Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/September 2004 II

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Anywhere decolonized that didn't want to be?[edit]

A question that arose lately in an argument...

Has there ever been anywhere that was decolonized that didn't want to be decolonized, during the 20th Century? I'm familiar with Rhodesia, but I was wondering if there was anywhere else? --Penta 15:18, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps some of the Portuguese colonies that were abruptly granted independence in 1975. The Spanish Sahara and parts of New Guinea among them, and East Timor, maybe. I don't really know the details. Michael Hardy 21:35, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Former Dutch colony West Papua, annexed by force by the culturally and religiously different Indonesia in 1961. Instead of a gradual road to decolonisation in 1970 the nation has now been occupied by great force for over thirty years.
Similarily Atjeh and the Moluccas, promised independance by the Netherlands but forcibly annexed by Indonesia in 1949. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 22:10, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Anguilla wanted to remain a seperate British dependency when it was incorporated into St Kitts & Nevis (with the intention that it would evenutally become part of an independent St Kitts)due to the attitude of the St Kitts and Nevis politicians. The book Under an English Heaven by Donald E Westlake hunorously recounts the events. --Roisterer 22:33, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hong Kong. DJ Clayworth 14:14, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In Rhodesia, everyone involved wanted the country decolonised. Ian Smith issued the Universal Declaration of Independence, and when the country returned to black majority rule in 1980 as Zimbabwe, there were huge celebrations.

In regards to the Portuguese colonies, to say that they didn't want to be decolonised would be to totally ignore the PAIGC, FRELIMO and the MPLA and the long and hard battles they fought for independence. The only country I can think of that was unwillingly torn away from mother Britain, or anywhere, was Hong Kong. [[User:DO'Neil|DO'Иeil]] 21:15, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Hong Kong? Do tell! The story line that one got over here in the willingly-former North American colonies was one of universal jubilation at the return to China. Seemed pretty dumb to me at the time, to prefer oppression by one's fellow Chinese-speakers to progressive liberalisation [courtesy spelling] under the ex-Empire; but who can account for the minds of non-Anglo-Saxons? I take it, then, that the jubilation was not unanimous; am I surprised that the media didn't get the story right? BTW, wasn't there some problem with Greenland's not wanting to be so independent as Denmark wanted it to be? Dandrake 00:01, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

What about NEWFOUNDLAND, now a province of Canada, joined confederation in 1949, not sure if they wanted to be decolonized

In 1855, Newfoundland was given responsible government (the governor only acted at the behest of the elected assembly). In 1934, the government went broke because of the Great Depression. London took back control and ruled through the governor. In 1949, it was Britain which was broke and needed to unload the financial black hole which Newfoundland was and remained. Canada, feeling its oats after its performance during WWII, was willing to absorb the colony. However, surveys found that a majority of Newfoundlaners did not want to join Canada. Britain was able to split the anti-Canada vote by offering three options - remain a colony, try self-government again or join Canada. The Canada option was chosen with a 49% vote and there are many Newfoundlanders who still think it was a bad decision. GreatWhiteNortherner 10:39, 2004 Oct 3 (UTC)

new england sucks


You describe Azrael, in this encyclopedia, as follows; "Azrael is a personification of death appearing in the Biblical Book of Tobit and in the Qur'an. He is depicted as an angel under the command of God. In Islam, he is an archangel." This seems to be a direct quote from Webster Dictionary. I have read every book of Tobit that I can find and followed many references of this subject to many sites and have not found a single reference to Azrael being the Angel of Death. Where did you find this information?

You could try Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (14th ed. 1989), which describes him as "the Mohammedan angel of death". --Heron 20:02, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I'm adding my inquiry to one that already exists concerning the name Azrael and a statement that appears claiming he is named in Islam's holy book, the Quran, and the Book of Tobit. With all due respect, this name is not found in either of these books.

I am aware of the fact that the recently released "Brewers Book of Phrases and Fables" does name Azrael as an angel of death, but that has absolutely no bearing on the above inquiry, unless you are saying they are the source of your own statement (in other words they are making the claim that Azrael is named in the Quran and the Book of Tobit).

I'm just trying to straighten this issue out because people rely on correct information and this statement is totally false. Copies of the Quran (in Arabic and English) and every version written of the Book of Tobit are available on the world wide web by various religious institutions for free... I think it would be to everyone's best interests if we were all on the same page here;)


Sheila Lord

Thanks for picking up on this! I think there has been some confusion here. The Quran does talk about an angel of death (eg, Sura 32:11), but doesn't give a name. Even so, I think that the name "Azrael" is part of Islamic tradition. Regarding the Book of Tobit, I suspect the name "Azariah" or "Azarias", which Raphael uses as a cover, was taken to be the name of a different angel, namely Azrael. AlexG 18:13, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As a Muslim, I want to correct it. In Islamic tradition in Indonesia, we spell it as "Izrail". However, as you wrote it, the name of Izrail (or Azrael) is not in Quran. In fact, I was doing an inquiry about Islamic angels' name and could not find the name in two of and the only legal sources of Islam (Quran and Hadith).

You also mention in this encyclopedia "In Islam, the archangels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Azrael. Lucifer was an archangel, but fell from his position during the Creation for giving himself the title of God". First, we don't have concept about archangels. Second, we never heard Raphael. Third, we use the term "Iblis" not Lucifer. Fourth, the mistake of Iblis wasn't giving himself the title of God but denying the order from God.

I want to change some of the article in this encyclopedia regarding myth and theology in Islam but too much article I have to change.

best regards,


The previous response is correct. I am a religious studies major doing my capstone project on the role of angels, and the name Azrael (in any form or spelling), as used to reference the Angel of Death is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, the Quran, or in traditionally accepted apocryphal or deuterocanonical writings. You can find writings in external sources surrounding these religious traditions, but not within the texts themselves.

In addition, if you are interested in writings about angels, the Book of Enoch, traditionally recognized only by the church of Ethiopia as canon, has some great stories and descriptions.

Again...No mention of Azrael as the Angel of Death in canon of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism by any and all of my research.


"Britain" v. "England" v. "United Kingdom" or "UK"[edit]

I was editing the page for the America's Cup, and I noticed that the list of challengers and defenders included references to Britain, which were linked to United Kingdom, and other references to England. I am not sure if there is something different about the different syndicates in terms of their country affiliation, but I was wondering if there is somewhere on Wikipedia that explains when to use each name and why. Thanks --nroose Talk 07:04, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Physically, United Kingdom comprises of the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), and the northern part of Ireland (Northern Ireland). Politically.. well I'll leave that to an expert! -- Chuq 08:10, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Just to reinforce what Chuq says, if you remember that the full official name of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that Great Britain is the main island carrying England, Scotland and Wales, then it's not difficult to get a handle on the relationships - Adrian Pingstone 09:25, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, we should be careful about which one we use, they are not the same thing. Many people want to treat 'Great Britain' as the same as the UK, it is not. 12:47, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

'British' is used to mean "of or pertaining to the United Kingdom" just like someone from the United States is called an American. In citizenship terms someone is 'British' if they are from the UK. This keeps getting asked - maybe it should be an FAQ somewhere? DJ Clayworth 19:07, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think perhaps the immediate question of the America's Cup page should be dealt with, rather than the general usage of UK, England etc.., this has been discussed to death elsewhere. Some of the entrants on that page are labelled Scottish, some English and others British. I'm not entirely clear myself what should be done in this case as clearly reballing those entries currently labelled Scottish to British is bound to offend. I'd like to know the original source of this data. Mintguy (T) 21:51, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
If there are or have been separate Scottish and English yacht clubs or authorities submitting entries to the America's Cup, the article should use the appropriate adjectives Scottish and English. However if an entry is by a nationwide British club or authority, the article should use the word British, no matter the actual origin of individual team members. It's similar to the reason why we should talk about British athletes for the Olympic games but Scottish and English athletes for the Commonwealth games. In my opinion anyway. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:31, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)
I don't know the original source of the data, but there is similar data at I guess they could have gotten it from Wikipedia. nroose Talk 08:32, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

C++ for graphics, audio and games[edit]

I really need to get on programming (specially C++), for graphics, audio and well, games... I started with C++ a while back but I never went too far on it.

Now I wanna try again, but I need a good and complete compiler and some references on the subject. Anyone can provide me some information about that? I've been looking for but this kind of things are better asnwered by a experienced person than by google.

Thanks Kieff | Talk 10:07, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

The obvious answer for a compiler is gcc, which can be downloaded for free. If you use Linux, get it through your distribution's package management system. If you use Windows, download Cygwin. An alternative for Windows would be Microsoft Visual Studio, but you have to pay for that. Stroustrup's "The C++ Programming Language" is a must-own, but it's not a tutorial or a beginner's guide. There are a ton of "learning C++" types of books, and you'll want one of those too. Also, don't hop into the graphics and audio stuff too soon. You need to learn the language first before you start on the tough stuff. Rhobite 12:47, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)
As of the release of the .NET Framework SDK, you can download the Microsoft C++ compiler for free, but not the IDE. This does allow you to compile normal (non .NET) applications. Microsoft have also packaged up a free download that only provides the C++ compiler as well -- the Visual C++ Toolkit. The Platform SDK is also available for free to download, though it is rather large. Mark Hurd 19:05, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
When I was in the same situation you were in, the first thing I looked for was a free compiler, and DJGPP is what I found. It's a free port of gcc for DOS (if you're interested in making DOS games.) If you take that route, download RHIDE, the docs, gdb, and the Allegro gaming library. (Of course, experimenter that I am, I downloaded Allegro and then never used it, preferring instead to write my own graphics programming routines.)
Alternately, you can do Windows programming with MinGW, MSys, the Dev-C++ environment, and the SDL gaming library. Note that SDL is a complete solution, handling audio, input, and graphics. Alternately, you could combine Cygwin with SDL. Or Allegro. Or DirectX. Or OpenGL. Or whatever.
The combinations are endless. The answer depends on your needs, your environment, and whether using cross-platform or open-source tools is important to you. Ask specific questions and you'll get specific answers (hopefully.) 04:16, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

WMA to MIDI file for phones[edit]

Is there any free software or easy instructions on how to convert WMA files to MIDI files or similar so that I can transfer them to my phone. Apologies if this sounds a bit dim but I honestly have no idea.Scraggy4 19:02, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

WMA is a sampled sound format, MIDI files consist of sequences of events such as notes. Converting from a WMA file representing music recorded from real musical instruments to a MIDI file requires transcription. This is non-trivial, and is usually done by a skilled human not a computer. Automatic transcription is considered to be a hard problem by AI researchers, one that in the general case is considered to be at least as hard as speech recognition if not harder. -- Tim Starling 06:09, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. You'd be better off listening to the tune and sequencing it yourself, note-by-note; that's the way most high-quality MIDI songs are created. (If you're really interested in this option and you're running some form of Linux, I highly recommend Rosegarden.) 20:39, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
Coincidentally, I had the same problem today, and found a shareware program for Windows which claims to convert MP3 or WAV to MIDI - I haven't tried it, so you'll have to see for yourself. Widi --Sum0 22:15, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

partitioning my hard disk[edit]

Seeking an opinion here. I have a 40 GB hard disk partitioned into four. My disk is almost full (of junk) and I plan to format it. My processor is slow and the boot up crawls when my hard disk has lots of files. Here's what I plan to do.

