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April 15[edit]

Remove fan from AMD CPU heat sink[edit]

fan on AMD CPU

I need to remove the fan from an AMD CPU's heat sink so I can clean dust out of the heat sink fans. I've done this before with Intel CPUs but not with AMD, and I can't figure out how to get the fan off the heat sink. I've googled for it but didn't find it. I've tried blowing out the dust with compressed air and picking it out with pliers tweezers, but I need to get the fan off to do a good job. I don't want to remove the heat sink from the CPU. How is the fan removed? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:35, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure different AMD processors use different heat sink designs, so it would help if you would specify exactly which processor you are working with. Looie496 (talk) 02:41, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It is an Athlon X2 4400. The fan looks like it is held onto the heat sink with two little tabs on one side and two on the opposite side, but I can't get them open easily, and I'm afraid that too much force will break them. (I can upload a photo if that will help.) Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:48, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Some images may be helpful. The AMD stock HSFs I've used in the past have had the fans screwed on to the heatsink and from what I can tell, so to the ones in photos I can find [1] [2] [3]. Nil Einne (talk) 12:41, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Photo added. The fans on Intels that I've changed have four small screws on the corners. This has the holes, but there are no screws. Two of them (opposite each other) have brads or something. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 19:16, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Retail AMD heatsinks typically have an AMD sticker on them, amatech is an aftermarket brand. It's entirely possible this is a monolithic design, not designed to be taken apart. Vespine (talk) 00:27, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
This cooler came in (and is still in) a Compaq Presario my father used. I was with him when he bought it new at a retail store. I'm sure he didn't change it. But you're right - maybe the fan wasn't meant to be taken off. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify, i wasn't implying someone changed the heatsink, just saying that it probably isn't a retail AMD HSF, so that if you google "removing a fan from an AMD HSF", you aren't necessarily going to find this one. It is also not surprising that compaq would buy OEM CPUs without a heatsink and fit one of their own choosing. Vespine (talk) 06:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, I understand now. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 06:43, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

"COM Surrogate"[edit]

I have a small laptop that I use mainly for online gambling. I'm fairly sure it has picked up some malware here-and-there; I don't store any sensitive information on it, so it hasn't been a big concern. Now I'm beginning to have problems I haven't encountered before. When it restarts, I get the message "Host Process for Windows Tasks has stopped working". After it loads, I get the uber-annoying and Greek-to-me "COM Surrogate has stopped working". This pop-up comes and goes, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Sometimes it appears once and hour or so, other times it pops up continuously for three or four minutes. It usually kicks me off of whatever I am doing at the time, and it retards the speed of my PC to a degree that is painful. Searching for answers online hasn't been much help; most of the answer-sites I've visited want me to download product with which I'm unfamiliar in order to fix it. I'm not even the least bit computer-savvy, so I have no idea whether this is a major problem or something that's easily fixable. Any advice would be much appreciated. (I don't mind if I need to go to a pay-site to get this fixed, but the computer is such a piece of shit in the first place that I'd rather not throw good money after bad if it's avoidable.) Joefromrandb (talk) 05:19, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Often the most productive approach to problems like this is to do a Google search for the exact wording of the error message. In this case I find this page, which might be helpful to you, and doesn't require paying anything. Looie496 (talk) 13:16, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
If you don't like the computer and you don't have anything important on it, by far the simplest approach is to buy a new computer. If you want to keep using the computer, I'd suggest reformatting the entire hard drive including the boot sector (maybe the drive has a "secure erase" function in which case you should use it), then reinstalling your OS and software from scratch. Or better yet, buy a new hard drive, swap out the old one, and install OS on the new one. Trying to surgically remove malware while leaving the system basically intact is a messy and unreliable process, and many of the products sold for the purpose aren't very effective. Especially if you're visible as an online gambler, you may be a subject of targeted attacks (trying to get hold of your gambling accounts, see your cards during play, or whatever) rather than just random virus infections. So I think an aggressive approach is warranted. (talk) 13:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I doubt this is malware, but it's unclear how to fix it because the error message is so nonspecific. "Host Process for Windows Tasks" is Windows\System32\taskhost.exe and "COM Surrogate" is Windows\System32\dllhost.exe. These are standard Windows programs that just run other software "hosted" in their address space. What's crashing is not these programs, but whatever they're running.
If there's a button you can click in the error dialog box to show more information, the details might mention a name ending in .dll. That would be a lot more useful in diagnosing the problem.
If you run HijackThis and post the output here, I will look at it, but no guarantees I'll spot anything.
Reverting to the last System Restore point might solve the problem.
The advice to buy a new computer depresses me. Far too many people toss their hardware into a landfill when they only had a software problem. At worst you should back up important files and then do a factory reset (if the computer came with Windows preinstalled) or a clean Windows install (if you installed it yourself). I think erasing the drive is overkill. If you still get the COM surrogate error after reinstalling, I might reconsider.
If you do buy a new laptop, at least donate the old one to charity. :-) -- BenRG (talk) 17:58, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I did try a "System Restore", which was of no help. The details of the error-message are:
Problem signature:
 Problem Event Name:       BEX
 Application Name:      DllHost.exe
 Application Version:   6.1.7600.16385
 Application Timestamp: 4a5bc6b7
 Fault Module Name:     StackHash_f79b
 Fault Module Version:
 Fault Module Timestamp:        00000000
 Exception Offset:      858bffff
 Exception Code:        c0000005
 Exception Data:        00000008
 OS Version:    6.1.7601.
 Locale ID:     1033
 Additional Information 1:      f79b
 Additional Information 2:      f79b35014881a7ad1e09f6ee43f0ccaa
 Additional Information 3:      fe05
 Additional Information 4:      fe05ee44968a0554ebe2fca1946c44b6

Read our privacy statement online:

If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:

Joefromrandb (talk) 14:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Why send spam to gmail accounts?[edit]

Why send spam to gmail accounts? My gmail spam folder gets about 10 spam e-mails per day. Since it all goes straight to the spam folder why do they even bother sending it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:10, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

It costs essentially nothing to send, and some tiny fraction of it might get through. Also, some people will check their spam folders (if they are expecting an important email, or if they've previously had experience with over-zealous spam filters), and some of them will notice the potentially tempting offer/email from a "friend"/whatever. MChesterMC (talk) 12:48, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Spam is invariably sent by automated systems. The expected value of a typical spam message is a tiny fraction of a cent, so if even the slightest iota of individual attention needs to be devoted to it, it is a losing proposition. Looie496 (talk) 13:08, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Spam is sent in such incredible bulk that it's probably easier to just send it all than to figure out which providers will probably filter it out. (talk) 18:49, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a citation for this, but I recall reading at one point that someone actually reads and responds to one in every several thousand (I want to say 10,000, but consider the number untrustworthy). When someone does reply it is fairly likely that the spammer will be able to get some money out of them. Given that it is incredibly cheap to send spam as it is often sent from zombie computers it is worth it to just send as much out as possible. Most won't be read, and even that which is read is mostly ignored, but the few people who do get suckered in make it worth it. Zell Faze (talk) 03:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Is Free Mobile Recharging Fake or Not?[edit]

Hi, I've seen many websites offering Free Mobile Recharge by just providing the phone number..! Many of my friends have tried this and they said they got their mobile recharged..! If it's true how are these sites earning from this? Are there any Trouble in this? What's the real truth behind this? Any help will be appreciated.--Joseph 13:17, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

This is one of such sites.--Joseph 13:19, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

It looks like you have to click on two ads to get the recharge. They get paid some small amount when you click on the ads. So, as long as the recharge amount plus overhead costs them less than they get from the ads, they make a profit. It's also possible they sell your phone number to advertisers or scammers, though, who will then text you ads or even call you. I didn't see any privacy policy promising not to do so. StuRat (talk) 13:41, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
However, there are LOADS of scams out there. Just Google "phone recharge scam".--Shantavira|feed me 16:11, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
So with that in mind be careful and ask your friends which one they used and then ensure for yourself that that particular site is not a scam before you pass over your information. Zell Faze (talk) 03:33, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
For those who were as confused as me as to why anyone was taking this seriously, this refers to adding credit to a phone, not to recharging the battery! MChesterMC (talk) 08:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Linux distros with mezzo?[edit]

Can anyone give me a list of linux distros with mezzo? (talk) 14:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

From what point of view are you asking? I think there is little point in any Linux flavor incorporating this in their distribution. Since, if you want Mezzo then (I think) it can be downloaded and installed on most Debian versions of Linux. If you are looking for a distro, decide on which one suits your 'overall' requirement – then install Mezzo.--Aspro (talk) 23:12, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
There is at least Symphony OS, but I would tend to agree with Aspro. You should really find a distribution that suits your needs and just install Mezzo. I wasn't able to find any others in a cursory search. Zell Faze (talk) 03:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

Ipad won't play songs from cds[edit]

Hi, I've uploaded my cds to itunes on my computer, and they work fine. I've also played them on my ipad, and in the past, they have also worked fine. Lately, they have just refused to play on the ipad. I've tried turning the ipad on and off, and resyncing, but to no avail. The ipad doesn't say what's wrong. I downloaded a song for free on the internet, and tried to get it to play, but I don't know why that would affect any other songs. That song also works on the computer, but hasn't transferred to the ipad. Purchased songs are not affected, and a small few songs from cd are also not affected. Any idea what's going on? IBE (talk) 02:27, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

What format are the files? Did you "rip" them to MP3 format from your CDs? (If not, then you could try that as an alternative.) Dbfirs 06:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, it seems to have fixed itself with an update. Of course I knew that it would be a good idea to update the software, but somehow iTunes hasn't let me download the latest iOS for a few weeks. I was thinking it was maybe just blocked in China. So good news there.

Well for what it's worth, if anyone should ever encounter the problem: They are .m4a. For example, "Intervention" by Arcade Fire has 3 files: (1) "04 Intervention" with a miniature semi-quaver logo on the left, and it is listed as an MPEG-4 Audio file, 8.42MB; (2) "04 Intervention.m4a.files" - folder with 0 bytes; and (3) "04 Intervention.m4a.smfmf" - size 8KB. The first two are in the folder C:\Users\IBE\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\Arcade Fire and the third is in the folder ...\Neon Bible, ie. the same tree with an extra folder for the name of the album. IBE (talk) 11:22, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Login/signup - terms[edit]

A crossover of computing and language: Is there consistency in English for terms meaning

  1. Create an account here!
  2. Get into your account here!

As far as I have encountered, the first activity is called

  1. register or sign up, the second
  2. login or sign in

But is this handled consistently in the English-speaking world? Or are there websites with different usage of those terms? --KnightMove (talk) 08:00, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Many sites have different text for those two things. Choose whatever is appropriate for your audience. (talk) 08:14, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok, the article Login helps on one topic - is there one on the other (I failed to find one in Register). --KnightMove (talk) 08:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I would say your distinction is correct, and would be understood by any English speaker (certainly any computer-literate British English speaker). You might consider moving this to the Language Reference Desk. Rojomoke (talk) 12:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"Log on" or "sign on" are sometimes used instead of log in or sign in. Login is sometimes one word, etc. (talk) 12:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
You could check what popular web sites do - twitter, facebook, google, wikipedia, amazon etc. They have probably settled on terms that are understandable to a lot of people. If you are building a specific type of web site, check existing sites that have a similar style of registration (e.g. e-commerce sites may have preferred terms, or email sites might call it "create mailbox") - let them do the market research for you. (talk) 15:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I've seen some web pages that don't initially make a distinction between signing up and logging in. They just ask for your username and password. If that username doesn't exist in their DB, they say "That username is not in our database, would you like to register using that username and password ?". StuRat (talk) 16:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Don't fall for the common mistake that many sites do... "Log-in" (also "login", which isn't really a word...) is really be a noun (like "registration", rather than "register"), and the verb is "log in". So a link that takes you to a page where you're able to log in could reasonably be labelled "log-in", but I'd avoid it. A button that actually logs you in should say "log in", not "log-in", and definitely not "login"!
Having both "sign up" and "sign in" could be confusing. Wikipedia uses "create account" and "log in", which are clear, grammatical, and unambiguous; how about those? 14:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yeryry (talkcontribs)
I don't have any direct advice on the current form of these terms, but I'll describe how the terms arose, which might influence your choice. As recently as the 1980s computers or computer terminals were scarce, especially on college campuses. It was common to have a log book listing all the hours of the day and night. One would reserve time on the computer or terminal by writing one's name in the log book, and then would actually sign and write the time one started and stopped using the equipment. People who reserved time in the wee hours of the night but didn't show up to use the equipment were severely frowned upon. Much of the equipment used in those days didn't have any automated logging software, so the paper log book was the only record of who used the equipment and how much. Jc3s5h (talk) 14:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

raw ip logs[edit]

How common is it for internet services (not necessarily web sites) to log raw IP packets and retain the logs for any period of time? Are any places known to do this? Reason for asking: I'm wondering about the possibility of scanning old logs for signs of the heartbleed attack. Normal application logs such as web server logs are not sufficient for this. (talk) 12:54, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

It is common for some types of software developers to use packet analyzers. It is less common for a production-level service to perform packet analysis; that level of profiling is more useful for development and debugging, while web-services can usually be analyzed at higher layers of abstraction. However, high-volume web services may still do packet-level studies to tune performance; or as part of a network security policy. Commercial support for packet capture software is available. Google's advice, from its developer page, "Network Capture Tools for API Developers", essentially suggests that packet-sniffing is useless when SSL is involved (because, if SSL were working correctly, interception of the packets provides very little useful data). It seems plausible that major web services take the same approach: it would be pointless to capture and store packet-level data (i.e. to log the transport layer in the OSI model), if the security system worked correctly. Barring the sinister, it would be hard for a service-provider to justify budgeting and maintaining storage space for a bunch of logs of impenetrable data. In retrospect, we now know that such data (if logged) might be vulnerable to the CVE-2014-0160 problem. A benevolent entity with those logs might be able to detect a history of intrusions; and a sinister entity with such logs might be able to decode the (previously-"secure") encrypted data by perpetrating new attacks to grab private keys.
It has been speculated that highly capable entities - like the NSA - actually do have the budget and resources to log immense volumes of encrypted data. It has been shown that highly-capable entities may already be collecting such data - for example, here's EFF's brief on the NSA surveillance scandal from 2006. Even if the NSA could not decode such data when it is collected, it may justify its data-collection effort in case a future capability (say, a hypothetical software bug that was present but unknown during the collection) enables future decryption. Nimur (talk) 18:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that type of NSA data retention was used to great effect in the Venona project. But in this case, if someone was exploiting Heartbleed 2 years ago, the NSA would be one of the main suspects, and they'd never tell. It's certainly common for large web sites to log the contents of all incoming HTTP queries, for data mining purposes. The data volume of the raw IP packets would be comparable. On the other hand, logging them could be a questionable security practice, since they would contain unhashed user passwords. (talk) 23:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it very unlikely that most ISPs log wholesale packet data (pcaps) as a matter of course. There are tremendous space issues, and in fact legal issues too, even for an ISP hiding behind a wall of TOSes. Even the NSA is selective about what they log and store. The amount of traffic coming through even a modest ISP will quickly overwhelm storage ability. I don't know why 70.36 thinks the "data volume of the raw IP packets would be comparable" to HTTP headers alone. Those headers would be included in the raw packet data, plus much much more.
The best bet for finding early instances of heartbleed are honeypot servers, or extremely paranoid sysadmins who log at extended levels. Even then, if such a valuable vulnerability was known it's unlikely to have been used widely; instead, if it was used at all, it was probably targeted. Shadowjams (talk) 06:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand the tremendous space issues. When I said "size of the http queries" of course that includes the post data and not just the headers, though typical queries on most web sites are just GET. Plus their would be some packet headers etc, but all that compresses pretty well, so it's not that big a deal (consider that the HTTP data typically goes into analytics and indexing systems where its space consumption is enlarged rather than compressed). It's usually taken as par for the course that web sites log all their HTTP traffic, so why would the IP packets (except for passwords) bring on more legal issues? The NSA is in a different situation because the queries they log were not sent to THEIR servers, so their accessing the data at all is legally dubious to begin with. You raise a good point that it's possible some people have been running SSL honeypot servers for long periods. I may ask around about that. But, I think someone trying to exploit Heartbleed before the disclosure would have been at least somewhat selective about targets, so random honeypots might not get touched (they are of course getting scanned with heartbleed all the time now). It would have to be a site with sensitive data that someone was trying to snag. (talk) 23:34, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Uniq Mismatch[edit]

I have a file, asdf2, with four identical lines, that does not get consistent results from the linux uniq command. There is no carriage return in the file, only line feeds.

The file has four lines:

$ cat asdf2 | wc -l

Uniq claims only the first two lines are identical:

$ cat asdf2 | uniq -c | wc -l

Removing a special character makes all lines identical:

$ cat asdf2 | sed 's/\xFE//g' | uniq -c | wc -l

This character is not in the file:

$ cat asdf2 | sed 's/\x1C/@/g' | tr -dc '@'

Replacing with a different character makes all lines identical:

$ cat asdf2 | sed 's/\xFE/\x1C/g' | uniq -c | wc -l

How can something like this happen? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:57, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

What is the result if you run a hex dump on the input file:
xxd asdf2
That would help us understand if anything is unusual about the file. I suspect shenanigans related to unusual (or malformed) character encoding. Nimur (talk) 17:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I have cut the file down as far as possible while still obtaining the same behavior. It seems to require about 120 characters per line in order to misbehave. The hex dump:

0000000: 506c 616e 6e65 6420 436f 7374 fe41 6374 Planned Cost.Act
0000010: 6976 6974 79fe 4163 7469 7669 7479 2047 ivity.Activity G
0000020: 726f 7570 fe41 6374 6976 6974 7920 4772 roup.Activity Gr
0000030: 6f75 7020 4944 fe41 6374 6976 6974 7920 oup ID.Activity
0000040: 4944 fe41 64fe 4164 2049 44fe 4164 2053 ID.Ad.Ad ID.Ad S
0000050: 7461 7475 73fe 4164 2054 7970 65fe 4164 tatus.Ad Type.Ad
0000060: 7665 7274 6973 6572 fe41 6476 6572 7469 vertiser.Adverti
0000070: 7365 7220 4772 6f75 70fe 4164 7665 7274 ser Group.Advert
0000080: 6973 0a50 6c61 6e6e 6564 2043 6f73 74fe is.Planned Cost.
0000090: 4163 7469 7669 7479 fe41 6374 6976 6974 Activity.Activit
00000a0: 7920 4772 6f75 70fe 4163 7469 7669 7479 y Group.Activity
00000b0: 2047 726f 7570 2049 44fe 4163 7469 7669 Group ID.Activi
00000c0: 7479 2049 44fe 4164 fe41 6420 4944 fe41 ty ID.Ad.Ad ID.A
00000d0: 6420 5374 6174 7573 fe41 6420 5479 7065 d Status.Ad Type
00000e0: fe41 6476 6572 7469 7365 72fe 4164 7665 .Advertiser.Adve
00000f0: 7274 6973 6572 2047 726f 7570 fe41 6476 rtiser Group.Adv
0000100: 6572 7469 730a 506c 616e 6e65 6420 436f ertis.Planned Co
0000110: 7374 fe41 6374 6976 6974 79fe 4163 7469 st.Activity.Acti
0000120: 7669 7479 2047 726f 7570 fe41 6374 6976 vity Group.Activ
0000130: 6974 7920 4772 6f75 7020 4944 fe41 6374 ity Group ID.Act
0000140: 6976 6974 7920 4944 fe41 64fe 4164 2049 ivity ID.Ad.Ad I
0000150: 44fe 4164 2053 7461 7475 73fe 4164 2054 D.Ad Status.Ad T
0000160: 7970 65fe 4164 7665 7274 6973 6572 fe41 ype.Advertiser.A
0000170: 6476 6572 7469 7365 7220 4772 6f75 70fe dvertiser Group.
0000180: 4164 7665 7274 6973 0a50 6c61 6e6e 6564 Advertis.Planned
0000190: 2043 6f73 74fe 4163 7469 7669 7479 fe41 Cost.Activity.A
00001a0: 6374 6976 6974 7920 4772 6f75 70fe 4163 ctivity Group.Ac
00001b0: 7469 7669 7479 2047 726f 7570 2049 44fe tivity Group ID.
00001c0: 4163 7469 7669 7479 2049 44fe 4164 fe41 Activity ID.Ad.A
00001d0: 6420 4944 fe41 6420 5374 6174 7573 fe41 d ID.Ad Status.A
00001e0: 6420 5479 7065 fe41 6476 6572 7469 7365 d Type.Advertise
00001f0: 72fe 4164 7665 7274 6973 6572 2047 726f r.Advertiser Gro
0000200: 7570 fe41 6476 6572 7469 730a up.Advertis.

In fact, pasting this directly into the command line seems to work as well:

$ echo 'Planned CostþActivityþActivity GroupþActivity Group IDþActivity IDþAdþAd IDþAd StatusþAd TypeþAdvertiserþAdvertiser GroupþAdvertis
Planned CostþActivityþActivity GroupþActivity Group IDþActivity IDþAdþAd IDþAd StatusþAd TypeþAdvertiserþAdvertiser GroupþAdvertis
Planned CostþActivityþActivity GroupþActivity Group IDþActivity IDþAdþAd IDþAd StatusþAd TypeþAdvertiserþAdvertiser GroupþAdvertis
Planned CostþActivityþActivity GroupþActivity Group IDþActivity IDþAdþAd IDþAd StatusþAd TypeþAdvertiserþAdvertiser GroupþAdvertis' | uniq -c | wc -l
3 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
There's an 0xFE character, which is probably meant as a broken vertical bar separator using an Extended ASCII variant. However, uniq is UTF-8 compliant; so, in tandem with the next character, this byte sequence forms a valid unicode UTF-8 multibyte encoded thorn ( þ ), among others. Can you replace your bar with a UTF-8 equivalent? There are a few that you can copy-paste out of our article. Nimur (talk) 21:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
0xFE is never valid in UTF-8 encoded text. (This could be the reason it was chosen as a record separator for this file.) 0xFE codes for þ in Latin-1 and related character sets such as Windows-1252. -- BenRG (talk) 23:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
BenRG is correct, 0xFE is not a valid way to start an UTF-8 sequence. 0xFE could appear in UTF-16 or UTF-32, but it would need to be followed by a legal value. So, this particular sequence is malformed if interpreted as one of those encodings. Nimur (talk) 00:17, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

It may be that uniq is combining the xFE byte with the following bytes to create a single character for the comparison (and I would like to know if there is a way to verify whether that is happening), but that does not seem like it would break the comparison and cause identical rows to compare as different. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

There is a way to verify! You can compile from source, and run uniq in the debugger. I'm running uniq on OS X, so I grabbed its source-code from text_cmds-87, compiled it, and ran in lldb. I can symbolically step through the comparison logic.
uniq makes liberal use of wcscoll and getwc to do the heavy lifting. You might want to read C string handling; it's probable that when you copy/paste the text, your terminal emulator intelligently converts LF into CRLF, so copy-pasting the file-contents yields different behavior than reading the file.
I should say: I cannot reproduce your problem, even when I intentionally use 0xFE instead of using a valid UTF-8 bar.
It is very probable, because you are running Linux instead of OS X, that your uniq is based on gnu CoreUtils source - available from - so your program's logic may behave differently.
Nimur (talk) 22:25, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I can't reproduce it on linux (uniq from coreutils 8.20) either, at least with the data from the hexdump. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
The problem is undoubtedly the locale settings. uniq --help actually mentions that "comparisons honor the rules specified by ‘LC_COLLATE’", probably because this bites a lot of people. (I know it's bitten me.) Original poster, type locale at the command line to see your locale settings, and try LC_COLLATE=C uniq instead of just uniq to tell uniq to use the C locale, which treats characters other than linefeed as uninterpreted bytes. (I haven't tried that, but it should work...) -- BenRG (talk) 23:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Side comment on style[edit]

You never need to cat a single file into a pipe like that. Instead of

  cat asdf2 | wc -l

you can just redirect the input of wc:

  wc -l <asdf2

You can also write it this way if you prefer:

  <asdf2 wc -l

Using cat would be appropriate if there are, or might be, several files and you want to treat the content as one file:

  cat asdf1 asdf2 | wc -l
  cat *sdf* | wc -l
  cat "$@" | wc -l

Also, almost† all UNIX/Linux commands where you're likely to want to do this will accept one or more filenames as arguments, so you can write:

  wc -l asdf2
  wc -l *.foo

although with some commands this produces subtly different results; for example, with wc it causes the filename to appear in the output, and if more than one file is named, it gives a the count for each file and then a total.

