Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Jan Feb 2005

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


"Apple in the Chapel" incident at dog poo[edit]

This was a notorious incident in Australia quite a while ago. Can anyone give me a references to an article, or point me in the right direction? Doug Mulray got sued by Knox I believe. - Ta bu shi da yu 01:41, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This is really a long stretch...are you referring to the Hobart chapel blaze in May, 2003 in Brisbane?

--allie 02:26, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC) Oh - in Glenorchy? Not that familiar with the territory...anyway, here you go: [1] Let me know if that works. Check my user page for the "Twurled World" site and dig. It's where I found it.

No, this issue happened in Sydney, and it was during the 90s. See Talk:Knox Grammar School- Ta bu shi da yu 05:24, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Stephanie (23/08/07) — As far as i heard Doug Mulray back in 1991 "outted" the story on Triple M. He explained to his audience about what happened at Knox; a couple of prefects were locking up the storerooms next to the chapel after a school dance when they heard moaning. Thinking it was one of their mates getting lucky with a girl from a sister school, they opened the doors, only to find their mate with another guy going at it. The apple part comes into it as apparently there was an apple pie next to them which they had scooped out to use as lubricant. But i can't find any articles about that. Doubt Knox would have let anything been published.

controlled aviation simulator[edit]

Do you have any info on a controlled aviation simulator? The disk is not a game and does not have a joy stick...but more, Thanks and Happy New Year, Adrianna, @ ...

Electro Plating metals[edit]

I am involved in restorstion of motor cars and need to do small scale plating. Specificaly Copper, Chrome and cadmium. What do I need to get started ? What are the chemicals and their "Recipes" required ? How is it done ?

Thanks for helping, Bennie.

Try the electroplating and Chrome plating articles. Copper can be plated onto things by using copper sulfate. If the metal you are plating onto is less active than copper (eg. iron, zinc, aluminium - see reactivity series) you may not need any external electric current. Cadmium is quite toxic; I have no idea how to cadmium plate things. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 03:47, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps I may help:

(1) Chrome plating is very difficult to do consistently, especially cosmetic chrome for bumpers / trim etc. It involves mirror polishing, flashing with nickel and fast flashing with chrome. The solution consistency is very intolerant. I recommend 30-50 g/l chromium trioxide and a current density of 0.5 amps/sq cm at 12-20 V. Alternatively, you may obtain potassium dichromate from one of the older style rust treatments / aluminium inerting agents. Patience here: you must polish & perfectly degrease the surface first.

(2) Cadmium is now illegal outside military applications. That is unfortunate since it is far more resistant than zinc to road salt. Besides cadmium's high toxicity, the process also uses cyanide and caustic soda. You do not want to work with that outside a professional facility. I recommend substituting zinc paint; it will not be visible. If you wish to protect bolts/nuts etc then a zinc metal anode, inert carbon cathode & zinc chloride electrolyte would suffice. Conveniently, these materials are used in an opposite process in ordinary zinc-carbon batteries (NOT alkaline).

(3) Copper is easily plated via acidified copper sulphate solution (~50g/l). Perversely, the important element is to polish & perfectly degrease the surface before plating. Small current density recommended (.2 amps/sq cm at 6-12 V).

There are plenty of articles about. The SURFACE FINISHING website is good but tends to concentrate on brand names without explaining the hows. Rgds, John T

Fighter Lead-In Trainer Course[edit]

Hi there,
I am looking for a place where they train conduct FLIT course. Preferably from the European countries and allow the contract be handled by an agent, i.e. not a G-to-G thing.

Thank you.

electronics fluorescent light[edit]

please i want u to send me some literature review about electronics fluorescent light.i need it to complete my project.please you can send it to my mail if icant get the reply right now. my mail is thanks

A rubbish question[edit]

Why is it that, no matter what you put in the rubbish bin, it always smells the same? Is there some kind of chemical released by all foods when it decomposes? My housemates theorized that there must be a chemical reaction with the bin liner, but that is a lame hypothesis. And the above question on colour is a very poignant one too.

There seems to be a small group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are produced by the putrescence of rubbish. These include putrescine and cadaverine. See here for some more detailed chemistry. --Heron 15:00, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I wonder if it's also likely that your rubbish bin tends to smell the same since, over the average week, you tend to put the same things in it. Of course, to see if this is true, you ought to seek out the bins of people who are likely to have a different diet to yourself and give their bins a good sniffing. I think any problems of a social nature that may arise from this activity would be more than compensated by your increased wisdom.

Alternatively you could wuss out and decide that next week you are going to have a themed diet in the household: see what happens if you and your co-habitees live entirely on cake for 7 days. Surely that's an experiment with broad appeal? -- 00:42, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

FWIW, if you add about 100 cigarette butts to a bin, it doesn't have bin-smell anymore. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 01:00, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

Maybe you should keep your arms down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 :) John T

first world war veteran[edit]

Hi, I am looking for any information regarding my great uncle.

Hmm. IP says you're probably British. But, really, give us a smaller target next time... if you can tell us where he was from, we can tell you where to look for the information.
If he died in the war, the Commonwealth War Graves Commision website will have an entry for his grave, and a small amount of related information. Mind you, he was a veteran of it, so probably didn't... The National Archives have a set of interesting leaflets on researching various topics [2] here; specifically, you might find [3] this useful.
If you collate all the information you have on him - where he lived, his full name, dates of birth, anything you know he did in the War - you may find this a very useful way of helping search for information, or decide if information is relevant (if he was an officer, for example, this opens up a whole new set of possible sources; if he won a specific medal ditto, since the citation will be filed somewhere). If he was in the Army, knowing battalion and regiment is very useful; if in the Navy, ship names.
Genealogy websites may also prove useful, although the first half of the century is a bit of a blackspot - it's recent enough that many of the records are still private due to the fact the people in them may be living, but old enough that they're often not easily available.
Hope this helps - we really don't have information to help you with individual people, but we can point you towards relevant resources. Shimgray 17:46, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Dryer lint[edit]

So... why is clothes dryer lint almost always (95%?) bluish in colour? Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 06:00, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • Perhaps due to the non-binding nature of indigo dye. Rmhermen 06:23, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Mine is usually light grey to blue-grey. ike9898 20:00, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)
  • When I shared a flat, and a dryer, with a woman, it was clear whose dryer lint was whose. I wore "guy" colours, she lighter and more "girly" ones, and so my lint was blue or black or grey and her's tended to be pink or white or yellow. As neither of us was terribly good about cleaning the lint-trap, several strata of lint would build up. On removing it, one could clearly see (a la dendrochronology) who had done what washes and in what order. -- John Fader 01:54, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • The article on belly button fluff has, loosely, I believe a scientific explanation somewhere.--Wonderfool 13:12, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • True. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has done research on this that won him an Ig Nobel Prize. But it's all in th belly button fluff article as Wonderfool said :) -- Chuq 21:11, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Perhaps it is because blue jeans are dried in the dryer and their intense blue color overwhelmes other colors. Denim is a particularly fuzzy material and releases a lot of fluff

What is dryer lint?[edit]

Does it come from the fibers that make up your clothes, or is it more like dust particles from the environment that collect on the clothes? ike9898 20:00, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure it's mostly clothes. Mine tends to include quite a bit of Kleenex tissue in addition. Some small fraction is probably hair, dead skin, whatever. moink
I'm surprised that old clothes continue to lose fibers, even after many dryings. ike9898 21:47, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)
Not surprising at all, i think, because these are not whole fibers but small broken off ends. Notice how a garment ages, becoming softer as it's worn and washed; that reflects lessening cohesion between adjacent fibers as they break off where they come closest most often, from the stress that is makes the closth stiff. An old enough garment actually gets thinner as well as softer. --Jerzy(t) 22:32, 2005 Jan 22 (UTC)


In the religious context or the seaworthy one? Either way, it's yaw singular. --allie 00:55, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Or perhaps the disease yaws? (nobody ever has just one) alteripse 04:57, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Problems occuring when cancelling unstable poles[edit]

I'm revising for an exam on classical control theory and have a few problems.

What are the shortcomings of using the cancellation process in the light of uncertainties in the values of the system parameters?

Also, if I have the system G(s) = 1 / (s-1.5)(s^2+s+1) and have to design a stabilizer of the form C(s) = [k(s^2+as+b)] / (s^2+cs+d), how would I go about this?


Are you taking MIT PhD qualifying exams this week like I am? (which by the way, all of you who may remember me, is why i'm so seldom around).

By "the cancellation process" I presume you mean pole-zero cancellation. It's a somewhat reasonable strategy for stable poles, if you have a pretty linear, well-modeled system, but a BAD BAD BAD idea for unstable poles. Here's why: Our models of systems are never perfect. As you mention, there will always be uncertainties in the values of the system parameters. That translates into uncertainties in the positions of the poles. And of course, these "linear, time invariant" systems we're always talking about are just idealizations. Very little is ever truly linear, we just linearize about the operating point. So if the operating point moves a touch, our model is just a bit off at that point, and oops, the zeros we decided to put on top of those poles are a little bit off. Uh-oh. Unstable poles. They'll have small residues, yes, due to the proximity of the zeros, but something starting small and growing to infinity is just as scary in the long run as something that starts bigger and grows to infinity.

It's even a bad idea to use pole-zero cancellation on stable but "slow" poles. Again, you'll significantly reduce the magnitude of their residues, therefore making them unimportant (relative to other effects) right at zero, but if they stick around long enough they'll start to become dominant. It's really a better idea, in my opinion, to put some zeros way out in the left half-plane somewhere where they can suck in the poles as the gain increases and speed up and stabilize the whole system. That is, if you aren't trying to limit high-frequency noise...

As to your second question, I guess it depends on what your goal is. Do you have particular requirements for your control system? That plant transfer function you have there is pretty simple, just a real pole and a complex conjugate pair. I'd probably do a PD or phase lead if I wanted to increase the damping ratio or speed the system up. But that controller transfer function you've got there looks like a filter aimed at particular frequencies. Depending on the values you choose, it could be a bandpass filter or a notch filter. If I were you I'd use Bode methods to design the controller. And get some requirements. Like, do you have a bandwidth requirement? Are you trying to limit noise in a certain frequency range? If that's the extent of a test question, your prof doesn't know what she's doing. moink

False color images in astronomy[edit]

I understand that many of the astronomical images we see in magazines, etc. are actually black and white images that have had color added. But -Why not just take color images to begin with? -Is the choice of added colors based on anything other than aesthetic appeal? -What a about relatively close objects like planets, are some of these pictures in true color? ike9898 20:07, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

I've always thought the colors were supposed to convey information; e.g., green indicates the surface is primarily silicon dioxide, blue indicates water-ice, or some such thing. Michael Hardy 03:37, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Reasons include:
  • The original image was infra-red, x-ray, or some other non-visible part of the spectrum. In order to render into a human visible form, some mapping between the "invisible colours" and the ordinary "visible spectrum" colours must be made. Such a mapping is of necessity somewhat arbitrary.
  • The original image, while technically in colour, occupied only a narrow band of the visible spectrum. To make details more apparent, the spectrum is "dilated": so things that in "reality" would be slightly green turn into things that are very green, etc.
  • The final image is a composite of different source images of different types.
  • Or simply that features of different types have been coloured (at a person's behest) or otherwise enhanced differently for didactic purposes.
-- John Fader 20:18, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As to planets: yes, many of the photos you've seen of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are more normal colour images, largely because those planets are interesting to look at in the "normal" part of the spectrum. Still, there are plenty of artificial-colour images of all, particularly with planets like Venus which are uninteresting in the visible spectrum. But even though a telescope or probe's camera has a gamut that is roughly like your eye, that doesn't mean that those planets would look just like that if you were near them, looking at them with your naked eye; the detector will have different response characteristics across the spectrum. There was, for example, much debate about which was the "correct" way to post-process colour images from the recent Mars landers - some ways make the sky look the rose/red people expect, others make it appear almost blue, and it's debatable which (if any) is "correct". -- John Fader 20:29, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Consider (as a pleasantly weird example) Hubble's newer "normal" camera, Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. It features broad-response (i.e. black and white) CCDs. Between it and the source are mechanically interposed a filter (one of 48, mounted on a wheel, I think). So the operators can pick one of 48 different response curves. And by taking the same photo through different filters the resulting images can be combined to give a huge range and scope of response characteristics. There's even one filter slide that has a graduated filter, so (by carefully placing the target at the point in the filter with just the desired frequency range) the operator has really accurate control of filtering (per STSCI). All in all this is a system of colour vision so utterly unlike the one your eye uses that really all HST-WFPC2 images (which is pretty much every Hubble image you see in the media) are, and have to be, false colour. -- John Fader 21:09, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The popular press, from your local newspaper to National Geographic, will insist on bringing visually interesting images to their readers. That means colour. Colour—or coloured—images will be requested or selected for publication even if specialists use greyscale ones for their own analysis. For example, how often do you see pure greyscale MRI or CT (aka "CAT") images in the popular press? And yet I do not believe you will see a radiologist make a diagnosis from a coloured image of these modalities. In fact, it has been the norm in many hospitals to render these inherently digital formats on film (inevitably greyscale) for use on lightboxes; this is gradually changing as hospitals find high-quality computer displays more affordable. --Sharkford 14:34, 2005 Jan 12 (UTC)
Black and white (monochrome) images are probably more common in astronomy because they're much easier to accomplish. A monochrome image is a map of the intensity of radiation emitted by an object within a certain band of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as the visible spectrum. A color image also contains information as to the specific wavelength of light.
A camera that captures all of this additional information simultaneously is much more difficult to build than one that produces simple monochrome. AFAIK, spacecraft produce color images by taking a series of several monochrome images in different spectral bands. For instance, they might take one image in the red wavelengths, another in the greens, and another in the blues. The combination of these three images would produce what we know as "true color".
Alternatively, they might take pictures in three (or two or four) radio wavelength bands. For several reasons, not least because we can't see radio, these images are printed in the visible spectrum, producing "false color". --Smack (talk) 05:59, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
P.S. in response to Michael Hardy: Yes, false-color images do often convey information as to the chemical composition of an object. However, I think it's ignorant to believe that someone comes in and applies false color based upon chemical data. I would guess that the image is the source of this data. Take a photograph at a wavelength corresponding to an absorption band of a molecule, and your photo will be a map of the presence of that molecule. --Smack (talk) 05:59, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Bonnie Raitt[edit]

What is the similarity between her music and Rhythm and Blues? I know this is how she discribes her music, but I don't get it. They two don't seem very similar to me. ike9898 02:16, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)