I will install XP to D:\> drive. This will be a FAT partition. I will also install all the programs that I have such as image viewers, browser plugins, audio players, etc. In short, 90% of my software. Now I turn to C:\> drive and install XP again. However this time I will convert the partition to NTFS. I also install critical system files such as firewalls, utility & office suites and anti-virus to this partition. D:\> is my programs partition and C:\> my working.

Now will the above setup work to speed up my system? My hypothesis is based that when windows boots into now default C:\> , the minimal files on this partition means that booting should be smooth and the system won't crawl. Now the programs on D will run as they will use D:\>'s system files. Also if I install Red Hat 9 (dual boot) in F:\>, will I be able to view the files on NTFS C:\>? [[User:Nichalp|¶ ɳȉčḩåḽṗ | ]] 20:57, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

  1. Linux supports reading from NTFS partitions, but write-support is extremely experimental (IE, don't do it if you value the data on the drive).
Actually, as of kernel version 2.5.11, linux supports safe but limited write support. The only supported operations are editing existing files without changing the size. In addition, the Captive NTFS project allows linux to have full read and write support of NTFS. This is accomplished by interfacing with the Windows NTFS drivers. (Microsoft provides those drivers for download free of charge, but it may violate your license to use them without a license of Windows.)
  1. FAT32 craps out over (IIRC) ~20gigs. So if D > ~20 gigs, then you won't be able to format it as Fat32.
  2. Once you finish installing the 2nd installation of Windows, every time you boot you'll be prompted as to which partition you want to boot.
  3. If you boot C, then the programs on D will NOT find the registry on D - they'll look at the registry on C - which should be emtpy. So anything that requires activiation won't work, and all the settings will disappear as well. →Raul654 21:06, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)
    About NTFS partitions and Linux: You can see them, even copy from them, but I believe you have to be root to write to them from Linux (which as Raul said, is not the best idea). Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:16, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The multiple win boot can be resolved by editing the boot.ini file, reducing the timeout to 5 seconds thereof. I had experimented with this above setting once,(using XP+ Me ) and most programs worked for me. But yes, critical programs won't work if they make extensive use of the registry. PS. Currently I can write to my windows fat file system without logging as root. (I have mandrake 8). What's your view on the speed? [[User:Nichalp|¶ ɳȉčḩåḽṗ | ]] 20:34, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
I haven't tried FAT, but I have tried writing to NTFS on Mandrake 10.0, and it was locked, so I had to logon as root to edit anything. Currently, I'm trying to set up Debian on my PC. What do you mean by 'The speed' ? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:40, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Speed refers to the settings I plan to carry out regarding partitioning mentioned above. [[User:Nichalp|¶ ɳȉčḩåḽṗ | ]] 18:54, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
If you are after speed, and want to stick with Windows, switch to 2000. IMO faster, more stable and no real loss of function. Moooo! 01:30, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I kinda like XP now, thanks [[User:Nichalp|¶ ɳȉčḩåḽṗ | ]]
No, your scheme will have no appreciable effect on performance. The number of files on the boot partition doesn't affect the speed of Windows. I recommend adding more RAM, purchasing a faster hard drive, or defragmenting your drive. Rhobite 01:48, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

Another good place to try for tech questions is Experts Exchange. Salasks 19:17, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

who's the sponsoring institution?[edit]


if you're asking about this encyclopedia, the Wikimedia Foundation. Gentgeen 01:45, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

methods of virus prevention[edit]

ObAaron: penicillin --Phil | Talk 10:10, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

Symantec? Cvaneg 00:41, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Condoms, abstinence, not sharing needles, protective needle caps? Alteripse 00:46, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Oxford University Scarf Colours[edit]

Does anyone know where I can find a list of the Oxford University college scarf colours, similar to this, I'm trying to make the Oxbridge scarf colours article a little more even handed, but it's proving difficult. -- Prisonblues


Hello my name is Crocus Rokersosski - whilst staying at a Hotel {the Marine } in Llandudno Wales UK I was intrigued by a letter from Queen Elizabeth of Romania which is framed in the reception area. The Queen stayed at the Hotel for a period of about 2 years in the 1890's..... it speaks of the great help given by the people of Llandudno in her difficult times... so I decided to find out more about her... despite getting several books from the Library on Romanian history I am unable to find reference to the lady... also there seems to have been several Queens of that name in Romania history... I know there was a revolution in the late 1800's but can again find no mention of any King or Queen being sent into Exile..... help on this subject would be most welcome.... my E mail address is thanks....

Actually she only stayed for five weeks, but she was quite taken with the place, and Llandudno was taken with her -- they named a couple of streets after her (Queens' Road, and Carmen Sylva Road). Elizabeth of Romania (1843-1916) was something of a polymath -- also known as Carmen Sylva, she was a noted author, playwright, poet, painter, musician, and scientist. She was the wife of Carol I of Romania. I've stayed at the Marine Hotel too, and seen that letter. Llandudno seems to be quite a favourite place for royals to go, the exiled Queen Rambai Barni of Thailand lived at the Imperial Hotel until 1940. -- Arwel 12:54, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't blame them. As a Scottish tourist visiting North Wales, I was very impressed with Llandudno. It's a nice seaside town. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:36, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)

Interstellar cloud and nebula[edit]

Is there a difference between interstellar cloud and nebula? What is their relationship? Or are they actually synonymous? Thanks for answer! --Lorenzarius 15:00, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • I always thought any sufficiently large cloud of dust and gas in which stars were born was called a nebula I suppose if the cloud is too small for that, you'd call it an "interstellar cloud" instead, but I always thought the terms were essentially synonymous. 20:29, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
  • There is a historical distinction. Nebula or 'cloud' was used to describe every non-stellar astronomical object which looked like a smudge in the sky (and so most of the Messier catalogue.) Thanks largely to Edwin Hubble showing that a fair number of these had significant redshifts and were infact galaxies, Nebula became a more restricted term to describe gas clouds. -- Solipsist 23:04, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

when was this website established?[edit]

when was this website established?

10 January 2001. For details, see History of Wikipedia. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 20:20, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Meredith Monroe's Birth Date[edit]

Does anyone know the year Dawson's Creek actress Meredith Monroe was born? The Internet Movie Database says 1970, TV Tome says 1976. Would anyone having an answer please reply to my talk page? PedanticallySpeaking 18:43, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

  • I'm not a fan personally, but I'd recommend visiting her official website and send in a question. Hope it helps. (Strange how such a simple thing is so hard to find) - MGM 18:24, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
  • Two articles indicate the 1976 DOB is correct, to wit:
      • "The Monroe Doctrine" by Kristen Baldwin. Entertainment Weekly. May 21, 1999. Page 58. Says she is twenty-two.
      • "My body: Meredith Monroe" by Bailey Ross. Us. April 1999. Page 42. Also says she is twenty-two.
  • Assuming the December date is correct, that indicates the year is 1976. PedanticallySpeaking 16:54, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)

ARGH (Linux Woes)[edit]

I cannot get X-Window-Server to Start on my Debian Linux 3.0r2 for the life of me. It seems to me that it's not recognizing the video card (an ATI Radeon 9600SE). The Xfree86 Version is 4.0.1 and It won't recognize my net card (D-Link DWL-520) so I can't get it from the net. And it also for some reason doesn't put my Win-NTFS partitions in the /mnt folder. Is there any way for me to get the older version of X to recognize my card, or do I have to wait until mid-September for them the release Debian 3.1 with Xfree86 4.2 or 4.3? It does however recognize my 128MB USB mass storage device. In the end, should I wait until Debian 3.1, get Xfree onto my USB device and install the new version? And will installing and compiling Kernel 2.6 (I have 2.4-22 I think) help? Am I making any sense? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:13, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Puzzling questions :-) If you haven't already, I would suggest heading over to LinuxQuestions and asking there. It's where I always go when I need Linux help - lots of friendly knowledgeable people who can probably help you. -- Wapcaplet 20:43, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    Thanks, I'll try that. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 21:29, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    Post on LQ. That's basically a copy of this. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 21:38, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • I can't offer expert help, but if it's any comfort I had precisely the same problem when I tried to install Debian a few years ago - not a good choice as a first-try Linux distro, but I didn't know any better. The company which makes my graphics card - an old archaic S3 Savage in a Gateway notebook - has changed its name and doesn't support my driver any more. I finally settled on Mandrake 10.0, which recognized all my hardware, and at the moment I can't be bothered to try Debian again. Maybe sometime. Ðåñηÿßôý | Talk 02:39, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    It isn't really my first try (I've played around with Mandrake 9.2, Mandrake 10, and Fedora 1 -- which all worked). I think it's because Debian has an old XFree server (4.1) and doesn't have the right drivers for my ATI card. I don't know how to get generic on though as I'm terrible with the UNIX command prompt. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 03:09, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

OK, here's some thoughts, if you're still stuck on this [I just realised how old this conversation is; never mind!]:

  • don't hold your breath for a new release of Debian; they like to be sure of what they're doing, and take a long time to make major changes (last major release [Woody] was over 2 years ago, I believe)
  • the network card may be tricky: a (very) quick google turned up this how-to, which doesn't look easy. At the very least, you may have to compile your own kernel, which isn't as complex as it sounds, but might be a bit daunting to a fairly novice user.
  • to switch to a generic driver, you need to edit your X config file:
    • nano /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 (nano being a nice simple editor if you're not used to vi or emacs)
    • find the text Section "Module" and comment out (put a # in front of) any line with anything like "glx" (as in OpenGL)
    • find Section "Device"; this should describe your ATI card. Leave it be, but make one similar underneath:
Section "Device"
    Identifier "Generic VGA Device"
    Driver "vga"
    • finally, find Section "Screen", and change the Device line (which will currently be referring to your ATI card) to "Generic VGA Device" (the section you just added)
    • save, restart the x server, and hope I remembered that config right!

