Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of miscellaneous.

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US state secession

If it's apparently so difficult for Greece (or another country) to exit the eurozone, would such a complication of matters exist similarly for a US state that would entertain secession from the US? Presumably, an independent state would desire a non-US based currency. And moreover, in a non-hypothetical point of order, when Sudan split and other countries form/restructure, why isn't this cause for similar upheaval? DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 00:23, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Because Sudan was already in a state of upheaval. Clarityfiend (talk) 01:08, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Going from the Sudanese pound to the South Sudanese pound is not nearly as much of a drop as would be going from the euro to a new drachma. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Greece leaving the Eurozone represents a single act: Changing of the Euro as a currency for a new currency. Greece still maintains much of its own sovereignty; it still has a military, a working government bureaucracy, a social welfare system, ambassadors, etc. etc. If say, Missouri, decides to withdraw from the U.S., it has to come up with ALL of that stuff on its own, in addition to the currency issue. Take the Greece situation and multiply it by, oh, a billion to arrive at the practical difficulties faces with a U.S. state formally seceding. With a case like South Sudan; you've basically got a region and a people which were marginalized by their former national government (which, on the balance, was on the "margins" anyways). With South Sudan, the people there were already in the basement; they didn't have far "down" to fall by declaring their independence; and given the way that the people there were treated, there is a good arguement that there was a huge upside to independence. The same could not be said for Greece or for a U.S. state, who have a LOT farther to fall if they undertook the same movement. --Jayron32 01:42, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Missouri seceding would be all that difficult:
1) They could probably just go right on using the US dollar. Other nations do, even if they have their own "official" currency.
2) US states have their own working government bureaucracy and social welfare systems, they just get a part of the funding from the Feds. They could just increase their tax rate to cover paying it all on their own.
3) I don't see why it would need a military. Who is going to attack a nation wholly inside the US ?
4) They might want ambassadors, but wouldn't really need them right away.
5) The bigger issues, I'd think, would be how to divide the current US national debt and what becomes of military equipment in the state (especially nuclear weapons). StuRat (talk) 04:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
U.S. States can't succeed secede because it's blatantly unconstitutional (Missouri kinda dabbled in that once before and it didn't turn out so well), and there was a war to prove it. The "secession" from various organizations depends entirely on the covenants that bind them in the first place, or to put it more bluntly, raw power. Britain was quite adamant that the U.S. didn't have the right to sovereignty but yet another war decided that one too. If you want a legal explanation look at the governing convention that creates the organization. If you want a realistic answer, look at power. Shadowjams (talk) 05:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
And if you want clarity, don't write "succeed" where you mean "secede". -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 09:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
"Nothing secedes like success." :-) StuRat (talk) 13:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
WELL EXCUSE MY MISSPELLING. Sheesh. Shadowjams (talk) 07:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
They already have their own army and an air force: Missouri National Guard. As well a a nuke site near Kansas City (Whiteman Air Force Base). (talk) 14:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
A state cannot unilaterally secede, but nothing in the Constitution or Texas v. White (the relevant Supreme Court decision) prevents a mutually-agreed-upon secession. --Carnildo (talk) 03:04, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Not only does the U.S. constitution forbid secession, there is also no way a U.S. state could end up in a predicament similar to that of Greece that would lead to an interest in secession. The crucial differences between euro-zone members and U.S. states are the following: 1) There is some legal precedent for bankruptcy of a U.S. state. Arkansas defaulted on its debt in 1933. The federal government covered its budget for the next couple of years until the state regained fiscal stability. No exit from the dollar or the union was required. 2) This was so because hardly anyone in the United States questions the right of any state to federal support in an emergency. There is a shared national identity and a belief in mutual aid among states, unlike among the nations of Europe. On the other hand, there is also virtually no difference among states in retirement ages, eligibility for benefits, and so on, all of which are meager by European standards. Thus, there is not much room for resentments like those of the Germans over the ability of Greeks to retire at an earlier age. By contrast, for example, Americans really have no right to retire, though some manage to make arrangements for retirement. 3) No exit from the dollar would be required or desired because the openness and integration of the US labor market relieves the pressure for devaluation that exists in southern Europe. If a state's wages are uncompetitive, businesses will relocate to other states, as they can in the EU. However, the big difference is that workers can also relocate to where businesses are hiring or opportunities for self-employment exist. While this is theoretically true within the EU, cultural and linguistic barriers impede the migration of labor, unlike in the US. 4) For all of these reasons, a state in financial trouble would have no interest in secession. Likewise, there would probably be overwhelming support from residents other states for keeping the insolvent state in the union, both for sentimental patriotic reasons and (among the elites) as a result of a hardheaded calculation that the exit of a state from the integrated market of the United States and the likely resulting devaluation of assets in that state would cost more than supporting the state while it undertook fiscal reforms. Marco polo (talk) 16:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
A few things... states may default on debt but they cannot declare bankruptcy. There's been discussion about creating such a procedure but it's fraught with constitutional problems. Second, there are other constitutional issues that make the States different than Greece. They cannot make their own currency, for instance, or impose tariffs or duties, or set immigration policy. Shadowjams (talk) 07:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Where in the Constitution does it say that new states can join, but states can never leave? The Federalists said there was no leaving, but they approved secession of , initially 11 states from the Articles of Confederation, which called for "perpetual union" unlike the strict language of the Constitution. There is an 1869 Supreme Court ruling Texas v. White that says "no secession right",for unilaterally leaving the union, but lots of the Court's rulings like on Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson have been rejected by later courts. And that ruling allowed for the possibility of secession "through consent of the states." Many times in the last century parts of other countries have become independent or have affiliated with other countries, sometimes by military conquest, sometimes by revolution. Have there been cases since 1900 where part of a country seceded, and was there a law against it in the country, or at lease no constitutional provision explicitly allowing it, which I suspect is the case here? Did some of the original 13 colonies have explicit passages in their ratification documents claiming a right to secede? Edison (talk) 03:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Believe it or not, according to the supreme court, the part of the Constitution you seek is the phrase that says "In order to form a more perfect union,"
See Texas v. White for the details. APL (talk) 04:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
There is no express prohibition in the constitution forbidding succession and in fact I've read that some of the first states did reserve some "right" to secede (although I can't find this in any mainstream history books I've been looking through). However today it's fairly well accepted that secession is unconstitutional, although there are those that disagree. Shadowjams (talk) 07:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2011 September 29#Common currency, uncommon debt Nil Einne (talk) 17:09, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Alan Passaro

"In 1985, Passaro was found dead floating in the Anderson Reservoir with $10,000 in his pocket. Foul play was initially suspected but was never confirmed."

There is no way in hell that statement is true. Meredith Hunter's mother managed to get $10,000 out of the Rolling Stones. Her name is Altha May ANDERSON. Obviously if the statement is true then Passaro was murdered by someone who could afford to spend $10,000 on an ironic murder.

