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Wikipedia Reference Desk - All recent questions


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April 18[edit]

surprise share turns up[edit]

Hi, I don't know the terms for this but I went to save a file today on my macbook pro & found another computer image under Share on the left of the pane. (Note that I don't share with any other computer to my knowledge & don't know what happens when you do.)

Its identity is brwccaf7820ebc7 –though I can't raise this on find/ search & the message when I click on it says "unable to connect" or something like that. I had someone stay over with an iPad who used the wifi here; another time visiting friends I used their unlocked wifi. Is there any way I can remove/ close it? Thanks, Manytexts (talk) 01:17, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Windows 8 system recovery[edit]

In Windows 8, how can one restore the system back to factory condition -- I mean, just tear down everything that was installed and start anew ("nuke and pave" in leetspeak)? Also, can this be combined with a downgrade to Windows 7? (talk) 08:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

If you installed from CD/DVD, then reformat the hard disk and install again. If you have a computer with a W8 preinstall, there is normally a recovery partition that has a static image that you can burn a DVD from. Then reformat the HD and install from the DVD. If you want Windows 7 then get a CD and install it. The recovery partition would include a lot of bloatcrap from your computer manufacturer, that you mostly don't want anyway. (talk) 11:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
In Windows 8 you can do a reset which reinstalls Windows.[1] --  Gadget850 talk 12:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! (talk) 17:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

De-populating a PDF form field[edit]

Hello All. I am trying to enter information into a PDF document that has drop-down fields. Here's the issue. An entry is blank. Then you go to the little dropdown arrow, choose some item from a list of possibilities. Then you realized that field actually should have remained blank. When you go back to that field there is no entry in the drop-down that is blank. I've tried clicking on the text entry and then hitting delete, escape & spacebar; I've tried the same with the drop-down open. Nothing seem to work to de-populate the field once invoked—I can change to a different item from the drop-down, but I cannot choose nothing. An awful workaround does exist: I can print, white out and copy but that is ridiculous. There's just got to be a way. Anyone come across this and know of a solution?-- (talk) 14:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

This is not an issue concerning the pdf file itself, but rather of the program you are using to edit it. Are you doing this in a browser? If not, which pdf viewer are you using? Looie496 (talk) 14:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Hello Looie. I'm using Adobe Acrobat Professional version 8.3.1.-- (talk) 16:10, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
user:Looie496 Getting attention.-- (talk) 16:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I have no idea how to solve this. I'm sure that Acrobat is responsible, but I don't know if it is possible to get Acrobat to behave differently. You could try to fill out the form using some other pdf-reading program, but I have no idea whether that would work. Looie496 (talk) 17:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


if i am not able to get notifications from a person in facebook am i blocked by him.i have sent him a friend request and wanted to check or tick the option Notifications but it is not done for this particular person only why (talk) 18:44, 18 April 2014 (UTC) (talk) 18:41, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

If someone blocks you or if you block them, their profile won't show up in searches, you won't see anything they've posted or shared,even on friends' walls, and if someone tags them their name won't show up as a link. So it definitely didn't block you, or you wouldn't be able to see his profile at all. Katie R (talk) 19:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

People are being rude to me on youtube. How do I report this?[edit]

People are being rude to me on youtube. How do I report this? Venustar84 (talk) 21:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I would start by taking a look at this page for some pointers. It also has a link to report abuse. - EronTalk 21:45, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately rudeness seems to be very common in Youtube comments, so I suspect it would have to be quite serious for the admins to do anything about it.--Shantavira|feed me 10:50, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

Another Heartbleed question[edit]

From what I understand, the designer(s) wanted a way for servers to check if the other party is alive. The most obvious implementation would be:

Server A - Are you alive?

Server B - Yes, I heard you

Yet the conversation seems to be:

Server A - Just checking if you didn't die yet. Can you say "Chicken"?

Server B - Chicken

The RFC says that it was designed to overcome the following limitation: "The only mechanism available at the DTLS layer to figure out if a peer is still alive is a costly renegotiation, particularly when the application uses unidirectional traffic. Furthermore, DTLS needs to perform path MTU (PMTU) discovery but has no specific message type to realize it without affecting the transfer of user messages."

Just "Yes, I'm alive" seems to be enough for this purpose. Why did they decide to ask the other side to echo a string in the first place? Are there other protocols that have implemented a heartbeat message that uses a "challenge-response" method like this, possibly making sure it's not a faulty router replying? Especially when the "challenge" is to reply with the exact same string instead of, for instance, a checksum of that string? Joepnl (talk) 00:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

DTLS is Datagram TLS, and people have argued that arbitrary payloads could have uses there (see sagemode's post in that thread especially). It was also added to the far more widely used TLS-without-the-D because, hey, why not. -- BenRG (talk) 01:10, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

stop-frame animation and morphing[edit]

My 17-year-old daughter wants to make a video using stop-frame animation of Lego people. She is wondering if it would be faster to shoot fewer frames and use morphing software to go from one frame to the next.

Second, I think either approach will be very time-consuming. How long do you think it would take per second of video produced? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:02, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Whether morphing is quicker would depend on the speed of the computer versus the speed for each change in position. If only one figure is moving, that ought to be quick to adjust, versus say, having an entire football field move. And you can only do so much morphing, perhaps every other frame, or it will start to look bad. You also have to put some thought into which positions you show when doing morphing. While walking, for example, you would want to capture the right foot all the way forward, and the left foot all the way forward, because morphing will never move it farther than what you have captured. If you just capture a figure standing at one position, then standing at another, the morphed version would have him slide from one position to the other, not walk.
How long it takes will also depend on the frame rate. At 10 frames per second it would look "jumpy" but might only take 10 minutes to film a second, if she can adjust the scene in a minute. StuRat (talk) 03:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I was telling her that it might take an hour to produce 1 second, all things considered. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not exactly Pixar here, but I have a quad-core i7 and two quad-core i5s. I saw morphing done at Comdex in 1994, when the Pentium was new. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:33, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, one advantage of morphing is that you don't need to be there while the computer works. If you can set up a job to morph between all your captured frames overnight, it really doesn't matter if it takes all night. (If you don't need the computer for other things, you could even run morphing software 24/7.)
Unfortunately, it may be time consuming to define which point in one frame corresponds to which point in the new frame. It would be nice if the morphing software itself could figure out that his left elbow in one frame goes with his left elbow in the next frame, but I'm not sure if it can do that yet, reliably (especially if the arm goes straight in one frame and the elbow "disappears"). I would expect that each joint would need to be so defined. StuRat (talk) 10:40, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
She wants to do a scene from Of Mice and Men that way for extra credit in literature class (which she doesn't really need). I told her that could take 100 hours or more. She doesn't believe me. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I always estimate at least one minute of video editing for each second of final film for normal film projects. If you include shooting, things start going up from there. If you add visual effects - even stop-motion - things get incredibly time-consuming. You can see why professional stop-motion studios - like Wallace and Gromit, by Aardman Animations, estimatedly required about 10 to 24 hours per each second of stop-motion footage - as much as one hour per frame. Naturally, your project complexity is lower than a major motion-picture, but you should still not under-estimate the effort, the time, and particularly pay attention to the workload that is non-parallelizable. Nimur (talk) 19:34, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
For what she wants to do I'm thinking about 1 minute per frame. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:13, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Might I suggest the final scene, where George tells Lennie to think of rabbits, then shoots him ? Very little motion takes place, yet it's quite dramatic, so could give you a lot of bang for the buck. You might need to check if such portrayals of violence are OK with the school, though. I suggest showing them from behind, so you wouldn't see their mouths moving, to reduce the workload dramatically. The sounds of barking dogs from the search party would add to the effect. She could show George slowly raising the gun, and could cut to black, just hearing the sound of the gunshot, at the end. StuRat (talk) 04:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
she has a scene in mind, and it might be that one, since she demonstrated a arm moving down. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:39, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, but you might want to check with her, as she may have a far more ambitious scene (or treatment of that scene) in mind, and might then get discouraged when she sees all the work that's required in order to do it justice. She could also have him raise and lower the gun a couple times, as if he can't quite force himself to do it. This would have the practical benefit of reusing the same frames, so she'd get more motion per frame. StuRat (talk) 07:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
If you are looking for software tools, I suggest "key frame" or "key framing" is a better description that "morphing", e.g. Key_frame#As_applied_to_motion. As others have discussed above, it's not necessarily clear which way will be faster, there are too many variables and decisions. But, if you use some software to fill in between the key frames, then she'll learn another cool technique at the same time :) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Here are a few threads and tutorials I've found dealing with your specific issue [2] [3]. There are reputedly iOS apps that "automagically" do interpolation between frames for you. That might be the easiest bet, if you have an appropriate iProduct and budget. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I've also heard it called "tweening" at least in the case of Flash animation. StuRat (talk) 15:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

ASCII code of ″ ?[edit]

For instance, the article Eiffel Tower gives the tower's coordinates, aka 48°51′29.6″N 2°17′40.2″ or (in the 2nd page, when you've clicked the coordinates) 48° 51′ 29.6″ N, 2° 17′ 40.2″ E . My question is : what is the ASCII code and the Excel code of this character: ″ = a kind of quotation mark (the one I've got on my PC is " which is not the same).

In Excel, my problem is: when I use the function =CODE(″) I get 63 as the answer but when I reverse it, =CAR(63) gives ? and not ″ . Thanks in advance. (talk) 16:07, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I believe the double quote is as close as you will get in 7-bit ASCII codes. Some 8-bit ASCII code pages use character 211 as the closing double quote (with a different character for the opening double quote), so that might work.
I assume you meant CHAR(63), and I guess the problem is that it's using the returned character as a string terminator, which confuses things. Are you forming a string like this:
? If so, try wrapping single quotes around it, like this:
PRINT ' // CHAR(63) // '
or maybe this:
PRINT "'" // CHAR(63) // "'" 
(Fortran syntax, but hopefully similar to Excel). To specify a different character, you'd likely need to go to Unicode instead of ASCII. Does Excel support Unicode ? StuRat (talk) 16:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The characters referenced are the prime (′) and double prime (″) represented as Unicode values 2032 and 2033 (hex) or 8242 and 8243 (decimal). There is no direct equivalents in the 128 character ASCII character set, so the single and double quotes are commonly used as substitutes. In Excel 2013, these characters can be inserted in an expression as =UNICHAR(8242) or =UNICHAR(8243). The codes themselves can be extracted as =UNICODE("′") or =UNICODE("″"). (The latter string literal is a double quote, double prime, double quote sequence.) Earlier versions of Excel do not support the UNICHAR() and UNICODE() functions, but you can still paste unicode characters into a quoted string. The CHAR() function only supports 8-bit characters. Any other characters are first converted to the question mark, which is why =CODE("″") yields a 63. -- Tom N talk/contrib 18:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

There are Wikipedia articles linked from most printable Unicode punctiation: in this case, the info you want is at which redirects to prime (symbol). (talk) 04:50, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

export list of people categorized by some criteria[edit]

Hi, In the previous century Michel Gauquelin created statistics relating people occupation and their zodiac sign. He did this manually, without a computer and Internet. Now we have a wiki and all these data are here. So I'm looking for a way (bot/script) that can export the list of people categorized by their occupation or other criteria + their birth date. I will import this in excel which will calculate the zodiac sign and will draw a nice graphs. Any idea will be good for me. Thanks in advance!

Nikolay — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamezx (talkcontribs) 17:00, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I can't directly answer your question but, rather than reinvent the wheel, you should know there are lots of astrological databases out there already (for example this one, and an astrological forum might be able to recommend one suited to your requirements.--Shantavira|feed me 08:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Mutual friend in facebook[edit]

When I log in to facebook and type fist letter of the person to whom i have sent friend request and is yet to accept the rquest appears his picture and name appears below search box and also " 1 mutual friend " though i have none such presently.What does this mean.When i type an alphabet or a few letters in search box a list around 4 peoples picture appears in list form .How is people you may know list generated. Are they at random ? (talk) 17:59, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Part of it seems to be location. Apparently they assume everyone in the same postal code must know each other. As far as "mutual friend" goes, I assume that means that both you and this guy have a common "friend". StuRat (talk) 18:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
No I have no mutual friends. (talk) 03:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The suggestions I get for "you may know" are friends of friends (that is, they have a mutual friend with me). - Purplewowies (talk) 21:38, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

How to really remove Savings Bull[edit]

A friend of mine got the malware Savings Bull installed on her computer either from installing Skype or visiting a travel website. I have uninstalled it for her and cleaned it from her browsers and uninstalled every program that shows as installed on her computer this year, but it keeps coming back. I followed the online instructions that said to use a command prompt to look for associated files, but was not able to identify any. Does anyone have advice where to look at this point? I rand these instructions, but found nothing I could figure out should be removed at the regedit step: Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 20:40, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

One thing to watch out for is Chrome auto-syncing settings. My wife accidentally installed something she shouldn't have a few days ago, and cleaned it up right away, but some of the less dangerous bits like the home page and search provider change got synced to her account. After logging back in, the settings came back, including on her android tablet. It was easy enough to clean up, but at first it made it look like the infection had come back on her PC even though it was only the browser settings.
What OS is she running? If she has Windows 8, then a system reset is simple and will almost certainly clear it up, but she'll have to reinstall her programs. All of her files will be safe. Katie R (talk) 12:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  • It's Windows Vista. She doesn't use anything other than her browser and a printer. She's an 85 y/o travel agent so her needs are simple. The problem seems to have happened when her d-in-law installed skype. She always does the automatic install and imports a load of crap. Can I do a system reset for her without any risks? μηδείς (talk) 17:58, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
System reset is a Windows 8 feature that makes restoring the OS to its original state without hurting files very simple. Vista doesn't have something like that, but the system probably has a recovery partition that can be used to reinstall the whole system. There is usually some way to tell the system to boot to it at startup, but it varies from system to system. I would just back up any files she needs to a flash drive and try to figure out how to reinstall. The malware can probably be removed some other way, but it probably isn't worth the time to figure it out, especially since it doesn't sound like it will take much to get the fresh system working how she needs it. Just make sure to run Windows Update once you're done. Katie R (talk) 12:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Garage door switch (update and thanks)[edit]


See Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Computing/2014_April_8#Name_that_electric_switch. I got the device to solve this problem, as you guys suggested, and it works great ! I've now disconnected the extension cord I had coming from the garage door light to power all my exterior lights, and I'm powering them from mains power, instead, but still triggered off the power pulled down by the garage door opener and lights (the garage lights are enough to trigger it). Special thanks to Vespine, who came up with the winning suggestion. StuRat (talk) 20:31, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

That's great! It's rare an answer on the help desk actually has a real world application :) Happy I could help.Vespine (talk) 22:57, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe more common here than on other desks. Thanks again ! StuRat (talk) 15:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Topo maps for apps[edit]

If I wanted to make a smartphone app that required topographic data, would there be somewhere that I could get that data for free? I'm basically thinking of lat/long and elevation of various peaks. Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 23:21, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Data from Shuttle RADAR Topography Mission is available at no cost. Nimur (talk) 16:41, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
There is also OpenStreetMap, if it covers the area you are interested in. Looie496 (talk) 17:06, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! Dismas|(talk) 10:42, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

qusquestion SAMP[edit]

Good day, I think you can talk with developers SAMP-A ( And I want to ask, if there are bugs about desynchronization. Us players SAMP say that there is a Bug SAMP about desynchronization , shows that the player under cheat GodMod Here's the video tell me it's a bug or not a bug? is there any such Bugs? Thank you sincerely team administrators Advance RolePlay (project SAMP). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't believe this is a genuine question, it looks like spam, SAMP dot com is some sort of ad website. I don't know how to do the fancy formatting thing, can someone mark or hide this section please? Vespine (talk) 23:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I want detail[edit]

In Windows (7) file and folder listings I prefer to see file size and date information, but somehow something changed so that I see only the file names. How can I change it back? --Halcatalyst (talk) 21:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

There should be a small icon with a black triangle below the title bar at the right. Click on the triangle and select Details. That should do it. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 22:22, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! I would say they did a good job of hiding it in plain sight. --Halcatalyst (talk) 03:39, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

USB 2 device on USB 3 port[edit]

When I plug a USB 2 external drive into a USB 3 port, I was surprised to get 25-40% better performance. Will plugging a USB 2 printer or scanner into a USB 3 port increase the speed the data gets transferred? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 21[edit]

name of power cable[edit]

Is there a name for the type of detachable power cable commonly used in the US for computer and audio/video equipment, with a three-prong plug like the one on the right and the other end is like this and goes into this type of connector? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:23, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

In the UK (with a different plug) it's called a "kettle lead", which led me to IEC 60320 Rojomoke (talk) 05:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
While I can't speak specifically for the UK, kettles from my experience and from my expectation from the standard and as per our article, should generally be C15/C16. That used in computers etc generally C13/C14. A C15 plugged power cord should generally fit and be safely used in a C14 socketed appliance like an ATX PSU, but a C13 plugged cord would generally not fit in a C16 socketed appliance which is by design for safety reasons. So while they may be called kettle leads because the often aren't distinguished, in reality while they are similar to they are not the same as most real kettle leads. BTW, the article on the connector is linked to from the images above as these are used there. Nil Einne (talk) 14:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I had seen references to "IEC cable", and I thought they were referring to this type. But there are a lot of IEC connectors.
I had looked at the IEC 60320 article, but I didn't go down far enough to this IEC 60320#C13/C14 coupler section. Still, they are so common that it seems like there would be a nice name for them. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:22, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

connection to database using php and mysql[edit]

$username = "root";
$password = "tiger";
$hostname = "localhost"; 
//connection to the database
$dbhandle = mysql_connect($hostname, $username, $password) 
  or die("Unable to connect to MySQL");
echo "Connected to MySQL<br>";

i'm trying above piece of code to connect to mysql database but it always shows server error, both of php and mysql are successfully installed and configured. versions are php-5.2.17-Win32-VC6-x86, mysql- any help is cordially welcomed14.139.187.94 (talk) 06:47, 21 April 2014 (UTC).

Formatted the code for you. --Canley (talk) 13:19, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I take it you don't see the "Unable to connect to MySQL" message in the code? Does your php.ini file call the mysql extension (it should include "extension=mysql.dll")? And check if libmysql.dll is in the System32 folder. --Canley (talk) 13:32, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Is the MySQL server actually running? I've wasted a bit of time trying to find similar bugs when mysqld was not running. Running mysql from the command prompt should tell you. Calling phpinfo(); from php should be able to tell you if php and mysql are talking to each other.--Salix alba (talk): 16:50, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

PGP decryption[edit]

When a disk encrypted with PGP is decrypted using the program on the hard drive, it takes a few hours to decrypt a 500GB hard drive. But if there is a drive problem and a recovery disk is used to perform the decryption (the CD can be removed once decryption has started), it takes about 3-4 days. Why is this? Dismas|(talk) 10:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but it's possible that the barebones OS on the recovery CD is limited to one CPU core, or to a slower method of hard drive access. -- BenRG (talk) 05:32, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

samsumg tv volume problem[edit]

My Samsung lcd tv volume is very loud when i turn it on, and a black white rectangle bar appears on the bottom right next to the volume bar and does not go away the volume is over 100 and the bar becomes longer as you turn down the volume till it reaches 100 then it does not change but stays there the whole time i watch the tv, i have tried everything like turning off autovolume, factory reset, removing the power supply for 5 minutes and reset from the secret menu but nothing worked.Please help!!! click here for visual — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't think we can fix your TV remotely. Have you tried the Samsung support website? If that doesn't help you will need to return the TV to your supplier if it's still under warranty, or else take it to a TV repair shop.--Shantavira|feed me 16:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Good to know that you can't fix it remotely, you don't need to be so rude, i was just asking if anything could be done to solve it, or is it in some kind of mode, i don't need your stupid answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

  • User:StuRat may have something helpful to say. You might see if there's a way to reset the TV to factory settings. You can also check, if you have a cable box, to see if you can lower the cable volume, although a 100 output from the TV is still probably going to lead to some distortion. And, of course, call Samsung at the number on your user's manual. BTW, I have a Samsung Plasma, and it is absolutely wonderful, never had any problems, never seen a better picture. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Indeed, I had the EXACT same problem. My big-screen TV behaved as if it was getting the "volume up" signal from the remote, constantly. I solved the problem by creating a FrankenTelevison. I happened to have another small, portable TV with a bad display, but decent audio, so I sent the audio output from my cable box there and the video output continued to go to the big-screen TV. I then had a working setup, with the only inconvenience being that I had to use the portable TV's remote to change the volume.
  • That portable TV later died completely, at which point I sent the audio to a set of $30 standalone speakers (unfortunately they lacked a remote, so I had to turn the volume dial directly on the speakers). Headphones/earbuds might work, too. Also note that even with no audio coming in, I still got an annoying hum coming from the big-screen TV on max volume, which I solved by opening it up and cutting the speaker wires. That shut it up for good. (Be careful when working on a TV, as even after it's unplugged the capacitor can hold a charge, at least in that old CRT model.) (If there's a prize for jury rigging, I'm definitely in the running.)
  • Another option,if you are getting your TV channels from antennas instead of a cable box, is just to use two TV's independently, one crappy TV for audio and your current TV for video. You would then have to change both channels separately to get the audio to match the video, and still might want to cut the speaker wires on the loud TV (I suggest you put electrical tape on the ends). Inconvenient, but it's an option. StuRat (talk) 23:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. Are you using the original TV remote or a universal? Do you also have a cable box/receiver remote that controls the TV volume?
  2. Are any of the remotes RF or are they all IR remotes (if they are IR they'll have that little "eye" on the front that needs to be pointed in the direction of the TV)? Do you have any other RF remotes in the house, like a car remote starter, rf-based alarm system, etc.?
  3. When you reset it and turn it back on, does the volume start lower than 100 and go up or does it always start at 100?
  4. Are the buttons on the tv set responsive (channel/source/maybe even volume)?
I'm having trouble picturing the different on-screen elements and volume levels, but it sure sounds like it thinks its getting a steady supply of the "volume up" signal. Makes me wonder if there's a broken remote somewhere or a broken button on the set. If that were the case it would also account for why the volume bar doesn't go away. --— Rhododendrites talk |  19:05, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I have a universal remote now but the tv had the problem way before i had the universal remote, cable box can turn down only it's own volume but not the Tv's, i have other rf and ir equipments but i doubt they are causing it as the volume is way over 100 from the start up, it does not go up it starts from 100+ and every button on the remote here for visual — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Again that sounds just like my problem. I believe the receiving unit mistakenly thought it was getting a "volume up" signal, even though the remote wasn't sending one. I suppose the proper fix would be to replace that component.
As far as implementing my workaround goes, how is the cable box connected to the TV ? Do you have separate video and audio cables (or the ability to use separate cables, if not currently doing so) ? If so, do you have another device (standalone speakers, radio, another TV, etc.) you can plug the audio into ? It looks like the volume bar will always be on the bottom of your screen, but I assume you can live with that. StuRat (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
It could be the volume up button on the TV. If it's jammed, then it's just a simple mechanical fix. If it seems to click fine, then there may still be an issue with the contacts in the switch itself, or something conductive got in the case and is causing a short near the switch on the circuit board. Katie R (talk) 15:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't know how i can describe my problem clearly, no buttons are stuck, volume works just fine but there's another little volume bar next to the volume bar, the original vol bar goes away like in normal TVs but the tiny guy stays there, it grows longer as i turn down the volume to 100, then stops growing when i turn down the volume from 100.So it's like this i open my tv, it's too loud, i try turning the volume down, i notice the volume is way over 100 (like 200 or something) the second bar appears, it grows as i turn down volume, stops growing after it reaches 100.I have a speaker as part of this media player but the bar still appears even after it is disconnected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 22 April 2014 (UTC) Ok i noticed something when i use the timer to turn on tv during a particular time with set volume, this bar never appears and everything works fine no loud volume nothing, but this method is too much work just to watch a tv. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

If it's new enough, check the user manual to see if there is a firmware update procedure. If your TV has a USB port you can usually download the latest firmware from the manufacturer and install it from a flash drive. Obviously it may not fix the problem, but it's a good place to start when you're having bizarre issues like that. Katie R (talk) 18:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Your diagram was helpful. If I understand your descriptions, the right "bar" stops its leftward growth when the volume number is under 100. Maybe your TV isn't properly erasing the right-most pixels of three-digit volume numbers. To remove the right "bar", try bringing up a full screen menu, then exiting it. This might overwrite the left-behind graphics and then properly erase them.
However, there's still the problem of your TV starting on a loud volume over 100 when you turn it on. When did the problem start? What is the TV supposed to do normally? (Does your TV normally max out at volume 100? Does it normally remember the last volume you used?)
What is the exact model number of your TV? If you search online for the model number, you may be able to find official information about the problem from a Samsung website, or else find out if other people are having the same problem and have any ideas how to solve it. --Bavi H (talk) 02:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

What kind of quality control does open source software have?[edit]

At my job, in order to get code in production, we have these layers of quality control:

1. Developer unit-tests code
2. Second developer does code review
3. QA tester tests the code in our test environment
4. Users test the code in our test environment. QA approval is required before going to the next level.
5. QA tester retests the code in our integration environment.
6. Users retest the code in our integration environment. Both QA and UAT approval is required to go to the next level.
7. Change is presented to the Change Approval Board containing representatives from the development, DBA, QA and infrastructure teams). All coding changes must receive signoff from the board.
8. Immediately after going to production, either QA or users will retest the change. QA/UAT approval is required to keep the changes, otherwise, they will be rolled back.

In addition to the 8 stages of quality control:

9. Developers run automated JSLint code checks.
10. We hire an third-party vendor to perform yearly security penetration tests.

Despite all these checks, most developers don’t think we do enough quality control. We are currently working on adding an 11th layer of quality control using automated testing, and I am recommending to my boss that we use another automated tool (Resharper) for quality control.

My understanding is that open source only has the first two layers and possibly automated testing. Is my understanding correct? AnonComputerGuy (talk) 07:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

It's going to vary from project to project. A lot of small ones are run by one developer, using whatever process they want. Some larger ones are sponsored by corporations that have their own quality processes in place. The Linux kernel is controlled by one person, but tons of devs work on creating and testing updates before they get added. Here's a document describing the Linux kernel patch process: [4] Katie R (talk) 12:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I think a different form of quality control exists in open sourced software. After a programmer writes and tests his code, he submits it and it goes on the list of available additions to the open-source code. Various people download and install it, test it out, and report the results on a wiki they've set up for such a purpose. If it gets good reviews, more people download it, and they might include it in a package with other bits of software that got good reviews. If it gets bad reviews, few people will, and they might even remove it from the list entirely. So, it's like what you'd call customer beta testing. The hope is that more testers will ultimately make for a better product. Also, the time pressure isn't the same with open-source code, so you can spend as long developing and testing as you want, no need to rush out some serious flawed code. StuRat (talk) 15:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Changing new tab default page in Google Chrome[edit]

When I downloaded Yahoo Instant Messenger, it apparently snuck in some crap I don't want. It set Bing to be my default search engine, home page, and the page that pops up when I open a new tab. I was able to fix most of that, but it still comes up, via something called "Conduit", when I open a new tab in Google Chrome. How do I get rid of it, hopefully replacing it with Google ? O/S is Windows 7, 64 bit. StuRat (talk) 13:32, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

It's in: Options - Settings Click on the lines at the top right of the Chrome window to find these. (talk) 14:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I went through the settings, that's how I fixed everything else. But I didn't find a setting for the page you get when you open a new tab. Where is that set ? StuRat (talk) 15:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
You've probably installed some sort of malware. My wife got hit with it a few days ago through a fake Flash update. It also blocked things like system restore and Windows Defender. After removing it (used Win 8 System Reset because we didn't feel like spending time fighting the infection), the home page and search provider settings came back becasue of Chrome's cloud sync, but since the infection was gone she could set it back. Katie R (talk) 14:41, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, it's in Appearance / New Tab. (talk) 08:01, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The Flash Crash- the explanation.[edit]

Hi, Your explanation of the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010 is incorrect. There is no published work to use as a reference because all the answers from professors to media outlets, the sec, etc. are not true. I have sent our material to the sec, many professors, all the media outlets, investigative journalists and they all refuse to get involved. They don't want their government funding, jobs and careers to change. We have the entire explanation of the Flash Crash and the code that caused it. This is the time to clear up this issue. Many of the people who talk about the Flash Crash do not know what caused it and are just repeating what they've been told. It is a beautiful code written by a brilliant programmer.

I don't want to go into details about the code here because it's a public venue and I don't want our material stolen. One more thing, the stock market goes up and down everyday because of this code. The direction of the market is known 4-5 days ahead. The Flash Crash was broadcast to the insiders starting on Tuesday May 4, 2010.

The published papers on the crash are all incorrect and many do not answer the question. I have contacted some of these people and given them my material. Their papers are still on the internet.

I will reveal everything we have. Again we do not know who receives this information but we do know who controls the feed that delivers the code.

James Wales has a requirement on Wikipedia that your material must be backed up by published papers. That idea would be great if the published papers were reviewed by others and allowed to be criticized. It's not easy to get published. You have to know someone, have a PhD or be someone who has a respected position. I can tell you now that by doing that the public doesn't get a chance to question any explanation. If he/she said it it must be true. That's not what a free country is all about.

I look forward to hearing back from all of you. You will not be disappointed. Our documentation of the code is perfect. This information is not our original material. It is not our code so please don't use that as an excuse not to look at what we have. Also if you all don't understand the material then don't let that stop you. It's not baby food. It should be vetted out in the public by many people so the professors and all the others can't hide behind their positions.

Thank you, Patty (talk) 15:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

The place for this is on the talk page for that article. However, I'm skeptical that you can consistently know the direction the market will take 4-5 days in advance, as that day's events will certainly have an effect. StuRat (talk) 16:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia may not be used for telling the world about your company, band, charity, religion or great invention. --ColinFine (talk) 22:46, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Retro-Bit USB joystick still doesn't work on Linux[edit]

I downloaded the fix to the Retro-Bit USB joystick adapter on Linux from this page, but it doesn't work. The module builds OK, but attempting to install it gives errors:

# rmmod ./hid-atari-retrobit.ko; rmmod usbhid; insmod ./hid-atari-retrobit.ko ; modprobe usbhid
Error: Module hid_atari_retrobit is not currently loaded
libkmod: kmod_module_get_holders: could not open '/sys/module/usbhid/holders': No such file or directory
Error: Module usbhid is in use

The readme file talks about testing the joystick with jstest /dev/input/js0, but even though I seem to have the jstest program, no device /dev/input/js0 shows up. The joystick still works like before, I can only move right and down, not left or up. What should I do here? JIP | Talk 15:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Why does Java hate me[edit]

Sometimes I use Java-based software online (e.g. games, and not just from one site). The thing is, it loves to crash. It happens on my desktop (64-bit Windows 7), laptop (32-bit Windows 8), and same desktop when it ran 32-bit Bodhi Linux on a different hard drive. I have used three different web browsers as well (Firefox, Chrome, Midori). All three of the computers use very current hardware. The weakest link in the current desktop setup that I'm writing this from is RAM at 12GB, but that should be far more than enough.

Each time I look for help it tends to involve uninstalling, reinstalling, or updating Java. All of these have been done multiple times so, since the problem has caused me grief for at least 2 years now, this has applied to several versions of Java, including the most recent.

It doesn't always crash, and once in a while I can make it a good 45 minutes to an hour without it happening, but it happens regularly enough to be a pain. I haven't been able to tie it to any other resource heavy programs or processes running at the same time, but it certainly happens more frequently when running more than one Java program.

The only thing I can do is to kill the Java process, close the browser, and reload the page that launches Java (or kill the process of the independent [downloaded] program and relaunch it).

When I run Java with the console open, the console just freezes up, too, without giving me any information.

