Reference desk archive/August 2005

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French translation

I was translating another article from :fr (fr:Championnat de France de football National (D3)). And A terme, la professionnalisation de ce championnat se pose. La Ligue ne veut pas partager son trésor avec d'autres clubs et freine des quatre fers. bamboozled me. I'm takin an educated guess that the last bit means "The league doesnt want to share its treasure with other clubs et is calling a halt", but the sentence has no context. Is the French article poorly written, or is this just one idiom that I haven't got my head round yet? Cheers, cunning linguists --Wonderfool t(c) 20:33, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Could trésor mean "funding" here? That would be my instant impression of the idiom. Perhaps it is meaning "spoils". I know this is the word used in French for a particular type of Greek building which is built with the spoils of war, so it could be related. [[smoddy]] 21:15, 31 July 2005 (UTC)


I am curious if anyone knows whether there is a University-style frat organisation in Wiki form? I think it could be an interesting experience! Ta, Jay

So this would involve virtually chugging kegs of virtual beer while virtually mooning fellow Wikipedians? DJ Clayworth 03:58, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking more along the lines of the self improvement, meeting, philanthropic and social action type activities, but whatever floats your boat! Jay
Why not start one up on Wikicities:? --Theodore Kloba 21:21, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Physical principles of relativity

What are the physical principles of relativity? Could someone summarize it in simple bite-sized concepts? --HappyCamper 21:50, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

The speed of light is constant. Mass distorts spacetime. Mass and energy are equivalent.
I think that's the big ones right there, unless you had something else in mind. -- Cyrius| 00:27, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Serbian and Croatian

What's the easiest way to tell written Serbian from Croatian, and vice versa? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 22:16, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

For one thing, the Serbian language is written in either the Cyrillic alphabet or the Latin alphabet, while the Croatian language is only written in the Latin alphabet. Otherwise, I doubt there's much that's obvious, especially if you don't know the vocabulary of the two languages very well. James 22:31, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
Is Serbian text ever rendered in the Latin alphabet, then? (especially in regards to music/other media) Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 22:53, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Serbian is rendered in the Latin alphabet, especially on computers. James 23:00, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
So then, are most of the turbo folk song titles (artists such as Ceca or Aca Lukas) I see in Croatian, or in Latin-rendered Serbian? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 23:07, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Probably Latin-rendered Serbian since both singers are from Serbia. The only other difference I know of is that there are some words that have ije or je in Croatian but e in Serbian (e.g. "river" is rijeka in Croatian and reka in Serbian). However, there are words that have ije, je, or e in both languages so this is only diagnostic if you already know which words to look for. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 06:00, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Pictures of Cedars of Lebanon Trees. Thanks !!!!!

Please see ¦ Reisio 00:56, 2005 August 1 (UTC)


In a Supreme Court decision I'm looking at, Rehnquist uses the line "NEPA (a particular statute) does not require agencies to evaluate the effects of risk, qua risk." I am Latin-inept but am interpretting his meaning in the emphasized part (my emphasis) as being along the lines of "risk as risk itself". (In the context of the case, he is saying that the perception of risk does not need to be included in evaluating environmental risks -- it is a little complicated to explain in brief). Is this a reasonable interpretation? --Fastfission 00:59, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary:qua may be of help. -- Cyrius| 01:22, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, I looked at that, but it didn't really clarify a good translation in this case, so I wanted to just check. --Fastfission 14:45, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
The use of qua in such cases has diverged somewhat from the actual Latin word. It is actually a relative pronoun, which. Somehow, one use in English has been solidified, meaning, as you expected, "blank as blank itself," or another way of saying it would be "blank by virtue of its blankness." Another related phenomenon is the word quorum, which literally means "of which."


Hello. How does a calculator work? Thank you

Try the calculator article. - 04:08, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Bless em All

Who actually wrote the song Bless 'em All? Many sources say that it was written in 1940 by Jimmie Hughes, Frank Lake and Al Stillman but others state that it originated with the British Army in india in the 1800's. Thanks, Old Bubblehead

This site makes reference to a paragraph from a page that doesn't exist anymore in the Canadian military cadets website.
Bless'em All was first introduced in England around 1916 by Fred Godfrey. The "soldiers" version was seldom heard in civilized areas and Jimmy Hughes introduced the "decent" version in 1940. There had never really been a set of appropriate words with this tune until then. This version of Bless em'All could be openly sung in loud voices with little chance of reprisal. The music was composed by Frank Lake. Although this song is regarded as a World War II song, it's earliest associations are with the Royal Naval Air Service. In some versions, it became the unofficial Royal Air Force song in the years between the wars.
Bless 'em All seems to have been a folk song that was rewritten and introduced into the mainstream by Jimmie Hughes et al in 1940. In particular, the previous version of Bless 'em All appears to have been a much more visceral song entitled Fuck 'em All. -D. Wu 14:25, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

How does bathing affect the digestive system?

In our local culture, we're often asked not to take bath soon after having food. Some people say that it'll cause a big belly. I've also personally experienced an increase in appetite soon after having a long bath in waterfalls. Are these connected? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 06:27, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

In Australia there is a similar common recommendation that a person should wait 30 minutes to 1 hour after eating before they go swimming. From the results of a google search [1] it seems that swimming after a meal is physiologically fine, as long as you aren't an endurance swimmer, then it may cause cramps. You're probably hungry after swimming because swimming uses alot of energy. --nixie 06:36, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Sounds plausible. However I didn't mean swimming, just plain bathing. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 06:49, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to say that this is related to any energetic activity - it takes blood and energy away from digestion, and directs it to muscular activity. This can cause cramps, which are potentially dangerous when swimming. I can't think of a reason not to sit passively in warm water having eaten.

Studies have found that swimming in cold water increases the appetite, which makes it a poor choice for exercise. Since you're talking about bathing in waterfalls, I imagine they were significantly cooler than air temp. and that may be what caused the increase in appetite. The scientists behind the study theorized that dropping core temperature turns on a signal to conserve energy, decreasing the metabolism, while increasing appetite. James 13:24, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Swimming is still great exercise, it just may not be the best one to use if the goal is to lose weight. For those that need to gain weight (yes it does actually occur), or maintain, it would be highly recommended. - Taxman Talk 18:39, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks everyone. The cold water theory seems to be plausible. Can someone create an article on this? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 04:19, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Heart rate, after eating (postprandial) heart rate increases by 30% and more, it takes a lot of effort by the body to break eaten food down to absorb as useable energy molecules, so going swimming increases the demand on the heart. 'Cramps' is pain from strong muscle spasm, and one cause while swimming after eating could be the hard working leg and arm muscles are not getting enough blood to keep you afloat and moving on in the water(cramping muscles do not have the same strength and the heart has reached maximum pumping capacity) and if you are still a long way from shore... well... we hope you remember this and dont swim with a full belly. Second part of the question, no comment. Sam.

Three Volapük words

A Finnish book I once read had an article about Volapük. It said the language was hard to learn because of difficult words like (quote) äpakokomla, opesevamol and poibefuloms (unquote), which don't come from any one language. For over a decade, I've been wondering what the heck these words mean. Does anyone here know Volapük enough to tell me the meanings? JIP | Talk 08:22, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

You could ask — Sebastian (talk) 15:34, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Do I need to join the group in order to receive mail from it? JIP | Talk 10:53, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Why, yes. But not for sending mail to an individual person, such as the above. — Sebastian (talk) 15:01, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I sent a question to the above address from my home address, but they haven't replied yet. JIP | Talk 16:23, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The answer I got from the Volapük list:

Here are the translations of the verb forms given:-
äpakokom-la = It will probably propagate itself (but -la expresses doubt!)
opesevamol = You will have been acquainted
poibefuloms = They will always be fulfilled
These come from the original Volapük by Johann Martin Schleyer. Present-day Volapük is slightly different.

What exactly does "you will have been acquainted" mean, as it has both a future and a past tense? JIP | Talk 09:20, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

"You will have been acquainted" is in the future perfect tense, which is infrequently used in English, but common in many other languages. It describes an action that will be complete in the future. James 14:38, August 4, 2005 (UTC)


What is the meaning of saint (St.) when the last of a person who is not canonized begins with it? For example, Augustine St. Clare or Richard St. Andre. I have seen an electrical engineer and other non-religious people whose last names begin with St.


Do you mean Saint-something in people's last names? It would refer to a patron saint, or a church or town with that patron. Thus, someone associated with a church of Saint Clare some generations back might bear the surname Saint-Clare, or even Sinclair. These names are, most properly, given a truncated pronunciation: Saint-John is usually pronounced sin.jun, and so forth. --Gareth Hughes 10:23, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Memory restoration

In cases of memory loss for whatever reason, are there any tablets that you would recommend t help in memory recovery/restoration?

L-DOPA reportedly helps working memory, and some people claim St John's wort helps memory too. I doubt these will help recover lost memories however. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:48, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
I am not a neurobiologist, but I believe there are a couple of mechanisms for memory so if you're trying to remember the name of your fifth grade teacher, that's quite a different thing from remembering what happened last night at that bar. My understanding is that alcohol can inhibit short term memories from being transfered into long term memory, so the probability of recovering a memory trends towards zero as Blood alcohol content rises [2]. If that is not relevant to your situation, you might want to check out amnesia which has a couple of other causes of memory loss. --CVaneg 17:51, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Prohibited U.S. international travel

My coworker (a very extreme anti-American) claims that the U.S. government prohibits by law visitation of certain countries, including Cuba. I disagree with him strongly. I claim that the government may WARN its citizens of possible and potential dangers in volatile countries, but does NOT prohibit its citizens from traveling anywhere in the world they choose. Please help settle this debate, or...please advise me to a government agency that can help with this question. Thank you very much!

I am neither a Merkin nor an expert on international travel laws, but my gut feeling is that you are right. At least with a valid visa, Merkins can visit Cuba and Cubans can visit the USA. According to what I remember, however, what the USA does prohibit is commercial import/export between the USA and Cuba. JIP | Talk 14:35, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

You coworker is right, it is illegal for an American citizen to travel to Cuba. I've known people to travel there "illegally" via circuitous routes (to Haiti or Canada, than purchase a ticket on to Cuba) but they're risking a serious fine or possibly jail time. That having been said, if they ever experience any problems while in Cuba, they'd be in a terrible fix since we do not have diplomatic relations with them.

According to the US Department of State "The Cuban Assets Control Regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department require that persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction be licensed to engage in any transaction related to travel to, from, and within Cuba. Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. ... Travelers who fail to comply with Department of Treasury regulations will face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States." [3] So you need a license to go to Cuba, and they decide who gets a license. — Pekinensis 14:59, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Cuba is the only country where such a law applies. James 15:05, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
The USDOS site mentions no restriction on travel to North Korea or Iran. — Pekinensis 15:18, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Shows how much I know, then. Remind me not to answer questions about where Merkins can travel. JIP | Talk 16:54, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Hm. The Food Network just had a show with Mariel Hemingway reporting about her grandfather's time in Cuba. I wonder how she was able to get there legally, then? John Barleycorn 19:09, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Well, maybe she got a permit from the state department. Again, you can go only with permission, and they don't give permission for things like tourism, but they probably would for making a documentary. There are also a slew of commercial restrictions relating to Cuba -- i.e., you can't purchase anything there or sell anything made there in the U.S. (hence all of the hullaballo about Cuban cigars, which cannot be legally purchased -- or possessed? -- in the U.S., though can in many other countries nearby, including Mexico). --Fastfission 19:41, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Slight clarification on the cigars -- people who have licenses to visit Cuba can bring back Cuban cigars only if their total value is less than $100, and they are not allowed to resell them or trade them. It is illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the U.S. bought in other countries as well (i.e., if you bought a Cuban cigar in Mexico, where it would be legal under local laws, you couldn't bring it into the U.S. legally). This applies to all goods of Cuban origin, as a part of sanctions placed against Cuba since 1963. --Fastfission 19:45, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
It might not be too hard to get your travel classified into a permissable category like scientific or cultural interchange, or charitable work and the like. I know that U.S. commercial travel companies have openly offered scheduled, er, tours to Cuba. TresÁrboles 19:49, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Tours are regularly scheduled under the loose cultural interchange rules. In fact, someone from my synagogue recently went on such a trip. It's essentially just tourism. You walk around and go to restaurants and see the sites. You can even legally bring a small number of cigars back. The regulations aren't nearly as strict as they appear. Superm401 | Talk 07:09, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Do you mean that Mariel was in Cuba reporting about her grandfather? Or that she was in America talking about her grandfather? If it is the latter, it is because the embargo against tourist travel to Cuba was instituted 1962. Cuba was not only open to travel, but a huge tourist destination for the entirety of Ernest Hemingway's life. For more information, see the United States embargo against Cuba. James 20:31, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
She was in Cuba. There was one scene where she was actually in Mariel, talking about how she had been named for the place because of its charm, and how it's now industrial and polluted. She also did a tour of her grandfather's villa. But, since it was Food Network, she also did a report on Cuban food, restaurants, and markets. {NOTE: I posted this yesterday, it shows up in my contributions, but somehow when I come to this page today, this paragraph is missing.) John Barleycorn 18:43, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
That factoid would make a nice addition to the Mariel and Mariel Hemmingway articles. Was Hemmingways' house there too, or in another town? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:25, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
It was outside of town, but I don't know the name of the place. John Barleycorn 21:21, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
It is legal to travel to Cuba if you don't spend any money in Cuba for that purpose. For instance, if you travel there on your own boat, eat on the boat, and leave without paying any dock fees or buying any souvenirs, the law is silent. Buying a ticket there, renting a hotel room, or buying food would be a no-no.--Joel 03:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
It being a Food Network show, Mariel was obviously eating and drinking. I imagine she stayed in a hotel or two, as well. John Barleycorn 19:17, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Death Penalty in the US

I have always been under the impression that, in capital cases where the death penalty can be imposed, the jury "must not" have "any" doubt regarding the defendant's guilt. (Johnny Cochran's famous, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit.")

