Reference desk archive/July 2005 IV

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New Zealand radio

Okay, so I'm in one of my common country-fascination moods, where I find myself wondering why I don't know as much as I should about what's going on in a particular part of the world. This latest one may have been prompted because the election has just been called in New Zealand, and not for the first time I've found myself thinking that in the UK we just don't hear nearly enough about New Zealand. Seems like half the country has relatives who've emigrated there, but it must be a black hole from which no news ever returns. So my question is, what are the main news and current affairs radio stations in New Zealand, and (I'm more concerned about this bit) how much is there available to listen to over the internet? From a quick look at the relevant Wikipedia articles I came across Morning Report on Radio New Zealand's National Radio, but it doesn't seem to be possible to hear it over the internet. Any ideas? Secondary question to anyone familiar with British TV: when was the last time you saw anything on over here from New Zealand? I racked my brains and somehow came up with Shortland Street which I believe was shown a few years ago and sure enough turns out to be from New Zealand (frightening myself in the process with my ability to recall these soap-type programmes I would never watch), but I can't think of anything that's on at the moment or anything else in the past. For that matter, apart from the obvious (Neighbours and Home and Away), what TV is there in the UK from Australia? Seems pretty shameful to me that the cultural products of two major English-speaking countries never see the light of day here. It's not as if British viewers are unfamiliar with foreign TV: with the amount of American stuff there is you'd think they could squeeze something in from countries that seem to have quite a bit more in common. And now this has made me think of Canada and how you never see anything from there either. Is TV just crap in these countries, or sadly underappreciated abroad? Thanks in advance to anyone who can find me a radio station or offer some insight. — Trilobite (Talk) 01:36, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

There's surprisingly little in the way of New Zealand radio stations broadcasting news over the internet. There are special interest stations, such as Christian, student and Maori stations, but you want mainstream news. I suggest you try this Radio New Zealand page, which offers a weekly 6-minute summary of the New Zealand news amongst others.
There are also newspapers with reasonable web sites; see (NZ Herald, based in Auckland), Scoop, and Stuff, website of the Fairfax newspaper chain-gadfium 03:48, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Gadfium, that's very helpful. — Trilobite (Talk) 09:58, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Domestic television drama production in Australia has always been relatively small, and it's at a particularly low ebb right now. Aside from Neighbours and H&A, right now there's six drama series: (the hospital drama All Saints, the men-behaving-badly comedy/drama Last Man Standing, the rural cop drama Blue Heelers, the women-on-a-farm soap opera McLeod's Daughters, the medical/legal drama MDA, and premiering on the weekend is a new drama set in Alice Springs called "The Alice". Of the six, most of them are pretty cruddy to be honest. MDA is worthy but a bit dull, LMS is a decent attempt at a comedy-drama but lacks a bit of spark, and the rest are incredibly formuliac genre dramas (though McLeod's Daughters rates pretty well). There's also a show only on pay TV called "Love My Way", which is apparently the best of the lot but as so few Australians have cable virtually nobody has seen it.
So it's not that surprising that none of it ends up on British television, because Australians are rather unthusisastic about their own TV dramas at the moment.
New Zealand, as a country of only four million people, has an even smaller domestic TV sector. Even more strangely, very little of it is ever seen in Australia, despite us being happy to watch American and British television in massive quantities. --Robert Merkel 04:21, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't think much New Zealand television makes it to Britain or Australia, and for the most part that's just as well. If you get a chance to see The Insiders Guide to Happiness (which was shown on local TV earlier this year) or Outrageous Fortune (currently showing), they're not bad.-gadfium 05:01, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing those Australian ones out, I'd heard of Blue Heelers but not the others. — Trilobite (Talk) 09:58, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Surprisingly enough, a couple of New Zealand teen TV shows have made it to the US -- the very bizarre "Atlantis High" (, and another one about a bunch of kids who have survived an apocalypse without any adults, but I can't remember the name of that one. John Barleycorn 05:24, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

  • Ah. I found it. It's called "The Tribe". John Barleycorn 05:26, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
    • There was also a show called "Being Eve" which showed up on US shores. John Barleycorn 05:33, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
    • The Tribe, how could I forget? I seem to remember some of that being quite good. Thinking about children's TV I remember quite a bit from Australia, including Round the Twist which I was never the biggest fan of. I suppose any New Zealand TV that does make it to the UK has a good chance of being confused with Australian, and likewise with Canadian and American TV (most people over here not being sure aboot the difference between the accents), but I do remember Due South). — Trilobite (Talk) 09:58, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

New Zealand has fabulous scenery for movie making, such as Lord of the Rings. AlMac|(talk) 05:27, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Well if you've got Men & Motors (Freeview channel 38) you can see Motorway Patrol which is another of those "follow the cops on their job" type documentary series - the NZ police don't seem to do car chases much, it mostly seems to be crash investigations, overloaded trucks, dangerous driving and speeding. I know the NZ$ isn't worth much, but the size of some of those fixed-penalty speeding tickets they dish out is frightening! -- Arwel 20:15, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Going back to radio stations. Aside from the publically owned National Radio there's also a commercial current affairs station called RadioLive. Here's the website:

Looking at the website it seems they do broadcast on the web but you have to register (I don't know if this costs anything). Probably the best times to listen will be early morning and late afternoon NZ time (roughly opposite if you're in the UK with the 12 hour time difference). Hope this helps Lisiate 00:14, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

nitroglycerin usefulness

How would a person go about making sublingual nitroglycerin tablets *safely* in small explosives for quick digging? I am in a geographic area with Caliche making a the majority of the soil below 8-12in, and im sick of blisters from trying to dig through that stuff by hand, and looking in my medicine cabinet one day i find my old nitroglycerin tablets.

I'm sure it would be illegal, no matter how you did it. Also, the notroglycerin is stabilized by other chemicals in the tablets, which would probably prevent them from exploding very easily. Further, if they're old, they've likely lost their potency and may not even explode at all. James 05:42, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
Synthesizing it would be much more effective than trying to pry it out of a medicine tablet, which has been rendered thoroughly nonexplosive — not in the last place because nitroglycerin degrades quickly, so those tablets are probably worthless. However, nitroglycerin is dangerous stuff, and the safest way of handling it is not at all. Blisters are relatively benign, compared to missing limbs. You want safe nitroglycerin? Buy dynamite. The fact that that's the "safe" version of the stuff should be some indication... JRM · Talk 19:24, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Yep, you'd be much better off renting some heavy or powered machinery to do the digging for you rather than losing limbs. But also, why bother with a dangerous unstable high explosive? If you really want to ignore the risks of blowing off limbs, digits, and/or eyes, just buy some regular explosives. If you augered a hole, and put a normal explosive, I'm pretty sure you'd get a good sized hole, and lots of flying debri (some of which may be large enough to damage nearby automobiles, people, and such. You may need a permit or you may not be able to get the explosives legally in your area unless you are a construction contractor, etc. You'll also wan't to check for gas lines or other underground obstructions. Depending on your location and the size of the holes you want, the most powerful legal firecracker you can buy might do it for you. - Taxman Talk 20:22, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

Distinction between an Ale House & a Beer House

My research has identified that, at least in North East England (Tyne & Wear), seperate licensing ledgers for Ale Houses and Beer houses were maintained by the magistrates courts between circa 1900 and 1955. These documents are held by the Tyne & Wear Archive Service, but neither they, or the magistrates licensing clerk seem to know what classified an establishment as one or the other. Can anyone help?

MIke Clarke

Not sure - but I have seen (in the Court Inn in Durham, good food...) a contemporary? list giving all public houses in Durham and environs in 1899 or thereabouts - it didn't make any such distinction that I recall. Perhaps something that came in with the rewritten WWI-era licensing laws? It may also be worth researching what laws were repealed in 1953/4/5, as this might give you an idea why they stopped. Shimgray 13:15, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Could it have something to do with the technical difference between ale (unhopped) and beer (hopped)? From Beer and Skittles, and The English Pub, all I can find out is that the Saxons had ale-houses, and the change from ale to beer didn't happen in England until the 15th century. --Mothperson cocoon 14:02, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Black boys on mopeds

Does the Sinéad O'Connor song "Black Boys on Mopeds" refer to a specific incident? Were there ever black boys on mopeds killed on Margaret Thatcher's orders? Also, who is the "Madame George" referred to in the song? The Van Morrison song Madame George doesn't seem to be it. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 11:38, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

According to this .doc article, which appears to be from Sinéad: Her Life and Music (1) by Jimmy Guterman, "Black Boys on Mopeds" references the death of Nicholas Bramble on 17 May 1989 (2). Mr. Bramble, on a motorcycle, was being pursued by police that mistakenly believed that he had stolen the bike. Mr. Bramble accelerated to dangerous speeds and crashed. His death was ruled accidental.
Sinéad charged England and Margaret Thatcher for Mr. Bramble's death because the death would not have happened if the police, a representative of state authority, did not accost him in the first place. I'm not familiar with this particular songwriter's political leanings, but it does appear she had anti-Thatcher sentiments. She chose this event to parody the "hypocrisy of Thatcher's U.K. leadership" (3).
The reference to Madame George does appear to be an homage to the Van Morrison song. (4). -D. Wu 19:33, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

125 years

I am looking for the term for 125 years quin????? I am not sure what to look for can you help. I guess I don't know what 25 years is called. The town of Fulda will be celebrating their 125th year in 2006 and I wanted to know the right term. Thank you.

  • Quasquicentennial, apparently, though it's not very commonly used. Try not to say it fast :-) Shimgray 13:24, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Which English newspaper can boast to be the oldest continuously published?

Searching Guiness I found The Observer is the oldest continuously published English Sunday paper. I found no result for daily papers unfortunately. I ask because the The News Letter and Glasgow Herald articles both claim this title. lots of issues | leave me a message 14:44, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

The article on the London Gazette claims that it is "the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously-published newspaper in the world, having been first published on 7 November 1665." It is not a daily, though; at least, not every day. I note that the article on The News Letter says that it was first published in 1737, but was a weekly until 1855. Finally, the article on the Glasgow Herald claims that it is "the world's oldest continuously-published English-language newspaper, first published in 1783" which just cannot be right. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:01, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I know it is off topic, but I'd note the oldest American paper is The New Haven Register. The oldest west of the Appalachians published under its original name is The Western Star. PedanticallySpeaking 14:55, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Exporting from KPresenter into PowerPoint/PDF/OpenOffice

I have a lengthly presentation made in KPresenter, and I'm loath to start it all over again. I need to turn it into a PowerPoint presentation or pdf slide show, but can't find any way to do this. I know I can go from OOo to pdf, so if I can get my presentation into OOo Impress then that would be fine to.

Currently, I can save my presentation as an html slideshow, a KPresentation uncompressed XML file, a KWord file and so on. OOo has a number of import filters, but none of them seem applicable.

I guess in the worst case I can make jpgs of each slide and place them in each powerpoint slide, but I'd hope that there's an easier solution. Thanks!

I don't know anything about that application. However, if it's on Windows, you can use the free CutePDF to print any file to PDF. That would let yo make the PDF slideshow. Superm401 | Talk 17:00, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
It's not on Windows, but your printing idea is sound. Print to postscript (you might need to install a fake postscript printer to do this) and then convert PS to PDF with ghostscript (a trick that works on windows too, and it's free). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:13, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, that sounded like a good idea, and it ought to work. I'm still having problems, however. Printing from KPresenter, I see that it has the option to print to pdf, but that doesn't seem to work at all (file "prints", but pdf can't be opened). It also has the option of printing to ps, as suggested above. However, this prints a very large file (50MB), which takes several minutes to "print". Using ps2pdf, I can convert it into a pdf (takes about 10 minutes), but the resulting pdf is huge: it takes about half a minute to view each slide. Also the slides are rotated 90 deg.