†The most important exception is probably tr; I often find myself writing something like tr x y file and then remembering it has to be tr x y <file.

-- (talk) 21:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for this information :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Just a warning: these instructions conflate a feature of the shell (i.e. the bash shell) and the utility program. This makes a difference! As an example: if I run uniq in the debugger (and absent a shell), it behaves correctly. If I exec the exact same binary from bash using, I get "uniq: /private/dev_scratch/example.txt: Illegal byte sequence" ! So, in this case, your problem almost certainly stems from something that your shell is doing to munge the bytes before they actually arrive at the stdin for uniq! You might want to avoid `cat`ing non-UTF-8 sequences if your terminal is configured for UTF-8; or if your locale is "non-default," or so on. (Konsole and GNOME Terminal - the most popular terminal emulators on desktop Linux flavors - are a lot more intrusive than you might realize!) Nimur (talk) 22:52, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Shells and terminals do not munge byte streams (such as stdin redirected from a file). What is happening is that uniq itself is interpreting the bytes according to the locale. -- BenRG (talk) 23:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
...and the locale is set by the shell. Nimur (talk) 00:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The locale is controlled by environment variables and can be set by a shell script, the GUI launcher, the terminal emulator, or ssh, for example. It would typically already be set before the shell starts in a GUI environment. On Ubuntu it looks like it's normally set by pam_env(8). In any case, the problem definitely isn't "something that your shell is doing to munge the bytes before they actually arrive at the stdin for uniq", since shells don't do that regardless of locale settings. -- BenRG (talk) 05:18, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe that the comments from "Just a warning" down to here are misplaced: they belong in response to the main part of this item, not the side comment. -- (talk) 11:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Drawing software[edit]

I recently upgraded my computer, as my laptop is in the process of dying slowly and painfully, and on this new computer am running ubuntu, and whilst I have used linux before, this is my first time of relying almost solely on it for everything. As such, I need to find some sort of drawing software to download and install. Previously I have enjoyed using for most things, but it seems there is not an ubuntu friendly version of it, at least not that I can find. My alternative, then, is to seek some other linux compatible option, that is as good as what I have been used to, though I am not sure where to start, as there are so many free drawing programs, and I have little idea what most of them are like. The only ones I have previously tried are Inkscape, which I wasn't too fond of and found complicated and awkward to use, and Gimp, which I quickly stopped using, finding it somewhat lacking in a few areas. Wondering if people can suggest any other alternatives. Doesn't need to be anything fancy, just a basic program that will let me import sketches, trace over them in different layers, colour and shade and so on. Some amongst the many options must be suitable, but I'd rather not download every single one to find out.

Thank you, (talk) 22:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

GIMP is definitely the gold standard of image manipulation on Linux. Tracing and layers sounds exactly like the kind of thing it excels at.. What was it you found lacking? Vespine (talk) 22:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ibid: GIMP may require a step learning curve but it pays dividends in the long term. A miserly $2.59 on (say) Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional (Beginning from Novice to Professional) and you'll run rings around anyone using Paint, Inkscape, ad nauseam. --Aspro (talk) 23:44, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As they say:No pain, no gain. Why remain mediocre all ones-life?--Aspro (talk) 23:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Thinking about it, if you start off with MyPaint (which is maybe the Linux equivalent to what you seek). Then proceed to GIMP, you can maybe achieve results like this: [4]. Sit back and enjoy for 20 mins. Mind you, I have never seen little red hatted vätte in broad daylight like this but I guess that is just artistic license. More on MyPaint --Aspro (talk) 01:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The OP was using raster so they may want to stick there and there are many reasons why someone wold use raster for a variety of things (even vector images may sometimes be editing in GIMP or some other raster program for final display). But you can't know if you are making the right choice if you don't properly understand the choice you are making and the choice is definitely far more complicated than running rings around vector or the learning curve or any one program being definitely better than the other when they have very different goals. This may not matter if you are just dealing with stuff at a basic level like the OP is now, but seems a poor idea if they are going to really get in to it to not first understand what they are doing.
In other words, if the OP is going to read a tutorial and they don't already know the difference, free reading online may be useful in the first instance, rather than spending $2.59 on something which may or may not cover such essential basics like the difference between vector graphics and raster graphics and the therefore difference between a program which is primarily designed for dealing with one and one which is primarily designed for dealing with the other, so they don't make the mistake of thinking GIMP is a general substitute or alternative to Inkscape. Notably AFAIK, for many graphic design professional the choice is not binary, they in fact learn both (or some other vector and raster program) and choose the best tool for whatever they plan to do. Some may even throw in a 3D tool like Blender and other stuff as appropriate. In fact, I'm guessing for certain use cases, a professional who only knows one is more likely to generally be considered mediocreno matter how good they are at it.
Nil Einne (talk) 06:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 17[edit]

dies in its sleep?[edit]

I have an HP 2000 laptop running Windows 7 which fails to come up when it has been idle (on battery) for an hour or so. Sleep time is set to HP's recommendation, namely 30 minutes. The problem has persisted for a couple of weeks. Can I do anything about this? --Halcatalyst (talk) 00:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

This seems to be an infernal eternal problem. It boils down I think, to Microsoft always rushing out new buggy software, faster than the hardware manufactures (who have to work to very tight profit margins) can keep up. IBM on the other-hand hones their software to perfection and stick to what has proven to work faultlessly. This ball is really in Microsoft's court. I Don't have an HP but if you know what CPU it has, then have a go at downloading the CPU manufactures chipset drivers from their own website. It is probably caused buy a power management issue that HP hasn't had time to get up to speed on. --Aspro (talk) 01:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I forgot to mention that this machine is 3 years old and that the problem is intermittent. Does that make a difference? --Halcatalyst (talk) 03:04, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

USB flash drive sizes -- powers of 2[edit]

I wonder why the capacities of USB flash memory drives ("memory sticks" or "thumb drives") and similar media seem to come in powers of 2? Currently, for instance, you can buy USB flash drives with typical capacities of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB etc... Is there a real technical reason behind this, or is this just a marketing device? ("Our drive has the same price as that of our competitors, but stores twice as much!") For example, I've never seen such drives advertised with, say, 20 GB, 30 GB, 40 GB or any such round number... -- (talk) 02:04, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

In principle, any sized array of memory storage could be built. There is no requirement to use binary for any of the physical storage processes. In practice, powers of two lend themselves to optimizations in many respects, because binary is an incredibly compact representation that lends itself to very simple designs. For example, have a look at Samsung Semiconductor's SSD White Paper. A modern SSD is made of an array of memory cells. Each cell has, at its core, a single-transistor circuit with a floating gate on which electrons are stored, taking advantage of the capacitance of the cell. But that cell circuit isn't "one bit" - not in year 2014, at least! A state-of-the-art NAND cell is multi-level: it is used to store an analog signal of arbitrary voltage. A simple digital transistor circuit queries the charge on the cell and quantizes it into three bits... so at the cell-level, we've already got a "power of two," because a cascade comparator circuit is essentially structured like a binary tree. You could choose to quantize to, say, five or six voltage levels... but you'd be under-utilizing the cascade circuit, which is designed to detect voltages right up to the noise-floor. Each individual transistor is either "on" or "off," which definitionally makes it operate as close to the noise floor as possible. So right at the analog-digital divide, the circuits are already storing information in quantities of power-of-two bits. It would be inefficient use of real-estate to build a three-transistor cascade amplifier, but only use it to detect 5 analog levels; it can fundamentally distinguish 23 states.
At the next level up, each cell needs to be addressed. Addressing could be done in serial form, or in raster order. Arbitrary numbers of scan-lines could be used; but efficient algorithms exist to randomly seek in a binary tree of size n using log(n) steps. Because the analog designers want the fastest possible signal-path, they choose the most efficient digital structure. So, in the digital domain, we use another power-of-two multiple of cells. This also helps the circuit layout engineers, because binary trees lend themselves to very simplistic chip floorplans. And, because modern semiconductors are highly optimized, engineers have already figured out that they can use bit-level parallelism; they can read two cells at the same time, if the cells are guaranteed to be on different address lines. A smart architecture makes sure that every read- or write- access exercises as much of the whole circuit as possible, all at the same time.
Finally, at the software or controller level, the use of a power-of-two number of addresses means that the address value makes maximal use of all bits; it is more information-dense.
The actual SSD uses a little extra storage: in practice, it may use ten bits of storage for each eight-bits of data (for example). Some of those bits are used for error correction at the cell-level. Some cells are used for block redundancy at the chip level. Some reserved storage is built in to allow wear levelling. High performance SSD controllers have extra storage for cache, prefetch, and virtual addressing. Software and firmware may abstract the physical storage even further. Layers above, the operating system and the file system may make some memory user-writeable, and reserve other portions of physical storage for file-system management and error-recovery. The end-result is that a marketing advertisement for 216 bytes might only represent a product with half that much user-writeable storage. Conversely, a system sold with 8 GB of storage (as seen by a user) might actually require twice as many NAND chips on its circuit-board. You've got to pay attention to the gorey details at each level of abstraction. To add confusion, marketing-ese sometimes mis-uses the mebibyte/megabyte notation - doing double-conversions, converting in the wrong direction, and all kinds of other nonsense!
Nimur (talk) 02:56, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks -- that's a really comprehensive and exhaustive answer! I've never realised there's so much complicated stuff behind all this technology. (I mean I knew it was complicated, but I was not aware of all the gorey details.) -- (talk) 03:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In my experience 16 GB flash drives report a capacity of roughly 16,000,000,000 bytes, not 234 = 17,179,869,184 bytes. It does seem likely that they have a 234 byte flash chip on board (or two 233-byte chips or four 232-byte chips) and the 7% difference between the power-of-10 and power-of-2 capacity is used for wear leveling and other overhead. That would mean that in the jump from 512 MB to 1 GB capacities the fraction of the total capacity used for wear leveling jumped from 5% to 7%, and it will jump again to 9% when the drives reach 1 TB. It's hard to believe that the engineering choice of the optimal amount of overhead would be dictated by the arbitrary GB/GiB convention, but I suppose weirder things have happened in the name of marketing.
Non-power-of-two sizes such as 160GB (= 160 billion bytes) are fairly common for SSDs. I don't know why it's so much rarer to find USB flash drives in those sizes. Maybe because five 32GB chips wouldn't fit in the smaller form factor? I did find a 240GB USB flash drive. -- BenRG (talk) 03:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Throwing out some numbers: Samsung's SSD paper I linked above claims "a few bytes per page" (4 kB) of overhead for ECC and overprovisioning. Exact values would be in the data sheets, which are apparently not available unless you contact a sales office. Nimur (talk) 04:24, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

MS Flight Simulator[edit]

Hello all, I've been meaning to ask this question for quite a while now: In Microsoft Flight Simulator, when you cross a VOR beacon, Flight Analysis sometimes registers two VOR crossings, one after another, for no apparent reason at all (and if this happens in the holding pattern at Seattle VOR during the Instrument Pilot Checkride, this in turn causes the virtual examiner to announce "Mission Failed -- You did not enter the holding pattern correctly...") I wonder what causes this? Is this caused by attempting course corrections within less than 1 mile of the VOR? Or, as impossible as it seems, might this be because I cross the VOR too precisely and fly through the cone of silence? Or does this happen for some other reason entirely? (talk) 04:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

It sounds like a bug - but I think you are more likely to get a useful answer to your question on one of the MS flight simulator forums. [5] AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Cheap (free?) spreadsheet[edit]

I am looking for an idiot proof spreadsheet for AppleMac, has anyone suggestions please? "Numbers" is too complicated and unstable for me, "Libre Office" likewise. Help will be much appreciated please. (talk) 11:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Google Docs is an online office program with a reasonably feature full spreadsheet. You access it through your web-browser and need to be online with a google account to us it. I've found it pretty straight forward to us.--Salix alba (talk): 11:35, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I second that. I've used GDocs for years. Dismas|(talk) 11:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Microsoft has a free, stripped-down version of Excel through Onedrive. OldTimeNESter (talk) 12:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Gnumeric maybe? I'd stay away from online spreadsheets because of security and privacy issues. Note I'm pretty clueless about spreadsheets, yet for the simple ways I use them, LibreCalc has been working fine for me. (talk) 17:19, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Handling Key Violations During Database Import[edit]

Can someone please point me to some good references for handling key violations that I discover when importing data? For example, sometimes I receive data from our vendors with duplicate primary keys. There are usually only a few duplicates, but I can't import the file until I do something about them. The data analysis we do is time-sensitive, so returning the file isn't an option. Thanks! OldTimeNESter (talk) 12:26, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Some possibilities:
1) If the key isn't inherently unique: For example, if they are using a customer name as a key, then some dupes might be expected ("John Smith" and such). In that case, creating a new column and adding that to the key might make sense, so you get "John Smith" "1" and "John Smith" "2", etc.)
2) If the key really should be unique, like "customer ID number", then this indicates some type of problem in the data entry process, and more thought needs to go into how to resolve this. Do you reassign one to a new customer ID number or use the same method as above to mask the problem with the underlying data ? As long as the data doesn't go back to the original users, it may not matter.
Also, you could just get rid of the key entirely. You could either use the secondary key, if it doesn't have dupes, or create your own key, or have no key at all. If you only intend to use the table once and then throw it out, it doesn't make sense to spend too much time fixing it. You could also just delete the rows with duplicate keys, if the number is small enough to not throw off your data analysis by much. StuRat (talk) 13:22, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Using Retro-Bit USB joystick adapter on Linux[edit]

I recently bought a Retro-Bit USB joystick adapter and a QuickJoy III SuperCharger joystick from eBay, so I could play my emulated Commodore 64 and Amiga games with a real joystick instead of the keyboard. I plugged the joystick to the adapter and the adapter to my computer's USB port, and FS-UAE recognised the joystick straight away. But when I tested it, only right, down, and one of the fire buttons worked. I couldn't move left or up at all. After some googling, I found that this is a common problem with Linux USB drivers. I found this page claiming to provide a solution, but how am I supposed to use it? Do I just download the Makefile and run make as root?

And furthermore, I also tried VICE, but it didn't recognise the joystick straight away. It provides several different options for "user port joystick adapter", but how do I know which of them to use? Or does VICE support USB joystick adapters at all? JIP | Talk 18:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

For the hid-atari-retrobit thing, you'll first need to make sure you have the specific kernel headers package for your distribution installed from the repository (don't download the kernel from And you need make and gcc: on Debian/Ubuntu you'd install the package build-essential; for Fedora it seems to need to sudo yum install make automake gcc kernel-devel. You'd git clone the hid-atari-retrobit repository and run make in it, which makes a .ko kernel module (you do all this as an unprivileged user). Only the last line in his readme file (that does rmmod, insmod, and modprobe) should be done as root. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:57, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
So yum install kernel-devel will install the kernel headers? JIP | Talk 06:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

remote sessions - low resolution?[edit]

Today I was on tech support to Microsoft for over four hours, where they were controlling my computer. I noticed that often they would move the mouse along things to be read, which I could read easily. On their end, does it show a low-resolution version of my screen, and they have to move the mouse over it to enlarge it or see it in higher resolution? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 19:01, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I do a lot of remote work. I have my remote tool set to adjust the resolution based on the connection speed. I have clients with a crappy connection and sometimes I have to either expand the screen so I can see the chunk I am interested in or use a magnifying tool- both are built into the remote tool. --  Gadget850 talk 20:21, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
That is what I was wondering about and surmising. My connection is pretty fast. I just tested it with DSLReports and I was getting 10 megabits per second down and 13 megabits per second up. I use 1920x1080. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and they might have the same sized screen, so, they can't show your full screen, at full size, and also see the things on their screen they need. It has a nice side-benefit for you, though, that you can follow what they are reading. StuRat (talk) 18:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

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.[6] --  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)


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)

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". No o have no mutual friends. (talk) 03:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)StuRat (talk) 18:42, 19 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)

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)

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)

April 20[edit]


April 16[edit]

all sky surveys[edit]

Does anyone know what the best (in terms of resolution and magnitude it goes down to) all sky survey in the visible spectrum that doesn't have any copyright restrictions?©Geni (talk) 04:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Is reality ultimately digital or analog? Can another particle pass through the intervening space while an electron is performing a quantum leap?[edit]

When I was young I remember reading or hearing somewhere that you can divide a line up an infinite amount of times. Therefore, when physically moving from point A to point B it's just an illusion. As you're not really moving through the intervening space since it can be divided up an infinite amount of times. I'm pretty sure there's something I'm not understanding there or a flaw in the logic, but ever since then I've still always wondered, is there an ultimate limit to how many times the space between two points can be divided up? Is reality ultimately digital or analog?

I've since learned about the planck length, but recently also learned something else that has now been confusing me: quantum leaps, and that the electron does not move through the intervening space when it leaps from orbital to orbital. My other question then is, is it possible for another particle to pass through the intervening space between electron orbitals? Especially, just as a quantum leap is occurring.. let's say a quark (or whatever) happens to fly through the picture.. is it also subject to 'quantum leaping'? Or can it move through the intervening space while an electron can't? I'm sure I'm missing something or not understanding something about wave/particle duality here, but I'm just a layman. Glad there's some really intelligent folks here that can explain some things or at least point me towards the right articles. Thanks, (talk) 12:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Electrons are not little balls that move in circles around another little ball. That's not what an atom is. Your question presupposes this to be the case; that an electrons moving between energy levels somehow changes "tracks" or moves without crossing the intervening "space". Electrons don't work like that, and the question shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how electrons work. One cannot even answer the initial question regarding whether another particle can "pass" through the "space" during a "quantum leap". Electrons don't change locations. Per the uncertainty principle electrons are not even localizable enough to say where one is, and if you don't know where it is you don't know where it moves to. No, electrons change the amount of energy they have, and the change between amounts of energy is confined to certain values. That's what a "quantum leap" is. It isn't a physical change of location. Any electron has a non-zero chance of being at any location in the known universe; though within certain probability limits we can define areas outside of the nucleus of an atom where any particular electron is likely to be (see orbital). --Jayron32 12:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I would start with Zeno's Paradoxes, which is almost certainly what confused you as a child. From a mathematical point of view, this is addressed in calculus and infinitesimals: from a philosophical point of view, I'm sure you could find a variety of interesting discussions and arguments that I am ill-equipped to advise on. (talk) 12:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As far as not being able to move anywhere because that requires going through an infinite number of intermediate locations, the flaw in that logic is that as you divide the space up you also divide the time it takes to pass through that space. So, you can think of it as taking zero time to pass through each infinitely small space. But then you might still think zero time multiplied by an infinite number of positions gives us either zero or infinite time, so that seems wrong, too. However, these are limits we are dealing with, not actual numbers. For example, if we had the expression x/x, and we wanted to evaluate that as x approaches infinity, we could break it down to just x, which approaches infinity, multiplied by 1/x, which approaches zero. So, this seems to be the same case of zero times infinity. However, for any value of x, no matter how small or large, we can obviously see that x/x is just 1. StuRat (talk) 13:08, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
For many values of x, at least, that holds true. Mathematicians means something pretty intense when they say "for any value of x." There exists at least one x for which L'Hôpital's rule can not be applied to the limit of x/x as x goes to zero; that would be an indeterminate form. The limit might not exist; or, the method to find the limit might be more difficult. Nimur (talk) 14:59, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"Digital" and "analog" are probably the wrong conceptual models to frame the original question. Those are adjectives we apply to machines we build; if we design a transistor-circuit to usefully operate in a specific way, so that its outputs are thresholded, we call it "digital," and so on.
A more useful set of adjectives to describe our formal models of "reality" are the words "continuous" and "discrete". Both of these concepts are mathematical models of the world. They are ideas constructed by humans as part of our effort to understand the physical world, (using idealized abstraction). Mathematicians can prove amazing properties about discrete or continuous systems by carefully describing their assumptions and proceeding logically to derive complicated results. But those mathematical facts apply to an idealized world, as denoted by axioms set up by the mathematician! When we study the physical world - as observational scientists or engineers - we usually have the luxury of choosing any model that works to suit our needs. When we zoom to very microscopic scales, we find that some quantities are always discrete, while others vary continuously. As an example: it is useful to model space as a continuous variable. It is convenient to study the position of a particle as a discrete value. In some cases, physical constraints quantize a potentially continuous value so that it is only measured to have a small number of discrete values. When we discover such a property - like angular momentum - and note that it is always quantized, then we have discovered a simple fact about the nature of our universe.
But, even the most enthusiastic physicist would be hard-pressed to say that quantization of certain physical properties demonstrates that "reality is quantized." All we have shown is that certain physical properties behave that way. "Reality" is too poorly defined for us to use inductive logic on it. Nimur (talk) 15:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
The most pertinent articles I can find on Wikipedia about this topic are Digital physics and Fredkin finite nature hypothesis. But see also Bekenstein bound and Margolus–Levitin theorem. On at least some of the digital physics stuff, it starts getting far enough away from mainstream physics that even calling it "highly controversial" is being kind. Red Act (talk) 18:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Also see Quantum spacetime (or Spacetime#Quantized spacetime for context), the discussion of discrete spacetime in Pregeometry (physics), and Causal sets. Red Act (talk) 20:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It’s a question that has intrigued me as well. We call our computers digital because the calculations they make are by discrete numbers, not by physical traits such as weight, mass or temperature. But when we examine the microchip more closely, we see that it too is dependent on analog parameters. There must be natural mechanisms that impel the photons, and the chip will heat up if the channels are too small, and so on. But what about when we really get to the most basic substrate of reality? Is it digital or analog? Popper and other logicians have argued that if fundamental reality was digital, or nomino-deductive, then we could prove empirical observations as being necessary in the way that a triangle necessarily has 3 sides. In the physical world, we cannot prove any empirical observation like that. Snow might be seen as always white, but we cannot prove that it always was and always will be white.
In a fundamental way, these kinds of questions are being asked by researchers at the Large Hadron Collider. Can we ever really get a digital picture of reality that provides us with mathematical certainty in the way 1 + 1 = 2 does? What would that kind of reality look like? I don’t think it could even be imagined, and even in sci fi fantasy, there is no fake reality like that which we could look at and say, “Well, it might be a bit like this...”
Final reality, if there IS such a thing ( quite a few philosophers and scientists think there is no end to the layers of reality, and thus no bedrock to it), but if there IS such a final reality, it might be something unimaginably different to EITHER digital or analog. It might be something that our brains, rooted in space and time, simply cannot visualise or conceptualise. After all, how bizarre are the findings of Quantum Physics even now? The real truth might be a lot weirder than a particle being in two places at once, and a wave or a particle according to how it is being measured. Myles325a (talk) 09:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Plant identification request.[edit]


So that I can label this for commons, any suggestions on what it is?Sfan00 IMG (talk) 12:54, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

That's not much to go on. Is it a shrub? Where in the world was the photo taken? Any description of the environment it was in, or how large it was? Extra info would help. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Posssibly Canada , based on the Uploaders other contributions.. ? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 18:44, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Really hard to say, but my best guess (don't use this for labeling tho) is that this is some sort of maple bud. Maples have these tripartate buds, kinda like a fleur-de-lys, see these pics. This looks like after the bud starts to put out shoots. --Jayron32 01:20, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I can identify buds and I can identify leaves, but identifying the transitional stage is beyond me I'm afraid. I think maple is a fairly safe bet though. THE MAPLES OF NORTH AMERICA suggests that there are about 13 or so maple species that are native to North America. Alansplodge (talk) 17:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Something's bugging me...[edit]

Namely the identification of these insects. Some I haven't even a clue what family they're in, let alone the genus or species... These were all taken in Umbulharjo, Cangkringan, Sleman, Indonesia.