However, a friend has pointed out the fact that there can be doubt, in a juror's mind, regarding guilt. His point is the phrase "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" implies a juror can have doubt regarding guilt and still convict.

Which is it? Can a juror still have doubt regarding a defendant's guilt and still convict with the death penalty being the potential punishment?

Thanks in advance,


The burden of proof for all criminal jury trials in the US is "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is a legal phrase, and may have essentially the same result as what you're envisioning as not having "any" doubt. There is not a higher burden of proof for capital cases than non-capital cases, though the jury must be unanimous on the verdict and punishment for someone to be convicted. James 15:02, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Zero doubt would mean the prosecution would have to disprove the possibility of an evil twin from a parallel dimension having committed the crime. Or psychic mind-control gophers. Which is why the standard is "reasonable" doubt. -- Cyrius| 17:06, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Which animals have gestation and which not? Where's the limit? (Part 2)

Which animals gestate and which not? For example, are reptiles or flies said to gestate? If not, what's the term they use in biology? 2004-12-29T22:45Z 18:47, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. For getting an answer, please see the information in the box at the very top of this page. Notinasnaid 19:07, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
I didn't ask the question but I would be interested to know what it is that the questioner is supposed to look at at the top of the page. His/her question is surely in the correct place (Reference Desk) and seems clearly expressed. So what's wrong? - Adrian Pingstone 19:15, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

I already read what people answered before on this page, but I'm not satisfied. I want more specifics. Also, the question is somewhat different, if you take a closer look. 2004-12-29T22:45Z 19:22, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

All animals gestate, the difference is where. All mammals, besides monotremes gestate in their mother's womb. Non-mammals usually gestate in eggs, and these usually develop outside of an adult's body, though there are exceptions.

Hey, that's nonsense. Not all animals have a uterus. Not all animals gestate. What about fish? They don't gestate. That's ridiculous. 2004-12-29T22:45Z 23:18, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Look again, the anon above you didn't say that all animals have a uterus, just that non-mammals usually lay eggs, ie. the foetus gestates in the egg. Presumably female non-mammals have some sort of egg storing organ (ovaries?) but I'm no biologist so don't know what the technical term is. Lisiate 00:07, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
See [this page], which lists gestation periods for basically every kind of animal. One kind that I'm pretty sure doesn't gestate is the sponge. Reptiles, fish, and birds all gestate in eggs. James 03:41, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Jack Jones, Novelist, 1884-1970

How can I find more information on Jack Jones? I am looking for "personal" info, as in parents' names, birth place etc. I believe he is a cousin to me. Thank you. D. Harrison

There is somewhat more information here. James 20:38, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
I have found more information and posted it in User talk: James 19:10, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

The Divine Proportion

See Golden mean and Golden ratio (they need to be merged). If you have more questions, post them here.
(Above comment by User:Jamesmusik.)

You mean, Golden Mean and Golden ratio should be merged. (Oh, how I hate this case sensitivity — clearly a reason to withold credit from Larry Sanger!) — Sebastian (talk) 07:41, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Survivability of lung injuries

The article on collapsed lungs states that the condition is a "medical emergency", but does not go into much detail. How long can a person expect to remain mobile/conscious after losing a lung to say, blast damage, or spontaneous collapse? What about after more serious penetrating injuries, like a knife stab or a gunshot wound? Will said person even be capable of performing rudimentary first aid?

I guess what I really want to know is, how a collapsed lung progresses over time without professional medical assistance. Thanks in advance, Tronno 23:09, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

I think the article goes into great detail. The length of time a person will remain conscious depends on the severity of the injury. Blast damage causes the lung to rupture because of overpressure. Depending on the severity, the person may lose consciousness from hypoxia. In case of a penetrating wound leading to an open pneumothorax, a flutter valve (a piece of sterile plastic taped on three sides) can assist in breathing. A stabbing knife wound is less dangerous than a bullet, which tends to tumble in the body, causing a whole host of secondary problems. In both cases, the immediate concern is internal or external bleeding that'll lead to hypoperfusion (shock) and death.
A bystander can apply a flutter valve and apply pressure to other wounds, but usually nothing can be done for a closed pneumothorax. EMTs can provide oxygen therapy by bag valve or positive pressure mask. They can establish a patent airway if one didn't exist before. They can also run fluids to stave off hypovolemia. But if the lung is fundamentally incapable of functioning, there is not much they can do either. -D. Wu 21:32, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

It depends on degree of compromise of function. You can lose a whole lung and do okay. Intentional collapse of a large part of a lung was an early 20th century treatment for tuberculosis. There have been cases of people with Munchausen's syndrome intentionally causing themselves repeated pneumothoraces by puncturing their own lungs with long pins to gain hospital access. alteripse 23:40, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the help, guys! That pretty much cleared it up. Tronno 04:39, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Pumpkin facts and preservation

I was wondering if anyone knows how many pumpkins are grown/sold each year in the U.S. for purposes of decorations for Halloween, as opposed to those grown for pies or seeds.

I'd also like to know if there is a method to make your pumpkin last longer while sitting on your porch in the elements. I've read a weak bleach solution, WD 40 oil, and vasiline are supposed to work. Anyone know if they do and why? (and I'm not talking about a carved pumpkin, I know they don't have long to live) Could you also list any reference or authority on this if you have it?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

happy halloween

I live in pumpkin land, and all I know, from my own experience, is that keeping the pumpkin from freezing is pretty much all you need to do. So in November, say, you bring it inside on really cold nights. and let it sit outside during the chilly days (as long as it's not below freezing all day). You could also knit it a thick sweater. This will get you through to early December, usually, but after that, you probably need a root cellar to keep the pumpkins if you live in the northern states. And while we leave our xmas wreaths up at least until Easter here, we don't usually decorate our porches with pumpkins much after Thanksgiving. Papier mâché would be your best bet for winter decor. And a good Samhain to you, too. --Mothperson cocoon 20:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and with regard to your first question, I have no statistics, but my answer, from what I've seen, would be something on the order of a gazillion. Okay, maybe only a few trillion. But it's up there. --Mothperson cocoon 20:42, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
It seems logical that the bleach would be used to kill any potential mold, mildew, etc. that would eat the pumpkin, while the petroleum products would fill its pores and prevent water from evaporating out of it. As mentioned before, I'm not sure either of these is necessary; most fruits in this family preserve themselves fairly well if they're kept from extremes of temperature etc. If it starts to get splotchy or to shrivel, though, you may try one of those methods to buy a little more time.--Joel 04:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
It just occurred to me. Are you living in a southern state? Specifically, a humid southern state? --Mothperson cocoon 20:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

No, I live in Mass. Thanks for the advice and info from both of you.

difference between Ionizing radiation dan particle radiation

Anyone able to help me explain the difference between these two radiations? Their effects to human's body. Is particle radiation really emits fast little particles that could cause damage in body's cell, and ionizing radiation emits energy that could caused molecules in your body to ionize? Thank you. roscoe_x 03:40, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The articles imply a distinction that doesn't exist. Ionizing radiation is particle radiation. Non-ionizing radiation is generally not harmful, as it does not have the energy necessary to affect objects at the molecular level. Some kinds of non-ionizing radiation are visible light and sound waves. Ionizing radiation is the kind of radiation most people think of when they talk about "radiation". Basically, everything on the electromagnetic spectrum lower in frequency than Ultraviolet is non-ionizing, while UV and higher is ionizing. James 03:59, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, are you sure? I thought that gamma radiation is explicitly excluded from particle radiation, since its particles have 0 rest mass. — Sebastian (talk) 07:25, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
Due to wave-particle duality, all forms of electromagnetic radiation involve particles. Also, see Gamma ray, which discusses gamma photons, which are particles. James 17:31, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
Please, do me a favor and read a question before you reply – especially when someone writes "are you sure". Nobody denied that gamma rays can be regarded as particles. — Sebastian (talk) 23:09, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
You're right, most people wouldn't talk about gamma radiation as particle radiation, despite photons being particles. --Laura Scudder | Talk 15:00, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Particle radiation includes all forms of radiation with mass; e.g. alpha particles, beta particles, electrons, neutrons, photons, and other nuclei. It does not include photons. Ionizing radiation is any form of radiation that has sufficient energy to remove an outer shell electron from an atom. In general, ionizing radiation is all forms of particle radiation, as well as photons that have high enough energy to ionize (which includes a portion of the ultraviolet spectrum as well as X-ray and gamma ray energy). As far as the other part of your question about the biologic effects, particle radiation (which is an ionizing radiation) and photons (which are the only form of ionizing radiation which is not a particle) both have the ability the produce biologic damage. Forms of ionizing radiation are divided into directly ionizing and indirectly ionizing groups. Directly ionizing radiation includes all forms of radiation that carry a charge (electrons, protons, etc.) and indirectly ionizing radiation is all forms of radiation that don't have a charge (neutrons and photons). Also, types of radiation are discriminated based on their linear energy transfer (LET) which is a number describing the amount of energy deposited per unit length. You can think of LET as the amount of damage that the radiation does as it passes through matter. High LET radiation includes neutrons and alpha particles which are large and cause intense damage. On the other hand, photons are a form of low LET radiation and cause few ionizing events that are scattered about. For this reason, high LET and low LET radiation affect biologic systems differently. The target of biologic damage in the cell is the nucleus, and high LET radiation often kills the cell by directly damaging DNA; thus high LET radiation usually causes direct action on the cell. On the other hand, low LET radiation works by indirect action. Low LET radiation works primarily by forming free radicals from water molecules in the cell, which then diffuse a short distance and cause DNA damage. —Brim 20:18, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

Islam without Mecca?

A question I've also asked on the Talk:Mecca page. It may, however, fit better here. Has there been any discussion within Islam of how the religion and Islamic law might adapt if Mecca was destroyed, somehow? What would happen to the Hajj, for example? Please understand that I mean no offense by asking this question. I am merely curious. Thank you very much for your time. - --Brasswatchman 05:58, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

The only reference I've ever heard of that is in the latter books of the Ender's Game series. In all likelihood, it would probably switch to Medina (the 2nd holiest site) or the Dome of the Rock (the 3rd holiest site) →Raul654 06:47, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • I imagine that unless Mecca was rendered completely uninhabitable (through nuclear weapons or some other similar mechanism) people would probably rebuild on the site of the former city, and try and keep traditions as close to the original as possible. Assuming a nation did decide to render Mecca completely uninhabitable (and I can't think that any entity other than a nation would have that kind of firepower at their disposal) the world would have to be so unstable that in all likelyhood, all major religions and nations would already be in a state of upheaval and there would probably be radical changes for everyone. --CVaneg 21:36, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
CVaneg - agreed. What I'm interested in is how said "radical change" might turn out in this particular instance. My own personal guess is much in line with what you have suggested; I suspect that a third option might be to construct a replica of Mecca, something that fits the same basic geography. I guess that, in this point in time, Islam is unimaginable without Mecca; and if Mecca is lost permenantly, something else would have to fill that vacuum. If anyone else has another guess or suggestion, I'd be very curious to hear what you had to say. Thank you. - --Brasswatchman 02:55, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
I think Muslims would go the geographical location of Mecca regardless of what was there, or how dangerous it was. Medina wouldn't suffice.Superm401 | Talk 07:04, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Magnetic Resonance of Elements Database

I would like to know where could I or how could I find the subject above. Thanks a lot for your kind attention and reply. Tony V. Villanueva tonyvill409 at yahoo dot com is usually good for this kind of thing. For example here is NMR data for Beryllium. Dmn / Դմն 12:52, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Dehydrated potato flakes

Who invented dehydrated potato flakes? We don't seem to have an article about them. We do have Smash potato mix, but it does not address the question.