Ideas appreciated. --— Rhododendrites talk |  17:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

It would significantly narrow down the space of solutions if you can distinguish between two types of crashes: a crash of the Java VM, and an unhandled runtime exception in the Java application or applet. Do you know how to tell these two very different problems apart? Once we know which is occurring, we can help debug your problem.
As an aside, I take mild exception to the question - because Java isn't terrible. Some of the brightest software engineering minds of the 20th century worked to create Java, but when Sun Microsystems became insolvent as a standalone business, those programmers found employment elsewhere; particularly when the Java technology platform was acquired by Oracle. A band of inept marauding hoodlums now occupy the hallowed ground of Sun Microsystems' headquarters, and they didn't even bother to take the sign down - they just painted over it like vandals. James Gosling barely survived for almost six months inside the evil beast, including a near-death experience with a P-51 Mustang, before he realized Google was awful and was killing Java, so he bailed and moved to Hawaii to program robot Java submarines. So, Java may be suffering from bitrot on your operating system, but Java itself is not terrible.
Nimur (talk) 04:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't know. What's the best way to tell the two kinds of crashes apart?
Also, fair enough. :) Heading changed. --— Rhododendrites talk |  05:40, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Is there any desktop enviroment (for linux) without x window?[edit]

Is there any desktop enviroment (for linux) without x windows? (talk) 17:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

See X Window System#Competitors. I believe that Maui is a Linux version with a full-featured desktop environment which does not use X. Unity in Ubuntu will have an option (or default) to not use X in a future release (version 8 of Unity).
It might not be what you were wanting, but Android uses a Linux kernel but not X. There are versions of Android for desktop computers.-gadfium 22:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]


Apropos of this "heartbleed" thing, how can it be that something so critical to the operation of modern society can be left to a group of "11 members, of which 10 are volunteers, with only one full-time employee", with development of critical functionality apparently left in the hands of some random developer, with obviously no proper checking whatsoever? How is it that major companies tolerate using a system developed in such a half-arsed and amateurish way? (talk) 02:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

To be fair, many people use alternative software products to implement secure transport (SSL and its ilk) that were not affected by the CVE-2014-0160 vulnerability. Many commercial operating systems do not use OpenSSL, and those software companies hire their own software teams to implement or integrate alternative versions of the SSL protocol. This obviously does not mean that such software is free of defects; but it's quite a mischaracterization to suggest that the volunteers at the OpenSSL team are the sole provider of this type of service. They are simply the most popular provider of a free software solution. Consider Dropbear, which is also free and open-source software.
OpenSSL is distributed under a license that expressly disclaims liability and states that the software is "as-is" with no guarantee of fitness for any purpose. This isn't just legalese nonsense - it means that any person or company who chooses to use OpenSSL is accepting the fact that its creators are not paid to provide support or to offer liability.
One advantage of commercial software - whether it is free software or not - is that a business arrangement can be made to assign liability. That means that a client can hold the software-provider accountable - and can bill them for financial damages - if the software has a defect.
Commercial software providers who accept such terms would be unwise if they started incorporating software that they can't be accountable for. Software companies hire experts, which categorically means there are more than a small team of volunteers who look over such projects.
As a perfect example: my credit union (in which I have obvious financial stake) performed a full internal audit in the wake of the Heartbleed bug; and they sent me a fantastic summary report replete with technical details. Their computer experts verified that OpenSSL was not ever used on any of our servers; and therefore our financial data was never jeopardized by the CVE-2014-0160 vulnerability. But here's the juice - as client, I don't need to care if my credit union screwed up, or if they used open-source software, or if an open-source-programmer screwed up... because if any of those screw-ups happened, then the finanical institution is liable, and I am insured (it is a federally accredited, NCUA-insured institution). If their misfeasance with software caused my money to get lost, I can legally get my money back.
But, as a stockholder in the union, though, I definitely care that they've done the right thing and taken precautions! I prefer that the credit union follows best-practices, provides transparency and accountability, and minimizes their liability, because that means that our group isn't losing money in the aggregate.
So, in this case, we have accountability at so many layers, from the financial transactions to the software vendor who provides the server infrastructure, all the way to the individual retail-banking-style members. We pool our resources to make sure we have the right technical and legal experts to protect our communal assets. Our credit union doesn't depend on ten or twelve open-source-software volunteers to watch our backs for us. I emphatically hope that everyone else's financial institutions are as diligent and transparent!
Long story short - whoever told you that "the whole world" is banking on ten or twelve volunteer open-source programmers has completely misled you.
Nimur (talk) 03:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Possible software conflicts?[edit]

Can installing an add-on JDK or JRE on Windows 8 cause Microsoft Flight Simulator X to become non-operational? If so, are there any JDK's or JRE's out there that are known NOT to have this effect? Thanks in advance! (talk) 04:53, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


April 19[edit]

What flowers are these?[edit]

the pink and white ones -- (talk) 09:23, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Could they be all white flowers which have been given red dye, at the stem ? StuRat (talk) 10:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
They are carnations, or Dianthus caryophyllus to give them their full name, and some of them look like that naturally. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, no dye used. They have been bred to look like this. (Red and white are natural colours for Dianthus, but this combination does not occur in the wild.) Dbfirs 06:40, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Theme park rides[edit]

Are theme park rides designed by civil or mechanical engineers or both? Clover345 (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

That would be mostly mechanical engineering, but often some civil engineering (and several other disciplines) would be involved. If you read those articles they are fairly clear (though I was surprised to see a picture of the International Space Station in the lead of the civil engineering article).--Shantavira|feed me 10:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Really? I thought most of it would be structural and geotechnical engineering. I can understand the mechanical elements if it being mechanical engineering but what about the track structure, support structure, foundation, ride station etc. Clover345 (talk) 13:24, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Why not perform a case-study? Let's take a look at a project orchestrated by Walt Disney Imagineering from two aspects: the portions of the project under the creative direction of the Disney group; and the portions of the project that are inevitably contracted to other companies.
Wikipedia has thorough articles on about every major theme park attraction: for example, the latest mouse ride.
You can also see what type of people Disney hires: the Disney Imagineering Professional Internships careers page has a lot of openings for ( guessed it...) software, graphics design, business and marketing. There are some openings for the more hard-core engineering disciplines, but those are pretty rare. A recent humor-article on Cracked, 6 Things Nobody Tells You About Working at Disney World, focused on the in-park internships, and provides an interesting insight into the types of work a Disney corporate intern or employee can expect. Once in a while, you might even find something as technical as Animatronics Intern.
So, if Disney has decided to focus on the creative side, somebody else must be engineering and constructing the projects. Possibly the most famous cases are the Monorails at the Disney resorts. Famously, ALWEG engineered and built the first monorail in 1959; and in the 1960s they were replaced by MBB. Disney also operates a cruise line; but as the animation and film industry has little overlap with the operation of a large marine vessel, they subcontract the operation to BAE Systems. I specifically recall the Disney World Skyway at the Florida park; that item was built by Von Roll Holding, an industrial conglomerate that's mostly owned by Bombardier Inc.. Its construction and operational history is plagued by drama, and it has always inspired me to research the conglomerates who build my ski-lifts. (My favorite resort has a huge poster of the commando-looking engineers from Doppelmayr construction firm moving massive construction equipment over cliffs in the Sierra Nevada mountains - you can see some historic photos in their brochure series, Die Welt der Seilbahnen). The recurring theme you might see is that Disney subcontracts the heavy-lifting to major engineering and aerospace conglomerates - groups like BAE and Bechtel and Lockheed. In return, Disney Corporation helps out the defense industry reciprocally by camouflaging aerospace and defense factories so they look like theme parks from the air. But in all seriousness, if you're the sort of person who is attentive to detail, the next time you walk around a Disney-branded theme-park, you might start spotting the not-so-subtle corporate logos of a lot of other companies - particularly, the aerospace and defense supergiants - plastered on the sides of all the mechanical parts of the ride. Most kids are too busy paying attention to the cartoon characters to spot that stuff.
But the reality is, very few corporations have the expertise in the sorts of specialized engineering that a theme-park ride actually requires. Structurally, it requires moving around massive quantities of heavy material and equipment and setting up construction-facilities in remote swampland. This is the sort of thing that military logistics contractors and oil companies excel at: mobilizing the manpower and engineering to construct massive single-purpose projects; over-engineering complex-systems to provide simplicity, safety, and (best-effort)-idiot-proofing.
These corporations hire civil engineers, mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, a wide variety of technicians and experts, and they directly hire (and subcontract) for a large volume of unskilled labor. If you want to work on such a project, you have a better chance applying to, say, Boeing or Schlumberger, than Disney; but you still have to be really talented and lucky and competitive to get assigned to a really cool theme-park project.
Meanwhile, Disney Corporation handles the branding and the marketing, and the "theming" of the park.
If you study major theme parks operated on behalf of other conglomerates, you will probably find the same trends.
Nimur (talk) 17:07, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
thanks for the detailed answer. Wouldn't most parks employ a small engineering team though, maybe within their project management group? Clover345 (talk) 17:41, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I think most theme parks, even the ones owned by companies that do nothing but operate theme parks like Cedar Fair, don't design and build their own rides. Individual parks probably don't have enough new construction on a regular basis to justify a full-time engineering department to design them. But there are several companies that do specialize in theme park rides like Mondial, Bolliger & Mabillard, and Intamin.
As for the original question, I imagine it would depend on the type of ride. For something relatively simple like a conventional roller coaster or river rafting ride, I imagine it would probably be about equal between the mechanical and structural designs. But for more exotic rides like roller coasters launched with linear induction motors and things like this, the mechanical design is probably a little more involved. Mr.Z-man 17:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I imagine that most modern theme park rides also involve a fair bit of electrical engineering and computer engineering for the power, automation, and safety features. shoy (reactions) 13:45, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Innovationin engineering and design[edit]

Do you think all engineering disciplines have just as much scope for innovation as each other? Clover345 (talk) 16:35, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it's reasonable to accept that as a starting position and instead put the onus on arguing that they don't. — Lomn 16:50, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think "innovation" is well-defined or easily-compared, either. It is nearly impossible to provide a total ordering amongst various innovations, so we can't say whether one accomplishment was more innovative than another.
In my experience, "innovative" people need to be generalists who have the ability to quickly become the best specialist on the team. That means you have to be able to become the best at every branch of engineering. Today's problem might be software; tomorrow, it might be glue that isn't sticky enough; and in two weeks, it might be a budget shortfall. Innovation is being able to come up with a new solution that is better than the existing solution, no matter what today's problem is. As my co-worker jokes - "we're software engineers, which is why we have so many oscilloscopes." Nimur (talk) 17:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I would think that in some engineering fields, it's innovate or fail, like consumer electronics, while other engineering fields are far more conservative, like civil engineering, since a new bridge design which collapses because it wasn't completely understood will cause massive lawsuits. See Tacoma Narrows Bridge (1940).
Airplane design is a field where you might think innovation would be needed, but innovations in that field often cause crashes, due to unknown forces and processes, like supersonic flight (turbulence and sonic booms), rectangular windows (force concentration and metal fatigue), composite materials (delamination), and lithium batteries (flammability). Of course, some innovation is needed, but everything needs to be thoroughly tested before it goes into production there, so being conservative makes sense in aeronautics. An exception might be for unmanned vehicles, where accidents are less likely to cause deaths. StuRat (talk) 19:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
So would you say there's more innovation in engineering research than in engineering practice? And what about computer science? Is there innovation in that? Clover345 (talk) 16:26, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes to both, although some areas, like consumer electronics, have a lot of innovation in practice, as well. Some areas of computer science are pretty well set, like database design, while others, like microchip design, are very innovative fields. StuRat (talk) 16:38, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

LED bulbs and inteference[edit]

Do LED lamps produce interference they way CFCs do? The article doesn't say anything about it, so I assume that they don't. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

CFCs usually refer to an unrelated chemical. Are you sure you don't mean CFL, as in compact fluorescent lamp ? Nimur (talk) 19:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I meant CFL. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:02, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
So, who you got winning the Grey Cup this year? --Jayron32 22:28, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, LED bulbs can produce electromagnetic interference. The references I have found (here, here, and here, to start) suggest that this comes from the power circuits driving the LEDs, rather than from the LEDs themselves. There seems to be some wide variance in EMI produced by LED bulbs depending on the type and the manufacturer. - EronTalk 19:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm getting terrible interference on my electric guitar. Most of the bulbs in our house are CFLs. Some are incandescent and some are LEDs. I'm replacing CFLs by LEDs as they go bad. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
You may be getting that interference over the power line, not RF through the air. I experimented with a strat with single-coil pickups, walking around with it hooked up to an iPod via iRig (so there's no ground loop or other mains connection at all) and I can only get an audible buzz when the pickup is < 10cm from the CF bulb's base. With most light fittings, I can't get the pickups close enough to the source of noise for any buzz to be evident. Instead of the expensive business of changing out the bulbs, you might like to first look at eliminating ground loops and, if that's not enough, install a power conditioner in front of the amp. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 10:41, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I'd go with Finlay McWalte to look at ground loops first. But a word of warning. Some guitarists, having got rid of interference, have then dropped dead the moment they grab hold of the mic (which in my day had chromium plated metal grip and driven by a separate amplifier). Run your problem by a qualified electrician who will know about Z's (simplest way I can put it). If he likes your genre, it won't cost you nothing and may save your life. Also, some stages have power sockets from three different phases. An electrical fault in your equipment can result in lethal voltages between equipment which may be plunged in to different sockets. Modern regulations endeavour to prevent this, but for example: Australians can still plug a hair drier into a socket in their bathroom because the regulators don't believe that their citizens would be so daft as to dry their hair whilst sitting in the bath. Hum. Most Australians I've met are far from daft – but I did say 'most'. So, I think you would be better off genned up on ground loop so that you know how to inform and describe to an electrician your issue.--Aspro (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
But isn't Australia better off without those people who see no problem in bathing with their hair dryers ? :-) StuRat (talk) 04:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Eliminating ground loops in house circuits is not a good idea. Most electricians won't know what it is and most residential codes do not allow isolated grounds. Hospital grade outlets and dedicated circuits are really the only foolproof way to eliminate ground loops in power lines. If you still have noise with an isolated circuit, the next step would be to see if the chassis ground can be isolated from circuitry ground. That prevents the neutral/earth ground loop. Do not ever float the chassis to eliminate the noise as it must be tied to earth ground. Noise from CFL's can be propagated on the power line and across transformers so air distance is not very important (X10 and other high freq data is propagated on power lines as well). --DHeyward (talk) 03:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Power factor ?[edit]

CFL's seem to create some type of weird problem with the power factor or some such thing, which I've observed when I put them on the same circuit with a regular fluorescent light, all triggered by a motion detector. The lights wouldn't start until I added an incandescent bulb to the circuit, too. I wonder if LED lights also have this problem, or if they would work like an incandescent and smooth everything out ? StuRat (talk) 19:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

The motion detector is probably trying to bleed through a small current through the CFL to operate itself, so it may need a lower resistance item in the circuit to work. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:40, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
So do CFLs have high resistance, until they turn on, then drop to low resistance ? And would LEDs exhibit this behavior, too, or behave like incandescents ? StuRat (talk) 21:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, CFLs do have a high resistance at first because enough power has to be put into them to get the gas inside to fluoresce. Once the gas is fluorescing, then the resistance goes down. That is one of the problems (only one?) in getting CFLs to dim. LEDs can and do dim depending on the power that they are supplied, so I would expect them to allow a certain amount of power through without any observable light. Dismas|(talk) 03:01, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. So dimmable CFLs should work then, too ? StuRat (talk) 03:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Good luck. Dimmable CFLs don't even work with all dimmers (I know, because I have one). As for LED's, It would seem to depend on the circuitry used for lighting but they can have ballasts, too, and that circuit combined with the motion sensor circuit would determine how "on" is achieved. --DHeyward (talk) 03:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Yottabytes stored in all servers worldwide?[edit]

Does of you have any reliable information on how many bytes of data (ranging from text to movies) are stored in all the servers worldwide? One server alone in Utah is said to be able to store 1 yottabyte of data. (talk) 21:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Wired handwavily estimated that NSA's Utah Data Center could "handle yottabytes" (where "handle" does mean "store"), but Forbes estimated (with slightly less guessing, but still lots and lots) that it could store "3 and 12 exabytes", much less than a yottabyte. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:44, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
"Handle" might mean "process". So, they might well process 1 yottabyte of data in a year, but only decide 3 and 12 exabytes of it is worth storing. StuRat (talk) 00:51, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Grr, I meant to write "Handle" does not mean "store". -- Finlay McWalterTalk 08:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

But are there any data how many bytes of data of humankind ranging from private data to govern databases are currently stored in the servers of the world, meaning the sum of all data produced by humankind since inception of data gathering? (talk) 07:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Our articles on Exabyte and Zettabyte have better information than Yottabyte. Dbfirs 07:17, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
No. Companies tend to keep that kind of thing secret. We can place some limits based on the number of hard drives sold. That suggests a few tens of Exabytes at most.©Geni (talk) 10:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
That's only data stored online, though (meaning "quickly retrievable", not "Internet accessible"). The amount of data archived on tape may be orders of magnitude higher. "The sum of all data produced by humankind" would be still larger, since a lot of it has been lost. For example, the Large Hadron Collider's detectors produce about one petabyte per second of raw data, which would fill the entire world's supply of online storage in a matter of hours. The vast majority of it is discarded without ever being written to disk (they try to keep the most interesting events). -- BenRG (talk) 00:46, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Replacing harmful flora with innocuous flora as a cure[edit]

You have probably already heard of people with colitis being treated by cleansing their intestinal tract and then deliberately repopulating it with a collection of different organisms, usually obtained from a healthy individual. It made me wonder about other ailments that arise from a disturbance in flora. For instance there's a suggested relationship between certain species of Malassezia (a yeast) and dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis and related skin disorders. Would it not be a good idea to try to cleanse the skin and then supplant those yeasts with less problematic ones? The same with acne, too. When I was a spotty kid, I got some sort of infection in the corner of my mouth which was easily treated with an antibiotic cream and didn't come back. The cream also reduced my spots but they came back after discontinuation of that cream. Maybe if I'd replaced the bacteria with a type that didn't have any involvement in acne, I'd have been "cured". I'm reckoning there are other afflictions that could be handled similarly but can't think of any at the moment. Do my suggestions make sense or is there a flaw I'm not seeing? I guess obtaining the alternative flora in appropriate ratios might be difficult. I know those "good bacteria" yoghurts are a crock because they don't represent the variety of bacteria in a healthy intestinal tract. -- (talk) 22:52, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

The difference is that you can control which organism enter your intestines more easily than the bacteria which contact your skin. But, in areas where the person can control what goes in and out, your suggestion does make sense. For example, vaginal yeast infections could be controlled by introducing "good" organisms. (Douching seems to be the cause of many yeast infections, because it removes those good organisms.) StuRat (talk) 23:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The last sentence might be incorrect but was based in the fact that there are hundreds of species of bacteria in the healthy gut and there are less than 20 in probiotic yoghurt. Finding sources for how many different yoghurts contain is proving difficult. I've only found two sources so far. "It has three times the amount of probiotics that are in yogurt. This is because of the fact that in order to ferment a milk with kefir, 10 to 20 different types of probiotic bacteria and yeasts should be mixed" "A popular brand called Lifeway has 12 species or cultures." (talk) 01:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
It's possible that only a few are often lost from the intestines, and in need or replenishment. StuRat (talk) 03:03, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

The reason your acne came back was because it's etiology is more complex than a simple bacterial infection (it is caused initially by hormonal changes) and the treatment didn't last long enough. It usually takes a number of months to clear it up. see [5]. Richerman (talk) 09:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

If it's called cardiac arrest when the heart suddenly stops...[edit]

...what's it called when the brain suddenly stops? Ac05number1 (talk) 02:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Brain death. Dismas|(talk) 02:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Even in total brain death, parts of the brain, like the brain stem, may remain active. StuRat (talk) 02:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
That's not correct. See brain death#Medical criteria. Looie496 (talk) 13:26, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it stops suddenly. The heart doesn't usually completely stop all at once either, just parts of it stop or pump out of sequence. StuRat (talk) 02:57, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • In some contexts, where a "cardiac arrest" is called a "heart attack", a Stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack". --Jayron32 03:06, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Why does the term "cerebral arrest" not exist? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:34, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
There's no accounting for the quirks of English. But consider this: The term "arrest" means to stop.[6] It occurs to me that the term "arrest" in any context usually refers to a sudden or swift action - like it's either beating or it isn't. In the case of the heart, if it stops beating it's pretty obvious just from listening to the chest. The brain doesn't "beat" like the heart does. It requires medical equipment to detect its activity, or lack thereof. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:46, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Cerebral arrests are the Thought Police's job. —Tamfang (talk) 08:44, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Cool. I'm sometimes tempted to make a citizen's cerebral arrest. Of course, in my particular case, it would be a cerebral citizen's arrest.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 09:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • "Cardiac arrest" means that the heart suddenly stops pumping blood, but in almost every case the individual muscle fibers continue to contract for a while. What happens is that they lose their global synchrony, resulting in fibrillation. The most directly analogous phenomenon in the brain is an epileptic seizure. Those are rarely fatal, though, because they eventually end and don't cause the heart to stop. Breathing may stop for a while, but it usually resumes after the seizure ends. Looie496 (talk) 13:21, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes but the brain can also go into a loop vis avis BB. (talk) 00:47, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The end of LADEE[edit]

From IB Times: "Before LADEE crashed into the lunar surface, the spacecraft reached speeds of 3,600 miles per hour, and it most likely broke apart before impact."

What could cause LADEE to break up before impact? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:24, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I can think of two reasons why a plunging satellite might break up, but neither seems strong enough on the Moon to have that effect:
1) Hitting the atmosphere. The Moon has a very thin atmosphere, so even at 3600 mph, this doesn't seem likely to cause it to break up, to me, even considering that the satellite isn't designed to withstand re-entry.
2) Tidal effects. Here the near side of the object is pulled more than the far side. This caused Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 to break up before it hit Jupiter. But, the Moon's gravity is far less than Jupiter's, so this seems unlikely. StuRat (talk) 07:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but it had been orbiting only about 1 mile above the surface for a while, without breaking up. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 08:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I think it's just an error by the IB Times. The NASA press release says it broke up "during impact". -- BenRG (talk) 08:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Probably. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 08:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think either knows for sure. I suspect it loses stability in flight and begins cartwheeling. The centrifugal force rips it apart. --DHeyward (talk) 15:39, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

What strain/breed of Columbia livia/Columbia livia domestica is the common white dove?[edit]

I have a problem with the so-called white doves (it's Easter day, after all... happy Easter to everyone!). This article says the most common strain of white doves is the Stielbacht, a breed or strain that does not apperar in this list. Should it be added or is it something different from a proper breed?--Carnby (talk) 10:04, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

It's not Columbia, but Columba, which is mentioned.
Resolved? - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:03, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Nodal loads on shear and moment diagrams[edit]

How do you represent nodal loads on shear and moment diagrams. As far as I know, these diagrams, always start and end at 0. So if for example, a simply supported beam has a uniform load on it but also a nodal load on 1 support. How do you factor this in? If I simply draw the uniform load on the diagrams and then put in the nodal load, the diagrams wouldn't end at 0 and hence the beam wouldn't be in equilibrium. Clover345 (talk) 14:35, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Do I need to perform a HIV test?[edit]

For more than a year, I have been having my hair cut at a nearby barber shop (around 10+ times). The barber always cuts my chin when shaving, maybe because my beard is hard. He used his fingers cleaning the blood, and I did not notice it until recently. I have 2 flus, 1 at the time being, and 1 long ago I cannot remember. 3 months ago I had a muscle pain in my left leg which lasted for nearly 2 months. I felt extreme pain when I stretched my leg or performed a high kick. Currently it has not fully gone, but is negligible. I am 25, healthy. I don't care much about the flus, but the leg pain was really unusual.

Although I got cut many times, I know the risk is very small. The number of HIV infected people going to the same barber shop is small, the number of people getting cut is small, the chance between 2 bleeding people is small. But I am still worry about my unusual leg pain. Are there many causes for such pain? I do not really want to take a HIV test because of the discriminations. People here consider only those with social issues (drug, have sex with prostitutes, etc...) are vulnerable to the disease and need such kind of test. -- (talk) 14:39, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

We cannot give you medical advice or diagnosis. See your doctor (and change your barber).--Shantavira|feed me 14:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
For the benefit of other respondents, the IP geolocates to Vietnam (technically Hanoi, but I have doubts Vietnamese geolocation is that accurate). Nil Einne (talk) 16:25, 20 April 2014 (UTC) - Be careful when looking for these kinds of things on the Internet; many people answer confidently without knowing what they're talking about and it's very easy to get bad information. Most doctors will not give definitive answers to these kinds of questions over the internet, nevermind us non-doctors, so as already stated we cannot give medical advice here. If you've not seen them already, there's an article on HIV/AIDS tagged as "good article" (high quality) as well as on Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. The US government has a website for HIV/AIDS information that might be useful ( and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation also operates in Vietnam, offering various services including testing. But it would be best to just call your local doctor who would be best able to point you in the right directions and answer questions you have. --— Rhododendrites talk |  17:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Is the stigma or social discrimination attached to merely taking the HIV test, or to failing the test? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:39, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
It is apply to both those who apply the test, and those who are HIV-positive, although the latter being worse. The stigma even comes from your beloved relatives. I had a drugged cousin who died of this disease around 10 years ago. My uncle (his father) sent him to a drug treatment camp, only for him to be beaten badly by others. Other relatives, including my parents, did not give him any concerns. No treatment was given, and he died when he was at my age, 5 years after the infection. Sad story. I think I will have an anonymous test in the next few months anyway, although I highly doubt if I am really in trouble with this cursed disease. -- (talk) 12:20, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Acacia motteana and Acacia podalyriifolia[edit]

I have read that Acacia motteana and Acacia podalyriifolia are two names for the same species. Do you know if it's true?--Carnby (talk) 14:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

This page says so - assuming that "sin." means "synonym". I couldn't find the use of A. motteana on any English language website. Alansplodge (talk) 22:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Revision strategy[edit]

How do you revise for physics exams? Past papers and example questions? Do you have to time yourself? I find it too hard to time unless I've done every type of question possible which isn't always feasible as there's too many possible types. (talk) 16:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Your tutor will be able to guide you better than we can. Every course has a syllabus, and you will be asked questions on what you have covered from the syllabus. Your tutor will tell you whether there will be multiple choice questions on the paper, and how to complete the paper if there is. He/she will also be able to provide you with past papers. You only need to revise what is on the syllabus. --TammyMoet (talk) 18:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, your teacher will be the best guide, because we don't know what exam or syllabus you are studying for, but past papers are an excellent way to revise , provided that they are on the same syllabus as your exam. Understanding is more important than timing, but it would be useful to try an occasional times paper just to check that you are not working too slowly. Have you not done a "mock" paper? Dbfirs 20:27, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Read and re read your notes whilst subjecting yuorself to physical pain such as sitting on your leg. In this way, the knowledge will embed itself in your brain. (talk) 00:21, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I made it a point to perform all my studying for the Private Pilot Knowledge Test using only my cockpit kneeboard as my writing surface, and occasionally studying in unusual attitudes... because if I could perform well in those conditions, I could ace the written test in normal desk conditions. Quoting an archived newsletter, "...Quality unusual attitude training creates a unique environment in which to learn how to override the potentially debilitating mental inertia that accompanies the normal shock of an unexpected loss of control." As physics written tests go, this exam was one of the easiest I've had to endure, but I also spent more time studying for it than any previous exam I had taken. Nimur (talk) 21:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Is "revision" British English for studying ? StuRat (talk) 22:46, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Think of re-vision as re-viewing. -- (talk) 23:01, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Seems potentially confusing, where "note revision" could either mean modifying your notes or studying them. StuRat (talk) 23:11, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, potentially confusing to American readers, but not in the UK where I used to re-write my notes (onto small cards that I carried round with me to look at in boring moments) as part of my revision (studying, reviewing) for exams. This British sense of the verb to revise is restricted to education, but has been in use since 1886 (first unambiguous usage with this sense in The Lancet). It's sense 3 in Wiktionary, marked as UK, Australia, New Zealand. Dbfirs 09:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


compare the limit resolution of air and oil — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. --Jayron32 19:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
We have articles on both Oil immersion and Water immersion objective. Personally speaking, my objectives seem to improve when I am immersed in a good Single malt whisky. Hope this helps.--Aspro (talk) 22:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
But even macroscopic details become blurry after a while. DMacks (talk) 02:59, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Location of the big bang and size of the universe[edit]

The observable universe is centred on Earth and it's unknown how big the universe is with some saying that it's infinite. I have a couple of questions, though I imagine you guys will have to correct me on a lot.

I see in the news every so often that new and improved telescopes have revealed how the very early universe took shape after the big bang. Does that mean in the observable universe we can see or almost see the location of the big bang and the very first galaxies?

The universe was only 630 million years old when GRB 090423 exploded and it took 13 billion years for that light to reach us. Similar to the above question, since we know GRB's location and how long is ago it exploded (relevant because everything is moving away from the big bang), doesn't that give us some clue as to the size of the universe and the location of the big bang? And would the location of the big bang be the centre of the universe, roughly, as everything in the universes exploded outwards from that location? Thanks, (talk) 18:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I know that the universe was just a small ball then it got much larger when the big bang occurred, like a balloon, so my question of location is whether the small ball expanded uniformly and so our knowledge of the early galaxies mean we know where the centre is and the length of time it took for that light to reach us mean we can guess the size of the universe. (talk) 18:35, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

The usual analogy used for the young is to imagine the universe as the surface of a balloon. Draw a load of galaxies on a deflated balloon, then inflate it. The galaxies move further apart, but none of them are the centre. There is no location where the big bang started. The galaxies are not expanding away from the centre, they are expanding away from each other. There is no centre. The big bang wasn't an explosion of matter into space: it is the beginning of time and space as we know it, and space expands like the surface of a balloon.
This is exactly the right question for you to ask, to find out more about the big bang. So, well done. (talk) 19:12, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I see, thanks. So does GRB 090423's (former) location give us some clue as to the size of the universe? I imagine at 630 million years, the universe was much closer together/smaller than it is now. (talk) 20:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily. We have some sense for the size of the observable universe, which includes ALL parts of the universe we can get ANY information about. Since the universe is actually larger than what we can observe, and by definition what we cannot observe we have no information about, we can only speculate about the actual size of the entire universe. You may find good reading at Universe#Size, age, contents, structure, and laws and Shape of the universe. The first section starts with the sentence "The size of the Universe is unknown; it may be infinite." That's about all we can say. --Jayron32 20:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, I read that because everything is moving further away there are some stars that we'll never see because the light can't reach us. With better telescopes would that change? (talk) 20:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Telescopes can only capture light that we get; if the light never gets here, no matter how good our telescopes, we'll never see it.--Jayron32 20:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Future horizon explains this at little more.--Aspro (talk) 21:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The crucial point is that the universe is (or seems to be) homogeneous. This implies that there's no place where the big bang happened, and relics of the big bang (such as the CMBR) fill the universe uniformly. The matter that emitted the CMBR that we see now is now a certain distance away, and in that sense we're seeing faraway objects when we see the CMBR, but if we were somewhere else in the universe we would see similar CMBR from a different set of objects at the appropriate distance from that location. -- BenRG (talk) 01:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
(EC) The closest thing to the Big Bang that it's possible to see is the last scattering surface, which existed around the time of the recombination, about 378,000 years after the Big Bang. It isn't possible to see anything that existed earlier than that time because before that time, the universe was so dense that it was opaque. The light from that last scattering surface is called the cosmic microwave background, which we can still detect. But the cosmic microwave background comes to us from all directions equally, instead of coming from one particular direction, due to the expansion of the universe being an expansion of space itself, not an expansion of the universe into previously empty space outside of the universe. I.e., there is no direction that points toward the Big Bang, except that if you count time as a "direction", then the direction that points toward the Big Bang is "backwards in time". That perspective of "backwards in time" being very much like a "direction" is a standard perspective in Einstein's theory of relativity. Red Act (talk) 01:30, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, if you have the math for it (I don't, but someone might) Minkowski space would be a useful read. --Jayron32 02:15, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
"Dense" isn't quite the right word; as per the name "recombination", the universe was hot enough prior to that time that it was a plasma and thus (more) opaque to radiation. (Pressure ionization does occur, but not at densities 10-20 that of water like at recombination.) --Tardis (talk) 02:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Point taken. I have struck out the problematic phrase. Red Act (talk) 05:50, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

does anything not sink to the ocean floor?[edit]

does anything not sink to the ocean floor? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wilburlou544 (talkcontribs) 22:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, any object with a lower average density than seawater (about 1.025 grams per milliliter) will float. The volume used in determining that "average density" includes any volume of air that's unable to be replaced by water; see Archimedes' principle and buoyancy. Red Act (talk) 23:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
See Great Pacific garbage patch for an awful example... OttawaAC (talk) 01:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
An interesting variation on the OPs question (and possibly what they meant to ask): is there anything that will sink in water but not ultimately come to rest on the seafloor? I.e., something that will stop falling at a certain point and just sort of float about 20,000 feet down (or whatever). The answer to that question is also yes, and buoyancy is again the reason. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:23, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The density of seawater is only a few percent more at the floor of the ocean than at the surface, due to the low compressibility of water, so the large majority of objects will either sink to the ocean floor or float. But yes, there do exist objects that have a density within the necessary range to maintain an intermediate elevation. For objects in or around that density range, the compressibility of the object would be an important consideration, too, i.e., the density of the object is going to change some depending on how deep it is, too, due to the pressure of the surrounding water. Red Act (talk) 03:41, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I interpreted this Q differently: "Is there any living sea creature, which, when dead, won't eventually sink to the ocean floor ?". In this case I'd say that the decomposition process will eventually reduce the organism to microscopic floating particles and a portion which sinks, such as bones. StuRat (talk) 22:50, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Just because it's relevant and awesome, behold the recently discovered Osedax. Also relevant is marine snow. SemanticMantis (talk) 00:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I think the giant isopods at those whale falls are even cooler. StuRat (talk) 01:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
My guess was that the question was about flight 370. Red Act (talk) 00:10, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 21[edit]

Bazhin Gap[edit]

In the Nanga Parbat there is a high altitude gap/saddle called "Bazhin Gap". What does "Bazhin" refer to? Local dialect? A name of a person? The expression seems to be mentioned for the first time in the 1930ies. Any lead is appreciated. GEEZERnil nisi bene 10:18, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Probably a person. Note that there is also a "Bazhin Glacier" nearby. Looie496 (talk) 14:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

don't put warm food in fridge?[edit]

