Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

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July 23[edit]

import a value(in a specific field) from an external url[edit]

I'm new here and would like to know if my project could be possible on wikipedia. My goal is to import values from an external web page listing live water flow measurement of various rivers. I've searched à couple of hours now and don't really find what I'm looking for.

here an example of the flow measurement, the value of the first line on the last collumn is the number needed (under flow in m3/s)

I think I've found something useful on mediawiki (Extension:External Data) but it seems to works on personnal server, something I'm not planning to use.

Thanks for your help! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

WP: Help desk or WP: Village pump are better places for this sort of thing. 2606:A000:4C0C:E200:9D03:2DE0:AA61:B599 (talk) 04:36, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Identify this printing feature?[edit]

Look at this page scan from Wikisource, specifically the "B 2" in the footer. Another Wikisource user called this sort of thing a printing artifact which should not be transcribed. But what is it called and what purpose does it serve? BethNaught (talk) 12:06, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

It's a Signature mark. Nanonic (talk) 12:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The image on that page as it stands is really crap. Can we use the wikisource one instead? Muffled Pocketed 06:35, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Wiki markup font[edit]

What font is MediaWiki markup in? ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 23:25, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

The literal answer to this question is "whatever font your text editor uses". The markup is what you see in the editing box when you click on "edit", not what it generates. The font you see will depend on your stylesheet - for Monobook and Vector, it's Courier 13 point. See Wiki markup, WP:CSS, WP:MARKUP and WP:TYPE. However, I don't think that this answer is what you're looking for. Tevildo (talk) 01:02, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
@Tevildo: I actually was looking for the font of the source code itself. Thanks! ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 01:38, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
As Tevildo says, it's not in any font. I suggest you read the introduction to our article on plain text.--Shantavira|feed me 06:08, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Right, but, if you're talking about using a MediaWiki site in a browser, the browser will use a font to display the page source, following the stylesheets if possible. What Tevildo probably meant to ask was, "What is the default font for the MediaWiki edit window?" -- (talk) 13:48, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

International civil codes - regulations on at-cost and free-of-cost cooperation agreements[edit]

Hi, I know this borders on a legal topic, but I am just wondering on if I can find a database on global civil cooperation agreements, and am not seeking advice of any sort. Is such a repository available? (talk) 01:35, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

An article about access to information is at Free Access to Law Movement. One of the websites with US focus Worldlii is at , see if that has what you want. Lists of databases with Australian focus at and EU stuff at , and for UN . I am probably totally missing what you want though! Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:39, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Dating birthday card[edit]


I'm trying to date this birthday card, likely printed sometime between the mid 1980s and the early 1990s in the UK. Apart from the maker's mark and the art (neither of which I am expert in and which I have no clue how to even begin to research) there are no contextual clues that are immediately tipping me off. Long shot, maybe, but I would be very grateful if someone could narrow it down to a year or two. Thanks! Evan (talk|contribs) 10:56, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

One of "Sharpe's Classic Greeting Cards", with the artwork signed by "Robin", printed in England. I have no idea where to go from there. Is that company still in existence? Someguy1221 (talk) 11:06, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
WHAG here but it looks to date from the very early days of supermarkets in the UK, so maybe sometime before 1980? --TammyMoet (talk) 12:28, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
The cartooning style to me looks more like 1950s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:12, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
One can search Victoria and Albert Museum -- Sharpe's Classic Greeting Card collection online, but your card isn't there:[1] --2606:A000:4C0C:E200:58E2:3708:C2A3:B874 (talk) 16:42, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree that the style is late 50s ~ early 60s -- not mid 80s ~ early 90s. --2606:A000:4C0C:E200:58E2:3708:C2A3:B874 (talk) 17:26, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, guys! I received the image from a friend who was born in the late 1970s, so he can't have received the card earlier than the early 1980s, but I agree the art style suggests it's a bit older. It is possible, I guess, that it was given to him by someone who had blank cards stockpiled from decades past. I have relatives who do the same. Evan (talk|contribs) 17:45, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
In my experience, it's not uncommon for modern greetings cards to use older images and artwork; sometimes with added captions, sometimes not. On the other hand, that particular artist, whose style though not name I recognise, might well have still been active in the 1980s – his 'dated' style was part of the charm, and the typography of the greeting strikes me as more modern that the apparent era of the cartoon. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 18:13, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, presumably the "Classic" could mean "retro" style. --2606:A000:4C0C:E200:58E2:3708:C2A3:B874 (talk) 18:23, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Or it could mean that they were reprinting older cards. -- (talk) 22:12, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Sharpe's were bought by Hallmark in 1984 for £21m.[2][3][4] I notice this card has no barcode but does have the price code at the bottom left of the back page. Perhaps if anyone could research which ones were in use in a particular era, we could narrow it down. Nanonic (talk) 18:38, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
That's a good clue, but we can't assume they stopped selling under the name Sharpe's as soon as they were bought by Hallmark. They might have continued operating under the old name for some time after, and/or they might have stocks with the old name on them. StuRat (talk) 03:03, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

