Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Miscellaneous/2006 September 30

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Number of companies in the world[edit]

What is the total number of companies in the world? Mr.K. 00:11, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

If you also want to count unincorporated entities, like mom and pop stores, then the question is whether you also count such economic units as a farming couple (husband and wife). In that case it's probably far more than 100 million. If you require the entities to be incorporated, then you may find you're comparing apples and bats, due to different definitions and requirements in different jurisdictions. The number may be closer to 50 million. This is not based on any actual available statistics.  --LambiamTalk 00:52, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
This question is too vague. --Proficient 01:27, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


My friend was in the marines, but they sent him home early, he said the reason was "early enlistment separation" and he said "he messed up his leg" can anybody tell what this means if it is even true? 01:34, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

There are plenty of reasons for administrative separations. Yes, some of those separations are honorable. From the tone of your post, though, it seems as if you suspect your friend might have gotten into disciplinary trouble and is trying to make an excuse for it. Obviously I can't tell whether your friend's story is true or not. Yes, it's possible to get a medical discharge. The people I knew in the Navy who got medically discharged had major problems such as epilepsy or kidney failure. 03:15, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much. 03:20, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


what do we mean by the term volume with respect to stock exchange

TRy looking at the links--Light current 02:29, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Volume means how many shares are sold each day. StuRat 05:40, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Shucks I was hoping he might work that out after reading our articles from end to end! --Light current 17:35, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Tie knot[edit]

how do you get a triangle shape when doing a neck tie?

I think you can use a Windsor or half-Windsor knot for that. I think my knot is similar to th half-Windsor, and it gives me a nice triangle. --Kjoonlee 03:32, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Fatty over thinny, fatty over thinny, up through the middle and down through the spinny. That gives you the conventional four-in-hand, and a nice neat triangle. A full windsor (can't remember how to do 'em these days) turns into more of a trapezium shape. Howard Train 05:02, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Dutch-style windor.jpg
That's way too thick. For a nice slim knot that isn't crooked look at this horrible photograph of me. Ignore me and look at the knot. Move the long end over the front, around the back, back through the middle, around the front (in the other direction now) to the back and through the middle, tuck in and straighten. The principle is simple, the straightening takes some parctise to get it right. Especially the two parts that come out the top need some attention. I have never understood the wearing of a tie without making it look nice. What's the point of wearing the bloody thing in the first place? That said, in this photo I didn't get one side entirely right, so who am I fulminating against? DirkvdM 07:41, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
LOL. Dirk, please stop with all your "high school class of '66" jazz!  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  13:42, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I'm not that old! In '66 I was just a toddler. DirkvdM 19:03, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
"Look at the knot, not the knot-head." :-) StuRat 14:05, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah! Let's all post our high-school pictures! .. OK, let's not.. --Zeizmic 14:41, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Hey, Lambian cropped me! Just as well in this case, I suppose. I must admit I was too lazy to do it myself. DirkvdM 19:02, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I've occasionally been tempted to cut your head off, myself. :-) StuRat 02:11, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm no worm, so it's a good thing this is all in the virtual realm. DirkvdM 06:19, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
The idea of there being two of that's frightening. :-) StuRat 11:26, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Ah! thats much nicer! And you can even see the knot properly. --Light current 15:01, 2 October 2006 (UTC)


There is a trouble with this article, see Talk:Tebnine#What right?. Thanks, Troll Refaim 08:52, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Continued on talk page. Please confine discussion of articles to the relevant talk pages, or address your comments to the relevant editors, or ask a coherent question if you consult the reference desk. This makes it easier for people to follow the discussion. Thanks.--Shantavira 14:56, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

steel threaded rods for finding soil depth, name of apparatus?[edit]

steel threaded rods for finding soil depth, name of apparatus?

This outlines methodologies. [1] --Zeizmic 14:45, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

definitions of manegerial economics[edit]

Please send me the definitions of Managerial Economics. &

Life History of one of the Management Guru's - peter f drucker?

  • Did you read the instructions at the top of the page on how to ask a question, like Search first and Sign your question?
  • Did you read our articles on Managerial economics and Peter Drucker?
  • If after reading all this you have more specific questions, please come back here.  --LambiamTalk 14:33, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

diesel fuel consumption[edit]

How can I reserve the consumption of a an engine operating on diesel?

