Reference desk archive/June 2005

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EU commissioners

I have two questions:

  • Could someone actually provide a list of Directorates-General on this page, rather than linking to another page.
  • The titles of the commissioners don't match the titles of the DGs. Why?

Thanks very much,--/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ 06:03, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to sound rude, but this question was posted exactly 24 hours ago, and hasn't been answered. The time's now 20:00. Hurry up!-- 06:03, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
All the information you need is available in the articles for the European Commission and the Barroso commission.. --Robojames

Identifying Photos

Could someone please identify the following photos: First set is of a weird blue/green ant:

File:100 6644.jpg
Unident Ant
Unident Ant
Unident Ant

Second set is of some kind of eucalyptus flower:

File:100 6844.jpg
Unident Eucalyptus Flower
Unident Eucalyptus Flower
File:100 6852.jpg
Unident Eucalyptus Flower

Thanks in advance, --Fir0002 09:05, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

The "eucalyptus flower" looks something like the tropical fruit Rambutan, but this doesn't seem to be the case - I usually think of these fruits as growing in clusters rather than individually. Where'd the weird ant come from? --HappyCamper 11:48, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Maybe it's an immature Eucalyptus sideroxylon (example here) it blooms in the winter, which works for Australians. --CVaneg 21:48, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it is because I took that photo in January (summer in Aust) and the blooms of this tree did not have the bud type thing behind the actual petals.--Fir0002 06:23, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
IANAB, but the leaves look monocotyle, not dicotyle (crude comparison), which would mean this is probably not a eucalypt (which are of class Magnoliopsida, formerly Dicotyledoneae). This a tree, right? ¦ Reisio 10:22, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This is a Pincushion Hakea; Info links: 01 02 03—credit to my mom the paleobotanist for this one. ¦ Reisio 01:07, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)
Well, since your user profile says that you are from Australia, I'm going to guess that the ants are Rhytidoponera metallica. You can see an example here. Although the ant in your picture looks much sleeker and cooler, and although I am definitely not a Myrmecologist, I'd be willing to be that they are, at the very least, close cousins. --CVaneg 01:08, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Looking at the picture again, I'm not even sure that it is an ant because it has 4 sections to its body. --Fir0002 06:23, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
Do you have a picture of that insect that shows its antennae? It looks like it's head is always hidden. --HappyCamper 16:33, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'd be quite surprised if this is not a Blue Ant(note) (which is, as you guessed, not an ant at all); Info links: 01 02 03 04 ¦ Reisio 09:27, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Is this a form of copyright infringement

Hello dear people of Wikipedia

I just have following question, when you go to following website,

and you see all movies that are listed here, these movies using most probably illegal mp3's and illegal tools to make them, can this be seen as copyright infringement??? All movies being hosted on that page include mp3 music(since all of these movies are made with expensive tools such as Adobe After Effects, Sony Vegas and others and mp3 clips are probably imported in these tools). Also music is being used without the hosters having to pay any kind of royalties to the music artists.

Also worth noting is the fact that most guys making these videos are younger kids(16-25y)and seeing as most of these video editing packages cost well over 1000$ I find it all dubious to say the least.

Lemme know under what category this falls ok.



PS : also have a look at this page,

Well, I would imagine that most of the people who create these movies would argue fair use (in the US) or possibly fair dealing (in commonwealth countries), although fair dealing tends to be a bit more restrictive depending on where you live. Now, to my knowledge, whether or not these mp3s constitute fair use, has not really been tested in the courts, most likely because the music companies are far more worried about distribution of large amounts of music rather than a single song attached to a large video file. However, if it came to a point where someone wanted to sell their movie, then it is impossible to argue fair use, and they definitely would have to either license the music, or replace the soundtrack with something else. I believe Red vs. Blue had to do this for some of their movies when they decided to sell a compilation DVD. As for the software issue, I suppose in all likelihood the vast majority of editing programs are unpaid for. Even so, there probably are at least a couple of them who use legal copies at school, work, or even paid for it out of their own pocket. Regardless, it doesn't really effect the copyright status of the movie.--CVaneg 16:10, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Ok thnx for the answer!!!!!!!!!!

Technically it is probably copyright infringement. At the very least, a big company could send a legal letter asking to stop their distribution (especially with the MP3s). If the people with the videos had huge amounts of money they could take them to court, claim fair use, and maybe win (and still be out for legal fees). And in the end they'd have won the right to distribute those videos. Or they could lose, or never go to court, or settle out of court, all of which could cost a lot of money. (If you think this is improbable, that companies wouldn't care about such a small affair, take a look at some of the examples in Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture). Unfair? Restrictive? Poorly set up legal system? That's copyright law! --Fastfission 05:20, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Citing pedia

We haven't had a question about citing wikipedia for a while.

True enough. For others who come and read this question (which judging by the number of times this question gets asked is no one)), see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. --CVaneg 15:38, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Would it be a good idea to add that link to the page footer on the line with "About Wikipedia" and Discalimers on it (link it as How to cite Wikipedia or Citing Wikipedia)? I imagine that it would just require an adition to a page in the MediaWiki namespace? Thryduulf 16:47, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, it's already at the top of the page highlighted in pink and the Category:Wikipedia resources for researchers at the bottom links to it as well. I suppose that most high school students do not consider themselves researchers, so we could try making that clearer, but chances are people will just skip over everything anyway and still ask the question. --CVaneg 17:41, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree this link should be put in the footer. You can't expect a newbie wikipedian to find the info in a category. How to cite Wikipedia should be a link that's easy to find, even for people who don't know how to use the search box, the help pages are categories. Mgm|(talk) 18:46, May 31, 2005 (UTC)


I was wondering, if Intel invented the x86 code, then how could AMD and other processor manufacturers manage to make their processors compatible with the x86? Wouldn't it infringing upon Intel's patent/rights etc? After all, they share the exact same assembly language. Also, AFAIK Intel seems to be pretty cool about this.  =Nichalp (Talk)= 18:31, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

As far as I know, there is nothing wrong with creating a microprocessor that does exactly what another microprocessor does. Intel does not own any patents protecting the machine code - in fact the machine code is not particularly innovative, so it might be hard to get one (presumably they tried). This is essentially saying that if you have written a sort program, then I can write a sort program that does exactly the same and I haven't infringed your rights.
It's a completely different ballgame when it comes to copying how someone else does something. If I copy the code of your sort program, then I've infringed your copyright. AMD, I believe, gets round this by being very, very careful to document the exact way it gets from knowing exactly what an Intel processor does to writing microcode that does that, so that there is no suspicion that they have copied how Intel does it. DJ Clayworth 19:27, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Our Intel article states that Intel and AMD have a long standing cross-licensing agreement by which they may use each other's technological innovations free of charge. The AMD article states things slightly differently with a different timeline and frankly needs to be rewritten a bit, but the basic gist of things is the same. --CVaneg 19:33, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
A friend of mine worked at AMD for a while, and talked about taking micrographs as layers of a storebought x86 processor were etched away, getting them developed at a drug store, and taping them together as part of the reverse-engineering process. From what I understand, the intellectual property issue was a bit dicey for a while. Other sources tell me that a typical high-tech patent lawsuit is really a deep-pockets contest/test of will/genitals-measuring dispute, and can't be decided on technical grounds because anyone who understands the technical aspects of it has an interest in how the case is decided.
Research into the precedents set by Compaq might also be worthwhile.--Joel 07:22, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • It's not really necessary to reverse-engineer anyone else's hardware for that. One just needs to implement the IA-32 instruction set (for which you can find references here) to be able to run all existing Intel software.
  • IA-32 is also one of the most well-understood instruction sets around. People have written software emulators of Intel processors as class projects in college computer architecture courses. qemu and Virtual PC are two such emulators. Neither of them owe licensing fees or royalties to Intel.
  • Although a few such patents have slipped through and been granted, it's thought to be difficult to get patents instruction sets and file formats, Algorithms, manufacturing processes and business processes, however, are regularly patented. Specific circuit designs are also subject to copyright.
  • VIA, AMD and Intel cross-license patents from each other. The patents cover critical parts of each others' manufacturing processes. The whole scheme works about the same way as nuclear deterrence.
Ghakko 10:23, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Maybe you're talking about mask work protection here. Yes, some fly-by-night companies may directly copy another company's mask work in full or in part. However, a legit comapny may also want to take a look at other people's chips. Why? At least it gives them a clue how others solve a problem. Sometimes they may use the information to discover other people's weakness. However, if you abuse the information, you will be in deep #### [censored]. -- Toytoy 05:29, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)


A new project to correct spelling mistakes just prompted me to install Mozilla Firefox. I know there's all sorts of extensions to make editing Wikipedia easier, but I can't find them. Could anyone point me into the right direction? Mgm|(talk) 19:55, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

  • Okay, I found a few extensions on my own through the Firefox menu option. Any others I might want to use? Mgm|(talk) 20:13, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
    • If you click on the puzzle piece in the upper right hand corner, Firefox will let you know if there are any updates you're missing, and will update them. Did you download the Wikipedia add-on toolbar? YOu can look at Extensions and Themes, too, from RickK 21:45, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
I use SpellBound on Firefox. It comes with a pretty rudimentary dictionary (in fact you can download several languages/dialects). You can find it on the Mozilla extensions page mentioned by RickK. --Gareth Hughes 21:57, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I recommend Scrapbook - a tool that helps you capture and save bits of webpages in an indexible format. Really useful for researching stuff.--Fangz 22:16, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I couldn't find "SpellBound" but ScrapBook looks positively amazing. Thanks for the tips guys. If you have another recommendation. Please let me know. Yes, I already have the wikipedia toolbar installed. Mgm|(talk) 22:24, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

Spellbound can be found here and another spellchecker called RiteOfTongue can be found here I've not used either of these, so I can't say for sure if either of them are worthwhile --CVaneg 22:43, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
chocolateboy 23:56, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Translate some Russian text?

Can someone translate the text in the bottom right panel of this web comic strip (edit:broken link?), please? Assuming that it is actually Russian, of course, not just a made up lot of letters... --Fangz 22:12, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Odd about that link. When I clicked it, it took me to -- same when I pasted it into the address bar (MSIE). When I stripped the fleep25.gif from the address, so it read simply then it took me to the index page for the images. From there you can scroll down and click on fleep25.gif to get the comic. The address is valid, but it doesn't work as a link. Hmm... As for the possible Cyrillic text, I have no clue. SWAdair | Talk 06:25, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the server checks referrer or something, I suppose.--Fangz 13:22, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You might want to take a look at Languages using Cyrillic because this doesn't use the standard Russian character set. The text looks as if it says Menya Na perevôdbi! The last few letters are not standard in Russian. --Gareth Hughes 16:32, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What I see looks like Меня На перевôдбі. I'm searching versions of Cyrillic for different languages: the Abkhaz alphabet is the best match so far! --Gareth Hughes 16:49, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, the last letter is actually ы . And the last word seems to be "translations"...I sure hope someone who actually speaks comic-strip Russian can help out! --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:23, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, JP. Then it might just be the Russian for Exchange with translations or something like that. If that's a telephone exchange, it makes sense. I was a bit put off by the ô, but maybe that's just cartoonist's license. --Gareth Hughes 17:43, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I doubt it, given the context of the message. My current guess is that it's some sort of request for a translator. A final answer from a native would be nice, though.--Fangz 22:51, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I sent this link to a friend of mine who is a native speaker of Russian. His reply to me paraphrased was:
"It seems like Russian, but the third word is not an intelligible word; 2 characters in it are not in the Russian alphabet. Using the closest two valid words to it, the sentence is a bit awkward, but is something like "put me on the line". Maybe the author wanted to say "I"m on the line" instead, as well as "me on translation", which is close to "do not translate me".
HappyCamper 15:58, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)


How can I get acess to to cell phone password, today?

What password? There are several different passwords on most phones. If you're using a GSM phone, there are at least four on the SIM card already, two PINs (one for locking the whole phone, another for locking certain features) and two PUKs that can't be changed (that are used as a backup to allow resetting the PINs if they are forgotten). If you don't know the PIN, you'll have to contact your mobile phone operator to establish your identity and ask them for the PUK code, at which point you can reset the PIN and get access to the phone. It may be quicker if you physically bring the phone into a retailer or service company and bring along some ID to establish that you're the rightful owner of the phone.
Many phones also include a couple of passwords (again, one changeable by the user, one not) on the phone itself, which can be used to lock the phone such that it can only be used with the current SIM card (or only SIM cards from that particular phone company). The non-changeable one is often used by phone companies to lock phones they sell such that only their network's SIM cards can be used. To remove this lock, you need to contact the phone company, establish your identity, and probably pay a considerable fee. Failing that, in many countries mobile phone sellers often offer a phone unlocking service for a fee. Be warned - you may be violating your contact with your provider when you do so...
So, basically, talk to your phone company and/or retailer.--Robert Merkel 06:25, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Generic currency symbol

¤ - what's it used for?--F.B. 14:27, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is used generally instead of any other currency symbol when the proper symbol cannot be printed or displayed properly. This is becoming less of an issue as most symbols are coded. --Gareth Hughes 14:41, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why couldn't the other currency symbol be displayed? Would it be used like "¤4.50" meaning "£4.50"?--F.B. 14:49, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that's exactly how it's used. A keyboard or font might not have the ability to show a certain currency symbol and so a generic one is used instead. If someone could not produce €, it would be inappropriate to substitute £ or $ as someone else might not realise which currency is intended. The generic symbol makes certain that only the contextual currency is ever intended. --Gareth Hughes 16:17, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Assuming the reader actually knows what the symbol is. -- Cyrius| 16:52, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Presumably it has uses in programming too, where someone wants to write a general computer program for use across the world. It could have course later be changed. Dunc| 18:55, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Use of Wikipedia illustrations in website for a non-profit

I am preparing a website for a non-profit school. I need to know if it would be possible to use the photographs and other illustrations found in Wikipedia articles on this website. Are these materials considered public domain, or do I need to obtain permission to use them?

Also, when I cite the source for the illustrations should I cite each separate article, or would it be sufficient to simply cite the Wikipedia homepage?

Thank you, Anon

Every image on wikipedia has an associated image page, which (theoretically) contains things like source and copyright information. To get to the image page, you click on the image. →Raul654 19:38, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
And to elaborate on what Raul wrote, some images are public domain, some are copyrighted, some have other restrictions, some are released under the GPFL (which is a specific type of free license). It depends on the image in question, and you can find out by clicking on the image. If you have any questions about specific images, feel free to post their names here. --Fastfission 05:15, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Solved: Firefox Adblock is removing the pictures from Wikipedia articles...

At least I assume Adblock is to blame. How do I whitelist a site or partial filepath?

Looking at a .txt file of someone's recommended setup I found no reference to Wikipedia, however, I did notice that some paths began with /\ (or \/, I forget).

Is that the secret? --bodnotbod 19:46, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

You might have accidentally added it to the blacklist. Try this to remove the site:
if the pictures are shown then your problem has been sorted, if it hasn't I suspect adblock wasn't the problem. Thryduulf 20:17, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia's not on the block list. When I click on the little adblock thing in the status bar it appears to be because I've got a filter: ad.* which seems to be catching the image because all images contain: upload. But I would have thought that I would require a filter with a wildcard before the a to get the effect I'm having.
The adblock forum suggests checking Firefoxes inbuilt (ie non-extension) image blocker. But I've added Wikipedia to the "allow" list, but still am not having any joy.
The only thing that seems to work is switching off Adblocker, which - now that I write it out - confirms adblocker is to blame. --bodnotbod 21:09, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
hmm, I think the best course of action would be to report this to the Adblock developers as an issue. Thryduulf 21:31, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll see if I get any joy here first though. I know there's a lot of Firefox users who contribute to WP. To add more info for potential helpers: the WP logo is blocked too. I don't seem to have issues with other sites. I'm fairly sure I'm not missing any graphic content I'd want to see. --bodnotbod 22:29, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
I suspect the ad.* thing might be to blame. I mean, if it is used instead of http://ad.*, then the extension may automatically insert the starting wildcard.--Fangz 22:48, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I had to whitelist Wikipedia in Symantec Client Security, which blocks ads (and by default Wikipedia images which end up in the ad/ directory) for me.-gadfium 08:49, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sometimes, a picture of certain dimenstons would be taken as a banner. I have to setup my Provoxy to ignore Wikipedia. -- My true identity: Depth-Challenged Throat 10:11, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
SOLVED! - Thanks Fangz - Placing http:// into the relevant filter seems to have done the job. --bodnotbod 18:15, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

DVD ripping and converting to .AVI

I have ripped a dvd onto my harddisk (win2000) and want to compress it. I think I want to use .avi. Can anyone suggest: a) is avi the best format to use to store the video on a hard disk and view it on the disk without loosing too much quality but saving as much space as possible and b) what software I should use, prefferably free / open source? Thanks, Guttlekraw 08:23, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think if you use DivX you could get a satisfactory output into .avi.  =Nichalp (Talk)= 09:08, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
I'd use mplayer [1] : make sure you've got libavcodec compiled in, and invoke it as mencoder.
mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc dvd.vob -o dvd.avi
will give you some fairly sane defaults. You can specify a ridiculous number of alternative codecs (including DIVX and XVID) on the command line.


Anybody knows of a free (gratis) alternative to the MASM assembler for Windows? It should have a graphical interface and editor.  =Nichalp (Talk)= 09:06, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

based on the Assembler article, NASM may be what you are looking for (it doesn't say whether it has a graphical interface or not though). Thryduulf 09:44, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, it does not have any installation information. I also tried High Level Assembler but it has no graphical interface and little documentation on its usage.  =Nichalp (Talk)= 10:23, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
I know of three:
  1. NASM
  2. Flat Assembler
  3. Gas (GNU as)
I don't know if any of them have their own GUI, but that shouldn't be a problem. What you're probably after is a text editor or IDE which supports syntax highlighting for the assembly language(s) of your choice. In the open software world things are often designed to do one particular thing; assemblers are for assembling, IDEs and text editors are for manipulating text. ¦ Reisio 14:29, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Previously unanswered Warcraft III question....

I posted a question before about but it has been archived. Here is a link to it: [2] --HappyCamper 15:28, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So you've already looked through all these? ;o) --bodnotbod 18:18, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
gamefaqs is also a good reference for almost any PC or console game (Warcraft FAQ page). --CVaneg 18:58, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yup, I've looked at those links already, maybe over 3 months ago. I think I need some sort of a heuristic. --HappyCamper 04:18, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, often the best approach is to find some sample games people have played and just watch them. I did this with StarCraft and it drastically increased my ability to play, because it became very obvious how each side was going about preparing for various tactics. --Fastfission 05:12, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That sounds like great advice - thanks a lot! :) --HappyCamper 12:43, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No problem. With StarCraft anyway, a lot of it came down to things I would have never considered -- i.e. what order to build things (I believe building the barracks first was a better idea than building the home base or whatever, because it allowed you do begin making warriors very quickly, etc.) and how many little drone fellows to build and things like that. If you look around at some of those clan/tournament sites they often have their games posted as big log files which you can make the program play back for you. It really clued me in to a lot of things I wouldn't have just figured out on my own. --Fastfission 16:10, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Radioactive Elements

I know that elements with atomic numbers greater than 83 are radioactive, but can anyone tell me why technetium(43) and promethium(61) are also radioactive? Thanks. --Dimblethum

There is a whole section at technetium#Stability of technetium isotopes on why it is unstable - the short answer is simply that there are more stable nuclear configurations than any of its isotopes. -- ALoan (Talk) 17:12, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Radioactive is not about "heavy"; its about an "unstable" nucleus. There isotopes of EVERY element that are radioactive including hydrogen. 22:29, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It may also be worth noting the island of stability hypothesis; it's possible that some elements with high atomic numbers may turn out to have stable isotopes. Shimgray 23:23, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Related question: Why can't technetium be found in nature (among so many other elements which can)? --Fastfission 05:10, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It can, just not in large quantities (except in the article, it's actually really good!). If an element has a realtively short half-life, it follows that not much of it lasts through the cosmic timeframe between its generation in a star and the onset of life on a planet, now doesn't it?--Joel 07:10, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Making the odds of actually finding it essentially zero. Outside a uranium deposit, at least. Uranium's actually a good contrasting example. The most common isotope U-238 has a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, coincidentally, roughly the age of the Earth. Thus we have roughly half the U-238 the Earth started with. -- Cyrius| 07:51, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Standard for coastline measurement?

Ok, so the coastline problem is well known--Research_on_the_length_of_coastlines_and_borders and How Long Is the Coast of Britain?, basically that the length of a coast is fractal, and that measuring with different length "rulers" gives a different total length. So what length is actually used when preparing the standard (official?) statistics? Or is there no standard, so different answers could be had depending on the method? - Taxman Talk 20:33, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

I would expect that the coatlines could be estimated with satellite images? --HappyCamper 04:19, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's not what he's asking. What he's saying is that if you go out and measure a coastline with survey equipment, you will get a shorter answer than if you go out and measure with a ruler, with which you will get a shorter answer than if you measure around every grain of sand with a microscope. He's asking how that gets reconciled into some sort of standard method. -- Cyrius| 05:12, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Would this help? Look at the fine print at the bottom of this page: [3]
"...Measurements are made with unit measure of 30 minutes of latitude on charts as near scale of 1:1,200,000 as possible. Coastline of bays and sounds is included to point where they narrow to width of unit measure, and distance across at such point is included....Shoreline of outer coast, offshore islands, sounds, bays, rivers, and creeks is included to head of tidewater, or to point where tidal waters narrow to width of 100 feet.
Source: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service.
So, it looks like there are at minimum, national standards in the United States for doing such things...I haven't searched for international ones yet. HappyCamper 12:48, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's the kind of info I'm looking for, but that data is from 1940. Doesn't really indicate that their data is any sort of "official" standard either. I'm not even sure who is considered the body that creates the official standard for geography measurements. Maybe NIST in the US? Who would it be elsewhere, ISO? - Taxman Talk 13:28, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if it wasn't the Ordnance Survey in the UK. Thryduulf 14:06, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The OS appears ignorant of the problem, to judge by this page. They measured the mean high water mark on a 1:10000 map and published the result to seven (count 'em!) significant figures. To be fair, this is labelled a "Free & Fun" page and might not represent the state of the art. If there is a more serious page, I can't find it. --Heron 19:07, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Speaking as a cartographer who uses the OS 1:10,000 boundary data it is very accurate. I personally wouldn't go to 0.01km accuracy at that scale (I'd reserve that for the 1:2,500 data), I'd be happy about quoting it to 0.1km (100 metre) accuracy - the 2001 data is all digitally captured and measured, and I have faith in its accuracy to that level. For those unfamilar with maps of that scale, the largest scale offered by the get-a-map service is 1:25,000. At 1:10,000 scale (approx 6 inches to the imperial statute mile), an A2 page will cover one medium sized (for the UK) farm. See The 1:10,000 story on the OS website. Thryduulf 20:45, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Online Collaborative Wiki Tool for those Unfamiliar with Wikiwonders

I'm part of a disability issues committee. I'm fairly certain that a wiki style site could benefit the committee (at the moment we have far too much information floating around in email form).

I've just discovered PeanutButterWiki which has what I regard as the must have features of:

  • it's free
  • requires no software be installed (either on a server or on the desktop)
  • has password protection
  • looks easy to use

However, before I go any further down the road of considering that to be the perfect platform I thought I'd ask you good people for any recommendations. Please note that I'm perfectly comfortable using a wiki, but whichever I choose will be the first for the other members of the committee.

I have some doubts on PeanutButter due to:

  • I'm no expert but their markup seems unorthodox, so perhaps I should worry about transferring it at a later date. I've already got SDiDesk installed on my machine which uses a different syntax to both WP and PeanutButter, I fear insanity.
  • I have not previously heard of IM Smarter who run the site.

Thoughts and suggestions please. --bodnotbod 22:51, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

Is there a reason not to use MediaWiki (which is what Wikipedia runs on)? While it likely requires PHP and MySQL to work, both are free to use and download. The advantage of using a MySQL-based Wiki is that you could relatively easily extract the database both for editing and importing into a new system if something much better came along. --Fastfission 05:07, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Number one reason to not use MediaWiki: it's a big and complicated beast. -- Cyrius| 05:14, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for telling me about the peanut butter wiki. Interesting. I've added it to the list of "free wiki hosting" at . Mind if I move this discussion there? --DavidCary 02:20, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hi! I'm the guy who wrote / runs PeanutButterWiki. Thanks for noticing it and I hope folks find it useful. It's just meant to be a very simple tool for folks and obviously is light years behind MediaWiki in sophistication. While the styles are a little different, it should be relatively straightforward to make an importer/exporter that can transcode between wiki formats. As an FYI, you can grab a .ZIP backup of your whole wiki at any time - just click on the Admin button. So you could start off in PeanutButter an move to something else later if you wanted. Thanks again for noticing - email me if you have any questions or concerns. --DavidWeekly 08:38, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies. David Cary, can I ask that you not move the discussion just yet, I'd like to see if I get any further responses. But I'm happy for it to be moved later.
David Weekly - pleased to have you here. I'll email you if it appears you're no longer following this discussion but I prefer to have things here in the open so that anyone can add to the topic. My first question for you is - the PBWiki is password protected against edits. But I'm guessing it's not password protected for viewing?
Fastfission - I do NOT want to get involved with PHP and MySQL ;o) I am not very technical and the people I would like to use the wiki are much less so. --bodnotbod 22:26, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

bodnotbod - Thank you for your questions. While I've posted edits and new pages to Wikipedia before, this will be my first conversation thread, so apologies in advance if I get things wrong. By default, pbwikis are password-protected against both edits and views, but users can opt (with a single click) to not require a password to view. Only the creator of the wiki can change the password. I'd be delighted to answer other questions, but could you tell me how to get WP to email me when you post an reply? "Watch this page" didn't seem to do it.
In your email you asked if we would charge for pbwiki at a later date or if we were planning on adding advertising. The short answer is that our current plan is to have the basic, private wiki experience remain free indefinitely. We're going to be offering paid enhancements (such as being able to upload a bunch of files) and public wikis will either have contextual ads from Google or be paid for with a small monthly fee. In addition to being ad-free, paid public wikis will have more customizeable layout options.
Finally, you asked in your email about having multiple users edit and how to track this. Shared edits can be done today by sharing the password (the username field is ignored), but there isn't a clear record of who edited what. The system also does not yet properly lock files to ensure against editors stepping on each other's toes, but this will be rolled in in the next few days. Our revised authentication system, also to be deployed in a few days, should make it clear who is editing what. In short, it's functional but hacky now but should be rapidly improving in quality. Like Boston weather, if you don't like it, you just need to hold on a day or two. :) --DavidWeekly 23:52, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Music - Hard Rock

Is there an example of a piece of hard rock music where the final chord is not in root position? --HappyCamper 16:35, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmm...maybe a bit more specific. In Western tonality, it is very common in certain genres of music to end a piece of music with a chord related to the key signature of the piece. This chord is usually found in root position. This means that the chord is not an inversion of any kind. What I'd like to find, is an example of a piece of music from hard rock which satisfies this description. --HappyCamper 22:56, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify... you mean exactly 1, 3, 5 in order? What about 1, 3, 5, 8? What about 1, 3, 5, Maj7? What exactly is acceptable for your purposes? ¦ Reisio 14:49, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

free transport

What's a trans-shipment hub? How does it operate? What does it accomplish?

You mean a transhipment hub. Many transport systems work on a wheel-and-spoke basis. Take for example electrical goods made in the Far East. They are put in a container at the factory, and then are taken by lorry to a port. Then they are put on a small ship and taken to Hong Kong. At Hong Kong they are put on a bigger ship with lots of other containers with other goods and taken to the English port of Southampton. At Southampton, they're taken away by lorry or rail. The transhipment hubs are Hong Kong and Southampton because a large volume of goods are taken in "processed", and then moved on. I'm not sure what this has to do with free transport though. Dunc| 17:35, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it has to do with zones in which tariffs and taxes are not paid? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:35, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

french accent

Well, hazarding a guess at what you're asking about, you could probably start here to listen to some examples of a french accent. We also have an article on Non-native accents. If you want to know more, you'll have to ask a more specific question. --CVaneg 22:01, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, I have a related question here...Suppose I wanted to speak German. Is there an analogous page describing Non-native German accents? --HappyCamper 03:49, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How to remove an unwanted Microsoft Office plugin?

Where do Microsoft Office applications store their own 3rd party plugins? I installed a trial copy of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. It automatically installs an tool icon on my Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I tried to remove it but it keeps coming back each time I restart the infected, poor and defenseless application. How do I remove it before the 7-day trial is up? I want a small victory before I uninstall the whole thing. I hate software that are invasive. Are they DLL files? -- My true identity: The Depth-Challenged Throat 02:42, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

It is likely a modification to your default template, "". Purging it might be difficult though. Otherwise, it might be similar to the way Acrobat creates toolbars (see this link for information on removing those ones, maybe something analogous will work). --Fastfission 04:44, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The suggested methods do not work. I uninstalled the program, protected by making it read only and then used F3 to locate and monitor all *.dot files in my c:\. After that, I installed the dictionary again. These annoying bugs keep coming back. Possibly it's in my registry. Maybe I'll use a tool to alert me any unauthorized change of the Windows registry.
I uninstalled the software for good. -- My true identity: The Depth-Challenged Throat 16:33, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

German terms for atomic bomb parts

I'm interested in what the "common" German names are for each of the following parts of an atomic bomb are -- how they would appear in a German book on atomic weapons, or in a German encyclopedia. (Not just translated with a dictionary, but how they are commonly called).

This is the diagram I'd like to know the German part-names for.

