (talk) 07:48, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

“I usually say that they [adults] do not appear because the daily strip is only an inch and a half high, and they wouldn’t have room to stand up. Actually, they have been left out because they would intrude in a world where they could only be uncomfortable. Adults are not needed in the Peanuts strip. In earlier days I experimented with off-stage voices, but soon abandoned this as it was not only impractical but actually clumsy. Instead, I have developed a cast of off-stage adults who are talked about but never seen or heard.” – Charles M. Schulz, 1975 [34] --Viennese Waltz 07:52, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. But, huh? Instead, I have developed a cast of off-stage adults who are talked about but never seen or heard. I distinctly remember adult character voices being the garbled "wah wah wah" sounds. No? 2602:252:D13:6D70:B1E6:724E:F659:80A9 (talk) 09:01, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The quote is obviously about the comic strip. When carried over to the screen, the "wah wah wah" sound is used. I think it was created with a muffled trumpet or something like that. However, in some later TV shows, there are actually adults seen and heard, like the man at the Daisy Hill, where Charlie Brown bought Snoopy. In some very early comic strips too, there are adults seen, but only like the legs of them and they do not talk. Snowsuit Wearer (talk|contribs) 09:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
"wah wah wah" would fall under "not heard". We can't hear what they say. We can only hear what the children tell us they hear, and only after the children have filtered and interpreted it for us. We don't hear anything the children don't understand. We don't hear anything the children don't care about. We don't hear adult concerns, adult reasons, or adult explanations for anything. Adults are incidental aliens that occasionally intrude into their world.
We are forced to interpret the world through the children's eyes&ears. Alsee (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Alsee - Excellent points. We never "hear" what the adults say. But, rather, what the kids say that the adults say. (Hearsay?) So, yes, everything is filtered through the perspective of the kids. Intentionally so, of course. 2602:252:D13:6D70:A9B5:C9D6:AC6B:B57D (talk) 22:13, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
And considering how obedient kids are (not!), the muffled trombone could be said to represent how the kids actually hear those adults! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:26, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
"The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation" by Charles Solomon, p.53, quotes Lee Mendelson as saying "As there were no adults in the strip, Sparky [=Schulz] said 'How are you going to handle the teacher?' I asked Vince Guaraldi if there were some instrument that could sound like talking; he got the trombone out, which worked very effectively." -- BenRG (talk) 15:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. 2602:252:D13:6D70:9562:88E6:981C:9C76 (talk) 06:30, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Italian incest farce[edit]

(I suspect I may have asked this before, years ago, but got no answer.)

Looking for the title of an Italian (or just possibly French) movie that I saw probably thirty years ago. A wealthy young landowner (I'll arbitrarily call him Pietro for convenience) marries the daughter (whom I'll call Anna) of his father's favorite servant. On the day of the wedding, but too late to stop it, a priest(?) shows up and tells them, "You must not consummate the marriage!" Pietro's nominal father had been castrated by a lion in Africa, so he secretly deputized his servant to sire Pietro, in darkness; thus Pietro is Anna's half-brother. Pietro's mother knew the truth when, in daylight, she saw scratches on the servant's face that she had made in her passion.

The new couple announce that they are remaining chaste for spiritual reasons; but their frustration mounts. Eventually they agree to give in to lust and then take poison. In the nick of time, another priest appears, to warn them that (according to a deathbed confession) they are half-siblings: Anna was conceived in adultery with Pietro's (nominal) father. Pietro, absorbing this news, absent-mindedly drinks the "poisoned" wine; when Anna is horrified, he says, "This? A harmless aphrodisiac."

I remember no more. —Tamfang (talk) 08:31, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Category:Incest in film has 259 pages. The closest to your description I find is Till Marriage Do Us Part (IMDB plot summary here), but it doesn't quite match. Accidental incest does not have an "In popular culture" section. -- ToE 22:20, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
We do have Incest in popular culture, though I don't see anything promising there either. -- ToE 00:45, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The American comedy My Chauffeur also has two twists which first suggest then resolve a possible brother-sister romance, but both revelations deal with the paternity of the woman. -- ToE 00:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Another list to scan is TV Tropes' "Surprise Incest", though no obvious match in the film or literature section. ---Sluzzelin talk 10:50, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Arenas in Kazan[edit]

