Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of miscellaneous.

Welcome to the miscellaneous reference desk.
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. We'll answer here within a few days.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual

March 26[edit]

Website to host travel blog, preferably using MediaWiki[edit]

Hello :-)

I would like to write a travel blog, with pictures I will take, on an upcoming holiday. I don't think Wikivoyage allows this sort of thing so I am looking for a website to host the blog. Ideally I want to use MediaWiki (the software that powers and en.wikivoyage) as I am comfortable with it. Are there any websites that meet my needs?

Otherwise I will use a website like

Note: I have cross-posted this at Wikivoyage but I think I will get more responses here.--Commander Keane (talk) 01:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Have you looked into Wikia? --Jayron32 02:25, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I just had a quick look at Wikia, there is which I have asked a question at, or should I consider starting a new Wikia - I am not sure how it works?--Commander Keane (talk) 04:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
In answer to my own question, Wikia has "blogs" which it says "Blogs are used by wiki communities for fan fiction or original work, news and announcements, questions or recommendations to the community, or reviews or op-eds" so that suits my needs. Of course if there are any other options, apart from Wikia, I would like to hear about them.--Commander Keane (talk) 06:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
You need to get yourself a blog hosted at Blogpost or Wordpress. I prefer Wordpress. --Viennese Waltz 09:52, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Is Blogpost like Blogspot? — I once had dinner with the founders of Blogger/Blogspot. At the time, I didn't see the point. —Tamfang (talk) 08:20, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Pilots of Germanwings Flight 9525[edit]

Have any sources published the name of the pilot and co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 and any biographical information? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 04:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Names have not yet been released by the airlines, or the German or French authorities, although the airline has said that, "the captain was a 10-year veteran with more than 6,000 hours of flying time in A320s".
Of course, the internet being the internet, there is ample uninformed speculation about the identities, mostly reflecting the the biases of the commentators with names like "Muhammad" and "Malaysian pilot Anning Wong" being thrown around. Note that I am mentioning those two names only because they are so obviously wrong, with the latter being a fictional pilot in an online air traffic simulator VATSIM. We should be very wary of mentioning names of potentially real persons, unless they are backed by very, very solid sourcing. Abecedare (talk) 08:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
How obviously wrong would depend on the actual names. Hack (talk) 09:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Some sourced names are now in Germanwings Flight 9525#Passengers and crew. -- ToE 13:10, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

It's all over the press today. I only heard rumors on the radio last night. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 17:18, 26 March 2015 (UTC)



Is it possible to get pumpkins (small ones) this time of year in the UK? I have searched all round my local markets, and can't find any. They only seem to be in the shops just before Halloween. I'm not bothered about carving them into faces and putting candles in them. I actually like eating them. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

If fresh pumpkins are not in season in your area, you may be able to get canned pumpkin: [1]. --Jayron32 12:34, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
My local branch of Lidl was selling trays of pre-prepared squash and sweet potato yesterday. RomanSpa (talk) 13:23, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
As for why they are likely less common/available right now: If you're getting live small pumpkins grown in the UK, they are from last fall. I suppose theoretically they could be fresh if grown in certain parts of the world, but I'm not sure if anyone is growing pumpkins in S. America for export to UK. No curcurbita spp. bear fruit in the early (local) spring. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:20, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers. I'm looking for an actual whole pumpkin, not processed or canned, for a specific recipe I have for soup (with soy sauce, sugar, sake, garlic, and assorted vegetables), and a side dish of the seeds fried in salt and light soy sauce until they are crispy. But I only want a small one, because I'll be the only one eating it. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 16:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems that effectively the entire UK pumpkin crop (most of which is grown by Dave Bowman in Spalding, Lincolnshire) is used for carving ("95% will be carved into hollowed-out lanterns for Halloween") with no market after Halloween ("there’s just no market for them after the 31st"). That Farmers World article says the UK is the EU's largest producer of pumpkins; this lists the world's leading pumpkin producing countries. There doesn't seem to be the usual market gardening supply chain (from greenhouses in NL, and warmer places in e.g. Spain and Africa) that supplies the UK with produce like tomatoes outside the UK season - that's not surprising given how little demand for eating pumpkins the UK has. You could grow your own, with the harvest being Sep->Nov. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:14, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Pumpkins grow on a large vine that takes all summer to mature, (at 40 lat N) so they're most likely almost non-existent out of season. But it might be possible to get a cooking pumpkin from South Africa or Australia, given it's the end of their summer now. μηδείς (talk) 17:24, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