Thanks in advance. My German is a bit too poor for this. Basically, I'd like to know what they call the "core", "tamper", "pusher", and "explosive lens". --Fastfission 04:48, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • You're probably better off asking at the German Wikipedia reference desk (or similar page). I just hope enough of them know English. Mgm|(talk) 14:29, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)
Just from curiosity, is this question prompted by the recent [reports] of the purported nuclear weapon design from Nazi Germany? --Robert Merkel
  • OK - here it goes: chemical explosive shell = chemischer Sprengsatz; neutron reflector = Neutronenreflektor; plutonium core = Plutoniumkern; tamper/pusher = Dichteanpassung; neutron initiator (deuterium/tritium mix) = Neutronenerzeuger (Deuterium-Tritium-Gemisch). For more details, compare text and images in de:Atomwaffentechnik to Nuclear weapon design. -- Marcika 21:58, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Follow up. Thanks for that -- I forgot I asked this! And Robert Merkel -- yes, it had to do with that "design," I was just curious if those translations were the same as the ones they currently used (they are not, apparently). But at this point it doesn't matter as much, as I'm pretty sure I know where that design comes from (a book published in Germany in 1946). --Fastfission 04:45, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Battle of Mackin

Was there ever a town in Ireland called Mackin?. I have heard of a " battle of Mackin" between Protestant and Catholic forces.-- 06:07, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)John Mackin

I get no goodle hits for "Battle of Mackin" as a prhase, and all reults for Mackin Ireland return results where Mackin is a surname. This leads me to suspect that "battle of Mackin" will be newspaper headline type name for a dispute of somesort relating to somebody called Mackin. Thryduulf 08:05, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your spelling of the name is unusual - I'm more familiar with the spelling "Mackan". There is a town called Mackan in Fermanagh (Northern Ireland), which did have some sort of struggle in it but I don't know what this was about or when it was. The chapter of the book 'Irish Folk History' by Henry Glassie is an indication [4] (There are loads of links to fantasy games if you just Google Battle + Mackan) So, do you know anyone in Fermanagh? Or that have this book? There's also some active Irish Wikipedians at Wikipedia:Irish Wikipedians' notice board (WP:IWNB) who might be able to help. Let me know how you get on - I don't check here that often and am mad busy at the moment.. Cormaggio 10:16, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

H.P. Lovecraft - E.A. Poe

I'm looking for a comparison of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe and their works. Thanks in advance -- 11:49, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • You could start by reading about the authors and possibly their style of writing. We've got articles on both: H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Can you give a bit more background on why you want to know this> Mgm|(talk) 14:31, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

You can make biographical comparisons from the articles, but I've read both and will offer you a literary critical comparison. HPL was an early 20th century "one song artist." He can do one type of horror story very well, but all his stories taste the same and he knew how to evoke exactly one response in his reader. There was no evolution or growth during his career. His books mostly appeal to adolescents, and none of them deal with any human relationships and none of his human characters grow or change or have depth. Think of H. R. Giger or Frankie Valli:-- very distinctive and recognizable, relatively narrow and adolescent in its appeal. Poe was early 19th century. He wrote poetry as well as fiction, and a wider range of fiction. His work has a wider range of appeal, and you may appreciate different aspects of it at different ages. In my opinion it requires a bit more effort and response from the reader (i.e., if you will pardon the oversimplification, reading level 18 as opposed to 13 years). Finally, I will also offer you a gratis, worth what you pay for it, psychological comparison: I can much more easily imagine HPL writing for wikipedia (ouchh!) alteripse 14:48, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

John Bartleson

Moved from Bidwell-Bartleson Party:

I am a descendant of John Bartleson. If anyone has any geneological data on John bartleson i would love to know about it.
abartleson at
  • Wikipedia doesn't usually provide geneological information in their articles, so it's quite unlikely any wikipedians can help you further. You might want to try some of the external links in the genealogy article for better places to ask. Mgm|(talk) 14:33, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

Marginal Rate of Transformation

Moved to Talk:Welfare economics

Name for a common argument

Does the common argument "if you don't like it you must not understand it" have its own name or classification of some kind, similar to the short labels most logical fallacies have? JRM · Talk 20:44, 2005 Jun 4 (UTC)

Well, it's almost an Ad hominem/Appeal to authority since the implicit argument is "You should listen to me since you are dimwitted, while I understand the matter completely." --CVaneg 22:46, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The reasoning is also a double negative...Since the universe of discourse is not closed, it is not the equivalent of saying "if you do like it, you must understand it". --HappyCamper 22:52, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's a good point, so maybe it's more of a False dilemma.--CVaneg 23:05, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It looks to me like a particularly popular case of making a valid argument from a false assumed premise (which is on the list, albeit without a catchy name), where the assumed premise is "If you understand it, you will like it" and the other premise is "you do not like it", and from there on it's a valid (if unsound) modus tollens. I don't know if there's a particular name for that specific case, which is probably what you were looking for—although I might propose "argument from pretension"... As a related note, I think many people who put forth that argument wouldn't agree that "if you like it, you must understand it". (And if you don't like this answer, you must not have understood it!) Mindspillage (spill yours?) 23:11, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I like the answer, but I don't understand it. smoddy 15:03, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Here's my interpretation of the answers given so far:
It seems like there is no specific classification for the original question. However, the original question contain elements of things such as: an appeal to authority, a false premise, and a false dilemma. If the question is directed towards a person, then it contains a subtle element of pretension. This is because the question is being asked in a manner which shows (with limitation) that
  1. the person asking the question believes they are correct
  2. the recipient is believed to be not knowledgeable
  3. the person asking the question has little intention of changing their stance or opinion
  4. the question is subtlely demeaning for the recipient
  5. the question does not invite positive communication
  6. the question is phrased so that a majority of answers would not be adequate; if an attempt to answer the question is made, it would implicitly mean that the recipient has accepted the burden of proving that they are knowledgeable within the framework of the original (likely unaccepting) person.
In other words, the question is highly loaded and POV. In the case of Mindspillage's answer, it was used as a sort of unifying literary device - to answer the original question by presenting a situation where its use would convey its meaning. Hence, its use served two purposes simultaneously. In the original context where it was used, it is quite similar to popular literary devices (commonly found in journalism) where a piece of prose begins and ends on the same topic. I'd say, Mindspillage's answer was quite the effective and intelligent one!
The reference to the "universe of discourse" which I made was to indicate that saying something like "I am not going to misbehave" is not entirely identical to "I am going to behave". Logically, they are the same, but semantically they are not. The reason is that whenever negation is used, it implicitly assumes that everything about the entire system of interest is known by both parties. In the case of human interaction, this is hardly the case. Hence the reason why there is ambiguity in such statements. A fancy name for "everything in the entire system" is a "universe of discourse". It's terminology used often in logic and reasoning. --HappyCamper 18:56, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's a case of a non-falsifiable claim, as well; and possibly a piece of circular reasoning (circulus in demonstrando): "Why don't you like it? Because you don't understand it. How do I know you don't understand it? Because you don't like it."
The accusation that they make such self-defending, non-falsifiable claims has been leveled, notably, at Freudianism and certain forms of Marxism. In the former case, for instance, it is held that the Freudian believes that anyone who rejects a psychoanalytic diagnosis of himself is repressing or in denial and thus in need of psychoanalysis. That is, the rejection as false of the diagnosis is evidence in favor of it.
One relevant literary reference (or one such) is Catch-22, in which just this sort of self-defending claim is used by those in power to reject petitions for relief: if a soldier asks to be relieved from combat missions on grounds of insanity, this is proof that he is sane enough to go on combat missions. The original poster's example is simply the negative of Catch-22: if you are obdurate in refusing to accept the proposition, then this proves that you are not qualified to judge it. --FOo 05:25, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thank you all for your responses. I never dreamed it could be evaluated in so many ways. :-) JRM · Talk 14:39, 2005 Jun 8 (UTC)

How to make a golf ball with 333 dimples?

I came across this interesting question on Talk:Golf ball...How does one make a golf ball with 333 dimples? I am thinking that 333 = 3*3*37, so one can interpret this as distributing 37 points evenly on a sphere and clustering 9 dimples around these points in a symmetric manner. Is this how they do this in real life? --HappyCamper 23:00, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No idea, but I'm betting the geometry gets more complicated when the dimples are can vary in size. I also don't think it seems that it should be assumed that they are necessarily distributed evenly on the sphere -- that picture makes it look like they are distributed along "faces" of some sort. --Fastfission 05:04, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Dimples are just cute, dented faces. If you can create a 333-sided polyhedron, then it's just a matter of dimpling the faces like an annoying grandparent. Simon "PuTTY" Tatham has a nice paper outlining a lazy way to create pretty polyhedra here.
chocolateboy 00:20, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Search Engines

What is the largest search engine? Patricknoddy 13:10 June 5, 2005 (EDT)

According to New Estimate Puts Web Size At 11.5 Billion Pages & Compares Search Engine Coverage, Google is the #1 (8 billion pages, about 70% of the web) and Yahoo! is the 2nd place. However, also claims itself bigger and fresher from time to time. For a time in the late 1990s, Northern Light (now defunct), with its huge reserve of printed materials, also claimed to be the biggest. And don't forget to check A9 and Yahoo!.
However when it comes to a long page, Google used to and may still only index that page's first 101 kilobytes. That means the story of mankind after the discovery of fire could be totally ignored by Google if you write your private version of the world history in a single web page. Google is for apes!
The exact numbers and definitions are changing all the time. Here are some personal ideas:
  • Even the largest search engine only covers a little part of the web.
  • Some search engines may return more outdated links.
  • You usually retrieve the most important web pages from most, if not all, general-purpose search engines (usability still differs).
  • There are more information on many topics than you can absorb.
  • If you can better describe the subject you're looking for, your chance to retrieve relevant web pages using whatever search engine increases.
  • You can always use two search engines (powered by different providers) or a meta-search to improve your search results.
  • You may study ONE search engine's tips and tricks to improve your research capability.
  • You may also use a sub-search engine such as Google Scholar.
  • The Internet Archive can also be very useful.
  • Learn to use a specialized database such as Westlaw, if you have access of it.
  • Be careful, most if not all search engines are case insensitive.
  • If you want something really useful, you may want to spend your weekend afternoons in a college research library.
  • If you're lucky,'s "Search Inside" may save you a trip to the library. :) I love it.
  • You may want to compare the amounts of indexed PDFs, DOCs, PPTs, ... blah .. blah ... blah ... .
  • Do not afraid to ask.
At first you need to know the few database providers. See: Who Powers Whom? and you may want to check out RustySearch Search Relevancy Challenge. -- My true identity: The Depth-Challenged Throat 03:39, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • However, absent the philosophy(some of which is useful), to the best of my knowledge it's Google. Superm401 | Talk 01:54, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)

Parabola question

Reading Wikipedia articles didn't answer the following question, so I'm posting it here: from the equation of a parabola, how can you tell its focus, vertex, and directrix?

The definitions are in the article, albeit written in a somewhat implicit manner. What the definition is saying is that if you rearrange the equation of a parabola into that form, the focus, vertex, and directrix are given as is. --HappyCamper 01:42, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Western Borrowings in Hebrew

I'm interested in knowing some borrowings in Hebrew from English and other Western languages, for instance otomatik ("automatic"), terminal ("terminal"), helikopter ("helicopter"), etc. Roman transliterations wouldn't be bad.

Many borrowings in Hebrew are not from English but from Russian, although there are many similarities. Democracy, for example, is Demokratzia, which is more Russian than anything else. One needs to keep in mind that Eliezer ben Yehuda, who has been credited with resuscitating Hebrew as a living language, was a Russian.
That being said, Israel is more USA-focused since the Cold War, and hence more English borrowings can now be found. JFW | T@lk 02:43, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
... Eliezer ben Yehuda, who has been credited with resusciating Hebrew as a living language, was a Russian.
Doesn't it sound like an ideal entry for Did you know? -- Template:User-multi 07:26, Jun 7, 2005 (UTC)

Wanted: Musician with way too much time on his hands

Alright, you know that stupid little Arbor Day commercial with the annoying cardinal and all the little filthy children that sing along with him?

Here's a link:

I LOVE that commercial.

I know this is a stupid request, but I need the chord progression to that song, honestly, Carly is my hero. I already worked out the lyrics, so that's a start:

Trees are terrific!

The birch is on the branches, Lives among the leaves, Friendly Carly Cardinal, Talking about trees.

"Sometimes people take for granted, About the best things ever planted, But they should be enchanted, should appreciate their trees!"

Could you have a forest parade, Build a treehouse where you played, Could you make your lemonade, If you didn't have the trees?

If you need a tree to climb, That's where squirrels spend their time, "Oh, it's practically a crime, When someone damages a tree."

When you think about a tree, It's as plain as it can be, To some it's just a tree, But it's a home to me.

Trees, trees, Carly's Arbor Day Foundation, Spreads the word across the nation about trees!

Trees are terrific! 02:26, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hello - I've provided the notes to the individual syllables as well as the chords. Some of the words are not sung to pitch, but the notes I have given are as close to the original as I can get it to be. I have assumed that the bottom note is the tonic, since I can't hear the entire chord on my poor computer speakers. This very likely isn't the case, but I'd need better to speakers to figure it out. (It doesn't help that the singers are not in unison either.)

Intro: Chromatic scale starting from A...goes down 3 octaves

The key of the piece is in A-major, likely 4/4 time with a slight swing to it.

A major
Trees are ter-ri-fic!
A     E   A   C# E   

A major               F# minor
The birch is   on the bran-ches, 
C#  E      C#  E  C#  F#    F#

B major   D      E major   D
Lives am-ong the leaves,
D     C# D   E   C#

C#-minor         F# minor
Friend-ly Car-ly Car-din-al,
C#     E  E   C# F#      F#

B         D     E major
Talk-ing about trees.
D    D   E c#  B

Transition: Sounds somehting like A D E F# D A G#...

            D major          D major
"Some-times peo-ple take for gran-ted,
 D    E     F#  F#  F#   D   G#   G# 

           C# minor    F# minor
Abou-t the best things ev-er planted, 
G#   E     G#    G#    G# B  A    A
B dominant seventh (B,D#,F#,A)-(B,D,F#)-(A,C#,E)-(ends in A major)
But they should be enchanted, should appreciate their trees!"
(Practically impossible to assign notes to the spoken verse here)

           A major         F#
Could you have a   for-rest glade,
C#    D    E   C#  E  C#   F#

B       D         E major     D
Build a treehouse where you played,
F     E D   C#    D     E   E

          C#        F# 
Could you make your lemonade,
C#    D   E    C#   E  C#   F#

B             D        E
If you didn't have the trees?
(can't figure it out)

       D              D
If you need a tree to climb,
D   E  F#  F#  D   G# G#

             C#                    F#
That's where squirrels spend their time,
G#      E      G#   E    G#     B   A

Dominant seventh (B,D#,f#,A)--then (B,D,f#)---(A,C#,E)
"Oh, it's practically a crime, When someone damages a tree."
(can't figure out the notes here)

         D               E
When you think abou-t a  tree,
C#   D    E     C#  E C#  F#

        C#              F#
It's as plain as it can be,
F#   E  D  C# D         F#

To some it's just a tree,
(can't figure it out)

C#          F#   C#
But it's a home to me.
(can't figure it out)

D      E      C#                F#
Trees, trees, Carly's Arbor Day Foundation,
F#      G#    G#  F#  D  C# D   D#  E  D

B           E                                A
Spreads the word a -cross the na-tion abou-t trees!
F#      E   D    C#   D   E   F#  D   G#   E  A 

A major
Trees are ter-ri-fic!
A     E   A   C# E

Note how some of the base chords seem dissonant with the notes that are sung. This really isn't the case in the music - The dissonant notes are only in passing. I haven't written out the notes and times.

The ending is the typical 2-5-1 chord progression. Hope this helps! HappyCamper 03:14, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS WEBSITE. You are my hero, Thanks! 00:47, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No problem! Glad the Wikipedia Reference Desk was able to help! --HappyCamper 15:00, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Reaction of thallium with water

Our article on thallium claims that the metal reacts with water to form thallium hydride, but it has been suggested that the actual reaction product is thallium hydroxide. Do we have a chemist in the house? --Smack (talk) 05:31, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

2Tl+2H2O → 2TlOH + H2 anyway, thallium hydroxide gets formed. I've never heard of thallium hydride, but that needn't mean it doesn't exist or isn't formed. --W(t) 06:18, 2005 Jun 6 (UTC)
Thallium hydride exists, but it's definitely the hydroxide that's formed. It looks like this erreneous fact has been replicated everywhere on the internet now... --HappyCamper 11:42, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
[Here] is a link where someone apparently copied the little synopsis of the compound from the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. I'll see if I can verify it today. Also, this link might be useful. --HappyCamper 11:57, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Alright, I've consulted the CRC handbook and it says definitively that the hydroxide is formed. I'm going to change the article to reflect this. --HappyCamper 21:59, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Chemical Rubber Company is your friend. Gentgeen 05:31, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Solved: Show some respect to the Big Boss

How do I use the word "don" in Italian? In Spanish, "don" goes with a noble man's first name, e.g. Don Juan. The same rule goes with many other titles such as the British sir. But why do people call Vito Corleone Don Corleone? How do we call today's living New York Mafia family heads? -- Toytoy 14:15, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)

They're effectively "noble" men, at least in their own "families." Also Don in Spanish can be used as a term of respect for an unrelated adult, spoken by a child. Superm401 | Talk 14:51, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
I mean how do you call a noble man such the late John Gotti? Don John, don Gotti or just Don? Do I need to capitalize this title? -- Toytoy 15:10, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
In what context do you want to use the title? Superm401 | Talk 21:26, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
I saw a man in a nice 3-piece suit standing in a bucket of concrete. And then I was captured by some other people in even better 3-piece suits. If I cannot pay due respect to their boss in the world's most expensive 3-piece suit, I'll be with some DHA-rich animals by tomorrow morning. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe, you're my only hope.
The truth is I was answering a question in Chinese wikipedia and found myself not knowing the Italian usage. I know the Spanish usage is don + last name. But why do people call Marlon Brando Don Corleone? If no one knows the answer, I'll be sleeping with the fish and have a head of seahorse on my bedside. Ah! Ah! AHHHHHHH! -- Toytoy 00:24, Jun 7, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I would say that the whole thing is a work of fiction and so it should not be held to any sort of factual standard. As for modern mafia nomenclature, I would imagine that it depends quite a bit on the mob bosses themselves. Vincent "The Chin" Gigante didn't like people using his name at all for fear of being recorded by the FBI.--CVaneg 01:19, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

According to IMDB (

According to Francis Ford Coppola, the term "Don Corleone" is actually incorrect Italian parlance. In Italian, addressing someone as "Don" would be like addressing them as "Uncle" in English, so the correct parlance would be "Don Michael" or "Don Vito". Coppola says that Puzo, who couldn't speak any Italian, simply made up the idea of using "Don" with a person's last name, and it has now become a pop culture staple.

Mario Puzo goofed! -- Toytoy 01:49, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)

Unvoiced voiced consonants?

In German phonology, it says that: "the obstruents /b d ɡ z ʒ/ are voiceless [b̥ d̥ ɡ̊ z̥ ʒ̊] in the Southern varieties." I'm unable to reproduce this. I was under the impression that the difference between /b/ and /p/ is that /b/ is voiced and /p/ isn't, likewise with /d/ and /t/, and so on. In that case, what is the meaning of symbols like [b̥] and [d̥]? How does a [z̥] differ from a [s]? — Trilobite (Talk) 19:52, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

At least in English, initial /p/ is aspirated and unvoiced, initial /b/ is unaspirated and unvoiced (hence the ring beneath the symbol, and meaning that its corresponding etic transcription in a word like boy would be [b̥]), and intervocalic /b/ is unaspirated and voiced (as in the name Chewbacca, and therefore its corresponding etic transcription would be an unadorned [b]). Hope this at least partially answers your question, Gelu Ignisque
Thanks. I wondered if it might have something to do with aspiration. — Trilobite (Talk) 17:58, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Battle of El Alamein

To what extent did the success of The Battle Of El Alamein effect the strategic balance of World War II?


It allowed the success of the 1943 Do Your Own Homework Campaign.
More seriously, there were two battles of El Alamein, the First (July 1942) and Second (October 1942). The First prevented a German breakthrough to Alexandria, which would have essentially destroyed the British hold on Egypt and blocked access to the Eastern Mediterranean; the Second broke the back of the Italian and German forces in the Egyptian area, and drove them back as far as North-West Africa, working with the Allied landings in the west to clear North Africa completely. The strategic effect of either of these should be apparent if you look at a map.
The Second is the one usually referred to; you'll find our article on it to go some way to answering your question. Shimgray 23:06, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If Rommel had broken through at El Alamein, he could have moved into Egypt and taken the Suez Canal. Because of his defeat, he was, as Shimgray states, eventually caught between the Eighth Army to his east and the Allied forces, mainly American, landing to his west. You'll find more about that aspect of it under North African Campaign, with the Tunisia Campaign being the most pertinent to your question. JamesMLane 02:50, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Trademarks: Sayings: are they protected? How?

I appreciate any info someone might be able to give me. I've read the info on this site and at the uspto, and I can't figure out how there can be so many trademarks of the same saying and they can still be protective.

I went to the USPTO website, and under "Search" typed in the words "Support our troops." There were 21 entries, and most had the single phrase "Support our troops." Shouldn't the very first person who submitted their trademark of this saying be the only one listed? Is it that easy to list your own, just by changing the color of your magnet, put a little red, white and blue at one end, or make it all black, and you get a trademark? That doesn't seem right. From what I've read, I thought the trademark office 'searched' to make sure your trademark hadn't been used before issuing it. Or are sayings such as this not that easy to protect? Or is it possible that the first listed trademark person is suing the others and down the road only one will be listed after all the court battles?

And what about the most recently listed trademark under that group that reads "Support our troops bring them home"? How protected is this person? The reason I ask is, I've thought of a phrase that includes "support our troops" but also adds a few more words. Suppose it caught on, am I wasting my time and money trademarking it? Am I even allowed to trademark it if it includes part of someone elses pharse? How specific do I have to be to 'protect' it (I have four different ways of writing my saying, but they all say the same thing, only one word added or subtracted on the two lines).

Thank you to anyone who can help me.

Wikipedia does not offer legal advice, and neither do I. If you're concerned that your activities may violate a valid trademark, get a lawyer.
First off, the fact that a person claims a trademark does not mean that their claim is valid, or that the trademark would be upheld in court if they accused someone of infringing upon it.
Second, the point of a trademark is not simply to give some party a monopoly on a phrase, but rather to allow a phrase (or name, or logo) to uniquely identify a product or brand. Claiming a trademark on an established common phrase such as "support our troops" or "that sucks" or "I love you" is not enough to actually give the claimant a legal monopoly on that phrase.
Third, trademarks (unlike copyrights and patents) are subject to trademark dilution even if they were original at first. Even if Joe Foo was the first person to come up with and market products using the expression "support our troops", if a hundred other people do so later and Joe Foo doesn't do anything to stop them, then Joe Foo ceases to have an enforceable trademark.
Trademarks are quite different from copyrights and patents, and it is unfortunate that they all get smeared together under the muddle-headed rubric of "intellectual property" today. For instance, if Joe Foo designs a specific artwork using the phrase "support our troops", he holds the copyright on that artwork, and can legally forbid others from reproducing that artwork. However, since the phrase is not original, he can't forbid others from using it in their own works. --FOo 05:36, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Parallel registered trade marks in relation to the same phrase can be held by different people to used to describe different classes of goods (someone needs to write an article on the Nice classification system[5]). -- ALoan (Talk) 13:35, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
See also genericized trademark. — Catherine\talk 21:48, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

LIST OF MASTS addition question-please foreward if not right person

Hi,I really enjoy your well researched list of masts,they've always fascinated me,hower I know of 2 Michigan additions for ya that we'rent listed,the WPBN in HARRIETTA AT 1130 FT. and the WPHN in ATLANTA at 1001 ft. thanks Pat

  • Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make whatever changes you feel are needed. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit link at the top. You don't even need to log in! (Although there are some reasons why you might like to…) The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:19, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

strategy game/puzzle rules of play

Hello wikipedia

I have recently been given a present by a friend just returned from holiday in majorca, which i believe is a strategy game/puzzle, however no play instructions have been included and i haven't got a clue how to play it.

The game is a three quarter circle with a large red dot positioned in the space where the missing quarter is, almost identical in outline to the tulip logo used by wikipedia at the bottom of this page (blue circle/red dot, although there are no green leaves on the game). There are 3 equidistant holes on the circumference of the circle and 1 in the middle, 5 in total and there are 4 small pegs two of each separate colour in the circumference holes.

Does anyone know or recognise this. Any guidance would be useful and much appreciated.

Thank you.

Peter -- 07:03, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

messege about vandalism

hello, i became a member here about 4 or 5 days ago. i joined wikipedia when i was at school. when i went online today at my home computer the site said i had a new message. when i checked the messege it said something about me making vandalsim. if this has something to do with my compters ip address can someone tell me what to do, i would never create vandalism on a site that helped me get information for a reserch paper which i got a good grade on.


--Chris 23:32, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about it, chances are the vandalism was the work of person who had the IP before you. Also, now that you have an account, all your activity will be tracked through that rather than your IP. Now if you still get vandalism messages when you are signed in, then I would take a long hard look at any younger siblings or maybe even mischievous parents in your household. --CVaneg 00:12, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, but I really don't think my dad actually knows about this site. Is it possible that there could be another computer with my same IP address? Chris 18:09, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If your ISP gives uses dynamic IP addresses, then every time you dial in you get a different IP address from their pool, and so it is near 100% probability that somebody else had the IP address before you. If you have a home network, then it is likely that every computer on that network has the same IP for Internet purposes (see Network Address Translation(NAT)). Thryduulf 19:28, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Formula for position of a satellite

I want to know the formula for the position of a satellite as it goes along its elliptical orbit. I want it as a function of TIME, and it needs to have a parameter for the shape (eccentricity?) of the planet's orbit. I want to make an almanac and I don't want anything too hard to use.

You could start with Kepler's laws of planetary motion and orbit equation. -- ALoan (Talk) 09:12, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't think so. I want a function that takes an input of TIME and gives an output of the position.
Look under Kepler's laws of planetary motion#Application. --Fangz 18:40, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Magnesium taurate

Can anyone guide me to research about the effect of this stuff and it's dissociation in the digestive system (particularly the intestines)? I already know it's a complex of a mineral with the non-essential amino acid taurine and what illnesses they are involved in. Chemfinder didn't know the compound and Google is returning too many sales pitches. -- Mgm|(talk) 08:16, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Well, the fact that it says it's "magnesium taurate" suggests to me that it is the magnesium salt of 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid (I am using the IUPAC word for it here). I don't think magnesium itself is anything special - it could have been sodium, magnesium, etc...Magnesium was probably chosen for the stability/marketability/practicality of making the compound during the manufacturing process. Note that magnesium is a bivalent cation in the compound so there would be two taurate ions to magnesium ions would be in the ratio 2:1. Whether the magnesium is actually chelated by the taurine, I'm somewhat skeptical of. (I interpreted the word "complex" as meaning "chelate" here).
The pKa of 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid at 25 degrees Celsius is 1.5 (see standard CRC tables for organic acidic compounds for this), which is rather acidic. The reference used by the CRC book is "Perrin, D.D., Dissociation Constants of Organic Bases in Aqueous Solution, Butterworths, London, 1965; Supplement, 1972".
Now, a good starting point for your research could be the following: Make a few reasonable assumptions and ask some questions which you can figure out and hypothesize. What is the pH of stomach acid? If I have a conjugate base of an acid (the taurine) of pKa 1.5, what percentage of it would be in its original acidic form in this environment? Would the stomach break down the acid before it reaches the intestines where it is absorbed? --HappyCamper 13:05, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Trace amounts of taurine are now added to some infant formulas. As for anything else with potential bioactivity, as you change the dose along several orders of magnitude, you get shifting sets of entirely distinct effects, and all substances are toxic in large enough amounts. That is especially true with amino acids that have neurotransmitter properties. Most acids conjugated with magnesium are completely dissociated in stomach acid and in large amounts have cathartic properties: e.g. magnesium citrate and magnesium sulfate. alteripse 00:11, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've just read a research paper in which the formation of 1:1 complexes is described. Of course this only happens in the presence of chlorine (or other negative ions), but just so HappyCamper knows. - 08:22, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'd be extremely interested to know the reference to this academic paper - could you please post it here? It sounds very interesting...What is the sturcture of this compound? How does the ligand impart stability to the Mg2+ ion? Was this compound synthesized in an inorganic context? --HappyCamper 12:16, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Which is it, cowardry, or cowardness? I am almost certain that cowardness is "wrong", but why does it yield 5000 google hits as opposed to 90 for cowardry? Is cowardness specifically American English? dab () 10:03, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, neither. :) A couple of examples:
"The surest protection against temptation is cowardice."—Mark Twain
"War spares not the brave, but the cowardly."—Anacreon
Ghakko 11:59, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

OK words here would be 'cowardice' or 'cowardliness'. 'cowardness' is definitely wrong, because 'ness' indicates a noun derived from an adjective, while 'coward' is a noun. Just because it's wrong doesn't mean you won't find it used on the internet a lot. DJ Clayworth 14:07, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In fact, Googling for "cowardry" yields this interesting link:, which suggests that cowardness and cowardry were once used as synonyms some seven centuries ago. I doubt the other Internet occurrences are conscious attempts at reintroducing these obsolete variants. :-) JRM · Talk 14:19, 2005 Jun 8 (UTC)

I believe Ghakko's example from Anacreon is not using a true noun form of coward. This is a substantive, meaning an adjective with the noun implied. War spares not the brave (people), but the cowardly (people). Brave and cowardly are both adjectives, but they lost their nouns -- this is rare in English but common in some other languages (as well as in archaic English, such as blessed are the meek). Tuf-Kat 00:38, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

This is an interesting exception to Wikipedia policy: cowardly people is empty in favor of cowards, and brave people in favor of braves. Lets try a synonym that people only tend to use when they know what they're doing: there seem to be "about 26" instances of dastardry on Google, which is not many compared to dastardness (339), but dastardliness (4,020) is most prevalent by far. Cowardie and cowardship are other old-school options (Webster, 1913), but cowardliness seems to be favored.

Extradition to United States

What countries have no extradition treaties with the United States?

Can we ask what crime you've committed or are going to commit that you would not like to be extradited back? :) - Taxman Talk 15:43, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and according to the extradition article, there are over 50. That article also links to the UN's list of countries and a link to a pdf of there extradition arrangements. Click on the United States one, and you'll see which ones have full treaties, and which ones have less. To get those that don't, I guess you have to use process of elimination to find those that are not on the list. - Taxman Talk 15:51, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
Note that this list does seem to be somewhat out of date - it mentions being drawn from a 1994 list for the US - so it'd be best to check with other sources. Shimgray 16:02, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Note also that some countries will not extradite when the penalty is capitol punishment. L-Bit 04:15, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Adam Lopez

Here are three Wikipedia accounts related with Adam Lopez:

In fact, having demonstrated a C#8 on the Guinness World Records Austrailian TV show recorded on the June 4, 2005, he has out-pitched Mariah's famous G#7.
The Guinness record is now held by Adam Lopez, singing an astonishing C#8 live on the Australian Television Broadcast of Guinness World Records.
He currently holds the Guinness World record for both male and female singers with hitting and holding an incredible C#8.

And this is from the official Guinness page:

The highest vocal note sung by a male is D7 by Adam Lopez Costa (Australia) at Seabreeze Studios, Annerly, Queensland, Australia, on 17 March 2003.

Do we need to modify the pages? Or is this record too new to be officially recognized? It is also currently discussed on Talk:Adam Lopez. Sorry, I know almost nothing about singing. I am totally clueless. -- Toytoy 13:59, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest keeping Whistle register the way it is, and merge Eighth octave C with Adam Lopez. Perhaps explain what "eighth octave c" is in the Adam Lopez article. From a musical standpoint, there isn't anything particularly special about that note. --HappyCamper 14:49, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I want a machine for my bicycle to keep knowing that where my bicycle is.

  • Your local bike shop or police station will probably be of more help than wikipedia. We might be of better service if you ask a more specific question, though. - Mgm|(talk) 15:46, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
Car rental companies install these GPS tracers on their cars. But how do you install something like that on a skeleton-thin bicycle? Remember, your tracer must be able to send radio signals out. How many days can your cellphone last between recharging? Can't thieves uninstall your tracer? How much money would you pay to keep your bike from thieves? If you're living in a city, a 10 m circle can mean dozens of doors to knock ... -- Toytoy 18:15, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Deaf characters on t.v.

Has there ever been a show which had a character that was deaf as a regular on the show? I mean to exclude recurring characters such as Marlee Matlin on The West Wing. PedanticallySpeaking 19:07, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Well, Marlee Matlin herself was on a show called Reasonable Doubts with Mark Harmon from 1991-1993 --CVaneg 19:30, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
And there's also some British(?) children's program about a girl called Sunny and her dog. The name eludes me at the moment. You seem to have caught onto a rare thing, though. Mgm|(talk) 19:43, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
I think you may be referring to Sunny's Ears --CVaneg 21:12, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, I was, but when I did a search for "Sunny" on IMDB earlier, it didn't came up... Mgm|(talk) 21:43, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

There was, until just recently, an American show called Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye in which the lead character was a deaf FBI agent. DJ Clayworth 04:40, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Gil Grissom" of CSI has been losing his hearing and should supposedly end up deaf - but who knows whether (1) it'll ever really happen (2) his character will remain when it happens. ¦ Reisio 15:17, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Buffy's school

Torrance High School supplied exteriors for Sunnydale High on Buffy the Vampire Slayer until Sunnydale High was blown up at the end of the third season. The final season featured the "new" Sunnydale High. Anyone know where those exteriors were shot? PedanticallySpeaking 19:07, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

The only thing I've found on this so far is a Usenet posting here that claims the "new" high school exteriors were shot at Cal State Northridge (scroll up to see the entire thread). I haven't been able to confirm that information anywhere else though. --DannyZ 21:03, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have now also seen California State University at Northridge (CSUN) mentioned as the shooting location for Sunnydale High in a "news archive" on the Spoiled Rotten website (under the heading "Location Shoots At CSUN", about 20% of the way down the page). CSUN was listed as one of the filming locations for BtVS on Rotten Tomatoes (about 30% of the way down) and at IMDb. Since I have no personal knowledge about this, that's the best I can do for now.--DannyZ 02:08, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

alcohol and citric acid

Does pernod contain citric acid? If it does, what alcoholic drinks don't? 21:40, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Citric acid is commonly associated with citrus fruits, although sometimes they are added to increase the tartiness of drinks during the manufacturing process. I'm not sure which alcoholic drinks don't have this though. --HappyCamper 22:38, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Pastis in general will contain terpines, as their main distinguishing characteristic. This site gives citric acid as a pastis ingredient, but I'm not sure how common that is. I've had absynthe, but I can't remember if it was tart for some reason...but if Pernod is tart, chances are it achieved flavor due to citric, lactic, acetic, ascorbic, or malic acid.
If you're really worried about citric acid, Vodka is generally ethanol and water, with relatively few impurities, unless you go for a citrus-flavored drink. Most undistilled drinks will have it, especially beer made in regions with hard water and soft drink cocktails like rum and coke and 7 and 7; see Citric acid#uses. It will also be in wine, naturally. The lack of a listed boiling point leads me to suspect it's not normally in fusil oils, so I'm guesing even the less pure hard liquors (whisky, rum, tequila etc.) won't have it. Flavored drinks (gin, pastis, and especially liquers like triple sec and kahlua) are more likely to.--Joel 04:38, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What are fusil oils? The reason a boiling point is not listed is explained in the article. The substance does not boil, it decomposes. - Taxman Talk 19:23, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

Try fusel oil. alteripse 19:34, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oops. That's an embarrassing mistake. I'm so glad I didn't rush off and write a comprehensive article on fusil oils. I've since made that a redirect page for any other bad spellers out there who are interested in distillation. As expected, it does seem that the sour stays in the mash...even if that sourness is citric rather than acetic acid.--Joel 22:37, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

new website

There is a new website with hundreds of hebrew books in text format and PDf format. Is it possible for Wikipdeia to link to this following site

Thank You G Whitman

To link to in articles, of course (where appropriate). You might even search for relevant articles and add links yourself (don't forget the Hebrew Wikipedia).
If you meant to ask if Wikipedia can raid its contents for articles, though, the site is quite clear:

"Use of the texts and PDF files is designed for private and educational use, but does not permit storing them in any form for public use. Printing small sections is permitted on condition that it is not sold. All the seforim and texts found here are copyrighted by Halacha and international law, which will be strongly enforced."