Any ideas? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:52, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

"The one which looks like a bee and a fly" is probably a hoverfly (family Syrphidae), but as there are 6000 species to choose from that may not be much help... AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
We don't have an article, but the bluish green grasshopper may be a "Chameleon Grasshopper". Found a few pics in Google Images that may work for that, see this. --Jayron32 17:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't have anything relevant to add. I never thought I would say this, but that grasshopper is gorgeous! Justin15w (talk) 22:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Kosciuscola tristis or another Kosciuscola, perhaps (strangely the genus isn't even mentioned on Wikipedia yet)? There are five species, and I think I saw a source (didn't keep the link) that said all of them have the ability to change color. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The "one the the very long antennae" is a cricket, possibly a tree cricket. Mikenorton (talk) 06:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • That looks to be a reasonable guess (although this one was out at 11 a.m., which isn't quite "nocturnal"... however, we may have disturbed it by tromping through the woods) — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Reason for Worthing exponent of metal electrical resistivity[edit]

Reference manuals for engineering often give constants ρT1 and α for use in an algebraic modification of Mitchell's formula for resistivity:

ρT2 = ρT1[1 + α(T2 - T1)]

where ρT2 is the resistivity at temperature T2 and ρT1 is the resistivity at temperture T1. However this formula is a rough approximation usually good enough where T1 is around 300 K and T2 is around 300 to 400K. For all metals above the scattering point (typically << 300 K) and below the melting temperature or Curie temperature for ferromagnetic metals, Worthing's formula is accurate within a few percent and often much better:-

ρT = ρT1K TP

where ρT is the resistivity at any temperature T, ρT1K is the notional resistivity at 1 Kelvin (not to be confused with the actual intrinsic resistivity at 1 K) and P is an exponent characteristic of the particular metal. For many metals, P is around 1.2, which means that the slope /dT increases slightly with increasing temperature. For ferromagnetic metals, P is around 1.7, so the curvature of /dT is very pronounced. For some metals, e.g., palladium, Tantalum, P is around 0.8, which means that /dT decreases with temperature. What is the reason for P being in three groups, P ~ 1.2, P ~ 1.7, and especially P ~ 0.8? (talk) 16:33, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I can't answer directly, but it seems similar to why most substances expand when heated, but there are exceptions, like with water, which expands when it freezes. There I believe the reason is that the structure of ice crystals contains more empty space. StuRat (talk) 16:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No. Some metals are face centered cubic (eg Nickel, P = 1.747), some body centered cubic (eg tungsten, P = 1.205, or Iron, P = 1.768), and some are hexagonal (eg Cobalt, P = 1.687). Palladium is face centerred cubic and has P = 0.803 yet Tantalum is body centred and has P = 0.820. No correlation. (talk) 16:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Do any phase changes take places over the temperature ranges in question ? StuRat (talk) 17:09, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
In the case of iron (Fe), a phase change occurs at 1183 K (from body centred to face centred), but the Curie point is below this at 1043 K. The resistivity curve follows Worthing's formula accurately (better than +,- 1%) with P = 1.768 up to the Curie point then continues with P close to unity up to and past 1183 K. There may be an inflection point at 1183 K but it is difficult to detect in measured data. ( A paper by V E Zinovev & others in the Soviet Journal of Physics in 1972 claimed a slight step at about 1200 K but to my knowlege this hasn't been replicated. It may have been due to unidentified impurities, or more likely an instrument connection problem - only one test on one sample was done) , In fact, in engineering, we usually take the resistivity curve above the Curie point as a straight line. If phase changes have any significant effect, surely one would expect a point of inflection at the phase change temperature, not a smooth curve. Palladium resistivity is very curved with P = 0.803 and is fcc right up to melting. (talk) 17:24, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
You're assuming the phase change takes place instantly throughout the sample. I'd expect some overlap of the two phases around the phase transition temperature, with the resulting resistivity being somewhere between those of each phase. This would be predicted to produce a smoother curve. StuRat (talk) 12:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Again, no. Definately not. Resistivity is by definition a steady state property. One does not measure it while changing the temperature - one measures it at in a series of constant temperatures, waiting as long as is necessary for the sample to come to thermal equilibrium at each step. On either side of the transition temperature, one of the two phases is unstable and will not sustain. Under these conditions, the phase must be the same thoughout the sample - we are talking about sensibly pure metals and supercooling, quenching, and the like phenomena do not apply. (talk) 13:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Longevity documents[edit]

What other documents, aside from birth certificate and passport, I may need to submit in case of longevity (assuming that the Gerontology Research Group and the Guinness World Records would still exist)?-- (talk) 18:11, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Unless you are very old such documents are likely archived. Historians also use birth announcements in newspapers and religious (baptismal, Bris) records. Good luck. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Since your passport was most likely obtained using your birth certificate, the birth certificate is the only document needed. Unlike your passport, your birth certificate is a vital record.--Shantavira|feed me 08:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I suspect you would need to produce evidence that it is you all your life. Let me explain what I mean here - I mean that the person claiming the longevity is not your son or daughter masquerading as you! --TammyMoet (talk) 09:28, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
List of the verified oldest people states that a supercentenarian would need at least three documents, so I wonder which is the third. (talk) 17:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 17[edit]

How cold would a room temperature superconductor feel?[edit]

The more conductive something is the colder it feels right? So would a room temperature superconductor (assuming the room is colder than you are) feel super cold or is there some lower boundary to this? On a sort of related thought, if you were in a very cold room, say -50° F and you touched a superconductor, would it draw the heat out of you so fast it would look ghoulishly cartoonish how fast you turned to ice?-- (talk) 00:26, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

No matter how fast the object conducts heat internally, you still can't lose it any faster than it can flow out of whatever part of your body is touching the object. --Trovatore (talk) 00:32, 17 April 2014 (UTC) other words, even if you had an infinitely thermally-conductive heat sink chilled to within a whisper of absolute zero, and you decided to be a dumbass and poke it with your finger, your hand (and body) wouldn't instantly freeze solid. The first small fractions of an inch of your finger would freeze quite quickly, but the freezing rate would fall off (rapidly!) as the freezing progressed up your finger. Heat from your hand would have to be slowly conducted down the entire length of your frozen finger, in a process that would probably take hours just to get to your wrist.
That said, it is worth bearing in mind that all known superconductors, while having no apparent resistance to the flow of electrical current, still possess a finite thermal conductivity. Moreover, their thermal conductivities typically aren't much different from what they are in their slightly-warmer non-superconducting states. Infinitely thermally conductive materials remain, sadly, in the realm of science fiction. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Superconductivity only applies to electrical conductivity. Thermal conductivity does not necessarily increase below the critical temperature. [7] discusses the thermal conductivity in magnesium diboride. Around the critical temperature, the thermal conductivity drops from ~250 mW/cm-K to nearly 0. In YBCO [8], the thermal conductivity does increase, but only by about a factor of 2. At its highest point, it's still only comparable to bronze or stainless steel. [9], [10], [11] are the best explanations I can find that don't require a PhD in solid-state physics to understand.
Liquid helium below the lambda point acts similar to a super thermal conductor (the value is still finite, but is a couple orders of magnitude higher than just about every other known material). But any thermal conductor is still going to tend toward equilibrium with its surroundings. It won't conduct heat in from a hot object faster than it can conduct it out into a cold object. And it will be limited by the thermal conductivity or heat transfer coefficient of the substances in contact with it. So, basically, it's going to feel like whatever it's in contact with, though it would probably be dependent on the size of the piece. A large piece with a large surface area will be able to conduct into more of the contacting material than a small piece, so it will conduct faster. If it's in a room chilled to -50, it will take heat out of your finger and transport it into whatever it's sitting on, warming that up. But it won't chill itself to below -50. Mr.Z-man 03:38, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • This is an interesting topic that gets far too little attention. First, the association with thermal conductivity in metals is apparently the Wiedemann–Franz law, based on the idea that electrons mediate both in that environment. It would obviously be extremely useful to invent better thermal conductors, for basic purposes like building antennas to radiate waste heat from power plants without heating rivers, cooling computers without fans, etc. But does any genuine zero-resistance thermal conductor exist? Do we know if one even could exist? Is there a theory that would say it should have a critical temperature? Is there something Cooper pairs could do to facilitate it? I should admit, I have no idea about it. Our article gives the impression that there isn't much theory about the whole field of thermal conductivity, and that seems like a really expensive deficit to have. Wnt (talk) 21:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Severe colorblindness[edit]

How do normal people understand what monochromats can see, and/or how do monochromats communicate their vision in an manner understandable to normal people? I'm somewhat colorblind, but I can understand my condition because other colors come through fine: I can easily produce correct color descriptions for anything that doesn't involve red or green somehow. However, if you're stuck with just one color, how can you understand your situation in normal people's terms? If I had no color vision, I wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of color, so I wouldn't know what I was missing or how to explain that I was missing it. Alternatively, imagine that all you've ever seen was a single-color computer monitor, such as File:IBM PC 5150.jpg. Since your eyes have never seen anything except "black" and "green", how are you supposed to form a concept of "white" or "blue", or indeed how can you conceive of anything that's not black or green? Surely this has an answer that's not too hard, but I can't imagine what it is. Nyttend (talk) 00:59, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

At a fundamental level you are asking a very deep philosophical question, for which there is no easy answer. Similar to what does a blind person dream? I think qualia is the most relevant article. In the end, your perception is your perception and there is no way to be 100% certain what other people perceive. Lots of more or less colorblind people don't find out that they are colorblind because unless it makes an impact to how you perceive traffic lights, which is quite rare, everyone thinks the situation is normal. Vespine (talk) 07:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
As for your first question, we polychromats (is that a word?) have experience with night vision (no color) not to mention BW photography. — At one point in Ed Wood, an actress asks a cameraman, "Which dress do you like better, the red one or the green one?" "Which is which? I'm colorblind." We the audience are colorblind too, because the movie was shot in BW, but suspend our awareness of that fact until this bit of dialogue brings it up! —Tamfang (talk) 08:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Within a particular environment, it's usually possible to associate a particular shade of grey with a colour, but this doesn't transfer reliably between environments. Measurements have shown that individuals "see" colours very differently, but we have been socialised very early in life to interpret the differing signals in a way that fits in with the colour names that others use. In your example of a green monitor, an individual would soon learn that very bright green was called "white" by others, but the concept of "blue" would be tricky or impossible to explain. Even people with "normal" colour vision often can't agree on the blue/green borderline, and an individual interpretation often depends on the background, and on what the eye has previously been looking at. Colour perception has a large element of social learning which overlays the nerve signals transmitted to the brain from individual cones. I assume that you've read the article on Colour vision. Dbfirs 09:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
It's worth considering that there are people who are tetrachromats. The woman known as "subject cDa29" is currently the only 'verified' human tetrochromat - but it's certain that there are many more. These people see more colors than we mere trichromats with "normal" vision. Then there are many species of freshwater shrimp who see things in as many as 12 different colors. So we should not kid ourselves that our vision is "full color" - that's very far from the truth. It's true to say that all humans are "color blind" to some degree.
A monochromat can get some appreciation for color by viewing the world through color filters. So, for example, if you cannot normally distinguish red and green - then you can view the world through a red or a green filter and note which objects get dimmer in the red filter and which get dimmer in the green filter. This would allow you to determine whether something is red or green - but (of course) you can no more understand what people with normal human vision are seeing than normal people can grasp what a tetrachromat or a freshwater shrimp can see. I have used infra-red vision devices that let me see hot things as bright and cold things as dark. This lets me distinguish infra-red light - but my perception of it is just the shades of grey that the device's display produced for me.
But how do we know that our own personal feeling of what "blue" is matches what someone else's feeling of "blue" is? We can't share that experience directly - so we can only guess that other people's brains are interpreting the color in the same way that we are. In that sense, it may not even be a meaningful question to ask how people with normal human vision see color. SteveBaker (talk) 18:50, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I actually wasn't asking about personal feeling: I've wondered about that for a long time, but I've long assumed that it was unknowable. For that reason, Steve, I was only interested in how ophthalmologists could study the presence and absence of color-related sensations, and thus I really appreciate the point about the color filters: I've never before imagined anything that would convey any color-related information whatsoever to a person who couldn't see that color. Of course I understand that the monochromat can't experience the color itself, just as I can't really experience the difference between big increases and big decreases in File:GDP Real Growth.svg (8-10% decrease is identical to >10% increase, as I see it), but I was interested in finding any way in which a monochromat could experience any effect of color whatsoever. As noted above, it's somewhat related to blindness, but very different in that most of us got our colorblindness from Mom and Grandpa (it was congenital), but many blind people lost their sight in adulthood, so they can remember times when they could see; vaguely comparable to the biblical account of the blind man of Bethsaida (he could say that the people looked like trees because he'd seen trees), while we congenital types are like the congenitally blind man who obviously wouldn't have known what a tree or a person looked like. Nyttend (talk) 01:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
See:Neil Harbisson - he is a monochromat who has had a device implanted in his skull called an eyeborg that allows him to '"hear'" colour. As for the reply that says "Lots of more or less colorblind people don't find out that they are colorblind because unless it makes an impact to how you perceive traffic lights, which is quite rare" - what a load of nonsense! I have a red green colour deficiency - which occurs in about 8% of the male population - and I found out, like most people, when I took the ishihara test as a child. The only difference it makes to my perception of traffic lights is that the red light looks a little dimmer that the green and amber lights - something I would probably never have noticed if I wasn't looking for it. Mostly I have problems with distinguishing red hues mixed in with other colours when the overall lighting is not very bright. Ophthalmologists use a number of tests to study colour vision such as the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test. Also, colorblindness can be inherited or acquired. Richerman (talk) 10:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the Farnsworth test, but again, it measures someone's reaction (if I understand rightly; the article is not well written), just like the Ishihara test: if you're monochromatic, all you get from it is a lack of sensation. Harbisson's interesting, but he obviously had a sense of what color was, even though he couldn't experience it; I was imagining someone who had no real idea of color in the first place. Nyttend (talk) 12:13, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Decomposition of Urea[edit]

I've heard that the odor of urine is a result of urea decomposing back into ammonia. Does this mean that after shedding one of its nitrogen atoms, the molecule is methanolamine? What does the methanolamine (or whatever the correct decomposition product is) decompose into? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I believe the initial decomposition product is carbamic acid, which also smells bad and decomposes into ammonia and carbon dioxide. Methanolamine is a different molecule which would require some serious rearrangement to be produced from decomposition of urea! (talk) 04:23, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
WP:WHAAOE wins again. Ammonia volatilization from urea. And it has diagrams and chemical equations and everything. --Jayron32 13:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Degraded DNA – But is there hope for recreating the genome?[edit]

I often hear that strands of ancient DNA found in some fossil or frozen carcass is split and degraded, but I then wonder about how difficult it would be to put together a copy of the original code of the whole genome in question. So yes, what we recover from an ancient carcass may be badly degraded, but then, there would have been millions of copies of it, one genome per cell. So surely, if we can get millions of those cells together, extract their DNA and put them in a bath, then we can watch as they join together. And that’s just the cells from one carcass. We should be able to extract the DNA from every such carcass of a particular extinct organism that we can find, and then put them all together. Ideally, if there is a complete set of the genes out there, spread out or buried in different places, in one body or in many, then we should be able to reconstruct it, just as we can reconstruct a book that has had millions of copies originally, but now only postage size scraps exist.

And on top of that, we can deduce much about what missing genetic material might be by comparing the organism’s genome with the genetic material we can gather from organisms that flank it in evolutionary terms. Perhaps soon we might be able to make deductions from the phenome (bone structure and so on) to the genome, and write the code in reverse! Am I being a pessimist here in supposing that many extinct species will be resurrected when our facility for DNA manipulation gets a little stronger? Maybe the Dinosaurs are too far gone, but many extinct species have only been gone for a few hundred years, some only decades. Many mega fauna extinctions are associated with the spread of hunter-gatherers, and since Homo Sapiens has only been spreading thus from 20 to 40 thousand years, we should come across many well-preserved fossils which have DNA which is only thousands of years old, not millions.

Certainly, I would love to live to see the Tasmanian Tiger, The Elephant Bird and the Moa, and the Woolly Mammoths once again striding the plains. Myles325a (talk) 09:51, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Much of what you say is correct. In fact, current methods of DNA sequencing actually work by splitting the DNA up into relatively short fragments, sequencing those fragments, and then using overlap data to join the partial sequences together. However, the phrase "watch as they join together" indicates a serious misunderstanding. DNA fragments do not join together of their own accord. It is possible to synthesize long strands of DNA, and as a matter of fact there was very recently a report of artificially synthesizing an entire functional chromosome (for yeast), but it's a very laborious process. In short, what you are proposing is beyond the current state of the art -- but not all that far beyond it. Looie496 (talk) 11:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

OP Myles325a back live. Thanks Looie, I was being whimsical when I described the scenario of dumping a lot of DNA into a tub and "watching it all put itself together". This was shorthand for whatever painstaking processes are actually used. But I WAS aware of the "shotgun" method of putting a lot of DNA fragments together and getting them to link up. I still am a optimist about what we can do with DNA restructuring, especially as we become more and more proficient with manipulating its structure. But I AM an amateur, and may be disenchanted by more sober minds with more expertise than I have. Myles325a (talk) 11:54, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I think you meant to ask if we are being too optimistic, not pessimistic, in your original post. And no, you aren't, it all seems possible to me, with the note above that instead of literally joining all the different pieces of DNA together, you'd determine the genome on computer, then use that to synthesize a full DNA strand. Distinguishing the animal DNA fragments from bacteria DNA might also be a challenge.
There's also the Jurassic Park scenario that we might be able to patch missing DNA with that from current species, although we would want to use similar DNA, not frog DNA, as they used there. Probably more than 99% of mammoth DNA is in common with elephant DNA, for example, so a small missing fragment could likely be patched in with only a tiny chance it would differ from the mammoth's own DNA. But if you did end up with different DNA, then hopefully it would still be compatible, and you'd end up with a hybrid, like a liger.
However, there's still one other thing we need to do, as having an animal's DNA alone doesn't allow you to clone it. You also need a similar female animal into whose ovum you can insert the DNA. That ovum is then implanted back into that female (or another) to grow until birth. If the current species is smaller than the extinct one, such as an elephant being smaller than a mammoth, then natural birth might not work, and you might need to do a C-section instead. The surrogate mother also might not be able to carry it full-term (and note that the length of pregnancy might vary by species).
Now, as for letting an extinct species loose to survive in nature, that doesn't seem wise to me, as we don't quite know how they would fit into our current ecosystem. Would mammoths knock down trees and attack people, for example ? It's probably a better plan to restrict them to nature preserves.
Also note that creating a single breeding pair by reconstructing male and female genomes and individuals alone won't itself recreate the entire species. There's the lack of genetic diversity to consider, and also they may not choose to breed. So, we might have to keep the species going by cloning, and prevent inbreeding, until we can recreate enough individuals to have a viable breeding population.
There also might be lost info on how to behave, as they may have been taught that by their parents in nature. Thus, your baby mammoths may end up behaving like elephants, if raised by elephants. (Of course, some behavior is genetic, not learned, and thus wolves raised as dogs still retain wolf behaviors.)
The extinct species' lack of immunity to current diseases could be a problem, too. The baby mammoth, for example, might not be immune to common elephant diseases. If this turns out to be an issue, we might need to do a bubble boy scenario, where the mammoth is kept in total isolation.
Extinct large predators might pose an additional problem. Current large predators seem to be genetically programmed to avoid hunting humans (with a few exceptions), since, if their ancestors had done so, they would have been wiped out by humans. However, a species that went extinct may have lacked such an instinct, either because they died out before they came in contact with humans, or perhaps they did come in contact with humans but failed to evolve the "stay away from humans" instinct quickly enough to survive. So, such large predators could pose more of a risk if they escape. StuRat (talk) 12:13, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • FYI cloning/recreating Mammoths may be imminent. Here's some news blurbs, you can google around for more info [12], [13]. The mammoth genome project has been "completed", more info straight from the source here [14]. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:35, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, "imminent" is a bit of a stretch. You cannot currently create a genome of that size, whether by modifying an existing genome inside a cell, or by synthesizing one de novo. Craig Venter's genome replacement method is probably the best hope, but it is currently operating on genomes a few orders of magnitude too small to recreate a mammoth cell. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:19, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
As another answer to the original question, the problem with sequencing fragmented genomes is not just that some sections are not represented in available collections, but also that some sections are so full of repetitive DNA that we could not tell what goes where even if the entire genome was represented. The solution to this problem in the sequencing of extant organisms has been to use various methods for making full or partial sequences of long fragments. Imagine you are trying to piece together a painting from cut up scraps, but the painting was mostly just the same image repeated many times. You could accurately reconstruct some small chunks, but on the whole, you'd have no idea which scraps went where, even if you had all of them at your disposal. If you had a scrap that was longer than the others, and in fact spanned the entire length of the painting, that could help serve as a guide to put your partially reconstructed chunks together into a complete painting. If an ancient DNA source has decayed to the point that no fragments over a few hundred bases long survive, you're just shit out of luck. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you can use a similar existing animal, like an elephant, when cloning a mammoth, to get the outline for where everything generally goes. And if you end up with a few mistakes, it may not matter, especially if the mistakes are in the junk DNA. Even in functional DNA segments, while a single error could be fatal, it isn't likely to be. Maybe that section controls something like eye color, for example, that doesn't much matter. StuRat (talk) 18:39, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Repopulating the planet with more than biblical accuracy[edit]

If we suddenly found out that there was going to be a terrible catastrophe and the earth was going to be destroyed very soon, and by a surprising coincidence we also found a planet that was identical to earth in every way except there was no animal life on it, and we had some means of transporting animals and humans to the new planet, but couldn't take everything, what is the minimum amount of each species we'd have to take in order to have a good chance at survival? Like, if we just took 2 of everything like in Noha's ark then some of them would get eaten straight away and the others would starve or have incest offspring which would be genetically bad. Horatio Snickers (talk) 19:06, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Minimum viable population gives some ideas. (talk) 19:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, Population bottleneck. The article mentions that all European bison are descended from 12 individuals. Apparently there are now almost 5000 of them and the population is increasing. By the way, Noah's ark contained 7 animals of some kinds, and 2 of others (in addition to 8 humans). - Lindert (talk) 20:38, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, that depends on which source you're reading. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:29, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Founder effect also has some food for thought.OttawaAC (talk) 05:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Very interesting question, and good links above!
I respect the value of counterfactual conditions, and you're touching on many important issues in population biology. But, if taken literally, something that is "identical to earth in every way except there was no animal life on it" -- is basically logically impossible, based on our current understanding of evolution and ecology. For example, the adaptive radiation of flowering plants on Earth was tightly coupled to the mutualisms between plants and insect pollination syndromes. Simply put, without animals, a similar planet would not have anywhere near the diversity of plant life that we see on Earth, because our flora is intimately linked to our fauna. All the plants we know with animal-specific defenses would have no reason to exist O.o SemanticMantis (talk) 02:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
And thus there would be no point in taking animals that are strongly specialized in their diet. How many animals that leaves is another interesting question. —Tamfang (talk) 06:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
In fiction perhaps it might be explained away with another catastrophic event that happened on planet Earth II very shortly (days?) before it was discovered. Something that wiped out the entire animal population without affecting any of the other kingdoms. Erm .. perhaps. ---Sluzzelin talk 06:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
If we keep God in the picture, then whatever He said we needed is correct. As mentioned above, there is a bit of Deus ex Machina to have flora without fauna. If God overcame that problem, genetic diversity and population is a cakewalk. --DHeyward (talk) 09:15, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Sulpher content in foods[edit]