Can someone either:
a) Find a RELIABLE source for the statement, or.
b) Remove the statement.--EchetusXe 00:29, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I found this Houston Chronicle article verifying the Anderson Reservoir location, but the only sources I could find for the money were mirrors of Wikipedia, forum posts obviously sourcing from Wikipedia, and one dodgy amateur website. It sounds like someone's idea of a "wouldn't it have been cool if". (talk) 01:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
That entry was posted 2 1/2 years ago,[1] by an IP and without anything resembling a citation. If there's a citation for the murder, it could be used as a citation, and the stuff about the money could be zapped. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Interesting stuff, I guess it was just a coincidence and the $10,000 in his pocket (must have had pretty big pockets) was baloney. Thanks!--EchetusXe 10:41, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Go Train schedule

Is there schedule of the GO train like Toronto-Barrie, Toronto-Niagara Falls, Toronto-Windsor etc? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Does this page help you any? Dismas|(talk) 04:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
You can't get to Windsor on a GO Train, you'd have to take VIA. Adam Bishop (talk) 07:32, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


Is it a good idea to make your own series? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 15 November 2011 (UTC) ~Tailsman67~

How could you possibly expect an answer to such a vague question? Sergecross73 msg me 15:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
....perhaps with an equally vague answer? But you must admit, the OP was bold in asking it. --Ouro (blah blah) 15:18, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Still need an answer.~Tailsman67~
No. Staecker (talk) 15:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
NO!?~Tailsman67~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
OK then, yes. Staecker (talk) 02:31, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I say yes. If it gets your creative juices flowing, or if it gives you something to do when you're bored, then do it. Just have a realistic mindset about where it's going to go (probably nowhere, in terms of being picked up or published) before you set off. --McDoobAU93 16:07, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

What sort of series? TV series? Anime? Graphic novel? Series of books? Video game series? World Series? Series of resistors? Ceres goddess of harvests? --Colapeninsula (talk) 16:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd say it's a good idea to read the guidelines at the top of the page regarding posting a question, and to read any warnings one might have received on one's talk page about potential blocks. But those are opinions and we don't do those here. --LarryMac | Talk 16:18, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks McDoob I already have a plan and a name.@ Colap:TV series, Anime, Graphic novel(if possible), Series of books(Manga), Video game series,and World Series.~Tailsman67~
Well what are you waiting for? You don't actually seem to need us. Go for it! --TammyMoet (talk) 16:35, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks guys,I wish I can tell you guys the storyline but they won't let me,Hero!~Tailsman67 of the Wikia~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome, and please read your talk page for some friendly suggestions. --McDoobAU93 16:41, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
As long as it isn't a series of increasingly vague questions on the Wikipedia Reference Desk, I say go for it. TheGrimme (talk) 19:29, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I hope I covered that in my "friendly suggestions" to the IP. --McDoobAU93 19:33, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Purines and how to combat them in the human body.

I am interested in dealing with treating the food before it is to be consumed. Because all that is on the market is dealing with purines (Gout) in the body after the food is comsumed. Why not treat the food before it is consumed. It would stand to reason that if you eleminate the purines which cause Gout. A person would be far better off.

l ask this as l have been unable to chat directly with a food chemist. Maybe l could get someone in the industry interested in developing something that would either eleminate or drastically reduce the amount of purines in a food that a person would consume.

As l am only an Architect. I just do not know anything about chemistry and food. Hope you can help.

Greg Martin e-mail address removed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I would think the only way to remove purines would be to produce purine-free foods ... that is, artificial foods. Since some of the most common trigger foods for gout are natural (red meat and shellfish, among others), it would be difficult to remove the purines without totally altering them. I've spoken with doctors about it (original research, I know), and one of the easiest ways to control the intake of purines is to control the intake of foods containing them. --McDoobAU93 16:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Note that foods containing purines also tend to be unhealthy in other ways, like causing heart disease. So, if you remove the purines you may end up killing people who would have otherwise reformed their diet (when they contracted a painful gout condition), and thus would have avoided or postponed heart disease, etc. StuRat (talk) 19:00, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
See All About Gout and Diet from the UK Gout Society. The notable exception to StuRat's comments above appears to be oily fish, which we are exhorted to eat on a regular basis[2] but is also a trigger for gout. Alansplodge (talk) 12:50, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

no more beef?

just curious, am I right in thinking that if no-one raised cattle (instead chickens, goats,sheep,pigs, etc.), the rate of global warming would be significantly reduced? Can anyone confirm if cows contribute more to global warming than all the cars in the world combined (or something like that, I can'tremember where I read this). Heck froze over (talk) 18:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I find such simplistic pronouncements to be almost universally wrong. The idea that cattle specifically and singularly are responsible for global warming (it's such an easy fix! Just stop eating hamburgers and start eating chicken sandwiches!) seems, on the face of it, silly. Which is not to say that raising cattle does not create its own environmental problems, but that doesn't mean that reducing the problems that cattle create to terse little solutions is wise either. --Jayron32 18:58, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Sheep, goats and pigs are nearly as bad as cattle in creating greenhouse gases. A total figure I've seen is 30% of greenhouse gases from grazing animals. Don't know about chooks. (Do birds burp and fart?) An added issue is the forest clearing to create grassland for grazing animals. Eating meat IS a greenhouse issue. But I like meat..... HiLo48 (talk) 20:05, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
While meat consumption has significant environmental impact in general, cattle is significantly worse than sheep, goats and pigs. The last figure I have seen is from the FAO, claims 18% of GHG emissions from the lifetock sector as a whole (not just grazing animals). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:14, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but how much of that is incidental to raising cattle, and how much is directly caused by the cattle? In other words, does that 18% represent greenhouse emissions of cow farts, or does it represent the greenhouse gases emited by cars and trucks which transport meat, by factories which process meat, etc. etc. If it is the former, the OP may have a point. If it is primarly caused by transportation and processing, then the problem would go away if we converted to non-emiting energy sources. Without knowing what that 18% represents, it is meaningless to understanding the nature of this issue. --Jayron32 20:23, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about worldwide figures but you can see some NZ figures here which are detailed enough to seperate the various forms (as the refs show, agricultural includes stuff like fertiliser but not transport). [3] [4] NZ livestock are of course mostly grass fed. I'm pretty sure only a small percentage comes from cow farts, a much larger percentage is in burps. A big concern of course, as is perhaps exemplified by the NZ figures, they emit a lot of methane which is worse then carbox dioxide from a greenhouse perspective.Nil Einne (talk) 21:15, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Transportation costs are minimal. I have an old SciAm magazine with an article on the subject. Here are some numbers it gives. Producing a pound of beef in a feedlot generates the equivalent of 15 pounds of CO2. It would only take 4 ounces of CO2 to transport the same amount of food from Peru to the United States.
As to where the greenhouse gases come from, for U.S.-grown, non-organic feedlot beef, the composition is given as 32% direct emissions (farts/burps and decomposing manure), 14% fertilizer production, 14% "general farm production", 40% forgone absorption of greenhouse gases due to the production of feed crops.
What is "forgone absorption of greenhouse gases due to the production of feed crops" and why is it a positive term and not a negative one? -- (talk) 01:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Undeveloped grasslands or forests act as carbon sinks. They absorb CO2, which turns into plant matter, and, when the plant dies, some of that carbon stays in the soil. High-quality grassland soil may be 25% carbon by weight to the depth of 1 meter. If you convert that grassland into a farm to grow corn (which will be fed to cows), levels of carbon go down. An undisturbed temperate grassland averages 240 tons of carbon per hectare. A typical cropland averages 80 tons per hectare.[5] With use, the amount of carbon keeps going further down due to erosion. I'm not sure if "forgone absorption" is the correct term to use here, but that's essentially what's meant by the statement. --Itinerant1 (talk) 02:06, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd expect the figure to be higher for grass-fed beef. Raising cows on corn feed is more efficient than cutting down rainforests to make room for pasture. --Itinerant1 (talk) 23:43, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
In reference to the alarming no more beef title, here's an article about growing meat from stem cells on an industrial scale: Grow your own meat.  Card Zero  (talk) 20:34, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Besides the gases cattle emit, there is the issue of land use. Land used to grow corn to feed to cattle in intensive feedlot operations could be used to grow food for the direct consumption of humans. A veggie bookwriter states that it takes 27 times the fuel to produce so many calories from cattle than from soybeans. Granted, the beef is far tastier for many consumers, and the protein is high quality, though with the burden of unhealthy fat. Edison (talk) 20:02, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Every time you add a new step in the food chain, your production efficiency goes down. Growing plants, feeding them to farm-raised animals, and then eating those animals is less efficient than eating plants directly. This is the reason why we don't grow any land-based predators on the industrial scale - they are often very tasty, but just too expensive to make sense economically. This is also why fish is expensive - most commercially exploited large species of fish are predators.
Our ancestors got out of this paradox because they either relied on wild-caught animals, or raised them on plants that they could not themselves eat. For example, raising grass-fed beef makes sense if you have a lot of grassland, you can't eat grass, and you don't have the technology to use that land to grow anything that you actually can eat. (Because the unique structure of the gastrointestinal tract of cattle allows them to extract calories from grass, while your own GI tract sees useless indigestible matter.) This is obviously no longer the case today.--Itinerant1 (talk) 23:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Where I live, and in many other places in the world, this is still the case, sometimes because of lack of technology, but mainly where the altitude and rainfall dictate that land will grow little else other than grass. Dbfirs 00:33, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that your combination of cold climate and 100 inches of annual rainfall is quite unusual. In a warmer climate, you'd have excellent conditions for growing rice. It is much more common for the animal meat to be produced instead of crops because of the lack of institutions to support efficient high-tech agriculture. --Itinerant1 (talk) 01:09, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Not all that unusual for northern Europe, and it's certainly too cold for rice, but I agree with your statement about most meat and agriculture. Dbfirs 20:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


