Reference desk archive/July 2005

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Name of a synthetic material

Alright. I quit. What's the english name of the white foam-like material that comes in packages to protect the content from shocks? I'm talking about the solid molded things that hold the stuff in the box, they're made out of thousands of little spheres put together. What's the chemical and informal name for that material in the various forms english (if there's a difference)?

Here in Brazil it's called isopor. Check those images if necessary. Kieff | Talk 03:37, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

It's polystyrene :-) --HappyCamper 03:41, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Is this different from styrofoam? - Nunh-huh 03:43, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Happy Camper kind of beat me to it but what the article says about Styrofoam is more accurate about what Americans generally refer to the stuff as. The name Styrofoam is used almost exclusively by people not in the industry of making polystyrene. It's like Xerox instead of "copy machine" or Kleenex instead of "facial tissue". Dismas 03:47, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Strictly, it's "expanded polystyrene". It is not called Styrofoam (a trade name) in, say, Britain. Bovlb 05:42, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

Other than rigid Styrofoam, there's a similar packaging material that's white, pliable and has a smooth texture. How do we call that material? -- Toytoy 05:55, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Are you referring to the little white "S" shaped or sometimes semi-spherical polystrene bits that they just fill in around packaged items that go absolutely everywhere when you take the object out of its packaging? If so, those are also polystyrene/styrofoam. In the U.S. they are often referred to as "packing peanuts" or "packing popcorn" because of their resemblance to real peanuts or popcorn. Picture of what I'm describing here Dismas
I know these "peanuts". Sometimes, people form that material into sheets. It's also polystyrene. I want to know about the material's forming process and the sheet's tradename. -- Toytoy 06:40, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
If the sheets have cardboard on both surfaces, they're called Foamcore...see the PS article. I can't help you on the name of the process where little spheres are expanded and then sintered together, but it should go into the sintering article along with some notes on teflon.--Joel 6 July 2005 04:12 (UTC)
He's probably referring to polypropylene foam, which is also used as packing material. It sometimes has a resin identification code pressed into it, if it's molded into a specific shape rather than being cut from sheets. It's much, much less brittle than PS, which can justify the extra cost if a lot of rough handling is expected. As a side note, the grabby, rubbery foam that feels like a sofa cushion is elastomeric polyurethane (for very high-end packaging, like scientific instruments), and the hard foam in a bag with uneven bubbles is another type of polyurethane, often called expand-a-foam or something similar.--Joel 6 July 2005 04:12 (UTC)

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

This has always confused me. -- Natalinasmpf 03:58, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean? An African or European swallow? Zzyzx11 (Talk) 04:09, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • What? I don't know that! AAAAAAAaaaaarggghhh! Radiant_>|< 21:03, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
Forty-two miles per hour. DUH! Nickptar 04:50, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, about 24 miles per hour according to Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow (but I expect the OP already knew that). Gandalf61 08:52, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Coleco Emulator for Zaurus 5500?

I now have a Sharp Zaurus 5500, and a while back i had a neat idea for a pocket colecovision. The other day i thought, why not just get an emulator for my Zaurus? Does this handheld have enough power for this? Is there already an emulator for it, or would one have to be ported? --Phroziac (talk) 04:05, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm. As you presumably know, the Zaurus runs Linux. There is a Colecovision emulator for Linux available, but getting it to run with the Zaurus's display might be a challenge. Apparently, you can install X on your Zaurus, but it looks nontrivial to get working.
I don't think it'd be straightforward but there doesn't appear to be any fundamental barriers (certainly not processor performance, as the ARM should have more than enough grunt) to playing Colecovision games on your Zaurus. --Robert Merkel 04:04, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately X won't work on the 5500, if it did i would already have it :) I've used adamem on PC, but never could get it to compile on linux. And to cross compile for the ARM i need 100mb of development tools, and I'm on dialup. SVGA Lib is available also, which would help --Phroziac (talk) 28 June 2005 03:48 (UTC)

Las Vegas

I've got a question about Las Vegas, but not about the place (or places, if you count the one in New Mexico) itself. What does the word "vegas" mean in Spanish? It's obviously a plural noun, given the "las". I've also heard of a place called La Vega, which was a Spanish town in Jamaica prior to the British conquest. DO'Иeil 06:16, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

It actually says in the Las Vegas article. ¦ Reisio 13:20, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

Ya, I'd always heard it meant The Cactus, I think I first heard that in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Although, considering the forementioned movie, I was probably a bit out of sorts while watching it. I'll go along with The Meadows. Though I may look into this a bit deeper. BTW, I live in Las Vegas. 22:51, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You're correct it does mean "The Meadows". Cyprus 01:41, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC):
Vega (Spanish < Iberian vaica or baika "meadow" < Iberian ibai "river") means "meadow", i.e. a moist, fertile, grassy, lowland area. It is a near synonym of prado (Spanish < Latin pratum), which is more specifically a meadow used for hay production for farm animals. According to, there are seven towns and villages in Spain called Las Vegas and thirteen called La Vega, plus many that end in de las Vegas or de la Vega, particularly in the Basque country, which would perhaps support an Iberian origin for the word. — Chameleon 29 June 2005 18:15 (UTC)

Maps Containing Geographic Info Such as Provinces:


I am wondering if Wikipedia can supply me with maps of the various countries of Africa, especially Morocco, with maps showing the division of these countries into smaller geographic entities such as provinces and the cities withinin these smaller units? If you do not have these kind of maps in your database perhaps you could give me an idea where to go?

Many, many thanks for answering my question and for trying to help me.

Brad van Scriver

Just look up the regions in question, e.g. Morocco and see what information is there. — Chameleon 09:24, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You can also try image searches like these: morocco maghrib al maghrib
Official government sites (like also often have very good information.
Just be careful, there will always be good and bad information. ¦ Reisio 13:47, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

Lazy Sheep

I googled for a song called "O Lazy Sheep", the tune intended for the Bagme Bloma poem by JRRT (see Songs for the Philologists). The only thing I could find was this. If you know anything about it, please come to the Talk:Songs for the Philologists page. dab () 13:45, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Composer was Mantle Childe, a british pianist. Music after an old French air, published in Childe, M.: Child's play: nine little pieces for piano, Oxford University Press, 1947, which is for sale at a price of £1. A reprint is mentioned in this large PDF (search for "childe" in both of them). The link you gave already gives a 1986 fake book that should contain the score. According to the index of Fielding, Ch., Ibbs and Tillett: the rise and fall of a musical empire, ISBN 1-840-14290-1, the composer's full name was "George Mantle Childe". I also found another brief mention of the composer. That's all I was able to find on-line on either the song (which seems to be entitled "Lazy Sheep, pray tell why"; text from an old nursery rhyme) or the composer. Lupo 29 June 2005 08:34 (UTC)

Abbott Willtraud 1401/Corvey by Hoxter

Where can i look for the Abbott Willtraud 1401??

Little context? What is this? ¦ Reisio 17:57, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)
This is about the abbott Willtraud (that's his name) of the Abbey of Corvey (Corvey) in Höxter (Höxter), a city in northern Germany. This abbott is mentioned here. However, the list of abbotts of Corvey doesn't have any Willtraud or Wiltraud, but instead lists one "Wilbrand von Hallermund 1398-1408, †1436" as the abbott at that time. There seem to have existed at least two people with that name, one count who founded the monastery of Loccum in 1163, and then our abbott, who apparently also was bishop of Minden from 1406 - 1436. "Willtraud" or "Wiltraud" is the male form of the women's name "Wiltrud", both signify "the strong-minded". The abbey of Corvey was secularized in 1803 and is also known as "Castle Corvey". Lupo 30 June 2005 06:56 (UTC)
Unless the original poster is Edgar L. Dohmann himself, he or she could try asking him where he got his mention of this abbott Willtraud in 1401 from. Lupo 30 June 2005 07:07 (UTC)
Wiltraud is a female given name, it's just a variant of Wiltrud. So it's unlikely an abbott would have had that name. "Willtraud" is probably someone's misreading of "Wilbrand"; u is similar to n, and a b might be similar to lt. If you are not familiar with old handwriting, such a mistake is easy to make. --Chl 4 July 2005 02:10 (UTC)


Is there anyway of making the mousepad on my laptop faulty? Cos its really annoyin having the pad there cos whenever i touch it accidentally, it moves the cursor. I'm on windows 2000 if that helps --Expurgator t(c)

You want to disable your touchpad? Probably just open up Control Panel and fiddle with the preferences. ¦ Reisio 19:54, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)
In the control panel you should be able to adjust the sensitivity. Failing that, if you have a USB port, get yourself an optical mouse and use that instead (you should be able to completely disable the mousepad, also via control panel). An optical mouse will run quite happily on your thigh and in some ways, this action is superiror to using a dodgy pad.

Bright-line rule

I notice that in Kelo v. New London, the court mentioned that "Petitioners' proposal that the Court adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic." What is a "bright-line rule"? - Ta bu shi da yu 04:48, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You can visit Kelo v. New London. We already have such an article. 大魚先生, nice to see you.
bright-line rule: straight forward, black & white, easy to make a decision:
Nothing is easier to apply than a bright-line rule. Just plug in the facts and out comes the conclusion. No muss, no fuss.[1] (Timothy P. O'Neill)
Sorry, I have to go. More to come. -- Toytoy 04:58, Jun 27, 2005 (UTC)

tudo sobre a eurasia

This apparently means "everything on the eurasia" in Portuguese language. pt:Eurasia doesn't exist, though pt:Europa and pt:Ásia do. Dunc| 28 June 2005 16:59 (UTC)

pt:Eurásia exists. - 28 June 2005 18:07 (UTC) (are the section edit links broken?)

Anti-nuclear Anti-virus

Please can you give me more information about Anti-nuclear Anti-virus disease. My sister is 24 and just lost her 4 baby during her pregnancy. If it's possible can you give me more information about this disease. And explain it so that a person like me can understand it

Thank you Lizelle van Heerden

Are you referring to anti-nuclear antibodies and the disorders related to them? ¦ Reisio 2005 June 28 20:33 (UTC)

Estimating distance of lightning from me.

I remember, as a child, being told to count in seconds - after seeing lightning - until I heard the thunder. I was told that each second counted meant the lightning was that many miles away.

However, light - as we know - travels bloomin' fast. Sound travels at around 330 m/s. A mile is about 1600m (here in the UK).

So, 1600m / 330 m/s = 5 (rounded to nearest full number).

So, if I count 5 seconds, does that mean the lightning is around a mile away?

Or is any kind of "I've seen the lightning, and now I'll start counting" method of estimating the distance completely futile due to other factors?

--bodnotbod June 28, 2005 18:57 (UTC)

For what I understand, taking speed of sound as 1000 ft/s is reasonably accurate. Just don't try it on top of a mountain. You probably wouldn't get to 'one' before your heart stopped from the strike anyway. -- Cyrius| 28 June 2005 19:26 (UTC
That's a good first-order approximation. I doubt the speed of sound is materially much affected by other factors; there's a possibility you're hearing it reflected, but I doubt you'd be in a position to hear the reflection but not the original crash. Shimgray 28 June 2005 19:27 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm on high ground compared to the surroundings so I shouldn't get much or any reflection. But now you've made me wonder... what could account for occasions when the sound of thunder seems to build slowly to a crescendo, as opposed to beginning loud and then decaying? I suppose it could just be different thunderclaps intermingling which I interpret as related. --bodnotbod June 28, 2005 19:35 (UTC)
I know exactly what you're describing, I've heard it enough to cringe slightly when I realize what's coming. The resulting bang seems to be quite loud compared to the average. If I had to guess, it's due to some weird refraction effect on the sound. Given that a lighting bolt is miles long (producing sound along its entire length), and that sound can be bent and reflected by atmosphere and terrain, you can get all kinds of strange arrangements of sound coming out of a thunderstorm. -- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 00:44 (UTC)

other origins of NO

whats the difference between nitrate and nitrite? And how does it affect the body?

See nitrate and nitrite for starters. Cheers, David Iberri | Talk June 28, 2005 20:57 (UTC)
Nitrite has an oxygen atom less than nitrate. For more info see articles as David suggested. - Mgm|(talk) June 28, 2005 21:16 (UTC)

Nitric oxide has become an extremely hot area of physiology and medical research in the last decade. NO is a vasodilator and an important regulator of blood vessel narrowing and relaxation, resulting in increasing and decreasing blood flow through various organs. See for example,

Annual Review of Physiology Vol. 67: 99-145 (Volume publication date March 2005) (doi:10.1146/annurev.physiol.67.060603.090918) CHEMICAL PHYSIOLOGY OF BLOOD FLOW REGULATION BY RED BLOOD CELLS: The Role of Nitric Oxide and S-Nitrosohemoglobin David J. Singel and ­Jonathan S. Stamler­ alteripse 28 June 2005 22:44 (UTC)

The ions nitrite and nitrate behave differently, especially when one deals with transition metal chemistry. The biological role of nitric oxide is interesting since it can complex with metal ions in some proteins, and hence modify their functioning behaviour. Understanding the chemistry of NO in the body arguably contributed to a billion dollar industry. For example, see the article on sildenafil citrate for details. --HappyCamper 29 June 2005 00:13 (UTC)

Gosh, are scientific documents always in ALLCAPS? It made me think there was an uncivil poster for a while there. -- Natalinasmpf 29 June 2005 02:36 (UTC) That citation happened to be as is and I just cut and pasted without retyping in lower case. Your ears must be pretty sensitive if it bothered you. Normally I speak softly. alteripse 29 June 2005 07:01 (UTC)


Does anybody know how Football (soccer) was started?

See our Football article. Dmn / Դմն 28 June 2005 23:51 (UTC)

edit links broken on this page

The side edit links by each heading on this page are broken, they're out by about two, somewhere. Can anyone fix it? Dunc| 28 June 2005 23:48 (UTC)

I fixed this already. Template:Rd header used <h2> instead of == for some odd reason, and that confused the hell out of the newer revision parser. -- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 00:32 (UTC)
I think it used the h2 header because that way, the first question listed would be numbered as 1. Right now, it's numbered as 3. --HappyCamper 29 June 2005 01:32 (UTC)
(As the one who originally inserted the <h2>) That's one reason I used <h2> instead of the equivalent wikimarkup. Another disadvantage of using == is that the "how to ask" and "how to answer" sections appear below the TOC when they should appear above it. Inserting __TOC__ could fix that, but then that wouldn't solve the numbering problem. So I've replaced the <h2>s with <big> and bold wikimarkup, which solves both problems pretty nicely IMO. --David Iberri | Talk June 29, 2005 04:17 (UTC)

A Wikipedia joke involving coffee rolls

A little bird has pointed out to me some sort of joke on Wikipedia involving coffee rolls. Could someone tell me what it is all about, and what makes it funny? Thanks :) --HappyCamper 28 June 2005 23:51 (UTC)

Image:Coffeeroll.png ? -- Toytoy June 29, 2005 12:55 (UTC)
Oh, I see...It's a reference to the colour of the templates! --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 14:51 (UTC)

Help identifying an incredibly large moth

Good morning/day/afternoon/evening ladies, gentleman, and et ceteras. This question, as one would guess from the headline, is directed at our resident biologists and/or, applicably, lepidopterists.

On more than one occasion some five or six summers ago I spotted the single largest moth I have ever seen. While I am not a lepidopterist, it was quite obvious that this animal was exceedingly large by any measurable standard. At the time, I was employed at a movie theatre in a mall in Rochester, New Hampshire. Due to the nature of the business, work would end usually around midnight. At least three times during this time period I spotted the aformentioned insect, simply lying on the ground with it's wings spread out (unlike the other more common moths hovering near the bright lights above the back parking lot).

Needless to say, the moth was instantly noticable, in part because it was so huge. Spread out, imagine a triangle with a hypotonuse of six to eight inches. The creature, whatever it was, was that large in a resting position. Also of note was that I never saw it move - it simply laid there. I assumed it was alive as 1) It got there somehow, and 2) On two occasions when I returned to the scene it had either folded it's wings or was simply gone.

The characteristics of the moth, besides it's incredible size, are, also of interest, it's color - it had none. The parts of the moth visible to me (the top) were completely white, with zero markings anywhere on the top of it's wings. It's body, from what I can remember, was white, as well, or at least very light grey. I cannot guess it's weight, however it appeared to have bulk to it. I'd imagine anyone observing this creature flying (if one could - as I only saw it at night, it may have been nocturnal) would easilly mistake it for an oddly shaped and clumsy bird.

The environment in which the moth lived was, I would assume, the environs outside of the mall there in New England. The mall was built just outside of a densly brushed and wooded area with small swamplands nearby. The time of year was in the height of summer, and the time of day was always around midnight.

I am making this far too long query off of an old memory - but my mind is not playing tricks on me as I was instantly wogboggled by the thing at the time, and it has stuck with me since. Searching has found nothing, and wikipedia seems to turn up nothing. Any help would cary many thanks. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! 29 June 2005 03:01 (UTC)

The only thing I can think of is that it was a Luna moth. They can be very light colored. How close to it were you? You may have missed the small markings. The location fits too. The other possibility is that someone had raised some caterpillers from some tropical moth. Besides, what makes you sure it was a moth and not a butterfly? - Taxman Talk June 29, 2005 04:18 (UTC)
Nope, definitely not the Luna Moth - that was one of the earliest candidates as I was doing my research as the approximate wing-span is almost right and the habitat area is within a possible window. But it's not big or bulky enough, and is far too elegant - I would have remembered something like that for sure. Additionally, the thing I saw was white, and I got real close. And it was definitely a moth (already looked at the page you cited to make sure I was in the right neighborhood here before I made my initial post) - it had a stubbier furrier body than a butterfly, was resting lying down and spread out, and was out at night, all indicative of moths. I curse myself nowadays for not capturing it, but I didn't want to risk injuring it if it was rare (my assumption at the time). I should have taken a picture, but didn't have a camera ready. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! 29 June 2005 06:17 (UTC)
Well if it really was white and that large, then either it isn't a domestic moth at all or something happened to all of it's color scales. The only north american moths that large are the Saturniids [2] such as the Cecropia, and the Polyphemus moth, but they are very colorful. Was it at least shaped like those? Moths and butterflies can lose their color scales see #7 if they get rubbed off or something, but it would be very unusual for that to happen to the whole thing. Maybe a kid did that on purpose to freak people out. Were the wings pretty ragged too? If not the scales were removed very carefully. I don't recall if many would be white after that anyway though, but it's possible. Without a picture or someone extraordinarily knowledgeable and some luck, I don't see how to ID this one. - Taxman Talk June 29, 2005 15:50 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm beginning to think identifying it this late in the game is a long shot. As for rubbed off scales, I simply couldn't guess. The shape of the Cecropia seems right, but I just don't know if they are the same. I doubt its a new species, and I doubt its albino. In any event, if I don't give up on IDing it at some point I think I'll turn into Ahab in search of a giant white moth. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! 29 June 2005 20:03 (UTC)
The larval form of Mothman? Sorry. Couldn't not suggest it. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 12:45 (UTC)

North Africa watershed maps

I was wondering: where would one find maps showing drainage basins for each river in North Africa, specifically Algeria? - Mustafaa 29 June 2005 04:27 (UTC)

Maybe here or there? Although they don't seem to have data on northern Africa. FAO AQUASTAT is also very interesting, click on "Interactive Map" about half-way down on this page. Maybe Ramsar has something, too. HTH, Lupo 30 June 2005 07:40 (UTC)
Thanks! That FAO one is great. It would be nice to find something more detailed, but this is good. - Mustafaa 1 July 2005 03:10 (UTC)
You want more detail? Try the five Algerian Agences de Bassins Hydrographiques: Sahara, Cheliff Zahrez, Constantinois-Seybousse-Mellégue, Algérois–Hodna–Soummam, and Oranie–Chott–Chergui. From these five, you should be able to assemble a pretty detailed complete map of watersheds in Algeria as a whole. Here is a very detailed map (1:800,000) of some whatershed in north-western Algeria. In general, searching with French search terms may be helpful: "algérie", "hydrographie", "hydrographique", "bassin versant", "bassins versant". And then, there is the Algerian Ministry of Water Ressources... Lupo July 1, 2005 09:34 (UTC)

Identify this lizard? salamander?

Is it possible to identify this creature using this picture? I'm not a herpetologist, and it seems using field guides or the Internet (except now, hopefully!) is not much help. Sorry for missing the latter half of the body.

Thanks! TresÁrboles 29 June 2005 05:09 (UTC)

Unidentifed creature enjoying watermelon

I'd vote for salamander over lizard based on the fusiform legs, but IANAH either. Pretty cool either way. Where are you geographically? alteripse 29 June 2005 07:03 (UTC)

Just what is the scale here? The window-like structure in the foreground makes it look like it's eight feet long, but that it's standing on the melon makes me think in terms of inches.
If it's sized to more or less fit in the palm of your hand, then I'd say it looks like an Anole with its head turned and underdeveloped upper "arms". Can't help you with species, except to say the coloration's inconsistent with the US native Carolina Anole. I am not a herpetologist either, but I've caught enough of the buggers when they get inside the house. -- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 13:04 (UTC)
Ha, if it was eight feet long and outside my window, I think I would be running in the other direction, or else taking pictures from the inside of the creature! The little guy is in fact just a few inches. The structure is part of a chain-link fence. By the way, I don't think it's eating watermelon; I think it's just licking up the juice.
Aren't salamanders are supposed to remain moist and be based in moist or wet environments? This thing however is baking in the sun without much water around (except for the watermelon slice). I am hoping to get a few more guesses before I possibly prejudice the matter by revealing its location. I will say that it isn't in the U.S. Does that automatically rule out animals that are described as being from other places (e.g. Carolina anole), or are those descriptions just general rules? I was just hoping someone would instantly recognize the color and pattern of the creature and say aha! that's a so-and-so, but maybe that's just not possible. I'll go to the bookstore again to try to identify it, but maybe I have insufficient info. TresÁrboles 29 June 2005 17:42 (UTC)
All anole species except the Carolina Anole are native to the Greater Antilles. Anoles are found in the world pet trade, but I think the odds of encountering a random escapee are fairly low. There's like 260 species of the buggers, so an instant ID is unlikely. That said, except for the legs being a little weirdly proportioned, it really looks like some kind of anole with its head turned away from the camera.-- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 19:08 (UTC)
It would help A LOT to know where the photo was taken. Suggesting Carolina Anole isn't going to help if the photo was taken in e.g. Spain. Or the Philippines. Or Argentina. MPF 1 July 2005 09:54 (UTC)
Thanks to all for the replies! This is a Roman creature; in fact, it is right by the site of the Circus Maximus on the Viale Aventino. Thus it is probably not any kind of anole since as was said, they are only found in the Americas. Besides that, every picture of an anole I have seen shows a solid color, not patterned. Also, the head of an anole is rather "pointy" and unlike this critter. My picture is actually a still image from video; I'll have to find it and see if the head's appearance is just a result of its being turned, or the perspective, or something. (By the way, the picture might be a little dark as seen on a PC -- something to do with gamma?)
The field guides I looked at are just for the general public so obviously have their limitations. I have found no matches for this guy's color, pattern, shape, size, and location. The closest I have found while browsing in the bookstore may be the Common Fringe-Toed Lizard (because it vaguely resembles it, it's supposed to have "extremely variable patterning on body", and the location almost matches (S. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco), or the Sand Lizard (very roughly, but variable patterning was specifically mentioned, and it's widely found in Europe (although Italy was not included!)). The size seems too big though. Perhaps this is a juvenile?
Maybe a kindly Italian herpetologist can stake out the Circus Maximus for us and see if one of these lizards (?) make an appearance!
TresÁrboles 1 July 2005 17:06 (UTC)

Fusion power?

Okay, maybe I'm dumb and the answer is right in front of my face but... I've gone through a number of the articles about fusion and the ITER project specifically and I can't find anywhere that says "This is where the power actually will come from..." With fission it's basically a steam engine but will they use the same methods to extract useable electric power from the fusion reactors? Dismas 29 June 2005 05:34 (UTC)

To say that nuclear fission is basically a steam engine misses the point. Steam driven turbines are one way of putting the energy gained from controlled fission to use. As it has nothing to do with the fission process itself a similar method could possibly used to make use of the energy produced by a fusion reaction. --Gareth Hughes 29 June 2005 10:48 (UTC)
Actually, it doesn't miss the point. Well, it does, but it finds a different but also valid point. It's big and complicated, so there's lots of points that need to be addressed. The problem of pulling power off a fission reactor is one of radiation containment and explosion avoidance. The problem with fusion is how to pull power out without disrupting the reaction. I have no idea how that is accomplished. -- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 13:17 (UTC)
One problem at a time - the primary (and as yet unsolved) problem is making the things produce considerably more energy than they consume for a reasonable length of time. The whole thing gets pretty hot, so presumably you could wind pipes containing a coolant around it, and use the heated coolant to generate steam to drive a turbine, but there may well be better ideas. If the thing is actually working properly, you should be able to draw some heat off without disrupting the reaction, but that remains to be seen. -- ALoan (Talk) 29 June 2005 16:44 (UTC)
The ITER site says that "The energy generated in the reactions is absorbed by the components lining the inside surface of the vessel..." As they don't intend it to generate any useful energy, they haven't provided a mechanism to extract it. --Heron 29 June 2005 17:33 (UTC)
Oh, and elsewhere on the site it says that the vessel will be water-cooled. --Heron 29 June 2005 17:36 (UTC)
From the ITER FAQ:
The fusion of deuterium and tritium creates a charged particle, helium, which in magnetic confinement fusion can be retained in the plasma to keep it hot. It also produces a neutron which can be slowed down in surrounding materials to give up its energy. This energy can then be removed by water or helium coolant and led to a steam or gas turbogenerator to produce electricity. This process is typically 35% or 40% efficient respectively, the remaining energy being rejected as heat usually through cooling towers as in conventional power generation.
Gandalf61 June 30, 2005 14:07 (UTC)

My name written in Ancient Aramaic

I am really wanting to find how my name is written correctly in Ancient Aramaic. I have looked through many sites and do not think I am doing the translation properly. Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated. My name is spelt Raelene, sounds like Rayleen. Thankyou again, Raelene.

[email address removed]

Hallo, Raelene! Please take a look at our article on the Aramaic language for more information. A phonetic spelling of your name is רילין in Imperial Aramaic script (which happens to be the same as Hebrew). In the Syriac alphabet it is ܪܝܠܝܢ (although some browsers, including my Firefox browser, have trouble with this). If you have any questions, let me know. --Gareth Hughes 29 June 2005 10:39 (UTC)
Of course, it isn't really possible to write your name in Aramaic because your name isn't Aramaic. I mean, you could also write 累林 lèilín in Chinese, but it wouldn't really be your name. But Gareth has provided a helpful approximation. — Chameleon 29 June 2005 13:22 (UTC)

Written in Latin

I'm going to plead ignorance (they say ignorance is bliss, but I don't believe them) and ask you to please let me know where I can get the following phrase written in Latin...

Moderatio est Figmentum

Thank you... Rich T.

The phrase means 'control is fabrication', generally with the idea that controls are unnatural. It seems to be a popular motto with trendy US children and on certain message boards. --Gareth Hughes 29 June 2005 12:29 (UTC)

Richest person in a plane crash

Before John T. Walton, who would have been the richest person to die in an airplane crash? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

See list of people who died in aviation-related incidents, including Mike Todd possibly? though that was 1958, do we take inflation into account? Dunc| 29 June 2005 14:24 (UTC)
I'd wonder about John Heinz, John F. Kennedy Jr. or Mohammed bin Laden. DJ Clayworth 29 June 2005 17:10 (UTC)

Blondes in the Roman empire

A book on personal appearance had a chapter on hair and it stated (without a source) that in ancient Rome, prostitutes were required to wear blond wigs because blonde hair was disfavored then. Anyone able to confirm or refute this? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

I have always heard that red and blonde hair was much prized among the dusky Roman women, who wore wigs made of hair from Celtic and Germanic tribes. In any case, the Romans were around for many centuries, so they no doubt had many different fashions over the years. I expect that blondes were "in" at certain times and "out" at others. — Chameleon 29 June 2005 17:12 (UTC)
I had heard that gentlemen started preferring blondes about the time cheap sex slaves taken from conquered fair-skinned people started flooding the market. And as I heard it, ammonia from fermented urine was used to bleach rich ladies' hair (rather than them wearing wigs) a generation or so later, once the associations between hair color and sexual availability became subconscious enough. The source for this was my ex girlfriend...a brunette with a chip on her shoulder.--Joel 30 June 2005 01:14 (UTC)

Allison Janney's childhood

In The West Wing episode "Behind the Podium", where press secretary C.J. allows a PBS documentary crew to follow her for a day, the narrator tells us C.J. grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and then shows some home movies of her as a child. Some of them are at an amusement park. Since Janney really is from Dayton, is this footage from Kings Island, about thirty miles to the south of Dayton? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

Lying birth certificates

The New Scientist in its December 24 issue stated that 10-15% of all children were not in fact fathered by the man named on the birth certificate, but did not provide a source for this statistic. Does anyone know where this figure came from? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

Blood tests or DNA testing for other purposes? It's usually fairly apparent when doing DNA testing if a father and son aren't related. Shimgray 29 June 2005 16:35 (UTC)
But surely such tests are carried out more frequently when there is some doubt that the man is the father, thus skewing the results? — Chameleon 29 June 2005 17:05 (UTC)
Yes and no. A lot of tests are done for perfectly routine reasons, especially in the case of transplants (when compatibility is likely between relatives but needs to be confirmed) - even without formal studies to try and source paternity, there'll be an informal knowledge base that X percent regularly don't match... so all you need to do is formalise this. I've certainly heard "around ten percent" before (possibly in Diamond?) and see it as quite plausible. Shimgray 29 June 2005 17:29 (UTC)
There was an article about a year ago in the Globe and Mail about this. It quoted a UK science teacher who used to assign blood typing homework to her students until she realized that in almost every class, one or two students would get results incompatible with their nominal parentage. It also quoted local (Toronto) obstetricians and pediatricians with similar observations; routine blood typing during pregnancy, perhaps to screen for Rh disease, reveals incompatible fatherhood fairly often. (Prior to birth, the mom-to-be is the patient and this data is communicated to her in confidence, but following birth most hospitals consider the child's data to be sharable with both parents equally.) I can't find the reference in the Globe's online search but as I recall the 10 to 15% figure is about what the article came up with. However, "lying birth certificates" is probably not the best summary. I believe that in some jurisdictions (in the U.S.?) the mother's husband at the time of the birth is the only name that can be legally put on the birth certificate, and is legally the child's father for purposes of inheritance, support etc. Sharkford June 29, 2005 17:11 (UTC)
I don't know that the husband's name must be listed as the father. There is a presumption in law that a husband is the father of a child born to his wife, but that can be refuted, e.g. if he did not have access to his wife or by blood tests. PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 17:33 (UTC)
Yes, a husband is the presumed father. A non-husband cannot be listed on a birth certificate as father without his consent. Many men have discovered the hard way that they cannot change their legal obligations once they have allowed their name to be listed on the birth certificate as father, even after DNA testing proves non-paternity. This is also true of husbands: they cannot dodge or refuse legal obligations even by demonstrating non-paternity by DNA. The acknowlegement and non-disavowal arise both from common law and public policy and have not been changed by the rise of easy accurate paternity testing by DNA. alteripse 30 June 2005 11:17 (UTC)

Koran vs. Quran

The holy book of the Muslims always seemed to be spelled "Koran" until recently, when the press (especially in coverage of the allegations at Guantanamo Bay) started spelling it "Quran". Why the change? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

Actually, Qu'ran (with an apostrophe) is the most common now. Possible reasons:

  1. Arabic is hard to transliterate.
  2. 'Koran' has (potentially negative) associations with Orientalism. [3]
--Robojames 29 June 2005 14:46 (UTC)
In my experience Qur'an replaced "Koran" in the early 80s, as did "Muslim" replace "Moslem", "Makkah" and "Madinah" replaced "Mecca" and "Medina" (although less so in these cases). A decade or two earlier "Peking" became "Beijing" and more recently "Mumbai" replaced "Bombay". Probably has something to do with the fall of the British Empire and post-colonialism ;) Guettarda 29 June 2005 16:49 (UTC)
I'd say that "Qu'ran" has not totally replaced "Koran", whereas "Muslim" has become the norm, making "Moslem" sound slightly quaint. "Makkah" and "Madinah" are still exotic and used mostly by the politically correct. "Peking" is pretty much dead (replaced by a strange hybrid: "Beijing" pronounced not as 北京 but as though it were French). "Mumbai"/"Bombay" is too recent to call. — Chameleon 29 June 2005 17:03 (UTC)
And Moslem goes further back - you still find old documents using "Mussulman". "Hindoo" -> "Hindu" made the transition about the same time as that one. Shimgray 29 June 2005 17:21 (UTC)
The hamza comes after the r — if you're into apostrophes it is Qur'an. I've read Qu'ran so many times, but it is wrong. I wouldn't say that Koran or Quran are wrong. they are different ways of representing an Arabic word. The more scientific spelling is al-qur'ãn. Most editors prefer to use spellings that are closer to standard way of representing Arabic. Gareth Hughes 29 June 2005 17:42 (UTC)
Just a note on transliterations and time: I've been reading a lot of 19th century naturalism lately and love the use of the very French "Esquimaux" for what is now Eskimo in the writings of Darwin. --Fastfission 2 July 2005 20:16 (UTC)

OED lists the Q variety first used in 1876 and says it is scholarly variant. MeltBanana 4 July 2005 23:06 (UTC)

How do you say Qatar?

