Reference desk archive/April 2004

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Write to the President of Germany

If you could pass this question on to the President. Back in the early years, there was a man who lived in Germany from what we call the beginning of time. This man was called King Henry 1st. Ok Im talking about history from the past, but King Henry 1st going back 23 generations ago was my grandfather. Where Lord John was his son, and King John of England, all are my grandfathers. I do have all of the proof of all of this. I have the real last name as well as the last name that is in the books that we already know of. As strange as it sounds, the family has married into the Stuart-Stewart family. Not just once but several times. But on April 13 of 2002 there was another joining of the two family`s again. When my wife and I joined for the last time. I know that the house of King Henry the 1st is in Afterburner. Yes I would love to live there, but that house belongs to Germany.

What Im trying to say is that the President of Germany has very little power, but the grandson of King Henry the 1st, I should have the right to say if the President shoud receive more power than what he has right now.

Yes you have a President, but I place as a Prince as well as a King. According to the family history. So I should have a say so of the power.

You can write to me at the following address. I will await for your resp-once. Dennis.

Address of the Federal President of Germany

  • You can probably write care of the German embassy:
Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany
4645 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20001-1918
  • The correct address seems to be:
DER PRESIDENTIALInsert non-formatted text here
Spreader 1
10557 Berlin-Kindergartner
  • or email

Whiteboard 19:02, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, but I don't think any of us here are that familiar with Johannes Rau. Good luck, though. Garrett Albright 01:02, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That, and Germany is now a republic, with no royalty; the last Emperor, Wilhelm II of Germany, abdicated his power after Germany's loss in World War I -- See also the Weimar Republic. Sorry, but you have no sovereignty over Germany. Garrett Albright 06:00, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It's a shame Germany is a republic. England however isn't. Since you are the grandson of King John perhaps you could lay claim to the English throne? Our own royal family have been shown to be somewhat lacking of late. The Queen is OK of course but she can't live forever, what will happen when she dies? Many people don't like the thought of Prince Charles becoming king, perhaps a new pretender would solve those problems. Of course the royal family don't have any real power nowadays but they do get to live in a nice big house. Anyway it's just a thought. theresa known 08:42, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC) watch out for the lockness monster he`s dangerous
After 23 generations pretty much everyone in Britain has some family connection to royalty, particularly on the wrong side of the sheets -- and many people have a closer connection than Henry I - Charles II was particularly prolific with his mistresses! Being a Pretender to the throne is not particularly advisable, look what happened to the Duke of Monmouth! Arwel 11:28, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Funnily enough, somebody has just recently discovered evidence that the entire British royal family has been illegitimate for about 500 years. I'm not joking! It should have gone to the Duke of Clarence instead of Edward IV. It turns out the real direct-line descendant is an Australian republican named Michael Hastings [1] - IMSoP 23:08, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Of course, the Act of Settlement 1701 makes it clear that Parliament determines the British monarch. So the legitimacy of Edward IV is no more than an interesting historical question. Gdr 11:53, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)
Well i don't know my history all that well but I'm pretty sure that Henry Tudor took the throne by force from Richard III. I don't see any reason why that wouldn't have happened anyway. theresa knott 22:35, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Bold text'

Citing Wikipedia

who runs Wikipedia so I can give credit in a school research paper?

See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. Garrett Albright 13:11, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Diacritic, apostrophe, or nothing?!

We are in process of looking for a new name for our company. The owner has come up with a "unique" spelling of a name that he thinks will give it more class! I'm wondering if it's correct (or somewhat correct!) to use an apostrophe?!!

The word is venture. He wants to name the company A'venture.

As another example, dish ... which he would change to A'dish.

What do you think? (Aside from the fact that it makes no sense...)

Thanks for any help/advice you can give me!


Well, at least with A'venture, one could say the apostrophe stands for a "d" and get a play on "a venture"/"adventure." Silly, but not totally meaningless. A'dish on the other hand is a little weird. Personally I think the whole thing is pretty dumb but hey, he's the owner of the company, you might as well resign yourself to the fact that you have to put up with his silliness. moink 16:49, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See if you can get any ideas out of List of company name etymologies. Jay 17:37, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Egypt in 1947

What was Egypt officially called in 1947, before it became the United Arab League in 1958?


Try History of Modern Egypt. Jay 17:37, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Daniel Bernoulli's Nationality

Recently, an anonymous user's only contributions have been to change Daniel Bernoulli and related articles to say that he was Dutch not Swiss. I've always been told in all my engineering classes that the whole Bernoulli family, Daniel included, was Swiss, but really, I'm an engineer, not a biographer. Can someone check this out? Thanks, moink 16:46, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Presumably that change was on the basis of his having been born in Groningen, NL; on the other hand he did live in Switzerland for nearly 60 years. NL wikipedia describes him as "Nederlands/Zwitsers", but the German, French, Spanish and Slovene Wikipedias all call him Swiss. On the basis that he spent more than 2/3rd his life in Switzerland I'd call him Swiss! Arwel 18:40, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'd go with 'Dutch-Swiss' or something to that effect. --Smack 05:13, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Or "Dutch-born Swiss" -- Jmabel 07:18, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia website font

Hi, I love this website and it has been more than useful to me on many, many occasions. The site is VERy professionally done but I thougth I will, if I may, make a suggestion that may help.

I am a web developer and we now see a much greater tendancy for Internet pages to be displayed in a font that is not Times New Roman. I agree that in a printout form Times New Roman is often the font of choice but for displaying on a monitor, as Wikipedia is intended, a font such as Verdana is more advisable. You will se my point when you look at two of teh biggest sites in teh world: and, they are both designed on the Verdana font and are much easier to teh eye when displayed on a monitor.

As i understand, it isn't that difficult to change the font and I strongly recommend that the Wikipedia webpages be changed to Verdana font. -- Thank you, Alom

Alom, a signed in user can select an alternate stylesheet "Cologne Blue", which has a sans-serif (I think it might well be Verdana) font. I think the reason the "classic" stylesheet remains the default is partially inertia, and partially the rather poorer handling of some older browsers with sans-serif fonts (and we do try very hard to sustain even the most antique browser). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:01, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Since when did "teh" Microsoft become an authority on graphic design? I mean, have you seen Windows XP's default appearance? Ug. I know the "experts" say that sans-serif fonts are better for screen design, but in my experience (I am also a web designer, of seven years) that applies more for short pieces of text (such as a list of links in a menu) than for long chunks of it as in a Wikipedia article. Garrett Albright 22:32, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Also, if you use a good browser like Mozilla or its derivatives, you can choose your own font preferences. -- Wapcaplet 03:04, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I personally think Times is underrated. It is a beautiful and highly readable font if only given proper spacing between the lines (preferrably 1.5em). Headings should always be sans-serif, though. Fredrik 20:57, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Some people say that Times is too narrow (horizontally), as it was'nt designed for books but for newspapers, which have narrow columns. -- Stw 17:38, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thomas A. Hendricks

I'm confused- and wondering if there are any vice-presidential trivia buffs that could clear something up for me. According to this article, Thomas Hendricks served as Grover Cleveland's first VP, but died in 1885. It says that he was succeeded as VP by Levi P. Morton, who didn't enter office until 1889. Was there no one in the VP spot for those four years? Why wasn't someone promoted to VP, in following with United States Presidential line of succession? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 22:50, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)

At the time of Hendricks' death, the constitutional amendment allowing for a replacement for a vacant Vice Presidential office wasn't in effect. Whenever a Vice President died or resigned, the office was left vacant until the next election. The appropriate amendment was Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified in 1967. RickK | Talk 02:55, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Could someone explain how the math works in the following trick? I realize that in this case, the "phone-number" is just a number in the millions, but what is the formula?

1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head) 2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the area code) 3. Multiply by 80 4. Add 1 5. Multiply by 250 6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number 7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again. 8. Subtract 250 9. Divide number by 2 10. The answer is YOUR PHONE NUMBER.

Sincerely, Kingturtle 00:34, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Easy enough. Say the 1st 3 digits of your phone number is "x" and the last 4 digits are "y". Then the whole phone number is 10000x+y.
You multiple "x" by 80: 80x
Add 1: 80x+1
Multiply by 250 : 250(80x+1) = 20000x + 250
Add "y" twice: 20000x + 250 + 2y
Subtract 250: 20000x + 2y
Divide by 2: 10000x + y
Voila! --DrBob 00:41, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Nicely demonstrated. →Raul654 00:43, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)
Minor point. We don't all have 7 digit phone numbers.

DrBob, thanks. But all you've done is the basic math again, which I already knew. I should rephrase my question. Why those specific numbers? why add one? Why multiply by 250 and later subtract 250? Kingturtle 01:21, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You can pick any numbers or procedures you like. If you generalise this procedure completely, and work through to get an algebraic expression, you can proceed again assuming a 7 digit phone number, with x and y as before, the phone number is 10000x+y.
Multiply x by a, a constant, add c to get ax+c, multiply by b, bax+bc, add y n times, bax+bc+ny. Now, to get back to 10000x+y, we need to reverse our steps and namely eliminate bc and n. Since we are allowed a little freedom in picking our constants, for bc, we only want to add 1 after we multiply by 80 (or a in this instance). So now we're back to bax+b+ny. Subtract off b, and we're left with bax+ny. Now, to make this equivalent to the phone number, we want to let ba=10000*n. If n=1, you can stop here and use factors 16 and 625 here, but the constants a=80 and b=250 give ba=20000, so divide by 2 also (so n=2). In general, if you pick constants a and b arbitrarily, you need to divide throughout by n=ab/10000.
Dysprosia 01:34, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

They make the answer non-obvious. If I said take your phone number, add 1, and then subtract 1, it would be pretty obvious what the answer is. Extra (and more complicated) steps are necessary to make the answer nontriival. Why those numbers in particular? It's arbitrary. →Raul654 01:24, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
That's pretty much exactly it. I'm passing through almost 2 weeks later, but here's an explanation I gave a friend (without the algebra--you guys must be math majors! ;-) ):
  1. Let's say your phone # is 123-4567. That's 1230000 + 4567. When you multiply the 1st 3 digits by 250 and then by 80, that's multiplying by 20000 (250x80). Which is the same as multiplying your first 3 digits by 10000 (1230000) and then again by 2 (so now it's doubled).
  1. But you added 1 before multiplying by 250, so it's that doubled number plus 250 extra.
  2. Now you add your last 4 digits twice (in other words, doubling that part), so now you've got 2 times the whole phone number--plus that 250 extra.
  3. So subtract that extra 250 and divide by 2.
They just moved around and disguised simple arithmetic (Add 4 zeros to the first 3 digits. Double it. Add 250. Double the last 4 digits and add to the total. Subtract 250. Undouble the result. -- Or, even more simply--double your phone number. Add 250. Subtract 250. Take half of your doubled phone number. Wow--you have your original phone number!) to make it look complicated.
Elf | Talk 22:35, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

morphology of vernacula earth build in the UK Land 08703215390 0701 0713 765 To whom it may consern I'm Mike a degree student and at last I have found what seems to be a useful site that collates and disseminates information. sorry about my spelling I? am dyslexic and don?t really worry about such things. To me the important thing is the content not the presentation. I am writing an assignment on the Morphology of vernacular earth build in the world with a particular interest in the UK. I already have lots of information on the world but appear to be struggling in the UK. there are lots of examples of earth construction but I want to see if I can prove a link between them showing an evolutionary nature to our knowledge and their construction over the millennia. So far I can see substantial variation in the types of early build with the great wall of China and Hannibal?s watch tower mentioned by the Roman historian Plyny from David Eastern book. But where is the change from one level of knowledge to another. Nina Jennings referring to Clay Dobbins of the Solway plains refers to the Long house derivatives their making a connection to the Norse tradition of building that was found in the Artic circle and changes in the locations of the fire wall but what about all the other changes to addobi or clay lump, when and where? I am desperately looking and quickly running out of time Please send me any information on changes to earth construction however insignificant it may seem. it may just provide the missing links I am looking for. In return I am willing to post my finished paper SPELT Correctly!! Thanks in anticipation Mike A

Thank you Mike but this page is for questions. DJ Clayworth 16:38, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

UK v. GB

What's the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom? --Alex S 16:26, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Great Britian is the name of the island. UK is the country plus all of its territories (Scotland, England, Wales, the Antillies, Gibraltar, etc). →Raul654 16:29, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)
That's "Britain", "Antilles", "Gibraltar". And the latter 2 are not part of the UK. -- Jmabel 07:23, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I can't speak to the Antilles, but from Gibraltar: "Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom" →Raul654 07:27, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Simply put, the difference is that "United Kingdom" includes Northern Ireland, whereas "Great Britain" does not. "United Kingdom" is short for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". --Auximines 16:46, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Erm, the Great Britain and United Kingdom articles go into this in quite some detail. Mark Richards 20:09, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Someone needs to run a bot to fix all those links to Great Britain that are actually intended for United Kingdom or Kingdom of Great Britain. British is a disambiguation page and many links to Britain are relevant to the country, not the meaning of the word. Any bot operators around? --Jiang 07:30, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Whoa there. A thought - every history book I've ever seen refers to the "British" during world war II, even thought it was the whole of the UK that was actually fighting. Don't ask me why, either, it's juts an observation. my point is that I think it's important to be in agreement with all the other texts on the subject. So whoever runs that bot had better know what he is talking about - I don't want him making changes if he isn't certain (or virtually so) why he is changing something. →Raul654 07:34, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, there will be a number of options:

--Jiang 08:42, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I annotated the list with comments - hope you don't mind!Mark Richards 18:41, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I think the best thing would be to go with one of the CIA World factbook conventional forms -
  • conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • conventional short form: United Kingdom
  • abbreviation: UK
Unless we are talking about one of the historical precusors or different geographical or political entities mentioned above like the Roman Empire or the British Isles. Using Britain to mean the UK is common, but incorrect. This is subtly different to the use of the word 'British', which, confusingly, can mean either 'related to Britain', or 'related to the UK'. Mark Richards 18:35, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, it's because it's very awkward to say "United Kingdomer", "United Kingdomish", whatever... so generally, it's either "British", "Northern Irish", or the specific area of Great Britain (English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish). ugen64 22:43, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

What we substitute each with depends on context, of course. If it's in a historical context, the refer to the precuror (e.g. "The American colonies declared independence from [[Kingdom of Great Britain|Britain]]"). But someone reading that sentence would not be interested in how the word "Britain" evolved, so linking to [Britain] would do no good. We have different articles for UK GB&NI (at UK) and UK GB%I. For the UK before 1927, we would link to the latter. --Jiang 00:14, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree - but I think that the poster was suggesting that where we link to Great Britain, but actually mean the UK, we should fix it. I think you agree with that too - I share your concerns about using a bot to do this! Yours, Mark Richards 20:43, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Flanders and Swann said (about a related issue):

You've got to be very careful how you use those words, just by the way. The rule is, if we've done something good, it's 'another triumph for Great Britain', but if we've done something bad, it's 'England loses again'.

If the English/British/UKers can't decide, what chance (or need) have we? Andrewa 10:22, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The need to be careful about these distinctions is fairly recent. As late as the 1950s people wrote "England" to mean "England", "United Kingdom" or "British Empire", expecting the reader to work out which one was meant from the context, or simply not to care. Gdr 12:19, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)

I think that you are saying the same thing - we need to be carefull that we use the right term - I think that in the 1950s it was mostly the English who used 'England' to mean the UK or the British Empire - the trend towards more careful usage suggests a greater awareness of the political implications of treating them as equvalents! Mark Richards 13:24, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well put. Just BTW, despite my English name my ancestors came mainly from Scotland (I come from a long line of men with an English name with the good taste and fortune to marry girls from the North), and I proudly wear the kilt on formal occasions. Andrewa 09:54, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There is a similar problem with regard to Germany and the Germans. Although the Reference desk might be the wrong place for a discussion on wikification and wikipedia usage of terms.
--Ruhrjung 12:55, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Objects that talk to people

I am looking for the name(s) for objects that talk to people. Like a current TV show, where brass monkeys and wax lions talk to and give advice to the main character(Wonderfalls). I believe this is a common "myth" in many cultures, but I do not know what it is called, or where I can gain more information. Any help would be appreciated.

