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February 7[edit]

Is there any computational method that's neither a numerical method, nor a symbolic method?[edit]

Is there any computational method that's neither a numerical method, nor a symbolic method, nor a combination of both? I cannot imagine another possibility, but my lack of imagination is definitely not a proof.--Llaanngg (talk) 00:42, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

What do I get when I divide one by three?
  • Numerically, I get 0.33333333....
  • Symbolically, I get 1/3 (read: "one divided by three").
  • Verbally Conceptually, I simply get: a third.
HOTmag (talk) 01:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Verbally = symbolically. --Llaanngg (talk) 01:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@Llaanngg:: 1/3 is "one divided by three" (just as 1/x is "one divided by ex"): it's symbolic, i.e. it contains some symbols, e.g. "divided by" and likewise. It's not the same as "a third", being the conceptual computation.
Please note that not every computation can be made conceptually, just as not every computation can be made symbolically: For example:
  • The solution of the equation 3x=1 can be reached, both symbolically - as 1/3 (read "one divided by three"), and conceptually - as "a third".
  • The solution of the equation x2=2, can be reached symbolically - as 2 (read: "square root of two"), but cannot be reached conceptually.
  • The solution of the equation x5+x=1, cannot be reached conceptually nor symbolically.
Btw, there is also the "geometric computation". For example: the solution of the equation x2=2, can be computed - not only symbolically as 2 i.e. as "the square root of two" (and also numerically of course) - but also geometrically as the length of a diagonal across a square with sides of one unit of length.
HOTmag (talk) 07:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Fuzzy logic ? StuRat (talk) 01:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
On one hand "numerical" is a kind of symbolic reasoning. On the third hand, if you can think nonsymbolically, then you can compute nonsymbolically. With yet another hand, graphical calculations are possible, such as Euclidean constructions using compass and straight edge. GangofOne (talk) 02:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Computable real arithmetic is arguably not numerical (since I think "numerical methods" are approximate by definition) and arguably not symbolic (since it works with computable real numbers "directly", not formulas). -- BenRG (talk) 02:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Neural networks could be counted as neither. Fuzzy logic might also fit there too, but you could argue that all of these are symbolic, as the computation has to represent something in the problem. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Neural network uses numerical methods: the errors in the output converges to a minimum, so the output approaches a numerical value. Fuzzy logic uses symbolic methods, as you've indicated. HOTmag (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The terms are kinda vague - but I'd definitely want to add "geometrical" to "symbolical" and "numerical". There are some wonderful things that can most easily be visualized geometrically...the dissection proofs of pythagoras' theorem come to mind here, but there are many good examples out there. SteveBaker (talk) 16:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Analog computers were once used to solve differential equations. Also even now people use scale models for architecture, hydrology or wind tunnel simulations. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Standard digital computers can be understood as doing everything by symbolic methods, including numerical computation; and the way I see the word "computation", that's really the only kind there is. However, you may consider what an analog computer does to qualify as computation (rather than as an alternative method used instead of computation). In that case it would qualify as an answer. -- (talk) 23:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC) (by edit request) ―Mandruss  06:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Scraping of .asp?[edit]

How can I scrap a page accessed with It has two fields (name of artist, works) and two buttons (search, reset). How could I tell a program to go to name of artist, pick a name from a list that I have stored, press search, retrieve page and store. --Scicurious (talk) 16:36, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

wget has parameters to fill in forms. Also if all the names are linked or are findable on a query, you may be able to do a recursive query to get all the pages. Otherwise you could make a list of URLs and pass that to wget. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Go through the whole process once or twice manually. Is there something similar each time, e.g. the button to be clicked is always in the same place, or the text you need is always formatted the same way? If so, you could perhaps use Macro Express to automate the process; it has the ability to control mouse placement (so you could automatically move the cursor to a certain space, for example) as well as merely clicking and pressing keys. Since you have the list of names, you could have it copy/paste from the list. Code for that operation follows my signature. Nyttend (talk) 01:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

With a macro program like MacroExpress, it's just simulating the keystrokes that you'd be using anyway, so just write down the keys you'd press and have the program press those keys in those orders. Be careful about timing: the computer often takes slight bits of time to load windows, and while this isn't significant when you're doing things manually, it's significant for the macro, which essentially does everything instantaneously. As a result, you'll need to insert slight timing breaks (very rarely will you need anything more than a couple hundred milliseconds) after commands that bring up new windows to ensure that it has time to bring up the window before you have it start performing things in the window. Also, you should use something like Notepad, because it won't insert additional characters, and every character matters in this kind of setting. Things like C are instructions to type whatever you've written, while things within <> characters are instructions to press specific keys instead of writing those letters: CTRLD is push down the control key, CTRLU is let it up, and the same for SHIFTD/U. Since you have a list of names in Notepad, with each name on a separate line, you'll find it helpful to mark which ones you've done. I've told it to place a ` character at the start of each line with an already saved title (after it saves the page, it adds the character before the name, and then goes to the next line, where it's ready to start the next page) because that's an easy way of marking which lines you've already done, and the ` character, being quite rare in normal text, isn't likely to be found elsewhere in the document, so when you're done with the list, you can simply do a find/replace command in Notepad to delete the character, and you won't worry about deleting significant characters. Nyttend (talk) 03:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Time Machine's persistence[edit]

My external HD has suddenly become unreliable. (Nothing vital is on it.) It could be some time before I can replace it. I currently have about six months of Time Machine backups. If a year goes by before I replace the flaky drive, will Time Machine throw away what was on it, or keep the last known versions of those volumes? —Tamfang (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

The question is unclear. Time machine will keep adding back ups as long as there is space on the drive, once the drive is full it will delete the oldest backups to make space. How much room it needs depends on how many changes you have made since the last time it backed up. Does that answer your question? Vespine (talk) 05:27, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

The Hunting of the Snark[edit]

As a young child in the early 1990s, I enjoyed playing a range of little computer games on Grandmother's computer whenever we visited my grandparents; I'm looking for one of them now. It had a title similar to, or identical to, The Hunting of the Snark; you had to find little snark characters in a gridded board (most spaces were empty, a few had snarks, and one had a boojum that ended the game if you found it), presumably findable through some method, but I was young enough that I couldn't find them except by clicking spaces randomly. Can anyone point me to any information about such a game? Google searches produce results mostly related to the namesake original poem, and the game-related things I found were talking about a simple program that you could write in BASIC twenty years earlier, not something that would be sold commercially on par with programs such as Chip's Challenge. Nyttend (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

My memory of that game is from much earlier than the 1990s. It would be more around the early 1980s. The source code was in a magazine or on a floppy included with a magazine. Likely, it was Byte magazine. However, all my memories from the 80s are merged together into a heaping pile of big hair, bright colors, and piles of floppy disks. (talk) 19:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
To clarify, Nyttend, are you describing a graphic game? Given the amount of shovelware that came with PCs in the 90s, it may be that somebody took the basic (as well as BASIC) Snark game and put a rudimentary graphical front end on it. As you mentioned, Google searches are difficult, not least because of the more modern, colloquial meaning of snark. --LarryMac | Talk 20:27, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Maybe some variant of Hunt the Wumpus? Some versions had tile graphics [1]. 21:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Google DNS Server[edit]

What could be some caveats or cautions about using Google DNS Server (IP address as my DNS server? Privacy issues, maybe? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

There are two issues: performance and privacy.
Privacy: as Infoworld pointed out a while back.[2][3]
"The reality is that Google's business is and has always been about mining as much data as possible to be able to present information to users. After all, it can't display what it doesn't know. Google Search has always been an ad-supported service, so it needs a way to sell those users to advertisers -- that's how the industry works. Its Google Now voice-based service is simply a form of Google Search, so it too serves advertisers' needs. In the digital world, advertisers want to know more than the 100,000 people who might be interested in buying a new car. They now want to know who those people are, so they can reach out to them with custom messages that are more likely to be effective. They may not know you personally, but they know your digital persona -- basically, you. Google needs to know about you to satisfy its advertisers' demands. Once you understand that, you understand why Google does what it does. That's simply its business. Nothing is free, so if you won't pay cash, you'll have to pay with personal information. That business model has been around for decades; Google didn't invent that business model, but Google did figure out how to make it work globally, pervasively, appealingly, and nearly instantaneously."
The question is whether your ISP's DNS servers are worse. Are they selling your information as well? (I am looking at you, AT&T).
Performance: Most major websites use Content Delivery Networks (Amazon, Akamai,,) to serve content. A Content Delivery Network looks up your computer's IP address and directs you to the nearest server. With a public DNS server, the CDN might serve you content from a distant server, and thus your download speeds will thus be slower than if you use your ISP's DNS server. Google's DNS server information page says:
"Note, however, that because nameservers geolocate according to the resolver's IP address rather than the user's, Google Public DNS has the same limitations as other open DNS services: that is, the server to which a user is referred might be farther away than one to which a local DNS provider would have referred. This could cause a slower browsing experience for certain sites"
If you are in Australia, using the US-based Google DNS server means that "closest" Akamai cache will be chosen as in the US and you’ll see very slow download speeds as your file downloads over the international link. It's not as bad in the continental US, but it is still slower.
BTW, wikileaks keeps a list of alternative DNS servers.[4] --Guy Macon (talk) 08:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That information is somewhat outdated, Google supports an extension which can provide your subnet to the CDN's DNS server so they can provide more accurate resolution [5] and it's been enabled at least for Akamai.

Also while the quoted part may be from Google, I'm not certain your intepretation is correct even ignoring the extensions. Talking about US-based Google DNS server from Australia is confusing since both and are anycast addresses. In NZ the servers responding are generally in Australia (you can tell by the latency). I didn't test the IPv6 servers but I'm pretty sure they're the same. I suspect this is normally the case in Australia too, since Google will definitely want their Australian servers to be used for Australians and I doubt many Australian ISPs care enough to fight Google, in fact I strongly suspect Google has the clout that they'll be able to resolve any routing/peering disputes which may cause problems. As a home end user, there's not much you can generally do about routing, so most likely you're going to be sent to the Australian DNS servers in Australia. And I strongly suspect the Australian DNS servers will do lookups with CDN's name servers specific for the Australian servers. That seems to be what this page is saying [6].

In other word, I strongly suspect if you're in Australia it's fairly unlikely you'll be connecting to Google's US DNS and it's also fairly unlikely you'll get US CDNs (unless they're the closest). You may still not get the best CDN's particularly if they don't support the extension. For example, some ISPs work with CDNs to provide specific servers for their customers. Likewise, I have no idea where Google has DNS servers in Australia, do they have them in both Melbourne and Sydney for example? I wouldn't be surprised if som CDNs do which means if Google doesn't you may not get the best geographically located servers even in Australia. Obviously in my case without the extension I'll be getting CDNs in Australia and not NZ even if they exist and there will be countries where the responding name server may be an even worse choice. (It can be complicated but your assumption should be if you're ISP is remotely competent their name servers should provide CDNs that give the best routing.)

One final comment, I'm in NZ not Australia but one our only major internet cable also connects to Australia anyway and I can say things are not nearly as bad as they were 5-10 ears ago. I'm using VDSL2 although the cable to my house is a bit crap or far so only get about 50mbit/s. I can maximise this even connecting to the US, sometimes even at peak times. (In fact, if you're not connecting to a CDN it's easily possible the US server will be faster than the local one.)

It obviously depends significant on the ISP and how much international bandwidth they have, and it's possible NZ ISPs tend to have more because there are fewer CDNs (and I'm not sure where trans-Tasman bandwidth is much cheaper than Californian bandwidth). The SCC is not even close to capacity (and I'm presuming a number of those connected only to Australia are similar), so it is only a cost issue. And it can get confusing what you're actually connecting to because of transparent caching/proxying that many ISPs use. Still the takeaway message is you shouldn't assume connecting to the US is going to be slower (in terms of bandwidth, latency is obviously going to be higher). Of course where it does happen, your ISP won't particularly like you wasting their international bandwidth that way. Actually another reason why it's likely they will work with Google to ensure their customers who choose to use Google Public DNS end up connecting to the right server.

P.S. This assumes that the CDN and your ISP only rely on name servers lookups to ensure you end up on right server. If they have a more complicated system, it may be that you will still end up connected to the right server even if your DNS does their resolutions to the CDN's name servers from the wrong location.

Nil Einne (talk) 13:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Generally, DNS servers can be logged. When using Google Chrome it does not matter on navigating on web pages. The license of Google Chrome makes Google own all input You enter into the URL field of the browser. Other programms can be logged by monitoring the DNS queries. Using a DNS server, You need to trust it. I think You can trust Google. Modifing the DNS entry is also an modification to Your computer. Imagine the cause of a hacked DNS server when using online banking or giving passwords to the page, Your browser displays. DNS servers also can be used as quick way to block (web)servers hosting malware. The DNS entries in Your computer and router tells what “phonebook” to use and the computer will connect to the returned IP address. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Thank you, all, for your insights. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

External hard drive on Windows 10[edit]

I've backed up my files from another computer onto an external hard drive. I've connected the hard drive to Windows 10. but there is no obvious way to access it. How do I extract the files? Theskinnytypist (talk) 19:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

If you just copied the files over it should be a drag-and-drop copy, with the caveat that you may need to take full control & ownership of the folder first as explained here (instructions are for Windows 7, but are valid for Windows 10). If you used a backup/restore application then you might have to use that same application to restore your backup. If you used Windows 7's backup, it has a specific option in Windows 10 for restoring. FrameDrag (talk) 20:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Battery dying issue[edit]

Peeps, I'm having a bit of a problem with the Laptop battery that I bought recently.

1) I bought it before/after christmas. I read the guideline where it stated (in a sentence): "Charge to 100% when it goes to 2% for the first time. For maximum battery life keep the charge up to 70%".

a) I've charged it to 100% as stated by taking it to 2%.

b) I don't really get the time to keep the battery up to 70% then turn it off because I turn on the Laptop then work until it goes to 2% than recharge to 100% while the Laptop stays on, then turn it off for about 15-20 mins, then turn it on again. I do take the occasional breaks e.g., when I'm watching TV or eating, sleeping, showring or when I go out...

c)The battery is dying like an "idiot"!

2) I've not followed any rules whatsoever with my other battery that came with the computer and it lasted four to four and a half years.

Now, I'm confused and worried how the current battery is dying; its already on 17%. What do you guys suggest I should do? Note: I have a warrenty for 6 months too...

Apostle (talk) 22:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

There's an option in Win7 and later to only charge the battery to about 80%. Look in the Power Management settings. Repeated partial charges/discharges will wear out the battery quicker than leaving at at 100% charge. LongHairedFop (talk) 19:34, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
[citation needed] for the claim repeated partial discharges is worse than leaving the battery at 100%. The device almost definitely has lithium ion of some sort, and these chemistries tend to work best if you don't store the battery at 100% and don't fully discharge. (Although full discharge cycles tends to help the device give better life estimations.) See http://batteryuniversity .com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries and [7] [8] for example. Nil Einne (talk) 06:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It sounds as if you have a faulty battery. Laptop batteries should last at least three hours from full charge, and some last much longer, though the time will vary according to usage. Try timing how long the battery lasts with continuous usage, then take it back to the store where you bought it. You will have a stronger case to present if you were given some indication of the battery life you could expect at the time of sale. By the way, if you are able to leave the charger attached as you work most of the time, then this will save on long-term battery life by not repeatedly charging and discharging. Dbfirs 20:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, its 5200mAh. At first it was giving 5h 13m. Now it just about shows 4h 20 or 30m after a full charge (I have to shut it down then have to turn it back on because the battery dies even quicker if you don't turn it off...). From what I recall, it displays 1h 25m if I'm only using MS Word consisting more than 120 pages... Is it normal?
I found the Power Option settings in the Control Pannel but no option available on how much I could charge up to? I have Window 7 Ultimate Unless my English is not functioning again! - could you guide me please?
Apostle (talk) 22:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Most laptops have control circuitry next to the battery that prevents overcharge, so I can see no reason why you shouldn't leave it on charge well past the 100% reading. Some people claim that you shouldn't leave power connected long-term, but I've always ignored that advice, and the laptop on which I'm typing this has been connected to the power supply almost continuously for over eight years and is still working (though the battery now lasts only a few minutes on its own without external power). The number of pages in MS Word makes negligible difference, but the time editing in Word should be at least four hours before it turns itself off. If you are watching a DVD or running external devices then the time might be shorter. You can turn the screen brightness down a bit to save battery power, and there should be other power options available, but these control how much power is used, not how much to put in. You will find that for every charge and discharge, the time you get from a full charge reduces by up to 0.1%, and this is normal. The calculation of time left is unreliable because it estimates this from current usage and past experience. If your usage varies, the time will go up and down as it recalculates. Dbfirs 22:42, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The reason you shouldn't leave the power connected long term with the battery is because it reduces battery life. Lithium ion batteries have a significantly shorter life (in terms of how much they charge they can hold over time) if held at 100% state of charge (or 4.2V or higher for the types of lithium ion chemistries most commly used) long term. Also some devices don't disconnect the battery and only use power when fully charged. Instead they use the battery and then topup the charge when it gets below a charge level. (Most devices will also topup the battery anyway although self discharge of lithium ion isn't that high so I admit I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes but it probably makes some.)

Unless the device or battery is seriously defective, it's unlikely the battery will be dangerous if you do keep it at 100%, but if you have a battery the assumption would be you want to use the battery so it would be better to use the device in such a way that you don't shorten the life.

With a laptop, if you plan to use the device on power for a long time, it would be a good idea to remove the battery and only use it on power if you can (although this will mean you could get data loss if there is power loss and you don't have a secondary UPS). Preferable with the battery at around 70% charge. Alternatively fancier laptops may let you limit the charge to ~70% (or 3.9-4V for the types of lithium ion chemistries most commonly used). (If it's an old laptop now used like a desktop perhaps with the battery as a short of UPS, this doesn't matter much.) Note however it can be worse to discharge down to 0%, so if storing it at 70% means you often discharge down to 0% it may be better to store it at 100%. (Again, I admit I'm not completely sure how much of a difference this makes, as in both cases the amount of discharge would I presume be the same but my understanding is most commonly discharging down to 0% is probably a bit worse for battery life than charging up to 100%.)

Nil Einne (talk) 06:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Most of what I said above is supported by the refs listed above. [9] has some info on capacity variation after storage albeit storage at 55 degrees C. Interesting enough they found 0% is best, whereas the most common recommendation is 30-70%. But I think the reason for that may because if you store the cell at very low SoC, you run the risk it will discharge to a level where it can't safely be used anymore.

Nil Einne (talk) 06:22, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't disagree with anything Nil Einne writes above, but it's all too much bother for me to keep removing the battery. I just assume, perhaps wrongly in view of the linked documents, that the battery control circuitry is intelligent and optimises battery life. The worst thing for Li-ion batteries seems to be high temperature. Perhaps that's why my batteries last longer in cool Cumbria. Dbfirs 19:31, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay guys, this is my experience with this current battery (this doesn't mean the same will apply with all of you):
Say for example you let the battery die out completely - this is very bad. If you fully charge the battery and still use it after unplugging - very bad for the battery. Also, a heavy usage without on recharge mode - very bad for the battery.
Now, I'll try the theory of 70%. See if it works... Thank you all for trying to help. Regards.
Apostle (talk) 18:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

faster cube root calculation?[edit]

Is there a way to calculate the real cube root of a real number that is faster than the log and exponential method? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:48, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Sure, there are loads of options... what are your problem constraints? How accurate do you need to be? Can you use look-up tables for some or all calculations? Do you know that the input is centered around a particular value (suitable for a truncated Maclaurin series or other approximate method)? May we assume you have conventional floating-point computer hardware, or do we need to work with some other type of machine? Are we allowed to parallelize calculation work?
My first instinct was to formulate the cube-root of k as a zero of the equation x^3 - k, and then to apply (essentially) Newton's method to find the zero. You have the advantage of knowing, analytically, that the function is monotonic and that there is a single zero crossing; so you can use that fact to your advantage. This is, basically, the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
Next I referred to my numerical analysis book, Numerical Analysis, Burden and Faires, which suggested applying Horner's method to accelerate convergence of Newton's method. This book actually provides code examples (in Maple), and works the numerical method for a few examples. In this specific case, I'm not sure it will make any difference, as most of the polynomial coefficients are zero. There are a lot of similar dumb tricks named for smart mathematicians; each one can shave off a couple of adds and multiplies. This probably won't actually change the execution time in any significant way on modern computer hardware.
These are appropriate accelerations if you are solving numerically using an ordinary type of computer; but if you're working with weird computational equipment - like, say, using constructive geometry to analytically solve for the root - there may be faster ways of finding the answer.
Nimur (talk) 05:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Here is a machine architecture enhancement to enable hardware-accelerated Taylor series expansion of the square root, for an IEEE-754 floating point multiply/divide unit: Floating-Point Division and Square Root using a Taylor-Series Expansion Algorithm, (Kwon et al, 2007). If you can follow their work, you can see how, by extension, one could build the same hardware for the cube-root polynomial expansion.
Is that kind of hardware worth the cost? Well, only if you really need to compute a lot of cube roots, and even then, only if you can convince the team who builds your floating-point multiplier into silicon. Most mere mortals never get to provide such feedback to their silicon hardware architect. But, once this type of enhancement is built and done, you get to compute cube roots in "one machine cycle," for the arbitrarily-defined time interval that is "one machine cycle." Nimur (talk) 16:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I think it's unlikely you'll get better results than the standard math library in your preferred language...UNLESS you know something that it doesn't. So if, for example, you know the range of the numbers you're giving it, or the precision of the results you're prepared to tolerate...or that you're doing a series of consecutive calculations...or that you're going to use the output in some subsequent calculation. But if you don't have a more specific thing than "I want the cube root of absolutely any number with a full-precision result at any time" - then I doubt you'll beat the built-in library.
For example, you might consider a lookup table with linear interpolation between points in the table. That won't work unless:
  1. You can constrain the inputs to a small range of numbers...and...
  2. You will run the code in a tight enough loop that the lookup table gets into cache and stays there...and...
  3. You can tolerate the errors in the result for a reasonable size of lookup table that'll fit into cache.
If any of those things aren't true - then the memory access time for the lookup could easily exceed the time for the FPU to do the log/exp thing. SteveBaker (talk) 18:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Smart device flasher boxes/dongles[edit]

I know this sounds illicit or illegal, but upon seeing cracks, loaders or dongle emulators for certain software used on service boxes for mobile phones, it had me wondering if the dongles or boxes in question aren't any different from the ones used on high-end software like Pro Tools or Autotune for licencing enforcement, or if they do indeed contain actual circuitry to carry out any operation like removing SIM locks on phones and the like. Blake Gripling (talk) 05:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored, so feel free to ask about illicit/illegal subjects. Wikipedia is also public, so in some cases you might want to create a new username just for asking the question (See WP:SOCK for things you should not do with the second username). In the case of dongles, circumventing them for purposes of backing up your software or for having a spare in case the dongle fails is generally considered to be ethical. I won't comment on the legality, and neither should anyone else -- Wikipedia does not give legal or medical advice.
Different dongles have different internals. In general, if the company is sending out thousands and thousands of them, you can usually assume that they are cheap to make and thus pretty simple inside. If they only send out a few, the dongle may be more sophisticated and may even use a Secure cryptoprocessor. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:14, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's true that wikipedia is not "censored" but it is against the ref desk policy to provide legal or medical advice and it's generally frowned upon to give advice about illegal activities, such as harming people or explicitly breaking the law, such as committing software piracy etc... Vespine (talk) 00:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Well basically this isn't necessarily about the cracks themselves, nor would I provide any advice or directly encourage them anyway. What I'm wondering is, since some of the boxes are necessary for SIM unlocks to be done, do they contain any actual circuitry for communicating with the device (which I'm sure it does especially with certain protocols), or are they reduced to just software protection dongles like in newer smartphones, as most of the functions provided with the likes of Sigmakey can be done using freely available tools anyway? Are they bespoke ASICs or just programmable FPGA chips? Blake Gripling (talk) 05:37, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Buying digital cameras compatible with legacy analog lenses[edit]

My father has hundreds of dollars worth of (over $1000) cameras with special lenses bought in the 70's and 80's. He keeps asking me why they don't sell digital backs that are compatible with the fronts he has. My answer is prohibitive economics. (I can explain the economics, I just don't know the mechanics.) But I would like to confirm that there isn't such a thing for which he is asking, a way to take digital photos with his old lenses. Does such a thing exist? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 18:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

The only technical reason I can think of is that older lenses would be manually adjustable, which interferes with a digicam's ability to do things like autofocus. StuRat (talk) 19:04, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
In the Nikon world, many lenses with the Nikon F-mount (which was introduced in 1959) can be used on even their most modern digital SLR cameras, although there are limitations and some incompatibilities. I don't know what the situation is for other camera or lens manufacturers, however the first sentence in the History section of the F-mount article gives a clue - "The Nikon F-mount is one of only two SLR lens mounts (the other being the Pentax K-mount) which were not abandoned by their associated manufacturer upon the introduction of autofocus, but rather extended to meet new requirements related to metering, autofocus, and aperture control." Both cameras and lenses have had more and more functionality added over the years. An older Nikkor lens on a Nikon D90 likely would not support autofocus or aperture setting. Taking another approach, there have been various attempts to create a digital back for film SLRs, but none seem to have really taken off - search "Digipod" on your favorite search engine for one of the most recent attempts. --LarryMac | Talk 19:07, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, that's perfectly possible. You will just need a lens adapter to be able to physically mount the lens onto the camera body. Note that, as StuRat says, you'll miss out on most of the focussing tricks that modern DSLRs offer, but it will certainly work and you'll be able to take pictures. There's a guide here that applies specifically to Canon EOS bodies, but the principles are the same for any manufacturer. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 19:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Excellent. Now that I know this is possible, I will make him send me a detailed list, since I am not a camera buff, and have no idea what he owns. Thanks everybody! μηδείς (talk) 19:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
There IS even such a thing as a Digital camera back which you can get for cameras with lenses that don't have adapters for equivalent DSLR but they are quite expensive. NOW having said that, I actually had the very same issue, I had over $1000 worth of lenses bought over the years which fit my old Canon film camera. I Finally decided to take the plunge to a DSLR 2 years ago, I did a LOT of research and consulted with friends, a neighbour of mine had a Canon 6D with the gorgeous EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM L series Lens. I confirmed my other lenses would fit on the body, waited until the Christmas sales and decided to get the kit with the lens for about $2000 instead of the body only would have been about $1400. Thing is, apart from some "playing around" early on, I've never used by old lenses anymore. The ONE lens that came with the kit, the L series, just blows all my old lenses out of the water. Now I know there's lenses and then there's "LENSES", but if you're saying that each lens is hundreds of dollars rather than thousands of dollars, I suspect you "might" be in the same boat as me. Lenses and cameras have come a LONG way over the last 20-30 years and unless you are a real "artist" and have antique zeiss glass:) I suspect if you spend $1000 on one lens these days, it will preform better and be more convenient than any of your old glass. Unless of course you mean he has fisheye and super macro or super wide lenses or something like that. Vespine (talk) 22:21, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I'll sum it up: it's certainly possible using a modern camera - though possibly a bit cumbersome. For any manufacturer, it's possible on an adapter to a mirrorless camera like this Sony where the mount is quite close to the sensor - I can probably give you more detailed advice when you know what he has, but here's an article on using Leica lenses with it, and here with Olympus kit. Adapters tend to be made by Chinese manufacturers and sold third-party via eBay (there are some exceptions), and quality apparently varies a lot, so you'll want to look at guides and reviews. But do remember that modern lenses have modern features like image stabilisation, autofocus, automatic diagragm control and modern computer aided-design and refinements in manufacturing aspherical lenses - things photographers have got to take for granted for the last twenty years - plus will work more precisely than a lens bolted to an adapter, since the extra connection increases deviation from the ideal position. So modern lenses may give better results unless your dad's old lenses are truly excellent and your adapter good, and this is particularly true for any kind of 'action' photography where autofocus is a great aid. In addition, it may be cumbersome since you'll need to focus and set the aperture manually every time and then meter before taking a shot. I should stress that I just know about this for interest, I've never done this myself.
    On Nikon, things get much better: it's possible to use some of the modern Nikon cameras (though often the more expensive pro ones) with older equipment. See Ken Rockwell's website; I've seen him say that Nikon actually offers surprisingly good phone support in the US on users trying to make odd combinations of equipment work.
    An additional problem is that cheaper digital cameras use a sensor smaller than 35mm film, so unless your dad gets a more expensive prosumerish camera (like the aforementioned sony) he will have to deal with his images looking cropped compared to the same lens on film. But again, if you tell us what your dad has it should be possible to give you more advice.
    Finally: this only works with 35mm film cameras, the normal kind. If your dad has equipment for medium format film, getting less popular in the 70s but still often used by serious landscape and fashion photographers, or a huge view camera, he's probably stuck with film- you can't get digital sensors that size for any sensible amount of money. Blythwood (talk) 06:04, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

follow-up: Do they make a digital conversion back so film cameras can have the film mount back replaced?[edit]

My thanks, and my dad's for all the answers above. Again, I am acting as a proxy for my dad in asking this; I know nothing about the technology myself. μηδείς (talk) 19:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

In response to the answers up to Feb 9th, he asked me to repose the question as:

"Do camera manufacturers make a digital conversion back so that film type cameras can have the film mount back removed and an electronic receiver installed?"