As I understand it, the GFDL—to which Wikipedia adheres—allows for commercial redistribution, which means it is probably a bad idea (likely illegal) to use any text provided at that website in a Wikipedia article. ¦ Reisio 11:50, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please delete

Hello Would you please be kind to delete the page This is because there is some information on there which is not correct. For example I forgot to say that this person was a co-producer within the user name. Delete, so that I can recreate the webpage, but this time saying that he is a co-producer within the user name. Please let me know how long it will take for you to delete the page from Wikipedia at

Thanks for your time. Sincerely Rehan Vaid

The page is currently tagged for deletion for being a violation of copyright and because you "wrote" it about yourself and because the information contained within appears to have no basis in reality. If it wasn't likely to be permanently deleted, you could have just edited the page to correct the information. -- Cyrius| 04:26, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What is it exactly that makes you write in all capital letters? — Trilobite (Talk) 17:58, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Purpose of having vending machines?

I am a student and am currently doing a project on Japan’s vending machine. I hope you can help me to answer a few of my questions.

Why does the Japan’s government implement the use of vending machines instead of shops? What is the main purpose of implementing vending machines? I have done some research and found that one of the reasons is that vending machines can help to conserve land in Japan. However, I couldn’t find reliable sources to prove my stand that vending machines can help to conserve land. Do you know of any policies or website of Japan’s government that mention the use of vending machines?

I sincerely hope that you can help me. Thank you for your time.

We briefly touch on the subject of Japanese vending machines in our article vending machine. If you need more help, the talk page of the article would be the best place to ask. Gentgeen 04:31, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The simplest explaination: it makes more money with the vending machines. If it does not make money, no one will do it. You don't see a vending machine at the center of the Sahara. There are many reasons why vending machines are so popular in Japan:
  • More efficient land use: At least these machines don't need a toilet.
  • 24/365 operation. Usually, you only need to restock and collect money on weekdays.
  • Wage issues: Unlike the U.S., Japan does not have a supply of "imported" cheap labors.
  • Pension issues: You can junk these machines.
  • Lower crime rates: You care less about vandalism and stealing. Your customers also would like to go out more often at night.
  • A culture that worships machines.
  • Availability of change: People in the U.S. do not use $1 coins very often. It adds to the costs to include a bank note mechanism. On the other hand, Japanese people use ¥500 coins (slightly less than US$5) almost EVERYONE and EVERYDAY!
  • Freedom of promotion: Whoever owns the machine has the right to order the items. If you're shipping to a store, you may need to wrestle with the shop owner (deeper discounts) to get a better placement.
In the mean time, Japan's mail order business has never been as popular as their U.S. counterparts. Each country has its own types of business. You have to observe. -- Toytoy 05:22, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

Number Symbols of 0 to 9, Where Did They Originate?

Where did the number symbols 0 to 9 that we use in United States and other nations originate? I have tried for a long time researching in books and websites including this website. Please help me, I'm desperate? I just want to know where these number symbols originate at.

See Arabic numerals. Neutralitytalk 06:12, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

ask for reference

I am pediatric resident from Airlangga University, Surabaya , Indonesia

I looking for PROCEEDINGS 1st international conference on tetanus, Bombay, 1963.

I'll waiting for your reply

Thank you

Three suggestions, depending on whether you want to acquire a copy permanently, or need a copy of a single article:

  1. A google search on Bombay tetanus proceedings yields several hits, including a fuller reference to your proceedings: [6]. There is a very long chapter from a more recent WHO publication on tetanus which contains the full title of one of the articles from your proceedings as a reference: Patel JC, Mehta MM, Goodluck PL (1965) Vertebral fractures in tetanus. In:

Proceedings of the First International Conference on Tetanus, Bombay 8–10 November 1963, JC Patel, ed. Study Group of Tetanus, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Bombay, pp. 239–249. It doesn't seem likely that text from something that old would be online, but you should go through these hits if you haven't.

  1. Search the used book sellers online now that you have an exact title.
  2. Ask your medical librarian if he/she has access to a network listing of the holdings of the medical school libraries in Indonesia and whether they have a loan program. That is common in the US and Europe and you probably have a better idea whether Indonesia has anything similar.
  3. Ask your infectious disease specialist if he knows the name of a similar specialist in Bombay, with access to the medical school library or who might have a personal copy.
  4. Contact the library of the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Bombay to see if they have one. alteripse 12:59, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
WorldCat FirstSearch only lists five libraries in the world with copies of this: 1. UC Berkeley, 2. University of Chicago, 3. New York State Library, 4. University of Pittsburgh, and 5. "BU DE LA MEDITERRANEE" (I don't know). This isn't exhaustive most likely but it is a general indicator of how well circulated it is (the proceedings of the second conference are in over 50 libraries). --Fastfission 21:33, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Looking in COPAC, it seems possible that it may only be called "International Conference on Tetanus", or possibly "Proceedings of the International Conference on Tetanus" - the British Library has a note that Conference numbering begins with 3rd, 1970.
Note that WorldCat is fairly skewed to the US; however, there doesn't seem to be a research library in the UK with a copy of this. Will keep digging. Shimgray 21:45, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Impressive work shimgray. I do suspect personal contacts might turn up copies, especially if the authors can be located. alteripse 21:59, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oh - "BU DE LA MEDITETERRANEE" seems to be the Bibliothèque universitaire de la Université de la Méditerranée, or something like that - an academic library in Marseilles (I've just tracked down the same copy). There also seems to be a copy in Austria (at the University of Vienna? "Universität Wien Bibliotheks - und Archivwesen - Hauptbibliothek") and in Germany at the "Universität Freiburg" (University of Freiburg) and the University of Ulm. Not really much help, but at least we know there are some.
Unfortunately, most of the general union catalogues only cover the West, so more local copies are going to be harder to find. Find a medical librarian and smile sweetly at them, would be my advice... Shimgray 22:01, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Aha - there's one at the University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney. This may be as close as I can get to identifying an available copy, though. (As regards personal contacts; the editor died recently - [7]; the obituary notes he was at the University of Bombay during the conference, so they would seem a likely source for a copy.) Shimgray 22:19, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Chloral Hydrate And Ethanol

How much chloral hydrate would need to be diluted in ethanol to work as a "Mickey Finn"? What is the possibility of accidentally inducing the knockout effect by combining the two (as in the case of someone who may drink while having a prescription for chloral hydrate).

No one has prescriptions for chloral hydrate. It is used in single doses for light sedation for procedures like MRIs.

You did a terrific job at answering the query.

Would this qualify as BJAODN? It made me laugh! :) --HappyCamper 12:38, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • In the original poster's defense, according to the article, chloral hydrate can be prescribed in the short term to treat insomnia. That having been said, regardless of what your intentions may be, mixing alcohol with other depressants is never a good idea, whether for yourself or someone else. --CVaneg 18:12, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Obviously that could have been answered in several ways. The questioner could have been researching a thriller... he coulda been! Chloral hydrate is an old hypnotic (sleep inducer), and has the potential for liver toxicity in repeated doses. I doubt many, if any, doctors in the US are prescribing it for repeated dosing as an hypnotic and if they were, I would suspect an unethical service to someone with leverage or lots of money. We have had questions like this in the past and I will continue to put an uncharitable construction on them when that seems probable to me. Speaking of which, how do you think someone would have the practical knowledge to answer his original question? You sure won't find it in a medical textbook. Call me a curmugeon if you wish (you wouldn't be the first), but there are some things we have no business publishing. alteripse 18:30, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I agree with you and I don't really have a problem with your answer, if anything I agree with HappyCamper above. I just enjoy playing devil's advocate. --CVaneg 19:03, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC) AKA yanking my chain. Ok, have your fun. alteripse 19:17, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So in the 150+ years of the existence of Chloral Hydrate, there's no way that theres a single case report of the medical profession encountering someone who ingested this? Interesting.

I have to say that I'm not sure I get your drift. I said no such thing. Many of us have prescribed it for in-hospital sedation, but not in combination with alcohol. I am sure there are loads of tox studies and overdose reports, but I doubt you will find a specific answer to the question about safe but "effective" dosage in combination with alcohol. For obvious reasons, exact dose info for either the alcohol or the chloral hydrate are not likely to be available in ER visits for overdose. I certainly didn't go looking for it. alteripse 21:33, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

One note of clarification though...taking a sedative is not a prerequisite required for an MRI scan - but I digress. HappyCamper 18:35, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC) It is if you are a child and can't hold still. alteripse 18:38, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I stand corrected: "taking a sedative is not necessarily a prerequisite required for an MRI scan" :) --HappyCamper 18:41, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Swingle Singers?

The pilot of the ABC show "Grey's Anatomy" had a track that sounded like the Swingle Singers. I Googled both terms and got nothing. Anyone know if it was the Singers? PedanticallySpeaking 14:34, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

According to, the following records were included in the pilot of Grey's Anatomy:

  1. "Cosy in the Rocket", by Psapp
  2. "Portions For Foxes", by Rilo Kiley
  3. "Super Cool", by Bang Sugar Bang
  4. "They", by Jem
  5. "Dance", by O.A.O.T.S.
  6. "Ready to Rise", by Vaughan Penn
  7. "Life is Short", by Butterfly Boucher
  8. "Into the Fire", by Thirteen Senses

I think perhaps what you heard were the a cappella parts of "They" by Jem. Here are some clips: Jem-They.clip1.intro.ogg, Jem-They.clip2.bridge.ogg.
If this is what you're referring to, we have but to find out who is responsible for that part of the recording. ¦ Reisio 17:54, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Country music popular in Britain?

I happened to see Shania Twain's video for "Party for Two" today and it's shot in London. (One scene has her prancing in front of the Royal Albert Hall). Is country music popular in Britain? PedanticallySpeaking 14:34, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

Generally, no. However, Shania Twain seems to me like a more mainstream pop artist than 'proper' or 'hardcore' country (but then, I know almost nothing about country music). You definitely hear her on the radio here. She is quite popular I suppose, and I seem to remember Come on Over doing well in the UK. Actually, checking the articles I see it got to number one in the album charts, but it was this 'international' version, which I guess was somehow de-countryfied for audiences unfamiliar with country music. LeAnn Rimes is another who has had some success in Britain, but in general country music is not encountered much. It's regarded as quite exotic and very American, and associated with romantic ideas of Route 66 and the wide open spaces of America. Interestingly, their was a brief line dancing fad in the UK some years ago, with people going along to line dancing clubs etc. I seem to remember this being laughed at quite a bit - all these English people in Stetsons dancing around pretending to be from the American South. So to answer your question, I don't think country music is popular in general, but artists like Shania Twain have done well. These are my subjective impressions of country music in Britain. Perhaps others will see things differently. — Trilobite (Talk) 17:58, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Country music doesn't get into the album or singles charts, but I wouldn't say it was totally unpopular. I'd say most people over 40 would have heard of a handful of the most famous country singers, and I think the over-60s have more of an interest in it. My local station Radio Norfolk seems to play a lot of it. Now let me get back to Gram Parsons. :D --Sum0 13:49, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
For example, Garth Brooks has sold more albums than anyone in America except the Beatles and perhaps Elvis but has never had a number one song in the UK. His best is the double-sided "The Red Strokes"/"Ain't Going Down," which peaked at Number 13 in 1994 although he wrote the song, "If Tomorrow Never Comes," which Boyzone singer Ronan Keating took to number one in Britain. Rmhermen 14:22, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Sailing By and the Shipping Forecast

"'s rarely omitted". Is today an omission (hear it here) or is it regularly omitted?-- 17:24, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I quite often hear it omitted or truncated, as it is basically a filler between the end of programming and the shipping forecast, occupying a slot which can have variable length depending on how close to the schedule they are running. I think it's quite usual for them to leave it out if they're pushed for time. — Trilobite (Talk) 17:58, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Pictures for an article

I started an article on nondimensionalization a while ago, and I have sort of run out of ideas for pictures for the article. Could someone here suggest something creative I could try? --HappyCamper 17:35, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How about just an example of a system of equations in which the process takes place? In a large, clear font, of course, would be helpful. Meelar (talk) 19:06, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I actually wanted to have a video of some sort, say, of a pendulum swinging. Then, at the bottom, there would be a little red bubble jumping across the screen every second. Then, there would be a green bubble, which would do the same thing, but move only when the pendulum has completed a full cycle of swinging. But this seems sort of difficult to do. --HappyCamper 20:37, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about a human hand, with measurements recorded linearly in cm but also logarithmically (base φ) in cubits? That would be slightly less difficult.--Joel 20:46, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually, that isn't such a bad idea...That could also work, but there is too much variability in human hands to illustrate the concept. Maybe something established from statistical mechanics such as the law of corresponding states would be good... --HappyCamper 20:53, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The proportions are fairly constant, and my choice of the cubit as the reference unit was deliberate: cubits are defined based on the body in question, making them a good normalizing factor.--Joel 22:24, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Does diesel expire?

Someone at some point said that diesel expires after a while. The diesel article does not mention any expiration date. Does it?

It really depends on what the definition of "expiry" means. Typically, diesel does not "expire" but in general, the chemical constituents can break down if not stored properly. In that sense the diesel fuel "expires". --HappyCamper 18:46, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Once that happens, would the fuel still be as potent and useful? --OP
HappyCamper, are you sure? The largest percentage (75%) or so of the components in diesel are very stable alkanes. The aromatics, I don't know much about, so I suppose those could degrade. Practically, I know the problem with diesel fuel is that it is impossible to keep it from mixing with at least some water, and that water usually leads to algae growth over long periods. So diesel that has been stored for a long time would probably need to be treated with an algacide, and either a chemical fuel drier additive and/or a method of physically separating out the water. Most (all?) above ground diesel storage tanks should have a water separator trap. If there is visible sediment in the fuel, filter that with a separate fuel filter designed for use on external diesel tanks. With those treatment, the fuel should be just fine to use. And yes, with HappyCamper's chemical knowledge, I was planning on improving the diesel article, so I'll include some of this in there too. - Taxman Talk 19:05, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Taxman, you are right - the alkanes are quite stable. So are aromatics in general. I was not so clear on my previous answer - it wasn't intended to mean that diesel, when sitting by itself, would spontaneously decompose. I was actually thinking of the fuel being left in the open, or in the rain, or say, bacteria breaking down the diesel, or inadvertant attack with oxidizing agents - hence "...not stored properly". I was also thinking about what would happen if some diesel was left out in the air - the more volatile components will then evaporate and degrade the quality of the fuel. Not that you couldn't use it, but it probably won't be very effective. I was sort of imagining this 25 year old canister rusting somewhere. Diesel stored in that, I certainly wouldn't risk using for say driving, but maybe for some chemistry experiments :) --HappyCamper 20:29, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This topic was just too interesting for me to is a link which might help answer the original question: [8] - this seems to claim that if diesel is exposed to bacteria, it can go bad in less than a week. So, diesel can "expire", but if you protect it adequately enough, this won't happen. The article also emphasizes the importance of keeping things clean. --HappyCamper 20:42, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
One problem that I've heard with storing gasoline long-term is that chemical damage can cause unsaturated bonds to join with one another, making mixed oligomers that tend to clog fuel injectors and burn less completely. The technical term I've heard is "gumminess". I imagine that if this is a legitimate concern in one fuel, it will also be a concern in that fuel's close cousin.--Joel 20:40, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That sounds a lot like a polymerization reaction taking place, but only to a limited extent. Do you know if this is a problem in racing fuels? --HappyCamper 20:55, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To my (admittedly limited) knowledge, racing fuels tend to be extremely high-octane, meaning a very high proportion of aromatic compounds like napthalene and benzene. If all unsaturated aliphatic bonds are removed in an effort to increase octane number, a happy side-effect would be that this particular sort of polymerization wouldn't happen, but you'd probably do better to ask a NASCAR pit crew veteran.
In the case of methanol (another racing fuel), I could imagine alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes from bacteria in the tank producing formaldehyde, which then might undergo a condensation reaction in a low-humidity environment to form acetal oligomers. Again, the thing to do would be to ask an old guy from the circuit if tanks of fuel get gummy with age, and stay alert in case he misinterprets this as a dentures joke and tries to hit you with a spanner.--Joel 23:08, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Typing umlauts without pressing the Alt button

I am looking for a program which allows one to write all the "special characters" in German without having to press the "Alt" button. I think the program was called "Umlaut" - it was a very simple program which runs on Windows, and if you double click on it, you'll get 7 square buttons which show up on your screen. When you click on these buttons, the appropriate symbol is inserted into your text. Does anyone know what this is? Thanks for your help! --HappyCamper 20:59, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not sure if any program in particular, but one way to do it is to install a German keyboard mapping and then toggle back and forth (there is a hotkey to toggle, I think). The German keyset is almost identical to the English keyset (Z and Y are switched, I think), and it'll put the special characters on the bracket ([]) keys, I believe. --Fastfission 21:21, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to avoid having to do this keyboard switching thing if possible... --HappyCamper 23:57, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Windows has an internal character map - run: charmap - but that may be a bit fiddly for what you want. Shimgray 13:20, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I tried that and just gave up with it - it was quite fiddly. There's got to be something as simple as a program with a 6 button interface somewhere?! --HappyCamper 15:05, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
At school, we had this program called FrKeys. I think it was one of the sixth-form IT students that made the program. But anyway, it was a hovering window with foreign characters on it. You could choose from French letters, Spanish letters and German letters. --Wonderfool t(c)e) 11:46, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why don't you ask this question on the German Wikipedia de:Wikipedia:Auskunft? I'd like to know the solution too. -- Toytoy 15:51, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Don't know why they should know it though. Most of them probably use a German keyboard layout, but it's worth trying. I personally have a Swedish keyboard so it's quite simple for me to type most German characters so I have never searched for a program which can do this. Jeltz talk 21:19, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you were using any kind of *nix system, there'd be a handle little program called bbkeys that would enable you to combine all kinds of keys to produce special characters by pressing the Windows key while typing; for example, WIN + " + A would be Ä, WIN + a + a would be å, and WIN + ~ + n would be ñ. Don't know whethere there's a port of this program for Win32 or not. Nightstallion 21:26, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I asked a friend of mine who used to use it, and apparently the program's name is "Deutsch"...this hardly helps of course - almost like finding a needle in a haystack. --HappyCamper 04:28, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Cancer main cause of death

The cancer article claims that cancer is now the leading cause of death in the UK and the USA. I have been able to source the USA bit, but the UK numbers are from a BBC Health page - a site I have learnt to distrust.

Does anyone know where UK cancer and mortality statistics are published? JFW | T@lk 21:46, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I believe it's the Office for National Statistics, though I'm just a Yank. ;-) --David Iberri | Talk 22:14, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)
Google also turned up, which apparently gets its data from ONS. --David Iberri | Talk 22:17, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)


Hi email-experts —

I've received an email, supposedly from ebay, saying that I need to "update" my billing information and account information.

I'm assuming phishing for the moment, but am not certain how to tell.

The link that they direct me to leads to, which looks legit, though for some reason I can't connect (it says I can't connect to — I don't know if that's related.

The relevant details in the "Full Header" option of my email are

Return-Path: <>
.                                                <== my email details
Received: from [] (helo=aa)
  by with esmtpa (Exim 4.50) <=== What's A search for 'fourhosting ebay' returns no results
  id 1DbtLS-0002Sv-7T; Sat, 28 May 2005 00:54:47 -0400
From: "" <>
Subject: eBay Confirmation Center
To:                    <== not sure who this is, it's not me
Content-Type: text/html;iso-8859-1
Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 21:54:56 -0700
X-Priority: 3
X-Library: Indy 8.0.25
X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname -
X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain -
X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID - [0 0] / [47 12]
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain -

So what should I conclude? It may be a moot point since I can't connect, though they claim my account will be suspended... I'm just going to assume phishing for now unless someone thinks it's legit.

Thanks, — Asbestos | Talk 23:36, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • It's pure fishery. eBay will never send out anything of this sort. There's all sorts of ways to tell; you pinned some of them. Forward the mail to so they have it on their records. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:49, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Generally, if you get an unexpected e-mail requiring you to release personal information, assume it's phishing. Here's what I'd recommend for the future: If you receive any e-mails from an institution claiming to require your information, generally, you should initiate contact with that institution yourself, and make an inquiry over the phone. Tell them you received an unsuspected e-mail. Confirm the status of your account, and whether you need to do anything to ensure that your account and its information is kept safe. Also, ask about the safeguards that institution has to protect your information, so you can feel more confident about how to act on these matters in the future. I could go on, but I think the general sentiment should be apparent. --HappyCamper 23:55, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Yeah, right -- try to get in touch with ebay by phone! --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:00, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks all! Email sent to spoof@ebay. — Asbestos | Talk 00:13, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The most obvious way to prove that any specific e-mail is a scam (and they always are) is to compare the URL that shows on the screen, enticing you to click on it, with the actual URL that is encoded in the source code. They will usually be different, which is a dead giveaway that you are being led down a primrose path. (For your example, the link that is labelled might actually lead you to http:/, and you could determine this by looking the e-mail's source code) - Nunh-huh 00:59, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Seaweed and Kelp?

Is there any difference between seaweed and kelp? -- King of 00:08, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Have you been to a Japanese restaurant? The thin and dark brown sheet called nori is made from one of the most-frequently used red algae (seaweeds). It is used to make sushi rolls (maki sushi). These sea weeds are collected from tidal beaches. Many of them are thin and only cetimeters long. Many people living by the sea can harvest some seaweeds without using a boat.
Agar is also separated from red algae.
Kelps (brown alga) are usually growing vertically in deeper water. They can be several meters in length. They are also meaty. I mean kelps are much thicker than many other seaweeds. If you visit a Japanese restaurant, you may find some kelp floating in your soup bowl. Sometimes people use the meat part of kelp to flavor white meat of fish. They remove the skin of kelp and use the meat part to cover the meat for a while before cooking. They don't use other seaweeds. Kelps are usuually dried before shipping. The juicy and meaty kelp you see in a Japanese restaurant can be stored for weeks, months or even years and then rehydrated. You usually have to use a boat to collect kelp.
I don't know if green algae are ever used in any restaurant. I have seen small green algae tablets but that's all. These tablets are made from microscopic green algae growned in very large man-made aerated shallow ponds shaped like a central pivot irrigation circle. They build a round and shallow pool and use a rotating arm in the center to stir water and let the algae see the sun light. -- Toytoy 01:06, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Just to say WikiThanks to all!


A big WikiThanks to all who make this page a great and interesting place in Wikipedia! Thanks for the great questions and answers :-) --HappyCamper 00:49, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is the Reference Desk. Please restate that as a question, i.e. "could Wikipedia be any cooler?" :-) JRM · Talk 11:55, 2005 Jun 11 (UTC)
How churlish of you ... unless that was intended as a joke. :-) --
Of course it was a joke - I still chuckle a little when I think of the great wit that went into JRM's comment - it was perfect! :-) HappyCamper 19:53, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Horses that have bled in races

I have a very promising lightly raced 3 year old gelding, 6 starts for 1 win and 3 placings, which was barred on the 8 June from further racing in Australia because it bled externally for the second time.

Are horses that have bled allowed to race in Macau.

I would appreciate an answer from you.

Thank you.

Frank McDonald, Australia.

You may want to contact the Macau Jockey Club for their official rule and position on this issue.
You'd better get the answer from them directly. -- Toytoy 02:37, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

F4 Tornado in Raleigh November 28, 1988

Look at the article on Raleigh. I am sure, that the National Weather Service did not issue a warning after a tornado touched down west of Raleigh, destroyed many homes and many large businesses like K-Mart and there are Google searches on Raleigh F4 tornado.

Former resident of Raleigh, NC.

If you feel a change is needed, feel free to make it yourself! Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone (yourself included) can edit any article by following the Edit link. You don't even need to log in, although there are several reasons why you might want to. Wikipedia convention is to be bold and not be afraid of making mistakes. If you're not sure how editing works, have a look at How to edit a page, or try out the Sandbox to test your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:44, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Was it even a F4? "Copyright 1988 McGraw-Hill, Inc. Engineering News-Record

December 8, 1988

SECTION: NEWS; Vol. 221, No. 23; Pg. 14

LENGTH: 374 words

HEADLINE: Tornadoes strike Raleigh

BODY: A series of severe, F-3-level tornadoes struck sections of North Carolina and Virginia early last week, causing about $ 100 million in structural damage to hundreds of residential and commercial buildings. According to state officials, only draconian building codes could have prevented the amount and cost of damages.

Along the 33-mile path of destruction, the city of Raleigh suffered the greatest amount of damage. Four people were killed and more than 150 others were injured, according to city officials."

lots of issues | leave me a message 04:36, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You might also want to leave an edit summary with that edit so people understand why you made the change. Mgm|(talk) 05:02, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)


Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Prince Baidoo and a ghanaian .i have finish my high school and i offered agriculture science. i was loking for a best agric institution to join and a friend gave me our set to visite but i cant fine your international students requirements.this my e_mail <removed> and my addy is prince baidoo box ml62 mallam accra ghana west africa .thanks and hope to hear from you.

You can't find our international student requirements, because we're not a an agricultural or educational institution. The article Wikipedia explains the site in more detail. Mgm|(talk) 11:11, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
Quite, Wikipedia is not a university. I do suggest writing to the University of Ghana [9], or do you want to become a foreign student in the UK or elsehwhere? Dunc| 11:17, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a school but it is a open-content encyclopedia. Patricknoddy 8:09 June 10, 2005 (EDT)

Thermal conductivity

What is an authoritative source for measured values of physical constants? On Thermal conductivity, the values given for Silver and Copper (and possibly other elements too) differ from the values given on these elements' own pages.--Drhex 13:16, 2005 Jun 10 (UTC)

According to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th edition, the thermal conductivity of copper is 4.01 W*cm-1*K-1 For silver, it is 4.29 W*cm-1*K-1. These values are based on measurements performed at 27 degrees Celsius. The reference cited by the CRC handbook is "Ho, C. Y., Powell, R. W., and Liley, P. E., J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data, 3, Suppl. 1, 1974". There might be a more recent table of values somewhere, though.
Thermal conductivity changes with temperature, so the discrepancy in the articles is probably due to citations from different temperatures. To be precise, it would be necessary to state the temperature at which the conductivity values were measured. What's the best way to incorporate this into that periodic table template? --HappyCamper 14:51, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Doing it under standard conditions? - Mgm|(talk) 18:34, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
    I think that might be just beyond the capabilities of the Reference Desk. I'll check with Wikipedia's own Virtual Chemistry Laboratory (VCL) and see if they can help us out :-) HappyCamper 14:40, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Spy Satellite

“Explain how spy satellite technology/concept works and how it can be designed and used for:

  • information/communication security &/or
  • surveillance &/or
  • social control &/or
  • legal implications &/or
  • competitive market advantage/disadvantage possibilities”
Try browsing through Wikipedia's artificial satellite article as a starting point.
On another front, it sounds like you are trying to write an essay of sorts. To help you get started, you could try identifying one of the topics which you have listed above. Then, decide the scope of your essay. Is it limited to 500 words? Is it an undergraduate thesis? A PhD dissertation? A piece of commentary or prose? Gather as much relevant information as you think you will need. Organize these points into relevant categories. See if you are able to link ideas you want to incorporate in your writing together. Finally, try writing a first draft, and continually to incrementally improve it until you are satisfied. Try to get feedback for your writing too. Hope this helps! --HappyCamper 04:02, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Other places to help get you started: espionage, industrial espionage, secret police, spy satellite, Earth observation satellite, surveillance aircraft. Maybe read some spy fiction (though don't take the specific technical capabilities too seriously). For further inspiration, have a play with Microsoft Terraserver.--Robert Merkel 04:44, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you want to have some real fun, look at the article on panopticon as well. --Fastfission 05:24, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Again, Number Symbols of 0 to 9, Where Did They Originate?

I have look at the Arabic Numeral page of Wikipedia website, I still could not find where the current Arabic number symbols of numbers 0 to 9 originate at. Please help me or suggest another source that can. Thank you.

It seems that they evolved gradually. Try this article for some insights, and the individual digit articles in Wikipedia, for instance 1 (number).--Robert Merkel 04:33, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand the question, if Arabic numerals didn't answer. What sort of information are you looking for specifically? It says that they evolved out of a system which dates back to India in 400BC, moved around the world a bit, changed shape a bit, a few prominent Persians took it up, promoted in Europe by Fibonacci, etc. If that isn't the answer to the question of "where did they originate?" (they not originate all at once, they evolved over time and circulated in many places) then I don't understand what you mean by the question. --Fastfission 05:30, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, the origins of the Arabic numerals 1-3 ought to be pretty easy to figure out, just by looking at them. Our versions then flip the 1 around 90 degrees and put curved lines between the bars in 2 and 3. — Asbestos | Talk 10:46, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I've had a look at Massage, but it's just a load of details about different types of massage (Swedish, Chinese, etc.) What's missing is any sort of medical or scientific explanation of massage.

I mean, why does massage feel good? Why is it relaxing? How can it relieve muscle pain? What evolutionary advantage is there in experiencing rubbing as pleasurable? — Chameleon 19:47, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The sense of touch in general is quite important. I think certain chemical compounds are released in the body which help reduce the sensation of pain and induce a state of calmness. --HappyCamper 20:22, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. What compounds, and why should they be released? — Chameleon 20:31, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure myself - I don't know the answer. I tried reading these articles to find out; maybe these articles could help guide you to a more satisfactory answer: Neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, parasympathetic nervous system, muscle relaxants. HappyCamper 20:52, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
People often claim that massages release endorphins, which would explain the relaxed and content feeling we get from massages, but I'm not sure what kind of studies, if any, have been done on this. — Asbestos | Talk 23:24, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Patron Saints

Who is the Patron Saint of Georgia (state)? Patricknoddy 8:07 June 10, 2005 (EDT)

I'm vaguely surprised they have one, but google suggests it's the Blessed Virgin Mary. Shimgray 12:40, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
... I expect she's a fairly common patron saint. — Asbestos | Talk 12:58, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The patron saint of the US state of Georgia is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Georgia also falls under the patronage of the patron saint of the United States, the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Basically, if you're looking for something formal, go with Immaculate Heart, if it's informal, use Virgin Mary. And yes, she is quite the popular patron saint. Pax tecum! Essjay (talk) 07:17, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Selecting a random row in MySQL?

Hi there. Here's one for all you MySQL database gurus. How does one efficiently select a random row from a table? -- 12:12, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You have two options. The assisted way (going through a different language, such as PHP):
  • Get the number of rows in your table (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM (table)). Call this value X.
  • Select a random integer in the range .
  • Issue the statement SELECT * FROM (table) LIMIT X, 1.
The pure SQL way:
  • Use SELECT * FROM (table) ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 1.
I'm not sure if this behavior of RAND is common amongst different databases (or even if RAND itself is), so you may want to use the first option for compatibility. I know the function is present in MSSQL, but the Query Analyser didn't give the intended results when I tried. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 17:03, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Both options seem to cause a full table scan (which takes ages on this million-row table).  :-(
Actually, how Special:Randompage do it so quickly? I presume it has the same problem of picking a single row out of a huge table of articles .. -- 18:26, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I haven't studied that part of the MediaWiki source very much, but from what I can tell, it basically works like this:
  • When an article is created, a random value is generated and stored in an indexed field.
  • When a random page is needed, a random value is generated and the query SELECT * FROM (table) WHERE (field)>(value) LIMIT 1 is executed. This returns an article.
Of course, this particular implementation does have the disadvantage that some rows may never be picked, if they ever get the same random value assigned - this could be prevented by checking if the value in question already exists before assigning it (which does make creation of new rows slower as more rows exist), or ignored, as the number of such rows will likely be very small.
A different, more safe approach, would be to store the count somewhere in the database, and use that count to generate a random value. Based on that value, a statement similar to the one used for Special:Randompage is executed. However, this limits your ability to remove rows.
If you know that you'll NEVER remove any rows (maybe you'll rather hide it with a status variable), you can change the first example to use WHERE (indexed_field)=(value) instead of LIMIT, provided you can either generate the value of an indexed field from the row number, or you use auto-numbering somewhere. If you can hide them, you also have to make sure you don't get an empty result. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 21:07, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Wouldn't it work if you stored the number of rows in the table as an integer? It's the counting of rows that was expensive, right? And then you use that to calcualte the offset. Jeltz talk 10:48, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I recently just on the old table of the Homestar Runner Wiki (I have a database copy from when I helped out with some technical problems). Counting the rows in the table (68241) takes virtually no time (the command-line client reports 0.00 sec), but the LIMIT takes a long time, since it will read in all rows.
LIMIT is feasible for very small sets (though not necessarily optimal), but you need to be able to refer to an indexed row to use WHERE and save time. If you delete rows, counting alone is not as viable an option, since you could end up getting a number that no longer exists (also, the newest rows would be unreachable). Instead, you would have to include a "hide" variable and make sure you get the first row with a number at least as high as the random number you generate. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 13:31, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Apparently, it's the ORDER BY RAND() that's causing the full table scan.
Here's what I came up with (following the suggestion above):
SELECT @a := MIN(id) + RAND() * (MAX(id) - MIN(id) + 1) FROM mytable
SELECT * FROM mytable WHERE id >= @a LIMIT 1
This is very fast, but still has a caveat: as Pidgeot points out, it won't be random unless there are no gaps in primary key values. The table I'm looking at has had lots of row deletions.  :-(
-- 13:32, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Since you have a lot of deletions, you may want to implement a random value and use an approach similar to MediaWiki (it would take a little while to prepare, since all current rows must be filled, though you should be able to specify RAND() as a default value, getting the database to do all the work for you). Alternatively, you could change the database to include a "hide" field and renumber all of the existing rows - but depending on your data, that may not be very desirable. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 20:34, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I now have a working implementation using those floating-point random values. Thank you, kind sir, for your suggestions! -- 15:47, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Boiling veg

If I boil vegetables, such as kale, in a soup for, say, an hour, will it lose it's vitamin properties? I've heard that veg that have been cooked for a while lose their vitamins, but don't know whether, say, they'd go into the water and still be usable.