My guess would be that the rationale is that Blues shares a kinship with both R&B and certain forms of "Country music", Bluegrass, or folk music. Check out American roots music. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:47, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

English French[edit]

Are there any words that are pronounced exactly the same in both French and English? I would've thought the old reliable taxi would be, but my fr-eng dictionary puts a difference between the pronounciation: tæcsi for English, and tacsi for french. So i thought if taxi isnt the same, then surely no word woudl be.even French words borrowed from English, and viceversa, have been frenchised or englishised. Anybody spotted any?--Wonderfool 09:48, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Many Americans (though no Brits) pronounce "garage" in a very French way: accent on the second syllable, rolled "j" sound, etc., although the first vowel tends to be slightly off (a schwa rather than a pure "ah", but that sound is slightly off when they try to speak French, too!). Or how about "entente" and "detente"? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:24, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
It depends on whether you're looking at a phonemic or phonetic level. French /t/ is pronounced at the teeth, or dentally, whereas English /t/ is an alveolar consonant pronounced at the ridge at the top of the mouth. Also, the final <e> in entente and détente reflects a central, voiceless and very reduced vowel similar to the English schwa. So if you're looking at French and English at a phonetic level, there will virtually always be articulatory differences. P.S. Any word that has orthographic <r> you can pretty much forget about—it's a retroflex approximant in English but a uvular continuant in French. :-\ --Gelu Ignisque
I may be answering my own question here, but I was lookin thru a big Collins Fr-Eng dictionary last night, pondering this and found none such - there was the 'r' being rolled or the 'i' being slightly diffrent or wotever. but, there were 2 words i did track down as having the exact same phonetics: wiktionary:Peppy and wiktionary:pépi; and wiktionary:messy and wiktionary:messie. I took about an hour to find those bloody words. Damn the uber-curious mind I have. And somehow, I was expecting a Jmabel reply.Its appreciated. --Wonderfool 12:58, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
French orthographic <e-acute accent> is IPA [e], though, whereas the first vowel in English peppy is [(lowercase epsilon)] in that same transcription. The first is tense and front while the latter is lax and central. English messy is stressed on the first syllable, whereas messie, if it is a French word, is stressed on the last. --G.I.Q.
dude, you're right.that peppy and messie thing was wrong, lookin back.So I decide that there are, in fact, no words are the same--Wonderfool 12:58, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Equality of the genders[edit]

In just about every society I have heard of where there is a big fuss about the equality of the genders, this assertion of equality seems to be specifically a denial that women are inferior to men. What, if any, major cases exist of assertion of the equality of the genders being specifically a denial that men are inferior to women? --User:Juuitchan

In the US and other western cultures, women tend to be seen as better caregivers and nurturers than men. Some men contend that because of this bias they are at an unfair disadvantage during custodial battles. The group Fathers 4 Justice comes to mind in this respect. --Cvaneg 20:03, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The Two Ronnies had a long-running segment in their televison comedy show called The Worm That Turned which depicted a matriachal society that oppressed men. Dunno about any real life examples of such a thing. -- 00:52, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, the Amazons, although I don't know if you want to consider that a real world example. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:50, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
This is fairly common in science fiction and fantasy writing. Almost every travel-to-other-worlds television show has at least one episode in which traditional Western gender roles are reversed, and/or men are considered inferior to women. -Aranel ("Sarah") 21:33, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Trying to locate a soldier!!!![edit]


I am trying to find out which troops were stationed in my hometown in 1945/46.

My grandmother got pregnant by a soldier - and it's been hard on our family - since my grandfather does not want to even discuss the subject and my grandmother passed away taking the secret with her.

The name of my hometown is: Schwabhausen - the next bigger town is Boxberg - the next bigger town is Tauberbischofsheim - they are all located in Baden Wuertemberg.

We only have the first name of the soldier - Oscar - and since there couldn't have been that many stationed in or around our hometown and I am assuming there can't be that many soldiers with that first name.

Where would I be able to find a listing of troops???

Any information is greatly appreciated.


Heike Puhr Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • You're not going to be able to find a listing of names, not easily; what might be plausible starting point is finding a broad date when you reckon the chap in question will have been in the area (birthdate of child less nine months plus or minus a month should do it), and trying to work from there. If you have dates and a named location, you might be able to get the names of a set of units from the Centre for Military History [4], but I wouldn't bet on this being exhaustive or accurate (there'll have been a lot of individuals passing through, or non-combat units which often aren't recorded as exhaustively). The problem is... now you have a list of units, and you need to make the jump to the list of names and try to select one from there... I'd suggest your best bet would be to figure out all the information you have, get it down on paper, and then contact the CMH (above) and NARA's Military Personnel Records department [5] - I don't think either will be able to help you on just that information, but it's quite possible they've dealt with similar queries before and may be able to put you in touch with organisations that help with this sort of thing. (Even if you did get a 1945 personnel list, it wouldn't help much; you'd still have to get hold of the records of the individuals)
  • Note also that CMH has disclaimers like The U.S. Army Center of Military History does not maintain [information on locating veterans], and the release of personnel information is strictly governed by the Privacy Act.. This is likely to be the case with most government bodies; they won't be allowed to release information regarding individuals to you on privacy grounds. If you can identify individual units, however, then you can try getting in touch with (eg) veterans' regimental associations, and asking if they can assist you. Best of luck. Shimgray 20:24, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've looked at a lot of genealogy sites since there are so many requests at the Wikipedia Reference Desk for information. This one in particular is a good starting point because it does have an exhaustive listing of European links - including ones in Germany! Cyndi also provides useful FAQs for difficult traces, like yours...happy hunting and good luck:
  • [6] --allie 21:08, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • Allie -- would you consider writing a short page with some links at Wikipedia:Genealogy? Something that says "We don't have genealogy experts here to help you, but here are some other useful resources...?" I know people will help out here when they can, but as you say we get many of these requests and it might be nice to have a standard page to refer them to, or a place for willing RefDesk helpers to begin looking for answers. — Catherine\talk 06:39, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why are roadways at night time always wet in the movies?[edit]

This has intrigued me for years and years. I have noticed that in any scene in a movie that shows a sealed road or street in a town or city, the asphalt surface of the road is always wet. It is rarely raining at the time, and rarely has there been any previous scene where it had been raining, or where the roads were cleaned with water. IN fact, the absence or presence of water on the road is virtually always completely irrelevant to the story, yet the roads at night-time are virtually always wet, whereas in day time they are virtually always dry. This happens in American movies, Australian moves, European movies, and others as well. WHY IS THIS SO?? One theory I have dreamed up is that a wet bitumen surface at night-time provides greater reflection and looks "better" on the screen than a duller, darker, dry roadway. Is this something like the truth, or is there another explanation?? Cheers JackofOz 23:32, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The reason you see this in the movies is that cinematographers put it there, and cinematographers love wet streets. They are more visually interesting; they reflect images, light, etc. It's a not-uncommon source of continuity errors, where within a scene you will see the street switch from wet to dry to wet. - Nunh-huh 23:36, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
So I WAS on the right track. Thanks for confirming my hunch. JackofOz 23:48, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
When you think about it, you'll also notice that fog is quite often used for visual rather than narrative reasons. "Cinematographers Love Wet Streets" would be a fun title for an essay<g> - Nunh-huh 23:55, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And there I was thinking it was just a particularly obscure country music song... ;-) Shimgray 03:03, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't think nighttime streets are anywhere near "always" wet in movies. They're wet more often than it rains, yes, but most of the time they're dry. You're just noticing it when they're wet. -Branddobbe 07:50, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

Well, you may be right, and maybe I am biasing my observations. And yes, it is probably true that "always" is not correct. But why not take a tally of the next 10 movies you see that contain night-time streetscapes, and tell me how many of the roads are wet. I'll bet you that at least 90% of them are wet. I'll stand corrected if you can disprove me. JackofOz 01:46, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

TB PPD Test[edit]

The TB PPD test (or simply the TB skin test) is given to determine if a person has tuberculosis. Now, can having a cold affect the accuracy of the test? I mean, can my having a cold cause the test to be positive for TB?

The PPD test can't determine if someone has tuberculosis. It is used to determine whether they've had tuberculosis exposure in the past and (based on what their chest X-ray looks like) would benefit from antitubercular prophylaxis or needs treatment for tuberculosis. Many things can cause a false positive result (BCG vaccination, infection with mycobacteria other than M. tuberculosis) and other things can cause false negative results (immunosuppression, AIDS). But having a cold should not cause a false positive result. - Nunh-huh 08:00, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Seconded. the PPD (or heaf test as it is also known here in the UK) detects whether you have TB immunity, either from a BCG vaccine, genetic factors or past exposure. If the test site swells up, your body is fighting the weakened TB in the test, so you have immunity.

Whats the name of this illustration style?[edit]

Ive wondered for a while what the formal name for this particular illustration style is, assuming there is a term for it, so maybe somebody can finally cue me in and let me sleep at night. It's basically that old, inky, highly detailed, medieval-ish style. Ive noticed a lot of variations in the style, so its hard for me to be more very specific, but I see it a lot inside of old books, logos and the like. Im refering specifically to the type that has very densely packed lines as shading, not just outlines and figures. This image is really interesting to me and Id also be very curious to know the name of this exact style (really detailed, busy, and whimsical ) if at all possible


this is another really good example of what I'm talking about:[7]

and another:[8]

I've heard the term "woodcuts" before, but I think thats just the medium and not really the style. --Clngre 04:06, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ahem—"...very densely packed lines as shading..." is a characteristic of a copperplate engraving. Wood generally doesn't support this style: if the fine grooves are very close together, the burrs can easily break off. With copperplates, that problem doesn't exist. But that still doesn't give a name to this style. I don't know of one, I've always known this type of illustration as "engraving". On a related note, cf. etching. Lupo 08:13, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
are we just talking about the shading/lines, or also about the style of drawing the figures, or even about the content? I don't know the correct term either, but content-wise I would say it is a typical 18th century allegorical vignette, the kind they typically put on books' title pages dab () 09:50, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
ok, so says 17th century on the parchment thing. sorry. dab () 10:03, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And there I was thinking it was just a particularly obscure prog rock song... ;-)--Wonderfool 12:50, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think searching on the word Intaglio will give you all you want. Steverapaport 14:41, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, I have enough keywords to branch out from for a while. At first I was wondering about the style of illustration, as if it were done with a quill pen or soemthing. Assuming that all of its look -- the basic aesthetic look of it -- was done intentionally, but I now realize that some of it is probably just a product of the medium. Just as a sidenote, how would you define that first image I posted; in any sense. So it's probably some form of engraving, it was an image associated with some secret society, its very lavish and busy, and what else? My goal is to narrow down my search for engravings more of the style seen in the first and second images. Kind of absurd, weird, mystical, symbolic, etc. Maybe its even naive to think that there are subgenres or specific movements or eras with it, I dont really know. --Clngre 16:31, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This is rather a side note, but I recall that shading drafted by using densely placed diagonal lines in two directions is referred to as cross hatching. And my Google search for the term gave this which might give you some related words. This gives you more on cross hatching.
If you're looking for more images such as those you gave, the ones with textual content that act as labels for some of the figures etc are, I believe, usually political in nature. So, I would suggest trying to search for something like the history of political cartoons or history of satirical illustration, things like that. Here's a site called Political and Editorial Cartoons In U.S. History which may have some of interest, though a brief look makes me wonder if your style may be older and more European.
Once you've got an idea what sort of period your style hails from try searching on X illustrations where X is a European ruler of that period, a King, Queen or Prime Minister.
This image search for politcal engravings returns some nice images, though I think, again, possibly more modern than your style.
Or maybe this one for century+woodcuts (dunno why) is of interest.
I don't think any of them quite hit the nail on the head, but you should have lots of roads to follow, one of which should get you there. If you do find a good site, please report back as I quite like that style of stuff too. -- 01:16, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)...
...found some more. A search on political etchings seems pretty fertile. Led me to [9]which stemmed from this index. You may also find some stuff at Graphic Witness of interest. Political lithography might give you some interesting results too. -- 01:52, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wow, thanks a lot. Some of the images on those pages you posted were fantastic as it is. I really appreciate it, I'll defintately post some good links if I upon any. --Clngre 06:24, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

A couple of follows up. Although you can usually get finer lines with copper plate engraving, it is certainly possible to get fine detail with woodcuts - it depends on the preparation of the wood, density of the grain and the skill of the artist - see for example much of the work of M. C. Escher (more illustrations in the Gallery section of Also note that woodcuts are in a way the opposite of intaglio printing in that the ink remains on the raised surface, rather than the hollows. With copper engraving, the artist draws in positive cutting through the mask, whilst with woodcuts (and linocuts), the artist draws in negative - effectively drawing the white lines.
The second image shown, is apparently neither woodcut nor engraving, but a pen and ink drawing by the Jazz musician Lhasa herself [10]. Pen and ink drawing is quite a common technique used in cartoon illustrations. The style does remind me of someone, but I can't quite place it. I thought it might be Sir John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, but its not.
In terms of the 'busy' style of the first image, as much as anything it is about finding space for each of the symbols that needs to be included. The style is somewhat baroque, but also owes something to the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and peasant scenes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and family (particularly his Netherlandish Proverbs). Of course many similar engravings can be found in relating to freemasonry.
In general, engraving has been popular for illustrating books between 16th-19th century so it covers a wide range of sytles. Try also Albrecht Dürer (and his Four Horsemen), Thomas Bewick (eg. animal and bird illustrations). You can also find a lot of interesting examples from early copies of the Illustrated London News (eg. [11]) -- Solipsist 09:24, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

A wonderful book on the history and styles of printmaking is William M. Ivins, Jr., Prints and Visual Communications (Harvard University Press, 1951). It is a joy to read (it is very well written), puts forth a few provocative theses (without printmaking, we'd still be in the Dark Ages; and, the Greeks weren't actually that bright), and will also acquaint you with the different styles of printmaking and how they evolved from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Highly recommended. --Fastfission 18:30, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Menstrual Cycle[edit]

I have heard differing opinions about how many eggs are expelled when a woman has her period. One friend stated that it was only one, as this was the one egg that wasn't fertilized (i.e. the woman is not pregnant, so she has her period) but then we later read in a magazine that it was somethign like 1,000 eggs that are expelled each time. Which ever number is right, is that for the 7 days or so that it lasts, or what? Thanks! --anon