I've read that in order to be beatified, a person has to perform at least one miracle after their death. The thing I've always wondered is, when a miracle happens, how can people be so sure that it's because of this particular person, and not someone else? JIP | Talk 20:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Read Canonization#Roman_Catholic_procedure_since_1983. Basically, there's a process to get a virtuous person named a Venerable, which allows people to start praying to him or her for a miracle. People begin praying for a miracle, and when one happens (typically a miraculous cure of a sick person who has prayed to the Venerable) they can beatified (also, martyrs don't need a miracle attributed to them to be beatified. Everyone needs a couple miracles to be made a saint, though). Buddy431 (talk) 21:05, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
So the thing is, a miracle can be attributed to a specific person if there's evidence that it happened because of prayer to him/her, presumably by the miracle happening to the same people who prayed to the person and in quick succession of the prayer? JIP | Talk 21:18, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the Catholic church may have the world's most elaborate and impressive protocol for committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:25, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Obviously ignoring others flaws too, like being officially monotheistic but accepting that saints performing miracles. (talk) 01:49, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
The saints are not considered to perform the miracle through their own innate power, but rather to intercede with God to have it performed by Him. (talk) 02:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes and Saint#Roman Catholicism, Congregation for the Causes of Saints#Current process, Beatification, Intercession of saints#Roman Catholic views & the earlier linked Canonisation#Catholic Church, not surprisingly addresses all the technical details. It's perhaps worth remembering a saint is simply someone who is believed to be in heaven. Nil Einne (talk) 02:51, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Some regard mere birth to be a miracle.-- (talk) 09:03, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

And some regard Smokey Robinson to be a miracle. --Colapeninsula (talk) 09:53, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
What is so miraculous about birth, anyway? It has happened billions of times, and that's just for humans. There's almost nothing more mundane than birth. But anyway...that's getting far away from the original question... Adam Bishop (talk) 12:11, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Some people have a very low bar for the miraculous. I don't know whether to scorn them or envy them at this. How much more fun must their world be, when everything is divine? --Mr.98 (talk) 12:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
As noted in EO,[6] the term "miracle" originates from "to wonder at". There are plenty of things to wonder at in the world, whether you believe in divine intervention or not. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:12, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Prices on US Military Based and Rounding to the nearest 5 cents

Is it true that on US military based the prices are rounded to the nearest 5 cents? --CGPGrey (talk) 12:04, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Penny debate in the United States says Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores overseas round to the nearest 5 cents. Not sure about in the US (or whether other stores differ). --Colapeninsula (talk) 13:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Obama and my Prime Minister have just announced the deployment of some US Marines to some northern Australian bases over the next few years. Since 5 cents is our smallest coin, those Marines had better get used to the concept. HiLo48 (talk) 01:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Huh, now there's a question for you. On a U.S. base on foreign soil, does the PX require local currency? American currency? Both? Beeblebrox (talk) 01:22, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Isn't the point of what Colapeninsula said that they use US currency? You wouldn't round to the nearest 5 cents if using Japanese Yen. Or South Korean Won. Or Kuwaiti Dinar. The ref from the article actually says "It is important to note also that ad similar rounding technique is used at overseas US military bases" but while I guess it makes sense to round to 5 Japanese Yen or 50 Korean Won and 5 fils is necessary, but it seems quite unlikely that's what was meant. Anyway I think Eagle Cash makes it clear they do use US currency although not necessarily cash. (Which is interesting, I wonder whether they round even if you use the card, most stores don't do this for cards in NZ.) The use of US currency is mentioned here BTW [7] although admitedly only in relation to the food outlets. Evidentally some don't give coins but tokens [8]. This isn't really that surprising of course since they basically operate like US territory and the Americans there would be paid in US currency. I do wonder whether they will accept foreign currency, my guess is no, but there may be someplace for conversion in the larger bases. Nil Einne (talk) 02:01, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

3D fish formations

I remember how, in Finding Nemo, there was a school of fish which displayed flashy 3D formations just to show off. Does something similar happen in real life? Are there any fishes that are known to display 3D formations like to, say, ward off predators or something? (talk) 13:44, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Not as far as 3D shapes, no, but I believe there are fish with shiny sides which appear to flash when they all turn at once, reflecting sunlight into the predator's eyes. That has to be distracting. BTW, a 3D group of fish is sometimes called a ball of fish (not to be confused with a fish ball). StuRat (talk) 13:51, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Also known as a bait ball --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:45, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
In case our article is difficult to visualize, see this video of a bait ball of anchovetas being attacked by bonitos, jacks, and yellowfin tuna. I highly recommend BBC's The Blue Planet documentary series, where that clip was from (I recommend anything narrated by David Attenborough really). Bait balls are featured prominently in the third episode ("Open Ocean").-- Obsidin Soul 22:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Could we have a redirect from ball of fish? (talk) 14:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
It's used for fish ball as well. Might be better to create a disambiguation page instead.-- Obsidin Soul 16:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Done. -- Obsidin Soul 16:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Drinking only a part of a field bottle