It is widely claimed that Canadian Edward A. Asselbergs invented them in 1962. [4] On the other hand, Idahoan Foods claims to have been founded in 1960 with the express purpose of producing instant mashed potatoes [5]. I have not found any source that devotes more than one throw-away sentence to the question, and astoundingly, Google does not know of a single document containing both of the words "Asselbergs" and "Idahoan" [6].

Any ideas? Thanks — Pekinensis 15:11, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, Asselbergs definitely was issued a U.S. patent for "preparation of dehydrated cooked mashed potato" U.S. Patent 3,260,607, which claimed priority from a Canadian application from 1961. However in his patent application he makes it clear that there are preexisting forms of instant mash potatos in the prior art, in two forms: granules and flakes, the latter of which are dehydrated. For this he cites Canadian patent 561,119, which seems to be the primary form of the prior art he is contending with throughout the application in differentiating his method as unique. One of his references in the paper is a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication from 1954 on "Potato Flakes; a New Form of Dehydrated Mashed Potatoes", which makes me think that they must date from at least that period. --Fastfission 21:07, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
On the Dept of Agr.: two US Department of Agriculture researchers were issued a patent for "Drum drying of cooked mashed potatoes" in 1954 (U.S. Patent 2,759,832), which must be what he is referring to. It describes the end product specifically being "as a thin sheet or flake". Another patent by Dept. of Agriculture researchers issued in 1957 (U.S. Patent 2,780,552) speaks extensively about flakes specifically as well. --Fastfission 21:14, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Also, check out U.S. Patent 1,025,373 -- a patent on "Dehydrate Potatoes and Process of Preparing the Same", application issued in 1905 and granted in 1912! While it doesn't describe them as flakes, it clearly describes how they could be turned into a wonderful food product with just a little hot water.
So I suppose a lot of this depends on what the definition of "dehydrated potato flakes" is, as "instant mashed potatoes" seems to have been around for almost a century! I haven't read this over word for word, of course, so I might be missing something.
(If you're wondering how I did this: I searched for "Asselbergs, Edward" on the UK patent database, which has a lot of US and Canadian patents in it too, and then took the US patent number there and plugged it into the USPTO website, and then took the cited reference numbers from there and re-plugged them in. I have some scripts which make this sort of thing very quick, which helps a lot). --Fastfission 21:09, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
In all likelihood - some little old lady hundreds of years ago. ¦ Reisio 21:16, 2005 August 2 (UTC)

This is great information; thank you! I really hadn't thought to look at the patent records. I'll try to work this into a stubby article. — Pekinensis 23:31, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Please have a look at Instant mashed potato. It needs work. A substantial part of the article is FastFission's work, and Reisio's point is taken as well. I have copied this conversation to talk:instant mashed potato. — Pekinensis 01:01, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

The Incas were dehydrating potatoes ages ago. But this probably isn't what you want. --Mothperson cocoon 20:46, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
To the contrary, instant mashed potato links to chuño right at the beginning of the history section. It was a red link, so I translated es:chuño. It could use a good editing to comb out the translationese. — Pekinensis 20:55, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Cool. I'll go look. --Mothperson cocoon 21:00, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

frustrating find/replace xml problem

I'm sure this will be blaringly confusing, so please ask for clarification if you think you can help.

I have multiple files which are named as such: XYZ_Pg_001.xml XYZ_Pg_002.xml etc up to XYZ_Pg_200.xml

each of these files is a page from a book, and each contains various tags. the most important for my problem are:

page-id: contains the above minus the .xml extension

page-sequence: contains the page number (only not with 3-decimal places as the filenames)

anyway, here's the problem, a whole bunch have the wrong page-sequence tag, and need to be incremented by 2. for example <page-sequence>17</page-sequence> needs to be +2 to <page-sequence>19</page-sequence> for all the files from 17-170. how can I do this? I can't really change much about the XML schema because it's not in my control.

is there a way i can do this either with:

  • XML's abilities
  • some search-and-replace utility across multiple files that I can input variables into

Argh I can't even explain this properly! Any help? Robojames 16:27, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Stuff like this is what scripting languages are for. Personally I'd do it in python (string manipulation in bash is icky) but just about anything (perl, bash, python, tcl, ksh) will do. Search and replace in a given file using sed. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:56, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
You could also try XSLT. The way I'd go about it would be an XML-to-XML stylesheet (XSL output method = "XML") where the only rule in the entire stylesheet would be <page-sequence>, whose value is the original node's value + 2. I don't know if XSLT is smart enough to convert the text in the node automatically to a number, though. By default, XSLT should leave every other node as they are. JIP | Talk 17:03, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Ways of getting around region coding of DVDs

What is the easiest way of getting around region coding of DVDs? Toasthaven2 16:30, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Rip it and burn a copy - if you use DVDdecripter and DVDshrink the result will be region free. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:52, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Or use a hack from a site such as [7] Shantavira 17:14, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

They don't sound nearly as easy as buying a multi-region DVD player, which are now widely available. Notinasnaid 19:41, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm not technical at all. I was delighted, having been bought a cheapo supermarket DVD player for my birthday, to quickly put the model number and make into Google, along with the phrase "region hack" and find out that I only needed to press a few buttons to get my Spinal Tap Region 2 DVD to play in my European player. Dead easy it were. (And if Region 2 IS European, I mean the American region, and know... whatever I wasn't supposed to play, I played....) --bodnotbod 01:20, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Or, if you have a DVD drive on your PC and no region hack is available for your DVD player, install VideoLAN, DVD player software that ignores region coding. --Robert Merkel 01:57, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I think the Linux kernel, when accessing the drive, also doesn't care about region coding, although I'm not sure if detection is inbuilt into the drive. ;) -- Natalinasmpf 01:26, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
It is built in in more modern drives; however, I think libdvdcss may be able to crack it. Doesn't the DMCA make it illegal to even discuss this in the US? ~~ N (t/c) 07:05, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Each video title on a movie disc is encrypted with a 40-bit title key. The title keys themselves are encrypted with a disc key, which in turn is encrypted against a list of 400 player-specific keys placed, together with checksums, at the start of the disc. All DVD Forum-approved hardware and software media players are given one of these player keys. The intent was that, should any player be compromised or be found to allow digital video copying, it would have its key rotated off future manufactured batches of DVDs.
A software player is expected to download its key to the DVD-ROM drive via a special set of ATAPI commands; all the major operating systems (including Linux and BSD) offer an interface to do this. The drive then uses that to produce the title keys, with which the player can then decrypt the video title with on the host computer.
There are three main methods of defeating this copy protection:
  1. Extract a key from an approved player.
  2. Use a cryptographic weakness to derive the disk key from the checksums.
  3. Try a brute-force attack on the raw encrypted video data itself.
Desktop computers today are fast enough to perform the second option almost instantaneously. If that fails, the player can fall back on the third option, which, because of the weakness of the cipher, takes just several seconds. This is what "rogue" media players like MPlayer and VideoLAN do, as well as ripping tools as DVD Decrypter.
DVD-ROM drives manufactured prior to about 2000 were RPC-1 drives in that they ignored regions. RPC-2 drives sold after that are tagged in firmware with a region and implement region lockout by checking the region of the discs they play; if there is a mismatch, they simply refuse to return title keys.
There are several popular ways of circumventing this:
  1. Change the region of the drive. RPC-2 actually allows for the drive's region to be changed, but only up to 5 times. Beyond that, the firmware will lock the drive to a particular region forever.
  2. "Upgrade" the drive's firmware. The firmware is usually executable code for the microcontroller in the DVD-ROM drive; enterprising people have disassembled these and provided patched region-free versions for some common models of drives.
  3. Play the disc with a "rogue" media player. Ironically, these still work because they do not need title keys in the first place.
Ghakko 12:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Won't try to stop you, but playing it in the wrong region player violates the DVD license and therefore copyright law. Just be aware. Superm401 | Talk 07:00, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
I am a stickler for copyright, but do have a multi-region DVD player after establishing that in the UK (where I am) court challenges to the sale of such things failed. What is the DVD license to which you refer? Is it a license to the player or the disk, and where is it printed? How can violating a license be a violation of copyright law... licenses are controlled by contract law, which has no connection to copyright law so far as I know.Notinasnaid 08:38, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
On a Windows PC, also Anydvd will do the trick. (No weblink here, because just last week a notable German court decision held that news portal Heise had violated German copyright law by linking to the software manufacturer's homepage.) regards, High on a tree 18:38, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
The simplest way, in my opinion is to not set your DVD drive's region, and/or buy a cheap DVD player that doesn't have a region. My DVD drive isn't set, and my player is cheapola, and thus, doesn't have a region. When it doesn't have a region, instead of not playing because the region doesn't match, it plays because the regions arn't conflicting.

Credit Bank/Spain

Is there a Credit bank in Spain?

Is Credit Bank a name of a particular bank? Or do you mean this kind of credit bank? If it's neither of those, then there is certainly a bank which offers credit in Spain. Here's a list of banks. James 17:26, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

How many grams of protein do you need for muslce gain

Protein far in excess of the reccommended daily ammount simply won't do you much good. Protein will provide a small benefit in muscle gain if it is consumed directly after you have been weight lifting. Protein supplements are expensive and of verying quality. Frankly, your best bet is to lift and then consume a high protein snack such as a couple of eggs, a packed milkshake or a couple servings of baked beans. This meathod and the consumption of creatine are the only two meathods of artificially augmenting muscle gain that are effective. Sticking to a regular weight lifting program tailored to your goals is unquestionably the best way to build muscle.

Simply lifting weights is not sufficient. You must consume more calories than you burn in order to create muscle mass, and those extra calories should come primarily from protein. James 19:33, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

From Bodybuilding: "It is recommended that bodybuilders receive 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight (2 to 5 g/kg) to help the body recover and build." This is conjunction with an all-around nutritional program, including eating little fat. James 19:13, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

It's all hotly contested just what the right amount of protein is. I was trying to research the details for weight training and never got a satisfactory idea that there was any consensus. Lots of bodybuilding types will recoommend huge amounts. As far as I know, the medical consensus is that your body cannot use more than a certain maximum and beyond that the protein is essentially wasted, and can be somewhat dangerous in very high amounts due to metabolic byproducts. The 1-2 grams per pound of bodyweight is a common recommendation, but I've heard recommendations that the higher end of that can be dangerous, and that even the lower end is likely to be more than is needed. So even if you stick to the lower end, you'll likely be at the most that your body can effectively use, which is where you would need to be for maximum muscle growth. Of course, the intensity of the workout and getting proper rest are likely to be much more important than your protein consumption beyond reasonable amounts. But no one wants to hear that they have to do real work, which fuels the sales of supplments and crazy recoomendations. - Taxman Talk 15:31, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

How many feet is there to a mountian

See Mountain. The Encyclopædia Britannica classifies them as hills if they are under 2,000 feet, and mountains if they are greater than 2,000. James 19:09, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Metaphorically speaking, this will vary by the geography (how many foothills) and the local dialect. In most figures of speech, a mountain has only one foot.--Joel 04:10, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Better Sunscreen that is banned in the USA?

I recall seeing on TV something about a sunscreen that is supposed to be more effective than the ones sold in the US. The catch is that it isn't sold in the USA because it is banned by the FDA, despite being used safely abroad for years. What is it and what brands of it exist? I plan to pick some up when I travel abroad for my German/Irish skin which can't take the sun! FunkyChicken! 18:56, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

  • The stuff is called "mexoryl"; it hasn't been approved by the FDA yet. The best known formulation with it is "Anthelios XL", sold by LaRoche; it's easy enough to get on eBay. SPF 60+. (Make sure you get the XL; you can get the SPF 60 Anthelios L in the US, and that's also real good.) It's not cheap, but my sun-sensitive wife says it's the best, and her dermatologist agrees. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:13, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Just to let you know, the whole SPF thing is a lot of marketing BS. SPF 20 blocks 95% of all UV rays, while SPF 60 blocks a whopping 98.6%. This is a mere 3.7% increase in protection. That is why the FDA requires sunblock to be marked "SPF 30+," as higher SPFs result in unrealistic claims about their effectiveness [8]. James 19:24, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
    • Yeah. The UVA and UVB blocking numbers are more important -- and I just was informed by my wife that her source for the SPF60 Anthelios was getting it from Canada, anyway. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:37, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • That's a wonderful abuse of statistics. Imagine comparing two medical treatments for a serious disease: in one case 95% live and in the other 98.6% live. Not worth it because it's only 3.6% higher? How about in one case 95% live and 100% live. Not worth it because it's only 5% higher? It may not be spectacular, but 98.6% blocking allows (presumably) 1.4% through, while 95% blocking lets 5% through. The former is therefore about 3.5 times as effective. These sort of things are terribly important if you are a vampire. Notinasnaid 19:46, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Now who's abusing statistics? We're not talking about a difference between 95% living and 98.6% living, but between the amounts of UV rays that get through. Blocking 95% of UV rays is sufficient protection for all but all-day exposure to the sun during the summer on a clear day. From the FDA monograph: "real consumer benefit is achieved through appropriate balance of SPF, substantivity, UVA radiation protection, irritation potential, and cost, whereas SPF values above 30 provide only ``incremental benefit and an unnecessary increase in drug exposure." James 20:02, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
      • However, as Notinasnaid says, the relevent percentages are the about of sun that gets in, not the amount blocked. So the difference between 1.4% and 5% is actually very high, and one could stay out in the sun about 3.5 times longer and receive the same about of UV rays. Obviously the difference is only incremental, and obviously there is a case of diminishing returns, but the difference is still significant. — Asbestos | Talk 10:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I guess since I'll be going to Canada soon its going to be Anthelios. Are there any other brands? FunkyChicken! 15:01, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Exploding Potatoes

Where can I find a video of an exploding potato?