Good luck, and happy hacking! - IMSoP 21:03, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What the?[edit]

What is this? Since I can't read chineese, and I have no chineese font installed, and it's on the Chineese main page, what is it? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:44, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It appears to be an ugly looking hot dog. -- user:zanimum
Going to the pic, then to the article, then to english: Small intestine in large intestine. Some horrid pig intestine snack apparently. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 21:26, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
`Here`s the translation... The Taibei west gate 町 trades large intestine package of small intestine More □pieces... don`t you wish they served those at baseball games!
Yuck. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 21:32, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
So not that different from any other sausage which traditionally are skinned using intestine. The main distinction seems to be that these are packed with rice and a restricted subset of offal (small intestine), whereas western sausages are packed with rusk, or dried bread crumbs and unknown sources of mechanically reclaimed meat (you probably don't want to ask). -- Solipsist 10:27, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yep, Stick to Haggis. At least you know what goes into it. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:38, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)

an image processing question[edit]

Media:Polyphemus moth cut out.jpg was created as a revision of Media:Polyphemus moth.jpg by replacing the background with a solid color. Is there software that can make this type of alteration to an image easy to do? - [[User:Bevo|Bevo]] 21:58, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I would think that Photoshop would be your best bet. Cvaneg 22:10, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Or the free editor the GIMP — there is a Windows port. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 22:15, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
One Windows port of the GIMP (the one I use and recommend) is available here. • Benc • 22:22, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Eleanor Plantagenet[edit]

Quote from your page:

Meanwhile in 1238 he secretly married Eleanor Plantagenet, sister of King Henry III of England. Eleanor had previously been married to William Marshal, 5th Earl of Pembroke the link to Eleanor Plantagenet states that:

Eleanor of Lancaster (c. 1311 - 11 January 1372) was born in Arundel, West Sussex, England.

She was the daughter of Maud Chaworth and Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Leicester.

Her first husband was John Beaumont, 2nd Baron Beaumont, with whom she had two children:

Henry Beaumont, 3rd Baron Beaumont (b. 1340.) Joan Beaumont Her second marriage occurred February 5, 1345 at Ditton Church, Stoke Poges, Buckingham. She married Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel, with whom she had five children:

John Fitzalan of Arundel, Lord Maltravers (b. bef. 1349) Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel (b. 1346) Joan Fitzalan (b. before 1351) Alice Fitzalan of Arundel (b. 1352) Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of York (b. 1353) She is buried at Lewes Priory in Lewes, Sussex, England.

Retrieved from "" clearly something has gone wrong with the links :please advise when correct

It's not that something has gone wrong, there are just two (or perhaps even more) people by that name, and we only have an article for one of them. If you know anything about the other, you are welcome to add it! Adam Bishop 02:42, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
There's now a disambiguation page at Eleanor Plantagenet (not a particularly accurate name for either of these two women) pointing to separate articles, Eleanor of England and Eleanor of Lancaster. The vexed question of choosing which one of many alternatives to use to refer to medieval women is confounding, and the best we can do is list the names that have been used for them and do our best to keep them straight. -- Nunh-huh 23:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)


What was the largest concert ever, by attendence? [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 03:18, 2004 Sep 9 (UTC)

Well, Guinness has a category Largest Free Rock Concert Attendance which pegs the number at 3.5 million, of course, I suppose that there could be larger non-free rock concerts or free non-rock concerts, but 3.5 million seems to be a pretty big number to match, although I'm not really sure how that number was arrived at. Incidentally, I found the first reference, through which coincidentally had a Top 10 concerts by attendance list. Cvaneg 06:58, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Vespucci Again[edit]

Now I have a question about Amerigo Vespucci name. Was the name Amerigo around before Amerigo Vespucci was born? I mean was the name said and spelled the same before he was born?

Not exactly an answer, but Amerigo was named after an earlier St. Amerigo. Amerigo is the Latinized form of the Teutonic name Amalric/Emeric/Emmerich, so St. Amerigo is probably St. Emeric (in Hungarian St. Imre: the son of St. Stephen King of Hungary), who was killed in A.D. 1031. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 07:44, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Incidentally, 'Amalric/Emeric/Emmerich' has the same root as the English 'Henry'; Hence, the big double continent in the Western hemisphere could be considered to be named Henry. Just useless trivia to ponder... Radagast 22:13, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
The literal translation of "America" is feminine: welcome to the United States of Henrietta! -- FirstPrinciples12:01, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Finding A Star- HELP[edit]

Hello everyone,

Just wondering if anyone would be able to help me. I have just named a star after my girlfriend and would love to be able to actually show her the star. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can go about this? We live in London and none of the observatories nearby have a service to see specific stars. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is Many thanks again.

Posted at the village pump by an anon¹ and moved here by Trilobite (Talk) 16:17, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Damian.....I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but every "name a star after someone" service I know of is a complete scam. So, you can certainly show your star to your girlfriend, but know that her name has not been associated with that star in any meaningful way. Most such services assert that the star will be registered with the name through the "copyright office" or some such entity -- what they mean is that a book full of starnames is registered as havign been printed with said office. The name is never used by anyone -- scientists, casual observers, other star charts. Furthermore, most of these outfits are so fly-by-night that their star charts are often badly incorrect -- I recall reading of one instance where a fleck of dust had gotten onto the star chart being photocopied, and the company sold someone the rights to name that "star". So, it is very possible your star doesn't exist. I don't know who can help you find your star, but I would personally suggest you contact the company, do your best to get your money back, and in the meantime purchase a bouquet of roses for your young lady. Poetry is also nice -- the advantage to either one is that it is truly hers in a meaningful way. As for writing her name in the stars, I'm afraid the only way of doing so in a permanent and meaningful way is to pursue postgraduate studies in astronomy. Good luck, and once again, sorry to have to bring you down. Jwrosenzweig 19:38, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC) (I'll email him too.)
The IAU have a page on this. Marnanel 20:05, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Alternatively, you could just buy a telescope and look through the night sky till you find a star that you like. Designate that star as the one that you named after your girlfriend. Your claim will be as valid as anyone else's, and frankly, no one will know the difference. This also gives you the added benefit of being able to pick a star like Polaris that stays in your hemisphere year round, rather than one that only shows up in certain seasons. Cvaneg 22:59, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I hope you didn't part with much money! Ah well, it's the thought that counts. Trilobite (Talk) 03:09, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As mentioned above, this sort of naming doesn't mean much, but it you still want to find the star, a good starting point would be its coordinates. Rather than degrees North and East, as used on the Earth, the main coordinate system for astronomical objects uses Right ascension and Declination (or RA & Dec). If you know those for the star in question, then you can it lookup an online sky survey:- for example at

Enter the coordinates, ignore the other boxes and hit 'Retrieve Image' - the star should be at the centre of the image.

It can get a little more complicated; you really need to know the 'epoch' for the coordinates (generally either J2000 or the older B1950). You might also need to choose the photographic survey you want to use (some of them don't cover the whole sky). At the STSCI site, a good choice is to use the POSS2/UKSTU survey which is a combination of the second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey of the northern hemisphere, and the UK Schmidt Telescope survey of the southern hemisphere.

Once you have an image of your star field, you can then find someone with a telescope on an equatorial mount, point it at the same coordinates and see the star for real. After doing all this, there is a good chance that you still won't be sure that you have found the right star. In which case, just pick any star near the centre of the image - your girlfriend probably won't know any better. -- Solipsist 08:14, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This question wasn't posted by an anon; his e-mail address is! Pretty clear if you ask me... --Gelu Ignisque
¹ Indeed. I wrote that instinctively because the contributor was an IP adress and not a registered user. — Trilobite (Talk) 23:59, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Leader of the Free World[edit]

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "Leader of the Free World"? I see from the President of the United States and Free world entries that it's a cold war term, but I was wondering who first coined it. Also, what do non-Americans think when this term is used to describe the US President (either current or previous)? Cvaneg 17:51, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It was certainly in common use by the time of Lyndon Johnson, who on at least one occasion used the phrase to refer to himself (in refusing to answer a reporter's question that he found trivial). -- Jmabel 18:22, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
And, to answer your other question, we think the phrase sucks big-time. But we enjoy seeing your empire-in-decline condition :) --Tagishsimon
Your unilateral unamericanism will not be tolerated! You don't want to end up like him, do you? Stop asking questions! 23:56, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
(Interested readers are invited to browse the other images in the Propaganda Remix Project.) 23:58, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
Misery loves company, eh? (Normally I'd wait for some Irishman to say that, but they seem to be unaccountably quiet.) Schadenfreude, however, is not always a sensible response. Does anyone happen to recall the process of decline of German imperial ambitions? It is regarded by some as not pretty. Some of us (the ones who always regarded "Leader of the Free World"—don't forget the caps—as ludicrous) are trying to prevent a similar process, but since we are all stupid and malicious and illiterate Americans, we shall probably fail. Hope you enjoy the fallout. BTW, the LBJ quote was "Isn't that a chickenshit question to ask the Leader of the Free World?" If only Bill Clinton had had the sense to take that line and stick to it. Dandrake 00:23, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
I understand that non-Americans would consider it a slight to their nation's leader(s), but is the term truly accurate? It appears that El Presidente, with control over an enormously powerful military and vast economic resources, is in fact the most powerful man in the world. Right? Ðåñηÿßôý | Talk 03:38, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Being a leader is more than just being the strongest and richest kid on the playground. Leadership implies some level of respect or at least fear from others. If power was the only criteria we used, then we could refer to the president as "Leader of the Planet Earth", and if you think people didn't like the first title . . . . Cvaneg 07:27, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Everyone knows that the most powerful man in the universe is Alan Greenspan. Gentgeen 07:33, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I think most non-Americans have got used to America's self-centred grandiosity (like, for instance, naming a domestic sports tournament the World Series). And anyway, the U.S. President clearly does have a legitimate claim as the world's foremost leader, whether we foreigners like it or not. -- FirstPrinciples 12:41, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
On the question of the World Series... Considering that baseball was played almost nowhere else when the first World Series was played between Boston and Pittsburg in 1903 (Boston won), the term wasn't inappropriate at the time. All the world (or that part of it that cared) was involved. As for more recent times, when baseball has come to be appreciated in other parts of the world, well... What should happen in my view is that the folks who own the ball clubs in the American Major Leagues should come to see that others should be involved, and the others (surely not as compromised by a long history of astonishing short sightedness and dumbth) come to agree. Then it might actually be a real world series. For the moment the historical usage is firmly glued on.
How on the other hand to cope with rampant American self centered delusions of grandiosity? The point above about leadership is important but probably too subtle to come into actual use, and in any case no politician anywhere is likely to agree that anyone else is the leader. The problem is not particular to America, however it may appear in recent years; in post Roman Republic times it was even worse as the Emperor was thought divine (or treated that way -- I've often wondered with what degree of tongue in cheek was it accepted), the leaders of Britain were quite publicly self-satisfied for most of the period between Waterloo and WWI, Soviet leaders seem often to have taken their 'leading role' in the world's move to communisim rather seriously, Persian Emperors seem to have a serious case of it, ... and so on. But, it's rather over the top, even for me, a US citizen. Perhaps the most anyone can do is regard it as one of those oddities of the US, like hot dogs (what do canids have to do with sausages?) or odd spelling (humor, color, and so on?), and even odder accents. ww 16:48, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Humor, program, leveler, liter. In most cases, the British spelling seem to prefer the presence of the spurious, silent letters of the French tradition. I consider the American spellings to be streamlined and optimized. And burgle (v.) and transport (n.) are just funny-looking. I can't defend American unilateralism, but I like the way we spell! 15:35, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
American spelling differences seem to have originally been a political reaction to independence from those nasty English. Noah Webster was a rabi.., err, fan of independence and thought republican virtue required dropping all those Imperially wicked English ways, including the spelling. Not even the Americans were willing to put with all of his 'innovations'. Since then, of course, things have gotten out of control. (Were they ever in control, for English spelling?) ww 18:15, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(Main article: American and British English differences) 18:06, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
  • As someone who has always enjoyed writing it is the pitfalls, intricacies and downright counterintuitiveness of English that gives me most pleasure. If everything were simplified the literacy rate in Britain would shoot up (ie more people would be competing with me) and I wouldn't be able to laugh haughtily (notice the ridiculous presence of the gh there) at lesser mortals. Join my Keep English Difficult! campaign --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 15:44, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
B, Actually English is quite easy. No gender, simplified basic tenses/cases, and tolerant of lots of screwy usage (mistaken or otherwise). Unlike French which, being represented by picky French, wary of Anglo linguistic domination, is picky. Which is why it's possible for newcomers to pick up working English pretty quickly. Another application (sort of) of the 90-10 rule. It's the 10% in English that's hellaciously hard. Like, spelling, obscure pluperfect tenses, turning everything in sight into a verb, trying to keep up with proper use of allusions to all those great writers (Shakespeare, Pope, Milton, Johnson, Poe, Vonnegut, Dickinson, ...), and coping with all the new words/slang the language welcomes with open arms (and speakers welcome with protest letters to The Times). Unless we go with an Acadamie Anglaise to police it, I suspect English will continue to be gloriously (and maddeningly) easy/difficult. In important ways, your campaign is a lead pipe cinch, a shoo-in, a can of corn, a piece of cake, the fix is in, stick a fork in it, .... Having thus baffled international readers everywhere, I'll butt out, take a bow, shuffle off, drop out, it's been real, time's up, later 'gator, ... ww 18:15, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What is the lightest bicycle frame material?[edit]