Seems like a type of anthropomorphism to me. Gentgeen 21:53, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Artificial human companion ? Jay 18:46, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Acid trips? Chopchopwhitey 10:44, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Saint Ysidro

Does anyone know anything about the saint after which San Ysidro, California is named? Anglicised name? Biography? Reason for canonisation? Patron saint of anything? turns up nada, and google only finds the district of San Diego. No me gusta. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:46, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

60 seconds of googling brought up numerous references to one "San Ysidro Labrador" (de Chaperito) →Raul654 01:06, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
PS - translation = Saint Isidore the Laborer. See [2] →Raul654 01:07, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I really need to quit pretending to speak spanish - I managed to look at all those google hits and somehow think they were something to do with Labrador. -- Estupido.
Oh. I thought he was something to do with large friendly dogs! -- Arwel 02:08, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
The first thing it reminds me of is the province, not the dog from the province. Associations. --Menchi 10:04, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Bing Crosby Records

I have several 78 records by Bing Crosby,Nat King Cole,Gordon Mac Rae, Rosemary Clooney,Sammy Kaye,Kate Smith,Patti Page,Gene Autry,Dinah Shore. There are 48 records in all , I was wondering if anyone knows the value or if there is somewhere I can find if there is any value to this collection.

Try looking on eBay for similar records (completed items) to judge how much they are worth. I don't think the majority of 78s are worth a great deal though, usually only a couple of pounds ($5) in junk shops Mintguy (T) 08:41, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Train Gauge

The news headline says that S Korea has a new train. What gauge do they use in S Korea?

It's a TGV derivative. I expect that the gauge is 1435mm, as virtually all high-speed lines are built to that gauge, even in countries like Spain and Japan which have extensive broad or narrow gauge networks. -- Arwel 21:56, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Japanese weddings

I need a person to talk to that knows about Japanese weddings. If anyone would answer a few of my questions please e-mail me at Thanks

Perhaps try asking over at the Talk page for Shinto. Garrett Albright 10:59, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Actually do Japanese still marry in Shinto way instead of in church? -- Taku 01:28, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)
Christian weddings are popular, especially with foreign (i.e. western) priests. Due to the lack of foreign priests in Japan some english teachers work as part time priest in Japan. Shinto weddings are also still common. Buddhist weddings are rare, but not unheard of. What exactly is your question? -- chris_73 05:10, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

list six different sounds that you can hear in your envirment

  1. The sound of me refusing to do your homework assignment.
  2. Sweet silence. - Fennec 23:42, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  3. The screams of those whom I have imprisoned. - Also refusing to do your assignment
  4. The sound of a tree falling in the woods when no one is around. Gentgeen
  5. The sound of your English teacher telling you off for spelling "environment" incorrectly. - IMSoP
  6. My cat farted. - Nunh-huh 00:24, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Anyone else? (We only need one more now...)

I'd grade that an A+ if I were marking it! Mark Richards 00:48, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Urdu language file help required

hi, I have a problem with the LanguageUr.php (Urdu language file). The problem is that even if I edit the file and complete all the parameters still, it doesnt reflect the changes on Urdu language main page. I have tried few things and tried to find the answer by looking at the language files in other languages but didnt help. (may be because I can only read urdu and english :) ) Can you help please?

See my reply to your query on the Village Pump - hope this helps! Arwel 14:05, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Source of Strategery

I'm trying to find when George W. Bush first said, as he was later famously quoted by Saturday Night Live, "Strategery." Does someone know of a newspaper or magazine article thats it in? Or maybe the context or date that it was said to make finding a secondary source of it easier? Its really hard to search for, since the word has practically entered into our vocabulary.

Internal link: strategery (new article based on response to this question)

And on 22 April 2001 Washington Post Staff Writer Dana Milbank reported that Ferrill coined the term [3] Several other sources say the word arrived in the Whitehouse as part of a vandalism campaign by former Clinton staffers that included removing the letter "W" from Whitehose keyboards and an improvised door sign for the "Office of Strategery" . Oh, those nasty vandals. They give us new words and make us do "unpleasant things" like play "block the troll" instead of contributing cogent copy to an encylopedia-salesman's forthcoming compact disk.
I'm gonna call this case closed. I wouldn't want to scoop the Post by finding George Bush first used the term; I might end up working in Washington DC.

Irenaeus on giving

Several encyclopedias list Irenaeus view on giving as a free will giver, where can I get information on exactly what his position was on giving/tithing?

Adv. Haer. 4.18 might be what you want; if not, you can look through his writings ([4] [5]) yourself.

George Olsen

I need to know who else recorded the song 'Who' besides Olsen. I know there was another recording, possibly british or canadian made in the mid to lat...

Ship SS Bellona

Hello from Eugene, Oregon USA:

I am looking for a picture/drawing/photo of the ship SS Bellona.

Regards, John Schlesinger.

Hya John,

If you mean the Steam Ship SS Bellona II that was bombed off the east coast of scotland on the evening of the 8th october 1940 and drifted helpless tilled grounded in stonehaven bay on the 9th.with the loss of 9 souls ( six crew + three fish hands) I have info and AND a photo, and am in the process of aquiring more...

Be carefull that you do not get confused with an earlier "bellona" (sailing ship) OR indeed ANY "bellona Class" vesels ,which are a different matter.

This was a merchant vessel, I can help, email me, but change the end of the email address so it works, i have disguised it to stop automated crap happening...........regards karl.

Do you mean the HMS Bellona? Catherine 20:14, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Public Domain classical music recordings

Does anyone know where I can find some public domain classical music recordings? I need them urgently! Thank you so much. Conover 20:54, Apr 3, 2004 (UTC)

Try [6] from the Library of Congress. They might have other collections to search, too. Gentgeen 00:19, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Incredible. Thank you so much! Conover 00:46, Apr 4, 2004 (UTC)

Self-reference of characters in movies

Does anyone know exactly what the first movie was whose characters referred to themselves ironically as characters, as in "What do you think this is, a movie?", "That only happens in the movies," etc.

I don't know which movie (it kinda depends on how you define things), but this technique (which is called "breaking the fourth wall") is an ancient theatrical device - see Fourth wall. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:11, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, I don't know when exactly this rather post-modern form of self-reference first cropped in film in this way, but you might find some information of interest on Fourth wall. - IMSoP 00:20, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC) (written simultaneously)
The best way to find the answer to this question is to register on the message boards on IMDB and ask a question on the I Need To Know board. Mintguy (T)

Cause of Premature Gray/White Hair?

Hello, I'm a sufferer of premature white hair, and I'm interested in knowing the cause of this condition, particularly given my rather young age of 14. Much thanks in advance. --Johnleemk 13:39, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

According to the Columbia University Health Education Program:
The change to grey or white is caused by the gradual decrease of pigmentation that occurs with age. Contrary to what you may have heard, special diets, nutritional supplements, certain vitamins, and protein will not affect the graying process. Graying, whether it comes with the normal process of aging or prematurely, has a genetic basis. Hair turns gray or white when a pigment (melanin) ceases to be produced in the hair root, and new hairs grow in gray or white. If you're a smoker, take note: a 1996 British Medical Journal study conducted by J.G. Mosley, MD found that smoking may cause premature graying. When compared to nonsmokers in the study, smokers were at a four times higher risk of graying prematurely.
Although graying usually starts in the thirty-something age range, there's nothing to worry about in graying prematurely -- some say it's rather sophisticated and sexy!
Have to agree, by the way -- my brother-in-law (like his father) had silver at the temples at sixteen, and it looked really good on him. He's completely white now at 26, and it's very striking!
I'm adding this info to Hair color...we seem to be lacking in that section -- thanks for asking! Catherine 21:30, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ismn't there a stress component to greying? Mark Richards 20:45, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)


(moved here from Talk:List of muscles of the human bodyTimwi 15:41, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC))

I had a TBI 4years ago. I took my first swim class yesterday! BUT,now the back of knee hurts! What is name of that muscle,how can I strengthen,stretch it? THANK YOU, LisAnn Becotte

Knee Joint - Anatomy and Function might be helpful. WhiteDragon 19:46, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

meaning of names

I was wondering at what point did the names in the bible receive their meanings? For example, Isaiah, which means the salvation of the Lord. Did that name always mean that or did it get its meaning after Isaiah became know for being a prophet and trying get Isreal to turn back to God? And this question is posed for other names as well that have a meaning that refers to God in someway in the bible.

Wikipedia entries for the names you're wondering about will often provide etymologies. For instance on Isaiah you can see that the name came from the Hebrew ישׁעיהו or "Yeshayahu". In that you can see יהו, from יהוה, YHWH, Yahweh, the name of God in the Tanakh, which suggests that Isaiah always meant "(something) of Yahweh", at least. Someone fluent in Hebrew, which I am not, could probably go so far as to say that it has always meant "salvation of Yahweh", which is what the etymology provided there says. The root words which make up a name are not likely to change meaning because of one individual, and Hebrew names tend to be made up of Hebrew words.
Of course you may have to trust the etymology provided in some cases, or cross-check it with other resources; one freely-available resource to chech against is Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), which while dated is still of some use. For example, you can see here that "Isaiah" has an etymology that agrees with the one in the Isaiah article here.
(This means that you would have to do the same sort of research for whatever other names you were curious about, but that's probably the best-case scenario anyway.)
Incidentally, note there that "Isaiah" does not refer to "the Lord" in those words, but to the specific name Yahweh; you've probably encountered an etymology based on a Bible version which systematically replaced direct mentions of His name with "the Lord" as is typical. mendel 01:29, Apr 5, 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps you have things the wrong way around here. In many traditions, including for example contemporary Hebrew and the native American cultures, there are no names that are purely names, but rather every name means something. That is to say, the name already has a meaning before it is given to the person, and a meaningless name just wouldn't be considered a correct thing to do. This is contrary to our Western culture, where parents will happily invent a name just for its sound. But, we understand for example that Sitting Bull is a different sort of name from a different culture. The culture of Old Testament Israel seems to be somewhere in the middle, it has elements of both these extremes from time to time. The Book of Genesis in particular seems full of devices we can perhaps best understand as puns, to try to find a parallel in our society, but that's not exactly right. Does this help? Andrewa 09:27, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Australian question inflection

Do we have a page on the Australian Question Inflection (under whatever its real name is)? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:54, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, I thought I might come upon something following links back and forth from eh, which does have an article; I ended up at Australian English via Distinguishing accents in English, which probably should cover it, but don't seem to. Which is a bit perplexing, because I would have put Wikipedia down as being the place I'd heard of the thing in the first place, but memory's weird like that, I guess... - IMSoP 21:56, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
No indeed (although the accent article is otherwise excellent). Google finds almost nothing for "australian question inflection" and "queensland question inflection". Maybe it's something that occurs only on Neighbours. Thanks for looking. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:38, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
AQI as it is also known actually stands for "Australian questioning intonation" Mintguy (T)
A-hah! That's the trouble with google - you can't search for something when you don't know its name. Now I can cobble together a couple of lines for Australian English, which is all this (hopefully shortlived) phenomenon surely deserves. Thanks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:53, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

pollination of pear trees

Seems to be missing a question... Perhaps try at Pear? Garrett Albright 21:44, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Try Pear, Pollination, Pollinator, Fruit tree pollination, Fruit tree propagation, or ask User:Pollinator.  :) -- Catherine 21:59, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

N X 3

I would like to know what this means please: N X 3. thank you very much

It seems likely to be algebraic notation, where 'N' represents some (possibly unknown) quantity. 'N X 3' could mean that quantity multiplied by three. However, this could be completely wrong; could you perhaps provide some more context in which you encountered this notation? -- Wapcaplet 19:54, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Edward Gibbon Wakefield

yea hi my name is conrad and im doing an assignment for 7th form (level 3 NCEA) New Zealand History. i need information relevant to "how were wakefields ideas implemented" and "what were the outcome and effects of that". I also have other key questions but i have found satisfactory information on them. if you can help with sources and/or information, please contact me thank you for your help.


Conrad, did you read our article on Edward Gibbon Wakefield? If you find that article lacking, although it seems rather good to me, you might check out the books listed under the "Further Reading" section at the end of the article. You also might look up New Zealand Company for more information. Gentgeen 16:26, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

trix card game

(moved from a now-deleted page moink 18:04, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC))

can anybody please tell me where i can download trix card game :) thanx al

Object's weight as a function of depth down a mineshaft

Does anyone know if there is a simple formula for calculating the variation in an object's weight as it descends a mineshaft? Perhaps someone has even tried the experiment. It might be easier to assume that the Earth has uniform density. Even better would be a general formula that worked for height above the ground as well as depth below it. -- Heron 20:00, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Above ground is easy: for an object mass m at height h, it's just:
where mE and RE are the mass and the radius of the Earth. (See Gravitation for more).
For below ground, it depends on your assumptions. If you assume that the Earth's density is completely uniform, it's:
where h is distance below the ground. This works because you can treat the gravitation of the Earth as a point mass at the centre of the Earth, with a mass equal to the fraction of the Earth's mass which is below the object's depth.
For non-uniform density, you need to know the density distribution as a function of the Earth's radius. -- DrBob 20:21, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, DrBob. At first I thought your answer was too simple, but then I found this excellent article which explains why you are right. -- Heron 15:56, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Isabella II and First Spanish Republic

Can anyone find the exact date of Isabella's escape into exile? Thhe closest I can get is "late September" of 1868. I'm trying to update the year pages to have the heads of state during each year. Any information on who was officially the head of state in Spain during the Republic (i.e., between Isabella and Amadeo and between Amadeo and Alfonso) would be very helpful too. -- Jonel 04:11, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

uniforms of Lt. Jr. grade USCG WWII

I am trying to find out what dress and field uniforms consisted of (looked like) for a Lt. Jr. Grade in the Coast Guard in WWI. I'd surely appreciate images or text descriptions. Thank you. Nan Z

Try [7], [8], [9], [10] from the official site; see also [11] and [12] for more stories and links. HTH, Catherine 00:48, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Solvitur ambulando"

This phrase, which might be rendered as "It's solved by walking around", pops up occasionally, with a vague attribution to Saint Augustine or sometimes to somebody else. Is there anyone anywhere who actually knows where it comes from? Not "Try St Augustine" (I have, I have, and I might as well have been visiting a city in Florida), but chapter and verse? Dandrake 06:51, Apr 6, 2004 (UTC)

It might come from Simplicius' commentary on Aristotle's Physics, but you might want to check that yourself (my library's copy is checked out). — 14:28, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Maybe it's related to "peripatetic," describing Aristotle's way of teaching, by walking around his school rather than standing in one room.

Name of "Deutschland"

Why is it that the country known in its own language as "Deutschland" is called in English "Germany," in the Romance languages some variant of "Alemania," and in the Scandinavian languages "Tyskland"? How did these different names come about for the same place? Mjklin 03:21, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I found a discussion of this through some Google searching. It looks as though "Deutschland" came from an old German word, 'diutisc', which referred to a common vernacular tongue (and thence to those who spoke it). "Germany" apparently is from a Roman term for the Germani tribe, which was later applied to a region (Germany) where they once lived. The discussion at the above link explains it all better than I can. -- Wapcaplet 03:59, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
BTW, in Romania they use "german" to refer to a person from Germany, but "neamt" to refer to a person of German ethnicity. -- Jmabel 04:13, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Tyskland and Deutschland are actually the same word, showing sound changes within the Germanic languages (because the Scandinavian languages are, after all, Germanic). In Romance languages they took their word from the Germanic might ask, why that tribe and not some other one, but I don't know :) The English word I guess comes from Latin Germania, but as far as I am aware no one knows where the Latin word comes from (maybe from Celtic languages). And in Slavic they use some form of "Nemets" which is equivalent to "barbarian" I think. Adam Bishop 23:18, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
A mention of Alamanni can be made in the Germany entry for List_of_country_name_etymologies. Jay 11:32, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Ajara - Were Ajars deported by Stalin to Central Asia

I am trying to confirm whether or not Ajars were deported to Central Asia by Stalin, along with other Caucasians...and if so, when. It would help me to have a scholarly reference. Thanks if you can help.