But on the other hand ripe pumpkins will keep for months if stored in a cool dry place. Tesco have butternut squashes available right now. Richard Avery (talk) 07:34, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Your recipe sounds Japanese. Do you have any Japanese groceries within range of your home? You might phone first to see if they have what you want. I shop at a Chinese market near me, but I must say I don't recall seeing pumpkins recently. As others have said, they are out of season in the northern hemisphere. Marco polo (talk) 19:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I have seen pumpkins at the grocer here in TX, USA, where they are also out of season. But November wasn't that long ago, and a small pumpkin for eating should be able to be stored for a few months... so OP may have some luck yet :) SemanticMantis (talk) 19:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Assuming you can't find an actual pumpkin, I'd go with the earlier advice to use canned pumpkin. It is designed for cooking pumpkin pies and such, therefore is rather unprocessed, so it can be used in any recipe (if they added sugar and spices in a certain ratio, that would make it unusable for recipes with different ratios). I am assuming your recipe doesn't call for cooking the intact pumpkin. You also won't have the fresh pumpkin seeds, though, so will need to wait for autumn for that part. Also, if you haven't cooked using a whole pumpkin before, I have to warn you that scooping the innards out is very messy. I'd do it outside, to minimize the mess.
Another option, as alluded to earlier, is using squash. Some types of squash are very similar to pumpkins, so could be substituted in the recipe. This option might be best if the recipe does call for cooking an intact gourd. StuRat (talk) 16:37, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

March 28[edit]

Legality of prostitution in Taiwan[edit]

The map in the article Prostitution law suggests that prostitution is legal in Taiwan, yet our article Prostitution in Taiwan says that prostitution "remains illegal under a 1991 law" and goes on to say basically that it's a murky situation following a 2009 Constitutional Court decision. Most other sources I can find suggest that it is illegal. Can someone clarify? (talk) 02:58, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

One possibility is that it remains technically illegal but the law is no longer enforced. StuRat (talk) 16:26, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

State of the Art in Snowboarding Equipment[edit]

I just came back from a week of snowboarding. I'm very happy with the Rossignol Levitation that I bought on sale back in 2001. However, old things will eventually break, and I may have to look out for something new in the next years. I wonder if there has been significant development in snowboarding technology. Will an average good-quality board today be as good as my lucky buy 14 years ago? Or has nothing much changed and I have to be careful not to take a step down? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:06, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Vending Machines in Pub Toilets in UK[edit]

I went to a pub yesterday, and whilst in the toilet I was looking around (as you do), and there was a vending machine selling three products. Of course, as usual, they were sex-related, but instead of the usual condoms, they had three products which I had never seen before in a vending machine. One was a substitute for viagra. The second was a vibrator. The third was a blow-up doll in the shape of a sheep. I was wondering if the first and third are legal in the UK or not, as viagra is prescription-only here in the UK, and blow-up dolls of sheep are a bit....weird. This is not a joke question, and I am not looking for legal advice, as I did not buy any of these products and I am not thinking of reporting the company that owns the vending machine to any authorities. I was just bewildered. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 13:12, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

You really should add an image. If this is to be believed then they are just herbal pills and why would an inflatable sheep be illegal. Just out of curiosity but how realistic are the sheep? CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 13:27, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't like taking photographs in toilets. Sorry. I would guess they are herbal pills - they were blue. The inflatable sheep looked like a balloon with head and legs and tail on the advertisement (in fact, it looked more like a cow - it had black 'spots' on it - but the advertisement on the machine clearly said 'sheep'). I believe it's probably a joke present for someone's birthday or something. I may be overreacting, but if it is in fact a usable sex-toy, wouldn't it be tantamount to promoting bestiality? In that image you posted, the ones on the right and left are the exact ones I saw. The one in the middle is different. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 14:10, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
It might be promoting sex with inflatable plastic animals, but inflatable plastic animals are self-evidently not animals, so it's not promoting bestiality. RomanSpa (talk) 14:25, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Where else would one expect inflatable sex-sheep to be sold except in the restrooms of British pubs? Gags like chairs nailed to the ceiling are typical of bars in the US. They add ambiance.μηδείς (talk) 18:32, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps. :) We do _not_ have an article on inflatable fetishism - we have balloon fetish, but that's not the same thing. See also inflatable doll. Promoting bestiality is not illegal in the UK - various forms of sexual activity with animals are prohibited under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and photographs and videos are classified as extreme pornography and are therefore illegal to possess, but merely advocating it is not an offence. Tevildo (talk) 23:13, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Just noting that back in 1980 some friends and I bought a plastic inflatable sheep sex toy as a leaving present for the manager of the students union we were members of. Pleased to hear you can still get them! TammyMoet (talk) 10:00, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
When I moved from Norfolk to Wales a couple of years ago, I got one as a leaving present. Funniest thing ever.... (talk) 10:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
From Norfolk? Sure it wasn't an inflatable version of your sister? :) KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, that's odd, as Sheep farming in Wales is an important industry. Not as if one would lack for even black-spotted companions. μηδείς (talk) 22:10, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow, well done, you got the blatantly obvious point..... Want a cookie? (talk) 07:13, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Didn't realize Norfolkshiremen were so volitile. No, KageTora takes the cookie. μηδείς (talk) 17:53, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I live right close to the Welsh border. I did not want to offend my neighbours by making such an obvious and well-known joke. They can be fierce in their poetry, you know. They win the Eisteddfod every time. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the vending machines are merely acknowledging the woolen sweaters some wear to pubs. Bus stop (talk) 22:34, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