I had some leftovers that I was going to save in the fridge, but my mom says don't do that since they are still warm. I'm supposed to leave them on the counter til they reach room temperature before refrigerating. She says the same thing when we buy warm stuff from the store. What's the issue here? Does the quicker temperature change mess up the food in some way? Does putting the warm stuff (just an unfinished meal, not anything large) in the fridge temporarily warm up the fridge interior enough to speed the spoilage of other food in the fridge? Or is the whole thing just silly? Thanks. (talk) 19:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

"Make sure food has cooled down before you put it in the fridge," says Philippa Hudson, senior lecturer in food safety at Bournemouth University.
"If the food is still hot it will raise the temperature in the fridge, which isn't safe as it can promote bacterial growth." [7] (talk) 20:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
See also Danger zone (food safety). If you place an overhot item in the fridge, you increase the chance of raising the temperature of all of the other food around it to temperatures that promote unhealthy bacterial growth. --Jayron32 20:12, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says "Hot food can be placed directly in the refrigerator or it can be rapidly chilled in an ice or cold water bath before refrigerating."[8] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says "Leftovers … need to be refrigerated or frozen within two hours … . Despite what some people believe, putting hot food in the refrigerator doesn't harm the appliance."[9] The Washington State Department of Health labels the idea that you shouldn't put hot foods in the fridge a "myth", and says "Hot food can be placed in the refrigerator."[10] Red Act (talk) 20:24, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I do wonder if there are climate and cultural differences. The stereotype is that Americans have larger, more powerful fridges than Britons: I know that I have watched the temperature in my fridge rise out of the safe zone, when I have overloaded it. And American food safety advice I have seen seems to assume a much warmer environment than British food safety advice: perhaps in line with the jokes about room temperature being laughably unrealistic in British labs. And every bit of American advice which claims it is a myth, that I have seen, also has a note about if you left the food to cool and forgot about it for hours, which perhaps shows the motive for the advice. This would explain why the official governmental advice from the NHS, supported by expert advice, is to allow food to cool before putting it in the fridge, whereas the official governmental advice in America is to not worry about that. (talk) 20:31, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd say it depends. If you have a powerful, almost empty fridge, containing food that doesn't really need refrigeration anyway (like fruit), and the food you want to put in isn't all that hot, but might tend to spoil quickly, then go for it. On the other hand, if it's very hot, doesn't need refrigeration all that much, and you will need to cram it in right next to some foods that really need to be properly refrigerated (like egg salad), and your fridge can barely keep up with what's already in it, then wait. StuRat (talk) 22:57, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I see. At least this identifies the issue, of warm food in the fridge transferring heat to other food. Of course letting the warm food sit outside the fridge probably attracts even more bacteria, but whatever. (talk) 01:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

  • This really depends on the food and circumstances. Soup in a pot with a lid that forms a seal can be brought to a boil and served, then left on the stove with the lid closed, be removed from heat, and let cool overnight. As long as the lid is not removed and the stock was boiling it is sterile. Leaving out uncovered eggs or dairy to cool is foolish. Bacterial growth is normally most rapid around body temperature. The worst thing to do is to let food sit warm. It's an easy way to get you restaurant shut down. Food should be under 40 or over 140F. If your fridge is from the 1940's a warm pot might be a problem, but letting a newer model run to cool the food is better than kidney failure. μηδείς (talk) 02:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


I have read the article on hypoxia, but it did not answer my questions. What are the cumulative effects of marginal hypoxia? What would the main symptoms be? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not an expert on hypoxia, but I suppose drowsiness and fatigue would be two of the most likely symptoms/effects. FWiW (talk) 05:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Rust treatment[edit]

Rust treat 1.JPG
Rust treat 2.JPG
Rust treat 3.JPG

Steel gasoline (UK: petrol) tanks of cars and motorcycles that have internal rust are difficult to clean, access is only via by small openings and most of the inner surface is out of sight. Vinegar which is mainly dilute Acetic acid is suggested in online videos as a rust remover so I experimented by letting the head of a rusty screw soak overnight in a teaspoonful of concentrated "Vinegar Essence 35%" which is cheap (and is probably safer than an industrial chemical such as phosphoric acid). The pictures show my results which are promising. The questions are:

  1. Surface rust on the screw has blossomed into a powdery scale (center pic). This happens above the submerged part of the screw. I suppose capillary action and/or a reaction in air occur. Can anyone explain what chemical reaction is likely here?
  2. The converted rust could be washed off with warm water (right pic). The bolt head is now almost rust free, and I can repeat the treatment. But in the case of a fuel tank I suspect the acid etched surface will be prone to rust again quickly. My question is what is a good way to finish the vinegar treatment? I am considering alternatives such as rinsing with Kerosene, Gasoline or with dilute caustic soda ? JustAnotherUploader (talk) 23:50, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm wondering if it makes economic sense to try to remove rust from a gas tank, instead of replacing it. To remove the rust you will have to remove the gas tank (which is quite a job, in the case of a car), drain it, then use quite a bit of whatever rust removing agent you decide on, then rinse that, then coat it with a large quantity of some type of anti-rust treatment, then maybe let it cure for a while, then rinse again, dry all the water out, then re-install. The labor and other costs of all this sounds like it would exceed that of a new tank (or maybe a used one from a junkyard). Perhaps an exception might exist for old tanks for which no replacement can be found, or when you need to keep the original parts intact in a classic vehicle. StuRat (talk) 01:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I have to agree with Stu. Have a professional replace the tank. The last thing you need is rust particles flowing upstream into the engineworks. Pennywise, poundfoolish. μηδείς (talk) 02:40, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

Which covalent bonds are broken in DNA cleavage by nucleases?[edit]

When DNA is cleaved by restriction endonucleases, meganucleases, engineered zinc finger nucleases/TALENs or Cas9 which covalent bonds are broken? Are they different for each type and if so, does that affect the repair mechanisms? -- (talk) 00:47, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I suggest you read the first sentence in nuclease, and our article on DNA. There is only one bond to be cleaved in DNA. Fgf10 (talk) 07:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I think I can see five potential bonds that could be cleaved. What makes you so sure that all enzymes cleave cleanly at that point? -- (talk) 10:58, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Only likely (from a chemical standpoint) possibilities, given we are talking about the phosphodiester bonds of the backbone linkage, are the two P–O (those O being the 3' and 5' on the adjacent deoxyribose parts of the two DNA residues). The two O–C are comparatively harder to break. And the C5'–C4' is not at all fragile. The question of "which P–O" is a reasonable one. Assuming the phosphate remains attached to one of the two DNA residues, does it stay with 3' (breaking off the next one's 5') or vice versa? DMacks (talk) 14:56, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I think it's going to be a while before I can answer my own question. I know that some of the enzymes form covalent bonds with the DNA which are then broken. Also, since the restriction endonucleases, Cas9 and the business ends of ZFNs and TALENs all derive from an evolutionary need to protect bacteria from invading phage and plasmids, I think it stands to reason that the DNA might be cleaved in such a way that it couldn't easily be ligated back together. I don't know nearly as much as I'd like to about DNA repair. Some day... (talk) 19:46, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Rotary cannon and super capacitors[edit]

The M61 Vulcan compared to the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23 has a slower rate of fire and has a slower "spin up" time. The article says this is due to the GSh-6-23 using a gas operating system instead of an electrical system to cycle the weapon. I was wondering if a rotary cannon were powered by super capacitors, would they have more power, and therefore spin up faster and have a rate of fire comparable to the gas operating rotary cannon? Also on a related note, would super capacitors grant electric cars greater acceleration? ScienceApe (talk) 00:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that you are not on the right track. The reason the electrical system would be "slower" I doubt is because of the power delivery, which is probably from the vehicle. It seem far more likely to me that it is a synchronization or motor speed issue, there’s also heat dissipation and many other factors to consider. These guns are designed with many specifications in mind, including weight, cost and serviceability, not just “rate of fire”. No doubt you COULD make a faster firing, electrically powered rotary cannon, could you do it with super capacitors? I don’t really see why you’d bother, there are perfectly serviceable high speed motors, I don’t think power delivery is the limiting factor there. As for cars, power delivery ‘’might’’ be a factor, but no doubt weight and cost are also, and I don’t think electric cars have a problem with acceleration, the major problem for electric cars is range, so weight plays a more important factor. Vespine (talk) 02:17, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Have a read of the applications section of the Supercapacitor article, if you haven't already. You'll get a good idea of the kinds of situations supercapacitors are being used in, they generally supplement systems where batteries are already used or only small amounts of power are required. They might be used in electric cars, but it would be more to save the batteries from spikes in current drain which could reduce their (usually expensive) life, rather then to "supercharge" the acceleration or anything like that. Vespine (talk) 02:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Right, as for electric cars, I would guess that the acceleration is actually limited by the computer to act more like a traditional gas-powered car. In a conventional internal combustion engine, torque increases with engine RPM and will eventually decrease at even higher RPMs (see Power band), hence the need for transmissions with multiple gear ratios. This isn't the case with electric motors. Electric motors can produce maximum torque instantly. So the actual acceleration is probably limited to keep people from doing a burnout every time they tap the accelerator. Though they certainly can if you want, the Tesla Model S has a 0-60 time of ~4 seconds, comparable to a Corvette. And then there's the EV-converted 1972 Datsun that can do it under 2 seconds, comparable to an F1 car.
Another benefit to using supercapacitors in vehicles though is their short charge time. They can be fully charged in minutes rather than hours. So for vehicles that stop a lot at predictable locations for short periods of time like buses, you can build electric vehicles that can run all day without needing continuous overhead wires like a trolleybus. Mr.Z-man 03:34, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Why does the gas operated rotary canon fire faster/faster spin up time? Isn't it because the propellant produces more power? ScienceApe (talk) 01:49, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
To touch the gun part of the question, there are newer Vulcan cannon which have both an increased ROF and shorter spin-up interval; they achieve that through decreased spun mass rather than better motors (or a Tim Taylor-esque "more power" approach). Other guns (including the XM301, no image though) feature a truncated-conic (rather than cylindric) barrel array, where the muzzles are at the narrow end. This does not only (slightly) decrease spun mass, but it limits the energy taken to spin the array, because a lower linear velocity will translate to the same angular velocity. The fact that the muzzle velocity vector and the axis are no longer parallel is accounted for easily.
During live-fire exercises, many guns are used at a low speed setting (usually half or two thirds of battle speed), and fed training rounds, which are not only cheaper than fully combat-effective rounds, but also easier on the barrels[citation needed]. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Most modern gatling guns operate using a DC motor to cycle the rounds (chambering, ejecting, etc.) A typical time frame for the gatling gun to reach full fire rate is about 0.4 seconds (see GAU-19). So the super capacitor idea is kind of a moot point. Justin15w (talk) 15:30, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
This page states about the Soviet GSh-6-30 that
The charging and spin-up of the barrel group before firing was achieved with the use of a pneumatic system which included, among other things, a pair of compressed air storage tanks and a "pneumostarter".
From the same author, we get spin-up times of about 0.4s for both the older M61 Vulcan and its bigger cousin the GAU-12, while the GSh times are merely given as "far less". The newer M61A2 is stated to have an improved spin-up of 0.25 seconds.
Currently, rotary cannon seem to come in roughly five sizes.
  • 5.56mm, based on the 5.56mm NATO round, the 5.45mm Soviet, or the .22 Long Rifle. These are of very limited use due to their short range.
  • 7.62mm (NATO or Soviet). These are heavy machineguns in terms of raw firepower but not WRT range. However, the sheer volume of fire does help achieve kills at ranges which wouldn't be called "effective" for single-barrel machineguns[citation needed].
  • 12.7mm MG (again, NATO or Soviet). These are the true heavy machineguns, usually found on the heavier vehicles, or as small guns on ships or attack helicopters.
  • 20 to 23mm. Most of these cannon are mounted on fighter planes or air defense platforms. The CIWS role is notable, too. Spin-up is critical in the dogfighting role, and only there. In the CIWS role, the ROF is usually stepped down on purpose, because the full volume of shells would not outweigh the lower accuracy, except at very close range.
  • 25mm and more. Old high-caliber guns are usually in the 30+ range, while most newer guns use 25mm shells with little to no loss of effectiveness. Roles are the same as the 20mm class, but better suited to overcome the low hit probabilities on maneuvering targets with a more damaging round. As noted above, the spin-up time is comparable to older 20mm weapons, but the GAUs are probably still behind the Soviet GShs. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 07:58, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Mesopotamian units of measure[edit]

Dear refence desk

please supply the reference for two specific Sumerian units which are given with precision

first the cubit (kus) of 497 mm

second the mass of the pound (ma-na) of 497.7 grams

Thank you

Roland Boucher Irvine california — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CE07:A6D0:21F:F3FF:FECE:3122 (talk) 03:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

You already asked here three months ago[11] for support for the cubit being 497mm, which I'm aware that you need to be true in order to support your theory (that I won't link to) that the Sumerians basically invented the metric system 5000 years before the French proposed it. The information you were given last time, that in historical reality the cubit wasn't a precise consistent length but rather varied a bit depending on the precise time and location you're talking about, is still true. Red Act (talk) 05:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
It's also important to understand (and accept) that the levels of precision you're expecting did not exist in those days, even in places and timeframes where the units employed were consistent. AlexTiefling (talk) 12:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Bah! This theory has bogus written all over it!
  1. The meter was originally defined as 1/10,000,000th the distance from the pole to the equator - there is no way the Mesopotamians knew the size of the earth to any kind of precision - so it can only be coincidence that their definition of the cubit is remotely close to a half meter.
  2. As we've already pointed out, there are countless different standards for the "cubit". Finding one specific place where it just happens to come out within a percent or two of a half meter isn't a great way to come up with a theory. What about all of the other places where it WASN'T close to a half meter?
  3. If they had intentionally defined the pound in terms of the cubit in the same manner that the kilogram is defined in terms of the meter (1 kg = the mass of 1 liter of distilled water at 4 degC = 1/1000th of a cubic meter of water at 4 degC), they'd have had to choose a temperature at which to make that definition. The only way for your theory to make sense would be if they (like the French) chose the temperature of 4 degrees Centigrade to measure the density of water. Since Mesopotamia is a fairly hot region of the world, with very few mountains high enough to reach those low temperatures, it seems highly unlikely that they'd have happened to pick the exact same temperature as the French at which to define their system. It's stretching the bounds of plausibility to breaking point to imagine that they'd have done that.
  4. If you'd picked a HALF meter as your standard unit of length, then the natural unit of mass would be 1/1000th of a cubic cubit of water. That 'natural' measure would be EIGHT times less than the kilogram - not half a kilogram as you claim they used for their pound. A cubic volume of water weighing 1 meospotamian pound would be some very odd size in mesopotamian cubits...actually, an irrational number.
For all of these reasons, your ideas are very, very busted. The relationships you think you've found are nothing more than a coincidence.
SteveBaker (talk) 02:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Hunger hormones VS Appetite hormones[edit]

As I know, it is now clear for scientists that Hunger and Appetite are 2 different things - Hunger will always bring appetite but appetite won't necessarily bring hunger.

My question is: Are there any documented Neurochemicals that deals specifically with hunger and others that specifically with appetite? Thanks Ben-Natan (talk) 04:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't think your distinction between Hunger and Appetite is standard in the literature, but if you are using "Appetite" to mean the act of eating, then yes, there are biological distinctions. It isn't true, though, that hunger always causes eating. Unfortunately we don't yet have a very deep understanding of either the neurochemistry of hunger or the mechanisms that drive eating. Our article on hunger (motivational state) gives a rather sketchy overview of what is currently known. The hormones leptin and ghrelin seem to be pretty directly related to the sensation of hunger. Looie496 (talk) 14:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


If no water is displaced when an object is put in it, then how do objects like leaves float when they do not displace water and thus the water does not have buoyancy force? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Anything that floats on water displaces water. See Archimedes principle. Leaves don't displace very much, because they don't weigh very much. -- (talk) 05:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps surface tension has something to do with it. Richard Avery (talk) 05:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, surface tension has two effects: firstly, for an unwetted leaf, it moves the displacement of water away from the leaf (but the same amount of water is still displaced, it's just not as obvious); secondly, at the boundary of the container, it allows displaced water to form a meniscus above the edge of the container, preventing overflow. Thus the displacement of a small mass of water is not clearly observable. The displacement will be more clearly visible if you use heavier leaves and add a surfactant (e.g. detergent) to the water next time you try the experiment. Dbfirs 09:07, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Giant bumblebee[edit]

Here in Central California this spring, there seem to be quite a few GIGANTIC black bumblebees (I'd say at least 1.5-2 inches in length, and about the same in wingspan), which I hadn't noticed in previous years. Are these native to California, or are they an invasive species? Are they any more dangerous than ordinary bumblebees (more aggressive/more toxic/etc.)? Thanks in advance! (talk) 05:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Black bees tend to be Carpenter bees, and there are many species of them. Some can get quite large: see [12]. If I had to guess, you have seen some kind of carpenter bee, but more specific than that, it would be hard to say. --Jayron32 12:40, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
There's also the black-chinned hummingbird there. The ones in our article don't look all that black, but here's one that does: [13], which can be mistaken for a giant bee, as it makes a similar sound and also hovers as it goes from flower to flower. (While in motion, the wings are a blur, so you can't see the obvious difference between bird wings and insect wings.) StuRat (talk) 13:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Without pics it's hard to ID conclusively, but Xylocopa_varipuncta is the largest bee native to California. Females are metallic black, males are gold and fluffy. They can reach over an inch long, and can easily seem to reach 2" while on the wing. In general, actual bumble bees (bombus) are not very aggressive. Carpenter bees can be aggressive, but mostly to other bees. This in part comes from different social structures. Most carpenter bees are solitary, and each male will defend an area from other males, while hoping to attract mates. People often think they are a threat, as they will aggregate around e.g. wooden picnic shelters that they have prepared nesting sites in. The bees will then fly at incoming animals to investigate. So, you might feel threatened if one of these comes flying at your head, it actually poses no threat, it just wants to make sure you're not a rival bee. Males can't sting, and you can swat them away with impunity. For fun, you can wad up a bit of paper or aluminum foil and chuck in the direction of such an aggregation. The bee will quickly track that object, and follow it away from you. Since they don't live together in a large colony, they do not cooperatively defend anything, so it is almost impossible to get a swarm of them chasing you (unlike certain wasps, africanized honeybees, etc.) Anyway, just wanted to give you the general info that carpenter bees are nothing to be afraid of. Yellow jackets, however, are horrible jerks, and will seriously ruin your day ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:46, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Looks like Xylocopa californica to me, because it was not shiny, although the one I saw up close was at least 1.5 inches long. Anyway, from what I gather, they ARE native to California, and the best way to deal with them is to just leave them alone, right? (talk) 22:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Do Jews have some African/Black DNA?[edit]

All the people that I know are Jewish ethnicity/race have some of the same ethnicity-specific features as Black people including a cloud of big curly hair that grows out like an afro, very full lips and according to a funny book about true stereotypes, a giant penis. Since Jews have some of the features that are unique to African people does that mean they have some African/Black DNA? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:12, April 22, 2014

We all have African DNA. HiLo48 (talk) 09:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
More specifically "In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, frequently dubbed the "Out of Africa" theory, is the most widely accepted model describing the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans." --Jayron32 10:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
That's correct, but the "Out of Africa" event occurred over 50,000 years ago. Since then there has been limited genetic mixing between sub-Saharan populations and non-African populations, so the question actually does make some sense at that level. The bigger problem is that there is really no such thing as a "Jewish race", or anything like it, at a biological level. Modern-day Jews derive from a pretty diverse mixture of backgrounds. In any case, as a group, it's extremely unlikely that they have higher levels of sub-Saharan-derived DNA than other people from the same parts of Europe or Asia. (I think the question is probably trolling but I have answered it seriously anyway.) Looie496 (talk) 13:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The question may be related to Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Ruslik_Zero 19:32, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
For the hair bit: obviously not all Africans have the same hair type, nor do all Jewish people. Afro#Similar_styles_internationally has some discussion and references. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:12, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

By African/Black I mean someone the same racial ethnicity as (and this probably sounds offensive but) Flavor Flav. I know about the "Out of Africa" event and that all people are descended from people from the entire continent of Africa. But there are a lot of different types of African-nationality individuals, from this: to this: to this: But the hair texture of 100% Black people is unique to people of specifically Negro ethnicity (which is maybe what I should have written instead of African). Take the afro or the flat-top for example. Those specific TEXTURES are examples of natural Black hair and no one else on Earth has hair that grows that way, not even if they want it to, unless they have some Negro ancestry I would think. So I would like to get this question answered if you'll give it another try. Looie469, are there any charts or graphs or studies that could prove your view or mine? And I've read before that there is a difference between people who are religiously Jewish and ethnically Jewish. I guess not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

That type of hair is known as Afro-textured hair, or sometimes as "nappy hair", and it actually isn't true that only Africans and their descendants have it. As Afro-textured hair#Evolution explains, there are several other populations who live in equatorial regions who have similar hair. Looie496 (talk) 03:42, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Those articles were very interesting! Thanks for enlightening me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I had never heard of Flavor Flav, so I just checked our article on him. In every photo he's wearing a hat, so I still don't know what his hair looks like, and the article says nothing about his ethnicity. HiLo48 (talk) 06:31, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Here HiLo, you can see a bit of his hair in this photo: This guy doesn't look Black to you? Well, we're all entitled to our own opinion. Haha. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:01, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Baseline fitness[edit]

Other than age, what influences natural baseline fitness levels. Without any training, anyone's fitness regresses but what influences the speed of regression and also where the regression stops, other than age. Clover345 (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Physical fitness is a nebulous concept, and not easily quantifiable. There are aspects of fitness (such as the ability to complete certain physical tasks, like run a certain distance, etc.) or things like Basal metabolic rate or Body Mass Index or other such measures which are sometimes used as proxies for fitness, but none of those singularly captures what it means to be "fit". --Jayron32 12:34, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Hormone levels are important, in particular testosterone in males. Looie496 (talk) 14:47, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Physical activity an important factor here. If you exercise regularly from a young age onward, you should not notice a significant decline in physical fitness until you start to hit old age. Only if you are an olympic class top sporter who exercises a few hours per day will this be different. A typical 60 year long distance runner who has run for most of his life can perform just as well as when he was 30; exercising regularly will have helped to preserve the physical fitness he had decades ago. Count Iblis (talk) 15:07, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


Do chlamydia and gonnorhea urine tests involve the same test as a urinalysis looking for white cells, blood etc? If not, why don't they do it along with the std test since they have a sample of urine anyway sand it can't be that expensive to do both? Do these test literally only detect chlamdia and gonnorhea? (talk) 14:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

According to, the standard method of testing is to test for the presence of bacterial DNA in the urine. That's quite different from the method of looking for blood cells. Looie496 (talk) 14:46, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
They could also test for LSD metabolites, gold particles, and Borg nanoprobes. The questions invovled are reasonable suspicion of risk, cost-benefit analysis, and informed consent. μηδείς (talk) 16:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Would borg nano probes and gold particles come out in urine? (talk) 18:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Does (or did) any country's military or police use the Desert Eagle pistol?[edit]

Question as topic. I thought at one time that the Israeli military and US Special Forces used them, for two examples - but I've been told not. I have been told that most Desert Eagles will only ever be fired at targets, tin cans and water jugs by private owners, because they're not actually that useful, in terms of effectiveness to the military and police, despite being a .50 caliber pistol. Also that they're basically 'more form than function'. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

This impressively outsized handgun quickly attracted the attention of Hollywood. The Desert Eagle debuted in "The Year of the Dragon," a 1984 action flick staring Mickey Rourke. Since then, it's been featured in some 400 to 500 motion pictures and TV films, including Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Eraser" and "The Last Action Hero." Whenever a script calls for a wicked-looking, thoroughly intimidating handgun, the Desert Eagle still gets the nod - says "American Handgunner". I observed one in the holster of a petite policewoman rushed on duty at Venice Airport hours after transatlantic air transport was shut down following the WTC Attacks. Nella lettura di questa mia cara, mi scusi se glielo dico ciò che difficilmente la si può sollevare solo il look ridicolo. JustAnotherUploader (talk) 22:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The absence of scales in the pictures in our article make it hard to judge its size. DuncanHill (talk) 22:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Demi Moore for scale (?) here [14], from this thread discussing the gun [15]. (I did look around for actual scales or size comparison, but couldn't find anything else that made it look big). SemanticMantis (talk) 23:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
With a barrel length of 10-15 inches depending on model, it IS pretty big for a pistol. (talk) 05:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Why are "double red cell" blood donations by females subject to a higher weight requirement?[edit]

While looking at the Red Cross blood donation elgibility rules for something else, I noticed here that double red cell donations by females are subject to a higher weight and height requirement than those by males. Why is this the case? I initially thought that this was a mistake, but after some more searching, this doesn't seem to be the case. To me it doesn't make much sense, since one would think that quite a sizeable number of females wouldn't be heavy or tall enough, and given that men are generally taller/heavier. (While perhaps there are many "average" Americans who might fit the requirements, it for instance seems clear to me that from personal experience, this might disqualify a lot of Asian American women.) Morningcrow (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 22:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

On average, women have a lower proportion of blood per unit of body weight (in part due to their higher average body fat content) than men. Roughly speaking, men have approximately 75 mL of blood per kilogram of body weight, whereas woman only have about 65 mL per kilogram. Women also average a lower hematocrit (volume fraction of red blood cells in whole blood) than men.
The purpose of the requirements isn't to ensure that equal numbers of men and women are able to donate, but rather to ensure that it is safe for donors to do so. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I figured it wasn't because of an interest in having equal numbers (otherwise it definitely wouldn't have made sense), but had no idea. Thanks - this more or less explains everything. 23:06, 22 April 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morningcrow (talkcontribs)

Direct current from stored torsion (e.g. wind-up battery/battery charger)[edit]

Hi, I'm interested in the general physics and engineering at play here, but I'll put the two specific questions up front:

1. Are there any devices on the market that let you turn a crank to store energy in a spring, and then release that energy slowly to power a small electronic device (or charge a battery)? I'm aware of crank-powered flashlights and and chargers, e.g. [16], but those don't store mechanical power; they seem to universally require high speed, low-resistance turning for long periods of time, even to power a small radio.

2. Assuming negative to the above, are there any physical problems with the idea, or is it more a matter of engineering/materials/market limitations?

Elaboration on the idea: wouldn't it be more convenient to turn a crank with much more resistance, over a shorter period of time, with less dependence on rotation speed? E.g. if I wanted to charge a flashlight with a one-hour charge while camping, I'd rather work to wind a very stiff spring for a minute or so, than spin those little cranks quickly for about 10 minutes, perhaps repeatedly.

I'd think that a torsion spring could be rigged up to drive a small dynamo, and the resulting current could either run a device directly, or charge its battery, or perhaps even both, depending on needs. But then I get a little lost through all the details. Surely there's a lot of linkages, gearing, and other mechanics to worry about. We have to consider current/voltage demands, the spring constants of the material, the size of lever arms and rotors, etc. In summary, is it foolish to think that a device could do this? If not, could something like this be cobbled together from mostly of-the-shelf components? Weight, size and conversion efficiency don't matter much for the last bit, but of course they would for a hypothetical product. Thanks for any suggestions, SemanticMantis (talk) 23:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Compressed air is used to store energy. Count Iblis (talk) 00:38, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
See Human power#Windup radio for a practical example of something that does exactly this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:44, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, thanks! I hadn't heard/seen any specific mention of spring storage before! SemanticMantis (talk)
I don't understand the advantages here. I understand that you'd like to apply more torque for a shorter period of time - but that's just a matter of gearing. The only real questions are:
  1. Is there some efficiency difference between storing energy in a spring versus a battery?
  2. Is there some cost benefit in one mechanism versus the other?
My gut feel is that the spring doesn't discharge energy at all uniformly. Very high quality mechanical clocks go to a lot of trouble to even out the energy produced by the spring over time. All of that extra 'stuff' seems unnecessary if you use a battery to store the energy instead. Assuming the thing you're driving needs a uniform energy input, I think batteries will do a better job. NiCd and NiMH's have a fairly uniform voltage over most of the discharge cycle.
Cost is harder to estimate - but in our modern age, moving parts are generally avoided in favor of solid state stuff - so eliminating the spring seems like it would save money.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:42, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Steve, I agree with most of what you say. I don't think this would be objectively better, or more efficient than batteries. Moving parts do wear down, etc. I thought maybe with some clever circuitry it wouldn't matter if the spring output was uneven. Shouldn't a system of RLC circuitry be able to buffer the mechanical input, so that the electrical output is more even? E.g. a moving average. Don't conventional battery chargers already do a bunch of "smart" controlling of the charging process to deliver current and voltage at different rates? To clarify, my interest is for things like camping, hiking, biking, etc. As for storage, I guess a large capacitor with high-resistance gearing might make the spring a worthless complexity. So maybe I should think about how to get bigger capacitors and higher gearing onto one of those cell phone chargers I linked above? SemanticMantis (talk) 02:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
This reminds me ... it's been a few years since we discussed energy budgets for automatic watches: has anyone found a reliable source that quantitatively discusses comparative energy-budgets for digital and mechanical watches? Nimur (talk) 04:55, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]

Basteria in diabetes control[edit]

Can high blood glucose level be controlled or reduced by introducing some non pathogenic strain of bacteria that is biotechnologically modified to not reproduce that will absorb glucose and decompose it.Is this possible.I am not a doctor but this idea occured to me.Please highlight and discuss.Has there been any research in this line.Ichgab (talk) 07:00, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

What's "basteria" -- bastard bacteria?  ;-) Anyway, if you put bacteria (bastard or not, modified or not) into your bloodstream, you'll get some really nasty consequences. (talk) 08:30, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


April 17[edit]

April 18[edit]

Extreme points problem[edit]

if x= -1 and x=2 are extreme points of f(x)= alog|x|+x then find the value of a and b — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

You mean f(x)= alog|x|+b ?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

the locus of the foot of perpendicular drawn from the centre of the ellipse x^2+3y^2 on any tangent to it is: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. Rojomoke (talk) 10:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
See also Pedal curve#From the Cartesian equation.--RDBury (talk) 15:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]


How to Integral of sqrt(1-x^2) for (1,-1)

How equal to pi/2 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. --Trovatore (talk) 09:46, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Wolfram Alpha [[17]] doesn't mind doing your homework. Bo Jacoby (talk) 16:29, 19 April 2014 (UTC).
Our article Integration by substitution should help you to find an appropriate method. Dbfirs 20:27, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually performing the integration might not be the quickest method of solving this problem. As a hint: start with x^2+y^2=1 (the equation of the unit circle). Manipulating this will give you the integrand. Using this, can you determine why the value is π/2? --Kinu t/c 22:10, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
True, a diagram gives a quick answer, but I interpreted the question as asking for the method of integration. Dbfirs 06:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
You'd need to know (prove) the formula for the area of the unit disk without doing integration, otherwise your reasoning is circular. YohanN7 (talk) 12:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, semicircular at least. Sławomir Biały (talk) 16:11, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
 :D YohanN7 (talk) 22:03, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

This can also be done using contour integration, you then only have to evaluate a trivial integral. A derivation that only uses Cauchy's theorem (avoiding the residue theorem which in this case would invoke the notion of the residue at infinity) can be set up as follows. You define (1-z)^(1/2) and (1+z)^(1/2) in the complex plane. The function (1-z)^(1/2) for z = 1 + r exp(i theta) can be defined as i r^(1/2) exp(i theta/2) and we take theta between -pi and pi (so the branch cut is on the real axis from negative infinity till 1). The function (1+z)^(1/2) for z = -1 + r exp(i theta) can be defined as r^(1/2) exp(i theta/2) and we take theta between -pi and pi, so the branch cut is between negative infinity and -1 on the real axis. We then define sqrt(1-z^2) as the product of (1-z)^(1/2) and (1+z)^(1/2) as defined above. This function only has a branch cut between -1 and 1 on the real axis, the brach cut jumps from -1 till minus infinity cancel out. This defines sqrt(1-z^2) as an analytic function on the complex plane minus the branch cut.

Then consider the contour integral of the function sqrt(1-z^2) along a line segment just below the segment from -1 to 1 on the real axis and from 1 back to -1 just above the real axis with the two segments joined together by small circles. If we denote the real integral of sqrt(1-x^2) from -1 to 1 as I, then the contour integral is easily seen to be equal to 2 I in the limit that the two segments colapse on the real axis and the radii of the two circles vanishes. This then means that any contour that encircles the branch cut counterclocwise should be equal to 2 I. This is because you can traverse such a contour and just before completing it, you move to the contour considered above, traverse that clockwise and then you move back to the first contour. The branch cut is then outside the combined contour, so the function is analytic in the interior of the combined contour. By Cauchy's theorem the contour integral is equal to zero, which means that the integrals along the two counterclockwise contours are equal.

