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Contents

Computing[edit]

February 5[edit]

How I rename system files on pcbsd?[edit]

How I rename system files on pcbsd? I problably need use the root password (like when updating or installing printers that asks for it), but I can find a way to "enter root mode" to rename the files needed to change some boot files stuff I want to change. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.79.69.164 (talk) 10:05, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

mv? try "man mv" for instructions. Maybe you need the "sudo" command as well. Or, ehm, "rename"? To be honest I have never used pcbsd. The Quixotic Potato (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
PCBSD uses KDE as the desktop manager by default. If you are logged in as yourself and not root, you won't be able to rename the system (root) files through the GUI. You can do it in one of three ways: You can logout and login as root. You can open a shell and run Dolphin as root (sudo dolphin). You can open a shell and mv (sudo mv oldname newname). 209.149.115.90 (talk) 14:30, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, I was able to rename files with this info.201.79.72.126 (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed...and 'sudo' is only available if your account is a member of the 'sudoers' group...which may not be the case for your regular login account. If you know the root password, you can use 'su' (hit return, enter password, hit return) to become root - and then just 'mv' the file or add yourself to the sudoers group so you can use sudo for this kind of thing in the future.
I've gotta say that if you need to ask this question, then you're probably not sufficiently experienced to start renaming system files! It's very, very easy to accidentally 'brick' your system so it won't even reboot! There is a reason these files are locked up so only 'root' can change them!
SteveBaker (talk) 15:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

How do I change the default boot order on PCBSD?[edit]

I tried to rename files in the grub.d to 10_RestOfTheFileName, or 30_Rest_of_name ....., like the readme told me but nothing worked. The default boot is pcbsd and I want that the boot loader start with windows xp selected (and so open it if no key is pressed)201.79.72.126 (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Given this (and the previous) question, you might be better off using a GUI tool to change the GRUB settings - there is "Grub customizer", for example. Not sure if it works with PCBSD - but I see no reason why not.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1664134
SteveBaker (talk) 15:47, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

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. --76.69.45.64 (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 www.address.org/somescript.asp? 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. 209.149.115.90 (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 8.8.8.8) 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 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 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)

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)

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)

Hard drive, drivers or Faulty sata cables may cause drive to crash[edit]

before you panic when your HDD makes strange noises. you can run a check disk Utility or reload the HDD Drivers and replace Sata cable

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)

February 10[edit]

Science[edit]

February 6[edit]

List of people who have walked on the Moon[edit]

I just stumbled upon this article: List of people who have walked on the Moon. So, is it true that no one at all has ever walked on the moon, other than people from the USA? That seems odd to me. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given that only the US has ever sent successful missions to the Moon, and the age of international cooperation in space travel didn't really get going until after Apollo was over. To me, maybe the sadder stat is that no one born after 1935 has ever walked on the Moon. I hope that will change. --Trovatore (talk) 08:15, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Quibble: Only NASA has attempted manned Moon missions (as far as we know), but other projects have successfully landed there. —Tamfang (talk) 08:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The Iron Sky link is fantastic. Cannolis (talk) 09:06, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
As for why, the only serious competitor to NASA, until recently, was the Soviet Union, and they didn't want to put in the massive resources it would take to get to the Moon, especially just to become the 2nd to land somebody there. They preferred to put their resources into places where they could be first, like first ship into space, first dog, etc. After all, the purpose of their space program was to prove to the world that they were #1, not #2. StuRat (talk) 14:52, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Arguably, that's what the US was doing too...which explains why the USA never went back there after the Apollo program was ended. The USSR had plans to send men to the moon - they just dropped them once they knew they wouldn't get there first. (See Soviet manned lunar programs). If they'd kept to their schedule, they might actually have beaten the US to getting a man onto the moon by a matter of months - but the unexpected death of their chief rocket engineer, Sergei Korolev, due to cancer - and then financial cutbacks - threw enough delays into the program that allowed the USA to beat them to it...and within a very short span of that happening, the plans were dropped and buried as if they'd never happened. SteveBaker (talk) 16:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
And, as far as the first ship into space, there's been the suggestion that some in the US didn't want to be first, both to allow the Soviet Union to establish the precedent that overflying other nations was not a violation of airspace, and to gain the massive taxpayer support needed for future programs. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Got a ref for the second claim, on airspace? SemanticMantis (talk) 16:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Here's a discussion at BBC News. StuRat (talk) 19:52, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Even before we went, no small number of Americans thought it was a waste of taxpayer money. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:11, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is my point. After seeing that space ships were possible, and that the Soviet Union could launch them, this changed the minds of most US taxpayers. Later, JFK's speech certainly helped, too. StuRat (talk)
Many, especially in the older generation, argued it was a waste of taxpayer money even after we had achieved it. Their typical response to that accomplishment was, "So what?" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I never paid it much mind. I think I had assumed that other nations (especially Russia) had done so, just with much less fanfare than the US's "first" men up there. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:11, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, the Soviets tried to land a man on the moon in the 60s, but they gave it up because their chosen booster had the rather unfortunate habit of exploding every time they tried to launch something with it (the second time, it blew up on the pad, completely destroying the launch complex in what was both the largest explosion in the entire history of rocketry and believed to be the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion ever, with an approximate explosive yield of seven kilotonnes TNT equivalent). Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 20:18, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
OMFG, that's almost half the yield of Hiroshima! I suppose that's not good for the launch complex. Wnt (talk) 00:37, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Video of failed Cygnus CRS Orb-3 mission
To be fair - many new (and ultimately successful) rocket programs go through phases of blowing up...(although perhaps not as disasterously as the N1 did). It only takes one teeny-tiny design flaw to make that happen - and quite often one explosion is sufficient to enable the designers to figure out what needs to be fixed. So just because one or two prototypes had problems, you can't extrapolate from that to say that it would never have worked had they kept working on it. The very next launch attempt could have succeeded perfectly. Just so you don't think the N1 was unique in that regard, a commercial launch at the Wallops Island launch site (under NASA auspices) left a 60' wide, 30' deep crater where the launchpad was used to be. That happened in October 2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveBaker (talkcontribs) 15:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Funny you should mention the loss of that Orb-3 flight of Orbital's Antares rocket, as its first stage was powered by Aerojet AJ-26 engines, which are refurbished, 40-years old, Soviet NK-33s which were originally intended for the N-1 moon shot rocket discussed above. An engine failed due to an explosion in its LOX turbopump. During the investigation, it was leaked that Foreign Object Debris had been detected in the turbopumps, possibly from desiccant left in a tank. The final report confirms the FOD, but states that "there is no clear forensic evidence that FOD directly or indirectly led to the E15 [engine] failure", and also reports on inadequate design robustness and a manufacturing flaw in the engine. See NASA Independent Review Team Orb–3 Accident Investigation Report Executive Summary. -- ToE 02:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm shocked that your school paid so little attention to the history of the manned space program. Of course, I lived through it, so it was front-page all the time, until Congress stopped funding Apollo four missions short of its original intended duration. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: What time frame are we talking about? Late 50's and early 60's? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:09, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes. Of course that wasn't "history", it was "current events". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
OK. That was "before my time". And I guess it lost all of its "sexiness" (newness) as a topic in school by the time I got there. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I've noticed that there's a hole between current events and history. For example, if you were in high school during Watergate, it was probably discussed as current events. And if you were in high school by the 1980's, it might have made it into the history books by then. But if you were in high school in the late 1970's, it was no longer a current event, and wasn't yet in the history books, either. StuRat (talk) 19:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
posting by banned user removed.
Apollo was expensive, but not that expensive. Per Apollo program#Costs, each Saturn V launch in 1970 cost $375M, against total outlays that year of $195B (see here). I don't know whether the $375M was a marginal or average cost; obviously average cost will be much higher than marginal.
The total cost of the Apollo program altogether was estimated in 2010 as $109B in 2010 dollars. Not cheap, but that's the whole program, from 1961 to 1972. --Trovatore (talk) 20:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The shuttle launches cost about $1.2 billion each (also in 2010 dollars) which sounds cheap...but the $109 billion that Apollo cost is a bit harder to adjust for number of launches because although there were only a dozen or so Saturn V launches - Apollo did a bunch of Saturn I and Little Joe launches before the moon landings - and of course developed a ton of technology and launch facilities that the Shuttle program later relied upon. The estimate for the money saved by NOT flying Apollo's 18, 19 and 20 amounted to about $500 million per launch (again, 2010 dollars) - but you can't use that to say that Apollo missions cost half what the Shuttle did because the Apollo hardware had already been built - and that some of it was ultimately re-used for Skylab.
This means it's unfair to suggest that Apollo was more expensive than the Shuttle program...or vice versa. There is simply no way to divorce spending on the former from benefits to the latter. SteveBaker (talk) 20:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Can any problem be broken down into easy to understand parts?[edit]