User:KageTora, well if the sheep isn't very realistic and looks like a cow then I'm not really interested any more. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 04:57, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

I might buy one just to see if it has a little button that plays Men of Harlech on loudspeakers. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 16:06, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
The whole idea of selling sheep in bathrooms questions our very notion of toilet training. Bus stop (talk) 17:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


Create for me an Acess using theses procedure.

Start Microsoft Acess and create an Address Book database.

Click the tables in the database window

Click new

The New Table wizard appears

Select table wizard and click OK — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

You seem to already have the instructions (although to create a database table, not an "Acess"), so what is your question for us ? StuRat (talk) 16:17, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Part of a homework assignment? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:47, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
He'd probably get a better grade if he could even spell 'Access' correctly. That's the first step. The rest is elementary. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:24, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Acess, n. A female ace. —Tamfang (talk) 05:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Nine out of ten female aces aviatrices say "Does my assess look big in this cockpit?".  :) - Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:10, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Create a new database.
In this database, create a new table.
Add columns, Number, Lastname, GivenName, Street, ZipCode, …
Have the Column "Number" be a primary key not to need an Id
Create your Queries (=Views), Forms and Reports to print address labels, if neccessary.
Done. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 21:46, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Cabin Crew of Germanwings Flight[edit]

Does anyone have any details of the names of the four cabin crew of the Germanwings flight that crashed? All I have is the names of the pilot and co-pilot. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 18:28, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Lars Kottner

Georg Ludwic

Horst Erghart

Kurt Gauck

RIP. (talk) 18:57, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. Where did you get this information from? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 21:18, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Transcripts and licenses[edit]

I was thinking of making some transcripts of Allen Ginsberg's classes at the Jack Kerouac School, which are hosted in audio form at under CC-BY-ND-NC. I have two questions: (1) is a transcript from audio considered a derivative and therefore prohibited by the license? (2) If not, is there a Wikimedia project that could host such transcripts? Wikisource seems the most likely candidate but they seem to require sources be originally published in print; I couldn't find a clear answer one way or the other on their site though. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 20:34, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

March 29[edit]

Underground Storage Device[edit]

What in heaven's name is that? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Probably a rather British usage of the word "device" to mean a storage room. (When it comes to language, the British should be left to their own devices.) Although with a more mainstream meaning of "device" it could be something like a dumbwaiter was used to raise and lower them to the storage area. StuRat (talk) 07:36, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I expect it's a typo. Alansplodge (talk) 09:32, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Presumably it's a buried weapons cache, but I wouldn't call that standard usage. And Stu, there's a reason the language is called English.... (talk) 10:54, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I suspect 'device' means a 'complex container', which in this case has been buried underground. LongHairedFop (talk) 11:04, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't be entirely surprised if this is carefully vague legal jargon that could refer to a manual device, a powered device or an old device. Nanonic (talk) 16:54, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
It is just a euphemism or jargon to cover containers that prevent the ingress of moisture when buried. They can be as simple as a iron pipe of the right dimensions to contain (say) a single rife, a silica gel capsule and caped off at each end. I have never seen photographs published in the public domain so I will not offer further descriptions. Below a certain depth, they are 'thought' to beyond the range of metal detectors but modern magnetic field detectors have no problem.--Aspro (talk) 18:26, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

African American development in the US[edit]

First off, I make no assumptions here. I'm going by what I heard. The anecdote went along the lines of individuals who racially identify as AA still lag behind in capabilities and development even when raised in white households. As opposed to normal white adopted individuals.