A search on google yielded nothing. Therefore:
  1. Buy a potato, and a small, legal firework
  2. Borrow a video camera
  3. Insert firework in potato
  4. Turn video camera on and point at potato
  5. Light firework
  6. Retreat to a safe distance
Alternately, and probably more safely, bake your potato, and don't bother to poke holes in it. If you tape this, you'll have a video of your potato exploding. And do not underestimate the dangers of exploding potatoes. Proto t c 23:11, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Try overbaking it in a microwave. And what Proto said. Exploding eggs are fun, too, but keep your distance if you do it on top of the stove. Leave the camera, and be in another room. --Mothperson cocoon 20:52, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Creating a VFAT filesystem on a USB pendrive in Fedora Core 3 Linux

How do I create a VFAT filesystem on a USB pendrive in Fedora Core 3 Linux? As far as I know, I have to stick the pendrive into my computer's first USB port and then use the mkfs command with the correct parameters. The device handling the USB drives in the first USB port is /dev/sda. So I do this:

$ su -
# mkfs -t vfat /dev/sda

And I get told:

will not try to create a VFAT filesystem on /dev/sda

That's it. "Will not try". Why? Because it doesn't feel like it? I don't understand much of the other options to mkfs with the VFAT filesystem. How can I tell what is going wrong? JIP | Talk 19:20, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

It's skittish about you trying to create a volume on /dev/sda rather than /dev/sda1, as you'll zap any partition table that exists in /dev/sda. As you probably don't want a partition table on /dev/sda, you need to give it the -I option to give it courage:
     mkfs -t vfat -I /dev/sda
The place to look for this kind of info is the man page of the actual mkfs program that makes a given filesystem type, e.g.:
     man mkfs.vfat
Hope this helps. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:56, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Espresso before machines

People who talk about espresso nowadays, and at the talk page on espresso (#Stove-top espresso makers), people say that "true" espresso has to come from a dedicated machine; nothing else is true espresso.

These machines can't have been invented that long ago. Did they have espresso before then? Did they call it espresso?

Thanks! --James

  • The espresso machine was invented in 1901. I found a useful espresso timeline. Obviously, until the steam was pressed through the ground coffee, it wasn't espresso. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 22:35, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

An espresso lover will tell you that espresso must have the crema or foam that forms on the top. It's practically impossible to get crema with a stove top maker, which is why some people say you can't make proper espresso with a stove top pot.--nixie 02:54, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

shell command to change file extensions

I want a quick shell command to change all files with a given extension in some directory tree to the same filename with different extension. can the find utility do this for me? -Lethe | Talk 22:50, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

for i in *.oldext; do mv $i `basename $i .oldext`.newext; done

~~ N (t/c) 23:05, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

To recurse the directory tree:
    for i in `find . -name "*.oldext"` ; do mv $i `basename $i .oldext`.newext; done
-- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:13, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
If the /usr/bin/rename script is installed, try:
rename -n 's,\.oldext$,.newext,' *
find -type f | rename -n 's,\.oldext$,.newext,'
The -n just does a dry run for testing; remove it to actually perform the rename.
The argument to the rename script can be any Perl code. For example, to word-capitalize filenames ("foo bar" becomes "Foo Bar"):
rename -n 's,\w+,\L\u$&,g' *
To name files after their MP3 tags:
rename -n 'use MP3::Info; if (my $t = get_mp3tag($_)) { $_ = sprintf "%s - %s - %02d - %s.mp3", $t->{ARTIST}, $t->{ALBUM}, $t->{TRACKNUM}, $t->{TITLE} }' *.mp3
To name HTML files after their <title> tags:
rename -n 'use HTML::TreeBuilder; if (my $t = HTML::TreeBuilder->new_from_file($_)->find("title")) { $_ = sprintf "%s.html", $t->as_text }' *.html
Ghakko 07:40, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Biology of "size"

Does anyone know about recent research or models of the molecular mechanisms behind size? For instance, what stops a mouse from growing as large as rat, and what stops a rat from growing as large as a human? There are obviously evolutionary benefits and disadvantages to being big vs. small and vice versa. But what genes are driving the evolution of small or large size? Mouse cells and human cells are the same size - something must be regulating the number of cells, or the raw size of the organs. Mr.Bip 23:49, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The reason they don't get bigger is their cells simply stop dividing. The cells become senescent, meaning they die without duplicating themselves. Just why and how this happens is a topic of intense scientific research, as it is an important part in treating cancer. Cancerous cells never become senescent, which is why they are biologically immortal. The current theory as to why cancer cells continue dividing is that somehow the body controls the length of telomeres during cell division, and when they become too short, the cell is not able to divide. There is an unknown mechanism that regulates the production of telomerase, which rebuilds telomeres. Turning off the production of telomerase would essentially halt growth. An article on its regulation in humans is available here. Cyclin or cyclin-dependent kinase, which control the cell cycle may be behind the signal to stop growing as well. here's an article at MSNBC on the same question. James 00:41, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
James - thanks for your answer, but I'm asking a slightly different question. I understand that cells stop dividing at a certain point governed by various factors, some of which are controversial. The question I have is: what is the molecular biological reason that a human liver is 20 times larger than a mouse liver? (just a random guess for the factor there). Telomerase, cyclins, and Cdks have to do with cell cycle control during adult life, but what controls how large an animal grows from an embryo, given the vast range of sizes in the animal kingdom? Mr.Bip 03:49, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm under the impression that the same signals are involved during development. For an embryo through adulthood, telomerase would be working in overdrive, essentially never allowing a cell to senescent until a genetic trigger shuts off the growth factors. Those growth factors are somewhat well understood as far as bone growth goes and involve growth hormone, thyroxin, androgens, and estrogen, but the factors that control organ growth are not well understood at all, much as almost every other aspect of gene expression is poorly understood. It's an area of intense research. In essence, there are genes that turn on and off growth, but they have yet to be identified. Interestingly enough, the July, 2005 issue of Science has a section celebrating the journal's 125th anniversary with 125 questions yet to be answered, among which is: "How do organs and whole organisms know when to stop growing? A person's right and left legs almost always end up the same length, and the hearts of mice and elephants each fit the proper rib cage. How genes set limits on cell size and number continues to mystify." [9] and [10] James 04:08, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Web Services?

Does wikipedia support web services? If so, where can i get more info? (posted by, moved by James 01:31, August 3, 2005 (UTC))

A Web service is a collection of protocols and standards used for exchanging data between applications or systems.
  • We have a vast pool of PD, GFDL and fair use images, sounds and text, but Wikipedia is primarily meant to provide information, so I think the answer would be no. What kind of data did you have in mind? - Mgm|(talk) 09:21, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Information on Conviasa Airline

Hello my name is Rhajan and I am a travel agent in Trinidad, I am having lots of problems with respect to making reservations and the ticketing of flights to Margarita Island. My question here tonight is if you can assist me in contacting Conviasa Airlines phone/fax/e.mail/website/address. Thank you in advance...any assistance is appreciated.

Indeed. I have updated the Conviasa article to include a link to their official site — Pekinensis 02:48, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

USAT Sea Flasher

I am trying to help a friend research his fathers military career.

On one of the documents he has, which is a complete itinerary of his fathers time is the Army during WWII, it mentions a ship which was used for transport as the "USAT Sea Flasher."

We have been trying to locate ANY information on the above ship and have been unable to find anything.

If anyone has info, please contact me at

Thank you James D. Zimomra

Well, Google has some information [11]...including that a troop-carrying ship called the "Sea Flasher" was damaged in Okinawa on May 3rd, 1945, after being shelled by another US ship (I'm assuming accidentally). ¦ Reisio 11:02, 2005 August 3 (UTC)

Removing/Overriding Copy Control Technology

Do computer (Windows) programs that can burn DVD's and override copyright protection technology (a Content-Scrambling System) also do the same for audio discs that utilise Copy Control. The particular CD's I want to be able to burn are Beastie Boys's To The 5 Boroughs and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Greatest Hits and Videos. And yes i know it's illegal i don't care. I have the Australian versions of these CD's. Cheers, --Jake--07:50, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

If the CD has been ripped already (to MP3, Ogg, or the like, not a DRMed format), any program can burn it. However, I assume you mean you're having trouble ripping it because of copy control. Just what kind of errors are you getting? ~~ N (t/c) 08:16, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I'll let you in on a little "secret". Every time I hear about some new brilliant scrambling scheme, I laugh. The one program you need is Opcode Direct to Disk (OpD2D). It lets you record any sound playing over your speakers in unscrambled MP3 audio. Essentially, that means if you can hear a file you can convert it to plain MP3. It just requires a little effort to get the starts and stops timed right. It's definitely possible to do, though. Good luck, and remember using this is a violation of the US DMCA. Superm401 | Talk 20:11, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Most copy protection methods can be broken more easily. One (that marks all audio tracks as data) can be fixed with a small patch to cdparanoia; another (that uses an autorun exe that blocks ripping) can be disabled by holding down "Shift" to disable autorun while inserting the disk (or using Tweak UI to disable autorun totally). ~~ N (t/c) 03:01, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Thanks superm for the opd2d, i'm looking in to it. The two cd's i have only allow me to play the music tracks through their own macromedia players. I am not having errors, but the individual tracks are not accessible. I think they use EMI Copy Control.
N: What is "a small patch to cdparanoia"? --Jake--11:27, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
cdparanoia is a popular CD-ripping program, in Linux at least. A slight modification to it can bypass a form of copy protection whose name I forget, but it's not EMI. However, if the CD has its own player, I suspect it uses an autorun-type protection. Hold down Shift while inserting the CD. If as a result the player doesn't start, I bet you'll be able to rip it. ~~ N (t/c) 19:21, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
  • The insert disc while holding shift thing didn't work for these cd's but thanks anyway N.

Hey Superm could you brief me on how to operate opd2d, their website is awfully vague and their forums don't work. What exactly does it record? Do I need a mic? Thanks again --Jake--10:31, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

    • Sure. First I'll agree that there is probably a cleaner way to bypass the scrambling. Does the CD work in normal CD players like in your car or only on your computer? If it works on a normal CD player, there should be a simple way to rip it, but I won't get into that now. If someone else can figure it out, that would be good. However, opD2D will do the trick. I'll walk you through it step by step. The instructions are simplified more than you need. Don't be offended. Also, ask if I was unclear about something or if you have problems. Superm401 | Talk 20:03, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
  1. Download OpD2D. The actual file is here.
  2. Run the setup.
  3. Open OpD2D. It will be in your start menu.
  4. Now open whatever kind of player you use to play the songs normally. Don't start any songs yet though.
  5. Click the button with the three dots next to the top most field in OpD2D.
  6. Find a folder in which to save the MP3 versions of the song you're about to listen to.
  7. Type in the song name for one of the songs.
  8. Click OK
  9. Click on MB, then Minutes
  10. Pick a length of time longer than the song. It really doesn't matter exactly how much longer. Make it at least 5 seconds, though.
  11. Be sure you're ready to play the song. It helps if you only have the player and OpD2D open, so you can move around the screen quickly. Also don't have anything else open that makes sound.
  12. Click record.
  13. As fast as you can, start the song.
  14. Move your mouse over the Stop button of OpD2D.
  15. Press Stop as soon as the song ends.
  16. Repeat 5-15 for the rest of the songs.

--Superm401 | Talk 20:03, August 5, 2005 (UTC)


How was netscape ever supposed to make money?