Is there any problem that cannot be understood when you break it down to its constituents? Can you treat a big problem as a collection of small chunks of problems? And basically, understand any level of complexity with a little brain/computer? --Scicurious (talk) 14:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

So far we haven't been able to understand intelligence just by breaking it down, let alone consciousness. We understand neurons, but that doesn't seem to be enough. More generally, any emergent property seems to require looking at the whole system, as it is somehow literally more than the sum of it's parts.
Then there are things we could theoretically understand, if we could identify all the parts, but there's just too many and they are just too small. For example, accurately predicting the weather a year from today. StuRat (talk) 14:54, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, we need to restrict ourselves to problems that can be solved. We know that in mathematics, there are fundamentally unsolvable problems. So let's restrict ourselves to problems that can actually be solved.
The question in the title is "Can any problem be broken down into easy to understand parts?" - but I think there are some small, minimum problems that can't be broken down any further. Ultimately, it starts to get difficult to break down "What is 1+1?" into sub-problems - the answer 'just is'. In mathematics, some things are taken to be "axioms" - and you can't break down an axiom...it just "is". However, when you get down to those smallest constituents, I think that most people should be able to understand them. So, I think the answer to this one is a tentative "Yes"...assuming the problem is at least in principle solveable.
The hard part is in the the next question: "Is there any problem that cannot be understood when you break it down to its constituents?". Imagine what happens in a computer program. The "problem" is inherently broken down into the tiniest steps that even a totally mindless computer can understand - things like addition, multiplication, moving a number from one place to another, testing a number to see if it's zero, jumping to a different place in the program. Those steps are definitely small enough that more or less anyone could understand them individually - no single machine-code instruction that a typical computer can run is beyond the capability of most human beings with a knowledge of basic arithmetic to comprehend.
If your theory is correct - then by examining these microscopic "problems" one by one - I can understand anything that a computer can be programmed to do.
But if someone writes a program to (lets say) play chess - and we give the list of individual machine-code instructions to someone who can't play chess. Would breaking down the program of playing chess well into (literally) a billion tiny addition/move/test/jump steps help you to understand how to play the game at grand-master levels?