I always pronounced the Gulf nation's name "KAY-tahr" and that seemed to be what was used on television. But when it was in the news a couple years ago because the U.S. military had a base there, it suddenly became "KATT-uhr". Why the change? And why isn't the name transliterated with a "k" like "Koran"? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC)

Some explanation can be found on the list of words of disputed pronounciation. There is no "official" pronounciation because it's an English pronounciation of an Arabic word. Maybe the media just have trends in their pronounciation. Robojames 29 June 2005 14:36 (UTC)
Actually I have never heard it pronounces with a hard "a" before, but I am not American. Maybe the hard "a" is like "Eye"-raq and "Eye"-ran. The only change I have seen is US military people prouncing it "cutter" rather than Kat-ur. As for the "q", it's a distinct sound from "k", and it is used in Iraq and Qu'ran. It's the problem on one hand is representing sounds in English which don't exist (like "Kh" in "Khomeni" or the "Kh" in "Khodorkovsky") and on the other hand, the expectation of English speakers that a word should be pronounced as it is spelt. Guettarda 29 June 2005 17:00 (UTC)
Expatriate United Stateseanites in the petrochemical industry pronounce it "cutter", in my limited experience. -- Cyrius| 29 June 2005 17:01 (UTC)
In Modern Standard arabic, the first consonant is a voiceless uvular plosive, the second consonant is t with a pharyngeal approximant release, the third consonant is an alveolar trill. The vowels are relatively neutral in this environment, and stress is on the first syllable. If that is too much information, stick with gutter or cutter. Gareth Hughes 29 June 2005 17:54 (UTC)
It's been pronounced very similarly to catarrh in the UK as logn as I can remember. jamesgibbon 29 June 2005 18:20 (UTC)
I pronounce it as "catarrh" too. — Chameleon 29 June 2005 18:24 (UTC)
Ditto, but with a slight accent on the first syllable. -- Jmabel | Talk June 30, 2005 06:28 (UTC)
My friend from Qatar generally pronounced it "KUH-tar". To my ear, "KAY-tar" sounds as bad as "EYE-raq" and "AY-rab". — Asbestos | Talk 2 July 2005 09:36 (UTC)

One sound absent in English is that of GH (a single sound). Likewise, Arabic does not have another single sound TH. In Arabic, the 7th century Muslim book has its sound start with GH. One can verify this with any speaker of Arabic. The Arab will say that the GH sound is not present in English. Also, sometimes Q is used for the GH sound. For example Iraq and Qatar both have the aforesaid GH sound. Finally, the use of the apostrophe is perhaps used to show the pause between the two syllables of Quran.

A Titanic question

I seem to recall, from one of the films about the Titanic, a reference to its "slow descent to the bottom of the Atlantic", but perhaps I was dreaming. The Wikipedia article RMS Titanic states that it broke up during the descent, and one part hit the bottom at high speed. How long would it have taken to hit the bottom? Presumably it would be possible to calculate the Terminal velocity of a ship falling through sea-water if one knew the values of the relevant parameters. rossb 29 June 2005 15:36 (UTC)

Robert Ballard in his book The Discovery of the Titanic says that there are too many variables but it may have reached 25-30mph and depending how quickly it reached that speed it may have taken as little as six minutes to travel the 12,460 feet. MeltBanana 4 July 2005 22:54 (UTC)


What is the total volume of gasoline produced in the state of texas on a daily basis?

You could get a good start by looking up the (monetary) volume of the oil refinery business in that state, then the average percentage of the business that comes from gasoline vs. diesel, heating oil, chemicals, etc. From there, it'd be a $/gal conversion, but be sure to use wholesale prices rather than numbers from the pump. HTH--Joel 30 June 2005 01:04 (UTC)

According to [4], Texas produces 6.6 trillion cubic feet of gas per year, working out to roughly 18,082,191,781 cubic feet per day. --Think Fast June 30, 2005 01:46 (UTC)

Uh, I don't think gasoline is the same as gas - IIRC, gasoline is derived from petroleum, an oil substance, not natural gas, which is measured in cubic feet. -- Natalinasmpf 30 June 2005 23:54 (UTC)

Rebel Flag

I would like to know who created the rebel flag and if it's true this person is black. Thank you. Jennifer Hodge

According to the Wikipedia article it was designed by "South Carolina Congressman William Porcher Miles" - not likely to have been black. Guettarda 29 June 2005 21:30 (UTC) ¦ Reisio 2005 June 29 22:15 (UTC)


Hi, Before going to sleep I've been doing 100 curl-ups as a fitness retaining exercise. I'm just wondering when is the best time to do these exercise - I'm guessing that before going to sleep isn't the best idea. The reason why I do it before going to sleep is because I find that my bed is quite a comfortable spot to do curl-ups (I don't have a springy mattress, it's stuffed). Hope someone can help. --Fir0002 June 29, 2005 23:55 (UTC)

I doubt there's anything especially wrong with exercising just before going to sleep, but I personally usually find it annoying either because it keeps me up afterwards or I'm too tired to do it (thus neglecting my fitness). As for alternatives...there's the morning and during the day. I prefer the morning, since it doesn't interfere with anything I may have planned and it gets the blood pumping & relaxes. ¦ Reisio 2005 June 30 01:24 (UTC)
I've read that doing exercise right before going to sleep keeps you up. (I also do mine in the morning.) --Think Fast June 30, 2005 01:54 (UTC)

Help on pronounciation, uh, purring.

You know cats? You know how they, uh, purr? Well, I sort of want to know how to do that, because it's so insanely awesome. If you can't teach me how to purr, here' are a couple substitutes I can think of:

  1. Teach Me how to roll my Rs, that sounds kind of like purring, right?
  2. Listen to this song: Hang onto your ego Hear that thing Mike Love does after the word "Alone"? Teach me how to do that.
  3. Anything you can think of, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO PURR

I hope this makes sense, if you have any questions about my question, just, you know, ask me and I'll be glad to clarify. God bless!

- 30 June 2005 01:14 (UTC)

Try loosening and blowing through your lips, making them flap. This is similar to how real purring works - the same thing with the vocal cords - but will be lower-frequency. I'm afraid I can't help with your Rs. Nickptar 30 June 2005 01:41 (UTC)
You can usually get a more convincing purring sound by gently placing your tongue against your Hard palate and blowing. With this technique the position of your lips doesn't matter, but the tension on your tongue is critical. If you get it right your tongue will oscilate and produce sound which is a very convincing purr. In music this is called flutter tonguing and not everyone seem to be able to do it... Gmaxwell 30 June 2005 20:15 (UTC)

Oh, wow, it worked on the first try, thanks a ton! Meow~! (If anybody can help me on my Rs though, hey, I'm not complaining) 30 June 2005 02:49 (UTC)

This isn't the whole story on purring. As the article says its actually a bit of mistery. In particular, you will notice that using any of these techniques you will only be able to simulate a purring sound whilst breathing out. A cat manages to keep purring continuously, although the volume of the purr seems to be modulated by the rhythm of the cat's breathing.
There is some good discussion on the competing theories of the mechanism of purring here, and some interesting research suggesting that purring might help healing in this article. -- Solipsist 2 July 2005 13:23 (UTC)
You should be able to get a decent rolled r if you start with an h sound. Make it quite pronounced, like panting after haevy exercise. Once you've got the feel of that sound, you have to change the position of your tongue to use the airstream of the h to produce an r. You want to place the tip of your tongue just behind and slightly higher than the alveolar ridge (the ridge behind your upper teeth where the mouth cavity turns up into the roof of the mouth. Once in position, try the h sound again, and allow the tip of the tongue to vibrate with the airstream (it should vibrate rather quickly). Rather than calling this a rolled r, impress your friends with your alveolar trill. --Gareth Hughes 30 June 2005 10:14 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, everybody! I swear, this website is probably the best place ever. 1 July 2005 23:24 (UTC)

Language Closest to Eastern Aramaic

I would like to study the teachings of Jesus in Aramaic. I have been unable to find a good language course in Eastern Aramaic. Which of the modern Semitic languages of Hebrew or Arabic are closest to Eastern Aramaic? Or do you know of a good language course (like Rosetta Stone) that teaches Eastern Aramaic?

Thank you.

Hello there. I would point you to the article on Aramaic language, on which I have been a contributor. You will see that Jesus most probably spoke a western dialect of Aramaic. The dialects of Westen Aramaic never really rose to the same level of importance as those of Eastern Aramaic. In the Greek gospels there are only a few words transliterated from Aramaic here and there (most look like they come from the Jerusalem dialect). There is an important version of the Bible in the Syriac language, but almost all of us believe that it is chiefly based on the Greek. If you have any further questions, you can continue here or on my talk page. --Gareth Hughes 30 June 2005 20:28 (UTC)
You might also want to look into Q document...which is not a high-tech piece of paper that James Bond uses to kill his enemies, no matter what the name suggests. It's another partial (and likely disappointing) answer to your question.--Joel 6 July 2005 04:41 (UTC)


why do they occur in humans over the age of forty?

I believe for the same reasons they occur at any age, only forty-year-olds have had forty years to run into it. See Causes and pathophysiology of cancer for more information. ¦ Reisio 2005 June 30 13:26 (UTC)

Was the intended question equivalent to, "Why are some cancers so much more common after forty years of age?"? If so, here is a general answer, although it has a sizeable "we don't know component." There is no single simple answer, but there is an answer. First a couple of basic facts:

  1. There are many kinds of cancers, like there are many kinds of infection. Cancer is a class of diseases, not a single disease.
  2. Some cancers we understand pretty well and know the exact cause. For many cancers we know some "contributing causes" that make it much more likely for this person to get it than that person. For many cancers we have no idea what changes the risk or why those who get it do so. This again is similar to our understanding of infections.
  3. Some cancers have marked differences in age risk. There are cancers that almost always occur in young children, some that rarely occur before old age, and some that occur mainly in young adults. A number of the more common adult cancers have a slowly rising incidence after age forty and are rare below that age. Some cancers have very little age-associated risk.
  4. There are several possible reasons for age differences. Our bodies are programmed to turn certain genes on and off throughout life. There are genes that are only active for a few important days of early embryogenesis. There are genes that are activated when certain hormone levels are reached. There are genes that are activated only when the person is exposed to certain environmental factors, like certain foods, certain infections, certain environmental substances (natural or artificial), certain experiences, perhaps even certain close contacts with other people.

So here are some possible, speculative reasons that some cancers might occur more often in older people than younger:

  1. There is degradation of DNA repair systems with age or with certain exposures or incidences.
  2. There is increasing likelihood of exposure to certain infections as a person gets older.
  3. The cancer partly arises from accumulated damage or substances that take many years to result in problems.
  4. There is a shift in the function of the immune system (for many possible reasons) such that the ability to recognize and suppress is not as efficient in older people.
  5. The cancer cell growth depends on prolonged exposure to certain hormones that are lower earlier in life.

For any individual cancer, some of these will be more or less likely. Other people may be able to think of some more. Does this answer what you were asking? alteripse 30 June 2005 15:24 (UTC)

As it has been told the basics fairly well by Alteripse, permit me to elaborate more, not too confusing I hope. Anyhow, cancer is a (class of) disease(s) of the genes in one's cells, such that the genes gets corrupted, changing the cells' programming, making many of one's own cells harmful to you, rather than useful. The probably most concrete (but still not so concrete) theory right now is due to accumulated well as the fact that viruses are catalysts for cancer as they can transfer mutations to human DNA. The other factors, of environmental and hormones are usually not the primary cases (except in lung cancer and such), for example if we are referring to most other cells. Because again, how a cancer can originate in the first place depends on what the cell does and is exposed to, and whether or not it reproduces, there can be quite a great number of reasons. Loss of DNA repair functions and the immune system's ability to suppress is also related to accumulated damage. For example, if the p53 gene is damaged, apoptosis is likely to be severely crippled - this process tells a cell to kill itself if the cell gets signals or detects damage - however its an intricate design of programmed cell death, relying on one chemical to relay to the other, to react with another enzyme at the right time, (forms of signal transduction) - and this is coded into the DNA. If the sections of the DNA coding for this is damaged, apoptosis cannot proceed, and cancer cells proliferate. This is only one reason. And this damage is thought to have to be accumulated - so an older person will have a higher chance of exposure to elements that will damage DNA. Reproducing cells is an intricate and elaborate process, requiring to replicate the DNA first, condense them into chromosomes, divide the chromosomes between the cells, one type for each, evenly, then uncondense them, undergo cytokinesis, and then grow conduct cellular respiration, which also releases free radicals because of all the processes dealing with oxygen...a cell's life is pretty dangerous: many of these elements have a chance to damage DNA. Replicating DNA is an elaborate process in itself, requiring DNA strands to be split, wound, added to, to have nucleotides (the letters of the DNA) fit snugly...mistakes are easy to happen. Free radicals, if they escape, can maim DNA. Normally (and fortunately), this is all repaired, but what happens is that there's a tiny chance that it doesn't. And this adds up through life. So, the older you are, the more chances you have had to accumulate damage. And especially later in life, the processes that restrict damage are damaged in themselves, so the rate of damage speeds up exponentially. Hope that answers your was a rather rushed one, perhaps too filled with jargon, I can explain more if that helps.

This reminds me, I really need to start writing the carcinogenesis article...its long overdue, especially for an encylopedia of Wikipedia's standard. -- Natalinasmpf 30 June 2005 21:42 (UTC)

Instructions Needed

I need a diagram for threading a singer sewing machine model no. 1022. Also how to place the bobbin in the bobbin holder. Also if this machine makes button holes. etc. Thank you Fran Earnhart. I am waiting your reply thank you in advance.

According to this. you can buy a manual for $15. Bovlb 2005-06-30 19:55:17 (UTC)

Copywright permission for photo stills

To Whom it may concern,

Is there anyone out there who knows who I might contact for permission to use a still from the film FULL METAL JACKET? I have searched Time Warner's and Warner Entertainment web pages, to no avail. I need permission to use a frame enlargement from the movie in a book about film art.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


<contact information and address removed>

I believe it may qualify, without violating copyright laws and without having to ask permission, under fair use, well at least under United States law. We use such provisions often ourselves. -- Natalinasmpf 30 June 2005 21:20 (UTC)
Most publishers, even academic ones, are NOT satisfied with "fair use" defenses as they are more trouble than they are usually worth. (Wikipedia makes far too liberal use of it in my opinion, but being non-profit gives one at least a little hypothetical wiggle-room). --Fastfission 30 June 2005 23:51 (UTC)
From what I can tell, the only contact information Time Warner Corp. gives on their site is:
Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY10019-8016
I imagine if you wrote or called they would be able to direct you to the licensing and permissions department. --Fastfission 30 June 2005 23:51 (UTC)


Just call the main corporate number and asked to be directed to the permissions office.

lots of issues | leave me a message 1 July 2005 07:33 (UTC)

DJ Crazy Frog

I know that Crazy Frog original sampled Axel F, but could you please tell me what music has been used for DJ Crazy Frog, as I am sure I have heard it somewhere before. Thank you.

I was wondering the same thing!! Cant wait to find out. I never considered asking on here! lol

See Crazy Frog. Dunc| 1 July 2005 10:07 (UTC)

Kambar Cremation ground

Hello All, I want to know where is the Kambar's cremation ground in TamilNadu?

I couldn't get any online reference for that. However, I've asked a couple of people who might know. Just curious, may I know in what context did you require this information? -- Template:User-multi June 29, 2005 04:27 (UTC)

Unknown moth photos

Time for some more photos...

Thanks for everyone's help in identifying my pix. --Fir0002 00:22, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Are these moths from Australia? HappyCamper 14:00, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes all my photos are from Australia --Fir0002 23:58, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
Before these lovely photos go into the archives, that's my Uncle Bert on the right and center.--Mothperson 3 July 2005 12:33 (UTC)
Since we are having so much difficulty identifying these moths, does anyone know of another community in Wikipedia that could help us? --HappyCamper 3 July 2005 19:05 (UTC)
It's propably Nyctemera amica because there are two more species and no images could be found. I have asked at The forum language is german, but english questions are welcome. And, if you ask, don't forget date and location! :-) You can contact me at my german discussion site - I have no account in the english wikipedia. Many greetings from Germany, de:Benutzer:olei -- 19:40, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
On another note, I've been doing the archiving lately, and this post would probably stay here until the 10th. I'm trying to keep the Reference Desk to at most 100 active questions.--HappyCamper 3 July 2005 19:05 (UTC)

Are these ferns?

Hi, I was just wondering if these are actual ferns, I know "fern" has become pretty generic and all sorts of plant are called ferns when they're not so hopefully someone can positively identify these:

Thanks, --Fir0002 02:01, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

I suspect the first one isn't and the other ones are, but I'm no botanist. If you can go back to look at them, check for spores on the underside of the leaves. --W(t) 02:06, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)
My mother (who has a degree in botany [though not a practicing scientist]) thinks they're probably all ferns. The larger ones may be tree ferns. It's a lot easier to know for sure if you see spores or fiddleheads. ¦ Reisio 03:05, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)
I believe that they are all ferns. Guettarda 04:00, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The first one I think is probably Blechnum nudum; the other three look like Dicksonia antarctica, but I'm not certain on that. - MPF 1 July 2005 09:58 (UTC)
The images are all too vague to make a clear and accurate statement on species. They do not, however, look like New Zealand species. Alan Liefting 02:35, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
They all appear to be ferns. Alan Liefting 02:35, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Identifying types of clouds

Now a serious question. There are some IMO brilliant pictures of clouds at high altitude (which are actually pretty low for clouds, just high altitude in terms of perspective with ground human beings), which I don't know where to classify them in. I figured that it'd be good to put them in specific articles about cloud types, or perhaps weather fronts on some of the pictures, but I don't know how to classify clouds. What types of clouds/possible weather formations are these, and possible articles I could put them in?

Mount Kinabalu in Indonesia has an altitude of 4095 m and is at +06°05' (close to the equator), so that makes the troposphere there higher than at greater latitudes, so the nearest clouds could be stratocumuli because of their irregular form. 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 8, 2005 00:18 (UTC)
same as #2 (stratocumuli)
File:Mount Kinabalu Clouds 5.jpg
strati in the background and stratocumuli in the foreground; low clouds anyway

I can't answer your question, but the pictures are stunning! Mothperson 19:12, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There's a guide to identifying clouds here with some photographic examples. I hope that helps. —Ghakko 23:17, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm didn't help much, unfortunately. I was wondering because multiple descriptions of some cloud types seemed to fit some of the pictures, and I couldn't tell which type it really was. -- Natalinasmpf 02:21, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's hard to say really because you do have a little bit of a few different types in the pictures. Some are lenticular clouds, some are stratocumulous, etc. Dismas 04:18, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, but could you identify some of the pictures that prominently display a weather feature, like a front, or a definite type of cloud I could then place the article in? That would help a lot. -- Natalinasmpf 28 June 2005 06:12 (UTC)

Someone? Anyone? :-( Any meteorologists here? -- Natalinasmpf 3 July 2005 10:50 (UTC)

No cumulonimbus fronts in that set, sorry. They don't normally hang around mountains. Looks like in 7 and 8 you've got some cirrus at the top and maybe altocumulus at the bottom, but I'm no meteorologist. --Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 06:40 (UTC)

These photos were taken in Indonesia. There are no weather fronts in the tropical zone. Fronts only exist in the temperate zones or polar zones. All the clouds on the photos are low or mid-low clouds. Most of them are either stratocumuli, strati or altocumuli. See more at cloud types. 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 8, 2005 00:39 (UTC)

Technetium & Periodic Table

Hi, I have a question regarding the following information in the featured article Technetium:

For a number of years there was a gap in the periodic table between molybdenum (element 42) and ruthenium (element 44). Many early researchers were eager to be the first to discover and name the missing element; its location in the table suggested that it should be easier to find than other undiscovered elements. It was first thought to have been found in platinum ores in 1828. It was given the name polinium but it turned out to be impure iridium. Then in 1846 the element ilmenium was claimed to have been discovered but was determined to be impure niobium. This mistake was repeated in 1847 with the 'discovery' of pelopium.

Now my question is this: How could all these people have been looking for an element in the gap of a periodic table that had not yet been proposed? There were of course precursors of Mendelejev like Meyer, Newman or Béguyer but to my knowledge even they published their work in the 1860s. So what exactly did the people who "found" polinium, ilmenium oder pelopium think they had found? I already asked this question on the discussion page of the article in question but didn't get any response there, so I thought I try again here. Any answer would be appreciated. --Aglarech-en 19:47, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Change 1828 for 1928 etc and you have a reasonable chronology of Irene Noddack's claims to have discovered element 43. The proposed names don't ring a bell though. I will try and check it out, even though I am supposed to be on WikiVacation... Physchim62 4 July 2005 08:36 (UTC)

Infamous computer glitch/error - "Identify #9"?

Some time ago I came across an article on Wikipedia that made reference to a supposedly infamous computer error (I believe it was something Unix related) that was named something along the lines of "Identify #9". This term or command either represented a supposedly famous self-referential computer error which related to a computer attempting to "identify" a process (I think it was #9) that represented itself, and caused a recursive loop.

Or perhaps it's something similar, a famous glitch or bug.

Whatever it was, it was interesting enough for me to grab the link, email it to my home PC, and then after reading it, slap the phrase into a song title.

Now, months later, I've lost the link, forgotten what it was, and no amount of searching on Wikipedia, Google, or Yahoo can turn it up. What is this mystical "Identify" error or loop or glitch I'm thinking of? Does anyone know?

Alright folks, I have more info I dug outta my brain.. .could this be a UNIX command, something like #identify() ? I've tried finding it and I cannot.

I was thinking it could be a quote in a fortune, but I couldn't find it in my fortune database. TresÁrboles 1 July 2005 17:30 (UTC)
Hrm. That doesn't sound familiar. Thank you for trying to help, though. ... As I think more about it, it seems to me that the "identify" part represents some sort of error message output from a process, apparently a relatively well-known, common, or infamous one. It's all *right there at the tip of my brain*.

I don't know anything that exactly matches your description, but perhaps you are mis-remembering one of these:

  • A quine perhaps the most famous kind of self-referential computer program ... and it rhymes with 9.
  • Occasionally programmers accidentally write a program that recursively calls fork(), accidentally creating a Fork bomb / Wabbit. To kill a program normally requires knowing its process identifier, which I suppose could be #9 (however unlikely).
  • Revolution 9

Why is mercury liquid?

Mercury is the only metal element that is liquid at room temeratures. Why?

It's melting point is -37.9 °F (= -38.83°C), and its boiling point is 674.11 °F. What is it about this element's atoms, and/or electron layers, that makes it different in this respect from other metails?

The answer has partly to do with the electron configuration of Mercury, and also relativistic effects. The electron configuration of mercury is [Kr] 4d10 4f14 5s2 5p6 5d10 6s2. The last shell labeled 6s is completely full, and is noticibly closer to the nucleus than what would be expected if relativistic effects were not taken into account. The combination of these two factors results in rather tightly bound outer shell of electrons for mercury. Hence, mercury cannot form particularly strong metal-metal bonds. The result is an element which is liquid at room temperature. Contrast this with gold and thallium which are right beside mercury on the periodic table, but are solids. Let the reference desk know if you'd like a more detailed explanation, I hope this answers your question! --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 00:03 (UTC)
Thanks HappyCamper for explaining more clearly than I usually manage! "Relativistic effects" occur in atoms of a high atomic number: the positive charge of the nucleus is so high that some of the electrons in the atoms are moving very fast—fast enough that special relativity has to be taken into account in predicting their movement. This causes a number of changes in the chemistry of the elements concerned, of which the fact that mercury is liquid at room temperature is perhaps the most striking. Physchim62 4 July 2005 08:46 (UTC)
You're welcome, Physchim62 :-) You do great edits on Wikipedia too! --HappyCamper 7 July 2005 04:25 (UTC)


For some reason I cannot seem to ever get my VPN client working correctly on my home connection. Or any connection for that matter. I've read on a number of sites that I have to make sure that VPN forwarding and IPSec or something like that are supported on my router. The company that makes my router seems to indicate that they are in their technical literature however I see no explicit setting in the router setup to enable or disable this. Does anybody have any advice on this? When I try to connect to my remote VPN server it tells me it cannot establish the connection. I don't think it is the cable modem company -- it used to work just fine at my old house using the same company's service (though a different router). Any suggestions? Would there be some trick to enabling it, or would it be listed under an alternative name in the settings? --Fastfission 30 June 2005 23:58 (UTC)

I have been using VPN in Telecommuting for about a year now, and I see lots of problems that are a royal challenge to troubleshoot. Have you ever managed to connect? If never, then the problem may be in your settings.
In my situation, we have users busy doing their work, and VPN seems to disconnect them. I have found by experience, that it pays to wait 15-20 minutes before trying to re-connect, because there is some kind of time=out associated with error resolution, and we want to wait until that complication is out of the way, before trying to reconnect.
When I have trouble with one kind of Internet connection, I try others, to make sure the problem is not with my connection to the Internet. I have also found that it does not pay to be using many different Internet applications at the same time.
I click on something to connect and 1/2 the time it says the other end is not communicating. I end that attempt, and try again. I usually get in on 3 or less tries. I think there is some kind of time-out such that if you not get there fast enough, it thinks the site is not there, like we sometimes get with our Internet browser when the connection is sluggish.
Then I click on the software that is used over the VPN link to access the actual computer where I work, and 1/2 the time it says that computer is not connecting. I end that attempt, and try again. I usually get in on 5 or less tries.
We have had a lot of conversations with tech support about this, mapping the different patterns of problems with different users.
There is talk about getting a VPN Concentrator which does a better job of hanging onto a connection once it has been established.
There is talk about some users having a lot of stuff on their PCs that eat more resources than they have to spare.
There is talk about the latest version of Windows being better for various reasons.

AlMac 8 July 2005 14:15 (UTC)

Müller, Fritz, Maler und Graphiker in München *9.1.1879 Mainz, Schüler der Akad. München

Hi, my name is Tom Mintzer. I am an American Soldier currently stationed at Fort Irwin in California. Several years ago I was stationed in Germany where I purchased a painting by Fritz Müller. To date I have only been able to find very little information about this painter. I think he may have been a student at the Art Academy at Munich. I think he was born in 1879 and died several years ago. The painting I possess is of a bavarian man who is praying. It's signed Fritz Müller, München. Could you please direct me to more sources of information about this painter? Or, at least provide a bit more information? Please send response to: [email address removed] Sincere thanks for your help. tom mintzer

We have an article on Fritz Müller the German biologist. There was also a Swiss physician by that name (but that is only on fr: at the moment). Dunc| 1 July 2005 10:05 (UTC)

Well, from some quick research on google, it seems that there was a Fritz Muller who was born in 1814; and thus he would have at most died sometime during the early 1900's...not sure if this is your Fritz Muller though. Do you know what kind of painting style is it in? Is the colour very saturated? -- Natalinasmpf 1 July 2005 22:00 (UTC)

Probably this one, but the only additional information I could find online is that he died 1944 or 1957 in Munich and is sometimes called Fritz Müller-Schwaben. - 1 July 2005 23:17 (UTC)

The Golden Era

I would LOVE an article about the Golden Era in America (I believe this would be maybe 1933 to sometime in the 1960's). Something that talks about music in that era (swing and other jazz), the rise of Hollywood and Old Time Radio and the typical American Family and what they were like. Also maybe how people handled WWII at home. THANKS!