Thank you.

Yeah, I think boiling destroys a lot of vitamins. — Chameleon 19:47, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to add that there are many facets to nutrition. Yes, heating anything long enough with sufficient would break it down - after all, the material world is made of atoms and molecules! HappyCamper 20:31, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm no authority on such matters, but I have heard that the water you boil veggies in contains lots of vitimain type goodness, and should be used instead of tap water for any sauce you happen to make for that reason. Noodhoog 02:18, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This is in agreement with what I've read. That a lot of the studies on boiled vegetable vitamin amounts did not take into account the water. The current belief as I've seen it most often is that most of the vitamins we need are not broken down in the cooking temperatures and times, they just go into the water. Now I can't recall any specific sources, and it is possible some vitamins break down and others don't. You will certainly see strong claims by raw food advocates that most vitamins are lost in cooking. As far as I know, no peer reviewed science backs that up. - Taxman Talk 22:11, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Fourier transform operator applied 3 times in a row

I remember there used to be an article on Wikipedia which had a table of Fourier transform properties, but I cannot seem to find it anymore. In particular, I am looking for an extention to the duality property - I recall an entry in a table which said something like F3{f(t)} = -F{f(t)}. Does anyone know where this is? HappyCamper 20:29, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Maybe Continuous Fourier transform. I think the property you mean is something like (F3f)(t)=(Ff)(-t)=F(g)(t) where g(x)=f(-x). These follow from F2f(t)=f(-t). Lupin 02:28, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah yes! Of course! It was actually right near the top of the page in the statement of completeness. Thanks! --HappyCamper 04:24, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Very high Total IgE

About 4 years ago I made a Total IgE count. The result was aprox. 2500 kU/L (kilounits per liter), and the reference value for my age was 140 kU/L. So, this is VERY HIGH. I went to a immunologist right away, and she gave me ketotifen (constant use) and hidroxizin (no longer than three months to avoid affecting the liver) to put that number down. Thing is, I took it for 4 years without good results, and the least it got was 1200 kU/L. Also, the medication was making me sleepy and affected my memory.

So I stop taking it. A few months ago I went to another (in fact, the only other) immunologist in my city and he said I shouldn't be taking those stuff.

Anyway, let me get to the point. The first doctor said the high total IgE was dangerous, since it could develop to some form of blood disease (cancer?) that would render my immune system very weak forever (anaphylactic shocks with everything and stuff). The second doctor said "well, if you don't feel anything bad right now, it's nothing to panic about".

These two doctors are the only ones availabe in this city, and I'm not sure which I should trust. To avoid regrets, I'm trusting the first one... Just to be sure, you know.

Now, I know Wikipedia is no place for this, but hey, I just want to know from someone else out there... Is a high total IgE like this reason to panic? What sort of problems this can bring to me in the future?

Both doctors recommend me to take vaccines, but they're way too expensive for me... Kieff | Talk 05:30, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)

Moderately high IgE usually indicates allergies or parasites. There are some genetic variants of various immunoglobulins sometimes associated with immune problems. You need to tell your doctor exactly what you told us and ask for more information. For the one who recommended the drugs that you have decided to trust, I would ask (1) what condition he/she is diagnosing, (2) what level of confidence the doctor has in the diagnosis, (3) what does he/she think will happen if it goes untreated and with what probability, and (4) what terms are used for this condition in the medical literature so you can look up more information about it. I can't imagine what vaccines would be indicated for this, and it makes me think you are not in north america or western europe. Good luck. alteripse 14:40, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, that's the problem. I did asked both of them, but the answers are mutually exclusive. The first says it could damage my immune system permanently, the other says my blood is just that way so I'm safe... That's why I came to ask here. Now, the consensus is that this high IgE is because of allergy to mites and dogs, and both say parasites wouldn't put the IgE that high.
I look up for more info on the subject on the internet but couldn't find much, really. Either I'm not using the right english terms or there just isn't much on the subject besides regular allergy issues (you must know as well that I do not present the common allergy symptoms, like rhinitis, asthma, rashes or anything - according to the second doctor, this proves his point: it's a high IgE, but it's not threatening). It makes me think cases like this are rare (high IgE, low reaction), what makes me worry even more and drops my confidence in both doctors.
About the other thing you said: There are some genetic variants of various immunoglobulins sometimes associated with immune problems. That's interesting, none of the two mentioned anything of the sort. Could you provide more information on that?
Oh, and I live in Brazil, what sucks because mites are way too common. Kieff | Talk 16:10, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)

I am not going to diagnose you but you need to press at least one of the doctors for the answers to the questions I suggested. If you got clear answers with enough information to confirm it from available info on the internet they wont be contradictory. It is certainly possible that one or both don't know what it means but have 2 different opinions on what to do. If they really can't answer them or give you irreconcilably vague answers, I would suggest seeing an immunologist at a university and telling him/her that you mainly want help understanding what the high IgE means and whether it is possible to answer the questions. I would not be offended by someone asking me those questions and if I couldn't answer them I would try to send them to someone who could. I would not trust a doctor who would not try to give me intelligible answers to those questions, but I have no idea how much difference there is between braz & american medicine.

Also, for an example of a genetic immunoglobulin disorder with high IgE, look for info on the disorders similar to Job's syndrome. I am not an immunologist, so I am not asking you for more info nor am I going to identify some obscure condition for you; I am telling you what kind of answers you should be seeking and how to get them. I am also assuming that your understanding that your level is orders of magnitude above typical allergy levels is correct and not mistaken because of misunderstanding or inappropriate scales or units or irreproducibility, etc. Borderline test abnormalities in a healthy person are often hard to explain but completely insignificant. A strikingly abnormal test, if real and reproducible, is likely to have been seen in other people, and been investigated and published and the information is out there. It is not unusual for a primary doctor to think an abnormality of a hormone test is "VERY high" when an endocrinologist would not be especially impressed and would know exactly what were the likely causes, some of which might require no treatment at all. I suspect the same is true for Ig levels of various sorts-- maybe yours is well within the usual allergic range, but you need an immunologist rather than an endocrinologist to confirm this. alteripse 21:28, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I second the above, but would add that another person (besides an immunologist) to consider consulting would be a hematologist/oncologist: that specialty also deals with this problem. You need to find out if you have a monoclonal or a polyclonal gammopathy, and what the cause of it is: that is, what you need to insist on is an actual diagnosis, rather than a treatment. - Nunh-huh 22:40, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC) While I agree it's in the differential, I assumed it improbable on basis of presumed age of Wikipedia reader who would ask for medical advice here coupled with apparent prolonged duration of condition without obvious trouble. I would still strongly recommend a clinical immunologist over hem/onc for the initial diagnosis. alteripse 06:02, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Bad Wolf

Can someone direct me to a detailed plot of the above Doctor Who episode, like the ones WP has produced for the previous episodes?--anonym 06:26, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • If Wikipedia has plot synopses, it's only a matter of time before this one's written. Hang in there and just wait a while longer. You can't expect the synopsis to always be written within a day of the episode's broadcast. - Mgm|(talk) 09:19, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • Actually, there's already a synopsis at Bad Wolf. Mgm|(talk) 14:54, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)

Monoploy rule clarification


"I own all properties of one color. Can I build three houses on one property and none on another? No. In Monopoly, players must build evenly. That means that you cannot have more than one house worth of difference between any two properties of a particular color. If you own all of a three-property color set, you must build one house on every property before adding a second house to any of them. Before you can build a hotel, you must have four houses on all the properties of the color you wish to build on."
I was playing Monopoly last night and we had a disagreement about the interpretation of this rule and specifically the last sentence. My interpretation is that you cannot go from an undeveloped street to hotels on all of the properties in a single turn, you must spend at least one turn with four houses on all of the properties. But my opponent contended that it simply means that you must have 4 houses paid for on all of the properties before you buld a hotel and that you can do this in a single turn, jumping from an undeveloped set of properties to hotels on all without actually getting the green houses out of the box. Who is correct? Jooler 10:54, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The official rules state:
A hotel may be built on a color group only after all properties in the group have four houses. A player purchases a hotel by paying the price of an additional house, and returning the four houses on that property to the bank in exchange for a hotel. If there are not enough houses in the bank for a player to build four houses on each property before building a hotel, the player may not skip directly to buying a hotel by paying the full price at one go.
The rules do not mention that you need to wait a whole turn, you just can't go directly from no houses to hotels, even by paying enough - you just need to first pay to get 4 houses on each property, after which you can then pay for hotels. (There is no rule that the building process cannot be split into several parts during a turn.) --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 13:49, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about the official rules, but everyone I've ever played with interpret the rule to mean that you can go from no houses to a hotel in a single turn by paying enough. — Asbestos | Talk 14:22, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That is typically a house rule. If playing "by the book", you can only do that if the bank has enough houses that it could be split up (8 or 12, depending on which properties we're dealing with). --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 20:14, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

SolidWorks Models

I want to develop a model as follows;

An Object in the space (in this case inside a glass box) and the images of its (object's) projections (Front view, Top view, Right view) on the glass box's surface. The sides of the glass box should be rotatable. (Like a window with hinges)

Now I am confronted with the task of making these sides rotatable. I have explored every possibility to come out of this matter but miserably failed. (I have attached what I completed so far) I contacted SolidWorks too but they could not help me either.

Please contact me through:

-- 13:19, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If SolidWorks themselves can't help, then your only hope is a forum site. I found this but there may be others. DJ Clayworth 03:24, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Socioeconomic Inequality in India

Could anyone direct me to sources detailing the causes of the great socioeconomic inequality in India?

These might help - I hope! The first link is a site that talks about socioconimc inequality and corruption in developing countries; specific to India there are tables of Percentage Share of Income or Consumption (Etc.)
Link 1 -

Link number 2 is a 36 page adobe acrobat file about the inequality and poverty in India.
Link 2 -
view Link 2 as HTML here:
Hope some of these help! And remember: if you google, they will come. --Nadsat 05:08, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Distributor for moxie soda

Moved from Monarch Bottling Company by Samw 02:04, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC):

i am looking for a distributor of moxie soda in the tampa metro area and surrounging counties can you advise
If you've already tried Monarch in Atlanta, this may not help, but here:
The rights to Moxie are owned by Monarch Beverages, Atlanta, Georgia. Sales of the Moxie brand are concentrated in the New England region of the US. Moxie and diet Moxie have unique taste profiles that do not have any true direct competition. For distributor information, call Monarch @ 1-800-251-3732.
Also, there's this : "A Florida business also ships Moxie. Soda Mania is located at 14603 Livingston Ave, Lutz, FL 33549, (813) 972-1784." Good luck. Or, more moxie to you. --Mothperson 19:55, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

helping withmy history homework

hi i have to wrighta history projecton the plains indians due in in 2 weeks time but the encyclopidia dosent have enough info can u suggest any sites i dont know where ese to go plz help!!!! ?????????///

The best general source for this sort of information is the library. Most libraries have reference desks, where a librarian will help you find a good book which will have the information you are looking for. With two weeks to go, you should have no problem at all. In any event, your teacher will be much more impressed by book references than online ones -- trust me. --Fastfission 17:33, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I am loathe to contradict advice with which I wholeheartedly agree, but I think that the caveat should be added that if you are a preteen, then your teacher may not be expecting a paper with multiple primary and secondary sources. If that's the case, you may want to look again at our article on the Plains Indians. It actually links to several useful articles like Comanche, Lakota and Cheyenne which might be a good place to start. Some of them also contain references to books and internet sites that will allow you to expand your research. --CVaneg 18:05, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, I was hoping that the librarian working at the reference desk would be able to make a good judgment call about what sort of source would be best for the person in question after some consultation, I didn't figure they'd refer him/her to an archival source or a scholarly tome! ;-) --Fastfission 05:28, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about an official Wikipedia "Know Your Librarian Week"? We encourage wikipedians to take at least a trip to a library and invite some librarians to contribute and answer questions here. -- Toytoy 06:20, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)

Bambara language

In researching the Bambara language, I found a link to an article on Olmec language. If, as the article states, "Olmec people spoke a Manding 'Malinke-Bambara' language," which is an African language family, why is there such resistance to the theory that the Olmecs were of at least partial African ancestry?


From a quick bit of reading around, it seems that no published academic work seems to put forward the "is a Manding language" theory - and, indeed, given the tiny amount of text (about half-a-dozen inscriptions) they have to work with this is no surprise. It seems to be somewhat of a fringe theory. As such, I'd be very leery of using it.
Likewise, there is no real evidence for the African ancestry theory (which amounts to "Well, this might explain it, and it'd be neat, but..."), and it's quite possible the African-language thing was developed in support of this hypothesis.
I'm certainly not an expert, though, and this is just from a few minutes poking around the subject. Shimgray 18:14, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Now I think about it, you might also want to try asking at Talk:Olmec, as presumably they have some familiarity with the theory. Shimgray 18:20, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Parliament or National Assembly

What's the difference between a Parliament and a National Assembly? 500LL 18:18, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

It's what's in a name; countries choose their rules and then choose the name that appeals to them (or vice versa). "Parliament" is steeped in the British democratic tradition, "National Assembly" in the French, and countries may wish to associate themselves with, or distance themselves from, one or the other. In a new country that's proud of its independance, people may wish to choose a name different than those used by the former colonial masters, to accentuate their newfound independance. Or it may be that they wish to follow rules that are very different from the ones that other "parliaments" follow, they figure it's better to use a more generic name. "Nation" has a strong resonance for some people; in English it's most commonly a simple synonym for "country" but in French it has the sense of a coherent, consistent people with a common language and culture (and, dare it be said, ethnicity). Thus such phrases as "first nations" for pre-Columbian North Americans and "one nation, deux nations" to summarize the Canadian French-English experience. Sharkford 20:48, 2005 Jun 13 (UTC)
The UK has a Parliament; Scotland has a Parliament; Wales has a National Assembly; Northern Ireland has an Assembly (no "National") - the difference, in the UK at least, seems to be that a "Parliament" is able to make primary legislation (i.e. statutes) but an "Assembly" (National or otherwise) is only able to make secondary legislation (i.e. statutory instruments and their ilk). Many places with a historical connection with the UK or France use one or other of the terms for pretty much the same thing - the national legislature. -- ALoan (Talk) 22:33, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Analyzing chords in music

I'm analyzing a piece of music in the key of Ab (A-flat). One chord has the notes Bb and Eb in the treble clef and G and C in the bass clef (with C as the bass note). How would I notate this in Roman numerals? Hermione1980 20:17, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Unless I'm misinterpreting what you're asking, isn't that just a IIIm7 (a Cm7 chord, in normal chordal notation)? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 20:25, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree it's a IIIm7 chord. No inversion. Is this a jazz tune that you are looking at? The chord is rather melancholic, and hints at some subtle chord transitions. The chord may be a Cm7, but functionally might be something else especially if the C is not intended to be dominantly played. --HappyCamper 20:39, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Duh! (Amazing how quickly one can forget simple things while analyzing songs.) It's not a jazz song, it's a Southern Gospel piece. You might could say they're second cousins, but they're not the same. Thanks! Hermione1980 20:50, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Fortran 77

I've got a project to work on where I need to program in Fortran 77. Are there any good integrated development environments out there that you'd recommend? Good compilers for Windows? Linux? Thanks in advance! --HappyCamper 00:28, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've never done much with fortran, but g77 (part of gcc) is supposed to be decent enough. Emacs has a fortran 90 mode which probably does most of the things you need. --W(t) 00:31, 2005 Jun 14 (UTC)
Is there a Windows IDE that can, say, extssh to a remote repository and do a remote procedure call for compilation, and return the result? I've just got (maybe 15 minutes ago) g77 running on a Linux machine. --HappyCamper 01:51, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I hate to sound like a broken record, but I'm sure emacs can do that, and it runs under windows. It might take some figuring out to get it to do it though, that's the drawback of having everything but the kitchen sink in there. --W(t) 01:56, 2005 Jun 14 (UTC)
No worries :) You've been a great help already. In a week or so, I might come back and ask a related question if I can't figure this out. For the moment, I might try and browse through an Emacs installation which works on Windows. I wasn't aware of such software existing before. Thanks again! --HappyCamper 04:20, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think Elcipse has a Fortran version. It's a very GUI IDE. Josh Parris 07:44, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Where can I find this? This sounds very good! --HappyCamper 00:21, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Eclipse (computing)... here they are: Josh Parris 02:24, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yay! Thanks a lot! --HappyCamper 02:54, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Find a penny, pick it up...

Two little questions...

  1. Where did this little rhyme (and its variants) come from? "Find a penny, pick it up...all day you'll have good luck."
  2. What happens when you replace "penny" with "dime"? Are there similar rhymes out there? --HappyCamper 01:54, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • "Find a dime, and it's harder to rhyme." I don't know, it was the first thing that came to mind. ;) --Fastfission 11:44, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"I seem to remember this as "Find a pin and pick it up..." — or even "See a pin and pick it up... " rossb 13:07, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've heard references to that too - not least in Terry Pratchett's novel Going Postal, where the Discworld version of the rythym is "Find a pin, pick it up, and all day long you'll have a pin."--Neo 10:58, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)
How about "Find a dime, pick it up, and all day long you'll have a dime. Unless you like, spend it, or something." Noodhoog 03:00, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, I was thinking something along the lines of "Find a dime, pick it up...all day you'll have ten times the luck." But seriously, is there an origin for these rhymes? Maybe somewhere from Britain? --HappyCamper 04:03, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"Find a dime, waste some time, try to rhyme, get a job if you want real money." Sigh, I'm up a bit past my bed time... --Fastfission 04:32, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs cites it comes from Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes in 1843: "See a pin and let it stay, you'll want a pin another day," "See a pin and let it lie, you'll want a pin before you die," and "See a pin and pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck." GUllman 23:38, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Database tools for social sciences

What database tools are most popular for searching the literature in history and politics? (Access to a Research university library) Guettarda 04:55, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, it depends on what literature you want to search, and how up-to-date you need to be. I'll try to break down the options I know about.:
  • JSTOR is of course the major single online repository of journal articles in history, but it lacks several major journals and does not come all the way up to the present.
  • I actually find Google Scholar helps me find a lot of recently-published things when I do my research.
  • Some people use Lexis-Nexis catalogs but I've never found them useful (except for their "Congressional Universe" catalog, which is really wonderful if you are doing anything related to congressional testimony).
  • As for general catalogs, the RLG Union Catalog is a good repository for citations of social sciences material, both articles and books, and I believe have a number of specialized sub-sets (I know there is a version of it which is just for work related to the history of science, RLG Eureka, for example).
  • If you are looking for copies of any specific rare works in the U.S., it is hard to beat WorldCat FirstSearch.
  • The "Historical Abstracts" tool of ABC-CLIO database can also be somewhat useful for looking at scholarly historical work.
  • And for my own work, I get an immense amount of use out of ProQuest's databases — full text searches of thousands of issues of many newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal), as well as many more obscure sources, among other things.
There are probably others out there, but those are what I use; but honestly, you probably don't need all of those. Through JSTOR and Google Scholar I can usually get a number of articles on any given topic, which I can then mine for interesting references, which can lead me to all sorts of other sources, and so on and so on. But you can do a tremendous amount online these days with the databases, it is really amazing and makes it a lot less like the hit-or-miss that it apparently used to be not long ago. Feel free to leave me a message on my talk page if you have any more specific questions about using these sources, I use some of them every day. --Fastfission 11:41, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
An additional page which might be of use (which I just now discovered) is List of journal search engines. I want to also note about Google Scholar: it is free, but if your research library has its own log-in, it will often let you automatically view the articles of many of the other online journals (most current journals have their own online holdings, sometimes through their publishing house, i.e. Blackwell-Synergy, which can be a real pain to finding individual log-ins and then re-finding the journal issue you are looking for, etc.). --Fastfission 11:54, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I find Google Scholar a little limited, and unfortunately it doesn't index Jstor (since it has a better search algorithm, by the look of things). I was thinking of something along the lines things like ERIC (for education) or Biological Abstracts. What's the equivalent for history and politics? Guettarda 14:43, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Beyond "Historical Abstracts", I'm not sure there is much else currently. If there is, I don't know about it, and haven't heard about it. Things are still a bit unorganized when it comes to historical research and databases. I don't know what political science people do (I'm not sure they do as much research as historians, but that's probably just my bias telling me that). In any event, I've never had a historical project that did not involve a bit of legwork and serendipity, though you can get quite a lot of things online these days. --Fastfission 21:39, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The origin of a French word

I did go to the French Wikipedia, but I couldn't figure out where the reference desk was, so I must pester this one. I do not have access to a decent French dictionary. The word is "dragée", i.e. the sugared (Jordan) almonds, or chocolate shaped to look like almonds with a sugar coating, or the little silver balls of sugar. I want need to know how they became known as dragées in French. The Italian confetti is a lot easier to divine. Please help me! I am googled out. --Mothperson 19:39, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

According to the Dictionnaire de français Larousse (1996 edition, ISBN 2-03-320222-4), dragée Template:IPA-fr derives from the Greek tragêmata (τραγηματα) which it glosses as friandises, i.e. "treats". — Chameleon 19:50, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah! Thank you! --Mothperson 22:19, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Macintosh marketshares

Are there any good estimates of the historical marketshares of Apple Macintosh computer? I mean from 1984-now, U.S. and world, Mac v. DOS/Windows. Where do we get the best available information? -- Toytoy 02:29, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Try finding someone with a Bloomberg account. --HappyCamper 08:50, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why Doesen't it say...

That it has nothing to do with Wicca or WitchCraft on the page for the book The Witches? This is of great concern for me as it says that: "One child a week equals fifty-two a year, squash them and squiggle them and make them dissapear." That is the motto of all witches in the world. The word witches links you to the page that decribes people who are Wiccan or practice WitchCraft. I would like to see that it is mentioned that Witches are not evil as described in this book. Thank you.

RiuMaki 02:56, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Don't you think the people who will assume that a fictional children's story about witches accurately reflects the practices and beliefs of Wiccans are beyond hope anyway? "Yeah right it's got nothing to do with Wicca, I bet this is their Bible!" I doubt anybody is going to make the assumption anyway, and in any event it might be better to think of an elephant; that is, not suggest a connection (even in denial) that would not naturally be assumed... but in any event, if you think such a disclaimer should be on the page, you should edit it yourself! --Fastfission 05:19, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It does strike me that adding the connection would detract more from the article than not including it in the first place, yes. It adds very little; anyone aware of Wicca is not likely to jump to surreal conclusions based on a self-described children's novel, and anyone not... well, they wouldn't by definition be able to make the connection. Shimgray

Hidi ho man song

What is the title of that song "Its the hidi ho man thats me"? --elpenmaster

I think that's something like "The Hi-De-Ho Miracle Man" by Cab Calloway. --Fastfission 05:12, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Babar's author De Brunhoff-who is agent??

WHo is their agent??

I know their publisher was Random House; was it always Random House? I particularly wanted to know their agent, because I've sent my book to many agents, all telling me they are too busy to take on new clients at this time, and to check back. HELP???

  • It's smart o make an enquiry as to whether they'd like to read your manuscript before you send it. You do this by writing a letter called a query including small synopsis to an agent and ask them if they'd be interested in representing it. Loads of writing websites have great articles on how to write those. Also, you don't necesserily need an agent. If you know how to query the publisher directly you could do it without one, and only look for an agent/legal help when you get a contract. Agents do take about 15% of your profit when the book sells. Once it is back online, you might want to check out Writing world or ask people with more experience at - 07:54, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Popularity of IE 5 for Macintosh

I'm looking to find the percentage of Mac users on the internet who use IE 5 (vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. various versions of Netscape, etc). Does anyone have any idea where I might find this info? I can find IE 5 usage overall, but lumping IE 5 for PC and IE 5 for Mac together is rather misleading, since IE 5 for PC wasn't as much of a ball of bugs as IE 5 for Mac.

Thanks :)

Some websites provide a breakdown of browser types by name and platform. Maybe you should try them. Can't give you an example right now. -- Toytoy 01:56, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
Most sites don't correlate the data though. I couldn't find any that did, anyway, with a little googling. --Fastfission 05:23, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There is very little reliable data, but one of my oft-visited sites has done six browser polls over the years, showing the popularity of the mac browsers over the last 5 years. Howerver -- this is a mac-power-user site; one could guess that rate of adoption of firefox, safari etc is faster than the whole mac user base and then there is a whole plethora of other effects.
In thelatest poll IE5 got a neglible amount of votes (0.4%)
macosxhints browser wars #6
— Sverdrup 08:05, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Termite /Ground water connection

Is it true that there is abundant ground water wherever termite colonies are sighted? Also, how deep can termites go below ground level to seek moisture? -A.H.Khan,India

I don't know, but I wouldn't have thought there was much ground water where these termite mounds in the Northern Territory, Australia, are present. --Robert Merkel 11:04, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This is a curious question. As far as I know, where there is water at all, there are immense amounts of it (it's not like you find a liter here, a liter there). If you're looking for water, you might start at the aquifer article.
If this curiousity has arisen from anything to do with pesticides and their use in killing termites, there are some things you should realize:
  1. Pesticides are poisons - it's a bad idea to use poison anywhere.
  2. If poison is expelled anywhere, even at the surface (as opposed to underground), that poison will wind up in the water supply.
  3. Some termites have colonies going deep underground - that's closer to the water and undoubtedly sort of like a funnel.
Any other information you need I'll wager you can attain through the termites article. ¦ Reisio 18:56, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I need to go fast, really, really fast. What is the best thing? Speed demon 03:13, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Try the Principle of relativity. Doesn't even require you do anything, lots of fun. --W(t) 03:15, 2005 Jun 13 (UTC)
Better yet, try Heim theory! --HappyCamper 08:48, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The galaxy is already rotating you at a speed of some 220 km/sec by itself, how much faster do you want to go? --Fastfission 05:15, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The galaxy itself is moving 300-600 km/s. Superm401 | Talk 00:16, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
Isn't it also rotating too? Does that mean that it's going even faster than this speed? --HappyCamper 00:22, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I just noticed an ambiguity in the question. Perhaps these answers have all been entirely off-base, in which case I hope this helps: If you want to fast, the best thing is to refrain from eating. If you need to go and truly, truly fast, you have several options based on how you define the practice. Depending upon your religious tradition, it may mean only abstaining from meat, or, in the extreme, avoiding even water. Since these have increasing risks to health, perhaps the best thing is to have a loose definition of what it means to really, really fast.--Joel 22:14, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Computer-to-computer wireless internet sharing

Let's say a friend I both have iBooks with AirPort Extreme cards. One of us has connection to a wireless router; the other cannot connect directly to the router for whatever reason. Is there any way I could use the fact that I can initiate a Computer-to-Computer connection with his computer to "share" the connection to the wireless router? (that is, port the wireless router connection through the computer-to-computer interface) --Fastfission 05:26, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Have you tried logging into that router to see if it has blocked a port which your computer needs to connect to it? --HappyCamper 08:44, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's not a specific problem with a particular router, I am just wondering if this particular thing I want to do can be done. --Fastfission 17:35, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To connect wirelessly from one computer to another, you would put both wi-fi cards in "ad hoc" mode, as opposed to "access point" mode. However, putting your friend's card in that mode would cut off his link to the wireless router. So in answer to your question: no. If you got the machines talking via ad-hoc mode, and if he had a separate connection to the router (via wire, or perhaps a second wi-fi card, if such a thing is supported) then I think he should be able to share his internet connection to you. But I can't say I've tried this so I can't promise. Sharkford 20:27, 2005 Jun 13 (UTC)
That's very interesting. Is there a specific technical reason relating to the way the cards work that one can't do both at the same time? --Fastfission 05:25, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, um, I dunno. The trivial answer is that, in every instance I've seen, the choice between ad-hoc and infrastructure modes has been either/or in the card's configuration. As I understand it, there are differences in the low-level protocol that the card is using. But could both modes be supported concurrently, in theory, from one antenna? Would this require multiple sets of circuitry on the card or could it be done in the driver or firmware? I have no clue. I am aware that there is ongoing resentment in the open-source/free-OS community that many card vendors are not releasing their drivers' source code; this is apparently because many wi-fi cards use "software controlled radios" so that tinkering with the software could cause the cards to transmit on the wrong frequencies or at excessive power, which would violate the cards' regulatory compliance. So there is reason to believe that with access to the software the cards could be made to do a lot more than they do, but hobbyists and hackers have a hard time getting the tools to do it. Sharkford 14:47, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)

Papua New Guinea Constitution and Bougainville

I'm trying to find online references to two documents relevant to the recent conflict resolution in Papua new Guinea and Bougainville. Specifically, I'd like to be able to find the PNG constitutional amendment Part XIV (Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum) of the National Constitution. There is also a new 'Organic Law on Peace-Building in Bougainville". Extensive googling has not helped me find the docs. Thanks if you can help. - anon -

Hmmm. The Parliament of New Guinea's website is "under construction...". Yes, in 2005. Have you tried Paclii, the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute?
If that doesn't work, you've got two options; you can bother your local research library, or bother your nearest PNG diplomatic representation, though if I may get cynical for a moment I'd expect the research library to be a lot more efficient... --Robert Merkel 02:04, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Copyright and self-made audiobooks

I have read most of the Wikipedia articles relating to copyright and I still am not clear on what exactly is copyrighted when you make an "artifact"--be it a book, a Word file, an mp3 file, or what have you. Specifically, I want to know what the status is if I wanted to record myself reading a book that is currently in copyright. Since I have created a new artifact, what kind of rights do I have to distribute it?

And a follow-up question: If the issue is that I'm quoting the text verbatim, what if I instead used the text as a sort of inspiration, a la Wizard People, Dear Reader? Or is there any clear answer at all at this point? Mjklin 12:37, 2005 Jun 14 (UTC)

Generally speaking, as I understand it, when you create a work using another work, you only receive copyright claims over the amount of "creativity" you put into it. This "creativity" is a pretty vague notion, and many decades ago the bar for this was lowered to almost nothing (a famous case involving a circus poster or something like that). If I pee on a canvas, that is an act of "creativity". However creativity can be trumped by other creativity -- if I pee on an image of Mickey Mouse, that would likely not be judged as adding enough "creativity" to the mix to warrant a trumping of Disney's copyright claims. However, in that case, I could probably try to claim it was some sort of satire or criticism, which might get me off the hook. But Disney would probably sue, unless I was at MoMA, in which case I'd have more likelihood of being judged "creative" by the courts. These things, as you can probably see, are a bit idiosyncratic, in part because the terms are very vague (and are based on 18th century notions of "the author", which, applied to people peeing on Mickey Mouse, seem to become a little stretched).
It seems unlikely to me that simply reading a copyrighted text out loud, however creatively or uniquely, would give you copyright claims that would trump the original claims on the text by the author. Without permission given by the author, I am fairly sure you would have no right to distribute it. If, however, you had permission to use that copyright, you would be entitled to a copyright on your recorded version of it — that is, you would have rights to the audio content, though not the informational (textual) content which lay beneath it.
As for inspiration, that is more tricky. A court would likely look at how much new "creative input" ("creativity" here is a relatively moving target, legally) you had put into this. So J.K. Rowling is fine basing much of Harry Potter on ideas and concepts originally put forward by Tolkien (whose works are still under copyright). (Of course Tolkien's work is based on previous cultural contributions as well, but the bulk of them are not held under copyright). If, however, you created a character called "Gary Potter", who was a young Wizard at "Smogwort's" who had all sorts of similarly "inspired" adventures, you'd probably get sued for infringement, and lose. Unless you were doing it as a clear parody, which is why MAD Magazine can do just the above (though I'm betting they've had their share of lawsuits).
With the example you give above, the soundtrack itself would probably be labeled as original enough, however any copies of it which were synced with the movie (and potentially even broadcast to an audience with the movie, though I don't know about that for sure) without authorisation would put its authors in a vulnerable position. They'd have to claim it was a parody and fell under fair use, but I don't know if that would hold water in court (and the act of going to court over it would likely be prohibitively expensive).
A book I found useful for making sense of copyright law and licenses was Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture. He has a major POV to push (that current copyright law is seriously buggered), but it is pretty informative in general as well about the limitations and history of these things. It is available for download for free at the link above, and is a very quick read (I skimmed over the whole thing in an afternoon). Another quick read on the topic of copyright law is James Boyle's Shamans, Software, and Spleens. I'm pretty sure that one isn't available online, though.
Hope that helps a bit. I'm not a lawyer in the slightest, so don't take my word on any of this, it is just based on a course I took on intellectual property, and a few books, two of which are cited above. --Fastfission 13:11, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
With regards to your inspiration question, you may want to look at The Wind Done Gone (the story of Gone with the Wind told from the perspective of a slave) for which the estate of Margaret Mitchell sued Houghton Mifflin. That ended with a settlement, so no new precedent was set, but depending on the work you'd like to borrow from, and depending on how much you intend on borrowing, there is some risk of a lawsuit. Our fan fiction article actually reports on the various stances of individual intellectual property holders on derivative works (J.K. Rowling being one of the more accepting ones). --CVaneg 22:25, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
One additional note: one of the difficulties with IP law, as I understand it, is it has less to do with neat systems of rules or even precedent than it does a case-by-case scenario of "what will hold up in court". Which means that results can vary pretty widely, and a lot of it depends on who decides to try and sue or not. With a copyright, it's not a matter of you applying for a copyright so much as it is someone asserting a copyright (unlike patents, which have their own different complications) --Fastfission 04:27, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree with most of what was above. Though IANAL, I'm almost positive reading a copyrighted text is forming a derivative work, which can not be distributed without permission from the original copyright holder. Superm401 | Talk 00:11, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
While you are correct in stating that an audiobook recording would be a derivative work, our own article on that topic (which was probably still not written by lawyers) states that the creator of such work, (at least in the US) is only entitled to the changes s/he made. In this case the sound of the recording would be yours, but the informational content would still belong to the original author as Fastfission points out above. Note that the original author has no claim over your recording, so for it to be distributed you would actually need both artists permission. Also consider that movie producers have to pay to option various books, videogames, and other works. There would be no need to do that if you were free to distrbute derivative works without permission. --CVaneg 00:25, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
A useful metaphor is that of a painting. If I do an original painting, I can claim copyright holdings over it. If someone else took a picture of it and put a moustache over the main character, they would be creating a derivative work, but they would only be able to claim credit over the moustache. If they distributed it without getting a license from me first, I could sue them for infringing my copyright over the rest of the painting, but not the moustache. The more you change the balance of creativity/derivativeness, the more that line slides. At the other extreme, my "original painting" was probably done in the style of many other artists, inspired by a whole host of cultural effects, etc., many of which might still be under copyright. However unless the derivativeness was extremely explicit, I'd probably be in the clear. "Creativity" is a moving target here, and "derivativeness" is not a simple yes/no problem most of the time. --Fastfission 20:19, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Word Origins: Jiffy

In most dictionary sources the origin of the word "jiffy" is listed as unknown. However a few sources mention the possible link to Yiddish. Where can I search to confirm or rebut this possible link? If "jiffy" does indeed have a Yiddish origin, where can I find the original word's meaning?