In this case, breaking down the problem made it much harder to understand. In order to deduce the rules for playing chess, I don't want the ultimately broken-down version of the problem. I want the high-level description.
So, theoretically - yes, the information is in there - but in practice, definitely not!
SteveBaker (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The theoretical way to make a perfect chess-playing program, by looking at every possible move and response by the opponent, to the end of the game, and selecting whatever move leads to the fewest loss and tie scenarios and most wins, is pretty easy to understand. However, that turns out to be impossible for a program (other than at the endgame), due to too many possibilities to calculate. So then you get more complex programs that are difficult to understand by a human. StuRat (talk) 16:17, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
As phrased, there's no simple answer, and no uncontroversial answer, but I'll give you some refs you might like: Emergent phenomena are basically things that are not simply sums of constituent parts, and Stu is right to bring that up as something that doesn't fit well into your scheme. Nonlinear dynamics in general don't lend themselves to clean decomposition. Divide and conquer only works really well for linear and additive systems/problems. Extremal_principles_in_non-equilibrium_thermodynamics and deterministic chaos are two examples of things that aren't that amenable to solving smaller chunks to get a bigger solution. Kolmogorov_complexity is also fun to think about in this context. Self organization is another good example of the need for some Holism in our inquiry. Here's a nice comic on the topic from SMBC [10]. It's telling that analyze literally means "to cut apart" - it's a very useful method and we've done wonderful things with it. But it is not the only way, and all problems are not tractable via decomposition or deconstruction. So while your questions are a little vague and ill-defined (what is a problem, what is understanding?), that's ok, these questions must necessarily be so. My WP:OR answers to your questions are: "Yes, Often, and No." :) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)


I have a related question. The law of entropy is an "emergent property", but isn't it a consequence of Newton's law of motion? If a high speed particle hits a low speed particle, their speed is going to be distributed evenly, isn't this what causes the 2nd law? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Money is tight (talkcontribs) 00:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
In the classical mechanics that existed before Isaac Newton, Momentum is conserved in collisions between particles. Momentum is the product of mass and Velocity. Velocity is a vector quantity posessing a direction as well as a magnitude (while <speed> and <mass> have no direction) so momentum is likewise a vector. In 1687 Newton caused to be published in Principia:
Lex. II.
Mutationem motus proportionalem esse vi motrici impressae, & fieri secundum lineam rectam qua vis illa imprimitur.
This is the second of Newton's laws of motion which essentially expresses conservation of momentum in terms of its time derivative Force and of the time-derivative of velocity which is Acceleration. Today we state that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass of the object. AllBestFaith (talk) 15:27, 7 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. "...as 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 using...um...their brains? What could possibly go wrong?! :-) SteveBaker (talk) 17:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=kK-2VufIBcbN8geWxYHYBg#q=half+head+man — 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"[11] 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)

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.93.126.95.68 (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.)93.126.95.68 (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 [12] [13] 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? 93.126.95.68 (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 87.81.230.195} 185.74.232.130 (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? 93.126.95.68 (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. --71.119.131.184 (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). --71.119.131.184 (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 quoted...in 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 [14] [15] [16] [17] 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. 2.103.13.244 (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? 2.103.13.244 (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 too...so 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)

February 8[edit]

marshy gas from mines[edit]

as during mining ,the marshy gas are evolve ,why this happen? please give the scientific reason.https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?action=edit&preload=&editintro=&preloadtitle=&section=new&title=Wikipedia%3AReference+desk%2FScience&create=Ready%3F+Ask+a+new+question%21# — 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.https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?action=edit&preload=&editintro=&preloadtitle=&section=new&title=Wikipedia%3AReference+desk%2FScience&create=Ready%3F+Ask+a+new+question%21# — 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? 2.103.13.244 (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 [18] [19] [20]. 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 [21]. We have some references for treatment of [[22]] 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"."
So...um...I 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 [23], 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. 2.103.13.244 (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:
[24] "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"
[25] "Psychiatry, the one male-dominated area of the mental health profession, has increasingly turned to drug treatments."
[26]: The changing gender composition of psychology.
And [27] 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)
[28]"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."
[29] "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 [30]. That one is freely accessible, these two studies [31] [32] 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). 147.194.17.249 (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

(UTC)

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 [33] (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 87.81.230.195} 185.74.232.130 (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 [34]. 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 81.131.178.47 (talk) 14:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Today's SMBC comic [35] is highly relevant to this question [36] . 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 [37], 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)

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 81.131.178.47 (talk) 18:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Some blind people use a device that helps them to "see" using their tongues [38] [39]. 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)

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"? 140.254.77.216 (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 [40][41] mention it. On the other hand [42] reports a lack of association with B blood type ... but rather, with Rh negative status! Also [43] says that. I had found the B blood type association in an older source ( [44] ) in a question I asked back in 2010 about it. [45] 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. Geology.com 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 [46] - 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)

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.223.176.51.205 (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.223.176.51.205 (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)

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 [47] or Tallgrass_prairie [48]. 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 [49]. 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 [50] 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 [51] [52] [53]. 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 [54] 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)
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)

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 fictional...it 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)


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? 199.19.248.82 (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)

Mathematics[edit]

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
Biały
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]

Hi,
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 217.132.96.145 (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)
so
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)

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? 97.93.100.146 (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. 97.93.100.146 (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. 97.93.100.146 (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). — 79.118.187.240 (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
Biały
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 ask.com or quora.com. 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 217.132.96.145 (talk), 9 February 2016‎

Fibonacci sequence convergence[edit]

Quoting this post by Shareef Fahmy (or Sherif Fahmy Eldeeb):

1) [T]ake the infinite Fibonacci sequence 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34, etc ..... the Golden ratio is found by dividing one of the numbers by the one before it , like 34/21 or 21/13. But the two numbers are not the same exactly(34/21 = 1.6190476~ and 21/13=1.615384~) and the deviation between the two steps is 1.6190476~ - 1.615384~=.0036~ .... The ~ symbol means these decimals keep going.

2) So as you go further along the Fibonacci sequence the deviation gets smaller and smaller but it never disappears , and it actually fluctuates like a damped harmonic vibration. But you will find that it converges on Plancks constant which is (6.626 X 10^-34) as you tend to infinity.