Are Trudovye Rezervy Stadium and Raketa Stadium different names for the same arena or are they different arenas? They are both used for bandy in Kazan, Russia, as it seems. Snowsuit Wearer (talk|contribs) 09:49, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Football at the 2013 Summer Universiade – Men's tournament lists them separately, as does this Swedish news article. Tevildo (talk) 16:16, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
This Russian Wikipedia article on the 2011 bandy world championships says (if Google Translate has it right) that the tournament was held at both of these stadiums, and gives details of which games were played at each one. Apparently Trudovye Rezervy (Labor Reserves) Stadium is the smaller one, with only 5,000 seats. Combined with the Swedish article, I think that's sufficient evidence to close the suggestion that they are the same place. I'll do so. -- (talk) 17:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Another identify song/clip...[edit]


Could you please help me identify a pop-rock-ish song from between 2000-2015 ? I didn't remember much, only the youtube clip was about a guy who dealt with the devil to obtain a magical guitar who make people love his song (maybe a guitar made from ivy or something like that i didn't remember). The lyrics contain "lord of lies" or maybe "lord of flies" and the song was something really mainstream but i didn't find out.

Thank you for your help.

Jack Black and Dave Grohl ruled the mainstream pop-rock world for a spell. Starred in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, dealing with the Devil and a magical guitar pick, made from his tooth. Not sure if the Devil's teeth are ivory, or if that's what you meant by ivy, but maybe that helps.
The guy with lasting fame from this sort of thing is still Robert Johnson. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:58, November 29, 2015 (UTC)
While The Devil Went Down to Georgia is rather earlier, I seem to remember it having a resurgence of popularity around the OP's timeframe, I think because it was included in one of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games. MChesterMC (talk) 10:06, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The song that immediately came to mind was Tribute by Tenacious D, though those lyrics don't match. Hack (talk) 02:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

song in a YT vid[edit]

can anyone tell me what song it is at 8:17 - 8:40 in this video ?

It's an american song, or at least in english!

Thanks :)

According to Shazam, it's "Papercut" by Zedd featuring Troye Sivan. Dismas|(talk) 17:18, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Thank you SO MUCH! That's it! :D (talk) 20:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

Identifying a song[edit]

Asking for somebody else here, but could anybody identify this song? Inevitably attempts to use Google are rendered redundant by that Frozen song. Keresaspa (talk) 20:24, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

"Let It Go", from Let It Go, by Will Young. Tevildo (talk) 20:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm, his voice is a lot higher than the one in the link and I don't hear the instrumentation in Young's song. Thanks anyway though. Keresaspa (talk) 01:22, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, the sample in the link is compressed (digitally rather than acoustically) to the point of distortion - I'm basing the assessment mainly on timbre and rhythm, and on it not sounding like any of the other songs entitled "Let It Go" that I could find quickly. But there may be a better candidate out there. Tevildo (talk) 09:13, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]


November 26[edit]

Man At Arms - Armor question[edit]

The character of Man-At-Arms in the He-Man universe has a rather enlarged armor piece that covers his neck and extends out from his chest a ways. Is this patterned on an actual piece of armor? It's sort of a gorget, I suppose, but larger than those that I've seen. You can see some pics here. Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 16:20, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

In the pics it looks like the idea is to deflect upward sword blows away from the face. Note that in the real world, head armor was used, too, but that would make a character look rather ominous, so fictional treatments often skip that, at least for the "good guys". StuRat (talk) 16:40, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Looks to me like a bevor, although instead of being a separate piece of armor, it's fashioned as part of the cuirass. Deor (talk) 16:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Thank you both! Dismas|(talk) 14:26, 27 November 2015 (UTC)


November 27[edit]

How do I delete my Wikipedia account?[edit]

Had to create an account on Wikipedia a few days ago just to move or rename a page. I guess that has finally been done and now I want to delete my account. how do I do this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlie22557 (talkcontribs) 03:02, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, Wikipedia accounts cannot actually be deleted; the software doesn't allow it. You could either simply walk away and leave the account alone, or, if you are certain you do not want to ever edit again, you can use the process described at Wikipedia:Courtesy vanishing. Howicus (Did I mess up?) 03:07, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. The only downside to keeping the account is that nobody else can create an account named "Charlie22557", but that doesn't seem to be likely to be a problem. StuRat (talk) 04:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Why don't you just keep using the account? Your privacy is better protected than if you use an IP address. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:45, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
@Charlie22557:, Wikipedia:Help_desk and Wikipedia:teahouse is a better place to ask such questions.--Aryan ( है?) 07:45, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Early Christian festival[edit]