I'm not exactly sure that's the golden era though. Economically speaking, unless you mean in terms of artistic and cultural achievement? -- Natalinasmpf 1 July 2005 00:57 (UTC)

Note that this "golden era" starts with the depression, includes world war 2, the Korean war, the nuclear bomb and the worst of the cold war, but the country apparently went to hell with rock n roll, long hair, and the civil rights movement. Might I venture a guess that our requestor is over 70? I suppose it might be my father... alteripse 1 July 2005 01:13 (UTC)

Well, there was a Golden Age of Radio, (1920s - 1950s), Golden Age of Comic Books ( 1930s - 1950s), Golden Age of Television (1950s - 1960s) as well as a Golden Age of Arcade Games (1980s). There's also a Golden Age of Film which IIRC roughly corresponds to the late 1930s through the early 1950s, but we don't seem to have an article on it. So theoretically, you could span from 1920 - 1960 with various Golden ages if you were so inclined. On the other hand, if we wanted to maximize our temporal-auric potential, we'd probably be looking at the decade immediately following WWII, or the Greatest Generation as Tom Brokaw has deemed them. --CVaneg 1 July 2005 17:59 (UTC)
As alteripse points out, one must be wary of nostalgia being an accurate recollection of the past. Even in things like media -- the "Golden Age" of things is always a retrospective category applied by people who are for some reason dissatisfied with the present, encouraging more than a little bit of selective memory. --Fastfission 2 July 2005 19:53 (UTC)
Not forgetting the "Golden Age of Science Fiction", which is often claimed to be "about 14". :) -- Arwel 5 July 2005 00:34 (UTC)

Pix to Identify

Hi, New batch of photos to identify:

Hope you guys can identify them as in the past. --Fir0002 July 1, 2005 01:03 (UTC)

  • That fruit reminds me of longan, but I'm not sure it's related to it. The leaves don't look right, and the rind looks sort of fuzzy. --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 02:55 (UTC)
    • To me it looks kinda like a sycamore. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 1 July 2005 03:31 (UTC)
      • I'm pretty sure this whole post is a joke. He obviously knows the first two are carts, and I think an Australian would recognize an albatross. Superm401 | Talk July 1, 2005 04:35 (UTC)
      • Well take a laugh and positively identify the above photos. --Fir0002 July 1, 2005 06:34 (UTC)
        • Please see my comment on your talk page. Superm401 | Talk July 1, 2005 07:45 (UTC)
        • Hmm...I think that might be jumping to conclusions. The reference desk is a great place to identify stuff like that. Here's an example of the sort of answers we're trying to seek for these pictures: [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] For example, what species of albatross should the bird be classified as? The two carts: are they characteristic equipment found on early 19th century farms? What might someone with a background in anthropology say about them? Et cetera...--HappyCamper 1 July 2005 05:43 (UTC)
          • Thank you HappyCamper, I find it insulting to think that I would put these images up as a joke. I respect the time of wiki users, and only seek knowledge from the reference desk --Fir0002 July 1, 2005 06:34 (UTC)
            • Hey Fir. I can see by your stars that you are a genuine contributor to Wiki (and along with the others, my thanks), although I guess in some ways being accused of making a joke in this instance was unavoidable. The cart is a cart by the Wiki definition, and if you'd read the article, you may not have felt the need to identify it any further. The fruit, I can say IMHO, is definately not a longan as I have seen them growing often here in NZ, and I can assure you, we can't grow longans here. As an aside, I have always referred to them as chestnuts, but I think that is just a colloquialism. The sea-bird is almost certainly juvenile given its plumage (few seabirds are brown as adults - brown doesn't camoflage well against sea or sky), and I'd hazard a guess, not an albatros as the wings seem to broad and short for the long slender things Albatros hang off of. As with the legume looking flower, more info would take the jokiness (or piss-take in antipodean) off of it. I.E; locations for the fruit and bird (and the ferns you placed above), a more wide angle photo of the plant would show the foliage and give a botanist a better idea of species and perhaps scale - bottom line, help us help you.L-Bit 1 July 2005 08:08 (UTC)
              • OK, I'll make a point of adding more info in the future, but as you've obviously seen my userpage, you'd probably know that I'm a 16 yr old (and therefore can't drive a car by myself) and live in East Gippsland. Nearly all my photos (except a couple taken at my grandparents in Melbourne) are taken in this area. I could name the actual point, but a. I don't think it'd mean too much, as this is a remote area, and b. I still want to hold onto privacy a little. So would you say that the bird is a seagull? It's a lot bigger than an ordinary white seagull --Fir0002 July 2, 2005 10:21 (UTC)
  • Your photography is beautiful. I would guess that the flower is an evergreen wisteria. —Ghakko 1 July 2005 08:55 (UTC)
Thanks! Um, maybe I should have mentioned this, but it was found near the beach (Lakes Entrance). --Fir0002 July 2, 2005 10:21 (UTC)
    • 2920.jpg is a London Plane Platanus x hispanica; 3938 is a juvenile Pacific Gull Larus pacificus. The flower is something in the Fabaceae, though I don't know what - but definitely not a Wisteria.
      • Ah ha! So I was right -- and this explains some confusion. We had a couple of trees in front of my house in San Francisco that I thought were London Plane trees, but my wife (who knows plants much better than I do) said they were sycamores -- and other people didn't correct her when she asked about a fungal infection that all the local sycamores seem to have. If I'd had Wikipedia back then, I'd have looked it up and discovered they are known as planes in the Old World, and as sycamores in North America. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 1 July 2005 15:20 (UTC)

C programming question - extern and enum

I have a bunch of C files, and I have an enumeration in one file that I'd like to use in all the other files. I don't want to redefine the same enumeration in each of the other files. Is there a way to avoid this with the enum keyword? --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 02:57 (UTC)

You're probably best to put the enum in a header file, and include it in all of your C files. Bovlb 2005-07-01 03:11:25 (UTC)
Thanks, I did that and now my program works. I was trying to do "extern enum foo {a,b,c,d,e};" before. I don't understand why it doesn't work though. Could you please explain? --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 05:45 (UTC)
C compilers translate each file individually (together with its included header files) into an object file before the linker links them together. The compiler simply cannot see the enum declaration in another file at compile time, but it requires that declaration in order to interpret any reference to that enum or its members. extern is used to give external linkage to a function or variable; it is not used with types or tags. Bovlb 2005-07-01 06:11:20 (UTC)
Here's an example to illustrate what extern does:
void foo() { int a; a = 0; }
"Just after function foo starts, reserve for me 4 bytes of scratch space on the stack and let 'a' refer to an intin that space. Then zero 'a'."
void foo() { extern int x; x = 0; }
"Elsewhere, there's an int. Call it 'x'. Assign zero to 'x'."
In this case, the compiler will check to see if 'x' is indeed defined elsewhere in the same file. If it is, 'x' will refer to that. If not, the compiler just leaves a hole in the machine code where there should be a store instruction for 'x'. It's then up to the linker to fill it in when it assembles your final program, where hopefully some other library or module containing 'x' becomes available.
The enum you're declaring is not a reference to any particular data structure, so it makes no sense to declare it extern.
Ghakko 1 July 2005 08:01 (UTC)
Is there a way to force the enumeration to act as if it were a data structure, perhaps with some witty C code? Maybe you can propose an alternative to this: right now, I have an enumeration, something like enum State {Ready, Debug, Flush, Start, Stop}. This is in AppMain.c. In this file, I also have a line extern void UpdateState(enum State newState). Then, in a file StateManager.c I have the line void UpdateState(enum State newState). Now, the compilation does not work unless I put in StateManager.c the enumeration declaration found in AppMain.c. Does the C parser internally replace the tokens "Ready", "Debug", ... , "Stop" with 0,1,...,4 before passing the result to the linker? Thanks for your help! --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 14:36 (UTC)
Yes, they're integers (so much so that they're really not enums at all). As Ghakko says, enums are type definitions, not storage definitions. Logically shared ones should be in a shared header file. Personally I always use typedef enum and typedef struct (rather than plain enum and struct) as the resulting code is way easier to read. But most of all, remember that C enums are just a thin gossamer of lies over plain ugly integers - you can still assign -32843298 or whatever to a variable you declared with your enum type. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 1, 2005 19:26 (UTC)

adulth movie

Connecting to broadband when PC is nowhere near phone line

Hi all. I have recently moved into a new house, and have set up a broadband account from Tiscali which is delivered over a British Telecom phone line. Unfortunately, the BT phone socket is in my front room and I would ideally like to situate my computer at the back of the house, some ten to fifteen metres away. What is the best way to achieve this? I have tried running a standard phone extension through the house, but this does not work. Can I (a) connect wirelessly, without needing any large piece of equipment near the phone socket?; (b) get some special type of extension lead which will work for broadband?; or will I need to (c) pay BT to fit a new socket next to where I want the PC? Or is there a (d) that I haven’t thought about? Please make replies not too technical! OpenToppedBus - My Talk July 1, 2005 10:23 (UTC)

You could get a fairly small wireless router. It could be similar in size to this one. Superm401 | Talk July 1, 2005 12:17 (UTC)
Somebody has lent us a wireless router but it appears, from all the instructions to set it up, that it needs to be directly connected both to the phone line and to the PC. That allows us to also access the network from other devices, such as a laptop, but the basic requirement to have PC and phone line directly connected seems to still be there. Is that wrong, or do we have the wrong type of wireless router? OpenToppedBus - My Talk July 1, 2005 13:12 (UTC)
Most wireless routers also accept a direct cable from an ethernet (network) card, which is probably what is confusing you. To connect wirelessly, you'll need to have a wireless card in your PC. I have the device (WRT54G) that Superm401 linked to above, and my desktops are plugged into it with cables, while my laptop and pda use it wirelessly. For security, my device is configured to accept only connections from computers with known MAC addresses (to stop any hypothetical neighbour from leeching my bandwidth), and will not accept an administrator logon except from a wired connection (so if someone spoofs a MAC address, they still cannot change the settings of the device). In setting up your device, you probably want to run without such security settings until everything is working properly, and then tighten up on security.-gadfium 1 July 2005 20:26 (UTC)
The wireless router needs to be connected to the PC only when you first configure it. Thereafter - as per the name - it is wireless and your computer can be, oh, ten to fifteen metres away quite happily. It is the solution you want for maximum portability of the PC. Hint: Get a wireless router with a couple or more ariels - I think PCW recommended some sort of Belkin router such as [10] or [11]. Me, I use Netgear routers (older models of [12] and find them fine. --Tagishsimon (talk)
B&Q will sell you a phoneline extension kit, and it's very easy to add a new socket yourself (it's only two wires). You don't need to pay BT to do it: you own all the cabling inside your house, past BT's point of demarcation (which is generally a junction box on the outside of your building, or in the basement of a block of flats). There isn't anything special about the BT socket, and adding a few metres of cable won't make any difference (the genius of ADSL is that it works at all on existing nasty spliced-together wiring). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 2, 2005 00:01 (UTC)

Free Market

What are the main arguments against the Free market? The article and links don't really go into any depth.

Compare a gift economy. Having stating that, an argument is it is more prone to having a worse poverty cycle. Principally speaking, the argument runs that the free market is "free" in the sense one is free to hoard wealth and power over his or her neighbour, and use it to exploit. That is the main crux of the argument against a free market; there's also the idea that the market economy restricts growth because hostile competition between companies destroys advancement, rather than foster an environment for it, and progress is lost through lack of cooperation. Of course, there are counter-arguments, and counter-counter-arguments as well. -- Natalinasmpf 1 July 2005 22:10 (UTC)

Rhythmic clapping

Just curious - I was at a concert yesterday evening, and experienced this "rare phenomenon" (in the words of my psychologist mother). I've searched for it on W'pedia, without success. What causes it? How come people suddenly decide to conform to one rhythm when applauding a much appreciated performance? JMBell° 1 July 2005 11:04 (UTC)

N.B. My mom didn't answer this question, so it's no use asking her again. :)

It's sort of a form of entrainment-- slight adjustment by individuals to fit the rhythm makes the rhythm even more obvious and likely to be further reinforced. I think this is a relatively widespread natural phenomenon. I have heard that it occurs with fireflies of the south pacific-- a treeful can begin to blink in unison. alteripse 1 July 2005 18:38 (UTC)

Is it supposed to be rare in humans? I've heard that the topic took up a whole chapter in (a) psych. textbook(s). JMBell° 1 July 2005 21:57 (UTC)
I think this can be shown to be less of a rarity if we consider this a problem in the domain of synchronization and filtering and probability density functions. Given a rhythm, it's difficult to time one's clapping so it is always consistently slightly off, or more technically speaking, "out of phase". What's happening is sort of like what happens when you analyze phase locked loops. --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 22:04 (UTC)
I remember hearing once that while western audiences tend to clap individualy, eastern audiences will tend to clap together... could it just be a cultural thing? --Neo July 1, 2005 22:11 (UTC)
Can't be - the concert was in Germany, and the Germans are Westerners, right? What's more puzzling is how the audience tends to clap in rhythm while the performer is off stage, and then how the pattern breaks up again once he's back on stage and inflating his ego. :) JMBell° 1 July 2005 23:24 (UTC)
One other point of reference. If you listen to a broadcast of one of the more popular BBC Proms concerts from the Royal Albert Hall, you are likely to hear applause punctuatuated by synchronised stamping that gradually accelerates before breaking into more general applause. This is a long established tradition at the Proms and the stamp is usually initiated by the season ticket prommers standing at the front of the arena, although most of the audience picks up on the idea quickly. -- Solipsist 2 July 2005 12:14 (UTC)
Audience wave. -- Toytoy July 6, 2005 00:13 (UTC)

temperature and cloth

Is there any type of cloth which warm people more that others? Also, if there is, then why does that particular cloth warm other people more? And, is there any sort of thing that can provide a lot of warmth, not very big (30cm by 30cm), not very heavy, and does not run of electricity?

Would there be any type of cloth that takes the longest to heat up from body heat, and doesn't get sticky when there is sweat? Also, is there any sort of thing that can provide cold for a long time, not run of elctricity, not very big, and not very heavy (this does not include those ice pads)? --anon

This question is sort of related to insulation. A cloth with better insulation means it will keep you warmer, because it prevents less heat loss. To not get sticky, the cloth also needs to be slightly porous. What do you want to use these cloths for? --HappyCamper 1 July 2005 14:44 (UTC)
Note that due to its insulating characteristics, flannel tends to be warmer than flatter woven cloth, so flannel sheets feel warmer. Layering also helps. Reflective metal foil coverings are also available, but are not cloth. (SEWilco 1 July 2005 20:37 (UTC))

I'm thinking silk is one of the best, albeit kind of expensive. It warms up very nicely, but doesn't make one feel sticky. One of the beauties of silk when you consider its molecular structure. -- Natalinasmpf 1 July 2005 22:47 (UTC)

When people are pulled out of cold water by the coastguard they are put in some sort of tinfoil bag. Presumably this is the best material for the job. Theresa Knott (a tenth stroke) 2 July 2005 12:44 (UTC)
This looks like a homework question... but in any case, I would have thought the warmest cloth would be a modern man-made material such as Polartec [13] used to make many clothes for outdoor activities. I not sure what the standard measure of insulation would be.
At a guess, the (30cm x 30cm) item being hinted at is a survival blanket such as these, as it seems a little small to be a packed up sleeping bag. As SEWilco says a survival blanket (or space blanket) is usually made from metal foil or foil backed plastic. However, it may be refering to a device like the charcoal hand warmer (eg [14]).
We are not doing very well with articles on these outdoor topics. The simple redirect at fleece is also a bit disappointing, given its popularity as the name of a style of outdoor jacket. I guess the folks who know about them are all out climbing mountains instead of editing Wikipedia. -- Solipsist 2 July 2005 12:49 (UTC)

But hey, I climbed a 4000 metre mountain. Once. (And no one still can identify the clouds in my photos from the trip :[ ).-- Natalinasmpf 2 July 2005 20:09 (UTC)

Oh lets see, I think Thinsulate brand insulation really does have a very high insulation factor, but it is not durable enough for making cloth of its own, only as a stuffing. It is pretty useless when wet as is cotton and most other cloth. Wool actually retains the most insulative capacity when waterlogged, but does not dry as quickly as many synthetic cloths. As far as not getting sticky from persperation, there is a significant industry of high tech cloths that "wick" persperation out to the outer layers where it can ideally evaporate. Fleece and polypropylene fiber clothing do that some, but some of the more advanced cloths do it better. Since keeping dry is important for insulative capacity, those wicking layers (often the middle or first layer) are important in that. Also important are the outerlayers that are highly water resistant, but still allow water vapor to escape. Gortex does that, and there are others that are good but I'm forgetting the brand names. They can even keep you dry from a light rain and allow perspiration to evaporate. Pretty neat and a lot more comfortable than something waterproof and not breathable. And last, anything that could provide cold for a long time would either be through a chemical reaction (maybe one you could add water to onsite) or would have a very high heat storage capacity, which I think is called either specific heat or latent heat capacity, and would have to be physically cooled in a freezer or similar. Usually anything but the chemical one would be very heavy such as a liquid or gel or some such, so the first one may be the only thing that meets your criteria. - Taxman Talk July 6, 2005 20:56 (UTC)

Color of the clothing is also related to this. Dark colors tend to absorb sun light, while lighter colors tend to reflect it. Some fabrics have similar effects. AlMac 8 July 2005 14:25 (UTC)

slang word/phrase

what is the slang word/phrase for "when you lock all of your car doors at once"?

Thanks for your help. This is for extra credit on a test.


Um, "central locking" is the only term I know of, but technically that's not really slang. I really cannot think of another... Master Thief GarrettTalk 1 July 2005 22:32 (UTC)
da bang down (not really) Superm401 | Talk July 1, 2005 22:47 (UTC)
If the keys are inside, its: <many expletives deleted>. - Taxman Talk July 2, 2005 22:04 (UTC)
"chirping" v. Walking through a parking lot, fob in hand, locking/unlocking one’s car doors in a last-ditch effort to find your car. (Upon spilling her purse under the bar at Sutra, Ashley realized she’d be chirping her ass back to the car that night.) Daily Candy Atlanta--DebbieChinique 14:40, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Question on copyright law

I posted a similar question on Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) concerning Image:IN-N-OUT BURGER MENU BOARD.JPG, but I think the general subject is worth discussing here too: If you take a photo of a copyrighted sign or poster, to what extent can you claim your photo as public domain or some other copyleft licence? Zzyzx11 (Talk) 1 July 2005 23:56 (UTC)

  • IANAL, but as I understand it you took the photo so you can license it however you like. Obviously someone could get in trouble for cutting the in&out logo out of the photo and using that somewhere, but that's something entirely different. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 2 01:13 (UTC)
  • IANAL. If your image is substantially based on the sign, it is a derivative work of it. This would not apply if, for example, the sign was only partially visible in the background. However, this image is centered around and focused on the sign. Therefore, it is a derivative work and requires permission of the original copyright owner for publication. It can not be licensed at whim. Superm401 | Talk July 2, 2005 02:03 (UTC)
  • There are two issues here that I know of:
  • First is the fact that you are photographing a two-dimensional object. See Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. for some food for thought on whether this constitutes enough creativity to register as a new work, one which would trump the copyright claims of the original creator. I don't think it does.
  • Second is the problem of the logos and soforth, which are problems with trademark law, not copyright law.
So my basic answer is... it probably would not hold up in a court of law unless it fit under the various legal uses of copyrighted material (i.e. fair use, parody, critique, etc.). But people have threatened legal trouble for far less -- see Lessig's note on Jon Else's problems in getting permission to use a tiny snippet of The Simpsons in the background of one of his documentaries in Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture (a good primer for thinking about copyright questions, very easy to understand, a very quick read). (I am not a lawyer) --Fastfission 2 July 2005 19:26 (UTC)

Radio Canada

Back in the 1960s-80s (and maybe longer, if not still) there was a program on CBC radio every evening (or maybe Monday - Friday) called As It Happens. A man and a woman were the anchors, and they would have telephone conversations with sundry newsmakers. The news stories ranged from politics to - oh - something like someone discovering a 100-lb. puffball in their back yard (not really, but like that). I would still recognize the voices of the anchors, but their names escape me. Does anyone remember? --Mothperson 1 July 2005 23:59 (UTC)

  • Our As It Happens article has the information your looking for. You're probably thinking of Barbara Frum and Alan Maitland, who were the hosts for most of the period you are referring to. - SimonP July 2, 2005 01:56 (UTC)
    • That's it! Alan Maitland and Barbara Frum. Thank you. What a great article to read, too. That show enlivened many a dull car trip. Must listen to again. Thanks. --Mothperson 2 July 2005 13:32 (UTC)

Music score for Gabriel Faure's Pelleas et Melisande: Sicilienne

Just for the piece entitled "Sicilienne". Is there a place where I can find the score online for this, and print it out? Google only reveals music books I have to pay for...seeing how as it seems his works are over 70 years after his death, the scores reproducing Sicilienne shouldn't be copyrighted right? (Would that include recordings of recitals as well? I have this particular recording I recorded at a show, is it permissible to upload it?) Anyhow, is there a place where I can find the score for free? Or don't tell me the plutocrats have already an information monopoly on Sicilienne? :-( It's such a hauntingly beautiful piece, with a subtle ironic melody in it...alas. -- Natalinasmpf 2 July 2005 02:26 (UTC)

  • Well, a quick Google search for gabriel faure scores shows on the first page [15] where you can download it for $3.95. Sure does look like a pretty tune. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 2 July 2005 17:27 (UTC)
I've used in the past, and they offer both downloadable scores and print scores. It seems like they have Sicilienne in a print score for $6.75. Also, SheetMusicPlus ( offers the piece for $6.00. Hope this helps! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 2 July 2005 21:28 (UTC)

When a quadratic has 2 real solutions, what does this mean with respect to the graph of the quadratic?

Graph of f(x) = x2 - x - 2

When a quadratic has 2 real solutions, what does this mean with respect to the graph of the quadratic?

I assume it's a standard quadratic graph (qy=ax^2+bx+c) right? Anyhow, that will give you a vertical parabola, and the graph should cross the x-axis twice when you have two real solutions. For example, if the solution is -3, and 1, it means that the graph will cross the x axis at (-3, 0) and (1, 0) respectively.
If you had only one solution, it will only touch the x axis, then quickly go back down or up (to either positive or negative infinity) again...this depends on whether q was negative or positive in the first place. You could also have a horizontal parabola, where it is x=ay^2+by+c, which then the graph will cross the y axis twice instead.
If you have imaginary conjugates for the solution, the approach is entirely different. I won't elaborate on it too much here, because it's entirely another problem.
Anyway, if you look at the image to the right, there are two real solutions to the equation, y = x2 - x - 2 (you can work it out): -1 and 2 respectively. Thus, the graph crosses the x axis at -1,0 and 2,0 (because when you set the y axis to zero [x,0] you get a quadratic equation in standard form).
Hope this makes sense. -- Natalinasmpf 2 July 2005 02:44 (UTC)
Just wanted to add this: if it has two real solutions, the vertical parabola has either been shifted up or down. If it has been shifted up, the parabola must open down. If the parabola has been shifted down (as in the graph), it must open up. Hope that helps as well. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 2 July 2005 21:23 (UTC)
For the full range of answers: 2 real solutions means that the curve is cut into by the x-axis at two distinct points; 2 equal solutions (=1 solution in effect), the curve is tangential to the x-axis; no real solutions, the curve never touches the x-axis. smoddy 2 July 2005 21:30 (UTC)

tring to find a song from the 70's

I am trying to find a song from the 1970s...but I can't remember the name or the singer...but I do know some of the they are:

J John Jones hey there rich boy the law's going to lay your body down

I think it might be Country and I do know that it was a woman
Any help will be great and thank you

There is one Marie Hardway (born as Sylvia Marie Owen), a singing teacher formerly living in Nashville, Tennessee who claims to have had a top-40 country hit entitled "J. John Jones". Judging from her other claims, that must've been late 1960s or early 1970s ("You Gave Me A Mountain" was released in 1969). However, I have not been able to verify her claims, and I have no idea what her stage name was. Do the names ring any bells? Lupo July 4, 2005 10:18 (UTC)
Ok, her stage name was most likely Marie Owens, see this list of vintage 45rpm singles and a brief mention here (search for "Owens"). Lupo July 4, 2005 10:58 (UTC)
This Marie Owens did indeed sing Someone Loves You, Honey in 1975. Lupo July 4, 2005 11:13 (UTC)

London Geography

What county is London considered to be part of? --CGP July 2, 2005 08:50 (UTC)

Greater London. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 2 09:44 (UTC)
Used to be Middlesex. — Chameleon 2 July 2005 09:47 (UTC)
Note that the traditional counties were never abolished as such, they just ceased to correspond to the boundaries of local government in many areas. So it's legitimate to say that much of London is still part of Middlesex, it's just that Middlesex doesn't have a county council these days. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 05:04 (UTC)

The city of London covers parts of the traditional counties of Middlesex, Essex, Kent and Surrey. London is governed as the administrative area of Greater London, so it's not part of any administrative county. However, Greater London is a ceremonial county. See Counties of England for a discussion of the several kinds of county in England. Gdr 2005-07-02 11:29:22 (UTC)

  • The City of London is so tiny that it is colloquially referred to as the "Square Mile". Before 1974 there was a London County Council which covered much of what is now Greater London: it was abolished at the same time as Middlesex and both were merged into Greater London (with bits of other historic counties). As of 2005, county powers are shared between the boroughs and the Greater London Authority (have I got the name right?) in a system which is unique in the United Kingdom. Physchim62 4 July 2005 08:53 (UTC)
    • I think you'll find that the LCC was abolished and the GLC created in 1965.. -- Arwel 5 July 2005 00:39 (UTC)

The City of London predates the usage of County in England, and has had County status since 1132. Hiding 16:44, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Evolution of man

I have a talk page entitled user talk:Monami on Wikipedia. How do I get people to view it and ad teir comments,thougts and knowledge?


Go to [[human evolution]], click "Discuss this page", and put a comment there. Don't forget to add a link to your talk page. --Heron 2 July 2005 16:33 (UTC)

and make your title above into a wikilink and attract thousands of the idle and curious alteripse 2 July 2005 16:38 (UTC)

German tongue twisters

I would like to find a list of German tongue twisters based on as many phonemes of German as possible. Is there a list somewhere that you know of? --HappyCamper 2 July 2005 16:27 (UTC)

Did you try the German Wikipedia? -- Cyrius| 2 July 2005 16:55 (UTC)
More specifically, try -- what a lovely word! Tongue-breaker! --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 2 July 2005 17:14 (UTC)
Ooh, and that has a link to -- tongue twisters in 107 languages! --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 2 July 2005 17:17 (UTC)
How fun! We used to always do In Ulm, um Ulm, und um Ulm herum, from which I've determined by trial and error that it is scientifically impossible to pronounce um and Ulm distinctly at any speed. The second site has some real doosies though with the dialects. --Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 07:39 (UTC)

How do I request an article?

Hi. Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, but I'm having a terrible time figuring out how to request an article after going to your requested articles page, reading your FAQs, etc. I'm trying to request an article on political scientist/historian M. I. Finley.

Thank you very much.


Added him to Wikipedia:Requested_articles/Social_Sciences_and_Philosophy#People_2 for you. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 2 20:20 (UTC)
But if you have verifiable information on Finley, please just go and create the article, and include what you know. The only way the article is going to get created is someone like you doing some research and adding what they find. At a minimum try to create a Wikipedia:Perfect stub. - Taxman Talk July 2, 2005 22:01 (UTC)
Also just fyi this sort of question is more appropriately asked at the Help desk, not here. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 2 22:06 (UTC)

Ask and ye shall receive. The link is now blue, but anyone know what the MI stands for? alteripse 2 July 2005 23:20 (UTC)

It's a sickness, this need to find stuff out. I'd never heard of the man, I'm now embarrassed to admit. Sir Moses I. Finley, born Moses Israel Finkelstein, reportedly. --Mothperson 4 July 2005 00:45 (UTC)


When people say "what a palarver" (palava?, parlarva?) - what actually is it?, I can't find anything with Google, with various spellings. (This might be a British only expression). Jooler 2 July 2005 23:39 (UTC)

I don't know the British expression but is the word "palaver"-- an old slang term for a negotiation between parties who have difficulties understanding each others' languages? Used as both noun and verb. alteripse 2 July 2005 23:46 (UTC)

The term's "palaver", pretty much British only, but apparently from Portugese -
Palaver comes from the Portuguese palavra (talk), which is palaver, a council of African chiefs.

"Comparisons are odorous: palabras [words], neighbour Verges." - Shakespeare Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 4.

(Brewer's, 1898)
Now it essentially means a mild farce, misunderstanding, &c. Shimgray (logged out)

We do seem to be talking about the same word with the same root, but there is apparently a distinctly american usage which perhaps diverged from the british usage. I do not recognize the sense of "farce or misunderstanding" but palaver was not rare in American usage from late 19th to mid-20th century. It was used as an informal or slang term (especially frontier western) for formal speaking or negotiating in a language not ordinary to the speaker, and implied a tone of dimissiveness. Imagine John Wayne saying, "we'd better go have a palaver with the chief about those missing horses," or reporting on a dinner party at the Spanish embassy, "just a lot of palaver." I didn't know it was originally Portugese, but it is obviously cognate with parler and parliament. alteripse 3 July 2005 18:20 (UTC)


I must admit I thought you were making that up when you said it came from "parabola", but checking (which I really recommend) I get:
1733 (implied in palavering), "talk, conference, discussion," sailors' slang, from Port. palavra "word, speech, talk," traders' term for "negotiating with the natives" in W.Africa, metathesis of L.L. parabola "speech, discourse," from L. parabola "comparison." Meaning "idle talk" first recorded 1748.
Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 19:00 (UTC)

Lawrence Kudlow

Could someone please help expand the Lawrence Kudlow article? The article does not state accurately when Kudlow was working at certain jobs. For example, the article says that Kudlow worked at Freddie Mac, but it doesn't say when. 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 3, 2005 02:46 (UTC)

Beatles Album named "File Under Beatles"

I bought this Album and can't find any information on it. Can you Help with any Infomation? It has 2 Records enclosed. Thanks! Have a Happy 4th of July Weekend. Judy Devine---JDEVINE@AUSTIN.RR.COM.

Take a gander at this page! "The tape was played in 1980 at a Beatles convention, and eventually released on

a bootleg entitled File Under: Beatles.". So there you have it, you've got a (probably) rare and (possibly) valuable bootleg. Congratulations! :) That also explains why it's not on any release list--because they never released it! Master Thief GarrettTalk 3 July 2005 05:43 (UTC)

Jello Belt

According to our Jello Belt article, Mormons are supposed to like Jello - it appears to be a kind of stereotype. Why is this? Is it true? Do they really eat it with shredded carrots?! I have a minor fascination with Mormons (I'm not in the US so it's always seemed like an exotic and unfamiliar form of Christianity to me) and was intrigued when I came across this little fact. And on another note, does the term Jello Belt even exist? Someone on the talk page of that article claims it's a neologism spread by Wikipedia, in which case it's probably VfD time. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 05:38 (UTC)

According to WP's Gelatin dessert, Jell-O is the official state snack food of Utah. ;-) hydnjo talk 3 July 2005 12:29 (UTC)
I agree with you about the neologism, and I've listed it for VfD here. — Asbestos | Talk 3 July 2005 12:56 (UTC)
Jello is called a salad in much of the U.S. It's often made with added ingredients like shredded carrots, so it's not eaten with them as much as turned into a strange aspic. Marshmallows and fruits are also popular. I would be surprised if there weren't a lot of Mormon recipes for jello salads with marshmallows. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 13:05 (UTC)

Interesting, thanks. If I'm ever in Salt Lake I'll be sure to order the jello salad! Still, I'm puzzled about why Mormons particularly would be associated with jello? Was it invented in Utah maybe? — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 13:20 (UTC)

I don't think there's a truly definitive answer out there, but there sure are a lot of jokes about green jell-o and Mormons. Also theories about big families, talk about the notorious Mormon sweet tooth, and some really frightening "salad" recipes (some Spam and olives with those shredded carrots?). Jell-o was not invented in Utah. I'll make another guess but it's a wild one, based on a memory I have of seeing a full-page, color picture of a Mormon pantry ca. 1940 in an old Life magazine. The story said Mormons were required to have a full year's supply of food stockpiled at all times. I don't remember why. I also don't remember seeing jell-o in the picture, but it certainly would make sense to have a lot of it on hand as its shelf life has got to be well over a year. But we need a Mormon to answer here. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 23:23 (UTC)
I had also heard rumors about stockpiling food, but I agree that needs to be confirmed. I think the Jello connection has more to do with Mormons' white bread public image. Also, as a presbyterian*, I can say that Jello shows up very often at church pot-luck dinners. During a lifetime of social functions in a congregation without much culinary daring, I imagine a few of the more common dishes would get very old. *a denomination known for eating at church --Joel 6 July 2005 05:45 (UTC)
I just confirmed that the food storage thing is a strong recommendation from the LDS church, though of course some people can't afford it. I asked the resident LDS member in my office and he said of course it was. A year's supply is the recommendation. I didn't ask about the reasons why, I thought that might be rude. Our LDS article doesn't include anything about it, but I suppose there are a lot of little details about LDS the article does not include. I'm not sure the food stockpile has anything to do with the popularity of Jello among Mormons though. Maybe it just has more to do with the church's recommendation against candy and other pure sugar sweets, but Jello is allowed and still tastes sweet. My coworker didn't have a solid reason about the Jello proclivity, so maybe it is just one of those things where a certain group takes a liking to one particular thing. - Taxman Talk July 6, 2005 20:35 (UTC)
I don't know about Mormons and Presbyterians, but we at the DOC can find a reason to have a church dinner in any situation. I haven't seen much Jello, but if I have to eat another pound of potato salad, I'll sprout "eyes." has some good conjecturing on the subject, and a site called Mormons for Dean refers to the "Jello Bowl." I'm convinced! -- Essjay · Talk July 6, 2005 06:12 (UTC)
It's 5 to 4 in favor of deleting this cultural institution over at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Jello Belt, so if you're in favor of keeping, go vote now! If you're favor of deleting, here - relax, and have some green jello with pears and some nice cottage cheese. --Mothperson 7 July 2005 20:52 (UTC) (from the mysterious land where plain cottage cheese is considered a "salad" at church suppers)

Popularity of Shinto

According to our article on Japan, 54% of Japanese profess Shinto beliefs. However, it also notes that this is often about family background or some nominal affiliation (similar to the way large numbers of people in Britain put themselves down as Christians on the census, but the proportion who really accept Christianity's major teachings is a great deal smaller). I know that syncretism is important in Japan, with lots of people having Christian-style weddings etc, so roughly what proportion can be said to be Shinto "true believers" who take their religion seriously? I imagine it's quite small these days. What about amongst the young? How common is it to encounter Shinto teenagers or young adults who might be described as religious? — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 05:38 (UTC)

Rare. A majority of Japanese would probably visit a shrine a few times a year (especially at New Year), but Shintoism that "might be described as religious" is usually associated with unusually nationalistic politics. One moniker is that the Japanese are "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist", describing the religions most associated with the ceremonies at these stages of life. Most of the sects associated with overt religious observance or piety in Japan (in the sense that an American or a Brit might understand this) are based on Buddhism. Physchim62 4 July 2005 09:01 (UTC)
Unlike Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Asian religions are generally not that exclusive. It's usually buddhism + shinto in Japan and buddhism + taoism in China. Some Christians learned to co-exist peacefully with their buddhist family members. People develop their own ways to deal with unavoidable systemic conflicts. -- Toytoy July 4, 2005 09:55 (UTC)

German and Japanese rock

Not a factual question but a matter of opinion. Can any Wikipedians recommend me a really good rock or indie band that sings in German (and is popular enough that it won't be too much trouble for me to track down some of their music)? Likewise with Japanese-language rock (and any other language for that matter if you happen to be passing and have a recommendation). I like to think I have diverse musical tastes already, but looking through my collection I find terrible and shocking omissions! Thanks in advance! — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 05:38 (UTC)

For German, you might seek out Nina Hagen, who sometimes sings in her native German (although more in English). I happen to like Udo Lindenberg, but he's a bit dinosaurish for someone who singles out "indie". Oh, and while she wasn't rock, I can't resist mentioning Lotte Lenya.
And I'll take any excuse to plug my favorite Romanian-language bands: Spitalul de Urgenţă and Taxi from Romania, and from Moldova Zdob şi Zdub. Judging again by your mention of "indie", Spitalul de Urgenţă would probably be most to your taste.
And, while I'm at it, in Spanish, an amazing hip-hop group from Monterrey, MexicoSinaloa, Mexico]], by way of Los Angeles: Akwid! (OMG, we don't have an article on them, I'll put that on my to-do list.) -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 06:16 (UTC)
Excellent Jmabel, thanks. I will look into those suggestions. And dinosaurish is very welcome, perhaps I shouldn't have singled out indie. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 06:21 (UTC)
I second Zdob şi Zdub. They were in Eurovision :p Hedley 3 July 2005 23:17 (UTC)
Melt Banana??!!!?????! MeltBanana 4 July 2005 22:20 (UTC)
BTW, Taxi (also Eurovision vets: see article, amusing story) have a ton of free downloads on their web site. And Dan Teodorescu of Taxi was actively helpful in our writing an article about them, even giving permission to quote lyrics extensively. -- Jmabel | Talk July 4, 2005 22:50 (UTC)
Dude, the pillows. Japanese guitar rock. Awesome.