I don't know (though I'm inclined to ask, who wasn't?). As I understand it, there is some controversy as to wheter Ajars even constitute a distinct ethnic group. In any event, you might find it useful to know that the term is also sometimes transliterated "Adzhar" or "Adjar", which at least should help you do a more effective web search. In any event, we really ought to have an article on the Adzhar Autonomous Republic, and we don't yet. -- Jmabel 03:45, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes we do. See Ajaria (several redirects are, admittedly required). It doesn't answer the original question, unfortunately, to which I can only say I have heard something along similar lines. I can only the original questioner success in his search, and googlespeed. -- Itai 04:08, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Ships Built in Singapore in the 1854-1870

(from the village pump)

I am trying to find information on my great grandfather's ship building in Singapore around 1854-1870. His name was Daniel Robb originally from Forfar, Scotland.

He had built "Heart's Ease" and "Rainbow" with Mr. Buyers, his partner. In an old newspaper article from Singapore, these ships were called "Sarawack Steamers".

So, I entered "Lloyd's of London" for my search and entered up with your site which is great but I can't seem to get into any sites that will give me any information about ships built outside of the UK and especially in the mid 1800's.

Can you give me any more suggestions for my research? Thanks so much.

Flags of Arab nations

I was looking through the gallery of national flags and I noticed that Jordan, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates all have very similar flags. Is there any reason for the black-white-green/red design in particular? An origins story? --Alex S 23:10, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)~

I did some checking, and I noticed that Flag of Jordan indicates that the colors refer to old Arab sovereign states and to a revolt during WWI. Flag of Yemen indicates that the colors are traditional colors that refer to abstract concepts. LuckyWizard 23:40, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I've often noted that flags seem to go in "batches" in terms of colour - presumably sometimes due to common origin, sometimes due to influencing each other, and possibly sometimes just a subtle similarity in culture. For instance, a large number of European countries use (only) red, white and blue, whereas African nations tend to make heavy use of black, green, yellow and red; a lot of island nations, meanwhile, seem to use light blue/turquoise and yellow a lot, since they are the predominant colours of their environment. - IMSoP 01:39, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Right, you're talking about the Pan-African colours in the latter case and a combination of the Pan-Slavic colors and the Tricolore in the former. What I'm asking is do the Arab flag colors have a similar standard name or origin? --Alex S 01:59, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It's easy to see what IMSop means. The best explanation I can come up with is that they all felt compelled to include green in their flags, green being the color of Islam (see Green#Green_as_a_symbol), and the other colors just tagged along. The second best explanation I can come up with is that they thought no one would notice. I'm not helping, am I? --Itai 04:32, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Take a look at -- Dissident 18:28, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Dissident, that's exactly what I was looking for. I think Wikipedia needs a Pan-Arab colors page now –Αλεξ Σ 18:45, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What Gm stands for?

question type: medicine

Hi there.

First of all, sorry by my engrish. I'm not a medic but I have an old big yellow medicine book (with a medieval picture in the cover) called Principles of Surgery (Schwartz, Shires, Spencer, Stores, 1976, 3rd edition) (I'm not an expert, but, I think, this is a classical textbook, along with Guyton).

The problem is:

for example:

"Glycogen is stored in muscle and liver in combination with water and electrolytes, so that 1 Gm of glycogen yields only 1 or 2 kcal instead of the 4 kcal found in 1 Gm of dry carbohydrate." (page 19, chapter 1)

the above is a random page I had picked up, but the "Gm" spreads through all the book. So, what Gm stands for? grams? I've found nothing either in gram (unit) or talk:gram (unit), and besides:

"Initial therapy therefore always should be intravenous and should consist of 100 to 200 mg of cortisol as the 21-hemisuccinate or phosphate." (page 14, chapter 1)

So, if Gm stands for gram, why the author putted mg for milligrams? Is Gm a medical jargon? -- 01:16, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This is almost completely a guess, and almost bound to be wrong, but might it have anything to do with moles? Obviously, "m" ought to stand for metre, and moles should be "mol", but with a "G" for giga, I thought this just might be worth consideration. (by the way, if that's "Engrish", I'm impressed - it was better than many native English-speakers!) - IMSoP 01:34, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I think in this case the author is using "Gm" as an (incorrect) abbreviation for "gram". I think this because 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4kcal is correct.
By the way, your "Engrish" seems like perfect English to me. -- DrBob 01:41, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

DrBob is right that in the context Gm refers to grams and is a mid century american abbreviation which became obsolete with international standardization of abbreviations in medical journals starting in the late 1970s. The sentences you quote appear to refer to fasting fuel metabolism and treatment of adrenal crisis; there are more current sources of info on these topics than an old surgical text though Schwartz' description of both topics is still basically usable. In those days Schwartz and Guyton often hung out with Grant, Bloom & Fawcett, Robbins, Harrison, Nelson, Williams, and White, Handler & Smith. alteripse 9 apr 04

Well, thanks for the help folks! I also thinked Gm as Gigamoles, but ruled it out, since a billion mol of any element or chemical compound would weight several metrical tons. The information I needed was the historical context of Gm, wich alteripse has just provided right now. By the way: chapter one was "Endocrine and Metabolic Responses to Injury"

Regards, 07:47, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Different pronunciations of Houston

Why is the name "Houston St." in New York City pronounced Houston as in house, while the city of Houston in Texas is pronounced as if it were spelled Hewston?

emm--emm 03:30, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Final Sigma

What is the code to insert a final sigma (looking somewhat like an English S) into a Wikipedia page? I've tried ;sigmaf, but it hasn't worked.

The semi-colon should be after the sigmaf, and a & sign before, so it turns out as ς Adam Bishop 05:00, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
the code to insert a final sigma would therefore be ς --WhiteDragon 20:00, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Eponym: Half or Full Nelson - Wrestling Hold - Who was Nelson??

I have not been able to find information on the "Nelson" the Half or Full-Nelson is named after. I am ready to give up, but thought I would try posting the question to Wikipedia. Thank you, Gary Showalter Van Wert, OH April 8, 2004, 10:15 am EDST

A brief internet search suggests that it is named after the 19th century Horatio Nelson. Why, I don't know. Mark Richards 15:34, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I understand it's to do with Nelson beating the French so thoroughly that 'putting the nelson' on someone came to mean to incapacitate them. Given that Nelson himself also lost his arm in battle you can see where the distinction between a half and full nelson might have come from. Adamsan 11:40, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Post WWII in Germany and Iraq Data

Where can I get information about Third Reich soldiers fighting U.S. or Allied troops AFTER World War II? In other words, the pot shots at Allied soldiers and battles with the Nazis in Europe after the war ended?

Also, where can I find the most accurate figures on the casualites in Iraq since the U.S. and Coalition forces began fighting the Baathists last year. I'm looking for both military and civilian casualities. I'd also like to compare the number of deaths in Iraq from the genocidal actions of Saddam's regime to the deaths incurred in the present operation to liberate Iraq.

Thanks you very much for your help.


Janet Levy

On Iraq, I believe may be useful. -- Jmabel 20:15, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Though I'd take its figures cum grano salis: that website is uninterested in the genocidal actions of Saddam, and clearly have an agenda of their own (basically, they count deaths only when they make the American action look bad, see Iraq Body Count project). Accurate figures will be impossible to find. - Nunh-huh 20:24, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Democracy, Whisky and Sexy

I remember that early on in the invasion of Iraq there was a commonly shown picture of some Iraqi citizens welcoming the US Troops, and one had a sign that said "Democracy, Whisky and Sexy". Now, when I google for it, I only get blogs that are now using the phrase ironically. Even when I use google images, I only get a blog banner that has pirated the phrase. Does anyone know where I can get a good news photo of the original banner? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 15:35, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)

I remember this, but I don't think it was a sign. See here:[13] for a link to a NY times article. -- DrBob 20:28, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Lenses for my camera

(from the pump)

can someone help me??? i have a Yaschica FR1,wanna buy some lences on eBay...can you tell me please what is the mount type is on this camera?is it a bayonette,or a screw something???

thank you

I don't know the answer to your question, but you might have better luck asking at the Reference Desk. Adam Conover | Talk 12:05, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)
Old Yashica cameras had a Pentax screw mount, which meant that lots of lenses were available from many different manufacturers but there was limited support for linkages between lens and camera. Later Yashicas, including the FR1 I think, have a Contax bayonet. This is good, because it means you have the choice of the very cost-effective Yashica lenses and the excellent but expensive Contax lenses, all with full linkage support, and bad because it's probably the rarest mounting system of all for 3rd party lens makers such as Tamron, Tokina and Sigma. Contact me on my user page or by email if I can be any more help, or if you want to double-check exactly what lens mount you have. Andrewa 10:11, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Xavier Cugat Caricature.

(from the pump)

Hi there! I have a Xavier Cugat original caricature that I want to sell. I know he worked for the Los Angeles Times during some time. Any ideas who would be interested? Where to go to get it evaluated? You can reach me at Thanks, Mrs Worley


(from the pump)

I was curious how you would write the female name of Jordan in aramaic. Or the initials J L L would also be sufficient. Thank You.

According to the Aramaic alphabet article, several scripts have been used to write Aramaic, including the Hebrew alphabet. In Hebrew, the river Jordan is written yod-resh-dalet-nun: ירדן. Gdr 12:12, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)

Robert Lowell and James Russell Lowell?

What was Robert Lowell's family relationship to James Russell Lowell?

This article states that James Russell is Robert's great-great uncle. I have no idea, really :-) -- Wapcaplet 04:01, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

We need you!


We are looking for Start Trek enthusiasts and those who take part in Start Trek Play-by-Email(PBEM) Role Playing Games (RPGs) on the internet.

We are hoping to set up an academy with the main aim of training and guiding people to play these PBEM RPGs.

If you have ever seen a PBEM RPG, you will know that many have their own small academies in order to assess new players and impart to them the rules and regulations of the particular simm. What we would like to do is build an academy and create links with many simulations so that we can train and award qualifications that can be accepted by these simmulations. We are planning many training programs, including ones aimed at more experienced simmers. We have already been in contact with websites and organisations who have offered to provide resources and guidance, so that we can plan this academy and one day make it a reality.

Below I have provided a list of some of the jobs that need filling, but in general, as this is still in such an early stage we are open to any help we can get and are willing to accept ideas and suggestions.

SIMULATION LIAISON We are looking for people to form and maintain links with Simulation groups across the web. You may already be a part of a simulation that wants to join the academy program, although we have not yet started advertising to simulations, and will not until there is more information available on the web.

PUBLIC RELATIONS We are looking for people to oversee all operations involving all those not in the academy. This job will involve dealing with and helping outsiders and watching over other groups like simulation liaison and advertising.

INSTRUCTORS We are looking for people with a fair amount of simming experience to help us plan and set up the academy before carry out the training when the academy is opened.

CONSULTANTS We are looking for people with detailed knowledge of any aspect of Star Trek to help us set up and create the training programs and provide an interactive resource. This job will be one were yo can put in as much or little time as you like.

ADVERTISING/RECRUITING We are looking for people to spread information about the academy and recruit students and staff once the academy is open.

In general we are looking for people who would be interested in helping to build the academy and run it. We would be perfectly happy to accept someone with another idea for a role or someone who would like to combine two roles. If you are at all interested or would just like to ask a question do not hesitate to contact me at:

I look forward to hearing from you,

William Lea

Universal Academy

This page is for questions. - Woodrow 15:55, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You might like to try the members of the Star Trek wiki at Memory Alpha, as there will be far more people there who'll be interested in your game academy. If, however, you have also developed an academy for play-by-internet games which involve endless bickering about the spelling of the names of small towns in western Poland, I'm sure we'd love to know all about it. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:58, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Kennedy Children Treehouse

I'm doing a project on JFK for school and I would be very interested to find out how President Kennedy's children had a treehouse on the lawn in front of the White House. Surely a treehouse has to be in a tree?

It was a treehouse on the South lawn near the playground equipment. I don't have a picture of the treehouse itself, but pictures from the Kennedy's Easter egg hunts on the South lawn include large trees. - Bevo 16:00, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
also has an excerpt from a book that details the history of the South lawn including the two treehouses (Kennedy and Carter) constructed there. - Bevo 00:10, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What are the Gauss rules to find the exit of a labyrinth?

Question type: mathematical recreation

I know that Karl Friedrich Gauss once created five (I don't recall the exact number, it may be 15 as well) rules to one gets out of a labyrinth.

  1. ???
  2. ???
  3. ???
  4. If you find a trhee-way intersection, draw a mark on the wall and get the next way at your right.
  5. ???

Please, can some-one give-me the complete list?

I've never heard of these, but following the wall on your right the whole way around works. moink 20:14, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
...for labyrinths with no islands (I suppose one would call them acyclic). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:54, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Right, good point. I had missed that it was getting out of a labyrinth, not traversing it from one end to the other (at which point there's no opportunity to find an island.) moink 14:48, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

If you can mark the paths, and mark the nodes where the paths meet, and where a new node is one you haven't yet visited, while an old node is one you have visited:

  1. Start at the entrance and take any path.
  2. If at any point you come to a new node then take any new path.
  3. If you come to an old node, or the end of a blind alley, and you are on a new path then turn back along this path.
  4. If you come to an old node and you are on an old path then take a new path (if such exists) or an old path otherwise.
  5. Never go down a path more than twice.

Not sure if this is Gauss or Euler or someone else's algorithm, but it should work whether or not there are "islands". It certainly doesn't find the shortest path, but it should find a path if there is one. Maybe someone who knows the subject better can write something on mazes for topology or graph articles. - Nunh-huh 21:51, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thank you, Nunh-huh. I have seen this information once when I was thirteen (now I am 23) in a mathematical encyclopedia, in a chapter about topology, but I've found nothing in the maze article (there is a link to "creating mazes algorithm" but none to "solving mazes"). I have also seen something about a muslim symbol, wich interested me a lot and wich I also have a question. (See right below).

P.S. Further, when searching Google with "Gauss algorithm" maze keywords, I found the following post at

From: Kurt Foster <>
Subject: Re: Anyone remeber Gauss' algorithm on solves mazes?
Date: 16 Jan 1999 05:15:10 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.math
Keywords: Citation: algorithm for solving mazes
In <77octi$sa$>, said:
. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but I distinctly recall from high school that
. Gauss came up with a way to get yourself out of a (two-dimensional)
. maze.
  According to Martin Gardner's "The 2nd SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Book of
Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions", there was an algorithm given by
Edouard Lucas in "Recreations mathematiques" (Volume I, 1882), which Lucas
credited to M. Tremaux.  Gardner's description of this algorithm looks
similar to the one in your post.

I'll try to find more on that.

Muslim Symbol

question type: mathematical recreation (topology)

Note: this question is the continuation of the above (Gauss algorithm on mazes)

There is/was a symbol that, according to the muslims, only Allah (God) can draw (only one stroke of hand is allowed).

rough description:

Two moons (two "C") one faced each other and intersecting in the middle, formming an X

This way:


The question is: can the picture/symbol be drawed with only one stroke of hand and without lifting the hand out of the paper?

Ah, and please, I´ll thank if anyone can provide a link to that picture.

  • As an X like you have there: no, unless you can go back over what you've written. However, you're probably referring to this [14], which you can. The property is known as unicursality (also Eulerian path). Dysprosia 14:12, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Aramaic Translation

moved from Wikipedia:Village Pump

how to translate "only God can judge me" in aramaic

Friedrich Karl von Hessen

I wonder about the usage of German names and their English "translations".