See the Digital camera back article linked by Vespine - short answer, not at any affordable price point, and mostly for medium and large format cameras (i.e. not your typical 35mm SLR). The "Digipod" that I mentioned was to sell for around $370; it was an Indiegogo project that failed to reach any significant interest. Understanding that you are a proxy, but knowing your father's camera brand and type would be helpful in providing more detail. --LarryMac | Talk 21:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. The thing is, refitting a film camera to interface with a sensor, getting the alignment of the sensor right and so on...all very precise machining jobs. A whole new camera is actually easier (and cheaper, since it can be mass-produced as one module). Digital camera backs are almost without exception for medium format cameras, systems that cost five figures for which it might genuinely be worth upgrading the sensor but keeping the camera module every now and then. Blythwood (talk) 21:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As a separate point, modern film scanners are very good and film development companies can often now do development from film and scanning in one go then send you images on a USB stick. If your dad doesn't want to take that many pictures, and doesn't fancy some kind of completely new camera setup, that might be a good option. Here's one blogger on it. But obviously you're stuck with the limitations of film (not great indoors, no instant replay, 36 photos at a time) and it would get expensive for many photos. Blythwood (talk) 21:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, the availability of film and film developers could be an issue. Some models of cameras have already discontinued film support, and you can expect more to do so in the future. The eventual fate of film is an interesting question. Will it disappear completely or will some remain indefinitely, but in small quantities, like vinyl records ? StuRat (talk) 22:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

Do tracking features offer any benefits to users?[edit]

Criticism_of_Microsoft_Windows#Data_collection describes the reasons why users would want to prevent the Advertising ID from being transmitted. Similarly, Do Not Track lists the advantages for opting out from that. Is there any reason for a normal user to keep those set to the default? Microsoft User 2016 (talk) 14:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

It would benefit me and benefit the advertisers if they could stop serving me adds for things I will never buy. Alas, it often works the other way; someone searches for car insurance or a new PC, makes their decision and buys the product, and then gets bombarded with ads for the thing they already bought for the next year or two. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:15, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It could be worse: Our neighborhood beautification group wanted to buy some dog-poop cleanup stations for the neighborhood - I did a search to see what they cost (I wasn't going to be buying them) - and for a month afterwards got nothing but adverts relating to dog poo. Just wonderful! SteveBaker (talk) 18:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, that makes sense for the Advertising ID. What about Do Not Track? --Microsoft User 2016 (talk) 15:27, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The really annoying advertisers ignore Do Not Track, but it doesn't hurt to turn it on. I suggest that you use Privacy Badger, which makes it really hard for anyone to track you. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. Privacy Badger doesn't work for Edge or IE, so it seems I'd have to change the browser, too. --Microsoft User 2016 (talk) 16:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Are my AVG, Firefox, and Window Defenders issues related?[edit]

I am currently using a 2009 Gateway NV78 laptop running Windows 7. I have resorted twice since last November to reinstalling from the installation disks. I have basically run into three repeating issues:

I cannot install AVG antivirus past 92%. I have used it for years, but since my last reset this January, I have not been able to reinstall the 2016 or 2015 version.
Firefox freezes up, and takes forever to run, if ever it does run. Using it has resulted in two bluescreen errors in January, and a reinstall from restore disks. I currently have Firefox uninstalled.
Even after uninstalling every antivirus program I can with ComputerCleaner, I cannot get Windows Defender to work or stay activated. (I get an error message saying it is turned of, and if I try to turn it on I am lucky if the computer doesn't freeze.)

I am wondering if these three issues might be related? I was able to make and run an updated off line disk for Windows Defender. It works and finds no malware. But I can't restore AVG or a working version of Firefox at all. I find Chrome tedious and refuse to go back to it. I would like Firefox, but have no problems with IE. But I am very concerned that I have no working antivirus, and would really like to get AVG or an equivalent free program back.

Can anyone at least suggest a good downloadable free antivirus program, or suggest what might be wrong with my AVG downloads is?

I have gotten a certificate invalid with timestamp error on occasion, but my computer shows the correct time and date for my EST timezone. Thanks for any help. μηδείς (talk) 20:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

You could try Avast or Avira they seem to get decent writeups on the tech sites. I personally stick to the MSSE. 6 years for a windows laptop is a pretty decent run, I'd consider upgrading if I were you. Vespine (talk) 00:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
You could also download free Malwarebytes and Spybot – Search & Destroy for extra checks that you don't have some sort of malware. This answer typed on an eight-year-old laptop. Dbfirs 11:15, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]

OSX Yosemite not opening / launching files / dmg / updates etc.[edit]

I don't know if people still answer questions like this here (last time I was *here* was like 2009 or something) but I am having a huge bug with my recently applecare expired macbook pro retina. Now, whenever I double click on a picture on the desktop, or try to install a new program (try to open the .dmg file to allow for installation, or even just update adobe flash, I instead just get a "verifying" pop-up with a security icon that never loads or finishes. So basically I cannot do anything. I can still open files from within programs (like open a picture from the open drop down menu in preview) but I cannot install new programs or updates.

Here is a picture of the messages

Things I have tried : It's not the right click give permission to open apps not from the apple store thing. I checked my security settings. I restarted computer in safe mode and tried. I tried as a different user. I repaired disk permissions. I let someone smart look at what was showing up in the console (they didn't see anything that looked suspicious).

At the very least could someone maybe at least tell me what the actual words I should be using to describe this phenomenon are?

Finally, if the answer is to wipe the whole thing and reinstall the OS, can I still just install Yosemite (Don't want El Capitan yet since have legacy software); how would one then put everything back from time machine without putting back the problem? I used to be really good at Macs until they got sort of automated. I do not want to screw things up more by typing unix code in the terminal based soley on stuff I read in online threads since I don't even know which problem I actually have.

Thanks Saudade7 11:02, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


February 7[edit]

Man with no brain[edit]

I've seen a photo of a man with no brain yet he functions normally. Does this give evidence for existence of the soul, or consciousness is beyond the brain? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 00:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Can you link us to this photo? The complete absence of a brain, or anencephaly, is lethal at or just after birth. It is true that people can have remarkably large brain defects and function reasonably well in daily life, but this is not 'no brain'. As for your other questions, the soul does not exist, and there is no evidence for conciousness 'beyond the brain'. Fgf10 (talk) 00:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Whether there are souls is a theological question outside the scope of this Reference Desk. Wikipedia does discuss the beliefs of various religions and other belief systems about the soul. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No, it's a scientific question on the Science refdesk. There is no evidence for souls in science. Whatever various works of fiction claim is of no consequence. Fgf10 (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The existence of souls, or not, is a matter of opinion, not of science. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
At the science desk? Don't be ridiculous. The soul, as described in various works of fiction, is incompatible with the laws of physics as we understand them, so unless we've got it very wrong, according to science it doesn't exist. End of. Fgf10 (talk) 12:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The so-called "laws of physics" are a human interpretation. " we understand them..." is the key point. They are their own kind of religion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I've gone far afield with this recently, so I won't again, but I should note that science has not disproved the existence of the soul, nor has it provided a satisfactory explanation of qualia. That said, I have not heard of anyone able to use skeletal muscles in a controlled manner who does not have some apparent central nervous system to control them. This is biology, so there is no law of nature that would prevent the autonomic nervous system, enteric nervous system etc. from growing efferents and somehow learning to control muscles without a brain present; or even preventing cells of the skin, muscles etc. from expressing proteins that lets them spread action potentials and think; but there's no evidence they have the capability and by this point such things would seem extraordinarily, extraordinarily unlikely, as would most other brain-free processes of control. Wnt (talk) 00:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Science also hasn't disproved the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. So what? Fgf10 (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Then it could exist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

There are various photos of men who are missing most of their brains and still function normally. This sometimes the result of extreme hydrocephaly or physical trauma to the brain. But rest assured, these people still have some brain left. If you find anyone claiming a human can function with literally no brain, you are being lied to without a doubt. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Just realized this is an election year. You'll likely be seeing lots of men with no brains walking around and even talking. Someguy1221 (talk) 10:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, let's go with malfunctioning brains - for the sake of science! SteveBaker (talk) 15:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Or perhaps they just never figured out how to use them... Double sharp (talk) 04:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
So you're advocating that they figure out how to use their brains brains? What could possibly go wrong?! :-) SteveBaker (talk) 17:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 02:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Some of those photos are real - but a lot of them are very bad photoshopped images. We do know that people can and do survive with very little brain tissue remaining...there have been cases reported where a person survived with just a 1" thick layer of brain surrounding a fluid-filled void. But with no brain at all - that's utterly impossible. The brain handles a bunch of functions such as the control of breathing - that you simply can't do without.
As for the soul - no, science has not disproved the concept - but it also hasn't disproved the concept of green aardvarks playing pianos on the far side of the moon...that doesn't mean that we have to assume that they exist. The default hypothesis in this case is that souls don't exist (and neither do those aardvarks) and since you're asking this question on the science reference desk - the scientific answer is that since we have no evidence for the existence of a soul, it is meaningless to ask whether a man without a brain (who couldn't be alive anyway) would or would not have one. SteveBaker (talk) 15:35, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Are you telling us that The Clangers did not exist? I am gutted!;-) DrChrissy (talk) 15:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The clangers were (a) not green and (b) evidently played slide whistles rather than pianos...but aside from that, of course they existed! SteveBaker (talk) 05:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Like in arguments about Wikipedia consensus, arguing about default hypotheses involves a lot of gaming about what is "default". "Flying spaghetti monster" is usually applied as an argument for the non-existence of God, but it's one thing to assume the burden of proof is against a very specific made-up religion, and something else (say) to conclude confidently that the universe was not designed, has no plan or purpose, that the answer to why people really feel things and really see beauty in it is that actually they don't, and that everything about the universe, including the laws of mathematics, is purely random. ("But where did random come from? Isn't that just begging the question?") Perhaps the better approach here is to ask -- what, specifically, scientifically, do you mean when you say the soul doesn't exist? Because maybe that's not part of the definition... Wnt (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The default is to presume that what we can measure is "real" and what we can't measure has to be demonstrated indirectly. No such demonstration of a "soul" has ever been made - and, to the contrary, when we stick someone's head into a brain scanner, we see it light up in an appropriate and consistent manner when the person thinks about different things and in different ways. There is sufficient complexity in the brain for "emergent behavior" to appear - so there is no reason to assume that there is "something else". That's not to say that there isn't a "soul" - but merely that this shouldn't be the default hypothesis.
There is no evidence that whatever religion you're considering was not "made up" too - in fact, because there are so many religions in the world - many of which are sharply contradictory - the evidence is that even if one of them turns out to be correct, at least 99% of religions must be nonsense. Wondering what the odds of 99% of religions being incorrect rather than 100% of them provides additional reason to eliminate them from the default hypothesis.
As for "beauty" - you make the absolutely classic (and exceedingly naive) mistake of presuming that atheists see no beauty in the universe - and nothing could be further from the truth. The beauty is in all of the amazing mechanisms that emerge from the simplest of representations. That the key laws of physics can be written on the front of a T-shirt (I have one) - and that is enough to understand very nearly all of it. That, to most scientific thinkers, is beauty. That the leaves of a tree are the result of random evolutionary processes that result in the near perfect optimisation for capturing sunlight - is incredible. That flowers have beautiful markings on there petals that humans can't see because they are in the UV spectrum - and that the plant evolved to put them there to help bees to figure out how to orient themselves as they land to do pollination. Please - don't tell me that you need religion to see beauty - that's complete and utter bullshit. If all I had to believe is that a magician waved his magic wand and it all popped into existence - the world would seem to be an arbitrary, ridiculous, foolish place - and much of the beauty would evaporate.
The laws of mathematics are not "random" - they may all be deduced from the most simple axioms imaginable - you're entirely mistaken if you believe that.
The randomness of the universe comes about from quantum randomness and the randomness that comes about in some systems that are susceptible to sensitive-dependence-on-initial-conditions...Chaos theory. So we're very well aware of what those sources are.
What is meant by "the soul does not exist" is not a question I really need to answer. I have not been provided with a definition for this term - it's a vague piece of description that's conveniently never pinned down. Without a definition, it's nothing more than a word. So we have not discovered any evidence for a thing that's vaguely described in the first place.
The argument that a lot of people believe in something, so it must be true has been disproven more times than I can count. An enormous number of people believe that vaccination causes autism - does that make it true? Actually - no. It's been tested beyond reasonable need - and it's not true. Despite that, only 52% of Americans believe that vaccines don't cause autism. 68% believe in god (in some form or another). Does that make them right?
SteveBaker (talk) 05:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'll leave this article, about a neighbour of mine when I lived in Barnsley, here. --TammyMoet (talk) 16:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I suspect the OP may be thinking about something like the case Tammy mentions. As for "the soul doesn't exist" I don't believe we can say that either. The definition of a soul is "the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal"[10] and all we can say is that there is no scientific evidence for that to be the case. However, we still don't have a complete theory of everything and so it is just possible that there are things or mechanisms that exist that we don't yet know about. And just to make my position clear, personally, I am 99% sure there is no God as visualised by religious people and no afterlife. I'm quite happy with that as, if I'm right, when I die my consciousness will come to an end and I won't have to worry about it. However, like everything else in life, I always entertain the possibility that I may just be wrong (a very remote possibility in this case), and if I am, it will be interesting to find out what comes next. There is the (also very unlikely) possibility that the universe was created by some intelligent entity but, if it was, then I am sure they don't really care less whether we worship and pray to them or ignore them completely. Oh, and if it does all turn out to be an experiment run by the white mice then I'm in deep shit - but that's anther story. Richerman (talk) 12:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The desire to believe that your life won't just suddenly just "end" is quite powerful. You don't have to resort to religion and the concept of a "soul" to get past that though. There is always the (MUCH more worrying) Quantum suicide and immortality hypothesis - I'm kinda hoping that's one hypothesis which turns out not to be true because it might just imply eternal (albeit religion-free) damnation! Even without the many-worlds hypothesis, you can get pretty much the same result if the universe turns out to be infinite and the weak anthropic principle is acceptable to you. Another one that I like is the concept of reincarnation - in which at the moment of your death, you are reborn as another human being - although you'd have absolutely no memory of your earlier life. Many people find that to be a much more comfortable situation than just "fade to black...nothingness" - although to all measurable tests, the outcome would be identical. So if you're OK with "no-memory-transfer" reincarnation, you have an unfalsifiable hypothesis that's every bit as good as any religious view. Then we have the Simulation hypothesis (another theory that I'm quite fond of) - and so maybe the universe will get a blue-screen and wind up being rebooted? SteveBaker (talk) 18:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The simulation hypothesis is something that seems quite likely to me (relatively speaking, as likely as a big bang or a multiverse) possibly because I read about the Evil demon philosophical idea when I was young. The article on quantum suicide is an interesting read, I've wondered about that idea with regards to all possible outcomes resulting in infinite universes - it's a very scary idea so I'm glad "I'm" still in this universe right now! Mike Dhu (talk) 09:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@SteveBaker and Money is tight: I've been trying not to give into the temptation to infinite digression, but it's actually relevant to the original question to note that the Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul comprised multiple components, some of which we have no controversy about the existence of, and others of which are perhaps more palatable when considered separately. In particular, I should note the possibility that the ka, the non unique component of the soul, is the same in all people and is what actually feels qualia (thus the moral basis of religion to be drawn from this is that evil done to others is suffered by oneself, even if there is no memory of that). However, the ba is more typically the portion focused on in Judeo-Christian tradition. In religions from the Egyptian onward, the preservation of worthy ba (or portions thereof, I would think) from one universe to the next offers a possibility for worthy personal actions to have a more enduring and fundamental significance. Wnt (talk) 08:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

What is the meaning of the word "lead" in context of ECG?[edit]

I understand that is one of 12 electrodes, but I'm asking about the meaning of the word. I opened dictionary and I saw many meanings, but I'm not sure which one is the right. (talk) 00:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Lead is essentially used interchangeably with electrode, not any specific one. Fgf10 (talk) 00:15, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, but I'm not sure if you're right because I know that a typical ECG machine has 9 electrodes while it result give 12 leads. (aVL+aVR+aVF are augmented leads without their own electrode, so actually you can not call them electrodes, then the word lead can not be used interchangeably with electrode.) (talk) 00:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In some versions of English, 'lead' is a synonym for 'wire' or 'cable', as in 'extension lead'. Not sure whether that helps though. Akld guy (talk) 01:02, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That is exactly the relevant meaning here yes. As per a quick read, the electrodes mentioned actually physically use the same electrodes as some of the main 9, but are referenced differently, so are essentially 'virtual' electrodes. REF Fgf10 (talk) 01:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
See our Electrocardiography article. The leads run from the machine and have detachable electrodes [11] [12] which are stuck on to the patient's skin with a conductive gel. Richerman (talk) 13:03, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Do all the muscles of the body have origin and insertion?[edit]

Do all the muscles of the body have origin and insertion? and if they do have, doed the heart (as considered as muscle) also have origin and insertion? (talk) 00:31, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Hmmm, also External sphincter muscle of male urethra, external anal sphincter, iris sphincter muscle (sort of, though you can argue that starts as smooth muscle which we know is different). In the case of the anal sphincter there actually *is* an insertion, for one layer - might be worth looking deeper into the embryology to see if the circular layer is a late specialization in development? Wnt (talk) 00:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I believe the tongue does not.DrChrissy (talk) 00:51, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
From our article:
"The eight muscles of the human tongue are classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic. The four intrinsic muscles act to change the shape of the tongue, and are not attached to any bone. The four extrinsic muscles act to change the position of the tongue, and are anchored to bone."
It goes on to describe which bones the four extrinsic muscles are anchored to. So for the tongue as a whole, half yes and half no. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

In genetics, sex can be dominant?[edit]

In genetics, sex can be dominant? I mean to male or female, does one of them can be dominant just because of his sex? (talk) 00:56, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

If you mean dominant in the Mendelian sense, then one could argue that the answer is yes when sex determination is chromosomal. In placental mammals, one could say that male is dominant in the Mendelian sense because a single Y chromosome determines male sex. In birds, one could likewise argue that female is dominant in the Mendelian sense. If you mean something other than the Mendelian sense, please clarify. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert McClenon (talkcontribs)
Yes, User:Robert McClenon's comment is basically correct for mammals, insofar as the presence of the Y causes male characteristics, whatever the number of the X chromosomes. See XXY. That doesn't apply for certain birds and insects, e.g., though. μηδείς (talk) 02:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
To be nitpicky, it's specifically the gene SRY that causes development of male phenotype in mammals when expressed. SRY is normally located on the Y chromosome, but it is possible for mammals to have a Y chromosome and still be phenotypically female, to varying degrees, like if the SRY gene is broken, or if there are other conditions like androgen insensitivity. -- (talk) 07:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
How rare is this? Are they any more likely to have male traits than XX women? What happens if both the mother and the father give a Y chromosome each? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 07:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You might like to read this if you haven't already done so. Dbfirs 10:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Are there any XY females who are actually capable of getting pregnant in the first place? Certainly it wouldn't be the ones with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, because they don't have ovaries or a uterus. But I don't know for sure that it isn't possible in some other way. --Trovatore (talk) 23:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think people with 100% XY have gotten pregnant, but there are rare cases like this that come pretty close. - Lindert (talk) 23:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Very interesting. The abstract says that the daughter got a Y from the father, but doesn't say, as far as I saw, whether the mother had any viable Y-bearing ova. Is it known whether that's possible? --Trovatore (talk) 23:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Any mammalian embryo with no X chromosome is nonviable, as the X chromosome contains many essential genes. Embryos with abnormal chromosomes inevitably get created as a result of errors in meiosis. Down syndrome is a well-known example, but most chromosomal abnormalities are lethal and cause the pregnancy to spontaneously abort. The Y chromosome is not essential, which is obvious as half of mammals don't have one. Because of this, evolutionary pressure inevitably reduces the Y chromosome over time (see the article for details). -- (talk) 10:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm, I suppose you could say that maleness is a recessive lethal with some phenotypic effects in the heterozygote. (That link should go to lethal allele, but that article was written by someone who defines that term altogether differently than what I'm familiar with!!!) Wnt (talk) 18:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You might like reading about the evolution of sex and anisogamy. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Date of official information on the name of element 113[edit]

I could have asked the question any time I wanted to, but I chose now because we've reached the first time in a week when doing a Google News search on "ununtrium" doesn't reveal anything less than a week old. Can anyone predict the date I'll get official info?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Only the people at RIKEN and IUPAC will be able to answer that one. Fgf10 (talk) 01:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Odors emitted by the Feces and Urine of Mammals and Birds[edit]

Where can I find material on the intensity of odors emitted by the feces and by the urine of various mammals and birds? Thank you.Simonschaim (talk) 10:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

We don't have an article specifically on this topic (although Category:Feces might prove useful). It should be covered in any general work on woodcraft, and a web search on animal-specific terms ("bear scat", "fox scat", etc) will usually come up with the appropriate details. Tevildo (talk) 12:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Bile contributes to the smell of feces. StuRat (talk) 18:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This is a tough one. I mean... we all know from experience how much it can vary based on diet. Beyond that, intestinal microflora. If you take some lab animals and do a poo sniff-off, mostly you've learned what the lab techs are feeding the animals. I'd be wary of general statements. Wnt (talk) 18:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
It might be difficult to find information on the intensity per se, but articles the OP might want to look at include Pheromone, Vomeronasal organ and Flehmen.DrChrissy (talk) 18:31, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
As a long-time pet owner, I would point out that the intensity and nature of the smell of animal pee depends on its age and storage condition. Cat urine on cat litter which is less than a day old is different from cat urine deposited on a plastic bag or piece of fabric on the floor behind a couch which is not discovered for a week. The question seems like a readily quantifiable one.It would be surprising if no date had been collected and published. Subjects could give subjective ratings of odor strength for standardized samples under well defined experimental conditions, and we could learn the relative intensity of either a constant volume of parakeet/lizard/hamster/cat/rattlesnake/dog/human/deer/lion/bear/dolphin/horse/hippopotamus/elephant/whale urine or feces, or the relative subjective odor strength of a normal deposit of said substances. Edison (talk) 21:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Skatole is responsible for much fecal odor, and the term may help you find more quantitative assessments. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Thank you to all those who supplied me with answers. Simonschaim (talk) 11:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Oil drilling -- env. impact[edit]

What substances/materials (if any) which are involved in oil drilling (particularly in offshore oil drilling) are classified as highly toxic? In particular, which are toxic not only by ingestion, but also by skin contact and/or inhalation of vapors? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Here's a list of the types of chemicals likely to be used during the drilling of offshore wells - not much there on toxicity though. The oil itself may be the most toxic chemical that people may come into contact with. Mikenorton (talk) 12:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
And that last material is only moderately toxic. 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Found some data for benzalkonium chloride (used in oil drilling as a corrosion inhibitor) -- it's pretty toxic, rather more so than crude oil. Benzalkonium_chloride#Toxicology 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Oil drilling, part 2[edit]

If there's an oil spill at sea and it catches on fire by itself, is it ever put out or is it universal practice to let it burn? (I know, for example, that oil spills are sometimes deliberately set on fire as a last-ditch cleanup measure.) In what circumstances, if any, should it be put out? Is it a conceivable scenario where a burning oil slick is first extinguished and later deliberately ignited again as part of the disaster response? 2601:646:8E01:9089:F88D:DE34:7772:8E5B (talk) 12:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

NOAA page on in-situ burning. Mikenorton (talk) 12:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Crude oil does not inflame itself. Setting it on fire deliberately is most likely motivated by "saving" near coastlines, which else have to be cleaned up later. In contrast to coasts our oceans and atmosphere have always been treated as a dump for toxic wastes anyway. --Kharon (talk) 12:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I did not mean spontaneous combustion, I meant accidental ignition from a stray source. 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 07:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Near earth approach of 2013 TX68 in March 2016[edit]

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is due to make a near Earth approach next month. Per the article and news stories, it was only observed for 3 days in its previous approach in 2013, and is too dim to be seen when distant from the earth. Stories say it could come as far as 9.2 million miles or as close as 11,000 miles,(and equivalent 2 digit precision in metric units) but that it can't possibly hit the earth. Christian Science Monitor says "There is no possibility that this object could impact Earth" in 2016, per a NASA press release. Its nearest approach time is uncertain ("sometime between March 3–8, 2016",per the Wikipedia article) and we can't see it until it is within a couple of days of closest approach. So if the largest number is "9.2 million miles," apparently to two digits of precision, how can NASA be so certain that 11,000 miles is the closest possible approach? Is this just false confidence to avoid public alarm? I've seen a lot of confidence intervals, and "11,000 to 9,000,000" as stated in some news articles is an odd one. It's like saying "4505500 miles plus or minus 4494500 miles" if we take the average as the midpoint. Then they give odds on its closest approach on future occasions, but an approach to tens of thousands of miles would cause a huge deflection in its direction, with the deflection dependent on the closeness of approach. How does the certainty that the closest approach is 11.000 rather than zero square with the a large magnitude of the farthest approach?, Given apparent uncertainty about the nearness of this approach. how can there be much certainty about the next approach? Edison (talk) 14:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

JPL has a graphic that shows possible points of closest approach given the orbital uncertainties. It seems that these points are restricted to a plane that appears to be well constrained and does not contain Earth. The closest point of that plane to our dear planet is 11,000 miles away and thus gives the minimum possible approach distance. --Wrongfilter (talk) 14:56, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In other places (HERE for example) you can see the calculations are being done to higher precision than the Christian Science Monitor a news item, journalists rarely want to write hugely precise numbers because they are hard to read and assimilate.
But I agree with User:Edison - we know the plane in which the rock orbits with great precision - and we know that this plane only comes within 11,000 miles of Earth - but we have much greater uncertainty about where 2013TX68 will be within that plane at the point of closest approach.
Perhaps an analogy would be useful: It's kinda like worrying about cars on a fast stretch of a flat, straight road going right past your house. You have no idea whether they'll be driving at 30mph or speeding way over the speed limit at 90mph - so your error margin in their speed is huge. But you do know - with great precision and high confidence - that they'll stay within that narrow corridor prescribed by the edges of the road. So if you're walking home along the sidewalk and you see a car that's 5 miles away on the horizon coming towards you. You don't have any good idea at all of how close it'll be when you reach the safety of your home...but you're confident that it's not going to hit your house with almost complete certainty. If asked how close the car might get to you as you open your front door, the larger number would be "a couple of miles...maybe?" and the smaller number would be the distance from your house to the edge of the road (18 feet 7 inches).
Your error margin on the larger number is enormous - but you still know with near certainty that your house is safe.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Confidence of it being in a plane 11,000 miles from earth is a fine explanation for the amazing figures cited.It makes perfect sense. But wouldn't a possible pass 11,000 miles from earth deflect, it putting it in a different orbit/plane? It sounds like they are forecasting approaches years in the future based on a scant 3 days of observation 3 years ago. Te graphic from JPL is odd, since it basically shows two rows of dots, and nothing between them. Is there an explanation for that? Edison (talk)
That depends on how exactly that figure was created. I assume it was some sort of Monte Carlo simulation - randomly pick a possible value of starting parameters out of the possible range in 2013, calculate the orbit, plot the position of closest approach in 2016. Now, if they picked the extremes for the starting parameters (values around, say, the 1σ contour) rather than the best-fit values, those would map to something like an ellipse in the output parameters, i.e. this graphic. So the lack of dots inside these two rows would be due to them not bothering making the computation for those values. But this is just me guessing, I can't back this up with a publication or so. The deflection during this approach will certainly affect the prediction for the next one, and it will depend on how close this approach will actually be. --Wrongfilter (talk) 21:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm - I wonder if one row of dots comes from the sunward-leg of the orbit and the other as it returns from the sun, heading out towards deep space? That would explain two neat sets of numbers like that. That's a guess though. SteveBaker (talk) 05:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The orbit of the asteroid is known to an accuracy of a few thousand kilometres. The accuracy isn't the same at every point of the orbit or in every direction, but that's the order of magnitude. The uncertainty in the semi-major axis translates into an uncertainty in the orbital period, and in the 2.5 years since it was last observed this accumulated into a quite large uncertainty in the phase of the asteroid's orbit of about 14 million kilometres. In other words, we know quite well where the orbit is and that Earth will pass at 17000 km away from the orbit, but we don't know where the asteroid will be at that moment. I assume the figure published by JPL indeed results from a Monte Carlo simulation. One row of dots comes from the asteroid passing Earth's orbit ahead of Earth, the other row comes from the asteroid passing Earth's orbit behind Earth. PiusImpavidus (talk) 11:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

sources of oxidants in natural shale gas reservoirs[edit]

A few years ago I came across a lot of industrial presentations on natural gas reservoirs, especially shale gas, and something that was mentioned is that shale gas reservoirs can become "overmature" where the hydrocarbons become CO2. This was puzzling to me because I couldn't figure out what could be oxidizing the gas only after the organic material has been sitting there for around 200 million years, when it appears to be fine from the 50 million year period onwards.

Two questions: 1) What are the source of reducing agents that reduces longer-chain fatty acids and carboxylic acids to methane? Why can't we exploit these reducing agents directly? 2) What are the source of oxidizing agents that oxidise methane to CO2 deep in the ground, underneath the bedrock?

Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 17:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with this, but the first few sources I found [13] [14] [15] [16] give me the impression that there is an "oil window" and a "gas window" in which kerogen (of which there are apparently four types) is cracked under heat and pressure. I see different estimates for the window, doubtless because some specifics of how they are measured are different, but they say roughly 50-100 celsius at 2-4 km depth produces oil, maybe 100 to 150? 200? more? celsius at 3-6 km depth produces gas. Very hot gas undergoes "secondary cracking" that the first source says can first produce wet gas, and
"Metagenesis marks the final stage, in which additional heat and chemical changes convert much of the kerogen into methane and a carbon residue. As the source rock moves farther into the gas window, late methane, or dry gas, is evolved, along with nonhydrocarbon gases such as carbon dioxide [CO2], nitrogen [N2] and hydrogen sulfide [H2S]. These changes take place at temperatures ranging from about 150°C to 200°C [302°F to 392°F]. These stages have a direct bearing on source rock maturity." (This appears to be cited to Peters KE, Walters CC and Moldowan JM: The Biomarker Guide, 2nd edition. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2005) Wnt (talk) 18:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I'll pass the ball to someone else at this point. Wnt (talk) 18:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
To build a bit on Wnt's excellent information. Initially organic matter is trapped in fine clays and silts. As the organic rich clay is buried under millions of years of sediment accumulation, the clay turns into shale and the organic material transforms into kerogen. As it is buried deeper and deeper, the heat and pressure transform (or mature) the kerogen into oils and eventually gas (by combining hydrogen with carbon to form long chain {ex. octane} and eventually short chain hydrocarbons {ex. methane}). Once all the hydrogen in the organic matter has combined with carbon to form hydrocarbons, increasing heat and pressure will never create any additional hydrocarbons and the reservoir is overmature.
Obviously we can't apply 150-200 C or the pressure at 3-6km depth (about 5,000-10,000 psi) to convert organic matter into CO2 on the surface, or at least not economically.Tobyc75 (talk) 21:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm talking about redox balance. What reduces the hydrocarbons to form methane? There must be a reducing agent. Similarly, what is oxidising the methane (and other hydrocarbons) to CO2? There must be an oxidising agent. Reduction and oxidation always pair together. I'm aware there is some disproportionation involved, such that medium-oxidised organics (aldehydes, alcohols, alkenes, etc.) oxidise/reduce each other, forming longer and shorter chains respectively, but you can't just oxidise all the hydrocarbons to CO2 without the electrons going *somewhere*. Are metal oxides in the ground being reduced? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 09:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Methane is just the last product of thermal cracking of the original long-chain hydrocarbons. As to the CO2, it is formed early in the generation process as the original kerogen breaks down (it does contain some oxygen). It doesn't migrate in the same way as the hydrocarbons as it is quite soluble in water and may remain in the shale layer after the hydrocarbons have moved off. CO2 also moves upwards from deeper levels, derived from thermal breakdown of carbonates. I don't think that there is any oxidation going on to produce the CO2. Mikenorton (talk) 09:53, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Are all stars main sequence stars at some point in their life-cycle?[edit]

Do all stars belong either to the main sequence stars, have once been main sequence or will inevitably become main sequence stars?

See stellar evolution. It appears from that article that all protostars that are large enough to fuse hydrogen (and thus become stars rather than brown dwarves) will enter the main sequence for some period of time. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

are there compounds which are poorly soluble in aliphatic hydrocarbons (e.g. cyclohexane) but dissolve well in aromatic ones (like benzene or toluene)?[edit]

I note that neutral (zwitterionic) L-DOPA is weakly soluble in water but even less soluble in diethyl ether or chloroform. However, would it be more soluble in aromatic solvents? Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 21:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Buckminsterfullerene is substantially more soluble in aromatics than in aliphatics. DMacks (talk) 21:33, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Really how important is fruit?[edit]

I've gone months of having a bowl of fruit nearly every morning and months of having no fruit at all yet feel no different during that time. (talk) 22:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

We cannot give actual medical advice here, but you might be interested in the underlying reasons for medical and public-health organizations publishing various food pyramids and promoting balanced diet. See whether it's strictly about the types of foods or the types of nutrients or the trade-offs in a real economy or other cultural/political environment. DMacks (talk) 22:33, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Nutritional advice is not medical advice (or everyone who publishes a diet book would be arrested for practicing medicine without a license), so we are free to reply. Fruit does have some good stuff, like vitamin C in citrus, antioxidants/phytochemicals in berries, lycopene in tomatoes (technically a fruit), and healthy fats in avocados, but you can also get those from other things. So, in that sense they aren't essential. On the other hand, if eating fruit for dessert stops you from eating something far worse, that's a real plus. StuRat (talk) 22:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Fruit also has soluble and insoluble fiber. On the downside, it does have a lot of sugar (at least if you're talking about the fruits most people think of as fruit, meaning not tomatoes, not green beans, etc). A lot of people track "added" sugar, but I think this is one of the tradeoffs DMacks is talking about — your body can't (or I expect it can't) tell whether the sugar is "added". But the experts don't want to discourage people from eating fruit, so they don't emphasize tracking total sugar. --Trovatore (talk) 22:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sugar isn't too bad in whole fruits, where it gets to be a problem is with juices, where all the fiber has been removed and the sugar concentrated, or where you actually add sugar, like sugar on grapefruit, whipped cream on berries, or even more sugar added to "juice". StuRat (talk) 23:09, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sugar is sugar. Well, certainly there are different kinds of sugar, but the dominant one in fruit is fructose, which is the same thing people get upset about in high-fructose corn syrup.
I don't think your body can tell whether you ate the sugar as part of a whole fruit or not. But the fruit has other benefits, which is why the experts don't want to discourage you from eating it. --Trovatore (talk) 23:36, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Reducing the amount of sugar (by eating one orange versus the juice of 10), and increasing the amount of fiber in order to slow digestion, both reduce the sugar spike, which is what leads to most of the health problems associated with sugar. Also, it takes more energy to digest whole fruit, and some of the sugar can be burned in that way. StuRat (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Avoiding sugar in "too sweet" fruits is a recommendation in the low-carbohydrate diet community. Also, not all sugars are equal. Glucose is more likely than fructose to reach cells throughout the body rather than get metabolized in the liver. Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 01:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies but I'm wondering why I feel exactly the same whether or not I eat fruit. Is the effect of eating fruit everyday to extend your life by a few years or are there present-day benefits? (talk) 02:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

That's hard to answer unless we know what you're eating instead of fruit (or conversely, what fruit is replacing when you eat it). If you're eating good, nutritious stuff instead of fruit you're doing fine. If you're eating cheeseburgers and Twinkies and such instead of fruit, it will probably catch up to you over the long term, though not necessarily in a few days or even weeks. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Below, our OP also indicates an aversion to vegetables I think that it's unlikely that there is good stuff being eaten in place of fruit. SteveBaker (talk) 17:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Most of the damaging effects of unhealthy food have no immediate and obvious symptoms. For example, plaque forming in your arteries may not be apparent until a heart attack. StuRat (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Not medical advice, again, but an anecdote: I'm a long-time diabetic who was placed on a low-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet recently (within the past two months). In this diet, green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits like apples and oranges may be relatively freely eaten, while "empty carbohydrates" like bread, refined sugar and grits (ground parched white corn boiled as a porridge) are off the diet. Meat and other protein foods are permissible in reasonable amounts. Regular daily exercise is part of the regimen, as well.
I've lost thirty pounds in less than two months, and my control over my blood sugar has increased to the point that it's at the upper normal levels with only dapaglifozin ("Farxiga") as glycemic control medication. Prior to this, my blood sugar wasn't well-controlled at all, despite daily therapy with sitagliptin ("Januvia"). I use less pain medication for my cancer pain, and the issues I'd begun to have with swelling of the feet and ankles have disappeared. Fresh fruit isn't entirely responsible for this improvement in my condition, but it replaces much less healthy food in my diet, and the fiber it contains is almost certainly good for my health.loupgarous (talk) 05:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

marshy gas from mines[edit]

as during mining ,the marshy gas are evolve ,why this happen? please give the scientific reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shahjad ansari (talkcontribs) 02:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

See Methane#Occurrence. AllBestFaith (talk) 10:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
See also firedamp. The methane is produced as coal is heated (due to progressive burial) and some of it is retained in the rock when the coal becomes uplifted sufficiently to mine, where it can be a problem. Mikenorton (talk) 21:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Formula for lens[edit]

give the formula equation for lens ,in which one longitudinal part areat n1 refractive index , second part at n3 refractive index and lens of n2 refractive index. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shahjad ansari (talkcontribs) 02:32, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, we don't do your homework for you. Check the articles Refraction and Lens (optics) for the info you need. 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 10:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Possible to change taste buds in adulthood?[edit]

I'm 20 and hate the taste of vegetables unless it's been thoroughly cooked and/or mixed with other flavours. Could I change that and if so is there a known method? (talk) 02:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Apparently it's in your genes. Googling "why some people vegetables" throws up some interesting links, including this one which suggests you need "bitter blockers".--Shantavira|feed me 11:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Technically that's a medical diagnosis, and we aren't supposed to do that. It's certainly possible that there would be some other mechanism in this case besides genetics, which is almost never 100%. Wnt (talk) 12:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Technically, that isn't a medical diagnosis, it's a biology reference. See User:Kainaw/Kainaw's criterion. Unless we're telling someone that a) they have a disease or b) what the disease is likely to do to them personally or c) how to treat their diseases, there is no problem with providing answers about human biology. --Jayron32 15:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

"Apparently it's in your genes" diagnosis "this one which suggests you need "bitter blockers" treatment. μηδείς (talk) 18:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I think you're a bit too keen to be jumping on the 'medical advice' bandwagon. This isn't a question about a medical complaint, pointing out that it's genetic is not a diagnosis and offering links for the OP to follow up is not prescribing treatment Mike Dhu (talk) 10:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Have a look at our long, detailed, and well-referenced article taste. It's complicated, and involved taste buds, but also psychology, nutritional needs, evolutionary past, culture, childhood development, exposure, etc. etc. Most people I know enjoy some foods at age 40 that they did not at age 20. Here's a selection of articles that discuss aspects of how taste perception can change with age [17] [18] [19]. Here's a freely accessible article that discusses a bit about how children's diet preferences are shaped by the adults around them, and you might find it interesting background reading [20]. We have some references for treatment of [[21]] and also Avoidant/restrictive_food_intake_disorder#For_adults, so I would look at the refs there if I wanted to learn more details about methods for expanding my taste preferences. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:40, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My experience is that a lot depends on how the food is cooked. Generally (as our OP mentions), brief cooking retains flavor and long cooking destroys it. Generally, short cooking is what people want because they crave the maximum amount of flavor - but I suppose that if you don't like those flavors then the reverse might be the case. Unfortunately, cooking for too long destroys much of the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables - and also destroys any crunchy, textured sensations and reduces them to an unpleasant mush. Honestly, I'd recommend re-visiting the taste of lightly cooked (or even raw) veggies...and if that's still unpleasant, dump them into some kind of sauce that you like. A chili or curry-based sauce will annihilate the taste of almost anything! Also, it's a horrible generalization to say that you don't like "vegetables" - there are hundreds of different kinds out there - and they don't all taste the same. Gone are the days when you had a choice between carrots/broccoli/cabbage/peas/french-beans/corn. Now you can get 'baby' versions of lots of things - there are 50 kinds of beans out there - there are leafy greens of 20 different kinds to choose from - there are things like asparagus (which used to be ruinously expensive - and now isn't), avocado and artechokes to play around with. It would be really surprising if you hated all of them, and even more surprising if you hated all of them no matter how they were prepared. Modern cuisine encourages us to mix weird, contrasting things together - so go ahead and mix jalapeno peppers, a little melted chocolate and peas (yes, really!) - or cook your cabbage in orange juice instead of water (one of my personal favorites!) - or mix nuts and fruit into a green salad. There is no "wrong" answer here.
I grew up in an environment where veggies were low in variety, and invariably over-cooked. When I married my first wife (who is an excellent French cook) - my eyes were opened to the incredible array of better options out there. SteveBaker (talk) 17:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My experience changing what I drink may be helpful. In my 20's I drank Mountain Dew (high sugar soft drink). Then I switched to herbal tea, but needed lots of sugar in it to make it palatable. I then gradually reduced the amount of sugar, and now I don't need any. So, I suggest you initially mix just a bit of veggies with something you like, then gradually change the ratio until it's mostly veggies. StuRat (talk) 17:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, I notice that our OP recently asked a question about eating fruit that suggests that (s)he doesn't eat that either. That's a more worrying thing. SteveBaker (talk) 17:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I think Mouthfeel is something you may want to look at, along with food neophobia and there's also RFID, an escalated version of picky eating. It's interesting that SteveBaker mentions the texture of food. I wouldn't touch vegetables until my early 30s, even though I had a girlfriend who worked as a chef at The Savoy in London (I'm sure your wife is much better Steve!). I disliked the "flavor" of foods from my childhood until my early 20s and retrospectively I think it was more the texture I didn't like. Mike Dhu (talk) 17:09, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The thing with texture is that you can play around with it to an amazing degree. Consider just the potato. You can have creamy mashed potato, mashed potato with deliberate chunks of potato and/or skin in it, you can have french fries, boiled potatoes (with and without skin) and also roasted and baked potato. You can do hash-browns or fry crispy potato skins - or you can make potato chips. That's a MASSIVE variation in texture and crunch with just one vegetable being involved. With creativity, you can do similar transformations with other veggies too. If you don't like (say) peas - rather than just having warm round things - you can cook them, mash them, form them into patties, then fry them ("Peaburgers"!) - or you can blend them into a smoothie or a soup - there are lots of options if you're prepared to be creative and are open to trying new techniques. SteveBaker (talk) 17:27, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I totally agree with your points re the texture of food, but my point to the the OP was that the texture and the flavor of food may be interlinked. I like the taste of creamy mashed potato (not a vegetable of course), but lumpy mashed potato is something I can't eat, I find the lumps in it unpalatable, not because of the taste per se, but because I don't like the texture of it. Mike Dhu (talk) 19:19, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah - you probably don't want to go there. What is a "vegetable" and what isn't is a topic of frequent and prolonged debate around here. Bottom line is that there is a strict scientific definition, a strict culinary definition and a whole messy heap of what-people-think-a-vegetable-is. From the lede of Vegetable:
"In everyday usage, a vegetable is any part of a plant that is consumed by humans as food as part of a savory meal. The term "vegetable" is somewhat arbitrary, and largely defined through culinary and cultural tradition. It normally excludes other food derived from plants such as fruits, nuts and cereal grains, but includes seeds such as pulses. The original meaning of the word vegetable, still used in biology, was to describe all types of plant, as in the terms "vegetable kingdom" and "vegetable matter"." claim victory. A potato is a vegetable. <ducks and runs> SteveBaker (talk) 20:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I can see how that could lead to a very lengthy discussion, and in my mind I always thought of potatoes as a vegetable, in the same way that I think of poultry and fish as meat (although I've just looked at the meat article and see the same situation applies). Anyway, good job you ducked (bad pun, I know!) Mike Dhu (talk) 11:08, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Falling from a building[edit]

If someone fell from the fifth floor of a building, would they die or just be badly hurt? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 03:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It depends how they land and what they land on. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
If they land on concrete? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 04:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Then it depends on how they land. But their odds are not good. Here is someone's idea for a strategy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It would be far better to land on a Life net. That's a little article I wrote a few years ago. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Obviously. But the OP specified concrete. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
On page 17 of this OSHA document [22], figure 6 shows the distribution of workplace fatalities as a function of number of feet fallen. From that, you can see that a small number of people died after falls of less than six feet - and most people in the workplace who die after falling, fell less than 40 feet...which is less than 5 floors. So for sure, lots of people die every year from falling fell from considerably less height than the 5th floor.
A few other sources I checked with suggest the the risk of death starts to go up sharply at falls of around 8 to 10 meters - with about a 50/50 chance of dying if you fall from 15 meters and a near certainty of dying at around 25 meters. A typical building floor height is about 3.5 meters - so 5 floors would be 17.5 meters - and that's about a 75% chance of death. But there really is no 'safe' fall height. People trip and fall and whack their heads against something as they reach ground level and die as a result - so even a fall from zero height can be fatal.
CONCLUSION: If you fall from the 5th floor - you have roughly a 3 in 4 chance of dying - there is no 'safe' distance.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Would it be a quick death or a long and agonizing one? 2607:FB90:1225:2047:A4E6:5421:24F2:7B82 (talk) 15:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any data on that. One would presume that a head-first impact would be quick - and feet-first much less so - but it's very hard to say, and as skydivers soon discover, bodies rotate during free-fall in ways that can be hard to control. I wouldn't want to make any bets on that one. SteveBaker (talk) 17:07, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Quick, call the Mythbusters before they're cancelled! FrameDrag (talk) 20:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Is it best for a man/woman to see a male/female psychiatrist respectively?[edit]

Just curious if it's generally best for a man to see a male or female psychiatrist and for a woman to see a male or female psychiatrist, or if there's no recommendation in the psychology community. (talk) 05:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Most psychiatrists base their treatment on pills. I hardly see how it could matter the gender of those who prescribes you pills. Psychiatrists are also not necessarily part of the psychology community, they could be psychotherapists too, but primarily they are physicians. I suppose you want to know whether gender of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsels and the like matter.
On the practice it's clear that psychiatrists are mostly male, and the psychology community is mostly female. That reduces your chances of picking a specific gender. Anyway, the role of gender in the quality of psychotherapy seems to be negligible, in the same way that you don't need a therapist with the same age, religion, race, as you. I see that it could even be an advantage to have a certain distance from your therapist, since you both are not supposed to enter a private relationship. --Llaanngg (talk) 11:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
[citation needed] for a lot of this, perhaps most importantly on the first sentences of each paragraph. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
SemanticMantis, here they are:
[23] "Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient"
[24] "Psychiatry, the one male-dominated area of the mental health profession, has increasingly turned to drug treatments."
[25]: The changing gender composition of psychology.
And [26] Need Therapy? A Good Man Is Hard to Find. "He decided to seek out a male therapist instead, and found that there were few of them."
I do admit though that the effect of gender matching with your therapist (or not) is debatable. The debate is still open. I suppose it comes down to the patient's world-view. If it's important for the patient, then probably it can influence outcome. The same probably applies to ethnicity. --Llaanngg (talk) 09:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
[27]"As Carey's timely article notes, there is nothing in the rather limited mainstream scientific literature on gender and treatment outcome suggesting unequivocally that either males or females make better, more effective psychotherapists."
[28] "a female therapist genuinely is able to help a male client as well as a female client, and a male therapist is truly able to help a male client as well as a female client, the fact is that if a client comes in with a pre-conceived notion about the therapist based on gender, it has the potential to affect treatment if not addressed."
--Llaanngg (talk) 09:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
User:Llaanngg, thank you. Your claims sounded reasonable, but this is, after all, a reference desk :) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:51, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
For some people, maybe. A psychiatrist is indeed different than a psychologist, but gender match in medical and therapeutic professions can indeed be a factor in outcomes. Here is a study that specifically looks at effects of gender matching in adolescents [29]. That one is freely accessible, these two studies [30] [31] are not, but they also discuss gender matching in therapeutic contexts. Note that all three also discuss matching of ethnicities as a potential important factor too. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:30, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Having been treated by half a dozen psychiatrists and therapists, I will say that the race/culture, age and gender of your treatment providers definitely matters in some cases, even for "pill prescribers" because your story may sound different to different doctors. For example, I've been routinely noted to have "poor eye contact" and be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder by old white men, but younger psychiatrists are more up to date on neuroscience research and my female psychiatrists (including a South Asian) tend to agree with post-traumatic stress disorder or complex PTSD. Also Asian treatment providers definitely get cross-cultural struggles and Asian cultural values like conflict aversion, whereas white providers often don't, frequently chalking it up to some personality defect or saying that you're "non-assertive". Yanping Nora Soong (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I'd say that if it's important for you as a patient, then, it is important for the outcome. However, I don't believe it is a general factor per se.Llaanngg (talk) 09:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

cramps or a "charley horse" after orgasm[edit]

My girlfriend often has serious cramps (or a charley horse)after she has an orgasm. The cramp is usually in her lower left calf. This is not a medical question. I am just curious how an orgasm and a cramp in the lower leg can be connected (given the very different muscles involved). (talk) 05:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

For bemused readers.... Charley horse. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Orgasm often involves muscular contractions not just in the groin area, but throughout the body -- so in some cases, different muscles can cramp after orgasm. (I know first-hand, I've pulled a leg muscle once or twice during sex.) FWIW 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 08:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Differ love and porn! Porn can be violent. In some cultures sex is a secret and porn is the only “manual” and not a good advice at all. We have wikipedia and it sould give some more reliable information. The next step is You to care what You are doing. But some human are very fragile. When the charley horse is always on the same place You can find the reason. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 11:37, 8 February 2016


Does Hans Haase 有问题吗's post above make sense to someone? In this case and in previous cases too I am unable to even guess what he's trying to say. --Llaanngg (talk) 11:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I get the basic gist of it, and I usually can with Hans' posts. Then again, I have lots of experience reading listening to ESL. Respectfully, this is not the best place for such comments and discussion. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Our articles on this are really, really bad. Charley horse confounds multiple conditions and multiple colloquial terms until there's no telling what is what. Cramp does virtually the same - it is hard for me to accept that the usual sort of "charley horse" has anything to do with failure of ATP to loosen muscles, since generally it is a sudden onset of a muscle contraction. We'll have to look this one up from scratch... after which, we might want to rewrite those articles quite nearly from scratch. Wnt (talk) 12:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I should share the first good reference I found at [32] (I just did a PubMed search for leg cramp and this was one of the first things) Apparently there is a treatment for leg cramps ...... it involves injecting 5 ml of 1% lidocaine into the "bifurcation of the branches that is located in the distal two-thirds of the interspace between the first and second metatarsals" - this is a nerve block of "the medial branch, which is the distal sensory nerve of the deep peroneal nerve". The site is on the inside of the base of the big toe. The effect was to reduce cramps by 75% over a two-week study period. As part of their discussion they say

The mechanism(s) of leg cramps are yet to be clarified, but disturbances in the central and peripheral nervous system and skeletal muscle could be involved (Jansen et al. 1990; Jansen et al. 1999; Miller and Layzer 2005). Electrophysiologically, cramps are characterized by repetitive firing of motor unit action potentials at rates of up to 150 per sec. This is more than four times the usual rate in maximum voluntary contraction (Bellemare et al. 1983; Jansen et al. 1990). In a human study, Ross and Thomas indicated a positive-feedback loop between peripheral afferents and alpha motor neurons, and that this loop is mediated by changes in presynaptic input. This loop is considered a possible mechanism underlying the generation of muscle cramps (Ross and Thomas 1995). The frequency of nocturnal leg cramps has also been suggested to result from changes in hydrostatic pressure and ionic shift across the cell membrane in the calf muscles in the recumbent position, inducing hyperexcitability of the motor neurons. Consequently, the pain of the cramps may be caused by an accumulation of metabolites and focal ischemia (Miller and Layzer 2005). The difference in these conditions in each patient may explain the diverse symptomatology of the cramps.

So the thing I'm thinking of is possibly, not certainly, related to some kind of feedback, possibly via the spine only, between sensation of what the body part is doing and a motor response. It seems easy to picture how infrequent activities might somehow jiggle such a sensitive mechanism. Honestly, because this is a regulated phenomenon with different characteristics than usual contraction, I'm not even entirely sure it is pathological - for all I know, the body might be administering it as some sort of health intervention on itself. Note that I definitely cannot and will not diagnose the woman involved here - there are a thousand things she could be experiencing that aren't what I have in mind. Wnt (talk) 12:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Have the OP and his girlfriend tried different positions? Seriously: I myself often used to (and still occasionally do) get leg cramps when sitting on a hard chair for extended periods – this first arose during long services in a cramped (heh!) school chapel – but avoiding such a position makes them much rarer. It may be that different postures during the act might change the forces on the relevant muscles sufficiently to lessen the problem. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Jump cushion[edit]

Are jump cushions ever used in firefighting in lieu of life nets? If so, how effective are they? Do they even actually exist, given that they're not on Wikipedia? 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 10:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

See [33]. Quoted maximum jump height is 40m. AllBestFaith (talk) 10:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 05:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

How many defecators?[edit]

Is it possible to come up with a reasonable estimate of how many humans are defecating at any given moment? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

If I were to pull a number out of my ass...50 million. Make a ballpark assumption the average human spends 10 minutes a day pooping, seven billion humans, and there you go. Should be within an order of magnitude of reality. Someguy1221 (talk) 11:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Given that there are certain times when defecation is more likely (when you get up in the morning, and perhaps also before bed in the evening), the number doing it at any given time may depend on the population density of the time zones matching those times of day. First thing in the morning in China is likely to see a lot more poopers than the similar time in the mid-Pacific. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Today's SMBC comic [34] is highly relevant to this question [35] . SemanticMantis (talk) 18:29, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Which of those two links should I follow? —Tamfang (talk) 08:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Perspective machines[edit]

What's a perspective machine, or in particular, a railroad perspective machine? The main source for Nester House (Troy, Indiana) says "The building's 1863 design is attributed to J. J. Bengle, the inventor of the railroad perspective machine." Google returns no relevant results for <perspective machine>, and the sole result for <"railroad perspective machine"> is this main source. Nyttend (talk) 15:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I haven't the foggiest but my guess would be that he invented a machine that helped with making accurate perspective drawings. Architectural drawings showing a building from an angle are normally axonometric projections where parallel lines stay parallel rather than using perspective. A nice perspective drawing helps with selling a design to a client. Dmcq (talk) 16:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Just had a look around and machine like what I was thinking of, the 'perspectograph plotter', was made in 1752 by Johann Heinrich Lambert, see [36], which is before that man's time. So it was either something else or a refinement on that. Dmcq (talk) 16:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There are several kinds of quasi-realistic perspective - "single point" and "two point" being the most commonly mentioned. I wonder whether the term "railroad perspective" might refer to single-point perspective - implying that the way that two parallel railroad rails seem to meet at the horizon. This is just a guess though...take it with a pinch of salt! SteveBaker (talk) 17:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, long parallel straight lines are relatively rare in nature, and in that time frame railroad rails would have been an ideal application for a perspective drawing. StuRat (talk) 17:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. Thinking about a railroad "perspective-machine" didn't get me very far - but thinking in terms of a "railroad-perspective" machine definitely makes me suspect that we're thinking in terms of a single-point projection. Our article on Perspective mentions the word "railroad" three times when discussing this - so I'm starting to believe that this must be what's meant here. SteveBaker (talk) 17:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Typeset content describing the building in the cited PDF says "railroad perspective machine" and "Bengle", but the hand-written inscription on the drawing of the building says "railway perspective machine" and spells the name "Begle" (no "n" in it). Googling for "railway pespective" finds tons of hits for the same one-point perspective that SteveBaker suspected. I'm not finding anything in Google's patent database for Begle though ("perspective" is a poor search term, since damn near every object patent includes a perspective drawing of it). DMacks (talk) 20:29, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
This newspaper article confirms that a "J. J. Bengle" lived in Denison, TX in 1907. I don't know how that ties in with any other known dates and places of residence of the architect. The newspaper article does not give any helpful details - "J. J. Bengle has returned from a trip to Galveston and other points." That's it in its entirety, I'm afraid. Tevildo (talk) 21:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I often wonder how people would feel, knowing that their only mark on modern history is the fact that they once returned from Galveston. :-( SteveBaker (talk) 15:17, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
When my father was employed by the State Railways many years ago, as an Inspector of Permanent Way, he showed me a device he used which I recall was called a "perspective sight". It was essentially a modified pair of binocculars. It is critical that ralway lines be accurately parallel and straight, but get out of true over time for various reasons. Bad weather (washouts from exceptionally heavy rain) and extremely hot days can cause the lines to buckle. If you look with the naked eye, you cannot see buckling that will derail a speeding train. Binocculars foreshorten perspective, so if you stand between the two railway lines and look along the track with binocculars, you see the distance reduced, and because of the binoccular's magnification, any buckling becomes easily visible. The binocculars the Railway supplied (the "perspective sight") had an adjustable pair of lines that converge on a point (the vanishing point). You adjusted the lines so that they aligned with the railway lines - giving a minor advantage in seeing any buckling. There were horizontal calibation marks (which have non-linear spacing due to viewing height & perspective) so that the inspector could say to the maintenance crew things like "go forward 320 metres and straighten there." They had a special instrumented carriage for detecting rail missalignment, but the binocculars facilitated a quick response to any problem due to extreme weather, regardless of where the instrument carriage was. (talk) 00:53, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • As a matter of curiosity, what country's "State Railways" did he work for? -- (talk) 05:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
That might explain why there was little concern about curved tracks...L-O-N-G stretches of dead straight train tracks there. SteveBaker (talk) 20:52, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The South Australian Railways actually. And I'm not within 1000 km of Perth. The poster previously at (talk) 03:11, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Nothing quite as long and straight as the Trans-Australian Railway I'd guess though, the curvature of the earth probably matters more there! Dmcq (talk) 16:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Excellent info ! StuRat (talk) 00:58, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Wow! That's a typically ingenious invention for the era. Sadly, these days a couple of visible light laser beams would make a much simpler and more efficient solution. I wonder how they coped with warping around curves and across varying slope though. SteveBaker (talk) 03:38, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
"Sadly"? What an odd perspective to find a simpler and more efficient solution to be sad. (No insult intended, just an observation.) Deli nk (talk) 14:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Sadly - because I love the ingenuity of the binocular approach...while recognizing that using a couple of lasers is probably a more efficient way to do it these days. SteveBaker (talk) 20:52, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Evenings and mornings was just what I was going to suggest, when you still have enough light to see the tracks, but not so much as to drown out the laser. That would make the inspector crepuscular. StuRat (talk) 03:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Technology for the disabled[edit]

What is the current status for:

  1. Body part less people.
  2. Blind sighted people. exclude surgery.

Are there any satisfactory mechanisms out there to grant capability?

