Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

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November 24

Unaccomplished parents

Is there a term for a parent who has had a mediocre life/career and as a result of his/her shortcomings wants their offspring to fulfill the lifestyle they wished they themselves accomplished? Contrib raati (talk) 09:45, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Are you talking about living vicariously, or are you talking about working to create a better life for your children? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose its vicarious after looking up the definition. That might be the word I was looking for. Can you think of any synonyms of the word vicarious but pertaining specifically to parent-to-offspring vicariousness, especially for altruistic reasons? (note english is not my first language) Contrib raati (talk) 10:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Trying "to live out their dreams through their children"[1] or "living through their children", although that has very negative connotations or consequences,[2] not altruistic. Stage mothers are likely suspects. Clarityfiend (talk) 11:16, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
The behavior our OP describes is what 'normal' parents do. I suppose you could split parents into three hypothetical groups:
  1. Those who wish their children will do better than they did.
  2. Those who wish their children will do worse than they did.
  3. Those who don't care.
Category (3) parents come with a bunch of names like 'deadbeat', category (2) must be very rare - and if we do have a name for them, it's going to be considered to be some kind of mental illness or something. It follows that we don't really have a special name for category (1) because those are considered to be the 'normal' parents - who are in the vast majority. However, what we're looking for here are parents in category (1) who are relatively low achievers...but since the sky is the limit for great achievements, nearly everyone can find shortcomings in themselves that they'd like their children to overcome. Even very high achievers strive to make this happen.
SteveBaker (talk) 13:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah but what if I don't care if my kids do better or worse than me as long as they are happy at what they are doing? CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 13:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Then that is just a different definition of "better" MChesterMC (talk) 14:39, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Let's say, as an example, a parent always wanted to be a doctor, but was unable to accomplish this goal. This parent decides to ensure their offspring ends up as a doctor in order to live out their failed accomplishment through their child even though the child is completely uninterested in healthcare. Is there no specific name/term more specified than 'vicariousness? Contrib raati (talk) 15:30, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's any single specific word for the parenting situation, though there are common phrases. This [3] news article calls it "chasing lost dreams", but also uses "vicarious". "Living vicariously through [their] children" has lots of usage. See also perhaps Wish fulfillment. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:20, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

November 25

Low-performing schools

I remember there was a term for schools with extremely low pass rates or had a more-or-less useless curriculum. Can somebody remind me what this term is please? Contrib raati (talk) 15:38, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

In the UK, such schools are put into "Special measures", which has become a more generic term (euphemism?) for "failure" in official contexts. Tevildo (talk) 15:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thats not the word I was looking for. Contrib raati (talk) 16:18, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
At the higher education level, there are Diploma mills - with high pass rates (if you pay), but a useless curriculum (if any). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Could it be sink school? No article, but presumably named with reference to sink estates. Googling sink school gives some British newspaper articles discussing them. Hassocks5489 (Floreat Hova!) 18:55, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
“We class schools, you see, into four grades: Leading School, First-rate School, Good School, and School. Frankly," said Mr Levy, "School is pretty bad...” ― Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall. Modern terminology in the UK is not much different. Dbfirs 20:42, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

How would the Turkish military "warn" a Russian fighter plane?

See2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown.How did Turkey issue "multiple warnings" to the Russian aircraft crew? Do enemy fighter planes and ground stations have a common frequency for talking in combat situations? Like the pilots or their ground controllers having a frequency (perhaps a scrambled channel) for talking to their own side and a different or a "universal" frequency for talking to the enemy like they would talk to a neutral airport? Would the "universal" receiver cut in even if they were talking to their home base? Do enemy pilots ever "trash talk" each other, or beg for mercy, or gloat when their missile hits the enemy, assuming they understand each other's speech? Edison (talk) 19:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

This story says the signal was in English on 243.0 MHz, the Military Air Distress channel. For friend-to-friend communications you would expect encrypted communications on milcom channels - in theatre that would often be satcom instead. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:05, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
And in general there are plenty of things you can do besides using radio. Fly in front of them and do maneuvers to get the pilot's attention. Flash lights at the pilot. If the prospective target is a military plane, it will generally detect and warn the pilot if something locks targeting radar on the plane. Now, which of these techniques are used obviously depends on circumstances and rules of engagement. -- (talk) 20:52, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Yea, flying in front might be problematic both because they couldn't catch up with and pass those planes, and because they might then be targeted. That method works better with a slower, passenger plane. StuRat (talk) 21:26, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
In the link above the Turk supposedly speaking English is mostly unintelligible to me, a native speaker of English.It sounded like a bunch of barked mispronounced syllables Edison (talk) 02:19, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The audio is quite clear, " are approaching Turkish airspace, change your heading..." I find it quite odd that a native speaker of English would feign the inability to comprehend this. Perhaps a better place for this discussion would be an internet forum? I see no request here for a referenced source. μηδείς (talk) 02:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
    • It is highly accented and low in intelligibility, particularly the first 7 seconds. How would a Russian with a weak grasp of English understand this utterance by a Turk with a weak grasp of English? Edison (talk) 03:11, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The Turk's English was perfectly fine. I didn't know the codes, but the "you are approaching Turkish airspace, change your heading" was perfectly clear. Given American English is the standard for international communication, maybe the Russian was simply not up to snuff? I have no point to make or dog in this fight, but to claim the Turk's message was garbled in the essential moment is simply false. I will not comment further, since I consider this a matter of fsct, not a POV I want to argue. μηδείς (talk) 04:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like Edison's version got garbled along the way somehow, but if you can hear it clearly, that must be what was broadcast, unless somebody later went to the trouble of cleaning it up. StuRat (talk) 07:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I would agree with Edison. I cannot make out the first 5 seconds at all. I can get some words from the next 2 seconds. Then " are approaching Turkish airspace, change your heading..." is reasonably clear, but with very unusual rhythm (as if read line by line by someone who does not know the language), and the rest is again very hard to understand (my guess is "to south"). How this would sound in the cockpit of a jet aircraft is another question again, although pilots should be used to the environmental noise. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
To me the first part sounds like a some numbers possibly with a letter or something else then something radar station then speaking something. That said I only listened after I'd read the discussion so can't rule being influenced by that for the radar station bit. Of course this is only 1 time of the allegedly 10 times or more the message was repeated. Looking a bit more, I find someone gave an explanation of what was said, one thought that comes to mind is that beyond having experience dealing with noise, one would assume military pilots (well any properly trained pilot) would also have some experience with what to expect from radio messages and the message sounds like it's mostly fairly standard and common even if it was read in a weird way.

Note that if you read the discussion there's some suggestion, supported by our article International distress frequency, that the 243 Mhz frequency is a NATO emergency frequency. However it's also suggested that it would be normal for aircraft operating in the vicinity of NATO areas to monitor the frequency even if they wouldn't use it themselves.

In any case, the intelligibility question could be a red herring as AFAIK the current Russian claim is not that they received a message but didn't know what was being said, but instead that they didn't receive any. (Although there's some suggestion in the discussion that Russia only denied receiving any warnings from the aircraft which shot them down, which could be true as the message in question was from a radar station.) Of course they also claim they never crossed into Turkish airspace even for those 17 seconds.

Nil Einne (talk) 17:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

And emergency aviation frequencies are supposed to only be used for emergencies, so any competent pilot should know to pay attention if someone is broadcasting on them. -- (talk) 05:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

November 26

Man At Arms - Armor question

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

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

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


November 27

How do I delete my Wikipedia account?

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

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

Early Christian festival

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

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

November 28

Gay cruises for certain communities

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

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

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

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

Who was this American male bearded creative skater?

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

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

November 29