Claim #1 above is documented at Fibonacci_number#Relation_to_the_golden_ratio. Is Claim #2 true, false or even falsifiable? AllBestFaith (talk) 21:03, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Claim 2 is total nonsense. (Claim 1 is also only partially sensible -- certainly a mathematician would never speak so loosely.) --JBL (talk) 21:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Planck's constant has units. Its value is 6.626 x 10^-34 J*s, but it's 4.135 x 10^-15 eV*s, or 6.626 x 10^-27 erg*s, etc. So claim 2 is indeed nonsense. Mnudelman (talk) 21:23, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
If you have observed claim 2 then I suspect that it is just a coincidence caused by rounding errors in your method of division. Dbfirs 21:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
What limit is observable? AllBestFaith (talk) 00:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
What is the sound of one hand clapping? --JBL (talk) 00:26, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Please treat the question seriously or not at all. AllBestFaith (talk) 00:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It is not a serious question: it is a poorly formulated non sequitur, bearing no discernible relation to anything anyone has said. If you want your questions taken seriously you should do a better job asking them. --JBL (talk) 01:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The ratio of consecutive terms of the Fibonacci series converges to the golden ratio. As a result, the difference between two such ratios tends to zero, not Planck's constant (in any system of units). Sławomir
Biały
01:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The above is correct. The difference will tends to 0. You can easily prove it. You can also see that at every step the difference is consistently divided by approximately -2.618. (It will reach 10^-34, and then will keep going further down).Dhrm77 (talk) 01:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The author of the article quoted at the top did not prove his point, but found it by doing a graph. He is most likely victim of rounding errors of whatever tool he was using.Dhrm77 (talk) 01:25, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The golden ratio is an irrational number that cannot be evaluated from a ratio of natural numbers that occur in the Fibonacci series, instead one is forced to accept a quantised approximation. The smallest quantisation that is physically possible in a calculating device, whether analog or digital, is not infinitesimal. Planck's constant is the minimal element of energy of an electromagnetic wave, arguably setting a limit on how precisely irrational numbers can be expressed, subtracted one from another or observed. Believing that the difference between irrational numbers (a Cauchy sequence has elements that become arbitrarily close to each other as the sequence progresses) converges leaves open the question "at what rate?". AllBestFaith (talk) 01:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
@AllBestFaith: You're mixing notions from different areas of science, which are very far apart. The minimum possible energy (whether properly defined and determined or not) would have something to do with the precision of a result in analog calculating devices (see Analog computer), which give their output as an electric voltage or a current, possibly transformed into an angle of a pointer by some ammeter. But electronic digital devices work with energies much higher than that, so their precision is limited only by the size of their memory. Of course accuracy of any engineering, scientific or other real-life related calculation is limited by the accuracy of input data (and by the accuracy of models, being used to analyze problems), so too much precision is useless in them. However calculation of numbers like \sqrt 2 or \pi or \sin(1) can be arbitrarily precise, which is limited only by the room to store results and the time we want to spend on calculations. --CiaPan (talk) 06:46, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The real numbers satisfy the completeness property. There is no "smallest quantised approximation". And indeed, using computers we can actually approximate the golden ratio as a decimal value to many more digits of accuracy than Planck's constant (using Fibonacci numbers, or otherwise). For example, in less than a second on a decent computer, we find that
F_{1001}/F_{1000} - F_{1002}/F_{1001} = 3\times 10^{-418}
which is already much much smaller than Planck's constant (in any system of units that are actually used). Here F_n denotes the nth Fibonacci number. Of course, nothing is stopping you from using a system of units where Planck's constant is equal to 3\times 10^{-418}, but we can then get a smaller value of the above difference just by going a bit further out in the sequence. Sławomir
Biały
12:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

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]

Humanities[edit]

February 5[edit]

Lord Lucan and the disappearing judge[edit]

According to our article on John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, after his bloodstained car was found near Newhaven, East Sussex a search of the area was carried out but "all that was found were the skeletal remains of a judge who had disappeared years earlier". Who was this judge? When did he go missing? Was there foul play? Judges aren't the sort of people who are noted for vanishing into skeletal obscurity on the South Downs, or indeed anywhere else. The question was asked on the article talk page a couple of years ago, but answer came there none. DuncanHill (talk) 04:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I can't find the old reference desk thread, so I may be duplicating old research. The text was added in this edit, citing Pearson (2005), pp. 256–257. Searching that book actually finds it on page 160: "In the end they found a body, but it was not Lucan's. In dense undergrowth towards Ditchling Beacon they stumbled on the skeleton of a judge who had disappeared some years before. If only the body had been Lucan's, many anxious minds – and not" [end of snippet]. Unfortunately, a web search for "Ditchling Beacon" "judge" "skeleton" turned up nothing. -- BenRG (talk) 06:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The question was on the article's talk page rather than the RefDesk, and can be seen at Talk:John_Bingham,_7th_Earl_of_Lucan#Who_was_the_missing_judge.3F (nobody answered). Alansplodge (talk) 17:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I was able to see a bit more of the book at this search result, where it is on pp256-7, it does not identify the judge or say anything more than is already in our article. DuncanHill (talk) 07:09, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
While I haven't tracked down his identity yet, I've found a few more clues. It was on the banks of the River Ouse, between Seaford and Newhaven, and the judge disappeared in 1965, according to this article. Smurrayinchester 08:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The wording of that article is a little more vague. It says that the bones were found on the banks of the Ouse and that the Ouse "runs out" between Seaford and Newhaven, which it does - that's where it runs into the sea. That leaves open the possibility that the bones were found upstream somewhere. I don't know where Ditchling Beacon comes into it unless it is a way of signalling "upstream and into the Downs". Between Newhaven and Seaford are Tide Mills, East Sussex, which if I recall correctly would have already been abandoned by 1965. A large expanse of open ground covered with shingle and old channels, the kind of place someone might abandon a body, or where you could get lost and die forgotten. Until the 2000s there was a circuit judges' residence at Telscombe, a long walk from Newhaven but nearer than Ditchling. Possibly relevant? Itsmejudith (talk) 14:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, well the Ouse meets the sea at Newhaven - you can see it doing so at the top of the Newhaven article. I've walked the Ouse from Lewes to Newhaven, and bits of it are out of the way enough to lose a judge in - more so in the 60's before the path was made. Ditchling Beacon does seem to be a red herring, if the New Review article Smurrayinchester found is to be believed - and as our Lucan article says, the search was not great in extent. I'd forgot the judges' house at Telscombe - and the New Review says his car had been found a few hundred yards from his body, so our judge need not have been a great walker. I think I may need to look up some old newspapers, perhaps a trip to the library or to The Keep. DuncanHill (talk) 20:09, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I can't find anything obvious searching The Times archive, but it's hard to be sure what combinations of search terms would bring it up. Warofdreams talk 14:19, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

License to Reproduce Copyrighted Photographs[edit]

I had professional photographs taken some time ago and the photographer gave me the digital high resolution jpgs. I specifically asked the photographer whether we're licensed to reproduce them as we see fit (anticipating, foreshadowing perhaps, an issue), and he said, by email, that we could do what we wanted with them. There is no doubt that the photographer is the copyright holder, but I believe that the email from the photographer grants me a license to reproduce these photos.