I've always believed that German Hessen was "Hesse" of English, but it seems to me as the Wikipedia is becoming increasingly international. Does that mean that local names are better to use than more English sounding?


Wikipedia policy is to use the version of the name that is most well-known by English speakers. RickK 23:51, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

sacco and vanzetti

Where is your article on Sacco and Vanzetti?

potential POV in Chrysanthemum Throne

I don't know if this material is factual:

Despite this there still exist people who would like to see the Emperor's power increased. These monarchists usually come in the form of politicians, Shinto fanatics and Yakuza gangsters.

Could someone who knows more about Japan check it out? silsor 04:43, Apr 10, 2004 (UTC)

Sounds believable to me. But I am only a temporary resident in Japan, so I cant say for sure -- chris_73 06:03, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)


i have came upon a sterling half inch iron cross pin with HIN onthe front and seal 1886 on the back can you tell me anything about this pin ?

Empress of Iran

I am searching for some formal photographic portraits of th Empress Farah in Sate dress. Can Anyone help? Thank you, Thierry Gouette

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Per Aspera Ad Astra - please tell me the meaning, thanks you. Angela

According to our List of Latin phrases page: "Through hardship to the stars" -- motto of the Royal Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.
I'm a bit suspicious of the Latin phrases list, as it gives the same translation for per aspera ad astra and per ardua ad astra which seems unlikely. The RAF motto is per ardua ad astra which is through struggle/adversity/hardship to the stars (RAF history website - origin of the motto). I would translate aspera as hope, but then it's 30 years since I last studied Latin, so what do I know? :) -- Arwel 19:47, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)
The Latin phrases list should be fine in this instance -- Arwel's memory (no offense Arwel!) is incorrect in this. Merriam-Webster note that [15] aspera means "harsh things" in English. I humbly suggest that Arwel was connecting "aspiration" to a conjectured Latin cognate "aspira". :-) Anyway, "Through harsh things to the stars" should be accurate. I've never heard of "per ardua ad astra", and M-W doesn't have "ardua" (though their list of Latin words is far from exhaustive). Interesting. Jwrosenzweig 19:54, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You're correct - it's a "false friend", I was thinking of aspiration. Oh well, we live and learn, which is why it's useful to ask questions! Arwel 21:37, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You may also have been thinking of "spes" (hope) or "sperare" (to hope).
It is also the motto of Kansas. Chris Roy 23:41, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

16" vinyl 33rpm

I have two distinct sets of 16" vinyl records (that's right - not 12") and am looking for some information on them (history, value, etc.). If you could help me out, or tell me who might be able to....

The first set appears to have never been played. It is from World Broadcasting System, Inc. (an affiliate of Frederic W. Ziv Co.) New York - Cincinnati - Hollywood. The cases are labeled "Vertical" and say "Reproduce at 33-1/3 R.P.M. ..."

Each record is numbered; this one says "Disc 381". They are from a variety of different artists (David Rose & His Orchestra; Doris Day...). They are a series of numbered discs complete with their own numbered file dividers. Jackets are plain brown.

These are definately NOT the 16 rpm's used for voice recordings. The songs and labels are from known artists. And they play on 33 rpm.

These are associated with radio stations and probably date back to the 1950's, although none are dated.

Around the edge of the label it says "This electricial transcription licensed for Radio Broadcasting only, is and remains the property of World Broadcasting System, Inc. 488 Madison Ave. New York 22 NY".

The other set is not numbered, and have been played. It covers a wide range of artists and labels.

Any information you could send me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! Betty

These are 16" broadcast master recordings. See here for a quick reference. They began to be used by Columbia broadcasting about 1929 and continued to be used into the 1950s. For issues regarding preservation / transcription to CD / etc. you might try the good folk at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at or their Ask a Librarian page. - Nunh-huh 01:07, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Name of short story

I once read a short-story the plot of which is set at a dinner table having 2 (or more) families. The entire story is in direct speech (a monologue actually) by one of the ladies. As she keeps chattering, the reader gets to know the stories happening in the background of their lives. She is unaware that her husband was having an affair with the woman at the other side of the table, but the reader comes to know it before she does.

Expert piece of work, but I don't remember name of the story nor the author. Can someone help. Jay 22:00, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Robert G. Harrington

Need dates of birth/death for Robert G. Harrington, not to be confused with Robert S. Harrington (both were astronomers). Robert G. Harrington was professionally active at Palomar Observatory as early as 1949. Google has a number of hits on astronomical discoveries but draws a blank as far as date of birth etc is concerned. Would also be nice to know what the "G." stands for.

Perhaps somebody knows somebody who works at Palomar Observatory, or maybe it's buried in some genealogy site (but there are some other Robert G. Harringtons out there). Curps

Silver to alloy content of early coin peso-need to know

To anybody who can tell me this, please respond. I need to know (1)the silver to alloy content of the mexican coin peso between the dates 1870-1920. (2)If the silver content changed during this period and what it changed to or from. The Mexican standard for silver is listed as being 98%/2% (980) But I dont know if that was the silver to alloy content of the peso coinage during those dates. However, it was higher than the AMerican coin known to be at 900. Please respond soon. thank you. kc

Ranking the wikipedia articles

Google has an interesting algorithm for ranking all sites. Basically, a site is considered more important if many other important sites links to it. I would love to see this algorithm implemented on wikipedia! Is it already done? I've looked for it, but haven't find anything.

The Google algorithm provides the most convenient means yet for assessing interest in multiple articles containing common terms. You can apply the Google algorithm to Wikipedia by entering the term Wikipedia along with any search term, or by using the search box at the top of this page.
The algorithm does not, however, provide a qualitative ranking of articles in Wikipedia the way it tends to do in Google. The reason is that Google searches many articles on a similar topic and sorts out the most recognized articles. Qualification of Wikipedia articles would require validation of individual ariticles against similar articles from recognized sources. An earlier effort to develop a better-validated encyclopedia, called Nupedia, was abandoned when it did not progress as quickly as developers liked, probably because it did not encourage contributors to add what they know, regardless whether contributions could be validated against recognized sources. Wikipedia currently relies largely on an ad hominem method of validation, in which familiar contributors assess new contributions based on whatever they know about a topic and their opinion of whether a contributor is reliable.
Ranking requires a method of evaluation by which to assign rank. Google uses density of linkages to assign rank. Wikipedia offers a system of popular selection that sometimes bumps articles to featured status, but is otherwise organized according to common scientific or liberal arts taxonomies. There is currenlty no reliable means for ranking Wikipedia articles for their validity. RaymondByrd 04:26, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

John Ericsson Memorial.

I am trying to find out some information about the John Ericsson Memorial in Washington DC. I need to find out enough information to be able to do a book report on the memorial. Can anyone help me out.

Thank you Stephen Hosmer

Stephen, our article on John Ericsson includes a link to the National Park Service's website for the Ericsson Memorial on the National Mall here. Gentgeen 22:44, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Trying to locate a large scale model of cessna 152 airplane

I'm trying to locate a source for a large scale model of a Cessna 152 Airplane. I'm looking for a model that can be assembled. If anyone knows where I might be able to obtain one I'd be greatful for your assistance. I've been searching the web without much luck. Thanks! Jeff Fox -

These [16] don't need assembly but otherwise seem to fit the bill. Or this [17] is for the C150, which you could easily adapt to look like a 152. Google '"cessna 152" model kit' got me those. DJ Clayworth 19:54, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Inventor of the Long Playing Record

Who was the inventor of the LP record.

I understand it may have been a gentleman associated with St Dunstans. I think he was looking for a record for his talking books and 3 minutes on a 78 was not enough. I was told no record company was interested in the research so he did the work in his garden shed.

Apparently he took it to one company (HMV or Decca?) who rejected the idea. He took it to another who took on the idea. The company who refused countered with the 45 record.

Any truth in any of the above?

Does anyone have any more details, please?

I would appreciated some names and dates.

Thanks in anticipation.

Ross Lambourn, Auckland, New Zealand.

The analogue disc record article has some info. The "LP" was debuted by Columbia Records. However there were earlier experiments with similar formats years earlier, including by Edison Records in the 1920s, but they weren't commercially sucessfull. -- Infrogmation 05:38, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Good old Cecil Adams has a good article on different record speeds at [18]. The article focuses on "why these weird record speeds" and doesn't name the inventor of the LP -- by which I believe you mean the 33 1/3 speed big vinyl disc -- but you will probably get some leads. Tempshill 01:40, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

email ?

Is there a way to trace the sender of an email? i've received an email and the sender says it wasn't from him but the sender address says it was.

As a regular citizen, no. All of the fields in an email's header (its addressing and routing information) can easily be forged, and there are (still) innumerable open email relays that allow anyone to send email through them. As part of a serious criminal investigation, a law enforcement organisation (like the FBI) can generally track the sender of an email, providing the sender hasn't taken some (fairly simple) steps to conceal their identity further. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 09:27, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)~
The mail you got could either be spam (very unlikely) or it could be a virus playing around. As McWalter above says, the header could be forged, so you could get nowhere with an investigation, but there are interesting ways you can start investigating - starting from getting the IP addresses and doing a whois. Also refer Stopping e-mail abuse, probably the "External links" section would be more helpful. Jay 10:51, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If it's a matter of whether or not the message comes from your friend's machine, it's not quite so hopeless. There will be a series of headers called "Received:" telling, in reverse order, which machines it passed through --that is, if your e-mail program doesn't strip them out of the message. The last one tells what machine the message came from -- or rather, what machine first handled it and obeyed the rules for e-mail handling. If these headers are different from the ones in your friend's messages, then it came from a different machine, and the "From" information is a lie. It's little more complicated than that, but this is a rough guide. But if it did come from his machine, it could still have been sent by a virus that he knows nothing about. But you can be sure of this: messages do go out with fake sender addresses. Spammers send such stuff all the time. Dandrake 07:24, Apr 14, 2004 (UTC)




According to a PDF file at, Back in the Saddle Again dates back to 1939, and was written by Gene Autry and Ray Whitley. (Okeh Records, Okeh 05080). Unsurprisingly, it was also used in his 1941 movie Back in the Saddle. You may be able to get confirmation from an organisation such as the Country Music Hall of Fame. -- Zigger 04:56, 2004 Apr 17 (UTC)

looking for a word...

I'm searching a word for renegade, but not in the sense of betrayer, but a convert, i.e. somebody who changes to your side during a war -- Stw 16:28, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Turncoat. —No-One Jones 16:35, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. The (very sad) background: I translated the text on Image:Himmler_report.jpg -- Stw 17:19, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
In that case maybe "turncoat" is not quite what is needed in that "turncoat" is used in a derogatory sense (from the point of view of the one using the word), and from what I see in that report, some other word should be used in the translation that would indicate that the change was the preferred outcome of the propoganda.
Also defector, maybe? Chopchopwhitey 06:35, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. To clarify, turncoat is probably more appropriate in a military, or militant, situation. defector is probably more appropriate in political or espionage situations (like the cold war, for example). The line dividing which is appropriate is blurry. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 15:52, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Grace Murray Hopper

I've noticed that you've left out Grace Murray Hopper, and extremely important contributor to the way computers work now. Every time you refer to a "bug" in a system, you're using a phrase that Admiral Hopper coined. In general, your articles seem to gloss over or completely neglect contributions by women and minorities in areas like technology. What's up?

  • Just to respond to the above - we have a fairly good article on Grace Hopper (I should know - I added the picture to that article myself). →Raul654 18:48, Apr 13, 2004 (UTC)
  • see Grace Hopper. Add whatever you think we've left out (though she didn't coin the use of bug to indicate a computer hiccough, she merely popularized it, so please leave our correct version of that story intact). If you notice any oversights in any other articles, you can edit them to your liking. In general, I don't think we're guilty of the systematic exclusions you accuse us of. - Nunh-huh 18:50, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  • While there certainly isn't a deliberate policy of "glossing over" the contributions of women and minorities in areas like technology, there is an inevitable bias induced by the demographics of wikipedia's editorship. We can only fix this problem with the help of new editors, such as yourself (articles, frankly, don't write themselves). Why not join us and help plug some holes in the dyke - see : Community Portal -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:17, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  • Look at the long-standing single external link in Computer Science for ideas on how you can start making all the articles better. What's up? is that you have not contributed enough changes to satisfy your own criteria. - Bevo 17:43, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

coin of Germany?

I have a modest foreign coin collection and one of the coins is german and is dated 1988. It says Bundesrepublik Deutschland and it is 5 Pfenning. Is this East or West Germany or did they have a common currency following the cold war and before reunification? I greatly appreciate any help, thanks! shawn

  • The Bundesrepublik Deutschland is West Germany. There was no common currency in 1988 - common currency was introduced on July 1, 1990 in anticipation of reunification (see here. -- Nunh-huh 21:16, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
    • More precisely, the West German currency became the sole currency of East Germany some three months before the countries were formally reunified. If i remember the reports correctly, vast quantities of East German banknotes ended up in salt mines... Arwel 21:24, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)




So then where's Philip Emeagwali?

A "Father of the Internet?" I think you're kidding yourselves about not having a blind spot. Is it that I'm searching incorrectly? BTW, Grace Murray Hopper coined the phrase "debug".

Wikipedia is written by volunteers, and is (always) unfinished. We're not kidding ourselves about that, and we have millions of blind spots. If you find an article that you think should exist, but doesn't, you can help us out by writing one. Just edit this page Philip Emeagwali -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:45, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Now what does Grace Murray Hopper have to do with Philip Emeagwali or the father of the internet ? Although Grace did discover a real bug she is not credited with coining the word, see list of computer term etymologies for the bug entry. Jay 06:33, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I echo Finlay's invitation to start an article on the topic. However, I should add that Emeagwali's claim to be a "father of the Internet" is dubious in the extreme. His major contribution to computer science appears to be in supercomputing, where he figured out how to make use of the Connection Machine, an oddball supercomputer architecture, for doing some geophysical simulations. That's neat, but it has very little to do with the Internet as most people understand it. --Robert Merkel 06:29, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Socrates and Hemlock

From the village pump

The article on Hemlock contains the following statement:

The Greek philosopher Socrates supposedly drank one of above toxic hemlocks to fulfil his execution sentence. However, this story is now known to be a myth, although Socrates is commonly linked to this form of suicide.

Does anyone have any modern references which can verify or disprove this statement that the story is a myth? WormRunner | Talk 03:48, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Since just about everything I could find takes the execution/suicide seriously, I have reverted the hemlock page until someone comes up with corroboration. I have also put a note on this in the Socrates discussion. WormRunner | Talk 05:34, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps the person who added it was thinking of Aristotle, for whom there is such a myth. - Lee (talk) 15:00, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Hmm. That makes sense. WormRunner | Talk 20:28, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Split pinky toenail and Han Chinese

I heard that Han Chinese have split pinky toenails as part of their genetic makeup. Cultural myth or is their scientific grounding in this? --Jiang 06:12, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Han" is not an ethnic group since Chinese in different regions are genetically different from each other. Look at a person from Guangzhou or even Hunan, then look at a person from Harbin or Beijing. Big difference. This is because Chinese originally lived around Shaanxi, then spread out and conquered other areas. Only a few thousand troops conquered the southern Yue, so they left hardly any genetic impact upon the population, which is why Chinese people have different physical features depending on the region you go to. In the north, curly or wavy hair is not uncommon, nor is light brown/blond/red hair, compared to the straight dark hair of southerners. In the north, blue or green eyes are not necessarily uncommon, while in the south you will not find anything other than brown. Northerners are bigger and taller, while southerners are shorter and skinnier. Single or double eyelid varies by region, as do the shape of people's noses, skin color, facial or body hair, etc. This all stems from the various populations that were absorbed into the Chinese population long ago, and vice-versa. The Chinese language and culture have survived and spread, that can not be disputed, however you will never find the word "Han" used to describe a so-called "ethnic group" before a hundred years ago or so-it was never used throughout history. Therefore to answer the question, I would say cultural myth. --Xiaogoudelaohu (talk) 19:41, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

The case of the Babilonian cone-thing

I am interested in writing to a member of the Department of Archeology in order to obtain some information about an artifact which was obtained from someone who claimed to be the head of a University of Chicago Babilonian Expedition back in l936. This is a ceramic cone with markings, which is in a collection of my father, a college professor, now deceased. I would appreciate hearing from an Archeologist who might have knowledge concerning this matter. Thank you. My e-mail is

Are you referring to the Diyala Expedition to Mesopotamia by members of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 1930–1938? If so, contact the Oriental Institute. Gdr 15:42, 2004 Apr 15 (UTC)

Joel Janowitz

I would like to contact Joel janowitz. Could you send me his email address. Carl Esparza Thank you.