Highly controversial but is this an urban legend or what. Any studies in this area to refer to? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Nope "Studies of mixed-race children and black children adopted by white parents suggest, however, that racial differences in test performance are largely if not entirely environmental in origin." In otherwords, African-American students raised by White parents don't show any achievement gap. --Jayron32 23:46, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The issue is more that of poverty (environment) than race. Black children in white homes in poverty areas will perform as others in poverty areas. It is not a U.S. issue (which is why I am not limiting it to African Americans, but blacks as a whole). Similarly, white children in black homes in a poverty area will perform as others in a poverty area. In the U.S. blacks disproportionately are poor compared to whites and, therefore, live in poor environments. If you explore the causes of black poverty in the United States, you will find a vast field of opinions. (talk) 14:50, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
There are a whole host of unpacked assumptions here. First, the test group are "individuals who racially Identify as African American". It's an open question whether that would apply to Redfoo or Chinua Achebe or even Eminem. Second is the statement "still" which implies an assumed "already". Then, of course, there's the comparison to "normal white" people, which could mean one assumes many whites are abnormal, or that all non-whites are not normal. Perhaps the OP could clarify? μηδείς (talk) 17:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I made my own assumption that the OP was American. Use of "African American" implies the OP is American since only an American would use a phrase that implies a continent of origin and a nationality to make reference to skin tone. In America, the media abuses the public with a daily onslaught of the "plight of the black race." The OP's question is obviously influenced and directed at this heavily slanted media influence. Therefore, the OP is not making assumptions. The OP is merely regurgitating the media. (Just today, I saw an article detailing the "hidden racism" exhibited by all white youth.) (talk) 18:01, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
The assumptions I noted are all implicit in the way the question was asked. Whether or not the OP was conscious of the hidden premises or not I don't know, but when people start off their questions with a disclaimer it usually means they realize something is going on. μηδείς (talk) 19:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
The OP geolocates to some ways east of Moscow. (Russia, not Idaho.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Ford car ID[edit]

What is it?
For comparison: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

I'm guessing a Ford Taurus, but Commons has different categories for different generations (see Commons:Category:Ford Taurus), and I'm not sure which one is the best fit. Nyttend (talk) 13:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

It's a Fusion, not a Taurus. This page shows a 2012 Fusion rear end that looks just the same. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:11, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Is it possible to say more specifically? Commons:Category:Ford Fusion (Americas) has several subcategories; I've checked all of them (except "in competition") without being able to decide. Nyttend (talk) 14:40, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I think it's a first generation (but futzing around with lighting cluster design is the kind of thing designers do on a model year basis, so I can't be sure). It's not a Mondeo (because it's in North America). I don't know how to tell if it's a hybrid; the hybrid normally comes with a badge to that effect, so it probably isn't one. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:08, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be a first generation Fusion with the (model year) 2010 facelift. Rgds  hugarheimur 15:30, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Commons:Category:Ford Fusion (1st generation) now applied. Thanks for the help! Nyttend (talk) 17:32, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Whoever uploaded that bank photo should have obscured the license plate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:59, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree, and Nyttend dunnit. ―Mandruss  23:18, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Any friendly admin that happens by could delete the original image, and then Nyttend could tend to uploading a revision. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I have obscured the plate. ―Mandruss  04:24, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Alice in Wonderland, John Tenniel and crap drawings[edit]


Ok folks. This review of last Monday's episode of University Challenge says that one of the teams identified "an illustration from Alice in Wonderland as the work of John Tenniel", going on to comment that "the Captain’s drawings were crap. Younger readers might like to ask their parents to explain that reference." Well, I've read the article on Tenniel and I'm none the wiser; so, in the absence of my parents, would anyone care to explain? - Cucumber Mike (talk) 20:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