Thank you very much. Friend from Florida

The problem here is that the word "jiffy" is old; if an etymology hasn't been found by now, you're not likely to be able to look one up. (Some sources suggest thieves cant, incidentally). Earliest sources are the late eighteenth century - 1785. The word is slang, meaning that the earliest citations recorded are probably a good bit later than when it came into use, and so it's very hard to determine anything about its origins.
However, an interesting detail is that the first recorded appearance of the word was in Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, which was written by a German from a set of German stories. As such, it's a good working guess that the term came from German.
I cracked my whip, away we went, helter skelter, and in six jiffies I found myself and all my retinue safe and in good spirits just at the rock of Gibraltar.
(At this point, I start speculating). There isn't an obvious word in German to use as the source. However, Yiddish produces a lot of odd slang terms, and is quite common in Germany and points east; the author came from Hanover, and was telling stories that possibly came from a man who'd lived in Germany, Russia and the Balkans. It's not too wild a step to guess that an odd term, not known in English or German, would be Yiddish. But this certainly isn't definite; it could be Russian, or Turkish, or simply a piece of English slang no-one wrote down before.
This is speculation, though; as for what word it would have come from, that I don't know. Did any of the dictionaries mentioning a Yiddish source give a possible origin? Shimgray 14:38, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. Some other possible origins are "a corrupt form of gliff" (a glimpse or glance), or from the French vif (which is "sharp", google tells me). I wouldn't put much confidence in any of them specifically. Shimgray 15:26, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
On the track of the Yiddish speculation: "gich" means "quick". The translator could have changed "ch" to "f" in analogy to "achtern" -> "after" and "lachen" -> "laugh". — Sebastian (talk) 18:21, 2005 Jun 16 (UTC)

Widespread Panic

I was just writing to let you know that whoever is writing your information for you is obviously biased to a few things. I'm an avid Widespread fan and there are somethings in the information giving that I would like to see the sources for what was written. Like critics who apparently say they lack improvisational skills?? I'm not being an asshole fan, I'm just a music lover, and a musician and I like a lot of bands, like moe., phish, the dead..etc. They seem to all have pretty fair write ups and nothing negative, but you guys make the rules. I guess just I'm asking for a fair write up. But anyway thank you guys a lot for all the information on this site you guys do a great job, thanks so much

Peace Kevin

e-mail: <email removed>

Kevin go to the page in question, click the "edit this page" link and rewrite the article so that it is to your liking. Anyone can edit a page here. If you think something is biased or unfare just go ahead and fix it.Cool or what? Note however that people will edit your words too, and will do so without mercy. Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 23:44, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Kevin, in addition to the above, keep in mind that a fair write up does not mean not writing anything negative about a topic. Check out the WP:NPOV policy. - Taxman Talk 15:41, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

Album Sales

If Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album is the number 2 best selling album of all time worldwide, what album is number 1?

According to this page at the Guinness Book Of World Records site, it's Michael Jackson's Thriller, with some 51 million copies sold Noodhoog 03:03, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I opened my Gmail this morning and was greeted by the screen you see here (edit:the image has been deleted as the issue is resolved). It looked fine yesterday and I can't remember downloading anything suspicious. Can anyone explain what happened or tell me if there's more people with this issue? - Mgm|(talk) 04:47, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

I assume you did the obvious thing of clearing out the cache and reloading the page, and in that fails, rebooting the computer, yes? Those are the first things I would do in general if something weird like that happens. Beyond that, I don't have any other specific thoughts, except, "Whoa." GMail uses a lot of javascript (and perhaps some applets? I don't know), so if that got downloaded screwy one time I could imagine it creating display madness. --Fastfission 05:11, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, did you try checking your font settings? Alphax τεχ 05:20, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Of course, I didn't try all of that; I should've. I was in a hurry to leave for work, but I assume font settings don't change over night either. The only thing that changed was that my father added 300MB memory to the machine... I'll go and check it all tonight. Thanks! - Mgm|(talk) 07:41, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)
Is your inbox fixed now? --HappyCamper 23:35, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is, all by itself without any intervention. - Mgm|(talk) 08:41, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Now that it's over, can the image be deleted? -- Template:User-multi 09:11, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Molecular migration

You know how you can't store petrol and you can't seal off drugs properly, allowing sniffer dogs to detect the cocaine strapped to your body? Because the molecules are small enough to get through the containing medium.

How come alcoholic drinks don't lose their alcoholicness? Ethanol is pretty darn small. Is it because the ethanol is dissolved in water? And how come water doesn't evaporate from a steel container when petrol does - petrol is a much bigger molecule?

What article talks about molecules migrating through their containers? Josh Parris 05:37, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Your amazement should evaporate when you rememember (1) how few molecules it takes to provide a scent, and (2) that ethanol molecules are several times heavier than water molecules, so it doesn't preferentially evaporate out of solution. For many things, evaporation of 0.0001 percent a day is more than enough to provide an odor, yet it would take 3 years to lose 1% of the substance. alteripse 11:20, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This topic is highly related to diffusion, vapor pressure, Raoult's law, and mixtures. --HappyCamper 13:02, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not to be too pedantic, but ethanol does evaporate prefferentially from anything less potent than everclear, due to its comparatively weak hydrogen bonding. See distilled beverage. I think that we're able to store gasoline pretty effectively (especially in systems like the Prius has), but for very small species like hydrogen stored long-term at high pressure, diffusion through container walls can become a major effect.--Joel 01:35, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Interesting that Everclear is 95% cannot distill a mixture of water and alcohol to a higher percentage of purity because water and alcohol form an azeotrope at these proportions. --HappyCamper 00:59, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Giving money in foreign aid

Where can I find in impartial source on where the US ranks in aid-giving nations?

  • O'Reilly states: "The US gives far and away more tax money to foreign countries than anyone"
  • Franken replies: "Japan gives more. Not per capita. More."
  • Coulter replies: "U.S. gave $37.8 billion out of a total $108.5 billion in foreign aid from the world's major countries - notable for being more than three times the amount from the next largest donor, the Netherlands, clocking in at $12.2 billion."

Personally I have a bias to whatever Franken says, but I wouldn'yt mind seeing where everybody's getting their figures from.

As much as I love Al Franken, I'm inclined to say that they all skew their numbers to support their position. Coulter seems to get her numbers from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In particular, the numbers found here under the first excel file labeled Tables 1 to 14. She uses TAB03e Total Net Flows by DAC Country, which records the total amount of money from a country both from the government and private donors. TAB01e which just records governmental money would also seem to support O'Reilly's position. I'm not sure where Franken gets his numbers, but he's usually pretty good about referencing his sources, so it wouldn't hurt to look it up. I should point out that all this is coming from a single source whose data collection methods I am unfamiliar with, so it's entirely possible there is a better way to calculate these numbers. In further defense of my fellow bleeding heart liberals, it's worth noting that on a per capita basis the US is definitely on the low end. Bruce Bartlett in the National Review Online complains that the most generous countries are riding on the US coatails with regard to defense so they can afford to be generous. Even taking that into consideration, countries that maintain an active defense program like the United Kingdom are around .30%, or double of the US contribution. I imagine that this hasn't been made that much clearer, but unfortunately that's how things tend to be. --CVaneg 18:10, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think I've found a basis for Franken's claim. If you look at the same excel file TAB04e "Net Official Development Assistance by DAC Country" from 1992-2000 Japan was the largest contributor in terms of dollar amount. --CVaneg 19:54, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also to be borne in mind is what this aid is. Don't assume it all goes unconditionally to poor needy people. Some aid goes to military allies. Some aid goes to needy countries in return for control over economic policy. — Chameleon 12:42, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Standard scale" in the law

"(a) to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale,"

This comes from the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. What does it mean?--anonym

Rather than stipulate a fixed size of fine in every act, which would then have to go and be corrected for inflation every now and again, the idea is that you have a central scale, which will say "Level 3 - £xxxx to £yyyy", and various pieces of legislation refer to this. This means you only have to update one thing, rather than a wide range of laws, to keep it current. (A lot of old laws stipulate explicitly that they would result in a fine of £2, or something - this is to avoid that happening)
It's similar to, for example, government pay scales - there's a single scale, and jobs are linked to "class AF3" rather than being advertised at "£12-14,000" (or whatever) and then negotiated individually for raises.
Some poking reveals that "Many fines are fixed by reference to the "standard scale". The scale has 5 levels, each corresponding to a certain amount. This means that the level of fines can be updated by changing the value of each level, without the need to amend the legislation relating to each separate offence. The current values of the standard scale can be found in Archbold or the inside front cover of Stones." [10] - Level 5 seems to be £5,000; anything higher would be given as a value.
Those books aren't available to me just now, but they should be available through a decent-sized UK library. Shimgray 13:29, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Aha - Level 3 is £1,000 and Level 4 is £2,500. Shimgray 13:40, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What are the risks of Genetically Modified Foods?

WHat are the risks of GM food? Could the herbicide get into weeds? Could the pesticide somehow get into the pests? I need in depth information on these subjects ASAP please. Thank you for your time :)

Try genetically modified organism, genetically modified food, Ecological impact of transgenic plants. Allergies is one concern. Rmhermen 19:15, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)
Also remember that this tends to be a slightly contentious issue. You should read everything with a critical eye (moreso than usual), and see what people are saying on the talk pages to understand any bias that may exist. --CVaneg 19:32, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There are no demonstrated health risks to eating genetically modified food. The most rational fears are related to the global economic consequences for traditional agriculture, and the potential reduction of biodiversity in favor of a few "optimized" food species. Of course, when people are hoping for a way out of the Malthusian bind, we always imagine some order of magnitude step up in our food supply rather than a reduction of our needs and intakes. It's hard not to wonder if this isn't it. We pays our money and we takes our choice... alteripse 20:32, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Prince Charles Question

Hello, My name is Kenneth H. Young from Canada. I would like to know if HRH Prince Charles was on a military maneuver in Gagetown, NB. Canada in 1971 called excursive, Running Jump II.

Thank you in advance.

Kenneth H. Young <address deleted>

As far as I can tell, he wasn't in Canada in 1971, however, according to the May 1st, 1975 Globe and Mail and the April 29th 1975 London Times, while serving on the HMS Hermes, he went on a royal tour of Canada in April/May of 1975, including a trip to Winnipeg and the Northwest Territories, and afterwards he did participate in a 3-week Royal Marines commando training operation in Gagetown. I don't know what the operation was called. I think this would be a bit too late for HRH to be affected by the Agent Purple fiasco, if that's what you're curious about. Hope this helps. --Robojames 14:36, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

19th century artist - S. Wilhite

I have a watercolor, signed S. Wilhite. The painting came into my family's posession when purchasing a home and some of its contents in 1954. The home had been owned by a NYC socialite, and the contents were of the highest quality.

We have always been curious about this small watercolor of a sailing ship, signed "S. Wilhite".

Any assistance you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you, Dan Baker

I couldn't find much on this artist. If you want the painting appraised, your best bet is to contact an appraiser. But if you merely want information on the painting; without providing a picture of the painting, you may have to identify it yourself. Try to identify the origin/type of ths ship by looking at the [rigging] and for signal flags. You can also look at the Peabody Essex Museum archives to get an idea of what era/style the painting is in. You can also consult books on maritime art at your library; The Dictionary of Sea Painters of Europe and America by EHH Archibald may be a good place to start.
Hope this helps. --Robojames 15:54, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Scientology -- Leader? Who is in charge?

Scientology -- Leader? Who is in charge?Who is the leader of the Church of Scientology? If there is not one head, then what is the system by which it is run? By a board? By a president/manager/CEO? What are the names of these people? What is their history?

If you go to the Church of Scientology article, it says that David Miscavige is the chairman of the Religious Technology Center [11] and the de facto leader of the church. --CVaneg 22:56, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Green radioactivity

In a lot of b-movies radioactive substances are glowing green. Where does the choice of colour come from? From an early movie or maybe a comic book? --EnSamulili 22:36, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, early movies were black and white, so probably not from there. Uranium glows green, however -- perhaps it's from that? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:06, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Easy. The most familiar type of radioactivity to most people in the first half of the 20th century was a radium watch dial, which was always green. Add the connotations of illness that green carries and Hollywoord never needed any other color. alteripse 02:49, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Radioactive materials, including uranium, do not glow unless they're on fire. The colour that you see is emitted by a phosphorescent material which glows when struck by the radiation. The earliest luminous watch dials used a mixture of radium as the radioactive element and zinc sulphide as the phosphor, which glows green. Modern equivalents use radioactive tritium, which can be mixed with phosphors of almost any colour. --Heron 20:30, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Can't very intensely radioactive materials cause the surrounding air to glow through Cherenkov radiation? Nickptar 20:54, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, the surrounding water, since air has too great a light speed for Cherekov and is too poor a coolant for safe storage. Some movies, particularly Star Trek, show radiation as blue for this reason, and in keeping with a nuclear-friendly, pro-modernity message. In response to earlier posts, some uranium substances are fluorescent. Uranium glass is a fluorescent green color that resembles B-movie depictions of radiation almost as much as radium dials, and has probably led to a conflation of radioactivity with fluorescence. Another example is potassium uranyl sulfate, made famous by by Henri Becquerel.--Joel 22:40, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I want to just second alteripse's assessment. From the 1880s through the 1930s, "radiation" meant radium (uranium is not very radioactive in its natural state, most people did not care about it) -- think Madame Curie. The ability for just a very tiny bit of it to glow was a very potent metaphor for the early ideas of what "atomic power" would be (which had nothing to do with fission, mind you). --Fastfission 20:23, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Looking for help building props

I am looking for a blueprint to build an easy replica of an old west jail. Maybe not even a blueprint - simply plans to show me how to go about it.

I would have thought an old photograph was the way to go. If this is for a play or a movie, then looking at other movies might be a good idea. They may not be accurate, but will create the right feel. DJ Clayworth 17:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Are demonyms translated?

For example, people from Monterrey are called regiomontanos in Spanish. Is there an equivalent of this word or any other of this type in English?--Fito 02:36, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

As I see it, demonyms are themselves borne of a lack of a single standing or official method of description. Instead of saying "una persona de Monterrey", in Spanish you'd say regiomontano. It's approximately the same in English; instead of "a person from Monterrey", you can say Monterreyite or Monterreyer, etc., it just looks/sounds funnier due to the "ey" ending. I believe the similarity of (indeed, just the existence of) the Spanish Wikipedia article on the matter supports this notion.
I am nowhere near a master of Spanish, but regiomontano seems to me like something derived from olden times or an old word or name (as the Spanish article notes) or even just something illogical that was made up and stuck, instead of basically taking "Monterrey" and adding an appropriate suffix/prefix to make it a demonym. If that is the case, I think the English Monterreyer would remain an accurate translation of the intended meaning of regiomontano (a person from Monterrey), but not necessarily the literal/historical meaning (which is largely academic in the realm of translation anyways).
The entire issue can be avoided by merely sticking with regiomontano, which does after all use letters of the Latin family and can easily be read by most inhabitants of the western world (and is truly more accurate). You could say, for example:

"...people from Monterrey are called regiomontanos..."

What you would have to worry about is translation to languages like Russian, Chinese & Hebrew, which use very different characters; for which I would suggest disregarding the demonym and just translating "a person from Monterrey"—but mentioning the word in its native tongue/written form, imo, should always be done. ¦ Reisio 12:48, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ok, thanks a million!--Fito 16:55, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

"Regiomontano" is a Latin calque for Spanish Monterrey; both mean "king's mountain" (compare Königsberg and Regiomontanus). Gdr 21:24, 2005 Jun 16 (UTC)


Where exactly is Syllaeum located (in modern terms)? The Battle of Syllaeum article didn't clarify this.Yuber(talk) 04:12, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hard to say. The article suggests it's in the Sea of Marmara, which is usefully small, but a quick check of the atlas didn't show anything. However, given the timeframe, this isn't surprising - even if the place is still there, it'll have been renamed a few times.
I've looked at various online map sites, but none seem to have anything useful. Possibly a detailed gazetteer might, but possibly not if it's no longer there. Shimgray 05:15, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't know if this helps, but the Sea of Marmara is also known as the Sea of Propontis or Propontis. Flcelloguy Cello today? Give me a note! d.c. al fine? Desk 14:39, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't think anyone knows exactly where the battle took place...Warren Treadgold's "A History of the Byzantine State and Society" says it was off the coast of Anatolia (presumably in the Aegean Sea, then). Adam Bishop 22:43, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Aegean does seem a bit far afield, though, in the context of a fleet besieging Constantinople. Hmm. Perhaps they were blockading the Dardanelles? Shimgray 23:02, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, it was a rather large invasion of the empire, both by sea and by land, and this battle involved a lot more than a siege of Constantinople. I guess the siege was already over and the Arabs were being chased back through the Aegean. I wish I was better at giving sources for articles I wrote that long ago, because I'd like to know where I got that information from...I'll see if I can find anything better and hopefully fix it. Adam Bishop 23:28, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Volume controls

So, I'm pretty sure I remember this period in my life where I typically left iTunes running pretty much all the time on my iMac, and turned the volume all the way down on my external speakers when I wanted some quiet. Nowadays, however, when I turn the volume all the way down on my external speakers, I can still hear the music, so I turn down the volume through the system preferences, but I can still hear the music when a loud song is playing, so I have to also turn down the volume through the iTunes program itself. My question is: does anybody know of a setting I can change so that I can just use the external speaker volume control? Why do I need three volume controls? Tuf-Kat 05:43, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

Well, this happened to me as well, and I found out the little volume wheel on my headphones was just getting stuck. But maybe your case is different. Perhaps it has something to do with linear and logarithmic volume controls? Linear controls would surely get to mute, but bad adjusted logarithmic volume controls (like my sister's stereo) tend to leave the volume above zero even when on the minimum setting. Kieff | Talk 10:10, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

Did Winston Churchill have an extra finger or toe?

I can't find any evidence that would support such a claim. Wikipedia thought so, I removed his name from the list of polydactyl of ppl 2 months ago. I seek confirmation. If he didn't, then we spread misinfo. here for 14 months.

lots of issues | leave me a message 09:47, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not that this answers your main question, but truthfully, we've probably been spreading misinfo longer than that, and will probably continue to do so in the future. However, the beauty of Wikipedia is that it is continually evolving and (hopefully) getting better. This also speaks to the importance of multiple sources whenever you're doing actual research. --CVaneg 17:25, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

General Musharraf's address

I read Nicholas Kristof's column in The New York Times about Pakistan and wanted to write General Musharraf a letter. I can't find a mailing address for him on-line. Can anyone help?

Haven't found anything for Musharraf directly, but these might help you (credit to Ezra Klein:
  • His Excellency Mr. Jehangir Karamat ambassador AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
  • Mr Mohammad Sadiq is Deputy Chief of Mission and assists the Ambassador in the overall functioning of the Embassy. He deals with both political and administrative issues. dcmsadiq AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
  • Mr Aslam Khan is Minister (Political) and deals with political issues minpol AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
  • Mr Shahid Ahmed is Counsellor Community Affairs and deals with the Pakistani community in the United States. shahidahmed AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
  • Brig Shafqaat Ahmed is the Defence & Military Attache of the Pakistan Embassy. da AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
  • Mr Ashraf Hayat is the Minister (Trade) and deals with Pakistan-US trade issues. commercialsection AT embassyofpakistan DOT org & compk AT rcn DOT com
  • Mrs Talat Waseem is the Press Minister and Media Spokesperson of the Embassy pressinfodiv AT embassyofpakistan DOT org
    • You might want to wait a couple of days because he's in new Zealand on a state visit until Monday. Lisiate 00:29, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you want to use snail mail, if you write to Musharraf care of the Pakistani embassy it'll probably get there (in the sense of reaching his office, it's highly unlikely that he'll personally read it, let alone reply). Contact details for the Pakistani embassy in the US are on the [CIA World Factbook page on Pakistan]; if you're not American look it up in the phone book of your national capital. --Robert Merkel 02:56, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Department Stores


In reference to the Department Store web site:

I live in Southern California. What ever happened to the following stores?:

  • Treasury Stores
  • JJ Newbury
  • Kress
  • White Front
  • Ole's Hardware Store
  • Builders Emporium Hardware Store
  • Home Base
  • Builders Square Hardware Store
  • Tru-Value Hardware

Thank you for the time and consideration, R. Dewey Mullins e-mail: <address removed>

  • Interesting list. Let's see. White Front was shuttered in the '70s so that the owners could concentrate on their other chain, Toys 'R' Us. Kress was liquidated in 1980, but left an impressive architectural heritage. Tru-Value is still around -- it's a cooperative (kinda like Ace, perhaps?) Builder's Square was driven out by Home Depot in the late '90s. Others? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:23, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Builder's Square was once a division of Kmart, which doesn't bode well for where this story is going. In 1997, the Builder's Square division was bought by Hechinger, another home improvement retailer that also operated Home Quarters. Note the past tense. In 1999, Hechinger filed for Chapter 11 protection. Later that year, it went into liquidation. While searching, I found this liquidation client list, and another entry on your list, HomeBase, shows up.
HomeBase went through financial trouble, liquidated half its stores, renamed itself "House2Home" while changing its focus to decorating, and went completely out of business in November 2001, placing partial blame on September's terrorist attacks [12] (<-- magazine article put online by Google?!). -- Cyrius| 13:42, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sir William Stapleton

Is there any reference to Sir William Stapleton of Thurlsbeg, Co Tipperary, Ireland, serving with the Irish Confederates during Cromwell's Invasion of Ireland in 1649?

He was in Newgate prison in London for murdering an English officer, and was pardoned by King Charles II and sent to Montserrat. Stapleton later became Governor of Montserrat, and then Governor of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean from 1672 to 1685. He lived on the island of Nevis and built the largest mansion in the colony, and his family retained several sugar estates until the late 19th century. He was probably the best Governor the colony ever had, and distinguished himself in battle in the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1666/7. I am thinking of writing a book about him and I reside in Nevis.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Vincent K. Hubbard <address removed>

  • Sadly there isn't an article on him at the moment. Perhaps you'd like to start one? Lisiate 01:29, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Coprimes in base

I know I could probably work this out but it's hard and I'm lazy :'(

I was just thinking

1/prime produces an irrational number in base 10 - except where 'prime' is a coprime of 10. Is it so that in other bases, 1/prime produces an irrational number except where 'prime' is a coprime of the base?

$ Have considered this, by definition 1 over a coprime of the base cannot equal an irrational number... shamed :(


Don't say that - It's a common mistake. If you have a rational number, then the reciprocal of it will always be a rational number. (Of course, we don't count 0 as a rational number for this discussion here). Irrational numbers are numbers which do not have repeating decimals. --HappyCamper 23:34, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
HappyCamer is right. The reciprocal of a rational number is always rational. From context, you seem to be meaning a non-terminating decimal when you refer to a irrational number. They are not equivalent. Non-terminating decimals may be repeating or not. If they are not, they are irrational. Superm401 | Talk 00:02, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
Since Zegnar asked about different bases, I think that's what he meant – IOW: Which fractions can be expressed with a finite number of digits? See Decimal#Decimal_representation_of_real_numbers, which also mentions "other base-n numeral systems". — Sebastian (talk) 07:12, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)
(As an aside, what does the internet abbreviation IOW mean?)) --anon
I meant: "in other words". Not sure if this is an internet abbreviation. Yeah, sometimes less is just less. BTW, By the way, there are more meanings to IOW. — Sebastian (talk) 16:56, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)

I may be mistaken, but if you can represent the number as then wouldn't the resulting number have to be rational because you just expressed it as a fraction/ratio? --Think Fast 00:49, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

Exactly. But this is true only because 1 and prime are real numbers. --HappyCamper 12:21, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Lowest power processor?

Of the following process, which takes the least amount of power (wattage).

Mobile AMD Athlon 64 2800+ (120nm)
Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (90nm)
Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (90nm)
Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (90nm)

My guess would be the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3000+, but I want to make sure as a I want to build a laptop with the longest battery life that still uses AMD processors.

How rigourous of an answer do you need? Power consumption on a chip depends on a number of factors. Maybe it would help if we find a link or something that describes typical laptop users with these chips? --HappyCamper 23:31, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Just the average wattage really
Hmm...maybe this link might help you? [13] I don't really know what you need, but here's a try:
  • 2800+ (81.5 W) See this
  • 3000+ (62 W) See this
I tried searching for "Mobile AMD Athlon wattage 3200" --HappyCamper 03:05, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Concert For George

Who was the female vocalist who sang "Horse to the Water"? I think it may have been Joe Brown's daughter Sam Brown but I'm not sure. Thank you, hydnjo talk 22:29, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You are correct, it was Sam Brown. [14] [15] ~~ShiriTalk~~ 00:28, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the very infomative links. hydnjo talk 13:14, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I don't, probably, really need an answer to this question, but I'm terribly curious. I live in the middle of nowhere, and am on dial-up modem, and suddenly, in the last couple of hours,wiki has gone from inaccessible to turbo. I understand new servers were coming, but why does that affect me? --Mothperson 01:30, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Any sluggishness you experience whilst browsing the Wikipedia is likely to be a server problem, not the speed of your dialup link. That's because:
  1. Your browser starts rendering pages the moment text starts arriving from the server.
  2. Most images are cached.
  3. The ones which aren't cached are downloaded in the background anyway.
  4. The server compresses the text before sending it. This page, for example, gets squished down to about 70-80k of data in-transit. Most articles are much smaller and will load quickly even over dialup.
Ghakko 02:55, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Cities in America

How many cities are there in the United states of America?

That depends on what you define a city to be, as there are many places in the US which call themselves cities but have a small population. However, a good place to start would be List of cities in the United States. Scroll down in that article to find a list of all cities with a population over 100,000 people.-gadfium 03:17, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
According to the 2002 census of governments, there were 19,429 municipalities in the U.S. that year. Different states have different definitions of "cities." If you want to use a minimum population of 5,000, then there were 4,321 "cities" in the U.S. in 2002. Mwalcoff 20:48, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Any idea how I can get independent information about the for-profit company mainting at Seattle? I have tried Google and US news archives but found no hard facts. I am preparing an English version of [16]. Thanks! -- 02:59, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Hunger Site is owned by CharityUSA.Com, LLC, which I'm assuming is a Washington corporation. CharityUSA.Com also owns, a shopping site which donates a portion of its profits to charity. Searching for CharityUSA on Washington's corporate registration database turns up nothing, oddly. The domain contact for is a company called Homeline Publications in Dedham, Massachusetts. Homeline has an entry in the Massachusetts Corporations Division's database: [17] According to the database, Homeline was involuntarily dissolved in 1998. So there are quite a few questions about who owns CharityUSA and whether Homeline still exists.

Hope that helps. Rhobite 03:29, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. I am not very familiar with such data. Is there any chance to find out how much money CharityUSA is making and which part is given to the charities? -- 03:48, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

More about Charity USA: From The Hunger Site FAQ:

Who owns and operates The Hunger Site? Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg bought The Hunger Site in mid-August 2001 and with your help, work to maintain its position as a leader in online activism and in the fight to end world hunger. In addition to The Hunger Site, Tim and Greg own and operate The Breast Cancer Site (where visitors help fund free mammograms for underprivileged women), The Rainforest Site (where visitors' clicks (where visitors' clicks help save endangered rainforest), and, the cause-related shopping portal where up to 15% of every purchase goes to charities at no extra cost to the shopper.

Since taking ownership of The Hunger Site, Tim and Greg have also launched The Animal Rescue Site (where a click helps feed an abandoned animal), and The Child Health Site (which empowers Internet users to fund basic but critical health services for impoverished children living in developing countries.

From the Washington State Department of Revenue (State Business Records Database Detail) (public information located here):

Mailing Address & Business Location: 600 University Street, Suite 1000 Seattle, Washington 98101-4107

Washington's business records search seems to be rather finicky (I've never used it before); you can't search for "CharityUSA," you have to search for "Charity" and then browse the result. CharityUSA is on the second page of results at the link above. -- Essjay · talk 04:20, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. Is there any type of interesting information I could get from a government agency about this limited liability company outside the data mentioned above? See also [18] -- 04:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There's probably not much more. LLCs are privately owned and are under no obligation to release their financial results to the public. However, any money they donate to US charities will show up in the charity's annual report. So you could see how much money CharityUSA actually gives each year. But there's no way to find out how much the company's income is. Rhobite 04:52, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. How can I find out if there is a position Thehungersite in the annual reports of the both charities THS is supporting? Are the reports published and can I find them online? Sorry for these stupid questions. -- 05:35, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

From page 26 of the America's Second Harvest 2004 annual report, donated between $50,000 and $99,999. [19] also donated to Mercy Corps, but their 2003 annual report doesn't list amounts [20] (p. 45). I forgot that charity annual reports are typically vague about exact donations. Rhobite 05:47, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Excellent help! If Second Harvest receives 30 percent of the amount then in 2004 the gift to the both charities were between $167,000 and $330,000 (average $ 250,000). Counting with the average this would be 0,05 percent from the total revenue in 2004 ($ 486,642,000). Is that right? Any hint to find out how much a Hungersite cup of food costs? I would also like to know whether there is any possibility to find out nearly the traffic costs for a website with Google PageRank 0.8 or 3.5 million unique visitors each month? And another stupid question: what is a royality payment? Thanks -- 14:25, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Whose total revenue is $486,642,000? Certainly not CharityUSA's. One word of caution, some of this information shouldn't be added to Wikipedia articles. Due to the original research policy, you won't be able to publish things like hypothetical ad revenues or net income for CharityUSA. Since those are derived from your own calculations, they're original research. Rhobite 00:52, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)

Pen on an LCD monitor

Out of my own stupidity, I marked my LCD monitor with some blue pen, right near the middle of the screen. The mark is about 1 cm in length. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get rid of the pen mark? Ideally, I'd prefer if the finishing on the monitor wasn't damaged. Thanks in advance! --HappyCamper 03:22, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I assume you tried isopropyl alcohol soaked antistatic wipes already? — Sebastian (talk) 06:49, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)
Whatever you do, do not use common glass cleaners like Windex. The ammonia will ruin your screen. JRM · Talk 01:22, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)
What's the concentration of isopropyl alcohol that you recommend? --HappyCamper 14:57, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't say myself, but this site suggests using a 50% solution, and claims this to be Apple's recommendation. It also has the "don't use ammonia" warning, so it's at least moderately informed. :-) JRM · Talk 15:04, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)
I just use commercially available wipes – they don't indicate exactly what they contain. One more tip: Test if the substance removes the ink at all on a piece of similar plastic. — Sebastian (talk) 06:14, 2005 Jun 19 (UTC)
Yay, thanks for all the tips - that pen mark is now gone! I used 50% isopropyl alcohol by volume with a cotton ball - one to wipe, and one to dry. --HappyCamper 18:34, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

New Topic Idea

I am new to Wikipedia and was wondering about a new topic idea that I have. I am a futures trader so I did a search for "futures" "trading" and "traders" and found that there wasn't very much information there. There was lots of information about professional terms in the futures market but nothing about how to go about trading the futures market. My new topic would be "Futures Trading". The reason why I decided to ask the help desk about this issue is because I don't want to do anything wrong with my first article on your website.