What does WHAG mean? Robinh (talk) 21:58, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Wild half-assed guess. Nanonic (talk) 22:17, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

You could try asking The Cartoon Museum, The Cartoonists Club of GB or the Professional Cartoonists Organisation. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 01:23, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Automobile oil consumption mystery[edit]

How is it that a vehicle can consume motor oil (oil is not leaking out) and then sometime later the vehicle maintains its oil level and stops consuming?? (talk) 22:52, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Wild-assed guess 1) is an intermittent fault in the Crankcase ventilation system and 2) is you changed the oil to a more viscous sort which is less inclined to leak past the piston rings. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:09, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
WAed guess 3) carbon build-up and/or sludge around the piston rings, that burned off (or became dislodged and ejected). 4) Piston oil-control ring(s) not seated properly, which subsequently become seated ("engine break-in"). 2606:A000:4C0C:E200:807B:66FA:B5EC:A602 (talk) 23:32, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Possibility 5) improved driving skills. Better driving puts less strain on the engine. Wymspen (talk) 07:30, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
5.1) Decreased torque load: not driving uphill as much, or no longer towing trailer, or removing gold bars from trunk. --2606:A000:4C0C:E200:807B:66FA:B5EC:A602 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:14, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

A little oil consumtion is nothing to be worried about. Thats pretty normal, especially for engines that are in use for a few years. But if suddenly an engine that consumed oil "stops" doing it, this could also mean that there is water or gasoline leaking into the oil-system, which is something to be very much worried about. Check the smell and look of the oil. If the oil smells like gasoline, it drips not like honey but water or worst case: it looks like milk-coffee, you should take it to a mechanic asap. Realwackel (talk) 12:41, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

A dipstick gives only a crude indication of too much or too little oil inside a 4-stroke car engine.

Vehicle combustion engines always consume some oil, see Internal combustion engine#Lubrication. The dipstick takes no account of oil that may be resting in the Oil filter and oilways that takes time to drain back to the sump (oil pan). If you had no oil consumption problems when your engine was new and now you have since it’s old then have your engine checked for worn seals and gaskets. Two-stroke engines (rare in vehicles) consume immediately all the oil for lubrication that is mixed with their fuel and causes smokey blue exhaust. Such exhaust coming from a 4-stroke engine indicates an engine fault such as broken piston ring or oil seal. Another rare serious fault is when a faulty head gasket lets coolant leak into the crankcase, so the engine appears to "make" extra oil. AllBestFaith (talk) 12:58, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Oil leaks lead to blue smoke, coolant leaks lead to white smoke[5]. If the exhaust is clear, it may be neither of those. --Jayron32 17:56, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

I have an admiral refidg. looking for a gasket for freeze part#63001612 model#Ltf2112arw[edit]

I have an Admiral fridgerator looking for a gasket for freezer Part # 63001612 Model #ltf2112arw Bold text--Noreejones (talk) 15:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)--Noreejones (talk) 15:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