My best guess is that it's a reference to Captain & Tennille, do I don't quite get it either (and nor are my parents here to ask right now). ---Sluzzelin talk 21:08, 29 March 2015 (UTC) ---Sluzzelin talk 21:54, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
(Never mind, I don't think that's it. I thought maybe the participant had mispronounced "Tenniel" (though guessed correctly), and Jeremy Paxman had made one of his dry and slightly scornful remarks, but I just watched the segment, and there is no mispronunciation and no remark). ---Sluzzelin talk 21:54, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
A subsidiary comment - Tyrannosaurus Rex? Tevildo (talk) 21:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
(I do actually think he adores the contestants, but, yes, he remains a formidable predator. :-) ---Sluzzelin talk 22:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Tenniel's article indicates that the first print run of 2,000 had flawed plates and was shipped to America, rather than being sold in Britain. But the pun and reference to the Captain make it certain the allusion was to this duo. μηδείς (talk) 22:06, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The only problem with that "certainty" is that the writer referred to "the Captain", while the singer's name is "Captain", not "The Captain". To put this into perspective: Would you not find it rather odd if someone were to refer to you as "The Medeis"? There may well be someone called "The Medeis", but that's not you. I rest my case. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:42, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
"The Captain and Tennille" may be an error but I did hear them credited on radio that way. Note that the duo's article uses the form "Captain" Daryl Dragon rather than the more common Daryl "Captain" Dragon, suggesting that the nickname was understood as a notional rank. —Tamfang (talk) 05:21, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
The duo was originally called The Captain and Tenille, as it shows on the jacket of their first and biggest hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together." Looks like they dropped the The in later years, but like you I've always heard them announced with The. This is one of those silly debates that arises here from time to time. Like whether Adventures of Superman is supposed to have The in front of it. As to the original question, the writer was just being funny. And there was nothing wrong with the drawings in the Alice books, either. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:35, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
And presumably the joke was that the Captain's drawings were crap, so they got Tennille (Tenniel) to do them instead. -- (talk) 06:42, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Thus making the joke even more obscure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:57, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're saying. That was the joke, so how can it make it more obscure? That, together with your earlier comment "the writer was just being funny" implies that you haven't understood the joke at all. --Viennese Waltz 20:03, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I understood the source of the quote was making a funny about the two similar names. And having re-read this a few times, I think I do get it now - as if "Captain" Daryl Dragon (who was not himself named Tennille) had done the drawings originally. If I made a joke that lame at home, I would get a serious eye-roll from my wife. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:18, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
What? The Captain and Tennille obscure? I don't think love will keep you together, then! -- (talk) 04:20, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I just saw a muskrat yesterday, a species which presumably would have gone extinct without C&T getting their libido going. :-) StuRat (talk) 04:45, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if your typical muskrat goes with the first one it finds, or if it shops around. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:20, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Yup, that definitely explains it. Thanks everyone! - Cucumber Mike (talk) 12:59, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

March 30[edit]

List of USA federal budget deficits[edit]

Where can I find a year by year list of United States federal budget deficits? Thanks.2601:7:6580:5E3:38F8:A6FF:BD9E:D59E (talk) 00:36, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

The Office of Management and Budget has a list of historical tables. Table 1.1 shows surplus/deficits from 1789 to date. Dalliance (talk) 11:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

provinces in Afghanistan[edit]

On the Wikipedia page that lists provinces in Afghanistan, WARDOK is missing. Not only is it THERE (in Afghanistan), it is a province in which many American soldiers have served and died and still serve. My source is that my boyfriend served for a year there. Quite a serious oversight on your page, I think. Please replace or add it. Would love to hear it's done, but you needn't reply. Would be happy if you just fixed it. Thank you, and thanks for Wikipedia! Susan P [email address removed] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:1600:1CA:95D6:CD38:DDEA:4898 (talk) 04:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Maidan Wardak Province (talk) 05:11, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
The provinces of Afghanistan includes Maidan Wardak province which is probably the one you have in mind when you say "Wardok". Dragons flight (talk) 05:16, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Black voting rights in white ruled countries in the 1840s[edit]

Besides some New England towns (most notably Providence) and the colonies that would become Senegal, where could the black man vote in national elections in white ruled countries in the 1840s?