With the background set, I submitted some of the photos online today to have them printed by a "large retail establishment" and was told when I went to pick them up that they could not be printed because they suspected copyright infringement. I explained the situation, and I showed them the email I received from the photographer, to no avail. They quoted their policy, which I found online later, which reads, in part: "we will not copy a photograph that appears to have been taken by a professional photographer or studio, even if it is not marked with any sort of copyright, unless we are presented with a signed Copyright Release from the photographer or studio." A store-specific form was attached.

Do I have any recourse, or does any company just have the right to refuse my business because they suspect that the activity is illegal and they fear being sued? I'm rather frustrated, but then again I suppose that the company is probably within their right to refuse my business-- it's not like they're discriminating against me on the basis of some protected class. Let me know what you think. Any suggestions for trying to get them reproduced in the future, without having to get the photographer to sign a store-specific form? There has to be a way around it without lying and saying I'm the copyright holder, which isn't true. Jared (t)  20:02, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

They are probably being ultra-cautious. Take your stuff to a local firm and see if they'll do it for you. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:58, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid we can't give legal advice on the reference desks. Tevildo (talk) 22:25, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I removed an archiving box from this question because although legal advice isn't provided, editors may be able to suggest effective ways of getting high-quality printing done -- presuming the OP is correct about the legality of his actions -- without dealing with this particular company's policies. Wnt (talk) 02:37, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Without commenting on the policies of any particular store, you'll likely find companies are much more likely to consider a signed copyright release drafted by a lawyer or paralegal or at least someone familiar with the law. Whether this release came from a store (not necessarily their store provided it clearly applies to everyone and not just the store it came from) or a generic one available online. I don't think it's that surprising a company may not give much stock to a random email with no signature and which even there's no dispute it really came from the copyright holder, may not adequately address any legal concerns they may have (and they probably won't know since realisticly no one is going to send the email to their lawyer to ask for a tiny order). Also, while I'm not really sure who you were dealing with, frontline staff are often going to just do what they've been instructed and are unlikely to be willing to make exceptions to such instruction. Often particularly with a large store, emails, social media or letters can be more conducive to getting an exception or resolution in an unusual case. More generally speaking, I'm not sure what size prints you were referring to, but I'm fairly sure some companies particularly those that are mostly online have fairly limited staff involvement in the printing process. Note that in all cases it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure you are doing something you're legally allowed to. Nil Einne (talk) 07:27, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Properly professional photographers should have terms and conditions that you sign (or at least are referred to on their website) when you engage their services. These will usually set out the ambit of your rights - whether the copyright is assigned to you, or you are granted an exclusive or a non-exclusive licence to use them, whether for personal purposes or otherwise, which you would be able to show to the store. So if everything is working as it should, the system should work. If your photographer's work is professional enough that the store gets paranoid about them, but his/her business is not professional enough to have set him/herself up with proper terms, then you've fallen into a bit of a Kafkaesque quandary. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 15:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Quite a few shops have little kiosks (often run by a company like Kodak or Polaroid) that print off photos that you bring in on a USB stick. I was in the same position when printing my wedding photos (the photographer sent me a USB stick of high-res photos that I was allowed to print for own personal use) and had no problem getting those done at a Kodak booth at the local drugstore. IIRC, you have to confirm that you have permission to print the photos, but I think you can tick that in good conscience (and it's a bit hypocritical, since the machine also offers to connect to your Facebook and print pictures of you from there, even though most of those photos probably won't have been taken by you). Smurrayinchester 09:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

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)
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. 184.147.121.46 (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 [55] 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 [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] 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 [62], 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 [63] [64] [65] 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 [66]. 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)

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[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)

References

  1. ^ Carlyle, Jane Welsh (Sunday [20 September 1835]). http://carlyleletters.dukejournals.org/cgi/content/full/8/1/lt-18350920-JWC-SS-01.  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)

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)

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 [67] 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. --76.69.45.64 (talk) 04:30, 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)

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)

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)

Language[edit]

February 4[edit]

"Suspending" U.S. presidential campaigns[edit]

Why is the term used in ending presidential campaigns in the U.S. "suspend"? The dictionary definitions of "suspend" suggest that the suspension of anything is, in theory at least, only temporary in nature (i.e. "suspension of classes", "suspension of operations", "suspended for one game", etc.). However, in presidential elections, the term is used for the end of presidential campaigns. While I have also seen that term used in the same sense in airlines ceasing operations, news reports tend to suggest that these "suspensions" were in theory supposed to be temporary in nature while efforts to save the airline were being made, but for presidential elections, "suspensions" tend to be permanent. Why the use of the term "suspend" as opposed to another, more "final" term? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 01:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