Body warmth

I was just wondering where all our body warmth come from? And is there any place on our body which is the best place to put heat into our body?

Here are two possible explanations.

FIRST Heat is sort of the frequency at which all the molecules that make up your body vibrate. In all but very unusual circumstances, you don't put heat into your body, you export it. You have little tiny things called mitochondria inside your cells. They "burn" (literally, oxidize), the foods you eat which can serve as fuel. This process is called metabolism. Some of the food goes into building new molecules, some goes into providing energy for the function of your body, some of the fuel gets stored (as fat in adipose tissue), and some gets released as increased vibrational energy (that is, heat) within the cells. This is your body heat and it is carefully maintained at about 37o Celsius or 98.6o Fahrenheit (unless you happen to be a lizard of course).

So normally you make your own heat from the food you eat. If it is very cold out and you are trying to stay warm putting hot food in your stomach helps some, but what helps even more is reducing heat loss to the environment. Heat loss from limbs can be reduced by slowing the amount of blood flowing through them and insulating them from contact with cold air with clothes and gloves. You also lose much heat from your head, and you really don't want to reduce the blood flow there, so wearing a hat greatly reduces the rate of heat loss in a very cold place.

Finally, there is a situation where we actually put heat into a body rather than trying to generate it within or limit loss. If someone has gotten so cold that their body temperature is way down (like 5 or 10 degrees down), various body processes begin to fail and the body itself may not be able to generate enough heat to restore normal temperature. This is called hypothermia. Doctors use a combination of prevention of further loss and putting in heat by immersing the body in a warm bath, and/or giving the person warm liquid to drink depending on consciousness. So, finally, you can put more heat in faster by immersion of the body in warm water than by drinking hot water.

SECOND, heat is indeed something called phlogiston that flows in and out of things. The most efficient way to put the most phlogiston back into your body is by carefully pouring it into your... Oops, we are out of time and will have to leave alternative theories to another day. alteripse 3 July 2005 11:57 (UTC)

This phlogiston stuff is rubbish. Everyone knows that heat is made from caloric. Furby100 23:43, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

This next reference will help you decide which explanation to believe:

Take a look at Thermoregulation#Heat_production_in_birds_and_mammals. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 3, 2005 11:32 (UTC)

Although it's generated by all living cells in your body, the largest source of heat (per capita wise) comes from the liver. -- Natalinasmpf 4 July 2005 16:32 (UTC)

Don't you think it would be heat per iecura rather than per capita? alteripse 4 July 2005 19:51 (UTC)

Some parts of our anatomy are kind of the boss to the rest of the body. I attended a convention once in which the air conditioning was broke in the lodging, and it was very hot out there. By placing some ice, between my legs, an important part of my body was comfortable, and the rest of the body also felt more comfortable. This was psychological, not physical, which is 1/2 the battle. AlMac 8 July 2005 14:33 (UTC)

X Rules Ok

What is the origin/meaning behind the common grafiti "X rules ok," as in "Arsenal rules ok"?

And is it

  • "Arsenal rules ok"
  • "Arsenal rules, ok?"
  • "Arsenal rules, ok!"

...I've seen all three, though the first seems silly ("Arsenal rules ok, you know, but it's not that great...").

I think "Arsenal rules ok" makes the most sense, as it states the point that Arsenal rules, but the writer is too cool to get very excited about it. So the exclamation point would be over the top, and the question mark would be out of the question. But this is just my opinion. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 13:14 (UTC)
Whenever I've come across X rules ok I haven't really interpreted it like that. Saying something "rules ok" suggests quite a bit of enthusiasm. The question mark is a later development I'd guess, and it's logical to include the exclamation mark even though there isn't one a lot of the time. I'm not sure about the origin though. I've always thought it was a bit of an odd phrase. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 13:30 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that the phrase didn't indicate quite a bit of enthusiasm. I believe it most assuredly does. And I think it's a great phrase. Layered. Subtle. Okay. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 13:46 (UTC)
Just like a Wikipedian? :-) --HappyCamper 3 July 2005 16:02 (UTC)
Exactly. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 16:29 (UTC)

It seems to me that it should be "rules, ok!" by analogy with similar tags expressing enthusiasm like "hurrah!" and "¡ole!". Gdr 3 July 2005 16:03 (UTC)

Start menu

My programs list in my Windows XP Start menu is too long. How do I rearange it into a better structure? Chnging the folder arrangement in C:/Program Files doesn't seem to work. Thanks, --Mike

I asked my question tithout a heading and people replied above. Someone moved my question to a new heading, so I'll move the parts of the replies from above. --Mike

As for your XP programs list problem, I haven't figured that out myself, sorry. --Mothperson 3 July 2005 13:14 (UTC)
As for the Windows XP start menu, it doesn't take its arrangement from the structure of Program Files, in fact it's possible you'll break some of the shortcuts in your start menu by moving things around there. The contents of the start menu are shortcuts stored in your Documents and Settings folder. Click right button on your start menu and in the context menu you should see "open" and "explore" commands, which will bring you up the folder where all the shortcuts are. Some are specific to you and some are in an "all users" section elsewhere. There should also be "open all users" and "explore all users" commands. What can I be thinking of, still using Windows most of the time? It has crashed on me twice today.... — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 13:30 (UTC)

Ok, I've got that now, thanks. However, now I need to know how to re-arrange my folders in the Start menu. It seems to only place things in chronological order. Also, creating horizontal lines to separate off blocks of folders would be great if it were possible. Thanks, --Mike

Hmmm, I'm not sure about this. I seem to be able to change the order of folders in the start menu by just dragging them up and down, but you have to drag the actual folder icon and not the text. If your "all programs" section is getting a bit crowded it is surely possible to go into edit mode and make overall category folders like "graphics" and "games" and shove subfolders in them. My start menu is looking quite a mess itself actually. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 17:15 (UTC)

Thanks, I've basically sorted it out now (I doubt there's any way I can add horizontal breaks). I had thought of dragging, but it didn't seem to work on my first attempt.

The other confusion is that, though there's only one user on this computer, half the items in the start menu are in the "Me" Documents and Setting folder and half are in the "All Users" folder, with no apparent rhyme or reason between them. I've thrown everything into the All Users folder and that seems to work.

Thanks all!

Yes, I found exactly the same pattern with mine. — Trilobite (Talk) 3 July 2005 17:38 (UTC)

You can also get an alternative shell for Windows (by default it is explorer.exe) - then you can really change things. Wouldn't be much hassle either. ;-) -- Natalinasmpf 5 July 2005 23:53 (UTC)

In earlier versions of Windows, like I have, it was possible to create a set of sub-folders, and move things there from higher levels. I also found that it pays not to go too many levels deep, if I am at risk of forgetting where I put something. Some day I will learn how to identify stuff I not use any more that can be deleted, and how to delete it, such as Browser links. AlMac 8 July 2005 14:38 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain all versions of IE supported right-clicking in the Favourites menu (not sure about Netscape's Bookmarks though). You just right-click and choose Delete. That link or entire folder moves to the Trash. Simple! :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:59 (UTC)

Erased entries.

To: Wikipedia

Is there a way of preventing others from erasing my entries in Wikipedia? The protoscience catagory where my writings were are erased. Others should not be able to erase entries by others, only add to them.

No, this is an integral part of Wikipedia. If you think it was not appropriate, however, you can revert the changes - just be careful not to start an edit or revert war with someone, as this is frowned upon. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 3 21:43 (UTC)

Your edits reveal a significant misunderstanding of the category system. Category:Time Travel Experiments contains article text and uses categories the wrong way round. Oh, and people are continuously getting their work deleted. Wikipedia is a wiki, which means that everybody can edit everything, including your work. JFW | T@lk 3 July 2005 21:50 (UTC)

Just in case you haven't read through the Wikipedia:Category article, the basic idea is that a category is a grouping of individual articles, not an article itself. This page for instance, the Wikipedia:Reference Desk, is in the categories Wikipedia help forums and Wikipedia resources for researchers, as you can see at the bottom of the page.
Your article, by the way, is covered in depth at the Time travel article. You should be editing that or its sub-articles if you think there's anything missing in them. — Asbestos | Talk 3 July 2005 23:42 (UTC)

Physics involved in cymbals?

I skimmed through most drums- and cymbals-related articles, but couldn't find any discussion of the physics involved in the acoustics of cymbals: what gives the cymbal its specific sound? what are the influences of shape, material, size, thickness, position of the hit?

Is there already such an article on Wikipedia? I see very detailed articles about how cymbals are manufactured and what materials are employed, it would be a pity if there was no article about a physical description of cymbal acoustics... --Ma Baker 3 July 2005 23:46 (UTC)

I don't know the technical aspects of cymbals/drums but I am a drummer (although not a good one - I've only been playing for about 3 yrs off and on) and so know a little about them. The larger the cymbal the deeper the tone (much like a bell). Small cymbals give a higher pitched sound. Also it depends where you hit the cymbal, if you hit the cymbal on the raised part (right in the middle) you will get a real PING sound (at least that's how I'd describe the high pitch sound). If you hit it right on the outside edge you get a deeper sound, and the cymbal vibrates longer and produces sound longer. If you hit the cymbal with part of the stick as will as the tip (hold it at an angle) you will get a nice crash sound. Another thing is the sticks themselves - if you use a mallet (drumstick with a soft large white tip) you can make a great crescendo by rapidly beating the cymbal in increasing strength. --Fir0002 July 5, 2005 09:15 (UTC)

I don't know what your background is, but there's a reasonably good writeup here. There's also a rather mathematical treatment followed by a few photos here. I've definitely seen better images of the sand-on-a-drum experiments elsewhere though, but it does illustrate the various modes of vibration on a drum. The possible modes are all determined by the size of the drum, which sets the boundary condition as the edges are held down.

Different types of strikes to the drum will stimulate a different set of modes of vibration, producing different sets of frequencies and in the end a different sound. The material choice and design will affect the natural frequency of the object due to the effective spring constant, which can depend on material properties such as Young's modulus, the shear modulus and the density. I suspect that cymbal shape is chosen so that the inner region can act as it's own cymbal that's simply coupled to the outer disc, producing louder high pitches than from a large flat disc. --Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 08:52 (UTC)

Indiana Covered Bridge Makers and Politicians

Hi: I am attempting to research Indiana Rush County Bridge Makers and politicians. I have done some research with Google successfully. Your search engines are not showing me information I assume you might have or new ones I was hoping to get.

Can you please tell me how to use your search engine for a search to include 1800's Rush County Indiana politicians, Archibald. M. Kennedy for politics and bridge building? I would also like to see if I can trace his family history back to North Carolina. I would also like to trace his children Emmet L. Kennedy and Charles Kennedy and their children who were bridge builders as well.

Can you help me to use your site more effectively. I would appreciate your help.


K. Kennedy 433 Corte Madera Town Center

  1. 687

Corte Madera, Ca. 94925

Sorry, you are not likely to find additional info here except our covered bridge article. Our wikipedia search engine is extremely rudimentary except for article titles. Try google or others for better internet-wide surfing. We would be happy to have you expand our article or write more for us. alteripse 4 July 2005 02:04 (UTC)

Barack Obama

I have read Barrack Obama's book and numerous articles about him. In the most recent issue of Time magazine (July 4, 2005) again it refers to his mother being from Kansas. I would like to know what city in Kansas? I live in Wichita so I am just curious. On a few websites it gives her name as being S. Ann Dunham and is a distant descendant of Jefferson Davis. She is also part Cherokee Indian. Please help -- thanks!

Our article on Barack Obama lists his mother as being from Wichita. --Robert Merkel 4 July 2005 04:28 (UTC)

Statistics from the Second Battle of El Alamein

I was wondering about the statistics arising from the Second battle of El Alamein. Aspects such as number of causualties, number of tanks lost, number of soldiers captured or that surrendered from both The Axis army and the Aliied Army.

Getting external image working in < gallery > tag?

On my mediawiki site, an simple external image code like works, but the gallery tag <gallery></gallery> doesn't work. How do I do it? My problem is that I already have a hundred file on the server but outside the wiki system and I dont't want to upload them one by one to the wiki again.

Thanks 4 July 2005 10:32 (UTC)

You can't get external images to work on wikis, simply because it's too easy to abuse. You could ask someone to write you a bot to do an automatic mass upload, though. - Mgm|(talk) July 4, 2005 16:40 (UTC)
No, I think you can get it to work on most wikis, but it's switched off on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, to avoid stealing other's bandwidth. User needs to go to and report it as a bug there. Dunc| 4 July 2005 16:57 (UTC)
See Dunc| 4 July 2005 17:02 (UTC)

How to calculate the conductance of a capacitor in a RC mesh?

A resistor in series with capacitor and a voltage source. How to find node voltages by Nodal Analysis? Problem is in calculation of Conductance of a capacitor since "Imaginary part-j" comes in picture. Kindly reply to this query immediately.

Just so you know, Wikipedians tend to work on their own schedule. :-)
Your question sounds rather like an introductory homework question which you should be able to find more accessible resources from your classes or textbook, instead of the reference desk here. :-)
Nevertheless, first of all, the conductance of a capacitor is jωC. Its impedance is 1/(jωC).
For good measure, for an inductor, the conductance is 1/(jωL) and its impedance is jωL. So, to do nodal analysis whenever you are working with a circuit in the frequency domain, just replace all capacitances in your circuit with 1/(jωC) and all inductances with jωL. Then you just do nodal analysis with these values. It's just a lot more messier because of the imaginary quantities, but it's exactly the same method.
Having said that, it sounds like your question involves a voltage source operating at a particular frequency ω . Let's say, for simplicity that this frequency is fixed (and for the purposes of this question, we'll draw out your circuit like this:
   |             |
 -----           |
 | + |         ----- C
 | - | V~      -----
 -----           |
   |             |
This circuit has 3 nodes, labeled X,Y, and Z. The voltage source V is an AC source, but to solve these types of problems it's much easier to "pretend" as if the voltage drops as you go from X,Y and back to Z. In nodal analysis, pick one of the nodes to be your reference node, and for simplicity, you define this node as having 0 volts. Any node can be assigned to 0, but some nodes are better than others because they can simplify the problem more. Let's pick Z to be the reference node.
In this case, the voltage at X becomes V(t). Hence, the only unknown voltage is at Y. The resistor R and the capacitor C in series now acts as voltage divider on V, and as a result, Y = V(C/(C+R)). This formula I think you should know already, so I won't explain why that is. (Some other kind Wikipedian might). The impedance of a capacitor is given by 1/(j ω C) (which you should also know), and if the resistor R has a resistance of "r", its impedance is also just "r".
So, this means that
The last quantity is more or less the answer. We have articles on RC circuit, low-pass filter to help you out, but these articles are really in need of more development. --HappyCamper 4 July 2005 12:01 (UTC)

If you want to get rid of the complex part of the answer, you could express it instead in phasor form by determining the magnitude and phase of the answer:



Finally, you will eventually want to determine the -3dB cutoff point for the circuit. This is defined as such that:

which, after some algebra gives the famous expressions:


or Hz.

origins of the names Niger and Nigeria

Niger river at Koulikoro

I was using your website to look up some imformation about the origins of "race" and racial terminology. I noticed that the racial catergory of "Negroid" comes from the word negro (Spanish & Portuguess for "black"), derived from the Latin word niger. I was wondering if this had anything to do with how the countries Niger and Nigeria were named, since they were both probably named by Europeans and not by Africans themselves.

Good question, but the etymology of the name is explained in the Niger River article page as follows: There is an opinion that the name of the river Niger came from the Tuareg language gher n gherem = "river of rivers", not from the Latin or Portuguese word for "black". The West African nations of Nigeria and Niger are named after the river. However, it is speculated that the name Niger came from the Danubion word for 'flow'. So there you go. --Tagishsimon (talk)
I'm pretty sure Niger comes from Latin. The Tuareg word for river is eghazar. And for sure it doesn't come from any kind of Danubian word! - Mustafaa 4 July 2005 17:39 (UTC)
I've also always read it comes from the Latin word for black, but our list of country name etymologies disagrees. Interestingly the name Ethiopia comes from the Greek word for black, Sudan means the same in Arabic, as does Guinea in Berber, so seven countries in Africa are named for the colour of their inhabitants' skin. (Niger, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau) - SimonP July 5, 2005 02:07 (UTC)

Mark Chmura

What is he doing now?

Former NFL footballer Mark Chmura hosts a weekly radio program on ESPN Milwaukee radio. --Robert Merkel 5 July 2005 02:10 (UTC)

Animation style

Is there a name for the style of animation where the borders of characters and objects in general are very shaky, as in Ed, Edd n Eddy ? I believe the shaking and moving borders are intentional rather than being a limitation of hand-drawn animation. Jay 4 July 2005 17:08 (UTC)

Roobarb calls it the "Roobarb and Custard effect". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 4, 2005 17:13 (UTC)
The effect is called "boiling". —Ghakko 07:03, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

land for sale in Michigan

Yes, since the United States is a capitalist country, the purchase land in Michigan is most probably possible. You should probably speak to an estate agent. Dunc| 4 July 2005 21:32 (UTC)

...on the other hand... oh, never mind. hydnjo talk 5 July 2005 00:43 (UTC)

American Independence

Yes, what about it? ¦ Reisio 2005 July 5 03:13 (UTC)

RAM Type

What is the fastest RAM compatible with the motherboard (I don't know the name) of a HP Pavillion 522a computer. I want to replace the original 256mb PC2100 chip with a 512mb PC2700. --Fir0002 July 5, 2005 09:05 (UTC)

Usually a motherboard can only accept one type of RAM (by type, I mean things like SDRAM, DDRAM, RDRAM, not size), right? IIRC, this would mean only DDR. -- Natalinasmpf 5 July 2005 10:38 (UTC)

Your motherboard will also have a limit on the speed the RAM runs at and also how much can be used. Looking here , I see that it takes up to 2GB but doesn't go faster than PC2100. Of course, the website might not be accurate. -Robmods 6 July 2005 18:40 (UTC)

Russian translation

Can anyone translate this: товарищ, у вас какая система? а какйо у вас словарь?

I don't understand all of this, but the first sentence asks what system (computer?) you are using, and the second asks if you have a dictionary. Gareth Hughes 5 July 2005 12:11 (UTC)
The first word is "Tovarisch" (sp., "Comrade". -- Arwel 5 July 2005 23:14 (UTC)
The second sentence seems to contain a typo. какой is a Russian word (meaning "which?"), but I'm not aware of any such word as какйо. If it really is какой, the sentence means: "But which dictionary do you have?" The context will dictate how the sentences would be translated into idiomatic English - without the context it's not really possible to be confident. Cheers JackofOz 6 July 2005 03:07 (UTC)

The Movie Patton

IN the movie Patton, Gen. Patton, had a prayer written for the wheather before they were to invade Germany. what was the prayer.??

According to, it goes like this:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.
The full story is at the link. --khaosworks July 5, 2005 12:53 (UTC)

daily weather for Paris France for years 1938 - 1942

how can I find what the daily weather was for Paris, France for the years of 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, and 1942? thank you from bob godfrey

Météo France is always a good bet for French weather. Looking around the site I found a link to 250 years of weather in Paris [16]. There's so much documented here that I'm sure you can find what you are looking for. --Gareth Hughes 5 July 2005 17:26 (UTC)

Peniel vs. Penuel

I am contacting you with the simple question of telling me why the same word is spelled in two different ways.

Why, as in today's readings, was the word first given as "Peniel" when, a few sentances later it's spelled as "Penuel"? Is there a difference, or are they both the same word with two different spellings.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this!

We have a very short article on Penuel, it appears as Peniel only in Genesis 32.30-31, and appears to be the same name. In Hebrew, Penuel is פנואל, wheras Peniel is פניאל, only one letter different. Both mean the same thing, and the difference is perhaps down to a scribal error. --Gareth Hughes 5 July 2005 17:45 (UTC)
Er, perhaps I'm in over my head here, but I was under the impression that semitic languages don't emphasize vowels. Ancient hebrew didn't have written vowels at all, unless I'm mistaken, which would mean that it was a systemic omission in the entire body of literature, not an isolated scribal error: for generations, they wrote PNL, and then figured out two different ways to make the word pronouncible again. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to be a case where a jot or twittle has passed from the law...Joel 6 July 2005 05:54 (UTC)
To say that there are no written vowels is an over-simplification. The Hebrew I have written above could be written out (without vowels) as PNW'L and PNY'L - where the apostrophe represents a glottal stop, and either W or Y represents a long vowel (see matres lectionis for a discussion of this). --Gareth Hughes 6 July 2005 20:35 (UTC)

How do you find the Auther of a certain article?

Hey Im doing a ncea History internal assesment, and i need to referance an article from this web site and in order to do so i need to find who the Auther of the page called Benito Mussolini was if anyone knows this information or knows how to find the information it would be greatly appreciated if you would let me know.

Many Thanks, Emma

Information about how to cite a wikipedia article in your assignment's biblography can be found at Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. As almost all articles are written by lots of different people, we recommend you cite the author as "Wikipedia contributors". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 6, 2005 00:23 (UTC)
Emma, I wonder if you could answer a question for us. Questions about citing Wikipedia are fairly common, and we'd like to make it easier for people to find this information. Obviously there's a disconnect between where we place this information, and where people look for it. Could you please tell us where you looked first, or where you would have expected to find it before you got to the point of posting a question to the Reference Desk? Thanks, Bovlb 2005-07-06 00:41:19 (UTC)
That's a good question; it isn't very easy to find. Mathworld and Britannica have the citation info right on the page itself (although mathworld's is rather objectionable, and doesn't cover multi styles). I think there's a bug in bugzilla asking for similar support here. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 6, 2005 00:57 (UTC)
See bug #800. Bovlb 2005-07-06 01:30:35 (UTC)

Smart question, are we all feeling "duh" now? She is right, we should build the answer into bottom of each article a little more explicitly. It would sure beat answering it here every other day! alteripse 6 July 2005 01:44 (UTC)

We do have a big notice at the top of this page directing people who have this common question to the page on citing Wikipedia. While this may be considered harsh and unwelcoming to newcomers, if I was the god-king of Wikipedia I would just remove messages like these from people who can't follow simple instructions. Having said that, a link in the page footer on each article taking readers to a page of automatically generated citations for various common formats would be a good idea in my opinion. — Trilobite (Talk) 6 July 2005 05:40 (UTC)
I know it sounds stupid, but I think in many cases the problem is the word "cite". I suspect a lot of people aren't linking it to "reference"; if nothing else, a lot of the requests I see are for "how to site". This wouldn't be a problem verbally, but written it can pose one... no idea how to handle this, though. Shimgray 6 July 2005 14:30 (UTC)

I had a very pesky situation when my teacher rejected the my bibliography for "Wikipedia contributors", the end I had to explain the entire concept of what a wiki was. Still didn't get it. In the end, even though it was proposterously inaccurate, I wrote, "Jimbo Wales". -- Natalinasmpf 6 July 2005 06:22 (UTC)

Wow, that is amazing that teachers supposedly concerned about facts and proper citing of sources would prefer nonsensical formulations like that over the simple truth! — Trilobite (Talk) 6 July 2005 06:47 (UTC)

Name of US Ambassador to Mexico and Mexican President

This is of an urgent nature. My son and his girlfriend are missing. They were last seen in Puerta Vallarta Mexico. I would like to know how to contact the American Ambassador to Mexico, how to get a phone #, e-mail address, as well as a phone # and e-mail to the President of Mexico. Your most immediate reply is greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is Thank you. Sarah Chevaucher

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico is Antonio O. Garza, Jr. The address of the Mexican embassy is
Embajada de Estados Unidos
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Col. Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F
From the U.S., you can reach the embassy at
Embassy Mexico
P.O. Box 9000
Brownsville, TX 78520-9000
I would think that if you mailed the ambassador at those addresses, the mail would eventually reach
him or, more likely, an aide representing him.
Phone numbers for the embassy are:
From Mexico: (01-55) 5080-2000
From the U.S.: 011-52-55-5080-2000
Fax numbers follow:
From Mexico: (01-55) 5511-9980
From the U.S.: 011-52-55-5511-9980
CCS is citizens' consular services
For this information and more, see , the site for the U.S. embassy embassy in Mexico.
I wasn't able to find contact information for the president. It probably doesn't matter, because I doubt anything you sent to him would be read.
According to the site I referenced, the best course of action for you now is to call the embassy. :If you can call between 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (U.S. central time) , call
011-52-55-5080-2000 Ext. 4780
If you can't call during those hours, call
011-52-55-5080-2000 and ask to speak to the duty officer.
I am forwarding this to your email. Good luck. Superm401 | Talk July 6, 2005 03:01 (UTC)
  • Try checking out this link here [17] as a start.
You'll probably have better luck contacting the American consulate general in Puerto Vallarta.
U.S. Consular Agency Puerto Vallarta
Zaragoza 160 - 2nd. Floor, Office 18
Phone 01-322-222-0069
Fax 01-322-223-0074
Educational lesson for today: Embassies are for one government to talk to another, consulates are for helping a nation's citizens who are in another country. -- Cyrius| 6 July 2005 09:12 (UTC)
Got an email, said missing people are on their way home. -- Cyrius| 7 July 2005 02:09 (UTC)
That's wonderful. Superm401 | Talk July 7, 2005 23:24 (UTC)


Does someone have a formula for Mw and Mn in terms or Wi and Mi? This is in the context of polymers, thermodynamics, and the Flory-Huggens free energy formula. Thanks a lot! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 30 June 2005 20:21 (UTC)

Browsing through my copy of Young and Lovell, I'm not seeing anything right off the bat; leave a comment on my talk page in a few days and I'll remember to get back to it.--Joel 6 July 2005 05:07 (UTC)
Are you talking about the weight average molecular weight Mw and the number average molecular weight Mn? --HappyCamper 7 July 2005 04:29 (UTC)

Source of information on National Institute of Health Recommendation

In the Wikipedia entry under "Omega-3 Fatty Acids" the following statement is made: "US National Institutes of Health recommends 650 mg of EPA and DHA, 2.22 g/day of alpha-linolenic acid, all of which are Omega-3 fatty acids, and 4.44 g/day of linoleic acid, aka Omega-6."

I cannot find the US National Institute of Health recommendation for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I can find their recommendations for total, saturated, unsaturated and trans fats, but I cannot find a specific reference to omega-3s and omega 6s. Please tell me where to find this information, as I do not see a National Institute of Health reference at the end of the entry.

Thank you,

Thomas Morton

[email, phone number removed]

So far as I know, we never had RDA values set for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but now that we've switched to the Dietary Reference Intake they've added softer recommendations for the nonessentials. This pdf (linked to by the USDA here) lists the Adequate Intake for lenoleic (omega-6) fatty acids in the 14-17 g/day range for adult men, 11-12 g/day for adult women, while for alpha-linolenic (omega-3) the numbers are 1.6 g/day for adult men, 1.1 g/day for adult women.
From this it looks like the article is overstating the recommendations, which isn't a big deal since no Upper Intake Limit has been set on them. Don't see any values on EPA or DHA specifically, but I am also very reluctant to wade through the full reports. Not every text by committee recommends that you be bold.--Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 07:24 (UTC)
That sounds about right to me too. Also note that most infant formula does now include DHA and EPA, since those are found in breast milk and were not previously in formula. Though they don't have information on the recommendations, also see the omega-3 fatty acid and fatty acid articles. - Taxman Talk 15:09, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Lyrics sites

Does anyone know of any external sites which would enhance the quality of our lyrics article? Specifically, the article is missing links to academic sites which analyse lyrics for their political, economic, social or aesthetic value. --HappyCamper 4 July 2005 05:45 (UTC)

Are you a college student? Do you have access to jstor? (you can check you college library's "electronic journal database" or some variant link to confirm). lots of issues | leave me a message 6 July 2005 02:05 (UTC)

Identification of a bird

Does anyone has an ideea of what sort of bird this might be ?

Thank you very much in anticipation ! Rama 5 July 2005 12:46 (UTC)

My stamp-collecting history made my mind throw up the name Rock Wren the moment I saw these pictures (also see this photo). However upon closer inspection it might not be. I'm not sure about the colouration range of this species, and the tail arrangement seems different. Well, a guess is better than silence anyway, which is what you've gotten so far... :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 6 July 2005 21:00 (UTC)
  • It would help a lot with these wonderful "identify the photo" postings if the questioner would provide some hints as to where the photographs were taken. jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 7 July 2005 16:11 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I was out of my mind. The bird was photographed in an urban area, in Switzerland, in summer. I has a very vocal and melodic pattern of singing (as a matter of fact, it seems to favour specific classical music interpreters and sings along...). It has a size similar to a sparrow, but the tail makes it a little bit longer. Thank you for your interest ! Rama 08:04, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

1948 London Olympics - photo of Duncan White

Hi someone posted a photo of Duncan White winning Sri Lanka's (Ceylon's) only olympic meddal on here. Duncan White is my husbands grandfather. I'd really like to get a copy of the picture for him, but it is too small a file size to simply print from wikipedia.

How can I get photos of him for my husband?

Thanks Sirajade <email address removed>

Forest Management in the United States of America

Is there any reference to Forest Management in the United States of America?

I am a Professional Forester and I am interested in land area, growth and harvest statistics.

Is there any reference to these by States?

Would appreciate it if such is available.