Maybe advertising, corporate setup & support, but most of all - businesses make money by fast, accurate transmission of on the internet. A better internet browser for consumers means more profit for businesses. 2cents ¦ Reisio 11:17, 2005 August 3 (UTC)
Most web companies in the mid-ninties were happy rising along on the internet bubble. I don't know what Netscape's specific business plan was, if any. — Asbestos | Talk 11:23, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
By doing this:
  • Selling corporate versions of the browser
  • Setting the server software that talked to their client (webserver, LDAP, email, application-server, etc.). The more browser traffic there is, the more server software they can sell.
  • Most people never change their browser's homepage, so Netscape set it to their corporate portal. So if you bought books from their bookseller affiliate, or travel from their travel affiliate, Netscape would get a cut.
That last point is where the big money was, and is. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:36, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

What is common law crime?

What is a common law crime? Always does a common law crime need 'Mens rea'?

A common law crime is one which has not been written down as a law, but is based on the history of court cases from the past several hundred years in the US and Britain. Very few common law crimes are actually prosecuted as common law anymore, since the basic crimes that are still considered crimes have all been heavily legislated into meticulously detailed statutes. The most basic common-law crimes are murder and manslaughter, mayhem, rape, larceny, robbery, burglary, arson, assault and battery, perjury, forgery, bribery, and conspiracy.
One example of a common law prosecution was Jack Kevorkian. Michigan's assisted suicide law expired, so there was no statute banning it. Instead, common law forbid it, even in cases where the person was easing someone's pain and they happened to die (which was an exception in the then-expired statute). Michigan's Supreme Court ruled that since there was no statute on the issue, common law prevailed, and Kevorkian was tried three times for four deaths under common law, but never convicted until Michigan passed a new assisted suicide law, mainly because of the uncertainties regarding violating a law that has never been defined.
Some aspect of mens rea is almost always required for any criminal prosecution, common law or otherwise. For instance, in the assisted suicide common law, you could not be convicted if you accidentally aided in the suicide. Strict liability crimes are the exception, but are all of a minor nature. James 13:48, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Sexual Attraction

I don't find that I am attracted to black women. Mixed race white/black yes, but black no. Does this make me a racist? Also I am really attracted to Jewish women. Is this a fetish or is it becuse they are hot?

  • No, whether you are sexually attracted to someone or not has no bearing on racism. However, if you believe black women, or black people in general, to be less worthy, filthy or anything else demeaning because of the color of their skin, you might be harboring racist views. I've got no idea why you are attracted to Jewish women. - Mgm|(talk) 15:09, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • One theory I have heard has something to do with old National Geographics and photos of naked or topless women. They were invariably women of color and it created a sort of exotic eroticism. Perhaps you looked at too many old National Geographics as a child and were desensitized? As for your attraction to Jewish women, I can't say. However, I have seen my share of attractive and unattractive Jewish women, which is the norm for all women. FunkyChicken! 16:17, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • You are no more racist than if you prefered brunettes, or like green eyes.-- 19:25, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  • It's not a fetish, Jewish women are just hot :P (i keed, i keed! like Triumph would say) gkhan 12:42, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
  • Yeah. I'd file this under "whatever floats your boat." I wouldn't worry about it. - Brasswatchman August 5, 2005. 12:15 PM EST.
  • I've occasionally wondered about this myself, since, despite being ethnically East Asian, I (being a heterosexual male) most often find white women attractive, less often East Asian, and even less often South Asian or black. However, I'll say that Mgm's argument (the first in this list of responses) is the most convincing, and I'll say I wouldn't consider this as evidence of racism. As a sidenote, I don't find Jewish women to be particularly more attractive, though. (And yes, wikified for the heck of it.)~GMH 07:01, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Golieth grouper

Information re this fish with picture if possible please

The scientific name of the Goliath grouper (note the spelling) is Epinephelus itajara. So far, we only have a one-sentence article on the genus Epinephelus, but the google image search for either Goliath grouper or Epinephelus itajara yields quite a few nice images. — Pekinensis 15:55, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I happened to have the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes: North America on my desk which notes that the Goliath grouper was previously called the Jewfish. It can get to 7'10" or 2.4 m long and 680 lbs. or 309 kg. Rmhermen 16:40, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

The Jewfish article lists a whole host of fish the name it refers to, but not specifically this species. As to the renaming it mentions: It can't mean that all of these fish are named "goliath grouper" now, can it? — Sebastian (talk) 18:10, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

I beleive that the renaming refers specifically and only to this species. Rmhermen 18:23, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

I found our article it is under Itajara. I will work on cleaning this up. Rmhermen 18:37, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Nice job on that. I don't know a thing about fishes, but it sure looks like a nice fish article. — Pekinensis 22:26, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

a question about a measurement

i needed to know as far as dry ingredients go which has the greater amount .3 oz or .06 oz?

0.3 oz is "Three tenths of an ounce.". 0.06 oz is "Six hundredths of an ounce.". The first would be represented by the fraction 3/10, the second by the fraction 6/100. 0.3 is much larger than 0.06. [12] ¦ Reisio 16:00, 2005 August 3 (UTC)
To be precise, 0.3 oz is five times heavier than 0.06 oz. That doesn't necessarily correpond to five times more, though (e.g. in terms of teaspoons) if the two ingredients aren't the same substance. Certainly five time heavier, though. — Asbestos | Talk 16:45, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Laptop strange power problem

I'll be bringing my laptop in to get fixed, but the problem is strange enough that I thought people here might know what's wrong with it.

My laptop doesn't react to being plugged into an outlet through any transformer. The battery is drained and, when plugged in, no lights or anything come on and the computer can't be turned on. What is strange, though, is that, when a transformer, which works perfectly, is plugged in to the computer at the outlet, the little light on the tranformer starts flashing and a strange beeping sound comes out of the tranformer. As far as I know, the tranformer has no mechanism for making a beep, and so the sound is something in the hardware malfunctioning(?). This happens with any transformer I use.

Also possibly of interest, if the tranformer is plugged in (by itself) and then unplugged, the little light, as usual, takes about ten seconds to completely fade away. However, if the tranformer is plugged in, then unplugged, then attached to the computer (within those ten seconds), the light shuts off imediately, as if the charge is instantly draining away into the computer (which isn't itself grounded or anything).

Anyone know what kind of problem this might be? Thanks, --James

  • Have you:
1. Tried the suspect transformer with another computer?
2. Tried using other cables?
3. Tried another battery in the computer?

That may help in finding the problem! FunkyChicken! 16:20, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Hi FunkyChicken. 1) I don't have another computer to try the transformer on, but have tried three other transformers and they all do the same thing, so it's the computer, not the tranformer. 2) Cables ditto. 3) AFAIK, the power doesn't need to go through the battery to work. cf. plugging in your laptop without a battery - it should still work fine. I don't think the problem can be the battery, therefore. Thanks however, --James
    • Then it sounds that it may be a problem with the power pickup of your computer. FunkyChicken! 17:03, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
It sounds like you have a very smart transformer. The beeping noise may be from an over-current protection circuit, and ditto the flashing light. It sounds like you have a short circuit in the computer or in the battery, which would explain the power draining out of the transformer so quickly. Have you tried removing the battery and then plugging the computer in? I realize many computers won't run in this state, but it may solve the flashing-beeping problem, in which case the problem is probably in the battery.--Joel 04:31, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

ipod not beeing seen properly in Windows XP Home

Click to see larger image
Click to see larger image

My 4th generation ipod isn't beeing seen properly when hooked up to a firewire connection in Windows XP Home. It looks like it may be some sort of driver problem, however other firewire external hard drives work fine and it sees the ipod when hooked up to USB. Also the ipod draws power from the firewire connection. Is this some sort of driver problem? If so where can I find drivers. I tried searching for drivers but it was futile! FunkyChicken! 16:41, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

The firewire driver will ship with your firewire card (or your motherboard, if the firewire controller is built into the chipset). There's not really an "iPod driver", just the basic firewire driver and the make-firewire-devices-look-like-drives driver (USB calls that the "mass storage device" driver, firewire will surely call it something similar). So, you should try:
  • Updating your basic firewire driver (or chipset driver). Even though other devices work, maybe the new iPod does weird stuff that your current firewire driver doesn't anticipate.
  • Question: is there a preference inside the iPod to enable/disable the firewire interface? If so, maybe the default is to enable USB and disable firewire.
  • Are you using the cable that came with it, or are you assuming that another (identical looking) cable will work alike. If so, maybe that's an unsafe assumption.
-- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:38, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Please elaborate on "not being seen properly"

  • I have used a few cables - all Apple produced and work properly with the ipod on other machines - to rule it being the cable out. The ipod works fine on several other machines. Other firewire external hard drives work fine on the machine. So it is really odd. And please do look at the images on the right! Thanks! FunkyChicken! 03:32, August 4, 2005 (UTC)


I made some images for barycenter and other orbit related articles. I was wondering, on the article, is the barycenter in the correct place on the last image? &#0149;Zhatt&#0149; 17:29, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Looks correct to me. The barycenter is in the common focus, right? BTW, they are nice and very instructive pictures! — Sebastian (talk) 18:23, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Google Maps

I wonder about the choice of patches of high resolution on google maps. Sure, some are straightforward. The above-average resulution of Iraq and the area of Kabul makes me assume they buy their images from the US military. But this huge patch of the Baltic Sea in high resolution seems particularly pointless. I assume they must have some automated way of submitting these patches, as nobody in their right mind would waste bandwith with that. dab () 17:39, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Perhaps somebody is looking for Russian subs? FunkyChicken! 18:02, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
    • so what were they up to here, looking for terrorists? dab () 18:11, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Google gets its images from all over the place. They have obviously searched for high resolution images of, for example, Massachusetts, but the rest seems to depend on what their different suppliers gave them for their money. Bandwidth is not a problem, as the image which is sent is the same size (in bytes) whatever the resolution: the rest is just database technology. Physchim62 20:40, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I do assume they gzip the data at transmission? The Baltic Sea bit is essentially white noise... But I suppose you're right, it just still doesn't make sense to buy a hires image of so many square miles of ocean. The non-US hires images do seem militarily relevant, see this one [13] for example, a weird structure in Algeria, the only patch of hires data in the entire country. dab () 21:57, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  • The basic images, for much of the world, are public domain NASA Landsat 7 images. Detailed views of many major US metropolises aren't infact satellite images at all, they're orthographic aerial photography, undertaken by the USGS. Both of these sources are free and are served by several websites, and are available using NASA World Wind. I think a lot of the higher detail stuff (other that US urban) is from IKONOS. There is also an old monochrome dataset collected by the military Corona satellite, which is now declassified - google doesn't use this, but Microsoft does (hence a recent and very silly Slashdot conspiracy-theory, when folks noticed apple's HQ in Cupertino,CA didn't show up on Microsoft's antique corona images - but it hadn't been built then). Absolutely positively none of the imagery is from any kind of modern military satellites - the US (and everyone else) doesn't admit anything about them - you're certainly not going to see unadulterated KH-12 imagery in the public domain for decades. Patches of unexpected detail have several, all rather prosaic, interpretations. Firstly, commercial imagery like IKONOS is collected partially on a bespoke basis, and it's very common for oil companies, governments, developers, and municipalities to order commercial imagery of their own stuff. So frankly any little detailed facility you see in the desert is going to be an oil facility, paid for by the owners. Secondly is registration - to make satellite images montage nicely together takes some skill and some software - images need to be deformed to fit the globe, and positioned and scaled so they mesh properly with other images taken by different satellites at different times. Doing this is hard for featureless places like deserts and oceans, as there aren't features to help. So when there is a feature in such a block of blankness, be it a village or an island, that's going to get registered properly sooner than an empty place. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:39, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Why do I feel sort of sick when I look at a close-up of Quebec City (focus on - say, the Chateau Frontenac)? That's surely not an aerial photo, so why does a satellite photo produce such a physical reaction? --Mothperson cocoon 22:37, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
My unscientific reply would be: Because your body knows that if you were to have such a view in reality chances are that you're in danger. Sounds rather like acrophobia than fear of flying to me. — Sebastian (talk) 22:51, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Some people seem to be sensitive to motion-sickness like effects when viewing stuff that is sort-of 3d. I know people who just can't watch a first-person shooter game like Quake without feeling really unwell, but most people don't have a problem. Similarly some people just can't tolerate freefall, others love it. There's probably a Ph.D to be had in figuring out if there's a relationship between FPS-motionsickies, satmap-vertigoists, and those with regular motion sickness. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:24, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Most interesting. I'm not afraid of heights or flying, and I don't get motion-sickness (I love roller coasters and IMAX movies, too), but those photos make me ill - I feel like I'm suspended by my feet from some ungodly height. --Mothperson cocoon 00:03, 5 August 2005 (UTC) (I guess I'm a satmapvertigoist)


I would be very much grateful if you could please advise my where to find what is the total food production and expenditure of each of the first 15 economies of the world. I have spent more than a week searching without success.