I can't find any relevent print options that would allow me to 1) make the output ps file smaller and 2) rotate the final slides. I also can't find any way to make the pdf smaller after its been converted. As it is, it's no good (it turns a 15 minte presentation into a 20 minute presentation with a lot of boring waiting while the next slide loads).

Any advice?

Ouch, that's nasty. If you have a few days, ask on the KDE website. If you're in a hurry: think screengrabs (ducks for cover) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:30, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
I think in Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 in Windows there's a little button in the top left corner which allows you to rotate the slides. It's a "rotate clockwise" button. I've done this a number of times to fix this "rotated 90 degrees" error. Also, what you can do is the reprint the PDF to another PDF. This might reduce the file size somewhat. --HappyCamper 18:40, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm, well I can't get the files onto a Windows machine when they're 50MB large (got no CDs on me). Also tried using the -r function in ps2pdf: 'ps2pdf -r300' but it didn't reduce the size one whit.

Well, unless someone has a solution, I think I'll use the jpgs of the slides and insert them one by one into a PowerPoint presentation. Good thing I don't have to show this until 9am tomorrow. Sigh...

KPresenter 1.3.5 can export directly to OpenOffice Impress. I don't know if this works well for complex presentations. If upgrading is too difficult, I might suggest booting a KOffice LiveCD just for this task (log in as guest/guest or root/toor). —Ghakko 23:20, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


According to a parent, hitchhiking was illegal in Sweden twenty years ago. Is it still illegal? Any ways in which Swedish hitching is difference to the norm? Or tips. Sweden sounds to me like a very safe place. --Wonderfool t(c) 17:33, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

It is certainly legal now (unless you do it along the motorway), but it isn't all that common. My guess is that the best way to go about it is to find a hangout for truck drivers, and to persuade one of them to take you along. Hitching a ride along a road might be more difficult. It might be a good idea to check out alternatives. Trains are rather expensive in Sweden, but you can check at SJ's home page. Coaches are often considerably cheaper, try Swebus Express, Svenska Buss (only in Swedish, I'm afraid, choose "Linjekarta" to see the lines) and Y-buss (Swedish only) for various parts of the country. / Alarm 18:04, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Added after edit conflict
I would be very surprised if it was illegal. I have certainly never heard of it. I think it is because, well, nobody does it. I have never seen a single hitchhiker in my entire life, and I've travelled up and down sweden many times (I am not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it is very rare). I imagine that it would be quite difficult to get someone to pick you up (we swedes are kinda asocials that way sometimes). If we want to get someplace, we catch a train or bus. If you were lucky enough to be picked up however you would be quite safe. We are a kind people that don't harm anyone and nobody harms us :D gkhan 18:15, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
Nobody harms Swedes? Tell that to Olof Palme and Anna Lindh. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 19:03, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that is very true, there are exceptions (horrible, horrible exceptions!) but you are safer here than most places. gkhan 08:30, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
LOL, a parent told you it was illegal twenty years ago? What kind of a parent..? It's never been illegal. Sweden is just a place, the laws are pretty similar to the US and other western countries. It's not Oz. Bishonen | talk 00:38, 1 August 2005 (UTC)


What are some of the overriding objectives of a business?

If you listen to Milton Friedman, there is only one objective for a business; make money for its shareholders within the limits of ethics and law. Milton Friedman, despite what some on the right of politics might claim, is not the only viewpoint on the matter. See corporate social responsibility for a broader view on the topic. --Robert Merkel 08:23, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Tony J. Watson describes the logic of corporate management being "one of shaping exchange relationships to satisfy the demands of the various constituensies, inside and outside the organisation, so that continued support in terms of resources such as labour, custom, investment, supplies and legal approval is obtained and the organisation enabled to survive in the long term." That pretty much wraps it up. --EnSamulili 10:40, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
If you are going to start a business, it's up to you to decide what it's objectives are. Obviously it should comply with necessary law, but businesses run for different reasons. Profit is not always the driving force. DJ Clayworth 14:50, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Tongan weddings

My brother recently married a girl from Tonga. The wedding was pretty traditional, in a church. The reception, though, was a complete mystery to us and my brother's friends. We were sitting isolated from the rest and most of the reception was spoken in Tongan. No one explained to us what was going on or what the different rituals at the reception meant. I was given a hand-knit blanket from the older sister of the bride from her mother, as I am the oldest sister to my brother. Very confusing.

Is there any way I can find out online exactly what a traditional tongan wedding and reception involves? I would like to understand what all the different rituals that happened at the reception MEAN.

er, how about asking your sister-in-law? There are a few Google hits too. Dunc| 19:59, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

How can I find that address?

Dear sirs , I look forward getting your help know the address of Mr . Natan Sharansky (e-mail address ,phone ,etc..) . I like to contact him regarding his wonderful book ( Tehe Case For Democracy). I want to contact him , or even if you pass my messgage to him . I will be waiting your response .

Your interested and immediate reply will be highly appreciated .


  • I fear we will not be able to pass on your message...we're an encyclopedia project, not the author's agent or publisher :P The best way to contact the author of a specific book is usually by contacting the book's publisher and ask them to pass on the message. -- Ferkelparade π 09:54, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Ferkel beat me to it. If you can track down their website you could email them, preferably putting FAO Nathan Sharansky in the subject line. I tried writing to Lynne Truss that way once and was very surprised and delighted to get a response since she was apparently inundated having had enormous success with her book Eats, Shoots and Leaves --bodnotbod 10:12, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
    • Publishers will usually forward correspondance if they can. I had one unfortunate experience where I wrote to the author of a book c/o the publisher: the reply was that they would be delighted to pass on my letter, had the person concerned not passed away in 1976... Physchim62 10:33, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Another possibility is sar at , which was Sharansky's email address at the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction (he resigned last May). They will probably forward your mail in the right direction. David Sneek 11:17, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

      • Try this address:

Natan Sharansky c/o PublicAffairs 250 West 57th Street Suite 1321 New York, NY 10107

Phone number of publisher: 212.397.6666

Email address:

Hope that helps. Superm401 | Talk 15:04, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

I'd write to him in care of the Author Mail Department, PublicAffairs Books,250 West 57th Street, Suite 1321, New York, New York 10107. PedanticallySpeaking 15:01, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't see that. Superm401 | Talk 15:05, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

I've got a query into the Knesset librarian. I'll let you know what she says. PedanticallySpeaking 15:14, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

How do I change a DVD format to something I can play on the internet?

I have a DVD saved on my computer and I want to upload it to my website but was told by the host that it has to be in a format that the internet can player (like MP3) how do I change the DVD to MP3 or something that will play on my website?

Thanks Marcea

Try -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:45, July 27, 2005 (UTC) has tons of free DVD ripping software available: . As for picking a format that "the internet can understand" - that applies to absolutely any format you can use (ie: your host is ignorant), but you'll probably want to make it some sort of MPEG (you won't really have to pick which; any form of MPEG your DVD ripping software [or video format convertor] supports will most likely work). ¦ Reisio 15:01, 2005 July 27 (UTC)

Thank you SO much for your help! I love people who share their knowledge. You were very helpful. Blessings...Marcea

Travel from Shanghai/ Pudong to Suzhou/ Weitang area

I would like to travel from Pudong to Suzhou/ Weitang where I would like to purchase pearls and other jewelry. I am interested in both driving directions and public transit. Thank you.

Maps of China aren't very common on the Internet, but you could give it a try with a Google search. — Stevey7788 (talk) 22:25, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
I have found both the long distance bus and the train quite comfortable, and comparably priced. The bus station was much nicer (smaller and less crowded), but I don't know if I could have found it without advice from locals. How familiar are you with China? Do you speak Chinese? Have a Chinese driver's license? — Pekinensis 00:40, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Peck's Bad Boy

Who wrote the play Peck's Bad Boy which was adapted from the novels by George W. Peck? thanks, Old Bubblehead

  • Aurand Harris according to this. --bodnotbod 15:13, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Mr. Harris wrote his adapation in 1974 so it would appear that it is not the original which was first performed around 1890. Old Bubblehead

Visual Disturbances/Experiences during panic attacks.

I'm interested in portraying characters who suffer from agoraphobia or claustrophobia who may experience panic attacks. I'm interested to hear from anyone who experiences panic attacks whether you can describe what happens in terms of your visual perception.

If I wanted to create a video, using special effects, with the aim of trying to put the viewer into your point of view - what sort of things would I do to my "normal" footage to try and communicate your experience? --bodnotbod 14:58, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Well, this probably isn't helpful and it may be just me, but when I'm having an agoraphobia panic attack, I'm probably at home, and I'm pretty much just seeing the book in front of me that I'm reading to distract me. If by some chance I'm out, I'm looking for the quickest way home. There are no special visual effects. Sorry. Now breathing and heart rate - that's another story, but not very useful for video. --Mothperson cocoon 02:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Yeah -- it was a feeling of "gotta get home gotta get home where all these PEOPLE aren't" for me. (To my great relief, I've found that anti-depressants reduced the problem about 95%.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:46, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks both. All information is useful at this point. And I am entirely happy if the Sepcial FX are surplus to requirements as it will help with the budget ;o) --bodnotbod 21:33, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Spider Webs

At times spider webs are observed outside my front door of my home. The span of the web is greater than 8 feet where it is anchored to objects (trees, house, car, etc.). My question is how does the spider construct this web. Does it go up and down to get back and forth, or depend on the wind to anchor it to a distant object, or is it able to shoot it out like spiderman in the movie, or does it have another method? --Tdra26 16:47, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

  • It depends very much on the species, so a geographical location might help in giving you the answer for the particular webs. Usually the first strands of the web are spun with the help of gravity and/or the wind. These strands are then tightened: the spider shortens the length of the strand by standing on an anchor point and eating the excess length of silk before rejoining the ends. This makes the strands taught enough to be used as a framework for the construction of the rest of the web. After that it is a question of filling in the gaps, which requires a lot of "up and down" movement. Physchim62 18:21, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


Can you provide me with a listing of how many stores each of the major supermarkets has in the following cities? For example 37 Albertsons, 29 Kroger, 13 Safeway, etc. in a specific city.

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Baltimore
  • Denver
I recommend you go to each chain's website and find a store locator. There are no national supermarket chains, though, so you'll have to find out what the major supermarkets are for each city (for instance, Cub is large in the midwest, but non-existent on the west coast). I'd recommend looking that info up in a phone book [1] [2]. James 20:01, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Some of these chains operate under different names in different states, sometimes due to buyouts or mergers. Oddly two different companies can have supermarkets with the same names in different states or regions, which is quite odd. FunkyChicken! 14:50, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

A penny for your thoughts

Anyone know the origin of the phrase "a penny for your thoughts"? Is this an American phrase, or did it originate outside the U.S.? Is this phrase used outside the U.S.? Thanks in advance, although I'd be surprised if anyone even sees the Penny talk page (that's why I copied it here too). --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 18:04, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

According to straight dope the first documetned use is in a book of proverbs dating from 1546, which inplies it wasn't new then. DES 18:10, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
'Doh, you beat me to it. →Raul654 18:15, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Goo!, that was a fast response. It was however less than definite, although I'm not sure you'd get better than that. Thanks. --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 18:22, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
The phrase is certainly used in the UK. In Northern English, it is sometimes shortened to "a penny for'em", the reference to thoughts being implicit. Physchim62 18:24, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Of interest is the related idiom "my two cents worth" where MY THOUGHTS are worth TWO cents while YOURS are only worth one cent. AlMac|(talk) 18:31, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Duh, see my user page. --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 19:06, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Denying The antecedent

(Maybe) see denying the antecedent. Frencheigh 20:13, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Common cold

Does the common cold cross species? 21:12, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

It depends on what kind of strain or microorganism you're talking about. There are hundreds of types of common cold germs. — Stevey7788 (talk) 22:24, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

There is evidence that a number of viruses have and can cross species. This has been thought to occur in south Asia with many varieties of influenza, which seems to have originated as a bird or swine infection, and from monkeys in Africa, perhaps those eaten as bush meat. However, this is not the same phenomenon as simple contagion. A cross-species transfer is thought to be a rare event, and associated with an anomalous viral or host factor (such as a mutation) for that particular event. If it occurs, further mutation of the virus can allow it to establish itself in the new host species. alteripse 00:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Also check out SIV. I believe HIV is thought to have come from monkeys to humans through bushmeat hunting. Nickptar 01:10, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

OK, I'm still a bit hazy on the details; let me get more general and more specific at the same time. (Obviously I know little to nothing about biology, so bear with me.)