Richard Wheeler Sacramento, California

I would be really surprised if the United States Forest Service in all its statistics available here and here didn't have that information somewhere. Lupo July 6, 2005 15:38 (UTC)

Who is the Violinist


Does anybody know who this is? I found it in article, it only said "Violinist Joaquin 'Chino' Gutierrez" and then says he was the only one accepted into Munich's Musikhochschule in Summer of 2004, but no background info. And does anyone have info on the teacher, called Jens Ellermann, who was allegedly teacher of Gil Shaham and Midori (accdg. to article). Searched both names on Wiki, no results. Thanks. Don Diego 6 July 2005 16:23 (UTC)

  • Well, it's Joaquin 'Chino' Gutierrez. A quick Google search shows that he's a 12-year-old Filipino math and music prodigy. Another quick search shows lots of mentions of Jens Ellerman. Always helps to try Google first -- it takes manual labor to get stuff into Wikipedia, so a lot of information (most information, actually) isn't here yet. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 6 July 2005 21:21 (UTC)
And I thought Wikipedia was a "complete" encyclopedia. Pity, that it isn't. Still, thanks a lot. Don Diego 6 July 2005 22:32 (UTC)
i seriously hope you aren't serious about that remark, as a "complete" encyclopedia is kinda impossible. i doubt many others contain the ammount on info wikipedia currently has. Boneyard 7 July 2005 08:28 (UTC)
What you mean like articles on classes of Star Trek ship that were only mentioned once on the TV series? :-) DJ Clayworth 7 July 2005 17:37 (UTC)
  • Fifteen-year old Filipino violinist (born March 20th, 1990) studying in Munich, Germany under Prof. Jens Ellermann, who was the teacher of both aforementioned musicians, in the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Recent achievements include winning the Landeswettbewerb Mathematik Bayern (Bavarian Math Competition), 1st prize and becoming one of the Landessiegern (State Champions). Math and music and science prodigy, good head for languages, knows English, Filipino, German, Latin (claims to have learned 3 years worth in 1 and 1/2 years), Egyptian hieroglyphics. Prolific writer. Multiply intelligent. Et cetera. I suggest you do some research and write an article on him if you want to help make this encyclopedia more "complete." Good luck. James Bell 7 July 2005 23:46 (UTC)

Mrs. Bennet

Adam Gopnik's article on William Dean Howells in The New Yorker described Mrs. Howells as a "Mrs. Bennet". From the context, I gather it means shrewish, but what is the allusion to? My Brewer's fails me. 6 July 2005 18:23 (UTC) (aka User:PedanticallySpeaking)

  • Try Pride and Prejudice, which says "Mrs. Bennet is determined to see each of her five daughters successfully married to a gentleman of sufficient fortune." Bovlb 2005-07-06 18:38:36 (UTC)

Jane Austen sums up Mrs Bennet's character like this:

She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.

Gdr 7 July 2005 00:03 (UTC)


A while ago I came across a certain motto along the lines of "foreign to this land, native to the world." Unfortunately I don't remember the source or context. I was wondering if anyone around here has seen it before too and whether a Latin translation exists (if not, could someone try to translate it?). Many thanks. -- Rune Welsh ταλκ July 6, 2005 19:37 (UTC)

Could it be "I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world"? [18]
chocolateboy 6 July 2005 22:06 (UTC)
Or could it be "All lands are our home; all people are our kin" - the one in the infobox in Tamil people - a translation of the opening line of a poem by the classical Tamil poet Kanian Poongundranaar. -- Sundar \talk \contribs July 7, 2005 08:14 (UTC)

How to find good doctors and hospitals in Mexico?

In the U.S. you can check hospitals with the following web site: You can order JCAHO's performance reports (on a particular hospital) free of charge by calling 630-792-5800. To Rate hospitals in your Zip- use, but how do the get similar information on hospitals in Mexico?

Also, to get information on doctors in the U.S. one can use these web sites Licensed Doctors in all states-- Board certified U.S. and Foreign Specialists certified in U.S., but again how do you get similar information in Mexico?


There are lots of dimensions to "good", and it sort of depends on the problem as well: 2 important dimensions are speaking the same language and being familiar with the diagnoses and way of thinking of American medical culture (so doctor and patient share ways of thinking and talking about the body and disease). If I were looking for a doctor there I would try to make contact with Americans over 40 who have lived or worked in the city where you are for more than a few months. They have likely had personal experience or would have heard reputations or would have contacts that could point you in the right direction. Hotel concierges are at least likely to know those who speak English and want to provide you service, which would be a start if you have no contacts at all. alteripse 7 July 2005 11:09 (UTC)

American consulates keep lists of doctors who claim to speak English (I use the term claim from experiance...). These are not recommendations, but it is a good a place to start as any. Physchim62 7 July 2005 11:18 (UTC)

Rainbow Monkey

How can I get one of this for my daughter?

I'm writing from Cyprus. Can I buy one from internet? Pls advise

Rainbow Monkeys are a fictional product and cannot be purchased. Sorry. -- Cyrius| 7 July 2005 17:52 (UTC)

Significance test between two sets of data

I've got two sets of data which, when plotted as a scatter graph, show two lines with a negative gradient, one slightly above the other. What statistical test can I perform to show whether one is significantly higher than the other?

i.e my graphs, when plotted with their trend lines, looks something like

|  \
| \ \
|  \ \
|   \ \
|    \ \

...and I want to show that the line on top is significantly different from the line on the bottom. Note that the lines may not be exactly parallel (or even exactly straight...).


Well I slept through a lot of that part of my stats classes, but I think that is just an ANOVA problem. At most, translate the data along one of their regression lines so that they are essentially vertical, then do the ANOVA on their mean X values. Off the top of my head that's the only way to do it to avoid the complication of MANOVA. Our anova article doesn't give you anything about how to do it, but you should be able to find lots of info on the web or in a decent practical stats or data analysis textbook. Hopefully someone else can provide a more definitive answer. - Taxman Talk July 7, 2005 16:13 (UTC)

There's an ANOVA Applet here that does the calculation for you (I've never been forced to do one by hand in any stat class), but I think you don't need to do an ANOVA test if your data has error bars. A weighted linear regression should produce error values for your slope and intercept. If your slopes are within error of eachother but the intercepts are two or more σ apart, then that's something like 95% confidence that they're different as most weighted regressions assume a normal distribution for each point. That's how a physicist rather than a statistician would do it. --Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 18:00 (UTC)

Using the intercepts in that way without translating the data is very non-robust. Small changes in the slopes can change the intercepts by a lot depending on the data. Your method basically involves trying to decide based on one point, while ANOVA basically gets information from the whole dataset. I'm still not sure there's not a more standard way than what I proposed, but sorry, I know your's isn't good. :) I'll see if I can't ask a friend of mine who is a statistician what he would do if no one else gets to it. - Taxman Talk July 7, 2005 20:36 (UTC)
Using the intercepts is very robust against false positives, ie, you will probably find that there is no difference between the intercepts unless your data are very good (possible false negative). If the data are paired, you could try a chi-squared test... Physchim62 8 July 2005 10:25 (UTC)
Yes, after consulting my statistician friend, he agreed, testing on the intercepts gets about as much information as you can for this. He said without details on the data sets and how they were collected, that was about all you could try. First of course, you would have to test for and possibly exlcude outliers and plot and examine the residuals to see if there are any patterns there. With outliers excluded, and the normal assumption being reasonably good, the error estimates on the intercepts will give a decent idea of whether the lines are different. This is all assuming the slopes are esentially the same, which is what your original question was I think. - Taxman Talk 15:26, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. The problem with ANOVA, MANOVA and chi-square are that they all, I believe, deal with discrete data. Here the problem is that the sets themselves vary over time, and so I don't believe that any of those tests work. Also, I can't compare means since the data isn't evenly sampled across the lines.
The closest test I've come up with is the ANCOVA (analysis of co-variance) test. However, that requires the two lines to be parallel, and mine are decidedly not.
Is there any equivalent of a ANCOVA test for non-parallel lines?
And, a second question, is there any test to determine is the difference in slope of the two lines is significant?
Well then that is a very different problem. All of the methods previously discussed assume you are sampling the data from a consistent population. If the sets vary over time, then you will have to either create a much more carefully designed test, or look to some much more advanced data analysis methods. For non parallel lines, then I think the tests discussed above don't really make any sense. We'd have to know a lot more about the nature of the data and your test set up to be able to give you any more info, and at that point it would be way beyond me at least to help you. If this is important, you really should get the services of a qualified statistician, and do so before you do much more data gathering. If you collect the data improperly you may not be able to draw any conclusions, no matter how good the data analysis, or what data analysis methods are used. You really need to look at your testing methods and structure and design it in a way that you get useful data. If you don't do that, you could waste a lot of work. - Taxman Talk 15:26, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Disabled people and how they cope

Hi. I was just wondering about what therapies they used for people in wheelchairs. Also, are there any specially made houses for them. And what is the biggest size for a wheelchair.

Check out laws governing people who have Disabilities. I live in an apartment complex which sometimes has a resident in a wheelchair. They get a ground floor apartment because the only way upstairs is via stairs. There is a special ramp so their wheelchair can get up the curb and into their lobby. There is a portable Handicapped parking sign that is stuck in the parking place closest to the entrance. AlMac 8 July 2005 14:44 (UTC)


Is loratadine safe for dogs'allergies?

Ask a vet (and realize that most drugs are not completely safe). ¦ Reisio 2005 July 7 14:03 (UTC)

I would be very careful giving dogs antihistamines without first asking a vet. I know that benadryl in particular acts completely differently in dogs than humans; my vet has told me it's actually more effective against motion sickness for dogs than dramamine because of the difference in pathways between the species. Even over the phone your vet may be able to recommend something.

I don't know what type of allergies you're dealing with here, but I used to have a Golden Retriever with bad skin and ear allergies. They're vastly improved by switching to a food with fish (the essential fatty acids such as omega-3 are important for skin and immune system health). I know that Iams and Canidae both produce lines with a balanced diet including fish. I also avoid foods that list any animal byproducts as ingredients. Some people also swear by switching to an oatmeal shampoo, but in my experience the food that goes in is more imporant than any treatment you can apply externally including prescription ear drops and such. --Laura Scudder | Talk 7 July 2005 18:15 (UTC)


why the use of unleavened bread in your communion?

Not knowing what "your" refers to, it is hard to give a denomination-specific answer. While there has been much controversy and disagreement in past centuries over the nature of the eucharist and its relationship to Christ, the form of the bread is generally considered adiaphora theologically. Adiaphora is a useful greek word used in theology to indicate something of "indifference" from a doctrinal perspective. In other words, it is a matter of local church custom not worth disputing. A simple practical reason some churches use unleavened hosts is that they keep longer than baked bread. Does that answer your question? alteripse 7 July 2005 12:50 (UTC)

Actually there is a theological reason too. Communion derives from the Jewish Passover - Jesus was celebrating passover when he instituted communion. The part of the Passover that most resembles a Christain communion involves unleavened bread. But as Alteripse said, practice varies. As a rule Catholics use wafers, Protestants use regular bread and Anglicans vary, but there are a lot of exceptions even to that. DJ Clayworth 7 July 2005 17:32 (UTC)

I know that many Orthodox churches use leavened bread as a sign of the Resurrection, and some Protestant groups use leavened bread for adiaphora reasons. However, the Roman Catholic Church uses unleavened bread universally, and it is forbidden to use any other substance. (There are very clear rubrics on Eucharistic matters, which must be followed to the letter.)
I was raised Southern Baptist, and for many years our Pastor used Matzo brand unleavened crackers for the eucharist. At other times we used little premade, circular wafers, similar (possibly identical) to those used at many Catholic masses I've attended. Of course, since each Southern Baptist congregation is tradionally able to set its own rules on these matters, I can't say how many other protestant churches, or even other Baptist congregations use similar foods. I can imagine some more conservative Baptist churches not cottoning to using Jewish or Catholic sacrements in the church. Brian Schlosser42 19:39, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
The reason for using unleavened bread is usually cited as the Last Supper. Most churches see the Eucharist as instituted at the Last Supper (when Christ said "this is my body" "this is my blood"), and the Gospels record that the Last Supper was the Passover meal. Part of the Passover custom is to remove all leaven from the home, and leavened bread is not present during Passover meals. Jesus would therefore have used unleavened bread for the first Eucharist, and in light of that, the tradition continues in many Churches. -- Essjay · Talk July 7, 2005 17:36 (UTC)

Another interesting note is the drink used. I understand that Catholics use red wine, but almost every Protestant church I've been to (all in the US) uses grape juice. A visitor from a country (I've forgotten which) in Africa once explained to our church how expensive grape juice can be in his part of the world, and how a substitute is usually mixed up with food coloring, sugar water, and Sprite. And the LDS custom is to use water, according to a Mormon friend from high school.--Joel 01:08, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Lotto in Germany

Can someone please explain how the lottery in Germany works? I want to bet but I don't know how it works. --anon

You get poorer. They get richer. --Heron 7 July 2005 19:33 (UTC)
  • If you don't know how it works, its probably a bad idea to bet in this lottery. I would not recommend trying it anyway. - Mgm|(talk) July 7, 2005 21:27 (UTC)

I want information, not advice. What I do is my choice. Give me the rules of the US lottery then, bec. by analogy, if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. Please.

It does not explain how muc ha lottery ticket should cost. And what happens once you pay for it.

The way lotteries work in the U.S. (there is no single lottery, several states usually join together for one large lottery but there isn't a nationwide one as yet) is that you go to a dealer of the tickets, usually located at newsstands or convenience stores and purchase a ticket. The ticket is normally a dollar for one "draw" or five dollars for 5 draws, etc. A draw is one set of numbers, usually 3-6 numbers. Normally the numbers are between 1 and 40-60. You can get a randomly chosen set or choose your own numbers if you have a personal set of "lucky" numbers you would rather play. On the ticket will be the date and time of the drawing. They're normally televised before the evening news (roughly 6 P.M.). They are also printed in the larger newspapers that cover the same area that that particular lottery is played in on the day after the drawing. If you win less than ~$500 then you can go to the nearest lottery ticket agent and claim your prize with your winning ticket. If the prize is larger you have to show it to a local lottery official by first calling the phone number on the back of the ticket or asking the local ticket dealer to contact them for you. They will look at the ticket to make sure it's genuine and if so, award your prize. As for how the Germans do it, your guess is as good as mine. Dismas 8 July 2005 14:51 (UTC)

Thanks a lot! :)

Is Wikipedia's Political Slant Left?

I happened upon Ann Coulter's page within the Wikipedia site and after reading it, it seemed to really point out lots of negative details of her past. I then chose to go to see how Al Franken's page compared. Compared to Ann's, Al's page is very stripped down and streamlined, clean, no controversies highlighted. I then went to several other pages including both conservative and liberal subjects and noticed the same trend. Why is that?

From an American political standpoint a lot of Wikipedia editors probably lean left, but there are lots of editors on the far right end of the spectrum too. American politics leans very far to the right. So centre- to right-of-centre Europeans are, by American definitions, liberals. Wikipedians also tend to be young and literate, a demographic which leans further to the left than do older and less literate demographics. But you pick a bad pair of article to contrast - Al Franken doesn't spend his time making such obviously ridiculous statements as Coulter. Coulter is basically a troll, only she does it in old media. So of course she is surrounded by controvery - she goes out looking for it. To leave that out of an article would be whitewashing it. I am unaware of similar controvery surrounding Franken. Sure, he's a partisan, sure his book titles are inflammatory...but FOX News sued him for using the words "fair and balanced". His controversies don't leave him looking ridiculous, hers do. Moore is treated in a similar way to Coulter because he is also inclined to make outrageous statements. Guettarda 7 July 2005 17:39 (UTC)
To clarify a bit: Wikipedia's official editorial policy is to provide a neutral point of view—one that represents all reasonable points of view fairly and does not exhibit bias on matters of opinion. That is, we aim not to have a political slant at all. It's difficult for writers to see their own biases; perhaps we just have more liberal editors writing on political figures. If you have suggestions for making these articles more neutral, start or join a discussion on the talk page. Coulter is a more controversial figure than Franken, from what I've seen, so in an effort to make all sides happy with the state of the article, every last point has to be taken out and discussed, and it looks like that's still going on. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 7 July 2005 17:48 (UTC)
To comment a bit further: Wikipedia explicitly supports only the concept of NPOV - or "neutral point of view". If you find an article that is not written in a neutral point of view, please feel free to discuss about it on the talk page, get involved, and edit it! The idea is, articles on Wikipedia are always work in progress. They might not be perfectly neutral when you first encounter them, but hopefully with a series of goodwilled edits, they improve and approach the ideal NPOV. Granted, this might not be realizable immediately, but you've got to admit, it's a pretty noble cause to achieve over time. Sometimes, you'll encounter articles that are slightly leaning left, then 3 months later, slightly leaning to the right, and maybe a year later as neutral as humanly possible :-) --HappyCamper 7 July 2005 17:51 (UTC)
Maybe you're experiencing a hostile media effect. I think Wikipedia, in general, is pretty good in terms of bias. Most articles that have NPOV problems are labelled as such. I have seen various talk pages asserting bias from the left and the right, which inclines me to think that Wikipedia is pretty much where it should be. The one place where Wikipedia may have a liberal bias is in it's insistance on being completely secular. Wikipedia strives to be morally relativistic which probably puts us at odds with some religious fundamentalists on the right. --CVaneg 7 July 2005 18:36 (UTC)

Folks, just go look at the pages I spoke of before you start telling me that I'm "experiencing a hostile media effect". I'm not interested in having anyone on the left or right tell me where I stand, I know where I stand. And allow me to apologize for not clarifying the political scale of American left and right.

There is also an unmistakable slant toward "cultural" rather than political progressivism. You can find arguments from political right and left on many pages, but no one here speaks up for the majority of human societies which support/have supported non-progressive views on gender and sexuality issues. If they do, they are quickly reverted or driven away with self-righteous hostility. It is so all-pervasive, like in modern western, urban culture, that most of the editors don't even realize it is a minority perspective and quite controversial in a global perspective. See for example the discussion in talk:gender role and the article. So I agree that wikipedia is very much a product of western, liberal, city, progressive editors and that is the dominant perspective. alteripse 7 July 2005 19:48 (UTC)

I do have the impression that Wikipedia is politically slanted to the left. Take a look, for example, at the Lawrence Kudlow article I mentioned above on this same page. There are few people who want to edit the article, probably in part because Kudlow has conservative tendencies.

Then you can look at the history of the article about Paul Krugman, who has quarreled on CNBC with Lawrence Kudlow on Bullseye and with Bill O'Reilly on Tim Russert's program. You see that, before, the article did not even mention an iota of his liberal viewpoints.

But despite of that, you see that, since, the Paul Krugman article has been modified a bit. So I suggest that you do the same to articles you don't agree with, or at least discuss what you don't like on the talk pages. You can edit the Ann Coulter or the Al Franken article, for example.

What User:Guettarda from Trinidad and Tobago said above on this section ("So centre- to right-of-centre Europeans are, by American definitions, liberals") is nonsense. Gerhard Schröder, for example, is from a left party, and I don't think that Americans with conservative tendencies would perceive him as pro-American or "conservative". That is absolute nonsense and "Quatsch".

What is true is that Wikipedia is edited by many people from different countries, and many of those people have Anti-American tendencies, so in many cases you are going to feel like articles are "left-leaning". That many people around the world are Anti-American is a fact, and there are always gonna be those kind of people. I take it for granted. It's a reality. 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 7, 2005 20:26 (UTC)

Not quite sure what you mean here. Socialised medicine is considered a "liberal" issue in America, but I rather doubt many centre-right European politicians would dream of taking such a stand. How is that nonsense? Coming from Trinidad and Tobago leaves me more aware of European politic than most Americans, while the fact that I have spent 8 of the last 11 years in the US means that I have a pretty solid outsider's view of US politics...and I am still shocked my what passes as "moderate" positions in American politics. Of course, on the other hand, the level of acceptance of racist anti-immigrant politics would be unimagineable in 'centrist" American politics.
I don't see how "Anti-Americanism" explains too much of the difference in coverage of Coulter and Franken, since they are both American. It's a fallcy to equate anti-Americanism with antipathy towards the Bush Agenda. Guettarda 8 July 2005 01:14 (UTC)

I think it should be noted that Wikipedia is often left and often right. There is a quite a bit of controversy around Al Frankten that isn't represented here. On the other hand if you look at Answers in Genesis there is no controversy there either. Wikipedia is by no means perfect however the goal is NPOV. Falphin 7 July 2005 20:48 (UTC)

Shouldn't a summary of this discussion go into Wikipedia:Wikipedia is? -- Sundar \talk \contribs July 8, 2005 07:33 (UTC)

Some facts:



OK, I have only done 5 pundits so possibly I am wrong. But, as you can see, many right-wing pundits are simply worthless outside the U.S. If people outside the U.S. don't care about them, do you really think they deserve a carefully-written and well-researched article? If only their supporters could write. -- Toytoy July 8, 2005 08:17 (UTC)

Just a small correction: O'Reiley has two articles in other languages. Jeltz talk 8 July 2005 15:04


I completely disagree. First of all Al Franken only has 1 non-english wiki. Bill is in 2 and it should noted that he airs in UK, Canada, etc so he is harly useless. He can't air in France because they have been banned there. Fox News is on television is something like 45 countries so surely there are contributers outside the U.S. By your logic supporters of Maltese artists shouldn't be on wikipedia either since they are only known in Malta and maybe Italy. Falphin 8 July 2005 17:12 (UTC)
It has been proposed that this section be renamed to "Is the USA's Political Slant Right?".
Upon reaching a clear consensus, please rename the section and remove the notice, or request further assistance (if necessary).

really. If you think the GFDL is communism, I suppose WP is far left from where you stand. If you want to count articles, WP is Slanted Pokemon :P dab () 8 July 2005 17:29 (UTC)

I think Dab means "Is Wikipedia's Political Slant Right?" above. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 11:18, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
OK, I followed your request to "go look at the pages" you mentioned. I agree with the comment that Coulter and Franken aren't directly comparable, because Coulter's style is much more antagonistic, so she's much more likely to be dishing out and receiving sharp words. I suggest you go look at four pages: The tone of Ann Coulter is fairly similar to that of Michael Moore; the tone of Al Franken is fairly similar to that of William F. Buckley, Jr. If I wanted to prove Wikipedia's right-wing bias, I would note how respectfully Buckley is treated, compared with the extensive elaboration of criticisms of Moore. If you compare apples with apples, though, it's harder to find a bias in either direction. JamesMLane 01:35, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

General Black Jack Pershing, Vs, Quealling of the Muslims in Philippines 1909 - 1910

Can you give any account on the actions of General Black Jack Pershing ? 1909 as miltery Governor of the Moro province and the insurection of the Muslim Terrorist, How did it end ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2005-07-07 13:12:08 CDT

I assume you've looked at John J. Pershing. It doesn't seem to answer your question. You might try asking on that article's talk page. Bovlb 2005-07-07 18:26:01 (UTC)

Hertfordshire geography

I recently read on a website that there is either a town or village in Hertfordshire that is called "Owles". I cannot find any other information on it. Does anyone know anythng about it?


Searching Multimap's gazetteer doesn't find anywhere - there's an Owlswick in nearby Buckinghamshire, but it looks like a minuscule hamlet. Warofdreams 7 July 2005 21:08 (UTC) ¦ Reisio 2005 July 7 21:51 (UTC)
Search reveals nothing for "Owles"; but "Owls", "Owl" reveals:

and of course for "oul":

But none of these is in Herts. Dunc| 8 July 2005 11:45 (UTC)

There is an Owles Hall just outside Buntingford in Hertfordshire, off A10, about half way between Hertford and Royston. (source: AA Hertfordshire Street by Street). Gandalf61 July 8, 2005 12:30 (UTC)

Plame case

Being on the wrong side of the Atlantic, I haven't kept up-to-date enough on the case details. But why isn't Robert Novak facing jail time instead of Judith Miller? Has he ever said where the leak came from? Wasn't he the guy who broke the story in the first place?

  • We don't know what he might or might not have said, and he isn't telling. Grand jury proceedings are secret. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 8 July 2005 01:59 (UTC)
    • Here is a good article outlining some of the speculation on why Novak hasn't been charged. - SimonP July 8, 2005 16:57 (UTC)

Etymology of "ten hut"!

What is the etymology of the military phrase, "ten hut"? We assume that it means "attention", but how did the actual spelling evolve?

According to various Merriam-Webster dictionaries, "hut" may be derived from the interjection "hep". The interjection "hut" is used, amomg other things, to mark cadences when marching. It is also used by quarterbacks of American football to mark a cadence before the center snaps the football on a play. 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 7, 2005 23:47 (UTC)

It may be a corruption of "Attention!" (Attention...Ah-ten...tion...Ah-ten...shun...Ah-ten...hun...Ah-ten...huh...Ah-ten....hut!...ten-hut!) or possibly a combination of "Attention!" with "hup", "hep" or "hut" which I imagine could easily have bean completely made up for: "hup, two, three, four". ¦ Reisio 2005 July 7 23:57 (UTC)
Which, in turn, probably came from a slurred "up". Or something. Ah the joys of our screwed-up language... :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 04:59 (UTC)

Format of "local part" of e-mail addresses

Is there any kind of standard (e.g. an RFC) on the Interent that says how to create a "local part" (=identifier or username) of an e-mail address? For example, if a person is called "John Smith", then what should be the part of the e-mail address before the at sign (@)? Should it be "jsmith" or "smithj" or "johnsmith" or "smithjohn" or "jsm", or anything else? Is there a standard, or does it just depend on the taste of the "webmasters" of Internet domains? 2004-12-29T22:45Z July 7, 2005 23:38 (UTC)

You can use whatever you want if you have the appropriate access. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 7 23:46 (UTC)
It depends on the taste of the postmasters of the internet domains, and see RFC 2822 for the valid syntax. --cesarb 8 July 2005 01:03 (UTC)
Quite right, but a nonspecialist may find that RFC opaque on a quick perusal. As a quick answer to the question of whether John Smith's mailbox name should be jsmith or smithj or heeersjohnny, there is absolutely no Internet standard regarding this. In early days mailbox names were the person's username in a computer's operating system and were thus under OS restrictions; many people would have been limited to 8 alphanumeric characters, for example. Within that, naming styles would have been up to corporate policy or the whims of the sysadmin; and as it happened, many companies' first Internet connections were in research departments furthest from the reach of the corporate policy makers, so there was a lot of whimsy on the early Internet. Current e-mail systems allow for much greater flexibility and allow for more meaningful (if dreary) options like John.Smith or John_Smith. I have worked in places where your e-mail name was generated based on your personnel records, and John's mailbox name would be Homer_J_Smith whether he liked it or not. Call it the revenge of the corporate policy makers. Sharkford July 8, 2005 17:18 (UTC)
I guess the most important thing is to think of a logical system that has enough addresses to go round, and then stick to it. That lets people guess email addresses if they cnat for whatever reason look them up. Dunc| 8 July 2005 18:14 (UTC)

The local part of an email address can have letters, numbers, underscores, hyphens, dots, plus signs ... but can't have comma, bang, colon, at, quote, angle brackets, or other characters that have special meaning to the mail system. Some common ways people generate email addresses from their names include:

  • First initial, last name: jsmith
  • First name, dot, last name: John.Smith
  • First name, last name: johnsmith
  • Initials: jps (for John Paul Smith, say)
  • Initials followed by year of account creation (or hiring, matriculation, etc. as apporopriate): jps05

The initials form is common among folks who are, or want to make reference to, old-school hackers (in the sense of "computer wizards", not "criminals"). Many famous hackers -- GLS, RMS, ESR, JWZ -- are known by their initials, a form which originated as a username convention.

Historically, many email systems were based on older Unix versions which required usernames to be no longer than eight characters. Very few modern systems have this limitation (including modern Unix systems) -- and many Unix mail servers today don't use Unix accounts for mail accounts but rather use an LDAP directory or other system which doesn't have username limitations.

Many sites support multiple naming conventions, using a short username (such as jsmith) for the user's actual login name, but longer forms (such as John.Smith) as email aliases.

Many mail servers use the plus sign specially, to indicate "address extensions" to a given address. For instance, if your email address is, then the address would be an address extension. Mail to this address gets delivered to your same mailbox, but you can (with the right software) choose to have mail specially filtered based on the extension. People can use this as a sender password, or as a cheap 'n easy way of generating throwaway addresses. The ezmlm mailing list software lets users set up mailing lists on their address extensions ... but ew, that means running qmail. --FOo 8 July 2005 19:22 (UTC)

True Oxymoron?

Is "near miss" a true oxymoron or does it fall in the "contridiction of terms" catagory?--mmssvs

No, it's the way the English language works (and what a screwed-up language it is!). It doesn't actually contradict itself.
"This expression originated during World War II, when it signified a bomb exploding in the water near enough to a ship to damage its hull. Soon afterward it acquired its present meanings.". <-- see? It's a "miss" but it was still "near" enough to cause harm. :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 04:56 (UTC)
In fact I'd say "near miss" is quite an honest term; it's a miss but it's still near. Contrast that with other common terms like "virtual reality" (ie, not reality), "potential threat" (ie, no threat yet) or even "accused killer", in which the speaker wishes to exploit the emotional impact of the latter term but as a sop to accuracy qualifies it with a term that effectively negates it. I wouldn't call these oxymorons or self-contradictory; perhaps self-negating would be a better term. In this light "near miss" is modest and precise. Sharkford July 8, 2005 16:48 (UTC)
When people disagree whether some topic is an oxymoron or not, it often tells us more about the politics and ideology of the people claiming that something is an oxymoron, than what it tells us about the subject, such as Military intelligence is not an oxymoron to people who value the importance of information to help Military or Computer security is not an oxymoron to people who seek to protect the data. AlMac 22:48, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't think anyone really claims 'military intelligence' is an oxymoron, it's a joke, based on the two meanings of the work 'intelligence'.

Kenneth Bianchi

Did Kenneth Bianchi, convicted California Hillside Strangler travel through Lexington, Kentucky in 1977 or 1978?

The Hillside Strangler article doesn't mention anything about Kentucky...and considering it explicitly says the area was the hillside in California above Los Angeles, I think it likely a trip to Kentucky would've be mentioned. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 8 03:10 (UTC)

looking for importers & distributor of bicycles in zambia

hi, we are a leading manufacturer of bicycles in India.Currently we are in the process of expanding our business and therefore looking for importers of the same in Zambia.Any information regarding the importers along with there email id,phone no. & fax no. will be very helpful.

Try a Sterling Export Corporation, a South African export company with intrests in Africa. Tel:(27-11)705-3225 Fax:(27-11)465-8774 Email: sterlingATacenetDOTcoDOTza --Jcw69 8 July 2005 12:26 (UTC)

Music Artist in movie



I was trying to discern the difference between the opening of the London Underground ("London Underground") in 1863, which SEEMS to be the date that steam trains first ran under the streets of London (rather than ELECTRIC).

Also, it SEEMS to me that the New York Subway is the LONGEST / LARGEST in the world, but your article states it is "among" the longest / largest, but does not specify -- it is larger / longer than London's, so which other one could possibly have that title?

Last, but not least, I tried to find out when the Tokyo subway first openeed, but the page on Tokyo's subway did not have the same kind of content that the "London" and "New York" pages had.

Please advise.