We can then evaluate the integral by considering the contour integral of sqrt(1-z^2) along a big circle of radius R in the limit of R to infinity. If we put z = R exp(i theta) then it follows from the above definition of sqrt(1-z^2) that for large R this is i R exp(i theta) -i/2 R^(-1) exp(- i theta) + O(1/R^2).... Integrating this along the circle yields pi +O(1/R) (the first term yields zero, the second yields pi, and while all the other terms in the expansion also yield zero, we only need to use that all these terms can only yield a contribution of O(1/R)). In the limit of R to infinity, the integral is thus pi, and that then implies that I = pi/2. Count Iblis (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Checking PARI code[edit]

I want to find solutions of the congruence

F_{n - \left(\frac{{n}}{{5}}\right)} \equiv 0 \pmod{n},

where \left(\frac{{n}}{{5}}\right) is the Kronecker symbol and F_a is the a-th Fibonacci number. I've written the following code in PARI/GP:

N=10^9; for(n=2,N, if(Mod(fibonacci(n-kronecker(n,5)), n)==0, printl(n, ", ")));

Is this the correct PARI code to find solutions of this congruence up to 109? (I am not experienced in writing code for PARI). By the way, I am only interested in composite solutions. Also, I didn't test the code yet. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 11:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

A related question: How do I execute this code in PARI? I have the GP/PARI calculator. Do I just input it into the console window, or do I need to make some kind of script and execute it? -- Toshio Yamaguchi 12:02, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I could of course just execute it here. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 17:44, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

April 21[edit]

Inverse Richardson-Dushman equation[edit]

Textbooks on thermionic emission give an equation for finding the saturation current (I) for a given temperature (T) :-

I = A . Ao T2 e-W/kT

How do I invert this to find T when I is known? (talk) 13:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The Lambert W function can be used to give a closed form solution, but really your best bet is to plot the function and get the inverse from the plot. Or you could write a program that does a binary chop on an interval and looks at the values till you get as close as you like. Dmcq (talk) 17:27, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Letting a=W/k and b=I/(Aoa2) and x=−a/T, the equation I = Ao T2 e-W/kT simplifies:

0 = ex − bx2

Expand the exponential:

0 = 1 + x + x2(1/2−b) + x3/6 + x4/24 + ⋅ ⋅ ⋅

When the series is truncated to a polynomial the resulting algebraic equation is solved by some numerical root-finding algorithm. Bo Jacoby (talk) 18:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC).

April 22[edit]

Likelihood two polling responses are different[edit]

I know I've asked s.t. similar before, but I can't find it in the archives.

A poll with error σ reports pro and con opinions of an issue to be relatively close. If the reported figures differ by Δ, what is the chance that the higher result is actually more popular? (We have a lot of reports of popular opinion on WP that I doubt can be justified by the polling we use as the ref.) — kwami (talk) 01:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

The problem of computing mean value and standard deviation for the result of polls is solved here: [[18]]. If the first poll shows X1 ≈ μ1 ± σ1 and the second poll shows X2 ≈ μ2 ± σ2 , then compute the difference X = X1 − X2 ≈ (μ1 ± σ1) − (μ2 ± σ2) = (μ1 − μ2) ± √(σ12 + σ22) = μ ± σ . Compute the quotient U = μ/σ . If, say, U=2.7, then try with input CDF[NormalDistribution[0, 1], 2.7] , and get the probability 0.996533. Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC).
An excellent resource! Thanks.
You gave an example for two separate polls on the same question, where I was thinking of two responses to a question in the same poll. Will the same approach work? For example, we have a poll that reports 48% support a proposition, and 47% oppose, with a margin of error of ±4.6%. Obviously, that's not going to be significant, but is this how I'd determine that?: U = 1%/4.6% = 0.2174, and wolframalpha calculates CDF[NormalDistribution[0, 1], 0.2174] to be 0.586052.
kwami (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Often a poll just gives a "margin of error" or "sampling error", or words to that effect. However, sometimes they go on to state that they have 95% confidence in the results. Does this mean that the error is the range for p = 0.05 rather than σ? — kwami (talk) 05:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

x=2^n question[edit]

Non math guy here. x=2^n With N being higher than 0, smaller than 22 and a integer, what would be the value of N, where the value of X would be the closest one to the power of 1.5? PS:No, this is not homework. (talk) 18:49, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

So are you saying X=1^1.5? That would mean X=1, and then N=0.--Dreamahighway (talk) 20:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
No, he is saying out of the sequence 2^1, 2^2, 2^3, ... 2^21, which of those has the smallest difference with (1.5^k) where k is a natural number. Since (1.5^2) is 2.25 the question is whether there is a power of 1.5 which is closer than .25 to a power of 2. (with the bounds on the powers of 2 given above).Naraht (talk) 21:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
... and the answer, of course, is no in absolute terms, but yes as a proportion (1.512 is just over 1.3% more than 27). Dbfirs 07:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The natural numbers[edit]

We all think the counting numbers that we know and love  (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and so on...) are the natural numbers. However, higher level mathematics suggests that the more natural definition of the natural numbers is  0, 1, e, pi, i . It would be more natural to call the numbers we call natural the common numbers. Any thoughts on this statement?? Georgia guy (talk) 19:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

What "higher level mathematics"? I'm guessing you're talking about
is that correct? Personally I think that equation is way over-hyped. Sure, it's pretty and all, but it's not that big a deal.
On a slight tangent, I think the reason a lot of people are so impressed with it is that they misinterpret it. It would be mind-bending, if it meant something like "if you multiply iπ copies of e together, you get −1". But it doesn't mean anything of the sort. The exponentiation here referenced is a different sort of exponentiation from the one where you raise one natural number to the power of another. By the way, many, perhaps most, mathematicians now count 0 as a natural number as well. --Trovatore (talk) 19:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I always thought it was the same operation (exponentiation,) only with the domain of the operation extended to other kinds of numbers. Why isn't this description right?? Georgia guy (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Look at the definitions; it's a very different idea, not intensionally the same. Natural-to-natural exponentiation nm is just taking the product of m copies of n. The exponential function ex is defined in various ways (by a solution to a differential equation, or as the inverse of the natural logarithm defined as an integral, or as a power series), none of which have anything to do with multiplying together copies of e.
It happens that there's a commutative diagram lying around; if x is the image of n under the natural embedding from N into C, then ex is the product of n copies of e (or rather the complex number e+i0). But that doesn't change the fact that it's a very different idea, and should be thought of as a separate function. --Trovatore (talk) 19:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Your statement of natural-to-natural exponentiation is still true of integer-to-natural exponentiation, rational-to-natural exponentiation, real-to-natural exponentiation, and complex-to-natural exponentiation.  e^4 can be defined as  e*e*e*e the same way  2^4 is  2*2*2*2* . Do you deny this?? Georgia guy (talk) 20:12, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean. You can define real-to-natural or complex-to-natural exponentiation in terms of a product of <power> copies of <base>, and in that sense, sure, e4 means eeee. However, no, exp(4) definitely does not mean eeee. It happens to equal it, once you do the appropriate type-casting, but that is no part whatsoever of its definition. --Trovatore (talk) 20:20, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
You must be saying that  e^x and  exp(x) are not the same by definition, but that they happen to be the same, just like an irrational number and a decimal that doesn't terminate or repeat. Georgia guy (talk) 20:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, actually, if I write ex, I probably ordinarily do mean exp(x), because x is usually used for a real or complex variable, not a natural-number variable. But if I write en, I probably mean the product of n copies of e, because n is usually used for a natural number.
And right, exp(n) and en are definitely not defined to be the same. They slightly more than "happen" to be the same; it's a theorem. But it's not the meaning of the notation. --Trovatore (talk) 20:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that the  x in  e^x is not necessary a natural number, so this is not always real-to-natural exponentiation. However, we can make related definitions for negative and fractional values of  x .  e^x for integer values of  x less than 1 can be defined as follows:  e^x =  e^(x+1)/e . For fractional values of  x , we can define  e^x so that  e^(ax) is equal to  (e^x)^a . Values of  e^x for irrational values of  x can be defined as limits. Georgia guy (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
That's way over-complicated, and horribly inelegant. Definitions-by-cases are to be avoided when possible. The better way is to consider the notations to be overloaded, but elide the distinctions whenever it is safe and convenient. --Trovatore (talk) 20:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The use of the term "natural number" by working mathematicians is largely conventional. The origin is presumably that it is (in some sense) "natural" to count that way. Note that it is "natural" to start our counting with "1", because that's the first thing we count. By all means think of them as the "common numbers" in your head. Similarly, if you start referring to well-known transcendental numbers as "natural numbers" in conversation with working mathematicians, you will merely cause a communications breakdown. RomanSpa (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
But, again I want to raise this point, very often these days "working mathematicians" start the natural numbers with 0. --Trovatore (talk) 21:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
In my experience we often use the set of non-negative integers, but at least on this side of the Atlantic we tend to simply call them the "non-negative integers". As I've already said, by convention the term "natural number" strongly tends to be used as a synonym for the positive integers. Since this is a matter of pure convention I imagine you can find exceptions, though I have the strong impression that these are not particularly common. By all means use the term "natural numbers" to refer to the non-negative integers in your work, if you so wish; just remember that since this is an unconventional usage it may lead to misunderstanding. RomanSpa (talk) 06:15, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
I know some mathematicians on this side of the Atlantic, too, who start the natural numbers at zero. Dbfirs 06:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry RomanSpa, I really think you're just factually wrong on this. It's not an unconventional usage, on either side of the pond. There do tend to be differences based on area of specialization, though; our natural number article touches on this if I recall correctly. --Trovatore (talk) 06:42, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Reading the above I see that ex and exp(x) refer to different definitions (regardless of the domain of the function). I wouldn't rely too much on that convention. You often see them used interchangeably. I personally thought that the exp (which is ugly) came around because of poor typesetting capabilities. YohanN7 (talk) 21:41, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I think ex is mostly used to mean exp(x). However, the latter form is more specific. It's possible that, in some weird context, ex might mean exp(x log e), for a different branch of the complex logarithm (for example ei could come out to be exp(−4π2) ). So exp is not just for typesetting. If you have an extreme fear of being misunderstood, then exp is the thing to use if that's what you mean. --Trovatore (talk) 21:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
What I meant is that what you call exp(x) is sometimes introduced as ex, without mention of exp, or with mention of exp as an alternative notation. So using exp doesn't automatically make anything completely unambiguous (because it might be unknown to the reader). I see what you mean by ex possibly having another meaning, but I have never seen it used that way. I still think the historical reason for using exp(X) at all has to do with (sound) laziness and/or typesetting problems. YohanN7 (talk) 22:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. I disagree (mainly with your last, small comment). However anything is introduced (by a lazy author), any rigorous introduction will involve a clear set of definitions. The notation ex is often ambiguously interpreted especially in pedagogical settings, and indeed I think that it is almost impossible to define a clearcut convention where there will never be confusion as to what is meant. If you have even half followed some of the (extensive and heated) debates about this sort of topic on WP, you'll realize that the value of having the notation exp(x) to hand serves a needed purpose. It is much shorter than saying "... and I don't mean the number e raised to the x. —Quondum 23:22, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not trying to establish a convention. From where do you get that? What exactly do you disagree with? All I say is that I think the exp-notation origins in laziness and typesetting problems because it is natural (though ambiguous) to denote exp(X) with ex because of the coincidental identities alluded to above. Mathematicians don't mind ambiguity or notational abuse (at least not as long as it appears in their own subfields) and as long as everything can be gleaned out from the context. In fact, they love it. In Wulf Rossmanns Lie Groups, An introduction through linear groups you can find the same symbol used three times, denoting three different entities, in one single equation, without all unnecessary and without most necessary parentheses.YohanN7 (talk) 00:17, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
You may be right, I just find that mindset difficult to identify with and tend to assume that at least some others share my preferences. My inclination is to avoid ambiguity as much as possible because of the energy it absorbs; the sheer wastage of time on WP talk pages due to this and closely related notational ambiguities is testament to the misinterpretation it produces. It is not only ambiguity – people are prone to fuzzy thinking especially when fuzzy notation is used. I find it especially painful when people remain blind to this when the distinction between interpretations is pointed out to them, to the extent that I think of Orwell as having a point with the concept of Newspeak in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. —Quondum 01:28, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
I think you two are talking past each other a bit. Yohan is talking about what (he thinks) did happen; Quondum is focusing more on what (he thinks) should happen.
That said — on balance I have to go with Yohan, to the extent that there's an actual difference here. I would normally be unembarrassed to define ex as, say, the sum of a power series, and then when expanding ee, and I got to the e2 term, well, that would mean e·e, with no need to belabor the point. It's only when I really have to worry about the distinction (as, for example, in a discussion like the current one) that I would bother about it. --Trovatore (talk) 01:37, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Spot on Trovatore. I'm not trying to convince anyone about a certain style, though I prefer the pretty version. But then when I refer to the function, I always write exp, unless I have the physicist hat on, in which case it's ex again. (Not a mathematician, not a physicist, but I have all sorts of hats to put on:D) YohanN7 (talk) 02:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Returning to the original question: each of the numbers you specify is capable of being specified. For example π can be specified as the sum of and infinite series and i as a solution of a polynomial. The specifications can each be written as a string of symbols. Of all possible strings of symbols, consider just those that are meaningful and identify a number that isn't specified by any shorter string. These strings can be ordered by length (number of symbols), and strings of the same length can be ordered lexicographically. Having ordered the strings and hence the numbers they specify, we can put them into one-to-one correspondence with the natural numbers. Hence the specifiable numbers are countable. Neither the complex nor real numbers are countable (apparently), so almost all of them must be impossible to specify by any means. So I reckon your set of numbers is the countable numbers - but this is of course OR. --catslash (talk) 01:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Or did you want only {0, 1, e, π, i} and not {2, 3, 4,... }?--catslash (talk) 01:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
See Computable number. Count Iblis (talk) 01:53, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Trovatore is badly mistaken in believing that equality between functions depends on how the functions are defined. Functions are equal iff (1) they have the same domain, and (2) they have the same function value for every argument in the domain. Example: If n is a natural number and f(n) is defined by repeated multiplication by e: f(0)=1, f(n+1)=e⋅f(n), and g(n) is defined by the power series ∑i ni/i! , then f=g. Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:53, 23 April 2014 (UTC).

It is true that functions are extensionally equal given the conditions that you mention. However, first of all, I was talking about intensionality, and second of all, the conditions you give do not in fact obtain here. --Trovatore (talk) 06:56, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]


April 18[edit]

Inauguration day falls on a Sunday[edit]

When January 20 falls on a Sunday, as it happend in 2013, the president is officially sworn in the next day. What about other public officials in the USA? Are senators, representatives, governors and mayors also not sworn in on Sundays? I know that some governors are sworn in on the first Monday (or something), but others have fixed inuaguaration dates. Cheers -- (talk) 09:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

New Senators and Congressman are sworn in at the start of their January session, which is theoretically the 3rd, although obviously it can fall on a Sunday also. Poking around Google, it seems that Congress can start pretty much any day they want to. As noted here, the starting date has varied from the 3rd to the 7th since 1996. I suspect the practical rule is that Congress starts no earlier than the 3rd. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
However, note that plenty of presidents, senators and congressman have been sworn at on Sundays, taking the Lords name in vain or not. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
It's not correct that "the president is officially sworn in the next day": see United States presidential inauguration. Several presidents have been sworn in on a Sunday, but delayed the public ceremonies until the next day. -- (talk) 04:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Normally, inaugurations do happen on Sundays, but one President, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn in until ed: insert the following: "the day after..." Sunday. That event led to the apocryphal belief that David Rice Atchison was President for one day. That actually isn't true; no serious U.S. Constitutional scholar believes that; the Presidential term begins on the day it is mandated to begin, regardless of when the oath is taken. --Jayron32 19:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. (I assume "until Sunday" should read "until Monday".) The Constitution doesn't stop him from becoming President - it just stops him from performing any official duties. Since he wasn't inclined to take the oath until Monday, presumably he wasn't doing anything else presidential on Sunday either, so no problem. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:09, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
So corrected --Jayron32 00:11, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Just making sure. :) It's kind of neat that he knew about this at the time and had a sense of humor about it, reporting that he had slept through most of his "term". Ironically, though, given his pro-slavery views, had he actually become president he might have started the Civil War sooner, as opposed to letting the problem fester as Taylor and his successors were content to do. Did you ever notice how much Taylor looks like Mel Brooks? Zachary Lepetomane Taylor.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:42, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Many of the Presidents prior to Lincoln were anti-abolitionist (or, at best, agnostic on the matter). Given the electoral politics of the time, it was VERY difficult for either major party to get an anti-slavery northerner elected President, and anti-slavery southerners didn't exist in the political realm. All of the Virginia Dynasty owned slaves. Martin Van Buren was morally opposed to slavery, but agnostic on the issue, instead deferring to its legality in the Constitution. William Henry Harrison initially opposed slavery as a rebellious youth, but eventually lobbied in its favor for the Northwest Territories. James Tyler and James K. Polk owned slaves; the former somewhat reluctantly, the latter with no shame. Zachary Taylor was opposed to expanding slavery into new states (Wilmot Proviso), but was a political pragmatist and considered the issue negotiable. Millard Fillmore was notionally anti-slavery, but also opposed the Wilmot Proviso, and like Taylor, supported political compromise over the issue (Compromise of 1850). Franklin Pierce, like most of his predecessors, opposed slavery on moral grounds, but was anti-abolitionist for political reasons. James Buchanan was more of the same (opposed to slavery on moral grounds, opposed to abolition on political grounds). Lincoln was the first President to openly consider abolition of slavery a political possibility (not even assuredly, but merely to float the idea that it could be discussed) and the Civil War started before he could even be inaugurated. Being anti-abolitionist was the ONLY way one could get elected President for the first 80 years of U.S. history. --Jayron32 01:00, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

What happens with the bail money?[edit]

There are offenses which are bailable. My question is, when someone pays the bail, what does the court do with the money? Do they donate it to NGOs or is that simply extra money for judges like a bonus for CEOs, for e.g.? (talk) 12:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

It's returned if the person in question shows up in court on the specified date. There have been cases of quasi-corruption or blatant money-grubbing connected with civil forfeiture, but I don't know that the same is true of bail funds... AnonMoos (talk) 13:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
But what happens if the person doesn't show up of their own free will ?
1) Who gets to keep it if they never show up at all.
2) Do they get it back if they change their mind and come back, or are arrested or brought in by a bounty hunter ? StuRat (talk) 13:13, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
According to this: The judge will issue a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest, and the bond will be in forfeit (default). In this instance, the only way you will get your cash bond back is for you to find the defendant and bring him or her back to jail within 90 days of the forfeiture OR for the defendant to be arrested by a law enforcement officer and brought back to jail within 90 days from the date the bond was forfeited. There is more but I didn't want to quote the entire thing. I still don't see what happens to it if the person comes back (by whatever means) after 90 days. And I would think that it differs from state to state and/or country to country. I noticed that the OP never specified that we were talking about the US. Dismas|(talk) 15:28, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
After a reading of bail and various sites on the 'net, the person who posted the bail gets the money back even if the defendant is found guilty. It's basically just a deposit saying that you'll appear back in court. Dismas|(talk) 15:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Note that with regards to StuRat's question about 'do they get it back', there's the obvious issue of who's 'they'? AFAIK and supported by our articles, in the US where I think the predominates anyway, bounty hunters are generally paid by bail bond agents who posted bail on the defendants behalf. This is unsurprising since someone needs to pay the 'bounty'. In the case where a bond agent was used, they may get some or all of the bail back if they recatch and force the defendant to appear within a certain timeframe but the defendant may not. In fact our article suggests in most cases the fee the bond agents charge for their services is non refundable although our articles have enough problems that I wonder if this is really the case. (Beyond the risk of being pursued by a bounty hunter, it would seem wise for the bond agents to give some other incentive to the defendants to appear on their own. Particular as I don't think they generally give as much consideration as the court does in deciding the risk of the defendant disappearing, although the size of the bail is probably a hint.) Nil Einne (talk) 17:29, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, but we still haven't addressed the issue of where exactly the bail or bond goes when it is forfeited. I doubt if the judge is supposed to pocket it. Does it go to support the running of the court ? Does it go into the city, county, state, or nation's general fund ? If it goes to the court, that might lead them to hold hearings at 3 AM, to increase the number of no-shows and hence how much money they can grab by forfeiture. StuRat (talk) 19:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Disposition of forfeit bail bonds seems to vary by jurisdiction. Idaho, for example, first pays court costs and then distributes the rest according to a densely written statute that I am too lazy to read in full. Up here in BC, bail forfeitures are described as simply debt owing to the Crown, which suggests they go into general government revenues (though I expect there is some obscure regulation specifying exactly how they should be allocated)
As to 3 am hearings, the references I have seen all seem to allow a period of time to fulfill the terms of the bond, (i.e. if you miss the 3 am hearing, your surety has an opportunity to produce you along with a valid excuse to avoid forfeiture). There also seems to be a consistent requirement for hearings before declaring bonds forfeit, which could allow one to argue against onerous or impossible conditions - EronTalk 21:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully such hearings manage to avoid the obvious conflict of interest of having the same people benefit from the forfeiture who decide on it. StuRat (talk) 21:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
One assumes the judge at least won't be pocketing the money. But there is certainly precedent for worries about the abuse of forfeiture proceedings in general. - EronTalk 22:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
And don't forget Judge Roy Bean, whose fines always miraculously happened to match whatever the "criminal" had in his pockets. StuRat (talk) 22:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't mention this before and from this discussion I'm not sure if anyone else noticed but our bail bond agent article I linked above actually mentions a bribery scandal in Louisiana. From what I can tell per Ronald Bodenheimer and [19], the scandal involved judges accepting bribes, allegedly including to set generally lower bond requirements on behalf of a dominant bond agent. This may seem counter-intuitive at first since bond agents making a percentage obviously don't want bond requirements to be too low. (In fact, our article suggests there is generaly controversy over bail not being granted for a relatively minor offender who would generally expect a low bond, but being given for a serious offender who would expect a high bond with the obvious suggestion this is done to benefit bond agents.) Probably the wording used in the blog is better, affordable as I would assume the bond agents wanted a bail set such that the criminal could barely afford to pay the 10% or whatever fee a bond agent would demand, but not the whole lot.
Perhaps more germane to this discussion, in a somewhat our of place and unsourced manner, the article also mentions that in Louisiana a 2% fee is charged to bond agents of which 1/4 goes to judges. I presume they mean this is always paid in any case when a bond agent is used and it's non refundable but I dunno for sure. I would also presume this goes in to some general fund which is them distributed to judges rather than being paid specifically to the judge who set the bond.
BTW, one thing I did miss until a few days but in retrospect should have been an obvious possibility, our article suggests bond agents may sometimes require a security againsts the defendants assets for the full amount. (I.E. In these cases there remains an incentive for the defendant to show up to the bond agents beyond the risk of being pursued. Of course if you're going to run away it may be hard to use your assets in the future. But I guess it ideally stops you trying to sell them secretly. And also prevents you running away while providing leaving some security for your family. )
Nil Einne (talk) 17:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)


Is there such a concept in Philosophy? thanks. Ben-Natan (talk) 13:15, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Are you thinking of formal logic? ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 14:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I guess. Thanks. Ben-Natan (talk) 11:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Pentecostal Parenting[edit]

Why do Pentecostal Christians use "scare tactics" (note the quote) to teach their kids about morality? Or is this just the impression that their ex-Christian atheist/agnostic/deist/humanist/skeptic/freethinker children have? What is really going on? Please give me examples of Pentecostal parenting. I suspect the "scare tactic" is really the "speaking in tongues with the devil" in Pentecostal churches. (talk) 19:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Just FYI, speaking in tongues in the Pentecostal tradition is linked with being touched by the Holy Spirit. It is not associated with the devil. - EronTalk 19:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
What about Pentecostal exorcisms? I think I meant that. (talk) 19:58, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm entirely uncertain why you believe that Pentecostals use "scare tactics" as a parenting technique. Near as I can tell, you're under any of a number of really ridiculous misconceptions based on your comments here, and I'm entirely uncertain which misconception to disabuse you of. 1) Pentacostal Christians do not use exorcisms as a parenting technique. 2) Pentacostal Christians are likely to use a wide range of parenting techniques, probably representative of the range of techniques present in the population at large. Teaching about morality takes many forms, and there are many techniques to do so. There is not a monolithic set of behaviors one finds in Pentacostal families. "Scare tactics" are just as likely in Baptists or Sunni Muslims or Agnostics; while calm, reasoned discussions about morality are perfectly acceptable parenting techniques among many Pentacostals. --Jayron32 02:37, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, "Do as we tell you or you will burn in eternal Hell" sounds like a scare tactic, to me, but certainly not one limited to Pentecostal Christians. StuRat (talk) 19:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
That's not going to work for Jehovah's Witnesses or Christians (i.e. Catholics) who do not believe that Hell is a physical place. (talk) 19:46, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, your answer presumes that Pentecostals believe in Hell as place rather than a state of being. (talk) 19:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Where did you get the idea that the Catholic Church teaches that Hell is not an actual place? It absolutely does teach that it is a place: that this place is also a state of "the absence of God" does not prevent it from being a place that people can actually end up going. Of course, the Catholic Church also teaches that we have no way of knowing who is in Hell, or how many people, but it definitely considers Hell a place that people are in danger of ending up for all eternity after they die. Hell is one of the things that Jehovah's Witnesses claim the Catholic Church made up: it's not something the two groups agree on. (talk) 20:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I got the idea on Wikipedia. (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
That's just a modern way of saying "I read it on the internet". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:36, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Those pesky premoderns and their Wikipedia-less Internet. Evan (talk|contribs) 23:30, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Jehovah’s Witnesses have published an article about "hell" at, where you can see what they actually claim.
Wavelength (talk) 20:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Having followed the above reference, I'm no clearer as to what Jehovah's Witnesses do actually claim about this.--rossb (talk) 05:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Things it claims: "Hell" is a misconception; "Hell" as a place of firey punishment is a pagan Babylonian/Assyrian idea. (N.b., calling an idea Babylonian is often code for Roman Catholic. It doesn't tell you what they actually believe about Hell (they believe that it doesn't exist, and that the wicked are simple Annihilated), nor does it spell out precisely how they think Christians came to believe in it (although it hints). (talk) 07:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
There is a theological conundrum with the idea of Hell as a place in the absence of God - namely, how can something exist if God is absent? That suggests the idea that not only there could be vast other universes that exist, but don't have God, and therefore perhaps follow other Gods with the same power as God, but also that people might plausibly travel to them, which contradicts the entire monotheistic idea. Indeed if one suggests that Hell is apart from God, with presumably Satan controlling it, it seems to make him out as a near equal, perhaps a younger brother like Hades. It seems easier to suppose that the idea of the "outer darkness", however put, is as a "place" that doesn't exist, that is defined by nonexistence, you might say. I suppose there must be terms of art for all these statements somewhere in the past two millennia of theological debate. Wnt (talk) 15:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Many of our stereotypical images of hell are derived from Dante's Inferno. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

Do Japanese people have special beliefs about being beheaded?[edit]

I just recalled from some book and internet sources I read some years ago saying that during the Second Sino Japanese War Japanese soldiers feared Chinese Dadao not only because it was a deadly weapon, but also because they believed if one lose his head he will not be granted a reincarnation in the afterlife(or granted entrance to Yasukuni Shrine, in some other version I had seen). Did this kind of belief exist anyway? Besides, I also know that it is common to cut off the suicider's head during a seppuku, for example Yukio Mishima(that is after WW2), which should be contrary to the belief above.--chaoxiandelunzi (talk) 05:37, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

This could be the case. I found one source indicating that dismemberment of a corpse meant it could not be revived in the afterlife, according to old Chinese and Korean beliefs.[20] Decapitation was considered the most severe punishment in Japan, and there is some evidence that elaborate seppuku rituals were meant to restore dignity to the spirit of the warrior. I haven't come across anything conclusive regarding Japanese beliefs though. OttawaAC (talk) 20:51, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In actual fact, the sword was hardly used in feudal Japan, contrary to modern films and romanticisation of Japan's earlier times. The bow was the most-used weapon, because it was easier, safer, and far better to kill from a distance, than to engage in blade-to-blade combat. The sword was considered a last resort, and was therefore thought of as an inferior weapon. To be killed by an inferior weapon meant that both your archery skills and swordsmanship were inferior, thus meaning you were inferior. It was only with the advent of the gun, that archery went out of fashion on the battlefield, but guns were a foreign weapon, and prior to the coming of the Black Ships, foreign things were inferior, but as the sword was still carried as a last resort, and was a native weapon, it became a symbol of Japan's earlier majesty, and after the Meiji Restoration, when Bushido was invented, it became an even more powerful symbol of Japan. Yukio Mishima's suicide was in 1977, after a failed coup attempt. The Second Sino-Japanese War was in the Showa Era started in 1929. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 22:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that Bushido itself was "invented" but certainly the term didn't come into general use until the end of the 19th century. It describes a code of accepted behaviour for the Samurai class, our Bushido article lists the many written sources that define it from the 8th century AD onwards. In the Shinto creation myth, the goddess Izanami-no-Mikoto after giving birth to the various Japanese islands, gives birth to the incarnation of fire, Kagu-tsuchi and is burned to death in the process. Her distraught husband kills his son the fire god by beheading.[21] Beheading with a sword was the preferred form of execution for Edo period criminals, usually after various kinds of inhumane treatment was used to gain a confession.
Beheading, as previously mentioned, has for several centuries been the final part of the act of seppuku, performed by an assistant called a kaishakunin, a practical solution to the problem that cutting your own guts out could take an awfully long time to kill you. The assistant was not supposed to cut your head right off, but to leave it attached by strip of skin,[22] possibly because of the religious injunctions mentioned by OttawaAC above. Possibly by this route, beheading acquired a level of respectability, although I couldn't find a source that says so. Note that attitudes to beheading in the west have undergone something of a transformation, from being the privilege of the nobility in the 17th century, to humane dispatch in the French revolution (they were still chopping criminals' heads off in the 1940s) and finally to the abhorrence we have for it today. It's understandable to us, although maybe not to the Japanese, how WWII photographs of Allied POWs being beheaded by their Japanese guards probably caused more outrage than perhaps a picture of a firing squad would have done (I couldn't find a source for that either). Alansplodge (talk) 14:14, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
After a bit more digging around, it seems that having your head cut-off was a very bad way to go, but having your head almost completely cut-off was far more acceptable. "The skin of the throat must not be cut to stop the head rolling on the ground. Completely severing the head is considered to be considerably impolite. This technique was used for convicted criminals. Completely cutting through the neck is morally rude and degrading. However leaving thin skin of the throat is not an easy technique to do."[23] An editor's note at the bottom of the page says: "The partially severed head of the deceased could be sewn onto the body. The cut area would not show when dressed in a Kimono". A few other sources that confirmed this, but none so eloquently. Alansplodge (talk) 19:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Frank Hird[edit]

I'm interested in Frank Hird, the companion, lover, and adopted son of the artist Lord Ronald Gower (redlinked on our article about Gower) and the subject of a painting by Henry Scott Tuke. He's described as a journalist, and another source says he was the author of a biography of the explorer H. M. Stanley. Is any more known about him, for instance place/date of birth/death, etc?. --rossb (talk) 05:55, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

This book says "in the early autumn of 1897", Hird was "on the staff of the Morning Post" as a foreign correspondent "at the age of only twenty-three". It goes on to say the Gower met him in "June 1893, when he was secretary to Lord Thring". According to a 15 February 1913 newspaper article, both lost large sums of money due to fraud - the headline states "Lord Ronald Gower ruined". FindaGrave has an entry for him, stating he lived from 1873 to 2 November 1937. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks for the information. I've incorporated it into an article on the LGBT History Project, but I suspect Hird might be considered not notable enough for Wikipedia.--rossb (talk) 11:15, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
In Dearly Beloved Friends: Henry James's Letters to Younger Men edited by Susan E. Gunter, Steven H. Jobe, a footnote on page 18 says; "The journalist Frank Hird (b. 1873) was also the author of disparate books, including The Cry of the Children: An Exposure of Certain British Industries in Which Children are Iniquitously Employed, Rosa Bonheur, Victoria the Woman. Lancashire Stories, The Bannantyne Sapphires, H. M. Stanley: The authorized life". There are a number of other works on Amazon's list. This page says "HIRD, FRANK; [i.e., Robert Francis Hird] (1873-1937)". This page says (scroll nearly halfway down) "HIRD, FRANK [ROBERT FRANCIS HIRD]. 1873-1937. Born in Hull, England; died in Westminster, London". Find A Grave gives an exit date of 2 November 1937 and has a photo of his memorial stone in St Paul Churchyard, Rusthall, in Kent. That's all I could find I'm afraid. Alansplodge (talk) 16:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually, a close look at the monument image shows that it is shared with Lord Gower - they are buried together. There is no birth date inscribed for Hird. I could just about make out the epitaph which is from Deuteronomy Ch. 33: V. 27 "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms". Alansplodge (talk) 22:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Again many thanks for the information. my article on the LGBT History Project is now looking quite respectable, and possibly worth copying over to Wikipedia at some point. --rossb (talk) 08:50, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Access to provides additional information from official sources - including date and place of birth, 19 March 1873 in Hull; the names of his parents, James and Matilda Hird; residence in 1891 with his mother and brother in Portsea, Portsmouth; date and place of death, 21 November 1937 (sic) at Empire Nursing Home, Vincent Square, London SW1; and reference to his widow, Gladys Muriel Hird. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:41, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
As a PS, Gladys Muriel Hird died on 6 May 1943, and probate was granted to Arthur William Stanton, Lucy Ann Luther (wife of Fletcher Luther), and Elcho Ross-Ross. I've no idea if those names help in any way. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
PPS: "Gladys Muriel Luss was the daughter of Walter Sinclair and Kathleen Dickinson. She married Frank Hird, son of James Hird, on 5 July 1921. She died on 6 May 1943." Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