  • Are there viruses that replicate in multiple species? Being harmless in one but devastating in the other? Could virus replication ever be harmless, anyway? Wouldn't it be a drain on the system by definition?
A virologist can give you more authoritative answers and especially examples, but I think my answers are accurate. There are some viruses that replicate in more than one species. For those viruses, there can be species differences in virulence. Viral infection at low levels can be harmless. High levels of replication generally cause trouble. Many viruses can live within us without causing trouble for long periods of time (e.g., the varicella virus you get as chickenpox can reactivate 60 years later as shingles.)
  • If they can't, does that mean species are very distinct at the molecular level, so viruses can't effectively cross, barring exceptional mutations? If humans and (certain species of) apes are so very closely related genetically, for example, how come viruses can't take advantage? It's one thing they can't breed, but this is "deliberate". You'd think viruses wouldn't play by the rules.
Species are more distinct molecularly at the cell surface level and immunoregulatory levels than most other places, but these are key locations of viral entry and defense. That is right, most viruses do not routinely cross species and the ones that do are taking advantage of molecular similarity between species. I don't understand your sentence about "not breeding" and "deliberate" and can't respond, but I suspect it contains a major mistaken assumption.
  • To get back to the original topic somewhat: do other species have their equivalent of the common cold, or is it a human thing? Do none of the hundreds of different cold-causing viruses cross species? 18:50, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
I am sure that there are "cold" virus infections of other species, but a veterinarian could probably cite you examples. If you are asking if you can catch a cold from a pet, I doubt it because few people keep humanoid primates as pets. You can certainly catch a variety of other zoonoses from pets. alteripse 22:04, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia as a reference

I would like to cite an article from Wikipedia as a reference in a research paper. Could you give me the proper author, publishing, etc. information that I should have in my list of references?

See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. (Why was this removed from the top of the page?) Frencheigh 22:06, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Error message

I get the message "Windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system.

DETAIL - Incorrect function." when I log on WindowsXP Home Edition. How can I fix this problem? If it helps, I had to recreate my account and transfer settings manually. Superm401 | Talk 22:40, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

The error originates from when Windows was first installed. A space or backspace as the last position of the profile name that you entered will cause the software to goof when creating the directory for your profile. The error is self-correcting.;en-us;246936 for more information. -D. Wu 06:50, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Can I have sex with my first cousin?

She is super hot and I really want to do her. We make out alot and grew up seeing each other naked. So can I have sex with my first cousin? I am serious, I love her and we want to have kids, but we won't if they are going to be freaks or something! 00:42, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

You CAN have sex with anyone who consents to have it with you. However you MAY not, if there are laws, where you reside, against doing it if you under age, same gender, or very closely related. Freaks are in the eyes of the beholder. Have you considered safe sex and adoption? AlMac|(talk) 00:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Sure its physically possible, but the genetics of any offspring may be screwed up royally! 01:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I heard of offspring once between two cousins that had an arm growing out of their stomach. Jarlaxle 01:03, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

  • This is pretty unlikely, actually. First cousins aren't that closely related; they only share 1/8 of their genes. I think from studies the chances of dangerous genetic diseases is about 2% higher in the offspring of first cousins.--Pharos 01:13, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

It would violate incest laws in many jurisdictions. Superm401 | Talk 01:05, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

  • If you want to do it (and damn the consequences) might I suggest your opening line should be "I think I'm in love with you" or "I have very deep feelings for you" rather than "you're hot, can I do you?" --bodnotbod 01:14, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
    • Please don't say "I think I'm in love with you". Women have to put up with that kind of crap all the time, and the silence that follows (What does he expect me to say -I wuv u too) is always embarrasing. Treating women with respect, means not lying about your feelings. Theresa Knott (a tenth stroke) 01:24, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
      • But since the questioner claims that he is indeed in love with her, why is it crap? Why would it be "a lie about his feelings"? Sheesh. --bodnotbod 21:36, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
      • Perhaps, but wouldn't "You're hot, can I do you?" be a bit more awkward? Surely something more tactful can be said? Nonetheless, since the opening also said "We make out alot" I think they're kind of past that stage. I suppose the short answer might be "There's a good chance you might break the law depending on your jurisdiction and bit of a higher chance (but probably not as high as most people think, since I suspect popular culture would put the odds at 100%) for birth defects." Might I also suggest that this could be an awkward social situation for any children in the future? - RedWordSmith 01:48, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

In answer to the anon's question - you share around 1/8th of your genes with your first cousins. This means that there will be a slightly higher risk of your having children with serious birth defects. Theresa Knott (a tenth stroke) 01:34, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I have heard before that studies have questioned if the marriage of most first cousins is really a significant genetic problem when it only happens once in a family. The idea is that problems arise when cousins marry repeatedly in the same family or if the family carries particular genes. These articles seem to support this. Of course, that doesn't say anything about what your friends and family will think. You might want to check out Cousins Uniting to Defeat Discriminating Laws through Education, in particular their listing of state laws. If it's legal and your family is understanding, you'd probably want to recieve genetic counselling just to make sure before having kids. Of course, I'm not a doctor. --Laura Scudder | Talk 01:42, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Since your IP is from West Virginia, I took a look at the West Virginia Code and found this: "A person is guilty of incest when such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with his or her father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, son, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, nephew, niece, uncle or aunt." Looks like you're all good, assuming you're both of legal age of consent. I'd recommend against it though. James 02:06, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

On another note, it is illegal to marry first cousins in West Virginia, despite sexual relations being legal. James 02:41, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
you should probably ask your first cousin as well :D It's quite legal in some parts of the world including the UK, and so is marriage between first cousins. I wouldn't see a dilemma myself, in fact I did have a very pleasant sexual experience with one of my first cousins many years ago, and I would have done so with the other one as well if I could have got my hands on her jamesgibbon 21:01, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
As you can tell from the US laws, there's quite a taboo here against having sex with, much less marrying a cousin. I think one of those articles I quoted above tracked the laws to an attempt to speed immigrant integration by forcing marriage outside their group, but it has since become very embedded in our society. --Laura Scudder | Talk 21:15, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Incest#Modernity has an interesting bit about differences in marriage laws in different US states and why some allow cousins to marry and some don't. Although it may not be illegal, I'd say there is certainly a strong taboo against such things in the UK these days - one which probably didn't exist in the 19th century (Queen Victoria herself married her cousin, after all, and this was the age of Victorian morality). If I calmly announced to my friends one day that I was marrying my cousin I think they'd be pretty horrified. As I understand it there is not a great biological problem with having children with a cousin, but still the idea is unpleasant in 21st century Western society. — Trilobite (Talk) 22:32, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
That doesn't include great-grandparents or great-grandchildren. My last great-grandparent died when I was a teenager. My paternal grandparents have six great-grandchildren, the eldest of which is in grade school. So I guess it's possible to have legal in-family sex this way. However, I don't see why anyone would want to. =) JIP | Talk 13:46, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Out of curiosity I'm going to tally the results:

  • Sex w/cousin legal? Yes - just don't move out of state
  • Children with extra limbs? No - unless your families have a history of inbreeding
  • Morally/socially acceptable? Not really, unless you are royalty
  • Marrying cousin legal? No - but you could move to a state where it is. Heck, Vegas might marry you before they find out.
  • Pickup lines for your cousin?
    • "I think I love you" - Not acceptable per local authority
    • "You're hot, can I do you?" - Are you dating Paris Hilton?
    • "You have a familiar face..." - She may have heard that one before
    • "Can I baby-sit you?" - Try to avoid younger cousins
    • "Weren't you my baby-sitter?" - Try to avoid much older cousins
    • "My family is having a family reunion, want to be my date?" - Might be difficult
    • "My dad really likes you." - Could cause you some competition
    • "You have my mother's eyes." - A compliment is always good...

One more question... which side does the family sit on? Groom? Bride? I don't think this is covered in the bridal magazines. ("Single family marraiges - how to avoid those annoying in-laws")- Tεxτurε 23:00, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

First cousins have a much lesser risk of producing children with genetic disorders that widely perceived; the April 2002 issue of the Journal of Genetic Counseling published studies showing that offspring of first cousins has a 2 to 3 percent greater risk of birth defects than the general population, and a little over 4 percent greater risk of early death. (See [3], [4][5]

From a personal standpoint, I believe that laws inhibiting relationships between first cousins per se are without scientific or moral basis. Such offspring are not prohibited by either Christianity, Judaism Dating_Advice_130_-_Genetic_Risk.asp, or Islam [6]. and modern social taboos and the practice stem mostly from a false understanding of the facts (a good fact sheet is here). Neutralitytalk 04:58, July 31, 2005 (UTC)


I have quite a lot of my old compositions on CakeWalk in the *.wrk format. My new computer runs Windows 2000 and I cannot install my old version of CakeWalk due to DLL incompatibility. Are there any (freeware) solutions to convert my work to MIDI without loss of information? Answers on my talk page please. JFW | T@lk 00:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Replied: ¦ Reisio 02:52, 2005 July 28 (UTC)

Al Roker's weight before gastric bypass surgery

Does anyone know Al Roker's weight before gastric bypass surgery and post op? 00:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

"After years of yo-yo dieting, Roker had his stomach stapled and his small intestine rerouted so that he can only eat a few ounces of food at a time.

Eight months later, he has dropped 100 pounds from his 320-pound frame, trimmed 14 inches from his waist and put all those Fat Albert jokes to rest." - NY Daily News lots of issues | leave me a message 04:11, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Origin of cooking recipe for hard boiled eggs

Does anyone know where the following heuristic originated from in print? --HappyCamper 01:02, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

  1. Place some eggs into a pot
  2. Add water to the pot until the eggs are completely submerged under water.
  3. Bring to a roaring boil
  4. Turn off the stove, and let the eggs sit in the water for 15 minutes
  5. Enjoy!
Sorry, I don't know. But I do know that if you change that 15 minutes to 10, you end up with perfect eggs. As long as you don't try to peel them until they are very cool. --Mothperson cocoon 02:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC) And you put a lid on the pot. I think this may be French. Could it be Julia Child? I still don't know. But I forgot to mention that after they have been sitting in the water for 10 (or 15) minutes, you must pour off the hot water and immerse them in cold to stop the cooking, of course. --Mothperson cocoon 16:29, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Plus it makes the shell easier to remove. A bit of salt in the water raises the boiling temperature of the water, boiling the eggs faster. That is the end of my culinary knowledge. Proto t c 09:49, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


I was just looking at the List of birds and Penguin after reading the World Book Encyclopedia. Aren't penguins Aves (class) > Neornithes (Subclass) > Impennes (Superorder) > Sphenisciformes (order)? According to the List of Birds, penguins are in Neognathae, yet the World Book classifies penguins in Impennes (nonexistant in Wikipedia). Maybe a different type of classification? Some google searches come up with many results, yet vague...-- WB 01:06, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Based on what I can turn up in a google search, Impennes appears to be an archaic classification. Wikispecies places Sphenisciformes within the superorder Neognathae. -- Cyrius| 04:05, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

The superorder Impennes Stejneger, 1885 is no longer considered valid. Stejneger considered penguins to be separate from all other birds hence their elevatation to a superorder. However, the more we know about them, the more relationships we find with other birds. There's a summary of the history of penguin classification at evowiki:Sphenisciformes.