Do we have any evidence of what festivals (if any) were celebrated by the Jewish Christians of New Testament times? --TammyMoet (talk) 17:54, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Think this is going to be an impossible question to answer. The festivals where a carry-over from the pre Christian era. The Christian's just adopted them as their own. --Aspro (talk) 18:04, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
In particular, Communion aka Eucharist was a scaled-down version of the Passover Seder, which is what the Last Supper was. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:16, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, Just because one became a follower of the teaching of the prophet Jesus, did not mean one abandoned long practised festivals that was ingrained into society, culture and daily life.--Aspro (talk) 18:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I'll expand a little. I'm having a discussion with a friend who reckons that the early Christians commemorated Christmas at Hanukkah, and my position is that I don't think they celebrated the birth of the Christ but would certainly have celebrated his death and resurrection at Passover. So is there any evidence for either position? I'm sure I read it somewhere and didn't make it up out of thin air. --TammyMoet (talk) 15:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Jehovah's Witnesses have published the answer (They did not) at
Wavelength (talk) 17:02, 28 November 2015 (UTC) and 19:55, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The somewhat complicated story of Christmas provides some insight. In a nutshell, Christmas was adopted several hundred years A.D. in order to supplant the old pagan winter holiday traditions. There is nothing in the Bible demonstrating when Jesus was actually born, although some think that it would have been in the springtime, with the lambs in foal. And as noted in Hanukkah, the festival of lights only became a big deal relatively recently, as what some Jews I've known derisively call the "Jewish Christmas". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:00, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Easter corresponds to Pesach, Pentecost corresponds to Shavuot and both have the Sabbath, although on different days of the week, a matter of consternation and controversy. The co-option of pagan European equinox festivals and the winter solstice are later, and have nothing to do with Judaism per se. The OP might also want to look up the proselytes, Noachides and, especially, the God-fearers, who were believed to make up a large minority of the non-Jewish population of the Roman Empire.
The OP can also look up Jewish Christians who were Jews centered on James and Jerusalem, who followed Jesus as the Messiah but otherwise considered themselves Jewish, and the Gentile Christians centered on Paul and Antioch who declared Jewish practices such as circumcision and kashrut deprecated, and through whom various Gnostic ideas entered early Christianity.
The split between early Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism seems to have occurred with the promulgation of the rabbinical Birkat haMinim and the destruction of the Second Temple and the Jewish Diaspora brought on by the Jewish–Roman wars (AD 66-135), which left diluted any remaining Jewish Christians as exiles among a see of Gentile Christians. At that point any rationale for Christians to follow practices based on the Temple, or Jerusalem, was lost, although the practice of a calendar of weekly readings in the Liturgical year remained as a calque from the rabbinical Hebrew calendar.
All of the above points are contentious, and most of the relevant history is lost, so I am bringing up the above as relevant areas of study, not to argue any point. μηδείς (talk) 21:25, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Some Christians talk about Sunday as the "Sabbath", which it ain't, but it's treated as an equivalent, because Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, hence "The Lord's Day". Easter naturally corresponds to Pesach because Jesus' Last Supper was the Passover Seder, and both Easter and Pesach derive from the Jewish lunar calendar or similar logic. And what was then the Spring Equinox, March 25, was assigned as Annunciation Day by the early Roman church, and of course exactly nine months later was what was then the Winter Solstice, December 25, restyled as the celebration day for Jesus' birth, though no one actually knows when He was born. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:12, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is really, just different; see Sabbath in Christianity. Alansplodge (talk) 14:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

With reference to earlier comments about Chanukah, there's a difference between the modern treatment of Chanukah which presumably Bug's knowledgable friends are complaining about, and it's undoubtedly ancient origins.

While Josephus is notoriously a dodgy source for his complex and conflicted political views on the Jewish War, much of his comment on religious practice and ethnographic observations is pretty damn reliable. You could question how he knows for sure that Chanukah observance went back centuries (here's the source, last paragraph), it's clear that in first century Judaea, it was already a festival that had been observed for many many generations.

Therefore Chanukah would absolutely fit the requirements of the questioner. --Dweller (talk) 11:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

November 28[edit]

Gay cruises for certain communities[edit]

I was unable to post this question on the WikiVoyage tourist desk because I had to ask about places, but want to know something about an actual means of travel.