I remember reading a G.I. Joe comic, where a new recruit took a sip of his field bottle during a patrol, and an older soldier said to him: "Hey! What do you think you're doing? A half-full bottle splashes around! The enemy can hear it! If you're going to drink, then drink the entire bottle in one go!" Does such a thing happen in real life? JIP | Talk 21:42, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

It's a moot point, as most modern militaries use Camelbak style portable water solutions. Example article... This design is much easier to incorporate into the standard massive infantry backpack and also offers hands-free drinking, which is clearly a benefit if your hands are supposed to be holding a weapon... The Masked Booby (talk) 03:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd think you'd only prevent splashing if it was filled right to the top, as even a little air gap would allow it. Also, splashing isn't going to occur unless you're moving quickly, in which case the footsteps are likely to be heard, too. And it doesn't seem very practical to have to drink all your water at one sitting, in any case, due to the discomfort that would cause, the need to urinate soon, and the lack of water later on. StuRat (talk) 04:34, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Not exactly a reliable source, but the movie Hamburger Hill has multiple references to FNGs running around with half full canteens making lots of racket. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If this really was a problem, I'd expect them to have come up with multiple "single serving" water packs long ago. StuRat (talk) 22:31, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Edge Factory

While reviewing some family history, one of my relatives has some written history regarding ancestors who ran an "edge factory" in Kentucky sometime after 1810. This factory was located on a creek, so may have required running water to effect whatever entreprise this might be. Grist mill, blacksmithing? I can't find any reference on the net. Thanks— Preceding unsigned comment added by SurfHoosier (talk • contribs) 23:49, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

At Google book search, I could only find phrases like "made his debut at that gilt edge factory" or a factory belonging to someone named "Edge.". Maybe a misspelling of some other kind of factory, or "edge" as part of a personal or place name? Perhaps "River Edge Factory?" I suppose a factory might put edges on devices which need to be sharpened as part of the manufacture or maintenance. Dull tools and weapons are a nuisance. Nothing promising at Google, Google Maps, or USGS Geographic Names Information Service. If someone used the commonly bad spelling of the frontier, it could even have been "adze factory,"though I would have expected a factory to make axes, hatchets, froes, and plowshares as well rather, than being so specialized. Edison (talk) 03:46, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it would be interesting to know what directly precedes "edge". The OED refers to an edge-mill: "an ore-grinding or oil-mill in which the stones travel on their edges". And an oil-mill is defined as "a machine in which seeds, fruits, etc are crushed or pressed to extract oil; a factory where oil is expressed by such machines."--Shantavira|feed me 09:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Are the Wikipedians really serious about Userboxitis?

Are the Wikipedians really serious about Userboxitis, and what's so bad about them? I absolutely love Userboxes. Every one of them cracks me up with a smile on my face, and I wish I can use every single one of them on my Wiki user page. SuperSuperSmarty (talk) 02:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The correct plural is Userboxen. If you forget this world-shatteringly important fact one more time, we may have to inform the Wikipedia Secret Police and increase your coffee intake.-- Obsidin Soul 07:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
1, 2, 3... This userbox is a test. Please tell this user if you don't see it.

HiLo48 (talk) 07:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Excellent. To give you an idea how old that basic joke is, at minimum, here's the second verse of the World War I song, "It's a Long Way to Tipperary": Paddy wrote a letter to his Irish Molly-o / Saying, should you not receive it, write and let me know / If I make mistakes in spelling, Molly dear, said he / Remember, it's the pen that's bad - don't lay the blame on me! That second part also sounds very familiar somehow. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
This is a question better suited for Wikipedia:Help Desk or Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) or anywhere else. --Colapeninsula (talk) 09:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

about ways of donation

I am a Chinese user without a credit card or a paypal account. I wonder if it's possible to add Alipay as a means of donation. This would greatly facilitate would-be Chinese donors. Thank you.

BTW about Alipay: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

There are other methods of donation, including wire transfer and Moneybookers. See this page. Wikipedia:Contact us/Donations has more info, and you can contact with questions. --Colapeninsula (talk) 11:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
And, of course, thank you for your interest in donating to keep Wikipedia running! Your support is appreciated. --Tango (talk) 01:10, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Diet Coke and Mentos

Just read the article, and was wondering what would happen if someone ingested Mentos shortly after drinking diet coke. Will they explode? Will the acid in their stomach neutralise the reaction? Also, is diet coke the only thing that works, or will normal coke do the trick too? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

You'd probably vomit violently. I don't suppose you would explode - the plastic coke bottles don't. In any case I wouldn't try it. --Ouro (blah blah) 10:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Or probably not. --Ouro (blah blah) 10:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
The article and references say that normal Coke produces a smaller reaction; they suspect aspartame in Diet Coke is partly responsible. --Colapeninsula (talk) 11:13, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If you search YouTube for mentos+coke+mouth there are plenty of people doing this but they all seem to have the sense not to drink the coke before eating the mentos.--Shantavira|feed me 13:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Coca-Cola claim you're safe to drink diet Coke and eat Mentos.To quote them:
Q. Can this same reaction occur if I eat Mentos and drink Diet Coke or Coke Zero at the same time?
A. No. Chewing the candy destroys its surface which is needed for the carbon dioxide bubbles to form.
Q. Will anything happen if I just swallow Mentos and then consume Diet Coke or Coke Zero?
A. No. The level of carbon dioxide and pressure generated in a 2 liter bottle of beverage is far greater than what can be produced in the stomach.
--Colapeninsula (talk) 14:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC) says it won't make you explode or kill you but it can still be rather unpleasant to consume mentos and diet soda; they suggest that the mixture will re-emerge from your mouth and cite YouTube videos as evidence.[9] --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:04, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Verifying material in an entry on myself

The wiki entry on me – Brian Sibley – has a warning printed that the personal information may not be verified as no citations are given. How can I personally verify the correctness of information in the entry for readers?