Wikipedia follows the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds) and places the penguins in their own order Sphenisciformes; however, the newer Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy (based on DNA hybridization studies and cladistic analysis) demotes them even further, placing them as a family in the order Ciconiiformes. Gdr 01:22:35, 2005-07-30 (UTC)

Thank you! -- WB 05:19, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

Another inane Latin translation request

I'm almost done, and then I will go back to my neglected wiki potages and dragées and real work, but for my BtVS project, would someone, please, kindly give me a Latin translation for something along the lines of "Begone foul spirit/entity. Return to hell and stay there." Not looking for literal here. Just a general adjuring. You know - back off and don't come back if you know what's good for you. That sort of thing.

Actually, this might be useful in many situations. But I need it for a quick spell. Thank you in advance. --Mothperson cocoon 02:27, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

How about the one at Exorcism#Exorcism in Roman Catholicism? --cesarb 06:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
That's pretty good, for sure. But the BtVS demons are more secular (okay - crosses work for vampires, but other than that...). I think I need something more casual - a "go back to hell and stay there" sort of thing, because the people who would be saying it would not be worried about their own souls, and Satan isn't really a part of the mythology. --Mothperson cocoon 13:29, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Apage, spirite sordide! Ad infernum redite permaneque! --Gareth Hughes 13:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

That sounds like the ticket! I'm going to memorize that one myself. Thanks! --Mothperson cocoon 14:09, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

(edit conflicts)Or, with slightly different wording, exe, sordida phantasma. in os inferni regredere, nunquam terram veneno inficiens, meaning "Go out, filthy spirit. Go back into the mouth of Hell, never again tainting the earth with your poison". [[smoddy]] 14:11, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Hey - that's a great one! I'm going to use (and memorize) them both. They sound most appropriate for many situations. Thanks, guys! --Mothperson cocoon 16:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

This could come in handy at work. 20:50, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Does Jessica Alba apear nude in the Sin City movie?

Does Jessica Alba apear nude in the Sin City movie? 03:19, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

No. Go watch it. - Ta bu shi da yu 03:24, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
If she isn't naked there is no reason to watch it unless Alexis Bledel is! 03:35, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Whatever floats your boat, pal, but there are plenty of other reasons to watch Sin City, not least the precision that the world of graphic novels has been brought to the screen. It's a fine film (oh, and if you must, while there's no actual nudity by either you get plenty of shots of both Bledel and Alba in very provocative clothing). --Robert Merkel 04:05, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
No, but Carla Gugino barely appears clothed...oh my oh my oh my. :) Also the perfect role for Elijah Wood...creepy. ¦ Reisio 03:48, 2005 July 28 (UTC)

Cancer and Brain Tumor incidence in McCurtain County Oklahoma

Do you know why there are so many cases of cancer and brain tumors in McCurtain county? Has anyone ever studied this area...the environment, etc.? S. Johnson

This sort of stuff surely isn't helping: [7] [8] [9] ¦ Reisio 04:03, 2005 July 28 (UTC)
Hmm. Firstly, how do you know that there are more cancers in McCurtain county than other places? If it's just your personal observation, I'd try and find some statistics on cancer incidence in the county to back your personal observations up first. --Robert Merkel 05:42, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

This sort of question is very common. See [10]. A brief answer is that there are two possibilities:

  1. The increased incidence is real and due to a discoverable environmental cause.
  2. The cluster is simply a cluster. Many events or objects that are widely distributed are not evenly and uniformly distributed in local areas. See for example the distribution of galaxies in the universe [11]. If you live in an area of increased star density you might ask, "why are there more stars around here?"

The CDC has procedures and people for determining which of the two answers is correct. As you probably can guess, it usually turns out to be the second answer, which will be rejected by those of your neighbors who prefer to think that most bad things are someone's fault. alteripse 12:27, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

There's a great resource at the NCI that lets you create profiles of certain areas and see how the rates compare to the rest of the country or state and even how different cancer sites compare. McCurtain County does have a higher rate of cancer, though not by much, but so does Oklahoma in general. If you look at this chart, you can see that the only kind of cancer that is significantly higher than US average is lung and bronchus cancers, which may indicate that an airborne agent is at work, or that there is a higher incidence of smoking in the county. James 18:42, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Land registry in Greenfield Park, Quebec

To whom shall I write to inquire concerning the status of a piece of land purchased by my wife's grandfather in 1913 and confirmed by the Clerk of the St Hubert county to be still existing but just as scrub in june 1913? It is referred to as pinehurst, east Greenfiekd on the deeds. I think perhaps that East greenfield is now part of Greenfield park. Mike Anthony, in Suffolk England

I'm not sure what information you're looking for, but I'd recommend contacting the Greenfield Park Town Planning, Permits and Inspection department. The info is a little ways down this page [12]. James 05:03, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Exact defintions of "pregnancy" against "gestation"

What is the exact difference between the words "pregancy" and "gestation"? 2004-12-29T22:45Z 06:37:26, 2005-07-28 (UTC)

Other than semantics ('gestation' is a more formal, scientific word than pregnancy), I'm not sure there is a difference. →Raul654 06:39, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Maybe our inquirer wants the semantic difference as well. Gestation derived from words that were used to mean pregnancy in the plain sense. Now gestation is used in a formal scientific context to mean pregnancy, but is often used metaphorically to refer to a process or period in which something is being inconspicuously incubated, shaped, formed, or made. Pregnancy originally was a much vaguer word, somewhat euphemistic and polite, roughly equivalent to "expecting" if you are old enough to remember when that was the polite American expression for pregnant. A few figures of speech (a "pregnant pause") still preserve the older meaning, but what was originally a metaphorical and euphemistic implication has now become the plain sense and common usage of the word. alteripse 12:09, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Pregnancy tends to not be used of animals other than humans and perhaps pets. Gestation is the term more often used by doctors, however. James 13:24, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Pirate Shirt Fashion

Did Pirates of the sea actually wear those frilly white shirts and feathers etc. And if so, why? Is there some advantage to excessive clothing I don't know about? --Jake--09:34, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes and no. Your mental image of a pirate is perhaps based on caricatures and cartoons, or perhaps the famous Seinfeld shirt [13]. Most seamen dressed very plainly and seamen who sailed ships that plundered others were no different. However, there are perhaps a few "nuggets" of reality in the caricatures. The "Golden Age" of Caribbean piracy was in the late 16th and early 17th century. The fashions even for respectable "gentlemen" were bizarre and extreme to modern eyes [14]. Pirates would presumably wear, rather than waste, much of their plunder. Secondly, those in command almost always dress differently than their men, especially for court appearances, and this finery may be much more likely to be depicted in illustrations even of the period. Finally, (and this is admittedly only my hunch) how would you describe some of the clothing styles which can be seen in large American cities being worn by those who wish to display an "outlaw" style and image? Might there be a similarity in, shall we say, the "couturial aesthetic" of young men lacking the "advantages" of middle class taste suddenly, briefly, but insecurely and illegally wealthy? alteripse 11:55, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Thanks Alterprise, sounds good. And yes i was referring to the same style as the one seen in Seinfeld. As to your second point,I agree that today's outlaw culture wear some pretty wild clothes, some are awful, some are innovative, but man, frills? That's just weird. --Jake--12:19, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

99 names of allah

  1. 73 last and # 74 first according to Mohammed and the Koran. Jesus already had said he was the first and last in the book of revealations chapter 1.


Do you have a question? James 14:35, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Allah is الأول al-Awwal (the First, name 73) والأخر wal-Akhir (the Last, name 74), and Book of Revelation chapter 1, verse 8, has a vision of Jesus saying Εγω ειμι το αλφα και το Ω, I am the Alpha and the Omega. Beyond that I see no point to this comment. --Gareth Hughes 14:44, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I think the question is asking whether the numbering has been reversed in the two names... --HappyCamper 15:41, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  1. 73 last and # 74 first according to Mohammed and the Koran. Jesus already had said he was the first and last in the book of revealations chapter 1. Remember read verses 16-18. Jesus is claim to God himself. I'm just saying thatIslam is claiming Jesus is God in light of the Bible, which is correct.


The words first and last are suggestive of divinity that is the source of creation and final judgement, and, as such, they are properly applied to God by both Christians and Muslims. The use of such language by Jesus, as record in Revelation, is a claim of divinity. As Christianity and Islam are incompatible — in the sense that one cannot be a follower of both religions at the same time — both are entirely correct in using this language to disclose divinity. --Gareth Hughes 15:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Can you ID this old British car?

I found a photo of a car on a website and am wondering what it is. This car was labeled as an "Old Vauxhaul" and it seems to have some sort of Asiatic plate in addition to the New York plate. FunkyChicken! 15:39, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

  • Looks to me like a mid-to-late 1930's Vauxhall (with plates from India.) It's kinda like, but not exactly like, a few of these. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:08, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks! I am starting to suspect its a four door model of the H Ten-Four from that site, since it looks very much like the two door model. I don't even recall where I downloaded that picture from, and I found it doing some computer file cleanup. FunkyChicken! 16:56, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Question about a song

I was wondering if anyone could help me with the title of a song. I don't know much of the lyrics other than a some point the lyrics mention "audacious sky" or something like that.

I know it's not much to work with

Can you at least give us some addtional information like artist, genre, approximate year of release, or anything else of that nature? --CVaneg 18:35, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
"Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix? The lyric that sounds something like "audacious sky" could be "while I kiss the sky" --WikiDd 07:45, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Warner Brothers Cartoon "mechanical music"

I have the Warner Brothers Cartoon "mechanical music" stuck in my head. It sorta goes "Dum dum dumt da dumt dum da. . ." and it is driving me crazy! Please help! FunkyChicken! 17:40, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Did you want to know the name of the tune? I believe you are probabaly referring to Powerhouse by Raymond Scott [15] (Click on the second clip with section B only). Of course, if your problem is that you have an earworm and are trying to get rid of it, then I guess you could listen to an even more infectious and annoying song. Not that that is much of a solution. --CVaneg 17:59, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very, very much! You have solved a very nagging problem!