Thank you very much in advance.

Adriana Maciel Mexico

Have you tried the FAO [14]? Rmhermen 17:59, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • One very important question what are the "first 15 economies of the world"? Do you mean chronologically, per capita income, etc.? FunkyChicken! 18:00, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Start up Business failures

I am researching the rate of Start up Service Business failures in 2003-2004. I found the statistic of 1 in 10 fail the first year but did not feel the source was reliable and the article was from 1998. Can you help me find more pertinent data ? Susan

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, "Two-thirds of new employer firms survive at least two years, and about half survive at least four years. Owners of about one-third of the firms that closed said their firm was successful at closure." A firm can cease operations and still be successful from a cash flow perspective, of course. [15] Rhobite 21:10, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Geology of Venus

Is "geology" the correct term to use to describe other planets? I've seen "selenology" used for the moon, and "planetology" for other planets. Is the word geology the official term used by international astronomical associations? John Barleycorn 19:21, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Selenology is basicaly "study of the moon" - you'd still need another term for "study of the earth (as in land/matter/etc.) of the moon". Geology: "4. The scientific study of the origin, history, and structure of the solid matter of a celestial body." [16] ¦ Reisio 19:48, 2005 August 3 (UTC)
Selenogeology, perhaps? Superm401 | Talk 20:01, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
A geosynchronous orbit is for earth while, appently, a areosynchronous orbit is for mars. So could areogeology work for mars? I don't know what to use for Venus.
&#0149;Zhatt&#0149; 20:11, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Areology was used in this sense by Robert A. Heinlein in at least some of his novels. But that has no bearing on whether actual scientists use it, and may have been a stylistic flourish or an effort to show the patriotism of the local scientists.--Joel 04:41, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
The pattern is you use the Greek name of the god rather than the Roman ("-ology" is Greek-derived). Hence, it's "Aphroditology", of course. I think this may be on file somewhere with the IAU. BTW, no, I wouldn't recommend changing the name of the article.--Pharos 00:37, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Scratch that; apparently Cytherology is preferred; see Planetary science for a list.--Pharos 00:49, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
We have a brief article on Cytherean which explains this rather odd adjective... Shimgray 15:32, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
The idea of having separate words for the study and orbit of each planet is fundamentally flawed, requiring new words to describe the same thing with every new discovery. It will probably give way to "abuse" of the 'geo-' prefix in the future. But that's just my opinion. --Cyrius 02:10, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Separate words are already used copiously for different bodies; for example, apogee, perigee and aphelion, perihelion; therefore areology, selenology, aphroditology alongside geology are not only correct but necessary. We can speak of "Martian geology," but areology is simpler and more specific.

Filing a Small Claims Lawsuit in California

If I have had trouble with a corporation in California, is it possible to sue them in California Small Claims Court if I live in a different state? I searched the California Department of Consumer Affairs website, but couldn't find an answer. Thanks!

Nolo Press publishes some really great legal books for the non-lawyer. One of them is Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California. I haven't seen it, but the other books of theirs that I did use were very handy, and entirely accessible. Sure, you can sue them in California, but if you're buying stuff from them then you can probably sue them in your own state court too. If you sue in California, you'll have to appear in court (possibly several times) there, which may exceed the sum you're suing for. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:29, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Combinatorics: License Plates

How many different license plates are there with the following property: the first group contains three different digits, but the second group is a different ordering of the same three digits? For example, 036-603.


  • Hm, we helping with homework here? This one's easy, I think. There are 10 * 9 * 8 combinations for the first three; and any three unique things can be arranged six ways, and the first trio eats one, so it's going to be 10*9*8*5. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:58, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I know that some combinations are not used by certain states for some reason, I only know this because there are certain blocks reserved for prop plates in California. FunkyChicken! 03:27, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Can you, perhaps with an illustration, explain "the first trio eats one, so it's going to be 10*9*8*5?" The answer is 3600, so you are right, but I don't understand what you mean when you write that the first trio eats one. Karl

  • Based on your statement of the problem, the arrangement of the digits in the second group can not match the order of the first group, i.e. 036-036 is not valid. Thus, out of the six possible ways to arrange three digits, one of those ways has been eliminated, i.e. "eaten", leaving the 5 that Jpgordon used in his solution. LarryMac 17:50, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
LarryMac's elucidation is phenomenal. Karl.

Combinatorics: United States Senate

The U.S. Senate has two senators from each of the 50 states. In how many ways can a committee of five senators be chosen if no state is to have two members on the committee? Karl.

  • I think that would be 100 * 98 * 96 * 94 * 92. (First you can pick any of the 100. Then you have to rule out that state, so there are only 98 senators left to pick from. And so on.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:56, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
    • No. (! means factorial) It would be 100 * 98 * 96 * 94 * 92 / 5!. If I have a Senator Specter, Santorum, Rosenberg, Williams, and Montgomery on a committee it's the same as if I had Santorum, Williams, Montgomery, Rosenberg, and Specter. Order doesn't matter and hence must be compensated for in the calculation. Superm401 | Talk 01:33, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
      • To me, it makes sense to express it like this: 50!2^5/45!5! . You choose one of the 50 state pairs originally there, then one of the 49 remaining, and so on. Then you multiply by 2^5 to take into account the fact that either senator could be picked for any state. I explained the 5!. Ask if you have questions. Superm401 | Talk 01:37, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

I thank both responders, especially the example of order and explanations of S401. So the answer is 67,800,320. Karl

  • I'll glibly lie that I was assuming that sequence was relevent, since Senate committees have senior and junior members. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 21:23, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Fictional work about world with age-limit

A few days ago I was watching University Challenge on BBC 2 and a question came along about a fictional world from I think a book in which people weren't allowed to live past 30. I missed the answer to the question and I'd love to learn more about it. Has anyone got an idea who wrote it and what it was named? - Mgm|(talk) 00:51, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

  • Sounds like the movie Logan's Run to me. (It seemed like a good idea when I saw it 30 yrs ago. Now I don't think I approve of the concept.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:53, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I can remember a question about Logan rocks before this which may give it a certain connection. Looks about right. Thanks! - Mgm|(talk) 01:00, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
It's also the basis of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation except in that the age is 60, if I recall correctly. Dismas 02:48, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
The episode is "Half a Life". But I agree with jpgordon that Mgm is probably thinking of Logan's Run. Chuck 15:12, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Also, the teen exploitation flick Wild in the Streets. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:44, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
It's not an uncommon theme in science fiction, although probably all such plots are paying homage to Logan's Run. I watched this episode of Futurama tonight (as a rerun) where the age limit is 160. That I could accept for a few more years.-gadfium 09:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Also figures in Children of the Corn, which is a short story. Meelar (talk) 17:14, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

earthquake between 809-829 bce

I have looked for information about a earthquake recorded in the bible book of Amos 1:1. This same earthquake was mentioned in Zechariah 14:5. I have been looking to find anything on this quake and wonder if you may have any information on this quake. It took place about 8 miles south of Jerusalem between 809-828 BCE. It must of been a big quake as to have Zechariah make mention of it some 300 hundred years later. Do you have any information that would support this account from any historical or archeological findings?

Seeing as the Book of Amos was not written until 750 or 749 BC and it says specifically that the sermon was given two years before the earthquake and during the reign of Jeroboam, son of Jehoash, the middle 8th century BC is the accepted time frame for the earthquake. Evidence of a sudden destruction is evident at Hazor, Megiddo, and Tell Deir 'Alla, but other than that, little is known. There is an excellent site on the Megiddo excavations as well as for the Hazor excavaions. James 15:41, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

what are gregarian chant

I assume you are refering to Gregorian chant? --Mairi 03:14, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

European evolution vs the rest of the world

What did Europe have - and, perhaps to a lesser extent, some Asian and North African countries - that allowed its inhabitants to become more technologically advanced than many other races, especially tribal nations. Is it the weather, or evolution, or brain size, or avaliable resources? It seems odd that while some areas of the world were trying to create flying machines, other cultures were still being discovered that lived in caves. (no prejudice, I am merely curious) --Jake--10:56, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

You might be interested in reading Guns, Germs, and Steel. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:07, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
One of my favorite books. The author makes the case that the answer to that question is entirely geography. There's currently a PBS series on the book for those interested in a preview of the book's argument. --Laura Scudder | Talk 17:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't remember the source, but one historian has suggested the development of precision laboratory glassware in the West was a significant contributing factor to the development of science and technology, cumulating to the industrial revolution. --HappyCamper 11:49, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Well certainly the Steam Engine was humongously important, don't you think? There would have been little revolution without it. An argument I like is that of Isaac Asimov in his foundation series, where he says that the only way a civilization is to succeed is to have only enough resources to barely survive (that way you have to invent stuff and make war all the time). Seems to make sense to me, there is certainly more need for invention in England than in the jungle. There you can just pick fruit from a tree, in colder places you have to grow them. However, I claim no special knowledge in the area, and Asimov is perhaps not the guy to trust in these issues. I just think it makes sense :P gkhan 12:37, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
What made them leave the cradle of life for the cold lands of the North in the first place? Maybe these people were just innately (or genetically) unsatisfied with what they had. ¦ Reisio 12:53, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
Desertification from overgrazing combined with deforestation. The cradle of life looked much more appealling before we started farming it like mad. The development of hay didn't hurt in making the North more livable either. --Laura Scudder | Talk 17:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

It is also worth pointiing out that Europe has a history of distrupting technological progress with violent imperialism. When the spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas, they noted that a variety of cultures (the Aztechs in particular) had amazingly complex social and agricultural structures. Unfortionately, they didn't have guns and suffered mass slaughter. This is just one example, but europe did not really emerge as a technological powerhouse until the industrial revolution. Prior to that, it had been scouraged by the dark ages, religious wars and disease.

There is no easy answer to this -- "Why Europe?" is an oft asked question, especially when many of its key "developments" were independently developed elsewhere first (the opposite question, "Why not <insert place name>?" is often asked as well). I'm personally suspicious of any single answer -- looks like a lot of things to me, and I don't think anything "had" to be the way it turned out. --Fastfission 19:42, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Nothern European imperialism was caused by the prevailing climatic and culinary situation. The food and the weather were so bad, they had to take over more hospitible and tasty parts of the world. Comply! 12:57, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia's 666,666th article?

I see that wikipedia has just about hit 667,000 articles in English, and out of curiousity (morbid, perhaps :) ) I was wondering which article was the 666,666th. - grubber 12:43, 2005 August 4 (UTC)

Rats rats rats. There's a pool. And I lost by well over a month. I can't give you the exact name of where you can find this out, but someone else will, forthwith, I'm sure. It's the 666,666th article pool --Mothperson cocoon 13:30, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Where was this pool? - grubber 13:44, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
The 666,666th pool?
The 666,666th article was, strangely, 666666. Apparently, Sasquatch created it right on the dot, took a screenshot and then deleted it. —Ghakko 13:47, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:666,666th pool. Neutrality won, lucky devil. --Mothperson cocoon 13:50, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
And of course it would be someone like Sasquatch who could achieve such brilliantly evil machinations. --Mothperson cocoon 13:55, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Seeing as it's now deleted, I don't think it counts any more. I'm willing to accept the article after it (which would have originally been the 666,667th article) as the "real" 666,666th article. And anyway seeing as the article has been deleted, I can't find out the time it was created. JIP | Talk 13:57, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed - anybody know what it is? ¦ Reisio 16:43, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
Sasquatch created it at 07:45, 4 August 2005; its contents were simply "666666 = twice the evil!" It was CSD'd the same minute (well done, RC patrol!) and gone by 07:49 (Sasquatch thoughfully added a wikilink to evil before it finally went). -- ALoan (Talk) 14:07, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Is that 06:45 in UTC? From your user and talk pages, I surmise you are British. You guys would normally have the same time as UTC, but it's summer now, and I think you have daylight savings time, just like we Finns do. So you're currently 1 hour ahead of UTC, as I think UTC is not affected by daylight savings time. JIP | Talk 14:23, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
You are correct. During the summer, the Brits switch from Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) to British Summer Time (BST). Where I live, on the US East Coast, we go from EST (Eastern Standard Time) to Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). →Raul654 16:55, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, apologies - I just "cut and paste"d the time: yes, that was BST (UTC/GMT+1): UTC would be 6:45 and 6:49, respectively. -- ALoan (Talk) 17:12, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

buzzing mosquitoes

-- 16:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)I have read your article relating to mosquitoes, and I understand now that the buzzing noice is produced by the wingbeats of the insects. I still feel that for some reason only some mosquitoes produce this sound and not others. Maybe it is just that only the ones close to your ears you can hear, but I'm sure that I have shooed some away from my ears that I had "felt" there rather than heard there.