1000 is definitely wrong. Maybe the article was discussing fish spawning: but human women produce one or two mature eggs per menstrual cycle, not thousands. That's per month. - Nunh-huh 20:38, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As it has been explained to me, each cycle sees the "ripening" of many eggs (I believe on the order of a dozen), but usually only one is released (that term being more common than "expelled" in the books). Upon the release of the first one (which can be from either ovary), hormones are released which suppress the release of all others, in both ovaries. Sometimes, of course, two or more are released, which leads to the possibility of fraternal multiple births. Fertilization, if it occurs, is most commonly by sperm which is already present in the fallopian tubes, having found its way there up to a small number of days prior. (After a few days it degrades in motility and becomes unable to fertilize). If fertilization does not occur, the one (or sometimes, two or more) released eggs are lost in the next menstrual flow. In any event the eggs that were not released from the ovaries are "reabsorbed", whatever that means. They don't get re-used; each cycle a never-previously-used group of eggs are ripened. --Sharkford 15:13, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)

Latest research shows that eggs can be released multiple times during the month. The once a month myth is being reluctantly exposed. This explains issues such as unlikely pregnancy and early menopause (egg budget) John T

At-large voting[edit]

While adding an article on City Commission government, I noticed that at-large is a red link. I've been trying to figure out if this is already described in an article somewhere or, if not, which article would be most appropriate to include this in. Any suggestions? (cross-posted to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Voting systems#At-large voting). olderwiser 19:27, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

Heckel and Jeckel[edit]

This is partly an article request, but it's also a more specific question. I have a (vague) memory from childhood of two animated cartoon birds, possible crows, named Heckel and Jeckel. In particular, I was wondering if anyone knows if these names may have a history predating those cartoon birds, and in particular if they may have roots in Yiddish theater, which I have been researching. The names look like Anglicized spellings of Yiddish diminutives, and an early play by Abraham Goldfaden was apparently named Yukel un Yekel. (As with all things Yiddish, that transliteration is rather arbitrary, it could as easily be Iukl un Iekl). -- Jmabel | Talk 01:36, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

I remember them well. They were Anglicized further than you think, to Heckle and Jeckle. They were talking magpies, debuted in 1946, and were "TerryToons" cartoon characters. I found a bit of info about them at IMDB, and a bit about their producer, Paul Terry. Nothing too much there that relates to their history or any antecedent characters, though.A page on the 1955 show is [ here. - Nunh-huh 02:07, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Math question--Heyting algebra and intuitionistic logic.[edit]

I posted this on the talk page, but thought I might get a better response here.

In the "law of the excluded middle" example under "Heyting algebra", is divvied up into a set A and its complement, the first comprising . Now, it would seem to me that the complement of A would be . However, it's given as , which is then used to show that the plane isn't included in the union of A and not-A. How can this be? grendel|khan 03:45, 2005 Jan 14 (UTC)

That's just weird. Doesn't look right to me. -- Phyzome is Tim McCormack 00:44, 2005 Jan 15 (UTC)

Bloomstorm and Synnegi[edit]

Would you mind headlining or documenting these terms?

They can be found, among other sites, mainly here if you need further analysis:

Synnegi can be described here:

And bloomstorm here:

Thanks much in advance. Bye

These look to be the personal creations of one person, and seem to have little to no currency. Wikipedia is not (supposed to be) a tool for promoting one's ideas and theories. Specifically, Wikipedia is not a soapbox, nor is original research allowed. -- Cyrius| 07:02, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)


please tell me how to install swarm-2.2 in windows 2000 ,thanks!--hywwlh

You're going to have to be more specific. I see at least two pieces of software named Swarm that have reached version 2.2. Since I wouldn't be able to offer specific instructions for either, I'm going to have to go with generalities. Read the documentation, and use the mailing lists/forums. You're going to get better results asking the people that are interested in the software than from the random collection of people on Wikipedia. -- Cyrius| 15:13, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Was there a crisis which called for action?[edit]

Abuse of technology in American schools is an excellent example of a crisis which called for action. Here we have an example where computers are available to students to further not only their education and schoolwork, but to provide them with the skills necessary to enter the workforce in society in a more competitive and productive position. In order to do so, however, these students must learn to harness the power of computer technology in a reasonable and responsible fashion. By not harnessing the full creativity and by the abuse of this powerful learning experience, this did indeed create a crisis which called for action. allie 01:17, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC).


How and why did some animals becomer amblers others not? Erik Borries, Denmark.

  • I think you may get more specific information from editors at the Evolution and Horse gait articles. Personally, I think it's just something they tried early on in evolution. It worked for them, so they survived due to natural selection. That's my opinion, but unfortunately, I've got nothing to back it up. Also, you may want to be careful in giving out personal information like you did. Mgm|(talk) 22:25, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

Huygens probe[edit]

Is this the first probe to land on a moon other than Earth's? I can't find any mention of this fact or any earlier lander. Rmhermen 18:16, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure that it is. Nothing has ever landed on the Martian moons, although I think there have been some moderately closeup photos from Mars orbiters. Nothing has landed or impacted on Jovian moons either - the Galileo spacecraft made several closeup flybys, and launched a probe into Jupiter itself, but was deliberately sent into Jupiter at the end of its life so it wouldn't ever crash on a moon with possible contamination of any life there. NEAR Shoemaker landed on a asteroid in 2001, and the Rosetta space probe is intended to set a lander on a comet in 2014.-gadfium 19:10, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, at least the first probe FROM Earth to land on on another moon;) ike9898 04:06, Jan 15, 2005 (UTC)

Superpower competition?[edit]

The CIA relased a report that said by 2020 China might be a global superpower and the United States might loose its unique position of global dominance and instead share the global stage with China. But given the huge gap in military and economic power between the US and the rest of the world, is it realistic to be concerened that China might catch up to the US and restart a superpower competition?

I just have trouble imagining China or any other country for that matter becoming a superpower anytime soon. Since the end of the cold war the United States has leaped light years ahead of all nations in economic, military, and technological capabilities. The United States is a megapower and no one comes even close to matching them. The only way China would catch up is if the US government allows it to happen but as long as the US economy remains strong and the government keeps spending 400 billion a year on defense there is nothing to worry about as China and the rest of the world would be left far behind

Military power relies on having the ability to spend money. The economy of China is expanding at a huge rate whereas that of the US is by comparison static. The Europeans are too good at arguing amongst themselves to present anything militarily. In twenty years the economy of China will be bigger than that of the US and hence they will have more power.
Is this cause for concern? Yes. The Chinese have a very autocratic system of government, though I suspect democratic reforms will have to come at some point. It is very bad if you're Taiwanese. As for competition, this is different from the Cold War competition where the ideology of the two sides was different and at loggerheads, the Chinese don't now want to force Maoism on anyone else, they seem to be happy making money, and if they open their markets to global companies, those companies who weald power in the US and elsewhere won't kick up a stink.
I am very concerned at the behaviour of the US government, and perhaps another large power block could help balance power so as not to leave it unchecked. Dunc| 21:06, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I'm out of my depth here. But I would imagine any theory that China will match US power would make reference to the vast size of its population and lower labour costs. If the CIA have reported it I imagine you could also discover the CIA's rationale for drawing such a conclusion. In fact here's a BBC thread about it with streaming video of a programme on the topic. -- 01:34, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I feel sorry for the jingoistic blinkered opinions. Dunc has precisely put his finger on the issue. On top of that, China can abuse trading laws. China IS a superpower, with superpower manufacturing base, standing army , power generation and nuclear weapons. It is arguably one of the top three largest single trading partners. John T

The parliamentary verb "table"[edit]

In the United States to "table" a motion means that the motion is disposed of, exactly the opposite of its sense in Britain where it means to put an issue on the agenda. I heard it used in connection with the Canadian parliament and wonder if Canadians use it in the American or the British sense. PedanticallySpeaking 19:13, Jan 15, 2005 (UTC)

You can google search for occurrences of "tabled" within [, which is a news portal to major newspaper stories. See [12]
The answer seems to be, the word is almost exclusively used in the context of Parliament and the House of Commons, and there it's always used in the British sense, ie to bring legislation up for consideration. It would not be used in the broader sense of putting an issue on the agenda (of a business meeting or whatever) or the American sense of putting an issue "on ice". However Canadians have a great deal of exposure to American media, both print and television, and are probably familiar with the American usage as well. -- Curps 21:29, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The British sense, I think...that is what immediately comes to my mind, at least. Adam Bishop 00:39, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In my experience, most Canadians are unfamiliar with the American usage of the word. I used to grade papers for a class on American government and politics at an American university. On several occasions, I'd get papers that said, "Senator Kennedy tabled legislation to..." --Mwalcoff 08:21, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm looking for a particular phrase-please help[edit]

I'm stumped, the phrase keeps coming to the back of my head and disappearing.

The phrase, like an "occam's razor" phrase, is for the ultimate conundrum. A mother is holding two children in the tsunami, she has to let one go or all die. It's the ultimate conundrum that has no answer.

Praises from San Francisco for anyone who can name that obscure phrase.


Hobson's choice (when the choice is illusory) or Gordian Knot (when the problem is insoluble). -- John Fader 20:46, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Isn't the whole point of the Gordian Knot that it can be solved, but in a direct and bold way? ("Cutting the Gordian Knot") -- 21:00, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Occam's razor is correct. Without going through the Latin phrase, his theological rational, and etcetera, it means that the simplest theory is the best theory. Intellectual abstractions are not valid explanations; all reasoning must be based on experimental proof. In other words, there may be several hypothetical explanations for a situation, but the simplest one usually prevails. Yes: Occam's razor is correct. It's a Google hit, just took a really long time to get the search terms down. Best Regards, allie 21:44, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Morton's Fork seems to fit the situation.-gadfium 22:28, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Wow, that Morton's Fork is an incredible article. If the quote that San Francisco is looking for isn't linked somewhere on that page. Thanks! I definitely learned something new! Best Regards, --allie 21:31, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How about Sophie's Choice? Much closer, both logically and literally. Occam's razor is a guide to choosing the most likely causal connection when one can imagine more than one possible cause. What does it have to do with this situation?alteripse 01:02, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

True: I should have been more careful. He was a fourtheenth century theologian, and I merely followed up on the translation and its contemporary concept, without considering the proper usage for the phrase. That it is also referred to as the "law of parsinomy" should have been a good clue. I ignored it. Criticism well meant, and well taken. --allie 21:31, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How about Between a rock and a hard place?--Fastfission 10:17, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The closest single word to fit what you're after would be "dilemma" Noodhoog 18:36, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

No-win situation appears to be a good reference for this. Jay 09:16, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

How about Fu*ked !!!!! John T

Dates of events on other worlds[edit]

Yesterday's landing on Titan has made me wonder anew about whether there is any agreed convention as to the basis on which events on extraterrestrial worlds are dated. For example, the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon in 1969 happened on 17th or 18th July, depending on where on the Earth you were at the time. So what date do we use to record the event in history books on Earth?

Events on Earth are dated according to the time zone applying in the place where the event happened, at the time that it happened (so, for example, if Daylight Saving started or ended at around the time of the event, this could well influence the date of the event). The problem with events outside the Earth is, there is no such thing as a Greenwich meridian or an in International Date Line or any other type of time-keeping convention (or none that I'm aware of).

It would make sense to me if extraterrestrial "events" were dated either (a) always using Universal Standard Time on Earth, or (b) using the time zone in the place from where the spacecraft blasted off (eg. Cape Canaveral; Baikonur; China or wherever). Of course, the latter option would be of no use for events such as Shoemaker-Levy comet blasting into Jupiter in 1994. But I don't know if either of these conventions actually applies (and if so, when and how were they adopted), or if there is an alternative solution.

Also, when scientists are computing the date of an extra-terrestrial event, do they work out when it actually occurred in real time by taking into account the time it took for whatever electronic signal to reach the Earth to let us know about it, or do they base it on the time that Earth first got to know about it? Does anybody know? Cheers JackofOz 01:30, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I can't tell you about other agencies, but I've got some ideas about NASA.
For most missions, NASA uses what is called "Mission Elapsed Time (MET). This clock hits zero at launch, which is why if you're watching a countdown, you'll hear a guy saying "T-minus #". The clock is negative at that point. This is all well and good for space shuttles and Voyagers and such, because days don't have too much meaning for them. They claim that they convert to UTC for use by others, but I've seen US Eastern (KSC), Central (JSC), and perhaps Pacific (JPL) used.
However, you want to know about things that land on other things. As of right now, we've put landers on four planet-like objects: Venus, the Moon, Mars, and Titan. The landers on Venus and Titan didn't last long enough for any local measurement of time to have any meaning. Lunar landers did last long enough, but days on the Moon are a month long, so trying to operate off a lunar clock isn't really practical. While this is speculation, I'd guess they ran off MET.
However, Mars is a special case. Because the Martian day is roughly the same as Earth's, and because landers have been solar powered, and probably because of some other things too, Mars missions have run off "Local Mean Solar Time" (see Time and date and astronomy on Mars). As I recall, the Mars Exploration Rover teams had watches custom-made to run off the slighly longer days.
According to the Huygens descent timeline, ESA is reporting things to the public in CET "Earth Received" time, which doesn't necessarily mean that's what they're operating on internally. I have absolutely no idea what the Russians were using on their Venera missions. -- Cyrius| 07:44, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Time and date and astronomy on Mars has some information about timekeeping on Mars -- Curps 08:00, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ethel Rosenberg and VENONA evidence[edit]