Now if I can only get the old channel 12 "Hello Milwaukee" out of my head! There's a feeling in the air that you can't get anywhere except Milwaukee. I taste a thousand yesterdays, and I love the magic ways of Milwaukee. From the shores of Michigan, I can watch you grow, again, and see you touch the sky. From where the river flows to where the sunset goes, we're all good neighbors passing by. Makes no difference where I go, you're the best hometown I know. Hello, Milwaukee. Hello, Milwaukee. Channel 12 loves you. Makes no difference where I go, you're the best hometown I know. Hello, Milwaukee. Hello, Milwaukee. Channel 12 loves you! The scary thing is that I can remember all the words! FunkyChicken! 18:24, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Mike DeWine

I'm having a dispute with another user over on the article on Ohio's senior senator. I've listed his name as "Richard Michael DeWine" but another user claims it is "Michael Richard DeWine". I base my statement on his listing in Who's Who ("R. Michael"), the initials at the bottom of letters he sends out ("RMD"), the fact that his father and son both have the first name Richard, and a Google search for "Richard Michael DeWine" turns up numerous entries whereas "Michael Richard DeWine" returns nothing. Can anyone provide me with a definitive statement on this? PedanticallySpeaking 18:08, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Okay, folks, sorry to bother you. Jeff Sadosky, Senator DeWine's press secretary, just e-mailed me to say it is Richard Michael. PedanticallySpeaking 18:19, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Coyote Programming Language

On this page - - there is a one-liner on the Coyote programming language and a link. However, when I travel to the Coyote disambiguation page, there is no link to the article. Where is it? --- anon

Unfortunately, the article has yet to be made. If you have any knowledge of it, please edit Coyote programming language James 19:15, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
I think that should be Coyote programming language, like C programming language. Nickptar 20:29, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'll change the links elsewhere. James 20:59, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Locating Water

Dear Sir

Is there a technology available to locate abundant ground water for agricultural purpose ? I saw somewhere that it is possibel through satelite mapping ? Could some one guide me on this point.

Thanks in advance Sukumar

Retrieved from ""

I believe there are technologies for the purpose, but like you I don't know the details. A quick google search on "ground water detection" turned up this company's products, but I have no idea what they cost or how effective they are. Be aware that ground water a) isn't abundant everywhere, and b) may not be sufficiently fresh and pure for agricultural purposes.
An expert with a GIS system might be able to help you Kim Bruning 02:05, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


I'm writing a math parser. If an user types n!!! what should it mean: (n!)!! or (n!!)! (double factorial? maybe triple factorial? ambigous?) Thanks in advance. --Googlpl 20:41, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

PlanetMath has an excellent answer here: Double Factorial. James 20:53, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, that only deals with issues such as n!!, and I forgot the original was n!!!. n!!! would have to be ambiguous, since there is no triple factorial and without parentheses, one can't tell if you're talking about (n!)!!, [(n!)!]!, or (n!!)!. James 21:04, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for that question, I found at factorial answer. There are triple factorials. --Googlpl 21:07, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

So there are... sorry for the misinformation. James 21:31, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Edibility questions

Are Chlorophytum comosum leaves edible? They look so harmless, and they grow so fast. What about those fat roots underneath? All I've been able to find is that it's on various lists of plants won't acutely poison me, but nothing on long-term consumption (antinutritive factors or what not), or whether it might have unpleasant but non-lethal effects.

What about cucumber greens? I know may other cucurbit vines are good to eat; I've eaten chayote and luffa greens, but I can't find a specific reference one way or the other on cucumbers.

What are some good resources for this kind of question?

Thank you — Pekinensis 21:00, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Spider plants are not poisonous. A fairly complete-looking list is available here: [16]. James 21:16, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for your prompt response, but this is the sort of list I mentioned above, albeit more authoritative looking than the ones I had found. I do believe I won't die from eating it once, but I'm worried it might make me feel very sick, or maybe after eating it for a month I'll develop an obscure deficiency disorder because it inhibits the absorption of some nutrient I'd never heard of. I'm also suspicious that most of these poison control lists are oriented to accidental or childish ingestion, and might be only talking about the aboveground parts of the plant. (The link you provide does specifically mention plant parts.) Thank you — Pekinensis 21:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

My cat has been eating spider plant leaves for years. ;-) hydnjo talk 22:19, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't believe the list is only of plants that can kill you. A plant is considered poisonous if it can make you very ill as well. Further, spider plants are listed as being non-toxic on several sites, meaning that it will not cause a toxic reaction. As far as nutrients go, I can't say that I know. I don't think it's a good idea to eat spider plants on a regular basis, however, as if they had a nutritional benefit, people would be cultivating them to eat. Also, Spider plants are known to absorb chemicals from the air, which may compromise how healthy they are [17]. James 22:20, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Alright, thanks. That makes sense. I am more reassured by the non-toxic classification. Regular consumption is probably not a good idea. I will report back after having a small meal of them.

Well, non toxic doesn't really mean that it is nutritious or beneficial. For example biodiesel is considered non toxic, because small amounts shouldn't really cause you any distress. You can even eat a spoonful of the stuff when fairly pure. But it's also not good for you. Also, the reason this plant is not cultivated as a food already is probably that a combination of things that have already been said: there may be no nutritional benefit, the plant is known to concentrate toxic substances, and it simply might not taste very good. The other side is that if it is recommended as an herbal remedy, that may indicate there are some somewhat pharmacologically active compounds in it that though not toxic in small accidental houseplant eating incidents, may not be entirely benign when eaten in volume. Aspirin is pretty non toxic in small amounts, but more can cause problems of course. Incidentally is this all pure curiosity? If so, I'd recommend doing some more serious research to satisfy (or kill off :) the curiosity, before going all Guinea pig. - Taxman Talk 14:51, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, here and here are a couple of interesting documents mentioning the use of Chlorophytum borivilianum leaves as a potherb, and describing the medicinal use of the roots. The effect is supposed to depend on up to 17% saponin content. I'll try to incorporate this into an article.

Thanks again. I'm still very curious about the cucumber shoots, if anybody knows the answer. — Pekinensis 13:29, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I took a few small bites, fried. It's more bitter, more fibrous, and less mucilaginous than I expected, but not too bad, with a nice nutty flavor. It puffs up in the pan. I feel fine two hours later. Tomorrow I will try some younger leaves in larger quantity. — Pekinensis

If you boil the leaves, what colour is the water? Is it paler in colour, when compared to, say, broccoli? --HappyCamper 23:16, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Interesting you should ask. I've only fried them so far, but the oil turned quite a deep emerald green. I've never seen such a deep color from frying a leaf vegetable before. — Pekinensis 05:44, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Interesting, that's what I expected for frying, so that's why I asked about boiling. What does "mucilaginous" mean? --HappyCamper 05:49, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I boiled some younger leaves, and they gave off just a faintest tinge of green to the water. They were a little bitter, mostly tasteless. I might give them better marks if felt surer they were good too eat. I made a redirect for mucilaginous. I expected that because the leaves are very slightly succulent, and the sap of the leaves seems slippery. — Pekinensis 19:35, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Learning C on a Mac

I'm trying to learn C at home with the K&R book as a reference. I'm only in chapter one though and I'm having difficulty. I'm using my Mac's Terminal application to do the compiling as well as running the examples in the book. Something seems to be not going like it should though... Does anyone know of a web board/forum/discussion group where I might be able to bounce questions off of experienced programmers? I don't know if maybe "it's supposed to look like that" or if I'm just screwing up. Any help would be appreciated. --Dismas 21:53, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm happy to help with C problems, although I don't know about mac-specific stuff. Presumably you're only doing console IO, so it shouldn't matter that you're on a mac for that. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:25, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Don't know if this helps your immediate problem, but recent Macs have a program called Xcode which helps you organise the files and do compilations. File, New project, command-line tool, standard tool will get you a 'normal' C program. After that, it shouldn't be much different from any other programming environment - they both should use the same standard library. As to forums, maybe one of these can help? Ojw 23:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
If you install Xcode, you also have direct access to gcc on the command line, you can use all the GNU documentation and linux documentation project documentation to help. The gcc command is a direct drop in replacement for cc (which I think is what's mentioned in K&R?), or as good as, anyhow. Kim Bruning 01:21, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, you'll definitely want to be able to use gcc on the commandline to go along with K&R (use instead of "cc", like Kim said). ¦ Reisio 06:21, 2005 July 29 (UTC)
I guess I'll get out my copy of Tiger and (re)install Xcode. I thought I had installed everything on the disk but apparently not since I can't find a copy of Xcode on my Mac. And the message boards will come in handy, I don't want to flood the Ref. desk with questions. So far I'd been using the Terminal to compile and run the programs. The problem I'm having started with the program to count characters...
#include <stdio.h>

/* count characters in input; 2nd version */
main ()
    double nc;

    for (nc = 0; getchar() != EOF; ++nc)
    printf("%.0f\n", nc);
The program didn't return anything... I would type something in and nothing would be output.

Ah, but what is the end-of-file character? It's not Enter, in any case. :-) Try pressing Ctrl-D and see if output appears.

Incidentally, there's no need to use doubles unless you're doing floating-point arithmetic. An int will do fine. Use %i or %d to print it. JRM · Talk 18:36, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I pressed Ctrl-D and I get something that looks like hex. When I type in a single character, I get an answer of "2D". Three characters, like "foo" gets me "4D". Which granted, the number is the number of characters plus the end of line but what's the "D" for?
And the floating point wasn't my idea, that's the way it's written in the book. :)
I'm going to try this in Xcode (installed that this morning while cleaning the house) to see if it's any more clear. Thanks for the help so far!! Dismas 22:02, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
The D? My guess is that that's the D from Ctrl-D. :-) On my system, it prints "^D", with the caret standing in place for Control. Macs may do it differently. Try entering this at the terminal:
echo foo | ./yourprogram
With "yourprogram" replaced with, um, the name of your program (make sure that you're in the folder where your program is stored). This should not include a D, as no console input is taking place. JRM · Talk 22:41, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

When you type control-D, the shell prints ^D to the terminal, but without changing the output position. Then your program overwrites the ^ with the first character of the output, leaving the D visible. If you type 10 or more characters before typing control-D, you'll see that the D is overwritten too!

P.S. You should return a value from main, for example by putting return 0; at the end. Gdr 00:39:55, 2005-07-30 (UTC)

And declare it as such in main's prototype (even though you don't have to). Dysprosia 13:39, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Periodic Functions

Hello, I have two questions

Firstly, can a sinusiodal function be periodic and hence have an irrational period and freuqency. Eg, is sin(pi^2 t) periodic ?

Secondly how do you calculate the frequency for two sinusoids with different frequencies added together. Eg, how do you calculate the period algebraicly of cos(3 pi t)+sin(7 pi t)?

Regards, Justin.

Sinusoids are by definition periodic. The simplest one is f(x) = sin(x). It's period is 2π, so it certainly has an irrational period, but it's also possible to have rational periods.
As far as calculating the period for that beast, I'd say graphing it would be your best bet. Or, perhaps find zeros for the function and go from there. James 06:18, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
It would be the least common multiple of the period of and , or . —Ghakko 09:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid you've got the very end wrong: Chuck 19:55, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
Oops! Sorry about that. —Ghakko 13:46, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Sending multiple emails

Is it possible in Outlook Express to send multiple emails to the same person? Because if, in the To: line, I type;; he still only gets it once.-- 06:09, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Why do you want to send the same e-mail to the same person more than once? If they get it once, they have it and can copy it, save it, print it, etc. James 06:56, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
  • I think you'd have to send three seperate messages. Such an option would be too easily abused by spammers or people who simply don't like someone and decided to spam them. - Mgm|(talk) 11:52, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
It's not really an Outlook bug or feature; rather, it's a side-effect of the way mail delivery works on the Internet.
Outlook will upload just one copy of a message to the mail gateway, even if it is for multiple recipients. The gateway then shoots off separate copies to each recipient in turn. Many gateways will skip over duplicate recipients while doing this.
All this is intended to reduce network traffic for large mailing lists. It also has the side-effect of helping spammers by making it trivial to send bulk mail. —Ghakko 15:58, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  • And, if you're trying to chase down why someone did get multiple copies of an email, it's quite possible for a single recipient to be addressed multiple ways. For example, directly and indirectly via a mailing list. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:44, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Mass. Smoking law, in regards to minors

The Cigarette article makes this claim: "In Massachusetts, minors are allowed to smoke as long as the cigarette was given to them by a parent or guardian." Recently, an annon questioned it, and I wonder about it too - could someone dig up a source for this? Maybe Mass state law site, or something... JesseW 07:10, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

The law against providing minors with cigarettes specifically makes an exception for parents. There is, as far as I can tell, no state law against posession of tobacco products. Local laws may be more strict, however. James 07:28, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Which country is not having national flag?