Muzzleflash (talk) 08:13, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Very few countries were democracies in the 1840s, so in the vast majority of them, neither blacks nor whites had voting rights. France gained universal male suffrage in 1848, so that's probably when black men got voting rights there. Laws in many European countries, (unlike in the USA and in many colonies) have not historically made any legal distinctions based on skin color, so blacks and whites typically got voting rights at the same time. - Lindert (talk) 09:31, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
In the UK at that time only owners of property over a certain value or those who rented property over a certain value could vote. Our article say only 1 in 7 men met those requirements in the 1840s - so no discrimination by race, but discrimination by wealth. Mikenorton (talk) 11:00, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
As stated above, just look for the normal suffrage dates in the various European countries, as by and large, there would be no race distinction. That particular nastiness was largely confined to the colonies. (talk) 11:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
In the United States, laws on suffrage applied at the state level, not the municipal level. Every New England state except Connecticut (i.e. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) allowed black men to vote in the 1840s, though in Rhode Island, voters had to pay a poll tax of $1, which was close to a day's wages for a manual laborer at the time. In New York, black men (but not white men) had to own a substantial amount of property to be allowed to vote, which meant that only a handful of black men could vote there. No other state allowed black men to vote in the 1840s. Marco polo (talk) 18:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
At this time, substantial property qualifications in the British colonies that would later become Canada limited the vote as in the United Kingdom, but any black men who met those qualifications (probably few if any) would have been allowed to vote, at least in theory. Marco polo (talk) 18:37, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

March 31[edit]

When Gallup doesn't provide trust to interviewees, how much of a bias does it introduce?[edit]

I just received a call from someone who said he's from Gallup and who asked me to participate in a poll about current politics. I agreed, and he proceeded to ask me my age. At that moment I said that I've seen too much privacy related crimes, and asked if I could call him back, or if he had any way to prove that he's really from Gallup. He didn't, which precluded the interview.

Doesn't that unnecessarily increase the bias? I know there's always some bias, because there may be some correlation between someone who's willing to be interviewed and their political opinions, and there are some ways to estimate that away. But the need to protect oneself from fraudulent phone calls seems very fundamental to me; there must be a whole big sector of the population that is excluded from such polls. Compared to that, setting up a system so you can call back to be interviewed seems like a trifle. Is that really not worth it? ThinkPaddy (talk) 01:33, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

You might consider the possibility that he wasn't from Gallup but was just phishing. Was there a number on the caller ID? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:30, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for saying that. I did consider it, which is why I was cautious. But it did have a caller ID, and I called it, and it was a long winded automatic phone system that said it was Gallup. ThinkPaddy (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Polling by phone is just about useless anyway, as you will get too low of a participation rate, and there's no reason to think that those who choose to participate are a representative sample of the entire population. If they paid people they might get a more acceptable participation rate.
Plus, these days younger people are likely to have cell phones only, and the phone polls tend to only call land lines, introducing yet another bias. StuRat (talk) 02:35, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Interesting - would that explain why he asked me whether this was a cell phone or landline? ThinkPaddy (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like they use an auto-dialer that just dials a range of numbers, versus having any type of database to work off, as those would be sure to list the type of line. This lack of a database makes it sound more like phishing. StuRat (talk) 18:08, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, it could be because I changed my phone number from a landline to a cell phone. ThinkPaddy (talk) 18:56, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
For an example of how opinion polling can go dreadfully wrong, read United States presidential election, 1936. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:54, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I find the premise dubious. At best I have been asked to give an age range, never been asked my age.
μηδείς (talk) 03:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, exactly - that's what felt fishy. ThinkPaddy (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
(It's not Bug's premise, so you shouldn't indent from his reply, as if you are replying to him.) StuRat (talk) 05:14, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
And is your age in the range of 36 years and 243/365ths thru 36 years and 244/365ths ? :-) StuRat (talk) 03:21, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
No. (That was easy!) ThinkPaddy (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Of course you can always jerk them around. Like telling them you're 93 1/2 years old and that you've lived most of your life in converted dumpster. And if that doesn't work, ask them for money. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:37, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I could lie, and do that with relish when a website forces me to enter information that they have no right to know. And when I get calls for commercial surveys, I do ask "what's in it for me", which usually surprises them. But I feel different about politics; I think there is something like civic duty (lower case; not the thriller). I have some respect for political polls, since I believe they provide a valuable service to democracy. ...

Which leads me back to my original question: Isn't Gallup missing its obligation to society when they refuse even such a small effort to ensure the validity of their survey? ThinkPaddy (talk) 18:56, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Which leads me back to my original comment: How do you know it was really Gallup calling?Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:12, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Do any restaurants allow you to order from your home PC ?[edit]

...but still eat at the restaurant ? The reasons I would want to do this are:

1) Nutritional info is normally only available (in the US) on their web site, and in a huge PDF file that's both very wide and very long, making it quite time consuming to actually compare items.

2) It seems silly for me to explain what I want, then have the waitress try to write it down, then try to communicate that to the kitchen staff, when I could type it in myself with so much less possibility of error (like them mishearing "French" dressing as "Ranch").