Not sure what you're asking. Do you mean reduce? Do our articles on fuel efficient driving or fuel economy in automobiles answer your question?--Shantavira 16:44, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
In other words, the same conservation measures applied to gasoline engines also largely apply to diesel engines. StuRat 10:48, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps "reserve" is a combo of "reduce" and "conserve" ? The usual use of the word "reserve" (to hold back for later use) at first seems to apply, but that word is never used for making an engine run on less fuel. The answer to "How can I reserve fuel ?" would be to keep some in a plastic fuel container for later use. StuRat 10:48, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Left/right batter/box[edit]

Hi, in baseball, on which side of the plate does a right-handed batter usually stand? Assuming you're at the catcher's position looking at the pitcher. Are there any names for the batter's boxes?

I know the Korean terms for "left hitter/right hitter" or "left batter's box/right batter's box" but I don't have any idea what the left/right terms really mean. --Kjoonlee 17:13, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

A right handed batter stands to the catcher's left (from the catcher's view). - Rainwarrior 17:34, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Can England,Scotland and Wales and Norhtern Ireland be considered Independent nations?[edit]

Im in a quandry. Thanks

British Isles (terminology) says "Due to historical precedent, England, Scotland, and Wales are countries and nations in their own right (although none of these is sovereign today)". Take a look through that, rather complicated, article. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:23, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
It wasn't complicated when I wrote it. The complication came when other people started budding in. Sorry, just wanted to defend my work. :) DirkvdM 19:06, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Forgot the complicated article, the simple answer is "no". They're all part of the United Kingdom. California has more independence than, say, Scotland. --Auximines 20:06, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that. Scotland has it's own "devolved" parliament now. StuRat 10:39, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
That can't be right... does California have its own parliament or internal-only elected representatives? Tyrhinis 10:48, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
California has it's own state legislature, but it's powers are limited to state (meaning provincial) matters. It can't override federal laws, for example. Although there have been some attempts to override the Bush admin's anti-environmental policy, their ban on stem cell research funding, and the ban on marijuana. The weird part is that California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a Republican, even though he appears to disagree with the Bush admin on almost everything. StuRat 10:58, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
It may be useful to consider the proper name of Britain as it is today - not what the component parts were in previous ages. We are The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Note that there are several countries but only one Kingdom, and one Sovereign, Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (but Scots will correctly argue that she is not the second Queen of that name to rule over them). At the time of Good Queen Bess, England and Scotland were entirely separate and sovereign nations.
The List of regnal numerals of future British monarchs sets out the rules for this situation (basically that the monarch takes whichever available number is highest) and shows that a future King James would be James VIII because Scotland has had seven King James before. So there would be no James III, IV etc. of England. Howard Train 16:01, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Just to confirm that the answer to this question is "no." The constituent parts of the United Kingdom have varying degrees of autonomy on internal matters (comparable to U.S. states), and they can be considered historical "countries" or even "nations," but they are not independent. They are all part of the United Kingdom, and the British government makes all decisions pertaining to foreign affairs, military action, monetary policy, and other matters affecting all parts of the United Kingdom. Marco polo 17:31, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

So, in power, a little. In sovereignty, no. Britain is a unitary state. In other words, ALL sovereignty is vested in Westminster. Say the Channel Islands want to become independent. At the end of the day, only Westminster can decide that: constitutionally, at least. Contrast this with the US, a federation. If a new state were to be made along the border of two others, both of the states AND the federal Congress would need to permiss. Or even the EU, a confederation. If France wanted to become independent, it could do it (constitutionally) weather the EU liked it or not.

And then there is power. There are substantial powers devolved to Edinburgh and Cardiff, and if we keep on going at this rate, Belfast – as a result of the “St. Andrews Agreement”. So in short, they have enough independence to make some laws themselves – on, for example health. But they have no independence on matters of sovereignty, all of which remains at Westminster (the exeption is Northern Ireland: it is a special case, under the Belfast Agreement). martianlostinspace 14:51, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

EQAO (Grade 6)[edit]

Who got their EQAO (Grade 6) back?Himanyo 17:44, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

back from where? What's a EQAO? --Charlesknight 17:33, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
If you are from Ontario, you will understand. It's a BIG test given to Grade 3,6, and 9 around Ontario.Himanyo 17:44, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
And the world is a BIG place Himanyo. Charles and I live in England. I don't think we can help with your question, but maybe someone from Ontario will be along shortly.--Shantavira 18:47, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