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please give the answer to me Which country is not having national flag?

Looking at national flag and list of sovereign state flags gives me the impression that every sovereign state has flag defined by custom, constitution or legislation. It seems that all unrecognised states also have flags, as national symbols become even more important to them. --Gareth Hughes 15:14, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Seems like this version question was asked and answered recently, but I can't seem to find it in the archives. ¦ Reisio 16:47, 2005 July 29 (UTC)
I think the similar question that was asked recently was "Which country does not have a national anthem?." --CVaneg 17:52, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Of course :p ¦ Reisio 03:17, 2005 July 30 (UTC)

Transliteration of Arabic definite article: al or Al or al- or Al-

Does anyone know whether there is an emerging scholarly consensus on how to render the Arabic definite article (and its "soft" variants) in English? And should it be handled differently in proper and common nouns? Would love an answer to this! If I get it, I'll be happy to harmonize the Wikipedia articles on this issue. Thanks! Babajobu

I much prefer the spelling al- (lower case with hyphen), and only capitalise it at the beginning of a sentence. I also much prefer to transcribe the modified sound when the definite article occurs before a sun-letter, e.g. ar-rajul instead of al-rajul. I do this because I beleive many non-Arabic speakers would mispronounce the phrase otherwise. However, if there is an generally accepted form (e.g. El in some North African names), that should be used. A distinction has to be drawn between scientific transliteration, a semi-standard English transliteration, popular spelling and IPA transcription. Not every article should have all of these, but some might have two or three. The increased use of a more standard (non-phonetic) spelling can be seen in the preference forQur'an and Muhammad rather than Koran and Mohammed. --Gareth Hughes 15:04, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Trying to find 1940's children's book that had phrase "That Didn't Hurt"

(moved here from the help desk) - Mgm|(talk) 11:40, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

This book has haunted me since childhood. It was meant to teach children to be brave and say "that didn't hurt" when they fell down, etc.

I don't remember the title but the story haunts me to this day. A clay indian had every kind of accident you can think of, he got his arm cut off in a saw, lost a leg in some bizzare accident and in the end got hit by a truck and all that was left of him was his head. After each accident he said "that didn't hurt!" The last picture I remember in the book was a little girl feeding strawberries to him and his head was perched on a high chair tray. This book is gruesome but was meant to teach children and I am wondering if anyone else remembers it and the Title?

Thank you, Redheadedkatz

The title is Brave Mr. Buckingham.

How Does A Person Get Deaf?

I think I might be lauged at by people who know more about the topic but hey, I'm just a grade 10 student. My Question Is - How does a person get Deaf? What happens to a person's anatomy to stop aural stimulation? Also, Can wearing headphones really be harmful?

If there is an article about this, kindly point me to it. Thanks

-curtisbindra 15:06, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

See - and as it says, yes, listening to music at an inappropriate volume (headphones or not) can physically damage your hearing. If I remember correctly, intra-aural headphones (headphones that fit entirely around the ear) are better than normal cheap headphones, because they keep outside noise from being channelled sharply into your ears - this doesn't mean much if you have the volume up too high, though, of course. :) ¦ Reisio 15:18, 2005 July 29 (UTC)
It is not just lack of aural stimulation you have to watch out for. Continuous tinnitus is a real bugger, I can tell you. Headphone and loud noise can very easily do irreprable harm, not least because you can have a gradual and hence imperceptible irreversable damage over the years. Do please look after your ears. (But I haven't a clue what the mechanisms are. --Tagishsimon (talk)
  • If any of the parts of your inner ear beyond the eardrum (or the nerve sending it to your brain) gets damaged it can result in diminished hearing or deafness. Listening to music at a loud volume can damage the hairs moving in the fluid in the snail like chamber in your inner ear which guides the vibration of the sound. - Mgm|(talk) 07:12, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
Many people assume that going deaf automatically means that things get quieter and quieter (in your head) until there is absolute silence. I'm sure that happens, but I think my hearing is getting worse, and what seems to be happening isn't so much that things are quieter but that they are more muffled and indistinct. It's hard to hear what people are saying on TV if there is also music or some other background noise for example. Maybe I spent too long with my head inside speaker stacks in my younger days, or maybe it's just natural deterioration. Notinasnaid 12:01, 1 August 2005 (UTC)


can i get detail on MEMS, why r they imp. now-a-days

See MEMS, English grammar. Dunc| 16:56, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Roman Empire 870 AD ara

I was interested in getting some information about a person in Italy around the date of 870 AD. He was royalty and had one daughter. The daughter was proposed by 3 different royal men 3 different times and one dies after the other before the marraige. I was interested in getting any information about that, and/or the names of that man and his daughter. The daughter might of been a princess which would make the father the king. And apparently the daughter disappears. This is very important and I would appreciate any information because I have an idea where she might have disappeared to. Thank you, Ismael

Around 870 AD, Louis II, Holy Roman Emperor was the King of Italy. In the article there is no information about any daughters. Ornil 17:55, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Your story sounds like fiction. Some of the earliest medieval fictional stories were "set" in the Roman empire ("Romances"). We are assuming you are aware that the closest thing to a Roman empire in 870 was the Holy Roman Empire, and the original was long gone in Italy. What makes me think this is fiction is that it seems unlikely that the proposal details in real life would be preserved; royal marriages then tended to be instruments of diplomacy and affairs of state, and hence bore little resemblance to modern ideas of "marriage proposal" as an individual proposition by a free man to a free woman, especially 3 times. However, if you provide us more details, we might be able to give you better speculations. alteripse 22:13, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Daylight Saving Time

The United States Congress is considering a law to extend the beginning and ending dates of Daylight Saving Time. This will mean that just about every PC in the country will no longer automatically reset its time when DST occurs. Is there a possibility of some sort of firmware download which will cause your PC to change its DST time change automatically, or will we have to do it manually, and then remember to uncheck the DST option so that it won't set it again when the old DST beginning and ending dates pass? John Barleycorn 18:24, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

It shouldn't be a problem in XP or probably Vista, because the date and time are checked against the atomic clock, which changes for DST. I'm sure it would create issues, but as the law won't go into effect for some time, and hasn't been passed yet, no one's begun discussion so far on fixes. James 18:47, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
I would expect that if it is a problem (and it might be for XP users who don't connect to the internet that ofter or who manage to convince their computers not to make outside connections unasked), the various operating systems will come out with patches to fix it. But it's early yet. -Aranel ("Sarah") 19:14, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
note that a firmware upgrade wouldn't be required - DST timekeeping is handled by the OS. jamesgibbon 21:17, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Like we haven't got enough time zones to get mixed up in. I really hope this thing won't pass. - Mgm|(talk) 07:15, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
    • It won't change time zones at all. You'll just "spring forward" earlier and "fall backward" later. James 05:32, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
  • Most operating systems are set up to allow for ongoing changes to the DST rules, requiring only simple adjustments to a configuration file or two, not any kind of major patch. (This definitely applies to Unix, Linux, and Windows, and presumably also to MacOS, certainly the Unix-based MacOS X.) Moreover, in some countries, DST changes happen all the time, and their computers seem to cope. For example, Australia changed DST in 2000 for the Olympic Games in Sydney, and Brazil changes DST almost every year. See this slashdot thread for some far-ranging discussion. Steve Summit 14:11, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Urban population in ancient times

Any suggestions as to where I might find the proportion of urban population (to the total population) in various ancient and medieval empires? I am especially curious about Roman Empire, Persia (of the same period), China (Han), etc? And also, for somewhat later period, Byzantine Empire and Europe both during Dark Ages and during High Middle Ages. Ornil 18:03, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Try this for a start [18] obtained by googling ancient cities populations. alteripse 22:16, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
That is certainly helpful, but doesn't quite solve my problem: it only gives a few city populations, and, moreover, it gives me no estimate for the total population. Ornil 00:04, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
We have a Population of the Byzantium Empire is poorly named, stubby, and probably not reliable, but I suppose it's a start... Adam Bishop 03:16, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Determining the population of the Greek Empire is next to impossible, as there are so few records. Athens, for instance, only took one census, and its figures are largely thought to be invented. Also, the urban/rural distinction is blurred greatly, as even the most urban people spent a considerable amount of time in the fields outside the city, tending their crops.
The story is much different in Rome, however. this site has a pretty good overview of the evidence. I think their estimate of a city population of 19 million is too high, however. I would say it would be 10 million max in cities of populations 100,000 or more.
The Han Dynasty article says that its total population reached 50 million, not too different from Rome. I imagine the urban population would be no more in China than in the Roman Empire, but I could be wrong. I do know that at the time, Rome was the largest city in the world and was never surpassed in population until the industrial revolution. Hope that helps some. James 05:35, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
That is very helpful. Thanks! Ornil 17:47, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Cloud cover 9/8 shows a symbol for 9/8. How can there be more than 8/8 coverage? — Sebastian (talk) 20:36, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

A search turns up some sources that say the symbol indicates "sky obscured". That is, the observer cannot determine cloud cover because the sky is not visible due to fog, smoke, or similar. -- Cyrius| 22:14, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, that answers my question. A follow-up question: Is "9/8" an official abbreviation for "sky obscured"? — Sebastian (talk) 22:45, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
It was back in my days as a pilot about 10 or so years ago. Dismas 02:13, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
What was back then? — Sebastian (talk) 02:44, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
9/8 was "an official abbreviation for "sky obscured"". I can't say it is still official or even used at all today though since I haven't flown for some time. Dismas 04:02, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, and sorry for being so dull-witted. — Sebastian (talk) 17:30, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

Nicholas and Helena Roerich

How would I go about finding out more information on Nicholas and Helena Roerich? Thank You, Terri Love

Do you mean more information beyond what the article on Helena Roerich says? Dismas 21:40, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Movie theather

Tring to find out Just found out in canada they have access 2 entertainemtn pass for going to mvoies and can not find anything in usa i need a list of Movie Chains in the USA or if they have something like they do in Canada

The major chains are listed near the bottom of the Movie theater article. Unless I misunderstood what it is that you're looking for... Dismas 02:30, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Credit history (US specific)

As I'm obtaining my history (through one of the external links in Credit score), I see a host of requests by companies which had no business with me – other than maybe sending me "pre-approved" credit cards. The page explains: "According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit grantors listed ... had a permissible purpose to review your information" – but it doesn't list the purpose for any of them. What constitutes such a permissible purpose? — Sebastian (talk) 01:52, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