@Noreejones: This page is only for enquiries related to Wikipedia. Thanks, --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 16:38, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Huh? No, it's not! You're confusing the help desk with this one.--TMCk (talk) 16:46, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
  • To the OP: Google for it and if you can't find the correct part you could get an universal gasket like this one from ebay.--TMCk (talk) 16:49, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

2016 Democratic National Committee email leak, Lawrence Lessig[edit]

I don't know if it was spin or what, but I heard people on talk radio saying that because Bernie Sanders only caucused with the Democratic party, rather than being a Democrat, the DNC wasn't obligated to be fair towards him. That could be valid although unappealing. So my question is, are there leaked emails indicating lack of fairness towards Lessig or not? As far as I know, Lessig is a member of the democratic party. (talk) 16:09, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware the only leaks have been on wikileaks where the emails at least are ordinary text and searchable. So you can easily find yourself that lessig doesn't seem to be mentioned at all [6]. This doesn't rule out misspellings or mentioning Lessig without mentioning his surname or attachments which I'm not sure if wikileaks supports searching at all. But it's also easy to take a random sampling of emails mentioning lawrence where you'll probably find that none of them seem to be referring to Lawrence Lessig [7].
This shouldn't particularly surprising since Lessig withdrew on November 2 which well before the primaries and caucases and less than 2 months after entering the race on September 6. He did not appear in any debates after controversy over the appearance requirement (although was invited to one but dropped out before it happened). (And in case you're wondering about the debates, there seems to be little discussion of them in the email [8] [9]. Remembering of course that people still use face to face communication, letters, phones and maybe even faxes for a fair few official things.) He had even less of an impact than Martin O'Malley [10] [11] [12] who frankly I think even most ardent Democrats will struggle to name. (I.E there was little reason to care that much about whether to be fair to Lessig's campaign.)
Incidentally, although the emails nominally cover the period "January last year until 25 May this year", probably less than 800 of them are from before 2016 [13] [14] [15] [16]. And this is including a bunch where either the email system or wikileaks hasn't properly caught the date as well as those marked as spam. Whether this is because different people were involved who's emails weren't leaked, the emails were missed for some reason, or simply there were few emails at that early stage I don't know.
Nil Einne (talk) 17:29, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
There is no party to be part of. Our system doesn't work like that on a national level. Rmhermen (talk) 17:53, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

New York City Political Structure[edit]

I am trying to find the political structure of all elected officials in NYC. For example--- Mayor, Vice Mayor, and so on all the way to the lowest elected office. Can you help, please.

Irving B Levine — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Start at Government_of_New_York_City and then come back with any other questions not answered. RudolfRed (talk) 16:59, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

July 27[edit]

Home soundproofing for musicians[edit]

I'll be moving house soon. I play electric guitar and sing, and I'd like to be able to practice without disturbing the neighbours, so I'm looking for ideas on soundproofing. Google's not much help - I've found plenty of advice on soundproofing a home studio so no external noise gets in when you're recording, and some on making a room that a whole band, including drummer, can rehearse in, which is more than I need. Anyone have any thoughts, links etc on how to achieve my objective? --Nicknack009 (talk) 10:37, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Start here so you have a basic understanding of Soundproofing. A lot of the materials can be improvised. (talk) 12:14, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
A classic British-designed soundproof song practice studio supplied ready equipped with windows, audio handset and lighting. AllBestFaith (talk) 21:04, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
An electric guitar played through Headphones is hardly audible and won't disturb anyone. AllBestFaith (talk) 12:28, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
lol. Still a room in a big room (talk) 21:39, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
That's true. I have an audio interface so I can play my guitar through headphones, or through my PC speakers, which are much better at low volumes than my guitar amp. Reducing the audibility of my singing is more of a problem. Singing quietly doesn't help me practice the kind of techniques I need to use when performing.
One thing occurs to me - I have a lot of books. Would a bookcase along the party wall, full of books, provide any useful soundproofing? --Nicknack009 (talk) 12:35, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
See Soundproofing#Absorption. Solid dense materials - like books - will actually transmit sound quite well - especially if the bookcase is against the wall. It may work if you used it as one of the walls in a (edit) room within a room - acoustic decoupling. (talk) 12:49, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
You could try something like this It is kinda a "rwar". Like I said above - you could improvise something like that with material from Lowe's or the like. I don't know who lives above/below you but I understand you share a wall with someone. So "the vibration passes directly through the brick, woodwork and other solid structural elements." It's not so much what to do but more what not to do. Mitigate the transmission depending on your setup. The poster aka (talk) 18:05, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Yep, to decrease structural transmission, OP can get the amp off the floor. I've seen some people hang their amps from the ceiling, but that can be tricky, depending on the size. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:22, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Check with an upholsterer or even furniture makers in your area, you might be able to get free foam scraps. Soundproofing foam can get expensive quickly [17]. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:22, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
We used to stick cardboard egg trays to the wall. You can buy them from ebay [[18]]. I don't know if it worked or not.--Ykraps (talk) 14:48, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Must the Federal Reserves give me gold when I give them bucks and want gold?[edit]