3) They could start cooking it before I arrive, but they presumably would also want payment in advance to do that.

I imagine I'd walk in and say "I have order # 328" (for that day). So, do any restaurant chains offer this option ? (I don't mean ordering it to go and then sitting down to eat it at a fast food place, I mean having full table service.) StuRat (talk) 03:17, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Up front, I'll just say google "online menu order" and there's a national breadstick chain that will pop up as allowing you to order on line.
But for gosh sakes, Stu, you have to realize that the restaurant as an institution is so old that the word tavern comes not from Latin, but from Etruscan. Wenches often used to work for free just for the sake of getting tips.
And Wawa allows on site computerized ordering for many, but not all cooked items. Having cooked and waited and having used semi-computerized systems I can tell you that they are never meant for customer or wit-staff convenience, but as a way to do accounting on the cheap and to prevent theft.
Someone still has to read the printout, call the order, cook and pack or serve it. The purpose of the waitress is not to mess up your order, but to make sure you get exactly what you want, how and when you want it. That's why she get 1/2 or 1/3 of minimum wage--tips for good service.
There's a reason Horn & Hardart's went out of business, and people kick soda machines. Maybe you should consider grocery stores like Shop-Rite that allow you to call in, and even deliver in dense urban areas. The nutrition labels are on the packaging, and you can cook everything you want to your own exact specifications.
μηδείς (talk) 04:03, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Some key points:
A) I want full service (a waiter or waitress).
B) If they are printing out the order then reading it to someone else, instead of just displaying it on a terminal the kitchen staff can read directly, that's another inefficiency, but that's beyond the scope of my Q.
C) The more times the order is translated from person to person, the more garbled it will get. See the telephone game.
D) Food vending machines remain popular, but I do think they need an attendant, in case things go wrong. They could make them a lot fancier, too, like a machine that cooks your pizza to order, with toppings you selected.
StuRat (talk) 05:11, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
It's the waitress who is personally responsible for taking your order accurately, including advising you of options and answering questions about the food item(s). It is her responsibility to refer it properly to the head cook on-line. It's her responsibility to prepare some items, like water, soup and salad. And it's her responsibility to make sure what you got was correct, and to check soon after you start eating whether everything is okay. That is personalized service, not the telephone game. μηδείς (talk) 19:29, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
First off, it sounds like you're wanting to do this on your own. That's weird, for a start. You shouldn't really be eating in a full service restaurant on your own. But if you're really determined to do it, you should just go there, bring a book, give the waitress your order and read your book while waiting for it to be delivered. If you're really that bothered about weighing up the different nutritional values, just do that on the computer before you leave. The chances of the waitress getting your order wrong are infinitesimal. --Viennese Waltz 07:36, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
In my experience the chance of them getting my order wrong is more like 50-50. You must go to much better places than me. StuRat (talk) 17:47, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I entirely agree the concept proposed in the OP is weird, eating on your own in a full service restaurant is not weird in and of itself, especially when near public transport hubs, where travellers would frequently be on their own. Have done it myself. (talk) 08:28, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
"You shouldn't really be eating in a full service restaurant on your own." But only in Indiana can you actually be turned away by the restaurant owner for seeking a table for one (if it's against their prejudices"religious beliefs").
Seriously, lots of people eat on their own in restaurants. I've done it myself many times, and I know plenty of other people who have done the same. What on earth would make you make a remark like that? RomanSpa (talk) 10:30, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
A couple of problems with the proposed plan. What certainty does the restaurant have that you will turn up, and at the time you stipulate? What is the pay off for the restaurant to keep a website updated continuously for a small number of people who don't have time to wait a few minutes for the service staff to get their order or require extra information about their food. I do not recall in several decades of restaurant visiting ever having a wrong order caused by erroneous transcribing by the waiting staff. Richard Avery (talk) 09:31, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
It's not high class dining but Panera allows you to order via their web site or their mobile app. You can then eat at the restaurant. Dismas|(talk) 09:39, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I order on my phone, using their website, at Subway, Five Guys, Taco Bell, and Moes. I assume that not all restaurants support online ordering, but the ones that I visit do. Plus, I get to be a major ass and walk straight to the front of the line and tell them I ordered online. (talk) 14:37, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
All of those are counter service, not table service restaurants as Stu wanted. I am not aware of any table service restaurants, with wait staff, that allows online ordering and eating in. Some normally table service restaurants offer "curbside pick up" and online ordering (that is, you order online, and pick up your order to take home, places like Outback Steakhouse do that) but I've never heard of someone ordering online for table service. It may be one of those ideas which is in such low demand that no one thought of implementing it. --Jayron32 14:46, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Just saying "that's weird" isn't very helpful. Instead you should list specific objections the waitstaff or customers might have.