The text of the act says that consumer reports may be obtained without express, written consent of the individual if the person who's requesting the information "intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer." It is likely that these requests were allowed because of this exception. James 03:17, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. That's exactly what puzzles me: What is the (official) purpose? Does anyone who claims they may want to give me some (unwanted) credit automatically get all my credit information? I guess I could ask the FTC. — Sebastian (talk) 16:58, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
It would appear that that's all that's required. Those pre-approved credit cards are really pre-approved. They offer them because they know your credit score already. James 23:52, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
Remember that the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) are there to collect information to provide lenders with that information in order to help them make better lending decisions. A large body of evidence suppports the fact that those with good credit histories pay back loans more than those that don't, so lenders can offer different, and more accurate rates to different people. There is even strong evidence supporting that people with better credit ratings also make less auto accident claims. It is one of the strongest predictors that auto insurance companies have actually. It is controversial though because many claim it is discriminatory. Back to the orginal question, besides that the credit information is collated for the purpose of providing credit, I believe detailed credit information cannot be given to a creditor in any circumstances without the persons consent. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is what details that if you really want to know (there may be exceptions). So what happens on those pre-approved offers is they just get your score, or more accurately, the credit card company buys a block of names that have credit scores between x and x. They generally don't get the details of what amounts you owe and to whom, etc. - Taxman Talk 19:40, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Oh sorry, it seems you already knew about that act. If you really wanted to dig in and find your answer it would probably take a reading of the actual FCRA act, or Title 15 section 41 of the US code. But that is certainly not for the faint of heart. - Taxman Talk 19:46, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! I took a deap breath and delved into it, but it was easier than I thought. It is precisely specified in [§ 1681b] (a)(3)(A) and (c)(1)(B). Best of all, the consumer can opt out according to subsection (e). So the law is good – it's just that the credit report doesn't inform you about this option. — Sebastian (talk) 00:32, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
I now also added this to the credit history page and merged that page with credit report. — Sebastian (talk) 01:40, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
Well hot damn! Thanks for adding that to the articles. More reasons why Wikipedia is the coolest thing on earth. :) - Taxman Talk 03:05, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

first Englishman to die a millionaire

I've heard that a man named William Beckford was the first Englishman to die a millionaire. Is this William Beckford (politician)? Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 05:24, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

The article on William Thomas Beckford, the son of the man you mentioned above, says that he inherited a million pounds from his father, so it does seem that his father did, indeed, die a millionaire. Whether he was the first is not indicated. John Barleycorn 06:24, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

The Oxford DNB article on William Thomas Beckford: "His daughter Susan later presented the tower and a plot of his land to Walcot parish and his body, after the land was consecrated, was reinterred there in 1848. Susan inherited the major part of his estate, valued at under £80,000." lots of issues | leave me a message 00:01, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Sounds like he squandered his inheritance. John Barleycorn 04:17, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

Money on My Mind

I am curious as to who first coined the hip-hop phrase "I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind". I have heard it many times, but who can really take credit for such an awesome phrase? --Jake--10:51, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

There are several songs with similar lyrics. The one that is identically phrased is "Mind on My Money" by Youngbloodz (All Music Guide info). Then there's a song titled "Mind on Our Money" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in which they say "I keep my..." It was released in 2000. Snoop Dogg says "with my..." in Gin and Juice, which was released in 1993. That is likely the song you are thinking of. James 23:50, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks James. I Heard it in Snoop's "Gin and Juice" but wasn't sure if that was the first instance. 1993 was a while ago so that may well be the first instance. --Jake--02:16, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Images and Diragrams in LaTeX

How can you instert regular jpg's or other filetypes into a LaTeX document? ¦ Reisio 15:39, 2005 July 30 (UTC)

Journalistic ethics in famine areas

As I listened to an NPR reporter filing a story from Niger about the famine there, I found myself wondering: How can this guy just report on people dying from hunger, and then go back to a (relatively) cushy hotel room and fool around with his laptop? I understand that journalists can't do much, and really shouldn't do anything, in a war zone. But what about a situation in which his help would so obviously make a difference? Is there some convention on this? 14:03, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

I doubt you can prove they all do nothing. I'm sure a lot consider just going there and reporting it is a good service - exposing this tragedy to millions of listeners. Some surely help in other ways. Nobody can do everything either. For instance, here you are asking questions on a website when you could be out helping people in the midst of famine...but you aren't. ¦ Reisio 15:36, 2005 July 30 (UTC)

Actually, there is an unfortunate correlation between the amount of airtime a famine gets on the media, and the amount of international aid given. The aid community is always complaining about journalists 'discovering' famines, and then serious aid arriving. Generally, they cannot be 'discovered' by the media untill people start dying. This leads to the phenomenon of forgotten famines or forgotten wars which are just not covered, so do not receive much in the way of donations.

I agree with both of the above. And chances are, the journalist can make a bigger change by reporting about it so that the world can hear it than they could by spending 24hrs a day feeding people and giving every dime they have to buy food for the starving. It's leverage. Make a big enough noise about it, and more help will arrive. Which is not to say the journalists don't also do everything they can to help while they are there. - Taxman Talk 19:28, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Looking for non-porn photos of nude mixed race women

I am looking for non-porn photos of nude mixed race women for a project, but there is so much porn out there it is impossible to find! Can you help?

What's the project? Will any races do? ¦ Reisio 15:42, 2005 July 30 (UTC)
It is one that is trying to show that mixed race women are beautiful as is and don't need to look white, black, or whatever. Any and all races will do!
[19] and [20]. Rama 16:13, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Is the 2003 Version of Dragnet on DVD?

I saw what looks like screencaps from a DVD on the Dragnet (drama) page and am wondering if the 2003 Version of Dragnet on is DVD? 14:38, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, those are screen captures from DVD. There are some screener copies for Emmy consideration, TV critics, etc. floating around. I know there was a release scheduled for season one a few years ago, but it did't pan out. If you are in the LA area, there are a couple of good used record stores like Heavy Rotation that may have the screeners. FunkyChicken! 14:53, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

All mRNA transcribing done on one DNA strand only?

A double helix DNA is split into two strands by enzymes in preperation for mRNA templating (protein synthesis). Are all genes mRNA templated on the same strand? Or is the templating done on each strands in a staggered configuration?

If the staggered configuration is correct then what is ment by "sense strand" and "antisense strand". Are these terms used to name an entire DNA strand or just parts of it?

(The Wikipedia lookup for "antisense strand" could be eddited to address these questions.)

scot.parker at abbott dot com

The genes can be on either gene. As you can see on the gene sequence map of chromosome 3, the ones on the left are read towards the p (shorter) end of the chromosome, and those on the right towards the q end. The meaning of "sense strand" and "antisense strand" is that for each gene there is a sense strand and an antisense strand. The template for the mRNA is always one side for a given gene. Hope that helps. James 00:11, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
To clarify, the nucleotide numbers of a chromosome increase from the p arm to the q arm. The strand that begins in the p arm and ends at the q arm, oriented to the numbers, is called the forward strand. Its complementary strand is called the reverse strand.
Genes may be encoded on either strand, but in no particular pattern, so staggered is not exactly the correct word to use here. The sense strand is the strand that contains the code for the pre-mRNA (also called the primary transcript). The antisense strand, also called the template strand, is complementary to the sense strand. RNA polymerase will elongate from this strand, creating the primary transcript identical to the sense strand (with U replacing T, of course).
What we have here is a confusion of vocabulary. Sense/anti-sense and forward/reverse do not necessarily mean the same thing. So, depending on the orientation of the gene, the sense strand can be either the forward or reverse strand. -D. Wu 02:39, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

LaTeX citations

Ok, last LaTeX question I ask -- I promise!

[Cleared first two questions away - answered them myself]

Finally (last!), the titles of my references in the bibliography seem to be set to start with an uppercase and have a lowercase second letter in the title. This is a problem both for a title that starts 'GA experiments...' (--> 'Ga experiments...') and for one that starts '"Niche selection" and..." (--> '"niche selection" and...'). What can I do to override this?

Many thanks!

Regarding the last question (capitalization), try putting the letters in braces, like '{GA} experiments'. Ornil 18:27, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

english monarchy

30 years ago, while travelling in England, I heard two lines from a poem that I gather was commonly learned by English schoolchildren. Each line of the poem mentioned an individual king or queen (the whole poem contained all the English monarchs listed in chronologic order). My recall of the poem yields only the first two lines , which essentially is a good example for the whole: "William the Conqueror long did reign, William his son by an arrow was slain." etc etc. The poem was probably doggerel at best but it was a great way, I gather to know the lineage of English kings and queens. I stumbled upon your website and wonder if you know of the existence of such a poem? kip mackenzie-- 18:31, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Here's one place where it's given: Ornil 18:48, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Sneezing - does everything stop when you do so?

Someone told me today that if you sneeze a big sneeze, "everything in your body suddenly stops - including your heart." Is this true? Does the heart really stop when you sneeze? If not, what actually happens when you sneeze? Thanks for your help! --HappyCamper 18:49, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

It sounds pretty unlikely to me, but I'm no doctor. This guy supposedly is one, though, and has a similar take on it. This page lists it as a myth as well. If it really did stop when you sneezed you'd expect a lot more heart attacks as a consequence, I imagine. --Fastfission 22:25, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
It's an old wives take that your heart stops when you sneeze. That's why people traditionally say "bless you" - they're asking God to restart your heart. I did read, however, that when you blink parts of your brain really do just stop (so you don't perceive the blink) - see [21]. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:32, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I think it's an old wives' tale that that's why people say "bless you". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 22:52, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...I didn't even think of the connection between these two things. At first, I thought it could be true even to a little minor extent, but I guess that seems quite unlikely after some more thought. I'd hate to think that my heart stopped every time I sneezed simply because I got a cold! I guess the body is much more roboust than I initially thought. --HappyCamper 23:06, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I just want to note that as someone who has had persistent hay fever for most of his life, if my heart stopped every time I sneezed I'd probably be a dead duck by now! I sneeze between one and six times a day, sometimes rapidly in a row. (And yes, I take medicine, which keeps it down to that level! Otherwise I will have sneezing fits of about a dozen at a time.) --Fastfission 16:00, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally do you take a corticosteroid nasal spray and still sneeze that much? The regular antihistamines don't seem to do much for me especially this season, and I've been considering those. Besides cost, I generally like to avoid taking medicines, but I suppose the inhaled doses are so small that side effects are likely to be very small also. Also, everyone seems to know what the wives tales are, but not the origin of the phrase "bless you". - 19:22, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
I'd always heard that when you sneezed, your soul was supposed to escape your body (unrelated to heart stopping), and that "bless you" allowed God to return your soul. Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 02:16, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Just wondering if everyone has already read the articles that we have on Gesundheit and well, I thought we had one on "God bless you" but I can't find it right now... Dismas 23:49, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I'd heard that when you sneezed your soul left your body and saying "bless you" would stop the Devil entering before your soul returned. Alphax τεχ 06:18, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Chinese Poem consisting of a single repeated word

Since Chinese is a tonal lanuage, the same pronounced word can mean different things if it is said in a higher or lower pitch. There's a famous example of this where an entire poem is created of the same word over and over again.

I think that it's plot had something to do with lions, and that the word was translitterated as "shu" or something close to that. But I could easily be wrong.

I originally read this poem and the article about it on Wikipedia, so I know it's here somewhere. I just can't find it.