Some cruise lines, such as Atlantis Events, offer international cruises exclusively for gay men. I thought taking a cruise in the near future would be nice, except that there are many different varieties of gay men, some of whom view other types as undesirable. Bears, who I identify with despite not being one, are often one of those "other types."

Do any lines break cruises down by specific types? Theskinnytypist (talk) 09:02, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

A bit of synthetic OR, but having worked for the now defunct Christopher Street Magazine I can assure you that lots of gay travel agents placed ads there in its heyday. Having also had an elderly (straight and married) travel agent as friend and a client, I was amazed by the amount of detail and specific recommendations she could give. The best bet would simply be to contact an experienced professional who either identifies as a gay male or who works for an agency that targets gay males in its advertising. They should be quite helpful. As for specific types, I know they offered specialized one-day cruises broken down by type in NYC. μηδείς (talk) 17:00, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I wonder what would happen if I went to a travel agent and said I only want women of certain age and size ranges on the cruise. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Try google, both of you.--TMCk (talk) 20:23, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Try buggering off, TMCk, the OP is the only one who needs google, we don't even know what remote prison island he is trying to escape. μηδείς (talk) 20:58, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant the op and bugs. Being a little bit jumpy here it seems.--TMCk (talk) 21:35, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
You're forgiven for being jumpy. And our link might answer the OP's questions, but I still wonder if such obvious bigotry would be legally allowable on a "conventional" cruise. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:04, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Me not jumpy one.Me not bothered much by "bugging off" talking.--TMCk (talk) 22:28, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
"Being a little bit jumpy here it seems" is presumed to be you talking about yourself, apologizing for jumping to false conclusions. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:31, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
No prob.. I swallowed the "them".--TMCk (talk) 22:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Back to the question BB raised, the cruises are billed as "themed". They'll sell a ticket to anyone who wants one, but the clientele are self-selecting, and the advertising is usually targeted narrowly to a specific audience. One of the radio channels I listen to specifically advertises Catholic and Jewish themed tours with relatively well-known hosts. For example, Dennis Prager just had an Israel tour and there are several Italian-Catholic themed tours run by local talk radio hosts from Philly. They are not going to ask for a letter from your parish priest to book a cabin. μηδείς (talk) 23:20, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
  • TMCk, you should indent one from the person you are replying to. So, if you are replying to the OP, only put one colon in front of your post. This would have avoided the confusion.
  • Some "gay types" may be complimentary, so isolating each type might be undesirable for that reason. (Switching to lesbians for a moment, Ellen DeGeneres seems to be soft butch, but prefers lipstick lesbians.)
  • There might not be enough customers of any one particular type to fill a cruise ship, so a mix is needed for that reason.
  • Within the cruise, you could separate types by deck, events, etc. StuRat (talk) 13:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
    • By WHAT events?!! Oh, deck......gazhiley 14:55, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Who was this American male bearded creative skater?[edit]

I am trying to pin down the name of an American bearded ice skater I remember, I think from the 70s but possibly the 80s. He had a very unusual style - I remember long sequences when he kept both skates on the ice and propelled himself like a skateboarder. He was certainly unconventional. He was sometimes disparaged but I remember Toller Cranston admiring and complementing him. I also somehow think I remember he had rather right-wing politics, which seemed unusual for an artistic performer.

I bet any skating connoisseur will immediately know who I mean... Hayttom (talk) 22:42, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, there's Scott Hamilton, who was unconventional and a Republican sympathiser, but not bearded as far as I can tell. Probably not him, but worth a shot. --Viennese Waltz 08:53, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

November 29[edit]

Liquid-proof headsets[edit]

Given the popularity of the Gatorade shower in American college football, I wonder if electronics manufacturers routinely produce liquid-proof headsets? I'm suspecting that the interior components of electronic headsets would be damaged by contact with even a tiny amount of water with high levels of electrolytes. Everything I'm finding on Google is either outright false positives or swimmer-oriented headphones. Nyttend (talk) 05:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I'd imagine that they might be okay given that coaches and such are out in the rain during games. Dismas|(talk) 16:45, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
It depends on the level of water/liquid they're exposed to as well... I accidentally submerged my headphones in a cup of water the other day - they were a little feint straight after but by next day they are as good as new... gazhiley 14:58, 1 December 2015 (UTC)


Hello,is it correct that wikipedia has 25 million pages including all languages? Also,is an autobiography a reliable source? Atlantic306 (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