Coffee, tea, or alcohol.[edit]

A friend is curious what would be more culturally appropriate to offer as a drink in this case; a 16 y/o Irish girl has just spent a long day at the hospital with her dad in Belgium, and found out that her father is undergoing probably routine but emergency surgery, say for an impacted gallbladder. Would a fellow Irish businessman, acting as informal guardian, assuming he wanted to offer a pickmeup, offer the girl coffee, tea, or an alcoholic beverage? (Nothing sexual is implied, he's a friend of the family.) This is for a short story, all that is wanted is cultural authenticity in regards to a mood improver. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 03:26, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Tea_culture#Ireland would imply tea would be appropriate. To wit: "Ireland has, for a long time, been the biggest per-capita consumer of tea in the world." --Jayron32 03:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
According to Legal drinking age, in Belgium, it's "16 for beer and wine, 18 for spirits", so he could legally offer beer or wine, but not hard liquor. In Ireland, the drinking age is 18, so if she's a good girl, she's never had any alcohol in the homeland. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 03:32, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The author originally had him offer coffee. That struck me as an Americanism, and most kids don't drink coffee that young, and are just beginning to experiment. Tea seemed right, but I wasn't sure if that was just British. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 17:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In the Irish TV comedy Father Ted, the eponymous priest has a housekeeper called Mrs Doyle who continually pesters guests to the presbytery to drink tea. When one visiting priest tells her that he's allergic to tea and will die if he drinks one drop, he's still not let off the hook. BTW, please remind your friend that tea in these islands is almost universally drunk with milk, none of that lemon malarkey thank you. Alansplodge (talk) 20:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Re your last comment, μηδείς, in the UK (and I would have thought also in Eire, though I have only visited and will stand correction) there is no widespread stigma against teenagers drinking coffee, other than their own personal taste. Of course, most of the coffee consumed here is rather innocuous Instant coffee, not percolated. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:24, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't take it as stigmatized, just possibly inauthentic. The author's concern is that she is writing about Irish characters but is not Irish herself. She has decided tea is the "correct" answer for her purposes. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 16:51, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I took a course in Critical Incident Stress Management (helping people to deal with the immediate aftermath of a critical incident, e.g. a death or serious accident) here in Ireland. It was noted that the default setting for almost all Irish people dealing with a serious event is to 'put the kettle on' - that is, to make a cup of tea - and, in fact, we were advised that if we are ever in the position of having to help someone 'defuse' after an incident, we should get tea brewing as a matter of priority. So yes, for the purposes of your story, offering tea would be just right. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 19:14, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Great answer, Mike. I'll pass it on. But, it's not my story. If it were my story it'd've been a swig from a flask. μηδείς (talk) 17:06, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

how much profit do mobile manufactureres make?[edit]

how much profit do mobile manufaturers make on the MSRP of a product? for example, a Galaxy S5 will cost USD 971 for an end buyer. now out of this USD 971, what percentage goes to Samsung and what to the retailer? — Preceding unsigned comment added by EditorMakingEdits (talkcontribs) 11:52, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

To US English speakers: This Q is apparently about cell phone manufacturers, not manufacturers that change location frequently. StuRat (talk) 13:50, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The quick answer is that (according to our Samsung article) Samsung reported profits of $27.6 billion in 2010. How that relates to the profit on individual products would vary enormously and would be very difficult to calculate.--Shantavira|feed me 14:57, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

that is gross profit. i need to know how much money the company gets by selling a single unit of galaxy s5? --EditorMakingEdits (talk) 03:47, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

There will be no fixed amount. The unit will be sold at different prices to different wholesalers in different countries, depending partly on the quantity sold, but also on how keen Samsung is to break into a particular market and how good the wholesaler is at negotiating the price down. Even if you knew this price (which you are unlikely ever to find out because it is commercially sensitive), to find the profit per unit you would still need to proportion out Samsung's manufacturing costs and overheads to particular products. No doubt Samsung do this internally, but they are unlikely to publish the information. I suspect that they have actually made a loss on the first few hundred thousand sold, and will not start making a significant profit until the product becomes popular and sales reach a million or so (mileage will vary depending on product.) Dbfirs 07:12, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Religious prohibitions on the celebration of birthdays and holidays[edit]

One of the Jehovah's Witnesses' most famous practices is their non-celebration of birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Halloween, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day and other holidays other than the Memorial of Christ's Death (although they do celebrate weddings, anniversaries and funerals). From what I read, this was not one of their founding doctrines (unlike their 606, and later, 607 B.C. date for the Babylonian Captivity); in fact, this doctrine comes only from 1951, long after various splinter groups (both from the Witnesses, and from the Bible Student movement) had formed, and six years after their prohibition of blood transfusions.

Now here are my questions: 1. Do any of the non-JW groups in the Bible Student movement also share this practice of not celebrating birthdays and holidays? 2. Are there any other religions outside of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Bible Study movement or not, Christian or not, or organizations, religious or not, that also share this practice? And among these other groups (if there are any), why do they follow the practice? 3. How did this doctrine develop? Our articles do not mention how the doctrine was formulated, although our article on Jehovah's Witnesses practices does mention that at least some practices are formulated at meetings of the JW's Governing Body; however the Governing Body did not exist in 1951. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:35, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Not so much a ban on all forms of celebration of those events, but some types of celebration, like singing, dancing, drinking alcohol, and mixing of opposite sexes, might tend to be banned in some conservative religions. They might even object to strip bars. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:53, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
However, my questions only refer to prohibitions/discouragements of celebrating holidays and certain forms of occasions, not how they are celebrated. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:58, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The only holidays that fall under the scope of religious guidance are religious holidays. If a religion doesn't celebrate that day as holy, it ceases to be a holiday. If it ceases to be, its presence can't be ignored. If a church commands a flock to not observe certain secular customs on particular days, then that forced non-observational practice becomes its own annual religious tradition. To think about not thinking of something requires just as much devotion. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:05, April 20, 2014 (UTC)
For your question number 3, there are answers in their article (about holidays) published at
Wavelength (talk) 14:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC) and 15:41, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
(Note: This only applies to "birthdays", not "birthdays and holidays"). Our Birthday article does have some more information on celebrating or not celebrating birthdays throughout various cultures and religions in general, as well as within Christianity in particular. Some of it is referenced. ---Sluzzelin talk 16:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Only one real answer here, and it refers back to the official page for the religion. No actual answers for the OPs question. Shadowjams (talk) 07:56, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The Saudi authorities have basically decreed that all celebrations/observances other than Ramadan, Hajj, Eid, and ordinary Friday prayers are un-Islamic (list from memory; I may have missed one). This applies to both Western holidays such as Valentine's Day and a number of Shi`ite holy days... AnonMoos (talk) 14:11, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Valentine's Day is not a holiday. Not religious, not secular, nothing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:32, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Nevertheless, Saudi religious authorities are zealous in condemning it as un-Islamic. From past news accounts, stores in Saudi Arabia can sometimes get in trouble for displaying red items in their windows as Feb 14 approaches... AnonMoos (talk) 20:01, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Do they condemn the serving of green beer on St Patrick's Day?  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Beer of any color is un-Islamic, of course... AnonMoos (talk) 20:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
It somewhat depends on what your definition of "holiday" is, but going by definition #1 from Wiktionary, "A day on which a festival, religious event, or national celebration is traditionally observed", the Wikipedia article would disagree with your assessment: "Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church." (Though in 1969 it was dropped from the official Catholic calendar.) -- (talk) 20:53, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Active Financing Exception and CFC Look-Through Rule[edit]

I have received two petitions in the past week or so asking my support to end the "Active Financing Exception" and the "CFC Look-Through Rule." I have never heard of either of them. What are they, and how do they compare fiscally to negative interest on excess reserves? Cc User:Farcaster EllenCT (talk) 16:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Is it racist for someone to call themselves white Canadian/American of European ancestry?[edit]

And is it also racist for someone te describe someone with pale skin if they are talking someone they met? Because for example if someone says their college professor is of Japanese descent, is it rude for someone to say for example the person I'm dating is white, has European ancestry or pale skin? Is this culturally acceptable? Venustar84 (talk) 17:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm from the Southern United States, so my situation may be a bit different, but so far as I and probably most of my family and friends would ask in what context.
"I'm dating someone (white or European-American), (6'2", 220 lbs, male, brown hair and eyes, late twenties)" would probably not be racist, just merely describing how someone looks.
Bragging about dating someone for their race as a matter of status probably is racist, even if it is not actively and malevolently so. There are inactive, unconscious, and (for lack of a better term) "benign" (rather, "less harmful" than "safe") forms of racism.
If someone states their race online merely to establish what they look like offline, again, no real harm.
If someone states their race online to look for some sort of social credit, I'd be at least concerned unless there's a good reason for them to mention their race (for example, a user mentioning that they're a minority in a discussion on discrimination against their group).
That said, there are some individuals who identify as African-American who have paler skin than some people of European ancestry. Many of them would be offended (even if they completely hide it) at being told they "look white." They may well have some European ancestry as well, and they're likely well aware of it - but pointing that out may be literally the same as pointing out to someone that one of their ancestors was a rapist. Most multiethnic persons I've met were usually proud to be so, and the issue would come up in conversation if relevant. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
If someone states their race online merely to establish what they look like offline, again, no real harm. - That makes it sound as if it's not really OK to state one's own colour or race, not even in a completely benign context, but it's a victimless crime so you shouldn't lose too much sleep over it. I have to completely disagree with that, which sounds like PC gone mad to the Nth degree. People are surely permitted to say whatever they like about themselves, as long as it's truthful and doesn't harm or belittle anyone else. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:11, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
That might be the case if you don't take into account my first statement, that "merely describing how someone looks like" is fine. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:12, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, but "no real harm" means there is at least some technical harm even if there's no actual harm. That's what I disagree with. There's not even any technical harm in stating one's own race or colour in the context we're talking about. It's perfectly acceptable if you want to do that. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
"No real harm" doesn't necessarily mean that there was harm, but that if there is harm, it's negligible. At most, it acknowledges the possibility of harm, not the reality of it. Especially if one pays attention to what I already said for proper context and doesn't look for a reason to argue by putting words in my mouth. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Let us agree to disagree. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:30, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Let's agree to not twist my words out of their given context into something that contradicted other things I clearly stated. You misunderstood what I said despite it not being all that obscure (especially in its context), I clarified it, and you've continued to argue that what I said really wasn't what I said. That's stubbornly mistaken behavior at best on your part, if not rude. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:39, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
For Japanese, they usually say their partner is a 'gaikokujin' (or more colloquially 'gaijin', which contrary to urban legend, is not at all derogatory) - this means 'foreigner'. For someone who is white, specifically, it can be 'hakujin', which literally means 'white person'. 'Kokujin' (black person) is generally shyed-upon, for similar reasons that 'black person' is not used in the US, but used in the UK, quite freely. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Speaking of white Japanese foreigners, when Jinsei Shinzaki came to America, he was named "Hakushi". Contemporary TV often called him "The White Angel" and our current article says it means "White Messenger". But Google Translate says it means "white/blank paper". Is there a truly wrong meaning here, or is it a Japanese rhetorical thing (angels deliver messages, messages are written on paper)? And when The Great Muta became Kokushi, is it the same deal, only black? InedibleHulk (talk) 08:30, April 21, 2014 (UTC)

It's never racist to describe reality. To believe otherwise is to subscribe to some weird religion of unreality for some other reason, often a self-serving one. At the point that accurately describing reality is considered a problem, free thought is dead. Shadowjams (talk) 07:53, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Getting away from the OP's question here, but "describing reality" in certain contexts can indeed indicate racist ideas from the speaker. Consider this conversation: "Dad, I can marry a black guy if I want to- he really loves me and will make a great father for my kids!" dad says, "I doubt it- Black men are six times more likely to end up in jail than white men." See how dad is "just stating a fact", but doing it in order to express his own prejudices. The fact itself isn't racist of course, but how and when you choose to cite various facts says a lot about your intentions. Staecker (talk) 11:42, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Whether mentioning a particular reality is "racist" or not depends on why one is bringing it up. In the OP's case, stating the race of one's dating partner for no apparent reason might result in a response on the order of "Are you bragging or complaining?" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
It's not racist to describe reality, but reality is often the way it is because of racism. E.g. the incarceration rates of black males in the USA is mostly due to institutional racism. See also Racial_inequality_in_the_American_criminal_justice_system. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:02, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that "most" incarcerated black males did not actually commit the crime of which they were convicted? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily, but there are real differences in sentencing based on race. That is, when two people are substantively convicted of similar crimes, white defendants tend to get proportionally lighter sentences, and tend to avoid prison time at a higher rate. These studies have a long history in the U.S. See here for scholarly papers going back decades, and they always come to the same general conclusion: white convicted criminals get more leniency, while black convicted criminals get stricter penalties, when they face substantively the same crime. --Jayron32 18:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
SM referred to the incarceration rate, which I took to mean that a higher percentage of blacks get incarcerated than whites. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
They do, but the reasons for that are multifaceted. It is true that, statistically speaking, a higher percentage of blacks are convicted of crimes in the U.S. than are whites. But it is also true that, when comparing like crimes, blacks serve longer sentences and face more jail time than whites who commit the same crime. Your question, "Are you suggesting that "most" incarcerated black males did not actually commit the crime of which they were convicted?" implies that the only explanation for the higher incarceration rate is that blacks are falsely convicted of crimes they didn't commit. Even if that were not the case (and I'm not saying that it is or it isn't), there are still systemic problems that lead to higher incarceration rates for black Americans than white Americans, including things that happen both before crimes are committed (lower socioeconomic status is correlated to higher crime rates regardless of race; on average blacks are poorer) and after (the aforementioned studies). Both factors point to problems in the American society at large that need fixing. --Jayron32 11:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 21[edit]


What is the real reason the Jewish people adopted the practice of circumcision of male baies? Was it to prevent the boys from obtaining easy sexual gratificatin in accordance with old biblical laws?-- (talk) 00:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Have you read circumcision? Evan (talk|contribs) 00:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
There's our coverage on the Jewish reasons for circumcision. 00:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Are there Biblical laws against sexual gratification? Does circumcision prevent sexual gratification? (You will find that the answers to both are "no" but you may not have thought to ask.) Adam Bishop (talk) 02:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The reason I'd always heard was a visual way to distinguish themselves from non-Jews. StuRat (talk) 04:58, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
That's a somewhat anachronistic way of looking at it, popularized by Christians a bit more than by Jews. Justin Martyr was fond of the idea that God had ordained circumcision (c. 1200 BCE, or so the story goes) as a sign to make the persecution of Jews following the Bar Kochba revolt (135 CE) easier. "...that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolate, and your cities ruined by fire; that the fruits of your land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem."
That said, circumcision is called a "sign" in the Torah, but so is the rainbow. The idea seems to be that it served as a visual reminder (for Jews? for God? for both?) of the covenant God originally made with Abraham. Lest ye forget... and all that.
Circumcision has historically been one of those things that makes Jews weird compared to the general population. During the Hellenistic period, it made it particularly difficult to visit the gymnasium without getting dirty looks, and some Jews took to primitive (and, I have to imagine, incredibly unpleasant) forms of foreskin restoration surgery. This culminated in the 160s BCE when Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed circumcision (among some of those other weird things Jews do), which made some people rather upset. Evan (talk|contribs) 06:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
According to this page, it wasn't always surgery but a leather thong called a kynodesme which looks more inconvenient than painful. The same page also discusses other stretching methods used in classical times. According to this page, in "about 140 C.E., the Jewish authorities modified circumcision procedure to make it impossible for a Jew to appear to be an uncircumcised Greek. A radical new procedure called peri'ah was introduced by the priests and rabbis". Alansplodge (talk) 15:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
That second source is truly horrible, not least because the Hellenic period never occurred outside Greece (and the Hellenistic period, which I assume is what the author meant, ended about 220 years before the given date of 140 CE). Priests weren't calling the shots in 140, anyway. Evan (talk|contribs) 22:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Well maybe, but the same information is in our article Brit milah#Uncovering, priah: "David Gollaher has written that the rabbis added the procedure of priah to discourage men from trying to restore their foreskins". The source quoted is David Gollaher (2000), Circumcision: A History of The World’s Most Controversial Surgery, Basic Books (p. 17). Alansplodge (talk) 01:07, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Preventing sexual gratification (e.g. masturbation) was the reason that the Americans and British started circumcising boys in large numbers, according to our article, with citations therein -
"British and American doctors began recommending [circumcision] primarily as a deterrent to masturbation". SemanticMantis (talk) 15:55, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
It didn't work. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Very few British males are circumcised (unless they are Muslim or Jewish), it's much more of an American thing. DuncanHill (talk) 22:14, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe an obsession with cleanliness? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Not even close to answering the question. Evan (talk|contribs) 22:00, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Also note that male genital mutilation is luckily not common at all in Britain these days, obviously excepting in the relevant religious groups. Fgf10 (talk) 20:52, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Circumcision is not genital mutilation. --Jayron32 20:54, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Is that your opinion, or the opinion of the babies who are too young to consent? If a parent cut off any other body part from a baby without a clear medical reason, I guarantee that everybody, including you, would call it mutilation. --Bowlhover (talk) 21:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The genitals are still completely functional after, the only stress the kids encounter by the time they can remember anything is bigots telling them they've been mutilated. At the worst, it is a cosmetic procedure, and if you actually read our article on circumcision, you'll see plenty of medical benefits from the procedure (including reduced risk of STDs and UTIs). I've seen parents get their kids ears pierced before they were too young to make the decision for themselves, because that was part of their parents' culture. Would you tell their kids that their ears were mutilated? Ian.thomson (talk) 21:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I would (well, not to the kids' faces). But calling people bigots for preferring to have their bodies left the way they were made seems somewhat POV. On that basis, how about we routinely remove kids' appendices to preempt appendicitis, peritonitis etc, which have killed many people. It's not as if the appendix has any known function. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:17, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
It helps to not use loaded terms like "mutilation". Scientifically, we can all agree that circumcision of male infants involves the irreversible removal of genital tissue. In most jurisdictions, infants cannot legally consent. So we have a non-consensual and irreversible removal of genital tissue going on. Whether or not anyone thinks that's ok is not a matter for the science reference desk. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, as I had no intention whatsoever of starting a debate, but yes, preforming an completely unnecessary medical procure on a non-consenting infant is obviously mutilation. This is why it has been the subject of numerous court cases and legislative debates in many countries worldwide, so far the adoption of prohibitive legislation has only been stopped by the religious lobbies. Calling caring and 21st century parents bigots is ridiculous and insulting. Fgf10 (talk) 21:32, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If removing the appendix didn't involve invasive surgery, why not remove it? Jack, you're citing POV in this discussion, like it's an article? Like this isn't inherently a matter of POV? Don't want to get circumcised? Fine. But don't tell people who are that they're mutilated, because, when it's done as a baby, they don't have a problem with it except bigots who tell them they're mutilated. It's not like circumcised people are crawling into people's house at night to steal foreskins, so it is bigoted to react to circumcised people not having a problem with having been circumcised by saying they've been mutilated. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Guys, please stick to the question. Your opinions on who is bigoted and what constitutes mutilation are not was has been asked here. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Need help finding a short story[edit]

I'm trying to find a short story I read a long time ago. The details in my mind are really hazy, but as best as I can remember it's about two boys who spend their time shoplifting and spraying graffiti. By the end of the story the boy who is the main character sort of "sees the light" and starts taking an interest in learning. The story starts out with the two boys going out to spray graffiti (the name the other boy signs is "weezul"), then there's a flashback to where they were both in a store shoplifting, and the narrator recalls the other boy telling him "don't look at him" (the store owner) before they went in. In the last scene the boy is reciting all these things he's read about to his teacher just out of eagerness to share them with someone else. Those are the only details I remember. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Mongoose and Weasel the Taggers in the collection The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli. OttawaAC (talk) 12:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Where does confiscated money go?[edit]

You sometimes here in news after some police raids, that reasonable amount of money as result from illegal business has been confiscated. My question is, where does the police send the money then after investigations were concluded? I always wondered. (talk) 15:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

See asset forfeiture. In the US, it's supposed to be used "for law enforcement purposes".--Shantavira|feed me 16:32, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
In some places, other seized assets are also used "for law enforcement purposes", e.g. D.A.R.E._Car. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:20, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Civil forfeiture is not without controversy, for at least two reasons: 1) conflict of interest on the part of law enforcement agencies, and 2) violation of constitutional guarantees against seizure of property without due process and trial. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 00:07, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
It says only "without due process of law". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to the transparency of the Bitcoin block chain, you can actually see what happens to the FBI Bit-seizure of coin from Silk Road accounts.[24] JustAnotherUploader (talk) 23:01, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


What is wikipedia's formal stand on paid editing? --EditorMakingEdits (talk) 16:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

It's frowned upon, because anyone editing for money is liable to have an agenda. However, editing that conforms to Wikipedia standards is the first priority. Look in Wikipedia:Conflict of interest under "Paid editing". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
These recent articles from The Signpost do a good job of explaining and contextualizing the recent trends in broader community perspectives (and the WMF's stances) on the issue. Many more can be found via the paper's archives. Needless to say, the issue has gotten around many different Wikipedia administrative pages -- here's a lengthy, but dated, discussion from Central Discussion. If you wish to see yet more discussions on the subject, the archives for WP:RfC and WP:Village pump will supply plenty, with a significant portion being from the last couple of years in particular, during which this issue has grown significantly in relevance and exposure. Snow (talk) 03:39, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

"Law and Gospel" and 16th Century Western European Christianity[edit]

Martin Luther made a distinction between the Law and Gospel, when discussing the Old and New Testaments. Was there such a concept in the Roman Catholic Church at that time? What was the Roman Catholic opinion of the Old and New Testaments? (talk) 17:35, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

See Christian_views_on_the_old_covenant#Roman_Catholic. --Jayron32 18:05, 21 April 2014 (UTC)


I am looking for the correct wording (along with the title and author) of an old poem that goes something like-- Out of the moon and the stars and the flowers out of the....... out of the..... came mothers, the live giving(or God given?)thing — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:8:9200:520:C43D:F00B:1278:65E4 (talk) 23:16, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I've done quite a thorough Google search without finding anything. In my experience, you don't need to get many of the words wrong to make it very difficult indeed. Perhaps somebody else will have better luck. Alansplodge (talk) 12:50, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I am not having any luck either. Do you remember where you first heard/saw the poem? Any other clues?-- (talk) 21:36, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find anything either. Do you know if you were reading a translated poem? OttawaAC (talk) 23:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

biographical details of Jakob Lorber[edit]

hi, all - I'm working on a project about Lorber, and although there's quite a bit about him on the web, a lot of it is of a religious nature, talking about his writing, whereas at the moment I'm looking for stuff to do with his quotidian existence - there's a thing by Eggenstein that purports to be a biography, but gives only Lorber's early years; what I'm hoping for is something about his life when he was writing; it seems as if he did nothing but write for 25 years - where was he living? - how was he living? - did he have enough of a following in life for them to support him financially?

Thanks for any answers.

Adambrowne666 (talk) 01:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

There's a three-page "digression" about him in this book about Schubert. [25] It describes him living simply in a room in an inn, and conducting seances for friends. OttawaAC (talk) 02:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, that's a wonderful find - thanks so much, Ottawa! Adambrowne666 (talk) 03:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The biographical accounts by his acquaintance Karl Gottfried Ritter von Leitner are available online here, but, alas, in German, though transcribed to modern Standard German orthography, which makes it a bit easier for machine translation, yet still hard to parse — I just tested the second (shorter) link). Let me (or people at the language desk) know if you need help. I couldn't find KGRvL's writings in English. ---Sluzzelin talk 06:39, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks heaps, Sluzzelin - actually, the project is a book on Lorber - illustrated essays with quotes from Lorber's revelations; because the translations of Lorber's writing are still under copyright, I believe I'll need to employ a translator to English those parts of his writing that I end up using. Would it be okay if I talked with you about this, when the time comes, or should I just put a call out onthe Language Desk, do you think? Adambrowne666 (talk) 00:48, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370[edit]

It is almost 2 months, till a single wreckage is not found. Is there any historical example where the first wreckage was found long after the original accident date? — Preceding unsigned comment added by EditorMakingEdits (talkcontribs) 04:01, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Not quite what you're asking for, but with Air France Flight 447 in 2009, wreckage was found five days after the crash, but the black boxes weren't recovered until 2 years later. Of course, some planes, such as Amelia Earhart's and Frederick Valentich's, have never been found. HiLo48 (talk) 05:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I think the best example is probably the 1947 BSAA Avro Lancastrian Star Dust accident, where an airliner crashed into a mountain in the Andes and intensive searching did not find it. (Of course the technology they had was far behind what is available today.) Some of the wreckage was found in 1998 in a glacier and it was realized that over the intervening 51 years the glacier had moved it to a lower altitude on the mountain.

Also, there have been several examples of military flights that were lost during World War II and the planes were found decades later, but I don't have specifics to cite. Another somewhat well-known civilian example involves a small plane: hockey player Bill Barilko was killed in a crash in 1951 and the wreckage was not found until 1962. -- (talk) 05:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's plane crashed in the Mediterranean Sea in 1944 and the first piece of wreckage was only found in 1998; and people had a pretty clear idea of where his plane had gone down. --Xuxl (talk) 09:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Now another question. Why is it taking so long to find the Malaysian plane despite all the modern technology? And it was a huge plane, not a tiny plane, so the wreckage must be clearly visible. --EditorMakingEdits (talk) 06:19, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you appreciate the huge area they need to search? And how deep the water is there (c. 5 kilometres)? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
To echo HiLo & Jack of Oz, the region or area of the crash is the main reason it has yet to be and may never be found.
The plane US Majority Leader Hale Boggs & Congressman Nick Begich went down in a glacier field back in '72. Talk about MASSIVE government co-ordinated long-term search efforts and yet no one has ever even found a scrap from those planes in over 50 years. Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 09:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I must inform my friends born in 1972 that they've missed their 50th birthday parties. How time flies these days.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:06, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
To give some idea, last I heard, the area under consideration is about 217,000 sq km. This is larger than many countries, such as Switzerland, Belgium, Syria, Tunisia and Greece, and not much smaller than the United Kingdom. Multiply that by c.5 km deep, and you have well over 1 million cubic kilometres of water to search, and the wreckage is most probably at the bottom. At the outset, the coordinator of the Australian search, Angus Houston, warned that it could take many months, rather than weeks or days, and they may never find anything. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:25, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
A passenger plane diverted from Malaysia towards the military runway at Diego Garcia could instead be downed at the bottom of the Chagos trench where nobody is thinking of looking. JustAnotherUploader (talk) 22:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The Diego Garcia conspiracy theory has been around for a number of weeks. I'm quite sure the authorities read Facebook and have taken all of its scientifically rigorous postings into account. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:30, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
One important reason why it's taking so long is that the information about the plane's deviation from its flight path wasn't revealed for days, allowing time for any floating wreckage on the ocean surface to disperse. Also, some of the information that there is was derived indirectly, sometimes in ways that haven't been done before, and that took more time. -- (talk) 01:54, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

History on Author & Occultist Donald Tyson.[edit]

I am interested on the history on Author & Occultist Donald Tyson. Also any reference or reviews of his writings & work. Here on Wikipedia I read somewhere that his page was deleted for some reason. I have come across his fictional work for sale many times on so I would like to know why he was not any longer included on this site. Even if he was considered to be irrelevant or not perhaps an established or successful author, it seems to me that a reference on him no matter how small should at least be put on this site. Is there a reason someone can tell me of why this person had a page and then had it deleted? Was it nonfactual? I use Wikipedia all the time and after hearing of this, I think I would like to understand the sites policies more in depth. Especially concerning this author. How can it hurt anything to include at least a list of his known writings and whatever history is known or unknown on him. No author that has had his work published should be considered too small in my opinion to be on Wikipedia. If not for anything but just as a reference and maybe even a review area to highlight his work be it good or bad. Any reference is better than no reference as long as it is considered to be established & factual, right? That's all. A response will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Signed Timothy M. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Donald Tyson tells why it was deleted. (talk) 06:10, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Currency Exchange[edit]

I need to change some money up from one currency to another, the trouble is a lot of places around town that offer this service claim not to charge any commission, but then quote a rather different exchange rate than the one given online, I am wondering if this is something I will encounter everywhere, or if there is any way of finding somewhere that can change money up at a better rate, at least something close to what it is supposed to be? Or even some way of comparing different options without having to walk all over the city asking at each place to see what rate they offer? (talk) 12:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, this is something you will encounter everywhere. If the service doesn't charge commission, then the way they make money providing this service is to manipulate the exchange rate. I see that your IP address is in England. I don't know of a way to easily compare exchange rates. Perhaps you could call some places and ask their rates over the phone to compare. See Bureau de change for more information and examples of typical locations for currency exchange.--Dreamahighway (talk) 20:28, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
You can see lots of rates at Generally places that charge no commission will give you a worse exchange rate, so if you're changing a large amount you're better off paying a small commission to get a better rate. If you're changing a smaller amount, you're better off taking the worse rate to avoid paying the commission. The crossover might in the 100-200 Euro range, depending. Rates fluctuate throughout the day just like the stock market does, so you can't expect a phone quote to still be good 30 minutes later. If you go to a part of your city where international tourists go shopping, you'll probably see a lot of change shops with exchange rates displayed in their windows, so you can pull out your calculator and make comparisons. Added: compare the buy and sell rates for a given currency: if they're within 5% of each other (in small retail amounts) you are doing pretty good. With large amounts you can of course do better. No you will not be able to make money on arbitrage by running up and down the street making exchanges in those shops. (talk) 21:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
If this is a town that you live in or visit often, it might be be worthwhile to open an account with a bank and keep just a small amount of money in the account. Banks, at least here in the States, will change money for you and will do so at a better rate if you are a customer of theirs. Dismas|(talk) 23:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Why do Hare Krishna adherents view Buddhism negatively?[edit]

I recently met a Hare Krishna adherent on the street. He attracted my view, because he was the only person on the street in some sort of scanty robe, chanting some sort of verse in some language. Probably Sanskrit, Pali, or whatever. He called it "preaching". I asked him whether this was Buddhism, but apparently he just told me that Buddhism was "inferior" to his religion, because it "promoted morality". He gave me a business card, and I used it to look up the organization, which was affiliated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. I don't get it. Assuming that this guy's views are pretty representative of the Hare Krishna group (after all, he is "ordained", whatever that is supposed to mean), I still wish to know how the Hare Krishna people view Buddhists. (talk) 13:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Opinions or even theology aside, they're both offshoots of Hinduism, though Krishna Consciousness presents itself as a restoration of Hindu teachings while Buddhism is an explicit rejection of them. Despite this, they share a number of ideas and meditational techniques, which can make a younger religion that claims to be older rather edgy. I'm under the impression that, for a good chunk of the '60s and '70s, they were sort of competing for the same converts.
Plus, on some level, anyone who's devoted to a particular religion has to believe that their religion is superior to others, otherwise there's no reason to not convert or at least syncretize.
Also, dude probably gets tired of hearing "hey are you Buddhist or something?" Ian.thomson (talk) 14:00, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
That still doesn't explain why Hare Krishna people believe that Buddhism is inferior, because it promotes morality. I don't even know what "promoting morality" means or the rationalization of perceiving Buddhism as inferior. (talk) 14:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I can't find any ISKCON/Hare Krishna sources that have a problem with Buddhism promoting morality. Perhaps he meant that it only promotes morality, and not the sort of deeper spirituality that ISKCON claims to have? That would provide some theological reason for Hare Krishna devotees to believe Buddhism is inferior. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:20, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
It is a profound misrepresentation of the history of those religions to suggest that Buddhism is an "offshoot" of Hinduism; the two have had substantial influence on one-another, but that is not the nature of their relationship. Snow (talk) 06:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
You're sure he didn't say "promotes immorality"? —Tamfang (talk) 08:58, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Why do Christians preach in the vernacular?[edit]