Brian Sibley <EMAIL REMOVED> — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrianSibley (talk • contribs) 14:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

AROBAZE.png Please do not include contact details in your questions. We are unable to provide answers by any off-wiki medium and this page is highly visible across the internet. The details have been removed, but if you want them to be permanently removed from the page history, please email this address.
All information on Wikipedia must come from reliable sources (e.g. newspaper articles, books), and should include a reference specifying the source. You can verify personal information by inserting references pointing to reliable sources that give the information in the article. See Wikipedia:Verifiability for what counts as a reliable source, and Wikipedia:Referencing for beginners for how to add references. --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the article Brian Sibley, there is a lot of biographical information that doesn't have any sources referenced. This information in theory shouldn't be included unless it has been published in a reliable source (generally something that has been professionally edited in whatever media, or produced by a reputable publishing house, TV channel, or a website acknowledged as a good source of information, not something from a blog, wiki, fanpage, etc). It should be possible to find sources for some of this - e.g. there's a quote from the Daily Telegraph that must be traceable to an edition of the paper or its website, and IMDb or the BBC website may be suitable sources for information on works he has written (some IMDb material like biographies and trivia are crap written by random people and not trustworthy, but IMDb is commmonly used for filmographies). However, I'm not sure if suitable published sources exist for many of the details Sibley's life (unless there is a newspaper or magazine profile somewhere). None of the material looks controversial, so I don't think it should be removed, but it would be nice to have some more references. --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
And finally, read Wikipedia:Conflict of interest before editing the Wikipedia page about yourself: you should avoid making major changes or writing anything controversial. --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
In case it's not obvious, Brian (and we regular Wikipedians may sometimes be guilty of forgetting to spell this out), you have identified yourself in your message as the Brian Sibley in question, and you very probably are, but we cannot be certain of that, and cases of malicious impersonation do occur - impersonation is very easy on the internet. For that reason we have to restrict ourselves to already-published sources which would have been challenged on their publication if erroneous, and which anyone can refer to as a check. We also have to make it a general rule to avoid self-published sources (e.g. your own website if you have one, or your personal communications to us or third parties) because some people may be motivated to misrepresent themselves, and because such sources are difficult or impossible for others to check. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 16:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Also, your mug-shot was scanned in... Can you remember who the photographer was?--Aspro (talk) 17:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Rare phenomenon

i was watching pirates of the carribean (at world's end) earlier and there is a scene in there where they discuss a natural phenomenon where a green light will shoot out from the sea to the sky, they say it is so rare that almost all men live out their lives not seeing the green light, so im am wondering, is there any natural phenomenon similar to this one that is so rare only a few people witnessed? im thinking of auroras.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arah18 (talk • contribs) 18:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The phenomenon discussed in the movie is this: Green_flash thx1138 (talk) 18:23, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
More generally, there are a number of rare meteorological or atmospheric phenomena that most people have never seen, including various kinds of upper-atmospheric lightning (sprites, elves, blue jets, blue starters) and cloud phenomena like glories and Brocken spectres. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Similar but not rare is the Naga fireballs. The article also links to St. Elmo's fire and Will-o'-the-wisp far more rare. --Aspro (talk) 18:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"Wheels of Poseidon", [10] has been seen by few people. Note: The WP article Wheels of Poseidon makes sound as if it requires a ship – which it doesn't. The plankton can self generate the effect on their own on a large scale.--Aspro (talk) 18:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Interesting guys, thanks. But is there any phenomenon that is almost considered as legendary for its rarity? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arah18 (talk • contribs) 19:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Ball lightning seems to fit - it's still still unknown what it is, if anything, since witness reports vary widely. There may be some phenomena in the "see also" section with a similar status.  Card Zero  (talk) 19:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
You could check out some of the pages at Category:Atmospheric optical phenomena and related categories. The first thought I had was glories, Heiligenschein, and aureoles, but they are not that uncommon. Apparently the Kern arc is "extremely rare", with only six reported sightings, according to our page. Some natural phenomena are not rare but very hard to see, so few people have, like Gegenschein. The Fata Morgana mirage is rare and has a nice legend to go along with it (perhaps answering your second question to some degree). Also, I think the glory phenomenon (and perhaps related ones) played a role in the depiction of saints with aureola around their heads. Pfly (talk) 20:54, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If you're into this sort of thing, I might recommend a book called Handbook of Unusual Phenomena by William Corliss. It has a lot of odd stuff in it, much of which must be confused balderdash, but it all has some sort of documentation behind it (even if the documentation in question may itself be based on confused balderdash). It's available quite cheap used. It's entertaining at the very least. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Another good book on natural light and color phenomena (not all "unusual" phenomena, but some, and all described in great detail) is Light and Color in the Outdoors by Marcel Minnaert. In fact, I paged through it after seeing this thread. Likely not as cheap as the Corliss book though. I found a used copy. Pfly (talk) 22:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
The Green Flash is pretty legendary, before it was photographed a lot of people didn't believe it existed. Except it unusual conditions, it's all but impossible to see. APL (talk) 03:32, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


Where did Akiza go,when she left 5Ds? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

That's pretty vague again, Tailsman67. >_> Sergecross73 msg me 19:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Seems that Akiza#Akiza_Izinski answers this question. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I mean,where does she live? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
She doesn't live. She's a fictional character. If the show didn't explain where she left for, how would we know? Beeblebrox (talk) 01:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Danmit.:( — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

CC and BCC

There are three windows in my Gmail account. A normal one (To) where I get to type in the addresses with commas, a CC window, and a BCC window. CC is for carbon copy, which means sending the same email to different people. Since I can already do that in the first window, with those commas, why has Gmail kept a separate CC window? Also, BCC forwards the same mail to different people, only now, they can't see who the other recipients of the mail are. So supposing I type one person's address in the first To window, and the other addresses in the BCC box, do the BCC recipients get to see the name of the person in the To box? (talk) 20:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Right they'd be able to see the people in the "To" "CC" and "From" fields. I don't really understand the point the "CC" field myself. Hot Stop talk-contribs 20:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"CC" is meant to be just for people to have a copy of the mail and not do anything with it, while "To" is for somebody to reply or action. If you get a "CC" it is just for interest and you dont need to reply or do anything. MilborneOne (talk) 20:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, it depends on the usage of it. Some people may want a reply. Anyway, CC is just for aesthetics. It doesn't functionally mean anything different than "To". BCC actually does something different. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's just for aesthetics. If I CC someone on an email, it's essentially telling them why they are included on the email. That would be "I'm sending this for your own info but I don't expect a reply from you." It's communicating without having to spell out in the email "Hey John, this is for your info only. Don't feel the need to reply." Dismas|(talk) 22:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the problem is that some people use CC when they should, logically, be using the "To" line, and also misuse it when, for privacy, they should be using BCC. I wouldn't expect a reply if I received only a carbon copy. I have collected lots of e-mail addresses from people who pass on their whole address book in CC, though I have no intention of mis-using these. Dbfirs 22:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
To summarise points from several of the above answers and also to clear up some possible confusions, the following is what I was taught in a formal Business Administration course leading to an RSA Certificate, and also subsequently in IT Diploma courses given (mandatorily) to new recruits at two different global multinational firm I subsequently joined. (The courses all predated the creation of Gmail, but I'd be very surprised if Gmail's usages differ.)
The 'To:' field is for the recipient or recipients who are expected to take action on or need the information in the contents of the e-mail; they can see all of the other To and CC recipients.
The 'CC:' (from Carbon Copy) field is for further recipients who are not expected to take action on or use the contents, but whom you wish to be aware that the e-mail was sent; they also can see all of the other To and CC recipients.
The 'BCC:' (from Blind Carbon Copy) field is for people whom you want to receive the e-mail without the To or CC recipients knowing about it; a BCC recipient can see all of the To and CC recipients but not any other BCC recipients, but the To and CC recipients cannot see any of the BCC recipients. Hope that helps. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 01:25, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That explains it well, and it also raises an example that may not have been covered in a recent discussion about old-fashioned terms that are still used (such as "dialing" on the phone). "Carbon Copy" comes from a time when typists literally used carbon paper for making multiple copies. The need for carbon paper in that context pretty much disappeared as the xerox and the PC gained wide usage. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:08, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Do they even make carbon paper anymore? I suggest most younguns would never have seen any of it, much less used it -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 08:21, 18 November 2011 (UTC).
Indeed they do. According to the description it's mainly used for making hand-written receipts. --Colapeninsula (talk) 09:57, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
... and it's still supplied in some bank paying-in books (the ones with a customer copy rather than a small counterfoil). Dbfirs 12:27, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

when i am (legally) a finder?

if i 'find' somewhere a wallet, take it to look into it, and then replace it just where i 'found' it returning to my own buisness - am i legally a finder (with duty to report what i found)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:05, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Consider that your fingerprints are now on the wallet.--Shantavira|feed me 08:51, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
This topic is not about suspect, proof or forensics - i just want to know the definition of what is 'finding misplaced property' in english or american law - that's all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Legal no.png We cannot offer legal advice. Please see the legal disclaimer. Contact a lawyer. Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 02:12, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

So, this internet censorship thingy...