See meta:List of Wikipedias, which says that there are 36,907,975 articles in the 291 Wikipedias. However, that's just articles; there are 141,603,046 pages of all types (including 37,897,582 just here at en:wp), including redirects, talk pages, etc. Nyttend (talk) 16:10, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks,that's impressiveAtlantic306 (talk) 16:32, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Also, to answer your second question, it depends. You can see what constitutes a reliable source at WP:RS. If the person says that they can transport matter with their minds, that's going to need a better source. If they say that their birthday was on a Tuesday, the autobiography is probably good enough. Dismas|(talk) 16:44, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

ThanksAtlantic306 (talk) 17:35, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Specifically, an autobiography is a good reference for the fact that the person believes such-and-such - but, by itself, is not good evidence that they are correct in that belief. Wikipedia is generally OK with a lack of good references for facts that are unlikely to be disputed (eg "The sky is blue") - but anything even slightly open to doubt needs a solid reference - and preferably more than one. So in Dismas' example, the autobiography is a good reference for the fact "John claims that he can transport matter with his mind" - but is not a reference at all for the fact "John can transport matter with his mind", which his ability is not confirmed by the autobiography and is highly likely to be disputed. On the other hand, "John was born on a Tuesday" is rather unlikely to be disputed - so the autobiography is an adequate reference - but if John is known to habitually lie about his age, then "Tuesday" is disputed and the autobiography is not an acceptable reference. SteveBaker (talk)
However, note that many people do lie about their age, which involves changing their birth date (and perhaps day of the week, incidentally). Also, a person can't directly remember their own birth date, so must rely on other sources, which might also be unreliable. One common deception was to change a birth date so as to be just after the wedding, or perhaps 9 months after. StuRat (talk) 14:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Question about Second-Order Copeland Method:[edit]
This wikipedia article says: "The second-order Copeland method uses the sum of the Copeland scores of the defeated opponents as the means of determining a winner."
Is this right?
On the tenesee example menphis won no battle against other cities, and so defeated no one, so the "sum of the Copeland scores of the defeated opponents" will be zero, nashville as some example defeated everyone and their scores are -3, -1 and +1, so nashville final score here will be -3.
Anyway by wining against nashville you get -3 points, some amount of points you wont be able to receive later by wining other battles (and so having a score higher than 0).
This method of voting doenst sounds right. What I am missing here? (talk) 16:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

November 30[edit]

First African visitor[edit]

Who were the first two black subsaharan African heads of state to visit the USA? Contrib raati (talk) 13:20, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Do you mean while President? Several of the President of Liberia were born in the USA. --Jayron32 13:55, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
From Liberia, I found that James Spriggs Payne visited the United States after his second term as President. He wasn't a sitting president, but an ex-president. He, like most early Liberian Presidents, was also born in the U.S. --Jayron32 13:58, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, had a State Visit to the U.S. in 1963. That seems a bit late, but then again, prior to WWII, most of Africa wasn't independent nations anyways, excepting Liberia and Ethiopia, which were among the only two nations to survive the Scramble for Africa. Those would be your best two options for finding others as well. --Jayron32 14:08, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Were there any segregation requirements between Selassie and his white hosts? Contrib raati (talk) 14:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Not that I know of. Here is a picture of him on the White House grounds with the Kennedy family. Here is newsreel footage of the visit. Here is information about the visit that shows that he stayed in the White House itself. --Jayron32 16:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Edwin Barclay of Liberia visited the USA in 1943.[35] You could search that website for more information.--Shantavira|feed me 14:12, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
John Brown Russwurm was the governor of Maryland in Liberia when he returned to enroll his children in school in Maine in 1850. Whether he was a head of state is a question Wikipedia doesn't seem to answer. The colony's supposed independence in 1841 is marked "citation needed" in the article. Rmhermen (talk) 23:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
One would think some African leaders would have visited the United Nations in New York at some point between 1945 and Haile Selassie's 1963 visit to Washington. I'M not sure where to find that information, however. --Xuxl (talk) 09:59, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It will be in the UN documentation, but is not easy to find on their website. Bear in mind though, that as Jayron says, few African countries were independent members of the UN in the 1950s. Also, countries usually send an ambassador to the UN and not their head of state. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
By asking about "black subsaharian" the OP excludes South Africa (11-12-1931) and the North-African countries. Black-African independance dates before 1960 are: Ethiopia (never colonized), Liberia (26-7-1847), Sudan (1-1-1956), Ghana (6-3-1957), and Guinea (2-10-1958). Akseli9 (talk) 10:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

December 1[edit]