This question is related to the previous one, because it is about preaching in public. The Hare Krishna adherent says that he is "preaching". Christians, on the other hand, seem to preach in the vernacular language, so American Christians will preach in English, because English is the common language of America. Whether the preaching is done on street corners or in churches, people typically "preach" in English. Maybe some Roman Catholic services will introduce Greek chanting, simply because it's traditional, but most of the liturgy seems to be done in 18th-19th century English. Is there a reason why Christians do not preach in the Aramaic of Jesus, koine Greek, or biblical Hebrew? (talk) 14:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Catholics are more likely to use Latin, with only certain uses of Greek.
But otherwise, Christians were historically more interested in people learning about their beliefs right away, rather than being interested in some mystical chant they didn't understand and only partially learning the religion's doctrines over time (well, with the exception of some Gnostic groups that, even if accepted by then contemporary mainstream Christianity, wouldn't have gotten anywhere). Most Jews and Muslims, IIRC, also preach in the vernacular, barring certain groups restrictions on recitation of the holy texts and certain formal prayers. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I was wondering about the reference to Greek myself. In my own high-church Anglican experience, though, the Kyries may be in Greek even when the rest of the service is solely in English - is that possible in Novus Ordo, too? And does anywhere still use the 'Agios o Theos' Greek versicles from the Tridentine Mass? AlexTiefling (talk) 14:28, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's possible in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite: the little 'Order of Mass' cards common in English Catholic churches since the new translation came in have the kyrie in both languages (the only part of the Mass they do this for). But then, it's also pretty common to have some of the parts of the Mass in Latin while most is in English. The "Holy is God" versicles appear with the Reproaches on Good Friday. (talk) 16:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
As a brief aside, the only non-English language I have ever encountered in a Catholic Mass is Greek, during the kyrie. As I understand it, post-Vatican II, Latin is almost never used outside very special (and very rare) uses of the Tridentine Mass. Evan (talk|contribs) 20:22, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Then you haven't been to the perfectly ordinary parishes near me? Singing the parts of the Mass in Latin (the Agnus Dei and so on) from time to time is pretty common, and I even know a town where they do it just about every Sunday. It's always the Missa de Angelis in my experience, which is the one everyone knows. All in ordinary parishes who would never dream of using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (the Tridentine Mass), with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and girl altar servers. (talk) 21:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Having only been to a few Catholic Masses, I will take your word for it! Striking the poorly informed part of my comment above. Evan (talk|contribs) 21:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Because no-one speaks Aramaic or Koine Greek any more, and modern Hebrew is quite localised to Israel outside Jewish liturgical contexts. More seriously - the Protestant Reformation, and latterly the Liturgical Movement, have meant that worship is conducted in the vernacular across the entire western Church. (I'm less familiar with the position in the Orthodox tradition.) This has been a big deal for Christians over the years - even though the Vulgate Bible latterly became viewed as the inaccessible, non-vernacular text, it started its life as a more accessible alternative to Greek.
There's also a confusion of terminology here. Preaching in Christianity is almost invariably words addressed to the populace - whether a congregation or the general public. Worship is words and actions addressed to God, either directly or by calling on saints to join in addressing God. Meditation is words, actions and thoughts directed inward to the self, to enhance mindfulness of God and godly deeds. Almost all Christian preaching has always been in the vernacular, even when worship has not been, because if I step out of my front door and proclaim "Quare fremuerunt gentes?", no-one will understand me.
I may meditate to myself, or perform an act of worship, in a language other than my own - I sometimes sing hymns in German, and use prayers in Latin or Greek. But no preaching that is not understandable by its audience is going to get anywhere. (There's a reflection of this in the story of the Apostles speaking in tongues at Pentecost.) So I suspect that the ISKCON fellow may not have been using the word 'preaching' in a conventional way. It's my understanding that members of the movement habitually chant the names and titles of Krishna is order to centre their thoughts on him rather than on themselves, and it sounds like this is what you witnessed.
Does that clarify things at all? AlexTiefling (talk) 14:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I guess. But still, the defense of praying to saints is that it is no different from asking your grandma or friend to pray to God for you. But I think there is some sort of devotional aspect in the saints or Mary, mother of Jesus, in a way not so much different from Buddhists naturally bowing down devotionally to Buddha or bodhisattvas. They are not gods, but bowing down is just an act of devotion and respect. (talk) 14:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
We have an article on Veneration which covers the distinction - the terms latria (worship), hyperdulia (great veneration) and dulia (veneration) have been used to delineate the honours due to God, the BVM, and other saints, respectively. To say that it's no different to asking for a friend or relative's intercession is misleading - it's also a form of honour, but not (by intention) the same honour that one gives to God. (This is all so much apologetics from me, as although as a high Anglican I accept these arguments in principle, it's very rare that I even go through the form of asking a saint to pray for me; our prayers relating to the saints mostly thank God for their lives and works, rather than calling on them personally. AlexTiefling (talk) 14:56, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
So, why don't high-church Anglicans like yourself call on them personally? Is there a theological reason? (talk) 15:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The article only lists the claims of the Protestant view, not the reasons that lead up to the claims. That is, it does not explain why a distinction cannot be made. (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Much of High Anglicanism (since the days of the Oxford Movement) has focussed on reconciling the traditions of Roman Catholicism (and of the Church in England before the Reformation specifcially) with the witness of the Church of England as a Reformed Church. This means trying to square parts of the 39 Articles with the elements of Catholic teaching - in some cases, the exact areas of Catholic teaching that the Articles were written to oppose. In this case, it's Article 22: "The Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saint, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God." The usual argument is that this was attacking the profit-making and superstitious late-medieval form of the cults of the saints, and that simply calling on the saints in prayer is not the same thing. But as is so often the case in the Church of England, the specific answer is a matter of personal conscience - and so the level of saint-mentioning that I feel comfortable with won't be the same as the next person's, even within the same tradition. AlexTiefling (talk) 15:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Collapse preaching. (talk) 21:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
One may wonder what modern-day atheists mean by "superstition" and "magic" in regards to prayer. I think many Western atheists hold a Western view of prayer without realizing they are holding a Western view of prayer. The failure to understand Christian theology and the limited knowledge of Eastern religions and philosophies seem to make the atheist argument against prayer (i.e. "Prayer doesn't work") very weak. (talk) 15:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The notion of praying to saints instead of to God is a Catholic invention with no biblical basis. As for prayer "working" or not, it always works, if you're praying for the right thing. Praying for some specific object or action is a misuse of prayer. Praying for spiritual strength works. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, the trite answer is "God answers every prayer; sometimes the answer is "no"... --Jayron32 18:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

"Outreach Ministry"[edit]

I saw this sign and asked the guy that stood by it was it was about. He told me that it was a notice that there would be the last meeting for some sort of campus non-denominational outreach ministry program that meets on Saturdays. I asked him why they didn't meet on Sundays, but he just told me that it's not a church, it's a "ministry". I asked him what's the difference between "church" and "ministry", but he just said that a church is where Christians come and meet, while a ministry is where Christians "introduce students to Jesus". I looked up the "outreach ministry" and got bus ministry and "Outreach ministry is the Church at work in God's name, stretching out to meet needs in the wider community. Our daily lives are filled with outreach ministry, whether or not we have a formal role in the Church", which was basically driving people in remote places to church, with the goal of making religious conversions. I don't see the connection between reaching out to people in the greater community and converting people to Christianity, but I suppose reaching out and helping others somehow make people talk about spiritual things. As time passes by, people slowly adopt the Christian worldview and become Christians - first by behavior, then by faith. How do they (bus ministries, for example) work exactly? (talk) 21:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I looked up "Outreach" on Wikipedia too. Still no help. Grrr... Why do people have to be so vague? (talk) 21:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"Ministry" originally meant "to serve", and in many Christian churches, "lay ministries" exist where non-clergy engage in charitable service to members of the church community, or to the general public as ecclesiastic or "outreach" ministries. There are many types of such ministries. Youth outreach ministries are common, offering a combination of recreational and Christian learning activities. Outreach ministries for the elderly or homeless are other examples. Some definitions you might find helpful are here. [26] OttawaAC (talk) 22:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
This is probably a better source of info, it basically defines "outreach" as either evangelizing, or social/community service. Essentially, proselytizing. [27] OttawaAC (talk) 22:27, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
ProselytismNelson Ricardo (talk) 00:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The other timeline of ancient history[edit]

You know, with time running horizontally, regions stacked on each other, and running from 3000 BCE to 1000 CE. T3h 1337 b0y 23:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Here's an example. [28] What is the question? OttawaAC (talk) 23:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]

Polk's Declaration of War[edit]

Could someone list all the congressmen who made up the Immortal Fourteen who voted no to the bill declaring war against Mexico in 1847? Also can someone find me an online copy of this bill with its controversial preamble? Also did Calhoun abstain from the vote and if so who else abstained?-- (talk) 00:30, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

"Immortal Fourteen"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The fourteen are named in this source in footnote 12. [29] It doesn't mention who abstained, though. OttawaAC (talk) 00:48, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The full text of the Act and the preamble are here (scroll down to where it says Chapter 16). [30] OttawaAC (talk) 01:17, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Exactly, why I am asking the question? I can't find a source that mentions all the congressmen who opposed the bill only the most outspoken ones like Giddings, Ashmun, and Adams. -- (talk) 02:19, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Which is more commonly used: Myanmar or Burma?[edit]

Isn't Myanmar more commonly used in daily talk when talking about that Southeast Asian country? (talk) 03:38, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I usually hear "Burma". One reason may be that most people have little idea how they're supposed to pronounce "Myanmar", another may be opposition to the govt. — kwami (talk) 06:14, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Uncertainties in opinion polls[edit]

When a public opinion poll give a "margin of error" or a "sampling error", are these the same thing? Occasionally a poll with say they have 95% confidence in their results. Does this mean that the error is the range for p=0.05 rather than for the standard deviation? Or does it just mean that it passes their criterion of p=0.05? Are opinion polls ever published with σ? (I'm speaking of pollsters in the US, if that makes any difference.) — kwami (talk) 06:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


Look up Wiktionary:Information desk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Wiktionary:Translation requests in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

April 17[edit]

Ces gens dans le Nord[edit]

If you're a typical Montréal resident, what do you call the people up north? Are they still the Esquimaux, or have you done like the Anglophones and put them all under the Inuit banner? I can't read French at all, so I tried Google Translate for fr:Esquimaux#Perception, but I'm not completely sure that they're discussing official terminology in French. Nyttend (talk) 03:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

The sentence Au Canada, l'appellation « Inuits » est officielle depuis 1970 et remplace le terme « Esquimaux ». Ce dernier pouvant être considéré comme péjoratif et offensant. means "In Canada, the term 'Inuits' has been official since 1970, and has replaced the term 'Eskimos', which could be considered pejorative and offensive." By the way dans le Nord kind of means "inside the North"... AnonMoos (talk) 03:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay, so it means that it's been replaced in French as well? None of the Eskimo articles I checked in various Wikipedias discussed the terminology (as far as I could see), except for English and French, so I couldn't be sure. Meanwhile, you see my inability to use French: "ces gens dans le Nord" was what Google gave me for "those folks up north", and I didn't know that it was wrong. Nyttend (talk) 04:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Anon, but "dans le nord" simply means "in the North." -- (talk) 06:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Literally translated, sure, but "du Nord" may be more appropriate. That's "of the North". Mingmingla (talk) 17:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC) -- That could be, but French dans generally has a much more concrete spatial meaning as a locative preposition than English "in" does (leaving aside the temporal function of dans, which is rather different). If you mechanically substitute dans in all cases as an attempted translation of "in", the result will sound pretty bad in French... AnonMoos (talk) 00:27, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
So it's often closer to "of", in the sense of "William of Orange", combining a little locative and a little genitive with generally being associated with the object of the preposition? I always guessed that the établissements français dans l'Inde were simply "French establishments in India", and nothing more, from a strictly linguistic perspective. Nyttend (talk) 05:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Most of the time, dans should not be used as a French translation for "in" unless "inside" or "within" would also make sense in the original English source sentence. I'm sure that there are further complexities and partial exceptions, but that's the basic rule of thumb... AnonMoos (talk) 13:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
That is the official term - in fact, French is one of the official languages of Nunavut, and they of course use "Inuit". (There is even some debate about whether "Inuit" can be turned into a French adjective - des gens inuits? La culture inuite? Or should it "Inuit" be invariable as a loanword from another language?) But that doesn't necessarily mean a typical Montreal resident would call them that - even in English some people still say Eskimo. Adam Bishop (talk) 08:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Inuit is commonly used in French-speaking Canada. Esquimaux sounds very old-fashioned nowadays; I bet some people under the age of 20 have only heard the term in relation to the CFL team in Edmonton. In France however, the term Inuit is still rare and used mainly by ethnologists. --Xuxl (talk) 12:23, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Not all northerners are Inuit, either. There are other indigenous groups as well, mainly Innu and Cree.OttawaAC (talk) 20:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Answering the original question, it would be "les gens du Nord", "les gens du Sud", or "les gens du Grand-Nord" (far northern Quebec). OttawaAC (talk) 02:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
As a French, I would say "les peuples [autochtones] du Grand Nord canadien", and shorter, if your are Canadian, "les peuples du Nord", but may be in Canadian French gens is right — AldoSyrt (talk) 07:05, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The Public Works and Government Services Canada website has a guide to usage of Inuk, Inuit and Inuits in English and French. But no explanation of "inuit" with a lower case i. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 00:37, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

In French, Inuit with a capital I is the proper noun, with a lower case i is the adjective: Les Inuits, des chasseurs inuits. — AldoSyrt (talk) 07:48, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking of the use in English. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 08:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

What is this Japanese language source about? Do the authors have a connection to the subject?I[edit]

I found these Japanese sources on CiNii:

What is the article talking about, and do the authors have any connection with the school? Thank you, WhisperToMe (talk) 04:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

They are unrelated to the school. They visited Mexico and carried out reserch on early childhood education at the bicultural kindergarten. Oda Mari (talk) 16:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much! WhisperToMe (talk) 00:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I found two more from the same authors:

Does this document mention any additional information about the authors? What do these articles discuss? WhisperToMe (talk) 00:58, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it doesn't. I searched about them in ja, but I couldn't find any helpful information. The first article is about children there more specifically and the problems and the second one is about Japanese and Mexican teachers there and the problems. Oda Mari (talk) 16:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the feedback! These sources should contribute to proof of notability for this subject, especially since the authors are independent of the school. WhisperToMe (talk) 05:23, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Taking care of living things[edit]

I had a discussion with a Chinese speaker of English, and he was talking about the role of course supervisors at Chinese universities. Because they have a range of functions, including dealing with accommodation in the university dormitories, they are more than mere "course supervisors". He said they "take care of living things" eg. accommodation, including disputes with roommates. Firstly, is there a good way in English to say "taking care of living things", or do I have to describe it by example? Secondly, is there a better term than course supervisor for someone with these extra roles? IBE (talk) 10:34, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I would probably say "taking care of domestic matters". AndrewWTaylor (talk) 10:54, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Are you perhaps describing a pastoral care role, in which someone takes care of pastoral, as well as academic, matters? (talk) 14:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I think that sums it up rather well. Any further answers also welcome, but that I think is the de rigeur term in modern English. IBE (talk) 15:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
As for the title of the person, in American universities these issues may be dealt with at an upper level by a dean of students, or at a lower level by various advisers and counselors, or by RAs. Lesgles (talk) 16:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe also a guidance counselor. --Jayron32 16:52, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Or possibly Community Director. Try Googling this: university community director job description; see if this fits what you mean.--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:57, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
This sounds somewhat like a resident assistant or residence hall director to me. Nyttend (talk) 22:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree with Nyttend, the issue as posted seem to deal with on-campus housing (usually called residence) not spiritual counseling. Unless that is common in countries with state churches? μηδείς (talk) 04:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I think these answers give the basic overview. For all that, however, "course supervisor" is probably the best term, and "pastoral care" the best for their ancillary functions. It sounds similar to a counselor, but when translating a term from a foreign administrative system, we seem to either translate their term directly, or use our own more general and simple term. Note that Resident assistant is pretty close, but is usually a peer, according to the article. IBE (talk) 03:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

"Pastoral care" has a strong religious connotation that to me sounds out of place. "Living arrangements" might convey what the student meant by "living things". "Student counselor" is the translation I would suggest for this position. The person counsels students on meeting their needs inside and outside the classroom. Such a role is not entirely alien to the United States. The undergraduate college (university) that I attended had peope with this role, I think focused on first-year students. Marco polo (talk) 15:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I think this might be an WP:EngVar thing: in British English, "Pastoral Care" has no implications of anything religious or spiritual, and is simply the thing that teachers and people at universities provide that is not simply academic care (i.e., exactly the thing IBE is asking about). (talk) 16:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia disagrees with you: Pastoral care - "It historically is the ministry of care and counseling provided by pastors, chaplains and other religious leaders to members of their church or congregation, or to anyone within institutional settings." Rmhermen (talk) 16:51, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
No it doesn't. Pastoral care is historically what it says, but is now (fairly recently, I think) widely used in non-religious contexts in the UK. For example, we use it in the non-profit company I am part of to talk about the particular director who is tasked with looking after the well-being of our volunteers. --ColinFine (talk) 23:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to try and agree with you both, so to speak. I think the connotations are still there, but in some parts (such as Australia) "pastoral care" is being used in educational institutions. Since it is a recent usage, the colour of the religious assocation hasn't been completely washed out just yet. So I would go with pastoral care, although I rather like Marco polo's summary of "living arrangements". I prefer "supervisor" as a term, since it is more general, and "counsellor" sounds to me more specific. IBE (talk) 16:21, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 18[edit]

make the list[edit]

I have a question concerning the phrase "make the list" in the following sentence: "Jonah Berger monitored the most e-mailed stories produced by the New York Times for six months and found that positive stories were more likely to make the list than negative ones." I wonder what the phrase exactly means. A lot of thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

It means that, on the list of the most emailed stories produced by the New York Times, there are more positive stories than negative ones. If something makes the list, it means it is on said list. If it does not make the list, it isn't on it. --Jayron32 00:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Are you familiar with the idea of "making" in the sense of reaching a goal? If not, see Wiktionary's entry for "make", point 14. Just as the person saying the quotation "made it" to Cincinnati, Berger's stories "made it" to the list. Nyttend (talk) 05:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe sense 19(c) of make in the Merriam-Webster dictionary online [31] is what the OP is looking for. The example with Cincinatti is slightly different and corresponds to sense 19(a), from which the other senses are likely descended. I would probably say that stories made it "onto the list" rather than "to the list" as Nyttend does.
19(a): reach, attain <made port before the storm> —often used with it <you'll never make it that far>
(b) : to gain the rank of <make major>
(c) : to gain a place on or in <make the team> <the story made the papers>
(d) : to succeed in providing or obtaining <make bail> (talk) 06:47, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Triplets of triplets[edit]

How would one commonly refer to the plural equivalent of "pairs of twins" for triplets (as in humans born in multiple births). Since "triplets" normally could mean sets of three, but in this context actually means the individuals, it probably won't work. Does one have to use something generic like "sets" or "groups", or is there another way of saying it? ---Sluzzelin talk 06:17, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

"Sets of triplets" is the usual expression. See, for example, list of people with the most children.--Shantavira|feed me 07:27, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Anytime a multiple birth happens, the "group" may be referred to as a "set". Set of twins, set of triplets, etc. There are cases of women giving birth to more than one set of twins at the same time. More than one set of triplets at a time, I haven't heard of, but I guess it's possible. OttawaAC (talk) 07:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I take it you mean more than one set of identical twins at the same time, since, if 4 were born at the same time, each pair would be fraternal twins. StuRat (talk) 12:50, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Unless you're asking whether a "trio of triplets" would work? Or a "quartet of quadruplets"? OttawaAC (talk) 07:38, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Or a "triad of triplets". "Threefold" might work in some context, too: "She had a threefold set of triplets". StuRat (talk) 12:53, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
By "more than one set of twins at the same time" do you mean two identical pairs that are fraternal to each other, or what? —Tamfang (talk) 09:12, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
One could facetiously say batches. —Tamfang (talk) 09:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I don' have to show you any stinking batches! Deor (talk) 12:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
It's even funnier (for humans) if you call each one a litter: "She had three litters of triplets". Of course, with other animals, that's not so uncommon. StuRat (talk) 12:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, all. I was actually thinking of applying it to completely unrelated sets of triplets. Such as counting the groups showing up at a triplet get-together, or comparing how many trios of triplets have been successful through various fields of entertainment. Thank you for the trio and threefold suggestions, which I couldn't come up with, but I guess writing a "tr___ of triplets" or a "thr____ of triplets" is too alliterative/redundant. Thanks for the zoology and farming suggestions too, but I would never use those myself. I have a friend who invariably wraps her curiosity about other women's pregnancy in phrases which might be translated as "When's she finally gonna drop?" (as in meaning #27 of "drop" (verb)) ("Wänn wirft sie ändlich?"). It's ok for her, but not for me :-) ---Sluzzelin talk 17:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Or you can take the reverse approach and ask "How long ago did you get knocked up ?" :-) StuRat (talk) 17:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Whenever a married woman or one with a long-term male partner announces she's pregnant, I congratulate her, of course, and enquire politely as to who the father is. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:30, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
You assume too much, Jack. you should politely ask if she knows who the father is. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, indeed. Where were my manners? I'm sure your well-received suggestion would exponentially increase my chance of earning brownie points. Or getting my face slapped. I like living dangerously. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:54, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I prefer to do that when a man tells me his wife is pregnant. Then when he says he's the father, I act surprised and say "What a coincidence, you're her husband AND her baby's father, what are the chances of that !". StuRat (talk) 01:10, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Correct word[edit]

This question is somewhat related to the question immediately above. Quite coincidentally, I had planned on asking this question even before seeing the above question. Is there a generic term for a child (or adult) who is a member of a multiple birth (for example, a twin, a triplet, etc.)? Let's say that Person A is one of a set of twins; Person B is one of a set of triplets; and Person C is one of a set of quadruplets. Is there a correct word that would fill in this sentence? A, B, and C are __________s. I am looking for one word (a noun), as opposed to some variation of a phrase such as "individuals from multiple births". In other words, if a room were filled with a bunch of twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc., we could say that the room is filled with __________s. What is that generic word for such a group? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:05, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The lead of our Twin article says that "the general term for one offspring of a multiple birth is multiple" (and cites a Web page that uses the word so), though I can't say I've ever heard that term used in the wild. Deor (talk) 23:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd add a bit more: "multiple birth siblings", although that sounds like it could include their singleton sibs, too. StuRat (talk) 02:14, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
To me, that would imply that they are related to each other. The question clearly implies that they need not be. In my experience (nothing much) the usual trick if you are writing a long enough article is just to coin a term, when confronted with any quirky situation. Otherwise, like here, you can use the official (but unknown) term. But keep coming up with these interesting questions ;) IBE (talk) 10:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
[One of a] litter, or litter-mates.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:35, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Those also imply that they are siblings. I was more concerned in my original question about a room full of strangers. They would be called __________s. Like, for example, let's say that there was a convention of twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:19, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

"And" at the beginning of a paragraph[edit]

Sometimes I find the conjunction "and" is put at the beginning of a paragraph. I am not sure about the usage of it. Could anyone explain this point for me? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

It's not clear what you are asking. Are you looking for somebody to tell you that this is, or isn't "correct"? Or are you having problems understanding what is meant? ---ColinFine (talk) 00:01, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
And did those feet in ancient time is a well-known example. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:07, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
An 'initial conjunction' used to begin a sentence is grammatically fine. A bit of an unusual rhetorical flourish, but there's nothing incorrect about its use. OttawaAC (talk) 00:30, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Some of my English teachers said there was. Doesn't mean I think the same way. I know I use "And" at the start of sentences. Haven't observed myself using it at the start of paragraphs, but maybe I do. HiLo48 (talk) 00:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The conjunction "and" corresponds to the adverb "also". The conjunction "or" corresponds to the adverb "alternatively". The conjunction "but" corresponds to the adverb "however". The conjunction "so" corresponds to the adverb "consequently". See Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2012 December 31#So.
Wavelength (talk) 00:48, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Here's an example of how I might use it:
"I will show the 5 reasons why..."
So, I just might use it as an alternative to "Also", to avoid repetition. StuRat (talk) 01:03, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

In ancient Hebrew, starting a sentence with wə- "and/but" is very common. There are even special verb forms consisting of a coalescence of clause initial "and" + following verb (common since default word order is VSO) which have somewhat different meanings than ordinary verbs... AnonMoos (talk) 16:34, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

It also reminds me of Columbo': "And just one more question...". StuRat (talk) 16:21, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

Not religious. Not agnostic. Not atheist. Just doesn't care.[edit]

Is there a simple label for someone who is clearly not religious, but doesn't fit the formal definitions of atheist or agnostic? This would be someone who never really thinks about the matter, and doesn't really care of god exists, or not. It's a description I feel would apply to a lot of people I know, but we don't seem to have a formal label for them. Or do we? HiLo48 (talk) 01:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I think you're talking about apatheists, although your first sentence would also apply to people who very strongly believe in God and want to serve God, but don't believe in churches and such. --Trovatore (talk) 01:09, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I definitely don't mean the latter. That would involve too much thinking about the matter. Apatheist comes close - "someone who considers the question of the existence of gods as neither meaningful nor relevant to their life" - but is obviously not a common word. HiLo48 (talk) 01:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Apatheism covers the "doesn't really care" part of the question but it's not a statement of belief or disbelief. So there's typically a better term to describe the apatheist's actual beliefs (after all, apathy doesn't mean you've never thought about it -- just that it's not important). Nontheism would be the broader term. If your version of not caring allows for the possibility of a god, agnostic could also apply. "Strong agnosticism" is similar to apatheism in that it renders the question of god unknowable in an absolute sense. Post-theism considers the idea of God irrelevant for the modern world. Irreligious indicates lack of religion (i.e. belief/disbelief in god not required, but religion is rejected). --— Rhododendrites talk |  02:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Nah, that's all far too complex for the approach to life I'm talking about. HiLo48 (talk) 05:12, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
You can be agnostic (not claiming to know that a deity exists), atheist (not believing that a deity exists) or irreligious (not interested in organised religion), or any combination thereof without actually giving much consideration to your formal position. In any case, the relevant terms would still apply. Similarly, the autonomic processes that keep you alive may be complex, but a lack of awareness about how those processes work doesn't change the fact that they happen and that the terms for those processes still apply to you.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • To greatly oversimplify, The view of Epicurus was that the gods may exist, but there's no point in worrying about them. μηδείς (talk) 16:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Czech sentence[edit]

Could anybody fix the Czech sentence "moja žena je raniena" for me please? Google Translate gives me "moje žena je zraněn" but (though having zero knowledge of Czech), I find this implausible as it seems to lack gender agreement. In contrast GT gives me e.g. "moja żona jest ranna" and "моя жена ранена" so it can do gender agreement - does it just have blind spot when it comes to Czech? Also, where did the initial "z-" come from? do I really need it? Also, Czech_declension#Short_forms says There are also short forms in some adjectives. They are used in the nominative and are regarded as literary in the contemporary language. - so if a participle isn't one of the some, or one doesn't have literary pretensions, how can one form a predicate of the type needed for my sentence (also why would one decline a short form?)? Thanks, --catslash (talk) 02:38, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't know Czech, but I know that Slavic languages distinguish between perfective aspect and imperfective aspect, and that very often verbs without a prefix are imperfective while verbs with a prefix (such as z-) are perfective. So that's probably where the z- comes from. At any rate, this Czech headline says of Ariane Friedrich (who ruptured her Achilles tendon), "Friedrichová je zraněná", so maybe "mojamoje žena je zraněná" is the right way of saying it. I hope an actual Czech speaker shows up, though. Angr (talk) 10:24, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
According to Wiktionary's entry for můj, the nominative singular feminine form is moje (not moja), so Google Translate seems to be right in translating "my wife" as moje žena. Angr (talk) 10:30, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, particularly for the link to the Dnes article. Yes the perfective is surely wanted for the past passive participle, but for this particular verb I was expecting it to be the same as the imperfective - as in the Russian version of the sentence above. The original sentence was an utterance reported by someone who though able to communicate freely in Czech, had not studied it formally and so was very likely using a sort of generic Slavonic with a Czech accent. This might have made the z- unexpected and easily missed, and likewise caused moje to be heard as moja. There is a small chance that even though the speaker was reported as being ethnic Czech, the utterance might have been intended as being in Slovak. So (supplementary question), could anybody give me the correct Slovak rendering of the sentence please? --catslash (talk) 14:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

It's "moje žena je zraněná". The short form version would be "zraněna" without the long vowel on the end, either I think are acceptable. My Slovak is only rudimentary but I think it would be the same except with moja for moje, and zranena, -á without the ě. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 17:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Re: short forms, they're usually used with adjectives that derive from verbs. For example the verb here is zranit - to wound (perfective), "zraněn ,-a ,-o" is the passive participle or the short form and "zraněný, -á, -é" is the full, declinable adjective. There are a few other adjectives that do it like "jsem si jistý" (I am sure) can just be "jsem si jist" in formal writing. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 18:04, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks filelakeshoe. As you are a Czech Republic resident, I will take that to be an authoritative answer. --catslash (talk) 00:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Artificial 'boo' in horrors[edit]

Is there a name for the sudden, artificial 'boo'-like sound effect often added at the end of the suspension moments in horror films to increase terror? Brandmeistertalk 15:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure because "boo" sounds so meek, but do you mean something like a "scare chord", "cousin to the sting"? ---Sluzzelin talk 15:35, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Specifically, like at 2:15, 2:04 or at 1:25? Brandmeistertalk 15:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Those three examples use a non-musical noise (heavy slamming with heavy reverb, shots) for the main sforzando. Though technically not chords, I still view their function as that of a scare chord. A related tool, the "last note nightmare", sometimes uses this sort of echoing slamming door too, instead of an actual chord. In a symphony orchestra you'd have to make do with the percussion section for this noise effect, but in the studio you're not limited to instruments and performers. Besides being scary for being a sudden loud noise, the slamming can also evoke the eerie "ghost butler" effect. (Ok, I'm done spamming you with links to TV Tropes now). ---Sluzzelin talk 16:32, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
If you've ever tried watching a horror movie with the sound muted, it's amazing how much less scary it is. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Euthanize in Spanish[edit]


I was wondering how to say "euthanize" (the verb) in (Castillian) Spanish, but online machine translators were not very helpful. Could someone please give me the verb in Spanish? Thanks!
Sincerely, (talk) 17:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Spanish has no such verb, according to This site. It appears that only the noun form "eutanasia" (as in English, a borrowing from Greek) exists. I also believe that the English verb is a much more recent neologism from the noun, which is probably much older. English, as a language, is known for inventing words like "euthanize" with more easily than other languages. Etymonline dates "euthanize" to 1915 while it dates "euthanasia" to around 1600. --Jayron32 19:33, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you so much! (talk) 20:16, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

  • A phrase used is administrar la eutanasia μηδείς (talk) 02:26, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

is there a word to describe three vessels merging into one vessel (i.e. as occurs in veins)[edit]

Is there a word that describes fusion of three inputs into one (as in 3 veins coalescing into one common vein)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I would borrow from rivers and call it the confluence. That word normally means two merging into one, but I suppose you can use it for three, as well, or call that a "triconfluence". There seems to be a "Heun triconfluent" math function, which presumably combines 3 inputs into one: [32]. StuRat (talk) 21:00, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The term "triple confluence" seems to be known in medicine and elsewhere. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:41, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
And here's a map of the triple confluence of the Rivers Irt, Mite and Esk in Wales Cumbria, England referred to here. They don't meet at exactly the same common point, but it's close enough. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Wales? Cumbria, rather./ (talk) 17:06, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Oooh, my bad; apologies to the Englischers. I was thinking Cumbria = Cymru = Wales. Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:03, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
That's OK -- we do have a Celtic ancestry in common, and a strange way of counting sheep. Dbfirs 20:50, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Confusing Cumbria with Cambria is an easy mistake to make, and they are etymologically the same word. Angr (talk) 09:42, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Cumbria takes its name from the Kingdom of Strathclyde, which was a early medieval Welsh kingdom centered on what is now the Western Scottish/English borderland. There are other such pairs of lands which share very similar names for much the same reason (c.f. Cornwall and Cornouaille, Brittany and Britain, etc.) --Jayron32 18:52, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

what we're using for a tablecloth[edit]

Please let me know the meaning of 'what we're using for a tablecloth' in the following passage. (talk) 02:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)yumiko

  "My wife's not going to believe me this," Stuart murmured half under his breath. And the 
  aloud, "What are you writing at the moment, Danny? I mean besides what we're using for a 
  tablecloth."---Erich Segal, The Class, p.277
Not sure from that sentence. A tablecloth is exactly what it sounds like, it's a cloth covering for a table, usually used to protect the wood finish from damage. It appears that Stuart has noticed that Danny is writing about the tablecloth they are using. --Jayron32 03:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I take it to mean he's writing on something at the moment which is on the table and getting food spilled on it, much as a tablecloth would. Presumably the paragraph before that one would have explained it. StuRat (talk) 03:08, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Did Segal really write "not going to believe me this"? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:09, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Unusual, but I've heard similar phrasing before. "Believe you this" gives me 60M Ghits. StuRat (talk) 03:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The actual text (with the previous paragraph) is:

'Stuart,' Danny answered with a smile, 'you publish regularly in the New Yorker. That's my favorite airplane reading. So I don't think I've ever missed a poem you've had in there.'
'My wife's not going to believe this,' Stuart murmured half under his breath. And then aloud, 'What are you writing at the moment, Danny? I mean besides what we're using for a tablecloth.'