If you have any more tips or information please feel free to tell me about them.

thanks again for listening to a newbie

--Ddg 06:56, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

There already is a futures trading article, but it's a redirection to futures contract. You might have missed that in your original search.
Ghakko 08:12, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I for one love to listen to newbies (I was one not too long ago, and some people might argue I sill am...), and I think it would be great for you to write an article on futures trading! As long as it's the kind of thing you would expect to find in an encyclopedia (or wish was in one), then I'm sure someone has or will come here looking for it. Remember to be bold!
If you have any questions, or run across one of the grumpier editors, give me a shout; feel free to ask at my talk page any questions you don't want to ask here. Welcome, and hope to see you around! -- Essjay · talk 07:21, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
If I'm right in my understanding of your post, I'm thinking that futures trading is the article you already saw that had the "professional language." What you are offering to write is more of a how-to, not necessarily as a primer to futures trading, but as a "this is what happens when you make a futures trade." If that is the case, maybe a section on "how futures are traded" would be appropriate.
If you need help with anything, let me know. -- Essjay · talk 09:11, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
If you want to write an educational work on how to go about trading futures, our sister project Wikibooks is probibly a better choice to house the content. We run the same software, and linking from the current Wikipedia article to the Wikibooks module is very simple. Gentgeen 23:13, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Gentgeen that a full blown "how-to" should be at Wikibooks; I was suggesting something more along the lines of "this happens, then this happens, then this" for a "how it happens" section. -- Essjay · Talk 02:06, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
You might also be interested in the wiki. --DavidCary 17:44, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Present tense speech in articles

I'm just wondering if this should be an issue:

Option 1: By this time, so-and-so manages to find his food.

Option 2: By this time, so-and-so has found his food.

From experience and reading, present tense speech (Option 1) is not the way to write an article, but past tense speech (Option 2) should be used, as is in reporting speech.

I've noticed a lot of these present tense speeches on Wikipedia, and I am wondering what the stance Wikipedia takes on this. Edit or no edit?

--x42bn6 10:08, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I opt to edit so that the sentences are in past tense. After all, Wikipedia contains information which is reported after the fact. Also, writing in past tense would mean that the content would still make sense contextually after a long period of time. --HappyCamper 11:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your option 2 ("has found") is not in the past tense. It is in the present perfect tense. "Found" would be past tense, and "had found" would be pluperfect, or past perfect tense. — Chameleon 12:04, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I always edit present tense to past tense when I find it, assuming it's describing events that actually occurred in the past. The only exceptions are retellings of fictional events (like episode summaries). Just my way. DJ Clayworth 13:49, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Option 1 is common in informal speech; it has a storyteller's air to it. As DJ Clayworth writes, it is (probably) acceptable for a plot synopsis ("McCoy pronounces the alien dead just as Kirk finds the entrance to the cave","the gravediggers unearth a skull which Hamlet recognizes as being that of a friend, causing him to reflect on the meaning of life") but (usually) not for historical recounting. Option 2 is just inconsistent, the first part suggesting present tense and the second being in, well, what Chamelion said. For Wikipedia, you should rewrite such sentances to "by that time, so-and-so had found [had managed to find] his food." Sharkford 14:15, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. I actually thought of those examples off the top of my head; I couldn't find any examples because I edited them and then forgot what I changed.  :( But I get the idea, thanks. --x42bn6 07:25, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

French fishing

I bought this seafood at the market last week in France - its called Noix St Jacques, and they're loads of little balls of seafood. They were really really delicious, and cost about 25Euros per kilogram. Even my biggest 70Euro dictionary couldn't tell me what that is in English, and the guy in the stall laughed at me when i asked him what it is in English. Any poisson experts can drop me a line? --Wonderfool t(c)e) 13:18, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

They're a French variety of scallop. St. Jacques is St. James, whose image is associated with the scallop, and I believe his life was saved by a scallop. Or something like that. Don't quote me on that. --Robojames 15:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

blumenbach and the black woman

Hi, all:

I was looking at the wikipedia entry for Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, who is widely regarded as the founder of physical anthropology and who originated the five-races-of-humanity categorial scheme. I noticed that there is a claim made in that article that I have not seen anywhere else. I quote:

"Later in life Blumenbach encountered in Switzerland 'eine zum Verlieben schönen Négresse' ('a negro woman beautiful enough to fall in love with'). Further anatomical study led him to the conclusion that 'individual Africans differ as much, or even more, from other individual Africans as Europeans differ from Europeans'. Furthermore he concluded that Africans were not inferior to the rest of mankind 'concerning healthy faculties of understanding, excellent natural talents and mental capacities'.

Unfortunately these later ideas were far less influential than his earlier assertions with regard to the perceived relative qualities of the different so-called races."

Anybody know where this story of the "negro woman" comes from? I'd like to cite a reputable source in a paper.

Harvey Cormier

Unfortunately, this was written by an anonymous user [21], who hasn't contributed enough to assess how trustworthythis edit is. — Sebastian (talk) 23:45, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)

I don't know if that is specifically true (I can try to look it up), but the idea that Blumenbach became significantly less-racist in his writings later in life is quite true, as is the fact that his influence in physical anthropology though was primarily through his earlier and more typological phase. --Fastfission 06:01, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

British poisonous plants

Could I please have a list of the 10 most poisonous plants that grow in the UK, in order of most to least toxic. Thanks,--J.B. 14:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't know if this helps, but Wikipedia has a List of poisonous plants. Flcelloguy Cello today? Give me a note! d.c. al fine? Desk 14:59, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Which is horribly incomplete. It doesn't even list any of the very common, poisonous houseplants like philodendrons. [22] has a list, and notes that houseplant poisoning is among the top three in the US for couses of poisoining of children 5 and under. The UK is likely similar. Googling for poisonous houseplants finds a lot. - Taxman Talk 09:17, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

GCHQ Probability Question

Been puzzling over this for some time:

From the GCHQ recruitment website, a past question:

2. Alice and Bob play coin toss: Alice pays Bob £1 for each head and Bob pays Alice £1 for each tail they throw. They continue playing until one player loses (runs out of money). Initially Alice has £6 and Bob has £14.
a. Determine, with proof, the probability that Alice loses.
b. Determine the probability that Alice loses but also has at some time previously been within £1 of winning.

Any ideas? The problem appears to be a random walk, but the article doesn't seem to be much help on this particular problem. --Fangz 15:55, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Also, it seems easy enough to try to answer the question by computer experimentation. The answer to A is about 0.30 0.70, if that helps.--Fangz 15:57, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Do you mean that the probability that A wins is about 0.3? I can't see how the probability that A loses could be as low as 0.3, given that A starts with only 6/20 coins and it is 50/50 on each throw whether A wins or loses a coin. (Can it be this simple: A wins 6/20 and B wins 14/20... now for the proof...) -- ALoan (Talk) 17:14, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Oops, mixed the two up. It's 1 - 0.30 = 0.70, yes.
It's the gambler's ruin. [23] The answer to b. ought to be (6/19)*(1/20)=3/190. 14:42, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oscar Winning Politicians

Apart from Clint Eastwood and Glenda Jackson, has any other Oscar winner ever been elected to public office? User:PedanticallySpeaking

Forgot about Moore. Temple did run for Congress back in the 60's but lost. PedanticallySpeaking 16:12, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • Al Gore - won his Academy Award after holding office, albeit not a 'personal' Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth". Ironically, in time-line terms, this mirrors Eastwood, who won all of his Oscars after serving as Mayor of Carmel.

Electronics component supplier in the UK

I'm an electronics dummy but I need a component to modify my Linksys NSLU2 ( so that it powers itself up after a power failure. Where can I obtain an MCP120-450DI or equivalent product in the UK. Maplin's are useless. The only supplier I've found for this that ships to the UK is one based in the US. For a chip costing 24p they wan't to charge me a £10 handling fee and £12 to ship it to the UK. Jooler 18:45, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC) (sorry for earlier typos but I had to rush out to the pub)

I suspect the problem is that the thing you're after is discontinued - cf RS Components: [24]. So what we need is someone with more time than me to find an alternative chip. I've got an RSC account, fwiw, if that turns out to be the only place to get it from. --Tagishsimon (talk)
Have you seen the list of suppliers at the electronics wiki?

Oldest English Word?

What's the oldest word in the English language that's in reasonably common use? That is, what's the furthest back one could go in time, hear a word in whatever the language was, and say, "hey, I recognize the word foo, meaning bar!", and be reasonably accurate---that is, not just doing a French Erotic Film? What is the language, the place, and the word? grendel|khan 21:17, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)

There is no good answer to this, but here goes... A number of words in English can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European, spoken at least 5 millennia ago. Most of them sound nothing like their original form at this point, but some would still be kind of recognizable - for instance, me meaning "me", or sed- meaning "sit". Beyond this point linguists simply don't agree on what previous languages sounded like. However, the wide distribution of a first-person pronoun beginning with m- (as in, say, Uralic) has led some to postulate this for much earlier hypothetical languages, as in the controversial "Nostratic" or "Eurasiatic" hypotheses. - Mustafaa 21:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
According to Google, "town" seems to be a popular choice...but I think this is a lesson in futility. ¦ Reisio 21:41, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)
It is really a little meaningless, to ask what the oldest English word is (;-). Do you mean words from Germanic/Nordic origin, or from Latin/Greek. Ultimately most English words in one way or another derive from Proto-Indo-European either via Greek or Latin or indeed via the Germanic languages (both language families are part of the Proto-Indo-Eyropean heritage). The word town itself developed relatively recently and derives from tun which first meant an enclosure, then a village and only later a town. The first is closely related to the German Zaun, which means "fence" and also "enclosure". However, the Old English word for "town" would have been burg, similar to the modern German word for "castle". (Modern English town names ending in -borough or -burgh still ber witness to this, as English towns ending in -ton to tun - enclosure/town).
So, the problem is although the words in one form or another existed in Old English, for example, they didn't necessarily mean the same thing as they did later. Dieter Simon 23:23, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
A contender for the oldest surviving word in English is cyuls, now keels, used by Gildas to describe the boats that that Hengist and Horsa came to Britain in, otherwise Gildas wrote in Latin but chose a Saxon word for their vessels. adamsan 12:11, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)


What is the language of the original message I received via Email?


We don't have access to your email, so we can't answer your question. -- Cyrius| 23:46, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I do, but I'm not telling. - Taxman Talk 03:23, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
Ten bucks says it wasn't English. --Fastfission 05:48, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It could probably be HTML. -- Template:User-multi 04:47, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

How can I install linux on a palm 505?

How can I install linux on a palm 505? Grtu 23:49, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC) ¦ Reisio 20:39, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)

Usage of the word "terrorist"

I am not exactly sure if this is the place to put this under attention, but here it goes. The word terrorist is one of the most controversial and misused words in our vocabulary. I feel that "terrorist" isn't in line with the NPOV policy, because "terrorist" is a very emotional negative word. Afterall: one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. One could even kick a little controversy by simply asking what is a terrorist? I feel that such a vague, emotion stricken term shouldn't be used in an encyclopedia. Reuters has already adopted this policy. -- anon

The English language - and any language for that matter - is full of loaded words and terminology. The meaning that these words have change with time and context. As a contributing Wikipedian, you can help render such loaded words into an NPOV form by explaining such concerns which were posted here in a levelheaded, encyclopedic way in the article. Not only would this improve the article, but would also help aid in the appropriate interpretation of the word used in that particular article. Hope this helps! --HappyCamper 02:03, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We have a policy on this: Wikipedia:Words to avoid. "Terrorist" has its own section. And see also, of course, terrorism, which is unsurprisingly fraught with controversy. JRM · Talk 11:17, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)

How to save before being published

I was writting an article on Tullio Campagnolo but I ran out of time and wanted to save the uncompleted entry and work on it the next day. However, when I got back, the article was marked as copyright infringement and my page is now gone. WHile it is true that I did use another web page for info, I did have the author's permision. How can I prevent this and how do I save without publishing?

Eric campagnollo2002

Regarding "saving without publishing": that's not really possible, but if you register an account, you can put these works in progress in your own user space, where you can work on them at your leisure.
Your page is not gone, because possible copyright violations are kept for at least a few days to allow just such an appeal as yours. Tullio Campagnolo now contains a link to Wikipedia:Copyright problems#June 17, and that is where you should go to explain the situation. Your old page is still available as a separate revision: [25]. Do not simply restore it before clearing the problem, though. JRM · Talk 14:53, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)
When I am working on long articles, I usually either save them to my User space or just to a text file on my desktop. Pretty low-tech, but it works pretty well. --Fastfission 18:23, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wiki suitable for translation?

Hi, I'm looking to translate my site, and have many volunteers. I figured the best means of translation is a Wiki (with registered users only) but am undecided on what to use.

Mediawiki is not great because you cannot simultaeneously view the original and translate.

Is there any Wiki created with translation in mind, or suitable for translation? Or is there a relatively simple hack that I could use on the Mediawiki software?

Thanks,--Stepheno 11:27, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It shouldn't be too involved to modify the HTML and/or CSS to show the textarea for editing and the (pre)view of the article so you can see both simultaneously.
Are you sure this would be necessary? Couldn't you just provide the source documents online and have people submit their translations by email, public ftp, etc.? How many documents are we talking about? What exactly is the purpose of your site? ¦ Reisio 19:20, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Have you seen multilingual advice and "How To Write On Multilingual Pages" ? They are running the OddMuse software. --DavidCary 17:44, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Is there a list of people awarded the MBE?

Can someone tell me whether there is a comprehensive list of those awarded the MBE available on the internet, together with a short description of what the MBE was awarded for? If so, please could you tell me the URL.

J Fuller

I assume you're talking about members of the Order of the British Empire? Check out that article- it has a comprehensive history and background of the Order. In addition, I would also check each of the links in the "See also" section- some of the links have lists of members of different orders. In addition, there is also a list of honorary British knights and a list of television personalities who have been awarded the Order of the British Empire. Hope this helps! Flcelloguy Cello today? Give me a note! d.c. al fine? Desk 14:16, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I had this same question a few months ago. I didn't ask here, I just basically did my own research with Google's help. The conclusion I came to, unfortunately, is that there is no such list on the internet at this time. One place that I thought would obviously have it was some official site of the British gov't but that was no help either. Sorry. Dismas 10:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
[The Prime Minister's website] has several lists relating to these honors; just search the site for "Order of the British Empire." I don't know enough about the honors system to know exactly what the lists are (i.e. upcoming honors, existing honors, etc.). -- Essjay · Talk 11:11, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
Ah, an important point I've just discovered: There are over 100,000 living members of the Order. It's highly unlikely that there is a comprehensive list anywhere outside some massive tome hidden in a cave at the Royal Archives. However, you might consider contacting the PM's office (through the website I cited above) to inquire. -- Essjay · Talk 11:25, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, and most of the members are MBE recipients. More to the point... a hundred thousand people, skewed to the old - call it an average of age fifty at receipt. So maybe twenty-five years to live, meaning ~4% of holders die a year, meaning on average about ten are dying a day. It'd be a real bastard to keep that list up to date; I suspect they may just have a list of all awards and not document it by "alive". However, the annual awards lists are certainly public - you read them in the papers - so they're probably easy enough to come by. Shimgray 11:54, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That must have been what I saw on the PM's website. -- Essjay · Talk 12:05, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

The Honours Lists are published online by the London Gazette [26], and the only way to make a comprehensive list would be to compile one from each of the two annual Lists. (The online archives only go back to 1900, but the Order was established in 1917 so that isn't a problem.) Proteus (Talk) 13:20, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

measuring weight of a planet

How exactly experts measure the weight or mass of a planet or even a star? Roscoe x 18:35, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there is any serious sense in which planets can be said to have weight, but I think that they estimate mass either by making estimates based on volume and what they think the planet is made of, or by observing its gravitational effect on nearby objects like stars. Natalizer 18:39, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sending a space probe near an object and watching the freqency of radio waves it emits (doppler effect) can give very accurate results. Basically all you need to probe the gravity field of an object is to know its acceleration and distance from the object, but these can be calculated by knowing the period and velocity of an orbiting object. Astronomers can often find these through direct observations of object's position in the sky over time.--Joel 19:31, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Using gravitational constants seems to be the method of choice for mass. 01 02. ¦ Reisio 21:32, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)
If you can find a satellite orbiting the planet it is easy, as the period of the orbiting body (assuming that its mass is much less than that of the body it is orbiting otherwise things get complicated) is found by:
Where a is length of orbit's semi-major axis, G is the gravitational constant, and M is the mass of the central body. Evil MonkeyHello 00:04, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)
Where would one look in an encyclopedia for an answer to a question like this? Getting philosophical now, I find that as Wikipedia matures, the "obviously" named subjects are covered. However there are lots of objective facts, like this one, that isn't very well covered in Wikipedia. Is "Weighing planets" a suitable article? Samw 18:39, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm an interesting question. I knew of the formula I gave, so knew it would be hidden somewhere in Wikipedia, finding it in orbital period. I don't know about measuring mass of planets (the pendantic physicist in me shows here — weight is a measure of the force caused by a gravity field, while mass is resistance to change in motion, but anyway…). My guess is the information is in Wikipedia, but spread over several articles. Evil MonkeyHello 21:09, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)
I seem to remember an undergraduate experiment with two big lead ball called "weighing the earth". — Sebastian (talk) 08:06, 2005 Jun 20 (UTC)
Sorry about "Weighing planets"; "Massing planets" doesn't quite roll of the tongue.  :-) Anyways, my point remains. As Wikipedia matures, the challenge is to organize the information as much as it is to gather more information. Maybe we could compile a "FAQ" on common questions like this in the Reference desk. "Why does salt melt ice?" is another common question that comes to mind that I don't think Wikipedia answers in a single location: Freezing point depression, Eutectic all allude to it (along with Snow removal) but there's no crisp explanation anywhere. Samw 03:31, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Identifying Photos

Since this worked so well last time I'll try again. The following is an unindent stick insect:

Unident stick insect
File:Stick insect02.jpg
Unident stick insect
Unident stick insect
File:Stick insect04.jpg
Unident stick insect
File:Stick insect body.jpg
Unident stick insect

Thanks again to those who help out. -- 11:16, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sorry that was me --Fir0002 01:37, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

Where were these taken? ¦ Reisio 12:31, 2005 Jun 19 (UTC)
Based on the IP and the previous request, I'm betting Australia, though I don't know what region. :-) It think it's a nymph of some member of Phasmatidae, but that's a pretty large family, and I'm no entomologist. In shape it resembles a Podacanthus wilkinsoni, but the characteristic markings are missing. I just spent a pleasant hour or two digging through pages on stick insects and learning all about fibulae, tibiae and filiform antennae, but I'm guessing this is hopeless if you're not an expert. JRM · Talk 13:06, 2005 Jun 19 (UTC)
My best guess is that it's a Ctenomorpha chronus. Looks right Vital stats X marks the spot Distribution (Stick insect) ¦ Reisio 13:56, 2005 Jun 19 (UTC)
I think you've got it again Reisio!--Fir0002 01:37, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)
I seen stick insects simular to those in South Africa.

Opening Macintosh ShrinkWrap disk image files in Windows

I had created some data disks (JPEG, HTML, ...) in the ShrinkWrap IMG format on a Macintosh several years ago. Some of them were compressed disk image files. How do I open these HFS-compatible disk images on my Windows computer? -- Toytoy 11:29, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry I have no experience to draw from, but I can guess based on quick research. It seems only a few Mac applications can still expand ShrinkWrap images; Stuffit Expander can, but only in the Mac version. It is very possible that ShrinkWrap images stored vital data partially in the resource fork; if this is the case, then the image file is practially destroyed as soon as it is copied to/via a non-HFS(+) medium. This could explain the absence of decompressors for Windows. — Sverdrup 12:37, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The StruffIt .sit format does not use the resource fork at all. Only its self-expander format (.sea) contains a 68k-based executable in the resource fork. You can delete a .sea file's resource fork, you can still recover its contents by opening it with the StuffIt Expander. I guess ShrinkWrap follows the same logic.
The reason why Aladdin did not ship a Windows version that supports disk images, I guess, is a practical one. Since many traditional Mac files are at least supplemented by the resource fork, it is unwise to open them in any non-HFS-compatible machine. Because you could name an image "Me and My Dog" without adding the .jpg or .gif file extension on a Macintosh. If they ship a Windows version, they'll receive then thousand angry calls a day.
I wonder if there's a 3rd party solution to this problem. Otherwise, I may try a simulator. How I miss and its Executor emulator. -- Toytoy 12:56, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)
My suggestion: Open them on a Mac, burn the files to a CD. If you don't have access to any Macs, a lot copy-machine places will let you rent time on them for pretty cheap. --Fastfission 18:19, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Doolittle Raid

The article for the Doolittle Raid states that the raid occurred on 18 April 1942.

Under the heading "Aftermath" it states "Following the Tokyo Raid, the crews of two planes were missing. On August 15, 1942, it was learned from the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai that eight American flyers were prisoners of the Japanese at Police Headquarters in that city."

There's a problem with dates there.

- and I think Wikipedia is better than Google for research!

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the problem. I haven't been able to find an explicit date for the held-in-Shanghai thing, but August sounds about right, given the later mention of October seems well-confirmed. Did you perhaps misread April for August? I almost went to correct it before noticing that... Shimgray 13:37, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

how many books publish in the world a year?

I would like to know how many books publish in the world in 1 year time.. about in a country? Where can I check it? thanks.~coral

There's no central database, so it's hard to be sure. An estimate for the US in 2003 reckoned 141,901 new books - this seems to have been generated by taking every new ISBN issued that year. As such, the number isn't accurate - it doesn't count non-ISBNed publications, and will count a lot of books two or three times, if different editions are published (if a publisher produces textually-identical copies in different covers, it gets a new ISBN). Another source gives ~1,600,000,000 individual copies sold in the US that year; I'm not sure what figure you're looking for.
Worldwide, about 4,000,000,000 copies in 2003 (personally I suspect this is too low) and around a million new books. source. Shimgray 15:57, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

ecco mono year 1628 bust of christ

i have a bust of christ dated 1628 thats was my grandmothers. it states on the back of the bust which is in a frame and the head and neck come away from the main portion of the is one of six from an english collert of art.. the original carving was of wood by a artist otto reinvoldt i belive. from 1628.. the last name is hard to see. anyway the other five were destroyed and thisis the last peice. how do i fing out its authenticity.. deb wells

I would check with an antiques dealer/appraiser, or take it to an antiques shop/expert. Perhaps Antiques Roadshow? Flcelloguy | Give me a note! | Desk 16:26, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
well not sure if i know what im doing bere im new log on is moom53 Moon53 i asked the question on ecco mono trying to fogure out how to use this site.. im not sure if antique place would give me the right info since its more historical and antique road show ive already tried and still no response but im sure im one of many who ask questions
Nobody on the internet would be able to verify its authenticity or its worth without seeing it in person. If you think it is truly from the 17th century, you really need to take it to an appraiser. --Fastfission 18:21, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Just a thought, but perhaps someone at a local museum, or perhaps art/history department of a college or university could put you on the right track? Noodhoog 11:26, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

First day of school in New York City public schools

What's the first day of the 20052006 academic year in New York City public schools, specifically Stuyvesant? --anon.

Thursday, September 8. See NYC Public Schools Calendar. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 17:40, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Mexican jumping beans

I've got some Mexican jumping beans and they're happily moving around in a box I put them in. Is there a proper way to take care of them so they continue jumping longer? --HappyCamper 18:29, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

All they need to survive is air (and non-extreme environmental conditions, of course...putting them at the top of mount everest or on top of a volcano would obviously be a bad idea). I doubt there are any simple ways to extend the period of time they "jump", but if there are I think I would have trouble seeing it as anything but abuse. Of course, if you intend on leaving them in a box where the moths cannot later escape from or keeping them in a place where there are no shrubs for the moths to lay eggs in, that's already abuse, so I guess it wouldn't matter to be more abusive. ¦ Reisio 20:05, 2005 Jun 19 (UTC)
I was wondering, for example, if these beans needed sunlight and water for the moths to mature. --HappyCamper 22:11, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you have a picture of them, could you post it on Mexican jumping bean, please? — Sebastian (talk) 08:46, 2005 Jun 20 (UTC)
I concur. By the way, can we have a picture of the moth? -- Toytoy 00:18, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Here they are! I think I need some help with the pictures though... --HappyCamper 21:24, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Pictures deleted as I'm going to re-upload them with better ones later. HappyCamper 28 June 2005 14:22 (UTC)

what are the different things found in microsoft power point

  • "Things"? You're going to have to be more specific than that. I've got no idea what you want to know. Alternatively, checking Microsoft PowerPoint might be helpful. - Mgm|(talk) 11:58, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

More photos to identify

I think this is the last series of photos I've currently got on my hdd which need identifying. This time its a wierd fly thing:

Fly thing
Fly thing

As you can see it is very well camouflage on the wood planks. --Fir0002 10:35, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

It's kind of hard to determine scale. About how large is the insect? --CVaneg 22:50, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's about 5 or 6 cm. --Fir0002 07:02, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Where and when did you take these pictures? I want to know it so I can stay away from that place for the rest of my life. That bug gives me creeps. -- Toytoy 00:23, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
East Gippsland Australia, but don't let that thing put you off - it's the first time I've ever seen anything like it in the 8 yrs I've lived here. Australia is a beautiful place - one of the most beautifull places on earth, I think. --Fir0002 07:02, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
There are creepier things than that in Australia - but also many things more beautiful than elsewhere. ¦ Reisio 00:45, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)

I think it's some sort of stonefly, but then I still suck at determining insects, so you should probably ignore me. :-) JRM · Talk 02:15, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)

Looks like a dobsonfly, but that isn't found in Australia, apparently. Could be something similar. Tuf-Kat 16:03, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, sure looks like a dobsonfly to me, but it's not. It doesn't have the mandibles, and has hairy body and legs. Probably in the same family/order though. I can say it's almost certainly definitely in the fly genre. :) If you really need to know, contact someone at your local university entomology department. An Australian one would be most likely to know of course, but I know Michigan State University has a great entomology department that you could contact. - Taxman Talk 01:41, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

It's a dead ringer for one of these - right continent too :) DopefishJustin (・∀・) 20:58, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that's what it is. Thanks a lot! Tell me, how did you find it? --Fir0002 07:48, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
An adult antlion! So that's what those things look like past the larval stage. :-) I knew the antennae were wrong, but I couldn't think of anything better than a fly. I wonder what species it is, though. It looks quite distinctive. JRM · Talk 22:04, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)

Colloquial phrase in English: "the works"

I sometimes hear the phrase "it's the works" in a conversation. What does this phrase mean, and where did it originate from? What is its proper usage, and in what context does one use it? Thanks in advance. --HappyCamper 12:58, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

the works, refers to "everything", as in "the whole works", it basically means "all of it" or "everything" or "the full treatment". It comes from the term "works" referring to clockworks, watchworks or wheelworks -- or any 'works' of a machine: the guts of the machine. And usage of that word comes from the verb "work" as in "to do work"; as in those guts are doing the work of the machine. I don't really use the phrase "it's the works", maybe as in "that Wikipedia page on Boris Yeltsin is really detailled; it's the works." --Robojames 13:50, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"It's got this, that; y'know, the works" - I usually hear it like that, not as "It's the works.". ¦ Reisio 14:53, 2005 Jun 20 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Thanks for the responses! --HappyCamper 15:02, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
One of the most common uses of the expression is in reference to toppings or condiments on a food item, such as a pizza or a hot dog. A hot dog "with the works" means one topped with the full selection of condiments -- depending on the location, perhaps ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, onions, cheese, and bean chili. --FOo 23:05, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with FOo -- the phrase "Gimme a hot dog with the works" means "give me a hot dog with all the condiments you have". Occasionally I hear another similar-sounding idiom -- "We just put up the Spanish web site, and the Italian translation is in the works". That calls to mind an assembly line. Work has already started on building a car (or a web site, or whatever), and you're just going to have to wait for it to go by a bunch of people (in the appropriate specialties) before the completed car (or web site, or whatever) comes out. --DavidCary 00:48, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Q without U

I was browsing the Q without U section of the Hasbro Scrabble site and it got me wondering, aside from qwerty whose spelling is dictated by the placement of keys of the keyboard, how did these words make it into the English language? Is there some odd phoneme between K and Q that does not occur in the english language, or were they just anglicized oddly? --CVaneg 20:05, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Before entering the Latin alphabet, where it was pronounced "kw", the letter "Q" was used in Phoenician to represent a sound which doesn't occur in English (a voiceless uvular plosive or a velar ejective, if you must know), but does occur in many other languages, such as Arabic. Probably for that reason, 19th-century Orientalists started using it to transcribe words containing this sound; and, of course, in these languages it's often not followed by a "u" sound. So its use in English is essentially as a convention indicating to those "in the know" that it should be pronounced like a sound that isn't found in English, rather than like a normal "k". - Mustafaa 20:31, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Number of instruments in orchestra

I have always been told that the number of instruments (I believe different kinds of instruments) in an orchestra is 32. Where does that number come from?

Thank you, Gary

The number of instruments in an orchestra varies greatly. Standard orchestra has approximately 20 instruments, but the number can vary because of the different amounts of percussion. Here is a list taken from the article on orchestra:

  • the strings (violins, violas, cellos, double basses),
  • the woodwinds (flutes, piccolos, oboes, cor anglais, clarinets, bass clarinets, bassoons, contrabassoons)
  • the brass (trumpets, trombones, french horns, bass trombones, tuba), and
  • the percussion (timpani, snare drum, bass drum, celesta, piano, etc.).

In addition, most orchestras have a harp, and may also have different variations of wind instruments (Trumpet in Bb, Trumpet in F, etc). Also, some "odd" instruments- saxophone, euphonium, etc. may be used. Thus, the number varies. Hope this helps. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 21:31, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Information on Citric Acid

I ask help from the researchers for information on Citric Acid. I wish to know a neutralising agent for the citric acid present in Lemon If anybody can provide me with the information I would be really grateful to him

See citric acid for information. It's a weak acid. You could try mixing it with bicarbonate of soda. Milk is also slightly alkaline if you're cooking, but you should add sugar to sweeten lemon in puddings. Why do you want to do it? Dunc| 22:36, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Printing to card?

Hum. I can print to most types of paper or thin card, easily enough, by using a laserjet or inkjet printer - standard desktop stuff. However, what options are available if I was to want to print to thick card - perhaps of a millimeter or two thickness? I suspect this'd cause most domestic printers to choke... thoughts? Shimgray 23:17, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Alps ( ) used to sell a desktop printer that had a "straight-through paper feed" -- you can put completely rigid slabs of particleboard through them. I suspect other companies may have similar printers.
  • At many local stores I see "transfer paper" -- you print on the transfer paper, then put the transfer paper against the thick card (or T-shirt or whatever else you couldn't get into the printer), and the heat of an iron would somehow melt the image off the transfer paper and get it to stick to whatever you were holding it against.
  • ... other options ?

Hope that helps. --DavidCary 00:48, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, the transfer-paper option had occured to me, ditto other ways of trying to bind two layers together. (One eminently sensible suggestion was "Laminate the lot...", but that's horrendous from a tactile point of view)
Now I think about it I have used some of the "flat" printers; I'll see if I've still got access to one, and if not go and poke around print shops. Thanks. Shimgray 01:04, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What about one of those inkjet printers that's been adapted to print CD labels? Like this Epson Stylus Photo R800. A rigid tray holding the CD goes right through the printer. You could replace the tray with your piece of cardboard. --Heron 19:08, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

When and Where was Chuck Behler, former Megadeth drummer, Born?

When and where was Chuck Behler, former Megadeth drummer, born? Bandleader Dave Mustaine mentions Gar Samuelson, their previous drummer, had selected Behler "from the Detroit area" in the liner notes to the re-released version of So Far, So Good... So What!, but that doesn't necessarily mean Behler was born in Detroit.

I'll ask on the the official Megadeth forum as well. Mustaine himself won't answer now as he is on tour, but perhaps a moderator will. Not much is generally known about Behler. --slonDFW 00:49, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Does it snow in Australia?