So, what's your question? " this really true?", perhaps? ¦ Reisio 17:55, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
Perhaps the question is 'why do some small insects buzz, while others do not?' ? Comply! 12:51, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Map of top tier England football club stadiums

I've created a very comprehensive website which shows on a map of England (with maps zommed in for some of the bigger cities) the locations of all top tier England club stadiums:

It'd be wonderful to offer a link to it for people surfing the Wikipedia, for English football topics. Can you guys do this?

Nice map, I put a link to it on List of English football stadiums by capacity. David Sneek 18:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Pronounce "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

How do you pronounce "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes" in English?

If you're not pronouncing it properly (a la Latin), you can pronounce it however you like. ¦ Reisio 17:45, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
The (loose) translation is "Who will guard the guards?" Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 17:48, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
It is Latin and has not really become incorporated into the English language, so there is not really an English pronunciation; if there were, it would depend on your accent anyway. Given that Latin is the language equivalent of the undead, there is not really a "proper" Latin pronunciation either. I would suggest that the best you could do would be to pronounce every syllable - e.g. "KWIS cuss-TOAD-ee-et IP-sos cuss-TOAD-ees". Note that a Roman may very well have pronounced it rather differently, as may anyone else that you speak to. -- ALoan (Talk) 17:55, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
See also: Latin spelling and pronunciation David Sneek 18:36, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I am thinking of giving up making English approximations of foreign language pronunciations. English has very complex pronunciation rules, compared to pretty much every other language used in Europe and Asia (I don't know about African or native American languages). Explaining something simple in a difficult way is far more difficult than explaining something difficult in a simple way. I can say "Finnish is pronounced like German", "German is pronounced like Japanese", "Japanese is pronounced like Latin", but if I put English there somewhere, I have to go through all sorts of hoops to give even a remote approximation. JIP | Talk 19:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I think your accents would fall something like this: quis cus-to'di-et i'psos cus-to'des, where the ' marks the previous syllable as accented. --Laura Scudder | Talk 18:49, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm late here, and I don't speak Latin, but I've always known it to mean "Who watches the watchers?". -Splash 03:41, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I'd just add that the last syllable is a long e, but in Latin, the long e vowel is pronounced like the long a of English (as in bake). ~GMH 07:13, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

A literal translation is 'Who shall watch the watchers?" James 18:27, August 6, 2005 (UTC)


Please could you tell me when the first 5 day test began , also did they have a break for Sunday.

Thanking you in anticipation rick

I am not certain as to the date of the first ever five-day Test, but that length was settled upon after the Second World War. Up to 1938 there had been Tests lasting until the tenth day. The break for Sundays happened in every Test in England until 1981. It has not happened since. [[smoddy]] 21:55, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
If you just want to know when the first Test cricket match was played, it was played between England and Australia beginning on on March 15, 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. See History of Test cricket (to 1883)

It depends on what you mean by a 5-day Test. Whether you mean a Test that lasted for five (playing) days, or a Test that was scheduled for 5-days - and then what about rain? Until the Second World War, all Tests in Australia were "Timeless" - although sometimes draws were agreed if boats were leaving or the tourists' schedule required. The early Test in England tended to be over 3 days.

The first Test with five playing days was the 27th Test, held at the SCG from 10-15 February 1888 (see History of Test cricket (1884 to 1889) but that had two days washed out by rain. England won by 126 runs. The first Test with five playing days on which there was play on each day was the 35th Test, held at the MCG on 1-6 January 1892 (there was no play scheduled for Sunday 3 January), which Australia won by 54 runs (see History of Test cricket (1890 to 1900)). The first Test that was actually scheduled for for five days was the 106th Test, which was the Test between South Africa and England at the Old Wanderers in Johannesburg scheduled for 1-6 January 1910 (2nd Jan being a Sunday). However, South Africa won by 19 runs on the fourth day, so the fifth day wasn't required. The next match in that series, held between 21 and 26 January 1910 (23rd being a Sunday) was both scheduled for five days and saw play over all five of them, South Africa winding up victors by 95 runs (see History of Test cricket (1901 to 1914)).

More remarkable still is that we can work all that out just from Wikipedia! jguk 12:58, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

How to pronounce "Geschichte" and "tsch", "sch", "sh" and "ch" in German

I hope the langauge experts out there can help me out again. How does one pronounce "Geschichte" and for that matter, all these consonant clusters (correct terminology?) "tsch", "sch", "sh" and "ch"? For the latter, I know these change with context, but I haven't figured it out what it is yet. When I try speaking in German, I feel as if I'm speaking with a lisp since I am pronouncing all of them as the cedille (c with a comma under it). --HappyCamper 20:18, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

  • You could start with our article German language#Pronunciation. The second "ch" is pronounced as a hard G sound similar to the Dutch Scheveningen and Den Haag. Sh and is as the English equivalent and "ch" may be a hard G or something else depending on the word. I've yet to find suitable examples of "something else". - Mgm|(talk) 21:17, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
The German ch is usually described as like the Scottish ch in Loch. In fancy terms, the ch in Geschichte is a voiceless palatal fricative (meaning you make the noise by forcing air between your tongue and the middle part of your soft palate without vibrating your vocal cords. In contrast our sh, the voiceless postalveolar fricative uses the tip of the tongue farther forward on the palate.).
The g is always a hard g, as in gale, unless it is part of the suffix -ig, in which case it is like a German -ich. The sch is equivalent to English sh, and although I can't think of a word in German with sh it would be the same, too, unless it's not a consonant cluster but due to compounding words. The tsch would just be a t sound followed by the sch sound.
Also important for a new German speaker is to know that st always sounds like English sht, and similarly sp always sounds like English shp. In other words spiel sounds like shpiel rather than like our sound in spade. This is also a good point to remind you that the German s is our z, while the German z is our tz.
If this is all sounding like Greek to you, let me know. There's also this not quite so great example here of someone reading ach auch ich richtig, which may help gauge how you're doing.--Laura Scudder | Talk 23:44, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
It's not that difficult. If a rather large number of German speakers can learn to pronounce the two foreign th-sounds, then the reverse shouldn't be impossible, either. ;) Anyway. "tsch" is more or less like "ch" in "which". "sch" and "sh" (the latter you won't find in native German words, to the best of my knowledge, and it's my native language...) are like English "sh" in "cash". As for the "ch": There's two different sounds that are both written with this letter combination (compare the two different sounds both written with "th" in English). The one type occurs after the vowels e, ä, i, ö and ü (as in "rechnen", "lächerlich", "Geschichte", "möchte", "nüchtern"), the other after the vowels o, u and a (as in "Loch", "ruchlos", "lachen"). As for the sounds themselves, I've found from personal experience that it's almost impossible to describe them in a way that the other person will afterwards be able to reproduce the sound; my best advice is to take some German courses and focus on the phonetics. ;) (Another note: All I've just written only holds true for standard German. You really don't want to know what some dialects can do to our language. Just trust me. ;)) ナイトスタリオンㇳ–ㇰ 23:41, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm actually taking some German classes at the moment, and the phonetics is quite useful. What's funny for the people in the class is that apparently I don't speak German with an English accent - "a weird non-English foreigner" as they say, which is why I've asked this question here. This has been very useful, thank you! --HappyCamper 01:12, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
The German ch varies quite a bit. The ch in ich often sounds like the intial sound of the name Hugh in English. Then, you have subtley different sounds in each of Bach, Chienesisch, Geschichte, and Geruch. Just try your best, it'll get better! Learn the vowels and the 'r'. They were the hardest for me. - grubber 12:20, 2005 August 5 (UTC)
I find some people pronounce the 'ch' closer to a sh sound. Nightstallion (or ????????? as he apparantly wishes to be known) is correct in that German dialects are just weird. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 16:30, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Nah, you can still refer to me as Nightstallion; I just decided I wanted a funkier signature. ;) Flag of Austria.png ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 16:47, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Trust me - the ch in ich, chinesisch and Geschichte are the same (although speakers from Bavaria and Austria will pronounce chinesisch with a k sound at the beginning); the ch in Bach and Geruch are also the same. Glad I could be of help. ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 15:15, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Ich möchte lieber so viel lernen! :-) Danke! --HappyCamper 16:25, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
They're very similar, but I would argue they are slightly different. The ch sounds different depending on the vowel. The ch of China and ich are like the English 'h' in house and Hugh (not exactly, there is raspiness in there, but close). - grubber 17:11, 2005 August 5 (UTC)


I am inquiring about the possibilities of moving to the midwest. Can you please help me in locating a community that needs a doctor. I'm board certified in Ob/Gyn, and can also do some family practice. I would like to do this in a small town, not more than a 25,000 population draw area, and some community that has a real need for a physician. Enclosed is my resume. Email URL alexkmd at Thank you. Alex Kammer, M.D.,FACOG.

Try This is an encyclopedia. Sorry, we can't help you. Hermione1980 20:34, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
No, this is a reference desk, and all sorts of questions are answered here that wouldn't be answered by Wikipedia itself. It's a pretty poor reference desk that has only an encyclopedia--even one as vast as Wikipedia--as its sole resource! Chuck 17:45, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
Well, assuming that Dr. Kammer wants to open a private practice, I don't know how much Monster could help him. I would think that he could get some population and income statistics from the United States Census Bureau to help narrow down his search to some viable areas that can support a practice. After that, since he's targetting relatively small towns, I would imagine that the best thing to do is call the local city hall, town counsel, or equivalent body and ask about their community's relative need for medical services. They might also be able to provide him with some sort of business development assistance to help him defray his costs. This method is a bit labor intensive, but I can't really think of a better way. --CVaneg 21:02, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Instead of calling every small town in the Midwest, might I suggest contacting the states' individual medical associations first? John Barleycorn 23:24, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Apart from looking at some population statistics, etc., I'd say that the ACOG would be the best place to look for help, seeing as you're a member of it. James 01:51, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Most doctors use a couple of other sources for finding jobs.

  1. Try the ads in the major OB journals, especially the throwaways.
  2. Most of the national specialty meetings are accompanied by a "job fair" arrangement as well as dozens of posted openings.
  3. The major medical recruiting agencies ("headhunters") will give you a choice of towns that are looking for OBs. Look at the job ads in the journals for the names and contact info for the firms.
  4. Call obstetricians in a variety of towns and ask them if they know of openings. Most doctors are very aware of openings in the vicinity in their specialty.
  5. If all else fails, google it. Here are hundreds of jobs: [17] [18] [19]

Good luck. Tell the hospital that hires you to send us a percentage of your first year salary. alteripse 14:51, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

What was began by the 18th Amendment?

I was writing because I have a Constitution Crossword Puzzle that is due for make-up

See Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution - it began Prohibition. ~~ N (t/c) 02:09, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Song in Comcast commercial?

Anybody have any idea who sings the song in the Comcast commercial that goes, "tick tock, tick tick tock, no time to play, i want it now, i want it now"? John Barleycorn 05:53, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

The only thing I've been able to find is a thread on What's That Tune full of similarly perplexed individuals. You may attempt to contact Comcast's advertising department. Perhaps writing to the address on the top of this page would be your best option, as I can't find anything more obviously appropriate. James 06:46, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, James, that site seemed to be the only one I could find that had those words on it. Must be some indy band. I like the song, though. John Barleycorn 06:52, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
What You Waiting For? by Gwen Stefani, maybe? You can catch some of the tic-toc-ing at the end of this clip [20]. ¦ Reisio 21:47, 2005 August 5 (UTC)
Thanks, no, it's a male singer. John Barleycorn 23:57, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Phobophobia - Fear of phobias

Is this a real phobia? It would seem that would cause one to fear a fear, then fear that fear, then fear that fear and so on and so forth. what happens next? would one spontaneously combust? How does this phobia work, and how did it come about? Also, are there Phobophilics (-philic: loving, as opposed to fearing), or are they just classed as thrill seekers? --Jake--13:31, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, you can fear fear in an abstract sense -- hence the whole "nothing to fear but fear itself" quote, but also more generally in certain situations the fear of other people could itself be more dangerous than whatever it is they are afraid of. In a limited example, the panic and disruption that could ensue from a series of terrorist attacks could potentially cause more harm in the long run than the attacks themselves -- you could fear "fear" in this sense more so than the weapons. --Fastfission 19:31, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Collapsing an array in Java

In Java, is there any way to remove elements from the middle of an array, and then collapse the array to close up all the holes? i.e.