Apostle (talk) 18:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Fixed title to be proper English. StuRat (talk) 18:33, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Smile.gif -- Apostle (talk) 22:36, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
1) I assume you mean people missing body parts. See prosthetics.
2) I don't think most causes of blindness can be addressed without surgery, assuming implanting electrodes into the brain is considered to be surgery. I think there was some research on attaching a grid of electrodes (with just tape) on the back, and using those to convey visual images, so that might qualify. StuRat (talk) 18:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There is an enormous amount of technology for the blind - from talking clocks to software able to scan a printed document and turn it into artificial speech. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Some blind people use a device that helps them to "see" using their tongues [37] [38]. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'll go through the links... Thank you Face-smile.svg -- Apostle (talk) 22:36, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
And a About number 2): BBC was showing a program where this blind woman was viewing throw her eyes (black & white) fuzzily. The mechanisms they implanted inside her eyes are apparently compulsory to repair every 6 months. There was also a electrical box, her brain was probably connected... - can't recall properly.
The technology was very depressing; knowing that its the 21st century (or something). -- Apostle (talk) 22:36, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
See visual prosthesis for this particular type of device. Tevildo (talk) 23:10, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The technology to interface nerve fibers to electronics is extraordinarily difficult. It's not like there is a red wire labelled "Video In" in the interface between eyes and brain - instead there is a large bundle of unlabelled nerves - all different from one person to another. It's not like each nerve is a "pixel" or anything useful like that. Maybe one of them says "There is a high contrast, vertical line, about a quarter the height of the retina that's moving left to right" - figuring out what to say to each nerve from a camera is beyond what we can currently do...we can try to rely on brain plasticity to cope with whatever incorrect data we're sending - but that's how you end up with fuzzy, low-resolution monochrome - and experimental devices that don't survive long-term implantation. Also there are at least a dozen reasons why someone might be blind - and each one needs a separate, and equally difficult solution. This is an exceedingly difficult problem and it may be decades before we have something that truly works and is actually useful to people. SteveBaker (talk) 03:34, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The neural plasticity is exactly what they rely on. The brain has an amazing ability to learn, and this includes learning which nerve corresponds to which pixel. And, for people who have been blind all their life, the mapping would never have been defined in the first place, since that happens as a baby, based on visual feedback. As for how to teach the brain quickly, I would suggest hooking up only the corner pixels in the image frame first, then, once they have been learnt, add more pixels, maybe one at a time, until the full grid has been learned. StuRat (talk) 18:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
My mistake. I recall now that its was gray-black background instead of black, and white/light colour objects that she had to differenciate; was the only colour that she could see. The image via her eyes looked like as if you were turning a TV on and off about every 3-5 millisecond or something. She did/might have/had a box (unless I'm confusing with another program).
Thank you all once again. I'll definitely look into it... Regards. Face-smile.svg -- Apostle (talk) 22:09, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Accelerating a particle with light[edit]

If I accelerate a tiny speck of dust using light, what max speed could be it reach? Let's suppose that hypothetically we can know exactly where this speck of dust is, and that we know how to point a laser at it. --Scicurious (talk) 19:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Theoretically you could accelerate it to almost the speed of light. StuRat (talk) 19:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Assuming you find a void in space that (with much luck) presents no molecule of gas to hinder the speck's progress, there is still microwave background radiation defining an approximate cosmic rest frame, which would become blue-shifted as the particle approaches it as the light source you use becomes red-shifted - also starlight of course, which is similarly in a fairly consistent rest frame all around. As a result, if you assume a constant light intensity in a perfectly focused beam, I think there would be a maximum level that you can use at the beginning to avoid vaporizing the particle, which eventually becomes weaker than the oncoming radiation. On the other hand, if you continue to turn up your light source (or increase its frequency) then I suppose the particle might accelerate without limit, coming arbitrarily close to light speed. Unless, of course, I forgot something else... Wnt (talk) 19:52, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Isn't this how solar sails work? Nyttend (talk) 21:10, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
So, you can approach the speed of light as much as you want, but not reach it ever? --Scicurious (talk) 16:15, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, for two reasons.
1) Just with conventional Newtonian physics, you could never accelerate one object with mass to match the speed of another, by having them hit each other. Even if a star runs into a proton, the mass of the proton + star is now slightly more, meaning the total speed is slightly less, for it to have the same inertia.
2) Relativity prevents objects with mass from being accelerated to the speed of light, although this is tricky as it depends on precisely how "mass" is defined. See rest mass. StuRat (talk) 21:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The faster something moves, the heavier it becomes (relativistic mass). The kinetic energy of its motion, as viewed from your rest frame, is a kind of energy, and has mass per E=mc2. The more kinetic energy you add to the particle, the more massive it becomes, and the more energy it takes to speed it up. In the extreme case, all of the (relativistic) mass of a photon is energy - you might add more energy to it, but the mass increases in direct proportion, so the speed never changes. I should note that relativistic mass has become unpopular in recent years, but I feel like that's a fad - since ultimately, many kinds of "rest" mass are predicated on the kinetic and potential energy of the substituent particles. Wnt (talk) 16:02, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Immunity vs resistance[edit]

Is there a difference, and if so, what is it? Are they the same but used for different species, or is there a clear but subtle difference? In other words, does "She is immune to the flu" mean the same as "She is resistant to the flu"? What about "This strain is resistant to drug X" and "This strain is immune to drug X"? (talk) 19:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

"Immune" means 100%, unless some qualifier is added like "partially immune". "Resistance" is less than 100%. StuRat (talk) 19:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The problem here is that you are using a literary definition of immune, StuRat, and that while I agree with you in that way, SemanticMantis and the heretical Wnt much more closely approach the received biological notion. In the school where I got my undergrad biology major (focusing in botany), you had to have four years of chemistry and four years of bio-major "bio" before you could even apply to take Immunology 396. So I would take their comments as read. μηδείς (talk) 02:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
You know, I can see how you'd think that. The problem is that your explanation is completely incorrect in terms of medical and physiological terminology. Immunity_(medical) discusses how the term is used. An easy example sentence "All vaccines confer immunity, but not all vaccines are 100% effective, and so some people who have acquired immunity from a vaccine may still get infected." My dictionary says "Immune: resistant to a particular infection or toxin..." Wiktionary says "Protected by inoculation", Miriam Webster says "having a high degree of resistance to a disease <immune to diphtheria>". The only time immune means 100% resistance is in fiction, games, or legal matters. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Active immunity represents a process of natural selection within immune cells of the body (cell mediated immunity or antibody mediated immunity) by which molecules become common that (in some context) interact with a pathogen and allow it to be destroyed. In drug resistance, bacteria produce molecules that neutralize a drug, frequently by enzymatic means, often using plasmids to allow trading of useful resistances within a broader genetic background. So the selection for immunity takes place within an organism, but the selection for resistance occurs between organisms - most bacteria die, a few live and become resistant. So to be "resistant" to something is more of an inborn trait, generally speaking, while "immunity" usually implies past exposure to the agent or a vaccine etc. Exception, sort of: multidrug resistance in cancer occurs within an organism. But if you look at it another way, every cancer cell is out for itself, and (apart from the one that mutates) is either born resistant or not. Another exception, sort of: innate immunity may not require a selective response; the thing is, we rarely hear that someone is innately immune to a pathogen because they never know they might have gotten sick. This reminds me, say, of toxoplasmosis which preferentially affects those of the B cell type. (There was actually a huge outbreak in postwar Japan, and Japanese became known for "blood type personality theory", to this day never having been aware of the role of the protozoan in affecting their minds...) Wnt (talk) 20:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Wnt I work at a research institution where several groups study Toxoplasma gondii and I don't think I've ever heard of a connection between ABO blood type and susceptibility to infection. For the sake of satisfying my curiosity, could you link me to where you read that, (or maybe I misunderstood what you said up above). Thanks, PiousCorn (talk) 06:03, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@PiousCorn: I don't remember which source I originally went by, but [39][40] mention it. On the other hand [41] reports a lack of association with B blood type ... but rather, with Rh negative status! Also [42] says that. I had found the B blood type association in an older source ( [43] ) in a question I asked back in 2010 about it. [44] I think even back then I had lost track of some earlier source specifically about the Japan postwar outbreak... Wnt (talk) 09:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

Synthetic turquoise[edit]

Is there such a thing as fully synthetic turquoise (as opposed to imitation turquoise)? If so, how is it synthesized? 2601:646:8E01:9089:14B5:216D:30B1:F92 (talk) 06:02, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

The second sentence of the lede in our article Turquoise says "In recent times, turquoise, like most other opaque gems, has been devalued by the introduction of treatments, imitations, and synthetics onto the market. - so evidently, there are synthetic stones out there. says "A small amount of synthetic turquoise was produced by the Gilson Company in the 1980s...It was a ceramic product with a composition similar to natural turquoise." - so I guess it's arguable that this was not truly a synthesis of a material identical to the real thing. It goes on to say: "Synthetic turquoise, and turquoise simulants have been produced in Russia and China since the 1970s." - but no clue as to the manufacturing methods. SteveBaker (talk) 13:40, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I found the Gilson name also - searching brings up a chemical analysis of a different synthetic [45] - seems like this one is not perfect somehow - not sure how to define a yes or no answer about it though. Wnt (talk) 15:59, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Whew! So from what I gather, so far nobody made the real thing in the lab? That's good news for me, thanks! 2601:646:8E01:9089:A082:3561:E888:76F (talk) 01:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Maybe. "The Real Thing" is a little tricky here. Just how close do you have to get before you say it's "real"? SteveBaker (talk) 15:33, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
A real gem comes from a little yellow idol, or the Cold Lairs, or is waiting for you behind the ranges... DuncanHill (talk) 15:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Weight of paper[edit]

What will be the weight in kilograms of 0 r5eams of 60gsm paper having dimensions 10'x11x1' is this paper of A4 size. (talk) 12:09, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

This looks like your homework question. Wikipedia doesn't do students' homework for them because that would negate the benefits of practicing at home. If there is some part of the question that you don't understand, or you have got stuck part way through, ask a relevant question about the part you don't understand and we will try to point you in the right direction. Dolphin (t) 12:21, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Also look up 'ream of paper' as it says how many sheets you have, the dimensions don't tell you that. Dmcq (talk) 12:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

No this is not a home work problem I a not a paper technologist I know 1 ream has 500 papers but I don't understand the basis weight concept and please tell me what is the weight of 1 ream paper or 1 of the 500 papers or how to calculate the weight because I cannot make it out from websites. (talk) 12:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

A4 sized paper is .297 metres times .210, so a single sheet of paper has an area of approximately 0.062 square metres. Each square metre weighs 60g (as in 60 gsm: grammes per square metre). Thus 500 sheets weigh 500 x 60 x .210 x .297 = approx 1.87 kg.--Phil Holmes (talk) 13:02, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
A4 is exactly a sixteenth of a square metre (0.0625) (see ISO 216 for details), so the weight is 500 divided by 16 times 60 g which is exactly 1.875 kg. In practice, Phil Holmes might be more correct because of the slight loss in cutting. Dbfirs 22:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Really? If you're a "paper technologist" then you sure as hell ought to knowOK so you need to know that 'gsm' stands for 'grams per square meter'. You can easily calculate the total area of 500 sheets of paper of whatever size (length x width x number of sheets), convert to square meters. Then multiply by the gsm number to get the weight in grams. Then divide by 1,000 to get kilograms. SteveBaker (talk) 13:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Steve, the OP said they were not a paper technologist. I'm not a linguist, but I know what "not" means. DuncanHill (talk) 13:36, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Ooops! Sorry! My bad! SteveBaker (talk) 13:42, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

FWIW, a "ream" used to be 20 quires - or 480 sheets. Blame the British <g>. Collect (talk) 16:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

NB, by definition a sheet of A4 paper has surface area of  { 1 \over 2^4 } m2, or one 16th of a square metre. LongHairedFop (talk) 22:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Knowing that, don't you just wish they'd put 512 sheets into a ream? SteveBaker (talk) 15:32, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I do, it would be 2^5 square meters exactly.--Lgriot (talk) 20:25, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Widely distributed species[edit]

Phrynobatrachus ogoensis is a species of frog from western and central Africa. According to the article, which correctly reflects the IUCN Red List source, it's found in a small area of central Gabon and near Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. How can a species be found in both spots, yet nowhere in between? I understand the concept of a species existing in disconnected locations that were once connected, e.g. the freshwater eel species (can't remember which one) found both in Europe and North America, and a species that's been human-transported from one spot to another, e.g. rats and house sparrows, but I don't imagine people transporting just another frog species in this manner, and what about the climate/topography would prevent the frog from spreading any farther from its current limited habitats in these highly rainforested regions? Nyttend (talk) 14:04, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Without knowing the specifics of frog distribution in Africa off the top of my head (man, if I had a dime for every time I said that phrase) there are a variety of elements in play that restrict species' expansion. As you note, the two areas may once have been contiguous and the species just died off in the middle areas. That (and the lack of further outward expansion) could be the result of many things, including direct human action altering waterways, draining marshes, and so on, or by various forms of pollution. Frogs are an indicator species (not in our article yet, so ref), which means that they are particularly susceptible to pollutants. In other words, the area between their current habitats might seem pristine to us and many other animals, but not to the froggies. It would also be interesting to see if there are other frog species that compete directly against ogoensis within the same ecological niche. Matt Deres (talk) 15:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The obvious answer is that the two locations probably represent two distinct species. The two populations were treated as the same species back in the 40s (before DNA was known) and that conclusion has persisted given the lack of any subsequent scientific effort to confirm or deny whether these two populations are from a single species. IUCN itself says they probably aren't a single species, but that more investigation is needed. Dragons flight (talk) 15:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
It's entirely possible that the range was much broader, but has shrunk. Relict_(biology) describes this case. Think of how we have only small isolated patches left in the USA of old growth forest [46] or Tallgrass_prairie [47]. There are several species that may not exist only in those remnants, but will have very low density anywhere else.
I don't know specifically what's up with this one particular frog, but the situation you describe is entirely consistent with how we think about species distributions in a conservation/management context, and it's all too common of a story. While the CA tiger salamander is not so extreme, check out the isolated pockets in the distribution here [48]. Many other redlisted amphibians will have similarly disconnected distributions, as their habitats are degraded and they become extirpated from all but the most remote and inaccessible environs. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

The extinction of sandboxes[edit]

It looks like kids these days do not have access to sandboxes anymore (unless it's a sandboxed browser). When and how did this shift took place? Who decided that they should go? I suppose they were deemed unsafe, but was this move absolutely necessary? --Scicurious (talk) 14:04, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm sure it frustrated cats in the neighborhood. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:34, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
This site declares "If there’s one thing that kids love more than slides and swing sets, it’s the sandbox! These can be found in all parks and playgrounds and kids can safely play all kinds of games in there, or build sand castles and other cool thing with the sand." However maintaining the sandbox requires protecting it from rain and from all animals and pets, including insects. Observing a child's play with toy models in a small sandbox is a form of non-directive Play therapy attributed to child psychologist Margaret Lowenfeld. AllBestFaith (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
(EC) 1) Plenty of kids have access to sandboxes. I think you must mean the decline of public sandboxes at children's parks, or perhaps you haven't noticed that small (coverable) backyard sandboxes like this [49] are still fairly common in the USA. 2) Very little is absolutely necessary. 3) Here is a selection of articles that describe some of the safety concerns [50] [51] [52]. I'm not sure about necessity and sandboxes, but exposing kids to Toxoplasma gondii seems like a good thing to cut down on, and that's just one of the more famous pathogens that can linger in sand... SemanticMantis (talk) 15:03, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I mean the public ones, it seems that they are more difficult to protect than a little one in your backyard. Scicurious (talk) 15:36, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Well put. The question also implies that this was an organized decision; toys fall in and out of fashion just like anything else. Matt Deres (talk) 15:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I think it could be a Health Hazards Regulation. They could have been prohibited, in the same way that not wearing a seat belt was banned. Scicurious (talk) 15:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

  • The OP's premise is patently wrong, nearly every public park in my metro area, including those built or renovated in the past 10 years has a large open sand play area or sandbox in it. You can still buy sandboxes at Walmart and Target, and they sell large bags of "play sand" at Home Depot and Lowes. So the answer to the OPs "why?" question is "we can't tell you why, because the question makes no sense, because your premise is wrong". Unless the answer is " you aren't looking hard enough "--Jayron32 16:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
In regard to the premise, here [53] is a NYT article from 1995 that gives some numbers, and says there were far more sandboxes included in city parks in the past. To wit "Since the 1970's, no new or renovated city playground designs have included sandboxes unless requested and lobbied for by the community, which also must maintain them." If anyone wants to find other stats for other areas, I'm sure they'd be appreciated. It seems as though the prevalence of sandboxes may change throughout time and place, which should really surprise nobody. It is clear that at least in NYC, there has been a precipitous decline in public sandboxes since the 1970s. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:38, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The time between when that article is written and when it is referring to as the halcyon days of sand box glory is as long as the time between now and when the article is written. An article from 20 years ago saying how awesome life was 40 years ago isn't all that relevant to our discussion today. --Jayron32 01:05, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
So what? Do you really think there has been some resurgence of sandboxes since 1995? For that matter, OP never gave a timeline, he could be thinking in comparison to 10 years ago, or maybe 50. Here's another article about NYC that says "the number of sandboxes has dwindled from a peak of seven hundred to only fifty or so today" [54]. That article is from 2010, so I don't think it's fair to say the numbers are out of date. I only looked for NYC because it's a big famous city with a large parks dept. I don't disbelieve that your metro area still makes new sandboxes with new parks, but it seems like you're trying very hard to disbelieve the fact that public sandboxes do seem to have declined in many areas. This seems to be coincident with increasing awareness of some health concerns, and in 2008 the national sanitation foundation did an extensive study. That study and others are reported on here [55] in 2015, where parasitic roundworms are also mentioned to have been found in 2/10 daycare sandboxes. It is indeed hard to find good references on numbers of municipal sandboxes. But the references I do have show a decline. They also show an increasing concern from public health officials and doctors. Given these references that I found, along with my personal observations, those of the OP, and those implicit in many of the public safety articles, I conclude that there has been a change in public sandbox incidence in many places in the USA. This does not preclude any new sandboxes being built in your neighborhood this year. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:46, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article about Playground surfacing and there are dozen options besides sand. The article does not mention a tendency towards other materials, but sand has all drawbacks, expecting cost, which is low.The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, and sand does not comply with its requirements. So, it's clear to me that some communities could choose other materials for their playgrounds. And that's without entering into the Toxoplasmosis issue. Llaanngg (talk) 19:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is the big issue. Sand gets very dirty. Modern playgrounds are more likely to use rubber surfacing or maybe bark chippings. Blythwood (talk) 06:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Sand isn't just used as a surface in a sandbox, it's used as a building material to build sand castles, etc. StuRat (talk) 20:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. We're almost surely talking about sandpits here, not the open areas under/around whole playgrounds of equipment. DMacks (talk) 21:59, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't know about in the US but, since retiring from my original occupation, I have worked as a relief caretaker in a number of local authority schools in the UK. One of the requirements of nurseries and early years units is that they must have provision for the children to play with sand and with water (usually both together). They often have facilities for this, both inside and outside and it is one thing that drives you mad when you have to clean it all up every evening - would you let your kids play with sand and water in a room with carpets? I have even worked at one nursery school where they had a one ton bag of soil and they asked me to regularly bring in a couple of buckets so the kids could mix it with water and sand and make mud pies - you can imagine the mess that made on the nursery carpets when they came back inside. The outside sandpit was always covered at night to stop cats and birds crapping in it but, obviously, in a public park it would be difficult to keep it covered and of course the public could drop sharp objects in it. However, the premise that children don't get to play in sand anymore certainly doesn't apply in the UK. Richerman (talk) 22:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
They have automated catboxes that can comb the "lumps" out now. I wonder if a larger version could clean and then seal a sandbox at night. StuRat (talk) 22:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Starkiller Base superweapon[edit]

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, General Hux gives the order to fire Starkiller Base's superweapon, which emits an energy beam strong enough to destroy entire planets. When I first saw the film, my suspension of disbelief was briefly dropped, when I thought "there's no way that energy beam can travel lightyears in minutes", but then I thought "Hey, I'm watching a film with interstellar spaceships and talking aliens", and kept on with the story.

Now, onto my question. Suppose such an energy beam is possible. Ignore its power, it doesn't have to destroy anything, just get at its destination without getting too much spread out and diluted. It can be just a fancy light show. But it has to be visible to the naked eye.

How would the people on the destination planet see it coming? Would it appear as a slowly-moving bright spot in the sky, getting gradually brighter, until it illuminated the whole sky? Or would the people just suddenly find the sky all illuminated? JIP | Talk 20:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

If it travels at the speed of light - they wouldn't see it at all until it arrived. If it travels faster than light then all bets are off because the laws of physics as we know them say that it's impossible - so any "What if..." answers would be nothing better than wild speculation.
In the real world, even a visible-light laser is invisible as it crosses a vacuum - and unless it has enough power to ionize the air and make it glow, it'll be more or less invisible all the way until it hits it's target (maybe it might vaporize a few dust motes or something). If it is powerful enough to make the air glow, it still wouldn't be visible until it hit the air - it would basically pop into view as a glowing shaft of light in such a tiny fraction of a second - that it would appear to be instantaneous.
But if it's can look like whatever the director and the special effects department can imagine!
SteveBaker (talk) 20:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, so it would go as I imagined, not as it was actually depicted in the film. I always thought the effect of a beam moving at light speed would have instantaneous effects when it's finally seen. Not like in the film where people can harmlessly watch it slowly approach for a few minutes, until it finally destroys the entire planet in a few seconds. I think the director made it move so slowly for dramatic effect. JIP | Talk 20:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I haven't seen the film, but the effect sounds totally unlike a laser, and more like a plasma ball, as in Ball lightning, but perhaps containing a Quark–gluon plasma to carry that sort of energy. It would have to cover most of the distance via a created Wormhole. I suspect that the film-makers were more worried about the impression on the viewer than they were about explaining the exact physics. Dbfirs 21:55, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Haven't seen the film, but if the region of space the beam passes through glows with ordinary light, and if the beam follows a spacelike path, then the beam would appear to emanate on the planet struck and move up into the sky. One way to see this is that if the beam is "instantaneous", linking the two planets at a single moment in their shared rest frame (assuming they're not moving relative one another) then it really isn't moving from one planet to the other - its appearance is symmetrical as seen from either world.
However, it is conceivable that the design of the beam would call for it to build up in a large spacelike path while the energy accumulated, but then one end gradually moves at a sublight speed toward the planet until it discharges, etc. As a rule, you can write apologia for the worst sci fi plots if you think them through carefully. Wnt (talk) 22:41, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I see what you're saying - if the beam arrives faster than the light it emits along the way, then it's tempting to say that it's first visible where you are - then starts to appear backwards towards the source as the light from it's passage catches up with it's ultimate effect. But because the laws of physics don't allow for things that go faster than light, all bets are off. We can't make any reasonable statement about the physical reality of the square root of a negative number - and that's what the Lorentz transformation requires:
 \gamma = \frac{1}{ \sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}
When v2 is greater than c2, the v2/c2 is greater than one - and we have the square root of a negative quantity. So the mass, length, time-dilation and energy of this superluminal 'effect' are all impossible to calculate. We know that in the real world, we never see the square root of a negative number in an actual result. It always cancels out somewhere else. So there is really very little likelyhood of anything physical, that can transmit information, travelling faster than light...and if it did, the consequences are a mathematical impossibility. Causality itself falls by the wayside. Making any statement whatever about what that might look like is entirely unreasonable in light of what we know.
Possibly the only reasonable speculation relates to the (not-real) concept of tachyons - which hypothetically might travel at beyond the speed of light. The kind of crazy math that results from this is that tachyons would require infinite energy to slow down to the speed of light (a kind of mirror image of regular particles that need infinite energy to reach the speed of light) - and that their lowest energy state would be when they were travelling at infinite speed. So even if we take a BIG stretch into the most hypothetical physics, we end up with a weapon who's effects would travel at infinite speed and not take the time that the beam weapon in StarWars takes.
All bets are off. This is a fictional thing - and the appearance of it is whatever your imagination (or the plot) needs it to be. SteveBaker (talk) 15:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, the laws of physics allow phenomena to go faster than light, just not information. For example, the owners of this death-ish star might have launched a bunch of probes to line up along the trajectory of the intended attack years in advance, then ceremoniously press the button at the exact time they were all timed to go off ... in which case you would see the closest ones to the planet light up first. (Just ask a 9/11 truther ... they put explosives inside the planet, and the death star firing at it is just a misdirection...) Wnt (talk) 17:58, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
There is, in fact, a detailed cannon explanation for why the beam from Starkiller base appeared in the manner that it did, but as it is pure science fantasy, I shall not sully the reference desk with such dribble. Anyone curious can look up the weapon's entry on the Star Wars Wikia. Someguy1221 (talk) 22:41, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, it is possible for a phenomenon of some kind to travel faster than light - but not in this case since the beam carries the information that someone on the death star pressed the "DESTROY THE PLANET!" button (and when and in which direction it was aimed and a whole lot more besides). Since information cannot travel faster than light, neither can a functional death ray. So, yes, it is indeed still hogwash. SteveBaker (talk) 15:12, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

io photographs[edit]

When everyone was all excited about the New Horizons space probe reaching pluto I remember seeing photos of one of Jupiter's moons called io. 2 of these photos stood out to me. They were possible infrared photos or something similar. They appear to be black and white like THIS picture. You could see little bright spots/mushroom clouds from the volcanoes erupting. Where did these pictures go?! I can't find them on google images nor can I find them on wikipedia. Can anyone help me find them? (talk) 00:18, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Our article on Io (moon) links to many great resources, including:
Nimur (talk) 03:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

hops as a preservative[edit]

The beer article mention that hops acts as a preservatives a few times. Which chemical in hops exactly is providing the preservative effects?

The beer article also says "the acidity of hops is a preservative", so would other acids work as well? Johnson&Johnson&Son (talk) 08:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I notice that of the 2 references ([61} & [62]) used for that statement, the first no longer leads to relevant material and the second leads to the abstract of a possibly relevant article but does not mention the preservative property explicitly in the abstract (the property of aiding head retention is not quite the same thing).
From my own informally acquired knowledge of brewing, the preservative effect was the reason for the introduction of hops in the mediaeval period, after which the taste effect became appreciated, but in the modern era – with better control of hygiene in the brewing process – the preservative effect is less relevant and the effects on taste and other factors (e.g. mouthfeel) predominate.
I have a range of books about brewing at home which might contain the answer re hops, but will not be able to consult them until Thursday at the earliest. As for using "other acids", I'd assume it possible that other non-hop adjuncts formerly used such as sweet gale (Stonehenge Brewery still uses this for one seasonal beer) may have had preservative as well as flavouring effects. If however one was to use non-plant sources, I personally would no longer regard the resulting beverage as "beer" :-) . {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
There may be two effects at work here, and hops role may be more in one than the other. The first is that hops may actually act as a preservative, that is it may chemically prevent spoilage. The second effect is that hops may mask spoilage by its strong flavor. That is, you taste the hops rather than the spoilage in the beer. this reference for example notes that herbal mixtures (such as hops, but also other herbs and spices known as Gruit) "mask unpleasant spoilage notes". One of the characteristics of India pale ales, or IPAs, is their extremely high hop content, which covered the "skunky" or "stale" taste of beer shipped from Britain to India on long overseas voyages. This beer blog notes "High hop levels can preserve a beer’s flavor in two ways: they have a limited ability to protect beer from spoilage by some microorganisms, and, more importantly, their bitterness can mask stale flavors." (bold mine). Several other sources about IPAs note the use of larger quantities of hops than normal to mask staleness, spoilage, or undesirable flavors. --Jayron32 15:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
This reference, says that Primary Alpha Acids Humulone, Cohumulone, Adhumulone have an antiseptic effect, especially against Gram positive bacteria. DuncanHill (talk) 15:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
EC: If you scroll down your original link to hops, there's a subheading about chemical composition, which on expansion isn't simply about taste. It's the release of Alpha_acid and Beta_acid in the fermentation process that acts as a preservative. I think other acids could act as a preservative in beer, but then would it still be beer per se, as the hops are an integral part of the process. When fermenting wine Sorbic acid can be added as a preservative, so you could put some of that in fermenting beer as a preservative I guess. I'm not sure how that would affect the rest of the fermentation process or taste though. Mike Dhu (talk) 16:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As far as other acids working, yes, anything that moves the pH outside the range a particular bacteria likes will act as a preservative to prevent that particular bacteria from growing. However, there are acidophile bacteria that may thrive in those extremes, so keeping those out is also important. Of course, the acid may also kill the yeast, so could only be added after the brewing process is complete, and people won't like extremely acidic beer either, so it would need to be later neutralized. Thus, there are easier ways to preserve it with modern technology. StuRat (talk) 17:29, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I will point out that hops is the closest biological and linguistic relative of hemp, (i.e., Cannabis), and that the two words are either cognates or very closely related wanderworts. See also soma, which seems to be some sort of brewed drink, perhaps from poppies or hemp. μηδείς (talk) 02:56, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Unknown bird[edit]

Can anyone help me identify the bird shown? The photo was taken in the Ngorongoro crater, in Tanzania, in January. Thanks.