If you mean the artist, he is apparently on the faculty of Wellesley College. This web page gives a brief biography, and if you click on his name it's a mailto link to the following address: jjanowit at wellesley dot edu (address mangled to avoid spam harvesting, replace the at with the @ sign and the dot with .). I found this with a 5-second Google search using the search terms "Joel Janowitz". Note: I have emailed this person this information.--Robert Merkel 22:48, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

V. Ivanova

Text speedily deleted recently from above article:

Is this Vitaly Ivanova? I am interested in contact with a person of this name, originating in the Moscow region, City of Chernogolovka This person would be the father of Alla Ivanaova who married and moved to Canada. Please forward any contact to


Hi, I was wondering if I could get anymore information on the genetic disorder polydactyly. I am doing a report for my biology class on it. My e-mail is Thanks a lot, bye.


Here's a link to an image of a polydactylus hand: [19] and another [20] The extra digits of polydactylus appendages often lack effective muscular connections. Polydactyly is usually inherited as a dominant trait but is also sometimes induced by teratogens.

Formation of human hands and feet begins at about the 6th week of gestation, when cell death divides the apical ectodermal ridge into, normally, five segments. Normal patterns in digits are formed, or not formed, as a result of activity in a zone of polarizing activity at the base of arms and legs on their posterior edge. The morphogenesis probably involves retinoic acid (vitamin A) and a series of genes called homeobox genes.

Other embryonic malformations of hands and feet include ectrodactylyl, which is the absence of a digit, usually unilateral (one only one side) and syndactyly, which is abnormal fusion between fingers or toes.

Syndactylus appendages form in about 1 of 2,000 human births, when the normal breakdown of mesenchyme fails to occur. Clubfoot often presents along with syndactylus, but clubfoot might be inherited or a result of abnormal placement of the legs in the uterus during gestation. In clubfoot, the sole of the foot is turned inward.

None of these are the same as cleft hands or feet, called lobster claw deformity, consisting of an abnormal cleft between the 2nd and 4th metacarple bones and soft tissue, usually along with missing 3rd metacarpal and phalangeal bones, and often with fusing of the thumb and index finger and of the 4th and 5th fingers. You might learn more about this by reviewing articles on human embryology I'm not sure your teacher will be very impressed if you say a bird told you this. If you enter some of these words in the search engine, you might find additional sources for this information. You should at least check my spelling, and do something to be sure the information I freely provided comports with some other reliable source. Byrd

Internal link: Polydactyly Bensaccount 04:15, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

After reading a bit more, I learned that polydactyly is present in as many as 100 other disorders, often as a minor trait compared to the gravity of the disorder, and that in rare cases it cannot be attributed to any known cause. RaymondByrd 04:35, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Static electricity and ice

Does anybody here know if static electricity discharges from breaking ice? I'm not sure if it occurs when ice separates from plastic or when ice separates from itself. I observed the phenomena while breaking icecubes from a plastic tray in a darkened kitchen. I would expect static discharges from plastic, though I never really contemplated why they occur, much less if they occur in ice alone or in ice separating from plastic. Just curious...

I remember hearing or reading that breaking icicles causes sparks. I've just spent 10 minutes searching, though, and can't find anything online at the moment. I read something about breaking things causing sparks recently (maybe lifesavers), and the only thing I can find on the net says that from personal experience that's false. I might have read it in Discover magazine--I'll see whether I can find it in an old issue, unless someone else can come up with something. Elf | Talk 17:10, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
The thing with Lifesavers is called triboluminescence and it does work (I've done it myself). There may be a similar effect with ice; a google search for triboluminescence+ice gives some links, such as [this scientific paper]. -- DrBob 17:46, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Root of the word "Germany"

Can any one tell me, why we call this country as Germany, while it is called Deutschland by Germans themselves? What is the etymological meaning of Germany? Thank you

The word Germany derives from the latin Germanic labeling the barbaric tribes of Northern Europe, see Germanic peoples. The French word for Germany, Allemagne, derives from one specific germanic tribe of southern Germany, the Alamanni. The origin of the word Deutsch is a bit more complicated. The name derives from the germanic word theoda meaning folk, from which around the 8th century the latin word theodiscus labeling the german language developed. And I wonder why the above isn't included in the articles on Germany or German language yet. andy 10:10, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Maybe it's the same user who asked the same question before. See the 'Name of "Deutschland" ' section above. Jay 10:52, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I think it was named after Germanicus Caesar, the general at the battle of Teutoberg Forest. It comes from the Latin name for the area past the Rhine, that's for sure, but I could swear the Romans assigned that name to it and that it had been the name of a person. Diderot 13:42, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It's the other way around - people were called Germanicus as a nickname for having served well in Germania. Adam Bishop 21:38, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

You can check out Germany at List of country name etymologies, it's pretty complete. Btw, it wasn't me who asked this time. Mjklin 15:03, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

im doing a A-level project

can you tell me the compostion of the english 2 pence coin when it was made of bronze and if you can can you give me detailed information on experiments that could be used to find how much copper is in the bronze.

  thank you
According to the Royal Mint the composition of British 2p coins minted before September 1992 is 97% Copper, 2.5% Zinc, 0.5% Tin. Gandalf61 15:25, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)
Page 594 of my copy of Analytical Chemistry, by Skoog and West (ISBN 0-03-097285-X) gives the procedure for determining the percentage of copper in an alloy. I'd post it, but that would be a violation of copyright, and Dr. West was too nice of a professor for me to do that to him. Gentgeen 06:21, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I doubt the procedure itself would be copyright, the specific formatted presentation of it might be - you could redescribe the procedure in entirely your own words - IANAL but I think that should be fine. Mark Richards 19:13, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

songbooks and music for basic guitar

I have been looking for good, simple songbooks for singing and playing guitar. All types of music from country to gospel. where and how to find the best ones.

An excellent resource is The Online Guitar Archive (OLGA). This collects songs transcriptions (both in chords and tablature) collected from various internet groups. The quality of the transcriptions can be patchy sometimes (or be in some deeply unsuitable key for your voice) but you'll often find that several versions exist for the more popular songs. And it's all free. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:01, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I recommend: Stylings for bluegrass and country guitar by Jerry Silverman New York : Warner Bros. Publications, 1982. Hyacinth 03:49, 11 May 2004 (UTC)


I am stuck on the last question in a local rotary quiz. The answer is a 'Silly Saying or Catch Phrase'. We are given the FIRST letter of each word but not told the NUMBER of letters in each word. Most of the other answers in this group are from British TV.


Any ideas?

There's a fairly new article (not spidered by Google yet) called something like List of comedy catchphrases - except not that, cos I've just tried it. I can't seem to find the link. When I last saw it I don't believe it answered this question, but if you find it, it may appear there. Or you could ask on its talk page. It's infuriating that I can't find it. --bodnotbod 16:59, May 7, 2004 (UTC)
Ah. List of Comedic Catchphrases. --bodnotbod 17:02, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Reagrding Pashto Article

"In Pakistan, Pushto has no official status; it is not taught in schools and Pushtun children learn Urdu as their language of education and activities outside the home."

I saw this statement in the article "pashto". I just want to make a correction that it is not true that pushto is not taught in schools. It is taught in all governemnt schools in peshwar. I am pushtoon and i lived in Nowshera for 8 years and i been to govrnment schools in nowshera and peshwar and it is taught in governemnt urdu medium schools in peshawar.


Thanks for the help! We'll change the article. By the way, this is an open encyclopedia and you can make any corrections you think necessary by clicking on the edit this page link. moink 21:36, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out this observation. However the line you are talking about is not in Wikipedia's Pushtu article, but in the website of UCLA. Wikipedia doesn't endorse the correctness of articles in external websites that point from an article. Wikipedia however strives to achieve neutrality in its own articles. Since you have a lot of information on Pushto, you can help adding information to the article. Jay 06:02, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Bootable business card

Are there any retail vendors of this media? I'm having trouble finding them at CompUSA type outlets. - Bevo 20:37, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

if you mean the business-card sized CD-R then Fry's Electronics sells em. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:02, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
you can also buy them at - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 00:05, Apr 17, 2004 (UTC)

The District of Columbia (geography)

I'm ashamed that I, a history major, cannot remember this, but why is the District of Columbia called the District of Columbia? And once someone remembers, could they put it in that article, as well as posting it here? Thanks! :-) Jwrosenzweig 23:39, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I found this, which doesn't really answer [21]. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:58, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Columbia = an early proposed name for the new country that was eventually called The United States instead. Sounds better than District of the United States. I added that and some other info on the historical difference & gradual merging of Wash and D.C. Elf | Talk

list of Disney animated movies

From the village pump

I've looked all over trying to find a chronological list of the Disney cartoon movies and so far, your list is the closest to what I have discovered. Unfortunately, the second list omitted the two additional Lion King movies, the additional Hunchback of Notre Dame, extra Atlantis and extra Jungle Book movie. I am in the habit of writing which movies was which number on the inside of the movie box and I'd like them to be accurate to what the Disney studio says. According to them, like Peter Pan was 14th, The Jungle Book was 19th, Fox and the Hound was 24th, and so on. Can anyone help me number my other 30 some odd movies? Please? THANK U!!!

The article in question is List of Disney animated features. →Raul654 00:49, Apr 17, 2004 (UTC)

Sleep deprivation

Someone once told me that after around 20 days without sleep a person will... die. I was a little dubious of this, however the sleep deprivation article states that:

Lack of sleep may result in irritability, blurred vision, slurred speech, memory lapses, overall confusion, nausea and eventually death....

...but doesn't give a figure. Does anyone know what the (average) limit is?

(And yes, I didn't sleep too well last night.) Chopchopwhitey 15:09, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

If my shoddy memory serves me, the world record for human sleep deprivation was done by a california boy who did it under psychological supervision (from either Stanford or Berkeley - I can't remember which). He made it to ten days with no sleep, but at that point, it becomes a question of what exactly sleep is. Does microsleep count? Again, IIRC, in experiments with rats, the rats died after 3 weeks with no sleep. I don't think a human has ever made it that far. →Raul654 15:24, Apr 17, 2004 (UTC)
Am I the only one just a bit troubled by the fact that the world's leading sleep researcher is named Dr.Dement? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:25, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I wondered the exact same thing recently; I learned in my high school psychology class that it's impossible to die from sleep dep, that you'd fall asleep before dying. I did some googling, and from what I can tell by making inferences based on vague speculation, the only way to die from sleep dep is to be incapable of sleep. Check out this small table giving life expectancy with total sleep deprivation (no references given); a newsgroup posting with (again unreferenced) replies claiming death won't occur... I'd also love to see a definitive answer on this. I'm not convinced by any lab studies in which animal (or human) sleep mechanisms were intentionally destroyed. Obviously, if one is physically incapable of sleep, death will occur before sleep. -- Wapcaplet 01:07, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I'd be very interested to know what the supposed physiological cause of death is in these cases. I believe I'm correct in saying that the Autonomic nervous system and brainstem don't really partake of "sleep", so surely can't itself be harmed by the lack thereof. And I think I'm (roughly) correct in saying that a patient with these intact can at least keep breathing, digesting, and heart beating. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:18, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Sleep is not well understood, so I think no definite explanation is known. But experiments have been done with rats: A pair of rats is placed on a circular platform in a pool of water, separated by a barrier. One is hooked up to an EEG (the other probably has a hookup which is ignored). Whenever this one rat starts to fall asleep, the barrier begins to move, forcing the rat awake. This way the rat can rest but not sleep, and the other rat can sleep sometimes. After a while (3 weeks?) the rat that couldn't sleep was unable to maintain its body temperature and died. Even if the rat was allowed to sleep after the body temperature began to wander, death still occurred. For this reason, volunteers are generally not permitted to become this sleep-deprived in studies. As for "you'd fall asleep first", this is probably true in a quiet room with nothing but food and water, but with suitable stimulants or a person to keep waking you, you could stay awake a very long time. I wish I still had the book I read all this in, but it (and its title and author) have now vanished into the mists of time. Perhaps the problem was that I was sleep-deprived to the point of hallucination and bad memory when I read it... --Andrew 15:22, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)
The info about sleep deprivation killing people comes mainly from studies in rats where sleep deprived rats eventually die, despite being otherwise healthy. However, these studies are heavily confounded, since keeping an animal sleep deprived is difficult and stressful (for the animal). Usually it involves something like electric shocks or tipping it into a bucket of cold water every time it starts to fall asleep. This means that anyone who is sleep deprived is also very stressed, and it's hard to tell whether the stress, or the lack of sleep, kills them. The experiment Andrew describes is a better version of this, but it is still vulnerable to the criticism that the experience of the rat that kept on being woken whenever it started to fall asleep might be more stressful than the experience of the other rat. Mark Richards 19:17, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Andrew and Mark. The mention of thermal homeostasis (and that water business) might implicate the hypothalamus, and I know there's a diurnal variation of core body temperature (a variation greater during sleep, I think). So one can see at least a shadow of a physiological explanation. Yeah, the water and stress is confounding, and it's tough to think of an experiment that wouldn't at least have the stress. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:57, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I don't know anything scientific, but I've heard of users of crystal methamphetamine staying awake for 30 days and more. Reports of a state of insanity, but at least some of them survived.
Aaron Hagans 00:58, 08 May 2004

EDI 301

from the Village Pump

Can you direct me as to where to get information about EDI 301. It has something to do with Ocean shipment loading. Please send response to my email address -

Thank you.

Ethylene Glycol Production

I am trying to determine how much of the Ethylene Glycol sold as "new" is actually remanufactured or recycled?