As for it not being a popular option, I'd like to see evidence of this, where it's actually been tried. Presumably the same objection initially existed to ordering take-out food online, and that's now quite a popular option.

Benefits the the restaurant would be reduced waitstaff needed, since they no longer need to take as many orders, fewer mistaken orders which have to be redone at their expense, and hopefully more satisfied (and thus more returning) customers. Getting customers in and out more quickly also effectively gives them more tables to use every hour. As for them not wanting to risk the customer not showing up, I already covered that with the customer paying in advance (if they expect the food to be prepared in advance). However, some chains do allow you to order take-out food which they prepare in advance, and pay for when you pick it up. I don't see why the risk is any worse for dine-ins.

As for viewing the nutritional info before heading in, that's what I do now, but I am often disappointed to find the item I selected isn't carried at that location. If I could order it in advance, hopefully they would need to reveal that they don't carry the item at some point in the process, where I can still review the nutritional info and make a second choice.

Regarding them needing to "keep a web site up to date", they likely already have all the infrastructure in place for pick-up or delivery options. All they would need to do is add an option for dine-in. (They might have to do a few minor tweaks, like adding some dine-in only options, such as the buffet.) StuRat (talk) 17:57, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Without any references to back this up, I think the reason that this can't work was mentioned above: the restaurant would be committing to cooking your meal and saving you a space without any guarantee that you would actually show up. Let's say you pay in advance. That's fine, then. The wasted food is still covered. But they lose the table and the potential for a walk in on that one. Mingmingla (talk) 18:25, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
@StuRat: There are quite a few restaurants that allow one to order ahead over the phone or online, and then dine-in. And many companies selling (and hyping) systems to allow even more restaurants to do so. If you want particular examples (rather than just proof of existence), it would help to know your rough geographical locations... if you are comfortable revealing it, of course. Abecedare (talk) 18:29, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
And some web-services/apps for what you are looking for:
There are plenty more, mostly local website. If you search google for "pre-order", "order ahead", "order online" options, it should provide you with geographically-customized results. Abecedare (talk) 19:06, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

gdp growth and labor productivity increase[edit]

Is the ideal ratio 1:1 for an economy to be balanced? (e.g. not growing because of a credit bubble)

Muzzleflash (talk) 12:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

What is the source of that number? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:21, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a universal ideal. The parameters that work best for business owners tend to be quite different from the parameters that work best for laborers. Looie496 (talk) 15:42, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Not exactly, because labor supply can change too due to population growth, immigration, increase in labor participaton (eg, women entering formal workforce), increase in hours worked etc. See this OECD document and cited references for some additional nuances. Abecedare (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Approval related voting system question.[edit]

Imagine, people vote on candidates by saying the ones they want to win.

On voting system 1: When you say yes to one candidate he get +1 points and if you dont he gets +0

On voting system 2: When you say yes to one candidate he get +1 points and if you dont he gets -1
PS: on both types of voting system, you just say yes, to the ones you didnt said yes, they get +0 or -1 based on the voting system used.

Is there any difference between both types of voting systems or in the end they would the exact the same thing? (talk) 16:44, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

In system 2, what happens when someone doesn't vote at all? Do all the candidates get -1 or not? -- (talk) 17:05, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
If he say yes to 0 candidates all the candidates get -1 points added to their specific total amount of points. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the results will be exactly the same in the two systems, though the scores will be different, of course. You might be interested in the article Cardinal voting systems. Dbfirs 17:39, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
The specific difference will be in the spread. If two candidates have a point difference of 5 in the first system, they will have a point difference of 10 in the second system. Other than point spread, there is no difference. (talk) 17:51, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
But and the guys that doenst go to the place to vote, on the first case, the candidates score will not change so its like they got get 0 points, but on voting system 2 if they get 0 points its not like the guy gone there and didnt voted for them. (talk) 20:29, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
If each candidate gets a -1 due to a registered voter not showing up, it's a wash. It will change their scores, but not their ranking. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:33, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
They get +0 if the guy doenst show on method 2. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Either way, the ranking does not change. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20
40, 31 March 2015 (UTC)