Unknown bird

. --Phil Holmes (talk) 13:53, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Rufous-tailed weaver. Mikenorton (talk) 13:58, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

That's the chap. Thanks for your help. --Phil Holmes (talk) 15:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


water temperature and baby bath[edit]

If the baby bath water feels at all warm to the touch (hand or elbow) does that necessarily mean that its temperature is above 37C, since the human temperature is (approx) 37C? Or can the water be 32C, still warm to the touch, because there is a difference between how we sense temperature on our skin and our core body temperature? If the water is really 32C (as indicated by the thermometer), will it necessarily feel 'cold' since my core temp is 37C? I'm trying to understand if there is a difference between core body temperature, and our sensation on the skin of warm/cool. Thanks if you can point me to a credible info source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Our article on thermoregulation covers some of this. Your specific questions about whether or not something will "feel cold" are going to be highly variable from person to person and at different times (as the link above suggests). Broadly speaking, we're not very good at gauging temperatures. Our article at thermoreceptor is not very detailed, but my own experience is that we seem to feel temperature changes rather than actual temperatures. Matt Deres (talk) 21:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, skin temperature is what is being compared. You can verify this yourself by cooling one hand (just go outside with only one glove, for a bit, in winter), then put both hands in water that you have verified is body temp with a thermometer. The water will feel much hotter on the cold hand. StuRat (talk) 21:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Notice too that babies are more delicate to the temperature. Bath water should be just above 100 F (which are the 37 C you mention) to prevent chilling or burning the baby. In case of doubt, simply use a bath thermometer. --Scicurious (talk) 00:33, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, the reason we're so poor at determining temperature by touch is that what our senses really detect is the rate at which heat flows out of or into the skin. That's a function of both temperature of the skin, temperature of the thing you're touching and the thermal conductivity of that thing. That's why wood feels warmer than metal when both are at the same (below 37C) temperature...wood is a poor conductor of heat and metal is good, so we are fooled into thinking that metal is "colder" because the heat leaves our skin much faster than it does when touching wood.
StuRat's example of sensing temperature with a hand which is cold is also caused by this since the rate of heat flow into the cold hand is faster than into the warm hand.
Bottom line is that we simply don't have a sense that can judge temperature directly...even though we all seem to think that we do.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:05, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

What does the X and Y (of chromosomes) stand for?[edit] (talk) 20:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

See X chromosome, Y chromosome and XY sex-determination system. --Jayron32 20:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
They don't stand for anything, that's what they actually look like: [56]. Other than the Y chromosome, most healthy human chromosomes look something like an X, with some looking more like a U or V: [57] (see image 5). The Y chromosome, on the other hand, is missing a part, and that makes it look more like a Y. StuRat (talk) 20:54, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
No, that's incorrect. According to our article on X_chromosome it was so-named because "...Henking was unsure whether it was a different class of object and consequently named it X element, which later became X chromosome after it was established that it was indeed a chromosome. The idea that the X chromosome was named after its similarity to the letter "X" is mistaken. All chromosomes normally appear as an amorphous blob under the microscope and only take on a well defined shape during mitosis." And according to our article on Y chromosome, that name was chosen simply because it came after "X". Matt Deres (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, but I bet those temporary names would have soon been replaced, had they not turned out to physically match the appearance of each during mitosis. (To me, the more obvious terms would have been "male" and "female" chromosomes.) StuRat (talk) 21:08, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The ZW_sex-determination_system also doesn't have chromosomes that look like letters, and the letters don't stand for anything there either. The other main sex-determination system is X0_sex-determination_system, but I'm not sure if the X looks like an X there or not. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Your bet would be foolish. All chromosomes look like an X (during early mitosis). Why aren't they all called X according to your 'logic' then? Fgf10 (talk) 08:04, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
For the same reason you don't give all your kids the same name (unless you're George Foreman). Because it would obviously be confusing to call them all the same thing. Of the sex chromosomes, only one type looks like an X and the other resembles a Y. StuRat (talk) 16:21, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Does DEMKO approve Schuko (CEE 7/7) plugs?[edit]

I owned an old washng machine which had a Schuko plug (the "French-German compromise" CEE 7/7): among various certification labels (VDE, CEBEC, ÖVE...) there was also the symbol of DEMKO, even if Denmark did not accept Schuko plugs until very recent times. Can someone tell me why there was a DEMKO certification label on that plug?--Carnby (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes. The Schuko plug originates in a patent granted in 1930 to a Bavarian manufacturer Bayerische Elektrozubehör AG. The company ambition, now partly realized, was to create a Europe-wide standard. It would be natural to seek individual European national approvals, especially in countries bordering Germany that are markets for German goods, at the earliest opportunity so that the approval logo could be included on the injection-moulded plug. DEMKO, the National Body for testing of electrical products sold in Denmark existed already before the Schuko patent(s) and could issue its D-Mark approval at any time. However since 1978 electrical products no longer need to carry the D-Mark for sale in Denmark. Safety note: A Schuko plug for a metal-cased washing machine is safe to use with an earthed Schuko wall socket but it creates a safety hazard if plugged into a different non-earthed 2-pole socket. AllBestFaith (talk) 13:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Climate averages of Bacău[edit]

The page about the Romanian city of Bacău still has no climate averages; could someone please tell me where I can find a reliable source about climate averages for Bacău region?--Carnby (talk) 21:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Have you tried Weather Underground (weather service)? I think they usually have this information somewhere for many places. It's usually my first stop for weather info. --Jayron32 21:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
AFAIK Wunderground does not show reliable climate averages (WMO recommends at least 30 years of daily record[ing]s)--Carnby (talk) 21:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The Romanian Wikipedia has this at ro:Bacău, cited to the Administrația Națională de Meteorologie (which would be your best bet for further info):
Evoluția elementelor climatice măsurate la Stația meteorologică Bacău
Luna Ian. Feb. Mar. Apr. Mai Iun. Iul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Temperatura minimă (°C) -4,13° -4,58° -0,30° 5,04° 10,18° 13,92° 15,83° 15,95° 10,37° 5,60° 0,85° -1,45°
Temperatura maximă (°C) 2,38° 2,50° 9,68° 15,73° 22,35° 25,82° 28,77° 28,45° 21,84° 16,43° 8,30° 3,86°
Smurrayinchester 14:56, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

For how long bacteria and viruses can live outside of the body (not in laboratory conditions)?[edit]

For how long bacteria and viruses can live outside the body- not in laboratory conditions? For example if someone has influenza or bacteria disease and he sneezed and spread the bacteria or the viruses and they reached to the bed / table / chair etc. (the other places where people used to touch). If someone touch these places he should be infected? (People say that HIV for example is destroyed right after some seconds after it goes out of the body/ Is that true?) (talk) 21:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

It varies a lot, depending on the pathogen. Since you mentioned HIV specifically, no, that is not true. Or at least it is not generally true that the virus always is destroyed within seconds of leaving a body.
From this [58] study published in 2007. Here's a nice overview of virus survival in the environment [59], it discusses several different groups. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. The study is amazing. (talk) 22:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Does chlorine destroy viruses like it does to bacteria?[edit]

Can chlorine destroy viruses like it does to bacteria? If it can, what is the mechanism? (talk) 23:00, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

This is a substantially complicated subject. The short answer is yes, and it varies. There are LOADS of resources if you google chlorine virus inactivation. Can you make your question more specific? Or at least convince us this isn't a homework question? Vespine (talk) 00:15, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, it can. Chlorine reacts with double bonds (see Halogenation). Bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl) works in a somewhat similar way. I won't get into how the reaction works on the molecular level, but viruses, like bacteria, contain double bonds between two carbon atoms. Chlorine reacts with those double bonds. The usual result is a carbon-carbon single bond with a chlorine atom on each carbon. Disruption of the double bonds either destroys the virus's protective coat or its ability to reproduce, or both. Roches (talk) 00:23, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. I asked it just for to know if I clean an area by chlorine if it's also against viruses. Today when I clean the working surface in the kitchen the question raised in my brain. no homework at all. (talk) 01:27, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
The answer is still "It depends." Some viruses have thick protein coats which require a higher concentration of chlorine to inactivate them. Generally, according to a US Centers for Disease Control study, many of the enteroviruses (among the viruses they cited were Hepatitis A, Poliovirus, the Noroviruses (implicated in outbreaks of food-borne illness), and Rotavirus) are "moderately" resistant to chlorine's disinfectant effects, compared to bacteria. However, sodium hypochlorite-based cleaners such as the "Clorox" brand disinfectants are over ten times more effective than disinfectants using alcohol, phenol, or quaternary ammonium compounds at killing both bacteria and viruses.
The most resistant micro-organisms to chlorine disinfection, according to this study, are the protozoa, and some of these can cause very nasty diseases - Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia intestinalis, Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum were cited in particular to be both highly resistant to chlorine disinfection and to be persistent to various degrees in water supplies, with Cryptosporidium parvum being the most troublesome micro-organism found in water supplies - it caused the largest waterborne-disease outbreak ever documented in the United States, making 403,000 people ill in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993. loupgarous (talk) 07:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

What is the physiological reason for inappetence?[edit]

In a lot of conditions, especially in cases of infections, there is inappetence. What is the physiological reason for that? (I know for example that the fever caused for destroying the bacteria and viruses). I thought that the explanation is the the body want to fight with the pathogen and the eating disturbs it, because the body needs to Invest energy in the digestion. Am I right? (talk) 23:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't think "inappetence" is an actual English word, or at least not one commonly used in medicine or biology. The usual technical term is "anorexia".
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, that word has become synonymous with anorexia nervosa, and in fact anorexia is a link to that article. Our article for what you want is at anorexia (symptom). That's probably where you should start looking. --Trovatore (talk) 23:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, inappetence forwards to Anorexia (symptom) (which is different from anorexia.--Scicurious (talk) 23:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd just use the common term "lack of appetite". That's clear to everyone, except perhaps a geologist. :-) StuRat (talk) 00:20, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
If you want to search the technical/medical literature, it's probably good to know the name, which is "anorexia". You can use "-nervosa" to filter out that condition.
It seems "inappetence" actually is a word, at least according to Wiktionary, but I still think you are not likely to find much in English under that name. --Trovatore (talk) 00:23, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it's in the OED with cites from 1691 to 1887. Dbfirs 11:59, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
In the case of an intestinal infection, like the flu, the body can't always tell it from food poisoning, so avoiding any more (potentially bad) food until the condition clears is the wise course of action. StuRat (talk) 00:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Without having any idea of the answer, given I focused in botany with my undergrad Bio major, the OP's question was well formed, and anorexia as a psychological condition has quite a different meaning from mere physiological inappetence due to a temporary infection. I find the above responses vary between irrelevance and rudeness. μηδείς (talk) 02:45, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
    Anorexia nervosa is a psychological condition. Anorexia by itself is lack of appetite. --Trovatore (talk) 03:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
In fact, our article which was linked above by Scicurious over 3 hours before Medeis's reply (so I guess is one of the rude or irrelevant replies) includes links to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and Medical Subject Headings links (okay these are wikidata but I'm pretty sure they would have been there before any reply) on the symptom and several references (I think 4) which discuss anorexia of infection. Nil Einne (talk) 14:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Purely as a thought experiment, perhaps your body has decided that the costs/dangers of bringing in new food and other possible issues, such as poisons and pathogens, outweigh the short and long term disadvantages of burning the body's reserves. And +1 to Medeis. Greglocock (talk) 02:58, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
The word "anorexia" literally means lacking appetite, but it's very commonly used as an abbreviation for anorexia nervosa, so its use this way could cause confusion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:23, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Nevertheless I believe it is the usual term in medicine, in English, for lack of appetite. However both words get plenty of hits on Google Scholar, so I can't be sure. --Trovatore (talk) 04:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
While I know counting search hits isn't generally useful when in the thousands, for me, 'anorexia -nervosa' on Google Scholar gets a few hundred k. 'inappetence' gets around 10k but many of these seem to be in animals. You need to include something like 'inappetence patient' or may be 'inappetence human' and that reduces results further. Doing something like 'inappetence -cat -dog -bovine -reindeer -sheep -cattle -porcine -cats -dogs -rabbit -horse -salmon -goat -rats -poultry -pigs -monkey' still seems to manage to find quite a few non human results. Even in animals, 'anorexia cat' seems to find a lot more results than 'inappetence cat' although not all results relate to anorexia in cats. Possibly dog is a better example since you avoid discussions of CAT scans and Cognitive analytic therapy, but I'm not a dog person. Nil Einne (talk) 16:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I should also add that the references I found are the first one I could find, but are probably not the best ones. BiologicalMe (talk) 13:32, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]

Is it normal to never get angry?[edit]

I've been annoyed but never angry. Ennyone57 (talk) 03:49, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

It is for you. GangofOne (talk) 06:25, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Emotions, like most all mental phenomena, are highly subjective and hard to quantify--so, it's hard to give any empirical comparison of whether your mental state with regard to anger (or most any emotion) is atypical. All of that said, human being clearly vary quite considerably in how they react to vexing or personally offensive stimuli. You may want to take a look at our articles affect (psychology), affect display and blunted affect, you note that each of these focuses more on behaviour than mental stimuli (again, going back to the deep issues with try to study the emotions themselves, which many cognitive scientists feel may present some by-nature-insurmountable difficulties). I will say this much--if you feel that you have no problem with the intensity of your other emotional states, I (personally) wouldn't waste any time feeling "abnormal" for a lack of particularly strong anger. Some people just run cool by nature and the result is often a very positive influence on those around them. That said, if your lack of intensity of emotion in this, or any, makes you feel uncomfortable, incomplete or confused, a qualified psychiatric professional may be able to help you sort those feelings. Unfortunately, our policies here prevent us from digging too deep into that topic, since it impacts at least somewhat on our "no medical advice" standard. Snow let's rap 06:36, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Macmillan Dictionary defines ANGER as the strong feeling you get when you think someone has treated you badly or unfairly, that makes you want to hurt them or shout at them. That definition may be extended to the case of someone close to you being treated badly. If the OP considers their own reaction to such an event, which in this stressed world is not hard to visualize, then that qualifies as the OP's own anger reaction. It need not present visible symptoms or have to match the anger reactions of other people. AllBestFaith (talk) 13:06, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
This seems like a good functional definition, though it doesn't actually get at whether the process internally is different for the OP. I wonder if a more meaningful approach wouldn't be to do comparative measurements with fMRI or something. Such studies exist [63][64] though it seems dicey to measure "genuine" rage except in weird scenarios like the first. I mean, as much as in speech we might correlate the feeling you get when you read an article about camps in North Korea to the feeling you would have if you actually caught your wife's rapist between a blind corner and a baseball bat, I don't know if it's really the same emotion at all - how much of it lies in the actual intent to do actual harm? (AFAIR there is an aspect of repression from the frontal lobe in all this, but I'm not sure that "without it" it is "the same thing") Wnt (talk) 13:53, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I think the amygdala is the main center in charge of emotions like this, if you don't feel much anger you might not feel much fear either as in the fight or flight reflex. A bit is good but we don't have to fight or flee saber toothed tigers nowadays. Dmcq (talk) 16:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Making a slushie without sugar[edit]

Slush (beverage)#Sugar states that sugar is needed to act as an antifreeze. My question then, is if some other "edible antifreeze" could be used (excluding salt, because I don't think anyone would want that, even if it worked). StuRat (talk) 16:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Glycerol. DuncanHill (talk) 16:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Or you could try using ethanol. DuncanHill (talk) 16:26, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


February 5[edit]

Hessian Matrix Meaning[edit]

Let f:\R^n\to\R be a smooth function. Let x\in\R^n, such that the gradient of f at x is zero. Let H be the Hessian matrix of f at the point x. Let V be the vector space spanned by the eigenvectors corresponding to negative eigenvalues of H. Let y\in V. Then, f(x)>f(y)? or maybe f(x)>f(x+y)?

In other words, does negative eigenvalue imply maximum point at the direction of the corresponding eigenvector, or maybe this is a maximum in another direction, and not in the direction of the eigenvector? עברית (talk) 06:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

See Morse lemma. Sławomir
12:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You're kind of circling around the second derivative test for functions of several variables. The Taylor expansion for f at x is
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T}  \mathrm{D} f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T} \mathrm{D}^2 f(\mathbf{x}) \mathbf{y} + \cdots
where Df is the gradient and D2f is the Hessian. In this case the gradient is 0 at x so this reduces to
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \mathbf{y}^\mathrm{T} \mathrm{D}^2 f(\mathbf{x}) \mathbf{y} + \cdots .
Let e be an eigenvector with eigenvalue λ, and wlog take e to be length 1. If y = te, then
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} \lambda t^2 + \cdots
so f has a local minimum or maximum along the line parallel to e though x, depending on whether λ is positive or negative. If e, f ... are several linearly independent eigenvectors, with eigenvalues λ, μ, ... , and y = te + uf + ... , then
f(\mathbf{x}+\mathbf{y}) \approx f(\mathbf{x}) + \frac{1}{2!} (\lambda t^2 + \mu u^2 + \cdots) + \cdots
so f has a local minimum or maximum in the relevant space though x provided λ, μ, ... have the same sign. (The eigenvectors may be taken to be orthogonal since D2f is symmetric.) Note, this is only valid for y sufficiently small, otherwise the higher order terms in the Taylor series become significant and the approximation is no longer valid. --RDBury (talk) 12:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, great! Thank you! :) עברית (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

question in graph theory[edit]

Suppose we have a graph G where |V(G)|\ge k+1 (k\in\mathbb{N}), and for all two non-neighbors vertices it holds that d(u)+d(v)\ge2k. How can we prove that the average degree of this graph is at least k?
Tnanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Just sum over all vertices, and show that the sum is greater than |V|\cdot 2k.
The idea is to sum over couples of non-neighbors vertices.
If all the vertices in the graph are neighbors, we're done, since |V|\ge k+1, so each node has degree \ge k.
Also, if all the vertices have degree \ge k, we're done.
Otherwise, there're at least 2 non-neighbors vertices, v and u, that one of which has degree<k, and the second has degree>k.
We know that d(u)+d(v)\ge 2k. WLOG d(v) > d(u). So, d(v)\ge k+1
Now, for every vertex, u, which is not a neighbor of v, it holds that d(u)+d(v)\ge2k. So, d(u)\ge2k-n.
Now, we remain only with the neighbors of v.
If they're all neighbors, then we know that their degree \ge n-1 \ge k.
Otherwise, there are two vertices that are not neighbors - fix one of which and continue this way recursively.
Since the statement (that the average of the degrees over the fixed vertex and its non-neighbors vertices is >= k) holds all the time during the recursion, so the statement is correct.
Notice that this method of recursion is similar to inducion, that you're probably more familiar with. עברית (talk) 10:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not clear on everything here but I'm pretty sure there is a flaw in this argument. The statement that there must be a pair of non-neighbors u and v with d(u)<k and d(v)>k does not follow; take k=3 and consider the complete bipartite graph K2,4. Also note that you only need to show that the sum of the degrees is at least |V|k, not 2|V|k. --RDBury (talk) 22:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Here's what I came up with. First, to simplify notation, let n=|V| = number of vertices in G, and let s be the degree sum = twice the number of edges. So
s = \sum_u d(u).
We need to show s≥kn. Write
sn = \sum_v d(v) \sum_u 1 = \sum_{u,v} d(u)
2sn = \sum_{u,v} (d(u)+d(v)).
Split this sum according to u=v, u adjacent to v and u not adjacent to v. I'll use \sim and \nsim for adjacent and non-adjacent. (Is there a standard notation for this or do graph theorists have to write "adjacent" all the time?)
2sn = \sum_{u = v} (d(u)+d(v)) + \sum_{u \sim v} (d(u)+d(v)) + \sum_{u \nsim v} (d(u)+d(v)).
The first sum is simply
\sum_u 2d(u) = 2s.
The second sum is
\sum_{u \sim v} (d(u)+d(v)) = 2\sum_{u \sim v} d(u) = 2\sum_u d(u)^2 \ge  \frac{2}{n} \left ( \sum_u d(u) \right )^2 = \frac{2s^2}{n}
by a well known inequality I can't remember the name of at the moment. (Please fill this in if you know.) There are n2-n-s terms in the third sum so by assumption this is
\sum_{u \nsim v} (d(u)+d(v)) \ge 2k(n^2-n-s).
Putting this together gives
2sn \ge 2s + \frac{2s^2}{n} + 2k(n^2-n-s)
sn^2 \ge sn + s^2 + kn(n^2-n-s)
sn^2 - sn - s^2 - kn(n^2-n-s) \ge 0
(s-kn)(n^2-n-s) \ge 0.
As pointed out above, there must be at least one non-edge so
n^2-n-s > 0
and so
s-kn \ge 0.
Note, the inequality used above is strict unless the d(u)'s are all equal, so the average degree is strictly greater than k unless G is k-regular. --RDBury (talk) 00:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Re the inequality used above, the Cauchy–Schwarz inequality says
\left( \sum_{i=1}^n x_i y_i \right)^2 \leq \sum_{j=1}^n {x_j}^2 \sum_{k=1}^n {y_k}^2
and with yi≡1 this is
\left( \sum_{i=1}^n x_i \right)^2 \leq n \sum_{i=1}^n {x_i}^2,
but I thought there was another name for this special case. --RDBury (talk) 00:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Thank you all! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Semi-hereditary rings[edit]

Is there a ring R that is left semi-hereditary but not right semi-hereditary? Of course, the opposite ring Rop will then be right semi-hereditary but not left semi-hereditary. Unlike for (semi-)perfect rings and (semi-)firs, where the semi version is left-right symmetric and the non-semi version is asymmetric, both hereditariness and semi-hereditariness are asymmetric. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 00:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Discrete Fourier Transform[edit]

By convention, when we take a DFT of a series, we get a series-sized list of numbers back. These numbers describe the Frequency domain of that series. My question is: what is the exact relation of each number to the original signal? Let's say we take a DFT of 1024 samples from an audio recording with a sample rate of 44100 Hz. We get back a list of 1024 numbers. The first number (or last depending on how you order it I guess, but by convention usually the first) will represent the "constant" signal of the time series, correct? The last number will represent a signal oscillating fast enough to go through a full sine wave 512 times over the course of our 1024 samples (alternating between full positive and full negative every sample), right? This corresponds to a frequency of 22050 Hz? So what does e.g. the 384th number represent?

tl;dr: I wanna tie the results of an FFT of an audio file to specific frequencies in Hertz. How do? (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi, reporting back on some of my own digging to help build the record. My first point of confusion is I've been working with a full FFT instead of a real FFT when working with Real data. The "extra" 512 coefficients are identical to the first 512 when working with real data! So, with a RFFT of the same data from the earlier example, the 512th (e.g. last) member is 22050 hz. (talk) 22:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The resulting values are evenly spaced in frequency domain. So if you have N samples and a sample rate of S, then the k-th resulting value corresponds to frequency {k \over N} S. As you already noted, k > N / 2 just repeats for real signals, so the interesting information covers frequencies S / N to S / 2. Dragons flight (talk) 11:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! For some reason I was just assuming it'd be a nonlinear relation. So e.g. in a FFT of 1 second of 44.1khz audio you'd have 22051 numbers; a static offset/whatever you wanna call it, and one for each integral frequency between 1 and 22050. (talk) 19:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

"Opposite" of Normal Distribution[edit]

What is the equation of the normal distribution turned up-down? Does this distribution have some name in the literature? עברית (talk) 08:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

If you mean a distribution with an inverted bell shape, it can't be that simple, because its integral would be infinite. —Tamfang (talk) 08:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Oopss.. Thanx! עברית (talk) 10:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
As for where it might occur, I can imagine the penumbra under a moderately high object, like a flag, would reach a minimum brightness near the center. StuRat (talk) 18:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Elementary Proof of an Integral Identity involving Bessel functions[edit]

It is well known that, for positive values of a, \int_0^\frac\pi2\cos(a\cos x)dx=\int_0^\infty\sin(a\cosh x)dx=\frac\pi2J_0(a). I was wondering whether it is possible to prove the first half of the identity in an elementary manner, without any explicit recourse to Bessel functions and their various properties.

I've tried writing them both as \int_0^1\frac{f_{1,2}(ax)}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}~dx, with f_1(t)=\cos(t) and f_2(t)=\frac{\sin(1/t)}t, and then expand \frac1{\sqrt{1-x^2}} into its binomial series, and reverse the order of summation and integration, but the general terms of the two series are not equal (not to mention the fact that each is expressed in terms of incomplete gamma functions and/or exponential integrals of imaginary argument). — (talk) 13:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It's not too hard to show that both satisfy the same second order differential equation (which turns out to he the Bessel equation). Sławomir
13:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Grams in milliliters[edit]

What is 100g plain flour in milliliters? 2A02:8084:9360:3780:141:A29C:2CFA:4D6F (talk) 14:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It depends on the flour, how packed it is, and if it is from wheat, rice, barley, or other. There should be an equivalence on your package of flour for volume to weight, that you can use. Based on mine, 100g is about 0.195l or 195 milliliters. It will vary. Dhrm77 (talk) 16:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
One other factor is how dry the flour is. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That question (probably) doesn't belong on this page. This is about Math, not measurements. Dhrm77 (talk) 16:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. Conversion of units involves math, and not much else, so this is the place for it. StuRat (talk) 17:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It does involve more than math, it involves actual volume/weight ratios and unit conversions. The question might be better located here: Reference desk/Miscellaneous or in places like or Also, googling the question gives various answers.Dhrm77 (talk) 18:11, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Volume/weight ratios and unit conversions are maths. They're the practical maths which make everyday life possible. DuncanHill (talk) 18:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I have a cooks dry measure which gives 100g of flour as a shade under 200 ml. DuncanHill (talk) 16:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
As Dhrm77 correctly said above, this is a science question about the density of flour. This site gives 593 kilograms per cubic metre as the typical density of wheat flour (density will depend, of course, on the material from which the flour is ground, and, to some extent, on the degree of fineness of the grind). That figure converts to only 169 ml for 100g. I haven't checked it by experiment. I suspect that another variable will be dampness (as mentioned above) and compression (a cubic metre of flour will be firmly compressed at the bottom). Dbfirs 21:08, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
... later ... This site says only 528 grams per litre for sifted white wheat flour, so that value of 189 ml per 100g corresponds more closely to the answers above. I suspect that sifting introduces air which reduces the density. Dbfirs 21:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

planar graph proof[edit]

Hi all,
If a planar graph is 3-regular and 2-edge-connected, how can we prove that its chromatic index is at most 3?
Thanks a lot in advance!

The question above was asked by (talk), 9 February 2016‎

Fibonacci sequence convergence[edit]

Collision, Impact damage.[edit]

A listeners comment today on the Jeremy Vine Show said that two vehicles both moving at 40 mph involved in a head on collision the impact would be 40mph not 80mph as I (and Jeremy Vine) thought it would be. The listener said it was down to some type of Newton Law. Can this be right? Alanshewan (talk) 21:15, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

This appears to be a question about science (particularly, physics), not about math. To the extent sense can be made, it surely depends on the meaning of the words "the impact would be 40mph" -- what is meant by this phrase is not clear to me. --JBL (talk) 21:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
It depends on the mass of the vehicles. Where both have similar masses, both will be stopped, and it's like running into a wall at 40 mph. Where one vehicle has a much greater mass than the other (let's say 18-wheeler versus scooter (motorcycle)), the small vehicle will end up going backwards at close to 40 mph, so, for it, it is like an 80 mph crash. The large vehicle will barely decelerate at all, so it would be a minor collision for them. Of course, in real world collisions, two vehicles hitting exactly head on is rare, and you often get an offset hit, sending both spinning. StuRat (talk) 21:23, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. If the two vehicles have the same mass, both will be stopped, and it will be like running into a wall at 80 mph. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:29, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Why is that ? Each vehicle will have decelerated from 40 mph to zero, not from 80 mph to zero. StuRat (talk) 21:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: Assuming an ideal alignment of vehicles and equal masses and speeds, when they collide their fore parts will compress while touching along the vertical plane. And that plane does not move – just like an infinitely heavy, ideally hard wall. The total energy used in material destruction and dissipated as sound wave and heat will be twice that of a single car hitting a wall, but that in turn is not equivalent to the single collision at doubled velocity (as the kinetic energy is proportional to the velocity squared, so would be four times bigger, not twice). --CiaPan (talk) 22:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)(three times) In terms of total impulse (change in momentum), the collision would be equivalent to a single 80mph collision, but in terms of total energy, only half. To first approximation, for each single vehicle, the collision would be the same as a 40mph collision with an immovable object. Dbfirs 21:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Mythbusters tested this. See video. Mnudelman (talk) 22:06, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that excellent link. Energy rules! Dbfirs 23:03, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

question in graph theory[edit]

Hi all,
Does each graph that its chromatic number is 7 contains at least 7 odd cycles, when no two cycles share edges?
Thanks a lot!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]


February 6[edit]

Paradise for females[edit]

Can someone please enlighten me. Much has been made of the character of paradise for Muslim men, particularly those dying for the faith. What can a normal woman, a conventional wife and mother expect please? Similarly, what awaits a female suicide-bomber for example? Is paradise shared by men and women? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 08:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, paradise in Islam (see Jannah) is promised to both men and women, see for example this verse from the Quran (9:72): "Allah has promised to the believers, male and female, gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they shall live forever, and good homes in gardens of eternity. And Allah’s pleasure is above all. That is the supreme success." Since polyandry is not allowed in Islam, woman are not promised multiple husbands or men, in contrast to men, who receive special virgins as a heavenly reward. They will be married to their own husbands if those make it to paradise. Do keep in mind that the most detailed descriptions of paradise do not come from the Quran itself, but from traditions that were written down later, and Muslims disagree among themselves which of those traditions are reliable.
When it comes to suicide bombers, obviously not all Muslims consider them true martyrs for the faith, but the Quran does promise paradise to people who die fighting "in the way of Allah" (and according to some, martyrdom is the only guaranteed way to enter paradise): "Surely, Allah has bought their lives and their wealth from the believers, in exchange of (a promise) that Paradise shall be theirs. They fight in the way of Allah, and kill and are killed, on which there is a true promise (as made) in the Torah and the Injil and the Qur’an." (9:111). - Lindert (talk) 10:54, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I see a logical problem there, for husband and wife suicide bombers. If the husband's paradise is to have dozens of virgins, that would make the wife's paradise to share him with all those other women. Doesn't sound like the wife would be very happy to me. Of course, the idea of paradise of any sort seems problematic, regardless of religion, as anything, no matter how enjoyable initially, becomes boring with repetition. So, human nature would need to fundamentally change for eternal paradise to be possible. StuRat (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Logic and religious beliefs do not necessarily mix. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. Following on from that, is there a hell awaiting those who do not make it to paradise, male or female? Or does death in those circumstances mean simple annihilation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 15:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
For the basics, see Jahannam Nil Einne (talk) 16:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As far as I'm aware, belief in annihilation is not common in Islam as the Quran quite explicitly describes enduring punishment for unbelievers: "Those who have disbelieved in Our verses, We shall certainly make them enter a fire. Whenever their skins are burnt out, We shall give them other skins in their place, so that they may taste the punishment. Surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." (4:56) and "Surely, if the disbelievers have all that is in the earth, and more as much besides it, to pay it as ransom against the punishment of the Day of Judgment, it shall not be accepted from them, and they will have a painful punishment. They will wish to come out of the Fire, but they will not be able to come out from there. For them there will be a lasting punishment." (5:36-37). See also Jahannam. - Lindert (talk) 16:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Platinum jubilee and beyond[edit]