The articles on Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and the VENONA project contradict each other, the first stating that the venona evidence proved that Ethel Rosenberg was innocent, the second, that she was an accomplice. Since I know next to nothing about the trial and encountered "VENONA" for the first time when reading the article on the trial (and I doubt any library within reach will have up-to-date info on this), could somebody else find out which version is correct? -- AlexR 02:54, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Google venona rosenberg and you get all the details you want. E.g., [13]. Venona proved the Rosenbergs were Soviet agents; a significant embarrassment to American liberals who long disputed the claim. alteripse 03:01, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ethel's participation as reflected by VENONA is largely a matter of interpretation. She was not given a code name which seems to indicate that she was not a major player. But again, it's hard to know, and whether she was guilty of what they were accused of, were given a fair trial, or were punished appropriately are all somewhat separate from some of these facts, which is half of the disparity... If you'd read the very link you posted, alteripse, you'd see it says: Associated Press story, David admitted he lied under oath about his sister Ethel's involvement to reduce his own sentence and keep his wife Ruth out of prison. In an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes II," David said simply, "As a spy who turned his family in ... I don't care." David and Ruth Greenglass continue to live in the New York area under assumed names. The problem with the Rosenbergs in general is you are quick to get people on one side who say "VENONA is unreliable, throw it all out" and you are quick to get people on the other side who say, "VENONA proves everything." Neither show a very good knowledge of VENONA or the history of the case, in my opinion. --Fastfission 10:01, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You are right, I failed to recognize that the question was specifically about Ethel: the VENONA evidence indicated that Julius, Ruth, and David were agents. Whether you consider Ethel an accomplice depends on whether you think it likely (1) she didn't know what her brother and husband were doing, (2) that Julius wouldn't have confessed to exculpate her, and (3) that David and Ruth were evil enough to implicate her if she had been truly ignorant. It doesn't take much more than knowledge to meet the definition of accomplice. This and the other issues people will have differing opinions about. I will agree with you that the more you learn about a case like this, the less likely you are to think that either "side" is entirely right. alteripse 15:41, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, in that case both articles should say that it is not so easy to interpret the evidence, instead of interpreting it differently and therefore contradict each other. -- AlexR 13:59, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree completely. I think the Rosenberg article in general should go into more detail about where the points of differentiation lie. As I know them, they are: 1. they were innocent, 2. they were guilty, 3. Ethel might have been innocent or at least not guilty of what she was accused of, 4. the evidence is too weak/problematic to decide, 5. whether or not they were guilty, they were punished too harshly, 6. their trial was botched in any event. Or something like that. I'm sort of a #5 and #6 man myself, and though I don't take VENONA at face value I find it likely that Julius at least was guilty (what really bothers me the most about their trial, I have to admit, is that Julius wouldn't just say he was guilty, whether he was or not, to save Ethel. Instead, they both died, and left two kids behind. I find that extremely irresponsible, I have to admit. As despicable as Greenglass generally seems to be, if he did lie in order to save his wife, I would at least sympathize with his motivations, which I don't for Julius and Ethel. But I'm digressing). --Fastfission 18:21, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
BTW, the picture gets even more complicated because while VENONA show pretty definitely that Julius was an agent, it doesn't provide evidence for any of the specific espionage for which he was convicted; also, there is, of course, the question of whether there was any "H-Bomb secret" to steal. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:42, Jan 16, 2005 (UTC)
I think you mean A-bomb secret ("H-bomb secret" wasn't even available until 1951).. the things that Greenglass testified that Rosenberg helped steal (which is now on the new page, David Greenglass) were on the construction of the lens molds and the implosion concept more generally. How valuable were they? Probably not very -- Greenglass's knowledge was fairly general, he often didn't know what he was looking at, and he didn't give them anywhere as complete or accurate information as Fuchs did (though he didn't know Fuchs existed at the time, of course). Did it actually help the Soviets "get the bomb" any quicker? New historiorgraphy based on Russian sources suggests not. But anyway, that's only one aspect of things, relating more to the severity of the sentencing than anything else... --Fastfission 07:06, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Year of birth for Mary Kay Ash[edit]

I reverted what I thought was vandalism to that article, but Google reveals widespread disagreement about Ash's birthdate. 1915? 1918? Probably May 12 in Hot Wells, Texas, but I'm not confident about the year. -leigh (φθόγγος) 05:28, Jan 16, 2005 (UTC)

See Talk:Mary Kay Ash - Nunh-huh 08:20, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Graphing with X, Y, Z coordinates[edit]

I realized just today that Excel won't let me make the graph I want to make. Basically, I have a list of labels and for each label I have 3 different variables (X, Y, Z), which range from -4 to 4. I want to be able to graph them in space as points (not connected), with the label next to each point. What software will do this? (I have easy access to Excel, Freehand, Igor Pro, MATLAB, and Stata, though I have never used the latter three before nor do I know if they are even appropriate) Help! --Fastfission 09:55, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

MATLAB would probably be your best shot, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 06:24, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)
MATLAB will definitely plot points in 3space for you, but I'm not sure how the labeling would look. It might depend on how many points you have. Here's a little MATLAB program for you:
x=[-4 -3 2 2 1 0 1];
y=[3 1 1 -1 -3 0 2];
for i=1:length(x)
    text(x(i),y(i),z(i)+0.2,sprintf('x=%d y=%d z=%d',x(i),y(i),z(i)))
title('My pretty plot');
xlabel('The x axis');
ylabel('The y axis');
grid on
Type "help plot" if you want to see what options there are for symbols. moink

scope and utility of sociolinguistics[edit]

can anyone give me in detail the answer of "what is the scope and utility of sociolinguistics now-a-days?"

Well we wont' answer your teacher's question for you, but reading the article on sociolinguistics will give you a few examples and a reference and read pages linked from that page and pages that link there. Remember however, to cite Wikipedia as your source. Dunc| 14:18, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Burning MPEGS to a CD[edit]

I want to burn some MPEG files to a CD so I can watch them on a VCD/DVD player. Do I need to burn anything else (i.e. codecs) or do I just have to burn the MPEG files alone and that will be enough? Johnleemk | Talk 11:23, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

No, that won't work - you don't need codecs or the like, but VCDs have a particular format. Most buring programs have an option for burning VCDs, or check for more information. -- AlexR 14:09, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Short answer - no you don't need to put the codec on the disc. Long answer - you can't just burn any old file onto a CD and expect it to work. The content requirements for VCDs and SVCDs are very specific. VCDs hold MPEG-1 format video at 352x240 pixels (NTSC) or 352x288 pixels (PAL); while SVCDs hold MPEG-2 format video at 480x480 pixels (for NTSC) or 480x576 pixels (for PAL) (there are some slight variations that you can make on thse resolutions by changign the frames/sec rate). If your file is in any other format it needs to be converted. Very specifically if your file is in any form of MPEG-4 based format (i.e. DivX, XVid, 3ivx etc..) it must be converted with a high probability of loss of quality. If you use Nero Burning ROM (and if you're not using it you should probably switch to using it) then Nero will attempt to convert any file you try to burn to the correct format, but in all probability it won't do this in quite the way you would want, so I recommend you use TMPGEnc to convert the file if you need to. Jooler 14:15, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Addendum - as AlexR points out - normally you can't just burn a raw mpg file as a data file and expect it to play. You have to use your software to burn it as a VCD/SVCD. This will put various helper files on the disk as well (see However, I am told that some DVD players will bring up a menu if you are trying to play a DVD- on which you have burnt several raw mpg1/2 format files. Maybe this works on some machines with a CD-R too I don't know. There are a few players that are capable of playing DivX format files burnt onto CD, itmight be the case that only DivX capable players treat raw mpgs in this fashion. Jooler 14:35, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Digitally Synthesizing Siren Sounds (Police, Air-raid, etc.)[edit]

I'm trying to write a program to produce various types of siren sounds, so as to immitate police sirens, abulance sirens, air-raid sirens, etc.. I already have a program that can take a sine wave and modulate the pitch up and down to create a bad impression of a siren. Unfortunately, the result sounds more like someone playing with the pitch-bend wheel on an analog synth than any siren one might actually hear in the real world. I suspect I'd get pretty similar results if I substituted, say, a square wave or a triangle wave for the sine wave in my program.

Does anyone know if there are any easy-to-synthesize waveforms that might sound more like a siren? Or am I going to need to actually go out and digitize sounds from a real-life siren (a la Sampler (musical instrument))? --Ryguasu 04:58, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • A simple sine wave might be a good starting point for a siren sound, but sounds in the real world are generally made up of a number of different waveforms at different frequencies - for a halfway believable siren, you might try adding some harmonic overtones and maybe a tiny bit of phase distortion (more of both for a classic air raid siren than for a modern police siren). It also seems that with most sirens, different frequencies aren't shifted up and down by the same pitch which leads to a slightly more distorted sound as the siren's wail reaches its highest pitch - I guess it would be pretty tricky to sysntheize a naturally-sounding siren unless you either have a pretty detailed idea what you are doing or you are willing to experiment for a couple of hours with some wave-shaping software (which is generally great fun but rarely leads to the results you were trying to achieve - at least, that's the case with most of my synth experiments :P ) -- Ferkelparade π 22:14, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • Here's a spectrogram of a london-style police siren
      . As Ferkelparade said, you'd need multiple frequency sources to get the overtones. Notice that the highest frequencies bend up over a longer time period than the root frequency. Also note that this siren has 2 separate whistles, overlapping in time. An alternative to multiple sines or sampling the whole siren would be to record a siren, then take a small looped sample while it is steady at its highest frequency. Then you could pitch bend one or more copies of that waveform to get different siren patterns. -Key45 22:57, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
      • Speaking of synthesizing instrument sounds, I've been trying to make them using overlapped sine waves at different frequencies and amplitudes, but it doesn't seem to work. What am I doing wrong, and where can I find analyses of real instruments to work from? Alphax (t) (c) (e) 16:27, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

Replicating the show/hide functions on TOCs[edit]

Ok, this could be a bit tricky. We all know that the TOCs on Wikipedia have show/hide links, which show or hide the TOC when you click them. How would I go about a similar function on a webpage I'm building, so that when I click a link it expands a table? Alphax (t) (c) (e) 06:26, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)

The simplest solution would be to have two versions of the page, one with the table expanded and one with the table shrunk. You should also be able to use inline frames. --Smack (talk) 07:20, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
is there a reason why you can't do it the way Wikipedia does, using javascript to set the "display" CSS property? Frencheigh 10:05, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yes - I don't know how to. I'm quite opposed to using multiple versions of the same page, because I want a side navigation bar with "expanding" links. For example:


This will become visible on clicking link1
This will become visible on clicking link1


This will become visible on clicking link2
This will become visible on clicking link2


So how would I go about this using Javascript and CSS? Have a class element for each table row, and then have a JS function that takes variables to set the display CSS element? Alphax (t) (c) (e) 06:25, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

[14] <- there's a simple example i've uploaded, the important part of which is the function function toggledisp(x){


} which (when say called from the onclick of a button) toggles the 'display' (of say a div, with an id). but did you need it to expand a particular row of a table? because out of the browsers ive tested only IE seems to do that correctly. Frencheigh 09:43, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

:Well, I guess I can do it with a div, but my main problem now is how to get it to work when I use frames - I discovered the relevant bit of code sitting around from a downloaded WP page. I'm guessing that it's something along the lines of document.frame.parent.getElementById, but I have very litte experience with JS. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 12:30, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I got it to work. Can I get it to work for all elements of a particular class? Alphax (t) (c) (e) 13:46, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
No, if I have interpreted the JS and CSS right. If you look, you will see that the element is identified by an id. You can, by definition, only have one id of each type on a page. There might be a way to reference several ids from one link/button, but you can't do anything with classes with DHTML, which is what this is. Smoddy | ειπετε 18:12, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Boil Advisories[edit]

Sorry about there being no question here. I started typing and must have hit return and all that was posted was the header. Then when I went back my request to save text kept getting timed out. Anyhow, thank you, Sharkford, for attempting to answer the question based on only two words. The question I had was that boil advisories are posted by water departments here citing low pressure in the mains. What about low water pressure necessitates boiling water? Where I live most of the water comes from wells rather than surface bodies of water, so runoff shouldn't be the problem.

Sharkford's reply was based on just the header--no question.

  • If you mean the boil-water advisories that towns occasionally announce, it means that the town water supply is known to have an unsafe high level of pathogens. Bringing water to a boil is presumed to make it safe for human consumption, so you are advised to do this for any water which you will be drinking or cooking with. It seems to be assumed, true or not, that you do not ingest water during washing or bathing. Often such advisories follow heavy rains which introduce lots of surface runoff into the reservoirs or lakes from which the town water supply is drawn, bringing more decomposing organic matter than the utility's chlorination process can accommodate. Less commonly it's associated with a breakdown of the water-purification system. --Sharkford 15:13, 2005 Jan 18 (UTC)
  • At a guess, wouldn't one of the likely causes of low pressure be a significant leak (or leaks)? If enough water to seriously affect pressure in the whole system can get out, contamination may well be able to get in... Shimgray 00:02, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Could it also work the other way around? If the pressure is high, then any small leaks will be leaks out. If the pressure grows too low, such leaks could leak in, resulting in contamination. -Rholton 05:22, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • That certainly makes sense - it's the logic behind overpressure systems, which we don't seem to have a page on. Military vehicles intended to operate "sealed" in NBC environments are often built in such a way that they're kept at a slightly higher pressure than the outside world, in order that if there is a breach in the protection, air will flow out of the vehicle and not in. When the air outside may be full of nerve agents, this becomes really quite a nice detail... ;-)
    • Similarly, some medical facilities are built like this; it's not uncommon for research labs to be kept at below the ambient pressure, so that if there's a leak nothing nasty can escape. Shimgray 16:30, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • In fact, when I saw the lone header "Boil advisories" my first thought was "don't break it, it will get infected". So relative to that I guessed prety close! Given the actual question, I think Rholton's got it; low pressure in the mains allows unchlorinated ground water to seep in. --Sharkford 21:29, 2005 Jan 20 (UTC)

Is the Gang of Four's "Design Patterns" of More Than Historical Interest?[edit]

I'm hoping to read up on Design pattern (computer science). It seems like the logical place to start might be where the description of design patterns began, i.e., with the Gang of Four's "Design Patterns". That book is almost ten years old now, though, so before I run out and buy it, I'm wondering if it has in any sense become "outdated". Is this book now better suited for those studying the history of programming than for those studying programming itself? Or does it still make sense as a good place to start learning about design patterns? --Ryguasu 19:45, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure it remains a perfectly good place to start, this is pretty timeless stuff, but if you don't mind reading on line, you probably won't find much in the book that is not also by now on line. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:22, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)
It's still a good, worthwhile read. It's well written and thoughtfully structured, and the patterns it decribes abound in current OO systems like the class libraries for java and c#. I guess it's no longer (if it ever was) a definative library of the patterns themselves, with numerous new ones being created and some of the existing falling from favour. But what's important isn't the list of patterns per-se, but the principle (you can find endless list of patterns and discussions on their pros and cons for free on the internet). But if you read that, beg borrow steal or save up for The Timeless Way of Building, the original pattern language book (and pleasantly one without all that dull comp-sci stuff to get between your brain and the idea) - it's simply brilliant. -- John Fader 22:47, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
A good place to dig around online is the Portland Pattern Repository, aka the Wiki. -- Cyrius| 22:52, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What's up with the Nicobar Islands?[edit]

Reading some recent coverage about tsunami aftermath in the Nicobar Islands, I was puzzled about why the local government might be prohibiting foreigners from traveling to the island. Union territory says that the islands are ruled directly by the federal government, which seems to contradict the CNN article. [15] says, "Travel to the Nicobar Islands is restricted, and only Indian nationals engaged in research may visit. Some exceptions are made for tourists with special permits." [16] says: "The Nicobar Islands are not open to visiting foreigners, whether scholars or tourists. Indian citizens need a special permit - which is hardly ever granted." [17] mentions the island's lieutenant governor.