But the broader implication about the 'tablecloth' seems to be that some of Danny's recent writing is presently on the table they're at.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
To me, it implies that Stuart is insulting Danny, implying he is being published in low-quality publications only good enough to be used as substitute tablecloths. Clarityfiend (talk) 06:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
This is rather interesting because at my initial reading I assumed (perhaps because I'm British) that Danny was being ironic sarcastic, that they had a regular tablecloth in front of them, but he was sympathetically going along with Stuart's misguided assumption that the tablecloth was something for him to write on.--Shantavira|feed me 09:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
'What are you writing?' (content) is quite different to 'What are you writing on?' (medium). Clarityfiend may be correct, but it's not directly evident from the single page available on Google Books.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
From the context (I can see the whole page at Google Books), Danny is a composer of music, working away at a composition while waiting at the restaurant for Stuart to show up. A little before the passage quoted above, one can read "Danny waved him [i.e., Stuart] over to a corner booth, its table covered with yards of music paper". So StuRat's and Jeffro77's interpretations are most nearly correct. Deor (talk) 14:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Instead of anything about the corner booth or the music paper, I get "Some pages are omitted from this book preview". :( Maybe there's different amounts available from Google Books based on country. But at least I was right based on the extract it showed me.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there are different amounts available from Google Books based on country. Wikipedians and Wiktionarians in the U.S. can often see much more on Google Books than I can here in Germany. Angr (talk) 09:39, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Hypernyms and hyponyms[edit]

I have a question concerning terminology: "apple" and "pear" are hyponyms of "fruit", "fruit" is a hyperonym of f.e. "apple" and "pear". But how is the relationship between "apple" and "pear" called? They are not synonyms. (talk) 09:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

"Coordinate" (as in "coordinate terms")? ---Sluzzelin talk 15:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Evidently that is the phrase in WordNet. But I suspect it was invented for that purpose: I have never encountered in general use, or thought that there might be a word for that relationship. --ColinFine (talk) 23:58, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
"Co-hyponyms" according to a chart in [33] this book on semantics. OttawaAC (talk) 01:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

April 21[edit]

Difference between "His main success lies in... " and "His success mainly lies in"[edit]

Is there any semantic difference between "His main success lies in..." and "His success mainly lies in..."? Thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, there is a difference. The first one means he had different forms of success but his main success lies in X. The second one means he had one success but it can be attributed to different things, the main one being X. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:15, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

rayoysfirkom? (Soviet acronym in Yiddish)[edit]

Anyone has an idea what 'rayoysfirkom' standards for? It appears here . Is it a Komsomol committee? a Rayon government body? --Soman (talk) 10:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

User:Medeis should be able to answer this. It is indeed Eastern Yiddish. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the confidence, but neither Yiddish nor Soviet jargon is my forte. Jackof Oz and Lyuboslov Yezykin are the go-toes on advanced or technical Russian and I guess Sluzzelin is for Yiddish. μηδείς (talk) 16:38, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't really know Yiddish fluently, and it takes me forever to read Hebrew script, but the language is quite accessible by ear for native speakers of German, and I've always loved Klezmer (and jokes in Yiddish).---Sluzzelin talk 17:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I've had 8 years of German, and have a Yiddish station from NYC programmed on the car. (Love Klezmer.) I laugh at the commercials, and enjoy the music. There's no way I'd ever have gotten the jargon from oysfirn, though. μηδείς (talk) 19:55, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I think it is indeed something like the raion executive committee. "oysfirn" (אויספֿירן) means "to execute" ("ausführen" in German). I think the Russian equivalent is Райисполком (Rayispolkom). ---Sluzzelin talk 13:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
We have a Rayispolkom, which redirects to Executive committee. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
To confirm what's been said here, Rokhkind's 1940 Yiddish-Russian dictionary (available online here) lists oysfirkom (אויספירקאָמ in Soviet spelling) as meaning исполком. (talk) 07:47, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

Grammticality judgement[edit]

Is the following sentence acceptable to native speakers? Is the sentence ambiguous? "He reached me home by car." (talk) 10:49, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

No, it's quite ambiguous. Depending on what you are trying to say, the following sentences would be better:
  • He reached my home by car.
  • He took me home by car.
Since I'm not sure what you're trying to say, I don't know if either of these (or some other sentence) is correct. --Jayron32 10:55, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Or "He reached me at home, coming by car"? AlexTiefling (talk) 12:25, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
And "drove" is usually better than "by car":
  • "He drove to my home."
  • "He drove me home."
Yes, you can drive things besides a car, like a truck, motorcycle, or bicycle, but it's usually clear from the context. StuRat (talk) 12:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Only if you're Popeye or Bizarro. Otherwise, it's ungrammatical. Clarityfiend (talk) 11:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"Me" instead of "my" is a feature of numerous English dialects, but you wouldn't write it down unless you were reporting somebody's speech or trying to be amusing, as in "Some b*stard stole me bike!". Alansplodge (talk) 13:00, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Eye-dialects and phonetic accents are usually best left alone. But it's the ambiguity of 'by car' that's the real killer here. AlexTiefling (talk) 13:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]


April 17[edit]

Problem with timeline of musical events, list of years in music; 1982 article[edit]

Hello, I am doing research about the order in which albums were released. Every year since the early 60's has every album released, according to month and day. Under "albums released" it starts with January and continues, showing every date an album was known to be released. Every year has this since the early 60's. Then one day, all of a sudden, the section for "albums released" in 1982 disappeared and was replaced with a totally inefficient new one, which list album titles by name (with no name of the artist) and that is it. It is impossible to find out the order in which albums were released, unless you click on every one and write down the day released, which would take forever, especially since it does not list the artist either. Every other year is fine, and still has the same normal list I've always used. What happened? Why did it disappear, and is it ever coming back? Thanks, J.T. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

A user called Tuzapicabit did this diff. Seems like a daft edit to me; you can revert it if you wish. --Viennese Waltz 04:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In response to JT above, the reason why I removed the information is because it was a completely random list. Given that about 10,000 albums are released every year, this list contained about 400 - so pretty far off every album as you claim (so I'm not sure how useful this list could be to your research). Unless some criteria is established for inclusion (top 10 albums, No.1 albums, top-selling, million-selling?) the list could take the article beyond breaking point or would just remain as hopelessly incomplete. I tested the waters by taking the list out of one year to see if there was any reaction rather than doing the same for all, so if consensus agrees the list can easily be returned. I've linked it to list of albums, but yes, perhaps a list of some sort could be put there, but I think there would need to be guidelines (in this and all the others) as to what qualifies inclusion. This would also necessitate references which I can only think is a good thing. Either way, I'm happy to bow to consensus.Tuzapicabit (talk) 07:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Dual basketball/football player[edit]

I have a picture of an American person taken in the 1960s with an unclear caption. Could you help me identify him? The caption says "{name}, American Basketball and Football Conference." The first name is Joseph, and the last name could be Ball or Bell or Bael or something like that. It's not Joseph H. Ball or anyone else at Joseph Ball. 2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:CB89 (talk) 20:30, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Can you upload a scan of that picture so that we could take a look at it? I'm not aware of anything called "American Basketball and Football Conference", but maybe the picture would ring a bell, so to speak. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Category:Defunct college sports conferences in the United States may be a good place to start looking. --Jayron32 01:13, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

April 18[edit]

In the expanded Star Wars Universe, Did Han ever find out Luke was/is Vader's son in the novels/comics?[edit]

When he found Luke's heritage did he stop calling him kid? Venustar84 (talk) 00:20, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

He finds out in the canonical first trilogy, IIRC, during The Return of the Jedi. --Jayron32 01:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that's correct is it ? It's been a while since I watched the movies, but didn't it go more like:
1: Luke tells Leia "I have to go and confront Darth Vader, because he's my father, and there is still good within him."
2: At the end of the movie, Leia tells Han about Luke: "of course I love him... he's my brother".
But as far as we know, no-one has actually told Han that Darth Vader was the father ?
( "Wait a moment, lady... your dad FROZE ME. IN CARBONITE. AND HANDED ME OVER TO JABBA THE HUT." )
I haven't read any of the Expanded Universe, so can't comment on that... :) (talk) 13:40, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Not sure about the movies, but I'm pretty sure Everyone has full knowledge in the Timothy Zahn novels, which were originally intended to be the "offical" episodes 7-9. If you like star wars, I highly recommend them. Way better than a lot of trite fiction that was later licensed. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:13, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

"after the button" in poker[edit]

What does "after the button" mean in Texas hold 'em? It is not in Poker terms. Does it mean after the dealer button has moved? After it gets to the player? Something else? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The putative dealer in a casino game of hold'em has a button (basically a white, circular disc) with the word "dealer" on it in front of them (the actual cards are dealt by a card dealer at the table who works for the casino, the players don't actually deal the cards themselves.) The dealer button represents who would be dealing if the players were actually dealing the cards themselves. The person who gets dealt to first is (to the button's left) is said to be "after the button". On the opening bet, this is the "small blind" and on subsequent rounds (assuming no one folds) this would be the person to act first. Acting first is a disadvantageous position, and the strategies for betting when you are "after the button" are different than they would be once you've seen a few other players act. --Jayron32 02:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Jayron's 100% correct. After-the-button is the first small blind, and also the player who has the least knowledge for that hand, and thus, at a statistical disadvantage. Shadowjams (talk) 03:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks both of you. I think it would be good to add the term to poker terms and link to it from the Hold 'em article, and others that use it. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:07, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


What's the fewest known times that the losing side's bats touched the ball in a perfect game? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 05:35, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Are you including foul balls, or just batted balls resulting in outs? And be aware that play-by-play detail does not exist for all the perfect games. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:45, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Including foul balls. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 08:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've seen a pitch-by-pitch for Larsen's perfect game in 1956, but I can't find it on the internet. Pitch counts exist for most of the perfect games, but that's not sufficient, as you would need to know what happened on every pitch. And it's possible that some of the high-strikeout games (like 20) actually have fewer bat-touches-ball events than a perfect game might. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

marisa tomei[edit]

was she born in 1974 or not as noted on your page...was she only 10 years old when she appeared in her first movie in 1984?...will you correct this or not??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:41, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I've reverted the edit by User:Kevinschaffer that changed the DOB, as there are several references to her life before 1974 in the article. You could have done that yourself, you know. Rojomoke (talk) 11:49, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
You missed one, but I fixed it. The redlink is screwing around with birthdates on a few articles. I'll look into it, unless you beat me to it. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:50, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

teams jerseys sets from 1970 to 1999 MLB Montreal Expos[edit]

Is there a website that shows how the team uniforms of each team of Major League Baseball including Montreal Expos look like? I find it interesting that some teams had unique ones like San Diego Padres wore camo jersey, Royals of Kansas City, Blue Jays, Phillies and Expos wore light blue ones. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

The Hall of Fame has a page showing uniform designs.[34] The ones through 1994 or so were taken from Marc Okkonen's book on uniforms. The later ones appear to have been drawn by someone else. But it should give you a good start. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:48, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
It appears they switched from their original 1969 tri-colored script "M" to the script "Expos" in 1992, and retained that design through 2004, their last season in Montreal. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:53, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The Montreal Expos were very conservative in terms of uniform design: they wore one style from 1969 (their first season) until 1978; in 1979, they went from blue to red numbers in the front but changed nothing else; in 1980, they added stripes down the shoulders and sides to the basic uniform, reverting to blue numbers at home. In 1992, there was the only important redesign, with a switch to pinstripes at home, a gray road uniform (instead of powder blue), and a solid blue cap instead of tri-color; they also stopped using their logo on the uniform front, switching to "Expos" at home and "Montréal" (with a fleur-de-lys as the accent on the letter E) on the road. They kept that look until the end of the 2004 season. The original tri-color cap was the most distinctive feature of the design and is still way more popular than the more recent all-blue cap among Expo nostalgics. --Xuxl (talk) 09:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The Padres mock "camouflage" uniform is an occasional special thing they wear in order to honor the military, which has a large presence in San Diego. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:35, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

Was there ever a Vancouver television called UTV and what happened to it?[edit]

I can't ever find records of the channel on Google. Venustar84 (talk) 01:56, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

It's still there. For a time, apparently, CKVU-DT in Vancouver was known as U.TV, though it has been rebranded a few times. Now it is known as "CityTV". --Jayron32 02:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I removed your duplicate post on the Computer Desk, as we don't allow posting to more than one desk, and this is the correct Desk, in any case. StuRat (talk) 02:28, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry I put on computer desk as a mistake. Venustar84 (talk) 02:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

No problem. Can we mark this Q resolved ? StuRat (talk) 02:38, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you for explaining. Venustar84 (talk) 05:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

If Grease_(musical) is set in California or Chicago in the musical except for Sandy and Cha-Cha why does everyone have Italian-American new England accents?[edit]

I wonder........... Venustar84 (talk) 05:32, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

That type of accent, or any big-city accent, is often used to stereotype "tough-guy talk". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The high schoolers in the musical could be imitating the accents and slang that they picked up listening to 1950s do-wop records, the same way that today's kids mimic hip hop slang. OttawaAC (talk) 14:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The film might have been shot in Los Angeles, but it is set in the mythical land of Generic 1950s America. I don't think they were going for geographic/accent accuracy. --Nicknack009 (talk) 21:11, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Still, the Los Angeles River is a bit of a distinctive set. It doesn't exist in Mythical Generic anywhere. It's quite a non-generic landmark of Los Angeles. --Jayron32 21:31, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe so, but films do things like that. I remember a film called Nothing Personal, which was set in my home town of Belfast. A prominent location in the film, which appears on the DVD case as seen in the Wikipedia article, is the Ringsend Gasworks, a distinctive location in Dublin (since converted into flats). I recognised it, as would anyone with a passing knowledge of Dublin, but I wouldn't expect you to. Likewise, I wouldn't know the Los Angeles River from another river in another American city. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:56, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Filmmakers often try to conceal where they're filming on location unless the setting is important to the plot in some way. Locals will recognize a scene, of course, but the broader audience might not. Thanks to information sharing via the internet and the availability of home video, details of films can be studied much more closely, leading to the publication of books about topics such as production mistakes and locations. One thing about the LA River, once you know what it looks like it becomes pretty obvious when it shows up again. It's no longer a conventional river, it's basically a concrete-lined, very wide drainage ditch. Most of the time the water is a trickle at best. But when heavy rains send a torrent down from the hills, the reason for its design becomes obvious. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:00, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young"[edit]

Origin of the term? And the meaning seems to have a few different interpretations, any solid data on what it originally meant? Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 08:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE, in googling the lyrics I see a dynamic ad pop up on the first search result . . . for nuvaring. Seems that Adsense really is achieving AI status! Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 08:58, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
"He whom the gods love dies young" was a popular Roman expression. It was originally a line in the play Bacchides by Plautus.[35]
The meaning in that instance was that being fortunate enough to die young meant never degenerating into a crotchety old timer. Dying while young, beautiful, and full of potential makes people remember the deceased as someone in their prime. I think Billy Joel was playing with the meaning of the expression--the girl who's the subject of his song was missing out on life by shutting it out in favour of religion, so by trying to be "good" she in effect "dies young". OttawaAC (talk) 14:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
A common meaning (and the one BJ was referencing) is that life is unfair; the good are taken from us too soon, while the bad stick around. (Which could mean that we in the Great White North will be apologizing for this lad for a long, long time.) Clarityfiend (talk) 02:46, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you a million OttawaAC, and appreciation on that Clarityfiend. Perhaps Bieber might redeem himself yet! Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 12:01, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  • There's also the confirmation bias that those who die young haven't lived long enough (often) to disappoint us. I think, however, in this case Ottawa's interpretation is best. μηδείς (talk) 16:56, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The title is a reference to the proverbial saying "the good die young," which the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says goes back to the late 17th century; the possibly related phrase, "he whom the gods love dies young," is much older. Historically it was simply a way of complimenting someone who died young, although it was often used ironically. In the song, the singer is saying "only the good die young" as part of his unsuccessful attempt to persuade a chaste Catholic girl to have sex with him. I understand the singer to mean that Virginia should not worry about the consequences, because it is only the good and chaste who die young, but perhaps OttawaAC better captures the singer's argument. Of course, if my interpretation is correct, then the singer's statement is not accurate, but horny teenage boys and young men are not necessarily noted for their accuracy. John M Baker (talk) 20:25, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

website showing old uniforms NBA[edit]

Is there a website that shows the old uniforms of all NBA teams from 1970 to 1999? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I found This website which looks like an ambitious start on the subject, but sadly it looks like they haven't gotten too far. This site as well seems to have gotten farther, but it isn't complete. Here is another partial database. Chris Creamer's well-known sports logo website is probably your best bet. If you click on each team name, and page down, it appears to have a complete set of every team's uniform. But I haven't checked every one. --Jayron32 19:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

Virat Kohli[edit]

products and fairness creams that virat kholi uses!!

how to maintain a nice skin tone like virat kholi even by playing cricket all day exposed to sunlight by not getting tan!!

what is schedule of virat kholi gym trainning,endurance training,strength training,weight training etc and his batting tips and skills!!

whai is virat kholi diet that he takes daily and regularly!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Have you looked at the Virat Kohli article? This article and/or its extensive references may answer some of your questions.--Dreamahighway (talk) 20:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Feedback amplifier[edit]

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question and also the nature of the question may not fit the governing policy, who knows. In case any violation I don't mind it to be expunged.

Singers of pop music wear small earphones and I believe they are connected to some amplifiers that give them an instant feedback. I wonder if such devices are small enough to be carried by a person without connection to large electronic equipment, they should be battery powered. If such exist, where can I get one? Also what is the proper term for them? Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 15:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

A Bluetooth headset ? Why would you want one ? Are you a singer ? It would be easy to just amplify the sound of your voice and play it back in your ears, but they generally want to mix that with sounds of other singers, instruments, etc., and play the mix on the headset. StuRat (talk) 16:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The earphones musicians wear on stage are In-ear monitors. They've become industry standard over the past 2-3 decades or so. All performers need to hear what they and their fellow compatriots are playing so they can play well together. Prior to the widespread availability of high-fidelity ear buds, large speakers called stage monitors or "wedge" monitors directed the performance back at the performers. For various reasons, including audio feedback with the microphones and guitar pick-ups, bounceback from the back of the stage interfering with the front-of-the-house mix, etc. etc. has led to a more widespread use of in-ear monitor systems. I play in a musical group that uses the Aviom system, and it's a wonderful thing compared to working with Wedge monitors. --Jayron32 20:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Grand Funk as an opening act[edit]

I had heard that Grand Funk opened for Led Zeppelin early on but got kicked off the tour supposedly because the crowds liked Grand Funk more...yes? no? – — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

According to an interview with Don Brewer: “They kicked us off the tour (...) They didn’t like the fact that we overshadowed them.". See also this discussion at's forum. ---Sluzzelin talk 19:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Criticism of Stanislaw Lem[edit]

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am currently reading "Solaris" by the famous polish author Stanislaw Lem. A friend of mine, who studies biology and physics has told me, that Lem was both arrogant and ignorant when it came to science and that he lacked scientific knowledge despite his claims that he was "the smartest child of poland" and his self-proclaimed status as "inventor of the internet". I would like to get some more informations about Lem and his alleged unknowingness.

Thank you for your answers.

Cheers.-- (talk) 22:57, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]


April 18[edit]

I want to rent an apartment in changzhou,jiangsu[edit]

How can I rent a nice apartment in changzhou,jiangsu,China??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jessicacheng728 (talkcontribs) 11:17, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

"We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." Sorry about that. You may try searching the web, though. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 13:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
If you can read Chinese, you might try a site like this one. If you can't, you are more likely to find someone with local knowledge on this forum than on the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Marco polo (talk) 18:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Just some comments on apartment rentals in general:
1) Ask specifically what is included and what isn't, as it can vary wildly. Heat and water may be included, or may not. The stove and refrigerator and microwave oven may be included, maybe not. Even furniture and cookware/dishes are sometimes included. A parking space or carport may cost extra. Later insist on a signed copy, in writing, listing everything they said was included.
2) If they control the thermometer and they pay for heat, expect to be cold all winter long.
3) Don't fall for only viewing a model. Insist on seeing the actual apartment before you sign anything, or you may end up in a place that stinks of urine, etc. Flush all the toilets, run all the faucets to see if you get hot water, etc., and turn on the heat and A/C, if so equipped, long enough to tell if they are working, and bring a night light you can plug into all the outlets, to tell if they work. If they have the utilities shut off, that severely limits your ability to check it out. Also check if all the windows and doors open up, including cabinets and closets.
4) Consider any money you give them to be lost forever, even if it's a deposit, as many of them claim enough damages to keep your entire deposit, no matter what. Also insist on them signing a statement acknowledging all the existing damages you can find, before you give them any money, in the hopes that you might not get charged for those.
5) Talk to the neighbors alone, to find out if they have had any problems. (They might be afraid to tell the truth if you are there with the landlord.)
6) Ask exactly how much you will spend each month, including taxes, additional fees, etc. Again, get it in writing.
7) Avoid any place that makes you sign a long lease, and yet has the right to increase your rent during that lease. Plan on your rent going way up whenever the lease/rental term ends, in any case. StuRat (talk) 20:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Later insist on a signed copy, in writing, listing everything they said was included - I totally agree, Stu. After all, a signed verbal list isn't worth the paper it's not written on. And the signature is often hard to make out.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I was trying to exclude the possibility of them signing a paper saying they agree that the renter won't be charged "for the items we discussed", without explicitly listing them. StuRat (talk) 21:38, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Strike the bit about talking to the neighbours, unless the OP speaks Chinese. There is very little English here in China, mostly because, in spite of all the schooling, people just find it hard. It's the same for us learning Chinese - the gap between the languages makes it hard. My neighbours are fine and there is no raucous noise, and I'm in a regular downtown sort of area in Jiangsu. Unless you speak Chinese, just get some help from a local with paperwork, and yes, look at photos. That said, I think about 2000rmb per month will net you a decent place. Electricity is cheap, and almost every place has aircon, as far as I am aware. I know nothing about bond etc. IBE (talk) 00:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The OP's last name is "Cheng", so I think there's a fair chance she might speak Chinese (I wonder what portion of people named "Cheng" speak Chinese). StuRat (talk) 01:05, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Taking the piss[edit]

Whilst in Germany, I noticed an incredible indifference to public urination. In my country, if you are caught urination you are immediately apprehended by the police. However, in my experience people in germany seem to take a blind eye to it, urinating in residential areas, in towns, municipal facilities like train stations etc all seems to be relatively tolerated, providing you show some attempt to be discrete.

Heck, I even saw a parked police car and a guy urinate by a tree a few feet in front of the vehicle in plane sight.

Can anyone clarify what's going on here, is Germany just ultra liberal? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Urine is relatively sterile and fairly harmless (or actually beneficial to plants as a source of nutrients) when applied in small quantities to soil. It is only a problem when applied in large quantities or on impermeable surfaces where bacteria can metabolize it into fouler-smelling compounds before it is washed away by rain. So in congested urban areas, it is a nuisance that might deserve police attention, but there is nothing inherently wrong about public urination except in the eyes of a person coming from a place where it is culturally stigmatized. In Germany, the cultural stigma just isn't as strong as it is wherever you come from. Marco polo (talk) 15:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Tell that to the pernickety people of Portland, please. A man was caught pissing into their dam, so they have decided to drain it for fear of contaminating their precious citizens. That's 144 million (!!) litres of water just thrown away. And please tell the local birds and animals not to crap in the dam in future. What a sad joke. Nanny society, your time is now. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
There may be more to that story than meets the eye. First (I hadn't realized this myself) the reservoir in question is what's called a "finished drinking water" reservoir — that is, it gets piped from there straight into homes with no further treatment. Supposedly, Portland is rigorous about excluding both humans and animals from the watercourse, though exactly how they manage that in practice I have trouble explaining to myself.
So, still pretty stupid, but not quite as stupid as you might think if you thought this was a more normal sort of reservoir that holds water that's treated en route to homes, or else used to recharge groundwater.
But that's not half of it. In 1993, there was an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee that killed quite a few people. See 1993 Milwaukee Cryptosporidiosis outbreak. In response, or maybe a better word would be "reaction", the Environmental Protection Agency started a long rulemaking process aimed at eliminating uncovered finished-water reservoirs. See Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule This is a great pity because the result is not going to be very attractive, and the connection to the supposed reason for it is shaky at best, but I do kind of agree that it's not an ideal way to store finished drinking water if you were starting from scratch.
Turns out that the most important city that sued the federal government over this rule was — Portland.
So I don't fully follow it all myself, but there's a substantial possibility that this action has a complicated political subtext. Not that that makes it any less stupid, but it makes it stupid in a more interesting way. --Trovatore (talk) 02:53, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Keeping drinking water in opened ponds seems stupid, to me. Aside from all the natural contaminants, that's an obvious temptation to terrorists to poison the water supply. StuRat (talk) 03:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Even aside from that extreme possibility, if urine contamination, even superhomeopathically dilute contamination, is a real concern, they ought to erect barriers to prevent access by random persons. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I would assume they've already done that, but I can think of several way past a barrier, like a ladder, a catapult, a mortar, or a plane drop. Or they could just throw something over. StuRat (talk) 03:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Personally, not very worried about the terrorism angle. This isn't Gotham City, and the Joker doesn't have a little test tube that's going to make everyone freeze or whatever it does. I think poisoning a large supply of water is harder than you think. --Trovatore (talk) 03:35, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Smilex helps us smile. But he has plenty of others. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:33, April 19, 2014 (UTC)
Note that poisoning your enemy's water supply has been used in warfare for thousands of years, most recently in Sudan, where bodies were thrown down wells to poison the well. So, any water handling plan ought to keep threats to the water supply in mind. StuRat (talk) 21:14, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
It's impossible to fully secure something as massive as a water supply system, which must inevitably pass through populated areas. Better to not upset too many people who might become enemies. And worrying so much about terrorists doesn't help. If you're worrying all the time, they've won. HiLo48 (talk) 22:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
You can secure it a lot better than leaving it in open ponds. Drilling through to a buried water main would be a difficult operation, likely to cause a flood and draw attention, and would affect fewer people, in any case. StuRat (talk) 14:03, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
How much plutonium would it take ? (Perhaps supplied by angry Iranians after a military strike on their nuclear program.) StuRat (talk) 03:39, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
More than you think. The bad thing about plutonium is if a piece gets in your lungs, because it stays and keeps irradiating the same spot. It's essentially harmless outside your body, because your skin blocks the alpha radiation.
So I don't really see how you're going to get plutonium into your lungs from the water, not reliably anyway. To be sure, it's not great to have it in your bloodstream either, but I think it would take quite a lot to cause any noticeable casualties, even if you could solve the problem of making it water-soluble, which I don't know how to do. --Trovatore (talk) 03:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
They'd still manage to cause panic if it could be verified that they got any plutonium into the water supply. StuRat (talk) 03:50, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that part's true. --Trovatore (talk) 03:53, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Metallic plutonium is very heavy. Even tiny pieces would quickly end up on the bottom of a reservoir. Outlets are never right at the bottom. HiLo48 (talk) 04:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Lots of drinking water is kept in open ponds. What do you think reservoirs are used for? While large numbers of people do get drinking water from aquifers, many others get it from surface water sources like reservoirs. The Quabbin Reservoir provides water for much of Massachusetts, Falls Lake for the Research Triangle, the Ashokan Reservoir for New York City, etc. etc. --Jayron32 03:27, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Jayron, I don't know how much you read of my mini-essay above, but the question is not whether it's drinking water, but whether it's finished drinking water — that is, sent directly to customers with no further treatment. I think that's what Stu meant. --Trovatore (talk) 03:30, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Are you sure that's finished drinking water ? I think in most cases that's an input to the water treatment plant. StuRat (talk) 03:31, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Then there's the concern that somebody may see a man's penis. In the US, public urination can thus get you put on the sex offenders watch list, for the rest of your life, and often there is no distinction made on that list between such people and rapists. StuRat (talk) 16:20, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

That's what if you're a woman. Is there equal concern of seeing your vagina, and if so does that also attract the same sanctions? If not, looks like men are sort of penal-ized.... (talk) 17:12, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Actually, deliberate exposure of one's vagina could lead to penalties in the United States similar to those for penile exposure. There is a really strong current in the United States of public prudery (often voiced by people who are later caught engaging in sex acts that hypocritically violate the norms they espouse). Marco polo (talk) 17:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC) 17:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
In theory, yes, but in reality women are less likely to be charged. StuRat (talk) 20:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Two things to consider. It's easier for men to unzip and whip than for women to take their pants half down. So more common, hence more commonly busted. In standard peeing positions, a man's penis is visible from the front and both sides, while a vagina is just from behind. The last time I was stopped by cops for open beer, they suggested I go off the sidewalk rather than walk a few houses down to my friend's toilet. So if it's a crime here, it's one of those crimes. Probably different when there are kids around. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:56, April 18, 2014 (UTC)
vulva ≠ vagina —Tamfang (talk) 13:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Different cultures, different social mores. Do Americans and Brits pee under their lemon trees? It's an old custom in Australia and New Zealand. Well, for men, anyway. HiLo48 (talk) 22:36, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
So that's why lemons are yellow. :-) StuRat (talk) 22:45, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Lemon trees only grow indoors here, so no. Peeing in public places is regarded as very antisocial in the UK mainly I suspect, because of the unpleasant smell after a few hours. The police don't tolerate it here; I'm not sure of the exact offence but it's not exposure that's the issue. "GETTING tough with drunken yobs who urinate in Glasgow streets has seen violent crime plummet by almost 70%, police chiefs today claimed" and "DRUNKEN yobs caught urinating in the street in Hull city centre are being made to clean up after themselves with a mop and bucket" are two random examples out of many pages of search results. It used to be a very noticeable practice in France; on a camping trip there in the 1970s, our Scouts began to refer to trees as "Frenchmen's toilets". Alansplodge (talk) 16:44, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Why are the yobs targetted by this racist policy, while the natives get away with it? μηδείς (talk) 02:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yobs are natives. It's just a local term for hooligans, troublemakers, or generally obnoxious (usually male) people. See Yobbo. --Jayron32 02:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Even worse! So, the indigenous yobs are targetted for prosecution by an oppressive southern regime. No wonder they want independence. μηδείς (talk) 17:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In Glasgow, the police enforcing the measure will be as Scottish as the yobs. The second story relates to Hull, which is in England. --Dweller (talk) 18:04, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe "yob" originated as a term of abuse, as in "backwards boy" in England. Can't back that one up though. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:39, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the OED confirms that it's just "backslang for boy", recorded as early as 1859, and used by John Osborne in Look back in Anger (1957). The pejorative sense seems to have started about a hundred years ago. Dbfirs 11:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Backslang is traditionally associated with the butcher's trade in London. When one of my Scouts got a Saturday job in the butchery of a local supermarket a few years back, he quickly developed an interesting backslang vocabulary, so it's still alive and kicking, although "yob" seems to be the only backslang that has made it into the mainstream. Rechtubs’ Kaycab Geenals (Butcher's Back Slang) has more details, should you wish to become fluent. Alansplodge (talk) 21:34, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

How to find sources about honorary mayors?[edit]

I did book and internet searches for a page that talks about honorary mayors. I got results about honorary mayors from across the United States, but nothing that actually discusses what an honorary mayor is and how the concept formed/spread across the country Thanks, WhisperToMe (talk) 09:13, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I found some French book sources that mention people being given the title maire honoraire by the king of France. Also some scattered other sources referring to honorary titles given out during the Middle Ages in England, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere (honorary bailiffs, chamberlains, earls). The Church gave out honorary titles as well. I suspect honorary mayors have a long history in Europe. Some honorary civic positions came with a small stipend. My guess FWIW is that the specific privileges that go with the title would differ from city to city. OttawaAC (talk) 14:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's any organized system or anything like that. Organizations (including governments) create honorary titles for having a nice little public ceremony to pin medals or hand certificates to prominent citizens. That goes on all over the world, and in many many different contexts. Universities offer Honorary degrees. The state of Kentucky names Honorary Colonels. Nebraska has Honorary Admirals (for a landlocked state no less!). Wikipedia does have at least one article about an honorary mayor: Mayor of Hollywood. --Jayron32 19:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
@OttawaAC:@Jayron32: Thank you for your help! Is it alright if you list any sources that you think may assist in writing an article like honorary mayor? WhisperToMe (talk) 15:55, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I found one source that mentions an honorary mayor still being elected by some guilds surviving from the Middle Ages. This takes place in "the City", London's financial district. It also happens to be the area that was the original Roman city of London. [36] To find other sources, try searches for "Medieval honorary title" and so on, I found some G books results that mention some honorary titles, but always just in passing. OttawaAC (talk) 17:49, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

April 20[edit]

MH370 (flight)[edit]

Is it common for news reporters to refer to a missing aircraft by its flight number, such as "MH370"? The aircraft has its own serial number apart from the flight number. (A similar phenomenon occurred when news reporters began to refer to a series of aircraft crashes by simply stating the month and date of the crashes, "9/11".)
Wavelength (talk) 03:06, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