Assuming Elizabeth II lives to see another jubilee in 6 years, to this day, when would be the next subsequent jubilee and what would it be called. Given her family's longevity I think another two jubilees seems quite plausible, especially as she seems as fit as a fiddle at 90. --Andrew 17:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Six years, no? --Viennese Waltz 17:21, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Yeh, sorry --Andrew 17:30, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
It's the same naming as for weddings, see Wedding anniversary, which states that the 70th is called Platinum, and the 80th Oak. LongHairedFop (talk) 17:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
After platinum comes ... oak? It should be something more valuable than what came before, like unobtainium. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Ah yes and that exemplifies what's wrong with this world, when metals are deemed more valuable than living beings. Signed, an ageing hippie. --TammyMoet (talk) 15:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Paul McCartney was given a rhodium disc in 1979 by the Guinness Book of Records to mark his career achievement, but it's not an official RIAA certification. Tevildo (talk) 09:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
An Oak Jubilee would be particularly patriotic. DuncanHill (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Not to mention Royal Oak. Alansplodge (talk) 18:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
We could always double up, as is done in the record industry. If we use the wedding anniversary terms, we get:
 80th Double Ruby
 90th Double Sapphire
100th Double Gold
StuRat (talk) 18:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Floor-crossing in UK Parliament[edit]

When Douglas Carswell changed parties, he resigned and stood (successfully) in a by-election for his seat. The article notes that he was "not required to do so", so why would he do this? Merely because he thought it the best idea (e.g. perhaps he wanted to know that his voters still supported him), or is this one of those things in UK politics that, while not required, is still considered the proper thing to do? Before Carswell, the last Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds (at least according to our list) who took the office in relation to changing parties was Cathcart Wason in 1902, and before Carswell (who is supposedly the incumbent of both positions), the last Steward of the Manor of Northstead to resign upon changing parties, according to our list, was seemingly Richard Rigg in 1905. In particular, I don't see Winston Churchill on either list, despite his famous floor-crossing from Conservative to Liberal 1904. Nyttend (talk) 01:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I would say that rather than being seen as the proper thing to do, resigning after crossing the floor is seen as rather unusual, as is suggested by our article List of British politicians who have crossed the floor. DuncanHill (talk) 02:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Just noticed the Duchess of Atholl, who crossed the floor five times from 1935-38, which must surely be some kind of record!. DuncanHill (talk) 02:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
ah, and she took the Chiltern Hundreds on the last occasion to stand as an Independent, but lost the by-election. DuncanHill (talk) 02:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I wasn't previously aware of this list. Is Carswell somehow a holder of both stewardships, or is there a mistake on one of the lists? Nyttend (talk) 02:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Mark Reckless took the Chiltern Hundreds to stand for UKIP. Carswell isn't on the list for the Chiltern Hundreds. DuncanHill (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, there are several Manor of Northstead resignations on changing party, Bruce Douglas-Mann in 1982, Dick Taverne in 1972, haven't looked over them all yet. DuncanHill (talk) 02:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm hmm, apparently I wasn't paying sufficient attention; sorry. Nyttend (talk) 02:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No need to apologise, it's an interesting subject. DuncanHill (talk) 02:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
And hence, DuncanHill, does this not make the Dutchess your first MP who was also a street-walker? μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to take care about who you call what. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Or not, given that according to the law of the US, neither are titles of nobility recognized, nor is the obvious parody of public figures (Hustler Magazine v. Falwell) subject to actual libel. μηδείς (talk) 03:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking of a moral rather than legal imperative. "Racist bigot" might have been fair comment however. Alansplodge (talk) 11:09, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
In the UK, (legally) you vote for your MP, not for the party that they represent. Indeed, before about 1960, the candidates' affiliation wasn't printed on the ballot paper. Therefore, if an MP decides to change their party, then they have no legal (but perhaps a moral) obligation to resign and seek re-election. LongHairedFop (talk) 12:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This BBC article about an unsuccessful attempt to force MPs who change allegiance to submit to a by-election, records the cases of Shaun Woodward and Quentin Davies who moved from Labour to Conservative Conservative to Labour without seeking a mandate from their constituents. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
  • In the cases of Carswell and Reckless, the by-election was mostly for UKIP's sake, rather than their own. Bob Spink had previously crossed the floor to UKIP, but by not standing for a by-election his change of allegiance was almost totally ignored - especially because at the next General Election, he stood as a UKIP-backed independent (for complicated reasons to do with the lack of a UKIP whip) rather than officially standing for the party. The by-elections, coming at a real peak in popularity for UKIP, were a trial by fire that proved the party could win elections and helped its national leadership a lot - and it got them all a lot of media coverage. Smurrayinchester 10:14, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
United Kingdom by-election records#By-elections to ratify a change of party has a list of MPs who have resigned when they changed party - only eight since 1900. Some others who resigned to stand as independents are listed in the section above. Warofdreams talk 14:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Paradise for females 2[edit]

Thanks to all those who explained the situation to me. So, the first woman started in a garden with one male companion, whom she did not have to look after, while the final women will end up in a very similar place, if they are good enough. Only now, they share it with their husband, plus, perhaps three more virtuous wives, plus more if earlier wives pre-deceased them, plus a number of virgins if the husband's conduct merited them. It seems to me that paradise might end up a female-dominated place. Surely not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 08:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

If it's not in the Quran, does it still count? For comparison, it's common knowledge that the apple was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and that the Three Wise Men were Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, or some such. However, those "facts" do not appear in the Bible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, logically it would seem that paradise according to Islam is mostly inhabited by women, but most of these would be specially created virgins. However, at least in Sunni Islam there is also a saying attributed to Muhammad that indicates hell will also be female-dominated:
"Once Allah's Messenger went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih Bukhari, 304) - Lindert (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Any treaty against ballistic missiles?[edit]

Has North Korea broken any treaty or convention by firing a ballistic missile? I am not saying that N. Korea's good intentions can be trusted, but is it illegal per se, or just scary? --Scicurious (talk) 15:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Why are you spelling it that way, instead of as the normal "North Korea" ? Are you confusing it with chorea ? As for international treaties, I doubt if they signed any. StuRat (talk) 17:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, have been reading French all day. Corrected.
The question is also whether a country has an obligation to comply with certain principles, even without signing anything. Or can it just poison, destroy, contaminate, and so on a region as long as it does not agree to not do it? --Scicurious (talk) 17:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The question of what is legal really has no bearing on reality here, as NK will simply ignore any legal decision. It comes down to if China is willing to cut off their supply line. If not, then they can do whatever they want, and will continue to do so. StuRat (talk) 17:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You are not completely right about NK ignoring everything that happens beyond its borders. They are certainly peculiar and pretty isolated, but not indifferent to the international community. The country seems to be playing a kind of whack-a-mole game. The question remains, is developing and testing ballistic technology a casus belli? Could this justify a preemptive attack? Or should the world wait and see? --Scicurious (talk) 19:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
What NK does certainly is enough of a justification for war, but, as a practical matter, they would be able to wipe on SK at the very least, if attacked, so it won't happen unless they drop a nuke on someone. StuRat (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The category Treaties of North Korea may be help. The country is apparently been signatory to at least 90 international treaties. These are not always transparently named but at a glance, most of them are not weapons-related. According to our article, North Korea was a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but withdrew in 2003. (talk) 19:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC) Posted from talk page Matt Deres (talk) 19:38, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That looks closer to an answer than the discussion above. Thanks. --Scicurious (talk) 19:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
From most sources discussing the tests, AFAIK it's generally accepted by pretty much everyone including China that North Korea is in violation of security council resolutions with their tests [65] in particular United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087 (may not be clear from our article but the text is in the earlier link) and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094 (again see the text). I think United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695 too although it isn't mentioned in that source (again see the full text).

As I understand it (and per the source), United Nations Security Council resolutions of these sort are generally considered legally binding. I believe most of these were issued under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, although only article 41 not article 42 (i.e. there was no authorisation of force). North Korea may reject the resolutions and claim they are not binding. On the other hand they remain a member of the UN and I'm pretty sure most other countries would say that as a member of the UN they are legally bound by these resolutions. (Actually I think quite a few would say they're legally binding even on non members.) Note also that most of the tests were after at least one of these resolutions (and the latest one after all). See [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] for further discussions about whether and when security council resolutions are legally binding.

BTW, I think there's also a question whether NK's withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was actually in proper compliance with the treaty, see United Nations Security Council Resolution 825 (see the text) and [72], as the treat required if "extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country". There's also a question of when they actually withdrew as NK considers they withdrew on 11 January [73] [74] [75] but the treaty requires three months notice and they only gave one day with the argument that they had already given notice in 1993. So some suggest the withdrawal was effective April 10 [76]. Note that entire sentence is correct, i.e. the source disagrees with those who suggest the withdrawal was invalid, and gives examples of similar treaties including the ABM which the US withdrew from. Also, clearly whatever countries may have said when NK withdrew, the general way it's treated now is that NK did withdraw.

Nil Einne (talk) 14:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

That is an extremely good answer, yet I have to look at it with some bemusement. Technically speaking the Korean War is still ongoing, and in that war North Korea and the United Nations were (are?) combatants. There are times when the ideas people use just seem hard for me to relate to anything. Wnt (talk) 19:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Musical instrument[edit]

What musical instrument produces this sound, like some type of wind instrument? Heard it elsewhere too. Thanks. Brandmeistertalk 16:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

[NOTE: The instrument is audible at 0:10 and 0:23 in the video, not for the rest of the track]. It sounds like pan pipes to me. Tevildo (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
May be. I mean that at 0:25 and 1:03. Brandmeistertalk 08:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Why do we need the design right (UK)?[edit]

I have read expositions that explain why copyright provides inadequate protection on certain sorts of three-dimensional designs. However, I am yet to be persuaded. Supposedly, copying must have taken place at each stage in production for something to be deemed a breech of copyright, but why? Copyright law applies to inexact copies as well, so how can it not protect the look of a product? Saying copyright only protects art works is risible as academic textbooks are protected under copyright. And saying copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent is also indefensible, as maps are protected under copyright. So, why do we need the design right? What is the limitation of copyright that I am missing?--Leon (talk) 19:06, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Who says that "copyright only protects art" or that "copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent"? It won't cover everything produced under the sun, but the restrictions you mention seem kind of misplaced.--Scicurious (talk) 19:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Writing is considered by many to be an art form. Therefore, since the earliest days of copyright protection, authors' works have been protected. Star trooper man, what makes you think textbooks would no longer be protected under someone's (?) proposed changes? DOR (HK) (talk) 09:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that UK design right lasts for 15 (unregistered) or 25 (registered) years, while copyright lasts for "life plus 70" in most cases. So the law isn't separated because copyright provides inadequate protection, but rather to prevent an extrememly long-lasting monopoly right on useful or mass produced goods. The interaction between copyright and design right is governed by Section 51 and Section 236 CDPA, which can be summarised as: "Copyright applies, except for manufacture or copying of a work other than an artistic work or typeface, and issuing of things so made, where design right applies." (taken from my revision notes). There's also an exception to copyright for mass produced artistic works which limits the duration of copyright to 25 years (i.e. the maximum duration of design right). MChesterMC (talk) 10:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Two basic reasons: 1. you need a "lesser right" to give protection to designs which may or may not meet the higher thresholds of copyright or patents but are still valuable. 2. for mainly policy reasons copyright only protects specific kinds of works, not just any "thing". A map is a printed work and is protectable, but a Star Wars stormtrooper's helmet apparently is not a sculpture and does not fit within any other category, so is not. Example: a new design for a tablet computer looks aesthetically pleasing, but it's almost exactly the same as all flat screen devices that have come before it other than being "cooler". But that coolness is pretty valuable and there is a public interest in giving it some protection (but not as much as copyright or patent) against someone else, also working from the same precedent flat screen device designs, who comes up with something with the same look and feel.
Finally, unregistered design serves a specific need: it is acquired without formalities, has a low threshold and a relatively short term of protection, so it's useful for transient designs such as in fashion, where the value of the design will probably only last a short time and it would not be cost effective to make the proprietor go through an application process to get the protection. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Bernie Sanders' surname origins[edit]

Bernie Sanders had a father from Poland, yet why does Sanders not have a Polish surname? --Figerio Addgaf (talk) 21:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Various sites (of variable levels of reliability) give his grandfather's name as "Leon Sander", and connect it (not unreasonably) with the surname Sandler - according to our article, this is "derived from Hebrew "Sandlar" (סנדלר) - "sandal-maker". Tevildo (talk) 22:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Google treats "bernie sandler" as a synonym for "bernie sanders" as well as "bernard sandler". Many American fathers don't have American surnames, but Polish ones. People travel. It's normal. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:40, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
@Figerio Addgaf: - It's quite normal for immigrant families to change their name to either something more easy to pronounce in English (or wherever they've moved to) or to a literal translation of their previous name. As many non-English speaking countries have less of a tradition of people having one first name and one surname, their original surname may not be something they're too attached to - they may only have a surname because they needed to have something to fill that slot on a form! See Patel for an Indian example of this. Blythwood (talk) 09:27, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Isn't Sandlar more likely to be Yiddish than Hebrew? —Tamfang (talk) 11:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yiddish does borrow a lot of words from Hebrew. In this case, there's at least a 2000 year old tradition of the Hebrew name Sandlar, albeit originally it was not a surname in the way we use them now. --Dweller (talk) 12:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that Sandlar was ever used in Eastern European Yiddish? I don't see any reason why it should have. The idiomatic term for a shoemaker is shuster, while sandal-making does not strike me as a reasonable profession in the primordial shtetl. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The only Yiddish>English dictionary I can consult at present was compiled by Vilna-born Uriel Weinreich and published by YIVO in New York in 1968. It gives shuster for "shoemaker" and sandal for sandal. The Even-Shoshan Hebrew dictionary gives the Greek sandalon as the etymology for san'dal which like the English is an open form of footwear. From this we have the Hebrew sand'lar (shoemaker, cobbler) and sandlari'yah (shoe repair shop). NOTE: the only answer I can support for this query on the Eastern European Jewish surname Sanders is what I wrote below (at 14:42 on 8 February). -- Deborahjay (talk) 12:39, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Some Eastern Europeans have German sounding names. Llaanngg (talk) 11:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That may be because many modern Eastern Europeans had German ancestors, such as the Baltic Germans. German linguistic influence can be seen as far east as Russia as well, u.e. St. Petersburg, Orenburg, etc. Many ethnic Germans absorbed into the Russian Empire rose to prominent positions of power, (i.e. Levin August, Count von Bennigsen). Heck, some of Russia's tsars and tsarinas were German, Catherine the Great, Peter III of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna, etc. It isn't like there are permanent and never-breached walls between cultures whereby people of one culture never intermingle or move etc. Having a German-origin name in Poland would not be unusual, given the proximity between the nations and the frequent movement of people. --Jayron32 13:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
In fact, for most of the 19th century right up to the bitter end of WWI, Prussia basically was Poland (plus Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast - and of course, Northern Germany) - and even after the war, Germany had most of western Poland until the Oder-Neisse line was drawn after WWII. Many cities in Poland have separate German names for just that reason - Gdansk is Danzig to the Germans, Wroclaw is Breslau and Bydgoszcz is Bromberg, for instance. There was a lot of forced resettlement of various kinds throughout the 20th century, but a lot of German roots still remain. Smurrayinchester 15:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
(By the way, it is to some extent a two-way street. Lots of Germans (according to List of the most common surnames in Germany, 13%) have Slavic surnames, and one interesting thing on the list is that the 67th most common surname is "Böhm" - meaning Bohemian or Czech - and the 90th is "Pohl" - meaning Pole) Smurrayinchester 15:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There are also many place-names of Slavic origin in Germany, such as Leipzig, reflecting the long eastward expansion of the Germans. —Tamfang (talk) 09:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
This reminds me of one of the many linguistic flaws in the Conrad Stargard series. The narrator is embarrassed to reveal his surname – Schwartz – to a fellow Pole, unaware that Conrad is also a German name. —Tamfang (talk) 09:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
A different and more direct derivation of the surname is "Sender's [son]" - "Sender" being the Yiddish abbreviated form of the masculine given name Alexander#Variants and diminutives, popular in Slavic countries. Returning to the OP's query: the Yiddish-speaking Jewish population of Poland were not Polish-speaking ethnic Poles so wouldn't necessarily have Polish surnames. Yiddish surnames in Poland were commonly romanized according to either German or Polish orthography, e.g. Greenbaum, Weiss, Schwarz, Zuckermann vs. Grynbojm, Wajs, Szwarc, Cukierman. -- Deborahjay (talk) 14:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

Just William[edit]

I just read an article (not on Wikipedia) about the Just William books by Richmal Crompton. William remains 11 years old throughout the decades that the books were published, and apparently he has two birthdays during that time - but continues to be 11. One of these was obviously the story called William's Birthday. But I can't recall another. The article hinted that it may have been a story featuring a flower show and/ or a prize marrow. So can anyone remember the title of, or any details about, William stories featuring

  • William having a birthday, or
  • a flower show, or
  • a prize marrow

Thanks! Amisom (talk) 07:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

William gets involved in a flower show (with predictable consequences) in "Boys Will Be Boys" (William Does His Bit, 1940), but there's no reference to his birthday as far as I know. Tevildo (talk) 08:51, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
According to our article, William_the_Conqueror_(short_story_collection) has a story called A Birthday Treat, where 'The Hubert Lanites ruin William's birthday party'. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 09:33, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, that's odd because it's the wrong synopsis, the eponymous birthday treat is for Ginger's aunt's birthday in that story... Hmm. Amisom (talk) 10:45, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Paradise for females (3, I suppose)[edit]

The above questions have prompted me to ask: what do religions other than Islam offer to women after death? And, relatedly, how do or did women (ordinary women for their time and place, not Joan of Arc anomalies) envisage paradise? I was working on the biography of Louisa Capper, who ran a household so smoothly that hypochondriac Jane Carlyle describes it as a sort of Eden:

a perfect Paradise of a place, peopled as every Paradise ought to be with Angels. There I drank warm milk, and eat new eggs, and bathed in pure air, and rejoiced in cheerful countenances, and was as happy as the day was long, which I should have been a monster not to have been, when every body about me seemed to have no other object in life but to study my pleasure.[1]

Is there a book about this? Descriptions of what the laity thought the afterlife would be like? Not reincarnation but the Heaven and Hell aspects, especially the Heaven. I'm equally interested in Victorian Englishwomen and current Korean Christians and everyone in between. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 14:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm going to digress a bit from the actual question here to observe that compelling descriptions of Heaven, for either sex, are pretty hard to find. Rarely do the preachers make it sound like a place you'd actually want to go. I think the human imagination is a lot better at conceiving extreme horror than extreme joy.
I can think of two exceptions: First, C. S. Lewis in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I guess they didn't actually get to Heaven in that book but they got close enough to give you a taste and make you know you'd like more.
The other is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy is back from the dead, and all her friends assume she's been in Hell. (Such good friends.) Near the end of the episode, she confesses her actual experiences, but only to Spike. Her Heaven sounded, not very stimulating, but certainly restful. --Trovatore (talk) 19:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Carlyle, Jane Welsh (Sunday [20 September 1835]).  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
Not sure if your final question is asking just about women's descriptions of paradise, or descriptions by the laity in general. For a famous and extensive treatment of this subject from a Christian layman, see the third part of La commedia. I'll agree with Trovatore on the "hard to find"; I've typically heard the subject addressed in terms such as "any human activity will eventually become wearisome, but for the sinless human, service to God in his presence will be eternally joyful, far beyond our imagination". Nyttend (talk) 19:51, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure about Victorian Englishwomen but many Christians' imagery of the afterlife is not only taken from scripture but also from hymns. I once did a language analysis of a set of gospel songs years ago (I believe it was on the theme of forgiveness) and it was a very interesting project to do. This might be especially valuable for the most commonly song hymns, the ones that the laity didn't need a hymnbook to sing, that they had memorized. Vivid and imaginative song lyrics can leave a lasting impression on ones memory that filters into ones belief system of what heaven or hell might be like. Additionally, at least in the United States, many hymn writers were laity and quite a few were women so it wouldn't necessarily be a clerical or preacher's view of the afterlife. Liz Read! Talk! 21:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That's a great point. The Cyber Hymnal has tons of Protestant hymns, including 400+ by Fanny Crosby. Go to her biography there and scroll down to find a lot of links; presumably there will be a good number of heaven-related ones. My background doesn't use hymns, so I'm not as familiar with good examples as most Protestant editors would be, and I doubt I can make any other suggestions, but you could always ask for help at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity/Noticeboard if you need more assistance. Nyttend (talk) 01:36, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Ghee in 10th century Japan[edit]

Daigo (dairy product) is a slightly weird article. It says that daigo (ghee) was made in Japan in the 10th century. The reference cited is a Japanese dairy association website about cheese. The only primary source referred to for this assertion, is an Indian-Chinese religious sutra, which talks about the various dairy products, in a figurative sense as an analogy for spiritual advancement. The sutra is not itself evidence that ghee was ever made in China, let alone Japan. The article also makes a weird claim that Emperor Daigo is named after the dairy product (also referenced to the dairy association website), whereas the orthodox view is that he is named after his burial place, which itself references the religious / metaphoric meaning of ghee. The article then concludes that daigo is no longer made in either Japan or China.

So, was daigo or ghee ever made in China or Japan, or is this just a fanciful story made up by the dairy association to make themselves (and cheese) seem ancient? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 18:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

It seems like there's a lot of muddle in our article. First, if there's a reference in the Nirvana Sutra, our article on that says it's most likely that that work originated in South India. The sentence quoted has a logic - from cows to milk etc. And then from butter, where can you go but to ghee? And ghee would be familiar to a South Indian readership. The Nirvana Sutra seems to have been a very important Buddhist text in East Asia. So the text had to be translated. They had to find a wording to express the "beyond butter", and used "daigo". I don't know if it relates to "dai" meaning "great". I saw on the Internet an explanation of "creme de la creme" which is an interesting parallel. The idea is one of successive stages of refining. The way that "quintessence" is used figuratively in English is another parallel. As a solution in Wikipedia, I would think merge with ghee, since it's supposed to be the same thing. I doubt whether much can be kept after the merge. There is nothing so far to indicate that ghee was made in Japan. 22:14, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

To establish Buddhism and its cuisine in Japan, Korean artists and architects built temples and monasteries to house monks from Korea and China. Nineteen expeditions made the dangerous crossing to China in unstable, flat-bottomed boats between 600 and 850, returning laden with monks and scholars skilled in cuisine, literature, politics, and theology, with seeds and cuttings, including tea and sugar, ferments, rotary grindstones, pottery, lacquer, chopsticks, spoons, silk, art, musical instruments, and Jia Sixie’s Essential Skills for the Daily Life of the People (quickly translated into Japanese)...The Japanese court adopted the typical Buddhist trio of butter, sugar, and rice. The government bureau of milk production was producing cream, butter, and an unknown product known as daigo, which logic suggests may have been ghee, by the beginning of the seventh century, a practice that continued for at least three hundred years.

Rachel Laudan. (2013). 'Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. (p. 128).—eric 03:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, based on that at least there was something called daigo in Japan, although whether it is ghee is uncertain.
The Chinese Wikipedia article on daigo/ghee has a quote from the Compendium of Materia Medica: "Zongshi [Song dynasty author] said: when making lao [at least in modern usage, a junket-like dessert], the top congealed layer is su, and the oil-like substance on top of the su is tihu [Japanese pronunciation: daigo], which is extruded when cooked, and there is not a large amount, it is sweet and delicious, but there are few [medicinal] uses for it." Chinese Wikipedia describes tihu as similar to yak butter. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:25, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

Subpoenas vs. non-disclosure agreements[edit]

Tonight's episode of NCIS features a federal agent interrogating employees of a private company who gets interrupted by the company's lawyer with a reminder that the employees signed a non-disclosure agreement. The context is a death that occurred on a US ship offshore. It makes me wonder whether, in real life, such individuals would be required to testify in court if subpoena-ed.

In US admiralty law, and/or any other applicable fields of law, how do subpoenas balance out with non-disclosure agreements? Is this an established exception to contracts (i.e. testifying when subpoena-ed isn't considered breach of contract), or is this an established exception to subpoenas (i.e. this is one of those situations when testimony isn't required, comparable to how spouses can't be compelled to testify against each other), or is the situation not so cut-and-dried? Finally, note that I'm intentionally ignoring a taking-the-Fifth-Amendment situation, which would probably be relevant in this TV episode; I'm only interested in something in which the witness isn't going to become a suspect. Nyttend (talk) 01:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

According to Non-disclosure agreement, "Typically, the restrictions on the disclosure or use of the confidential data will be invalid if [...] the materials are subject to a subpoena – although many practitioners regard that fact as a category of permissible disclosure, not as a categorical exclusion from confidentiality (because court-ordered secrecy provisions may apply even in case of a subpoena). In any case, a subpoena would more likely than not override a contract of any sort". If NDAs superseded subpoenas, then the subpoena would become effectively useless in the field of corporate law since companies would just ask their employees to sign NDAs as standard. Smurrayinchester 12:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
In general, the purpose of NDA's is to protect trade secrets or other legal confidential activity which an organization is engaged in. I would be shocked if you could use an NDA to stonewall a criminal investigation. But it's well to keep in mind that TV crime shows don't necessarily reflect reality. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:32, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Some come closer than others. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:36, February 11, 2016 (UTC)

Did all slaves get American citizenship in 1865?[edit]

Regarding citizenship, what happened to slaves in the US in 1865? Did those who had recently been brought to the US gained citizenship too? The last known slave ship was the Clotilde (slave ship) (this is disputed by some) and the Wanderer (slave ship) was the last documented ship to bring a cargo of slaves. Anyway, there were slaves in the US who were not many years in the US as slavery was abolished.--Scicurious (talk) 01:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

An interesting question. As a practical matter, many could probably not document the fact that they were born in the US, or brought to the US as slaves. Records, at the time, seemed to consist mainly of the first name of the slaves, and their ages, listed on census forms, and many former slaves probably lacked even that. I doubt if this was enough to prove citizenship. And since southern states were looking for any excuse to keep former slaves from voting, this would seem to be a good one. After the Reconstruction Era, there was no serious opposition from the north, until the 1950's, so the South could do as they pleased.
However, during Reconstruction, many blacks were elected to southern state legislatures, and this implies that they were able to vote. Note quite sure how they were able to legally register, if they couldn't prove citizenship, though. StuRat (talk) 04:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As I understand it, it was considered questionable at the time (1865) whether even those born in the US were citizens of the US. See Dred Scott v. Sandford and [77] for example. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was supposed to make them citizens, but not everyone agreed and it was only with Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (ratified in 1868) and its Citizenship Clause that it became fairly definite. As to what happened to freed slaves who weren't born in the US after the fourteenth amendment, I'm pretty sure they were treated as naturalised although I admit I couldn't find a source which explicitly states this. (One of the problems is I get a lot of sources talking about how birthright citizenship is a myth or children of undocuments immigrants aren't entitled to birthright citizenship or whatever. The other is many sources simply say the fourteenth amendment granted citizenship to newly or recently freed slaves without explicitly talking about former slaves who weren't born in the US.) I can't find any evidence this was ever tested in the Supreme Court, perhaps because the numbers were small and the southern Democracts decided there was no point fighting it when they could just use various means to stop them voting etc despite them being citizens and the northern Democrats wanted them to be citizens even if they were actually being denied the full rights of citizens via various means. P.S. For the avoidance of doubt, I'm only referring to the understanding at the time. I'm pretty sure most modern commentators would argue legally they should have been treated as citizens even before 1865 even if unfortunately not actually treated as such. Nil Einne (talk) 06:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As StuRat indicates, this was one of the important issues of Reconstruction. Here's a good article that goes into why it took several years to establish that the former slaves were citizens, and how it was done. -- (talk) 04:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
An interesting pre-1865 tangent is the Three-Fifths Compromise. Not directly answering the question, but if your interested in attitudes towards slaves and their citizenship rights, that's another interesting thread to follow. -Jayron32 15:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Voter registration doesn't address this aspect, but StuRat, remember that registration hasn't always been required for voting. In many places (especially rural areas and small towns), local residents would know each other, so there wasn't a need to verify the residency of the guy to whom you sold cabbages a couple of weeks ago. Of course, as far as black voters were concerned, there was room to disqualify them in some circumstances, but if the people at the polls were friendly toward blacks, or afraid of those who were, there wouldn't be any reason to reject them even if they didn't have paperwork. Nyttend (talk) 19:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It should also be noted that the very concept of voter registration is also entangled with other, now illegal, voter qualifications practices and voter intimidation methods such as "civics tests" "literacy tests" "poll taxes", which were rigged to exclude black voters (that is, the white power elite who were assessing the tests or taxes would simply "fail" black voters on the qualifications, while simply ignoring the fact that white voters never took the tests or paid the taxes). Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era covers much of this, as do articles such as the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made the practices explicitly illegal. Also the term Grandfather clause, which originated as a way to allow white voters to be exempt from such qualifications, since their grandfathers had the right to vote. --Jayron32 19:54, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Bureaucrats tend to require formal proof of things that are entirely obvious, like that an elderly person is old enough to vote. StuRat (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Slava Kurilov[edit]

Hi all. Has Slava Kurilov's book, One with the ocean (Odin v okeane), ever been translated? Splićanin (talk) 02:05, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

According to worldcat, no.—eric 04:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Human life-span before the 20th century[edit]