Sheldon knows:

Well, he does not say much about carbon. He says that it is not mature. I think that is not really true anymore. I think you will find that in today's bicycle industry, the lightest racing bikes are carbon. Carbon tends to be stiff and expensive. There are now several bikes that combine carbon with steel, titanium, or aluminum for better feel and handling. nroose Talk 02:45, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Strictly, carbon is used in various alloys or as carbon fiber, not independently. Alloys of steel, titanium, or aluminium with carbon are mostly metal. Carbon fiber is composed of innumerable tightly woven carbon filaments, and is 93 - 95% carbon.
Bicycle frames using carbon fiber are actually composed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), a composite of carbon fibers and epoxy. Currently, this may be the lightest practical frame material, as CFRP is very strong for its weight. --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 16:32, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

crime rate[edit]

Does anybody know which industrialized nation in the west has the lowest crime rate in the western hemisphere? I want to guess maybe Sweden or Norway but does anybody the answer?

Well, technically, Sweden and Norway are in the eastern hemisphere...not that that helps :) Adam Bishop 02:19, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
One thing you'll want to consider is that different countries have different standards of law. So, even if you get an answer to the question, the information may not actually mean anything if you don't examine other variables that tell you how law enforcement and compliance figure into the equation as well. Cvaneg 18:42, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It also depends on how you define "the west"; for this article, a notably important case would be Japan, famous for its relatively low levels of crime (though apparently crime rates are perceived to be increasing there). --Robert Merkel 15:00, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

English to Hebrew?[edit]

9-8-04 Does anyone here know how I can find out what t/ names Lance and Lacie look like in t/ Hebrew language? Thanks alot! jen

Do you want a transcription into the Hebrew alphabet, or the Hebrew variants of these names? [[User:Anárion|АПА́ДІОП]] 08:18, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Nikola Tesla's personal life[edit]

Our article on Nikola Tesla doesn't seem to mention anything about his personal life. Seems more like he was completely involved by his work.

Was he married or anything? Kieff | Talk 03:38, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

He never married. But you are right, we could use a little more on the personal side of his bio. -- Solipsist 10:11, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Never married, no children, concensus of his biographers seems to be that he was celibate and totally dedicated to his work. He wrote an idosyncratic autobiography which you can see here Gandalf61 10:24, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
Were he alive today, his behavior in most of his later life would result in some pychological involvment, perhaps even committment. He was a very peculiar fellow, but enormously capable in some respects. Would the psychologists/psychiatrists, if they were to have become involved, have treated him so as to 'normalize' him? And would such an effort have interferred with his inventivness? Any psycholgists/psychiatrists familar with hiw work and achievments care to comment? ww 16:53, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
40 years ago, maybe. Then, psychiatrists did a lot of this kind of stuff. But fairness requires to mention that psychiatry has matured. I'm not a medical professional, but I understand, that today's psychiatric practice manuals strongly emphasize the importance that a behaviour or symptom must cause distress felt by the patient or cause disability to cope with one's life without help. (It seems to be, e.g., a common misconception, that the typical delusional schizophrenic is happy in his "imagined" or hallucinated world. But of course, she suffers, as she often is aware that it is wrong what her senses seem to tell her.) I'd say the milestone here was that psychiatry realized its guilt in the discrimination of homosexuals by labelling it abnormal and requiring treatment without noticing that it is not the "patient" but rather a narrow-minded society surrounding him, that has problems with his lifestyle. Simon A. 09:06, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Psychiatrists in the US only do involuntary commitments if someone appears to be an imminent physical threat to himself or someone else. Eccentricity never warrants involuntary treatment. Psychiatrists and psychologists cannot "normalize" someone whose mental illness is more than "self-worry"-- they can offer medications or talking therapy to reduce distressing feelings and behavior. Nothing about Tesla remotely suggested a need for involuntary commitment. A more relevant example of a "genius" forced to undergo psychiatric treatment was Alan Turing. I believe the coercion was a matter of threatening loss of employment or security clearance for classified work if he refused, but still not quite the same thing as involuntary commitment. I think the "mental illness" was a combination of homosexuality, eccentricity, and perhaps some social disability resembling autism. I don't think the treatments (which included hormones if I recall) were considered beneficial, but someone else may be able to supply more details. Alteripse 14:38, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
About Alan Turing: No, in his case, it was really only due his homosexuality which was then still considered a crime in Britain. (See sodomy law and consensual crime for a discussion.) So, the court let him choose between jail and a drug therapy to "free" him from his tendency to commit the "crime" of engaging in homosexual relationships. It seems, this "treatment" rendered him depressive and is considered a major reason for his suicide. Turing's fate is precisely what I hat in mind when I wrote above that today's psychiatry realized the guilt the discipline aquired when trying to "normalize" people in previous times. Simon A. 14:57, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I am going to nitpick here, not about Turing but about your descriptions above of psychiatry. Do not conflate willingness to consider a human variation a disease with coerced treatment. Considering homosexuality a mental "disease" was arguably an advance in humaneness over considering it the voluntary evil crime of sodomy, to be punished. Even when psychiatrists were willing to categorize it as a disease, the psychiatrists were not trying to round up patients to treat by coercion-- they didn't have an effective treatment. If you are correct in your description of Turing's case, it was the court that forced the choice: either a crime or a disease, not the psychiatrists. Our understanding of the distinctions between "mental illness" and "human difference" have changed many times in different eras and different societies and will change many times again. It is not rare for social forces outside the medical profession to force changes in definitions and categorizations of disease, even physical disease. Social forces led to the categorization of homosexuality as a disease and social forces just as clearly led to un-categorizing it as a disease-- one act was as arbitrary and unscientific as the other, and both acts were done with the intention of being "more humane" becasue of a "new scientific understanding of the condition". You are being too generous to "psychiatry" to describe it as a "maturation"-- I'd simply call it a social change, no more or less "mature" or ethical than the original categorizing. See the disease article for more examples of this. The only thing you can be certain of is that this continues to happen in all societies: new diseases will be created by social consensus and old diseases will disappear by social consensus. Alteripse 20:23, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Lottery elections[edit]

Is there any country/state/city/corporation/buiseness, etc. that elects its leader through a lottery system? --elpenmaster

Venice used to use a very complicated series of lotteries and elections to choose the Doge. This was supposed to reduce the influence of factions on the election result. See Doges of Venice for the full glory:
Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge.
There was also a Council of Ten (membership 17) which held the real power, chosen in a similar but more straightforward way. --AlexG 13:56, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Ancient Greece also used a lottery system to choose some officials. [1]Cvaneg 16:22, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Certain American villages do this as well, lacking interest in what may at times be seen as meaningless positions (such as mayor of a village with a population less than 50). Rhymeless 04:25, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

1973 Ford Mustang Convertible[edit]

Can you tell me what the very last VEN number is. What site I can go to inorder to find it. Been looking at this car to buy. They told me it was the very last one every made. Just tring to find out if that is true or not. Thank You Tona kAY

Get in touch with Ford? — Trilobite (Talk) 23:54, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Alternatively you could try contacting an enthusiasts' club. They tend to know this kind of thing, partly becuase they're trainspotters by nature and partly because this kind of information is important to help their members avoid being defrauded. --Robert Merkel 07:08, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Referenceing this web site[edit]


I would like to use a map of Pasco County in Florida that I found within this website and would like to know how to correctly cite it. Which would include authurship, date published, title, publishing company, and their location.

Thanks for the help. Please reply at


I'll cover this one. →Raul654 19:17, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Guitar Question[edit]

If you have a chord, and you move all strings down one fret, you get the flat below it chord. Now, what if that chord has open strings (say Em), how would you move it down (to Ebm in this case) Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 22:31, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Tune your guitar down a half-step? :-) Check out - has a neat little interface to see what some different chords look like. -- Wapcaplet 22:44, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • You can't, at least not in any simple, systematic manner. This is part of why picking a particular fingering of a chord on a guitar is a bit of an art. -- Jmabel 22:47, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
    See, I've only been learning guitar for about 3 months (but I played T, Sax for 3 years before that so I can read music) so I'm still not that good Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 22:51, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • In this particular case, I would recommend playing the note on the next string down, and then transposing the rest of your fingers down if necessary. I never played guitar, but back when I played a violin, my teacher never wanted me to play on open strings anyway. It sucks at first, but it will eventually improve your fingering. Cvaneg 22:55, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • If you want to play an open chord in different positions on the neck, you can learn to play the bar chord version -- you lay your index finger over all six strings at the same position; the other fingers take up positions relative to the bar that, in the open string version, they would take relative to the nut. To play Eb minor, you could use the "E" shape bar chord with the bar placed at the 11th fret -- there's a risk it wouldn't sound so good there, though. Alternatively, you could move your fingers down one fret from the open chord version, and mute the strings that were open strings when you played open E (the two E strings and the B string); again, this probably wouldn't sound that great. — Matt 23:47, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

King Gillette and William Gillette[edit]

My question is are the two men in some way related. Both are contemporaries. As you probably know the first is the safety razor inventor and the latter was an actor and portrayor of Sherlock Holmes.