1     1     1
2     del   3
3 ==> 3 ==> 4
4     4     6
5     del
6     6

Any help really appreciated. Thanks, Mary

For that option, you may want to use an ArrayList instead of an Array. The ArrayList contains the high-level functionality of an array but sports a nifty remove() function that does removal and shifting for you. It's also possible to convert the ArrayList into an Array if you want that specific end product. Consult your Java 2 API for the listing, I'm pretty sure it's in the java.util package.
You might also want to use a linked list, depending on what you're trying to accomplish. -D. Wu 15:55, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
You can accomplish this with a for loop. See below:
//Fill array with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

int x = 2; //index number you want to remove, in this case index number 2

for (int i = x; i < myArray.length; i++)
   myArray[i] = myArray[i + 1];

Then you can do another for loop and remove the other element. In addition, you can do a for loop inside a for loop. Remember that there is no "remove" method in arrays; array is not a class, and accordingly has no methods. Hope this helps! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 16:03, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

If you do that, it'll still have the original number of elements, and the last element will be duplicated/triplicated... might be a problem. ~~ N (t/c) 02:42, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, you could always make an auxillary wrapper class with an extra variable which keeps track of the "modified length" of the array...but that's what happens when you use arrays like this. I might even suggest a hash table here, but it really depends on the application. --HappyCamper 03:09, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Weight of a (war)horse?

How much does a 'normal generic' horse weigh? and what about an unequipped 'warhorse' ?

From this website, a horse may weigh from 200 to 800 kg depending on the type, and any horse can vary dramatically from its average. Outside of the fantasy realm, I wasn't able to find out any information on warhorse weight. -D. Wu 15:35, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
you will have to at least specify the century and rough area of your warhorse. Horse size increased considerably during the Middle Ages. In the tenth century, the Icelandic horse type may have weighed some 350 kg. In the High Middle Ages Arabian horses were getting larger, and by the 16th century or so, there were huge Friesian horses able to carry a knight in full plate armour, I don't know, 600 kg? So my estimate is that the weight of a warhorse almost doubled between the beginning and the end of the Middle Ages. dab () 15:46, 5 August 2005 (UTC) linked to Wikipedia?

Good Afternoon,

My name is Shane i work for an Aboriginal organization called BSTI, we are located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. We have been working with local, national and international organizations, corporations, business, government and non profit groups to establish an online archive of Environmental information. To see the demo site Click Here "" We would like to build a relationship with your organization to use the website to feature in our Services section. Do you have any Banners that we may source? If we do not hear from you we will assume it is OK for us to use the website for content links from to

Thank you, If you have any questions or guide lines please let me know. Shane BSTI Executive Marketing Director

For starters, you might want to check this page first: Wikipedia:Copyrights --HappyCamper 18:59, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't think he's asking to copy Wikipedia content. However, Shane, you are free to if you comply with the terms of the GFDL. I understood that he was merely asking for permission to link to us, possibly using deep links at times. At any rate, Wikipedia encourages linking to our main page or any page in our site. There are no restrictions. You asked if we had banners for you to use. In fact, we do. They are available at Wikipedia:Banners_and_buttons. You are under no obligation to use them, however. Superm401 | Talk 19:30, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

info on Iowa City, Iowa

I am looking for livable qualities in Iowa City.,_Iowa has some information and links. ¦ Reisio 21:34, 2005 August 5 (UTC)

Medium size midwestern college town. Higher density of "higher culture" and proper liberal thinking there than anywhere else in Iowa. Really flat, really hot in the summer, really cold in the winter. Surrounded by cornfields. Nearest "big" city is Des Moines, about 90 miles away. Relatively low crime & pollution. Higher cost of living than other medium towns in Iowa but much lower than the coasts. What else do you want to know? alteripse 14:39, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Silhouette pic

Does anyone know where I can find a placeholder-type picture of a silhouette? LIke the BBC uses when they don't yet have a photo of the person? THanks,-- 18:50, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

There are some here:

OpenOffice 2.0 Password

How do I crack the encryption of an OpenOffice 2.0 document (OpenDocument ODT format)? Don't say I can't, because that is incorrect.

P.S. It's my own file, though I suppose I would say that either way.

Superm401 | Talk 00:33, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

This is sort of awkward question to answer...why don't you try brute force? :) --HappyCamper 03:13, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I assume any program that I ran would probably use brute force, though it would be helpful if the encryption was flawed. However, I don't really want to program a brute force app myself and I don't know the algorithm for decryption at any rate. Doing a brute force attack manually is out of the question. It's a six character strong password with letters and numbers. That means there are roughly 2 billion possibilities. Superm401 | Talk 04:09, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...well, I don't think there will be any flaws in these encryption schemes. The mathematics behind them are quite solid. If the data is that important to you, you might consider ousourcing the recovery of its content to a 3rd party software firm who can assist with this. I suggested brute force simply because a similar thing happend to a research lab I know of. The technology assistant was away on vacation for 2 months, and the group had to write code to hack into their own database system! --HappyCamper 04:33, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not planning to pay someone to do this, though I would buy a program if necessary. I know it isn't that hard to program an app to break these kinds of passwords. There are an abundance of them for breaking Microsoft Office passwords. Problem is, I'm using a good office suite... Superm401 | Talk 05:29, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
You're certainly convincing me that you have an appropriate reason to get into this file. </sarcasm> :p ¦ Reisio 14:11, 2005 August 6 (UTC)
Reisio, I can assure you I'm telling the truth, but it's impossible to prove it to you. That's why I put my little note "though I suppose I would say that either way." How could I persuade you? Superm401 | Talk 22:09, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
It was mostly meant in jest. :) I also didn't see your P.S. until now - when I first read this you hadn't yet added it and I didn't reread it for quite a while. It doesn't really matter anyways, since I do not have a solution for you. I'll be on the lookout, though. ¦ Reisio 02:54, 2005 August 7 (UTC)
Well, it's perfectly understandable - you have to weight the cost of data recovery against the cost of data loss. The valuation of the latter is sometimes quite ambiguous, and does require a bit of thought. In some corporations for example, procurement and data storage departments often deal of these issues. --HappyCamper 15:39, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
don't you think that it indeed might be impossible without brute forcing? if they designed the system well enough then that is the only option. if it would be possible to crack it more easy then it would be kinda useless to include the option of file encryption in the suite. Boneyard 09:36, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Text dump of edits on Wikipedia

Is there a way to do a text dump of say, all the Wikipedia edits made on Christmas Eve 2000? I'm only interested in the time, and the number of bytes written/removed. What about for a particular article? --HappyCamper 03:15, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Create a blank file. That was an easy question.
Oh, wait, you probably wanted an answer that didn't exploit the fact that Wikipedia started January 15, 2001. If you take the database dumps, you can get that information, but it's not a task for the faint of heart. For an individual page, you can try Special:Export. -- Cyrius| 03:34, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Oops, my bad :) -- Yikes, those database dumps need so much post-processing before I get what I need...alright, I'll give it a shot, and I'll come back if I have more questions! --HappyCamper 03:42, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Can't you write a PHP program that finds everything in the edit table which has a timestamp on your date? — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 04:12, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't know PHP...but if you do, could you write something for me :-) :-) :-) ?? It would be super duper cool for me if you could!!
Software specs: Inputs --> (article name, start date, end date)
Outputs --> Two columns of data: (time in seconds, number of bytes added/removed from article) --HappyCamper 04:27, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
After that, I'll write my own program in Fortran 77 or something and feed this file into some heavy number crunching routines... --HappyCamper 04:27, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Mathematics: Bounded Area

  • Find the area of the region defined by the following system of inequalities:

    • 12Pi. It's really pretty simple. The first part means that it has to be within a circle at the origin with a radius of root(24). That's about 4.9. That means for a start everything has to < 4.9 and >-4.9. The second inequality is therefore irrelevant. The third means you should draw a line directly through the circle diagonally dividing it into two even parts, with exactly half of the circle fitting in the defined region. Hence, half the area or 12Pi. Ask if you have questions. Superm401 | Talk 07:51, August 6, 2005 (UTC) It would be pretty simple, if it were a totally different problem. Listen to the smart people below. Superm401 | Talk 02:29, August 7, 2005 (UTC)
The line cuts through the top of the wedge, so you need to take that into account. Is this a question formulated from a first or second year calculus class where double integrals are being taught? Here's a picture of the region of interest: --HappyCamper 14:30, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, if you're learning integrals I would do an integral dy taking slices of height . Then the lower limit would be the intesection of the circle and the slanted line, and the upper limit would be 61/2. That's the easiest way I think since you have a horizontal line as one of your bounds. --Laura Scudder | Talk 18:12, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I posed the question. The picture which I do not know how to add myself will certainly aid my explanation immensely.
The three vertices of the bounded region starting from the first quadrant and moving counterclockwise are Next, I designate the origin with the letter . Now, I divide the region into two parts. Part I is ABO and part II is BOC. Using the inverse tangent ratios we find that angle BOC=75 degrees. Also, the distance :Total area= I + II = the triangle + the circular slice . [The height of the triangle is, of course, .] Thus, the total area = Karl.
Your result looks correct, much simpler than the calculus approach which gives the same result (although much, much more messier):
After evaluation, your result is obtained, so on this basis, I think it's correct. --HappyCamper 15:01, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Isn't the 6.5 line outside the circle, making it irrelevant? Superm401 | Talk 21:55, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
It's not 6.5, it's or .-gadfium 01:45, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Damn. You're right. My eyes played tricks on me. Superm401 | Talk 02:29, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

A 7-mile high pleasure zone?

Let's say you're flying in a lousy 747 over the Pacific Ocean. You have absolutely nothing to do and you want to jump out of the window, can you do something to increase your productivity? Say exchange interesting computer files among your fellow passengers?

The 802.11x protocols include an ad hoc mode that enables peer-to-peer connection. Can you run BitTorrent or eDonkey in a peers-to-peers manner? -- Toytoy 08:09, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

Why the need for increased productivity? Maybe the flight could be the most relaxing time you'd have for yourself in a very long time. I'd just relax and daydream, maybe even talk to the kids on the plane and get to know their parents and a few random people. --HappyCamper 15:45, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
802.11x and most other wireless protocols are currently forbidden entirely on flights by the FAA. This will likely change as their reliability and safety are proven. James 18:21, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

Why not take a good book?Comply! 12:46, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Java question

Sorry for this simple question:

Let's say I have a class called Creature, and in my main class I have a Vector, allCreatures, containing these creatures.

If I run a for loop that says

for (int i=0; i<allCreatures.size(); i++){
   (Creature) currentCreature = allCreatures.get(i);

i.e. I try to run the change() method on all my creatures, will the creatures in the array get changed? This is what I want, but I'm unsure if only the newly-created creature, currentCreature, will get changed. Any help very much apreciated! Thanks, Mary

Maybe you could just use this?
for (int i=0; i<allCreatures.size(); i++)
That way, you don't need to make the auxilliary reference currentCreature. --HappyCamper 14:35, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, I can't do it straight like that because allCreatures.get(i) is of type Object, not type Creature. However, even casting it doesn't seem to work [ (Creature) allCreatures.get(i).change(); ]. --Mary
Try this and see if it works... --HappyCamper 15:24, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
((Creature) allCreatures.get(i)).change();
The way you have written the code, it is not casting the correct object, which is why it is complaining...I forgot that Vectors return objects with the get method--HappyCamper 15:24, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Sorry - I noted that I used the cast in my comment above, but since I accidentally left it out of my original code example (now added), you hadn't realized that I was already casting. Casting, however, doesn't seem to work. especially if I want to get the value variable out of the creature object.

(int) ((Creature) allCreatures.get(i)).age

is just about the only way the compiler will accept the syntax, but nothing results.
I'm getting side-tracked, however. I wasn't asking whether there is a way to cast straight from the Vector. I was asking if, in the original example above, the creature in the vector would get changed. Thanks, --Mary

If your original example had used proper casting, all the creatures would have gotten changed. It doesn't, though. The simplest change(IMHO) from yours to make it proper casting is:
for (int i=0; i<allCreatures.size(); i++){
  Creature currentCreature = (Creature)(allCreatures.get(i));

-- Superm401 | Talk 22:00, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

Stamping Library

Could somebody please tell me wat exactly is a 'stamping library' ? -- 13:42, 6 August 2005 (UTC)Munira

Context? In computing, there are software libraries for stamping versions and timestamps, among other things. ¦ Reisio 14:18, 2005 August 6 (UTC)

Turning off sounds in Firefox

How do I turn off the sounds in Firefox, the web browser. I have version 1.0.3 and the browser produces a thud when "Find in this page" yields no result. --Commander Keane 14:35, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

First uninstall 1.0.3 and install 1.0.6 [21] (here's why: [22]). Then type about:config into your location bar and hit ENTER, type accessibility.typeaheadfind.enablesound into the Filter: box, right-click on it (the pref) and select Toggle to set the value to "false" and turn it off. ¦ Reisio 16:15, 2005 August 6 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, I was looking for this too. — mark 16:30, 6 August 2005 (UTC)