As I understand it, if you officially end your campaign, federal elections laws kick in which would restrict your ability to manage and/or accept campaign contributions, for example to retire debt. Someone can probably give a more precise answer. But it's along those lines. --Trovatore (talk) 02:03, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
And it might theoretically be possible to restart the campaign. For example, if Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both die or are unable to continue their campaigns, Martin O'Malley might rejoin them. (I wonder what happens if somebody wins the primary who is dead or withdraws before the general election.) StuRat (talk) 05:12, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If it's anything like in the early 2000s when Senator Paul Wellstone died just a couple of weeks before the election, the party bosses scramble to put in a replacement. The weirder problem is if the presumed president-elect dies between the election and inauguration day. It's uncharted territory, but presumably the party bosses could suggest the name of a new president to the electors and let them decide what to do. And if they don't come up with consensus, the US House will figure it out. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
With regard to a president-elect dying after the election - there are two scenarios. First is the president-elect dies before the electoral college meets and the second if the president-elect dies after the college meets and before the inauguration. Both are covered by the Twentieth Amendment.[68] Hack (talk) 06:08, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Quibble: The electoral college does not actually meet. The electors in each state meet, and transmit their votes to Congress, which counts them. --Trovatore (talk) 07:31, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If I remember correctly Gary Hart suspended his campaign for the 1988 primaries after the Monkey Business monkey business, but a few months later, he had a change of heart and decided to re-enter the race. He had been the front-runner before the 1988 race started in earnest, but was unable to rise from his ashes the second time and soon suspended his campaign again, this time for good. --Xuxl (talk) 09:50, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The public had a change of Hart. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:49, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Was looking at this in the news just now! Given the advanced age of the current crop of candidates, I think it's something that's likely to come up sooner rather than later. I think I'm right in thinking that any of Sanders, Clinton, Trump and Jeb could have a medical emergency tomorrow and leave a faction of a major party without a candidate. Can they assign their 'role' (campaign movement, organisation, possibly votes already won) to a successor? Blythwood (talk) 06:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't believe they can legally force their electoral college delegates to vote for a particular successor that they designate, but they can suggest one. StuRat (talk) 06:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Heng (letter)[edit]

This article says It has been occasionally used by phonologists to represent a hypothetical phoneme in English, which includes both [h] and [ŋ] as its allophones. Normally /h/ and /ŋ/ are considered separate phonemes in English. Really? Could someone try to find a source for this? I haven't the slightest clue where I'd start, especially as the two sounds are so different in English that I can't imagine them being conflated as allophones of one phenome. Nyttend (talk) 02:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, /h/ is only found syllable-initially in English, while eng is only found finally. So, one could represent them with the same letter, although the motivation for doing so would be unclear. See minimal pair. μηδείς (talk) 03:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, but it doesn't seem to me that you answered the question: obviously I don't understand your meaning. The intro to Phenome notes that minimal pairs need not share a related pair of different phenomes (e.g. "kill" and "kiss" are a minimal pair), so of course I can understand [h] and [ŋ] being a minimal pair, but I can't understand that being relevant. My question is about the sounds themselves, not the choice of glyphs used to represent them — how could [h] and [ŋ] possibly be allophones? Nyttend (talk) 04:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The intro to Phenome says that it's "the set of all phenotypes expressed by a cell, tissue, organ, organism, or species". You may have meant phoneme. — Kpalion(talk) 09:17, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think anybody has seriously suggested that [h] and [ŋ] are a single phoneme in English; but the case has been argued, really as a reductio ad absurdum to attack the relevance of complementary distribution in determining phonemes. I'll see if I can find a source. --ColinFine (talk) 10:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Not the most impressive source, but just as an example, [69]. HenryFlower 15:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
You misunderstood me due to my brevity, Nyttend. My point was the ironic one that one could argue that because [h] and [ŋ] are technically in complimentary distribution, they could be defined as the same phoneme, because there is no minimal pair which distinguishes them. Given the fact of their separate derivations, their utter dissimilarity, and that they never appear in the same context, I would argue as do most that the heng hypothesis is a silly one. μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't know a source either, but the kind of analysis μηδείς was referring to is called "abstractness", which you can find more information in if you google e.g. "abstractness in phonology". [70] gives an example in English in the first few pages; such analyses have also been proposed for e.g. certain Spanish vowels, and Polish vowels in Hayes' Introductory Phonology section 12.2.3. These analyses, however, even when not really ridiculous like [h] and [ŋ], are still controversial, as noted in that same book; even though they "work" in terms of the theory, it is hard to see how e.g. children would learn these patterns (as opposed to just memorizing different phonemes). rʨanaɢ (talk) 03:21, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
If we're worried about sources, it might be something as basic as Anthony Burgess, Mario Pei, or Fromkin and Rodman, (or even Raimo Anttila) all of which I read before I perused the university stacks. The best I can say is that I read a pre-1990 source that mentioned this "paradox" (if that is a good word) and dismissed it in so far as English.
In my ancestral Rusyn language, f and w are allophones of one phoneme, [f] being word final, and [w] word initial and intervocalically. But this is made obviously plausible by the use of [v] in other contexts, where the [w] and [v] of Rusyn fall together in the Phonology of Russian (e.g., /dveri/ "door(s)"). I suspect the h/ng matter is one I came acrost as an undergraduate in either a journal or a compilation, and that was a long time ago, and far, far away from my current interests. μηδείς (talk) 05:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

The book linked to by Henry Flower says: "While [h] only occurs syllable-initially, [ŋ] is only to be found syllable-finally. These sounds seem to meet the criteria for conditioned allophones, and there are no minimal pairs like hope/*ngope or ring/*rih, so one might want to suggest that they are members of a single phoneme (which we can call ‘heng’ for convenience)."