Why is the sulfer content not listed when i search the nutrtional value of foods? I have also been searching for a comprehensive chart with thie sulfer content in particular and can not find it. So i thought to search each individual food and its not listed ther either. I would love to find it or to see it added! Thank you (talk) 19:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I'm not aware that sulfur, per se, is thought of as a discrete "nutrient". There are single elements that are thought of like that, but they tend to be metals or near-metals (calcium, magnesium, then trace nutrients like copper and selenium). Are you concerned that you might be getting too little (or too much) sulfur in general? I have never actually heard of that.
Now, sulfur-containing amino acids, like say methionine or taurine, that's another story. I wouldn't expect those to be on the actual nutritional label as that's a little too detailed, but you can probably find their incidence in foods if you search. --Trovatore (talk) 20:24, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of sulfur (sulphur) in one's diet is consumed in the form of sulfur-containing amino acids (principally methionine and cysteine) which are part of all dietary proteins. Specific recommendations for dietary sulfur are not generally provided, as sulfur needs – in a form that the body can use – are almost always readily met by consuming the recommended amounts of total dietary protein.
Note that methionine is one of the essential amino acids, and that individuals on vegetarian/vegan diets do need to pay attention to their protein mix. Elemental sulfur in the diet (as the pure material or as part of most other compounds) cannot substitute for the required essential amino acids, as the human body is unable to synthesize methionine from scratch. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:51, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
"Vast majority" is an overstatement -- we also consume substantial amounts of sulfur in other forms. This chart gives a table of sulfur content for many foods. We also have an article about low-sulfur diets that contains some relevant information. Looie496 (talk) 14:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

April 18[edit]

Negative pH of acid mine drainage[edit]

Given that the molarity of hydrogen ions in pure sulfuric acid is not much less than the negative of the common log of 18 (the molarity of pure sulfuric acid), how can an aqueous solution (i.e. acid mine drainage) exceed that hydrogen ion concentration with a pH as low as -3.6? I know there's also iron oxidation contributing, but surely it can't be as important as the sulfuric acid present.--Jasper Deng (talk) 06:57, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The paper traces back to [15]. The sulfate concentration is up to 760 g/L, but sulfuric acid has density 1.84, so it isn't all sulfuric acid (which only has pH -3 according to our article ... which is still lower than -log 18...). There are up to 200 g/L of other minerals present. Someone will have to get the paper to see what they are. Fundamentally, note that pH is not p[H], and that at low pH things get ... strange. According to our article the Nernst equation breaks down. But the bottom line is that you have to know exactly what you're measuring and not assume it means anything else when you're in that territory. Wnt (talk) 21:27, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I got access to it via JSTOR, but it didn't elaborate too much on how those results were obtained. It did however consider the invalidity of the Nernst equation under those conditions and the need for a different definition of pH.
As I learned it, there was no distinction made between pH and p[H], but I never had to deal with solutions this acidic (i.e. it was a basic chemistry class).--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Why is subculturing called passaging?[edit]

I've heard the word passaging pronounced with English and with French pronunciation rules. Is French the origin? And we just tack on English endings 'ed' and 'ing'?

If it's from the same root as the horsey sense (to move sideways) then it's from French passager, from Italian passeggiare and normally retains the French pronunciation, as for dressage, though, strangely, neither Wiktionary nor the OED record this fact. Dbfirs 20:59, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Morphological diversity within a species[edit]

Although morphology may not be the best way to classify different species, it can be one practical way. However, even if two species may look very similar, they cannot mate with each other due to geographical isolation, temporal isolation, behavioral isolation, etc. Humans, on the other hand, seem to be the only exception. Humans can look widely different from one another and can potentially all mate with each other, and they are extremely mobile. They can travel from place to place, establish whole communities, and mate with the locals. Is there any other species that is so morphologically diverse as humans, or is this just one trait that makes humans more special and unique? (talk) 14:19, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Dogs are much more diverse. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
For example, you might get an 8 pound Maltese and an 85 pound Alaskan Malamute; you won't find a tenfold mass differential between folks in one group of humans or another. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be best if the Alaskan Malamute is the female and the Maltese is male. The puppies need room to grow. (talk) 14:39, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Better give the Maltese a stepladder. :-) StuRat (talk) 21:17, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
See out-group homogeneity. We think that humans are different from each other because we are humans, and spent a lifetime trying to identify differences between people (both for good and evil purposes). You probably can't tell monkeys apart, but if you could ask a monkey whether he can tell his mommy apart from his daddy, he'll throw a rotten banana at you. Similarly a monkey might have a hard time distinguishing a black man from a white man, especially if both are fully clothed, and certainly won't understand why groups of seemingly indistinguishable people are trying to exterminate each other (Germans and Jews, Hutus and Tutsis, Turks and Armenians, etc). --Bowlhover (talk) 15:18, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I used to be in charge of a breeding colony of Rhesus macaques and, to those of us who worked with them every day, they were all different to look at and quite easy to identify. Richerman (talk) 22:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Humans only look different to us because we have evolved a lot of facial recognition to tell people apart. In part it has to do with our highly social nature, we are one of only a few eusocial mammals. To some hypothetical sentient alien, we'd all look pretty much the same. But sheep faces look very different to other sheep, and wasps look very different to other wasps, even though they all look pretty much the same to us [16] Paper_wasp#Facial_recognition. We are rather unique in our ability to mate with someone born on the other side of the planet. Finlay's dog example is pretty good for diversity, but of course dog breeds as we know them wouldn't exist without all the artificial selection we've put them through. See Sexual_dimorphism for other examples of extreme morphological diversity in non-human animals. (Post-EC:Bowlhover has a good point about outgroup homogeneity, this is in line with the biological examples I've given) (n.b. our article doesn't mention humans as eusocial animals, but E.O. Wilson considers humans to be eusocial, and as one of the most experienced experts in the field, I trust his judgment :)SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Calling human eusocial seems like a stretch to me -- true, there's a big mystery about homosexuality in mammals, and maybe you could think of it as a non-reproductive caste; or maybe you could argue that some others avoid reproducing for economic or religious reasons and play a similar role, but by and large, humans fail this criterion. In general the rearing of others' offspring seems more than a bit hit and miss. Of course it's just semantics and you can define a term however you like, and biology doesn't know theory. But recognizing facial features seems like a skill suitable for adversaries and competitors, and is often used for this purpose in modern society. Wnt (talk) 21:13, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
My main point is that we are highly social, and highly social animals tend to be better at distinguishing individuals of that species. As you say, it also involves adversaries, competitors (and friends, mates, kin, etc). As for the terminology, I sadly didn't get to ask Wilson how he was thinking about non-reproductive members of humanity, but I bet he'd have an interesting answer :) My own interpretation is that any child that helps rear its siblings, and and ~16-30 yr old that doesn't have children, are both types of humans that help us fit the definition. Also, it would just sound weird to say that humans are "semi-social"! SemanticMantis (talk) 13:39, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, the social nature of modern humans seems largely forced by recent and rapid changes in the environment. I haven't done proper reading on the topic, but IIRC a few of the loci suspected of involvement with autism are also associated with the gregarious phase of locusts. In chimps one of the important genes is present in some individuals and absent in others [17]. So I'm suspicious that if you go back a few tens of thousands of years, that something related to we call autism might have had a fairly high prevalence in the population. I suspect we should even consider the possibility that aspects of the modern environment might provide a different background with epigenetic effects that could cause it to become common again. Admittedly that is a very speculative scenario, but I just mean to illustrate that historically speaking we don't know that humans were really all that social, or would be in more natural environments. Wnt (talk) 14:59, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Our social behaviors are absolutely under environmental control. I personally think the theory that human civilizations were born from harsh conditions to be quite compelling, e.g. [18]. If life is easy and food grows on trees, why cooperate? But if water is scarce and agriculture is hard, cooperative societies have a strong advantage. But we're rather off-topic now, so I'll just leave it there  :) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:10, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Correlation for appearance of fruit and vegetables and their quality (redefine quality more than once if you think that helps)[edit]

Is there any reason why a particular shade/saturation of colour of, for example, lemons or limes would be of better quality for their zest or juice? I suppose better quality would be highest concentration of components of value including acids, vitamins, oils. Is there any rational reason to go for the regular lemons which look a bit nicer than the anaemic SmartPrice ones? ----Seans Potato Business 15:27, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

If you're happy with the taste of the uglier cheap ones then go with them. Fruits and vegetables sell better when they look prettier, and can be sold at a higher price. I usually take advantadge of this during tomato season - you can pick up a bushel of Roma "seconds" for the price of a half-peck of the pretty ones, but the sauce comes out just as tasty either way. Katie R (talk) 15:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
If we define "better quality" as "better tasting," then I think there are several factors to consider: 1. Produce that is ripe tastes better than under/over ripe produce -- this is usually judged by appearance (color) and touch. 2. Some produce appears more attractive in color and size due to chemical treatments or genetic modification, but in this case the appearance is artificially achieved and doesn't correlate to the state of ripeness of the produce. 3. Perceptions of taste are affected by sight -- if a piece of produce appears unattractive then you may not think it tastes good, but perhaps you would find it tasty in a blind taste test. 4. Taste is subjective. Some people may prefer a bland or one-dimensionally sweet version of a piece of fruit versus a "fruitier" more complex-tasting version. Unfortunately I can't find citations for the above. It is sort of "conventional wisdom." You could do an experiment and buy one each of the lemons and do a taste test to see if you prefer one over the other.--Dreamahighway (talk) 16:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Taking a more biological track, note that all our domesticated fruits are based off of wild ancestors that used color, flavor, and nutrition to attract seed dispersers, so, there is a long trend of visually striking food that also tends to taste better. However, under modern breeding, color and shelf-stability often take precedence over actual flavor. Compare the beautiful but bland tomatoes you see on the shelf to a weird looking but delicious heirloom. This is a pop-sci account of a recent finding specifically about good-looking but lame tomatoes [19]. Compare the good looks and early fruiting of e.g. Early Girl to the dark and delicious Cherokee purple. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we are genetically programmed to prefer fruits and vegetables that are good for us, such as colorful ones with lots of phytonutrients. However, marketing guys then use our own biology against us, and add dye or otherwise get unhealthy food to look healthy (like the bag of yellow oranges in a red mesh bag that makes them look orange and ripe).
Then there's the fact that "perfect" fruit or veggies often require the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, either of which may be harmful to humans and/or the environment. StuRat (talk) 17:29, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Statically determinate structure[edit]

1 - Are there any easy ways to determine whether a structure is statically determinate? I always miss whether it is and end up doing a stiffness analysis unnecessarily.
2 - In a stiffness matrix, how do you identify the free nodes. I thought all nodes that arent fixed are free nodes but I was told roller and pin supports are also treated as fixed nodes, if they're not nodes which are being analysed, which doesn't make sense to me. 3 - Am I correct in assuming that where there is a force on a member such a axial, shear or a moment, the row on the stiffness matrix, representing that force, becomes 0?

Clover345 (talk) 16:29, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Regarding your first question: Have you looked at our Statically indeterminate article? Basically if you have more unknowns than equations, it is indeterminate.-- (talk) 17:53, 18 April 2014 (UTC)--Dreamahighway (talk) 17:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
thanks but I meant by just looking at it, without writing down any equations. Clover345 (talk) 18:05, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
See also Underdetermined_system. Unless you've done so many of these problems that you've developed a strong intuition, you have to do at least a quick check on how many constraints and how many unknowns there are. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:02, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Storing food at temperature fluctuating between -20 and -40 better or worse than constant -20?[edit]

Would storing food at a fluctuating temperature between -40 and -20 cause it to degenerate in a way that it wouldn't at a constant -20? ----Seans Potato Business 17:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Celsius, Fahrenheit, or Kelvin? HiLo48 (talk) 17:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
It is fairly obvious that it's not Kelvin, unless you're in the habit of storing your food below absolute zero. (+)H3N-Protein\Chemist-CO2(-) 18:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Given your username, Sean, I have to ask - does the food in question consist of potatoes? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 18:03, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Potatoes are not involved at any level beyond that at which they exist in the mean average content of a Western European domestic freezer. ----Seans Potato Business 20:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth -40C is exactly the same temperature as -40F. So for the sake of simplicity, you could just read the question as "What happens if you raise/lower the temperature of food without going above the melting temperature of water?" in which case degrees C versus degrees F is pretty much irrelevant.(+)H3N-Protein\Chemist-CO2(-) 18:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, you have two competing processes which will degrade food. There are chemical reactions, which occur less at lower temperatures, so from that POV a colder average is better. Then there's the thermal expansion and contraction cycles a varying temperature will cause. Since the temp stays below freezing, the expansion and contraction will be minimal. Still, with enough cycles, you might eventually get cracks propagating in hard foods (and most food is hard at those temps). So, I'm not sure which is better, it all depends on the relative scales of the two types of food degradation. StuRat (talk) 18:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I've not noticed any real difference in the taste of caribou meat that has been harvested in the fall and stored outside over the winter. Nor have I heard of anyone getting sick from eating it in the spring. However, this is more a gradual change from −20 °C (−4 °F) to −40 °C (−40 °F) and back rather than rapid changes. See Cambridge Bay#Climate for where I am referring to. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 00:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I take it the polar bears are all hibernating then ? Otherwise that temptation would presumably be too much for them. StuRat (talk) 00:52, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
No bears (polar) around here and as yet few grizzly. Loose dogs and foxes would be the culprits but who stores their food on the ground. Just get them up out of the way. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 02:37, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Too bad that won't work against our squirrels. No bird feeder is safe around here. StuRat (talk) 02:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Frozen food loses nutrients gradually anyway, frozen vegetables after 6 months or so, and frozen meat a few months after that. But as long as it stays frozen, it's still safe to cook and eat the food. I can't think of where anyone would get a chance to try storing food at -40F / C, other than the far north. OttawaAC (talk) 02:04, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Source on frozen food losing nutrients? (talk) 04:26, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Frozen food#Effect on nutrients. Further reading has revealed that my food storage notions are based on FDA food storage guidelines that are themselves based on a perceived deterioration in quality, not nutrient levels. OttawaAC (talk) 13:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, you could add another degradation mechanism: dehydration. Something stored at a constant temperature is more likely to have fewer (temporary) temperature differentials, which could lead to food losing moisture while another part of the freezer is colder than the food, which will not necessarily be reversed. This could be exacerbated by regular cycling of the temperature. Of course, this process does not need any cycling, only a temperature differential. For example, if the food is warmed by conduction from the shelf it rests on, and the heat is removed by a refrigerating element on inside the wall of the freezer compartment, there could be a continual migration of moisture sublimating from the food to the colder cooling element. —Quondum 04:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's the classic freezer burn, but good containers can reduce that. StuRat (talk) 23:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Wigner effect and graphite density[edit]

In graphite-moderated nuclear reactors, can the Wigner effect be mitigated by producing graphite with more vacancy defects than other types (which would therefore be less dense), so that most of the displacements caused by each neutron amount to migrations of the existing vacancies rather than the creation of new Frenkel defects? NeonMerlin 18:02, 18 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 [20]. 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.[21] 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


April 14[edit]

Magma, or groupoid, (algebra)[edit]

What is the "normal supgroupoid"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amr Jbour (talkcontribs) 17:17, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

A groupoid is an analog of a group in category theory: it is a small category where every morphism has an inverse. A normal subgroupoid is an analog of a normal subgroup: if G is a groupoid, then a normal subgroupoid N has the same set of objects as G and for every morphism f in G, fN(x,x)f^{-1} = N(x,x), where N(x,x) is the set of morphisms from x to itself in N [22]. Then also in analogy to group theory, given G and N, one can form the quotient groupoid G/N, etc. --Mark viking (talk) 17:36, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
 I mean an algebraic structure with one binary operation defined on it, which is closed.

See 20:14, 16 April 2014 (UTC) --Amr Jbour (talk)--Amr Jbour (talk) 20:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

As noted in Groupoid#Comparing the definitions, the algebraic and category-theoretic defns are equivalent. --Mark viking (talk) 22:29, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I think by "groupoid", the original poster means what is usually called a magma. Magma (algebra) indicates that these are sometimes called "groupoids", but that is actually something different than what is usually meant by "groupoid". You might call a submagma "normal" if every left coset is also a right coset, although I'm not sure if there is a standard use in the literature. Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 15[edit]

Special mappings for the 24 cell?[edit]

Is there a bijective mapping between the vertices and the cells of the 24 Cell so that each vertex maps to a Cell that it is part of? Similarly, is there a bijective mapping between the 96 edges and the 96 triangles of the 24 cell so that each edge maps to a triangle that it is part of?

You could I think construct one by just listing them and pairing them off. In each case you have multiple choices (each cell has eight vertices adjoining it, etc.) so it should be possible to pair them off so each has one to pair with.
Quite possibly there's a mapping that's also a rotation, between the 24-cell and its dual as the dual is also a 24-cell. This could work in 4D as you could use a double rotation through a small angle so every vertex is offset. If the angle's the smallest possible to produce a rotation from the 24-cell to its dual then surely it rotates every vertex to an adjacent cell. I wouldn't know where to start constructing this or proving it though.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 16:03, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Take the vertices of the 24-cell to be (±2, 0, 0, 0), (0, ±2, 0, 0), (0, 0, ±2, 0), (0, 0, 0, ±2), (±1, ±1, ±1, ±1). Normal vectors to the faces, which you can take to be coordinates of the dual, are (±1, ±1, 0, 0), (±1, 0, ±1, 0), (±1, 0, 0, ±1), (0, ±1, ±1, 0), (0, ±1, 0, ±1), (0, 0, ±1, ±1). Scale the second set by √2 to make them the same length, so the original and dual are the same size. The matrix
     1/√2  1/√2  0     0 
     1/√2 -1/√2  0     0 
      0     0   1/√2  1/√2  
      0     0   1/√2 -1/√2  
representing a double rotation by angle π/4, now maps the original to the dual and vice versa. Combining the two 24-cells would make a compound with 48 vertices. --RDBury (talk) 04:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Cool, I'd forgotten that the two standard methods of stating the vertices were each other's duals. (and in the centers (scaled) of the dual's octahedral cells. I'll take a look at the effects that that rotation has on the edges/faces.Naraht (talk) 19:37, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

md5 preimage attack question[edit]

so our article on md5 says under Preimage vulnerability, "On April 2009, a preimage attack against MD5 was published that breaks MD5's preimage resistance. This attack is only theoretical, with a computational complexity of 2^123.4 for full preimage."

I don't understand this at all. The MD5 article calls it a 128-bit algorithm. So how does a 2^123.4 complexity attack "break" MD5? Doesn't this represents just 4.6 bits of complexity (128-123.4), i.e. 25-fold reduction in the search space? If twenty five million computers can do it exhaustively, it is already broken, who cares if a million can do it in the weakened form instead? I wouldn't call that "breaking preimage resistance" at all, since it is broken even if twenty five million computers can do it... Even a billion shouldn't be able to do it, or a hundred billion... It should take more computers than there are atoms in the Universe....

Or is it "broken" on the assumption that if you can reduce the search space by even a factor of 0.0005, then it is no longer a secure hash? If this is the case then is that because 1) of the 'theoerical' meaning of secure, i.e. if you only need to search 45783897348972489127348975190342562347892385778462378461793486287434678214691278346812793478346286284726134781622 out of 45783897348972489127348975190342562347892385778462378461793486287434678214691278346812793478346286284726134781623 possibilities (trailing 2 instead of 3) then it is broken since you didn't need to look at one of the possibilities. Or is this 2) beacause it's considered inevitable that if a reduction is found now, further ones will be found in the future? So that it's still "secure" now but this is expected to change in the future?

Any explanation would be appreciated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cryptoguy321 (talkcontribs) 13:22, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it is both 1) and 2). Any reduction in the search space qualifies as a publishable attack, and even a small reduction is worrying since it suggests there are weaknesses in the design that could lead to practical attacks later. I changed "breaks" to "weakens" in the article. -- BenRG (talk) 19:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I changed it back to "break". An attack doesn't have to be immediately practical to be considered a break: it's a break because it breaks security assumptions about the search space by several orders of magnitude. —SeekingAnswers (reply) 01:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
1) Depends. If there is only a small exceptional set, I wouldn't call it broken. Using one additional bit (129 rather than 128) would more than offset that kind of weakness.
One implementation of RSA (basic scheme: x is encoded as xpub mod n, and (xpub)priv mod n equals x) used an exponent of pub = 1. That flaw didn't get fixed until somebody noticed how "unbelievably fast" the code was at calculating (xpub)priv mod n ! That was "broken."
There might however be concerns like BenRG's. Which takes me to...
2) There might be ways to find
a) more spaces you can exclude by slight variation of the method used. The remaining space which "survives" could be too small to be regarded safe.
b) a much bigger space by strengthening the original attack in some way. This is BenRG's idea of a practical attack. Some problems could be reduced to almost trivially low bounds. The one I know about is not cryptographic, and its actual bound in a practical range is not extremely low, but its asymptotic bound is: PRIMES is in P.
c) a whole class of spaces by generalizing the original approach in some ingenious way. This is less likely, but if any class is found, any individual case (or even worse, any group of individual cases?) only has to be tested against a low number of spaces. The average would be 1 + 0.04 + 0.0016 + ... < 1.042 if the spaces are not too correlated. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 11:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

bit commitment scheme[edit]


I don't really understand the point of "commitment scheme"? In the rock-paper-scissor example used to introduce it, can't Alice and Bob just encrypt their choice with any algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) then give each other then encrypted versions. Once they both have the encyrypted versions they can give each other the key.