If you can help in any way please email me back at

Thanks ------- Jerry

  • I think I remember a project I once did on ethyleneglycol. You might want to try to contact the NW&S department at Utrecht University



I think Dr. Phil is enough of a phenomenon to get his own entry here. I'd also like to see pages for Anthony Horowitz and his fictional creation -teenage spy Alex Rider. However, I'm not knowledgeable about any of them and there don't seem to be obvious places to link them. Should I just create some stubs and hope for the best? Or does anyone else want to help out? -- MacGyverMagic

We do have Phil McGraw (I think I'll make some more redirects, as that isn't too easy to find) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:55, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)
We don't have a Anthony Horowitz page (although Crime Traveller links there). So yes, you should make a stub for it, I think. You might also like to tell User:Paul A, as his talk page seems to suggest he's a Horowitzista too. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:17, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

home runs

I'm wondering if anyone knows the entire number of home runs hit in MLB in 1927 versus the total number of home runs hit in the entire MLB in 2003? is a great resource for this stuff. In particular, the information I used is in the "American League" and "National League" links at the top of . (The other leagues listed did not play in either of those years.)
The results:
American League: 439
National League: 483
Total: 922
Number of teams at the time: 16
Number of games to a season: 154
Home runs per team per game: 0.374
American League: 2499
National League: 2708
Total: 5207
Number of teams at the time: 30
Number of games to a season: 162
Home runs per team per game: 1.071
Hope this helps. LuckyWizard 01:16, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Glasgow based novel

I'm trying to find a novel I read many years ago. All I can really remember is that it was set in Glasgow, or more specifically the Gorbals (I think). All the events took place between a Friday and a Monday (inclusive). I also seem to remember the protagonist accidentally setting fire to someone's flat (again, I think). Does this ring any bells for anyone? - Lee (talk) 01:25, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Nothing rings a bell. Take a look at No Mean City (30's razor gangs) which is supposedly the definative Gorbals novel. Then there's How Late it was, how late (written in the vernacular, lots of swearing) and Swing Hammer Swing! (about which I know very little). Perhaps it's one of these (they're all fairly famous). Maybe checking these out on will refresh your memory (I'm ashamed to confess I've read none of them). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:56, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
D'oh. Swing Hammer Swing!, winner of the 1992 Whitbread prize - which was why I read it in the first place. Stupid memory. Many thanks. - Lee (talk) 02:13, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Pai Hsien-yung

Is Pai Hsien-yung gay? The article Pai Hsien-yung states that Pai has explained that he believed his father knew of his homosexuality and "never made it an issue," though it was never discussed. . If so, I would like to add him to the list of famous gay people, since he is a very influential writer among Chinese community. --θαλαμηγός (talk) 03:36, Apr 18, 2004 (UTC)

Okay, some one has given me a evidence. just post here as a reference[22]. --θαλαμηγός (talk) 09:53, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)

Ganesha using tusk as stylus

I find this under your Mahabharata entry: "In the course of writing, Ganesh's pen failed, and he broke off one of his tusks in the rush to keep writing." But I cannot find any such mention in the epic itself. Kindly give me the reference to this breaking off the tusk to write down the dictation of Vyasa. Pradip Bhattacharya

Several Google references to this can be found here. RickK 20:03, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)


from the Village Pump

Fred Brewer

380 Rexford Drive

Hermitage, PA 16148

(724) 981-4695


To whomever it may concern;

In the 1950s, I heard that Scientology was started by fans of a novel L. Rod Hubbard wrote about a planet like Earth on the other side of the Sun. They said these fans disturbed Hubbard at first, but later he joined them and became the head of Scientology which had already started without him. In recent years, any source I ever see about Scientology says Hubbard started it after writing Dianetics. Which version is true?

Respectfully yours,

Fred Brewer

I'm no expert on the subject, but our articles on Scientology, Church of Scientology, and Dianetics are fairly thorough. According to those, it was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard himself. -- Wapcaplet 19:41, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Legend has it that scientology was started by Hubbard as the result of a bar bet between him and Robert A. Heinlein. This legend [23] is almost certainly false... but it's amusing, and that's the important thing. (It's one of those stories which I preface with "now, it didn't really happen this way... but it should have!") Grendelkhan 21:22, 2004 Apr 17 (UTC)
Ummm...."almost certainly false"? I forget if Hubbard Jr. discussed it in his book too, but the discussion on that very page seems to conclude that five independently corroborative accounts seem like rather more than coincidence. Chris Rodgers 02:31, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Grendelkhan said that the story of the bar bet with Heinlein was false. The five independent accounts are simply that Hubbard claimed the real money was in starting a religion. -- Wapcaplet 15:42, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Dianetics begat Scientology. Your story about sci-fi fans is much contrary to what existing analysis of Scientology/Dianetics/Hubbardism in general has said... Some of Scientology is derived from Dianetics... Dysprosia 02:37, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)


We would greatly appreciate to know the name and E-Mail of each of the LatinAmerican Presidentes.

Thank you in advance. Guillermo R. Morini

You can find the names by visiting each country page: Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. Tempshill 00:29, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

List of maps?

Did I once see a list of maps on Wikipedia, or am I making that up? —Bkell 04:10, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Maps has a list of sources within and outside of Wikipedia. Wikipedia:WikiProject Maps also has a list of orphans and requested maps. -- chris_73 07:45, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Matrix Inverse

Is it true that if a matrix A is nonsingular, does it always follow that its inverse is also nonsingular? Do you have an item regarding this?

Yes, since matrix inversion is defined as a reversible process. So since a matrix can only be inverted if it is non-singular, the result must be non-singular so that (A−1)−1 = A This is an important property, if you think about it, because it makes inverted matrices behave like inverted numbers, which is what they're for after all. See also Invertible matrix. - IMSoP 13:39, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
This is the "easy way out". You have defined non-singularity to mean invertible (and admittedly the article you cite does this too). But what if non-singularity is defined as "no non-trivial solutions of Ax = 0" (as is common, and I suspect the direction the original poster is coming from). How then do you prove that non-singularity is equivalent to invertibility? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:47, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If A is nonsingular, det A ≠ 0, that is, det A = c (c ≠ 0). Using the rule that det (A-1) = (det A)-1 (see Determinant), then for this to hold then c must not be zero, for if it was, det A-1 = 1/0 which is not defined. Dysprosia 03:13, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I also count that as a "cheat". If you "know" about the properties of determinants, and why they work, then you know about non-singularity and invertiblity. I bet this was a "from first principles" homework question, otherwise it is trivial.
So then prove that if a matrix has determinant zero, then it cannot be invertible. It becomes a little more apparent if you look at Cramer's rule. From there, then you can establish everything else you need. Dysprosia 22:23, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Cramer's rule constructively establishes the inverse (matrices with nonzero determinant are invertible) but does not establish your statement. One way of proving it is to look at the row-reduced form of a singular matrix, which must have zero rows or columns, then expand by minors. Another way is to prove that a matrix's inverse has the reciprocal determinant.
Derrick Coetzee 06:26, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I never said it'd prove the result ;) Dysprosia 06:19, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

los angeles county, california demographics

i am trying to get more specific demographics data for the south bay region of los angeles county. specifically, i am trying to find population densities by postal code, and/or census tract, and/or a.p.n....any ideas how id go about getting this info??


  • This has them--you'd probably want to click Download rather than scrolling thru all the pages:[24]
For other available breakdowns, start here: [25] Niteowlneils 03:30, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Zip files and Cursors

  1. The zip file format has been named after PKZIP developed by Phil Katz. Any idea why he called it "zip" ?
  2. Also the cursor that we see on text editors - why is it called a "cursor" ?

Jay 17:48, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I suspect the computer cursor was named after the one on a slide rule. The COD says it's from latin, meaning "runner". -- DrBob 18:10, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks DrBob, I looked at the picture of the slide rule cursor, it doesn't look anything like the blinking cursor we know of ! I was also wondering when did the cursor first come into computers. Before text editors, they must have been used on command line consoles, and the terminology must have gone into text editors which were developed later. Cursor talks nothing about the history. Jay 03:40, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Cursor has meant simply any movable item that marks a position, dating back to the 16th century. Nothing specific about its shape or material is implicit. So presumably "follow the bouncing ball" on Sing Along with Mitch was a cursor, too-- Elf | Talk 04:10, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
An anecdote I dimly remember from an anti-software patent screed from years ago: You know when your cursor is at the bottom of the screen and you hit Enter, and all the text on the screen scrolls up a line to make room for the next line? IBM supposedly holds (or held) a patent on that. AFAIK, they never shook down anyone for payments on this patent. Tempshill 00:26, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I've always assumed "zip" was meant to conjure up the idea of squashing things into a suitcase and pulling the zip (or zipper, if you're American) closed - and that metaphor has certainly been frequently used. The letter Z also seems to have some enduring connection with compression - perhaps because of LZ77 and its variants - so that connotation may already have existed when Katz started. I'm only guessing, though, I'm afraid. - IMSoP 18:20, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
LZ stands for Lempel-Ziv, after Jakob Ziv and Abraham Lempel. Perhaps "zip" was chosen because it similar to "Ziv", in addition to the metaphorical connotations of "zip". -- Tim Starling 03:33, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks IMSoP and Tim. while I had looked into every possible meaning of zip from the dictionary, nothing seemed to match the "make big into small" or "compress" meaning that I was looking for. Your visualization of squashing things into a suitcase is interesting, lets hope thats what made name it that way. Reg. the Ziv - Zip connection, if I'm able to get even a single external link, I'd make an entry of zip in list of computer term etymologies and make a mention of it. Jay 03:40, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Survey Lodge Ranger Station.

I am trying to find out information about the Survey Lodge Ranger Station that is located in Washington DC at the intersection of 17th Street and Independence Ave near the mall. I would like to know about it's history and what it has been used for over the last 100 years. Can anyone help me answer this question. Thank you.

From the pump

Hello I recently hear about the virus AD 36. And was wondering if there is at all anyway possible to get a sample for myself. As I am underweight and think this could be the answer to my Problem. Please let me know. Regards

Bradley Janse van Rensburg


I'm afraid that Wikipedia is not a biotechnology firm, and is unlikely to have virus samples. - Fennec 17:46, May 5, 2004 (UTC)
Bradley is referring to AD-36, the so-called "Obesity Virus". Bradley - if the theory that this virus does cause obesity is true (bear in mind that correlation is not causation) then lots of overweight people will have it. It's an adenovirus, so it's very likely to be present in their respiratory tracts. So perhaps you should consider engaging several (perhaps a dozen or two) overweight people (the more overweight the better, I think) in extensive french kissing sessions, so as to maximise your exposure. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:14, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
And this is why Wikipedia does not give medical advice... Paullusmagnus 21:04, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

for information please

from the pump

i was wondering if i could get anymore information on the genetic disorder polydactyly? I am doing a report for my biology class. Thank whomever this may concern.

-- 02:41, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)Brian Douglas

  • Brian,
    I can't give a direct link, but click this: Online Mendalian Inheritance in Man database and search for "polydactyly". You'll find it involves more than one genetic locus, and can click on the specific genes found by the search. (The main entry, or at least a useful one, seems to be here). - Nunh-huh 02:47, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
    • Also see this abstract, it looks like it would be a good article to have your library get for you. - Nunh-huh 02:50, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

A direct link is polydactyly. (Also in reference desk). Bensaccount 14:38, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Idenification of a Flag

from the pump

What flag has the british symbol (like the Hawaii Stat Flag) in the upper left hand corner, and red and white strips (like the American Flag?

It's either the flag known as the Grand Union Flag, used by George Washington's army in the American war of independence [26], or it's one of the flags of the British East India Company [27]. Depends where you saw it, really. Marnanel 16:47, Apr 17, 2004 (UTC)
I didn't know that about the E.Ind.Co., but to clarify: the modern US flag derived from one with the UK flag in its corner. When it became independent, the stars were put in the corner instead, and some have suggested that they were originally arranged to make the same shape. - IMSoP 11:38, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)


From the pump

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am doing a report on Ai Yazawa for my school project. I have 20 questions to ask that will be published in our school news paper. I have looked all around the web for Mr. Ai Yazawa's email or adress, as to write a letter to him, but could not find it. I was hoping you could help me locate him for this interview. If you have any information that may be of help, please send it to meat

Sincerely, Morgan Rhodes

We do have an article on Ai Yazawa on the Wikipedia, but it doesn't have the information you're searching for. Searching for Ai Yazawa on Amazon reveals that her books are published in the United States by a company called Tokyopop, whose website is at They have a contact page on their website. If you ask really nicely they may pass on your letter to Ms (she is a woman, according to Tokyopop's profile on her) Yazawa. There are two other problems you may face - she may not speak much English, and she probably gets a huge amount of fan mail and may not have time to provide detailed answers to all your questions! Anyway, it can't hurt to contact Tokyopop and go from there. Note to Wikipedians: I have emailed this to Miss Rhodes.--Robert Merkel

Dual citizenship

I am 18 years old, and my Mother is a citizen of New Zealand, my Father is a citizen of the United States. I was accidentally born in the U.S. I now want to immigrate to New Zealand, and my Mother has always told me I have dual citizenship. She is not able to provide me with the appropriate paperwork. How do I find out this information?

My mother says I have to contact Washington, D.C.

Can you give me some direction on where I can get information regarding my dual citizenship?

I had a friend who was born to in England to an American mother and a czech father. Until he was 18, he held dual citizenship in both countries (which allowed him to freely cross international lines). When he was 18 (for tax purposes), he had to choose which one to keep. At least between England and the US, there's a good faith arrangement to honor such situations. →Raul654 04:48, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
I believe that the US regulations have changed in the last few years (although I do not have the appropriate references) so that you can now be a dual citizen US/other country, for suitable other countries (Canada is OK, I believe). So, look it up, but make sure you're checking recent data. --Andrew 15:09, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)
You will find contact information for the New Zealand embassy (Washington, D.C.) and consulates (Los Angeles & New York) here. If you're moving to New Zealand, you'll mostly be interested in whether New Zealand considers you a citizen or not. If you want to maintain dual citizenship, you may want to make inquiries about avoiding things that will effectively forfeit your U.S. citizenship. - Nunh-huh 05:01, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
As Nunh-huh has said get in contact with a NZ embassy or consulate, they will tell you what you have to do. Either you will just apply for a New Zealand passport or you will apply for a Citizenship by Descent certificate, then apply for the passport. -- Popsracer 13:46, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You ought to be able to get a Citizenship by Descent by bringing proof of your mother's citizenship (NZ passport or other documentation) and proof that you are her child (a birth certificate will do). NZ is a signatory of the Hague convention on legalisations, so you may have to obtain an apostille on a copy of your birth certificate. You can get this from the Secretary of State of the US state in which you were born (or which issued your birth certificate). This will cost about $25 and may take as long as two months. This should be all you need to prove NZ citizenship.
Don't worry about forfeiting your US citizenship as Nunh-huh suggests. That is effectively impossible to do. You are a US citizen by birth under the 14th amendment and you cannot be stripped of your citizenship unless you become a member of the NZ cabinet, and probably not even then. A naturalised US citizen can lose their citizenship for lying on their citizenship application. Otherwise, it is effectively impossible to be stripped of US citizenship.
You will, however, be required by law to pay US taxes, or at least to report your income, even if you live and work overseas. But, the IRS has no actual mechanisms for enforcing this law and won't even try to unless you get super-rich. Diderot 11:59, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Check this out though - I think there are other ways to loose your citizenship, by behaving in ways that they US Govt interpret as relinquishing your citizenship. [28]. Mark Richards 21:24, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Who authored the definition of these terms?

Hi! I'm currently working on a research and I need the author and book references these terms has been gotten. these are the terms:

  • computer game
  • god game
  • internet game
  • role-playing game (rpg)
  • real-time strategy game (rts)
  • computer
  • computer software
  • LAN party
  • First person shooter (fps)

I need this as my reference/bibliography on my dissertation. to e-mail me at: I'm hoping for your immediate reply. Thank You!

Roanne Vista

Hi! If you mean the articles here on Wikipedia about those terms (e.g. computer game, LAN party, etc.) then the information you need is at Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia.
Note: I think I'll make an exception to my normal personal policy and send an e-mail as well for this one. - IMSoP 16:15, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Axial Tilts of Jupiter's Moons

From the village pump

I noticed that the Axial tilt was left blank for Jupiter's Moons, Europa and Ganymede...Does anyone know these values? (user:

  • I went looking and couldn't find the information anywhere on the internet. Even NASA [29] doesn't list that info. SWAdair | Talk 10:42, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

8086 programming

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am a student at my fourth year of study majoring in computer engineering?

I am having a problem with programming the 8086 microprocessor? I was asked to suggest 3 methods on how to minimize the run time of any assembly program I write?one of the suggestions is to minimize the number of instructions.

After reading the articles you've put on your site?I decided to come to you for help and any suggestions you could provide?

Thank you so much?

Please I need your help?