Anybody know? Thanks, Skylark 18:49, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Ah! That is the celebrated poem here: (I can't seem to interwikify this link, so here's the external link to it instead) --HappyCamper 18:52, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I was just about to post Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den... why couldn't you wikilink it?--Pharos 18:54, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Dunno. When I did a preview, it showed up as a red link. I must have spelt it wrong. But now it's okay: Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den :) --HappyCamper 19:17, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Although the word "word" as used in your question is misleading I think. Then again I would object to the word "sound" (as in "the same sound can mean different things") since I think tone is part of the sound (what else would it be?) But then I wouldn't know what word could be used in place of the word "word". Does such a word exist? TresÁrboles 20:09, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
I think you're looking for lexeme, though that's really opening another can of worms — you might be interested in a related exchange between Angr and me over at Talk:Word (linguistics). — mark 20:23, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Cantonese glottal stop

Can someone give an example in Cantonese of an unaspirated glottal stop described in the chart in the article Standard Cantonese? I'd like to learn what this acutally is with an example. Thanks for your help! --HappyCamper 19:17, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe the glottal stop is an important phoneme in Cantonese. As the article says, some linguists recognise it at the beginning of syllables that begin with some vowels. Therefore, the glottal stop is a vocal reflex (it's difficult to pronounce unless you break the airflow) rather than a meaningful contrast. --Gareth Hughes 21:07, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
An example would be 愛 pronounced as /ʔɔːi˧/. I think. --Gareth Hughes 21:13, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I know this will sound silly, but is the glottal stop "the sound of silence"? I just hear something that sort of changes the contour of the pronounciation of a vowel. I know a few people who speak Cantonese, and they found it quite interesting that there were these sounds in their own language...--HappyCamper 23:11, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
No, a glottal stop is not silent. It's a stop consonant. However, because it's not phonemic in most dialects of the English language, it can be hard for native English speakers to hear. Nonetheless, English does use it. In most dialects of English there's a glottal stop in some words beginning with vowels like "apple" [ʔapəl], and in some words like bee-eater [beʔetə] where two identical vowels need to be distinguished without an intervening semivowel. In some dialects, the glottal stop can replace the consonant [t], for example (in Cockney) "bottle" [boʔəl]; or even the whole word "the" (for example, in Yorkshire, where it is phonemic: [təmil] = "to mill" but [təʔmil] = "to the mill"). Gdr 23:45:11, 2005-07-30 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know that spoken languages can be so interesting. If it does have a sound, is it possible to just pronounce the glottal stop without anything else around it? --HappyCamper 02:19, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, of course. (Try it yourself — once you can identify some word you pronounce with one, it's easy to trim off the rest of the word until you're just producing the glottal stop. Then you should be able to make it voiced, unvoiced, aspirated etc.) Gdr 03:20:24, 2005-07-31 (UTC)

The glottal stop is treated as a stop consonant for convenience but in fact it's quite different in articulation. Most stops are produced by making a complete closure between a passive articulator and an active articulator; in the case of oral stops, air pressure builds up between the glottis and the articulation because air is still escaping through the glottis but cannot escape through nose or mouth. With a glottal stop the buildup of air pressure is below the glottis, not above it. It's not possible to produce a voiced glottal stop. The glottal stop is produced by completely shutting the glottis; voiced consonants are produced by letting the vocal folds as air passes through them. If the vocal folds are shut tight, air can't pass through them, so they can't vibrate. A glottal stop also is very different from a canonical voiceless consonant, which is produced with the vocal folds spread wide apart so that they don't vibrate while the air passes through. An aspirated glottal stop is in theory possible (you can release the glottal stop and go straight into an [h] before beginning the vowel sound), but it's not very likely to occur, since aspiration usually results from leaving the vocal folds open after a voiceless consonant before a vowel, and in the glottal stop the folds weren't open to begin with, so they'd have to move from completely closed to completely open to only slightly open (their position for voiced sounds like vowels). --Angr/tɔk tə mi 20:04, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the French name Hermite

The Wikipedia article titled Charles Hermite said:

Charles Hermite (pronounced "air meet") (December 24, 1822 - January 14, 1901) was a French mathematician who did research on number theory, quadratic forms, invariant theory, orthogonal polynomials, elliptic functions, and algebra.

An anonymous editor changed "air meet" to "hair meet". Could someone who knows French well comment? Thanks. Michael Hardy 19:49, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't necessarily "know French well", but "H" is always silent in French. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:58, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
The article should use IPA: [ˌʃaʁl ɛʁˈmit] as the most correct representation of the name. --Gareth Hughes 21:19, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Except that everyone who reads English can understand "air meet", while most will remain unenlightened by "/ˌʃaʁl ɛʁˈmit/". Giving both is fine. - Nunh-huh 20:38, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

What to call a recurring character who fills many roles?

(Besides "recurring character", of course.) This came up in the context of Strong Bad, who has served (in various toons) as a villain, an anti-hero, (upon rare occasion) a hero, a protagonist, an antagonist, and a commentator upon the action.

What to call such a character? "Recurring character" hardly fits such a character, because his appearances are too frequent to fit properly within the implications of those words. Thanks,
Luc "Somethingorother" French 21:27, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Although I wasn't able to find a definitive answer, I'd put money on "recurring actor." -D. Wu 13:47, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Cross-eyed people looking in a mirror

Don't ask how this came up, cross-eyed (or wall-eyed) people see themselves as such when they look at themselves in the mirror? Or does their vision compensate somehow? Mjklin 02:44, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

You might check the Strabismus article. Joyous (talk) 19:44, July 31, 2005 (UTC)


Wow do you render the word hummus in Greek and Arabic? Neutralitytalk 04:46, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, I think the Arabic is هوموس. I'm not sure about the Greek. --Gareth Hughes 12:33, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
But then, I could be very wrong: my dictionary seems to suggest حمٌص is the right word. --Gareth Hughes 12:46, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I think the Greek is Χούμους (it's an Arabic word in the first place, I'm pretty sure.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 20:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Image: Flag of Creek Nation

Do you know if this is the official flag of the Creek Nation??? For I have seen another some-what similar flag. Or, is it neither, I am sooooo confused. I am a Creek decedent and trying to research my background. I would also like to purchase “The Official” Flag of the Creek Nation. If you have any answers or info that would prove useful PLEASE e-mail me at Thank you, Teresa Reed Copied from the help desk. DES 05:25, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

There is no one, unified Creek Nation. As the caption for the picture in the article Creek (people) says, the flag is for the Muscogee Creek Nation. James 05:41, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the intro of the article seems to treat "Creek" and "Muscogee" as synonymous. — Sebastian (talk) 15:22, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
By the way, I hope you mean "descendant" since "decedent" means a deceased person. (I mean, Wikipedia is getting more popular but still!) Maybe the phrase "of Creek heritage" would be better. TresÁrboles 20:02, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Country Singer Jimmy Rogers?

I'm trying to find info about my mothers first husband. In 1957 she was 16 he (Jimmy Rogers)was 56 when they got married, prearranged at the time of her birth. She use to tell me she played the guitar and sang on the radio with him. As far as I know she lived in southern MO.. I'm unable to find any info about a Jimmy Rogers,Country singer around the years of 1957 thru 1960. Can someone help me out? --HudsonHart 07:41, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

There are a couple of very well-known musicians who had a name that sounds like that, of course. Jimmie Rodgers was an extremely famous country singer, who was born in 1897, but he died of tuberculosis in 1933. There was also a pop singer by the same name who had several hits around that period, but he was born in 1933, so neither of those fits the description you've given. There was also Jimmy Rogers, a famous blues guitar player who played with Muddy Waters in the 1950's, who was born in 1924 and died in 1997; he was also black, and I don't think black people sang what was described as "country music" back in those days.
If nobody here can't tell you anything more (and, frankly, it doesn't fit the demographic of most of the regulars on the reference desk), and you're prepared to put in some effort, one way to find out might be to go to a research library that keeps microfiche of newspapers from that area and era and see if you can find anything written about him. Another possibility might be to check some sound archives to see if he recorded anything, but my searching under that name mainly turns up the blues guy. --Robert Merkel 12:54, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Aircraft model company in Miami

There is this comany in Miami that makes model aircraft and model aircraft parts, everything from desktop models to full size 737 nose sections. I can't remember the name. Help!

I think you're talking about Atlantic Models based out of Miami. They sell whole models and full-size nose sections from a variety of aircraft. -D. Wu 03:32, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Which axis does a fly turn around?

This has been bothering me and my father for years. When a fly flies up to the ceiling and sits there, head downwards, does it turn around its length axis or its breadth axis? JIP | Talk 13:53, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

I saw an explanation for this one time, but I don't recall where it was so I can't point at it. To get on the ceiling, the fly sticks its front legs up, grabs hold, then rotates around. Loop, not roll. -- Cyrius| 17:18, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Relative growth rates of US and EU

We always hear that the US GDP growth rate beats the EU's hands down. But the US has much more immigration than the EU, and in the EU people are working fewer and fewer hours. How do they compare when these two factors are taken into account? How do the US and EU compare for GDP growth per person, and per hour worked? 16:17, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Interesting question! Over most of the period since 1950, when the wealth gap between the US and Europe was widest, the EU has grown faster than the US, but since 1995 or so various measures have shown relatively better performance from the US. Measuring the various statistics is a difficult matter at the best of times, particularly given the difficulty in measuring the output of the "new economy" industries. According to some analyses, the richer European countries such as France have already 'caught up' with the US in output per hour, so their relatively poor recent performance could be attribulted to them having less of a gap to close with the best performers. See for example this paper [22] which analyses the whole question in some detail. Other analyses may show better performance of the US economy. We don't have much on this topic yet at Wikipedia from what I can see, so it's a ripe topic for further work. Enchanter 16:51, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

Place on map to co-ordinates?

There are many Internet map sites that can accept latitude and longitude co-ordinates, and then show you a map of where that place is. How can I do it the other way around? I mean, look at a map, pick one place, and get its latitude and longitude? At the present I have to use trial and error to repeatedly input co-ordinates around the place until I zero in on it. It's very frustrating. JIP | Talk 17:06, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Google Earth displays the real-time lat and long of your pointer. Some other map sites, like Multimap, display the coordinates of the centre of the map. --Heron 17:27, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
It's not the graphical correlation you described, but there are data files you can download at the USGS Geographic Names Information System and the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency which give you information (including lat/long) for just about every feature on earth: cities, towns, and other populated places, mountains, lakes, etc. (The first site has files for the U.S. states; the second site has files for all the rest of the countries in the world.) A total boon for map and geography nurds. Steve Summit 21:51, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! I don't know how to use the USGS or NIMA systems - I couldn't even get it to find Munich (although it did find Berlin). Google Earth seems to be for Windoze only, and I'm a Linux user. But Multimap came in handy. It doesn't show all individual buildings, but having a separate map service (such as MapQuest), which does, active at the same time can help to find out the co-ordinates. JIP | Talk 07:52, 1 August 2005 (UTC)


do you have any articles on how to remove thistles? I have some stuck in my hand from gardening. Thank you.

I am not an expert, but can't you just get out some tweezers and take them out? You might do it after some time in a bath, so your skin is soft and pliable. ¦ Reisio 20:07, 2005 July 31 (UTC)
The same way as removing any sort of splinter, I'd imagine. Here's a How-To article on the subject, but honestly a combination of a bath and some tweezers is what I would do as well. I once stepped on a sea urchin on the same day I accidentally grabbed a cactus and found that a small pocket knife helped me fish some of the persistent bits out. --Fastfission 22:40, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Please make sure you sterilise any instruments you use to fish around for pieces, also, some antiseptic ointment on the wound will help reduce the risk of infection.

origin of an expression

Can you tell me where the origin of the expression "More tea vicar" came from? thank you.

It seems to have originally been the thing to say a polite high tea if someone farted. Thus, it was intended as a way to raise the tone and redirect attention. Then it became a funny thing to say when someone farted, and now it's just something funny that people say to me — I'm not a fart, I'm a vicar. Gareth Hughes 17:40, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
See also Cucumber sandwich. Sometimes I dearly love this nuthouse. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 20:17, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

First animal found on earth

The oldest animal fossil found is from 600 million years ago during the Precambrian period. They were "soft, cup-shaped animals that lived on a muddy sea floor" [23]. James 20:28, July 31, 2005 (UTC