What's wrong with this? If you have something encrypted with one PGP key, for example, you can't get a different valid plaintext back by giving out any private key other than the one you encrypted with... (since it only has two prime factors). you are fully "committed." Cryptoguy321 (talk) 14:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I think giving them the key after the encrypted info is a form of a commitment scheme, whereas giving them the key first would not be. Also note that if you give them the key by the same communication channel as the encoded message, then, if that communication channel is compromised, then anyone can decipher the code. For this reason you might want to use two keys, one they were given in advance, via a secure channel, and one they get after the encoded messages have been sent. StuRat (talk) 14:52, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Encryption is not the same as a commitment scheme. This is the crux of the OPs question. Shadowjams (talk) 04:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Your suggested use of encryption and key swapping is itself a type of commitment scheme. From the article you linked:
“ A way to visualize a commitment scheme is to think of the sender as putting the value in a locked box, and giving the box to the receiver. The value in the box is hidden from the receiver, who cannot open the lock themselves. Since the receiver has the box, the value inside cannot be changed—merely revealed if the sender chooses to give them the key at some later time. ”

--But the dedicated schemes available are designed to not require so much human intervention and waiting, and are optimized for that specific task. In contrast, encryption schemes are designed for a totally different purpose. Stu is getting at key distribution, which is yet another separate problem, for which other schemes have been developed. Basically, different goals are served by different tools. I can drive nails into wood with my heavy screwdriver, but I prefer to use a hammer. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:27, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Encryption keys alone are not sufficient to prove message integrity. For example... if you symetrically encrypt something using a one time pad, and you are later revealed "a key" (not necessarily the key), you can make the revealed plaintext whatever you want it to be if you control the "key". Hash functions like the SHA family are specifically designed against this sort of problem... not all encryption algorithms are. That said, there's something called MDC that uses exactly this approach. And on the flip side, AES (and other symetrical key algorithms) have often been used as primatives for hash functions. So practically speaking it's not that nuts. But there is a big fundamental difference between the two. Your example using PGP is much more complicated because PGP (or GPG) uses all three of these... GPG symetrically encrypts the message, asymetrically encrypts the key, uses a salt on the former, and then checks the integrity on all of them. So your PGP example doesn't map to the more general question of "isn't encryption enough". This is not to mention all the various bit swapping attacks against block-based encryption. Shadowjams (talk) 04:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Good point that one-time-pads can allow for ANY desired plaintext! However, I'm not sure that property applies to most common schemes used today... it seems that the key points here are that the goals of encryption and commitment are different, though sometimes those goals can be accomplished by using similar tools. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:55, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Cryptographic primitives are designed to provide specific security properties, such as confidentiality, authenticity etc. Assuming that a primitive that provides one security property (confidentiality) provides some other property (commitment) can fail spectacularly, as illustrated above with the one-time pad. If a primitive is to be used for a property that it has not been assessed for (in this example seeking commitment from a primitive that is intended to provide confidentiality with the least size of key), the protocol must be carefully designed. Just saying that AES can be used for commitment does not address the protocol for its use for this purpose. For example, if I commit a value as the first 32 bits of the plaintext of an AES-encrypted block, I can in a relatively short space of time find a key that with produce any desired value from a given ciphertext. This essentially implies that encryption and authentication properties are required simultaneously, which most encryption primitives do not provide. A commitment scheme might also need assurances that the scheme is robust against various attacks, e.g. a man-in-the-middle attack. —Quondum 15:03, 19 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 [[23]] 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)

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 15[edit]

Criticism and possible further development of the Modernization Theory?[edit]

I was reading this academic peer-reviewed article that was published fairly recently.

  • Anqi, X., & Yan, X. (2014). The Changes in Mainland Chinese Families During the Social Transition: A Critical Analysis. Journal Of Comparative Family Studies, 44(2), 31-53.

I read the whole darn thing, including the Conclusion. It was interesting, especially the part where they mentioned that their analysis deviated from the Modernization Theory, because China does not really develop in a linear, progressive fashion, as predicted by the Modernization Theory. From this source, it claims that there have been three waves of the Modernization Theory. I am interested in the current working hypothesis of the Modernization Theory. I read the Wikipedia article too, but much of the claims there are not properly sourced or cited, so I don't know how much I should trust the source. So, please don't reference Wikipedia in this topic. I am looking for, at best, primary sources (peer-reviewed journal articles), but secondary resources (like newspapers and magazines) are okay as long as they are well-sourced and -cited. (talk) 13:50, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Not my field at all, but I found these two books using google scholar and google books. Both are recent-ish academic research monographs, that have plenty of sources therein, and both mention "three waves" of modernization theory: [24] [25]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Knut Hamsun's Nobel medal[edit]

According to our article on Knut Hamsun, he sent his Nobel Prize medal to Joseph Goebbels as a present. Do we know what subsequently happened to it? DuncanHill (talk) 22:06, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, Duncan. Maybe my google-fu isn't up to scratch but I can find nothing about its later fate. Nice to see you back here, by the way. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:21, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I've been googling and finding nothing too. Might try emailing the museum. Hope you're keeping well. DuncanHill (talk) 17:13, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I wonder how well documented that story is about the Nobel Prize medal. I remember another story, that Nobel medals of that era were actually made of solid gold and were quite valuable even just for the gold content. This led to a couple of Nobel prizes being dissolved in acid and preserved through the war to prevent Nazi confiscation. See the "history" section of Aqua Regia for some details. (talk) 08:53, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
All I found was a negative: The Knut Hamsun Centre's website does also mention Goebbels acknowledging the gift in a letter dated 23 June 1943, characterizing the gesture as an expression of Hamsun's "connectedness to our struggle for a new Europe and a happy society" That page is only available in Norwegian: "Nobelmedaljen til Goebbels" (Norwegian speakers, please check my translation). At the bottom they write that it is not ascertained where the medal is presently located. ---Sluzzelin talk 16:49, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Presumably Hitler and Goebbels et al could not have taken all of their personal property with them into the bunker, and presumably the Allies would have searched their homes for valuables, records etc, and presumably there must be documentation of what they found and what happened to it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:33, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

Hatta and Dubai[edit]

I've been wondering recently how Hatta came to be an exclave of Dubai. What is it that caused the two regions to be linked together? I would greatly appreciate any information you might have. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:27, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

The internal boundaries of the UAE are quite complicated. I've found one English-language reference detailing how them came about - this doctoral thesis, "The Federal Boundaries of the United Arab Emirates". It notes "All but two of the seven Emirates lack territorial homogeneity. Only Abu Dhabi and Umm al-Quwain consist of one integral unit . The other five Emirates have at least one enclave of territory entirely surrounded by territory over which they have no jurisdiction." (p. 214).
This complicated arrangement arose primarily from the need to define boundaries between the Emirates to allow granting of oil exploration concessions. Until the early 20th century, land borders between the Emirates did not exist in the traditional Western sense. Each Emirate had towns, villages, wadis, etc., that it controlled, but the open desert between wasn't divvied up because it had no value to them. That changed with the discovery of oil and the profits to be had from it, which, my source notes, "concentrated their minds wonderfully on demarcation of boundaries between the Emirates." (p. 341) When these boundaries were drawn, the results often cut off remote towns and villages from their respective capitals.
In the specific case of Hatta, during the 1870s it was given to the Ruler of Dubai by the Sultan of Muscat. (Simultaneously, the adjacent village of Masfut was given to the Ruler of Buraimi in Oman; it subsequently passed to the Emirate of Ajman and is now an enclave as well.) At the time, it was known as the village of "Hajarain" or "Hijrain"; Hatta was the name of the wadi where it was situated. (p. 258).
Hope that helps. I suppose I should update the article now. - EronTalk 20:21, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
This is very good information. Thanks for going the extra mile. I really appreciate it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Glad to be of assistance. - EronTalk 18:28, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Mid Atlantic states geography[edit]

What are the boundaries of the lower Delaware Valley? Not being from the area I don't know. Where does the upper Delaware Valley begin? Is there a middle Delaware Valley? Also, I've long wondered why it's empty fields between Trenton and the "Brunswicks" on the majorest of major highways (NJ Turnpike) when NYC's suburbs extend at least twice as far in CT, Long Island, and along the Garden State Parkway. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 07:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I presume your header is short for "mid Atlantic coast" (of the United States) (of America). To the rest of the world, the "mid Atlantic" is a point in the middle of an ocean, by definition a long way from any land. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:59, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm from the US and I also initially thought that this might concern Bermuda and the Azores going by the heading. Dismas|(talk) 08:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As for the Middle Delaware Valley, there are a number of GHits for that phrase including a publication from the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club about the "Birds of the Middle Delaware Valley". So, it seems that some people think there is such a place. That said, our article on the Delaware River refers to a Central Delaware Valley. Dismas|(talk) 08:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Regarding why areas between New York and Trenton along the Turnpike seem to be underpopulated, much of that land is the New Jersey Meadowlands. --Jayron32 10:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No, the Meadowlands are in North Jersey, well to the north of the stretch between the Brunswicks and Trenton. The latter stretch is empty mainly because it hasn't been economical to develop. On the one hand, it is relatively valuable farmland, making land costs higher than in less fertile regions. On the other hand, it lacks coastal amenities. The main reason that development extends so much farther from Manhattan and other centers of employment on Long Island and the Jersey Shore is that people are willing to put up with a long commute to live near the shore. (The coast of southwestern Connecticut is heavily developed not only because of its coastal location but also because it includes urban areas that were formerly independent urban areas and that remain centers of employment and whose suburban sprawl has merged with that of New York.) People don't want to commute as far to live in a flat, inland region without good access to coastal or urban amenities. Marco polo (talk) 14:19, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
The Mid-Atlantic states are also known locally as "the Mid-Atlantic", as our article points out. While this is inconvenient for people outside the region, for whom the term might suggest a deep-sea location, the term is not incorrect. Our article Delaware River suggests that the lower Delaware Valley, as a physical geographic region, is the part of the valley below the falls at Trenton. The physical geographic region would encompass the watershed of the Delaware and its tributaries below this point. The term Delaware Valley is often used to refer to metropolitan Philadelphia, which might include areas outside the watershed of the Delaware, but which is roughly coterminous with the lower Delaware Valley as a physical geographic region. According to our article on the river, the middle Delaware Valley is the watershed of the Delaware including the watershed of the Lehigh and all other tributaries entering the river between the Lehigh and the falls at Trenton. The upper Delaware Valley would be the watershed of the Delaware above the Lehigh. Marco polo (talk) 14:30, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Most enlightening, thank you Marco Polo. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Added to question header, it was completely confusing before. Fgf10 (talk) 14:46, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Corrected header to conform to general usage (question not specific to the coast). Marco polo (talk) 19:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

This discussion reminds me of the aggressive responses I got a few months ago when I thought it made sense to remove the capital letters from the term East Coast in a sentence referring to that part of the USA. Obviously many countries have an east coast, but America has an East Coast. HiLo48 (talk) 23:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
According to the National Park Service, [26], the Middle Delaware is the 40 mile stretch north of the Delaware Water Gap. The Upper Delaware being north of that, and Lower Delaware south. That makes the Lower Delaware most of the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As far as the Park Service is concerned, the Lower Delaware doesn't even reach to Philadelphia. Or at least the Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River. But as Marco polo pointed out, our Delaware River page suggests the Lower Delaware starts at Trenton, where the river begins to become an estuary. Then there's the difference between the river itself and the Delaware Valley. As far as I can tell, the meaning of all these terms varies depending on context. Sometimes in historical contexts you come across the term "Lower Delaware" for what is now the state of Delaware—especially in the context of William Penn's claim to the region. Pfly (talk) 00:51, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 17[edit]

Could the Egyptian pyramids have been painted on the outside?[edit]

OK, I know that they were originally surfaced by white casing stones made of highly polished white limestone. In all descriptions and visualizations of what the pyramids might have looked like originally that I've seen, the limestone was left as was, producing a big white, shining surface. But wouldn't it have been possible that this surface was used as a giant canvas to be covered with mutlicolored wall paintings? After all, the pyramids were painted inside, so why not outside? Now, if it ever was the case, then all evidence is probably gone; the paintwork would have been worn away by wind and sand before the casing stones themselves were removed. But is there any evidence that the casing stones were definitely not painted? Or has there been any educated speculation as to whether they could have been possibly painted and what the design might have been? — Kpalion(talk) 07:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

You'd have to consider the huge amount of paint they'd need to paint such big structures. Do we know if the Egyptians were able to produce paint in massive quantities? 2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:CB89 (talk) 14:43, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The Pyramids (in particular the Great Pyramid of Cheops) were from the outset hugely impressive and much visited, and many writers from other (non-Egyptian) cultures described them, just as they did the other six of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Many described the white casing, and presumably none (in accounts known to us directly, or quoted by other writers) mentioned any traces of painting, or this would be well known to us today. While absence of evidence is not strictly evidence of absence, I think the absence in this case is suggestive.
In addition, one might expect that a soft material like limestone would absorb and retain some of any pigments used, and that these would be detectable on some of the stones that were later incorporated into other buildings and are available for analysis today. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 17:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, the pyramids were made to last for thousands of years, and they would know the paint would quickly chip off if exposed to sandstorms. So, either they would have to repaint it constantly or it would look like crap in short order. StuRat (talk) 17:22, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
As in Super Mario Brothers 3, the sun would be an even more constant nuisance than the sand. Better to burn out than fade away, eh? InedibleHulk (talk) 02:17, April 18, 2014 (UTC)
Besides, the pyramids were not, for a long time, painted on the inside. Almost all the royal tomb painting you're likely to see in photos comes from the rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings, which the rulers of the New Kingdom used instead of pyramids. The interior of the Pyramid of Djoser, the earliest of all, contains some relief art, but I don't know whether it was originally painted. Pyramids from the Fourth and Fifth Dynasties—which include all the best-known pyramids other than Djoser's—had bare walls. Unas, the last king of the Fifth Dynasty, and his Sixth Dynasty successors, did have painting in the burial chambers, and the hieroglyphs on the walls of the other chambers were painted in blue or green. (I don't know if Middle Kingdom pyramids had decorated interiors; a lot of them weren't well-built enough for any part to survive.) A pyramid was only part of a large complex, and most of the artwork was reserved for the pyramid temple that lay at the foot of the pyramid, for the causeway that ran from the pyramid temple down to the river, and for the valley temple at the bottom of the causeway.
The pyramid casing wasn't necessarily plain white, though. The hieroglyph for a pyramid was often colored with a red band across the bottom. According to The Art of Ancient Egypt by Gay Robins, the bottom courses of the casing on the Pyramid of Khafre were made of red granite instead of limestone. The book's illustration of what the Giza Necropolis would have looked like at its height shows the Pyramid of Menkaure with a much larger red band—about a third of the pyramid's total height. A. Parrot (talk) 18:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you all, and especially A. Parrot for a very informative answer. — Kpalion(talk) 08:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Russell Senate Office Building[edit]

Is it possible to drive a vehicle into the Russell Building's courtyard, and/or to have it propelled into the courtyard whole? That is, if you're doing it for official purposes, not just a person on the street. Trailers can get in the courtyard, but maybe they have to take them apart and put them back together again, or maybe they have to pick it up and lower it with a helicopter. 2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:CB89 (talk) 14:39, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

There's an archway entrance that's pretty apparent from the satellite view in Google Maps - look on First St. between Constitution and C, the concrete on part of the sidewalk is the same color as the turnaround circle inside the courtyard. Can't see it in street view for obvious reasons, but it's clearly there. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 16:26, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I saw that part but thought it was just a spot where they built a pediment-crowned portico, but you're right about the concrete color and about it being a turnaround spot. 2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:CB89 (talk) 19:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Ice cream and beer consumption versus income[edit]

I'm looking for data on ice cream and beer consumption per capita versus income in the US or Canada. Google hasn't been much help so I decided to ask here. (talk) 14:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Mmmm.... beer. This one is from the 1970s: Old beer. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. More ice cream: [27]. Beer good, ice cream good, just not together please... --Jayron32 14:46, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I disagree almost entirely. Thanks for the beer PDF; I note one major factor it doesn't take into account is the type of beer drunk. While it looks a little at beer generally versus wine and/or spirits, the study takes no note of the dizzying variety (and increased cost) of much higher-quality beers available now (as opposed to at the beginning of its dataset in the 1970s). The plural of "anecdote" is not "data," but as my finances have gotten shakier since ~2008 (or maybe since I'm getting older?), I've spent a lot less on craft/microbrews (even though they're my drink of choice bar none) and more on the least-offensive macrobrews (as well as cutting back on drinking in toto). ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 16:18, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Examples of LGBT Christian evangelization[edit]

I am just wondering, because I recently saw a picket sign that condemned homosexuality. In my head, I thought, "Hmmm... I wonder if LGBT Christians evangelize this way. But instead of the condemnation of homosexuality, the picket sign would say 'God is love' or 'Homophobia is a sin'." Are there any examples of LGBT Christian evangelization? (talk) 17:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Type phrases into Google to get examples. Typing "Homophobia is a sin" gets plenty of hits. This is the first such hit. --Jayron32 18:18, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Today I saw this [28] from a trans man who is an Old Catholic priest in Minnesota - I think it's a pretty good example from the more traditionalist end of LGBT Christian activism. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Those sorts of signs show up at counter-protests to the sort of anti-LGBT events you describe. I've also seen churches set up booths at pride events to let people know they'll be welcome there. Katie R (talk) 19:20, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Trying to remember a short story . .?[edit]

I am looking for a short story I had to read in high school:

A man on the beach daydreams about a girl he knew when he was a child — a kind of first crush — and comes to believe that he is still in love with her. When he "awakens" from this daydream, he looks at his wife as if she is a stranger.

It may have been by Ray Bradbury, but I'm not sure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snoopies622 (talkcontribs) 19:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I very vaguely remember something similar, and I'm also inclined to think it was Bradbury. I remember a lake, rather than a(n oceanfront) beach. The girl drowned, didn't she? It's possible we're remembering two different stories. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:15, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I believe you're both (certainly Evanh2008 is) thinking of the story "The Lake" in The October Country. (I won't link to it, since it's no doubt a copyvio, but a PDF of the story appears as the top hit when I Google "The Lake" Bradbury.) Deor (talk) 12:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's it - thanks. I just re-read it. Funny, it's very different from what I remember, and yet too similar to be something different. : ) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snoopies622 (talkcontribs) 17:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

author Jill Churchill[edit]

Can anyone find out from Jill Churchill's publisher (or other areas) what happened to her latest "Grace and Favor" book called "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"? It was supposed to be published in 2011. I tried contacting a few places but never got a response. Thanks for your help. United States¿↑↔# — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:BD98:2F10:191A:73C5:6733:CEE3 (talk) 20:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I did some web searching and found a site that showed a publication date in 2013 but no copies available. The Wikipedia page on Jill Churchill shows it as "not yet published". However, on that page you will find a link to the author's official site, which doesn't even mention that book. So it sounds as though it was canceled or has been delayed more than once. But on the author's site you will also find an email address. I have no idea whether that address still works, but it might be worthwhile sending a message there. -- (talk) 04:27, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Difference between "Irreligion" and "Atheist/Agnostic"?[edit]

Wikipedia is not a soapbox and neither is the reference desk. Ask a question you wish to find references for, and we will provide them. There's none of that going on here. --Jayron32 00:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I was just reading through the Wikipedia articles on Asian Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, African Americans, and White Americans, and apparently, White Americans and Hispanic Americans have the atheist/agnostic label, whereas Asian Americans have the irreligion label, and African Americans have no atheist, agnostic, or irreligious label. o_O Please explain how the "atheism/agnosticism" group differs from the "irreligion" group, and explain why the religions are attributed to race. (talk) 21:20, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

You have to go to the original source. The African American page, for example, cites the Pew Forum, which notes a portion of African Americans who are religiously unaffiliated. Hence, Wikipedia is biased and inaccurate. (talk) 21:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, a mixed-race marriage can produce offspring that looks half-Asian and half-White but are raised Jewish. (talk) 21:30, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
What's the deal with asking yourself a question, and then immediately answering it yourself, with a dig at Wikipedia? Also, the conflation of race and religion here is misleading and unrelated to the header. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:38, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Which god checks skin colour before revealing herself to someone? HiLo48 (talk) 21:52, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Most probably, most of them. How else could you explain that most cultures only ever depict their gods in their own likeness? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Lack of imagination. Dbfirs 22:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


Hi wikipedians i`m writing an alternate history novel in which the slave trade basically thrawted in it`s early years by africans who banded toghether and stopped the slave trade in it`s tracks. my basic question is what would be some of the sociological differences in american and world history if the slave trade basically never happened. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

No American civil war. (Or, if it did happen, a very different war.) HiLo48 (talk) 00:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Unless New World natives were kept as slaves in large numbers instead. —Tamfang (talk) 00:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Not possible. Of course, the European settlers would have rather had Native American slaves (cheaper than importing them). However, they all basically died because they lacked immunity to old-world diseases like small pox. The fact that the Native American slaves kept dying while the Africans (which had immunity to such diseases) didn't is what led to the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the first place. I believe (though I may be mistaken on the specific book) that this is covered in either 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus or 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created or a similar book. --Jayron32 00:53, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Tamfang -- In most cases, Indians were not found to be usable over the long-term as a labor force in centralized slave-worked plantations raising commercial crops such as sugar, indigo, cotton etc. Spanish attempts to use Indians in such roles was partly what led to the depopulation of a number of Caribbean islands in the 16th century (leading to the perceived necessity to import Africans as a substitute). AnonMoos (talk) 01:03, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
The New World, particularly the Caribbean, would have fewer African-descended inhabitants. —Tamfang (talk) 00:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
The USA these days would be much less obsessed with race. HiLo48 (talk) 00:39, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
...and the country would have to find another excuse for a holiday on the third Monday in January. HiLo48 (talk) 00:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
The U.S. used to celebrate Lincoln's Birthday (a few weeks later) in its place. Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday got smashed together into Presidents' Day when Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a holiday. They didn't give us one extra day, they just swapped out one that was previously celebrated. --Jayron32 03:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
This being one of those rare blue moon events where HiLo and I agree... I thought I'd point that out. Excellent points. You're forgetting one small detail... large swaths of the British and Netherlands, and also the rest of Europe in general, would not have gotten rich despite banning it in their own countries. Shadowjams (talk) 03:50, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
No Chuck Berry. No Michael Jackson. No Oprah. No Jimi Hendrix. No Billie Holiday. HiLo48 (talk) 00:57, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Musically speaking, no Buddy Holly, no Elvis, no Tom Petty either ... ---Sluzzelin talk 03:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Slavery was never as simple as from Africa to the Americas. Some 12 millions Africans were enslaved and sent to the Americas but 10 to 18 million were enslaved and sent to the Muslim world (as well as at least a million Europeans). (Arab slave trade) The American slave trade lasted some four hundred years while the Arab slave trade lasted over 1,000. Slavery in Africa between tribes was also common. Rmhermen (talk) 01:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
There wouldn't have been an abolition movement to end slavery in Britain, France (by extension their colonies), or the US. So perhaps slavery would still be legal. That's a strange thought. OttawaAC (talk) 01:39, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
This isn't really a very ref-desk-friendly question. We can point you in the direction of outside sources, as some have astutely done above, but this sort of speculation is really outside the ref desk's purview. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:18, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Siberian and Central Asian slaves from Russia. Indian slaves from India. Muslim slaves from North Africa and the Ottoman Empire.
Sleigh (talk) 03:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Chinese slaves from China.
Sleigh (talk) 03:30, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Our OP geolocates to New York. I suspect his "alternate history novel" will be based on the American slave trade having never happened. HiLo48 (talk) 03:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
People would probably still make zombie movies, but almost certainly nobody would call them that. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 14:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

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)


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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


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

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

April 14[edit]


I already know English has no masculine/feminine nouns, but some nouns may be used mainly for females and some nouns mainly for males. The word, "Brunette," seems to be only used for females. Is there a masculine equivalent for a brown-haired man or boy? Can "Brunette" be used for an individual with black hair or dark blonde/light brown hair? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Regarding your first question: There is the word "brunet" for males, but it doesn't seem to be used very frequently. ---Sluzzelin talk 14:19, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Makes sense.
  • Blonde (feminine) vs. Blond (masculine)
  • Brunette (feminine) vs. Brunet (masculine)
  • Red-haired
  • Black-haired (talk) 14:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the second question, I don't think there is an English term for people with black hair. See our article "Black hair". Brunet and brunette are defined by the OED to include "dark-complexioned", but I'm not sure whether this includes people with black hair. My impression is that when the terms are used, most people would assume that they mean brown-haired people. I don't think it is possible to say definitively that brunette cannot include people with dark blonde or light brown hair. Whether hair is better described as blonde or brunette is probably a matter of personal impression. — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:42, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I would have thought that dark complexion means that a person has dark brown skin, black afro hair, and dark brown eyes. (talk) 15:04, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
It's hard to tell from the OED quotations: "Your Fair Women..thought of this Fashion to insult the Olives and the Brunetts." (1713); "But I should like to see what sort of a man this hussar is,—whether he is brunet or blondin." (1887). This 1861 quotation suggests that it means a skintone that is brown rather than black: "The Indian brunette rather than black." — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:16, 14 April 2014 (UTC) -- Sometimes in nineteenth century England, "dark" was defined relative to the white population of England (who were roughly divided into "dark" and "fair"), while non-white people were completely left out of consideration. That's still the meaning of "dark" in "tall, dark, and handsome"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:44, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
"Raven-haired", although that's really just a synonym for "black-haired". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Using "they" even if the gender is known[edit]

Is it good and proper nowadays to use the single "they" after the gender has been established? For example if people were talking about a person named Kari and referring to them as them (hah!), and I were to say that I know Kari very well from Finland and HE is a good friend of mine. Would it still be non-silly to continue using the pronoun "them" when speaking about Kari when the other speakers (or writers) can purport that they do not know Kari or their gender? --Pxos (talk) 14:56, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Here's how I go:
  • If the person is male, then I'd use "he".
  • If the person is female, then I'd use "she".
  • If the person is agender or transgender, then I'd go by that person's personal name, which can be revealing. For instance, I know this agender person, whose first name is Chris. Instead of overtly asking "Are you male or female?", I ask, "Is that 'Christina'?" And she nods and adds that everybody tells her "Well, you don't exactly look like a Christina," presumably because of the way she dresses herself.
  • If the subject is an inanimate object or a nonhuman animal or a baby, then I'd use "it".