If no-one here can enlighten you, perhaps you might want to ask the question on the message board of the Gillette Historical Society Mintguy (T)

what did the victorians use the ice prick for?[edit]

Assuming you mean an ice pick, breaking up blocks of ice. The same as modern folk. [[User:Anárion|Ана́рыён]] 20:21, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • As Victorian-era folk lacked things such as refrigeration, one would buy a large block of ice. Thus the need for an icebox, and thereby an icepick. Rhymeless 22:51, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • It seemed to be a handy tool for frontal lobotomies as well (not kidding).Alteripse 22:56, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • Post-Victorian, however. Dandrake 00:25, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Deletion woes![edit]

I have created a user page in wikipedia but now would like to have my user page deleted or removed as I have another wikipedia userpage as well.But I do not understand how to delete the user page itself. Please tell me how I can do so.

If you select all text and then hit delete, would that do it? PedanticallySpeaking 13:38, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
Or redirect it to your new page using #REDIRECT[[User:New_Username]] ed g2stalk 20:19, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Best as a redirect, that way old friends can catch up with you. If you don't want to be caught, you can log in as the old user and use the speedy delete tag {{del}} and an admin will delete it. Dunc_Harris| 21:50, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)


why are ovum oval in shape?

"Ovum" is Latin for egg, and "oval" means ovum-shaped. So Ovums are oval because oval describes the shape of eggs. There are several reasons eggs are oval in shape, one of them is that an oval shape provides excellent structural integrity all over. See also Why are Eggs Oval?. [[User:Anárion|Ана́рыён]] 20:25, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ova is the plural of ovum. The structural advantage of the ovoid shape is important if laid in a shell, but human and most animal ova are round and soft, especially if they get fertilized within mother's body. The ova contain the haploid DNA of a gamete, but they also are much larger than sperm because they contain stored nutrients and mitochondria for the pre-implantation stages of zygote development. A spherical or nearly spherical ovoid is one of the most efficient shapes for bulk storage. Sperm are swimming packages of DNA and contribute basically just the DNA, so their function determines form as well. Alteripse 20:45, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Because it really, really hurts to lay a cube? - Nunh-huh 21:39, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Is that why cubes get laid even less often than squares? Alteripse 21:51, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

artifacts of the Seneca tribe[edit]

Wikipedia does have some information about the Seneca tribe and other related groups. See Category:Seneca tribe, Category:Native American, etc. If you have a more specific question, it might be answered at --AlexG 20:50, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Time Capsule[edit]

I am currently preparing a time capsule, proposed to be buried together with a building foundation. Is there any way for me to retrieve a copy of the Wikipedia that can be rolled into a few DVDs? Any versions that you would recommend? Please, oh, please, don't make me download anything "exabyty". archives being here: -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 15:30, 2004 Sep 12 (UTC)

How long do you anticipate the capsule being burried? What do you think the likelihood of DVD readers being common by that time are? Take a look at BBC Domesday Project and Digital obsolescence. Intrigue 19:00, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Origin of the phrase "sit Indian-style"[edit]

Does the phrase "to sit Indian-style" (i.e. "cross-legged" or "tailor-fashion") originally come from a reference to Native Americans, or people from India? -- 20:37, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Early European accounts of "aboriginal" Americans described this, since chairs were European and Asian and to the Europeans, seeing large numbers of people sitting on the ground like that was distinctively not "old-world". Alteripse 23:03, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm very interested in learning more about this, since I was under the impression that Indians also traditionally sit in a similar fashion (look at a GIS for yoga, for instance). Could you provide some references? Ambarish | Talk 16:47, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Research Instrument Destroying the Research Object[edit]

Moved from the Village Pump by Ilyanep

-- 16:30, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC) I' ve heard about a paradox that if we study very small of difficult particulars of "things", they are so delicate that the instrument meant to study them destroy them. Where can I find more information on this issue?

Yours, cordially Yrjö Mikkonen, Oulu, Finland

Perhaps Uncertainty principle - stating that the act of measuring changes the condition of the thing being measured? -- Netoholic @ 16:49, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes, Uncertainty principle is sometimes described in such form. Andris 23:31, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)
Probably not quite what is intended, but you could also check the Scanning tunneling microscope. It works close to the Quantum limit in measuring the position of individual atoms, and can also be used to move atoms around. -- Solipsist 16:46, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps an example of what might have been intended would be X-ray diffraction studfies of biological materials. Since such studies require crystalline fixity of atoms/molecules, they can be done only on some sorts of biological materials. So, if you wish to study the structure of some protein, you have to produce enough to crytallize (a serious problem in and of itself in many (most?) cases) and then mount it at the focus of your X-ray beam. Some minutes or even hours later, having delivered large amounts of seriously ionizing radiation to your sample you will have a large pile of data, and a completely destroyed sample. Heat, ionization, bond destruction, .... One of the major problems in such work is finding a way to fix the sample (ie, the protein crystal) so it doesn't merely melt into goo after 30 seconds. ww 18:24, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I stumbled upon this thread completely accidentally, and couldn't help but crack up laughing: Research instrument destroying the research object -- isn't that the seminal definition of Wikipedia?  :-P (talk) 23:53, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The title of two old cartoons[edit]

There's some old cartoon I remember watching that had some old woman with a baloon. The ballon was full of gadgets and it made a funny sound, and I think it left a trail of smoke puffs behind where it passed...

The other cartoon is one anime (I think) featuring two moles. They used sun glasses, if I'm remembering correctly...

Anyone knows the name of those? Kieff | Talk 01:49, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Morocco Mole maybe Rmhermen 02:29, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
Some guy at IMDb said the same thing... No, it's not Morocco Kieff | Talk 03:10, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Blue Lady[edit]

  1. What are the origins and background of the legends described in, particularly regarding the children's Blue Lady?
  2. How are the legends about Bloody Mary, La Llorona, the Blue Lady, and the Yorùbá goddess Yemaja related?
  3. What is the background for the children's religion; that is, which cultures' mythologies and beliefs most closely match theirs?

I appreciate the irony in my asking about this. =P --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 02:01, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

thermal homeostasis[edit]

how do mammals maintain thermal homeostasis? Would you consider this a handicap?

Checked our article on homeostasis already? And yes, I think it's a handicap. It's such a waste of energy. Kieff | Talk 03:13, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
Mammals maintain thermal homeostasis by all the things you would expect a cold person to do - skeletal muscle contractions (shivering), curling up (to reduce skin area and thus reduce heat loss), constriction of skin blood vessels (which lowers skin temperature which in turn reduces heat loss), Goose bumps (which trap heat near the body), etc.
Is thermal homeostasis a handicap? Well, it's a necessity of being warm blooded. So is being warm blooded a handicap? It has some benefits and one big drawback -- it takes a *LOT* of energy. On the other hand, it also allows animals to exist in cold or unpredictable climates, and it allows a much higher metabolic rate than cold blooded creatures have. →Raul654 03:15, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
It also allows you to run and climb faster, probably to think faster, and so avoid getting eaten by other things. In which case it might be a price worth paying. Muscles, being chemical engines of a sort, work better at higher temperatures (up to a point of course) and that accounts for the habit cold blooded creatures have of moving into warm spots every so often (snakes and lizards for instance). And if you move faster, you can catch more food.

Though there's an arms race here as all the large cold blooded grazers have been killed off by faster_than_they_were predators -- seen any large herds of brontosaurs of late?, and what's left can be pretty quick on its toes. Consder pronghorn antelope, or many sorts of deer (not the same sort of thing at all), and the fact that cheetahs spend an awful lot of time sitting around panting having missed, yet again. ww 18:31, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I recommend the articles on homeostasis and thermoregulation. If there is specific information you feel is missing from there feel free to come back and ask. As for your second question I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you consider it a handicap? And in what ways? I would suggest that it's of great advantage to mammals to be able to maintain a constant internal environment as it allows them to exploit niches in the environment cold-blooded animals (i.e. those whose internal temperature simply reflects what the weather's doing) wouldn't be able to. You couldn't have a reptilian polar bear for instance. Another advantage of thermal homeostasis is that it's much easier for enzymes to work efficiently in particular narrow ranges of temperature. Human body temperature, for example, is always maintained as close as possible to 37°C because this is the optimal temperature for the body's enzymes, i.e. the temperature at which they can process chemicals the fastest. Of course, being warm-blooded does have its disadvantages, notably that a lot of energy is required to keep the temperature up and so for a mammal there is plenty of eating to be done. Despite this though, warm-bloodedness has been very successful evolutionarily, giving rise to all the many species of mammals and birds that make the world what it is today. Interestingly, birds tend to have a body temperature a few degrees higher than that of mammals. This allows them to carry out chemical reations as part of their metabolism at faster rates than we do. The hotter you want to be the more energy you need to get there, but birds can afford to be hotter because of the superior insulating properties of feathers. — Trilobite (Talk) 03:21, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Didn't we do this one last month? [4] Didn't your teacher like our answers? One more thing: these days, there are hundreds of research scientists looking for ways to make thermal homeostasis less efficient-- fame and fortune await. Arguably, those most efficient are at greatest risk of obesity, other things being equal. See if your teacher likes this one. Alteripse 01:04, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Best Military commanders ever[edit]

I've started a list of who I think are the great commanders (both generals and admirals) of all time at User:Raul654/sandbox. I'm curious to see what others have to say on the subject - feel free to add your own lists to my sandbox. →Raul654 07:15, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Health status of Inuits (was: where can I find answers to this that are truthful please?)[edit]

  1. current health status of inuits
  2. social and cultural factors that impact on contemporary health status;
  3. historical factors that impact on contemporary health status;
  4. current approaches to effective health care provision by governments and indigenous health organisations; and
  5. principles of effective health care provision ie what are the success factors recognised by governments and indigenous health organisations.

First some notes, remember the Wikipedia:General disclaimer for info on here. However, if you feel any information is innaccurate, please correct it or make a note on the page's talk page.

I would look at Health Canada they have a report there. Dunc_Harris| 11:03, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

For general background, especially on social/cultural/historical factors and general context, you would likely find some of Farley Mowat's books of great interest. Sharkford 15:20, 2004 Sep 13 (UTC)
...also possibly some of William Vollmann's books. -- Jmabel 18:37, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC) Vollman's books are great but this is like recommending Gabriel Garcia Marquez to someone who needs info on current social issues in Colombia.Alteripse 11:54, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Looking back at this, I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned already: for the record, "Inuit" has been taken into English as the plural word, the singular being "Inuk" or "Inuq" (I'm taking this directly from the Wikipedia article Inuit, but current Canadian media usage is the same). So "Inuits" is non-standard. Sharkford 14:16, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)

Actually, if one is going to be picky, one would have to use the dual too. "Two Inuuk" instead of "two inuit". But that is neither here nor there. In my experience, the invariant "inuit" is used the most often. "One inuk" , "several inuit."