If, heaven forbid, it is passed, would Wikipedia be a possible victim of this draconian legislation? (talk) 07:24, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

You mean the Stop Online Piracy Act? The answer is yes: here is a blog post from Jay Walsh of Wikimedia. --Colapeninsula (talk) 10:02, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
With any luck, that would be the death knell of the "anyone can edit" principle. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


Sorry to put this here, but I have been away for a while and can't remember how to raise something I've spotted in an article... I looked at the headings above expecting to see a "talk" link, but could not see one... Perhaps someone here can point me in the right direction...

I was just reading about the sad death of Mr Mora, and spotted a few innacuracies in the article...

Several times through the section about his death, and the following section about controversies the article seems to be confused as to what was being flown in both this crash and the co-incidental crash 3 years ago to the day of the previous man to hold the same job as Mr Mora...

In the last main paragraph of the "Death" section it states : "The death of Blake Mora is the second loss in this position during the Calderón presidency, the first one being Juan Camilo Mouriño, who died in a plane crash in 2008"

Then in the "Controversy" section it says : "Before Blake Mora, Juan Camilo Mouriño, who was also head of the Interior, was killed in a helicopter accident on November 4, 2008"

The further in the same section, at the start of the following paragraph, it reads : "Moreover, the death of Blake Mora and the seven others in a plane crash "

How do I raise this to be corrected? Thanks...

But, but, you can edit the article yourself if you believe there are inaccuracies! Above the article title at Francisco Blake Mora are links: Article, discussion, edit this page, history, move, watch. Can You see them? --Ouro (blah blah) 07:49, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The "Discussion" tab gets you into what we otherwise refer to as "Talk". I sympathise fully with the OP. When I was a newby here, this confused the hell out of me. Synonyms are alright in their place, but I still don't understand why the page called [[Talk:<whatever>]] is not accessed by a "Talk" tab rather than a "Discussion" tab. Or alternatively, why what you do get is not called [[Discussion:<whatever>]]. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 08:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Originally it was Talk. Well, actually you manually created a link to a subpage called /Talk by typing that at the end of the text of the article. Except that some people prefered /Discussion and typed that in or they wanted to avoid a topic being discussed on /Talk and created a second subpage with /Discussion. Then we got away from subpages and also got separated spaces for articles, talk, user page, policy, etc. where talk went on talk pages by a "Discuss this page" link at the bottom of page (outside of the article text). I remember debate about naming the current tab Talk or Discuss and I think some skins or styles can change it. Rmhermen (talk) 03:01, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

how to connect hd freeview box to dvd recorder and tv

howto connect a hd freview box to dvd recorder and tv . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:43, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Use an HD cable?
We are going to need more details about the setup and devices you have if you want more help. --Lgriot (talk) 11:02, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
This seems a bit tricky. The DVD recorder probably can't record HD. You may have to connect the HD box's HD output (DVI/HTMI/component) to the TV, but a non-HD output from the HD box to to the DVD Recorder (what inputs does the DVD recorder take?). This may or may not be possible, as some boxes require you to select which output you want and won't output 2 signals on different lines. You'll then connect both the HD box and the DVD recorder to different inputs of the TV (HD box probably to TV's HDMI/DVI, or if that's not possible to component; DVD recorder to whatever it outputs). You probably can't do it like an old-school VCR (aerial to VCR to TV). This is why people buy HD boxes with integrated hard-disk based video recorders. --Colapeninsula (talk) 12:59, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The OP geolocates to the UK so presumably they are talking about Freeview (UK). If your TV is reasonably new, it is probably equipped with HDMI, SCART and component connections. The DVD recorder probably has SCART and component connectors and maybe an HDMI output (if it supports high def upscaling). I suggest you connect the Freeview box to the TV with a HDMI cable to get best live-TV watching. Assuming the Freeview box also has SCART output (and I've not seen one that doesn't), connect that to the DVD-recorder so you can record off the Freeview box. If the Freeview box has component outputs you might get a better quality than with SCART. The thing you almost certainly cannot do is connect the Freeview box to your DVD-recorder using HDMI and then record anything. When it comes to connecting the DVD-recorder to the TV for playback, a HDMI cable is best if your recorder supports it; otherwise a SCART or component connection will do. Astronaut (talk) 17:42, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Besides Asurion, who else insures lost cellphones?

For my Xperia Play, I signed on for Best Buy's Black Tie insurance for it. When I lost my phone for one week, I inquired about replacements, and they say they "only insure damaged and defective" phones. Thankfully, a good Samaritan found my phone and returned it to a front desk. Asurion would be the one who insures lost phones. When I called them, they said that I could only get on Asurion within 30 days because they "wouldn't make any money" otherwise, and nobody there gives exceptions.

If Asurion is a monopoly, they deserve an antitrust lawsuit like what happened to AT&T and Microsoft.

However, I've never heard of monopoly court proceedings against Asurion, so there must be another insurance provider who covers lost phones. Nobody at Asurion, Best Buy, or Verizon knew, but of course nobody can know absolutely everything.

Do you know what they don't know? Any insurance provider, at all, that covers phones that are lost anywhere (at least anywhere in the US?) Thanks. -- (talk) 11:32, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

In the UK it's usually possible to cover this sort of loss under a standard household contents policy. (I don't know the US/Asurion situation, but surely it hardly counts as a 'monopoly' if one company chooses to offer a particular product or service and others don't.) AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:16, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Simply being a monopoly isn't illegal. Anyone may offer a unique service without fear of anti-trust lawsuits. Antitrust laws are for when you abuse your monopoly status in certain specific ways.
What do you mean "Within 30 days"? Obviously, you can't sign up for insurance after your phone is already missing. Or do you mean that they only insure new phones? APL (talk) 03:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
For what it's worth Verizon Wireless offers "Total Equipment Protection Plans" those plans cover loss and theft, but they're expensive and have rather large deductibles. APL (talk) 03:40, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Press "Ctrl+F" on that page and type "Asurion." -- (talk) 23:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
First off, you can insure practically anything in the U.S. but it'll cost you. (See you home insurance policy). But for the love of god, read what you are doing. I had an employee sign up for dental insurance with the specific goal of getting some needed bridge work done. She had the work done, then freaked out when the insurance wouldn't cover it. The clause said she must have the insurance for at least 90 days before such work would be covered. I tried explaining to her that insurance companies had those restrictions so people wouldn't just sign up before medical procedure...but you would've thought I was in the 1% out to ruin her and her family. Long story short, don't loose you cell phone. It's valuable. Quinn STARRY NIGHT 02:59, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


can clouds form in the dark — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but they're more difficult to see. In London on a cloudy night, the sky has an orange tinge, which is the reflected light from all the street lamps. See our article on Clouds. Alansplodge (talk) 13:11, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Dogs in Afghanistan