I'm trying to figure out how long people lived before the 20th century. I came across Wikipedia's list of kings of Jerusalem. I noticed that a majority out of every King of Jerusalem on the list died in his thirties or forties. If that's the case, I assume that this was how long people normally lived before 1878. So does this mean that people who were 50 or older were rare before the 20th century? Ebaillargeon82 (talk) 02:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Our article about Life expectancy has very good information addressing this very question. make sure the read the whole "Variation over time" section, not just look at the numbers. The answer is a little more complex, because in the past if you survived until you were 21, your life expectancy was actually quite "high" (60+) even as far back as the 1200s. So people who were older than 50 were not really "rare", but overall your chances of making it to 50 from the time you were born were significantly lower than they are today. Vespine (talk) 03:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
See the Sword of Damocles for one reason why judging average lifespan by the life of royals doesn't work. (Also, kings historically were expected to lead armies, and they travelled a lot exposing them to extra dangers). Of the kings who died in their 40s or younger, they mostly fall into two categories: murdered, or caught a disease while leading the army (another medieval risk factor is shown by the two queens who died in childbirth). You have Godfrey of Bouillon (either shot with an arrow or poisoned), Baldwin III (either poisoned or caught a disease while travelling), Amalric of Jerusalem (caught a disease while travelling), Baldwin IV (leprosy), Baldwin V (unknown, died at age 9), Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem (caught a disease while travelling), Guy of Lusignan (can't find any sources), Conrad of Montferrat (assassinated) and his wife Isabella I (unknown), Henry I (balcony collapsed), Maria of Montferrat (childbirth), Isabella II (childbirth), Conrad I (malaria), Conrad II (executed), Hugh (caught disease while travelling) and John II (unknown, possibly poisoned). Smurrayinchester 11:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
If you mean to ask if the typical ADULT human lifespan before 1878 was 30-40 years, the answer is no. In 1841-1877 mortality statistics for the total population of England & Wales, the most common adult age at death (yes, most people died before age 1, but we're talking about adults here) for most of those years was 70 (sometimes it would be 69, 71, or 72) years. 70 years is stated as the human lifespan in the Book of Psalms, which is the earliest text to state how long a human lifespan is. Many Roman Emperors lived to their 70s. So 70 years has been pretty much always been the original human life-span. VRtrooper (talk) 09:14, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
When researching for writing the Plymouth Colony article many years ago, I extensively used John Demos's book A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony, which has in the appendices all sorts of great demographic information gleaned from the official colonial records (birth and death certificates, for example). In the 17th century, Demos notes the same basic stats as noted above. 1) For adult men (those 21 and older) the average life expectancy was 69.2 years, and over half lived into their 70s 2) For women, the figures are lower because many women died in childbirth. If women lived past their childbearing years, however, they tended to live as long as men. 3) Children tend to drag the overall averages down because they died of childhood diseases we tend to vaccinate for today. So, more data points, but yes, the average adult human lifespan by which time one dies of Senescence-related causes rather than infection, war, or childbirth has not changed a lot in the centuries. Most adult humans can expect to live into their 70s until old age takes them off this mortal coil, and that has been the same for a very long time. --Jayron32 15:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Number of Remote workers[edit]

Is there any statistics out there on what's the percentage of workers who telecommute to work a majority of the time in the US? If there's no US data then statistics from any other G8 country would also work. Johnson&Johnson&Son (talk) 06:31, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Does This help? --Jayron32 15:49, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Paying to renounce citizenship[edit]

According to this BBC article, the USA charges $2,350 to her citizens who wish to renounce their citizenship. Do any other countries charge for this, and if so, which and how much? DuncanHill (talk) 08:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Hong Kong is the only part of China where, in practice, a Chinese citizen always has to take positive action to lose their Chinese citizenship. The fees vary depending on the mode of loss:
- HK$145 (US$19 if applying from overseas) for "reporting a change of citizenship" (this is where someone has settled abroad and acquired foreign citizenship, so under Chinese law would have automatically lost Chinese citizenship, but in Hong Kong an extra administrative step is required).
- HK$575 (US$74 if applying from overseas) for applying to renounce Chinese citizenship (this is for people who do not qualify for the first route). --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
This Forbes article has an interesting infographic comparing fees across countries. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
PalaceGuard008 Thank you, that's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! DuncanHill (talk) 13:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]

Third Lady of the United States[edit]

Of all the wives of the Speakers of the House (we know that the first 2 ladies are the wife of the President and the wife of the Vice President,) how many are there total and how many have Wikipedia articles?? Is there any reason this position is not notable?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Why things don't matter is subjective, of course, but I think living in the White House does a lot for the First Lady's prestige. The Second Lady was pretty much born out of wordplay. Sort of clever, but trying to get a Third Lady to catch on would be stretching it too far, and a tough (but not impossible) sell. Like how only Eighth Wonder of the World really works. Everybody's at least vaguely aware of the Seven, but if you call yourself the Ninth, you have to explain to too many that André the Giant was the Eighth. There's a diminishing return on these trickle-down allusions. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:35, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Also kind of ruined by Paul Pelosi's penis. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:45, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Is that the real Eighth Wonder of the World? Nancy is a lucky gal... --Jayron32 15:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
As for biological ladies, we have Callista Gingrich, Mariette Rheiner Garner (also a Second), Alice Roosevelt Longworth (liked William Borah better), Ellen Maria Colfax (also a Second) and Sarah Childress Polk (also a First). Linn Boyd was a guy, just had George W. Cate's daughter's name. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:18, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
  • Just to pile on: The First Lady has always had some (unofficial, but traditional) duties that make the position "a thing". As noted at First Lady of the United States, these duties often include things like managing the household of the White House, and has an official Office of the First Lady of the United States with its own staff and duties. The "Second Lady" is to the First Lady as the Vice President is to the President, and I will only provide the most cogent quote about the Vice Presidency as a means of understanding the importance of the Second Lady. Sayeth John Adams, the first man to hold the office "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived..." --Jayron32 15:54, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Foule sluts in dairies[edit]

In Richard Corbet's The Fairies Farewell we read "Farewell rewards and Fairies!/ Good housewives now may say;/ For now foule sluts in dairies/ Doe fare as well as they". Now, my question is were dairymaids regarded as particularly dirty in the 17th century? One tends nowadays to think of them as rather well-scrubbed. DuncanHill (talk) 06:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Google Books seems to be flooded with just the poem and not much commentary on it. WP:OR guess: I could see it being a pun of a few different sorts (like "get thee to a nunnery" in Halmet), as a euphemism for brothel. Ian.thomson (talk) 06:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not aware of it being used for brothel (neither is the OED), and I think slut here means "A woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance; a foul slattern" with perhaps a shade of the rare meaning "A kitchen-maid; a drudge" (both from the OED). After asking the question it did strike me that Corbet may simply be contrasting "good housewives" with "foul sluts", and the dairies could be common to both. The verse continues "And though they sweepe their hearths no less/ Than mayds were wont to doe,/ Yet who of late for cleaneliness/ Finds sixe-pence in her shoe?" so it does seem that physical, rather than moral, cleanliness is the issue here (and I doubt the Fairies were overly concerned with a young woman enjoying a little, or even a lot, of what she fancied). DuncanHill (talk) 07:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I found several 18th and early 19th century references which hint that dairy maids might have been less than models of moral rectitude, or at least available for the use their social superiors:
Alansplodge (talk) 16:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
The "physically dirty" meaning might be the correct one, as hygiene in a dairy would be difficult to maintain at the time, with cow manure being likely to be on the milk maid's clothing, or shoes at the very least. StuRat (talk) 16:39, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


February 7[edit]

French circumflex[edit]

Where can I find a complete list of the French words affected by the decision to make the circumflex (fr:accent circonflexe) optional in their spelling? I did not find such a list when I searched for "circonflexe" at

Wavelength (talk) 03:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

::Changing the rules in order to have to taste (goûter) sounding like to drip (goutter) at last! "So good an idea", they are advertising it at Poulet Frit du Kentucky (in accordance with the law for the protection of the French language). --Askedonty (talk) 13:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
First, we must know what word have been affected, I will not repeat the rules, here is a good explanation. Then we found a good French wordlist dictionary (like this) and just search for these letters and get the full list. I've already done this and got the list with around 400 words, though I did not check it manually for exceptions.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:41, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yet, there is an entire site dedicated to listing all the words. We can just copy their list letter by letter (I did not find where I could download the list as one text file, anyway 26 letters is not a big deal...). Then we just search the copied list for "C2", that is the code for the rule about circumflex.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Apparently, if you search for a comma character in their "Recherche simple", they show you the full list. --My another account (talk) 14:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I've nearly started to make up the list manually, but you save me 10 minutes of annoying copy-paste. So we have 620 French words that have lost circumflex.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 14:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

Part of speech types and acronyms[edit]

In a simplified extract from a corpus, I found following PoS acronyms: A, C, D, I, J, M, N, P, R, T, U, V, X.

For example:

I am trying to guess what the acronyms mean:

 A = article, 
 C = conjunction, 
 D = ??? adjective ??? , 
 I = ??? preposition ???, 
 J = ??? adjective again ???,
 M = numeral, 
 N = noun, 
 P = pronoun,
 R = adverb 
 T = only the 'to' in the category, but isn't it a preposition?
 U = exclamation/interjection, but why U?
 V = verb, 
 X = Isn't this an adverb too? Anyway, one category for just two words.

Are my guesses right? What are the tags marked with '???' ? Couldn't they have used a different classification, for example, put 'a' and 'the' on one category, and 'my' and 'our' in another?

Llaanngg (talk) 02:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

D = determiner (this may be counted as a special kind of adjective or often as a distinct part of speech in its own right) (It's a little unclear why A and D are divided up the way they are; D seems to be demonstrative and quantifier. Not sure how 'MATTER' could have got in that category.)
X = negator (could be special kind of adverb or again its own category)
T = possibly a special category for 'to' used with infinitives (likely being counted as a category on its own distinct from 'to' used as a true preposition)
It would be interesting to see more examples for 'I'. Peter Grey (talk) 04:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC) (edit Peter Grey (talk) 04:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC))
More examples of 'I':
Llaanngg (talk) 11:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, these are prepositions, including constituent words of complex prepositions. --My another account (talk) 18:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

"U = exclamation/interjection, but why U?" utterance?
Many other things are utterances, not just interjections. I suppose the 'I' was already taken, and maybe they avoided the 'E', which could be confused with 'expletive' by some. Llaanngg (talk) 09:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Is survived by or was survived by?[edit]

Hello! We have a dispute on the use of the words is survived by and was survived by in WP:DRN. The concerned article is Abe Vigoda, and I quote He is survived by his daughter, three grandchildren and a great-grandson. He (Abe Vigoda) is dead, obviously. His daughter, three grandchildren and a great-grandson are alive. What does the be verb here (is or was) refer to? And what should be used, is survived by or was survived by? Regards—UY Scuti Talk 09:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Both forms are correct at present. Since the "is" form might become false at some time in the future, following WP:MOS might be wisest for a Wikipedia article. Dbfirs 10:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Conversely, in an obituary, it's nice to be reminded that life goes on. Not so nice to infer "for now". InedibleHulk (talk) 10:19, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
... true, but Wikipedia doesn't write obituaries. Dbfirs 10:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Certainly not. I wasn't saying that as a pro-"is" point, just explaining why it's done there. Newspapers are about the moment, then they line birdcages. Wikipedia lasts (relatively) forever. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:32, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, I fully agree. Dbfirs 10:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment (I saw this at DRN, I have no other connection) I think the Wikipedia biography section is in effect an obituary. The MOS example gives 1972 as a "historical" event. The January 2016 event is not "historical"; it is news (and really is news to me). And in the context of this particular article where the subject has repeatedly been called dead, there is wit/humor in this being presented as the person's obituary (by using "is")...the reader gets to have a double-take "oh yeah, really he is dead this time, we'll see" which they only experience, or best experience, if "is" is used. It's good writing. :) And none of the survivors has died. So I think "is survived by" is accurate and most natural now, and should stay in place until one of the survivors dies or until the event has become "historical", I.e. Until a certain period has passed, and I suggest one year (with six months as the next best length of time). Some concern on the "was" side is legitimate, that we're setting up a future need for updating...what if no one participating remembers to come back and change it when 365 or 180 days have gone by? The phrasing would look bad, right? Well we could actually implement the decision right now by use of a template that chooses "is" or "was" according to whether current date is before death date plus 365 or 180. Like how "aged 35" or whatever shows in infobox of bios of living persons. (I offer to program the "is-was" template. In case the two parties might not agree on 365 or 180 or any other number, how about both stating they will each state and try to justify a number they prefer but agree in advance to abide by the impartial DRN moderator's choice of number. Hope this helps! doncram 11:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
  • You could get around it by leaving out the verb and just saying, "Survived by ..." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Since the daughter, three grandchildren, and the great-grandson are still alive, 'is' is correct here, since they still survive him to the present day. If one of them were to die, the 'is' should revert to 'was', since it would no longer be the case that they all survive him. Akld guy (talk) 12:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
... but they are not the subject of the sentence. Perhaps BB's solution would be best in view of the disagreements? Dbfirs 12:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Both is/was survived are passive, the subject is the same in both cases. Llaanngg (talk) 14:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
... as I said ... the subject is Abe Vigoda, and he was, though I suppose one does say is buried ... Dbfirs 14:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The distinction is between 'when' ("He was buried last year.") and 'where' ("He is buried in St. John's Cemetery."). American In Brazil (talk) 02:52, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
We can say "George Washington is considered the father of his country by many Americans", even though he's dead. The key thing is when the considering is being done--if it's in the present, "is" is correct, and if it's in the past, "was" is correct. Same with "is survived by..."--if the surviving is going on now, "is" is correct. Loraof (talk) 18:21, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Since the mood is passive, "is" refers to the object of the preposition 'by', "many Americans" and is thus a contemporaneous (present tense) reference. You can see this by using the indicative mood ("Many Americans consider George Washington the father of his country.") American In Brazil (talk) 02:52, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Apostrophy S, will be the solution. Use "He's survived by...", in the sentence. GoodDay (talk) 00:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

That would work for me. Mlpearc (open channel) 00:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
No, "he's" always means 'he is', never 'he was'. So that still begs the question. And I still think my response above is the correct one. Akld guy (talk) 00:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I've followed this discussion with considerable interest, since I'm the 'was' guy in this dispute. As a teacher of English to non-English speakers, I want to analyze the grammar and reference the correct usage of the sentence, which is currently, "He is survived by...". The subject of the sentence is "He" and the subject of the article is Abe Vigoda. Therefore, "He" refers to Mr. Vigoda, who is now deceased (and this time it's no joke!). The verb form is the third person singular of the irregular verb "to be", which can be expressed by the present "is" or the past "was". Since the verb is singular, it can only refer to the singular subject, in this case Mr. Vigoda, and not to the object, the survivors. At the time an obituary is written shortly after the death date, the contemporaneous "is" is frequently in common usage. But once the obituary has been published, the death date becomes an historical event. One would not say that George Washington "is" survived by his wife Martha, even if obituaries of the time used "is". Where the survivor(s) is/are still alive, the use of "was" remains the grammatically correct tense: "Elizabeth Taylor was survived by...". The amount of time after the death date and its announcement by an obituary becomes irrelevant, as does whether or not the survivors are still alive. And in this case none of the survivors are notable for WP purposes, so how would you know if a survivor had died? No less an authority than the Oxford English Dictionary, which scholars of the English language rely upon as the standard reference to definitions and grammar, agrees with this usage. It is the same for British and U.S. English (definition 1.2 of the verb 'survive' - to remain alive after the death of a particular person: 'he was survived by his wife and six children'): So much for correct English grammar. Now what does the WP Manual of Style have to say? As a general rule, it is best to follow WP:MOS, which is unambiguous on this point: Biographies of living persons should generally be written in the present tense, and biographies of deceased persons in the past tense...Historical events should be written in the past tense in all biographies(.) Therefore, the correct verb form in a WP article of a deceased person is "was". -American In Brazil (talk) 02:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

@American In Brazil: You still don't get it, the phrase in question is not referring to Abe, it refers to his family members. Mlpearc (open channel) 03:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@Mlpearc: No, you have confused subject with object, a common grammatical error. The singular verb references the subject of the sentence "He" (Mr. Vigoda). In English, the subject and the verb form must agree in number (with one important exception - "you [singular] are/were"). For some reason, you still do not accept the grammatical authority of the Oxford English Dictionary and the usage standard of WP:MOS. American In Brazil (talk) 03:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
(I'll indent) This discussion is getting too hard to follow, in three different locations. Mlpearc (open channel) 02:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • @American In Brazil:: your link [78] is not to the Oxford English Dictionary but rather to, which is based on two smaller dictionaries, Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary. Also, your appeal to the dictionary is unconvincing: it proves "was survived by" is grammatical, but does not prove that "is survived by" is ungrammatical.
  • I agree that "was survived" is more appropriate than "is survived" in an encyclopedia article. It's nothing to do with grammar: both are perfectly grammatical, and there plenty of contexts in which a deceased subject takes a present-tense verb. I conceded that for a short period after a death, "is survived" is more commonly found than "was survived", but that short period is the interval from news to history. Wikipedia is not Wikinews, and as far as Wikipedia is concerned, everything that has happened is history, not news. "A is survived by X, Y, and Z" reads like an obituary or newspaper report. I don't think "A was survived by X, Y, and Z" implies that one of X, Y, and Z has since also died. The suggestions that "is" should be changed to "was" after some fixed period (per User:doncram) is ridiculously impractical; doing so when one of the survivors dies (per Akld guy) even more so. A better option may be leaving out a "survived by" sentence altogether. Someone's spouse and children are likely already mentioned in the article; if some predeceased the subject that may be also worth mentioning in its own right. If, say, 4 of their 7 grandchildren were born before they died and the other 3 afterwards, that's not likely to be worth mentioning.
  • jnestorius(talk) 13:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@Jnestorius: Thank you for your insightful comment. The dictionaries you reference are both condensed versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, one with British usage and the other with American usage. The full version is 20 volumes! The online version has both and covers all of its references. As I stated, "is" is commonly used in obituaries, which are contemporary, but "was" is used historically thereafter. The OED uses the historical form.
The verb form 'is/was' is obviously singular and therefore refers to the singular subject "He" (the subject of this WP article, Abe Vigoda). As you correctly point out, along with Dbfirs and Inedible Hulk (above), an obituary in a newspaper is contemporary (which is used the next day to line your parakeet's bird cage), but a WP article is historical and continues online, potentially forever. To follow the survivors of the tens of thousands of notable deceased persons who are the subjects of WP articles is, again as you correctly observe, an impractical and, I would say, even impossible task. However, mentioning family members who are referenced in an obituary of the subject is adding a material fact that was important to the subject during his/her lifetime, to a greater or lesser extent. The solution is simple, however, and that is to follow WP:MOS which is quoted above and again here: Biographies of living persons should generally be written in the present tense, and biographies of deceased persons in the past tense...Historical events should be written in the past tense in all biographies(.) That provides a usage standard that all editors should follow consistently in WP articles of deceased persons. Therefore, "was" is the correct verb tense. NOTE TO ALL - Can we finally arrive at concensus? American In Brazil (talk) 14:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking mynah ("myna"?) birds. Parakeets don't need to read. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:41, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
@InedibleHulk. The parakeets around here mostly eat the mangoes on the trees. I don't want the birds eating my fruit, I want to eat my fruit. American In Brazil (talk) 00:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps a spine-chilling scarakeet is in order? InedibleHulk (talk) 00:20, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
How long does the {{Recent death}} template stay on an article? I'd venture "is" at least as long as that template is there, "was" thereafter.
Here's why I think that: As much as we want to say that this is an encyclopedia and not a newspaper, we know that people come here immediately after the death of a notable person looking for information. We wish to update the article as quickly as possible. I see no need for us to rush to edit all articles into "history/past tense" mode immediately on the subject's demise. In a project like this there is room for a transition period—an obituary period, if you will—where facts related to the death can be added quickly, without our worrying about anything else. Then, in some reasonable period of time, the article can be fully evolved to a post-mortem biographical. Just my two cents. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:19, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
{{Recent death}} doesn't even qulifiy for most articles, per it's documentation but, that's a different discussion. Mlpearc (open channel) 18:58, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I see there are varying opinions here too.. How about using Survived by.. as suggested above? Is that grammatically correct? Regards—UY Scuti Talk 01:33, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@UY Scuti - The problem is that a complete sentence needs a verb to be grammatically correct. If one simply says, "Survived by..." it is an incomplete sentence. We use incomplete sentences in conversation all the time, but in a scholarly work like an encyclopedia, which is what WP is, complete sentences are necessary. Also, one cannot say "They is" to refer to the survivors, nor "He are" to refer to the subject, and be grammatically correct. As I have pointed out to @Mlpearc above, in English the subject and the verb form must agree in number (with the one important exception of "you [singular] are/were").
So we are right back to where we started: Which is the correct verb tense, past or present? I have argued above that the past tense is correct from an historical viewpoint, such as a WP article of a deceased person. WP:MOS agrees. Finally, can we find concensus which is in accordance with WP:MOS? (With your kind permission, I have taken the liberty of removing the new section reference, since this is an ongoing discussion of the same topic.) American In Brazil (talk) 18:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
You could say "Survived by (...), Vigoda died in his sleep on (...)". But I'm still partial to my way. Eliminate the conflict, not the opposition. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:17, February 11, 2016 (UTC)


There is a street in Shrewsbury called "Mardol". The meaning of that name is always given as the "Devil's gate", or "Devil's boundary", with no further explanation. Can anyone suggest what language might give that translation? The only likely language other than English for a Shrewsbury street would be Welsh, but Google Translate doesn't support that theory. Maybe Anglo-Saxon? Rojomoke (talk) 10:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I found this quote in a search result in Google Books, which wasn't visible in the "snippet view": "...there is also an above-average number of names apparently unique to Shrewsbury, some of which offer difficult etymological problems. ... those for Shoplatch and Waxchere are very tentative, while Cockbitestrete and Mardol have defied explanation." The Place-names of Shropshire: The major names of Shropshire, Margaret Gelling and H. D. G. Foxall, English Place-Name Society, 2004. Alansplodge (talk) 11:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that. The thing is, almost everybody in Shrewsbury knows the supposed meaning. I was hoping for a suggestion as to the language it's believed to come from. Rojomoke (talk) 11:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Google Translate autodetects it as Welsh for me. Only says it means "mardol" in English, though, so I don't know. The closest I see to a word for "devil" is the Albanian "djall", and "mur" means "wall" ("mur djall", not "djall mur"). Is there a language between Albanian and Welsh? InedibleHulk (talk) 13:33, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
Salopian Shreds and Patches: Volume I (1874) p. 52 says that according to one local, the name is; "...derived from the Welsh maur (Wikt:mawr), great, and dûl, a meadow". Alansplodge (talk) 13:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

This source explains it as "filth valley". Could be that filth is associated with the Devil? --Dweller (talk) 13:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Could you find a page number showing where that is in the text please Dweller? I could find it in a search result but not in the thesis itself. Alansplodge (talk) 14:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Sure, it's under MURDEFORD on page 130. --Dweller (talk) 14:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Erk. Sorry, my mistake. The source actually says that the filth valley idea is probably incorrect for Murdeford and it's more likely to come from the same source as Mardol, which is ... of unknown etymology. I think the answer here is that it's of ... unknown etymology. --Dweller (talk) 14:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I've got it. That page says that Mardol was first recorded as Mardevall in about 1215, which might explain why it has been linked with the devil, but rules out the Welsh theory. The author is connecting the first syllable of Murdeford (originally Merdevall) with that of Mardol (originally Mardevall), saying that the meaning of that element is unknown, and rejecting another theory that it derives from the French merde. Thanks Dweller. Alansplodge (talk) 17:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
According to this book on Shropshire, Mardol is "formerly Mardvole, the pond at the marshy pastures." Another source, consistent with this one, says that the old forms of Mardol are Marlesford, Mardefole, and Mardvole. These names seem difficult to reconcile with a meaning of "devil's gate" or "devil's boundary." John M Baker (talk) 17:34, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Is there an English idiom for this?[edit]

In Finnish, we have an idiom called Ei se ole minulta pois (literally: "It's nothing taken away from me"). It means that the speaker says that if something doesn't win or gain anything for him/her, at least it's not a loss for him/her either. Is there any equal idiom in English? JIP | Talk 22:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

There are probably many. "It's no skin off my nose." and "I have no dog in this fight." come to mind. Mnudelman (talk) 22:27, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
"It's no skin off my nose" seems it means something like the Finnish idiom. JIP | Talk 23:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
"It's all the same to me" is an idiomatic expression that's closer to the literal meaning. Tevildo (talk) 23:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. The emphasis is that the speaker doesn't feel he/she is losing anything. "It's no skin off my nose" sounds like it's a good English equivalent. The idea is that the speaker doesn't mind what other people do, as long as it's not hurting him/her personally. JIP | Talk 23:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I expressed myself poorly here too. I didn't mean the speaker only cares about him/herself. I meant that the speaker primarily cares about not losing anything him/herself, and secondarily that everyone else is also OK. Whether the speaker him/herself wins or gains anything doesn't matter, as long as he/she doesn't lose anything. The latter is the main point. JIP | Talk 23:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
As an American native English speaker, both "It's all the same to me" and "It's no skin off my nose" mean nearly the same thing and would both be applicable in your example. The second sometimes could have the extra meaning that the person that you're saying it to did not insult you in any way by doing whatever it is that you're reacting to. Dismas|(talk) 23:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but 'did not insult you' is a wrong shade of meaning, since it implies that there never was an insult. What really should be indicated is that the insult was ineffective, as shown by the victim's retort 'It's no skin off my nose.' Akld guy (talk) 00:01, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
In my former neck of the woods, the idiom was "it's no skin of my hide". Also heard quite often, with similar meaning, was "it don't make me no nevermind".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 00:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • All that seems to matter here is how vulgar you want to be. It's no skin off my arse/ass is older than the politer euphemism, "off my nose". The other options are all equal in underlying meaning, and there's George Thorogood's "that don't befront me" option if you want to go that plain and common. μηδείς (talk) 03:19, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
In the Midwest of the USA where I grew up we used to say, "It's no skin off my back." American In Brazil (talk) 04:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
We used "no sweat off my sack" in my neighbourhood. The boys, anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:31, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
(Detroit) I'd just say "It's none of my business". Now this doesn't actually explain that the reason it's not any of my business is because it doesn't affect me, but that's understood as being the case. StuRat (talk) 06:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
You wouldn't(?) say that to "We don't have Coke. RC Cola OK?" or "The couch is taken, you'll have to sleep in the manger." Propositions that affect you, just not particularly positively or negatively. "I don't care", maybe. Like they say in Finland. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:37, February 11, 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

Pronunciation of surname Appice[edit]

How is the surname of the drummers Carmine and Vinny Appice pronounced? DuncanHill (talk) 09:02, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Entertainment/2016 January 13#Carmine Appice - pronounced –?. Deor (talk) 10:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Excellent - many thanks. DuncanHill (talk) 10:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Japanese: meaning of Toyo, like in Toyo university, Toyota, Tōyō kanji[edit]

Toyo university, Toyota, Tōyō kanji: is that the same meaning in all three cases? --Llaanngg (talk) 12:33, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

All three are different words.
"Toyo" university = 東洋 = Eastern Ocean, i.e. the Orient or Far East;
"Toyota" comes from "Toyoda" = 豊田, a surname, where "Toyo" = 豊, "plentiful"
"Tōyō" kanji = 当用, i.e. for general use.
Also note that "o" is different to "ō", although in English the line is often omitted, which can make things more confusing. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 15:23, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

February 11[edit]


stop sniggering at the back In this BBC article, a Sinn Fein MLA is quoted as saying "I'm sorry, long-fingering this does a disservice to women", in connexion with a DUP attempt to delay legislation by appointing a commission to look into the matter at hand. Is long-fingering a common Northern Irish expression? I've never heard it before, or at least not in this context. I said, stop sniggering! DuncanHill (talk) 06:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Seems to mean "delaying decisions and legislation for as long as possible in order to minimise the likelihood of popular dissent". And common enough (in regular Ireland) to not explain that till the third paragraph. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:34, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
It's a thing in regular Britain, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:42, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Just found that although it's not in OED, it is in Oxford Dictionaries website, which does say it's Irish. I don't think I've ever heard it before. I wonder who the PM's spokesman quoted in the Iraq story you linked was. DuncanHill (talk) 07:13, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Not sure. British media seem to have a thing about just calling them spokeseman. The very English-sounding Alastair Campbell was the big cheese at the time (or shortly before). The very Irish-sounding Ciarán Ward only started in 2009. Whatever any underlings are saying, I imagine it can't be too far off from the Director, if not directly written by him. Not sure if the Media Manager is more like the Downing Street Press Secretary, Downing Street Director of Communications or the Prime Minister's Spokesman (currently a very female-sounding bloke). InedibleHulk (talk) 08:58, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
On February 6, 2003, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman was named...Prime Minister's Official Spokesman. That afternoon, same deal. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:19, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
On September 24, 2003, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman was two people. Godric Smith was later a Head and three kinds of Director. Tom Kelly called David Kelly Walter Mitty. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:33, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Good work! Well, Tom Kelly is from Northern Ireland, so I think we can put the long-finger down to him. DuncanHill (talk) 09:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd like to give him a good, hard finger-wagging, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:55, February 11, 2016 (UTC)

the thingness of things[edit]

How long has a thing been a thing? —Tamfang (talk) 09:42, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Thing Magazine would be the place to look. It was briefly the authority on what is and isn't. Sadly, it itself is no longer a thing. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:58, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
It was already a thing in 2007, when Lisa confirms to Bart that singing opera better on your back is a thing, but painting better on your back isn't. Homer does it regardless. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:07, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Too haecceitistic for me, I'm afraid. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:08, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I was wrong, anyway. Just rewatched, and it's singing opera that doesn't make you a better painter. And both times, Bart asked "Is that a real thing?" InedibleHulk (talk) 10:30, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
The earliest this guy found was a 2001 episode of That '70s Show. Not sure if that means it was around in the '70s. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:53, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Oddly enough, That '70s Show never aired in the 70s. So it's probably not a reliable document for English As She Is Spoke by 70s people. --Jayron32 13:42, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Assignment of Gender[edit]

In languages that have grammatical gender, how are new words or coinages assigned gender? Are there rules for gender assignment? And if so, do they vary from language to language? La Alquimista 13:09, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm sure there is considerable variation from language to language, but Grammatical gender#Gender assignment covers some general trends and principles. --Jayron32 13:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
And also the section Grammatical gender#Gender in words borrowed from one language by another. Loraof (talk) 14:57, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


February 5[edit]

Song help[edit]

I'm trying to find a song I heard a few months back. It's a male-female duet featuring a female artist who I was told is an Iranian based in the UAE. The video for the clip features the two driving in a car. Hack (talk) 02:37, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Was this on TV or the Internet? What genre? Remember any lyrics? Were they in English? Did the guy look Persian? Clues are always good. You know what isn't so good? "Girls in Cars". InedibleHulk (talk) 09:38, February 5, 2016 (UTC)

Kevin Brown[edit]

Is Kevin Brown in the United States national bandy team in this year's Bandy World Championship the same Kevin Brown as Kevin Brown the former NHL hockey player? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

No. According to Wikipedia the NHL player was born in England and raised in Canada. According to Google's translation of this article, the bandy player was born and raised in Sweden, though he has US citizenship through his father. -- (talk) 21:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

Sega Mega Drive II games[edit]


Do we have a list of games available in this console?