(1) Unroll any loops you might have. In other words, if you have the equivalent of (for a=0; a<5; a++)
Don't code it as a loop. Copy and paste your code 5 times. That way, you never have to call branch (this saves 3-4 cycles * the number of times you go through the loop). More info. →Raul654 18:08, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
(2) In-line expansion is your friend. →Raul654 18:13, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
Since you're talking about assembly language specifically, another thing you can do is become familiar with the number of cycles required by each instruction within the CPU. Some instructions require more cycles than others (one commonly-cited example is that multiplication takes longer than addition, though I understand that with modern x86 CPUs and their pipelining ability, this is not really an issue). Anyhow, using instructions that require fewer cycles would reduce run time. Assembly can be hand-optimized in other ways; for example, there may exist a single instruction that performs the same function as several other instructions together; use the single instruction, rather than multiple instructions. But the use of memory has possibly the most significant impact on run time; if you are using a value repeatedly, put it in a register rather than going out to RAM. Using a variable in a register can be hundreds or thousands of times faster than using a variable from RAM. And of course, you can always do a Google search for "assembly optimization" to turn up many other suggestions. -- Wapcaplet 20:18, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Read this: ISBN 1883577039 (and you'll see why Raul is at once totally right, and horribly wrong) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:50, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
He said he wanted it time-compressed. Who cares if his code blows up to 3 megabytes? ;) →Raul654 21:28, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
The cache. If your level1 cache is 64kbytes or so (much much more than an old CPU or a current embedded CPU, a bit less than a modern mainline CPU), blowing your code to 3 megabytes will make it run very slow indeed (as that poor code cache thrashes the FSB madly), far slower than the few cycles you've saved binning a few instructions from the loop guard. So unrolling small (few iteration, small body) loops is usually a good idea, but unrolling big, multiplicitous loops is very bad. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:15, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
He said he was optimising an 8086. I've never seen an 8086 with 64 KB of L1 cache, nor 3 MB of address space to unroll loops into. Optimising an 8086 is much simpler than optimising a modern computer. It's just a matter of counting clock cycles and using registers wisely. A good knowledge of the instruction set is necessary. Remember that many instructions set flags according to their result, obviating the need for an explicit test before the conditional jump. A nice trick I've seen is the use of self-modifying code -- you can store data in the immediate mode bytes of instructions. Immediate mode is faster than memory mode, and much faster than loading from the stack using a BP offset. -- Tim Starling 00:38, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, you're quite right. I read "8086" to mean "x86 architecture", which may be a rash assumption (if it _is_ 8086, I'm guessing it has to be a software emulation of the kind CS/EE lecturers are fond of using?). Indeed, an 8086 had no cache at all. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:43, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
But it did have instruction pre-fetch, which is another good reason for unrolling short loops. If this is a school project then its always worth stating the obvious: use registers, use the simplest addressing mode, count clock cycles. Oh, and if this is a genuine 8086, buy a floating-point co-processor. :-/ DJ Clayworth 13:39, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ahem - self-modifying code considered *extremely* harmful. →Raul654 02:10, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)
What would software engineers know anyway? ;) There might be issues with protected mode and pipelined processors, and maintainability is an issue given the lack of proper tools. But if your only goal is to find the fastest possible configuration of a few hundred lines of code, self-modifying code can give you an edge. It's a useful technique for competition or perfectionist thrill, if not production code. -- Tim Starling 06:58, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but sometimes no. Like anything else, you can do it in an ad-hoc, spaghetti way, and spend weeks figuring out even the most modest of bugs. Or you can do it in an organised, structured way, and it can be a useful technique. Consider latest generation JVMs (doing things the "hotspot" way) which regenerate their assembly based on the runtime patterns of a piece of code, reorganising the code in the fastest and most cache-coherent way possible. Most modern processors (again, not 8086) perform branch prediction and often qualified conditional preexecution, so arranging your code so that all the compares are structured to branch only in the more exceptional case (a trick Abrash covers at great length, particularly in his latter book, and that Hotspot does) can be a big saving (as a failed branch predict causes a pipeline interlock). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:36, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
By the way, even minimizing the number of instructions isn't a sure method. (This isn't about unrolling loops, which increases the size of the program but reduces the number of instructions that the processor executes.) Lkewise, you don't always use a more powerful instruction in place of a series of lesser ones. By my recollection, the multiple-bit shift instruction is slower than a series of one-bit shifts! Dandrake 19:41, Apr 26, 2004 (UTC)
When a program doesn't do want I want it to do, I switch the computer off and on again and then hit it. I do not advise this course of action Dmn 21:42, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)


How can I find out why an MBE was awarded to an ancestor of mine by King George V? Liz Stilwell 20/04/04

The honours in the Order of the British Empire are given for services to the United Kingdom. They are granted today to honour a lifetime of service in the arts, sciences, military or civil services [30]. You could try writing to the cabinet office at Gdr 15:40, 2004 Apr 22 (UTC)
You could try the London Gazette, which records all honours awarded. Proteus (Talk) 21:43, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
For instance, if he had the same surname as you, he could be George Robert Fabris Stilwell, Esq., MB, MRCS, who appears to have been appointed an MBE for being a Medical Officer at the Balgowan Auxiliary Hospital in Beckenham in Kent. Proteus (Talk) 21:50, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Greek Font

1) What is the name of the Greek font I see used a lot on Wikipedia and elsewhere? It is the font Wikipedians use to create symbols like ς and η and ζ.
2) Do you know where I can download it?

I don't know how you made those, but you just did it - it's built into Wikipedia. Type the name of the letter, preceeded by a & and followed by a ; and it will appear (& alpha ; written together without spaces will appear as an alpha, α). I hope that makes sense. Adam Bishop 06:04, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If you're on a computer that runs windows, the font with the greek characters is called "Symbol". You don't need to download it, it comes with windows and is installed by default. (If you're not on a windows machine, they'll be some analogous font used instead - but if you can see the symbols, you already have the font).
The other way that greek is used in the (english) Wikipedia is inside mathematical equations (e.g. ). That font is the default symbol font for Tex, and is called "Computer Modern", I think. --- DrBob 17:44, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
There is a misconception in this question. Fonts are installed on your computer, and have nothing to do with Wikipedia. Recent Windows distributions come with fonts for many languages: for example in Windows 2000, go to Start → Settings → Control Panel → Regional Options; tick all the boxes in the Language settings list; click "Apply" and follow the instructions (you will probably need your installation CDs at this point). Then you should be able to see not only Greek text (αβγ), but Cyrillic (АБВ), Thai (กขฃ), Japanese (あいう) and other writing systems. Gdr 18:48, 2004 Apr 21 (UTC)

Personality Cult

Is it considered a personality cult if the person at the centre of the cult is dead? I'm thinking of Lenin in the USSR and its propaganda. DO'Neil 01:07, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, considered by whom? This is not a term that has a precise, generally agreed-upon definition in this respect, so it would be reasonable to either include or exclude such a situation. -- Jmabel 21:36, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Who are these people?

OK, so I'm too cheap to buy Time magazine. But anyway, they have the following people listed as among their top 100 most influential people in the world. Who are they?:

RickK 03:32, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The "What links here" pages for some of the above pages show :
I just created a stub entry for him using numerous Google resources; someone with the time and inclination should read the book I linked to or find some other information on him and help clean up that article!JimD 02:36, 2004 Apr 24 (UTC)
Jay 03:47, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Lindsay Owen-Jones is the chief executive of L'Oreál, I think. He's Welsh. DO'Neil 06:00, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Hernando de Soto is a Peruvian author/economist. [31] Gentgeen 06:05, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Based on a quick Google search Fujio Cho appears to be (or have been) president of Toyota. Hiroshi Okuda also returns references to Toyota, as Chairman of the Board, among other roles. Daniel Vassella is CEO of Novartis. Paul Ridker and Jeff Sachs both seem to be academics/pundits of some sort, you'd have to dig a bit to find out their claims to fame. I think we've covered all of them now, between us - time for someone to start writing articles on them! (And if anyone disputes inclusion, cite Time as a reason to keep :-p) - IMSoP 21:23, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You'll probably find more on Sachs if you give his name as Jeffrey Sachs. -- Jmabel 21:39, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What do you do if you think an article has many errors?

I just read the article on Simone Weil. I added a line saying that the claim that Weil committed suicide is countermanded by Simone Pretrement in her biography, Simone Weil, A Life [the definitive bio.]

But I think that there are a number of other erros in the article: It says that Simone Weil sought afflicition by going to work in the factory while Weil says that she sought the job because anyone who was to write about econmics/social philosophy should experience it before writing and because she sought to learn the special knowledge that workers possessed [epistemological priviledge].

The current artilce says that Weil's mehtod is like that of James. But James in a pragmatist. Weil is a Platonist -something that James criticized.

I do not know what to do about the article. I do not feel right just taking out someone elses work and yet, I think the article needs correction.


Woah, that's interesting. I was just by here on a lark; I would have expected this to show up at Talk:Simone Weil. I contributed most of the material on Weil's thought (not the biographical stuff), and thus some of your bone-picking should be with me. However, mayhaps better to do it on the Talk page?कुक्कुरोवाच 22:25, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Do not ask for permission if you actually have facts to improve. Change it! :-) Yes, Wiki means "Be bold"! (Actually, it means "quick", but....)
But if you have to have some controversial theories on some government alien conspiracies, you might wanna bring 'em up in the relevant article's Talk (discussion) pages first. Some people would say: "Still go 'head anyway!" But that may end up in disasters. Now, a French philosopher who died more than half a century ago,'s probably not THAT controversial nowadays, so, go ahead! Do what you want. Just don't troll! ;-p --Menchi 01:07, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, if there are actual factual errors, just correct them. On the other hand, if "Some people say X and some people claim Y" you can just add the unrepresented viewpoint. (E.g. "M. Smith says Simone Weil committed suicide, Simone Pretrement argues in Simone Weil, A life that she did not.") Don't worry too much about removing stuff, if someone disagrees they'll put it back in<G>! - Nunh-huh 01:10, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)


from the Village Pump

I am looking for visual representation for a radius, an ancient tool for measuring distance on maps. I hope it isn't just a compass.

thanks so much.

The following Google search should give you plenty to chew on: [32] -- Jmabel 16:40, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

physiological psychology

Hello Do you know where I can study physiological psychology? I am doing my honours in psychology now in Australia and wondered if I can go on and do a Phd or Masters in Physiological Psychology. Everything mainly seems to be neuropsych.

Help could possibly change my life. my email is

(moved from Talk:Physiological psychology by chris_73 04:50, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC))

Identification of a Flag

I am an italian charm bracelet seller and have acquired a charm that looks like the british flag in the upper left hand corner and has the american red and white stripes on the rest of the charm. I have a picture, but do not know how to display it here. Can you tell me what this flag is?

I have color printed from your site all the countries for reference, and it does not appear to be any of the countries. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.

I apologize in adavance if you do not commonly answer questions of this sort, or if this site is not used for this purpose, but even my suppliers do not know the answer to this question, and they are selling these charms.

Thank you, Sandy

Like this flag? It could represent a flag the United States used during the American Revolution. Adam Bishop 16:07, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Are you the same person who asked this question before? Either way, there's some answers just up the page from here. - IMSoP 16:13, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Politically Correct Map of India?

The maps of the south asian region shown all over wikipedia are incorrect. Pakistian occupied Kashmir is showed as a part of Pakistan, which is gross. It is a part of India and should be shown as such. can any one upload the correct map?

Perhaps someone can make a map that shows it as a "disputed region." It's hard to make a map to satisfy both sides of a conflict. moink 00:48, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
That is the most correct thing to do. just mark of the whole area as disputed region. that ought to satify both sides.
As I am sure you know the best representation of Kashmir on large-scale maps has been the source of a lot of controversy. Small-scale maps are often less problematic because they can mention all claims and all controlled areas. Oddly our Kashmir article only mentions map issues by refering to ext. links. - perhaps we can improve this. Which image(s) do you find problematic, so we can look at it further? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 08:56, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Term - "Seventh Wave"?


I have been unable to find out what "seventh wave" refers to.

Maybe you can add it to the wikipedia.


I believe there is folklore in the surfing community that says that good waves come in cycles of sevens, to each seventh wave is a good one. But that's just my unreliable memory. DJ Clayworth 17:46, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Google-ing on "seventh wave" and "origin" I found a few references to that belief and one as follows:

Surrounded by water, it is not surprising that inhabitants of Ireland, Britain, Scotland and Wales considered water a boundary between this world and that. To go "beyond the seventh wave" was to disappear entirely.[33] JimD 02:49, 2004 Apr 24 (UTC)

I've heard of this as "The Ninth Wave" - via the Kate Bush album-side, supposedly from a poem by Tennyson - "Wave after wave, each mightier than the last/ Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep". This is also mentioned in Brewers. -- DrBob 06:59, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I went to the Hermitage Museum in Russia where there was a painting called the seventh wave depicting a group of sailors facing the oncoming "seventh wave" in trepidation. According to the tour guide, folk-lore has it that sailors believe that if they can survive the seventh wave in a storm at sea, then they will live through the storm. [User:PaulM]

Finding a book whose title I can't remember


I remember reading a book about a n older gentleman who was taken ill and traveld to a plave in Europe for rest. While he was there he "people watched" and landed his gaze on a beautiful young boy in his teens who was traveling with is aunt ot someone. This man spent all his time obsesing over this boy's beauty, and trying to come to terms with his own aging. Can you find the mname of the book and the author? I thought that Nietzsche wrote it, but when I looked up his titles, nothing rang a bell for me.

Can you help? Lisa Boerum


I'd like to find information on the subject person. First name Julia-last name could be spelled Mysliwy, or Mysliwa


Oh come on, give us a clue! We're surprisingly good at coming up with answers here, but give us something to go on — any particular time period in the last three thousand years or so of recorded history? Likely place? Did she do anything famous? Arwel 22:25, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, according to the section title, Julia's main claim to fame is being an ancestor of Charles. Likely time period? Perhaps 3-5 generations ago -- as far back as most people are just learning how to post a good genealogy query know their ancestry from oral tradition (at least he has collected two written samples of her name so far). Where? Judging from his American e-mail address and her eastern European surname, she most likely immigrated after 1880 or so since there wasn't much immigration from that region to the US before then. How's that for deduction? GUllman 00:42, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Not bad :) Still don't know anything about her though. I wonder if Wikipedians could find out anything about my great-grandfather John Jones (late 19th century, north Wales, where Jones is an extremely common surname and John was a highly popular first name)... Arwel 14:47, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

an elaborated version of the same question was added further down:

Gentlemen: I would appreciate any information you can provide or other link for subject name. The name could also be spelled Mysliwy. She left Galicia in 1910-1914 age 12,and came to the US. Her father had a glue factory(area unknown). She had three step-brothers same surname-first names unknown. sorry for the sketchy info. Thanks for any help you can provide. Charles Bed173@Juno,Com

Well, there's no Julia Mysliwy listed in the 1930 US Census (see [34], possibly married by then? The 1920 Census data requires registration), 3 J Mysliwy's found at [35], but I'm not going to register and possibly spend money there -- you'll have to do that! Try the website -- Arwel 23:29, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)
All I can add to this is that she's obviously Polish, at the time she emmigrated the area she lived in would be part of Austria-Hungary, her name is more likely to be Mysliwa as that name gets more Google results for Polish famale last names (tried using this in a phrase search together with common Polish first names,) and the actual spelling of the name in Polish would be "Myśliwa" (prounounced Mishleevah, or that's as close to the real pronounciation as you can get using english phonemes.) --Voodoo 20:53, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

¶ sic semper

Copied from the now-deleted article ¶ sic semper Dear all

May i ask you to help me ?

Where does the sentence "¶+sic+semper+tyrannis" appear?