So I'm wondering why the Indian government restricts travel to the islands. Is it for ecological reasons, to maintain tribal culture, something to do with the island's past as a prison, or some other historical or political context we're missing?

What is the actual structure of the island's non-tribal government?

The tribal/non-tribal population and protected land area figures also seem to vary a lot from source to source.

The situtation on the islands seems to be in a little bit of flux because of the tsunami, but it would be nice to get a handle on how things were right beforehand. Thanks for any insight you can lend. -- Beland 21:36, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, there was a segment on Channel 4 News a few days ago, I think about the Nicobar Islands. In this case the government was trying to keep modernity away from the few remaining aboriginal islanders, whose culture was clearly teetering on a precipice. I think the relief consisted of chucking coconuts at the islanders from a fleeting boat, while they chucked pointy sticks back at the boat. So your cultural contamination theory seemed to be supported by that. -- John Fader 23:04, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Have a look at - it has some related info on travel restrictions to the Andamans. But I think in this particular case, it may have a lot to do with not wanting people killed by the inhabitants, who are famously hostile to outsiders. - Mustafaa 23:06, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Interesting -- not so much for ecological or conservational reasons than for the safety of citizens and foreigners? Peter O. (Talk) 23:16, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)
This BBC article suggest that some islands are off-limit because of military reasons. Furthermore, this article states that there were 93,000 visits by tourists to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, but it may be that in fact these tourists all went to the Andamans. -- Jitse Niesen 14:31, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

identity security issue?[edit]

Yesterday I received an email from

It states a password and username.

These do not refer to me!

I did not ask for any reminder.

Is this a scam or a security bloop from wiki?

I have posted this question on the general help page but thought it might be more relevant here.

  • No, this page is not for Wikipedia-related questions. Mgm|(talk) 22:34, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)
  • Mgm is right, but basically, it looks like your email address used to be owned by a wikipedian. Ignore it. Or, if you feel like it, log in with that address and see what the previous owner was up to. But this really is a question for the Help Desk. -- Phyzome is Tim McCormack 17:14, 2005 Jan 31 (UTC)


The article on pressure refers to units of weight called 'ton(US)' and 'ton(UK)'. Does anyone know what these are? I suspect that they're Imperial and metric tons, respectively, but I'm not sure. --Smack (talk) 01:07, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ton explains this, to more detail than your poor mortal mind can possibly withstand. -- John Fader 01:24, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It looks like ton(US) and ton(UK) mean short ton and long ton, respectively. The terms are not used verbatim in ton but the text leads fairly straightly to that conclusion. I have heard of short and long tons forever but never heard of them categorized as U.S. vs U.K. (as are e.g. gallons). Such opportunity for enlightenment is the joy of our poor mortal minds. However, it would perhaps improve pressure to revise it to the more standard terms? --Sharkford 15:25, 2005 Jan 18 (UTC)

Mr. Fader: I read that article, thank you very much, but it does not explain the particular nomenclature I refer to.
Sharkford: Pressure must certainly be revised. I just wasn't sure how to revise it. --Smack (talk) 23:02, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Weapons of Mass Destruction Destruction[edit]

Can anyone direct me to an article about the safe destruction of WMD's, particularly nuclear warheads? Every time I hear talk of destruction, I always become curious about the physics and mechanics as to how this is supposedly done. Thanks.

lvlarx 09:49, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

AFAIK (but IANARS) a nuclear warhead will not detonate unless critical mass is achieved AND an appropriate neutron source is introduced to initiate fission. Removing enough fissionable material to prevent critical mass is the safest way to prevent a nuke from going nuclear; however, since critical mass and initiation are usually achieved by an explosion of some kind, it will still explode, making a reasonably big mess. Or at least that's what I've been led to believe. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb might not be of use here. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 12:46, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
Nuclear weapons are comparatively easy. Take out the (overwhelmingly plutonium) fissile core elements and they can be de-enriched (empoverished?) into fuel for a plutonium burning reactor. The polonium initiator is probably going to end up as medium-level nuclear waste. I've no idea what one does with a ton or so of powdered lithium-deuteride fusion fuel, but it's not particularly hazardous. Biological and chemical weapons are a bit harder. Biological weapons are fairly straightfoward, largely because there isn't such a large volume of it and it can't be stored in weaponised form for a long time. Bleach, irradiation and high-temperature incineration are straightforward options. The hard case is chemical weapons. By some estimates the US Army alone has over 30,000 tons of them, and the Soviets had (and thus the Russians still have) even more. The US solution is high-temperature incineration, which is rather expensive. Many of the shells and rockets are decades old and have been poorly stored, and nasty chemical reactions have changed and corroded them. So they have to be processed in a special facility that can dismantle them using machines. Here's a [Unreliable fringe source?] story] from the LA Times detailing how incredibly slow and expensive that process is. -- John Fader 13:09, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
For chemical weapons, see also Chemical Weapons Convention which describes how far various countries have come in regards to eliminating their weapons as well as the weapons of mass destruction series which describes in more detail. (By the way the U.S. has less than 22,000 tons of chemical agents and is testing chemical neutralization methods of destruction of chemical weapons) Rmhermen 16:23, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)

LCD displays[edit]

I'd like to know why 17-19" LCD displays almost always have 5/4 aspect ratio, while most CRT and most 15" LCD displays have 4/3 ratio. What is the reason - is it easier to produce, is there particular demand for more squarish displays, do they look better on a desk?

And a second question is why the resolution of LCD displays is so limited? Why are there almost no displays with 1600x1200 or 1440x1050 resolution, while such resolution is commonplace on laptops. Is there no demand for higher res desktop LCD displays? Did someone decided that people don't need that resolution? Is the demand for hi-res LCD panels from notebook manufacturers so high that there are no panels left for stand-alone displays? Paranoid 17:16, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I am not an insider. I guess Microsoft Windows is the perpetrator.
Before XP, Windows support of very high resolutions was poor. And Windows XP is only marginally better. If you are a happy LCD maker, the last thing you want is to get a million angry calls each day over trivial issues such as microscopic Windows texts.
If you do know how to get state-of-the-art hardware, there are huge and expensive 1920x1200 LCD monitors (I wish I could afford one! Ha! Ha!). For example, currently, LG of South Korea ships 2560x1600 (30"), 1920x1200 (23"), 1600x1200 (20") and 1680x1050 (20") monitors. But these models are in short supply because of the available sizes of the raw glass panels. Most of today's LCD fabs only produce glass substrate panels best for making 10" to 19" panels. It is not efficient for a fab designed for 19" panels to churn out a 20" LCD because it will generate a lot of waste. Therefore, large and high-resolution LCD monitors are always in limited production.
Then how about small and high-resolution LCD monitors? I really don't think you want to use that kind of LCD unless it's on your laptop. At least for me, I always put my external monitor a little farther away. That means small texts on an external LCD mornitor will be more difficult to read than on a laptop monitor. You may want to use a 1600x1200 (15") laptop LCD, but this is simply unbearable if it's your desktop monitor. You do need a 20" monitor. And people are not making too many of them today.
I guess today's high-resolution laptop panels are all custom-made. They have inexpensive 12" to 15" substrate panels. They can use a more advanced process to cram more pixels on these panels and make much more money. By the way, they can also fine-tune Windows for that monitor (high-resolution, 16:9, 16:10, other tricks ...).
I think one day things will change. With a smarter OS and larger glass panels, there will be affordable large high-resolution panels. Just wait. And don't forget to save some money. -- Toytoy 13:31, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)
There are 22" (20" visible) 1600x 1200 to 1920x1440 CRTs. However, you probably will not use the highest resolutions all day long. With the LCD, you cannot switch resolution. If you buy a 1920x1200 15" monitor, you live with that resolution. Possibly this is another reason why they don't offer very high resolution LCD monitors. -- Toytoy 15:24, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)

a site to trace a great grandmother born in {gutengerg} mainz 1830 s[edit]

Dear sir, My grandmother emigrated to england some time in the early 1800s and her name was theresa breiding. theresa married edward byrchall in london 1873. she is mentioned on the english 1901 census as aged 70 years a british subject born in germany The latter day saints records give her birth place as gutenberg your assistance is requested on where I may search for information as non german perso and no knowledge of the language.. thank you very much , david r bluff

Dear Mr. Bluff: I've looked at a lot of genealogy sites, and this is a good start for you. It lists sites from Germany, England, and best of all, it's free! No hidden search charges from Cyndi. She also has a FAQ:
Happy hunting! --allie 21:02, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

School Research: Murder or Manslaughter?[edit]

I am presently enrolled in a college Socioligy course and where writing a paper on a certain incedent that has happened with two diffrent groups. I am to take a position on the detailed story and write about it but befor i take a final position i would like to learn the diffrence between the two. Here is the situation:

I'm afraid we need a bit more detail than that :-)
If you were going to ask about the difference between the two terms, then broadly speaking (at least in English common-law systems) the difference is one of intent; murder is unlawful killing with the intent to kill someone, whereas manslaughter is unlawful killing without that intent (although if you set out to seriously injure someone, that may well be considered analogous to the intent to kill)
  • To take an example, were someone to be assaulted and fight back - and, by using more force than they intended, kill their assailant... that would be manslaughter; the killing was not a lawful one (although a plea of self-defence might well see them acquitted of the crime), but they did not intend for the victim to die.
  • However, were they assaulted, and fight their assailant off - then chase them down and beat them to death... that would be considered murder, since they acted with an intent to kill.
I have a suspicion you were going to ask for a suggestion over a specific case; my suggestion would be to go through the mind of the killer at the time of the incident. Were they aware their actions could or would lead to death? Had they taken a decision in the light of this awareness to continue with the action?
Best of luck reaching a decision; a lot of very interesting debate has taken place in the past by judges mulling over this very issue, and you may find it interesting to try looking for some of those cases. (For example: if, in the fight example above, party A restrains B - but B party has a grave medical condition, unknown to A, which causes the restraint to kill them... is that murder? A acted with intent to do the particular act that killed B, but did not intend it to be an act that could cause death...)
Huh, it did post last night, after all. Oh, well. Still forgot to sign it, though... Shimgray 20:45, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC))
And, don't forget - State law statute books list the citings of precedents. If I am not mistaken...they do vary by state. --allie 02:16, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Postmodern economics[edit]

What are viable methods for establishing and maintaining a post-monetary economy free of barter — a system without a medium of exchange or store of value?

In the absence of other answers, you might try reading the short story And Then There Were None by Eric Frank Russell. (Google will tell you where to find it. Then you might consider whether that society depicted is truly free of medium of exchange. DJ Clayworth 18:35, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
So ur after a society where people give and take at their own will? If i capte what u say, then try looking Economy of Smurfs, or if that doesnt exists, try Smurfs. They may infact be apre-monetary economy

Breast cancer and mammorgrams[edit]

moved from Village Pump BrokenSegue 01:54, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hello out there! I want to get feedback on the subject of mamograms causing cancer. I read a long time ago (can't remember where) that the London Journal of Medicine stated that the pressure put upon the breast during a mamogram could activate inactive cancer cells. Has anyone heard of this? Can you give me any insight? Could this be possible and why or why not. If you have any info or links you can email me at Thank you very much.

There is research on the x-rays used in mammograms causing cancer. Rmhermen 02:25, Jan 19, 2005 (UTC)
First problem, no "London Journal of Medicine"... There seem to be quite a few papers discussing beliefs related to cancer, which mention the popular misconception that mammograms cause cancer, and a lot on the negative effects of excessive screening (basically, it screws with peoples' heads) but nothing I can find which seems to be the research you mention... this isn't a systematic search, but ten or fifteen minutes hasn't got me anywhere. Shimgray 03:39, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
X-rays can cause mutations which can then cause cancer. This is true for any X-rays, not just the x-rays used in mammography. The risk is very low and is greatly offset by the benefit of screening mammography, which saves lives. The fact is that approximately 1 in 6 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. With the use of mammography, we are able to detect breast cancers when they're smaller and easier to cure, and we can also identify pre-invasive breast cancers, or DCIS, which can be treated before they ever develop into cancer. Back to the subject of mammography causing cancers, I can't think of any really good studies looking at this subject, but I'm sure you can find some good articles by searching at PubMed. A dissenting viewpoint is that the low dose X-rays in mammograms actually decrease the cancer rate (PMID 15082088). I don't think there's any evidence that cancer is caused by the pressure put on the breast during a mammogram, since that would go against all theories we have about the development of cancer. — Brim 14:51, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

do lemmings go in the water?[edit]

Look up Lemming (and, in particular, Norway Lemming). Lupo 08:16, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

And don't bite the newcomers, Lupo. --Tagishsimon (talk)


What is a function from x to y? How to use an arc arrow diagram to depict a function.

See Function (mathematics)#Formal_definition. utcursch 08:40, Jan 19, 2005 (UTC)

Quebec French accent?[edit]

I had this question up on the Quebec French talk page for over a week and nobody seemed to know, so I'll try here. The basic question is:

"What are the linguistic terms and basics relating to this accent question? Is it phonology? or something physical? Where can I look up more on this question?"

On the Quebec french "ear" and "mouth"[edit]

I'd love to note somewhere the obvious difference between the location in the mouth of Quebec French vs. France French, and the related difference in how a Quebecois hears foreign sounds. Unfortunately I'm not really qualified to do this in detail. All I know is that the foreign "th" sounds come out very different in the different French accents when speaking English:

sound   English   Quebec   France  
[θ] "think" "tink" "sink"
[ð] "this" "dis" "zis"

Obviously the two languages are either differently placed in the mouth, or have a different "ear" for consonants, or both. Anyone understand the linguistic terminology here well enough to comment on this?

Steverapaport 20:20, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

While the fact has been widely aknowledged (I've seen numerous references to it), I have yet to see a suggested hypothesis. Maybe Quebecois are more exposed to English slang /t, d/ for [θ, ð] than European French speakers? --Circeus 20:42, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
First, my qualifications to comment: I lived in Ottawa (near the Quebec border) for a year, and in Northern Quebec for a summer. I've also spent a bit of time in France and in other parts of Europe where I have had business dealings with Frenchmen. In English and in Parisian French, which I studied for 7 years.
The difference is definitely not due to slang English influence, because in the remote parts of Quebec there isn't any to speak of. It is rather due to an entire way of speaking. To my ear the Quebecois speak a version of French that is spoken further back in the mouth -- their "R"s retreat almost to the uvula, the mouth is held further open, and the words alternate between sounding swallowed and sounding flat. The articulation points are further back on the tongue. There's also a bit of an adenoidal sound, as if the speaker has a cold.
The Parisiens speak closer to the front of the mouth, with more closed mouth, and most of the articulation done near the tip of the tongue and lips. I'd love to say all this with authority but all I have is my own eyes and ears for this.
I'm pretty sure that the difference in the "th" sounds is related to the different articulation points or the adenoidal thing, but I don't have much to back it up. But I'd love to hear from someone who does! Steverapaport 23:37, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

So, pointers to more on this question?