Apostle (talk) 19:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

See Sega Genesis#Variations for the Genesis II / Mega Drive II. See List of Sega Genesis games for the list of games. Tevildo (talk) 19:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Also backwards compatible with these, and can attach to a Sega CD or Sega 32X like its big brother. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:31, February 6, 2016 (UTC)
Although Wikipedia's Sega Genesis article desribes the Genesis/Mega Drive as "backwards compatible" with the Master System, I think it's a bit of a stretch to use that term. To play Master System cartridges or cards, you have to connect a "Power Base Converter" peripheral to the Genesis/Mega Drive (or a "Master System Converter 2" to the Mega Drive II).--Bavi H (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:47, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Aye, my bad. I remembered it was possible, from the one kid in my class who thought he was cooler than us SNES folk. But I don't think he ever mentioned paying extra. Sorry if I got any hopes up! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:32, February 7, 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll read through peeps. Thanks. Face-smile.svg --Apostle (talk) 18:32, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

February 7[edit]

Star - Kiki Dee[edit]

Who produced and played on the Kiki Dee song Star? Thanks, DuncanHill (talk) 02:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

According to, the producer was Pip Williams. According to this site (which looks fairly comprehensive), the list of musicians on "Star" is:
Bob Jenkins: Drums and Clap Trap
Gary Twigg: Bass Guitar
Bias Boshell: Pianos, Yamaha Dream Machine and Roland SH7 Synths
Pip Williams: Electric Guitars
Frank Ricotti: Sleigh Bells
Tevildo (talk) 09:35, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. DuncanHill (talk) 21:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Zelda help?[edit]

I've been playing an online emulator lately that hosts the original Zelda game. I've been in a deadlock the last two rounds - I'm supposed to "meet an old man by a grave" and find a "secret" in a "tree at a dead end."

Where on earth are those things? Has anyone played it and can help me? Theskinnytypist (talk) 06:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

GameFAQs has a walkthrough that'll help you. The old man = where you get the Master Sword, the tree at the dead end = the entrance to Level 8. Here's an interesting link that shows some of the differences between the original Japanese and the English translation, which is why some of these hints make less sense than they should. Foofish (talk) 09:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Trix and Daphne (winx)[edit]

Hi, episodes 13-26 are air it on nick aisa and more channels and I saw Daphne and the trix so my questiobn is: what's the name from the people's that voiced Daphne and the trix in the DuArt dub.--Maxie1hoi (talk) 13:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Horse racing's J.T. Lundy[edit]

I am trying to find out if infamous president of legendary Calumet Farm, John Thomas Lundy (J.T.), is still living. It appears he or someone linked to him has had the internet swept clean of facts about J.T. Lundy the person. I can read accounts of his sentencing and his release from prison but nowhere can I find if he is living and if so, still involved in racing or, if not, when he died. Wikipedia mentions him in the Calumet entry but his name is not hot-linked. Can you help?

Jack Stephens Nashville, TN — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aubie1 (talkcontribs) 15:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I did some searches of news sources and found nothing. While this does not tell us whether Lundy is alive or not, it does suggest that he is not still involved in racing. John M Baker (talk) 17:39, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Daniel Radcliffe's glasses[edit]

What films or TV programmes did Daniel Radcliffe wore glasses in? (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that guy might've been in a few scenes of Harry Potter. I guess you want something other than that? Staecker (talk) 20:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
He wore glasses in Kill Your Darlings, but took them off to be buggered by a sailor. DuncanHill (talk) 21:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
We should ask Miss Manners if it's proper etiquette to remove one's glasses during such an activity. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Most people do, in my experience. DuncanHill (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
My ex liked to imagine a love scene in which the camera closes in on two pairs of glasses before fading out. —Tamfang (talk) 08:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
My Boy Jack Hotclaws (talk) 11:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Specifically My Boy Jack (film). Radcliffe plays Rudyard Kipling's only son Jack, for whom his father goes to great lengths to get him accepted into the army during the First World War, despite Jack being badly short-sighted. Jack's final demise when he loses his glasses on the battlefield and is killed as a result may owe more to artistic licence than strict historical truth, but it's worth watching anyhow. Alansplodge (talk) 18:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 8[edit]

documentary series[edit]

what is the longest tv documentary serie?-- (talk) 19:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

What country? Maybe this helps: List of longest-running United States television series. Or this: Long-running shows. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Well there are things like Planet Earth (TV series) that have existed for years that can be considered the longest. The series The World at War is one of the longest ones that I can remember but I suspect other editors will know of ones that were longer. MarnetteD|Talk 19:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
MarnetteD brings to mind a good point. Do you mean "longest running" where the same documentary series has been running for many years? Or the series with the longest running time? For example, something with a few number of episodes which have longer run times. These may be the same thing, I don't know, but it might help get you the answer that you are looking for. Dismas|(talk) 20:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
In terms of time between first and latest episodes, the Up Series comfortably has the record, with a 49-year run which is presumably still ongoing, 63 Up being due in 2019. However, it only has eight episodes. Tevildo (talk) 20:36, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
For longevity, Hockey Night in Canada is going on 64 years. That might be considered more sports or news, but it documents the reality of the games. For running time, Alex Jones stuff is pretty consistently uncomfortably long. For every three hours, there might only be twenty minutes of reality, from what I've seen. The rest is mostly stock footage and "O Fortuna". InedibleHulk (talk) 05:21, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
Disambiguate: Alex Jones (radio host)? —Tamfang (talk) 08:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That's the one. Nice to be corrected by a human instead of a bot on that, for a change. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:33, February 10, 2016 (UTC)
By episodes number?-- (talk) 12:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Panorama (TV series) will broadcast episode 2760 (which doesn't include 'specials') on 15 February 2016, is that the kind of thing you're looking for? Nanonic (talk) 17:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
If so (and depending where you draw the "documentary" line), that's about a fifth of The Tonight Show. It's not exactly scripted, but kind of steered. Historical figures in their semi-natural environment, like those famous lemmings. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:08, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
If we allow current-events programs, Meet the Press (69 years, approx 18,000 episodes) is the winner. Guinness World Records lists it as the longest-running TV documentary series, but I'm not 100% convinced that it really counts as a documentary. Tevildo (talk) 22:58, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm 75% convinced, but this seems like a good time to link to documentary film. Might help make up some minds. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:31, February 10, 2016 (UTC)
I don't think live sports presentations would count. Broadcasting a live event might "document" it, but "documentaries" are typically after-the-fact coverage summarizing and interpreting an event. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:06, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
They do that, too. Just not long after-the-fact. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:10, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
Here is an interesting list: List of longest-running television shows by category. And, interestingly, they have a few dozen categories, but not "documentary" per se. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:59, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
[You were correct the first time. The word "series" is both singular and plural.
Wavelength (talk) 23:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)]

February 9[edit]

Finishing kick after the ball rebounds in football penalty[edit]

In association football, when the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper and the opposing team player is allowed to make a finishing kick, is there an actual offside which formally disallows the finishing kick (as the player performing a penalty kick is behind the line of opposing team's defenders)? Having browsed the related FIFA rule, my understanding is that since "the kicks from the penalty mark are not part of the match", the actual offside is disregarded. Brandmeistertalk 12:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

It is not an offence to be in an offside position per se. You have to receive the ball from a team mate to be ruled offside. In the above example, the ball came off the goalie. Widneymanor (talk) 16:39, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
That's not entirely correct. To commit an offside offence you have to be in "active play" in an "offside position", which usually means receiving the ball, but can also mean blocking opponent's view, for example. Also, the fact that it comes off the goalie does not matter - if you're in an offside position when the ball is kicked and the goalie blocks it, you will still commit offside offence if you kick the rebound. Source:[79]
What seams to disqualify the penalty kick situation above is the fact that you can not put yourself in an offside position - the ball has to be kicked or otherwise passed by your teammate. Otherwise, any control of the ball behind the second defender would be an offside.No longer a penguin (talk) 07:38, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

That comment about "the kicks from the penalty mark are not part of the match" is in the section FIFA helpfully describes as "kicks from the penalty mark", known in the English-speaking world as penalty shoot-out. This has different laws. Notably, if the goalkeeper saves a penalty in a shoot-out, that's it - no allowance for follow-up strikes at goal. Offside doesn't apply in those circumstances - see slide 25. All the players apart from the goalie and the penalty-taker go and have a picnic in the centre circle. Also, note that that document isn't the laws of football. It's a training document, meant to help referee training. The laws can be found here --Dweller (talk) 17:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Motor vehicle (Survey)[edit]

Rojomoke (talk) 14:36, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Thank you Rojomoke, might be helpful to point to the appropriate page then--DDupard (talk) 16:13, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Not sure what you are asking but there are clear instructions at the top of this page as to what is and is not appropriate. MarnetteD|Talk 16:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Fantasy book about gaining powers through other people[edit]

I'm looking for a title of a book (or perhaps it was a series) of fantasy fiction where leaders or champions gain super human abilities through other people. It is set in a fantasy world, with basic medieval backdrop(castles, swords, etc.) There is an element (like gold) that is mined and converted into bars or rods. Each rod can be used once to transfer one person's ability to another during an almost religious ceremony. For example, taking someone's sight makes one person blind and the recipient have better vision. Champions emerge where they have dozens or even hundreds of people's abilities, making them super strong/fast/smart. The ability lasts for as long as the giver is alive. The givers are housed and taken care of by the leaders in special compounds. Basically, they are peasants/serfs who "volunteer" to make their leader better. During a war, the "enemy" starts to specifically target these givers - killing them and making the recipient lose their powers. I remember a part where a guy is super fast and is chasing his enemy through the woods. But, he starts to lose his strength and his bones break because he is running so fast and his muscles/bones can't keep up with his speed. I would have read it likely in the early nineties - say 1993-95. Sound familiar?

No, but this sounds like it would make a good chess variant. Thanks for the inspiration! Double sharp (talk) 16:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't remember the use of an element, but otherwise it sound like the Runelords series by David Farland. Rojomoke (talk) 18:38, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Note that this is a common reason for cannibalism, the belief that they will inherit the abilities of those they eat. StuRat (talk) 18:49, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Some of those conclusions have been questions by more modern anthropologists. See, for example Flower war#Purpose which shows that some scholars contradict the traditional narrative of role of human sacrifice in Mesoamerican society. --Jayron32 16:04, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That article says nothing about cannibalism, much less the purpose for it. StuRat (talk) 17:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't know, but the trope is common. You might find your answer through TV tropes (who also have some literature coverage): Victor Gains Losers Powers. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Walt Disney Treasures - why a limited series?[edit]

The Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets were produced in limited series, with 250,000 or fewer copies of each volume produced. Have any individuals involved in the production of the series, such as Leonard Maltin, ever indicated why this was done? One might think it was due to limited demand, but similar series such as the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, were not produced in this way, making the decision somewhat mysterious. -- (talk) 16:32, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Disney tries to create a perception of exclusivity by making their films only available in limited amounts for limited times. The theory is, that even if this means they lose out on some sales up front, the perception they create allows them to sell more, for more money each, later. This is a fairly common strategy in "premium" branding. You will hear them say things like "Get it now before it's locked back up in the Disney vault !". StuRat (talk) 18:35, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Walt Disney Treasures sound a lot like plain old diamonds. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:49, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
Gold, on the other hand, needs to keep flowing to work. The Warner Bros. version of the Disney Vault is just a marketplace. Nothing forbidden or alluring about Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:36, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
You can't buy the animated classic The Little Mermaid from the Disney Store, but if you act now, you can pay $1400 for the completely immobile, non-singing version. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:56, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
"We have a responsibility to these films, the filmmakers and Walt Disney," said Tania Moloney, vice president of publicity and marketing for Buena Vista Home Video. "We take great care in how they're presented at the retail level. We don't want to see tons of copies poorly displayed all over the shelves. These films are legendary."
Note that Walt Disney had been dead (or at least on ice) for almost twenty years at that point. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:27, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
StuRat has it right - that the Disney people release these media for limited times and in limited amounts. Disney himself died long before their classics came available on VHS, let alone DVD. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Even before "the best home movies of them all". Soundtrack sold separately! InedibleHulk (talk) 23:55, February 9, 2016 (UTC)
Our article is at artificial scarcity. It's kind of built in to capitalism. You can also thank Disney for the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, so rest assured that their exceptional profits are being spent [80] by buying political influence [81] to protect and increase those profits. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:38, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10[edit]

Double songs?[edit]

The album Diploid Love contains this track [82], Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy (with a fun video and catchy second part, IMO). Green Day's Insomniac has the track Brain Stew/Jaded. Now, we could say that inhabiting the same track makes them one song. But the title, music and lyrics make it clear that these are two separate things, that are nevertheless intended to be listened to together with no break in between. These are the examples, the questions are:

  1. Is there a name for this sort of thing? I know some classical music comes in movements, but those don't seem to commonly have individual names, and they often aren't on the same single track in a vinyl or CD album. Also I think there are usually more than two movements. My examples are definitely not medleys, nor mashups, nor any of the other names I know of that indicate putting songs together in tight sequence.
  2. Any lists of such double songs, or just good entries for the list? For the purposes of this question, lets rule out classical music, I'm mostly interested in any genre of popular music since ~1950.

Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 17:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Even if not listed as separate songs, some have radically different segments, such as both Thriller and Knights in White Satin starting with spoken poetry, then moving on to the song proper. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
"Nights", not "Knights". Mingmingla (talk) 20:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Good catch. Apparently there is another song by the spelling I used, hence the lack of a redlink. StuRat (talk) 21:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Interesting question. Other data points: Paul McCartney was noted for writing songs with multiple movements like that, I.E. Band on the Run or A Day In The Life.--Jayron32 17:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
These are all good at capturing the idea of one song with very different parts, but the two-names-and-single-track thing is what I'd most like other examples of or ideally a name for. Another example: We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions mostly fit my criteria, as they are commonly played on the radio together like my examples above [83], and our article says they were designed to be run together. They are listed as separate songs on News_of_the_World_(album), but I'm not sure if they were in the same track. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman) from Led Zeppelin too. And Foreplay/Long Time from Boston and Eruption/You Really Got Me from Van Halen I. --Jayron32 20:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Then there's the 8-song medley that forms most of the second side of the Beatles Abbey Road album. --Jayron32 20:19, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In from The 5th Dimension. Sugar Magnolia/Sunshine Daydream from the Grateful Dead. --Jayron32 20:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Just found the Wikipedia article List of musical medleys which has a lot of examples as well. --Jayron32 20:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, the Soft Cell version of Tainted Love famously also blends into Where Did Our Love Go. The original radio single didn't include the mashup, but the extended 12-inch single did, and that version is the one commonly heard on the radio today. --Jayron32 20:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The Kings' "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" is worth a listen. Mingmingla (talk) 21:00, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Fleetwood Mac's song The Chain is actually a hidden double song; the first song ends before the bass solo in the middle of the song, which starts the second composition (the "running in the shadows..." part) --Jayron32 21:05, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
On the radio, two Pink Floyd songs are actually usually two song medleys. Time (Pink Floyd song) is almost always played alongside the Breathe reprise, and the radio version of Another Brick in the Wall is most commonly played as a two-song mashup of The Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). --Jayron32 21:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Continuing the Floyd examples, there are also "Speak to Me"/"Breathe" which are often played one right after the other. StM being an instrumental that leads into B. And then the final two songs of the same album, "Brain Damage"/"Eclipse" are also normally played one right after the other. And then Queen's two songs "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" are nearly always played one after the other. Dismas|(talk) 00:41, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Does the Simon & Garfunkel recording "Scarborough Fair / Canticle" count? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

List of all the Cartoons (2D & 3D) Movies and Television series[edit]

I'm searching for the "List(s)" of all that came out till to date. Can somebody help me please? -- Apostle (talk) 18:43, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Do you want a fully comprehensive list of cartoons in English, or in any language? Either way, it's not going to happen if only because the number is very very high. However, you can look at List of animated feature films and List of animated television series. I don't either of them are remotely exhaustive. Mingmingla (talk) 20:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
And the list of animation shorts. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:55, February 10, 2016 (UTC)
Which is far from complete. See also the list of one-shot Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animated shorts. Tom Turkey & His Harmonica Humdingers sounds delightful. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:01, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Okay I'll view through, thanks guys Face-smile.svg -- Apostle (talk) 11:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

List of all the Movies and Television series[edit]

I'm searching for the "List(s)" of all that came out till to date. Can somebody help me please? -- Apostle (talk) 18:43, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

A list of all movies ever made? Someone's gonna engage into a good ol' binge-watch. 2A02:582:C74:6C00:AD33:FC48:E45D:CBD8 (talk) 19:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Smiley123.png -- Apostle (talk) 19:22, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I doubt you'll find a single comprehensive list. We have Lists_of_films and lists of television series, each of which contains many lists. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:41, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
IMDB would be a good source. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I could easily write a short program to open all five million IMDb entries. —Tamfang (talk) 09:25, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank peeps. Regards Face-smile.svg -- Apostle (talk) 11:19, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Tamfang makes a valid point. Listing them all on one page wouldn't be very useful, as just loading the page would take too long, much less looking through it. Better to have the list in a database where you can do searches based on partial matches, etc. I believe IMDB already does this, in their search bar. You can also do a Google search with "" added, to restrict finds to that site. StuRat (talk) 14:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Town Musicians of Bremen[edit]

I am searching for a steampunk(-ish) animated film adaptation of Town Musicians of Bremen from around 1997. Does it ring a bell? 2A02:582:C74:6C00:AD33:FC48:E45D:CBD8 (talk) 19:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

It does! It was called The Fearless Four and came out in 1997. Tevildo (talk) 19:35, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I was searching for it for some time. 2A02:582:C74:6C00:AD33:FC48:E45D:CBD8 (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

What's that ship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?[edit]

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Rey and Finn steal the Millennium Falcon from Unkar Plutt and fly off into space, they get captured by some kind of even larger spaceship, which pulls the Millennium Falcon inside it. Then they meet Han Solo and Chewbacca, and two gangs of criminals show up.

What is that large spaceship? Does it belong to Han Solo and Chewbacca? Were they piloting it?

And where did the two gangs of criminals come from? JIP | Talk 20:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

As usual, Wookieepedia has all the answers. The ship is the Eravana, the two gangs are the Guavian Death Gang and the Kanjiklub. Staecker (talk) 21:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, so the ship belonged to Han Solo and Chewbacca, and the two criminal gangs were not originally present aboard it, but found it and boarded it by force. Is that right? JIP | Talk 21:29, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
From my two watchings of the film, I'd say that you're correct. The article on the Eravana seems to agree with me since it says "Han Solo's freighter, the Eravana, had been boarded by two notorious criminal factions..." (emphasis mine) Dismas|(talk) 00:46, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]

Unknown USA horror from the 80's or 90's[edit]

Which is a USA horror from the 80's or 90's about flying giant mouths with sharp teeth (maybe aliens?) and this mouths is ability to destroy buildings. Doncsecztalk 16:44, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


February 8[edit]

Bidding on eBay[edit]

Does eBay have any sort of "upper limit" check for bidding? In other words, if I make a high bid (let's say, I type in 999,999.99 or whatever), does eBay stop that bid? Or does it check with a message such as "are you sure you meant to type 999,999.99?" or something like that? I ask because I want to make a "last minute" bid. But I don't want any time wasted with intervening messages, etc. Which might delay me and bring me past the bidding deadline. Does anyone know? And, if so, what's the magic number that prompts a message? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The only restriction I see on ebay's info page is that you can't bid over $15,000 unless you have a credit card on file. Doesn't say anything about special intervening messages. Also keep in mind that coming in at the last second with a bid won't win you the item if another bidder's confidential maximum bid is higher than yours. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
We have an article about this bidding tactic, Auction sniping. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

How would these two (similar) American football plays be scored?[edit]

(1) The score is 6-0. Team A is going for the point-after-touchdown, specifically the kick. Kicker kicks it short, Team B's defense retrieves the ball and runs it 105 yards to the opposing endzone. Or (2) the same as before, but in the endzone, Team B fumbles, Team A picks it up and is tackled within their endzone. --Aabicus (talk) 06:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

For (1), this article[84] states that because of a 2015 rule change, "the defending team will be allowed to score two points if it grabs possession of the ball and takes it back the other way." I don't understand (2). Are you talking about the situation discussed in the second paragraph in Safety (gridiron football score)#Conversion safety? That one's worth a single point. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
"In college football and the NFL, a conversion safety could also be scored by the defense.[22] To accomplish this, the kicking team would have to retreat all the way back to their own end zone and then fumble the ball out of it or be tackled in it.[24] A more plausible scenario would involve a turnover on the extra point attempt followed by a lost fumble before the defensive player reaches the end zone, with the ball finally being downed by the offense in its own end zone. While such a conversion safety has never been scored by the defense, it is the only possible way in which a team could finish with a single point in an American football game." Ooooh yes, this is what I'm talking about. I was wondering if that were possible. Thank you! --Aabicus (talk) 08:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

A tool for counting word frequency in newspaper archives[edit]

Is there such a tool? Something similar to Google Ngram or Google Trends, but for news only. I know there's a data range parameter in Google News search, but it seems that Google didn't index as many publications few years back, so the results are seriously skewed, I think. Is there any other more reliable service anyone could recommend, for checking whether a certain topic (word) was mentioned in newspapers over time? If you reply here, please WP:ECHO me. Thank you, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Cars ID[edit]

What are brands and models of these two cars? See no clues on them, thanks. Brandmeistertalk 15:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The top one is a Smart car - a sports convertible. The lower one looks deliberately disguised, which car manufacturers frequently do when testing new models.--Phil Holmes (talk) 18:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Smart Roadster Collector's Edition, to be exact. A nice looking car, but unfortunately it had waterproofing problems. Smurrayinchester 08:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I think #2 might have been an Opel Calibra in a previous life, now suffering the torments of the damned following some none-too-skillful ricing. Tevildo (talk) 18:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It's definitely been modified in a haphazard way. That can also happen with cars used in races, as they will just rivet on a replacement part to get it back on the track quickly, versus taking the time to do it properly.
The single wiper blade may also be a clue, not too many cars have that these days. StuRat (talk) 18:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I also thought of customization. Took them recently, this is the rear view, will tag the other as Smart then. Brandmeistertalk 19:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd plus Tevildo, I had exactly the same dream image - from a previous life - that such a beautiful rage automnile had to be a Calibra. Now I found it could also be a Mitsubishi Eclipse, although the windshield (front view) does not match exactly the series model ( rather that of the Calibra ). The single wiper blade I think, that is definitively a competition arrangement. --Askedonty (talk) 19:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The "HOONIGAN" sign on the back of the second car relates to a "ricer" type of group - so whatever it is, it's probably been hacked around quite a bit by an 'enthusiast'. SteveBaker (talk) 20:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It's a sticker. I've seen rather worse in the way of desacralization of the Ford Mustang's. --Askedonty (talk) 21:21, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I think the word you're looking for there is "desecrate".[85]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:50, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, you are of course perfectly right, Baseball Bugs. "Desacralisation" is actually French. It's "desecration of the Ford Mustang". --Askedonty (talk) 13:45, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

How do lottery officials insure that dollar amounts of jackpots are not too high?[edit]

Are lottery ticket games limited to the amount of money that they can award? Or, in other words, can a lottery game "bankrupt" itself by awarding "too much money"? I assume that, by definition, this cannot happen. But I am not sure. I assume that the prizes are a function of how much money has been collected in sales of tickets. Is that correct? So, for example, if they sell $10 million dollars worth of ticket sales, the top prize is some fraction of that $10 million. Is that how it works? That would seem reasonable, but I can find counter-examples. Which is why I ask. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, although in the case of rollover prizes, it is possible to pay off more on a given day than was taken in that day. StuRat (talk) 19:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
So, on to my counter-examples. One: I think that this very recent Power Ball lottery had a prize close to half a billion dollars. I thought there is some "multiplier" number. So, that if the multiplier is "3", you get your top prize money multiplied by three (and so forth). How would that work? Also, Two: scratch-off tickets. They have no idea if they will sell all, most, few, or none of these. So, how would that work? At the end of the day, maybe no one at all goes out and buys that specific scratch off game, so there is no revenue. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:48, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The law of large numbers, as applied to potential lottery buyers (n), would ensure you never get zero or a very small number of buyers, where n is large. StuRat (talk) 19:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Huh? Your comment is: you can never get a small "n" when "n" is large. Isn't that what you just said? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:53, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I parsed it as "when there are a large number of potential lottery buyers, it's unlikely that any one scratch-off ticket will only get a small number of players" MChesterMC (talk) 09:14, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Correct. Or more precisely, you won't get a zero number of actual buyers when you have a large pool of potential buyers. We could even put some numbers on it. Let's say there are a million potential buyers, each with an independent 1% chance of buying one or more lottery ticket(s) each day. Then the chance of none buying any would be 0.991,000,000 = 1.5653×10-4365. Not gonna happen. StuRat (talk) 19:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
According to [86]: the PowerBall multiplier does not apply to the jackpot, and for other prize levels "As with any lottery prize, if an extremely popular number is drawn and there is not enough money in the prize pools or reserves to cover it, we may need to reduce the prize." So for PowerBall, it cannot pay out too much. RudolfRed (talk) 20:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, there is some "fine print" that most people are not aware of! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
In Canada's Lotto 6/49, the smaller prizes are flat amounts. So we can imagine a scenario where there are 10,000,000 tickets sold (at $3 each) and 40% of the people buying them all decide to choose the numbers 1, 2, 3, and three others. If 1, 2, and 3 did in fact turn out to be among the numbers drawn, then the lottery would be obligated to pay out $40,000,000 in $10 prizes (in addition to any major prizes), despite taking in only $30,000,000 on tickets. The official rules, at least in Ontario, make no exception for this situation. Of course, the probability of something like this happening by chance is ridiculously small, and it's not considered a concern worth worrying about. -- (talk) 21:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC) (by edit request) ―Mandruss  22:07, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
  • See the Triple Six Fix which had a record pay-out when white paint was injected into the 4 and 6 balls of a pick-three 0-to-9 Pennsylvania lottery. Triple six won. I believe it was a loss for the state from what I remember, as we watched the drawing, but it is not mentioned in the article. Of course they caught on to the the scam, and as a whole there was no loss on a long-term basis. μηδείς (talk) 23:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Well, scratch tickets are very different than lottery tickets (where numbers are randomly drawn). When they print the scratch tickets, they have already authorized all the total prize money to be awarded (regardless of how ticket sales go). (The prize awards are authorized, but they are simply "hidden" with that silvery scratch-off material.) Say there is a scratch off game that sells for $1. The top prize is $1 million. It's a very unpopular game, and no one buys these scratch tickets. Only one person does, and he happens to get the $1 million prize. So, the state (or government) "accepts" that $999,999 as a loss? And -- nowadays -- there are dozens of scratch games to choose from; they can't all be popular. I suspect some are popular. People are probably unaware of and unfamiliar with most of them, however. So, how do scratch off games insure a positive revenue stream to guarantee payouts? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The state keeps a house advantage for instant lotto. I don't think there's anything strictly preventing your scenario, but it just doesn't happen enough to be a problem. Same way sometimes a guy can walk into a casino with $100 and walk out with $10000. But the casino isn't worried, they know they have the edge in expected value and they know that they aren't offering fair games. There's tons of rather sophisticated probablity behind this. E.g. gambler's ruin, martingale, etc. Here's a decent overview of the elementary probablility [87]. If you're having trouble transitioning from instant lotto to regular lotto, just pretend that they drew a bunch of balls ahead of time and then printed up the tickets. Maintaining the house advantage is actually much easier in instant lotto. Realistically, they don't have to worry about tickets not selling. They know that those scratch off tickets are addictive [88], [89] [90] [91], and they know their junkies poor, under-educated working class upstanding citizens who enjoy an occasional gaming experience need their fix. Here's one piece that specifically covers how states maintain their edge and how instant lotto are usually the most popular product [92].
Here's some stats from MI [93]. You can find similar records on each state lotto, some of them are linked by our articles e.g. Ohio lottery. Unsurprisingly, the state of Michigan doesn't mention how most of the money raised "for schools" does not really help schools, because traditional government funding is simply cut back (discussion here [94], [95]). They also don't mention how the lotto is primarily a regressive tax on the poor, etc, but now I'm drifting off topic and should stop. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The state keeps 40-50% of regular lotteries (minus expenses and plus extra income taxes) but 75% of the scratchy things. They have a big cushion. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:40, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9[edit]

Sharing a Wikipedia post[edit]

How might I share this with other Wikipedians? It looks at Wikipedia a few years ago, and examines the open content phenomenon. Openness vs Authority.BooksXYZ (talk) 04:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

You could contact The Signpost and see if they are interested. Warofdreams talk 14:01, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Will do, thanks.BooksXYZ (talk) 02:52, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It's worth mentioning that the description of the WikiMedia board from 2006 doesn't apply today. Things have gotten a lot better in the intervening decade. SteveBaker (talk) 15:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11[edit]

plastic surgery[edit]