As far as I understand it, Muslims consider dogs to be unclean or some such thing. And Afghanistan is 99% Muslim. And I often see stories about American servicemen adopting dogs who were brought to the States from Afghanistan. So where are all these dogs coming from? If they're stray, I wouldn't expect them to be friendly enough to come up to the servicemen to begin with. Dismas|(talk) 19:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Does the article Islam and dogs answer your questions? From that article, it does not seem to imply that every single Muslim has a monolithic opinion of dogs as creatures to be avoided at all costs. Indeed, I would expect that any grouping of 1 billion people would have varying opinions on just about any matter, so while I understand that some Muslim groups are opposed to keeping dogs as pets, I wouldn't anticipate that no Muslims anywhere would, nor would I expect every Muslim-majority country to be dog-free. --Jayron32 19:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Have you seen many stray dogs, Dismas? I was a child in the United States before there were leash laws, and there were a lot more stray dogs roaming around, maybe because people did not call Animal Control anytime they saw a loose animal. My family adopted a couple. Most dogs, including stray dogs, are attracted to people, though if they've been mistreated they will be wary at first. If you feed a stray dog and show it any kindness, it will not want to be separated from you. I'm guessing that these dogs wandered over to an American army base and quickly found new masters. Marco polo (talk) 20:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
There's a big diff between a dog born and raised wild and one that had an owner previously. The dogs which were born wild aren't likely to make good pets. This is especially true if they've been wild for many generations, and have lost the tameness which was previously bred into them. StuRat (talk) 21:13, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That may be true, but I also think it would depend on the age of the dog. A mature wild dog is going to have a hard time learning to behave as a tame dog, but a puppy or immature dog, especially one that has been separated from his mother, is more likely to be trainable. Marco polo (talk) 22:02, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The article stray dogs is maybe what you are searching for. Take a look at it, specially the part differentiating between feral and wild dogs. Quest09 (talk) 00:59, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

What insect is this?

A friend of mine sent me this photo. He was shocked at the size and oddity of it (part of his shoe is in the photo for size comparison). Really large insects aren't typically found in inner cities in California. Any ideas as to what it is? (talk) 21:47, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Jerusalem cricket. Marco polo (talk) 21:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I've heard of those but never have seen one. (talk) 22:03, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Man, if you want to see some big bugs come to south Mississippi in the fall just before it starts getting cold and rainy. Everything comes out of the woodwork, quite literally! Quinn STARRY NIGHT 02:47, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Small letters

Is there any where in wikipedia where i can find a collection of puns and jokes from ref desk? i find it amusing to read those, and im sorry im not sure if this is the right place to ask MahAdik usap 01:12, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Some editors keep their own personal selections. Maybe one will happen along and give you a link.
Btw, what does "small letters" have to do with what you're asking about? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:30, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I always see jokes and puns in small letters, im just trying to be creative. ;-) MahAdik usap 01:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
<small> tags produce small letters. Jokes are usually between these tags. Dbfirs 08:20, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I started using small text after I was asked to minimize my puns. :-) StuRat (talk) 17:53, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Back in the old days, there used to be pages called Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense, containing assorted silliness from all over Wikipedia. But that got killed. You can still find copies of it, the top google hit I find is (talk) 11:21, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia still has these pages at Wikipedia:BJAODN.--Shantavira|feed me 17:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Here are a few of mine: User_talk:StuRat#Puns_and_jokes. The Darwin one was my fave, but has since descended. StuRat (talk) 17:48, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

What is the male:female ratio on Wikipedia?

This seems like a dumb question to ask, but what is the male:female (male-to-female) ratio on Wikipedia? I know it is unimportant, but I have a funny feeling there are more males than females here (yes, I do take a sneak-peek at userpages and userboxes out of curiosity). Or is it my perception? SuperSuperSmarty (talk) 01:40, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

It's quite true, and there was a bit of a media fuss about it earlier this year. See, for example, this piece in the New York Times, which says that less than 15% of Wikipedia contributors are women, and consequently topics of interest to women are covered less thoroughly than topics of interest to men. Since editing Wikipedia is an entirely voluntary activity, it's hard to know what might be done to change that. --Nicknack009 (talk) 01:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Not that anything need or should be done about it. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:36, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, depending on the problem, there can be things which can and should be done. If the problem is only that it is an activity which interests men more than women, then obviously you might look at that and say it is the way of things. If it is because the wiki is often an unpleasant place for women, because of unthinking comments and jokes by certain contributors that make it feel hostile and unwelcoming to women (I have certainly witnessed many unthinkingly sexist comments, or comments that assume a default male audience, although these are less common and less tolerated than they used to be), then we can and should do something about it. Many people do. If it is because female contributors feel unsafe, because they experience stalking and hounding by creeps who latch onto women when they see them, often crossing over into real life stuff, then we can and should do something about that. We should also bear in mind that this will suppress the apparent proportion of women, because a lot of women will not admit to their gender.
This is largely coming up as a talking point precisely because most of the internet is no longer like this. 5 to 10 years ago, most of the internet was a fairly hostile place for women, and women overwhelmingly used neutral or male identities to avoid the negative side of things, even joining in with pretty unpleasant misogyny to avoid being targetted themselves, because they wanted to join in with other aspects of communities. Over the last 5 years, at least, there has been a significant change in perceptions. Part of this has been that enough women are now online that once one comes out, enough others join them that it counteracts a lot of the previously kneejerk reactions. Part of this is that female-friendly communities developed online, which have led to women no longer assuming that they have to hide their gender online: these communities have grown users who expect to be able to contribute confidently as women online, and they carry that into other communities. And these combine to change expectations, so that the culture changes across the internet and people generally expect different things.
I would guess that this has unfortunately changed at a time when Wikipedia has actually become less welcoming to new and casual editors, meaning it has both taken a smaller share of the newly confident female internet users, while becoming more harsh towards 'outgroup' contributors. Established users mostly come from the old culture, long before the general change, and (worse) many of the contributors who bought into many of the old wiki ideals (who objected to the Protecting of pages, who objected to the widespread use of semi-Protect, who objected to the restrictions on un-signed-in editors, who objected to personalities affecting rating of edits and judging of behaviour) have disproportionately left as the project evolved, when they might be expected to be the most tolerant of 'outgroup' editors. (talk) 12:02, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
It is important and is almost central to the way Wikipedia is constructed. The New York Times article strikes at the heart of the problem - and it is a problem. I also wonder whether women are more likely to attract unconstructive attention by having a name like bubblygirl246 instead of trident 3452324.