Steverapaport 18:20, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Deaths from the Crusades[edit]

I'm trying to find out how many people died fighting for the Vatican during all of the Crusades - all 12 or 13 or however many there were. That is, not the people defending the Holy Lands, just the people 'on offense'. Thanks! 18:45, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There was no Vatican during the Crusades. You might want to look at Papal States, but even so, the Crusaders weren't fighting for the Pope. RickK 01:19, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, I guess I'm a bit off on the exact background of the Crusades. But you still understand my question - the number of people who died trying to reclaim the Holy Lands. I guess I'm really shady on my history here... 16:49, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think that the kind of answer you're looking for may not exist. Our article on the Crusades contains some good summary information, and links to more detailed accounts. From First Crusade:
Both knights and peasants from many different nations of western Europe, with little central leadership, travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099...
The crusades were not simple military campaigns, but were also a sort of migration. You might want to think of something kind of like the invading Vandals. -Rholton 15:56, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It would be almost impossible to give you a number, since no one can even be sure how many people went on crusade in the first place. The contemporary sources exaggerate the numbers of combatants, as all ancient and medieval sources tend to do, and on the First Crusade there were tens of thousands of people who were either poor or beggars or women or some other sort of person they didn't bother to count. For the First Crusade there were many deaths from starvation and disease, not just deaths in battle. On the Second almost everyone was killed, and there were a lot of big battles and sieges during the Third. Would you also count the number of people who died in between those specific crusades, since there was virtually non-stop warfare in the Crusader states? There were also crusades against the Baltic peoples at the same time, and various other things called crusades. The number is probably hundreds of thousands, if not a lot more. Also, as Rick said, there was no "Vatican" as such (well, there was, the Vatican is actually just a hill) - and the Popes did not always call a crusade, and sometimes lost control of the ones they did call. Adam Bishop 02:09, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You might also want to include the Albigensian crusade against the Cathars, which lasted a decade+ and resulted in the effective erasure of a regional culture. Not a very nice episode, but produced beaucoup death. ww 01:24, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Academic failure[edit]

What are some good Web resources that deal with the causes of academic failure in high-school students? I'm not looking for ultrascholarly reports but rather for sites that an ordinary intelligent person can understand. Thanks, anon.

Rather than a link, I can offer some guidelines which are known to be predictors of failure:
  • 7th grade performance of a student is an early indicator of how well that student, who was used to the less demanding environment of 1st - 6th grades, might fare. This is an indicator of high school performance for that student. (Specifically, how well they cope with change)
  • Similarly, the grades in a high school chemistry (including lab work) course are precursors of college-level performance. Those students taking the manual drafting course will get grades that are precursors of post-high school performance.
  • The key is how do the students react to more exacting or demanding standards. Ancheta Wis 15:02, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

equation for the area of a triangle[edit]

See Heron's formula -- Dominus 16:51, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

... which is fine if you know the lengths of all three sides, but if you know the length of one side and an altitude then you can use Area=(Base x Height)/2. The triangle article describes several different ways of calculating area. Gandalf61 10:49, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Usenet hierarchy[edit]

Can someone either direct me to a webpage completely explaining the Usenet hierarchy (eg alt. and talk.) or explain it below. I have looked at Great Renaming and Usenet already. Thanks, --anon

free articles?[edit]

Hello, I am building an internet business and am looking for a source for free articles that I can send through a retail opt-in list. Can I use Wikipedia and if so then what is my next step? Thank you in advance. Best Regards, -anon

Well, theoretically yes. But in practice you have to comply with the GFDL which means that in addition to sending the article itself you'd also have to send the entire text of the GFDL (which is rather large) and a full list of all the wikipedia contributors who contributed to the article. Now, there are those (left-handed unibrowed communists, all) who'll tell you that you need only distribute a link to the latter, but that's never been tested in court; I can't recommend volunteering to be the test case. -- John Fader 01:20, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Medical records[edit]

I would like to know if I have a right to request copies of medical records form the various doctors and hospitals I have gone to through my life (I live in the US). How do I go about it? Should I expect to pay very much? ike9898 19:39, Jan 20, 2005 (UTC)

Your right to access and correct your medical record (aka "personal health information") is protected under the HIPAA. Unfortunately, the HIPAA doesn't help make the process of obtaining your PHI any easier -- I'm pretty sure you'll have to request documents from each hospital individually. Just call or write them; they'll send you a form or (rarely) direct you to a website where you can download and print out a PDF and mail it in. IIRC, in many (most?) cases, you should expect to pay up to about $1 per page. --David Iberri | Talk 21:38, Jan 20, 2005 (UTC)

These answers apply to US only. You have the right to see your records and request copies, but remember that they are the "work notes" of your contractors and the original physical record does not "belong" to you. In general most doctor's offices, clinics, and hospitals do not charge to send a single copy of your current records to another doctor or hospital. Especially sensitive (mental health, HIV, addiction) records have tighter legal restrictions of various types and transfer and access can be a bigger pain in the rear. Many will charge to make a copy if you ask them to send to yourself, especially if the records are voluminous. You mention "through my life;" I don't know how old you are, but law does not require storage forever for adults. Most hospitals and clinics send records to storage occasionally and you might expect to pay for accessing archived records (or you may find they cant be found). As far as I know, there is no law regarding charging for copies of records, so above is custom and may or may not be followed in unusual cases (e.g., if your inpatient records take up an entire shelf in the hospital). If you are an adult and you actually get records from, say, the 1970s, you may be surprised at how scant they are. Legally required documentation has increased probably 10-fold over the last 25 years (and you wonder why health care costs continue to rise). And absolutely, you will have to request from each provider; legally, even if your current provider has a complete set of your whole-life records from ten previous providers, they can only transfer the record of their own care of you to another provider. alteripse 13:26, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Metaphysical Psychotherapist[edit]

Is there such a thing as a Metaphysical Psychotherapist

Yes, but not for long. You see, the constructive interference caused by the wavefront coincidence of two such strong sources of pseudoscientific claptrap will produce localized levels of blatant untruth that exceed the fundamental capacity of Einstein-Minowsky spacetime to sustain dissemblance (given by the Rumsfeld constant, that is 14.6 barefaced lies per cubic inch). To shed the excess nonsense a Heisenberg-Posen bridge will form (a perfect sphere with a diameter of approximately one meter) and the space therein will be ejected into hyperspace. From the frame of reference of a nearby stationary observer, that volume will appear to vanish (with the corresponding inrush of 4*pi/3 cubic meters of air, producing a loud "gasp" sound) leaving only the calves, feet, and sandals of the metaphysical psychotherapist (unless they're a midget, of course). -- 01:56, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It is with extreme reluctance that I venture to even slightly temper the positively awe-inspiring paragraph offered above. And I've been led to believe that some of my wit was a tad sharp for tastes here... I also wouldn't trust a "Metaphysical Psychotherapist" as far as I could speculate her, but their more honest cousins usually hang out under the sign of "philosophical counseling." Google it [18] and you will find an immediate page of references to their learned societies and even pages answering that common, burning question, "what is philosophical counseling" [19]. alteripse 02:46, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It only leaves us with the burning question ... can paragraphs from this page be transferred to BJAODN? (Though GJAODN might be more appropriate). DJ Clayworth 04:34, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Veterans Administration Cuts - 70% ??[edit]

Reference junkie here can't find anything to verify this. According to the VA Patient Advocate at the VA in Florida, the administration is cutting the VA budget by 70%. Now, why can't I find anything to substantiate this? It's not on Google or High Beam - nada. Apparently, it was just announced to the VA. Even if it wasn't released to the press yet, wouldn't there be something somewhere to confirm this? --allie 22:10, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Time warp? This [20] was posted in March 2003. Here is another angle from approx 1 year ago on this same topic [21]. These two [22] [23] from last spring address the planned reductions through 2009: more like a 17% reduction over 4 years, it looks like. A 70% imminent cut that none of these groups has heard about seems unlikely. alteripse 05:06, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. I feel like such a dyslexic dolt. Appreciate the references, very, very much. --allie 11:09, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Sri Lankan local government[edit]

What is the structure of Sri Lankan govt (not LTTE areas) below District level? What are the names of the administrative subdivisions in Trincomalee? Thanks! 05:10, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Intermittent modem hardware failure[edit]

Yes, sad to say, some of us are still using 56k dial-up modems. Occasionally mine attempts to dial and says "hardware failure". Now, it only does this when my dial up tries to connect (my ISP disconnects me every 2 hours on the dot but I have a little bit of software that reconnects me automatically to fight my ISP's evil ways), so it can't be a loose connection. Rebooting often, but not always, solves it. Any ideas?

Apologies in advance if my signature appears strange. I've been told off. I worked on the bloody thing for ages, but now I'll have to simplify it again. Grrrrr! Actually, what was said was that it made somebody's page go broken, so probably best not to put it on a significant page at all. (No sig, this is user : bodnotbod).

Saving money by cancelling school[edit]

About how much money would the U.S. and the school systems in it save if they took off the last day of school for all public schools? How much would be saved in pay, transportation, etc? --elpenmaster

In all likelyhood, not as much as you might think. I believe all administrators and teachers are exempt from overtime laws, meaning that they get paid the same regardless of how many days they work. You might get some savings in power utilization, and perhaps fuel and salary from busses, assuming that the district picks up the tab for them and not the parents. Also, it's important to remember that many schools do not shut down just because the school year is out. There's always summer sessions, the janitorial staff is typically employed year round, so costs will always be incurred. Also, I believe in California at least, a district's funding is directly tied to their attendance, so by cutting a day, the district itself would be getting less money. Of course, this also raises the counter-question, "What is the average cost/benefit to society per student per day of school attended?" --Cvaneg 22:42, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Asian alphabetization[edit]

Let's say the only language you know is Japanese, or one of the other Asian languages that doesn't use a [[phonetic alphabet. Is there an equivalent of alphabetization that your can use to organize items, such as an index or a phone book? How does this work? ike9898 14:16, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Japanese is a bad example, because it does have a phonetic alphabet, and has had for about a thousand years. But your question is reasonable. I recently did some research into the way medieval Chinese printers organized their type cases; as you can imagine, the problems are similar.
Typically, each Chinese character is associated with a "radical", which is a common subpart of that character and many others. For example, the character for "明" = "bright" is clearly a compound of the two characters for "sun" ("日") and "moon" ("月"), and the radical is "sun". The radicals themselves are ordered partly by the number of strokes they contain and partly in an arbitrary but conventional way. Often, a major dictionary such as the K'ang Hsi Tzu-Tien (Kangxi zi dian in modern spelling) of 1716 will establish an order for characters or radicals, and this order will be re-used for hundreds of years afterwards.
Chinese characters in dictionaries are usually ordered by one or more of: number of strokes; what radical they contain (with the radicals themselves ordered as in K'ang Hsi Tzu-Tien or some other well-known and widely-available source); how many strokes they have in addition to the radical; what order they appear in a standard dictionary; or some combination of these.
Typically, for example, the dictionary will list the characters ordered first by number of strokes; characters with the same number of strokes will be ordered by radical, with the characters with simpler radicals before those with more complicated radicals; where the radicals have the same number of strokes the radicals will be ordered in a conventional and well-known order; and where the characters contains the same number of strokes and the same radicals, they will be ordered in a conventional order.
Note that even a phonetic alphabet doesn't solve all your problems. Consider the problem of locating John Smith in the telephone book. The spelling is unambiguous, but you still can't find the one you want. Modern Chinese dictionaries often list words in order by pinyin phonetic spelling, but some languages, like Mandarin and Korean, contain so many homonyms that this is insufficient. My Chinese dictionary, for example, lists seven different words all pronounced "chá".
I suggest that if you're interested in this you go to the library or bookstore and take a look at a Chinese-English dictionary. You will probably find its organization quite absorbing.
I hope this was helpful. -- Dominus 16:07, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Even though it was Chinese who invented movable type, as late as a couple of hundred years ago, many Chinese printers preferred block printing because of economics. Reason: Cheap labor. Some books are selling like hot cakes. Instead of reset each page at each run, they could save the wooden board for later use.
Movable type was not very popular in China. However, it was a different story in Korea. Many Korean scholars studied Chinese works. To help their customers catch-up quickly, many Korean printers used durable brass type to print Chinese books as soon as they got a copy from China. I don't know how they managed the font.
The project of Chin Ch'ien (Jian Jin) in 1776 had twelve huge type cases with two hundred drawers each. Each drawer was divided into eight compartments and each compartment held four types. The cases were labled with the twelve divisions set out in the K'ang Hsi Tzu-Tien and each drawer also had a label; the drawers were ordered (as usual) by radical and by number of strokes.
Before each page was composed, the printer would go through it and make a list of which characters were required and how many of each. Then his assistants would gather the types from the case. Another person was responsible for returning the types to the cases when a page was broken down.
Often an unusual character would be required that had not been made up beforehand. Chin Ch'ien was using wooden type, so he could have a new character made up on the spot when necessary.
Wang Chen in 1313 was using metal types. He had them organized on two huge round tables with rotating tabletops. On the tables, the types were organized as usual, by strokes and radicals, with one table for the common characters and the other for the rare ones. As the types were needed, a printer sitting between the tables would select the appropriate types. -- Dominus 13:54, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In the
A Chinese dictionary usually has two or more index systems. The formal one is radical + stroke number system. No matter which dialect you speak, if you can write, you can use it. A schoolboy has to spend weeks to months to learn how to use the 100-some radicals. Usually, there will be another index that orders words using stroke numbers only. These are usually for the "difficult" words. Sometimes, you just can't tell which radical is the one.
Another method is to order the characters according to its pronounciation. Before the 20th century, there was no widely accepted way to so it. People invented many ordering systems. Currently, two widely used standards based on Standard Mandarin are used: pinyin and bopomofo. If you can pronounce, you can find it.
There are many less-used index methods. Example: the four corner method. Not each dictionary is using it.
Today they don't print so many copies of telephone directories. A telephone directory may order names according to the family name -> given name order. Family names are sorted by stroke number -> order of pinyin or bopomofo. -- Toytoy 18:37, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)
Okay, so if a literate Chinese person was given 100 index cards that each had a different word on it, could he easily put these cards in order according to one of the above schemes (without using any sort of reference book)? ike9898 22:34, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)
Possibly not. To sort several English words, you just compare each word's each alphabets. With Chinese characters, this can be more difficult. 1st level ordering could be easy. 2nd level would be much more difficult.
Radicals and stroke numbers are 1st level. They do not distinguish each charcter withing the group. You need another ordering method to sort each character. ("狼" (wolf) and "狗" (dog) both have the "犬" (the left part) radical, you don't know which comes first). Using phonemes is usually easier.
Some methods are too difficult to do it in mind. There are 100-200 radicals (1st level), you just can't remember the correct dictionary order of them unless you are truly insane. Counting stroke numbers (1st level) is a tedious job because there are some exceptions when two strokes are actually counted as one (or vice versa) because you are wrong and they are right. (How do you write R? P then slash or I then "a crescent and a slash"?) Sometimes, your order of writing is just different from theirs. (How do you write H? Vertical, vertical, horizontal? Or vertical, horizontal, vertical?) Possibly you still need a dictionary.
Ordering using phonetics is somewhat easier. Many people in Taiwan were taught bopomofo (a set of non-Roman phonemes) in kindergarten or 1st grade. People in China learned pinyin (Romanization) at about the same age. Both systems are nearly identical except for the writing systems. (See: music notation). It is possibly easier to order in pinyin because many bopomofo users forgot the exact order except for the first four or eight phonemes: bo, po, mo, fo, de, te, ne, le ... . They know the order of Latin alphabets.
If you have a rollodex or a notebook filled with telephone numbers, you may use stroke number or pinyin to order names. There's a system of family name's order "The Hundred Families' Surnames" (百家姓) (趙錢孫李 周吳鄭王 ...) and another list of 1,000 frequently used characters "An Essay of One Thousand Words" (千字文) (a meaningful article written in exact 1,000 different words: "天地玄黃 宇宙洪荒 ..." "In the beginning of the time and universe ..."). These are not usually used for general purpose ordering. Many ordering systems may be too difficult to implement in mind.
You can configure your Chinese version of Microsoft Windows, Linux or MacOS to order using the character codes or language specific orders. With the Traditional Chinese Windows, you can choose between stroke number and bopomofo. Some systems may support more ordering methods. -- Toytoy 04:25, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