I never use They. I just don't use it. Singular they is a matter of personal preference, anyway. Some people use They, because they think it's "correct" or gender-neutral, but really I have no problems with using the generic he or genderless it. (talk) 15:12, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Right, in my experience, few humans like to be referred to as "it", and roughly equal numbers of people get annoyed by genderless "he" and singular "they". SemanticMantis (talk) 17:13, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
For reference, we have an article on singular they. It actually has a long and rich history in English, used by Shakespeare, etc. You will still find pedants who insist it's "wrong" to use it. We can't really say what is acceptable in your social circles, but there is noting ungrammatical about your example usage. Additional info at gender-neutral_pronoun, but good luck working "zie" into conversation without having to explain it! SemanticMantis (talk) 17:10, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
No one asked me my opinion, but I'm offering it anyway. I have no objection to singular they used in reference to an indefinite pronoun or noun phrase, like everyone or some student, but it annoys me when it's used in reference to a specific individual (even if that individual's gender is not yet known) or in reference to an indefinite noun phrase in a context where the gender is known (as in each player of the Dallas Cowboys, since they're all male). So no, it would (IMO) not be non-silly (i.e. it would be very silly) to continue calling Kari "they" once his gender has been established, or even once it's clear he's a specific individual and not a "someone". Angr (talk) 18:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
In the Kari example I would be perplexed if people continued to refer to Kari as they once I had credibly revealed his gender. Particularly among non-anonymous people in flesh and blood (things might be a bit different on an anonymous/pseudonymous online platform such as Wikipedia, but I can't really comment on that). It would almost be as though those people weren't acknowledging my input or not taking my word for it, which would be sort of rude to me (or to you, Pxos) though not necessarily to Kari. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:17, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
The wikipedia article cited above is interesting. The first two examples seem natural to me. In my experience, the following three examples would usually be converted to versions with plural subjects. Again in my experience: I am accustomed to the view that the use of the singular they is informal and should be avoided. But I've noticed it is getting much more usage lately. I think it is to avoid using the sexist "he" when gender is unknown or the awkward "he or she," and I appreciate the attempt to solve those problems although I'm not sure this is the best way. It is my understanding that the singular they is becoming more acceptable than it used to be. I have experienced the case in which someone continued to refer to a gender-known person as "they." It was in a context where the person being referred to was being evaluated as a job candidate. It was before we had spoken to the candidate, but the person's gender was clear from the person's name. I think the person using the singular they was attempting to avoid any appearance that the candidate's gender factored into the evaluation, but it seemed odd to me.--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:36, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It's normal for indefinite reference of known gender (a mother in Shakespeare, no man in Shaw), and for definite reference of unknown gender (the patient in Pullum et al.) The latter is relatively new, AFAICT, maybe from the 20th century? Some style guides say that only indefinite antecedents are acceptable, so "they" for "a mother" is okay, but "they" for "the patient" would be wrong. For a definite reference of known gender, it would be odd for many people, but it's becoming more common, and feels less and less odd to me.
BTW, I disagree with the example from the US declaration of independence, which seems to me to just be a semantic plural, like when you say "the team are". — kwami (talk) 00:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Kwami. To me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with "Every player on the Dallas squad knows their role," although his would be equally acceptable. The indefiniteness is what allows their to be used here, despite the fact that the gender is unambiguous from the context. Another question for those who say you can't or shouldn't use they when the gender of the referent is known. Complete the following text. (This is the example from Shaw that Kwami was likely referring to.)
No man goes into battle to be killed. But [he does/they do] get killed. (talk) 05:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

"Drank out of the wrong bottle" ?[edit]

Which does this mean ?

1) Drank wood alcohol instead of grain alcohol.

2) Drank a form of grain alcohol that they couldn't handle, probably high proof, like whiskey or vodka. StuRat (talk) 15:36, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

It means there was a proper bottle to drink out of. And they drank from a bottle that wasn't that one. Otherwise, without context, we have no means to know what the "proper" bottle is. --Jayron32 15:56, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I see no evidence that this is a common phrase that stands on its own. See e.g. here [29], or here [30] But, for the record, it means drinking rootbeer when cola is expected ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:16, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Something alcoholic when nonalcoholic was expected, maybe. (talk) 17:23, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Something non-alcoholic when something alcoholic was expected would be far worse. DuncanHill (talk) 17:29, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as a non-drinker myself, No, getting alcohol would be worse. You can't un-spike a drink. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:17, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I heard it used in the first way, in an episode of the original Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever, where it was said about Leonard McCoy, who was acting crazy at the time, due to a disease he had.

I heard it used in the second way in an episode of The Lone Ranger, where it was used to describe a man acting angry.

Note that these are both US TV shows, and from the 50's and 60's (although the Star Trek episode was set in the 30's), so it's possible it's a US expression only, and is now archaic. They might have said "Drank from the wrong bottle", if that matters. StuRat (talk) 22:38, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Compare off his meds, and got up on the wrong side of the bed. You young'ns need to watch more classic TV and film. μηδείς (talk) 00:28, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
"They say he drinks out of the wrong bottle..." = "It is rumoured that he's gay...". Old slang. RomanSpa (talk) 05:57, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Searching the internet, it seems to mean the person means to do/achieve/be one (positive) thing, but ends up having the exact opposite (negative) effect/consequence/result. One result referenced a scene in Alice in Wonderland. (I'm not an expert on Alice in Wonderland but an internet search points to a scene in which Alice drinks from a bottle marked "Drink Me" and shrinks down in size small enough to fit through a door that she wanted to enter, and so it doesn't seem to fit with the other meanings.)--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:11, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
So in light of the above, I think the phrase is an expression that doesn't literally mean either of the two options that you list above. But it could apply to either situation you describe. In the second case, I think it might imply that the person meant to enjoy being intoxicated and ended up having a bad experience from drinking alcohol. That second one & your explanation of the context kind of (vaguely) reminds me of "he got up on the wrong side of bed."--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
If it's not meant literally, the only allusion I would understand would be Alice in Wonderland, meaning making the wrong choice, maybe in a situation where you can only guess which to choose. — kwami (talk) 22:50, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

"Knew an Arsenal from Tottenham blue"[edit]

I'm back with more possibly unanswerable questions about the Pogues and football clubs. Their song "Billy's Bones" opens with the following lines: "Billy ran around with the rare old crew / And he knew an Arsenal from Tottenham blue." I've puzzled over the meaning of this, and I wonder if it involves some Britishism that doesn't register with my American brain. Is it simply saying Billy could distinguish between Arsenal and Tottenham (and/or their colours)? If so, that doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment, though maybe this is intentionally an understatement, i.e., Billy was only that smart. If someone said that to you, how would you interpret it? Or would it just sound like gibberish? --BDD (talk) 23:32, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

No reference to back me up on this, but I suspect it's a play onthe common phrase "knowing your arse from your elbow" (i.e. having basic common sense - it occurs more commonly as "he doesn't know his arse from his elbow") and at the same time suggesting that Billy was involved in organised football hooliganism, as many of the football firms include the word "crew" in their name, and a fight with a policeman - which the verse goes on to describe - would fit with that. "A Tottenham blue" is not a standard phrase. Although Tottenham do have blue in their normal strip, they are not generally referred to as "the Blues" (unlike several other English sides). All the small number of Google hits for the specific phrase link to the Pogues lyrics (or somebody apparently quoting them). Valiantis (talk) 00:25, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Just to add - and I might be reading to much into this - but as the rest of the song recounts Billy becoming a soldier and serving in the Middle East, "arsenal" is an appropriate name to pick and Tottenham, as well as being Arsenal's traditional local rivals, supposedly have a significant Jewish fanbase - see Tottenham Hotspur F.C.#Support. Valiantis (talk) 00:34, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe it is just as simple as the fact that Arsenal and Tottenham are arch rivals, according to the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. article ("The club has a long-standing rivalry with near neighbours Arsenal..."), and the fact that "blue" rhymes with "crew."--Dreamahighway (talk) 16:59, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't believe anything an Arsenal supporter said, myself possible coi. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 17:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Before doing too much analysis of song lyrics, it's wise to be sure that the transcription is correct. Internet lyric sites often contain errors. My feeling is that the first line is more likely to be "Billy ran around with a rare old crew", but this is fairly trivial. While it seems that the second line does refer to Arsenal and Tottenham, I can't hear the word "from" and can't verify that the last word is "blue" either. Did you get the lyrics from a reliable source? (talk) 20:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I think so. It can certainly be hard to understand Shane MacGowan; in that first line, it certainly could be "a rare old crew," though I'm not sure how much that one would affect the meaning. The others sound right to me. My source was this page. I don't think it's updated anymore, and there's some of what we would call original research, but it's generally good research regarding allusions in Pogues songs. In this case, though, it just says "The Arsenal Gunners [sic] and Tottenham Hotspur are archrival English football (soccer) clubs," so that's not very helpful. --BDD (talk) 21:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I found another recording which is slightly easier to hear [31], and it seems to me as if he says "he knew an Arsenal and Tottenham ...". Not really sure what difference that would make. Of course, there's no guarantee that he sang exactly the same lyric each time. The last word does sound a bit more like "blue" in this one, but I wouldn't want to swear to it. Also, the colour usually associated with Arsenal is red, not blue, which is a bit odd. (talk) 23:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 15[edit]


Wondtacular is a word I came across but failed to find in any dictionary. I suspect it is an adjective, a blend of wonderful and spectacular. Am I right? Thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Haven't seen that one before, but I'm sure a ginormous number of Portmanteaus have been coined over the years. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't exactly flow off the lips, so it fails the test of being spectacular. In other words, if searching for a new word to coin, it's a rather benign choice, but it's not a testacular answer. StuRat (talk) 05:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It seems fairly cromulent to me. RomanSpa (talk) 05:58, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't surprise me that it's failed to catch on, since it sounds rather awkward... AnonMoos (talk) 02:58, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Someone has added the word to Urban Dictionary (where anyone can add anything they've just made up), and it appears on Youtube, but that's not enough to justify an entry in Wiktionary. If it catches on and gets used in print, it will gain dictionary status, meanwhile, it is just a protologism. Dbfirs 06:00, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It's too wonkytitious for my taste. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It violates expected English phonology. There's no native -dt- sequence in English. μηδείς (talk) 22:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It also has an unfortunate garden-path quality, in that unless you know the intended meaning, it's natural to try pronouncing the first syllable like 'wand' rather than like 'wund'. AlexTiefling (talk) 22:19, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

Correct preposition: account ... a website[edit]

The usage of prepositions in this context is a little complicated. While in most cases any content seems to on a website, the usage for account is more inconsistent.
"account in/to/on/for/at this website" have all several million hits (in decreasing order). Which preposition(s) is/are considered correct? --KnightMove (talk) 08:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

"Account in/on/at this website" have one meaning which is different than the meaning of "account for this website" (not sure what "account to this website" would mean)... AnonMoos (talk) 08:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
So... what does for mean here? --KnightMove (talk) 08:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Presumably an account giving access to the website. Marco polo (talk) 14:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
In phrases with "account for", "account" is much more likely to be a verb than a noun, the phrasal verb "account for" having a meaning much like "explain"... AnonMoos (talk) 16:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"account to this website" may be Global English in the sense of "key to this door". --Pxos (talk) 15:30, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Is Global English a term covering versions of English that native speakers would consider incorrect? Marco polo (talk) 19:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. That was my intention. English = "car keys"; Finnish/Spanish/Italian translated into English becoming Globish = "keys of the car". Easy to understand, frowned upon by the lucky few who happen to speak English as their mother tongue. --Pxos (talk) 20:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I've come across some extremely strange websites in my travels, and I find myself asking "What could account for this website?". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
So, is there consensus that at, on and in can be used interchangeably in this case?
About the "for": Well, there are even some commercial or scientific websites using this expression, from international organizations which at least have many English-speaking officials:
Is this still wrong, and those entities neglect proofreading? --KnightMove (talk) 12:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Keys and the car[edit]

Actually, would "keys of the car" be incorrect among the natives or just odd? --Pxos (talk) 14:54, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Just odd, I'd say, though it would depend on the context. Lesgles (talk) 16:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The car rental agreements in Europe sometimes seem to contain phrases like "you must keep the keys of the car (under your pillow)...". --Pxos (talk) 16:56, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Proper grammar question[edit]

Which sentence is grammatically correct (note possessive at end)?

  1. Nick drives to the home of his cousin and her husband, Tom, a college acquaintance of Nick's.
  2. Nick drives to the home of his cousin and her husband, Tom, a college acquaintance of Nick.

Is it 1 or 2 (or both)? Jason Quinn (talk) 13:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

The second has the correct use of the possessive. Possessive takes either of two forms: "FOO of Nick" or "Nick's FOO". The construction that combines the two, "FOO of Nick's", is common enough in spoken English, but it is not standard grammar. --Jayron32 13:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not so sure of that. See English possessive#Double genitive: Some writers regard this as a questionable usage,[6] although it has a history in careful English. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 13:18, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Jack is right. The usual argument is that we idiomatically use possessive pronouns in such constructions ("a college acquaintance of mine", "a college acquaintance of yours"), so it's consistent to use the possessive Nick's in the OP's sentence. Deor (talk) 13:57, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
This is probably a vestige of the genitive. When the possessive ceased to perform all of the functions of the genitive, of would have been inserted before the genitive form because it no longer sounded right to say "... a friend Nick's". Marco polo (talk) 14:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"A friend of Nick's" is perfectly cromulent, and means "one of Nick's friends", while a "fried of Nick" may also be a friend of Bob and Mary. No one complains that phrase has two genitives. We had this discussion a year ago, and there's a term for the "of Nick's" construction, although I don't remember it. μηδείς (talk) 22:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, everybody. Jason Quinn (talk) 12:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Similar root words, similar meanings...[edit]

Are there subtle differences among these words, or can they be used interchangeably in most cases?

  • tolerance vs. toleration (as in "Emma is lactose-tolerant" or "Some people are sick and tired of the government's toleration of the bigger and more dangerous foods that are falling out of the sky, as if there is no problem at all, even though the streets are cluttered, the roofs are leaking orange juice, and the tomato tornado is making everyone sneeze.")
  • causation vs. causality (as in "correlation is not causation" or "causality in physics")

Note how the words are all used in a similar fashion. Same part of speech. Same root word. Similar spelling. Under what circumstances would there be exceptions? (talk) 14:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

According to this source, toleration isn't used is scientific contexts (e.g., you wouldn't say "Emma's lactose toleration has improved since she began the new medication," you would use "tolerance" instead). The source goes on to say that both nouns can be used to describe acceptance of others' beliefs/behaviors, but that "toleration" implies a more reluctant acceptance.--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, causation and causality are used interchangeably.--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Pakistan Post motto[edit]

On Pakistan_Post, if its motto is indeed "serving everyone, everyday, everywhere" (I can't read Arabic to tell), shouldn't "everyday" be spelt "every day"? cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 17:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes - IMHO, "everyday" can only be used as an adjective (e.g. "an everyday event"), though I realize I'm fighting a lost cause here. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I'm not alone - I see Wiktionary describes it as a "Common misspelling of every day. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I'd say it should be every day. Pedants of the world unite! — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
We should note, of course, that it's not in Arabic, it's (probably) in Urdu. Adam Bishop (talk) 08:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


This is not a big deal ... it is only a very small quibble in an article, but for my own interest I would like to hear other people's opinions about whether the word "preclude" -- or, in fact, the whole phrase "To preclude making ..." -- is exactly correctly used in the following sentence:

To preclude making any military threat Wilson made only minimal preparations for war and kept the army on its small peacetime basis despite increasing demands for preparedness. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Looks like a perfectly appropriate use. "Preclude" means to make something impossible. In this sentence, Wilson makes a military threat impossible by limiting the size of the army. - EronTalk 19:26, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
(That said, some might quibble over "preclude making any military threat" vs. "preclude any military threat". Is he making a military threat impossible, or making it impossible to make a military threat?) - EronTalk 19:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I think that one of the issues -- not sure whether it's the only one -- is the "danglingness" of the participle "making". (talk) 19:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That could be addressed by deleting "making" from the sentence. Looking at the whole thing in context, I don't see the sentence as particularly problematic. I suppose it could be made a bit more clear as to whom is being precluded from making threats, perhaps "to preclude any military threat from the United States, Wilson..." - EronTalk 19:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No, the purpose of the word "making" is to prevent you from reading it that way. The sentence says he kept the army small so that the US would not make (i.e. be seen as making) any military threats. And it's not a dangling participle; it's a gerund, as in "making the meaning clear is what the word is there for". -- (talk) 21:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
You're right, I muddled up my terminology, but the point remains that the subject of "making" is unclear. (talk) 23:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's key, it's not the avoidance of an actual military threat he was after (in fact, he would have liked to make the military large enough to be an effective threat). He wanted to avoid the appearance of a threat. It could be worded better: "Wilson made only minimal preparations for war and kept the army on its small peacetime basis, despite increasing demands for preparedness, to avoid a threatening posture." StuRat (talk) 23:43, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That's better. I was thinking I would not have used the word 'preclude' in the original sentence, but wasn't sure what my alternative would be. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Transliterating names[edit]

Hi, all-

I'm wondering if there's a term for a particular aspect of transliteration; namely, the transliteration of given names, and the odd changes that often ensue while changing them from one language to another. For example, I've always been intrigued as to how the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ entered English variously as Joshua and Jesus, both by way of the Greek Ἰησοῦς, which (apparently as Greeks were wont to do) saw fit to add a sigma where the original language didn't call for it. And I'm sure this happens in other languages as well. Is there a name for this phenomenon? Perhaps not the practice of transliterating names generally, but changes of that sort? Evan (talk|contribs) 22:18, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Maybe not quite the same thing, but the Russian names Александр, Алексей, Максим and Оксана should be romanised as Aleksandr, Aleksey, Maksim and Oksana respectively, but tend to become Alexander, Alexei, Maxim and Oxana. This is more a respelling of -ks- as -x- rather than introducing uncalled for letters per se, but to my mind it's as inappropriate as respelling 'flatulence' as 'phlatulence', or 'Canada' as 'Kanada', just because we could.
Then there are oddities like Tchaikovsky. In Russian it's Чайковский, which romanizes to Chaykovskiy. The Germans write Tschaikowsky, which accords with their orthographic conventions (the /ch/ sound is always 'tsch'). We anglophones could at least go for Chaikovsky. But somewhere along the way a T was introduced, and so we have an initial 'Tch-', which fits with no language known to me. There's also Tcherepnin and a few others. We even used to see Tchekhov, but Chekhov has finally won the day. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Did I catch you making a mistake? --Jayron32 10:59, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, yes. How exciting for you! (See AnonMoos's elucidation below; but note I was referring to "initial 'Tch-'", not just any old -tch- . I'm sure a tcharming tchap like you can appreciate the point.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, next time we're in New Orleans together, we'll head down to Tchoupitoulas Street and buy some tchotchkes at a little gift shop. Maybe then we'll head down to the gym and play a game of tchoukball. Maybe go fishing in the Tchefuncte River while we're there. --Jayron32 01:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I can't wait to see all those lovely reminders of Merrie Englande and its quaint little language. When is my flight leaving? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:19, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Jack of Oz -- "tch" = [tʃ] fits with French orthographic conventions. And "Alexandr" is often preferred to "Aleksander" because it's obviously derived from the Greek name. One cumbersome convention in German is that [dʒ] has to be spelled as "dsch" (Dschungel is German for jungle)... AnonMoos (talk) 03:13, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Evanh2008 -- Late Biblical Hebrew yēšūʕ became Hellenistic Greek iēsūs because ancient Greek didn't have a semiconsonantal "y" sound as a phoneme (at most only an allophone), didn't have a contrast between "s" and "sh" sounds, and didn't have any pharyngeal consonants. As for the "-s" added at the end, that was necessary if the name were to be declined in Greek (i.e. have distinct case forms for at least nominative, accusative, and oblique). Some Biblical Hebrew names were borrowed into Greek as indeclinables, but that gave them a somewhat exotic or alien feeling in Greek, which was more suitable for place names, or names of minor characters, not names of important figures. So iēsūs was about as close as Greek could realistically come to yēšūʕ... AnonMoos (talk) 03:22, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • It's also important to note that names themselves are not immune from the process of linguistic evolution. Words and sounds change and vary over time and place constantly, and always have, and always will. Names are not immune. Another example of a name undergoing what (appears at first) to be stark changes is the Jacob --> James transition. See James (name) for a rather simple history of those transitions. --Jayron32 11:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
We still haven't found a specific term, but I think this falls into the category of naturalization. Compare Latvian, in which foreign names are almost always rendered in the Latvian alphabet, with Latvian case endings: Baraks Obama, Džordžs V. Bušs, Hilarija Klintone, Pēteris Čaikovskis. Lesgles (talk) 16:33, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
By the way, Joshua did not enter English by way of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. It was based on the Hebrew original, as presented by the translators of the King James version of the Bible. Marco polo (talk) 15:44, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

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 [32] 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)
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)

"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)

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: [33]. 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 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)

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)

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 terms? ---Sluzzelin talk 15:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)


April 14[edit]

Warm-up comedians[edit]

Late night talk shows here in the US such as those starring David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Fallon often have warm-up comedians that come out before the show starts taping to get the audience excited and laughing before the star comes out. (I think sitcoms have them too but I'm less sure about that.) I'm wondering about the profession though. Are these comedians hired for X number of weeks/months/etc? Or do they take the job until their own career starts to take off and they leave the show? Or do they get on with one show and stay there for years as the entirety of their career? I'm guessing that it's not the same for everyone of these people but just in general, what happens?

And before this gets hatted, no I am not, nor am I thinking of becoming, a comedian, warm-up or otherwise. Therefore this isn't a financial question. Nor is it by any stretch of a reasonable imagination a medical question. Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 07:57, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

You make find this article helpful. Hotclaws (talk) 09:26, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
We do have an article for Warm-up comedian, but I also saw this article which seems to suggest the same comic will often do a particular show for a long time, e.g. "Kelly, who has been with "The View" for six years...". It also gets into whether it's a help or a hindrance to comics' careers (answer: it varies). --— Rhododendrites talk |  19:23, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

What is the significance of St James Secret Garden Secret Map Block Puzzle by Cornelia Sand[edit]

I have a St James Secret Garden Block Puzzle. It is a set of 12 wooden blocks in a wooden box. Each block has different parts of a scene around some or all of the sides which form a Secret Map when all are turned the right way. One block is stamped on a blank side, "Opening Night April 25, 1991 St James Theatre." The box is also marked inside, "Designed and Produced by Cordelia Sand." I know that Secret Garden was a story that was turned into a musical which opened at St. James Theatre on 4/25/91 but can't seem to find information on where the blocks came from, who is Cordelia Sand, what is the significance of the blocks i.e. Were they give-aways on opening night or were they special presentation blocs or were they perhaps a commercial product and are they worth anything. Can you help please?