From personal experiences, you should be receving your results for your EQAO tests approximately 1 year after writing the test. Jamesino 20:14, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Wow, they sure take their sweet old time up there. I'll assume it's not multiple choice. --Nelson Ricardo 00:03, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Some sections of it are multiple choice. Jamesino 00:50, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Playing the piano[edit]

Is it possible to teach oneself to play the piano from music, from a book? Or can one only teach ones self to play by ear?--Light current 19:38, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd imagine instructional books are available and that it's possible to be self-taught from a book. Jamesino 20:19, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Both are possible. But if you're serious about learning to play well, consider that it is very easy to develop playing habits, such as for fingering, that eventually stand in the way. Once acquired, such wrong habits are almost impossible to get rid off. A good teacher should help you to develop the right habits from the start.  --LambiamTalk 00:46, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes its fingering Im worried about, I can work out the notes myself.--Light current 11:12, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, you can get sheet music and instruction books that include exact fingering. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:38, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
It depends what you want. I was never taught to read music: I taught myself at age four or five, just as I taught myself to read. And plenty of piansts are self-taught. If you just want to play for your own enjoyment, you may not need a teacher (and you may be unwilling to put in the effort of practicing without which lessons may be a waste of time and money). On the other hand, if you want to play beyond a certain level - want to play for others, for example, or to play particular pieces, you may find a teacher who can guide you both technically and musically would be a good idea. ColinFine 23:28, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
You taught yourself to read, Colin? That's quite a feat. Who told you what each of the letters meant - or did you just work it out yourself? JackofOz 02:04, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I've no doubt I plenty of encouragement and guidance, but I could read before I went to school, and I don't think anybody sat down and taught me. I do remember once taking some music to my parents and asking them what a particular mark meant and they didn't know. --ColinFine 00:29, 7 October 2006 (UTC)



I found this floating around out on the internet, with no answer. Any suggestions?

"Brad and Alex have the following conversation:

B: I forgot how old your three children are.
A: The product of their ages is 36.
B: I still don’t know their ages.
A: The sum of their ages is the same as your house number.
B: I still don’t know their ages.
A: The oldest one has red hair.
B: Now I know their ages!

What are the ages of Alex’s three children?"

You need the house number to find the three ages. You need the names and hair color, and know that one of the children (without red hair) is younger than another child (without red hair) to attach names to the ages. There's not enough information to solve it. --AstoVidatu 23:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty that its supposed to be solved with only this information.

OK, so the product of their ages is 36, which means that one of the following must be the answer:

1 × 1 × 36 = 36
1 × 2 × 18 = 36
1 × 3 × 12 = 36
1 × 4 × 9 = 36
1 × 6 × 6 = 36
2 × 2 × 9 = 36
2 × 3 × 6 = 36
3 × 3 × 4 = 36

But still we don't know. Then Alex mentions that the sum of the ages is Brad's address. This seems to be unhelpful since we don't know Brad's address. But Brad knows his address: why can't he figure which of the 8 is correct? Add up the possibilities:

1 + 1 + 36 = 38
1 + 2 + 18 = 21
1 + 3 + 12 = 16
1 + 4 + 9 = 14
1 + 6 + 6 = 13
2 + 2 + 9 = 13
2 + 3 + 6 = 11
3 + 3 + 4 = 10

Aha! Brad still doesn't know because his address is 13, but there are two possibilites.

1, 6, and 6
2, 2, and 9

Then Alex mentions an oldest son. Since the first choice has two sixes—two oldest sons—it is wrong, so the kids must be aged 2, 2, and 9.

Of course, this might be wrong because it's possible that randy Alex and Alice may have gotten busy quick and had a new child before the first one had a birthday. Unlikely, but possible. Hyenaste (tell) 00:50, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Very clever! BenC7 02:06, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Here is a hint. (Possible spoiler.) Suppose that the house number of Brad is 11. Then you can solve this, no? But so could Brad! If his house number had been 11, he wouldn't have said in the fifth line: "I still don’t know their ages." So you can actually rule out 11. In the same way you can rule out almost all numbers as being Brad's house number.  --LambiamTalk 00:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Lambiam. I gave it away already. :( Hyenaste (tell) 00:50, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
K I'm dumb. --AstoVidatu 04:45, 1 October 2006 (UTC)