Health issues: Substance abuse is rampant in Inuit communities. Alcohol is banned in many of them and restricted in nearly all, but that works about as well as cocaine laws do in the rest of Canada. Glue sniffing has become widespread among the youth in many, many communities. Consequences: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is commonplace. Suicide is notoriously widespread. Domestic violence is commonplace.

Other issues: Inuit tend to be poor and have some of the diseases of poverty. Vitamin deficiencies are generally corrected these days when correctable, and third world diseases that result from poor hygiene are largely gone. However, the high cost of imported foods means that increasingly the Inuit, like poor people everywhere, get a growing part of their nutrition from low cost foods with poor nutritional value. Protein intake is generally adequate, thanks to a pattern of subsistence hunting that continues in the present, but fresh fruits and vegetables are a rarity. Many essential vitamins can be had from fish and especially seal meat, but not all.

Specific conditions: hearing loss is epidemic in many communities, asthma is widespread in Labrador and probably elsewhere, there is a shocking amount of sexually transmitted disease.

Sexual mores among the Inuit are a particular problem, and a socio-cultural one. Pregnancy by age 16 is common. AIDS is rampant, along with syphilis and clamydia. It's cold in the winter, and promiscuity in traditionaly native life was commonplace.

Dental health can be a real problem, since dentistry is not covered by Canada's socialised medicine. Emergency care and full time access to doctors can also be a problem in arctic communities. There is some compensating infrastructure - medevac service and even the smallest communities have nursing stations, and it is all paid for by the government - but there are some social barriers to using institutions that generally have exclusively Kablunamiut staff who usually don't speak Inuktitut.

For some specifics I'd try a search of the archives at the Nunatsiaq News website.

Diderot 15:30, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)


What is a Copycat? --Patricknoddy 20:17, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)User:Patricknoddy --Patricknoddy 20:17, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)User talk:Patricknoddy 16:17 September 13, 2004 (EDT)

  • A schoolyard insult referring to anyone who mimics another person. Or is there another meaning that you had in mind? 20:39, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
  • A schoolyard insult referring to anyone who mimics another person. Or is there another meaning that you had in mind? Dunc_Harris| 21:13, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hasidic Jewish sideburns[edit]

I am writing a piece about Hasidic Judaism, and was wondering, is there a more formal term for the long sideburns Hasidic Jews wear than "curly sideburns"?

Also, do that hat, beard and coat carry any special names? [[User:DO'Neil|DO'Иeil]] 21:05, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

I think the sideburns are called "payess", but I don't know about the rest. --Diberri | Talk 23:00, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
In a book I read (The Chosen by Chaim Potok) the hair is referred to as 'earlocks'. ike9898 19:41, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

The earlocks are called peyoth (Modern Hebrew) or peyes (Yiddishised Ashkenazi dialect). The Torah (in Leviticus 19:27[5]) states that one may not remove the "corners of the beard", interpreted by the oral law to refer to the sideburns. Most Hassidim and many Non-Hasidic Haredim embellish this law by growing the earlocks. JFW | T@lk 05:33, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The hat can be called a "streimal", different styles of hat worn by different groups of chasidim.


When was the Prussian province Westphalia named? --anon

The earliest records of the name Westphalia date from the year 800, when it referred to a region between the Weser River and the Rhine. During the Middle Ages an additional region along the banks of the Weser River called Engern became part of Westphalia as well. Westphalia has been populated throughout the Common Era.

Porta Westfalica (Latin, literally "gate to Westphalia") is a recent name coined during the 19th century. Porta Westfalica is a gorge through which the Weser flows.

North Rhine-Westphalia is the modern German federal state containing Westphalia and northern Rhineland. Its borders were defined by Great Britain following World War II, in 1946. In 1947 the state Lippe was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia. --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 02:39, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The pepsin article says pepsin "is permanently inactivated above pH 6".

  1. What does this mean?
    1. Is the enzyme irreversibly chemically altered by changing pH levels?
  2. Why does it only function in an acidic environment?
  3. Is there a specific temperature range necessary for its activity?
  4. Is pepsin recycled by pepsin?

--[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 02:03, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Not sure about question one but I read that sentence as meaning it is irreversibly altered. The acid thing might have something to do with disulphide bonds between the amino acids but I Am Not A Biochemist. Chemical structure of the enzyme anyway. The underlying reason for this acidity is to do with the stomach being able to kill bacteria and other foreign organisms, so of course its own enzymes have to be able to survive these harsh conditions. The temperature range will be centred around 37°C: any colder and the reaction carried out by the enzyme will progress more slowly (though it will still work), too much hotter and the pepsin molecules will become denatured, i.e. the active site where the reaction actually takes place will become twisted out of shape due to the disruption of bonds elsewhere in the protein. — Trilobite (Talk) 05:45, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(1) Above pH 5 or so, human pepsin is reversibly inactivated, but above ~pH 6 or 7, it's irreversible. (Though some other pepsins, e.g. chicken pepsin, is quite stable at neutral pH.) (1a) IIRC, the irreversible change is due to one terminal's (N or C, I don't remember) the N-terminal's instability; at neutral pH, it tends to move away from the active site, thereby accelerating denaturation (see [6]). (3) Human pepsin is secreted by chief cells as pepsinogen, which is inactive because part of the protein is blocking its catalytic site. Under acidic conditions, this inhibitory segment is dissociated from the catalytic site, and pepsinogen cleaves off the inhibitory segment from itself, leaving active pepsin. (3) What Trilobite said. (4) What do you mean by "recycled"? By definition, all enzymes are sort of self-recycling in that they leave a reaction in the same state in which they started. If that's not what you're referring to, please clarify. --Diberri | Talk 10:46, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I mean, will a pepsin enzyme eventually break down other pepsin enzymes? --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 19:36, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes, pepsin can degrade other pepsin molecules. However, the ratio of dietary protein to pepsin is so great that the effect of self-degradation is probably negligible. --Diberri | Talk 03:14, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)

Re: Question 1 - The type of inactivation referred to here is called denaturation. In a typical case, there isn't a real "chemical reaction" taking place. Pepsin, like any protein, can be thought of as a long string folded in a specific 3 dimensional pattern. When pepsin is denatured, the 'string' is essentially misfolded. Pepsin is still the same chemical entity, but it's 'conformation' has changed. ike9898 18:27, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Browser fonts[edit]

Is there any way I can easily define what fonts MSIE is using or should use for a given Unicode range? Many ranges appear to be missing from the 'Fonts' field in 'Internet Options', and (possibly as a result) MSIE fails to display many characters good browsers like Opera and Firething can, even on the same system. [[User:Anárion|Ⓐℕάℛℹℴɴ]] 09:33, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have a similar question, but regarding Mozilla instead. How may different fonts be assigned to different ranges at all? --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 19:42, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Some zillas have interface options, others can only be configured using the advanced prefs (prefs.js). See also [7]. Opera is the only browser I have used which allows selection per rangee (but alas not all ranges are included). All 3 browsers should do auto-sensing, but unfortunately some fonts lie, and this will lead to bad display. [[User:Anárion|Ⓐℕάℛℹℴɴ]] 22:33, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

artifically selected cows[edit]

Right, there's a painting I want of a enormous artificially selected pig (or maybe cow) from Derbyshire? Anyone remember anything else about it so I can google a copy? Dunc_Harris| 09:50, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"The Durham Ox", perhaps? Although, good luck finding a decent sized copy. - 11:06, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC) Lee (talk)
If its not Boultbee's Durham Ox you are after there is a whole slew of similar paintings here. Gwynn's Shropshire Pig could be a good choice. Perhaps it just goes to show that rich 19th century landowners had more money than sense, and would rather have a painting of a fat pig than one of their own children. -- Solipsist 07:35, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Martin Waldseemuller[edit]

I'm doing reseach about Martin Waldseemuller and I would like to know did Martin Waldseemuller really thought he named America after Amerigo Vespucci? Plus is there any proof he thought he named America after Amerigo Vespucci?

See naming of America and related articles including Martin Waldseemüller, Amerigo Vespucci and Richard Amerike. Mintguy (T) 21:36, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Keratin and the eyelid[edit]

Why is there not any keratin on the eyelid?

The two major types of connective tissue protein fibers are keratin and collagen. Keratin is primarily located in the epidermis and its derivatives like nails. Collagen is one of the major structural protein of the lower dermis layers and especially of cartilage. Some types of cartilage do contain keratin as well as collagen. The stiff structure of the eyelid is called the tarsal plate and it is primarily cartilage. With a quick search I could not find any evidence that the eyelid does or does not contain any keratin either in the dermis or the tarsal plate but I am fairly certain that the primary structural protein of the tarsal plate is collagen. Alteripse 01:05, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Increasing the density of a hexane solution[edit]

I know that if you want an aqueous solution with a high density, you can dissolve salts in it. If you want a really high desity solution, you need a salt (or other solute) that has very high solubitlity in water. For example, you can dissolve so much potassium iodide in water that you can produce a solution with specific gravity of 1.6 or so. What I want to do is the same thing, except with hexane instead of water. Is there something I can dissolve in the hexane that will increase it's density significantly? ike9898 18:44, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)


Is it true that Idaho was once part of the Colorado Territory?

The boundaries of the Colorado Territory were identical to the current borders of Colorado. Idaho was created from the Idaho Territory, which was created from the Washington Territory, which was created from the Oregon Territory. --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 20:03, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia has articles on Idaho and the Colorado Territory which would have been good places to start. You will see from the first paragraph of Colorado Territory that it covered exactly the same ground as Colorado state, so the answer to your question is no. However, the article on Idaho explains that the name was a hoax, and the original Idaho Territory was renamed Colorado because of it, so while what we know as Idaho today wasn't part of the territory, today's Colorado did used to be called Idaho. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:06, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Delaney cards[edit]

Why are Delaney cards called that? Is the term an eponym? --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]]

You know, I haven't the slightest idea how I should react to this question (that's not me). I'm baffled why sbd would use my signature to ask a question here. --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 20:53, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Google finds a number of pages which refer to Delaney cards, but their creator is curiously absent. --[[User:Eequor|ηυωρ]] 21:39, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Typograhy: The letters "f" and "s"[edit]

Does anyone know why, in many old texts and documents, e.g. The Constitution of the United States of America, the lower-case letter "s" is often written as an "f"? For example, "Congreff"?