As the title suggests, does it snow in Australia? What is the weather like in the wintertime? --HappyCamper 01:45, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it does snow in Australia, but only in the southeastern areas, where the climate is temperate. And then you'll want to head into the mountains for snow that actually sticks around. :-) (The Australian Antarctic Territory presumably doesn't count for the purposes of this discussion...) I'm sure the Aussie Wikipedians can give more detailed answers. JRM · Talk 02:10, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)
It doesn't snow at sea level anywhere in Australia, but Australia has quite decent ski fields right along the Great Dividing Range. Being winter, you can see some of them on live webcams, e.g. [27]. As for what it's like in winter generally, well have a look at this map of daily maximum temperature, averaged over the last week. And keep in mind that most people live along the southeastern coastal fringe. -- Tim Starling 02:29, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Or this July average. -- Tim Starling 02:38, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Canberra is the only large Australian city (if Canberra counts as a large city...) where it ever snows in the center of town; even there it's only once every few years and it doesn't stay on the ground for very long. There are virtually no permanent settlements, aside from ski resorts, in regions where there is snow on the ground for significant periods. --Robert Merkel 02:44, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The townships of Omeo and Benambra (close to Mt Hotham) sometimes have snow laying around for days. --Fir0002 07:17, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
I said "virtually no"; my family is from Tallangatta, so I used to live reasonably close to most of the places in mainland Australia where it does snow regularly. Aside from the ski resorts, you've got Omeo, population 300. Benambra, population 150. To that you could also throw in the thriving metropolises of Dargo (maybe 100), Cabramurra (160 or so, and the most regularly snowbound at an altitude of nearly 1500 metres), and maybe Woods Point (30-50 residents). The biggest one which I did miss was Jindabyne, a town with about 2500 permanent residents, which does get regular light snow, if not particularly long-lasting, in winter. Throw in a few locations in Tasmania, probably. By the way, I've visited all of these places; all of them are very pretty and great fun for summer Sunday drive :) --Robert Merkel 07:46, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for all the responses everyone! It makes Australia sound like a wonderful place :-) --HappyCamper 05:06, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I was there during June and July a few years ago on vacation; as I understand it, that's winter there. If that was mid-winter, compared to an Eastern US winter, it's not just wonderful, it's paradise. -- Essjay · Talk 05:35, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but you have to have lived somewhere where you have gotten 4 or more feet of snow to truly appreciate that :). I remember once when I was small getting over 5 feet. We weren't allowed outside the house for worry we would get lost. Now of course there are areas that get that all the time, but man can you have some fun building snow forts and digging tunnels when a lot of snow gets piled up. - Taxman Talk 01:11, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

Designer's chair

I remember there was a strange chair sold in the 1980s or 1990s. You did not sit on that chair, your body is supported on your knees and you have to keep your upper body straight using your back muscles. What was the name of that chair? -- Toytoy 03:57, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

Do you mean a kneeling chair? Our article is only a stub, but Google gave good results for the words "kneeling" and "chair". -Rholton 04:38, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
And they still sell them: I bought one last year. Joyous 16:15, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Ergonomic chair.
Best known one is probably the HAG Balans kneeling chair. Fuzheado | Talk 03:23, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Origin of "Mangosteen, Queen of Fruit"

Does anyone know when the phrase, "mangosteen, queen of fruit" was first coined, and in what media was it recorded? It was not David Fairchild. And in a similar vein, does anyone know if there is any actual written document from the 19th century that records the specific rewards that Queen Elizabeth allegedly offered for the mangosteen?

First off, Elizabeth I of England (often referred to as simply Queen Elizabeth) was queen between 1558 and 1603, i.e. for the 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has been queen since 1953, i.e. for the 20th and 21st centuries. There are various queens consort listed at Queen Elizabeth and those do cover the 19th century however.
Well, maybe he means Queen Victoria. Ornil 04:43, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

douglas county, Missouri

Iwould like a map of douglas county, Mo. I am trying to do research on a family (Freemam) and need to know how to get around so I can visit the cemetaries in the county. If you can't help do you know where i may get one. thank you

If you're looking for an online map you can go to [ Mapquest] and enter the address. If it's a paper state or county map you're looking for, I'd try a welcome center in the state (they usually have them at Interstate rest stops) which should have free local maps. Also, the county courthouse in Douglas County will probably have county maps available. -- Essjay · Talk 12:56, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
Google maps is also good for driving directions: ¦ Reisio 14:46, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)

how can i find out what prison a person is being sent to?

You really need to add more details if you want an answer. Which country/state are you in for starters?Lisiate 03:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you live in the US, then you probably want to contact your local department of corrections, or equivalent (most of them are named something like "Department of Corrections" or "Department of Correctional Services", Google can help you find the relevant one to your state). Once you've done that, most websites will tell you how to find a prisoner. For example, if you live in Florida, you'd look here. Alternatively, if you're looking for someone who was convicted of a federal crime this site would probably be more what you're looking for. From the way you state your question, I should warn that these databases are probably not 100% up to date, so it may be that a new prisoner won't be in the system for a while or a prisoner who has been transferred from one prison to another may not have up to date information--CVaneg 03:56, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Help needed for bewildered synth player

Alright, I own a Yamaha portatone PSR-230 synth keyboard, alright? It's specs can be found here:

Now, this is my problem, would it be possible for me to record something, then play it back on my keyboard, at the varying pitches? Here's an example, I didn't explain it very well.

So, tell me, could my synth do that? and if it can, tell me how, tell me what I need to buy, where I hook it up, anything, It's just so cool. English helps too, if for any reason, you think I wouldn't be able to understand something, write it out in laymans terms, I'm a sort of "Plug in and play" sort of guy, you know? Thanks in advance!

- 03:20, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So it sounds like what you want to do is record something (say a kazoo note) and then play it back at different pitches according to which key you play on the keyboard? I don't think the Portatone can do that by itself. If you have MIDI cables for your keyboard, what you should probably try is recording the sample you want into your computer, then using a MIDI sequencer or sampler program to handle the playback. It's easier than it sounds.

Say you connect the keyboard to the computer with MIDI cables. Then, you record your sample into the computer and load it into some MIDI-based sampler. You set the Sampler program to receive on MIDI channel 1, and set the Portatone to transmit on MIDI channel 1. Then, when you play keyboard notes, the Portatone will tell the computer program to play the sample at the appropriate frequency. I can't give you precise examples of software to try, since I don't use Windows systems, but I own a Portatone, and I use it to control a couple of drum machines sometimes, so it shouldn't be too hard to make it control a sampling program. Oh yeah, and you asked about equipment you'd need. A microphone (for recording), a set of MIDI cables (they come in pairs), and a soundcard that has MIDI ports. If your sound card has a joystick port, you can buy a set of MIDI cables that plugs into that instead. If you don't want to use your computer at all, you can instead get a real sampler (a piece of hardware which does exactly what you want), but they're expensive and sometimes tricky. Jeeves 03:28, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

PERFECT, thank you so much for that very punctual response, I understood every word of it, my dad is buying me a soundcard within the next... eventually, so I guess I'm more or less set, ah, this is going to be great! I'm giddy just thinking of the possibilities!

- 03:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I forgot to mention a third possibility. You could probably get up and running faster with a program called ModPlug Tracker, which is free for download. Once you have recorded your kazoo (or whatever) into a WAV file on your computer, you can load it into ModPlug as a sample and immediately start playing notes. Trackers are actually used to make full songs, by specifying which sample to play at which frequency on which beat. The interface takes some getting used to, but is very functional once you get the hang of it. I believe you can control ModPlug with a MIDI keyboard also, but you don't have to — you can enter in the melodies you want directly from your computer's keyboard. If you run into trouble with this stuff, or have more specific questions about how to get something to work, please feel free to email me or leave a note on my Talk page; I do this stuff all the time. Good luck. = ) Jeeves 07:07, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

God, thank you so much, in a couple of months, with a new soundcard and after I record some samples, I'll be able to pull a Ferris Beuller without even trying! :) Thanks! 00:43, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

19th century music box melody

I heard this melody from a beautiful 19th century music box:

Any ideas what it could be? (I hope I remember it correctly.) — Sebastian (talk) 03:59, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)

How did you output this music? It's amazing! -- Toytoy 07:48, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
I used an old evaluation version of Cakewalk Pro Audio and took a screen shot. — Sebastian (talk) 07:55, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
There's also ABCPlus], which is a phenomenal tool for typesetting music with a minimum of hassle, if you're into that sort of thing. It's also open-source! = ) Jeeves 07:59, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Musicpedia musichound search using Parson's code "*DUDDDUDDUUUUUD" finds only one EXACT hit, and a cursory glance at the many other "possibles" doesn't look promising, though you may want to have a look yourself. (There may be fewer if you include the keyword WALTZ in the search. - Nunh-huh 08:07, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the link — it's a great idea to simplify it like this. I entered the whole code ("DUDDDUDDUUUUUDrdudddduduududd") but didn't see anything in the music they showed. As for waltz: It doesn't really have the waltz feel (actually I considered 6/8), but that may be because it's a music box. — Sebastian (talk) 08:24, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)

Music boxes tend not to follow the original contour of the music because it's easier to manufacture the simplified tone. --HappyCamper 11:50, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It bears a very striking resemblance to the famous duet "Verranna a te sull' aure" from Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor:

File:Lucia RD question.png

I'd put money on it being that. If you wanted to check further, you could probably find a sample of it on some CD retailer's website.

My image is almost certainly not in the right key, and possibly not in the right time signature, by the way (I agree 6/8 is about as likely as 3/4)--I just did it like this so the resemblance to your original is more obvious (and also because I'm too lazy to find a score).--Camembert 16:46, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks a lot - this is it! (Interesting, how it mutated in my brain. Make that a party game: Chinese hums  ;-) — Sebastian (talk) 21:37, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)

David Bowie song

In the Bowie song The Man Who Sold The World (song), what is the annoying instrument that goes in the background and sounds kinda like a duck? I've heard it in quite a few songs, and each time I think the song would sound better without it. Nirvana's version is better than David's, methinks --Wonderfool t(c)e)

Think it's probably a güiro (Images). ¦ Reisio 13:35, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
That brings me back - we played them in infant school. I was head xylophonist back in those days, so i didnt get to shine on the guiro --Wonderfool t(c)e)

ask for some information about World Intangible Heritage

Dear editors, I am a college student in China,and now I am working with a project to compile a book about World Cutural Heritage.Now what we possess are some translated Chinese editions of this topic.So I am curious if you are kind enough to give me some help or rather some hint on this in the form of Websites or so.Very appreciated.

World Heritage Site here are some places chosen by UNESCO. MeltBanana 23:41, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Intangible heritage refers to non-permanent traces of the past, things like historic street markets which only exist when people are buying and selling, folk music or pub names. UNESCO have a register here which is largely devoted to artisans and their methods. A general introduction to international heritage management issues is Archaeological Heritage Management in the Modern World Clere H (ed), Routledge 1989, ISBN 0415214483. adamsan 09:06, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Identify this household tool

I found this, left by the previous tennant of my apartment. It looks like a can opener, it's about the size of a can opener, but it can't open cans. I found it in a drawer with a can opener and aluminium foil, etc. I have no idea what it is, does anyone? I put a quarter on the scanner bed just so you can get an idea of the size. Thanks! --Robojames 14:47, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A nutcracker? --Wonderfool t(c)e) 14:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Looks like a can opener to me. Are you sure it can't open cans or does a poor workman always blame his tools? Dunc| 15:38, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It looks like a garlic press to me. --Mothperson 15:45, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC) And a pretty good one. Peel the cloves, put in the sieve-like thing, and crush away. Mothperson 15:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It absolutely can not open cans. There's nothing sharp to pierce the can. And it's not a nutcracker, although it could be used to crack nuts. And it doesn't look like a garlic press... there's no sieve-like thing on it. (I need to get a better picture of this) The functional part seems to be at the top (left in photo) it's got these small flat metal bits on the top... one of them lifts up when you open the handle, and the other two stay put. It's like the following:

Open    Closed
]         ]
   [       [
]         ]

It looks like it could be used to press buttons on something, but i don't know. --Robojames 15:53, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That little thingamabob with the holes - the round thingy - that's what I meant by the sieve. You put the clove in there, and then your ] [ ] action presses the garlic into mush. Mothperson 15:58, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I swear this is what it is. I have one. I didn't immediately recognize it because I haven't used it for years. Mincing with a nice knife is more satisfying. Mothperson 16:02, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No, it's not a garlic press, it doesn't look like any garlic press I've seen, and there's no way this could be used as a garlic press. The 'press' part on this is too small and narrow and doesn't really open wide enough to fit a piece of garlic in there. It only opens about 1cm, if that. Robojames 16:08, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It might just be a device for picking up pots - like a detachable handle if you will. If you've seen Knife in the Water, you know what I mean. ¦ Reisio 16:18, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
Yeah, perhaps like part of a trangia cooker. Does it look like this? Dunc| 17:29, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yup, I go with the handle theory. --Tagishsimon (talk)
I think you're right, it seems like it'd be perfect for picking up pots. And it is very similar to that picture. Awesome! Thanks folks! Robojames 18:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Some sort of riveter? -- ALoan (Talk) 16:19, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have a crimping tool that wraps flat metal bands around wire fence panels to hold the panels together. Based on the description of the "head" piece open and closed, this may be some type of crimping tool. But what do you crimp in a kitchen?

  • A broken can opener?--Fenice 17:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why don't wild pidgeons have uniform coloration?

All wild birds seem to have uniform coloration. Ravens are always black, robins always have red breasts. But with pidgeons no two are ever alike. What's up with that? -anon

  • Assuming, you're talking about pigeons, I guess it's so they can recognize each other. It's probably something in their DNA. I'll leave it to ornithologists to give a more detailed answer. - Mgm|(talk) 17:26, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
  • Not that I'm an ornithologist, but our article on Rock doves (from which we get feral pigeons) says that the difference in plumages is due to the release and subsequent crossbreeding of other domesticated birds. Apparently there is a distinctive plumage for rock doves, but it's not so easy to find purebred ones, especially in urban centers --CVaneg 18:19, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Name Signing

How do you sign your name after adding a comment on someones talk page?

Read "How to ask a question" at the top of this page. ¦ Reisio 18:06, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
Use four tildes (those wavy things). On my keyboard the tilde is on the hash key. Four tildes is best because three tildes gives your username only, but four adds the date as well - Adrian Pingstone 18:39, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've made a small edit to the above for clarification. Mgm|(talk) 19:11, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

  • On my keyboard the tilde is to the left of the "1". - Mgm|(talk) 19:11, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
You can also click on the scribbly button thingy (located 2nd from the left) in the window where after you press edit. --HappyCamper 21:14, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Comment: Here's what tildes look like, just for your information: ~~~~ . Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 22:47, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A special kind of problem solving in which we already know all the possible solutions or choices is what?

Easy? JRM · Talk 23:37, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
Wonderful! Do me a favour and factor

for me, will you? thanks.

Seriously though, I'm not sure there's a name for such problems, as deep down you can always enumerate all the possible inputs. (Of course if you already know all the solutions to a problem it's called "solved"). --W(t) 23:46, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
Factorization is easy. I only have to successively divide the number by all numbers smaller than it and record them if they don't leave a remainder. Perfectly finitistic recipe, simple steps. Of course, getting a way of factorizing that is quick for large inputs is another matter. Incidentally, I have found a truly marvelous factorization of the number you gave, but unfortunately this wiki page is too small to contain it.
Ah, the famous Fermat's last theorem. Beautiful is it not? HappyCamper 03:52, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The interpretation you seem to take I cannot reconcile with the original question. For any problem that's well-defined, you of course know all possible solutions or choices. If you didn't, you wouldn't have a problem—you'd have some ill-defined mystery; we not only don't know how to obtain an outcome, but we wouldn't even know what an outcome is! There is no special name for this because it's not a special "kind" of problem.
Conversely, for any "problem", you of course know the complete range of the inputs, otherwise it would be quite hard to even define the problem. The observation that some ranges are impossible to pin down (in that there is no algorithm that will determine whether a given input is in the range) is what gives you undecidability. But I'm starting to think that maybe the original poster was hinting at a deterministic algorithm. JRM · Talk 03:24, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
I beg to differ slightly on the opinion of factorization. The concept of factorization is easy, but to actually do it is extremely hard for large numbers. In fact, many public key cryptosystems are fundamentally based on the difficulty of factorization of large numbers. An example of this is RSA. Yes, you could iterate through all the factors, there there are simply too many of them to do so one at a time. --HappyCamper 04:05, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't see how factoring large numbers is any different than factoring small ones. You can apply the same process to both, so why would one be any more difficult than the other? Sure, factorization requires more time for large numbers, but it's just as easy. --David Iberri | Talk 02:49, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
You are right, if that particular definition is used, yes, factorization is "easy". In fact, this was more or less the mentality that was adopted before interest in factorization picked up. After all, why bother factoring large numbers if you could apply the same procedure for small numbers with large numbers? It wasn't until well into latter half of the 20th century that some insight into the real meaning and consequences of this came along...
Mathematicians realized that the intrinsic difficulty of factorization was precisely that it would require more time if you used the same method of factoring small numbers as with large numbers. In fact, so much more time, that if you had a sufficiently large enough number, it would become vanishingly impossible to factor it in a lifetime!! With the advent of computers, this lead to entirely new fields of study, where new algorithms were designed specifically to tackle factorization. These algorithms are highly specialized, but are still slow to factor large numbers. This property can be exploited, and has been done - The mathematics behind factorization has largely shaped modern cryptography, online private and secure transactions, credit cards, wireless communications, military surveillance - just to name a few. If this doesn't impress you enough, check also history of cryptography - it's fascinating :-) --HappyCamper 03:48, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The thing that makes such a large number hard to factor is that it has two factors, both of which are very, very large primes. As far as cryptology goes, a company can publish the product of the primes and keep the two prime factors secret so that anyone can send an encrypted message but only the company can decode it. This is especially useful for things such as credit card numbers on the internet. --Think Fast 13:54, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

I wonder if that number really is a product of 2 primes, or if it was just a random number...check out

this link which suggests that the number be factored to cure some boredom. --HappyCamper 20:09, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is probably an excellent cure for boredom, as after you've factored it you can go do non-boring very-expensive things with the $200k RSA labs gives you, it's part of their factoring challenge. Ooh, we even have an article on the number itsself: RSA-2048. (Sadly mediawiki won't let me create a redirect from the actual number to that page.) --W(t) 01:00, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be cool if we can coordinate worldwide Wikipedia users to factorize this large number and claim the prize money to say, upgrade Wikimedia servers? HappyCamper 01:14, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Coordinate how? If it was just a problem of distributed computing, wouldn't other people have done that by now? --Fastfission 02:13, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure why. If I had to guess, I think the RSA challenge numbers are sufficiently large that the benefit of distributed computing would not help much. There's overhead associated with splitting the factorization into smaller subproblems, and then putting together all the results back together. It would speed up the searching for sure, but the numbers are so large that the time to factor them is still pretty intractable. The last RSA number factored had 174 digits. The next one has 193 digits. This next problem would be on the order of 1020 times more difficult to do (very very loosely speaking). HappyCamper 02:48, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Windex on a CRT?

The web (as brought to us by google[29]) is full of contradictory information about whether or not Windex (or other ammonia based glass cleaners) are safe to use on a CRT or TV screen. The screen's just glass, right? Is the anti-glare coating really likely to come off? My fiancé just windexed my TV, and there seems to be no harm done - are the effects cumulative? Any experts out there? Key45 22:14, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You should adhere to the cleaning guidelines that are undoubtedly in your owner's manual. I also hear that plain water can be used to clean stuff - who knew. :p ¦ Reisio 23:16, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
You cannot use it on an LCD screen unless you want to ruin it (it might look fine at first, but your screen will quickly degrade if you repeat the procedure). Your Google query doesn't distinguish between screen types.
Dust can easily be removed by a soft, perhaps slightly damp cloth. Ammonia-based cleaners are fine on plain glass, but some CRT screens have an anti-glare coating that does not respond well to ammonia. An occasional cleaning will really not have a devastating effect (and you usually don't sit close enough to a TV to notice any small change like that) but yes, the effects are cumulative. There are plenty of (glass) cleaners out there that do not contain ammonia which should be perfectly safe, if ordinary water won't do it (such as with those really greasy fingerprints new users tend to leave. :-) JRM · Talk 23:36, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)
I'm kind of partial to washing up liquid for cleaning CRTs. It deals with grease and such and doesn't stripe (as long as you wash with clean water and then dry off afterwards). --W(t) 23:47, 2005 Jun 22 (UTC)

over and under-determined

Though it is possible to use 'Search engines' to discover the mathematical use of these concepts, there seem to be no clues available as to how they are being used in a psychological/philosophical sense. Are they Freudian? What is the link with mathematics? Where and when were they derived and first used?

Harold Bloom in his book 'Shakespeare - the Invention of the Human' constantly uses the concepts e.g p. 407 'Hamlet will not do anything prematurely; something in him is determined not be be over-determined.'

There is clearly some meaning at work here - but what? --User:Jeffrey_Newman

You are correct that Bloom, a literary critic, uses it in a psychoanalytic sense. Psychoanalysis was a "school" of theoretical concepts intended to help us understand normal and abnormal behavior and to provide tools and methods for treating mental illness. Freud was the principal originator, but many others contributed. It was very influential in psychiatry in the first half of the 20th century, but has been largely discarded among practicing psychiatrists in the last 40 years with the advances in understanding the brain and the evidence that most severe "mental illnesses" represent biological disease of the brain, and that for more minor degrees of psychological or social dysfunction, one "talking treatment" works about as well as another. Critics say that nothing in psychoanalysis was testable or falsifiable, so that it should not have been considered a branch of "science" in any form.

I have been wondering whether this can be considered an NPOV statement. What is not verifiable or falsifiable today may be tomorrow. The issue may well be limitations of present methodology. Often, as here, it appears in the way that such comments are stated that the shortcoming is in whatever is ruled as 'non-scientific' (and, therefore by implication, 'lesser' - here psychoanalysis)- not in present scientific methodologyJeffrey Newman 04:12, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
First of all, it is accurately NPOV to say, "critics say...". However, I will freely admit my answer as a whole has no pretensions to being NPOV, just defensible. I would respectfully say that your opinion (that it might be testable or falsifiable tomorrow) is a far shakier POV. There is a difference between whether we can test a theory today and whether it is even a "testable" kind of theory. I can imagine testing the applied process of psychoanalysis in a crude way (by comparing outcomes of patients getting psychoanalysis versus another "talking treatment"), and there have been treatments in medicine which worked by a mechanism we didn't understand or understood erroneously. For example, the efficacy of aspirin for pain was testable a century ago, but only in the last 25 yeasrs have we begun to understand the mechanism by which it works (though the mechanism could have been imagined in 1905). In my opinion, the basic psychoanalytic theories of how the mind works and mental illness arises are not even "testable" kinds of hypotheses, and virtually every advance in our understanding of the brain mechanisms of mental illness of the last 50 years has tended to make basic ideas of psychoanalysis seem less and less meaningful (not just less "true" but even less applicable as a kind of way to talk about mental processes). If you can describe a process by which some of the fundamental psychoanalytic ideas could be tested, you might change my POV, but I am not holding my breath.
Interestingly, (to me at least!) I think that, though your understanding of scientific thinking is far more advanced than mine will ever be, there are issues here, possibly about meaning which are for more subtle and that test the inter-face between science and other forms of knowledge. Please could you, or someone, direct me to where there is worthwhile debate happening between scientists and non-scientists (where there is an attempt to listen and understand one another) in Wikipedia. Sokal's work raises the issues[30]but is an example of a lack of understanding by a scientist of the way philosophy and language develops through the use of metaphor. I shall now look up my own 'links' to see if they lead me to what I am looking for.I admit I am partly raising all this also to practice how to write in wikipedian. Jeffrey Newman 04:58, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, I don't share your view of the cultural divide. The difference is not whether humanities scholars use metaphor and scientists don't. Everyone, including scientists, uses analogy and metaphor to think about things and solve problems: see Douglas Hofstadter's brilliant essay on "analogy as the core of cognition." I would argue that a much bigger difference is how one tests one's hypothesis, theory, mental model, asserted causal relationship, etc-- or even whether one tries to find a way to test it. The Sokal hoax exposed that difference spectacularly and if you don't see it that way, I would humbly suggest that it might be you who don't adequately understand what happened in that affair. I don't have an answer to your question about where to find "worthwhile debate" between scientists and non-scientists about these issues. Let us know if you find it. alteripse 22:47, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Psychoanalysis lived on in literary theory where there is less need for reality testing or usefulness, although among the younger generation of literary critics structuralism has largely replaced psychoanalysis in favor.

All that is background. A simple definition of overdetermination in a psychoanalytic or literary sense is that there are additional motives for a person's behavior which arise from unconscious conflicts and motivations. Thus a person may have a conscious reason for doing something, but a psychoanalyst may claim that there was one or more additional unconscious motivations, thus "overdetermining" the behavior in question. One may recognize that in its orginal, most powerful form, this concept fails the Occam's razor test (as well as falsifiability and perhaps common sense).

Note that in this sense there is no such thing as underdetermined behavior--- psychoanalysts will always come up with an "explanation", although in a logical sense it might make sense to use the term for anything you do "just because." alteripse 18:07, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In epistemology, underdetermination can mean that any set of facts can be explained in many ways -- a given set of pieces of evidence can never have only one possible explanation. This is often used in philosophy of science, e.g. regarding the underdetermination of theory by data. This is similar to (but much easier to show than) the psychoanalytic sense.
Are you certain you have this right? It sounds almost exactly like the psychoanalytic usage of overdetermination (i.e., that a given action may have multiple explanations). alteripse 23:18, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes. See Google, underdetermination of theory by data, or see this article entitled "Underdetermination". --FOo 04:16, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've also heard the word overdetermination used to refer to a specification, possibly mathematical or technical, which places too many constraints on the possible solutions, such that there may not be any. For instance, three points determine a plane; for any three points in space there necessarily exists a plane containing all three. But four points overdetermine a plane -- given four points in space, there is not necessarily a plane containing all four. --FOo 23:11, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Need the name of a country music artist and lyrics to the song

I am looking for the name of the country music artist and the lyrics to the song. The song contains the words "I thought that you were gone forever, but it's nice here we stand" in it.I sure would appreiate somebodies help. Thank you kindly.--Rick1960 05:15, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Could it be "Hello Heart" by George Jones? Bovlb 06:04, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)
When I only know a few words of a song but not the artist I normally go to Google and type "lyrics [insert words you know]". For instance, "lyrics "All that you touch and all that you see is all your life will ever be" would return numerous hits of Pink Floyd lyrics. Thus, it's probably their song, which in this case, it is. Normally the first 5-6 links all agree on who sang it. If you want to know who wrote it, some of the links might provide that info as well. Dismas 20:22, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How do I burn paper in a small apartment?

Every time I've tried to burn a bunch of old receipts in my apartment, I end up ruining the pot I do it in. Since I'm burning private stuff, I can't just go out to a BBQ grill.

Is there anyway to make a controlled fire inside an apartment on my stove?

Have you considered buying a paper shredder? Unless you're trying to destroy top secret stuff, that should be quite sufficient and a lot less messy. More environmentally friendly too. --W(t) 16:04, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)
  • Well, since you already have one ruined pot, why don't you just use that one over and over? --CVaneg 16:12, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have read the sink is a good place, but I haven't tried it. It should work in a pot, though. Try to burn it in smaller units. And use pots made of stainless steel.--Fenice 16:15, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes, just go out and buy something meant for burning stuff in if you're going to be doing this a lot. I don't trust paper shredders. :) ¦ Reisio 16:22, 2005 Jun 21 (UTC)
If you have a stove, you can brown or blacken your receipts over the stove. Hold the pieces of paper over the heating element, preferably with tongs so you avoid burning yourself. Once they are sufficiently darkened, get a plastic container and rub the burnt papers between your palms so that the paper crumbs will fall into the box. Make sure the crumbs are quite small. Mix with some water and a small bit of detergent - then flush down the drain. A bit more messy, but saves having to start a bonfire in your kitchen. You want to limit the fumes from paper to be stuck in your apartment, especially if you are burning chemically treated papers, like photographs and laminated cards. --HappyCamper 17:00, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Of course, you need not answer this, but Happy Camper - how is it that you are such an expert on this matter??? curious, Mothperson 01:24, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not an expert - just a Wikipedian :-) --HappyCamper 18:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How about acid? Palm probss 02:26, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Acid would just wet the paper. Well I suppose thast concentrated Sulfuric acid would dehydrate it, but who would want to use that stuff? Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 15:41, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
A chemist with an aptitude for teaching might. You'd need a catalyst to impress students though :-) --HappyCamper 18:49, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You could just eat the stupid things, come on, who hasn't eaten paper? Well, I guess I'm alone there. 03:24, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Have you ever heard of papier-mâché? Buy yourself a paper shredder and a powerful food processor or a blender and a sculpture How-To book, you'll become the top artist of your town in six months. (Unless there's another guy who has more secrets than you.) -- Toytoy 06:00, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
If it's just one or two receipts at a time why not just flush them down the toilet? Dismas 18:04, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Better yet, start to burn them, and when they begin to be unholdable, simply drop in the toilet and flush right away. The bowl doesn't get burned because of the water, excess smoke is elliminated (water again), and what isn't illegible as a result of the fire will simply be mush in a vat of waste in the unlikely event it ever makes it out in one piece. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson, Shazaam!
There are shredders for sale at commercial office supply stores which are listed as "DOD Certified", in that they are up to the standards of the Department of Defense for confidential material (they had one at an office I once worked in because they sometimes did some contract work with DOD which was "classified"). If it is good enough for national secrets, it should be good enough for you, yes? --Fastfission 02:32, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Please, do not burn your apartment down trying to burn the records of your drug deals. I agree with the above comment.
--Phroziac (talk) 03:57, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Copyright: Mugs shots and other images created by the Texas state government

Such as this one of Ángel "The Railroad Killer" Reséndiz, for example. Any idea what their copyright status is? Shem(talk) 02:21, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Could you link to the page you got the image from? ¦ Reisio 02:26, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
Surely. This page [31], courtesy this page [32]. Shem(talk) 02:34, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Only publications of the US federal government and the State of California are public domain (or even otherwise "free"). -- Cyrius| 02:50, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Any exceptions where strictly mug shots are concerned, that you know of? Shem(talk) 02:57, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
None that I know of. The combination of copyright issues with public records makes my skin crawl at the thought of lawyers. -- Cyrius| 06:35, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, ugh. Ah well. Shem(talk) 08:46, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
They Are Amongst Us. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:15, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Whoa, creepy! Let's beat him up, ALoan! :p ¦ Reisio 15:13, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
State of California but not necessarily agencies of the state (i.e. the University of California has its own, completely different IP policy). I am sure though that mug shots, of all things, would fit under fair use without difficulty. --Fastfission 02:06, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
For articles about the person in the mug shot, definitely. For articles about mug shots, hair do's, facial types, probably not. --W(t) 02:12, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)

Even More Unident photos

You guys must be getting sick of me, but anyway:

An Unident Moth/butterfly
Unident spider (he lives inside a leaf

Thanks for your kind help --Fir0002 09:05, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

The spider looks like some version of the family Araneidae. The article Orb-weaver spider mentions an Australian member of the family that doesn't spin a web. (Third paragraph.) The body type and coloration is similar to Araneus marmoreus, but that particluar example is from Ohio (US). I'm no arachnologist, but that would be my guess. (Frankly, they give me the creepy-crawlies.) -- Essjay · Talk 10:17, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
From [33]: "Phonognatha graeffei, leaf-curling or leaf-rolling spider, builds an orb web with a curled leaf retreat or sometimes a snail shell in the upper part of the web." Go to the very bottom of the page, and there are several pictures of very similar looking spiders. Could this be it? -- Essjay · Talk 10:31, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
Yes in my opinion you've got it! Congrats (there's another one for you guys to figure out ;-)) on figuring it out!--Fir0002 00:13, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I've been wondering all along, what is Unident anyway? And that thing certainly is a mothy looking butterfly. Except the antennae are signature butterfly ones and you see it during the day, which according to Difference between a butterfly and a moth is another butterfly characteristic. That's all I've got for you without seeing it opened to see the wing markings. Well, that in addition to the fact I only know North American insects for the most part. - Taxman Talk 18:09, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

The butterfly might be a large skipper. Of course I've yet to be right on any of these things, so take my guess with a very large grain of salt.--CVaneg 00:13, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That looks pretty close to me, thanks cvaneg! --Fir0002 00:13, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Standard for Purity of Gold

In India at present the purity of gold is being mentioned as "91.6 KDM". I would like to know what exactly these words mean.