The local for this question would be New York City.

I found this which mentions another give away [34] Maybe the New York Magazine or the theatre itself might know more. Hotclaws (talk) 09:36, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

≈≈≈≈ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thejerryg (talkcontribs) 08:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Charlie Chaplin, working on his film music with Kurt Weill and someone else (Schoenberg?)??[edit]

I don't remember where I heard that anecdote, but apparently some of Charlie Chaplin's own film scores were realized this way: Charlie Chaplin would whistle his melodies to Kurt Weill, who would notate them, then they would bring that piano score to Arnold Schoenberg (I'm not sure about him), who would write the arrangements.
The only movies that fit the timeframe of the latter two living in the US are "Modern Times", "The Great Dictator", and Monsieur Verdoux".
However, Schoenberg was in Los Angeles, and Weill in New York, so this whole thing doesn't really add up. Can someone resolve the mystery? And/or, perhaps, provide the origin of this (true or false) anecdote)? -- megA (talk) 20:03, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I have David Robinson's unread book Chaplin: His Life and Art on my shelves. I consulted the index, but there's no mention of either Weill or Schoenberg. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:27, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
This talks about Chaplin whistling tunes to people such as Hanns Eisler and Georg Kreisler, who would then write them down and orchestrate them. Robinson does mention Eisler, but nothing about this.
This tells me he was friendly with Schoenberg. I can't find any evidence he ever even met Kurt Weill. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:42, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Mickey Mantle autographed baseball[edit]

Any idea of how much that would be worth? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:05, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

It all depends, but they go from hundreds up to $16K at least. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:32, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Wow, that's quite a variation of prices on that page. Any idea as to why? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:45, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Several things factor into the price of something like that: A) condition of the signature, B) condition of the ball, C) significance of the ball (home run ball, etc). Dismas|(talk) 00:28, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
One would hope that confirmation of authenticity would figure into it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:56, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I hope you don't doubt it's authenticity solely based on the signature being misspelled, in crayon, with every letter a different color, and actually on a tennis ball.  :-) StuRat (talk) 05:09, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Mantle, Schmantle. I can let you have a genuine, 110% authentic Joe Schlabotnik for peanuts. Clarityfiend (talk) 06:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:36, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

April 15[edit]

"God bless the child that's got his own" what ?[edit]

Money ?

This Billie Holiday song is old enough that the lyrics must be public domain by now:

"God Bless The Child"

Them that's got shall have,
Them that's not shall lose,
So the Bible says and it still is news,
Mama may have, Papa may have,
But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own.

Thanks, StuRat (talk) 01:43, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Faith, my child! The Parable of the talents or minas, Matthew 25:29. OttawaAC (talk) 02:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Is it older than Steamboat Willie? —Tamfang (talk) 04:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
The song was written in 1939 so it is almost certainly not in the public domain. Rmhermen (talk) 06:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Stu, did you read the article's subsection "Origin and interpretation"? (I'm asking because you didn't link to the article, but to a disambiguation page). ---Sluzzelin talk 09:43, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and that section, along with the rest of the lyrics, is why I suspect it's talking about money. But I don't quite understand how a child is supposed to have his own money, unless we are talking about an adult offspring, or at least a teenager, capable of earning a living. Does she mean an inherited trust fund ? StuRat (talk) 14:20, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
As far as I can figure (I'm not an expert on American vernacular), she's referring to an adult as "child", something a lot of blues songs do (such as "Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier) by The Five Steps, or Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix.). The song is about people fighting about money... "rich relations give crust of bread and such"... but also about having your own faith, strength, and making the most of whatever gifts you have...I guess. That's how I interpret it. I think the parable allusion would've been a lot more clear to people back in the day.OttawaAC (talk) 18:36, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Aye. Not just a blues thing, but a Christianity thing. We are (allegedly) all God's children. He blesses some with self-sufficiency (sounds a bit contradictory, I know). There are only two main classes (rich/poor, have/have-not, 99%/1%), if you rely on an economic system for happiness. God bless Option C. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:05, April 18, 2014 (UTC)
Fun Fact: "Heaven is a Place on Earth" is basically "Living on a Prayer". Bear witness. Both artists also heavily call adults "baby". InedibleHulk (talk) 01:24, April 18, 2014 (UTC)
I love this song. Reviewing the lyrics all together (and hearing Billie Holiday singing them in my head), I think it's about forced self-reliance. Compare to the lyrics of "Nobody knows you when you're down and out" and Gillian Welch's version of "Make me a pallet on your floor." If I recall the biblical allusions correctly, they are about God giving more to people who have the courage to use what they have productively instead of hoarding it. A sort of bittersweet message about the pain of becoming independent?--Dreamahighway (talk) 19:27, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Miley Cyrus[edit]

Has Miley Cyrus ever mentioned or been interviewed on why she completely alters her image - short hair, scanty clothing, almost nude, tongue sticking out? (talk) 18:14, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Don't know if she's admitted it, but constantly changing your image is important to a celebrity to keep getting free publicity from the media. "The only bad press is no press" is a quote about how even getting into trouble might be good for their career, if at least it means they get noticed. Compare this to all the different looks Madonna or Micheal Jackson had. Madonna had conical, metallic bras, men's suits, etc., while MJ had the one bejeweled glove, then skin bleaching, then traded in his man's Negro nose for a woman's Caucasian nose, etc. Heck, he was completely unrecognizable when he finished with it all. And those celebs made millions over decades. Miley is trying to do the same thing. (I'm not sure why this is more important for singers, perhaps TV and movie stars get enough publicity from their screen appearance that they don't need to resort to such extremes.)
Note that both Miley and MJ were also child stars. In that case, they often feel the need to "break out" of their earlier roles to avoid being typecast and limited in their careers. In MJ's case, his Thriller album got the job done, and people no longer thought of him as "the little kid from the Jackson 5" after that. Another example is Elizabeth Berkely from Saved by the Bell, who did a nude role in the film Showgirls to try to change her squeaky clean image. StuRat (talk) 20:25, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Here's three interviews. Your exact question is not asked, but there is some discussion of her image/look and past: [35] [36] [37]. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

A comedy movie: man is having a house built... it burns down...[edit]

Can anyone identify this movie ?

It was broadcast on British TV in the late 1970s.

The main character is a man having a house built by a team of builders.

Near the end of the film, a small fire breaks out - possibly caused by a carelessly-discarded cigarette. All attempts to fight the fire fail - they have no equipment and no water.

The man runs out of the building site, to get help.

He arrives at a small fire-station. But, there are no firemen - they are away on another call or the fire-station hasn't been commissioned yet ?
There is only one man in the fire-station - he may be the station's cleaner or accountant, or a new recruit on his first day at the job.

( This man *might* be quite camp: "ooooo, you need a fireman" and so on... )

After much misunderstanding and delay, this man says there's an antique fire-engine in the back. And, well, he works there, so it can't be all that difficult to handle...

They both get in to the fire-engine, and proceed to drive VERY badly, for several miles in every direction but the right one. Cue scenes of the fire-engine crashing through the gardens of a street of houses.

At one point, the fire-engine crashes through what might be a furniture shop, and comes out dragging a mattress behind it - with a man desperately clinging to it...

By the time the fire-engine arrives at the building site, it's too late to save the house from burning down.

Any ideas ? (talk) 10:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea, not recalling such an episode, but this sounds a lot like Some Mothers Do Ave Em. Let me check... (talk) 18:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I guess it could be the second episode, possibly. (talk) 19:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Nope - it's definitely NOT "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em"
The general look and feel required a much higher budget than a TV episode - much of the filming is outdoors, and NOT inside a studio. (talk) 21:24, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, a poor fit, but the Bless This House (film) has some building repair work, and the article hints at a final fire engine scene. You could look at these images [38] and see if it looks familiar? (talk) 23:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Nope - NOT "Bless This House"...
This was shown on British TV - but is likely to be an American movie...
Someone offline suggested it "sort of sounded a little like the sort of thing that would star Jerry Lewis" - but the list at Jerry Lewis performances doesn't contain anything that fits... (talk) 09:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

central division team wild card mlb vs. west divison[edit]

In 2006, Detroit Tigers won the wild card and faced the Yankees, who won the east division. If they did win the same title, is it possible that could have face the west division winner and their division champ counterpart was facing the Yankees? Yes or no, please as the answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

It looks like you are asking if two teams from the same division can meet in the divisional round of the playoffs (i.e. if the Wildcard team can meet the division champion from the same division in the divisional round). If that is the case, the answer is yes, under the current format they can, however under the previous format (in use from 1994-2011) they could not. See Major League Baseball postseason, which says "under the expanded wild card format the winner of the one-game wild card playoff faces the top-seeded divisional champion in the Division Series, regardless of whether the two teams are in the same division." (emphasis mine). Under the 1994-2011 system, the wildcard team could not play their own division winner in the first round. --Jayron32 17:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, no. I meant to say that for example, if Detroit Tigers won the wild card and faced Texas Ranger, the winner of West division in the ALDS and meanwhile Minnesota, winner of Central division was facing Yankees in the ALDS. Is that possible?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Sure, if the Rangers had the best record in the American League, and Minnesota and the Yankees won their divisions while the Tigers were the wild card, that is EXACTLY how the divisional round would play out. The Wildcard team plays the team with the best record, while the other two division winner play each other. --Jayron32 02:16, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
(ec)Under the current format, the wild card winner, i.e. the winner of the one-game tiebreaker, faces the team with the best won-lost record in the league. If Texas had the best record, Detroit would face them in an ALDS. If Minnesota had the best record, it would be Detroit vs. Minnesota. If the Yankees had the best record, it would be Detroit vs. New York. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Allusion to Mrs. Brown in U2 songs.[edit]

A friend is curious if anyone here can help explain the allusion to Mrs. Brown in various U2 songs, including "Shadows" and "Tall Trees". Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 21:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

This is one song titled "Shadows and Tall Trees' on the Boy album. According to this source "Mrs. Brown...was in fact Mrs. Byrne, Iris Hewson's best friend and near neighbour..." Iris Hewson is Bono's mother.--Dreamahighway (talk) 21:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
All I know is she's got pretty offspring. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, User:Dreamahighway, I assume we can take that as conclusive. μηδείς (talk) 03:24, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


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.[39] 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 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)

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.[40]
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)

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)


April 13[edit]

Narrow English country roads[edit]

How does one pass other vehicles on little roads like this one? I'm talking the guy going the other direction, not overtaking a slower driver. Street View is present at the nearest intersections in both directions; I saw no signs prohibiting entry in either direction, and the signs basically saying "X this way" appear at both ends — it's not a one-lane road. I've been on similarly narrow roads here in the USA, but those ones had grassy areas on either side, so you could go off the edge if necessary — quite different from this English road, with the trees on the left and the posts in the ground on the right. Nyttend (talk) 03:26, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

That example looks relatively easy to negotiate. Those wooden posts are not common but there is an obvious pull-over place on the right, opposite which you would wait until the approaching vehicle reaches you. Good straight road also offers a long view. It requires cooperation with the vehicle approaching you and the distance between the two vehicles when they first sight each other. It is very likely that there will be a point in the road where one of you can pull over and allow the other through. Having spent 5 decades driving on roads like this (but not exclusively on roads like this) difficulties in passing are rare. I did once meet an agricultural tractor on a similar road with banks on each side which required me to reverse about a quarter of a mile to a passing point, but only once. Essentially it is about judging who is closest to a pass point, a subtlety that I would find hard to explain here but it works. Sometimes the cooperation goes overboard and you may find yourselves both flashing your lights inviting the other driver through. Of course one does occasionally meet with pigheads who insist on pushing through and forcing a back-up, but into every life a little rain must fall and it is forever comforting to know you are not a pighead. It is a very minor issue that does not normally detract from countryside driving. Richard Avery (talk) 07:07, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
As Richard says, this stretch presents no problem - no-one would object if you pulled in to the property entrance on the left to let someone pass from the opposite direction. Most country roads in many parts of Britain - especially in places like Devon (random example here) - have much less visibility than the road you indicate, by having much tighter bends and much higher hedge banks (and deeper ditches) at the side. The advice is to drive under the working assumption that there is someone coming in the opposite direction who you can't yet see (and who can't see you), and be prepared to reverse to allow them to pass. Night driving is often easier on these roads, because you can see the light of a vehicle coming towards you. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:06, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree with all the above. Occasionally, you get a rude bastard (nearly always driving a Mercedes or BMW for some reason) who wants to try to force their way through, but most drivers approach the problem with the ethic that you let the other driver through unless it's clearly a lot easier for him/her to let you pass. A quick flash of the headlights indicates that you are giving way to the other vehicle - it's not in the Highway Code but it works and everybody knows what it means. Sometimes we can be TOO polite and you get a "You first" / "No, you first" situation until somebody backs down and accepts the right of way. It's not just country roads either, you get the same situation in town where Victorian terraced housing has no off-road parking facility - everybody parks outside their house leaving room for only a single track in the middle of the road. This is my old street in east London. Alansplodge (talk) 10:22, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Some of those cars would be ticketed for parking against the flow of traffic where I live. Rmhermen (talk) 12:44, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
It's technically an offence in the UK to park in the wrong direction, but I've never heard of anybody being prosecuted for it and nobody gives it much thought, in London anyway. Alansplodge (talk) 20:06, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
How very interesting and how very much I agree with Gmyrtle above especially with his link to the road in Devon. My wife and I recently drove from Buckfastleigh Abbey to Chelston along such a road and it was bloody terrifying. We did all the right things such as driving slowly, keeping as far to the left as possible, sounding our horn on blind bends etc., etc. And still we encountered road hogs approaching us at speed, in the centre of the road, having taken no precautions as had we, and yes, they insisted on having us reverse to a wide enough passing point, and yes, they were usually driving BMW's and Mercedes. (talk) 10:54, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
And a reference for that: The Daily Telegraph, 12 Oct 2010 - BMW drivers were yesterday named and shamed as Britain's angriest motorists. Alansplodge (talk) 12:42, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
On the really narrow roads in Cumbria, we seldom have the problem of drivers with posh cars, because they avoid the narrowest lanes, not wishing to scratch their shiny paintwork on the encroaching hedges. People who know the road are often willing to reverse the odd hundred yards to a passing place because they realise that this will be quicker than waiting for an inexperienced reverser to reach a nearer passing-place. Dbfirs 11:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I've experienced this in Wales. On a road with passing places with a drop one side and a cliff the other I had gone about 20 metres past a passing place when a land rover came round a bend. I thought "right, take it easy, sub walking pace and keep an eye on the wheels". Before I had started to move the other driver reversed back round the bend, then he went at about 10 mph. and another 80 metres or so to a passing place - all with a terrifying drop on one side! -- Q Chris (talk) 13:09, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Some of you are too much of a soft touch. In the past I have stood my ground and insisted they back up the 15 metres to the nearest passing place, rather than me backing up 200 metres. Yes, there are passing places; but they can be a couple of hundred metres apart. Like others have said, it takes some cooperation, some thinking ahead and predicting of behavoir. Astronaut (talk) 17:41, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
You sound like a real delight to deal with. Shadowjams (talk) 07:13, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

One point which hs not been mentioned is that when a road is both narrow and steep, the advice is that the car coming downhill should reverse rather than expect the one coming up hill to do so. This is because it is much easier to lose control of a vehicle reversing down a steep slope. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

The Highway Code says otherwise for hills, Rule 155 says "Single-track roads. These are only wide enough for one vehicle. They may have special passing places. If you see a vehicle coming towards you, or the driver behind wants to overtake, pull into a passing place on your left, or wait opposite a passing place on your right. Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can. If necessary, reverse until you reach a passing place to let the other vehicle pass. Slow down when passing pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders." DuncanHill (talk) 16:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I think you've misread the Highway Code there, Duncan: "Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can" is equivalent to "the car coming downhill should reverse rather than expect the one coming uphill to do so". (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 17:42, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I read the Highway Code correctly, but mis-read your original comment! My apologies. DuncanHill (talk) 17:47, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
The UK Highway Code is addressed to inexperienced drivers in a country where manual gearchanging is the norm, so Rule 155 may be intended to reduce the need for uphill starts, which are more difficult for learners than downhill starts. The Code offers other advice for new drivers, such as "It’s most dangerous driving at night - don’t drive between midnight and 6am unless it’s really necessary." Right-of-way on narrow roads is never a problem when driving my vehicle. (talk) 18:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Presumably because you can't get onto the narrow road in the first place... MChesterMC (talk) 12:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
The UK Highway code makes good sense for all drivers because the car coming downhill often has a better view of passing places and can simply pull into one to allow the uphill car to pass. This conserves fuel and reduces total CO2 emissions. Dbfirs 21:20, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
While vehicle codes in the United States vary somewhat state-by-state, as far as I know, "uphill drivers have the right-of-way" is the standard rule everywhere in America. I had always understood the reason to be that backing up uphill, while challenging, is not as dangerous as backing up downhill. --Trovatore (talk) 20:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

April 15[edit]

Everything about a game[edit]

I fancy a bit of a challenge, so I'm looking at the possibility of developing my own simple video game from scratch, including learning every part of the skills I'd need for it, providing the artwork, programming, design and other elements, and of course maintain a blog of my progress. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but never been able to because I lack the formal training in these fields. However, I'm thinking, why should that hold me back, if I want to go out and just research all of this, sure it might be difficult and take a long time, but it'll be worth it in the end. But as I say, I don't have any formal training in this, I don't even know all the things I'd need to learn in order to do this, never mind where I'd find out how to do them myself. So that's where I'm relying on you, if anyone can provide me with the complete list of everything I'd have to find a way of doing? (and perhaps a few helpful links to places around the internet where I can study) I'd need to know not only each part of any program I'd have to write, but also everything else that comes with the package, art work, music, and so on, and on, (hence why I thought this might be better here rather than the computer section)

Thank you, (talk) 21:10, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Rather than try to do it all at once, you might start with a text-only game first, then maybe add in some basic graphics, like with Flash video, and then add to that. The idea is to feel a sense of accomplishment at each stage, and that will help you to move on to the next level rather than give up. Also, a full feature video game may take many man-years to complete, even for people who already have all the needed skills, and I don't know if you want to commit that much time. StuRat (talk) 21:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Kongregate has a game making walkthrough. Rmhermen (talk) 21:53, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
GameMaker: Studio can be a useful place to start. There's a free version available, and masses of good tutorial material available on the web. HiLo48 (talk) 21:58, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Starting simple and building up seems like a good idea, a text based game would be a lot easier to start and to build on piece by piece (assuming I can come up with an idea that would work in that format). I even have previous experience learning C, though I wonder if that is still the appropriate programming language for this. I'd rather avoid using pre-made game making software, I get the impression that would effectively take a generic program and allow me to customise it, though I imagine they've developed a little more in complexity in recent years. Either way, I'd still prefer to learn the underlying skills, things that could be useful elsewhere, and give more of a sense of achievement. (talk) 22:31, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Your impression is wrong. Gamemaker (in which I have no commercial interest), lets you choose your own path. It also incorporates its own language, GML (not too unlike C), with which you can be very creative. It's free. have a look at the product and the support out there. HiLo48 (talk) 22:56, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree that GameMaker is a good place to start. Check out its parent company's website,, for examples of what it can do. It has a huge community of people willing to help. GameMaker was designed for use in teaching game design, and its drag and drop interface is super easy to use, but it also uses a scripting language that isn't far from ActionScript. After a little while of using it I found that I hardly used the drag and drop features at all. Recently GameMaker struck a deal with Sony, which is interesting, but I don't know all the details on that. (For another option, Multimedia Fusion is the other one that was recommended to me when I was at the same stage as the OP). --— Rhododendrites talk |  23:44, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
PS: Example games with WP articles: Spelunky, Nidhogg, Risk of Rain, Hyper Light Drifter, Super Crate Box, Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Hotline Miami, Mondo Medicals. The latter two are by Jonatan Söderström (aka Cactus), one of the more renowned designers who uses Game Maker for most of his projects -- his repertoire itself shows a pretty impressive range of genres, mechanics, and aesthetics. --— Rhododendrites talk |  23:46, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
For an entertaining text-only video game, look at Hunt the Wumpus. You could later add sounds (wumpus screams), then still pictures of the wumpus, then animation of the wumpus, background music, etc. You can, of course, come up with your own concept, but think ahead to how you can add additional game elements to it later. StuRat (talk) 06:00, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
This sounds like a good idea, whether I'm doing it through the GameMaker suggested above or any other method, though even if I am doing it step by step, I'm not sure I know what all those steps will involve. Sticking pictures and sound into the game sounds easy enough, for example, but I can't help thinking there's more to it than that. Is it really just as simple as- write program, create sound, create animation, import all three to software, stick them together? (talk) 13:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, you will have to have a way to display images or video and play sounds. If you aren't using something like GameMaker, which already provides these capabilities, and just using a general purpose language like C, then you will need to do a system call to do those things, or call a library which provides those capabilities, etc.
Also, we haven't mentioned this yet, but if you want to play the game with other people at other locations, then you need some way to communicate actions between your copy (instance) of the game and their copy. (If playing on the same copy on the same computer, you could either take turns, or, if you need to move together, use different keys for each person, but this presupposes the program can accept multiple keystrokes/mouse clicks at once.) StuRat (talk) 13:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
For the text-only version, there are also two approaches:
1) Command line interface. This is probably the easiest way to start, maybe using one letter for each possible command. It would look ike this:
What would you like to do ? (move North, East, West, South, Up, Down, fire Arrow, Help, or Quit)  
2) A text menu interface is the next step up from there:
| N = move North |
| E = move East  |
| W = move West  |
| S = move South |
| U = move Up    |
| D = move Down  |
|                |
| A = fire Arrow |
|                |
| H = Help menu  |
|                |
| Q = Quit       |
What would you like to do ? 
Note that the text menu requires a fixed-width font, where "I" is as wide as "W". Otherwise it looks ugly:
| N = move North.|
| E = move East..|
| W = move West..|
| S = move South.|
| U = move Up....|
| D = move Down..|
| A = fire Arrow.|
| H = Help menu..|
| Q = Quit.......|
Also, if your font's code page includes a line-drawing set, you can make the borders of the menu look nicer, without gaps between the characters. Typically an extended ASCII code (in the range 128-255) is needed to specify each line-drawing character. StuRat (talk) 13:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Alternatively, as much as my programmer heart hates to admit it, you could skip a lot of that technical stuff if your planned game relatively straight forward and isn't too far off the beaten path. The new unreal engine 4 is affordably priced, even for hobbyists, ($20/month plus 5% of your profits) and they've really put a lot of work into their completely visual scripting language where "code" is basically just a flow-chart that you can drag-and-drop.
There's other mostly non-coding paths you could go down too, but UE4 is probably the most "professional". APL (talk) 21:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Some alternative sources of learning not yet mentioned: I'd suggest becoming involved with a few reddits, e.g. /r/gamedev, /r/truegamedev, /r/roguelikedev, etc. Many people choose roguelike as a first game making experience, because the style has low overhead for graphics, but high complexity due to mechanics. Learning about procedural content will help you in a lot of areas, but is often used as a fast way to design levels. Good games can be created in as little as seven days, e.g. 7DRL [41], [42]. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is free and open source. It has graphical and console versions. If you're interested in that type of game, you could learn from reading the code. Other languages that might be useful: Lua_(programming_language) is very popular in indie gaming circles these days. But a lot depends on what genre or type of game you want to make. E.g. BulletML [43] is great, but only if you're making a shmup. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
What if I wanted to create a huge, complex real-time strategy game throughout multiple time periods, suitable to a wide array of possible play styles? (talk) 23:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
For multiple time periods, maybe you could have a time machine, and do a scavenger hunt in different time periods ? For example, you could look through an Egyptian pyramid for a cat sarcophagus. This would work out well, as you could have a viable game with just the first location/time completed, and then add new "episodes" as you complete them. If multiple people were working on it, each could do their own episode, and thus work independently of the rest (except somebody would have to change the main menu to add in their episode). After the text part is completed, you could add in pics, first of the treasures themselves, then maybe of the rooms they search. You can also add complexity, like having them find a map to make their searching easier, or a flashlight/batteries, so they can see ahead of them and not fall into pits, or a sack, so they can carry more objects.
What did you mean by multiple play styles ? You could perhaps use arrow keys as an alternative to typing in N, S, E, W directions, if that's what you mean. But some languages need you to hit Enter to accept any input (old versions of Fortran, for example). Then there's using the mouse, which requires a language or library or system calls that support that. StuRat (talk) 17:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
To clarify something the OP asked above: it is never "that easy" to just "add graphics" or "add sound." As you get started with any graphical game you'll quickly realize the crazy things that can go wrong. For example, getting a character to jump up, then come back down. Set gravity? Figure out acceleration and how to change a sprite and send it in a certain direction? Ok, well when you come back down, how do you know what "the ground" is? When contacting another object on the screen, stop? When contacting another certain type of object, stop? Be prepared to get stuck on the bottoms and sides of platforms, then. What about the jumping animation? Is it the right number of frames? Do pixels go outside of the area your character normally takes up? Will one pixel get stuck in some other object? Will it prevent you from coming into contact with other objects? When moving your character, are you moving it according to the center pixel, top-left pixel, bottom-left pixel..? Does a baddie kill you if it steps into the rectangle containing your character or when it touches a certain colored pixel or when it touches a certain part of your character? When you switch screens, how do you remember where you were and ensure you don't get stuck on something? Sorry...I'm having a flashback :) Just trying to express that you shouldn't expect this to be easy unless you're just going to recreate something that already exists. It'll be frustrating at times, but worth it when you finally have a finished product that you can have someone else play. --— Rhododendrites talk |  23:47, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
To write a text game, you're best off using software built for that. TWINE is a good place to start as its interface has similarities to a wiki. For other options, see text adventure game as well as interactive fiction (to many people the former is just a genre of the latter). You can't just add graphics to a Twine game, though. You'll need to recreate it elsewhere. If you have story ideas, a text game might be ideal. If you're just looking to "get into game design," you may tire of text games and the amount of writing necessary to make something at all interesting. --— Rhododendrites talk |  23:48, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