It is apparently not actually an f. It's a "long s". See also [8]. The last vestige of a letter in our alphabet that changes shape according to position, I suppose. --[[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 01:48, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Excepting capital letters and curſive ſcript, of courſe. :-) • Benc • 02:58, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I suppose that was fairly obvious. It doesn't seem like exactly the same thing (capitals serve a different purpose - based, for instance, on the importance of a word and where it is in the sentence, not the form of the word itself - and cursive is a variant script), but I'm not an expert. --[[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 03:37, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The long s lives on in German as ß --Bonalaw 13:38, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That's called the scharfes s. Arabic and Greek also have consonant graphemes that change their shape according to where in a word they are, and the only existence of that "allography" in Greek is with the final sigma. --User:Gelu Ignisque
It may come from Carolingian minuscule, which uses that form of the letter s in manuscripts. I don't know if it was used before then, but it wass definitely used in the 9th century, at least. Adam Bishop 12:35, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It survives there as part of a ligature ſs (or ſz). {Ⓐℕάℛℹℴɴ} 15:13, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Canadian English[edit]

I'm trying to settle a minor dispute here: Do Canadians generally use American English spellings, British English spellings, or a combination of both? For example, is it "center" or "centre", "color" or "colour", or all of the above?

If anyone could answer this, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks! Suntiger 01:52, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Generally? Well it varies...the Canadian Oxford Dictionary uses centre, colour, theatre, and program for example. Personally, I would use those spellings as well. I find that Canadians try to use British spellings if they are trying to be non-American, except when it looks really odd (like programme). Other Canadians don't care and use American spellings. It's a combination of both, and largely depends on the individual speller. Adam Bishop 02:33, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, according to The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (David Crystal, 1995, ISBN 0-521-40179-8, page 340):
Many British people identify a Canadian accent as American; many Americans identify it as British. Canadians themselves insist on not being identified with either group, and certainly the variety does display a number of unique features.
French is naturally a huge influence, as is Canada's desire not to be viewed as the "51st state". Also from the above source:
[I]n a 1991 report, over 80 per cent of high-school students in Ontario were said to be spelling words like colour with -our, while over 60 per cent of their counterparts in Alberta were using -or. The US model seems to be becoming more widespread in popular publications, and the press on the whole uses US spelling... British spelling, however, is the norm in learned journals and school textbooks. And juxtapositions of the two models are common in private correspondence...
So the short answer to your question is: a combination of both. PS: our Canadian English article says the same, more or less. • Benc • 02:49, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Whoops, hadn't seen that. Thanks guys! Suntiger 03:37, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Short answer: it's a mix, variable regionally and depending on the user's field of expertise. It's also shifting with time, though if anything there may currently be a trend toward fixing on certain non-U.S. spellings.
Canadians never write "kerb" or "tyre" (for curb, in any sense, and car tire). "Programme" and is now rare, though as late as the '80s I saw "subprogramme" in Canadian-authored computer documentation. I would say that "analog" is even with "analogue", but "catalogue" generally persists, and even moreso their high-falutin' cousins like "demagogue". Most U.K. -our and -re spellings seem to dominate in Canada. "Aluminium" is officially standardized within the industry (as it is, I believe, in the U.S.) but is not heard or seen generally. And I've never kept track of -ize vs -ise; I can't even tell you which I see more often, let alone which is U.S. vs U.K.
I'm told that of "railways" and "railroads", one is the preferred Canadian usage, but I'll be darned if I can determine that from listening. Either way they run freight (not goods) trains which consist (at least to the layman) of cars, not wagons or trucks. Trucks, not lorries, drive down main street, not the high street.
I rarely see "hi" (for high), "lo" (for how), "lite" and "thru" in Canada outside of trade names. I saw "on route" a lot in the U.S.; in Canada you should expect to see "en route", possibly italicized, and hear it with a French pronunciation.
As in the U.S., "inflammable" is judged (not unreasonably, imho) too treacherous a word to stake peoples' lives on, so gasoline (not petrol) tanks are "FLAMMABLE". But in French no such reform was seen as needed (or permitted?) so such tanks are labelled, bilingually, "FLAMMABLE - INFLAMMABLE". Water tanks are "NONFLAMMABLE - ININFLAMMABLE".
For a while in the '80s the Globe and Mail (Toronto-published, nationally distributed) was on a ideosyncratic reformed-spelling kick, using -or and -er and even "cigaret". They've got over that.

articles on Economy of Nigeria[edit]

Is it true that 419 scams [9] comprise 73% of the Nigerian economy? Alteripse 02:27, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC) PS: I didn't post this topic, by the way, just found it empty.

I would be extremely surprised if this is true. Take all Internet information with a grain of salt (or a pound, if you're like me). --Slowking Man 06:03, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)
This is utter rubbish I'm afraid. Nigeria is a major oil exporter, which accounts for just about all of its export earnings and a good portion of its GDP. Internally such mundane things as agriculture, manufacturing and various services (particularly in the informal sector) account for the economic activity of most of the country's people. For such a massive percentage of the economy to be devoted to scams would require millions upon millions of Nigerians to go to work everyday at enormous spam distribution complexes from where they would bombard the gullible billions of the world with emails. This would require them to starve and generally live destitute lives, as no one would be producing any food. — Trilobite (Talk) 06:20, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
For such scams to make up any part of Nigeria's economy, they'd have to contribute to Nigeria's economy. I would not expect any part of such "earnings" to make its way to Nigeria; the scammers themselves could be based anywhere in the world. Sharkford 13:49, 2004 Sep 15 (UTC)

It's hard to estimate the percentage of a national economy that crime makes up, since by definition it is not declared. It would be interesting to know what % gdp crime represents for all countries. 'Black economies' are certainly significant in most developing nations. Des-mond 15:31, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

According to the CIA factbook (as quoted in our Economy of Nigeria article) oil makes up only 20% of Nigeria's GDP. Advance fee fraud would have to be bringing in over US$80 billion to Nigeria for it to constitute 73% of the GDP, though. Seems pretty unlikely. Rmhermen 17:23, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)
[] notes that Nigeria is notorious for a corrupt economy, which is where this rumor may have originated ... --Gelu Ignisque

Sorry people, I'd better stay away from the reference desk for awhile. When I saw the heading, the Nigerian scam was all that came to mind. If I don't confess I made up the 73% out of thin air, do you think it will be quoted across the internet? Anyway, deglossobuccifying, it was supposed to elicit a yuk, not refutations. Alteripse 01:03, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Deglossobuccifying? Okay, let's take that apart: Latin , "away from," + Greek glôssa, "tongue," + Latin bucca, "cheek," + Latin -ificâre, "to make into, engage in an action" (from the connecting vowel -i- + a conjugation-changed and vowel-changed form of facere, "to do, make") + English -ing, progressive-participle inflectional suffix. So you're engaging in [ speaking ] from the tongue and cheek? Oh, I get it! --Gelu Ignisque Actually the de was intended to indicate removal of tongue from cheek, but that's nitpicking indeed.Alteripse 23:04, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Tender points[edit]

Regarding fibromyalgia and tender points, which parts of the body are the 18 standard pressure points? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 21:53, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

They can be found here, but first, a bit of warning. The concept of the "18 standard pressure points" has been overstated in the past. An important study used 18 specific points for research purposes, and that's very useful. But there have never been specific points used for diagnosis, and they are not particularly useful for diagnosing someone. Quadell (talk) (quiz)[[]] 14:18, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)
I see. Is there a standard physical test commonly used to diagnose fibromyalgia? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 08:24, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No, there is not. It is the history, the clinical picture and the complete absence of positivity for blood tests that suggest connective tissue disorders. The process can be long and tedious, and there is considerable opposition to fibromyalgia as a diagnosis from many medical practicioners. Nevertheless, it appears to be a real clinical entity of unknown etiology. JFW | T@lk 19:40, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Substance P[edit]

Is the composition of Substance P known? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 22:01, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's an 11-amino acid polypeptide with sequence: Arg Pro Lys Pro Gln Gln Phe Phe Gly Leu Met [10]. --Diberri | Talk 22:07, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)
available mailorder: [11] (so you can inject it directly into the brain of someone you don't really like).

World map scaled by population[edit]

I've been looking for something like this, but can't seem to find it. In an old atlas (20 years ago), I remember seeing a map of the world, scaled so that the size on the map represented the population of the country. The result was a huge China and India, next to a comparatively smaller USSR (as it was at the time), a small USA/Canada compared to the rest of Central and South America, a huge Africa, a tiny Australia, etc.

The map was only representative of population, so the country shames were quite blocky (or else it would be hard to get the countries to fit together with their different sizes) and only roughly the shape of the actual country.

I've been looking for something like this on the net, but no success!

Closest I have found are:

But I'm looking for a map of the whole world. Any ideas? -- Chuq 04:16, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, I remember once seeing a map like this in a school atlas — a population cartogram? Try [12] (warning: fairly large image). — Matt 23:54, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Exactly what I was after! I asked on another forum too, who pointed me to this image [13] Now that I know what they are called, I might make a stub* at that title, and link it from a few relevant places - such as the articles where I looked, but could not find anything! -- Chuq 02:06, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(*This is why I think stubs are a good thing. Some information is better than no information!)
I redirected it to the existing cartogram (sub)stub. The external link on it may enable a dedicated Wikipedian to create his or her own cartograms for the 'pedia... I might do so myself. Fascinating topic! • Benc • 02:18, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Jewish music[edit]

Where can I find links to Jewish music? --anon

Well, I'm surprised you didn't try the obvious (! There are scores of good sites about every type of music, but perhaps you should start with Wikipedia's article on Jewish music.

Is there anything in particular you'd like to know about Jewish music? Perhaps if you told us, we could recommend some more specialised sites. [[User:DO'Neil|DO'Иeil]] 06:53, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)

An excellent example is klezmer. --Gelu Ignisque

Adding a city to Washinton State[edit]

About one year ago the state of Washington added a new city to the state. The City of Spokane Valley, WA incorporated with a population of about 87,000 making it the states' 7th largest city. Since it is such a new city, there is currently no information available on your site. I would like to see information about out wonderful city on this site. For more information try visiting the citys website at Thank You

Actually we do have a short article on the city, and you can find it at Spokane Valley, Washington. If you wish to expand it feel free to do so, I can recommend the welcome page, the advice on how to edit a page and our Manual of Style. — Trilobite (Talk) 07:41, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

ATM Machines[edit]

Can I PLEASE GET THE NAMES OF INSTITUTIONS THAT OFFER COURSES IN ATM REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE? BB&T is one. --Patricknoddy 15:15, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)User:Patricknoddy --Patricknoddy 15:15, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)User talk:Patricknoddy 11:15 September 16, 2004 (EDT)

I don't know, but I would guess that NCR and Diebold may offer something. Here is an article on careers in ATM repair, including what kind of training and skills are required. --WhiteDragon 04:43, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

If your planning on repairing them, search for them as ATMs not ATM machines, which really is automatic teller machine machines.