I am male by the way! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:07, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

A bit of "IMO" here but popular sports have the same problem of a gender gap. We don't seem to have an article of Women in sports or Gender gap in sports but I imagine if someone figured out the "sports problem" it would also address the gender problem at large regarding the Internet. I have my own opinions why WP has a lack of female editors and what we could do about it, but this isn't the place for that discussion. Cheers! :) Quinn STARRY NIGHT 02:40, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the sports issue and the Internet issue are related at all. They're two totally different issues — the fact that the Internet is co-ed and sports are not is a huge, huge, huge difference, aside from the fact that sports are public (in the sense that you must self-identify to participate) and Internet usage is relatively private (in the sense that individuals are harder to identify). Anyway, the issue isn't whether women use the Internet — they do. They just are underrepresented in specific communities on the Internet. It's a very different set of issues. --Mr.98 (talk) 04:20, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Water billing in Ireland

How does it work right now? I've read that they don't even have water counters and are pissed off for having to pay from now on. So, can Irish people simply leave the tap running and still pay the same? Quest09 (talk) 01:53, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

You can do that in most of Canada. You pay a flat rate for municipal water, and you use what you use. (Hot water is different because you have to pay the cost of heating it.) Where I live, out in the country, we have wells hooked up to the house, for which there is no charge, except that keeping the wells and the piping in good condition is our responsibility, as would be the drilling costs if we needed a new one. Bielle (talk) 03:34, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Here's an article on the controversy in Northern Ireland at the moment. Bielle (talk) 03:43, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, so in these places, it's theoretically possible to attach a generator to your tap and get energy for free too? Quest09 (talk) 14:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
"A generator to your tap"? I know little about science, but have never heard of a generator fuelled by tap water. (Niagara Falls, yes, but not tap water.) The only limits I know for water use occur in times of water restrictions (watering ban or, in the UK, hosepipe ban). This happens rarely in eastern and western Canada, but drought sometimes affects the central regions. Bielle (talk) 15:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't mean it's technically impossible to build one, however. Out of curiosity, I did the back-of-the-envelope calculation for how much power might be available from the tap. Water supply talks about a typical residential pressure of 4-5 bar (60-70 psi), which corresponds to 40 or 50 meters (150 feet) of hydrostatic head. If we assume that we can get 20 liters per minute from the tap still under that pressure (which is probably a generous assumption) the amount of energy available there is 150 watts, or 3.6 kWh per day. So depending on the efficiency of your generator and electricity rates in your area, you'll be able to harvest between ten and thirty cents' worth of electricity per day, while wasting thirty thousand liters of water. And that dribble of energy is 'free' only if one assumes no cost to the equipment required to generate and store it. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:01, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I was not suggesting that people indeed do it. Just asking is it's theoretically possible. Obviously, you can do better than just one tap. You get the idea: if water is completely free, you'll end up using it for any imaginable purpose at any possible amount without thinking about those thousand liters of water. Quest09 (talk) 16:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
It's actually not 'obvious' that you can do (much) better than just one tap—there is a limit to the amount that a standard municipal water connection will supply to a given household, based on the diameter of the supply pipe and pressure characteristics of the municipal water supply. The pressure you see at the tap (or taps) decreases as the flow rate increases, and there is an absolute limit to the amount of water you can draw per minute through a supply pipe of a given diameter. There's a reason why your shower gets so uncomfortable after someone flushes the toilet.
Also, even in areas with completely unmetered usage, it is likely that the utility company will eventually notice that a home is drawing tens or hundreds of times more water than it should. There will definitely be restrictions and regulations regarding permissible uses of unmetered water, and I expect that home hydroelectric generation would probably fall afoul of those rules. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
In England and Wales where water is normally unmetered in various areas, the water companies have the right to force you to use a meter if you use lots of water for a swimming pool, running a garden sprinkler, or other purposes.[11] If you run a business you're also billed differently. It's not much different from other "unmetered"/"unlimited" services like unlimited internet, unlimited phone calls, etc: there's a combination of technical restrictions and contractual fair usage restrictions. --Colapeninsula (talk) 19:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
One is reminded of the "prosecutions for water wastage" endured by that unfortunate Irishman De Selby: "At one hearing it was shown that he had used 9,000 gallons in one day and on another occasion almost 80,000 gallons in the course of a week. The word 'used' in this context is the important one. The local officials, having checked the volume of water entering the house daily from the street connection, had sufficient curiosity to watch the outlet sewer and made the astonishing discovery that none of the vast quantity of water drawn in ever left the house." Deor (talk) 00:20, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, here's a little snippet of personal knowledge that can't be sourced: Living in an apartment complex the head maintenance man (who also lived there) and I became friendly. He told me to run my clothes & dish washers on cold water b/c the meter only monitored the hot water line. Everything else was just based on an average, largely depending on how many people you reported living in the unit. Following his advice, my water bill decreased dramatically. My neighbors did not believe me until we followed the water lines and realized there was only a single meter reporting for the entire building, with a second meter that ran back to the hot water heater in each unit. Also, I one time left my outdoor water hose (for the plants, etc) on accidentally for three days before it was noticed, and my bill was still the same (despite flooding a good part of the commons lawn), so I think there is probably something to what you are saying. Quinn STARRY NIGHT 02:26, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

J J Kent Inc.

I have been trying for months, including asking the British Library, If there is such a publication, beside that found on the www, called, 'PRECIOUS STONES IN THE EARLIER AND LATER BREASTPLATE' by J. J. Kent. Especially Volume 9. All I get is "J.J. Kent is closed for business.". I simply wish to purchase the complete work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LenBee (talk • contribs) 21:11, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

sacred music during the Middle Ages - instruments or not?


I'm a student at the Lemmensinstitute for Arts and Science in Leuven, Belgium. Since I study the Flemish bagpipe I'm doing some research about the use of (bourdon)instruments with plainchant in medieval churchmusic. Very little is known about this subject and therefore I'd like to ask you kindly for your help. Does anyone happen to have a bit more information on this subject?

On Wikipedia, in the article called "Hymn", I read the following:

"Music and accompaniment In ancient and medieval times, stringed instruments such as the harp, lyre and lute were used with psalms and hymns. ..."

This suggests that indeed there were instruments being used in church. I also found an article that says Hildegard von Bingen (not on Wikipedia) composed sacred music with instrumental accompaniment. Also Boethius accompanied his chants with instruments, so says another article.

However, these articles don't mention anything more about it, nor do they refer to the source of this information...

Can someone help me on this one? Thank you.

˜˜˜˜ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deedontree (talk • contribs) 21:59, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I have no idea, but we do have an article on Hildegard of Bingen, including a discography. --Incognito.ergo.possum (talk) 22:17, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
PS: Sorry, I may have misunderstood your parenthetical comment "(not on WP)". --Incognito.ergo.possum (talk) 22:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I found this essay called Musical Instruments in Medieval Psalm Commentaries and Psalters. As you say, very little seems to be known for certain. Alansplodge (talk) 00:20, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
It is known for certain that cathedrals had organs as early as the 9th century. During the high and late middle ages (Gothic period) all of the more important churches had organs. However, according to the German Wikipedia's article on church music, other instruments were hardly ever used in churches at that time. Marco polo (talk) 01:58, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

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