It's very common here in the States. A flight number is generally shorter and/or easier to remember than the aircraft's tail number. (I'm guessing that by "serial number" you mean tail number.) The tail number can be up to 5 or 6 characters long and thus rather cumbersome to say again and again. This is one reason why pilots and air traffic controllers will often abbreviate an aircraft's tail number while communicating. MH370, Flight 93, Flight 175, or Flight 77 are easier to say and remember. Add to that the chances of a second instance of MH370 going down being rather slim, there's little reason not to use the flight number. Dismas|(talk) 03:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this is common. News reports about such events never mention aircraft registration numbers. Airlines retire flight numbers that have experienced deadly crashes. "9/11" is more memorable than the 4 individual flight numbers. I do note that US Airways Flight 1549, in which everyone survived, is better known as the "Miracle on the Hudson".—Nelson Ricardo (talk) 03:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, universally common. You won't find "MH 370" written anywhere on the fuselage, assuming it's ever found. But the flight number is the public identification of the flight and hence the plane. Its serial numbers, Aircraft registration (for Malaysia it's always 9Mxxx), and any other identifying features are all too technical for the public to grasp. Now, if there were another major incident involving a different plane also travelling on flight MH 370 (at a different time), that would be confusing and some extra ID would be necessary to disambiguate the two events. But I've not heard of that sort of coincidence ever happening. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) By convention, flight disasters are known by the flight number, not the airplane call number or serial number. United Airlines Flight 93, Pan Am Flight 103, Air France Flight 447, etc. are all known by their flight number. --Jayron32 03:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
And especially the infamous Flight 191. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:08, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I remember reading somewhere that airlines "retire" flight numbers after fatal accidents, so United no longer has a Flight 93 and Air France don't have one numbered 447 any more, and so on. If they fly the same route on the same schedule it gets a new number. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:26, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
How come United gets a singular verb (has) but Air France get/s a plural verb (don't)? Just curious. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:58, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it something to do with American English using plural verbs for organizations, while in Europe either is fine? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:28, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
No. "Doesn't" is correct in the US of A. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:25, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I thought it was the around, sorry. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:45, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I may be being fooled by a recency illusion, but I think this "universally common convention" only started in 1983 when the Soviets shot down a Korean airliner that went off-course. It was flight 7 and flight numbers with less than 3 digits are sometimes padded with leading zeroes. Journalists found the notation of a flight numbered 007 irresistible and into the headlines it went, and and having done that once, they then started copying the practice with all other air disasters, to the point where Wikipedia has copied it as well. (I may only be talking about North American journalists here.) -- (talk) 22:44, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The crash of AA Flight 191 at O'Hare was in May of 1979, and that flight number immediately became well-known. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The crash of American Airlines Flight 320 on February 3, 1959 (yes, that February 3) didn't seem to be called prominently by its flight number, at least not in the handful of contemporary references I've seen on the internet. That suggests the practice started something between that 20-year window. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:10, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The flight number of the D.B. Cooper incident, in 1971, is mentioned well into the article,[37] although the focus in that story was on the hijacker rather than the plane itself. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:15, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Journalists have to have SOMETHING to call the story. Generally, disasters can be named after the place where they happened (eg "The Boston Marathon Bombing") - in the case of a plane crash, if the place it crashes is somewhere with a name - then they often use it (eg "The Lockerbie bombing") - but if the event happens over some large, nameless tract of ocean - or if (as in this case) nobody knew within a million square miles where it went down - what else is there to use than the flight number? That said, Wikipedia has "Pan Am Flight 103" as the official title of the article on "The Lockerbie bombing" - which is odd because I don't think the flight number was much used by the press at the time. But if you check the "Talk:" page for that article, you'll see there was some discussion about that particular name choice there. SteveBaker (talk) 18:17, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
If you were wondering why your link is oddly red, that's because you included your own quotes inside the square brackets, Steve. American punctuation conventions notwithstanding, it only works if they're outside. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Playing or Ripping a broken dvd[edit]

If this question can be asked here, Can anything be done with a DVD that is broken and missing plastic? My idiot sister intentionally destroyed some of my stuff and in the batch of broken items is an EXTREMELY rare DVD that can literally not be found anywhere online now and it took me a lot of time and effort to find it for sale in the first place. It's literally one of a kind and it is extremely important to me. I've only had it a few days, I haven't even watched it all the way through, and now the DVD is broken and missing plastic due to my idiot sister's antics. Not much talk of broken dvds at Google since they're so freaking old and no one really uses them anymore I guess, but I figured if anyone has the answer it's Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

There exist companies that specialize in recovering data from damaged media such as DVDs. I also found This utility that claims to recover lost data from damaged CDs and DVDs. This company claims to be able to recover such data for you. --Jayron32 03:38, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Just as an FYI, I would not expect the price for a recovery service to be cheap. I checked into it once for a hard drive that failed and it was several hundred dollars at least. A DVD may be easier to read than a damaged hard drive though. Dismas|(talk) 03:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
We've had an article on IsoBuster (Jayron's link) since September 2005 (there seems to be some dispute over the optional download of an additional browser toolbar). It would be interesting to know if anyone has tried this recovery software. If the DVD is broken and has missing plastic, then I think recovery is unlikely (despite built-in error recovery in the format) and it might be simpler to find someone who has another copy. Dbfirs 07:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

The disc is so damaged that my laptop won't even play it, so I don't think IsoBuster will help since the DVD can't even be read. I tried tape but all that and the misshapen parts of the disc did was prevent the DVD from spinning in the drive. I can't believe this has happened. I've only had it a few days and I haven't even watched it all the way through. It was my most prized possession and it's now destroyed. Jeez. I couldn't even get an apology out of her. She was like "Just buy another one." and I was like "I can't because THERE ARE NO MORE!" I hate her. Thanks for your help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry about your loss. I don't think tape is a good idea because it might damage your drive. I'd have tried superglue, but I don't know the exact condition of the damaged DVD. If you tell us the title, perhaps someone here might know a source, though if it's as rare as you claim then perhaps not. Dbfirs 11:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's definitely not good to put a cracked or otherwise damaged disk into the player. It won't play - and there is a very large risk of it breaking apart under the centrifugal force and wrecking something inside the player. DVD drives spin at a couple of thousand RPM - and the outward forces on the disk are quite significant. Trying to fix it wouldn't work - and would probably result in an unbalanced disk, which could also wreck your player. For these reasons, you stand zero chance of recovering the data without some exceedingly specialized equipment. I'm quite sure that no matter how rare this DVD was, it's worth less than the cost of recovering it. Also, depending on where the breaks fell, it's possible that there is data that is simply completely missing. Although DVD's and CD's have some redundancy in the data so that they can recover from a scratch or other minor imperfection - they really aren't good at recovering from damage that completely spans the disk. If the disk is truly, demonstrably of great value, you might consider trying to recover the cost from home-owner's insurance. It's not clear whether they would cover this as an accident - but it might be worth checking. SteveBaker (talk) 19:07, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

(Incidentally - if you'd care to tell us the title of the DVD, maybe we can figure out where you can get a replacement.) SteveBaker (talk) 19:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I want to, PURCHASE AN ALBUM[edit]

Hello, I "HOPE" you can help me. I am trying to purchase an album by, Matraca Berg (Country) with the song, "It's Easy to Tell" on it. Do you know where, how or IF I can purchase it. I had one and someone liked it so much, they STOLED it.

IF, you can help me, I would appreciate it very much.


Thad L. Ardo — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I deleted your phone number. It's a bad idea to post personal contact info on the internet. The album "Bittersweet", which would have featured that track, was apparently never published, according to our article on Matraca Berg. If you had the track on another album, let us know what that was called, and we may be able to help further. Rojomoke (talk) 10:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe the song is on some CD releases of Lying to the Moon, which can be found at [38]. You can also download the individual mp3 from Amazon. --Jayron32 21:40, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Hail to the Chief Saluting[edit]

Does the military (salute) and civilians hold their hands over their hearts when "Hail to the Chief" is played> — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I never do, if that's any guide. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The president is saluted by military personnel when Hail to the Chief is played, since the president is Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military.[39] Civilians would stand at attention, but not salute. As for holding the hand over the heart, is that not what people do when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? OttawaAC (talk) 20:11, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
People? Or just some people? Did nobody get Jack's point? Like him, I probably wouldn't respond that way when "Hail to the Chief" is played. In my case that would be because I have no idea what it sounds like. HiLo48 (talk) 22:14, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, US citizens. I wouldn't recognize either "Hail to the Chief" or the Pledge of Allegiance if I heard them. OttawaAC (talk) 00:00, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
That's probably why you are only Canadian. μηδείς (talk) 01:30, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Okay, I'll be the first US citizen to respond, I guess. Civilians do not salute or put their hand over their heart when HttC is played. Standing is done more as a matter of respect than due to the music being played. We do put our hand over our heart when the national anthem is played in our presence (we don't normally do so at home when we see it sung/performed on the TV). Standing quietly with our hands at our sides is also an acceptable option for many. It's simply a cultural thing after all. We could remain seated or continue doing whatever you were doing though you may receive some dirty looks. As for the Pledge, hardly anyone outside of grade school says it anymore and, again, hand over heart is the usual thing to do while reciting it. Dismas|(talk) 01:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
As a fellow American, I concur with your summary. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

What are any warning signs that lightning is going to strike nearby whilst you are outside?[edit]

Exactly as the question says. I am also wondering if eyes hurting are also a possible warning sign. I also wonder what might cause the lightning to flash red (not blue) when striking the ground.

Simply south ...... discombobulating confusing ideas for just 8 years 18:42, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

See [40]: "A soft or loud buzzing, clicking, hissing or cracking sound. A tingling sensation. Hairs on the arm or head standing on end. Nearby metal objects emitting a soft, blue-white glow called 'St. Elmo's Fire'". Though I'd have to suggest that none of that seems particularly reliable. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Was burning eyes beforehand just a coincidence? And why did I see the lightning strike as red? Simply south ...... discombobulating confusing ideas for just 8 years 20:38, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Either those are signs of demonic possession, or you should seek a physician. Given it is an open question whether priests are licensed professionals. Random guys on the internet are not lp's; although various admins here will violate wikipedia policy if you know whom to ask. I suggest you search the talk page. μηδείς (talk) 22:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I like what Andy said... I've read anecdotes about lightening victims giving similar feelings. There are probably some physiological effects right before a strike. Of course, at that point it's probably way too late. Don't be outside in a thunderstorm, is the take home point. Shadowjams (talk) 07:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
When you don't realise it is a thunderstorm then you can't help that. Are there any other cases of red lightning bolts striking the ground elsewhere in the world? AND I dont mean sprites travelling into the upper atmosphere. Difficultly north (talk) Simply south alt. 12:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
We have an article on Ball lightning. Dbfirs 10:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
There's also ionized air, but that just means a thunderstorm is in the general area, not that a lightning strike is going to hit right there. StuRat (talk) 13:05, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
When I was almost struck last year, I felt and heard the pre-buzz for about two seconds. When it struck, it looked purple. My eyes didn't burn and my head didn't spin, but my cat took off like a bat out of Hell. The colour might have to do with what it burns, same as the light from a flame. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:26, April 21, 2014 (UTC)

April 21[edit]

Bright orange light over the English Channel 20.4, around 2200z[edit]

Hello Wikipedians.

I have a question concerning something I observed on the night sky, south-southwest of Portsmouth, UK tonight. I consider myself an avid aviation enthusiast, so I feel I know very well the distinction between strobe lights, navigation beacons, collission lights and landing lights on commercial jetliners. What I observed, however, did not fit with any of these. It moved roughly from east-northeast to west-southwest, and was a bright orange hue - and of course I thought of fire and flames. It flickered somewhat, but the city air could have been disturbed. It moved at a speed common for commercial jetliners, though I couldn't tell the range or height very well. I certainly would not think it above 30,000 feet - much more likely it was between 10 and 20,000 feet. There were no lights apart from the bright orange, which was also much greater in size than a single steady wingtip or beacon light might've been. It kept a steady height as far as I could tell, but I only had it in view for 20-30 seconds before it passed behind a block of houses.

So. Presumably an aircraft with a bright orange light. When does that ever happen? What is the likeliest explanation for what I witnessed? Thank you in advance for any help. (talk) 00:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Own edit: Based on the receipt from Tesco I figure the observation was made at 23:20-25 local time. (talk) 00:07, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
A military jet using afterburner? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Often, these mysterious lights in a dark sky (so, impossible to judge size, height, speed properly) turn out to be floating lanterns. (talk) 00:13, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I just checked with the wind direction (why hadn't I done so before?) and that definitely seems the most plausible explanation now. I'll settle for that, especially seeing as flightradar shows no flights of a similar heading during that time. Thank you. (talk) 02:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, one of my favorite parts of nighttime "UFO sightings" is claims that the object had some specific diameter or was traveling at some specific speed, when it's obviously impossible to determine either of those things without knowing the object's altitude, something that's not easy at night (unless, again, you have an idea of its size or speed; determining these things is circular). Evan (talk|contribs) 03:29, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Sky lantern.--Shantavira|feed me 08:27, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, which floating lantern redirects to. I assumed a registered user would create the redirect for the plural, but I see I was too sleepy to remember to ask. (talk) 09:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Redirect now created :) DuncanHill (talk) 11:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Thinking bigger, Hot air balloon competition to take place on the Isle of Wight at some date "between the 22nd March and the 2nd May, weather permitting." Alansplodge (talk) 12:01, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Why don't more mass scale auto companies imitate exotic designs?[edit]

Although I don't have a source for this, I think it would be reasonable to assume that most people find the designs of exotic cars like Maseratis or Ferraris to be more aesthetically appealing than more conventional cars like Toyotas or Hondas. Why don't the latter, the more conventional car companies, imitate the sleek designs of exotic car producers?

Obviously, copying cars verbatim is probably against some copyright laws, but why don't Toyota or Nissan make more of an effort to shape their average sedans or coupes to resemble those of exotic car companies?

I understand that a lot of high-end cars use more expensive materials like carbon fibre, but surely Toyota, for ex, could just recreate it using steel. It can't be more expensive from a material perspective right? It's more or less the same mass of metal.

Obviously I only speak for myself, but I would be more inclined to purchase a 2-door Honda Civic if it looked similar to a Ferrari F458 or something.

THanks. Acceptable (talk) 01:58, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

They do with certain models. Almost every major car company has models designed for either performance, or are more exotic looking than the average family sedan. Toyota makes the Lexus RC, Honda has the NSX, Nissan/Datsun has always had the Z-series, GM has the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford has the Ford Mustang, Chrysler has the Viper, etc. However, not everyone wants to buy such cars. Many people have lifestyles unlike you, and actually want things like 4-door sedans and minivans and the like. --Jayron32 02:12, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
How do you plan to fit your spouse, children, groceries, etc. in your Ferrari F458? Also, making an SUV look like a sports car just invites ridicule. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:38, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Reminds me of the Volkswagen with a faux Rolls Royce front. Not a pretty sight. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I think the more relevant question for you, OP, is why don't more people want exotic looking cars. If the companies thought that consumers wanted it, they would likely make them and thus increase sales/profits. But they don't, so there must be a market reason and not necessarily that they just don't want to make exotic looking cars. Dismas|(talk) 02:51, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
How do aerodynamics and fuel mileage factor in? Evan (talk|contribs) 02:56, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm intrigued with the marketing aspect of car design, like the way car headlights, grilles, etc. have deliberately anthropomorphized features... car makers have gone so far as to test focus group members' brain wave responses to test designs.[41]. Some people prefer friendly-looking designs, some prefer "angry"-looking designs. The manufacturers put a lot of research into design. My guess is that it comes down to what niche markets prefer, and not everyone wants to drive a sports car. OttawaAC (talk) 03:00, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I understand that a car shaped/structured like a F458 won't be practical for a family, but perhaps Honda could shape their 2-door coupes to look something similar. For their 4-door sedans, maybe they can copy design cues from a Maserati Quattroporte or something. Minivans I guess would be excluded from this discussion. Acceptable (talk) 04:20, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

You don't think a Honda Civic would sell better if it looked like this instead?


Acceptable (talk) 04:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Once again... for Honda, check the styling on the Honda NSX. Every major manufacturer generally has one of these on the market. --Jayron32 18:12, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Every designer has to consider their target market. The Honda Civic's target market, for example, may well be middle-aged, middle-income couples with no children. With advancing age, however, comes restrictions and limitations on what the body can do, so the designer would have to produce a car that is reasonably easy for someone, say, with arthritic knees to get in and out of. Speaking as a Honda Civic owner with dodgy knees, it suits me perfectly. I look at a Lamborghini or Ferrari and think "if I did manage to get in there I couldn't possibly get out". So if Honda did reshape the Civic to look more like a Lambo, it would lose me at least as a repeat purchaser - and I suspect many others too. (As an aside, when I first got the car I gave a 22 year old guy a lift from one college site to another. He was mega impressed by the dashboard, which he described as "like a spaceship". So it was trendy once!)--TammyMoet (talk) 20:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Jayron. However, the NSX is still a little pricier than a regular 2-door coupe Honda Civic. Why doesn't Honda, Toyota, or Nissan just style all their family cars like an NSX or Ferrari?

@TammyMoet, so is it mainly an ergonomic consideration then? Acceptable (talk) 00:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Because they would not sell enough at that particular price point to make it worth their while. The answer is that the companies do intense amounts of market research, and detailed studies, and produce cars that will maximize their profit. The people who will spend a certain amount of cash on a Honda Civic want a Honda Civic. They don't want a Ferrari. And the people who will buy a Ferrari have enough cash for Ferrari to price their cars at high prices and still sell them. Bringing a car to market is an expensive proposition, and cars, even well-built cars, that don't have a market don't sell. That's the lesson behind the Edsel. The main reason the Edsel failed was that it didn't have a market. Ford basically duplicated its Mercury line with the Edsel line, and customers were mostly confused by what they were buying. They stayed with products they were comfortable with; customers at the Mercury price point who wanted a Mercury bought a Mercury, and there just wasn't a market for the Edsel. We know YOU want to buy a Civic that looks like a Ferrari, but Honda knows many more people than just you. People at large don't want one. So Honda doesn't make one. --Jayron32 02:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I think the problem is that those very extreme sports-car designs are hugely impractical. They are hard to park, the low ground clearance is a nightmare, you can't see much out of the back, so reversing is a pain. Their various internal systems tend to be wedged in there very tightly, so the cars are hard (and therefore expensive) to service. Putting those things into an "every day" car would be a very bad idea. Most people who own those very high end 'extreme' cars don't drive them to work every day - and they don't have to haul shopping back from the supermarket or carry more than two people. Sure, they look cool - and they are cool to drive at ridiculous speeds on the freeway...but driving them around town and doing things that most people's cars are called upon to do every day is just a horrible experience. SteveBaker (talk) 17:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll second that. I had a car-nut uncle that drove a Lancia Stratos around town. It was a nightmare; even as a 10 year old, when we'd pile in the back there was no room in the tiny back jump seat it had. Wedging myself, my brother, and my cousin in there was painful. There was zero storage in the thing as well. --Jayron32 18:17, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Which series/movie was this?[edit]

I remember watching something just a few months back, but can't for the life of me remember whether it was a show or a movie. There is one part where two of the characters are playing locker pranks on each other (one girl and the other a boy, I think). At the very end, the girl infuriates the boy by putting a painted tampon in his locker. And that's when the pranks come to an end. Does anybody remember where/what this might have been? La Alquimista 12:21, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

US style A/C & Heating thermostat.[edit]

The house we just bought has some pretty ancient thermostats for the A/C & heat system. I was pleased to discover that upgrading to new ones was super-simple. Honeywell sell four different thermostats - in exactly identical cases and with identical interfaces and identical displays. They range in price from $18 to $65 depending on how fancy the scheduling system is. Basically:

  1. Unprogrammable - you set the temperature and that's that.
  2. Time-settings - but the same times and temps for every day.
  3. One-schedule for weekdays and a different schedule for the weekends.
  4. Every day of the week can have a different schedule.

Clearly this is a rip-off - even the tiniest microcontroller chip has enough memory to remember a month of times and temps - so the hardware has got to be identical for all four of them. I very much doubt there is 100 lines of software different between them - and as a programmer myself, I know that I could write the software for one of these things in an afternoon! So charging me almost $50 for the fancy features is ridiculous. Then there are some really up-market thermostats with WiFi or Bluetooth interfaces, so you can program them with your phone/PC. Those are over $250!

Well, I know that the electronics for this should cost around $5 and the bluetooth chip is another $5...and I *KNOW* the software is easy - so maybe I should make my own?'s the question...what do the various wires going between the thermostat and the A/C + heat unit actually *do*? Mine has five wires, colored red, green, yellow, white and blue - and the blue wire wasn't connected on the old thermostat. The color code seems to be some kind of a standard because the new thermostat uses the exact same labels (R,G,Y,W,B) as the old one.

SteveBaker (talk) 19:44, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Here is an explanation [43] of your colors and several others. Rmhermen (talk) 20:37, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Note that a programmable thermostat isn't always better. I have one, and wish I didn't. First off, I don't have a regular schedule, which makes programming it to change the temperature setting at different times to match my schedule a crap shoot. Then there's a problem that I periodically have to change the setting, to adjust for the seasons. With a basic thermostat, I'd only have to change it once, but with mine, which has 4 settings for each of 7 days, I have to change it 28 times ! And when I replace the battery, all 28 settings go back to the 62 degree F default. My thermostat does have an override setting, so I can set the temp I want and override the stored setting. However, it reverts to the stored settings at the next time interval. So, if you get a programmable thermostat, be very careful about how the features work, or you will be forever fiddling with it just to get it back to the same temp you had set before. Features that would make my life easier:
1) An override setting that is permanent, until I turn it off.
2) Persistent memory, so it doesn't lose all the settings when I change the battery, or, failing that, at least the ability to set a default, so it won't go back to 62 degrees each time.
3) The ability to make global changes, like "increase all settings by 1 degree".
4) The ability to change the number of time increments it uses each day.
5) The ability to have different temp settings for heat and A/C.
6) The ability to change the swing amount. That is, does it wait until the temp is 1 degree off the temp setting to kick on the heat or A/C, or 5 degrees ?
Also, regarding your cost figures, consider that there's special hardware, like an LCD panel that can list the day of the week. I suspect that the hardware is the biggest cost.
One other practical consideration when replacing a thermostat is that the new one must fit the old hole, since you don't want part of the old hole showing. This is particularly problematic if the old thermostat was circular and the new one is rectangular, as happened in my case. Sure, you can patch the hole and repaint, but it's difficult to match it exactly. StuRat (talk) 02:10, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

OR: In NYC, steam heating is free (you usually have to open the windows in winter it is so hot and humid) and you have to but a window unit A?C that has its own thermostat. The worst mistake my parents eer made with their central air was to replace the original mechanical thermostat with an electronic one. The old thermostat had a heat/cool switch, and a maximum and minimum temp setting that kicked in according to whether it was set on heat or cool. At bedtime they turned the temperature down if they wanted. In the morning they turned it up. No programming, no resetting, no problems with power outages. Now they spend several minutes each day cursing at the programmable thermostat, and have to reset it regularly. If our current mechanical thermostat is not broken you may want to consider not fixing it. μηδείς (talk) 02:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Your interesting comment led me to New York City steam system that I'd never heard of before. Did you mean free as in supplied at zero cost? Dbfirs 09:56, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
By "mechanical system" do you mean an absorption chiller ? What was their reason for switching to electrical A/C ? StuRat (talk) 11:36, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Steam heat is like the malls, it's inclded as part of the rent. By mechanical thermostat I meant one consisting of a coiled bi-metallic strip that expands or contracts unevenly due to the change in temperature. μηδείς (talk) 15:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Really, the whole point of building my own thermostats is that I can make them as dumb or as smart as I it seems from the description linked to above, it boils down to driving three relays - one connecting the 24 volt input from the A/C unit to the "heat enable" wire, another to the "cold enable" and the third to the "fan enable" wire. Then I just need a temperature sensor and a 50 cent computer chip with a $2 WiFi interface to drive it with.
One thing that always annoys me is the need to manually switch between heat and would be much better to set two temperatures - if it goes below X, then heat until you reach (X+Y)/2- if it goes above Y then cool until you reach (X+Y)/2...I can finally fix that! Also, I don't need the temperature to jump around at set times, I can have it gradually shift the temperature range 'window' over time.

Follow-on question:[edit]

Our house has two thermostats (one upstairs and one downstairs) - but only one A/C & heat system up in the attic. How does the system handle contradictory demands from the two thermostats? Clearly (from the description of the wiring) there is no communication between the two thermostats.
SteveBaker (talk) 17:47, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
What kind of heating system does your house use? Some system have different zones that are each controlled by their own thermostat. For example, my house has an in-floor hot water radiant heat system with four zones. There is only one boiler, but the flow of hot water to each zone is controlled separately by a thermostat for each zone. - EronTalk 18:03, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I have a gas-fired furnace and electric A/C, all in one big machine up in the attic - with the usual outside heat-exchanger for the A/C. There are two thermostats - one for upstairs, the other for downstairs. SteveBaker (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
There could be baffles or valves of some sort to direct airflow. That is, if your upstairs is set colder than your downstairs; when the heat is on it closes off the vents to the upstairs if it is warmer than the thermostat is set there; basically how your car HVAC system works where it allows you to direct the heat to the windsheild or the middle vents or the floor vents. --Jayron32 18:08, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I would start trying to work out the existing wiring of your HVAC system. Trace the wires back to see what all they go to. It's easiest if you can cut the power to the system and use a tone generator/detector, but there are other methods too. Check accessible ductwork for electronic baffles. A reasonable guess is that either thermostat can fire up the furnace or A/C, but they also control baffles. That way if the upstairs thermostat calls for heat, the furnace and fan will kick on and the upstairs baffles open, but the downstairs baffles stay closed because that thermostat is not calling for heat. A well-designed system will also use relay logic to prevent the A/C and heat from being demanded at the same time, but it may not be wired that way. Katie R (talk) 18:58, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah - I could do that - but it would be a lot of hassle. There must be a standard way that this is done. It would be better to find out what the standard way to do it is. In the last house I owned, there were two A/C units with one thermostat each and they were both 'heat pump' systems that did heating by (essentially) driving the air-conditioner backwards. I'm intrigued to see how the system in my new place handles contradictory demands. SteveBaker (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

West Bakersfield Interchange[edit]

In the description section, second paragraph, there will need to be rewording soon for updating. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ElkeWylie (talkcontribs) 20:00, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Go ahead. We won't get in your way. --Jayron32 20:55, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

April 22[edit]

Sir Eric Ronge[edit]

I kept a cutting from The Age of 4 May 2010 because a death notice caught my eye. The deceased is Sir Eric Ronge, whose dates are given as 29 November 1926 to 1 May 2010. Then it mentions his wife Eva, his children Ricky and Marcelle, and in-laws' and grand-children's names. There's no information about what his field of endeavour was. I've tried googling to find out more about him, but have drawn a blank. There are hits for an Eric Otto Ronge, but I have no way of knowing whether that's our man.

So, who was he, who knighted him, and why? Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:59, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

There's an Eric Ernest Ronge works for the government in Kenya,[44] but he still seems to be alive. He writes lots of rather dull sounding stuff.[45] There's a Dr Eric Ronge[46], a Swedish specialist in hypermobility who is still writing his blog. I also found on a Czech website Eric R.Ronge, nar.29.2.1926 who is the founder of E R Ronge & Co Pty, an estate agent in Melbourne, Australia. Alansplodge (talk) 01:41, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Bingo! In the August 2010 edition of Kvart Melbournsky, a magazine for the Czech community, I found this notice "With deep sorrow we announce, 1 May 2010 at the age of 83 years, forever left us, our revered and beloved husband, father, grandfather and father-in-law - Eric Rene Ronge - Forever in our thoughts and hearts. Sleep tight. Goodbye". It's on page 9 and in Czech. No mention of a knighthood though. Do they still have them down under? Alansplodge (talk) 02:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The Australian Business Who's Who directory of 1967 lists Eric R. Ronge as a chairman of the bank A.N.Z. Overseas.[47] OttawaAC (talk) 02:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
It just goes to show the vagueries of Google. That book definitely didn't appear on my British Google search and neither did the Eric Otto Ronge that Jack found. Most odd. Alansplodge (talk) 02:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) This also mentions Eva. I assume "nar. 29.2.1926" is a date of birth (maybe someone interpreted 11 (for November) as II (Roman 2) for February; otherwise, how do we explain the 29th of February in a non-leap year? So, this seems to be definitely him. But all the hits are in Czech, which is odd, although they do mention Prague. Yet here is a site for his estate agency in Melbourne. (later) But now that I know he was member of the expatriate Czech community, it makes sense.
The "Sir" is a bit of mystery. The only place I've seen it at all is in his death notice I quoted above. Some non-Commonwealth countries (including the Vatican) have knighthoods, but they don't entitle the recipient to the title "Sir". I've not heard of Czech knighthoods. If you'd asked a month ago, I would have told you that Australia abolished knighthoods in 1986 and the last recipient was in 1983. But Tony Abbott, bless him, has deemed it appropriate to reinstate them in the 21st century, so he's prevailed upon the Queen to restore the AK and AD to the Order of Australia. The outgoing and incoming Governors-General, Quentin Bryce and Gen Peter Cosgrove, were the first recipients. So far, we still don't participate in Imperial Honours any more, but with a precedent (and a PM) like this, anything's possible. Such interesting times we live in. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:31, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Finally, from out of the murky bowels of Google, I found a 1968 photograph of Eric Rene Ronge, sporting a rather dashing quiff. Goodnight all. Alansplodge (talk) 02:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
In response to JackofOz's last post, there were knighthoods in Tasmania and Queensland as late as 1989. Hack (talk) 04:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Do people with knighthoods in Australia generally call themselves "Sir" or is it a bit of an embarrassment? Alansplodge (talk) 12:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
In the last decade there have only been a handful of knights active in public life, most of whom received their accolades as a result of service to Britain. I can really only think of James Wolfensohn (who may or may not be a substantive knight) who does not or did not use his title. I guess those likely not to use the title would not accept the award in the first place. Hack (talk) 16:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
See Living Australian knights and dames. I guess, never having been offered one, that those who do accept such gongs would be willing to use whatever titles come with them; if they thought Sir/Dame was an embarrassment, I imagine they'd think the award itself was of the same ilk and wouldn't have accepted it in the first place.
I've taken James Wolfensohn off the list because his award was honorary, and was made some years after he ceased to be an Australian citizen. It would be incorrect for him, as a non-Commonwealth citizen, to use the title "Sir". (That doesn't stop Mr Bob Geldof KBE from getting Sir, including from people who should and do know better, but that seems to be a losing battle. I wonder if they'd call his wife "Lady Geldof" if he were to remarry. Hmm.) Thanks for alerting me to this anomaly. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Wolfensohn is an odd one - when he regained his Australian citizenship a few years back, the citizenship certificate showed his name as Sir James Wolfensohn, however there is no indication the knighthood was made substantive.[48] Hack (talk) 00:41, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


I remember reading somewhere that there was a newspaper editor who had re-run old daily astrological forecasts without anyone being wiser.I want this reference since I had mentioned it to someone about this. Searching the Internet yielded me no results.Thanking you in anticipation.Sumalsn (talk) 16:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

That would be James Randi. --Aspro (talk) 21:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Every cycle of the Great Year as understood (e.g. by Plato) to mark the return of the Sun, Moon, planets and fixed stars to their original zodiacal positions should allow previously generated Horoscopes to be recycled. JustAnotherUploader (talk) 22:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Well. The illusionist Randi does get accused of always stacking the cards his way. [49]--Aspro (talk) 22:40, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I rather doubt that Randi was publishing 23,000 year old horoscopes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:29, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

April 23[edit]

Nighttime satellite photo--bright region in Dakotas/Montana region?[edit]

Supposedly this is an actual nighttime satellite photograph of the USA: [50]. Clearly most of the bright spots are major US cities. However, if you take a look in the Montana/North Dakota area, there seems to be a very big bright spot. What is the source of this light? There are no major cities in that area, yet it appears to be much brighter than, for example, Denver. Does anyone have an idea of what that is? Thanks. (talk) 00:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Any idea what the original source of the picture is? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:30, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe the photo is from NASA, and supposedly it is taken by a NASA-NOAA satellite. See here: [51] (talk) 00:36, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
And to be clear, it is actually a composite image made from actual nighttime satellite photographs. (talk) 00:38, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The NASA source indicates that picture includes phenomena besides just city lights. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:41, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a similar photo which doesn't show that blob out in the middle of nowhere:File:Earthlights_dmsp_US.jpg. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. So why the discrepancy? Are you saying the NASA image is for some reason not an accurate image, or is there some real change in the lights coming from that region between the two photographs (for example, maybe Montana and South Dakota only turn on their middle-of-nowhere lighting during a certain season and not the others?) (talk) 01:06, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I see you said that the NASA image indicates other light sources besides city lights... but still, what in that region (maybe not city lights) would be causing such a big bright spot? (talk) 01:11, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

And if you look at the high-res version here [52] you can see clearly that the lights appear to have a definite ordering--in stripes, suggestive of a man-made source. (talk) 01:15, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe something to do with gas and oil industry work in the area? Although it's hard to believe you would end up with a blob of light that big. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:21, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
That's in fact what it is. NPR asked and answered the question in January 2013.[53] I found it by googling "usa at night, large lighted area". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:25, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, Bugs. That article is very interesting, and actually quite disturbing. (talk) 01:58, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)