If they don't have to give gold when they are given bucks, then why do they have to maintain so much gold? HOTmag (talk) 21:15, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

The US hasn't been on the Gold standard for quite some time and hasn't had to issue gold to other central banks in exchange for dollars since 1971 (see Nixon shock). US currency is a fiat currency, backed solely by the full faith and credit of the United States government. As for your second question, the simple answer is: to help maintain world confidence in said "full faith and credit of the US government" (see Fractional-reserve banking).--William Thweatt TalkContribs 21:37, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with WT's answers, but it should be emphasized that the gold standard and fractional reserve banking are entirely different beasts. μηδείς (talk) 22:15, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. The fractional reserve banking link was given as more of a "see also", informational link for a simple-answer analogy (store of value and gold reserve are also instructive). A more complete answer would be complicated and would have started by pointing out that the Fed doesn't "maintain so much gold" at all -- in fact, they don't own any gold.[19] The US gold reserve is owned by the US Treasury and the Fed acts as custodian for a very small portion of it.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:37, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
a fiat currency, backed solely by the full faith and credit of the United States government. What, if anything, does that mean? What claim does the currency represent? What does USG promise to do? —Tamfang (talk) 06:19, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
1. Keep the value steady (with some inflation because it raises employment I think) 2. Let you pay taxes with it. That's about it I think. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 07:55, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Money creation gets at some of this, and is also relevant to the OP. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:10, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
And for a not-literally-correct-but-perhaps-fun analogy, consider every dollar as being a speech act of the Federal govt of the USA. They say "this is a dollar", and lo, it is, by merit of that claim! Much like when your boss says "you're fired", your job becomes terminated solely by the will of some person or agency. You can ask why, or by what right, but none of that really matters, you are still fired :D SemanticMantis (talk) 14:14, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
What it means, @Tamfang: is that the government will accept your cash to pay fees, fines, and taxes. Unless it decides not to, in which case see hyperinflation. μηδείς (talk) 19:40, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
"Faith and credit" is a strange way to say that. —Tamfang (talk) 22:25, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It was written in 1787 when English was weird. Maybe that's why. And the government wouldn't destroy it's economy and currency and cause a Great Depression and probably a tax revolt to get at most a few years' worth of tax money in gold (until they get voted out at the latest). Also, the income is earned in dollars, it should be taxed in dollars. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:44, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

July 28[edit]

Human physical features[edit]