1863 is the year in which the first underground railway opened in London, the Metropolitan Railway running between Paddington and Farringdon, and yes, trains were steam-operated at that time, which is why the early lines (todays' Circle line and Hammersmith & City line) are shallow and were built under main roads by the cut-and-cover technique. The deep "Tube" lines were not built until electric traction was available, in the 1890s. The actual term "London Underground" dates from the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. As to which metro network is the largest, the definition of how this is calculated can vary - either length of routes, length of track (not necessarily the same, if some stretches are multiple track and others are single track or loops), or number of stations - so it's prudent just to describe them as "among" the largest, or "one of" the largest. The relative lack of information on the Tokyo Subway is presumably because English-speaking Wikipedians are less familiar with the system - please feel free to expand the article if you are able. -- Arwel 8 July 2005 14:46 (UTC)

model number of patek philippe watch

how and where we can find the model number on available antique wrist watch

[merged 4 headers from an anon into one question as it's the same sort of question Boneyard 8 July 2005 08:26 (UTC)]

Have you considered asking a professional jeweller for advice? --Robert Merkel 9 July 2005 04:41 (UTC)

tablets started for menstruation??

hi there.. my cuzin aged 17 had a major operation of Thelisima in 1999.. well like other girls..her hormonal changes are bit recently dr prescribed her tablets named.. PROGYNOVA.. i wanted to know if its correct one and also how does it help to start menses... i m wiating for guidance..thanks in advance for ur cooperation.. byee

I assume this is a brand of medroxyprogesterone and was given for 5 days. In the US this is known as a "Provera challenge" and is used to try to trigger a single menstrual period. If it does, it confirms that estrogen levels are adequate and there is no outflow obstruction and there is a normal endometrium. If a period doesn't happen, then there is a problem with one of those three things. The 5 days of pills are a diagnostic test, not a treatment. alteripse 8 July 2005 14:39 (UTC)

You might want to take a look at the article on delayed puberty, which states that normal treatment is estradiol and progesterone. This page says Progynova is estradiol. --Laura Scudder | Talk 8 July 2005 14:44 (UTC)

I tried to answer this more fully earlier today, but apparently the save didn't work. Thanks for looking up the drug. I assumed it was progesterone for diagnostic purposes because thalassemia much more often causes delayed puberty or anovulation than primary ovarian failure and 5 days of progesterone is often used as a diagnostic test in secondary amenorrhea. Estrogen without progesterone (like this) is rarely used in chronic anovulation or secondary ovarian failure because it produces endometrial hyperplasia and irregular and unpredictable bleeding, but is typically used for a few months to induce puberty when it is just delayed, or (more often) used for a couple of years to induce pubertal development when the ovaries are completed nonfunctional (e.g., Turner's syndrome. The brief clinical information leaves me curious about the exact circumstances. alteripse 8 July 2005 22:01 (UTC)

cattle egret

i read the very rounded beatiful article about that bird. my question is: a large flock of that species has placed itself in a city dense neighbourhood on top of high trees, causing commotion, dirt and unbeareable causing health-hazard to asthmatic people. how can we transfer the flock in a humane way to a rural area with lots of cattle and sheep??? please help. Arik. my

I have moved your question to Wikipedia:Reference desk. Please check there, although this is a rather unusual question. Best, Meelar (talk) July 8, 2005 13:58 (UTC)
In some places it is possible to hire someone who has a raptor (generally on a leash). A couple of scary visits from Mr Hawk and the birds depart. Your local airport may employ such a person. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 21:56 (UTC)

uniform civil code

why such cowards

why are you such a closed minded lot, when my sister put an article on your site it was rejected by closed minds, not a problem with this but now one of your people are sending her hate email ,and stalking her to the point I will go to the police or come and visit you myself ,what cowards you people are ,should it continue ,be aware I fight back ,if you should wish to contact me you may at .Put a stop to it now or else,I will not give you any further warnings ,enough said ....My sister is Tracy Renee ..

Hate email? Not only are no examples cited, I do not think sending email requesting someone to be reasonable is "hate mail". Hate mail is not "stalking", furthermore, which any person has the right to send as a form of freedom of expression, especially if it was declared in the user account. If someone came to her house, that can be considered stalking, until then I don't see private life being violated. As for "close minded lot", have fun branding 300,000 users into one lot! Cowards? Ironic. Come and get me, ye hordes of censors, let's do battle at Tiananmen! Let us be martyrs for the freedom of information! Legal and other threats do not intimidate me. Let's see you come. -- Natalinasmpf 8 July 2005 16:33 (UTC)

Do you realize that we have no idea what you're talking about or even who you're talking about? What article was removed? Dismas 8 July 2005 19:58 (UTC)
I think she refers to the deletion of the 911 Horoscope article. See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/911 horoscope. -- Natalinasmpf 8 July 2005 20:01 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:No Original Research and Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View.--Tothebarricades July 9, 2005 03:43 (UTC)

US State widths, lengths, and mean elevations

I'm attempting to chase down the source for the figures in the Wikipedia U.S. state articles for width, length, and mean elevation. Does anyone watching this page know where they came from or know of an authoritative source? I've looked at and haven't been able to find these numbers. The figures were originally added in all the articles I've looked at by user:sfmontyo who has not been active here since July 2004. Thanks. -- Rick Block (talk) July 8, 2005 18:28 (UTC)

There's a USGS bulletin that I recall has this information in it. I believe it is this one: Boundaries of the United States and the several States : with miscellaneous geographic information concerning areas, altitudes, and geographic centers by Franklin K. Van Zandt. Washington : U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1976. I see a similar work in the LC catalog too: State and national boundaries of the United States by Gary Alden Smith. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co, c2004. PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:45 (UTC)

Detainee vs. Prisoner

The prisoners in Iraq and Gitmo are usually referred to by the Bush administration and the press as "detainees". Is there some legal difference between a "prisoner" and a "detainee", i.e. is it a legal term of art or is it another example of Newspeak? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

It's probably because the term prisoner is too close to prisoner of war (for which there is a definition in the Third Geneva Convention) which the Bush administration has specifically stated does not apply to the detainees. --CVaneg 8 July 2005 22:47 (UTC)
That's probably true, and a few other potential (that is, speculative) reasons:
  • They probably don't consider Gitmo a "prison"
  • They don't want to make it (falsely) appear that there has been any sort of "due process" observed
  • They don't want to imply that the people there are necessarily serving any sort of fixed sentence, but are "just" being indefinitely "detained"
--Fastfission 8 July 2005 23:19 (UTC)
  • My personal view is that "detainee" is a less emotive term than "prisoner", i.e. prisoner sounds worse. The Bush administration obviously doesn't like people thinking badly of it. How anyone could ever do that is a mystery to me...Rob Church 19:47, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Merriam-Webster Online says that a detainee is "a person held in custody especially for political reasons" and a prisoner is "a person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody; especially : one on trial or in prison." Going by these definitions, a detainee is simply held in custody. A prisoner, on the other hand, is held involuntarily and deprived of liberty while in a prison (which, as Fastfission notes, is not a glamorous name for Gitmo) or while on trial (which isn't the case). --Think Fast 15:21, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

North Carolina courts

In some states criminal proceedings are The State v. John Doe. In others it is The People v. John Doe. How are cases in North Carolina styled? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

In North Carolina, criminal cases are styled "State v. Person". Other states (including New York) use "People v. Person," and Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, & Kentucky use "Commonwealth v. Person" (because they are technically Commonwealths, not states.) -- Essjay · Talk July 9, 2005 08:58 (UTC)
They are not true commonwealths. They're just states. Nelson Ricardo 00:24, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
California uses "People v. Person." When cases go up on direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court from any state supreme court, either State or People is replaced by the name of the state. --Coolcaesar 9 July 2005 17:12 (UTC)

Regina versus

In Britain, Canada, and some other countries, prosecuties are in the form of R. v. Doe, "R" standing for "Rex" or "Regina" depending on the sex of the sovereign. How does one read the title of such a case aloud? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

Having seen a plethora of dull US courtroom dramas, I'd say they'd read it out in full, like "case of William Bryant Snr. against the United States of America" or some such thing. I am not a lawyer of course, but that's what I assume. :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:47 (UTC)
I think they say "The Crown" instead of "R" when speaking (but maybe that is a different kind of case). Adam Bishop 8 July 2005 22:58 (UTC)
No, the abbreviation is not expanded (in England, at least): R. v. Bush is read ar vee Bush. However some Privy Council cases are styled as Bush v. The Crown (these are appeals, so the participants are reversed). Physchim62 17:15, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

TV characters in wheelchairs

Besides Raymond Burr on Ironsides, Jason Ritter on Joan of Arcadia, and Sarah Rue on Zoe, can anyone name a regular character on a television series confined to a wheelchair? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

Professor X in the various X-Men TV series. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:07 (UTC)
Steven Kenarban on Malcolm in the Middle. --Laura Scudder | Talk 8 July 2005 20:11 (UTC)
If you count "recurring" as "regular", Davros (from Dr Who) uses a motorised chair (although it may or may not have wheels, it clearly serves the same function). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:14 (UTC)
Andy Pipkin in Little Britain (although technically he's faking it, and so isn't "confined" per se). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:16 (UTC)
Timmy in South Park. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:44 (UTC)
Brian Potter in Phoenix Nights -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:44 (UTC)
Penny Pocket in Balamory. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 20:48 (UTC)
There was also that guy, what was his name, Ironside? Y'know, that ancient detective dude? :) Ah, yes, Ironside (TV series), played by Raymond Burr no less. Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:44 (UTC)
What, as in apart from Raymond Burr...? :)\
Perhaps he's beside himself. I might be, too, if I were so ignored.
I said I could write, I never said I could read! :) Yeah, I somehow missed that bit. GarrettTalk 13:08, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Norton Drake in the War of the Worlds TV series. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 23:20 (UTC)
"Lifeguard" (Daniel Benjamin Burroughs) (1987-1990; played by Jim Byrnes) in the Wiseguy. -- Toytoy July 8, 2005 23:47 (UTC)
"Eli" (played by Daryl Mitchell) on Ed. -- Rick Block (talk) July 9, 2005 00:04 (UTC)
Donna Moss (Janel Moloney) from The West Wing was in one for a while after a terrorist attack, as was President Bartlet in some episodes due to his MS, I think. -- Essjay · Talk July 9, 2005 00:19 (UTC)
Joe Swanson from Family Guy -- Essjay · Talk July 9, 2005 00:19 (UTC)
Spike was in one for a while on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Longer than he needed to be, actually. Of course. --Mothperson 9 July 2005 00:39 (UTC)
Cleo Bellows in MythQuest played by Meredith Henderson. - Mgm|(talk) July 9, 2005 07:47 (UTC)
Logan Kale in Dark Angel, played by Michael Weatherly. Gdr 16:23, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Sandy in Crossroads and, I believe, Chris Tate in Emmerdale. Hiding 17:12, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Supreme Court resignations

If the President or Vice President of the U.S. resigns, he sends a letter to the Secretary of State as required by Title 3 of the U.S. Code. I know it is customary that Supreme Court justices write the President when they choose to leave the court, but what, if anything, does the law say about how justices resign? How do judges of the lower courts resign? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

Really? I thought there was no formal law or policy about where anyone should write to resign, even the president. I heard once that Nixon thought it best to resign to the Attorney General, though I might be wrong. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 8 July 2005 20:20 (UTC)
Title 3, Section 20 of the U.S. Code reads: "The only evidence of a refusal to accept, or of a resignation of the office of President or Vice President, shall be an instrument in writing, declaring the same, and subscribed by the person refusing to accept or resigning, as the case may be, and delivered into the office of the Secretary of State." [20]. When Nixon resigned, his letter was addressed to Henry Kissinger and presented while Nixon was 30,000 feet over Illinois on his way back to San Clemente. Read his letter here. PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:23 (UTC)
Thanks for the information! I never knew that. As for justices resigning, you can find a copy of Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation here [21]. I'm afraid I can't help you any more, but I'll see what I can Google up. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 9 July 2005 01:52 (UTC)
All I can find is that most, if not all, U.S. Supreme Court resignations have been directed to the president. See this quote from U.S. Supreme Court: "Chief Justice Earl Warren, who announced his retirement "at the [president's] pleasure" in a letter to President Johnson". Otherwise, I can't find any law saying who they should resign to (aside: I almost ended this sentence with a preposition!). Hope this helps! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 9 July 2005 02:02 (UTC)

Font in movie posters

What is the name of the font used in movie posters and advertisements to list the credits? It is a thin, narrow, sans serif font. PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

SF Movie Poster looks like your best bet. I'm sure there's an official for-money font that's used, but these are probably virtually identical.
You could also try this one, but be aware that if the fonts say "Generated by (program name)" they are almost always illegal rips of for-money fonts' data, so watch out if you plan to use these in situations where illegality is a no-no. I'm only talking about this second option, mind, the SF (ShyFonts) ones are definitely legit. Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:42 (UTC)
More generally, I would recommend Identifont. OpenToppedBus - My Talk 11:44, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Can you copyright font designs themselves (aside from their data)? I can't recall whether you can or not but I remember it as being a strange and special case of U.S. copyright law. I think you can't, but you can copyright the specific data in your font file. So a recreation of the same font would be legal. Or something like that. --Fastfission 20:36, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Youngest peer, dame, knight

I was reading today about Ellen MacArthur, who earlier this year was created a dame, the youngest ever. Who was the youngest dame before her? The youngest knight? The youngest non-royal peer? The youngest life peer? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

The youngest dame is difficult to identify since traditionally it has been rude to ask a woman's age, but MacArthur is a candidate BBC. My guess is the youngest life peer inherited it from his father aged very young, but could be difficult to identify and you'd probably need to accurately define life peer. James VI of Scotland became King of Scotland when he was one year old immediately springs to mind. Knights could be more difficult since they go back quite a way and there are more knights than lords. Someone could probably inherit a Baronetcy quite young. Dunc| 9 July 2005 07:57 (UTC)
? Life peers don't inherit - they've got to have actually done something to get awarded a peerage. As for hereditary peers, I imagine that it's possible to inherit at birth if their father died in the previous 9 months (didn't that happen to some French king?). Inheritance is a funny thing - I think it was the Chairman of the LMS Railway, Sir Josiah Stamp who was killed in a WW2 air raid with his heir - the courts ruled that the father had died a fraction of a second before the son, which conveniently rendered the family liable to two sets of death duties! -- Arwel 9 July 2005 17:32 (UTC)
The latter is the standard rule in English courts: if two people die at the same time, or if it can't be determined who died first, then the elder is presumed to have died first for all legal purposes. This allows wills to be executed, inheritance to be received and so on. Gdr 16:16, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

43 Million uninsured

The statistic that there are approximately forty-three million Americans without health insurance is frequently cited, but what is the original source of this number? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

The government, most likely. After all, they offer you the healthcare, so they'd keep stats on their "customers". And then compare that to their population censuses and you'd find the uninsured percentage. Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:35 (UTC)
In the US health insurance is a particularly sticky issue and for the most part it is provided by private entities. Although there are programs like Medicaid and Medicare, they by no means cover everyone. On the other point, though, you are basically correct. The US Census Bureau does track coverage data[22] and you'll see in the second bullet point the number is now ~45 million --CVaneg 9 July 2005 00:17 (UTC)

Heads of states and passports

In Standing Beside History, Ronald Reagan's chief Secret Service agent states all the agents travel on diplomatic passports and that the president has one as well. I thought heads of state did not carry passports, e.g. I recall reading Queen Elizabeth II does not have one, presumably as, traditionally, foreign sovereigns were immune to arrest. PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 19:59 (UTC)

According to Slate "The president of the United States, his immediate family, certain top officials, and diplomatic personnel are issued diplomatic passports" [23] and according to the official website of the British royal family, "As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one." [24] however all other members of the royal family must carry one. --CVaneg 8 July 2005 22:29 (UTC)
Also note that diplomatic immunity applies to many people (Not just foreign sovereigns), but that does not excuse them from owning a passport. Presumably it makes it easier to verify that the person standing in front of you is in fact the President of the United States rather than just some random hick from Texas. --CVaneg 8 July 2005 22:35 (UTC)
Note that many countries (the UK included) do not issue diplomatic passports—there is no need to have one to benefit from diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. Diplomatic immunity is separate from the immunity of heads of state. Physchim62 17:21, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Race and employment

Every job I have applied for has a section on the application saying something to the effect of "We don't discriminate on the basis of race, but please list your race on this form just so we'll know anyway." How is it lawful to ask about applicants' race? Is it lawful to discriminate against those who decline to answer such questions? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:18 (UTC)

In reply to the query below, this question applies to the United States. PedanticallySpeaking 15:07, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

I believe that it is illegal to discriminate or hold it against anyone who refuses to answer those questions. Most applications I have seen have the section marked "optional" or something similar to that. Most companies only collect the race, gender, and other information to form a picture of the company- i.e. know the demographics, etc. Hope this helps. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 8 July 2005 20:22 (UTC)
In particular, I think they collect these statistics in an effort to show they aren't discriminating. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 21:29 (UTC)
I think it's insurance against discrimination lawsuits (or EEOC audits), so that they can present their statistics as a defense and show that so much of their workforce happens to be of the same race and gender as the plaintiff. Therefore, the plaintiff is wrong when he or she asserts that the defendant has a pattern and policy of discrimination. Unfortunately, I don't know too much about employment law, so I'm not totally certain about this.
Which country are you talking about? Practices differ enormously! Physchim62 17:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Public authorities in the United Kingdom are legally required to monitor the racial makeup of their workforces. The following section concerning private sector employers is taken from the site of the UK Commission for Racial Equality:
"Although it is not obligatory under the Race Relations Act for private sector organisations to keep ethnic records, without them it would be difficult to establish the nature or extent of any inequality, the areas where action is most needed, and whether measures aimed at reducing inequality are succeeding. Without ethnic records it is virtually impossible to know whether or not people are being racially discriminated against.
The most reliable and efficient way of monitoring the effectiveness of a basic equal opportunities policy is to carry out regular analyses of the workforce and job applicants, by ethnic origin."
Physchim62 11:20, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Huh. Race doesn't matter but one gets in trouble if one doesn't keep exacting records about everyone's race. Very Catch-22ish. PedanticallySpeaking 18:09, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Gunshot wounds

The hero of the novel I am working on suffers a gunshot wound in the leg, something akin to what befell Martin Crane on Frasier. Could anyone refer me to books or web-sites that discuss, in detail, the process of treating gunshot wounds and the therapy that would be necessary afterward? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:20 (UTC)

This is a fun read. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 21:30 (UTC)

Senators as children

Joseph and Rose Kennedy were the parents of three United States Senators, John F. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. Has any other family produced three or more senatorial siblings? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:25 (UTC)

In general, see the most excellent List of U.S. political families. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk July 8, 2005 21:22 (UTC)

South Korea's President

President Roh Moo-hyun's name is usually spelled "Roh" in the press, e.g. The New York Times. But apparently it is pronounced something like "Noh". Why is it transliterated with an "r" if it is said with a "n" sound? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:29 (UTC)

In English, r is a voiced retroflex flap made with the tip of the tongue, n is a voiced alveolar nasal, also made with the tip of the tongue. In other words, the only difference between the two sounds is whether the tongue fully touches the roof of the mouth or not. Most confusions on transliteration occurs because a language has more phonemes than English, and we must simply approximate our closest sound. Since r and n are so close I would then guess that the sound in Korean is somewhere between our two sounds and so it sounds rather like n despite being transliterated as an r. But I'm not a linguist or speaker of Korean. --Laura Scudder | Talk 8 July 2005 20:45 (UTC)
The spelling Roh Moo-hyun is Yale Romanization. In South Korea, where Revised Romanization of Korean is now official, his name is No Mu-hyeon. There is a difference in the pronunciation of the name between North and South Korea — the r sound is heard in the northern dalect. --Gareth Hughes 8 July 2005 21:44 (UTC)

Allison Janney's childhood

In The West Wing episode "Behind the Podium", where press secretary C.J. allows a PBS documentary crew to follow her for a day, the narrator tells us C.J. grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and then shows some home movies of her as a child. Some of them are at an amusement park. Since Janney really is from Dayton, is this footage from Kings Island, about thirty miles to the south of Dayton? PedanticallySpeaking June 29, 2005 14:16 (UTC) (This question was erroneously transferred to the "answered questions" archive, so I'm reposting it. PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:40 (UTC))

Ah, BUT did they actually dig up real footage of her or just make their own to fill a gap? I mean, the West Wing is fictional, so I'm sure they could embellish details to some extent. In which case it could be filmed in Jerusalem for all it would matter. Of course having not seen the episode I can't say if this footage looked fake or not, but that would be something to look into. Maybe ask around on a fansite forum, or heck, you might even find an episode summary that's already sorted out its origins and locations and whatnot. Master Thief GarrettTalk 8 July 2005 22:54 (UTC)

It looked like Janney in the film, which had the appearance of vintage home movies. Yes, yes, that can be faked, but for a television series it would be costly to film all this with roller coasters and actors for a wholly unnecessary sequence that lasts a few seconds. That's why it leads me to believe it's the genuine article. PedanticallySpeaking 15:10, July 12, 2005 (UTC)


Besides Nelson, what other famous people wore eyepatches? PedanticallySpeaking July 8, 2005 20:42 (UTC)

  1. Moshe Dayan --Gareth Hughes 8 July 2005 21:24 (UTC) and those listed at eyepatch --Gareth Hughes 8 July 2005 21:28 (UTC)
  2. Not purely for comic value, take a look at pirate, to see some mention of the eyepatch being adopted as a style statement. --Gareth Hughes 9 July 2005 15:20 (UTC)
  3. Gabrielle the singer does. --Sophiebristow 21:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

According to Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, "there is no evidence that Nelson ever wore an eye patch, though he was known to wear an eyeshade to protect his remaining eye". rossb 10:28, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Ah. I knew he had only one eye and presumed he wore an eyepatch. Thanks for the info. PedanticallySpeaking 15:11, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Not sure what your criteria for famous are, but there's a glassblowing artist with an eyepatch, Dale Chihuly. --Laura Scudder | Talk 18:12, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Titles of R. C. Sherriff's 1st and 5th plays?

R. C. Sherriff's 1st was written in 1921, and I think the 5th in 1925. — Jeandré, 2005-07-08t10:54z

Naval crisis, reciprocity, French-English tension in Canada

  1. What is the Naval Crisis, and what happened in it?
  2. What is Reciprocity?
  3. What are some examples of French-English tension in Canada, and what are the dates they happened on?
You can read a bit about the Naval Crisis at Military history of Canada#The creation of a Canadian_navy, though Wikipedia really should have more on this issue. In the context of Canadian history Reciprocity refers to the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty of 1855. French-Canadian and History of Quebec have some content on French-English tension. Some specific examples include the Lower Canada Rebellion, the Manitoba Schools Question, the Conscription Crisis of 1917, and the long history of Quebec separatism. - SimonP July 9, 2005 15:18 (UTC)

Online gambling

How do online gambling websites -- such as those that allow you to play poker against real people for real money -- prevent people from using card counting software? It seems like it would be a really easy thing to do, and in the long run affect the odds considerably unless they were using a system wholly unlike actual deck behavior. But I might be overlooking something. --Fastfission 9 July 2005 02:25 (UTC)

According to an answer at the FAQ linked from Online poker, they "use random number generators to ensure the cards dealt never fall into any predictable pattern.", as if the decks are shuffled every time — so counting doesn't help. — Jeandré, 2005-07-09t19:40z
Shuffled every time would seem to change the game quite a bit from real poker, wouldn't it? --Fastfission 02:45, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
We're talking poker, where the cards are shuffled after every hand. You may be thinking of blackjack, where multiple decks are used but shuffling only occurs when the card stack gets low, thus making card counting a potentially useful strategy. --Robert Merkel 09:27, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't think this is what you're asking, but I'm adding anyway. There is software out there such as [Winholdem] and another I can't remember the name of that are bots that will play for you. They are not very effective, unless you're playing heads-up. The scarier part though is that multiple bots can be sitting at the same table, and telling each other which cards they are getting. The poker sites usually combat this by statistical analysis of your play, and by detecting if you're running such software. -- BMIComp (talk) 10:49, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Death by fright

Is it medically possible to die from being in a state of terror? I know that Hans Selye's work suggests that one can die from prolonged stress, which seems related.

My question arose after reading the following paragraph in the Arnold Schoenberg article:

Schoenberg suffered from triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number thirteen); it is said that the reason his late opera is called Moses and Aron, rather than Moses and Aaron (the correct spelling with two As) is because the latter spelling has thirteen letters in it. He was born (and, it turned out, died) on the thirteenth of the month, and thought of this as a portent. He once refused to rent a house because it had the number 13, and feared turning 76, because its digits add up to thirteen. In an interesting story, it is believed that he feared Friday, July 13, 1951, as it was the first Friday the 13th of his 76th year. He reportedly stayed in bed that day preparing for what he thought as his death day. After begging her husband to wake up and "quit his nonsense," his skeptical wife was shocked to find that her husband in fact had died that day he had long feared, as he uttered the word "harmony" and died. His time of death was 11:47 p.m., 13 minutes until midnight.

Assuming the above information is accurate: I find it hard to believe that this is coincidental and imagined that his immense terror on that date led to his death. So, any studies of this phenomonon, or more specific details on the death of Schoenberg would be helpful. Thanks. --Tothebarricades July 9, 2005 03:49 (UTC)

Schoenberg's triskaidekaphobia is quite famous (he invented twelve tone music!) and yes, he did die on friday the thirteenth, but he had been in extremely poor health for years [25], having suffered a nearly fatal heart attack in 1946 (the inspiration for his marvelous string trio). So perhaps his death resulted from a combination of 13-related stress and other, more conventional causes. David Sneek 9 July 2005 09:58 (UTC)
Psychological stress raises the demands on the heart, so it may well play a part in a fatal heart attack or similar fatal event. However, stress (or fear) is very hard to measure in figures so you are unlikely to find more than anecdotal evidence such as the Schoenberg example. In a few words, don´t give your old grandfather a fright but, if you do and he dies, then he probably died from something else as well. Physchim62 19:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Dotted borders

I am an amateur cartographer. I would like to know how to convert a straight line (thick) border to a dotted (or dashed) one using Photoshop/GIMP. Thanks. =Nichalp «Talk»= July 9, 2005 05:38 (UTC)

GIMP: If it's rasterized, you'll basically be starting from scratch, but if you have a path (or want to remake it from scratch with a path):
  • Make the path
  • Click the Stroke path button on what is usually the left-side ("The GIMP") panel
  • Set Line Width: (about 2.0 px seems good)
  • Expand Line Style
  • Select Dash Preset: Dense dots
  • Stroke (button)
However...if you're doing maps, I strongly urge you to stick to vectors - you might look into Inkscape. I don't have it at the moment, but I assume making a dotted line is possible and similarly easy—will try and come back with instructions for it later. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 9 13:54 (UTC)
Yeah, it's much the same in Inkscape:
  • Make the path
  • Select it
  • Bring up the "fill and stroke" dialog
  • Select the "stroke style" tab
  • In "dashes" pick the desired style
--Finlay McWalter | Talk July 9, 2005 17:55 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, this is the first time I'll be using paths, so I'll brief you if anything goes wrong. =Nichalp «Talk»= July 9, 2005 18:13 (UTC)
For the Fill and Stroke dialog, btw, just right-click on the selected path, or hit SHIFT+CTRL+F ¦ Reisio 12:50, 2005 July 10 (UTC)

What is the population of the United States?

The US Census Bureau has a population "clock" on their front page. -- Cyrius| 18:20, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


My grandmother Katherine Gourley Tant was WILLIE AUCHTERLOANIE's cousin and has passed away some years now but I remember my late father telling me that Willie Auchterloaney was my grandmothers cousin and I would be grateful if you could send me a picture and any information on him as I would be overwhelmed to recieve any pictures or information in conection with him winning the first open SCOTTISH GOLF championship or any pictures of him at Saint Andrews House where I believe he was an honerably member for a quarter of a century.

Thankyou Yours sincerly Miss Susan Ann Tant you may E-Mail me at the forwarding address. or if preffered (personal contact info removed)

From Google lots of issues | leave me a message 9 July 2005 14:41 (UTC)
Wikipedia also has a short Willie Auchterlonie article. ¦ Reisio 2005 July 9 14:45 (UTC)
Emailed. — Asbestos | Talk 23:44, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Voltage limiting circuit

After frying an expensive electrical component, I'm a little bit on edge and would like to whip up quickly a circuit that will limit an input voltage to between 0 and 5 volts. Actually, it doesn't even need to be between 0 and 5. Between 0.5 and 4.5 would suffice too. Any suggestions? --HappyCamper 9 July 2005 14:27 (UTC)

  • A 4.5-volt zener diode in parallel with a large capacitor (mF range) should do the trick quickly and cheaply. Otherwise, a stabilsed 5 volt power supply is not overly expensive (try looking in school supply catalogues, or ask at your local high school!). Physchim62 17:30, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Try something like this:
D1 is a 4.7 volt Zener diode (e.g. BZV85C), which will restrict your voltage to about (-0.7 V, +4.7 V).
D2 is a small Schottky diode (e.g. BAT43), which will narrow the range to about (-0.2 V, +4.7 V)
U1 is your expensive device.
R is to stop you frying the diodes. Its value depends on the current you want to put into U1. If U1 has a high-impedance input, then use about 1 kohm.

I tried to err on the side of simplicity. Most expensive devices can tolerate a small negative input, but if yours can't then you will need a more complex circuit. Good luck! --Heron 17:46, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Will the circuit still work if I bias each diode branch with a 0.2 V voltage source? --HappyCamper 20:17, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes. Just make sure that the 0.2 V source has a much lower impedance than R. --Heron 14:21, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

A quick-and-dirty solution is to run your circuit from a USB connector. They supply 5 V, and, as a bonus, limit the current (to 50 mA, if I remember correctly).--Joel 19:29, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

500 mA. --Heron 19:30, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

what does OPAC means?

Online Public Access Catalog -- Essjay · Talk July 9, 2005 15:35 (UTC)

Or do you mean OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries? Dismas 05:27, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I thought about that when I saw the question, but OPAC is fairly prevalent around public & university libraries so I went with that. -- Essjay · Talk 05:35, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

Photo: shopped?

I reckon this image (URL below), used by Channel 4 News in a gallery of images about the 7 July 2005 London bombings, is a poor image manipulation.

What do you folk think?

(In case further photos are added later which changes the URL of this photo - what you should be seeing are raindrops reflecting the Union Jack). --bodnotbod 19:32, July 9, 2005 (UTC)

I wouldn't say the image has been manipulated, as such (reflections in dropplets really do look like that), but would imagine that the colors had been hightened to emphasize the red and blue much more than they would be naturally. This is difficult to say whether they've really been touched, because we can't see the surroundings to work out the lighting, but under natural lighting you'd probably need to color it in by hand to make the red and blue that saturated. Most likely, though, the picture was taken under lighting that already was pretty saturated, and a simple Adobe filter brought them out more strongly. — Asbestos | Talk 20:00, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Patenting scientific revolutions

Say a scientist worked out the solution to a ground-breaking scientific phenomena, for instance, worked out how to reliably get cold fusion to work. Would he be able to patent his technique and stop other people from using it? If he didn't patent his technique, would someone else be able to come along and patent it? How about if the scientists were working for the US Government, say the department of energy. Would the US Government be able to patent the technique and stop other countries from using it?

-Madd4Max 20:55, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Would he be able to patent his technique
and stop other people from using it?
If he didn't patent his technique, would someone else be able to come along and patent it?
Would the US Government be able to patent the technique
and stop other countries from using it?
Reisio 21:20, 2005 July 9 (UTC)
One book which might be interesting to you is Scientific Authorship, edited by Mario Biagioli and Peter Galison. It is all about science and intellectual property. It's a big field of research at the moment in the history and philosophy of science.
I think Reisio is correct except for two points:
1. As for "prevent people from using it" -- it depends. There was a case not too long ago where a scientist sued his former university (Duke, I believe) to prevent them from using a machine/technique he developed and patented, and though universities and scientists generally are supposed to use anything they want for "purely research" purposes, the court ruled that in this case the university's mission was research so it wasn't "pure" or something like that. At least, that's what I recall, I believe it is one of the horror stories from Innovation and its Discontents but I might be wrong.
2. If he didn't patent his technique, no one else could patent it if he published it first or documented it in some other way. Patents are granted for innovations and according to priority -- if he came up with it and had a record of that, that would serve as evidence that it was not "innovative" and thus in a perfect world the other patent would not be granted (even if the second fellow had never heard of the first). In the U.S., the system is "first to discover" not "first to file."
One last elaboration: Would the U.S. government be able to patent the technique? Depends on their funding arrangement (assuming they had funded it). Since the Bayh-Dole Act the government generally tries not to patent much, only to retain certain types of abilities to license the privately held patent (i.e., lets the contractor hold the title, so long as the government can use it freely in their own research labs, etc.). As for preventing other countries, it depends on interlocking trade agreements. Much ink has been spilled over whether countries in Africa, for example, should be allowed "marching rights" to infringe on U.S.-company held AIDS medication patents and whether that would violate various U.S. trade agreements and so forth. --Fastfission 02:42, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Fastfission is, of course, speaking of how it's supposed to be. My responses reflect how it is. ¦ Reisio 12:43, 2005 July 10 (UTC)
Anyone can patent something, even if they aren't the first to invent it, but if someone comes along and demonstrates prior art overlooked by incredibly understaffed patent offices and their inadequately trained researchers, they can have the earlier-filed but later-invented patent invalidated. Of course, it costs money to do this, and someone who's made millions off an existing patent is likely to be able to fight off attempts by underfunded original inventors to do so, possibly even paying to undermine the true inventor's case by any means possible. It's also common for underfunded con artists to attempt to invalidate accurate patents of newly wealthy inventors by claiming prior art, so it's not an easy thing for patent offices to resolve. Welcome to the real world. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:24, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

How to contact Hilary Swank

Our group is sponsoring a Women's History Month event in March 2006. We would like to show "Iron Jawed Angels" and would like to have Hilary Swank as our guest of honor. We need the name and phone number of her agent, or an address to write to Hilary Swank, or an e-mail address to contact her. Thank you.