Where is Gunnam Island?[edit]

In the 1955 book The wild flowers of Kuwait and Bahrain [44] mention is made of the "plants of Gunnam Island" collected by Sir Rupert Hay in 1940-50. Where is this island?--Melburnian (talk) 01:58, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

There's a town (or myeon) in Yeonggwang County named Gunnam. Not sure if it's an island, but Korea is a peninsula. Close enough for some people. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:21, April 16, 2014 (UTC)
It has a Flood Control Theme Park, which sounds fun. It may also suggest floods turned hills to islands, and needed to be controlled. With places like Duck Island, Water Spider Habitat and Typhoon Observatory (on Typhoon Road), sounds at least a bit wet. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:24, April 16, 2014 (UTC)
Thanks InedibleHulk, that's quite possibly the coolest Flood Control Theme Park I've ever seen :-) I'm assuming, however, that this particular Gunnam Island is likely to be the Middle East region.--Melburnian (talk) 07:33, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, wasn't a very confident guess, especially given the book title. But worth a swing. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:36, April 16, 2014 (UTC)
Probably Al Ghanam Island now in Oman of the Musandam Penisular, have a look at or MilborneOne (talk) 08:29, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that seems likely to be it.--Melburnian (talk) 01:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

victory ship Twin Falls Victory[edit]

was air force radio tech assigned to this ship on Inchon Korea Invasion.. we had a cook knife another and stopped entire convoy in middle of ocean to have doctor come over to tend the injured crewman. Om Board from Japan and departed at Inchon, Korea Just wondering what happened to that ship/ Art Weart, USAF Sgt telcom guy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

There's this article about the USNS Twin Falls --Dreamahighway (talk) 02:36, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Figure for human lifespan[edit]

Median age figures for 2001. See the articles: Ageing, Gerontology. (talk) 13:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I know that there is no real fixed age limit to a "normal human lifespan" and that there is no real way to measure it either. Like it's hard to determine when a person is supposed to die. So what is the traditional age given for the human lifespan? Personally, I would use either 60+ or 27+. I was thinking of age 60+ because 60 is the cut-off age defined by the United Nations as the beginning of old age. On the other hand, I was thinking of 27+ because loss of body mass, in fact, usually (but not always) begins at age 27, and 27 is also supposed to be the maximum age we are able to live to for our body size. But I'm not sure if there's a specific age cut-off used for statistical purposes. Ac05number1 (talk) 10:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

The traditional age, at least in Christian-influenced cultures, is 70; the Biblical "three-score and ten". Rojomoke (talk) 12:11, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That's Psalm 90 by the way.--Shantavira|feed me 15:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
According to the CDC, life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.7 in 2011. I'll keep looking for something more global. (I notice someone inserted a map of median ages worldwide, but I don't think that represents life expectancy -- I think it is the average age of living people in each region, not the average age at death.)--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
See List of countries by life expectancy: "Worldwide, the average life expectancy at birth was 71.0 years (68.5 years for males and 73.5 years for females) over the period 2010–2013 according to United Nations World Population Prospects 2012 Revision, and 70.7 years (68.2 years for males and 73.2 years for females) for 2009 according to The World Factbook." Not sure if this is what you want, I'm a little confused about what you mean by "traditional" and "statistical."--Dreamahighway (talk) 18:27, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  • There's a massive difference between life expectancy at birth and the average age at which adults die. Even in the most highly developed countries, infant mortality reduces life expectancy at birth by a measureable amount, and in places where many children die, the average adult will live many years beyond life expectancy at birth. Other factors are also relevant, such as the fact that males are more likely to be killed in warfare or in other types of physically risky situations. Old people in poor, war-torn countries may not live quite as long as old people in Japan, but once you're old enough that most people are living quiet lives (i.e. not doing much of anything that's intentionally risky), the gap between the two countries will be far less. Nyttend (talk) 02:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • That's quite true. Most major gains in life expectancy have NOT come from extending the age at which healthy adults die of "being old". There's actually been very little change at that end of the equation. Instead, most life expectancy changes have come from two things 1) preventing deaths from communicable childhood diseases by the use of vaccinations and 2) safe, clean, and medically supervised methods of childbirth. Prior to modern medicine, what killed most people before "being old" killed them was diseases they got in childhood (before they had a strong enough immune system to deal with them) or women dying in childbirth. In his book A Little Commonwealth, John Demos did a detailed demographic study of Plymouth Colony in the 17th century. If you were a man who lived into adulthood, OR if you were a woman who lived to menopause (and thus stopped having children) you basically could expect to live into your 70s pretty reliably. That hasn't changed much. So the "natural" human lifespan (whatever that means) seems to be basically that number; other studies, both formal and informal, basically confirm that. You can see at Life expectancy, there's a small section that looks at a study of members of the English aristocracy who were males who lived to at least 21. Excepting for the time period of the Black Death, the numbers for that specific subpopulation (varying from 64-71 years depending on the century) don't look that bad even compared to modern life. The aristocracy would have had every advantage possible (sanitation, relative isolation from others, good food, not-too-strenuous a lifestyle) and thus would have had the best advantage to live to whatever age "being old" kills you. And the numbers don't look too bad, even compared to modern life. --Jayron32 11:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Although "The number of centenarians in England and Wales has increased five-fold over the last 30 years, according to the Office for National Statistics" and that's despite today's centenarians surviving the Spanish Flu Pandemic and World War II. Alansplodge (talk) 21:23, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Time to steam cook my Easter ham[edit]

This year I want to try steaming a ham (for the first time). I have a rather large steamer (a stock pot with a metal steamer basket insert). I'm also an advocate of slow cooking, which allows the heat and flavors to distribute more evenly. The ham is 10 pounds, refrigerated, precooked and partially spiral sliced. I intend to spread out the slices and insert pineapple slices between them when I steam it. I realize I won't get any browning by this method, so may pop it in the oven at the end to brown it.

So, my question is, how long do I need to steam the ham, presumably at 212F/100C, at normal atmospheric pressure ? I've only found figures for steaming much smaller portions, in my web searches. I realize that this temperature is much lower than you would use to bake a ham in the oven, but the steam in the air should also carry the heat to the ham more quickly, right ? This ham is precooked, so I could get by with just warming it up, but would prefer to heat it enough to kill any bacteria. StuRat (talk) 17:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

This recipe suggests 6-8 hours on the "low" setting on your slow cooker, no added water needed. --Jayron32 18:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Unfortunately, that recipe doesn't specify the size of the ham or what temperature "low" is. StuRat (talk) 23:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Most slow cookers don't have temperature settings, just "low" and "high". This reference suggests the low settings tend to be around 200F. - EronTalk 23:36, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, good. I'm not sure what the point would be in setting the temperature higher than boiling, though. Wouldn't a non-pressurized cooking vessel stay at boiling temperature, as the water boils off ? So you'd just use more electricity, producing more heat and steam in the house, while not cooking it any faster. StuRat (talk) 13:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Behavior of water on a hot plate. Graph shows heat transfer (flux) v. temperature (in degrees Celsius) above TS, the saturation temperature of water, 100 °C (212 °F).
I thought you'd trained as a Chemical Engineer, Stu? [45] Maybe it was some other type of engineering. Regardless, boiling with more heat, giving a more vigorous boil, empirically cooks it faster. (talk) 15:11, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Mechanical Engineering, actually, although I've only worked as a computer programmer. That chart seems to show the best heat transfer is around 140C, if Ts is the boiling temp, and if I can read that nonlinear scale correctly. StuRat (talk) 15:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
That seems a reasonable conclusion. I hope this has helped. (talk) 17:17, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Yep, thanks so far. I'm a bit worried that if I leave it to steam overnight the water will run out. I wish I had a device to automatically add water when the level drops too low. StuRat (talk) 17:31, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
That would be one of the many benefits of a slow-cooker. I doubt leaving a steamer running overnight like that is safe, as it will indeed probably boil dry. Or maybe you need to embrace the joys of a pressure cooker, which magically produces meltingly soft meat in very little time? (the main mistake people make with pressure cookers is overcooking things). (talk) 22:04, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


I think my setup essentially is a large slow-cooker, as I do put a lid on it, and water vapor that condenses on the lid does fall back down into the pot, although some steam also escapes, due to the pressure. I'd still expect evaporation from a formal slow-cooker, as it can't be sealed, or the pressure would build up from the steam. I just can't find a slow-cooker large enough to cook a full sized ham or turkey, so that's why I use a stock pot with steamer basket instead (also using my gas stove is cheaper than electricity). A pressure-cooker seems dangerous, as it could explode, and inconvenient, since you can't open it up to add ingredients that need a different cooking time. And after the Boston Marathon Bombings, anyone who buys a pressure cooker here is a terrorism suspect. StuRat (talk) 16:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

No, you aren't a terror suspect for buying a pressure cooker. You can go down to Target right now and buy one and no one will care. And you can then make really good stews in like an hour or two. --Jayron32 02:19, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
An electric slow cooker can deliver lower heat than your hob, in a controlled way, and so can keep the food just hot enough to cook without boiling dry for many hours. It is assisted in this by the high heat capacity of the usually ceramic pot, and the well-fitting lid. I can leave mine on the low setting for 12 hours with no fears of boiling dry or burning. It is very cheap, much cheaper than running a gas hob, because it uses so little energy. My big one is big enough for any ham I've seen, although not for the turkey that would feed my family. But then, I've never wanted to boil or steam a turkey: I've also never felt that my turkey was dry or needed brining or whatever, so I accept American turkeys may just be different.
If you're an idiot, or use an old pressure cooker with a weight on top, then it is dangerous. If you're a normal person who uses a modern pressure cooker according to the instructions, it is perfectly safe. I have never needed to add ingredients part-way through, because it generally only needs to be heated for about 10-20 minutes to cook my stews perfectly. I can't say I've ever felt the need to keep adding ingredients throughout the main cooking stage of anything like that, and certainly haven't needed to when cooking a joint of meat. It "could explode" just like your car could. I assume you use sharp knives, even though those are dangerous and could cut your fingers off?
If your neighbourhood is so weird as to imagine any consumer who buys a pressure cooker is a terrorist, I had to wonder why they wouldn't have lynched the sellers of kitchen equipment? Honestly, these are odd objections. Your current set-up works, but is inefficient and cannot be safely left unattended. If you want to leave it alone while you sleep or leave the house, or you want to reduce your energy bills, you'll either need a slow cooker or a pressure cooker (the last not to be left unattended, but to drastically reduce cooking times so it never comes up). Better cooking through engineering. (talk) 20:33, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Are all pressure cookers designed in a way that they can't possibly explode ? Or can the pressure relief valve fail in an "always shut" position, allowing pressure to build up to a dangerous level ? I just had a power spike last week with voltage up around 140 volts for days (110-120V is normal range here), and I can easily imagine that resulting in more than the proper amount of heat.
As for adding ingredients at different times, my last stew included beans, which need to be cooked for hours, along with other ingredients that would turn to mush if cooked that long. StuRat (talk) 21:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: I did a test and left my stock pot (with steamer basket) on low heat for 13 hours, no problem. Less than 10% of the water evaporated. At that rate I could keep it on for some 5 days before it would run dry ! StuRat (talk) 10:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: I steamed my ham for 7 hours so far. It's rather dry and mealy, unfortunately. Apparently the fat melted off of it. I'm thinking I need to baste it with some type of oil. Any ideas ? StuRat (talk) 14:06, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

What is an "Easter ham"?[edit]

An obvious follow-up to the above question...

The question is written as if all readers are expected to know what an Easter ham is. I don't. I'm familiar with a custom of fish on Good Friday (and chocolate on the Sunday), but ham?

Is this a custom on which Wikipedia doesn't have an article? Who follows such a custom? HiLo48 (talk) 17:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

As far as I've been able to tell, this is an American custom. They have a ham instead of lamb (as in Britain, much of Europe, and many other places) or some other festive food. I can't really find any good references (there's a lot of the usual suspect sites, with a lack of references and attributing everything to Eostre as if we knew anything about her), but the general believable idea seems to generally be that sheep weren't really an important food-source in America, and pigs were; therefore, the Paschal Lamb became the Pascal Ham. (talk) 17:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ham is the traditional Easter Dinner dish served in America. I have no idea why or how it came to be, but like turkey is served on Thanksgiving and hot dogs are traditionally eaten at baseball games, ham is traditionally served for Sunday dinner on Easter. this site suggests that ham, as a preserved food, kept over the long winter, so was the available large cut of meat which most people had access to in the early spring, when Easter tends to fall. This site claims that the pig was a symbol of luck, though I am disinclined to believe that over the other, more practical, explanation. --Jayron32 17:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jayron. We do have an article on the Christmas ham, something with which I'm very familar. Should we have one on the Easter ham? ("Mmmmm, ham!") HiLo48 (talk) 18:00, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Not everyone in the States has ham for Easter. My family tradition (going back at least to the early 20th century) is lamb. Marco polo (talk) 19:16, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I remember going to an Easter service once, where the preacher was doing that lead-in thing that they do to get the crowd comfortable before they address the meaty topics (aside: I suppose it must have a technical name in homiletics? Anyone know?). He was talking about the meal that most of the parishioners would be having at their family homes, and said ham was fine, as long as you didn't know the reason for it, which he claimed was that Jews don't eat ham, so it was a symbol of not being like the Jews. (Aside: I expect the pig doesn't feel "ham is fine" even in that case.)
Anyone know whether there's anything to that claim? --Trovatore (talk) 19:24, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
From what I've been able to find online, ham is a US tradition mainly because it was the meat most widely available at this time of year in pre-refrigeration days. Sheep were historically not raised much in the early United States. (Pastures in much of the US don't hold up well to sheep grazing due to hot and sometimes dry summers.) The explanation that ham is a "Christian meat" looks like an attempt to give religious sanction to a practice that developed for other reasons. Marco polo (talk) 20:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I hope it was clear he said " long as you didn't know the reason for it". --Trovatore (talk) 20:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I've also found references to ham as a traditional food in some European countries as well, also based on the availability of ham in spring over any other meats. Some sources suggest that Easter tended to coincide with when the first hams from the fall slaughter were cured and ready to eat. - EronTalk 20:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I had assumed ham was traditional for a Byzantine Catholic Easter, as all my Rusyn and Polish relatives served it. But apparently Lamb was tradition if you could afford it. Ham was cheaper and preserved longer, since it usually lasts for most of a week. This website I can't link to, www.examiner dot com/article/how-to-put-together-a-traditional-carpatho-rusyn-easter-basket-for-the-blessing-of-the-easter-foods website] confirms my mother's explanation. Lamb shaped molds were created for the butter, and peppercorns wer used for its eyes. μηδείς (talk) 20:29, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
This website shows a traditional Easter basket taken to the church for blessing, with a Ham, and the priest's assertion Ham was traditional among Slavs. μηδείς (talk) 21:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That would explain my slavish devotion to the Easter ham. :-) StuRat (talk) 13:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Traditional Russian Easter fare includes kulich and paskha. The article makes no mention of it, but the Russians of my acquaintance eat kulich with ham. It's a slightly sweet bread, so that combo doesn't sound quite right, but it's delicious. Imagine eating a denser and yeastier panettone (minus the raisins etc) with ham and you're more or less in the gustatory ballpark. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

The tradition of eating lamb at Easter is symbolic, the Paschal Lamb eaten at the Last Supper "prefigured symbolically Christ, "the Lamb of God", who redeemed the world by the shedding of His blood".[46] Alansplodge (talk) 16:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, "the Ham of God" (Perna Dei?) doesn't quite have the ring of my old girlfriend Agnes Day. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:37, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
The thing about Easter is that it's a celebration of the coming of Spring, so you have lamb or chicken, both of which are at their prime in springtime. Ham is for Christmas, when you are confined to cured meats. DuncanHill (talk) 19:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In previous decades, the anthem at our church on Easter Sunday was always Worthy is the Lamb that was slain from Handel's Messiah. Returning home to a lovely roast leg of lamb, you didn't need to be a theologian to spot the connection. Alansplodge (talk) 21:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Handel also wrote "All we like sheep", so lamb seems ideal. HiLo48 (talk) 23:41, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
This thread deserves a standing ovation. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:46, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
On reflection, the lamb thing is probably just a remembrance of the Jewish connection to the lamb (e.g. their spreading of lamb's blood on the doorway to ward off the Egyptian plagues, remembered in the Passover), and the fact that Jews were forbidden from eating any pork products as being unclean. Jesus was, if nothing else, a Jew (their King, no less). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
If, on the contrary, anyone's interested in highly speculative but educated guessing on the significance of the pig, even to the Hebrews, which Robert Graves said they held sacred, and ate once a year, see his magnum opus, The White Goddess. μηδείς (talk) 04:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
(link fixed)

April 17[edit]


Can someone tell me what kind of code is this YnV0IGhpZ2ggc2hlIHNoT290cyB0aHJvdWdoIGFpciBhbmQgbGln, and how do i decode it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asff1123 (talkcontribs) 01:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

It's Base64 encoding, and I think the "T" should be a "b". --Carnildo (talk) 03:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
It's part of a quote from Thomas Moore's O That I Had Wings: "Where idle warblers roam; but high she shoots through air and light, Above all low delay, Where nothing earthly bounds her flight, Nor shadow dims her way."-Shantavira|feed me 09:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
although to be clear, the quoted string gives 'but high she shOots through air and lig' (emphasis and quotation marks added). 'YnV0IGhpZ2ggc2hlIHNob290cyB0aHJvdWdoIGFpciBhbmQgbGln' will give 'but high she shoots through air and lig' (emphasis and quotation marks added) hence why Carnildo suggested it may have been intended. Nil Einne (talk) 06:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

dividend distribution by mutual funds[edit]

How does a mutual fund distributes dividend. what is the source of income. Is it from the dividend earned from the investment in equities or the profit earned from trading in the share market. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

It's from dividends produced by the individual stocks. The profit from trading stocks is reflected in a change in the price of the mutual fund itself (less management fees, etc.). StuRat (talk) 13:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Not correct for the mutual funds I've had shares in (here in Canada). Capital gains from the fund trading the shares, as well as dividends earned by the shares, flow out to the mutual fund shareholders as dividend distributions. I have to report mutual-fund distributions on my income tax return, correctly categorized as Canadian dividends, non-Canadian (dividend) income, or capital gains—the mutual fund provides me the appropriate details on their tax information slip. However, these distributions can be implemented in two or more ways by different funds. One way is that you are told you now have more shares. Another way is that you are told that the value of the shares has increased. (Maybe it is also possible to take the distributions as a cash payout; I don't know.) But this is a choice made by the fund, not a function of what type of income is being distributed. Of course, the value of the mutual-fund shares can also change because the value of the stocks held by the fund changes, or because of those management fees. -- (talk) 04:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Profits flow to shareholders as capital gains contributions. See Mutual fund. RudolfRed (talk) 00:28, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Dividends are a small part of the income that mutual funds see. Shadowjams (talk) 04:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Will this setup water my plants?[edit]

A few hours before I'm set to go on a business trip for two weeks, I realize that I've set nothing up to take care of my three plants. With little other options, I've done the following:

1. Use a needle to punch a tiny hole in the lids of three plastic bottles. So the water comes out drip by drip. 2. Prop the plants up against my glass window, so they get sun. 3. Tape the bottles to the window so that their lids are in the soil.

Ideally, the water drips out slowly second by second, and this flow is enough to tide them over until I get back.

The instructions that came with the plant a very long time ago says that they only need to be watered once every three days, and they were fully watered today. I don't know their names, but they're just leafy greens. It's unlikely you guys will be able to reply before I have to leave in like one hour, but do you think this getup will keep the plants alive? (talk) 19:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

If you're really pressed for time, I would place the plants out of direct sunlight. It's all guesswork since we don't know the actual rate at which the water is seeping out of the bottles. But it's better than nothing. Even if the plants look crispy when you get back, you'll probably be able to trim them back and revive them. OttawaAC (talk) 20:49, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I found this. No warranties stated or implied, but maybe it's worth a shot. --Jayron32 01:15, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • To be safe, assume that all the water will drip out much more quickly than you expect. Make sure that if this happens you will not leave a puddle. You can stand the plants in the bathtub and leave the bathtub light on with an inch of water standing in the tub, although that will also drain unless you can really seal it unusually tight. (They'll do fine for two weeks without lots of light.) Otherwise, out of the sun like said, and make sure the heat will not run, at least not over 60F while you're gone. μηδείς (talk) 02:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree that the risk of water damage is more of a concern that dead plants. However, the kitchen sink might provide both drainage and light, if you have a window nearby, so I suggest that rather than the tub. You can use the inverted bottle method in the sink, possibly taping the bottle to the faucet. (You could also set the faucet to slowly drip, although you might get way too much water and drown the plant, and wherever the water drips you would want to put a rock, to prevent it from splashing mud out.) StuRat (talk) 16:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

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)
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)

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)

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)

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)

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)