Is it possible for words loaned from other languages to break this pattern? An initial [ŋ] can be heard in ngultrum or ngapi or Ngāi Tahu, and I've sometimes heard Bahrain being pronounced [bɑhˈɹeɪn] to better approximate the Arabic. This reminds me of a situation in Hebrew, where [p] and [f] have historically been complementarily distributed allophones of the same phoneme, but the introduction of many loanwords with [p] or [f] disobeying their distribution rules in Hebrew has resulted in /p/ and /f/ being now regarded as separate phonemes. So, when/if a minimal pair contrasting /h/ with /ŋ/ does become a thing, can we then say that the "once a phoneme, always a phoneme" principle rules out the existence of the hypothetical "heng" phoneme? --Theurgist (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't think "once a phoneme, always a phoneme" is meant to be taken diachronically. Old English certainly had phonemes that Modern English no longer has (e.g. diphthongs like /eːo̯/ and /æːɑ̯/). What that paper is referring to is the principle that if /X/ and /Y/ contrast anywhere in a language, then all surface [X]'s belong to /X/ and all surface [Y]'s belong to /Y/, even when the contrast between /X/ and /Y/ is neutralized in some environments. So even if anyone did believe that English has a "heng" phoneme, they wouldn't necessarily be claiming that a /h/~/ŋ/ contrast, with minimal pairs, couldn't arise at some point in the future. (And if anyone pronounces ngapi /ˈŋæpi/, we've got a minimal pair right there.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Back to the original question, the Phonetic Symbol Guide mentioned in the references of the article also describes the use of the symbol to represent the putative merged h+ŋ phoneme, but points out that the suggestion was not made seriously, but more as a straw man, as ColinFine mentioned above. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Study of time[edit]

What is the name for the scientific study of time -- the field of science that deals with the arrow of time, time travel, whether time is just an illusion, multiverse theory, and the question of how the universe could have a beginning if time is endless, etc.? The obvious chron- + ology = chronology is already taken. Chronics, maybe? Or temporology? Khemehekis (talk) 06:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

The International Society for the Study of Time doesn't seem to use a single word. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Horology, [71]. Bazza (talk) 11:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm. That was the first thing I thought of, but it's too narrow. It relates to the study of time-keeping, not to time itself and the matters mentioned by the OP. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
In general, the concept of "time" is so wrapped up in other stuff that there's probably no-one (barring the odd amateur eccentric) who studies time in and of itself. Relativity (special relativity and general relativity) is the study of spacetime, while thermodynamics is where we get entropy, which is the closest we've got to understanding why there's an arrow of time. Those are probably the closest to a "study of time". The study of the perception of time is a branch of psychology. Smurrayinchester 13:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Don't forget this interesting piece of time-olgy, now sadly passed into history.--Shirt58 (talk) 02:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
For longer periods of time, there's geochronology. Mikenorton (talk) 12:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

"Half-wave rectification" or "Half wave rectification"?[edit]

Rectifier circuits has both:

half-wave rectification
half wave rectification

What should it be? Or even halfwave rectification?

--Mortense (talk) 17:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Are you asking about the English language in general, or about Wikipedia style? I'm sure descriptivists would say about the former question that both forms can be found, but the right-thinking prescriptivist answer is that you should use the hyphen, and I expect this would be reflected in WP:HYPHEN, which should give the answer as regards Wikipedia style. --Trovatore (talk) 18:48, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Attributive compound modifiers are usually hyphenated.--Shantavira|feed me 18:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • This is very simple. If "The rectification was half wave" seems best use "half wave"; but if for "The rectification was half-wave", seems better, use the latter. The options are either (it is(half(wave))) or (It is (half-wave)). If half-wave is a normal adjective, use it. If it is not, don't. I don't know the physics, so I cannot comment further.μηδείς (talk) 02:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
There are two states for rectification, half wave and full wave. The OP's question is applicable to both. As a wider issue, in addition to half wave and full wave radio antennas, there are the popular quarter wave, three-quarter wave, and five-eighth wave antennas. It's possible to construct multiple wavelength antennas too, such as a one-and-a-half wave antenna. I mention the antennas to show that the question is but part of a wider issue. Akld guy (talk) 03:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I inserted the hyphen in the article just to achieve consistency for compound modifiers. I don't think the term wave rectifier is ever used in physics, and the article certainly doesn't discuss half of one of these imaginary objects. Dbfirs 22:00, 7 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 http://www.academie-francaise.fr.

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)
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'):

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/survive?q=survived

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(.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Biographies#Tense

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 [72] is not to the Oxford English Dictionary but rather to OxfordDictionaries.com, 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)
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)

Survived by[edit]

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)

Mardol[edit]

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)

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]

Entertainment[edit]

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 77.218.249.168 (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. --76.69.45.64 (talk) 21:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

February 6[edit]

Sega Mega Drive II games[edit]

Hello,

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

Regards.

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 discogs.com, 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?86.172.85.225 (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?--79.55.17.82 (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)
By episodes number?--79.18.193.117 (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 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:[73]
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)

Motor vehicle (Survey)[edit]

Rojomoke (talk) 14:36, 9 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)

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. --131.202.114.96 (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)

February 10[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

February 5[edit]

Law: Inheritance per stirpes[edit]

Two cousins:

  1. Became parents (in wedlock),
  2. Then they became widowed,
  3. Then they became parents (in wedlock) of a common boy - who consequently has now two half-siblings,
  4. Then they died,
  5. Finally, their common grandmother died and left intestate property inherited to her grand-grandchildren - being the common boy and his two half-siblings.

Is there any legal system, in which the common boy - inherits twice as much as either of his half-siblings does? (Please notice that if such a jurisdiction exists it must provide for the inheritance to be shared per stirpes). HOTmag (talk) 11:24, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