Sculptured Reliefs at Perspolis[edit]

Can someone find info on the Sculptured Reliefs at Perspolis? I can't seen to find anything on them ((well at least not that which is useful.. >>; )) What info I do have is mostly pics and that cannot help me do a report on it. So please if you do find something ie- How is it made... What materials where used... What techique was used.... In what location are the works found.. bla bla bla.. you get the Idea I'm pretty sure

It's possible your trouble finding info is that most people who are likely to be providing useful info spell it Persepolis, and PRESTO, there's a whole article about it right here! alteripse 12:44, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

electrical heating element[edit]

My electric stove has a heating element that has 'gone bad' (doesn't heat when voltage is applied across it). I assumed these things go bad because somehow the conductive path is broken, like a light bulb burning out. However, when I test the resistance across the busted heating element, it is not infinite but something more like 1 M-ohm. Can these heating elements go bad in some other way? ike9898 22:44, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Ordinarily, the resistance should be a few tens of ohms (e.go., 220 V across 30 ohms gives 1.6 kW of heat). 1 M-ohm will be leakage across imperfect insulation somewhere. —AlanBarrett 10:56, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Is there a complete list of the Chef's songs from South Park? I cannot find one that is GFDL or other open license. --Fan

You mean you want the lyrics, or just the titles? The lyrics are copyrighted, and will be for many years, so you're not going to find a GFDL listing of them. If you're just talking about the titles, that can't be copyrighted, so a list is perfectly free use. RickK 21:59, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

Just the titles, and maybe some information about where each one appears, the context and some description of what the song is about and any guests who feature on it. I could not find it on the South Park article. Am I missing it? Thanks --Fan

I can do some research on this - I'll post it at List of Chef's songs (South Park). 10:12, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Police (APCO?) 10 codes[edit]

What are all of the (APCO?) 10 codes? (i.e.: 10-4 = "Message recieved", "OK"; 10-10= "Negative","No.") I found a list of them, but it only have from 10-1 to 10-34 or somewhere around there. I know there are more (95?)..

  • Codes above 40 vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; APCO only created (I think) and standardized the first 40, and allowed anything higher to be defined by the user. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:05, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Okay, thank you. Do you know of a website (or do you know them off-hand?) where I can find the entire list for the NYPD? (And uh...just out of pure curiosity, what does APCO stand for?)

The 10-codes are not standardised. APCO stands for Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. I think the 10-codes are different for each city or whatever. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 09:45, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • Here are the NYPD radio codes. They differ significantly from common (if not "standard") usage -- so much that an outsider trying to interpret and act upon them could get quite confused. For example, the "common" (if not standard) 10-10 is, as stated, "negative"; but for the NYPD, 10-10 means "Possible crime" -- while for FDNY, 10-10 means "Current location". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:58, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

South Park Script?[edit]

Where can I find the script to "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut"? I found a script once, but it left out some parts. I'm looking for a script that has everythnig every character said, word-for-word, including the songs. Does such a thing exsist? o.o;

Can you buy it? It must be copyright. The South Park Article is a little vague about many details. --Fan

It's not unusual for movie scripts to be published. If this one hasn't been, it probably will be. You might do a normal web search for the title plus "ISBN"; you might try a book-focused site like Amazon or Abe Books; you might talk to a library or book store, especially a book store specializing in film-related books. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:54, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)
I've had a good look around Amazon for you and then tried searches elsewhere and haven't been able to find any evidence that the script is available for purchase. If you have a copy of the film and the incomplete script you might be able to finish it off yourself. --bodnotbod 19:20, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

Religion question[edit]

Which are the most and least religious countries in the world? Are they Senegal/Nigeria and Czech Republic/France respectively? A Google search yields contradicting results.

I'm guessing ur aware of the laicité situation in France, whereby it seems to me that its illegal to do a survey on the national religious practices. So France is vague. Hard to get a decent value for number of believers. I'd imagine Pitcairn is not very religious --Wonderfool 13:08, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Actually, every Pitcairn Islander is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. This makes it the most religious country in the world, although the population is only 47.-gadfium 21:53, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It is probably impossible to answer this question objetively. It depends on how you define the word religious. Most Americans would probably claim to believe in God, but how many ever actually do anything religious on a regular basis? What about countries with a state religion, where everybody is technically a member? There are also people who don't like the word religion, even though they might seem very religious by your standards. You can, I am sure, find statistics on this, but you have to remember that their interpretation is very subjective. -Aranel ("Sarah") 22:37, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree with that, but for instance, Hungary takes a skeptical attitude to religion; the churches are never full except on major holidays such as Easter and Christmas. (A result of its having passed through a twentieth-century atheist government? I wouldn't know.) In Brazil, it's considered almost offensive to ask if one believes in God because the answer is so overwhelmingly yes. So it is measurable to some extent. (The Pitcairn Island thing is fascinating, by the way!) --anon.
Do you consider Vatican City a country? It has a population of almost a thousand, making it larger than Pitcairn Island.
Vatican City has indeed been an independent nation since the Lateran Treaty of 1929. It is recognised as such world-wide, and it would be eligible for admission to the United Nations etc but has chosen to remain aloof from that kind of global politicking. It sends its ambassadors (papal nuncios) to other countries, and recognised ambassadors from other countries who are accredited to the Holy See. JackofOz 00:37, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

GUllman 01:18, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC) 01:06, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The correct link is Laïcité. -- Itai 01:32, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Made the redirect for you. &emdash; Catherine\talk 20:15, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Creative writing assignment[edit]

Have you ever been trapped and imprisonned in a tall dark tower? What do you think it would feel like? What thoughts would go through your head? Tnx. Nigel

I doubt Wikipedians will be of much help to you, because a creative writing assignment isn't a matter of fact. Only you can tell your teacher what would go through your head, etc. --Gelu Ignisque
Or, of course you could arrange to be trapped and imprisoned in a tall dark tower. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:56, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)
Try Anne Boleyn and Rapunzel, Nigel. Then go lock yourself in a dark closet before tackling that assignment and try not to plagiarize. --allie 00:24, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I reckon, first thing would be annoyance that u let urself get trapped. then later stages would come paranoia, hunger, thrist, boredom, until you eventually get used to the dark and use the time to think really deeply. what id do is invent a language or sumthin, just to keep my mind from going to jelly. sometime during the imprisonment i'd think "does the fact that the tower is tall actually affect the mindframe? i'd make up dozens of stories in my head, then put music to them in my head. and try and think of every single person ive ever met, of every place ive ever been, of the best things i've ever done. maybe u should put sumthing in the essay about time, and how it all seems so pointless when there's no days or nights, and everything is the same always. The key is keeping ur mind and body useful. so i guess doing pressups or pushups or situps or some kind of exercise would be a good plan. And I'd spend a certain amount of time simply doin nothing, paying attention to the sound of silence, trying to somehow make things appear or happen thru telekinesis. And id also try somehow to inscribe something into the wall or the floor, with my nails perhaps. inscribing things like how many times i peed, or trying to draw perfect circles. I would create an imaginary friend, and talk to him/her/it about escaping and what we would do when we got out. And some time i would possibly think "Dude, am i dead? i may aswell be. Death is just darkness and nothingness. or is it? how should i not dead. because i can think. dammit who said "credo ...." i think therefore i am. I would love to die just to feel what it feels like". paranoia, u know. at some time, id be eventually thinking "i wish i had internet here". And worry about if my capturees have forgotten about me.but then again, i guess they'd be obliged to send me food. So the food would be a pleasant relief.u could use the time to try and cunt to a million; and try to predict, using ur counting, when the guards are gonna come and feed you. Phew, that was the fastest thing ive ever typed in my life. also the most useless. but i hope this shit helps. if only i had an essay like this to ask the world help for

Yanno--that's exactly what happened to Anne Boleyn! And then she had her head chopped off. But I don't think she did push-ups...or said, "dude," but really accurate nonetheless. A- based on creativity, turning in the assignment with lightnening speed, but the spelling and grammar gets you every time... Best regards --allie 02:24, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How about The Man in the Iron Mask or The Shawshank Redemption? You must learn from great stories. You may also study sensory deprivation. -- Toytoy 05:47, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
Papillon has a good few pages on solitary confinement. Although the prisoner isnt actually solitary-theres a few dozen prisoners in a room seperated by walls, but they have to stay silent or they are given punitions graves, so in other words they are silent cos the punitions are very grave. but anyway; the prisoner stays sane by eating smuggled coconuts. wait a second, this isnt answering the question.nevermind.--Wonderfool 10:49, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"what id do is invent a language or sumthin" - - You appear to be doing that already. Does this mean we ought to be trying to rescue you? --bodnotbod 19:23, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

Try reading A Tale of Two Cities =) --Alterego 07:05, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)

Removing the border from frames in XHTML[edit]

Now, I understand that this can be done with frameborder="0" in the frameset tag, but this isn't official. Is there an official way of doing it? Alphax (t) (c) (e) 09:54, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

In fact, frameborder="0" is exactly the coding to remove frame borders in XHTML. This is shown in the DTD as produced by the W3C [24]. If you search for "frameborder" in that, you will see that this coding is allowed under XHTML 1.0. It is also allowed in HTML 4.01. However, in HTML 3.2, not only was frameborder not allowed, neither were frameset and frame. If you are interested, this can be seen at [25], where trying to search for "frame" does not yield results. So if your website is being written in strict 3.2, you cannot actually use frames. They are an innovation introduced with HTML 4, although, obviously, many browsers already had them in their programming, and they were de facto standard, although not de jure. However, most websites you will write today will be in 4.01, so you can include frame, frameset and frameborder="0" to your heart's content.  :) Smoddy | ειπετε 19:37, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately I can't find any way of entirely removing the frameborder and still conforming to the DTD. The following will do it, but is there a better valid way?
<frameset cols="20%, 80%" frameborder="0" border="0">
-- Alphax (t) (c) (e) 13:49, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)
A valid mathod that works? I think you're in dream world now. I don't think any browser will complain if you put the border attribute in. Smoddy | ειπετε 21:31, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, Firefox and IE both handle it ok. I'll just have to be happy with everything else being W3C complient. Alphax (t) (c) (e) 05:53, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)

rainfall patterns in Ireland[edit]

Does anyone have a link for rainfall patterns in Ireland on a month by month basis? I'm thinking of holidaying in Ireland in the summer and would like to know what is most likely to be the least wettest month. Jooler

For a start: [26] and [27] Joyous 16:46, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

Canadian pilot ww1 question[edit]

I am having trouble finding any information on the Canadian Pilot (ww1-?) Eddie Redenbacher.

Am I spelling the name wrong....Can you offer me any help or suggestions on how to get the info??

Thank you C. wallace

Do you mean Eddie Rickenbacker, American WWI ace ?


Output to screen: How does an appropriate binary pattern output by a program get

turned into a pattern of pixels on the screen? How is it possible to change the

appearance of some text by changing the font, font size, etc.? How is flashing text

implemented? How is it that a picture (e.g. text) stays on the screen, even if the CPU

is now executing some quite unrelated task?

It's not done in one step, of course. If you're talking about text, the rough order is:
Text memory -> markup engine -> video memory -> video driver
The text memory remembers alphanumerics, and handles remembering what's been printed, where the cursor is, and what will come next.
The markup engine (in a word processor, etc) will keep invisible tags in the text that indicate that some text is bigger, smaller, flashing, colored, etc.
The video memory is on the single pixel level, and has enough memory to represent the output screen, in full color, at least once. The markup engine writes the text in fonts and colors to this memory, where it remains until it's erased or changed. Video memory is often double-buffered, so it keeps two copies around -- one for updates, and one to display. This way the memory doesn't have to change while it's being displayed on the screen, which would cause unpleasant flashing effects.
The video driver simply copies the appropriate video memory buffer to the display, sixty or so times a second, over and over. Or you could consider it the other way round, the driver repaints the screen many times per second, taking its latest information from the video memory.
Note that the CPU need be involved only in the first two stages. In modern computers the video memory and driver are in separate hardware.
In general, which of these components is on the motherboard, which is part of the video card, and which is included in the operating system, all change between vendors and over time. That's why I've used very generic names for everything.