Thanks Srinivas

  • "KDM: Gold Jewelry from some places is / was marked with a KDM stamp which means that the Jewelry was soldered with Cadmium. Cadmium called 'Kadium' in some places and marked KDM was traditionally used in soldering of gold jewelry for its good properties of liquidity and melting at lower temperatures, which is not the case any more as Cadmium is known to create toxic fumes when melted, which are very dangerous to health, and may be harmful to humans, some countries have banned the use of Cadmium from use, from workshops. Jewelers in many parts of the world now use gold solders, now which are free from Cadmium." I'm assuming the number in front is the percentage of cadmium, but that's a guess. (source) - Mgm|(talk) 11:06, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • Actually, I would imagine the gold is 91.6% pure (916/1000), that is almost 22 carat gold. The only other alternative would be that the Cadmium was assayed at 91.6/1000. --Gareth Hughes 11:38, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia n career

Is there any way that being on Wikipedia can help in a career? Has anyone put down their Wikipedia sysophood or bureaucracy down on a CV? Would jobs be interested if I held a position of power in the Wikimedia ladder? Could you say that this counts as charity work or volunteering? And would the employer care? --Wonderfool t(c)e) 12:33, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I put it on my CV as an interest. It's certainly how I spend of lot of my leisure time. I think it shows that I'm literate, and want to improve both myself and the world. Bovlb 13:35, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
By the way, I don't list my user name, and I've never been asked for it. Bovlb 14:54, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
In my job, for promotions we prepare long documents describing all aspects of our scholarly activity. In addition to research and writing of peer reviewed journal articles, this can include things that involve communicating science to non-specialists, such as writing popular press articles, or programs to interest kids in science. I considered including a mention of my Wikipedia activity, but decided against it. One reason was that I often contribute to articles on subjects that might make my employer uncomfortable (comic books, for example). I wouldn't enjoy this as much if I had to stick only to work related topics.
As to your other question, I personally consider it valuable volunteer work, but I've never spoken about it that way. I'm not interested in getting into an argument on the subject with someone who doesn't 'get' Wikipedia. ike9898 14:04, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
I too have avoided mentioning my Wikipedia activities in my career. As a tenured professor, I enjoy a great deal of freedom in what I can and can't do without recourse, but frankly, I don't want any mistakes here to catch up with me professionally. Further, I don't know how well my university, and my department particularly, would take to me offering up my expertise for free. (Not to mention my publishers!) But, I think if you "don't have anything to worry about" then you should mention it; it may give you credibility as a writer (particularly if you contribute to scholarly subjects) that you couldn't get elsewhere. -- Essjay · Talk 14:12, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
That's true. If you're online and use a screenname, you can be bad or you can be extremely helpful. If you disclose your true identity, people might expect you to act the way you do things online. That could mean trouble. -- Toytoy 15:42, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd say it depends on what position you are applying for. Sysop-hood includes only few privileges here and if you try to sell that off as an important position a personnel officer who knows wikipedia might even think you're exaggerating. If he or she doesn't, it might impress them. In general: of course Wikipedia is important volunteer work. You should put in on your CV. To most jobs it'll be more relevant than collecting stamps or ballet-dancing in your spare time. In any case, you should instrumentalize your user page for self-marketing and prepare it so as to reflect you're the perfect person for the job (and to reflect that the job is perfect for you). It is very unlikely that he or she will check every single contribution. Probably he or she will not know anything at all about wikipedia and you might have to provide the URL of your user page if they ask. Summarize your contributions on your user-page and post praise/barnstars from other users.--Fenice 16:58, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
In the interview you can also stress how much you have learned on wikipedia in terms of interpersonal skills. Dealing with edit wars etc. and still being productive as a team is quite demanding and for most jobs interpersonal skills are part of the job profile nowadays.--Fenice 17:09, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
CV? This some sort of resume'? Dismas 18:16, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Curriculum vitae - British English (well, Latin) for résumé. -- ALoan (Talk) 18:51, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Cool, thanks! Dismas 05:19, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not sure I'd ever want to put it on my resume, but I certainly have mentioned it in interviews. -- Jmabel | Talk June 30, 2005 06:23 (UTC)

Desktop publishing

I'm looking for a destop publisher that can be used by a group of six, or so, people to produce a community magazine. As it's a community venture, we are not interested in paying a lot of money for software licences. However, it has to be easy to use (some are not too confident), and preferably able to run on different systems (Linux, Mac OS and MS Win). I know it's asking a lot, and I don't expect that there is a piece of software that is perfect for us, but is there anything that comes close? --Gareth Hughes 12:37, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

For a relatively simple publication, you might consider Open Office. The word processor component, while nowhere near as powerful as, say, Adobe Pagemaker, is very flexible and would probably meet the needs of a community magazine. (I've used it for similar projects myself.) It is free (open source) and works with Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD. amysayrawr 13:28, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Amy. I use OO-Writer as my main wordprocessor, but I've never used it to deal with layouts, maybe I should have a play with it. Do you have any thoughts about which version to use? The beta version uses OpenDocument file formats. --Gareth Hughes 15:33, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Scribus is reputably a good desktop publishing and layout program with extremely good PDF support. It runs on Linux, but I don't think there's a Win32 port yet. If your magazine is technical in nature, you might find LaTeX appropriate, with LyX being a pretty good GUI front-end. -- Wapcaplet 02:03, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I was just about to suggest Scribus, and saw Wapcaplet's comment when I hit the edit button. I believe it runs on Mac OS X as well as Linux. Our article links to a site on how to run it under Windows, which appears to require compiling it under Cygwin.-gadfium 02:16, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Scribus is my favourite for this kind of thing. However, most of my colleagues are still locked in by Windows, and that makes Scribus and LyX both either very difficult or impossible. I think we shall try Amy's solution, OO-Writer, mainly because of its cross-platform support. Gareth Hughes 22:34, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hans Zwie(i)d(e)neck von Sudenhorst

Anybody know the correct name of this german fellow Hans Zwieidneck von Sudenhorst and Hans Zwiedeneck von Sudenhorst. He needs merging in one von Sudenhorst but I don't know if one is a spelling error or merely the vagaries of german translation. Google doesn't help as it is a hall of mirrors. MeltBanana 13:57, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I don't think "iei" is a common combination in German. DJ Clayworth 14:13, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Library of Congress has him as "Zwiedineck-Südenhorst, Hans von, 1845-1906", if that's any help. Shimgray 14:23, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
1911 mirrors have him as both Hans Zwiedeneck von Sudenhorst and as Hans Zwiedineck von Sudenhorst (see [34]). Confusingly, he also seems to appear as Hans von Zwiedeneck-Sudenhorst (see the end of [35]. Hans Zwieidneck von Sudenhorst is, however, almost certainly wrong. --OpenToppedBus - Talk 14:31, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
I've checked on de.wikipedia - they don't have Hans, but they do have an entry for "Otto von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst" Shimgray 14:44, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for info I merged into Hans von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst and hung the consequenses. MeltBanana 21:09, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Origin of the phrase "bleed or bled like stink"

I have worked in a hospital operating room for 25 years and have heard this phrase used to describe hemorrhage, but no one has ever been able to explain the origin of the phrase. Any input would be appreciated.

Thank you, marija

I wouldn't be surprised if it, like many other phrases, was the work of the noble anonymous phraseologist (and the masses of unoriginal pukes that must've been around to hear it and propagate it [or merely the masses that knew a good phrase when they heard it]). The meaning seems simple enough: bleeding that spreads out a lot, like a terrible stink. Maybe related to "blow like stink". I'm not a medicine-related-literature buff, though; perhaps there is some interesting text out there that this came from. 2¢ ¦ Reisio 18:03, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
According to the OED, "like stink" is a pretty generic modifier meaning 'intensely' or 'furiously' ie: If I see a spider, I'm gonna run like stink. It has nothing really to do with odour, my guess is that "stink" is just substituted for to censor hell (as an expletive)as in changing mad as hell to mad as stink. Robojames 20:58, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

did birds evolve from dinosaurs?

Probably. adamsan 20:59, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Comment: Clicking on the word "probably" will take you to the relevant section in Wikipedia. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 23:10, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Vivaldi File

I'm looking for an online MIDI or WAV version of Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos in G. I found one at [36], but it downloads the music to your computer, so the file has no real URL (unlike [37]). The reason I want the file to be locatable by URL is that that way I'll be able to set it as the background music on my Xanga Weblog. Could anyone try to procure a rendition satisfying my criteria? Thanks in advance, anon.

I don't know if this helps, but Barnes and Nobles offers clips (first 1 minute or 30 sec) or each track on select CDs. Check out these two CDs, which both offer audio clips: Vivaldi's Cello and Vivaldi:Cello Concerti, Vol. 2. In addition, you should also try Naxos music library- it offers thousands of classical songs from CDs online for a small fee- however, you cannot save them to your computer (I've tried it already...). Hope this helps. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 21:56, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
MIDI files are tiny - you can surely just upload one to your blog's webspace. ¦ Reisio 22:06, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
It's also much better form to host the file yourself, rather than linking to someone else's site. --CVaneg 22:35, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Victor Khristenko's addess

To Whom It May Concern: What is the fax number and addess for the Prime Minister of Russia Victor Khristenko (Unsigned question posted to Wikipedia:Help desk by User:

Seems hard information to come by. I imagine it shouldn't be too hard, however, to get it from a consulate.
The relevant information according to the CIA World Factbook:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Viktorovich USHAKOV
  • chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
  • telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708
  • FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735
  • consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
Diplomatic representation from the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
  • embassy: Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow
  • mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721
  • telephone: [7] (095) 728-5000
  • FAX: [7] (095) 728-5090
  • consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
If nobody posts the exact info, one of those institutions I think should get you the information desired.
Also just FYI, it seems Viktor Khristenko has been replaced already by Mikhail Fradkov as Prime Minister. ¦ Reisio 01:56, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)

How to find to old and new questions?

It looks as if 'over and undetermined' (presently question 3) is soon to disappear. Where will it go? I am looking to find a worthwhile discussion in Wikipedia on the search for meaning and truth in discussion between scientists and non-scientists. Can anyone help? Jeffrey Newman 05:37, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

At the top of this page, there is a link to the Reference Desk archive. ¦ Reisio 05:42, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
Generally speaking, though, far fewer people watch the archives (probably just the editor who created it). You'd be better off coming up with another question relevant to the subject you're interested in and posting it here. Alternatively, you cam try to get people to come to your talk page to discuss things there--CVaneg 17:47, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Harry Potter's influence on the popularity of magic

Does anyone know whether the popularity of Harry Potter had an effect on the sales of magic kits and the general interest in this performance art by people like David Copperfield, David Blaine and all the others? (I'm not about interest in paranormal events) - Mgm|(talk) 16:02, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

I'd say not, as far as merchandising goes that is. I certainly haven't seen any professional magic kits of Houdini and Paul Daniels and whatnot like you could find everywhere in the '90s, but I've seen a crapload more "real" magic stuff.
Harry Potter is making "real" magic cool and all, and it emphasises that modern witches etc. have "real" powers, thus making it more appealing, whereas everyone knows professional magic is merely an illusion, so it doesn't have the allure of the supernatural realm that seems to have grasped modern society by the gonads as of late.
OK, so David Copperfiled claimed he really walked through the Great Wall of China, but that's a matter for another day, right? Just like how they only claim professional wrestling is rigged, right? :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 21:05, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Which boiling point is correct?

A lot of different sites give different numbers on the boiling points of various elements, particularly Rhenium and Tungsten. I was trying to figure out which element had the highest boiling point, and found that sites disagree as to whether it's rhenium or tungsten. This site gives Re's as 5627 and W's as 5660 Kelvin. Wikipedia currently has Re at 5869 and W at 5828 Kelvin. has Re at 5900.15 °K, W at 5933.15 °K. So who do we believe? There's a disagreement that ranges almost three hundred degrees Kelvin here. Mr. Billion 23:15, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC) (Question also posted on Talk:Boiling point)

Tungsten is the element with the highest melting point. Rhenium comes in second. Regardless, I have a feeling that the discrepancy between the Lenntech and Chemicalelements websites has to do with units. The temperature difference is exactly 273.15 K - In order to convert degrees Celsius to Kelvins you need to add 273.15. (The word degree should not be used with Kelvin. For example, water boils at 273.15 Kelvins not "degrees Kelvin).
I have not verified this, but I think the values in Wikipedia should be considered incorrect if the conditions for that result are not stated. I'll consult the CRC handbook to verify and get back to you on this here.
You might be interested to know that tungsten metal will snap if it is repeatedly heated and cooled, whereas rhenium will not. That's why rhenium is used in lots of airplane engine parts. --HappyCamper 23:37, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...I learned something new today! Apparently, rhenium has the higher boiling point! This is quite a surprise to me, but according to the CRC Press, 85th edition page 12-220 "Thermal and Physical Properties of Pure Metals" rhenium has a boiling point of 5596 °C = 5869.15 K, while tungsten has a boiling point of 5555 °C = 5828.15 K --> these correspond to the values given by Wikipedia, so the ones on Wikipedia are substantiated. The temperatures are marked as "...normal boiling [points] at a pressure of 101.325 kPa..."
The references listed by the CRC press for their values is a little bit ambiguous, and it suggests that the original source of information is either from Dinsdale, A. T., CALPHAD, 15, 317, 1991 or, from Physical Encyclopedic Dictionary, Vol. 1–5, Encyclopedy Publishing House, Moscow, 1960–66. Hope this helps! --HappyCamper 00:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

An integral equation

Could some kind Wikipedian solve this equation for x or l in terms of the other variable? It comes about from the talk page on Heim theory, and I'm hoping to graph the result of this equation and place it in the article. C of course is an arbitrary constant, and can be on any side of the equation without loss of generality. Thanks in advance!

--HappyCamper 00:18, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not me. For sure. Yeah. Just a wikipedian. Mothperson 01:24, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Both sides integrate cleanly in terms of square roots and logs, so it would just be some algebra after that, which I haven't figured out how to get Maxima to hand me and I am lazy at the moment. I think that actually means there may not be a closed form solution in terms of x, but that wouldn't stop you from being able to graph it. I'll try to figure out the tex to lay out the solutions if someone doesn't beat me to it, but you could just type it all into any computer algebra system and get your solution. Tell me you have maple or mathematica avaialable? Actually my internet connection finked out before I could post any response, and I can't install any software on this computer. Maxima is open source so you can get it here and get the solutions pretty easily, and also wx maxima here which adds a better GUI I think, but I haven't tried that. - Taxman Talk 03:55, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

If you could find the solutions that would be great, as I haven't been able to do it. I don't have Maple or Mathematica...I have Mathcad and Matlab, but I don't know how to use them. --HappyCamper 15:53, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I apologize, but I don't have time to do more. Here is the maxima session showing the solutions to the integrals. I would recommend just downloading and running it.

I can't get it to format right, so I hope the text stays formatted in the edit window. Hope that's a start at least. - Taxman Talk 03:46, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, this is a great help! --HappyCamper 19:02, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Proper posture, and ergonomics

Does Wikipedia have articles which cover good posture, seating habits, and ways to set up a computer terminal so that it's ergonomic? Where can I find these articles? --HappyCamper 00:56, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Articles like that would be how-tos, which are more appropriate on Wikibooks. A module on ergonomics in working with computers would do well there. JRM · Talk 07:57, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)

Birthdate of Adam

What date would you give for the birth of Adam, the first human? What about the birthdate of Eve?

Thank you,

Lori Harasta

Obviously you have to make certain assumptions here, but try 28 October 4004 BC according to Ussher calendar. DJ Clayworth 13:48, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You may want to look at Y-chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve. Note however that human population was never, ever, 2 but rather these are the patrilineal and matrilineal respectively shared ancestors of us all. They also lived a long time apart. Dunc| 17:11, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Neither were ever "born", they were both "created" (him out of dust, her out of his rib). So "birth" isn't quite the right word, I don't think. They were manufactured. --Fastfission 02:33, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I believe a "day" as referenced in Genesis, is 1,000 earthling years.--Phroziac (talk) 03:56, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Are you sure its not 1089 years? Consider the possibilities of base 33... -- Jmabel | Talk June 30, 2005 06:17 (UTC)

It's a non-question; both are fictional characters jamesgibbon 29 June 2005 17:57 (UTC)

In your opinion. --Fir0002 June 30, 2005 06:37 (UTC)
Um, OK, "in our opinion", Adam, Eve, Bilbo, Gandalf and Harry Potter are fictional characters. Getting back to the question, yes, it is difficult to be sure of the birth date of such characters since the books they appear in are somewhat vague on the matter. — Chameleon 1 July 2005 09:07 (UTC)

help identifying relatives of Juana D'Armagnac

(cross-posted from Wikipedia:Village pump (assistance)#identifying someone)

I have heard. or read, that Juana D'Armagnac, Princess of Aragon, who married Matthieu de Foix did not, after all, die childless but that there was a son, nicknamed "Juan Franchos", who left for Scandinavia and produced two daughters there.

Is there any verifiation of this highly romantic event?

It is highly conceivable that an heir from the first marriage for political reasons may have been hidden, or other-wise disposed of, in favor of expected heirs from the second marriage with Violant de Bar.

The only information on this that I have found has come fom Finn Asbjorn Wang of Norway but I have lost contact with this source.

  • With all due respect, this sounds rather alike various claims of false pretenders, in the lines of Alexis Brimeyer and Eugenio Lascorz. I'd treat those claims with a pinch of salt - Skysmith 30 June 2005 10:35 (UTC)

Brach's Rocks dino

The commercials for Brach's Rocks candy featured a dinosaur character who ate these pieces of mineral candy. I can't remember whether his name was Rocky B or Rocky D. Does anybody know the name? Wiwaxia 04:26, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Since no-one's replied I might as well! I have no knowledge of this product, but logic tells me it would be B, the B being sourced from the company name and thus Rocky B = Brach's Rocks connects and reaffirms the brand in the subconscious. Of course D could stand for Dino, but companies are more likely to choose letters based off their names. I can't think of any examples offhand, but it's a fairly common thing, basing character initials off the company name. Master Thief GarrettTalk 14:59, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Where did Cane's wife come from?

After Cane killed Abel and left his home with Adam and Eve, he went to "the land of Nod," where he met the woman he would marry. Where did she come from?

Iirc, Adam and Eve lived many hundreds of years and had ridiculous amounts of children. She came from Adam and Eve one way or another; that's sort of the entire point of Adam & Eve. ¦ Reisio 20:37, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
The Bible isn't a literal-factual and exhaustative historical account.--Fangz 07:44, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I can think of some Christian fundamentalists who would disagree with you. --CVaneg 17:50, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There is hardly a single established fact that some group won't disagree with somehow. jamesgibbon 29 June 2005 18:01 (UTC)

Dunno, but he's spelled Cain. - Mustafaa 18:06, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If you're going to be picky, you may as well say קין, not Cain. ¦ Reisio 18:59, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)

The question has no definite answer -- different sects of the Abrahamic religions have different answers, and the question has often been used to attack literal interpretations of the Bible's story of Creation. If you do a Google search for "Cain's wife" you'll see there are around 40,000 pages devoted to this question alone. One approach (I believe generally out of favor today) is the "multiple creations" interpretation -- God made Adam and Eve first, but may have also made other people later in different places. Another (I believe the more common one) is that Adam and Eve had a slew of children after Cain and Able who, by the time Cain and Able duked it out, had already created their own civilization somewhere else (in which case, Cain married either a sister or a niece!). But the Book itself doesn't give a very straightforward answer -- it takes a good deal of interpretation no matter what approach one does. --Fastfission 01:49, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The same problem comes when you think of the story that God had to mark Cain so that he would not be killed by those he encountered. If he and Abel were Adam and Eve's first children, who else would there be to kill him, his siblings? There are many other apparent difficulties with the bible, and it took me a long time to find our coverage of that, because it isn't even covered in the bible article itself, just as a see also. It's in the article Alleged inconsistencies in the Bible. Biblical inerrancy covers the belief in general, but not how the inconsistencies are resolved. Resolving them is the work of Apologetics, but our article on that doesn't cover much biblical apologetics. - Taxman Talk 15:32, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

Just because Adam and Eve are the only people mentioned in the Bible as having been created from nothing, does not mean that God did not create other people in a similar fashion. The woman Cain married was not necessarily a child of Adam and Eve. The whole question of attributing genealogies to Adam and Eve is absurd anyway, so any contributions to this debate, including mine, are mindless hypothesising that can never ber proven. JackofOz 1 July 2005 03:09 (UTC)

(Celtic Mythology) Is Brionac the correct name for Lugh's weapon?


I'm doing research in Celtic mythology and I've come across a Japanese web page that describes the Brionac as a 5 bladed lance or spear that Lugh used to defeat Balor.

Unfortunately I can't find any English pages to confirm this. If anything it appears that there are quite a few variations to this myth, and none of them include any entries on Brionac.

Can anyone give me a hand and explain whether this information is true, and if not, what exactly Brionac is?


Celtic Mythology newbie

Surprisingly, the answer was easier than I thought it would be! A quick Google Images search for Brionac nets me this weapon from Ragnarok Online. Obviously it's a fancy-pants technical name for a trident of sorts, rather than him naming his personal version of it. This also explains why (almost) no versions give this name, as the majority of readers would have no idea what the heck it is. Gee, that was easy, wasn't it?
Oh and as for the difficulty imagining a trident having five blades arrayed in a forward position but still being an effective melee weapon, it may in fact have looked like a bit like one of these. :)
I'll have to go research this thing some more now, it's fascinating. Anyway, hope that helps you! Master Thief GarrettTalk 00:27, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
UPDATE: conversely, it may be that Ragnarok Online drew the name in turn from the myth, much as many fantasy games have generic "Excalibur" weapons in them. But, anyway, that's the best that can really be done without crawling through hundreds of crufty RO pages looking for the good stuff. But that still doesn't explain why few versions of the tale recount the name. It's one thing to lose details in variants, but I'd think a weapon's given name would be a very important detail. Master Thief GarrettTalk 00:49, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Master Thief Garrett - a thousand thanks! Feeling much better knowing that there is material to back up the name/spelling. I am hoping that Ragnarok Online did proper research when they came up with this item name. I've seen too many bad J-to-E translations in video games (ala Lost in Translation).
Ok, here's a curveball--I don't suppose you can help steer me in the right direction for the proper pronunciation of Brionac?
BTW you really ought to pick up Japanese if you can. Among other benefits you'll get a kick out of watching anime/video games/movies that have been butchered by the cheap Chinese localization houses.
I'm assuming it's research of some form as it matches the description, and also the item's writeup is "A spear that radiates holy light in all directions" which is essentially what Translator English spews out for some of the Brionac pages. Also there's [another Brionac] in Phantasy Star Online. OK so it describes it as a sword, but it looks like a spear... and it even appears, different appearance again, in some random fanart of goodness knows what origin.
Pronounciation-wise... no idea. The fact that it only appears in Japanese sources leads me to think it's got some sort of Japanese origin, and yet neither bri nor ac can be turned back into Japanese. But it could be the Japanese person was just translating from scratch from the original and so didn't rationalise the meaning of this word the way the English translators did.
You could try posting in a Wikipedia:Wikipedians regional hub page (not sure which one(s) it fits into) and see if anyone there can give a rough guess of what the pronounciation ought to be. Alternately, you could ask somewhere on Wiktionary. Regardless, it's so obscure I doubt your take on it will be challenged. :)
Yes, I'm definitely considering picking up Japanese at some point. I can already recognise all of the characters (due to various translation efforts I've made) but I still don't have any real idea what they mean! I was hoping to tidy up my Latin and start on Greek first, but I'll probably do whichever I can fit in. In the meantime, splendid translations like Cats' All your base are belong to us and Samurai Shodown's "because he lived a bloody life" will have to suffice... and remember boys and girls, "Finger Lickin' Good!" retranslates as "Eat Your Fingers Off!" :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 04:17, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

O. Henry Story

What is title of the (probably O. Henry) story that features a marshall handcuffed to a prisoner who pretends to be the prisoner? Superm401 | Talk 01:30, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

How about Hearts and Hands? [38] alteripse 17:33, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thank you so much. The people on this site are great. I've been wanting to reread that forever! Superm401 | Talk June 30, 2005 01:57 (UTC)


Does anyone know anything about 'Maloika'? As I understand it, it is a sort of magical curse. I have heard about this tradition from Italian-Americans from south Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There is also something involving a gold necklace with a pendant shapded like an animal's horn. Google turned up a very little information on this subject.

Do you mean malocchia? That's Italian for the Evil eye. -- Arwel 16:24, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Or majolica - a form of earthenware pottery. Perhaps not. -- ALoan (Talk) 16:52, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Jennifer Lopez seems to believe in "maloika". [39] Note that this has every appearance of a rush transcript; the spelling is all over the place. Bovlb 16:55, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)

I know the pendant you are talking about. I'm not native to the area and associated it more with the good folks from Joisey rather than South Philly, but it's probably both and I suspect Arwel is correct about "malocchia." I will ask next time I see one, and let you know if I get a good answer. alteripse 14:04, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Re: Joisey/Evil eye: like many fine things Italian-American, it's mentioned in The Sopranos (by the late - and extremely great - "Pussy" Bonpensiero).
Paraphrasing (and probably misremembering badly): "I swear to God, someone put the malocchia on me."
Circa (IIRC) Season 2 episode 1...
chocolateboy 01:44, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How to separate a plant tissue organelles?

Please answer this question in detail...

You are given a plant tissue. Design an experiment to seperate the organelles. How to observe the structure of the organelles separated from your experiment. Your answer must include:

  • intoduction
  • materials and method
  • results and discussion
  • conclussion
  • reference

nettNettidlani 04:52, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Sounds a lot like a homework question. I'm afraid you're going to have to do some of the work yourself. To seperate organelles from the rest of the tissue, you need to destroy the cells plasma membrane. You may be interested in using detergents or sonification. - Mgm|(talk) 07:25, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)
    • IIRC, you can get the chloroplasts out via centrifuge. You may be able to extract other organelles as well by using different solutions and durations in the centrifuge. It's been awhile since I had bio labs, so please correct me if I'm wrong. = ) Jeeves 09:14, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • I could be wrong, obviously, but considering the question is being asked at all, my guess is that it doesn't require all that specific of an answer. It may just be a typical waste-of-time homework assignment where you just have to prove you know what is INSIDE a cell and then specify what you would have to separate/remove to get just the organelles. ¦ Reisio 14:55, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
        • That's right- you can use a centrifuge to separate cell organelles. After adding a solution that will create a hypertonic solution to the cell, the solution will flood the cell and burst it. Afterwards, you can centrifuge it. THere will be two parts- the supernatant and the pellet. Heavy organelles (such as the nucleus) are usually at the solid pellet, and the cytoplasm (cytosol) and other lighter organelles will be in the supernatant. There are many different chemicals and solutions (can't remember them) used to do this. Also, if you want to separate chloroplasts from a plant cell, a rough (and easy) way of doing it is to use a quarter to grind a leaf. Not the most scientific way, but... I hope I'm correct in all this information. Hope this helps! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 22:05, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I found the question rather hilarious, thanks to the "answer must include", part. ;-) -- Natalinasmpf 28 June 2005 19:11 (UTC)

Unidentified trax

I have some mp3/ogg files representing (probably) tracks from various CDs. I know the artist, but have no idea as to the album or track name. Is there any way I can systematically identify them? It occurs to me that some kind of hash or checksum would probably be a good way to determine whether the ogg file I have is the same as the ogg file someone else has. It also occurs to me that my radical ideas about mp3 identification have already occurred to others. Is there a database of these things? If not, it also occurs to me that some kind of fuzzy match on the audio data might narrow it down. Ideas? (P.S. there are no lyrics!') Jeeves 09:13, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Are they ripped with ID3 tags? For example if you open it in your favourite media player can you open a "track info" window of some sort to see the album name etc.? If not, I really don't know. There's no way to tell from an ogg hash as each user's selected ripping quality or even differing version of the encoder used to create them would result in a significantly different file.
Since you know the artist's name, find a fansite or something. Cut up a short and crappy sample of the tune and upload it somewhere (you could try MegaWorm) and let the others download it, and they're bound to know what it is.
Alternately, go to your local library and borrow a CD or two (if they keep them at the checkout) or just listen to all of them with a portable CD player (if they're actually in the cases). Ideally bring along an iPod or a burned CD or something so you can compare the tracks to the rips you've got.
Another option, but a long shot, is to try is the Audioscrobbler plugin. It indexes tracks, and (I assume) can research them based on some method or other, perhaps relying on an ID3 tag or similar encoded in the file (I'm not very good with these things). If the file has tags intact, that would also work.
Hope that helps! Master Thief GarrettTalk 14:10, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The same things occurred to me a while back, in pretty much the same order. The MusicBrainz Tagger looks like it's just what you may be looking for; unfortunately, it's Windows-only, so I have not tried it yet. -- Wapcaplet 15:15, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Edit: On closer inspection, it looks like a lot of applications can interact with MusicBrainz. Some support lookup only, but others also allow submitting your own song fingerprints back to MusicBrainz. Pretty cool! -- Wapcaplet 15:28, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
In the UK there's a nifty mobile phone service called Shazam that identifies songs easily. Dmn / Դմն 29 June 2005 00:00 (UTC)
Shazam and Musicphone introduced it last year in the US, too, but they only did press releases for ATT Wireless, which has since been sold to Cingular, and I don't know if they carried the service over. kmccoy (talk) 29 June 2005 05:22 (UTC)

pKa of asparagine side chain

I would like to know the pKa (Acid dissociation constant) of the side chain amide group of asparagine. None of the sources on the internet mention it exactly - probably because the amide is a very, very weak base which doesn't accept a proton in physiological pH. One source said it is around 17. --EnSamulili 10:00, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

And while we're at it, what about glutamine? --EnSamulili 10:06, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The pKa of asparagine is 8.72, and that of glutamine is 9.13. These are much more reasonable values than 17. The reference is Dawson, R.M.C., Elliot, W.H. and Jones, K.M., Data for Biochemical Research (3rd ed.), pp. 1-31, Oxford Science Publications (1986). --HappyCamper 15:37, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Those are the pKa's of the amine group, not the amide side chain. --EnSamulili 15:45, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah, yes, my mistake. In that case, I don't know. All the standard tables and references I use don't indicate a pKa for for glutamine or asparagine. --HappyCamper 21:22, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
In proteins, pKa values of ionizable side chains differ from those of the free amino acids due to microenvironments within 3-D structure of proteins. (source) I guess it differs depending on the environment. - Mgm|(talk) 16:23, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. To be more specific, I'm interested in free asparagine (and glutamine). --EnSamulili 17:12, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
May I ask what you might use these two pKa values for? The highest pKa value I have listed for a side chain is for arginine (for the guanidino group). Would it be possible that at higher pH environments, asparagine and glutamine would break down? --HappyCamper 21:22, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's for no special use, just to have them here on the Wikipedia :) Yes, the thought that they might break down has occured to me - like peptide bonds break in boiling alkaline solutions, so might arginine and glutamine. I suppose it might still be possible to find out those values. --EnSamulili 10:20, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yep, I suspect so too, although probably in specialist organic chemistry texts. I might try talking to a few biochemists and see what they might have to say about it. --HappyCamper 19:05, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

American passports

I was doing some research about two former chiefs of the passport office, Ruth B. Shipley and Frances Knight, and was to surprised to read in them of American passports having green covers and red covers. When did American passports take the current blue color? When were they red and green? PedanticallySpeaking 14:01, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

There's a site with pictures of passports, and you'll find USA near the bottom of this page. It doesn't detail when the changes occurred, but it does indicate that they were red in 1922 and green in 1966, and blue by 1976. It also shows a brown "official" passport and a "diplomatic" passport which is slightly lighter blue. kmccoy (talk) 05:47, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Villa Ridge, Illinois and John Morton Eshleman

Eshleman, lieutenant governor of California in the teens and namesake of a building at UC Berkeley, was born in Villa Ridge. But my atlas shows two different towns of that name, one in Madison County, Illinois, the other in Alexander County, Illinois. Does anyone know which Eshleman was from? PedanticallySpeaking 14:03, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

Afaik there is only one in Alexander - what atlas are you using and when was it published? ¦ Reisio 15:16, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
The DeLorme Company's Illinois Atlas and Gazeteer. Published in 1990s--don't have it before me, so I can't be more precise. PedanticallySpeaking 15:25, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

No ties in Iran

Why does nobody seem to wear a tie in Iran? Jooler 19:46, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I remember something I heard on a TV documentary or something, saying that the ties were prohibited by the radical Islamic government there. Of course, I may have remembered wrong, though... Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 22:08, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ties are considered a western fasion item, and are depreciated in many conservative islamic communities. It is quite possible that the Iranian govt banned them. Well wisher 16:23, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I recall reading in Akbar Ahmad's Postmodernism and Islam that, in his time at school (presumably in Pakistan) a stupid rumor was circulating that ties actually symbolized the Christian cross, based on their vaguely similar appearance. More realistically, they are quintessentially Western and thus do not fit the regime's preferred symbolism. - Mustafaa 28 June 2005 20:55 (UTC)
Let alone that if you didn't have to wear them, why would you? Especially in warmer climes! 1 July 2005 07:10 (UTC)


Is there an English word for cous-cous? What's the difference between farina and semolina? What is farina? Why is cous-cous so regional (i.e. it's a great idea, why didn't it spread?)? This is all sort of one question. --Mothperson 22:38, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Couscous, Farina & Semolina articles have pretty much all the answers to the "What is" questions. As for regional, I'm not sure what you mean; Apparently it's from roughly Northwestern Africa and I've had it many times here in Florida (didn't have to go to any special grocery store, either). As the Couscous article states, that is not its original name, but what it's called in English (lots of words in English are just bastardizations of foreign words). ¦ Reisio 23:41, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
I don't think I phrased my question well, and maybe there just isn't an answer to the question I didn't manage to ask. Regional - why did it not spread out of North Africa much sooner than the last half of the last century? Never mind. Maybe it's just that angel hair pasta tastes better than cous-cous or something. Why did the chicken cross the road? sorry, Mothperson 00:00, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No need to be sorry. Stick around and probably someone may have some insight. It seems like it would be a very involved answer, though. ¦ Reisio 00:58, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

It did spread out of North Africa much sooner than the last half of the last century - even in medieval times, to West Africa and to Sicily. I suspect it took so long to get to the Anglophone world because Britain had no North African colonies. - Mustafaa 28 June 2005 20:52 (UTC)

West Africa (of course!) and Sicily! That's really interesting. I had no idea about Sicily. Must investigate these. Thank you very much. --Mothperson 2 July 2005 13:40 (UTC)