It took me a while to get my head around what you were asking with your five points! But basically, I think you're asking 'can somebody inherit twice as much as another relative'? Your question is asking for legal advice, but I think I can still point you towards will and probate. Mike Dhu (talk) 20:08, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think a question of the form "Is there any jurisdiction where the law works this way?" is a request for legal advice. However, it is a question that nobody is likely to be able to answer unless they know that it works that way in their own jurisdiction. (It doesn't in mine, I believe.) --76.69.45.64 (talk) 22:49, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Although this is a weird set of facts that has probably never come up, the legal issue actually arises with great frequency. Suppose that Tycoon has three children, A, B, and C, and A has three children, B has two, and C has one. A, B, and C all predecease Tycoon, and Tycoon then dies intestate. Does C's child get a one-third share, based on representation through C, or does she get a one-sixth share, with the six grandchildren sharing equally? It will depend on whether the local jurisdiction provides for such inheritances to be shared per stirpes, meaning by right of representation, or per capita, meaning equal shares. The determination may be affected by whether any of A, B, and C are still alive. John M Baker (talk) 23:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The jurisdiction I'm looking for, must provide for the inheritance to be shared per stirpes. A,B,C all died, as you can figure out by reading my fifth point. HOTmag (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I think the fact pattern unpacks to something like this:
  1. A and B have children C and D.
  2. C marries E, D marries F.
  3. C and E have a child, G.
  4. D and F have a child H.
  5. G marries I, H marries J.
  6. G and I have a child K, H and J have a child L.
  7. I and J die.
  8. G and H marry and have a child, M.
  9. A, C, D, E, F, H, and J all die.
  10. B dies intestate.
Let's also presume that G never adopted L, and H never adopted K. The question is, essentially, whether K, L, and M all share 1/3 of B's estate; or whether K and L each get 25%, and M gets 50%. Under the UPC (which doesn't use classical per stirpes, but I don't think it makes a difference in this fact pattern), each would get a single share. See § 2-113, which explicitly deals with "individuals related to the decedent through two lines". Note that many states have adopted the UPC in a piecemeal fashion, so even those other than the 17-odd that have adopted the UPC in its entirety may follow the same or a similar rule. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Your nineth point includes a typo, i.e. the letter J should be replaced by the letter G. Anyway, why do you think UPC is relevant although it does not divide the assets per stirpes? HOTmag (talk) 23:50, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Intestate distribution is complicated and often unpleasant. This is not legal advice but advice to seek legal advice: If you have assets, get a lawyer to write a will. By the way, the largest and one of the most complicated intestate distributions ever was that of the estate of Howard Hughes, which was divided up among 22 cousins. The so-called Mormon will was rejected as a forgery. If Hughes had made a genuine will in his last years, it might not have survived probate because he might have been considered insane in his later years. An actress who made a questionable claim to have been married to Hughes on board an ocean liner (whose log book had then been lost) was paid an unspecified amount of money. It is interesting that, although Hughes had been something of a ladies' man in his youth, no one showed up to claim to be his illegitimate child (and an illegitimate child would have claimed the entire estate, not a portion of it). Robert McClenon (talk) 00:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@HOTmag: It's my understanding that the UPC system is substantially per stirpes, and that in the fact pattern as arranged there is no difference between strict/classical per stirpes and UPC per stirpes. Could you perhaps explain why you think it makes a difference? It's been awhile since I've flipped through my T&E notes and I certainly could be missing something. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 02:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
If the decedent - who left behind intestate property - has surviving descendants, then under the per stirpes method - the whole intestate property is (virtually) divided equally among these decedent's children each of which either is alive or has descendants alive. Please notice that this is not the case under UPC (e.g. when the decedent has no surviving children, but rather surviving grandchildren).
Logically, according to the per stirpes method, every heir - related to the decedent through two lines (e.g. in the case I've asked about), must inherit twice as much as any other hier - related to the decedent through one line - does. The reason for this, as explained above, is because the (virtual) heirs in the per stirpes method - are the decedent's deceased children - rather than the decedent's grandchildren. HOTmag (talk) 08:55, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Horoscope daily predictions[edit]

I noticed that the term Horoscope is monopolized since decades ago by those ridiculous daily predictions that many newspapers publish and even radio/tv stations broadcast. Those have actually nothing to do with the horoscope, yet now everyone thinks that horoscope means "daily predictions". Is there a more accurate term for those "daily horoscope predictions" and is there any Wikipedia article or a section in some article about those predictions? —  Ark25  (talk) 14:38, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Sun sign astrology. It's worth noting that (their writers claim) the sun sign horoscope still has something to do with astrology, but it's a very simplified system. And of course, more complex "true horoscopes" don't seem to have any more predictive power than the "You will meet a tall dark stranger" nonsense that the papers print. Smurrayinchester 15:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Astrology in any form is utter drivel, so why should you distinguish between different forms of drivel? Fgf10 (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
To be fair, people have fun keeping track of and organizing the various noble houses of Westeros as well. That something is fictional doesn't mean it isn't something people find studying or analyzing or keeping track of a worthwhile activity. --Jayron32 16:33, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The Zodiac stuff in the Old Farmer's Almanac makes the point that it's for entertainment only. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)


I think the distinction you're looking for here is between:
  1. The idea of writing a sufficiently generalized prediction that everyone will feel it's true - (which is what newspaper-style horoscopes do) - this relies on the Forer effect where any sufficiently generalized statement will be felt to be true by most people if they are told it was individualized to them. This works amazingly well - as Forer showed in a 1948 experiment which has been reproduced successfully dozens of times since.
  2. The idea that you can work with an individual person, and by feeding them sufficiently careful probes, gradually come up with a rather specific prediction for them. There are two principle approaches to this - one is called "Shotgunning" where you fire off a rapid selection of essentially contradictory claims - watching the persons' reaction and homing in on the claims that produce the most positive reactions.
The latter clearly isn't possible in the newspaper version of astrology - but an astrologer meeting with you in person can employ shotgunning (and other Cold reading techniques) to get something that feels more personalized. In some cases, where the person being analysed is quite famous, Hot reading allows the astrologer to produce reports that match what the victim wishes to hear - and that can strongly reinforce the "prediction" by salting it with things that are known in advance to come true.
Of course none of this is "real"...as has been proven by countless careful experiments in the past. SteveBaker (talk) 19:31, 5 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[74] 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)

Amount of dollar prizes in lottery ticket games[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 [75]: 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. --76.69.45.64 (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 [76]. 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 [77], [78] [79] [80], 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 [81].
Here's some stats from MI [82]. 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 [83], [84]). 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)

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)

February 10[edit]