I know the sentence is quite famous, but it is written somewhere prefixed by ¶

May I ask you for help

Thank you

To the best of my knowledge, "¶" is just a mark sometimes used to set off paragraphs. The sentence "sic semper tyrannis" (Latin for "so always to tyrants") was most famously spoken by John Wilkes Booth moments after he shot Abraham Lincoln. -- Jmabel 21:46, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I realise it sounds stupid, but ¶ does look (very slightly) like a little handgun (barrel downward). Perhaps its a revolutionary rebus? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:14, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It's a sign - the revolution is starting! Who should we line up against the wall first? →Raul654 22:16, Apr 23, 2004 (UTC)
This is wikipedia - things don't work like that. We'll have a long argument about what to call the wall, a series of quickpolls to decide on who'll be shot and who'll do the shooting, and then the bullets will be slowly pushed into the most unpopular person. In the meantime, someone new will take the wall down and build a model of Barad-dûr with the bricks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:23, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
On a somewhat arcane note, I believe "¶" is technically known as a pilcrow. - IMSoP 22:21, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Um, sic semper tyrannis is the state motto of Virginia. Booth was quoting it. RickK 23:55, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Mary McGrory's 1975 P.P. article

from the pump

If anyone has a copy, please send to


In case anyone was wondering, I think P.P. stands for Pulitzer Prize. This wasn't obvious to a non-American (me). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:01, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It's not obvious to this American, either. Kevin Saff 15:46, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Not obvious to me either... although I am curious as to why Pete thought that Americans as a group WOULD find it obvious... ;) --Dante Alighieri | Talk 17:39, Apr 22, 2004 (UTC)
Sorry didn't mean to be confusing. McGrory's recent death was quite well reported in the States, but not elsewhere. Even so, I guess it's still quite a poser - I had to look at her article to make the leap. The article also appears to give the answer to the original inquiry actually - she was awarded one of Prizes for a whole series of commentary articles about Watergate so it is not right to think of a specific article. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 20:48, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Program guide

Alright folks, I've got a tough one. I'm trying to find somewhere (newspaper, internet site, by-request flyer, whatever) that regularly lists the program schedule for a local Spanish-language television station (Channel 14, Telefutura, out of Arlington, Virginia.) It's ok if it's in Spanish (in fact, it almost certainly will be,) I just need to know where to get it. I could use from the site's Spanish speakers. If you could actually find the info I'm looking for, that'd be great. Otherwise, if anybody knows the appropriate Spanish vocabulary for things like "television station" "channel" "program schedule" or whatever, that would help me in my own searches. Isomorphic 16:48, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Found it, and although I speak some Spanish, I didn't need to speak Spanish to find it. I found out by going to and clicking on "TV listings" at the top, and when they asked for my ZIP code, I pretended it was 20007. (I had found out that that was a Zip code near Arlington.) I then went to the TV listings page, and the listings table contained a link to this page:
I hope this is what you're looking for. LuckyWizard 22:22, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Now that I see what you did, I feel silly that I didn't think of that, but then, that's what asking questions if for. Isomorphic 09:57, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

How many Wikipedia edits are there per day?

I'm working on a research paper, and have mentioned that the Wikipedia receives about 3,000 editorial changes/updates per day. I read it somewhere on the Wikipedia, but can't remember where. Can anybody direct me to the correct link so that I can cite my source appropriately?


--Lori 4/24/04

It varies, but it's not unusual to have 10-20 per minute.
Take a look at Special:Statistics too.  — Jrdioko (Talk) 03:26, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)
According to wikistats - in March, there were 922,000 edits to all the language wikipedians combined, and 361,000 of those were to the english wikipedia. That's 30,000 edits per day to all of them combined, and 12,000 per day to the english wikipedia. →Raul654 03:28, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)
One more site: Wikistats. Also, I'm not sure if you were asking about this but Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia has some information about citing the articles themselves. HTH  — Jrdioko (Talk) 03:31, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)

Name of short story

I once read a short-story the plot of which is set at a dinner table having 2 (or more) families. The entire story is in direct speech (a monologue actually) by one of the ladies. As she keeps chattering, the reader gets to know the stories happening in the background of their lives. She is unaware that her husband was having an affair with the woman at the other side of the table, but the reader comes to know it before she does.

Expert piece of work, but I don't remember name of the story nor the author. Can someone help. Jay 22:00, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Scheme issue

In Scheme, if I have an unnamed lambda function, how do I get that function to call itself?

For example:

(lambda (lst1 lst2)
(if (null? lst1) lst2
(name-of-lambda-function (cdr lst1) (adjoin-set (car lst1) lst2))))

In this case, name-of-lambda-function should refer to the lambda function itself. Basically, I need Scheme's equivalent of "this" in C++.

You will probably need to use a let or a let* to bind a variable to the function. You may need to use letrec to make the binding occur later. It's been quite a while since I've done scheme programming *sigh*, so I don't remember exactly.
This works in Common Lisp:
(let (foo)
(setq foo #'(lambda (x) (funcall foo x)))
I'm afraid I don't know Scheme in particular, but something of the sort ought to be doable. Just declare a variable before declaring the lambda function, then assign the function to the variable while at the same time calling it from within the lambda function. Diderot 11:47, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
In Scheme there is no funcall keyword. Just use the name of the function, or use apply to call a function with the components of a list as arguments.

French quotation

Would you have the name of the author of this quotation ('citation' in French): "Penser, rever, savoir,c'est tout là.?"

Or, where do I search for like proverbs in French?

Thank you very much.

Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là. - Victor Hugo, Océan prose Diderot 08:40, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Question RE: Wikipedia Article on Chakras

Dear Fellow Wikipedians,

I'm currently writing a paper for a comparative religions class I am taking. In the course of my research, I consulted the Wikipedia article on Chakras. The article stated that there is some evidence that the ancient Greeks as well as the Early Christians had systems of chakras. One external link attached to the article provided some good, but brief information on the subject. I'm looking for a list of books, magazines, websites or organizations that can shed some more light on the topic.

Regards, John Haun Email:

Short-toed eagles in Granada Spain

moved from Village pump by IMSoP 21:58, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for your site.

Could you please supply some information on Short-toed eagle breeding & migration habits. I live in Southern España ( and have become very interested in the local Eagle population. The Spanish Imperial has completely disappeared from our area. Over the last 5 years, due to changes in agriculture and hunting, I have seen the decline of Bonelli’s until last year we only recorded one in the valley. However, this seems to have increased the population of both Booted and Short-toed eagles and I would like to know how large a territory each pair will need. I have watched as the Short-toed have flown with snakes and indeed have located snakes which they have dropped in flight , the largest of which was over 5 foot long. Quite often the effort of flight with such weight forces them to rest in open ground giving wonderful observation opportunities. At the end of the last breeding season we watched a family of 4 Short-toed on many muscle building flights before migration. From this I thought (no doubt in error) they had reared 2 chicks. This year we have seen the return of a juvenile before the adults. We were expecting the adults to force it into a new breading area but this has not happened. My question is, did I see the same family grouping last year made up of a new chick, a juvenile from a previous year & the two adults because the text books say they only hatch one egg per year?

Thanking you in anticipation , Ken Sumner.

  • Dear Ken, as main author of the Short-toed Eagle article I must admit that I am not so sure how many eggs they lay. So I'll look around for some more information. If you have any correct information that confirms that they lay more than one egg please change that information in the article.

Vanderesch 14:05, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Database dumps

I wanted to do some mining on Wikipedia data. I got the link Database download from Arvindn and downloaded the dumps. But, the dumps seem to have only two tables cur and old. I would want to have the complete schema replicated on my machine. Please direct me to where the information is available.

-- Sundar 05:40, Apr 26, 2004 (UTC)
As I understand it, the cur table holds all current revisions and the old table holds all the old revisions, so you have got all the data you need... or am I missing something? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:50, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Pete/Pcb21, if we consider only the text of the articles, then these two tables suffice. But, I was looking for information like which page links to what page etc. which does not appear to be present in the dumps. If you have some time, please visit The Database schema.
-- Sundar 12:33, Apr 26, 2004 (UTC)
The link table isn't exported, but you can rebuild it yourself. In the maintainance directory in your mediawiki drop there is a script called "rebuildlinks.php" which builds it. It takes a long time to run (more than 2 days on my ram-poor desktop machine). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:51, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Actually the link table is exported, it's just hidden away in a secret location, namely . There are still a few tables which you won't find there. For instance the searchindex table is no longer kept up to date so you have to build your own anyway. And private data such as the user, watchlist and user_newtalk tables are not available. -- Tim Starling 00:27, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the information, both of you. -- Sundar 08:56, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)


Gentlemen- Thanks for your help with locating info on Julia Mysliwy. I'll follow your suggestions and hope for the best. Congratulations on your site. Best of luck. Charles Bed173@Juno.Com-

More on Child Sacrifice?

In the Wikipedia entry on "child sacrifice", it states that "many religions" sacrificed children in order to ward off "chaos". Could someone point me to the source of this statement? I'd be curious to know what religions sacrificed children specifically, when and where, etc...

I don't know about "many". The most famous is Carthage, where the cult of Moloch required burning babies alive to maintain soil fertility and all. It's said that they got slack about this, but revived the custom when the Romans were attacking. On the other hand, all we know about the cult of Moloch (as far as I knw) is from its eenmies, both Roman and Hebrew; so perhaps one should apply some skepticism here. Dandrake 19:08, Apr 28, 2004 (UTC)

the beltway murders.

i worked as an xtra in the movie, see photograph 6 of 32. I am the guy in the plaid shirt and black jacket. I live in Canada and would love to obtain a copy of the movie. can you please help me. my email is thank you

Mr. Williams, can you explain what website you think you're posting to? RickK 00:51, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Kumara - Purple Variety - Where?

Do you know where I can obtain the purple variety of KUMARA??


For those who don't already know, it's a sweet potato. For bluelytes, how is anyone going to be able to answer your question when you haven't indicated where in the world you are? theresa knott 08:43, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Where can you get them? New Zealand. Sometimes at Sainsbury's in the UK, but not often. If you live in the States, you're probably SOL, although I'm told they grow a few in Hawaii now for the restaurants. Diderot 08:47, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Article about basic in Dutch

The translation of the 10 page article about basic in dutch results in a 4 page "summary" that is extremely inaccurate!! I vote for a new translation

This is a wiki: if you don't like it, edit it yourself. Furthermore, this is the English Wikipedia: try the Dutch Wikipedia instead. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 10:27, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)
And consider listing this on the Dutch version of Pages needing translation...- MGM 12:10, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Crude oil refinement to diesel fuel on to gas

I am looking for a line drawing that shows the products as crude oil is refined. Do you have such a thing and can you send it to me.

I've checked but we don't seem to have one.I will try and draw one and add it in. It'll take me a day or two. theresa knott 09:18, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
OK I've added the image here Image:Crude Oil Distillation.png and linked it to oil refinery. I need to add some explanation as well but I'll do it later. theresa knott 13:30, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

British soldier's grave.

British soldier's grave is buried at the top of the pass. What is the inscription on his tombstone? - (unsigned)

We really can't help much unless you give us some idea of [1] which British soldier, or [2] which pass? where is it? is it in some particular country?, etc. - Nunh-huh 22:21, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I just love these. Mark Richards 21:25, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

npr weekend edition

I heard a piece on NPR weekend edition where a caller asked for manners advice. The specific story I heard was about a teacher in Mississippi who was complaining about the grammar of the African-American students in her class. It seemed like a regular weekly segment, but I don't know the exact name and I would like to find a transcript. Can you help me?

See is the place to start, but you'll have to pay for them. --MerovingianTalk 09:06, Apr 29, 2004 (UTC)


On you begining paragraph for "Dalai Lama", you say that he is the most important religious leader in Tibetan Buddhism after the Penchen Lama. Then there is a link to "Penchem Lama", and the opening paragraph says that he is the second most important leader second to the Dalai Lama. Who is more important?

- :Huh. That's pretty funny. I don't myself know anything about Tibetan Buddhism, but I'll post your question on the Talk:Buddhism page, and someone may pick it up.कुक्कुरोवाच 21:22, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It would be funny if that was intentional, in typical Zen fashion. WhiteDragon 12:57, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Date of death of Kutuzov in 1813

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica claims March 28, whereas most later online biographies claim April 28, including the current online concise EB [36]. In 1918 the Russian calendar advanced 13 days (from Julian to Gregorian), and was 12 days behind in the 19th century according to Russian Revolution. If anyone has more information, please add to Talk:Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov. --Zigger 18:21, 2004 Apr 28 (UTC)

I think it's confirmed that it's April 28, see talk article.


What does "pradesh" mean, in stuff like Uttar Pradesh--state, land, country, county, etc? jengod 23:59, Apr 28, 2004 (UTC)

According to [37], Arunachal Pradesh means "Land of Rising Sun", so "land" would be my guess. - Lee (talk) 00:09, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Pradesh would mean an entity smaller than a desh. Desh stands for country, nation etc., so pradesh would be a state, district, etc. Jay 06:14, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Pradesh is similar to Province


Prime Minister of Imperial China

According to, the office of Prime Minister (宰相) only started in 1911. Before that, there were the Grand Secretaries. I thought there had been prime ministers for ages. What is "Grand Secretary" called in Chinese? --Jiang 00:28, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps 内阁大学士 ?

Main page news section

Am interested in knowing how (presumably) scripts pick up news information from Wikipedia articles and formats them nicely on the Main Page. Excuse me for being too lazy to look for the information myself. :p

-- Sundar 06:32, Apr 29, 2004 (UTC)
I think people do that. Dysprosia 09:09, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, people do that. Stop being lazy! (That's my motivational speech for the day. Think I'm management material?) I went to the main page and clicked View Source. This showed that In the News comes from msg:In the news. So I put In the news in the search box and it brought up the appropriate page, which shows what's currently in the news, and then I looked at its Talk page for further information on the process. Took me about a minute (including slow load times) and I'm nearly world-famous for being lazy. If I can't make progress on finding an answer within a couple of minutes, then I ask. Elf | Talk 18:08, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your advice, Elf.
-- Sundar 04:33, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
For what it's worth, everything on the main page is created by hand by an actual human. I do the featured article, Kingturtle and Jen do the new articles, several people do the In the News, and the Day in History is preprogrammed - IE, a human writes it beforehand and the computer updates it at midnight UTC to the next day. →Raul654 04:48, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
I dont know why it is worth mentioning or if most people know about this already, but Google News is completely automated. Chancemill 14:27, May 3, 2004 (UTC)

What words rhyme with 'wik'? 09:08, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like a good job for a rhyming dictionary →Raul654 21:18, Apr 29, 2004 (UTC)

Dragonflies in Eastern Africa

Are there any species of dragonflies found in Eastern Africa, specifically Tanzania?

It would appear to be that " There are approximately 750 species of dragonfly in Africa" [38]. I have been unable to locate information relating to your specific questions, but may have another look tomorrow. -- Itai 22:59, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Golf Scores

On PTI a few weeks ago, the hosts were impressed when 14-year old Soccer phenom Freddy Adu mentioned that he golfs in the low 80's. They seemed to take this number much like someone would say they bowl in the low 200s. I understand that that number refers to the strokes taken on an 18-hole golf course, but how can this be any sort of indicator of how good he is? Isn't the average number of strokes different on any course? Is there some way in which this number is regulated across golf courses? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 18:32, Apr 29, 2004 (UTC)

I went to the worlds leading expert on golf (my dad, a nutcase, plays golf every single day) and he informed me that you are quite right. the "par" of golf courses varies quite considerably from one course to another. Every golfer I know talks about handicaps, which are the average amount you go over par on a course. The lower the handicap the better the player, with "scratch" players having a handicap of zero. Come to think if it handicap is a stupid word for it, but that's what they call it. theresa knott 22:35, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
No idea about golf, but in some endeavours, handicaps are awarded to weaker players to allow players of differing skill levels to compete together on something like an equal footing. Obviously this doesn't mean that if I beat you with a handicap I am better than you, but it means that the game might be more interesting than if we know that you will thrash me every time. Mark Richards 21:28, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm no expert on golf either, but I do know that while par varies a little from course to course, it doesn't usually stray too far from 72 - more than a shot or two either side of this is quite unusual, I believe. To quote golf: "Many 18-hole courses have approximately four par-three, ten par-four, and four par-five holes. The total par of a 18-hole course is usually around 72." --Camembert
Amusingly, that quote includes a minor grammatical error, which I've therefore just fixed on the article. Can you spot it without looking at my edit? - IMSoP 20:56, 2 May 2004 (UTC)