According to an article in a Dallas magazine, Swank's publicist is Troy Nankin, "the Senior VP of publicity at Baker Winoker and Ryder in Beverly Hills". [26] The magazine misspelled the agency's name (correct is Winokur). Try to reach Mr. Nankin at: Baker Winokur Ryder Public Relations Inc., 9100 Wilshire Blvd., 6th Fl., Beverly Hills, CA 90212; telephone 310-550-7776. The firm appears to do public relations rather than agent-style representation, although an article in the New York Daily News, February 22, 2005, identifies Nankin as her agent. [27] Well, if he's not, I'm sure he can direct you to the right person. I believe Swank lives in NYC, so, as a fallback, you might also reach her through Baker Winokur's office in Manhattan: 212-581-8685. JamesMLane 02:37, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Who was beaten with a pudding stick? And why?

I know there is a nursery rhyme where someone gets beaten with a pudding stick. Otherwise I never would have heard of a pudding stick. But I have gone through my complete library of nursery rhymes (okay - it's two books, but one is a Helen Oxenbury and this is just her sort of cup of tea), and I cannot locate the rhyme. I need to know. And yes, there is such a thing as a pudding stick, or I wouldn't have ended up "quoting" a rhyme I can't remember! Gaahhhh. Help me. --Mothperson 23:11, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

A Google search reveals [28], with the lines "The spit that stood behind the door / Threw the pudding-stick on the floor." But no-one gets beaten, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for. It's the only one I found, though. — Asbestos | Talk 23:35, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
Oh, that's right. I forgot to mention that I tried to google, and the words "pudding" with "stick" and some form of the verb "to beat" are, like, a totally diabolical combination for this search. But thank you very much for looking. I need someone with an eidetic memory, I guess. And a taste for nursery rhymes. --Mothperson 23:52, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
Makes me think of Punch and Judy shows as a kid, if that's of any help at all... Physchim62 18:55, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

incorrect information

Inside the page, I see the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is not a legal state, under international Low, instead of Cyprus which is a European Union member states and a United Nations Member till 1960.

Well, then just correct it, for heaven's sake. 2004-12-29T22:45Z 01:09, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

What kind of dinosaur is Tricky?

What type of dinosaur doe Tricky resemble in Star Fox: Adventures? Thankyou!

Looks like some variety of triceratops to me. Maybe a young one, hence only one horn? Not sure. [29]. Maybe a Chasmosaurus or Protoceratops? --Fastfission 13:21, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Even without ever seeing Tricky, I would go for triceratopsTri-ky → tri-cera.. --Gareth Hughes 15:52, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

How do I kill fruit flies?

How does one kill fruit flies? They are infesting my kichen? Help!

It explains how to kill them on the very same page you just referenced for your question. Dismas 04:29, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Uck! I had those nasty little buggers last summer, and they about drove me out of my mind. Let me add a few points that weren't mentioned in the article:

  • Consider filling your sink with water (like you were going to do dishes) and spike it with Lysol/Mr. Clean and leaving it whenever it isn't in use. That will keep them out of the drains. (If you do the boiling water thing, they'll just go right back.)
  • Remove any unsealed bottles (like those decorative bottles) of vinegar you have in the house; they'll lay eggs in them. Also, remove any unsealed bottles of alchol or flavored syrups (like you would see in a cafe for flavored coffee) because they'll get into them. Keep anything fruity, alcoholic or vinegary (including wine) tightly sealed.
  • Put your dishes in the dishwasher (if you have one) or the oven (if you don't) and keep it shut & locked; they'll go after any food residue on the dishes.
  • Take out your garbage daily, and if possible, keep it in a tightly sealed container. Any particularly attractive trash (fruit peels, etc.) should be taken out immediatley (I put mine in plastic grocery bags and tie it up, then took it out.)
  • Keep all food either in a sealed container (cabinets don't count, they get in anyway) or in the refrigerator. If they find anything to breed on, you'll have them for weeks.
  • You might consider setting off pest foggers in the house (make sure to follow the directions carefully, and don't forget to put out any pilot lights or other flame sources.)

It took about two weeks (the eggs hatch like every week or so) to get rid of all of them, but it worked. Hope it helps! -- Essjay · Talk 05:01, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

You should cover all foodstuffs to prevent this insects from bothering you as a preventive measure. There's a kind of ultra-violet tube available for flies in general. These creatures are attracted to this wavelength and are zapped by the high voltage. =Nichalp «Talk»= 08:00, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
A bug light with dead flies on it really does not sound like a very hygenic way of getting rid of fruit flies... On the patio is fine for those things but to have one where one prepares most of their food, no thanks! Dismas 10:05, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Generally...just keep your kitchen clean (you might look around for something rotting on the shelves or something). ¦ Reisio 09:40, 2005 July 10 (UTC)
Make sure to put your dishes in the dishwasher right away... do not leave them in the sink. The lysol/bleach/mr. clean in the sink can be really effective. Also, if you have a garbage disposal, you may want to cut up an lemon and put it in there once a day, as that helps kill them. Also, make sure to have a clean garbage can, with a tight lid on it. Good luck. -- BMIComp (talk) 10:27, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
They're harmless. Working in a biology lab you do get the odd escaped one flying around. In a lab you're supposed to kill or anaesthetise them them with ether, which usually makes you a little dizzy as well (if you like that sort of thing!). They really like bananas. Dunc| 12:48, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
THANKS so much all. I'll try all of these. I'm also copying this section to the fruit flies area.


What blood tests (if any) are there for the HYpothalamus. Particularly those relating to Hypertension, dizzy spells and temperature regulation? Thanks. Calvin

There are no routinely available clinical blood tests for humans that directly assess hypothalamic function. There are blood tests that assess the combined hormonal function of the hypothalamus and pituitary:

The first big problem of course is that these are really crude and indirect tests of only a few hypothalamic functions, and there are many types of hypothalamic malfunction that do not show up in these tests. The hypothalamus is involved in regulation of appetite, adipose mass, resting energy expenditure/basal metabolic rate, temperature regulation, sleep/wake cycles, physical energy and initiative, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose sensing, responses to stress, many aspects of digestive and gastrointestinal function, timing of puberty and other aspects of sexual development and reproductive behavior, parenting behavior, and many more than I am willing to sit here and think of. It has close ties to parts of the brain involved in (among other things) emotion. How do we know these things? Mainly from animal experiments, and from observation of people with injuries or diseases that affect the hypothalamus. We know of a few inherited congenital disorders of the hypothalamus that can involve these functions, and for a few of these, we understand them down to the molecular level (e.g., the rare mutation of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene that leads to red hair and obesity because of disrupted communication between the hypothalamus and body fat}.

The second big problem is that we have very few direct treatments for hypothalamic disorders. Depending on the nature of the disorder, treatment may involve

  • surgery to remove a tumor, or a gland that is overproducing hormones,
  • replacement of missing hormones,
  • various drugs that sort of compensate for the problem by affecting the affected system in the desired direction (e.g., pills to lower blood pressure)
  • changing by effort and will some of the daily activities affected (e.g., eating and physical activity).

The physicians who treat some of the hypothalamic problems are endocrinologists and neurologists. The academic and research discipline involved in invstigating the hypothalamus is neuroendocrinology.

Sorry for long answer to short question. Executive summary: we can often guess that a person's hypothalamus is not doing its job correctly, but we can rarely confirm it by easy testing, and if we do confirm, we have only a few satisfactory treatments. alteripse 14:03, 10 July 2005 (UTC)


the difference between the greek sculpture and the roman sclupture

Greek sculpture originates from Greece (etc.) or Greeks, Roman sculpture originates from Rome (etc.) or Romans. ¦ Reisio 12:07, 2005 July 10 (UTC)
Not exactly, Reisio; Roman sculpture finds its origins in Greece too. But generally Greek sculpture is considered more idealistic, whereas Roman sculpture tends more toward realism. David Sneek 15:06, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Children's Sporting Performance

We knew that average (most) kids are pretty good at sports (that is, their "sporting performance" are pretty good, so they could compete well with other children) Nevertheless, we also knew that some (small?) portion of children simply aren't good at all at any sports (well, they probably could do sports anyway, but their "sporting performance" are very poor, so they couldn't compete with other children), even though they are healthy, well-fed, well-nourished, and don't have any physical disabilities. My question is: What caused it? (genetics?) 14:43, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

My answer is: there will be no single factor identifiable. Sporting performance is not a single parameter defined by a single measure, but a complex quality judgement presumably based on multiple measures, right? Among the performance variables: size, agility, strength, energy, mood, recent sleep/eating/activity/health history; attitude toward the activity; the response of teammates and adults to the child's efforts. The other half of the equation is of course how an adult reaches a conclusion that a child "isn't good at all at any sport" or "can't compete". Anyone with intelligence, common sense, and empathy can sit here and think of additional factors as quickly as they can type them. I'm tempted to answer, from extensive personal experience, that only a phys ed teacher or a coach could think such a question has a meaningful single answer, and that a large factor resides in that attitude. alteripse 15:19, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think I have found the answer myself (actually, what I want is "physical fitness" instead of "sporting performance" — well, I can't seem find the right phrase anyway), but thanks for trying to answer anyway. 15:46, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Physical fitness is also a multifactor variable, though without as great a component of adult subjective judgement and social factor influence. There are many studies of physical fitness in children in the pediatric medical literature (e.g., see the search results at the Am Acad of Pediatrics site [30]). I suspect there are many others in the academic educational and sports literatures. To identify the factors contributing to "poor" physical fitness, the first challenge is to refine the concept of physical fitness to a measurable quality (e.g., as a combination of performance measures on tests of stamina, strength, speed, agility, or whatever you want to include that can be measured objectively and is a valid measure of the quality you want to investigate). The second step would be to identify all the factors you already think are important (e.g., size, maturity stage, fatness, past athletic participation, parental history, psychological factors, social factors, and many more). There are statistical tests (multifactorial analysis) you can do to identify how strongly each of your identified factors is associated with a high "fitness score." The third step would be to see how much of the inter-child variability in score is still statistically unexplained by the factors you have already identified. If it is significant, you have to do some thinking and hypothesizing about what factor you are missing. When you have some ideas, you test them by controlling for the other factors and seeing how strong the association is. What a difference the way you phrase the question makes to how I or you answer it! alteripse 17:30, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Double sharps in a major scale?

Are double sharps allowed in a major scale? For example, A#, B#, C double sharp, D#, E#, F double sharp, G double sharp? I was reviewing theory online (oh, it must have been a year ago) and I remember coming across something saying double sharps couldn't be in a scale, yet I was at a Southern Gospel singing school a couple weeks ago and my teacher said they were allowed. I was wondering which is correct? Hermione1980 13:51, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Sure, they are allowed - but it depends on the school of thought. Notationally speaking, the major scales with extra sharps are not "allowed" because it isn't necessary for them. For example, D# major is enharmonically equivalent to E-flat major. For reasons of aesthetics and simplicity, it isn't necessary to overcomplicate the key signature with an excessive number of sharps or flats. --HappyCamper 14:52, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Amen to that. I can't play the piano very well in any key with more than 4 flats or 2 sharps. So both my teacher and my online resource are right. Thanks. Hermione1980 14:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
There are no rules - that's why it's called music theory. ¦ Reisio 15:57, 2005 July 10 (UTC)

To give a practical example where a major key including a double sharp is used: Chopin's Mazurka, opus 6 no. 2, has a short passage which is effectively written in G sharp major; that is, eight sharps (everything sharp plus F double sharp); he chose to write it like this rather than in the more common A flat major (four flats) because the surrounding sections are in C sharp minor (four sharps) and he uses G sharp as a pivot note between the two keys; switching from sharps to flats and then back again would have lacked a certain logic and (I think) have made the music quite a bit harder to read.

Chopin doesn't use a G sharp major key signature (I don't think I've ever seen a double sharp or double flat in a key signature); he just uses a lot of accidentals. I daresay there are plenty of other similar examples. --Camembert 14:44, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

'One word for many' Softwares

It is easy enough to find the meaning(s) of a single word, with very effective and useful tools like wikipedia available. But what happens when you have more than one word, like a phrase or an expression? Are there any such tools available for download or on a CD? I mean something like a revese dictionary. If there are, I would be really pleased to know about them. -anon

Google is surprisingly good with phrases. If you could give a couple of examples of phrases or word combinations that you had trouble finding, I would be happy to make more specific suggestions on how to search for them quickly. alteripse 15:00, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

"ware" on the end of parts of a Computer Infrastructure can be both singular or plural, but more often means plural, in fact as a Computer professional myself it is hard for me to imagine any singular aspect of Computer hardware or Computer software. AlMac 22:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Singular in hardware might be a screw that is used to hold the electronics togther. AlMac 22:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Singular in software might be a single command line in a program, or a single variable, some part that is meaningless without the rest of the pices. AlMac 22:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
There's many other "wares" in the computer world, such as "wetware" {the human brain that supposedly runs the computers). AlMac 22:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
I think "ware" started out as some kind of an in-joke. AlMac 22:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Windows 5.2?

I administrate a phpBB forum that has a mod that shows me statistics. Recently I noticed that it showed 1 hit from a Win 5.2 machine! I know that XP=Windows NT 5.1, but what version is 5.2? Is that Longhorn, 2003 Server, CE, or something else? Thanks. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 16:41, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Microsoft Windows 95 = Microsoft Windows 4.0
Microsoft Windows 98 = Microsoft Windows 4.1
Microsoft Windows ME = Microsoft Windows 4.2
Microsoft Windows 2K = Microsoft Windows 5.0
Microsoft Windows XP = Microsoft Windows 5.1
Microsoft Windows 03 = Microsoft Windows 5.2

--jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:36, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Can you Free Krystal Before the End of the Game?

Is it possible to free Krystal from the ice before the middle of the game? If so how?

I think you need for that, not Wikipedia! Gdr 17:43, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The cost of Windows Longhorn

A lot more than the cost Linux, which you can get for free (as well as an Office suite and any other necessary software). ¦ Reisio 21:34, 2005 July 10 (UTC)

Newton's 1st Law of Motion, "The Law of Inertia"

Thanks - Much appreciated. --Don 18:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

"Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatennus illud a viribus impressi cogitur statum suum mutare." ("Every body perseveres in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed thereon.") [31] [32] David Sneek 18:45, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Galileo came to very similar conclusions about a century earlier, but his statement is only in paraphrases and examples in the "Dialogue on the Two World Systems"—he also had problems reconciling his ideas with circular motion, which he did not quite understand. Physchim62 18:47, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
    • The Newton reference above is (apparently, I haven't checked with the original ;) to Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), published 1687. Physchim62 18:52, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Broadband Filters

I'm planning to get broadband pretty soon but I'm a bit confused over the need of phone line filters. I'm aware I need one for my modem, but not sure if I need one for every phone in the house. Am I likely to get noticeable interferance using filtered and non-filtered appliances together ? - Robmods 19:20, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

When I had it, one was needed for each phone, but they were provided with the broadband equipment. -- Essjay · Talk 19:23, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
If you are getting DSL (via your phone service provider) you will need a filter for each phone (usually provided by the phone service folks). If you mean broadband via cable then phone filters will not be required. hydnjo talk 19:31, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the amazingly quick response, even if it means I'll have to get extra filters ( the ISP I'm looking at only provides 2 ) - Robmods 19:48, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Then ask them to provide for how ever many you need. It's their problem, not yours. After all you do have alternatives, and let them know that. hydnjo talk 20:23, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, you should NOT have one on the dsl connection itself. If you did, that would filter out the network communication. Superm401 | Talk 11:05, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Actually it depnds on how the telephones are wired. If the phones are attach in a series (like they usually are in Sweden) then you only need a filter for the first phone. I believe that in the USA all phones are gnereally attached parallel. I'm only familiar with how it works in Sweden and here one only get one filter for the first phone. Jeltz talk 11:17, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
That seems logical, but you are correct. That is not the setup in the US. Superm401 | Talk 15:19, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

'Mo' abbreviation

Why is "megabyte" sometimes abbreviated as "Mo"? There is no 'o' in the flipping word! Nickptar 20:24, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Mo is an abbreviation for megaoctet. Octet and byte are often used interchangeably; however, an octet is always 8 bits, whereas the number of bits in a byte varies according to a computer's architecture--a byte is 8 bits on virtually all modern computers, but the number of bits in a byte varied on older computers. Chuck 20:37, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
    • D'oh. Thanks. (Plus, it seems to be an especially French usage - I guess the word 'byte' doesn't exist in French.) Nickptar 20:40, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
      • The word for "byte" in French is indeed octet, possibly to avoid confusion with bite, a slang word for "penis". Physchim62 11:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

sticky situation

Is there actually a difference between cocktail sticks and toothpicks? I'm in the uppermiddleclass echelon and should know the difference if there is one. Ta --Sophiebristow 21:29, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Cocktail sticks are round in cross-section. Toothpicks can be round but the better ones have a triangular cross-section to make them fit in the interdental spaces, and they are made of softer wood. You won't find many mint-flavoured cocktail sticks, either. --Heron 21:35, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
One you put in your mouth to get food in, one you put in your mouth to get food out... More accurately, a cocktail stick is a long cylinder pointed at both ends; it's about three, four inches long - about the size of a cotton swab. A toothpick is generally shorter, at least in my experience, often blunt at one end, and often not cylindrical - a triangular cross-section is quite common. Shimgray 21:38, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Also, cocktail sticks can have those little multi-colored cellophane frills attached to them. No self-respecting toothpick would. --Mothperson 21:44, 10 July 2005 (UTC)


This question is about dice. I found a 30-sided die in my room. Is there like a maximum number of sides a dice can have. I'm guessing that one could make a gargantuan one with thousands of sides if one wanted to. --Sophiebristow 21:54, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Nope, really no limit. You could technically think of a sphere as having an infinite number of degenerate sides though. I've seen at most 100 in practise. --HappyCamper 21:58, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Depends on the rules you play by I suppose; if you require that each face a regular polygon of the same size, and with faces arranged in the same manner around every vertex, then the maximum would probably be an Icosahedron with 20 faces. Obviously larger dice numbers of sides break some of these rules. --Neo 22:05, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
If you drop the requirement that the faces be regular polygons, but still keep the requirement that every face be identical—not only in shape, but also in its arrangement relative to other faces—there are other shapes besides the Platonic solids which are theoretically fair, by symmetry. These are the Catalan solids, the right regular bipyramids, and the right regular trapezohedra.
The Platonic solids are the typical 4-, 6-, 8-, 12-, and 20-sided dice used by gamers. Of the Catalan solids, the only one I've seen used as a die is the 30-sided rhombic triacontahedron, which is probably the one Sophiebristow has. The other Catalan solids could be used for dice with 12, 24, 48, 60, or 120 sides. The bipyramids and trapezohedra could theoretically be used for dice with any even number, 2n, of faces, where n is an integer greater than or equal to three. These quickly become impractical with very many sides, though, since both of these have n faces meeting at two of the vertices. However, the typical 10-sided die used by gamers is a pentagonal trapezohedron.
I've seen the 100-sided dice that others have referenced here, too, but I'm skeptical whether it would be close enough to fair to be usable, since it doesn't belong to any of the "theoretically fair" shapes above. Chuck 19:26, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Hah! After digging around a bit more, I found that the commercially-produced d100 is known as a Zocchihedron. And the article confirms my suspicions: "A test performed by the White Dwarf magazine concluded that the frequency distribution of the Zocchihedron was substantially uneven, although there was no particular bias towards rolling high or low numbers." Chuck 20:05, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
There has been at least one commercially-produced D100 (hundred-sided dice), though I think it was effectively spherical rather than faceted. I have a vague recollection of hearing about someone producing a die with a few hundred sides - one to three hundred, not sure what - but can't seem to find anything, and it'd have been a hand-made curiosity at best. Shimgray 22:16, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
HappyCamper is surely right, but just for reference - my brother collects dice and plays lots of games that use them, and the most-sided he has actually ever used had one-hundred sides. ¦ Reisio 22:19, 2005 July 10 (UTC)
Maybe if you counted golf balls, then you'd have 300+ sided dice if all the dimples are labelled. --HappyCamper 22:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
How do you tell which number is the top one? MyNameIsClare talk 15:38, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
This is the limiting factor on number of sides. -- Cyrius| 18:25, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
If you have a die that has a number of sides different than 4 (tetrahedron), 6 (cube), 8 (octahedron), 12 (dodecahedron), or 20 (icosahedron), the die would have to have different-shaped sides because it isn't a Platonic solid. Correct? BTW, Scattergories uses an icosahedron. --Think Fast 17:21, July 14, 2005 (UTC)


Who holds the most world records? I guess that (s)he would have 2 more records than the runner-up, one being the "record of the most records". Thanks again, you are very good--Sophiebristow 22:10, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

A google search of "most world records" turns up this BBC article stating that a guy called Ashrita Furman holds the most world records. According to the article, they are in such consequential endeavours as "fastest time to climb the CN Tower with a pogo stick". --Robert Merkel 02:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I also think it's Ashrita Furman. His website is here. --Think Fast 15:58, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Gloomy sunday

How long does suncream last? I dug up an old bottle of some in the niches of my room, the "best before" date being 1999! It unopened AMBRE SOLAIRE stuff, and according to the sticker, cost £15, if that helps. --Sophiebristow 22:14, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I am really tempted to say, "If your skin turns green, you can assume it has gone bad..." but I won't. Lots of people ask about expiration dates on food and drugs. What the date means is that the manufacturer wants the store to sell it before that date and replace it afterwards. It is usually to the advantage of the manufacturer to claim a short shelf life because it encourages turnover and new purchases. With respect to drugs, it often means that the manufacturer has tested it and it retains 95% of original potency when stored under "controlled room temperature" (which means no temporary extremes of hot or cold temperatures) for the indicated length of time. Most products do not go bad immediately after the expiration date, and most chemical-type products (as opposed to perishable foods) "go bad" very gradually. Finally, if the active ingredient of a sunscreen is an inorganic compound, like zinc oxide, the main ingredient may never go bad, just dry out or separate from its lotion or vehicle. For sunscreen it is probably not dangerous to assume if it looks ok it probably is ok (but if your skin turns green, don't come cryng to us...). Finally, if you if think 1999 is ancient, you should check your parents' drawers and cupboards. alteripse 22:43, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I would also check the active ingredient to see if it has PABA or another compound since off the market. And as mentioned, I would be more likely to use an old inorganic than an old organic sunscreen. Never know what will happen with those benzene compounds. --Laura Scudder | Talk 21:10, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Concerto for a butterfly in a jar

I recall reading in some music history textbook a description of a type of composition possibly entitled "Concerto for a Butterfly in a Jar". To play the composition, a butterfly is placed in a glass jar with a lid, and opened in front of a church audience. A side window of the church is also opened. The composition ends when the butterfly flies out of the window. Could someone provide a source for this? I cannot seem to find it, and I've already dug through the archives that I have at home already. Thanks! --HappyCamper 23:01, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe it's called that. It's one of La Monte Young's early Fluxus-esque works. Dysprosia 06:22, 12 July 2005 (UTC) its happy to be hitler! !!!!!!!!!!
Ah yes! Of course!! I completely forgot about these Fluxus-esque works - this little comment was exactly what I needed - thank you! :-) HappyCamper 07:28, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Jesus H Christ

The above is a well-known expletive. Does the H stand for anything in particular? JackofOz 23:33, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Have you read the article, Jesus H. Christ? Dismas 23:48, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I should have trusted Wikipedia to cover it. JackofOz 00:52, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

drug numbers

Is it possible you ment CAS registry numbers? Gentgeen 02:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Need HELP with child with true " Special Powers" Please HELP?

I have a son who is now 10 and I know he has Special powers but I dont know what to even call this powers. Let me tell you a little about us and our story If you dont believe please stop reading because I believe it and really need help. My son was about 8 when I knew he was differt. One day I was in the kitchen and my son was in the living room (about 30ft) from each other. We were argueing and my son has some things he believes and when he does he stands his ground as I have taught him.But our arguement become very heated and he really got angery I will never forget what happened next Here is my baby glaring at me with his fist balled up One of those "if looks could Kill" faces and then I felt two large hands push me just hard enough to knock me on my butt.Instantly my son starts saying he's sorry with tears in his eyes over and over he kept saying he was sorry I did my best and told him he couldn't do it momma slipped and that was all he never expted that but we ended up on the floor crying and saying we were sorry for everything First before judging me or my son please understand a few things my son is and has been in honor classes since 2nd grade. He is very macure for his age.At the age of 3 my son and I lived alone at the age of 5 it was dicovered that I had brain cancer and that there was a good chance that I would die from the treatment.So at 5yrs old I had to sit down and talk to my son let him know what was going on and mom might die, where did he want to live and thing of this matter very hard for both of us it only him I thank for being here today. I didnt want the treatment i knew it would make me sick but he made me go 2yrs of sickness and wishing I could die I held on my son took care of me more than any one.He made people let him do it if you have ever had chemo or rad. treatment you know how bad it can be .My son cleaned up after me when I got sick to my stomack ever thing. My son would come in and lay his hands on me and give me his energy I know i sound crazy someone must under stand he would overwelm me in this blue light I could feel his warmth.He can light up any room. He can get his glass to slide to him across the table when he dont try IM NOT CRAZY HELP PLEASE --

What exactly is the problem? ¦ Reisio 02:27, 2005 July 11 (UTC)
You might be interested in James Randi's million dollar challenge for demonstratable paranormal/supernatural/occult powers or events under test conditions. -- Cyrius| 02:34, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
It might be helpful for both of you to visit a psychiatrist. He could probably help you more than us. Superm401 | Talk 11:11, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
It's tought for a young child to have to deal with serious responsibilities such as the illness of a parent, and it can leave a lasting effect on the child's personality and how they form relationships. For example, it could lead to the expression of anger that you sense (in a very physical way) coming from him. Please consider asking his school's guidance office, or a social service agency, to recommend a family counselling agency. Sharkford 15:08, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Many science fiction writers have described various phenomena and given names to what you describe. I suggest you start with the novel "To Ride Pegasus" by Anne McCaffrey. If you enjoy that novel, she has sequels. If you go to my talk page(AlMac) and ask, I can suggest other SF authors who cover this kind of material. What you are describing is in fact two separate powers.
Telekinetics = the ability to move stuff with your mind, when you not touching whatever.
Faith healing = the ability to do doctoring to a person's internal biology, without using surgery or chemicals. This is one of the most common "claimed" powers.
These, and many other "powers" are in the realm of science fiction, not fact, for several reasons.
People who claim to have such powers, they cannot do whatever at will, like a physical or mental skill.
For every one person who seems to be honestly claiming to have one of these powers, there are tens of thousands of con artist frauds.
Persons who claim to have such powers, and it is not obvious to most people what the con game is, the natural assumption is that the person is mentally unbalanced.
In historical times, people suspected of having such powers were feared and killed. Thus, any person, who REALLY is good at this stuff, for self-preservation needs to keep it a secret,

AlMac 23:09, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Low income housing

I am looking for information low income housing. -- Deborah Garrett

You might start here... HUD Dismas 03:31, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Assuming you are in the US, you might try a local social worker, or the office of your state representative (google search state represenative your state) or local congressman [[33]. Both types of elected officials have staff workers who will usually make at least an effort to connect you with the appropriate agency. alteripse 03:49, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Chemical Reactions

Name two elements necessary for ALL chemical reactions to take place.

Proximity and time are the elements (not chemical elemants obviously). alteripse 04:31, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but I suspect the two elements Homework and [sloth] were at least partly responsible for the posting of this question.
Seriously, while it may be pitched above your level of current knowledge, you can try the article on chemical reaction and more specifically reaction rate for hints. I would have said "heat" as another candidate for an essential item.--Robert Merkel 04:35, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Heat's wrong. Exothermic reactions don't require it. An example of one of those in every-day life is in a hot pack. I seriously there are any common elements to every reaction. Superm401 | Talk 11:00, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Exothermic reactions do require heat to overcome the activation energy: not very much sometimes, but a little bit all the same. Physchim62 11:08, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
At least one chemical, and...erm...a jar to put it in? -- Cyrius| 04:39, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Look at this. It says that "In a chemical reaction, two factors are involved: the reactant and the product." --Think Fast 17:41, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Richard C. Zaehner

Does anyone know what the "C." in R.C. Zaehner stands for? - Ta bu shi da yu 05:58, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

"Zaehner, Richard Charles, ed. and tr. The Bhagavadgita with a Commentary Based on the Original Sources. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969. .." (from Google). Sounds right. Certainly needs a mention in the article though, as that's the first thing a reader might wonder when they see an abbreviated name. GarrettTalk 06:43, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

How big is a Monopoly square?

Yes, it's Stump the Wikipedians Vol. I!

I want to know what the dimensions of a corner square are. That's the entire square inside the black/edge borders, not including them. You can give the dimensions in cm, mm, inches, whatever's the most exact. It's for a board overlay so needs to be as accurate as I can get it.

I know many of you will be able to answer since Monopoly is so common; I wouldn't have to ask at all if my beloved NZ-with-UK-names edition wasn't an hour's drive away!

Of course, knowing my luck, by the time anyone reads this I'll have found a Google keyword arrangement that gives me the answer... :) GarrettTalk 06:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

UPDATE: my apologies, upon further investigation of the problem I need the diameter of the black line as well, but separate from the measurement of the square istelf. The rest will have to be guesswork. :) GarrettTalk 08:32, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

<div style="
float: left;
width: 64.3mm;
height: 64.3mm;
border-top: none;
border-right: 1.175mm solid black;
border-bottom: 1.175mm solid black;
border-left: none;
background: #baffc4;
<div style="
float: left;
width: 38.1mm;
height: 64.3mm;
border: 1.175mm solid black;
border-top: none;
border-left: none;
background: #baffc4;
position: relative;
    <div style="
    float: left;
    width: 38.1mm;
    height: 12.75mm;
    border: none;
    border-top: 1.175mm solid black;
    background: slateblue;
    position: absolute;
    bottom: 0;

Print it. About as near to perfect as I'm willing to do. I'll see if I can do a complete board and fix it so the colors print later...someone on a forum I frequent wanted this sort of information, too. ¦ Reisio 00:46, 2005 July 13 (UTC)

Wow, thank you, that's excellent, better than I was expecting! The colors are not as much of a concern; as I said it's an overlay, and indeed the original was printed on brownish paper (go figure).
Strange though, people readily answer questions about Latin and Arabic and such but balk at reaching for a ruler! :)
Thanks again! GarrettTalk 01:08, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

The legal minimum age to send and recieve e-mail in the USA

In the USA, what is the minimum age for legally sending e-mail to an adult and recieving e-mail from the same adult? Does a minor legally need consent from a parent, guardian, or babysitter to send e-mail to and recieve e-mail from an adult who is not a relative of the minor, is not a friend of a relative of the minor, is not a guardian of the minor, is not a friend of a guardian of the minor, is not the minor's teacher or anything like that? Does it legally matter whether or not the adult and the minor who send e-mail to each other are the same gender? What is appropropriate to send or say to a minor and what is not?