Are there any human physical features that could be described as 'Primative', regardless of whether that individual is white, black, indigenous etc racially? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Reduction of the muzzle in the adult (flat-facedness) is a feature all humans share but do not have in common with other (adult) primates. It's better to speak of an autapomorphy then a primitive trait, though, since you are always defining these things relative to a group of interest and its sister groups. In this case, flatfacedness is a neoteny, and again there is a possible confusion engendered by the term "primitive". If all of this is too much jargon: we humans have no muzzles (and do have relatively big noses) and that is one thing that sets us apart from the Great Apes. (talk) 10:08, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
[20]. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
You quite frequently see noticeably sloping foreheads amongst the lower classes. (talk) 12:52, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
As with Bungalow Bill, "bullet-headed Saxon mother's son"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:36, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
The only way to scientifically get at this is with the definition given at Primitive_(phylogenetics). So for instance, we are all primates, and have all the derived traits that primates do, as well as the basal traits for apes. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:01, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
If we limit this to a consideration of true humans (Homo sapiens sapiens), and exclude the various other species which preceded us, there is a big difficulty in determining what the first, and therefore most "primitive" humans actually looked like. We know that there is now considerable physical diversity within out species. The earliest fossils of the species are very few in number, and being skeletal do not allow us to determine many of the physical features we now recognise as racial variants. Further, the very small number of fossils means that we are not able to say if those first humans all looked much the same: it is possible that there was a similar degree of physical diversity among those first humans as we now observe among the modern population. Wymspen (talk) 16:42, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I took the OP's question as referring to things like people born with tails, which IIRC, happens in about 1/1000 births. μηδείς (talk) 17:49, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Being born with a tail is "primitive", as in an evolutionary throw-back, not only in Homo sapiens but in other great apes. Humans are tailless because we are great apes and great apes are tailless. Humans are distinguished from other great apes in various ways including larger brains, more flexible hands (even more than apes), and being nearly hairless. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:48, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
For an example of the correct use of terminology: tails are a primitive trait for primates, in precisely the sense of the article I link above. Taillessness, i.e. the trait of having no tail, is a derived trait of the apes. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:02, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Photo shoot[edit]

Hello there,

Is anyone around familiar with photography or photo shoots? I'm currently working on a project and I need information on how a photo shoot is developed. How many people is usually involved (besides the photographer and the model). Does the make-up artist have to be there during the whole photo shoot?

I'd appreciate any comments or links where I can get detailed information. References to Annie Leibovitz's style and gear are welcomed.

Thanks a lot. Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 18:02, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

There will be someone doing the lights, which is a skilled, technical, and essential job. The makeup artists will stick around. There may also be a double, who will stand in for the model, so that the camera and lighting can be set up while the model is getting made up. There can certainly be more than just one photographer. μηδείς (talk) 19:46, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Sure, it might be a big affair, or it might be just a model and photographer. Hard to say, there's lots of things that might count as a photo shoot. The Magazine cover of a national magazine probably works a little different from e.g. boudoir photography. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:00, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article about the American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. It is evident from her work with many celebrities that she invests time developing a close rapport with each one. She has used a polaroid camera to collect initial snapshots and it is clear that more work goes into the final picture concept than would be necessary with regular professional models. Leibovitz's Photo shoots obviously have not followed a set pattern in such projects as photographing a dancer on a gargøyle on a Manhatten skyskraper, or photographing Whoopi Goldberg lying in a bathtub full of milk. This article by Leibovitz tells a little of her motivation. As a general rule, the less planned a professional photograph seems to be, the more planning and preparation has gone into it. I assume a conceptual photographer such as Annie Leibovitz exerts directorial control over anyone needed (or not) at her photo shoots including, it is reported, offending Queen Elizabeth by asking her to remove her tiara. AllBestFaith (talk) 00:23, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
It would help if Miss Bono gave us her assignment brief. A photo shoot can range from using natural light without even a reflector nor makeup, to an indoor studio shoot where one needs a dresser (seen those models in mail order catalogues, wearing off-the-peg evening gowns that fit so perfectly – look behind and the dresser has used a lot of safety pins to nip&tuck in order make the gown look a perfect fit). We need more info from the OP. Sounds like the commissioner really needs to employ a professional for this job if you're worrying about make-up. If (say) the model is a red-head and is to wear a green dress (nice combination) she will know what colour lipsticks to avoid - don’t need a make up artist for that! The model's career depends on accomplishing each assignment well and will point out any faux pas that the photographer may make. For high class photography where a make up artist is needed to be on hand (and perhaps a stylist and dresser) then the client doesn’t commission someone that has to ask these questions. Finally, I have never come across a photographer that needs someone to do the lights – in cinematography this may be the norm but not for a photographer.--Aspro (talk) 00:34, 29 July 2016 (UTC)