Four and nine[edit]

Anonymous request moved from article space. Peter O. (Talk) 21:44, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

song Title Four and Nine

Words I took a lady out one night 
      she had a very large appetite
      I took her to Lockharts but we didnt go inside
      I took her to the Cecil   Four and Nine

This song was sung in the music halls about the 1930's

Can somebody help. If so please contact gerryb@big

Scrap Iron for the War effort-WW II[edit]

Where or how can I find information about the United States civilian war effort during WW II? Specifically farmers turning in scrap iron and farm tools for the war effort. Thank you, Gary Owens

The Library of Congress: has a good selection of photographs, but it'll take some research to find more than that. I tried the "Farm Administration Bureau" but be sure to narrow your search terms to a specific area or a more specific request, or you'll just end up with some very interesting photos, the way I did. Hope that's a lead for you. --allie 00:47, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
And I did find a book... Wilcox, Walter W. The Farmer in the Second World War (1947) Ames, IA: Iowa State College Press. But there's nothing in the index about collecting scrap iron, sorry. --allie 21:36, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Effect on (air) pressure by filling up a space with fluid[edit]


please assume the following:

I have a cylinder that is filled with air (1 atmosphere) and it is oriented in a horizontal direction, so that you could roll it, on a table for example. The top and bottom are seals. The seals are necessary, because on both sides of the cylinder you have oil. Now, the seals are leaking, and oil seeps into the cylinder.

What I am concerned with here is the effect this seeping of oil has on the pressure inside this cylinder.

My thoughts are: the air gets compressed, so that if we would half the cylinder filled with oil, instead of having 1 atmosphere, we would have 2 atmosphere, in the part that is filled with air. (note: I assume that air cannot leave the cylinder) Is that correct?

This is the pressure, that according to my thinking, is now acting on the surface of the oil, and on that part of the seals that is not yet covered with oil. The next question is: what is the pressure on that part of the cylinder wall that is covered with oil?

The surface of the oil at midpoint should be length of cylinder * diameter of cylinder

The cylinder surface that is covered with oil is: 2* 1/2 of the top and bottom (=2* pi*r^2) 1/2 cylinder side surface (= 1/2 * h*2*pi*r) What pressure will be acting now on this surface, if the pressure on the top of the oil surface is 2 bar?

Thank you very much for your help!

Sincerely, Juergen

Oil is a liquid, so we're going to assume that it's incompressible. So yes, if somehow oil is getting in and air is not leaving you will get an increase in air pressure. Now, the next question is whether or not the temperature varies, and how. If your system is in contact with a constant-temperature reservoir, you could assume it's isothermal (i.e., the temperature is not allowed to change). We can model air as an ideal gas. Then you get pV=RT=const, or, if you halve the volume that the air is in, you'll get twice the pressure. Alternatively, you can assume, instead of being isothermal, that the system is adiabatic. That means that there is no heat transfer from the air to the oil or the cylinder or any kind of reservoir. Then you'd use:
Where for a diatomic gas such as the nitrogen and oxygen that mostly make up air you have .
Now for the pressure in the oil. Since air is much lighter than oil, I ignored the hydrostatic pressure variations in the air. But you're going to find that the pressure varies with height through the oil. Specifically, in the oil:
where is the density of the oil and is the acceleration due to gravity: 9.81m/s^2.
And the pressure on the top of the oil will be the same as the air pressure. So, at a distance d below the surface of the oil, the pressure in the oil will be:
So it's going to be different at different parts of the cylinder. If you want the total force, you'll have to integrate it. Or alternatively, the total force on the bottom of the cylinder is just the weight of the oil plus the weight of the air. On the ends of the cylinder, you'll have to integrate it.
Hope that answers your question. moink 20:20, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

material that lets through air, fuel and oil, but not water and dust[edit]

Hi, I am looking for a material that I can use to plug a hole. It should let air, fuel and oil through, as these are inside the pump I want to plug, but it should not let water and dust through (possible contaminants from the outside) If the material gets destroyed over some time by fuel and oil, this is okay. Thank you!

How about a few more details - what is the pump for? Is it a fuel pump? If so, you should filter the fuel before it gets to this stage. Can you post a sketch?
Hi, yes, it its a fuel pump with a weep hole chamber into which oil and fuel are leaking.

So, we want these to run out of the weep hole chamber, by putting a weep hole on top, but we don't want to let water and contaminants in through the weep hole. Therefore I am looking for a material for a plug that might be suitable here.

Thank you!

Music: turning 1 beat into 2 (or 4)?[edit]

Sometimes, it seems, a song will have its tempo increased, not by shortening the duration of each beat, by placing new beats halfway between the original beats, so each beat becomes two beats. One Celine Dion song had so slow a tempo that each beat had to become, not two, but four beats for the dance version!

What is it called when the tempo is increased in this manner?


In what you are describing, does the "faster" version of the song take the same amount of time, line for line, for instance (the dance version may be longer, but through repetition)?
Rock and roll usually features an eigth-note ride (or cymbal) pattern, while disco and later dance music usually features a sixteenth-note ride pattern.
Thus when a song is turned into a dance version the amount of rhythmic activity increases even if the tempo does not. Hyacinth 03:45, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't know, and don't care, about eighth notes and sixteenth notes. And of course what I described increases the tempo! --User:Juuitchan
If you take eight notes and split them into sixteenth notes, the effect is just what you described. The tempo describes the length of one measure (for instance). If you have two beats in one measure (say they're half notes because they take up half the measure) and you add two extra notes in between, then you've got four quarter notes. The tempo, however, is the same, because it takes just as long to play two half notes as it does to play four quarter notes. You can divide it again into eight eighth notes or 16 sixteenth notes, all without necessarily changing the tempo.
You increase the tempo by shortening the duration of each beat. Subdividing the beats as you described does not change the tempo at all, although it does make the music sound "faster".
(And no, I don't know what this is called.) -Aranel ("Sarah") 22:30, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How many beats in a "measure"? If I don't have the score in front of me, how can I know? Actually, I don't care. I just count beats. Sometimes I count in hexadecimal, for obvious reasons. --User:Juuitchan
Then I guess what you are describing would be called, "doubling the tempo". You could describe it various other ways, such as, "having increased the tempo to twice its original speed or value". Hyacinth 04:07, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I suspect it's a matter of semantics. (Does it really matter whether you actually doubled the tempo or just doubled the number of notes? Could anyone who wasn't a musician tell the difference without seeing the score?) I don't know if it's possible to tell with any certainty how many beats are in a measure without seeing the music, but I imagine a musician could give you an educated guess.
On the other hand, it's usually fairly obvious that, say, a waltz has three beats. You could conceivably subdivide the notes to make it sound more lively, but the dancers would probably not appreciate it if you doubled the tempo. (Whether the beats fall on every note or every other note is important if you're dancing to them. It's less important if you're just listening. Or, for that matter, playing, so long as you're not trying to keep time with someone else.) -Aranel ("Sarah") 04:18, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Its very easy to tell in popular music, especially dance music, since at least the seventies because the drum patterns determine the beats. You all can find out for yourselves: read in metre (music) about the number of beats, read in dance music about "four to the floor", and read in Beats per minute and Tempo about determining tempo. Hyacinth 04:42, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

One may not care for verbal understanding, being able to talk about something is a good sign of understanding. It may not be the ideal way for one to learn anything, its the only way I have here. Hyacinth 05:06, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Tempted as I am to launch into a lengthy spiel on the subjectiveness of tempo perception, I'll just try to answer Juuitchan's question: as far as I and several musician friends know, there is no specific jargon term for what is being described. If the tempo is doubled, by any means, then, as Hyacinth says, one would probably describe the process as simply "doubling the tempo". If the rhythmic structure was changed so that the beats were half as long, then it might be described as "halving the beat". --Camembert 16:33, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Educational System - 1879-1890[edit]

Whatwas formal name of boarding schools what are names of schooling like college?

I think you may have to say a bit more about this question? Are you looking for an official name used to describe schools where the pupils live there? If so, which country are you interested in? DJ Clayworth 04:22, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

ethical code of professional teacher in republic act 7836[edit]

Commonly referred to as: NAEP Code of Ethics for Test Administration and Data Collection - it's in PDF format, and here's the link, concerning governing the SAT's. --allie 22:18, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

File formats[edit]

Can anybody tell me if Au file format is lossless or not? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 07:32, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

To my eye (based on readnig the header information), it looks like it's lossless and uncompressed. →Raul654 07:35, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)
It depends on the value of the 'encoding' field (word 3 of the header). Formats 2-7 are uncompressed PCM, therefore lossless. Formats 23-26 are ADPCM, which is a lossy, roughly 4:1 compression. Formats 1 and 27 are μ-law and A-Law, respectively, both lossy. Several of the others are DSP commands or data, designed to be processed by the NeXT MusicKit software. -Key45 21:22, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC).

Neon lamp[edit]

Hello, my question is about a neonlamp I have in my room. It has the shape of a palmtree, but the right part of it doesn't glow as much as the left part.The weirdest thing is: when I touch the topdown right point of it the whole tree glows at the same amount, it has someting to do with the touching. Can I fix my lamp? And why is my lamp ok when I touch it? Hope you know the answer! greetings --Sanneseubers 13:25, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Is it fairly new, or vintage? If you know the manufacturer, try this link. It's a handy one.

  • Consumers Handbook for people who hate telephone menus: [29] --allie 01:40, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Nellie Harbridge, artist[edit]

moved from Wikipedia:Help desk -- Ferkelparade π 13:34, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC) I am looking for any information on one Nellie Harbridge. I have recently acquired a pair of watercolours at auction, and would like to know if anyone knows anything about the artist. They appear to be approximately 70 years old, possibly older, from the signatures. Both are beautifully executed works of wild flowers gathered from beside a riverbank or pond, with details of waterlilies, water iris, forget-me-nots, mimulus, tansy and other flora, grasses and leaves. It may be that she was an amateur painter and I have purchased something which just gives me pleasure, but if there is a history behind the glass, I should be happier to know of it.

Well, a quick flip through Google, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Museum yielded nothing. However, do not despair: a call to Sotheby's and to Christie's American Arts Department in Manhattan might yield a clue. Both have an 800#. They'll ask you to send in photographs and won't guarantee a response; lovely, I know, but there you go. There is also a special database that dealers use, so try to locate a reputable one who specializes in this market - watercolors, prints, posters, et. cetera. A lot depends on the provenance, the condition of the watercolors, and of course - the name. Good luck! --allie 02:10, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I found some links for you to start; the third one is that artist database I referred to. --allie 20:56, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What does the letter K stand for in this CNN article?[edit] Updated: 10:54 a.m. EST (15:54 GMT) January 24, 2005

• Man wins 450k for wrongful surgery


$450,000 settlement for wrong surgery

Friday, January 21, 2005 Posted: 9:12 AM EST (1412 GMT) NEW YORK (AP) -- A hospital and the New York Rangers' hockey team doctor Thursday were ordered to pay $450,000 to a dance director and choreographer who had surgery on the wrong knee.

What does the letter K (450k) stand for in this article?

With kind regards Martin de Wit The Netherlands

kilo, i.e. thousand. -- John Fader 16:37, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

American Election 1860[edit]

As I understand it, the population of the US at this time was about 31,000,000




I unfortunately don't have time to dig up the numbers right now, but here's a couple of thoughts:
  • Age distribution. This has been changing in recent decades, but in the 1860s, I'd be surprised if more than 20 of the 30 million were of voting age.
  • Of course, women could not vote in the 1860 election, so take away another 10 million.
  • Slaves also couldn't vote, but I don't know if the 31 million figure is for population or for number of citizens, so let us ignore that for the moment.
Now take into account spatial distribution (most people lived in the big cities in the East coast, but maybe a million or two lived out in the middle of nowhere without much communication with the outside world and without much interest in the goings-on in politics), and an approximate 50% voter turnout does not look all that bad.
Oh, and methinks your caps lock key got stuck :P -- Ferkelparade π 17:46, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Here is everything you want to know about the US population in 1860 broken down by race, religion, male, female, and more. You crunch the numbers and get back to us. Sounds pretty interesting. [33] --allie 21:06, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Area from GPS coordinates...[edit]

Anybody know the best algorithm to calculate the area of a region bounded by points of which you know the latitude and longitude (from a GPS)? At the moment I'm cheating by assuming the earth is flat (which is a reasonable enough approximation over a small area, but not so great on a big one). Do I have to approximate the surface with a bunch of triangles in 3D space, or is there something more elegant? --Robert Merkel 23:40, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I'm guessing here, but how about mapping the coordinates onto an cylindrical equal-area map projection, and then taking the rectangular area? for "Lambert's Cylindrical Equal-Area" projection, it should be simply: x = longitude, y = sin(latitude), where lat and long are in radians. You'll have to multiply x and y by the number of kilometers in one radian as measured at the longitude of the equator. -Key45 02:32, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What are thedifferent types of Indonesian Values?[edit]

I suppose you're talking about the Indonesian Rupiah? Follow the second external link given! Lupo 12:48, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What's the difference between steps and stairs?[edit]

Someone asked this on another forum I peek at. And we're all struggling. --bodnotbod 05:00, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)

Well I don't think I've ever heard of steps having railings. And stairs are rarely outdoors. Does that help any? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 10:12, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What about very wide steps up to the entrance of a museum, they sometimes have a rail. And you seem to acknowledge that stairs can be outside, though I can't think of any examples. So there's something unsatisfying about leaving it here. We said similar things at the other forum. Any other takers? --bodnotbod 16:36, Jan 25, 2005 (UTC)
I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary. Stairs are a series of fixed steps leading from one level to another; especially from one floor to another in a building, often connected by a railing. A step is a thing on which to place the foot ascending or descending. The plural is: steps. Also, in plural, a flight of (especially outdoors) stairs." That's why it's a muddle, I suppose. Even the OED is a bit confused on this one. --allie 22:41, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Could one say that stairs are a human construct? That steps exist naturally, but stairs do not, since they are essentially associated with buildings? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 23:40, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Umm...not according to Led Zeppelin --allie 01:34, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think people who claim stairways can lie on the whispering wind can be safely excused as reliable sources on this matter... JRM 18:49, 2005 Jan 26 (UTC)

OK, looks like I'll have to accept that there's no delightfully solid distinction. --bodnotbod 19:31, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

fax modem software[edit]

I have a win xp machine with a fax modem, what software do I need to make it send and receive faxes? Is there some free software? Nothing came with it. Thanks, perplexed.

WinXP already has faxing support. Open "printers and faxes" (which is in the control panel, and several other places too) and in the bar on the left hit "set up faxing". -- John Fader 16:44, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

== Greatest number of runs