Curious: why do you want to know? - Ta bu shi da yu 09:14, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
First of all, I must say, this is a rather odd question indeed and I'm trying to figure out why a person would need this information unless they had some nefarious purpose in mind. Second, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I intend on being one, so take my response with that in mind... I know of no statute or law on any state or federal level that requires a person to be of a certain age to send or receive e-mail to anyone. Although, minors cannot legally enter into contracts and thus cannot have credit cards in their names, enroll in contests, etc. That particular age of consent can vary by state. As far as what you can send them, that is where even more grey areas appear and not much is black and white. If the material is about illegal drug use, pornographic in nature, etc. then you could be held liable for delinquency of a minor. Simply asking a minor about their school work and other rather innocuous subjects should be rather safe. Also, since the minor is not technically in charge of their life and their decisions, if you'll forgive the term, the parents would have rights to read the emails and even, if desired, cut off communication with anyone that their child may be e-mailing for any reason. Dismas 09:29, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Just a minor fix. In the US, minors can enter into contract, but the difference is they cannot be held to it. In other words to them, every contract is voidable (as if it never was valid) if they want it to be. I believe that is standard across all states, but it could vary I suppose. The exception, I believe is with emancipated minors. Since they are legally responsible for themselves, I believe at least in some states, they lose the ability to void every contract. As far as I know there are no other laws relating to communication about what a child can do that are different from adults, but there are restrictions on the kinds of things adults can send to children. I'm sure it would vary by jurisdiction, but I know I've read about child protection laws, and I'm sure decency statutes could restrict certain types of communications to children. - Taxman Talk 15:55, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
I've seen this sort of problem crop up (in the UK and France) in disputes between parent-with-custody and absent-parent. A parental ban on emailing a given person is almost impossible to enforce. It would be illegal in Europe if that person were a relative of the child (unless a court order was in force) under the right to family life provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights. As for content, a parent could apply to the court for a restraining order if the content were thought to be unsuitable (not necessarily illegal). Physchim62 11:34, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree that separated parents is the likely context. In the US an attorney who practices family law could probably name the applicable state laws, none of which would have been written with email in mind. I doubt there are any applicable federal laws unless the content of the messages is clearly illegal. If you really think that there would be more benefit to your child to cut off contact than to monitor it and allow it, your lawyer can advise you on how to do it, but you may find it costly in several ways. It might be far simpler to monitor your child's email and discuss it and there are lots of ways to do that.
About the right to sign contracts, I know that many websites would ask whether you were older than 13, and require that you had your parent's permission otherwise, but I noticed that I was able to create a Hotmail account with my date of birth showing me to be a 6-year-old, and no warnings were given. — Asbestos | Talk 12:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
As a minor footnote to all the above, in the US and Canada there are laws restricting advertising to minors, so if the adult's response (even if solicited) were of the form "make your parents buy you one of these!" then that might be problematic. But the question (except, perhaps tellingly, for the very last part) is worded from the minor's point of view, as if there was a minimum age for legal Internet use, like driving or buying alcohol. I'm pretty sure that's a big No. As for "what is appropriate to say to a minor", whoa, what a question. Unless you're in some kind of professional kids' help line thing, I'd definitely avoid topics of sexuality, offensive language, and especially any hint that the minor should conceal anything from their parents. Avoid asking personal questions about health or family, or that could identify where the minor lives; and don't suggest that you meet them. It wouldn't hurt to suggest occasionally that the minor should mention the dialogue to their parents. Basically act as if the parents will eventually study this correspondence with a paranoid mindset. And be aware that in some jurisdictions, if the child's correspondence suggests child abuse, you may be legally required to report this to authorities. Sharkford 14:57, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

In the USA, what is the minimum age for legally sending e-mail to an adult and recieving e-mail from the same adult? no minimum age exists Does a minor legally need consent from a parent, guardian, or babysitter to send e-mail to and recieve e-mail from an adult who is not a relative of the minor, is not a friend of a relative of the minor, is not a guardian of the minor, is not a friend of a guardian of the minor, is not the minor's teacher or anything like that? no Does it legally matter whether or not the adult and the minor who send e-mail to each other are the same gender? no What is appropropriate to send or say to a minor and what is not? it is appropriate to say what you would be willing to defend saying if in front of a judge on a criminal charge (remember innocent people can and do go to jail - don't play with fire) 08:04, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Translation to Latin

My four years of high school Latin are useless. Can someone translate the following to decent Latin?

  • The Book of Lesser Demons
  • If you can't read this, you shouldn't be reading this.

Mothperson 09:43, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

You're not writing Pratchett fanfiction, are you? And sorry, my Latin is way too rusty to attempt a translation, I'll leave that to somebody who knows what they're doing :P Ferkelparade π 09:57, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Liber/codex daemonis minoris.
  • Si hunc legere nescis, non legendus hic.
--Gareth Hughes 10:44, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I forgot that you wanted the plural: not daemonis minoris bur daemonum minorum. --Gareth Hughes 11:46, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Your second translation is slightly off, but I assume that was intentionally. What you've written is "if you can't read this, this should not be read" - which is not quite the same as what Mothperson requested. You should add a "tibi" to the second part of the sentence as a dativus auctoris, so it translates to "..., this should not be read by you". Nightstallion 11:54, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Thank you thank you thank you both. No, I'm not writing Pratchett fanfiction. I am concocting some faux BtVS memorabilia. Sorry about this next - another w.i.p. - my signature --[[User:Mothperson|Mothperson cocoon]] 14:14, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I like both versions. If I want "this should not be read by you", the tibi goes in front of "non legendus hic" without other change? [[User:Mothperson|Mothperson cocoon]] 14:21, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Word order is mostly arbitrary in classical Latin anyway, so you can pretty much place it wherever you want. I'd say "non tibi legendus hic" sounds most natural, but I'm not quite sure I'm in any position to judge what seems natural after only six years of Latin... Nightstallion 20:26, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Passport expiry

I ahve heard that some nation states will not give entry to a traveller if their passport, although valid, is near to its expiry date. Does anyone have any solid information on this? --Gareth Hughes 11:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Check out [34]. Quote: "Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip. Check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the countries you plan to visit to find out their entry and visa requirements." I suspect that no reference is made to a particular list countries simply because entry requirements change all the time. You'd be best to follow these instructions if you plan to travel outside your country. Just call the appropriate place and ask everything until you feel confident about travelling abroad. --HappyCamper 13:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I assume that the rationale is that they want to ensure that your passport is still valid when you leave the country. It's not always easy/possible to get passports renewed in a foreign country. — Asbestos | Talk 13:56, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks all. My UK passport ( expires in 16 months, and Turkey requires that my passport should have at least 6 months left to run by the time I leave — I better not stay for more than ten months! --Gareth Hughes 18:49, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
You better not, for a number of reasons. Or do you have regular access to an internet connection there? :P — mark 22:42, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


Why are sugary stuff (e.g. fruit, sweets) typically sticky? What's the mechanism behind their stickiness?

A few factors actually, the most important probably being hydrogen bonds. Sugars like fructose and glucose have plenty of -OH groups attached to the molecule, and so their viscosity (a good measure of stickiness) is quite high. Also, the molecular weight of sugars is a reasonably high number, so that helps too. Contrast this with water, which hardly anyone would consider as "sticky" - it has even more hydrogen bonds than sugar, but since the molecule is so small, the "stickiness" isn't felt. Also, any sort of polymerization of the sugar would also increase its stickiness simply due to the effect of high molecular weight. --HappyCamper 13:31, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


what is fibre-cement? what are it`s components?

According to this fibre cement is made of cellulose fibre, cement, ground sand and water. What is quite interesting for me is to learn today that cellulose is part of it. I'd be very interested to know the structure of these cement types if anyone could help elaborate... --HappyCamper 07:39, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Leonard Clark

You have removed Leonard Clark as running against Senator Kyle of Arizona, yet he has been arrested and is facing court martial for that very act. He is challenging the Senator and is doing so from Iraq. Is Wikipedia factual or political. Leonard Clark should be referenced somewhere in your Encyclopedia.

As it says all over this site, if you feel that a change should be made that adds to an article in a positive way, Be Bold! and change it. I'm not from Arizona and have not heard anything about this so it may very well be an interesting read from the sound of it. Dismas 20:53, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I think the person was frustated at the fact that he was bold and added a reference to Leonard Clark to the article on Jon Kyl, and someone else deleted it. (Note the history on the Jon Kyl article.)
To the person who posted the first comment here, I would suggest to you that you might try adding the mention of Leonard Clark in the body of the Jon Kyl article, rather than in the Infobox section, as you had done previously. (The Infobox is only for brief information, and it's only appropriate to put something in the "succeeded by" box there once he has been succeeded by someone else. But information on potential challengers might go into the text of the article itself.)
If someone else removes the information once you've added it into the body of the article (and note that the "you" who removed your earlier addition is just one Wikipedia editor, much like yourself, and probably doesn't even read the reference desk page), you'll need to discuss it on the Talk:Jon Kyl page, rather than here at the reference desk.
You could also start a separate article on Leonard Clark himself, if you believe he meets the criteria set out in Criteria for inclusion of biographies. Chuck 21:06, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I searched briefly and didn't see an entry for "Kyle" since I was using the original poster's spelling. So I was flying blind, so to speak. Dismas

what does watch your head mean?

It really depends on the context. Usually it means "look out/beware for this, it may hit your head otherwise". For example, if you were walking with someone and they noticed a steel girder that was at eye-level, they'd probably say, watch your head so you'd know to go under it. -- BMIComp (talk) 21:12, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

The sign under a British Rail luggage rack always used to say "mind your head". In Scots the verb to "mind" also means "remember" or "don't forget", leaving the sign to be waggishly misinterpreted as meaning "when alighting from the train, don't forgetfully leave your head in the luggage rack". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:31, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

in ovo respiration of avians

Our article Egg (biology) says "There are tiny pores in the shells of eggs to allow the unborn animal to breathe. The domestic hen's egg has around 7500 pores.". This leaves me asking:

  • So this means air travels down these pores, through one or two membranes, diffuses through the albumen, crosses the yolk sac, diffuses through the yolk and then into jr.bird. Does this all work by simple diffusion (sounds like a hard road to me). And how does the CO2 that's inevitably produced by all the aerobic chemical reactions that sustain his metabolism get back out?
  • A human's lung reportedly has the same surface area as a cricket pitch. I guess a chicken's lung has a proportionate surface area, say the size of a pool table. Yet the surface area of the egg is tiny by comparison. Without the muscular action of respiration moving air in and out, how can such a small surface supply jr.bird with enough oxygen to sustain his breakneck growth?
  • how does jr.bird get the oxygen from the liquor surrounding him into his bloodstream? I assume his lungs function in ovo as gills, but how does he get oxygen before these form properly, and how does the oxygen move around his circulatory system before his heart starts (I'm assuming that in mammals this works because they're "bootstrapped" from the mother's blood pressure, but there's no eggy equivalent). So I suppose jr.bird just floats there in the oxygenated pudding until his CV system is mission-ready (and he can't grow bigger than the limit of respiration-by-osmosis until that point)?

Thanks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:22, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

I wouldn't write off the whole diffusion idea - apparently the smallest mammals, which I believe would probably have roughly the same surface area as an egg, can survive without breathing simply from oxygen diffusing across their skin, although being a coma-like state. --Neo 21:55, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Blood flow in mammals is not "'bootstrapped' from the mother's blood pressure", because that would have some nasty immunological effects: the blood supplies are kept seperate, and any exchange happens by diffusion. See placenta. You're right that diffusion is a long road, but it's not so long as it might be, since the embryo is fairly near one wall of the egg. Also, I imagine that once muscle activity starts, there's some circulation of the albumin. As an aside, I understand that adult birds have much larger than proportional lung size, the same way piston airplanes have larger engines than equivalent automobiles; they also have structures mammals don't to make their lungs work better. Lastly, I imagine growth processes are more efficient than movement since evolution has had more time to optimize them, so demand might not be all that high.--Joel 01:51, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

While "bootstrap" is an irrelevant metaphor (used precisely bootstrapping alludes to a self-starting process) for the maternal-fetal circulation, the circulation itself is common all the way to term with respect to pressure, water, and small molecules. Circulating cells and large molecules (like larger proteins) do not cross the "placental barrier" from mother to fetus without some special mechanism, but water and small molecules flow back and forth. This is the reason why a newborn's blood glucose or blood calcium is often the opposite of an abnormal maternal blood glucose or calcium: high or low levels of glucose or calcium cross while insulin or PTH produced by mother stays in mother's circulation and insulin or PTH produced by fetus stays in fetal circulation. It takes the fetus some hours or days to readjust after separation if intrauterine levels had been high or low for an extended time prior to birth. However some proteins, such as maternal immunoglobulins, can cross. These antibodies provide immunity to several infections for a few months and in rare cases can produce problems. More bizarrely, evidence now suggests that some cells can cross and even become integrated into the other's body. Incidentally, this is a good demonstration of, "if you don't know the answer to the question, change it to one to which you do know the answer." Sorry I don't know squat about egg physiology but in my ignorance would vote for simple diffusion and partial permeability of the shell. alteripse 12:01, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for your replies. You've rekindled my faith in the power of diffusion :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:08, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Classical Arabic Phrases


I am researching for a book of fiction. I require a number of terms and phrases which might be uttered by a character, an imam, speaking in, "classical", arabic. Since the book shall be in English, I shall need the phonetic English, 'interlinear', translation to subscribe the Arabic text.

Two examples of what I am purposing to include might be: (a) what might be the Classical Arabic equivalent phrase used to describle a soiled garment discarded by a woman after her monthly visitation? And (b),the Classical Arabic equivalent phrase for a pot of boiling/stewing monkey meat (haram).

This is my first post on this site. If I am in the wrong place, I apologise. Any help in locating an appropriate source which can further my research will be greatly appreciated.


No, the reference desk is the right place (on the english wikipedia, at least), although to my knowledge we don't have many Arabic speakers here (I can think of only one off the top of my head). You might have better luck asking on the Arabic Wikipedia →Raul654 01:16, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, there's twenty or so Arabic speakers listed via Wikipedia:Babel, though I don't know how many are active, or if any read this page. Shimgray 01:36, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Upon further investigation, only three of those people actually speak it fluently -- User:Eagleamn, User:500LL, User:FayssalF →Raul654 02:59, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
your two examples are enough to conjure up uncomfortable notions about your 'book of fiction' and how it is going to portray Islam. Make sure you also research the theology and culture, not just the language. dab () 08:29, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Is it just me?

Or did everything suddenly get really tiny here? Mothperson cocoon 23:28, 11 July 2005 (UTC) Never mind. My computer seems to have had a fit. Mothperson cocoon 23:28, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Just you. If you're serious, you might want to try to go to View -> Text Size and set it to "Medium" or "Normal".

Or go ask Alice... alteripse 06:08, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

No, it's not just you. On two seperate visits to this page yesterday my Firefox browser made everything very small and described it as Normal text size. Perhaps someone who enjoys using Bugzilla can report it. --Gareth Hughes 08:14, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you guys are accidentally holding CTRL whilst you move your mousewheel? ...or hitting CTRL+- or CTRL++? There are at least those shortcuts. ¦ Reisio 15:08, 2005 July 12 (UTC)
Or maybe your browser didn't download the CSS file which sets the font sizes correctly. I've seen sites turn weird if my connection was halfway in the middle of downloading the stylesheet and then crapped out. --Fastfission 20:13, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I've had a lot of problems with my Firefox 1.0.3 browser occasionally failing to load (or at least use) CSS files from a variety of busy sites, including Wikipedia. A shift-Reload always fixes it. But I suspect you'd notice if it was the whole stylesheet that failed, rather than just the font size. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:47, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
If the Ctrl+mousewheel is making the fontsize smaller, go to about:config (copy/paste into address bar) and copy/paste this into the Filter box: mousewheel.withcontrolkey.action and set that to 0. That should fix it. Thanks to Rishi M for showing me that. --pile0nadestalk | contribs 23:16, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

What is 'cow' in Japanese?

That's pretty much it. I'm trying to name a cat and all I can find online is the character for it and not the English pronounciation. Thanks. StopTheFiling 03:41, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

If you don't get an answer soon, you might ask at Wikipedia:Japanese Wikipedians' notice board. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:45, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
With Hepburn romanization it's "me-ushi". I'll try to find the symbols (hiragana and kanji) in Commons. EnSamulili 08:51, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I just learned something myself: 牛 (ushi) means both, cow, bull, and ox. め牛 (me-ushi) is just cow. EnSamulili 09:02, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Did You Know: Wiktionary has translations (not *always* but often), see: wiktionary:cow. In future, Ultimate Wiktionary will try to always have translations. Kim Bruning 09:57, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks everybody, it even sounds like the cat's current name which is Japanese themed (and yes, she looks like a cow). It just might stick - it's also good to know that wiktionary is a decent resource for these things. Also as a somewhat interesting sidenote, my attempts to find the translation for "cow" online gave me 牛 and not both め牛 - for my purposes I think I'll stick with me-ushi or something similar. :) StopTheFiling 17:53, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Freuds personal life

I heard a comment about Freud that I have not been able to confirm,

Did Freud know about his father molesting his sisters?

---anon from texas

I just checked with him. He looked startled and said, "that explains a lot..." Your question sounds like you are privy to personal information about his family that the rest of us know nothing about, so perhaps we are wondering how you know? alteripse 06:04, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, as I remember it Freud thought that girls who said their fathers molested them were simply acting out in their fantasy life the latent Electra complex until they became convinced their wishful thinking was true. Conclude from that what you will. --Laura Scudder | Talk 15:14, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

The question still remains, Mrs. or Miss Scudder, did freud come up with that idea trying to cover up his own personal nightmares. Freud states that he loved his mother but was that a physical attraction for him to come up with the odipex issue? Another point well know is that Freud had some resentment towards his father, the question is why? Freud distroyed his personal writings twice, why? Is there something we still dont know about his personal problems. Think about this way, if Freud did see his father molesting his sister wouldn't that explain the problems and issues. Was he trying to uncover his persoanl problems by coming up with those complexities! As a normal child one would never think of those things, but suppose a child is exposed to those ugly things, doesnt that change the childs way of thinking? So my quesiton still remains, Did Freud see his father molesting his sister? I am not looking to make the assumption, I am looking for the truth! Anon from Texas

There is no one alive to supplement or contradict what Freud wrote about himself and what his contemporaries wrote about him. Specifically, no one at the time in a position to know, ever claimed that he had knowledge of his father molesting his sister. My answer was flippant, but I was trying to get you to see how silly a question it was. If such an event had been documented, it would be one of the central Facts about Freud's life and theories that everyone would have heard of, and probably would have fatally undermined the acceptance of his theory, which was that it was a nearly universal fantasy central to female psychic development. If molestation was a real event, the whole theory of female development would have been transformed into "did she get molested or not", a much more dangerous type of speculation, as many American communities learned to their shame in the 1980s. Much of what Freud proposed was pretty untethered to evidence, but at least he didn't propose that all fathers molested their daughters. alteripse 03:02, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Color of seagulls legs

Is there any reason why some seagulls have yellow legs and some red? I think it is something to do with aging, but it may be just the species. I can upload a photo if this would help. --Fir0002 08:09, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

I thought it had something to do with the pigmentation in different species, and also due to aging as well. Maybe upload the pictures so the Reference Desk can have a look? :-) --HappyCamper 08:31, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

file transfer

I'm trying to transfer large files (2-5G) from an OS X box to a linux box. both computers are behind firewalls, blocking ftp connections. ssh connections work, so I tried rsync over an ssh tunnel. The thing is, the linux box is on adsl connection and keeps changing its IP, and connection typically breaks down after transferring 1-2G, after which it starts over. What is my cheapest bet to get a transfer that will continue with a partially transferred file (keep in mind that I will have to install software both on linux and on OS X, and I don't want to spend a day compiling). dab () 09:07, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

The first thing that comes to mind is BitTorrent, but that would require two separate and simultaneous internet connections (which I'm not clear you have). Well maybe you can use it over a network but I doubt it. GarrettTalk 13:03, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Use rsync's --partial and --inplace command-line options.
Ghakko 14:04, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Something's very wrong if the IP address changes on a running system. No normal DHCP implementation would do this, and you'll find that lots of things will break if this is really happening. Prevail upon your ADSL provider to fix this. Sharkford 14:54, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
thanks. (it's great to use RD instead of reading man pages :p ) anyway, it appears this adsl provider has some really annoying dynamic filters. bittorrent doesn't work, either. But the --partial option should at least solve my more urgent troubles. dab () 15:36, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
You could try punching a hole for Passive FTP into the firewalls, rather than the promiscuous default. If you're not transferring several gig of arms deals and trade secrets, it might be faster than encrypting (ssh) the traffic. Or maybe a mate's (or a workmate's) DVD burner. As Sharkford says, the Linux box should keep its lease on the IP address at least until the next reboot (which is not due for another year or so :-). If that's not the case then either your mate should get a new ISP, or you should get a new mate :-)
chocolateboy 21:12, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Why not configure your firewall to allow traffic between both these hosts and block others, then use something like wget -c? Dysprosia 06:18, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
simple, I don't get to configure the firewalls. One is the university's, the other one the adsl provider's. A dvd burner may indeed be the most practicable solution (sadly) dab () 07:09, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Um, have you considered chopping the files up into smaller pieces with split and then putting them back together again with cat at the other end? Makes this kind of thing much easier. --Robert Merkel 06:59, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
that should work, too. It will be tedious, since there isn't a lot of extra space on the harddrives, but I suppose that's the way to go. dab () 07:09, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
[35] might help with splitting files (or use WinZip)? wget --continue URL is the linux command, b.t.w. Ojw 22:20, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
bittorrent certainly isn't the easy way to go and like mentioned a computer shouldn't just change ip addresses while it's running, that's very odd. and in the end i agree that splitting up is prolly the best way to go. most systems will have zip / rar / tar, you should be able to pull it off with that.
Here's a script for doing passive retrying gets with wget over ftp- As you want to use ssh as the transport, capture the local port with -L (see the "X11 and TCP forwarding" section of the man page). You'd put the line for this in at the start of the script. To get the retry to start automatically (without you being there to reenter the password) you'll need to enable password-free operation by copying your local public key into your remote account's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 10:47, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, that uses ncftpget instead of wget. If you don't have it installed, it's free from -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 10:51, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Hyde Park London

Why is Hyde Park so called?


I don't know, but the park may be named after a landowner (as much of London is), or it could come from hie, meaning to hasten, chase, which would reflect the park's past. --Gareth Hughes 09:27, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Possibly from "hide", a measure of land - Hyde Park is about three hides, though. Shimgray 10:23, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? - Mgm|(talk) 10:47, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • I think Hyde park had its name centuries before Stevenson wrote the story. It needs an article. Anyone care to oblige? alteripse 11:41, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Hyde Park has a good dozen or so articles when you consider the other places; I'll add a redir... The royal park itself dates to the c16th, but not sure how old the name is. Shimgray 11:53, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
      • I will admit to embarrassment at having suggested an article without even checking the link color to see if we have one. Sorry. alteripse 12:29, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
        • Sorry - not your fault, mine! I put a redirect in at Hyde park pretty much as soon as you posted a redlink; it occured to me that it's a fairly sensible one to include, as people are often iffy about capitalising such names. Shimgray 17:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I just looked it up in Brewer's Names. The result is now in the Hyde Park article. --Heron 19:46, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Identifying a dog

Can someone pleae identify the species of this dog:

Unkown dog

It was approx. 60 cm from head to backside (not including tail). Thanks, --Fir0002 09:37, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

IANADB, but it looks a lot like an Irish Setter to me. OpenToppedBus - My Talk 10:52, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Seems a pretty good guess to me, though IAalsoNADB. Shimgray 11:22, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I can guess what the I, A, N, A, and D mean, but what does the B stand for? MyNameIsClare talk 12:15, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
"Breeder" maybe? --HappyCamper 14:05, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
That's what I meant, though I can't speak for Shimgray. OpenToppedBus - My Talk 14:32, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
I am not a dog breeder either, no. Mind you, neither am I a dazed Bulgarian or a drunk builder, so it's probably a multi-purpose abbreviation ;-) Shimgray 17:37, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Known dog
Looks like some sort of spaniel to me, maybe a Cocker Spaniel. It seems too small a dog, too round a head, too short a nose, too long an ear to be a setter. Compare the English Cocker Spaniel to the right. — mendel 20:00, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Of course, to be pedantic but maybe helpful, the species of that dog (and of all other domesticated dogs) is Canis lupus familiaris. — mendel 20:02, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
I asked my girlfriend, who's been grooming dogs for the last ~6-8 years, and she says that she can't be certain but the first one looks to be a Irish Setter-Cocker Spaniel cross of some kind. The face look like a IS but the ears are too big. If she had a different picture she would be able to better say what it is but she's about 95% sure. The second she says is an English Cocker Spaniel. As for what IANADB stands for, I have no clue. Dismas 02:38, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately that is the only photo I took - I was at a Sunday market at the time and didn't have too much time for photography. But the owner of the dog looks like a regular, so maybe I might catch him again. What would you be looking for? BTW thanks for all the helpfull suggestions above, maybe it's just a mongrel? --Fir0002 07:32, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
A picture of the dog standing from the side kinda like in the second would be useful for identifying body-type. Can only tell so much from the head and face. --Laura Scudder | Talk 14:55, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I strongly suspect this is a "Boykin Spaniel." User: Inairamj.

Which Recording for Wagner's Ring Cycle

After seeing a documentary on Australia's first full production of the cycle, I decided to buy a complete recording. I am looking for:

  • A perfect Brünnhilde
  • High sound quality (stereo is a must)
  • An Unrestrained orchestral interpretation (putting it simply, I prefer the Glyndebourne version of Porgy and Bess to the Houston)

After looking on Amazon, opinions seem to be very mixed, with many people having more than one version. Help would be appreciated. --Alexs letterbox 10:19, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

The Solti recording, with Birgit Nilsson perfect as Brünnhilde, is really fantastic and has just the orchestral playing you're looking for. Late 50s, early 60s, but the sound quality is very good. David Sneek 12:59, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

J. Blanchard of Weaton College.

I am somewhat confused and would appreciate any help you could provide. From the Yahoo search page I followed the below link

Wheaton College, Illinois - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaWheaton College, Illinois - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To the entry for Wheaton College. At this point I selected the link Jonathan Blanchard for a little research on the first president of the college. This same paragraph indicates that the school was founded in late 1853 as the Illinois Institute.

The Jonathan Blanchard link yielded the following information:

Jonathan Blanchard (1738–1788) was an American statesman who was a delegate for New Hampshire to the Continental Congress in 1784.

I must remark that President Blanchard was a truly remarkable man in that he served as college president and helped create campus buildings some 65 years after his death. Little wonder that one of the buildings should be named after him.

Certainly a wrong link,,, Father… son? Uncle?

If you could provide any information on the Blanchard of Wheaton College I would appreciate it.

Thank you. Bill of St. Petersburg, Fl.

W. Paul

To avoid confusion, I've added one sentence to the Jonathan Blanchard article. Hopefully someone knowledgeable will write more. You can see Blanchard's picture here, and this is a review of a biography. David Sneek 15:18, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't have time to go into it right now, but the two are blatantly not the same person. Wheaton College was founded 1860. The Blanchard of our article died 1788. Please correct the Blanchard article. I'll try to make a disambig later. Superm401 | Talk 22:18, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Done, though the articles on both people are stubs. Superm401 | Talk 00:27, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, that's what I should have done. David Sneek 07:06, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Francophone persons living in Prince George's County, Maryland

Hello. I am working on a project to translate materials into French for persons living in Prince George's County, Maryland. I have met a large number of people from Francophone countries here in PG County. For many of them, English is a second language. Having lived in countries where English is not commonly spoken, I can relate to the difficulties that arise when you live in a place where your native tongue is not the lingua franca (forgive the pun). However, in order to get funding for this project, I need verifiable statistics on how many people in PG County speak French as their first language, where they live, where they are from, etc. Could anyone have access to these numbers?

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2005-07-12 10:20:49 CDT

  • This information is available from the U.S. Census, but it took me a while to be able to find it. Here is a link on language use in the county; the first table would probably be of most interest to you. The big number is that 1.4% of the population of the county 5 years and older speaks at home either French or French Creole (which is related but certainly not the same). I hope this is useful; it was a bit challenging to look up :)--Pharos 21:47, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

common misconception about the uncertainty principle.

In the article on this topic on your website, the statement is made about a common misconception about the uncertainty principle: "that observation of an event changes that event." If this has nothing to do with the uncertainty principle, is there something else that it is related to? Perhaps another aspect of quantum physics? Thank you for whatever clarification that you can bring to this.

I think you might be interested in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. --Laura Scudder | Talk 20:41, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
That statement means that, scientifically, the uncertainty principle applies only measurement of the position vs momentum of electrons, and not to 'events' per se. →Raul654 20:43, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Taking a scientific conclusion and smearing it all over an unscientific premise is covered, for better or worse, in the Sokal Affair.
chocolateboy 21:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

See Observer effect. Gdr 19:43, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

It is not wholly unrelated, it is simply not the entire of what the uncertainty princiople is about. See also the different but interesting measurement problem. --Fastfission 19:45, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Calvary Baptist Church Located in Albany New York abt: 1882

I am trying to find out about a Church "Calvary Baptist Church" that was located some where in Albany around December of 1882.

To be more procise, I have a bible that was given to a Great Grandmother of mine in December of 1882. I would like to locate the Church and or the records relating to this church so that I may find out more about her Great Grandmother and her family that might have attend that church during that time. Any information that might lead me in the right direction to someone I can talk with that might have more information on this would be very helpful.

Yours truly, Glen Carman from Connecticut Ph: 860-485-1519 any time email: gcarman AT peoplepc DOT com

Abbreviation: "A" vs. "An"

Let's say we are talking about a book: a Lord of the rings (LOTR) book. As I just said there, I said a lord of the rings book, but when you use the abbreviation LOTR, the sound changes. The first sound in "LOTR" is a hard "ell", not soft like in "lord". Now saying "a ell-oh-tee-are book" sounds wrong because the abbreviation starts with a vowel. When a normal word starts with a vowel, you use an not a. So, my question is, do you say/write "A LOTR book" or "An LOTR book"? ·Zhatt· 20:29, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

I think this is a question of writing versus reading. I would never read out loud the abrreviation "ell-oh-tee-arr" whether it's written that way or not, so I would never write "an LOTR book" but rather "a LOTR book". In contrast I would say "an ell-bee-ell group" so I would probably write "an LBL group" rather than "a LBL group". --Laura Scudder | Talk 20:39, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I was going to say that there are no hard and fast rules, but I managed to prove myself wrong. The Chicago Manual of Style in this Q & A says that you should use a and an the way you would pronounce the letters, so in the case of LOTR, you would use "an LOTR book". That's the way I've always done it, anyway, so it's nice to have the experts agree. However, this implies that the above post is probably also correct: if there were an acronym, say "NAS", which is pronounced "nas", you'd probably say "a NAS protocol" (or whatever). — Asbestos | Talk 21:30, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Intresting, yet a problem arises when the reader does not know what NAS stands for and is not familiar with the acromym. The reading still may try to read it aloud as en-ay-ess. Just to clearify:
  • "A naval air station"
  • "A Nas"
  • "An en-ay-ess"
·Zhatt· 21:39, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Precisely. I think the CMS's point was that it's dependant on how the acronym will be read aloud, which at a certain point is an editorial decision on the part of the writer. AIDS is always pronounced "aids", AOL is always pronounced "ay-oh-el", ASAP ...? (Personally, I always run away from people who say "ay-sap", but that's just me). You've got to make a judgement call, but I'd tend to err on the side of assuming people will pronounce the letters individually. — Asbestos | Talk 21:54, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
In the NAS case, it would be incorrect to use the initials without first defining the term. Proper style demands that there be a sentence that reads, "[something to do with a...] naval air station (NAS)...". From then on, the writer can use the initials NAS without concern. If it is customary to refer to a NAS as a "nass" and not an "enn-ay-yess" then use the relevant article. In this way the writer can actually guide the reader to the customary pronunciation. Manning 21:46, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

You use "an" when the next word begins with a vowel and "a" when the next word begins with a consonant. When a word has two pronunciations, one starting with a vowel and one not, then use the one you would say. So write "an hotel" if you say /otel/ and "a hotel" if you say /hotel/.

Sorry - not true. You use the a/an article if the word is pronounced with a vowel sound, regardless of the spelling. Hence "a unique opportunity", and "once an hour".Manning 21:46, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

In formal writing you might consider rephrasing to avoid the dilemma, for example, "a book from the Lord of the Rings trilogy". Gdr 19:40, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

High energy compounds

I was wondering what the three basic components are that make up a high energy compound. Is it phosphate or adenotriphosphates or something like that? Or is a certain bond of some sort? Thanks.


  • I would go back to your professor and ask him or her to reword his assignments so that they're more easily answered on Wikipedia ;). A positive Gibbs free energy change of formation (e.g. acetylene) will certainly make a compound "high energy". Physchim62 19:09, 13 July 2005 (UTC)