How many stocks are there in the stock market? --Patricknoddy 15:14, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)User:Patricknoddy --Patricknoddy 15:14, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)User talk:Patricknoddy 11:13 September 16, 2004 (EDT)

Do you have a particular stock market in mind? The U.S. alone has three significant stock markets (the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ); almost every country in the world now has at least one stock exchange. -- Jmabel 17:52, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)

Also, the number of companies listed on any one stock market changes all the time. When a new company has an IPO, the number goes up by one. When another company is taken private, or two companies merge, the number goes down by one. Further complicating the picture, most exchanges trade in a range of financial instruments which go beyond a simple share in a company. You can get a snapshot of the number companies listed on the NYSE on the 'Quick Facts' page here. -- Solipsist 08:04, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Definition of the verb "to vet".[edit]

I hear often on news broadcasts covering the Bush National Guard story that CBS has failed to properly "vet" the newly surfaced documents.

I am looking for the meaning of this word "vet" and its derivation.

Can you help?

Frank Kalbac

For a start, see vet (#2). --[[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 15:48, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
To vet was originally a horse-racing term, referring to the requirment that a horse be checked for health and soundness by a veterinarian before being allowed to race. Ortolan88 18:01, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Today, vetting means to check something for acceptability - usually a document or a person. For example, people wanting to do sensitive work for various bits of the government might have to be vetted to make sure they aren't mad, or spies, or whatever. Likewise, a press release could be vetted to make sure it doesn't contain any damaging information. With respect to CBS, I suppose it means that they have failed to make sure the documents are authentic; it could also mean that they haven't been checked for information that ought not to be revealed (privacy, national security, etc.). AlexG 23:41, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'd be medium careful with using the word 'today'. I recall first seeing used in the 'modern' sense in the book The Ship Who Sang, which was published in 1970. I've also seen it used extensively in the UK, and my impression is that it was common there from around the time of WWII, and is only recently an import to the US. Elde 16:43, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I've just looked in the Oxford English Dictionary. They trace the modern usage to Rudyard Kipling in 1904, by way of the nineteenth-century meaning of a medical examination for a human. AlexG 17:32, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What does "medievil" means?[edit]

I see this term every now and then, usually like "get medievil over something". What exactly does that mean? Kieff | Talk 09:26, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

mediæval: referring to the Middle Ages. Generally it means going primitive, barbaric, aggressive. {Ⓐℕάℛℹℴɴ} 09:37, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As popularized in the movie Pulp Fiction, at least, that's where I first heard it as an idiom. func(talk) 14:43, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Medieval in this context is used to refer to the sterotype of dungeons and torture chambers as the main form of entertainment in the Middle Ages. cf London Dungeon etc. Intrigue 16:51, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The exact quote is "I'm gonna git Medieval on your ass": and a bit of Googling finds that people have written complete, if rather idiosyncratic, essays about this: [14]. -- The Anome 18:21, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have a friend who was the only Medieval Studies major at our college. She used to say she was the only one that could say she was gonna get medieval on somebody's ass and actually follow through. Salasks 23:24, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

Arabic names[edit]

I've been working on a number of articles on people from Arab nations, from Bandar bin Sultan to Mohammed Atta to Taqi al-Din, but I don't know the Arabic script. Could anyone who knows Arabic please provide me with the way these names are written in Arabic? (And possibly others as well?} Quadell (talk) (quiz)[[]] 14:33, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

Che Guevara[edit]

It's pretty much been established that Guevara was born on May 14, not June 14 (see Jon Lee's book A Revolutionary Life). His mother admitted that she lied on his birth certificate because she was expecting him before she was actually married to his father. Why do so many information resources persist in publishing inaccurate information?

Why don't you fix the problem with Che Guevara yourself? Be sure to mention the reason for the change on Talk:Che Guevara in case anyone else contests your claims. 01:43, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

parentz fighting[edit]

hey dudes i found this site and was hoping u colud help me. im a 12 yr old and my parents r fighting like hell. :( my dad sez my mom spends 2 much money and dat she is 2 messy. last nite my mom said if my dad had ballz he'd throw our cats away so hg did =( but they came back. then my dad told me he only sticks with my mom bcoz of us kids =( dey haf been fighting for months already =( i rmember when i was 5 dey fought alot but i havent seen them fgiht since. now 2day they wont even talk 2 each other can someone help me plz

You should know that it's really, really dangerous to post that kind of personal information about yourself to a public forum like this, especially for someone of your age. Please talk to your principal at school, or some other grown-up that you know and can trust. Ask for help; he or she will know what to do. I can't give you any further advice beyond that, but I hope your family can find happiness again. 16:40, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
I echo Ardonik's advice. If you're in Australia, I'd also suggest you could talk to the Kids Help Line, a telephone (or online) counselling service for children. Is there a similar service in other countries? --Robert Merkel 22:48, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
In the UK there is childline on 0800 1111 Theresa Knott (taketh no rest) 00:07, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

More generally than this one person's question: maybe someone would like to expand Suicide hotline into a more general Crisis hotline and add a list of links for major ones throughout at least the English-speaking world... BTW, most suicide hotlines will held with crises far short of suicide and most lines intended for runaway children will also gladly talk to those who simply have problems at home. -- Jmabel 06:10, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Energy content of fuels[edit]

The petrol article contains a list comparing the energy content for various fuels.

  1. How are these values determined?
  2. How does the energy content affect the power produced by an engine?

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 08:13, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The energy content of most materials is determined by burning (oxidizing) them. This includes fuels and foods. →Raul654 08:24, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
How would the energy be measured? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]]
I suspect you would do it in a small, controlled enviroment (like a bell jar) and measure the temperature before and after (to measure energy given off in the form of heat), as well as the O2 and CO2 levels (and maybe other gasses), to measure energy given off in the form of re-rebonding. Energy given off in the form of light and sound could probably be neglected. →Raul654 08:47, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
As far as the power generated by an engine - combusting the fuel pushes the cylinder, which then drives a gear system and ultimately a wheel. The speed of the wheel is a function of gear size, mass combusted, and energy density of the fuel. →Raul654 08:24, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
See calorimeter although we don't have much on the topic. Usually a bomb calorimeter is used. The stainless steel "bomb" is highly pressurized with oxygen after a small sample is loaded (a couple grams or less). The bomb absorbs the heat (and light) and raises the water temperature of the bath it sits in which is measured very precisely. The temperature rise alone is used to compute the energy released. (I tested hazardous wastes before they were mixed to make fuels for cement kilns for a couple years). Rmhermen 14:45, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
You can also do calculations in various ways, based on known chemical properties. See calorimetry for a high-level description of how to do it that way. Catbar (Brian Rock) 14:50, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What year was Mecklenburg Strelitz formed?[edit]

Many sources seem to say that by the Treaty of Hamburg in 1701, Mecklenburg Strelitz was split from Mecklenburg Schwerin. However, hostkingdom, a generally reliable source, says it was formed as a result of a splitting of Mecklenburg Schwerin in 1658, and names a specific ruler during that time. The wikipedia article on M. Strelitz even conflicts itself, as it has both dates. Could anyone clear this up?


Is mint bad for the heart? I have heard that recently. Is there any scientific basis for this? Or is it pure speculation? --Edcolins 19:26, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

I hope not, otherwise I'll be dead soon! hehe Kieff | Talk 21:03, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
Well, it has been stated that married men don't live as long as single men. Perhaps there is a correlation here - if you use mint breath fresheners, you're more likely to get married. Therefore, mint is bad for your life expectancy. :) -- Chuq 03:31, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I really don't want to get married... So, I have nothing to fear! *eats Mentos* Kieff | Talk 05:38, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
Menthol (the oil in mint) is extremely toxic. A teaspoon of menthol could kill you (fortunately it only occurs in small amounts). --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 17:45, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Incidentally, its effect on the heart is probably due to its activity as a calcium channel blocker. --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 17:49, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Hello, I am trying to find my grandmother's ancestory in muehlhausen, presumably where her father's family may have originated. The name was Kochuwa, later changed to Koch when they moved to Vienna, Austria, where my grandmother was born in 1901. I am not sure of the years but it must be in the mid 18oo's. please if you have any info, send to thank you.

We generally don't reply by e-mail here at the reference desk. You'll see our responses on this page, right underneath your question. Now, are you asking about information concerning your grandmother, or the year of your family's name change? It's not quite clear from your question.* 20:49, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
I'm afraid Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia and not a genealogy site so it's highly unlikely anyone reading this page will know anything about your ancestors. There are lots of sites elsewhere providing genealogical information, so your search may prove more fruitful elsewhere. Sorry to disappoint. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:59, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Tanteria might find our article on genealogy helpful. We get a lot of questions like this, maybe we should add something helpful to the top of the page (though I feel the top of the page is rather daunting as it is)? --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 00:36, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

Havah Nagilah?[edit]

What's the correct spelling of that jewish song, "Havah Nagilah"? As far as I know, this is the correct spelling, but it seems Wikipedia doesn't have an article on it yet. Havah Nagilah...

So maybe that's not the spelling... Does wikipedia has an article on that song? Kieff | Talk 21:01, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Talk:Jewish music refers to Abraham Idelsohn as the composer of Hava Nagila, but we don't have an article under that name, either... -- Arwel 23:59, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Toxins in cooked food[edit]

Which toxins are commonly produced by cooking food? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 21:02, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Smoked foods such as bacon are said to produce nitrites. RickK 21:23, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
Is that due to the cooking, or mainly due to the smoke? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 22:17, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Actually, the nitrites are often already there, although the smoke can contribute. The bad stuff that gets formed is nitrosamines from the nitrites and the amines in the meats. I can't believe we don't have an article on nitrosamine in the English Wikipedia. There is one in the German Wikipedia (de:Nitrosamine) if you can read German. If not, the Google translation is a mix of informative and hilarious. I'll put nitrosamine on my 'todo' list, if nobody else gets it first.
Smoke adds toxins of its own. They are called polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and many are carcinogenic. I can't be more specific off the top of my head, but I'll see if I can find some more info. Catbar (Brian Rock) 22:39, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Would that be sodium nitrite? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 23:45, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It could be sodium nitrite, or another source of nitrite - the cation doesn't really matter. Nitrites are added as a preservative, although quite a bit can be naturally present in some foods. It is also a common water pollutant.
After I posted, I remembered that nitrosamines don't require cooking - they can be formed during digestion when nitrites + degraded proteins are present. Catbar (Brian Rock) 23:59, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Teaching Methods[edit]

Can you send me a website or resource that will explain the Cognitive/Affective approach to teaching a second language?

Thank you for your time, Steve Harvey

                         Bellefonte, PA
                         next to Penn State's main                             campus

briefly.. Salasks 03:57, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

Fact checking[edit]

Would somebody check this edit at Watergate scandal please? The contributor has only made this one edit, I want to make sure it's not vandalism/a mistake, but I have no knowledge of my own. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 00:04, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

This site appears to corroborate, but it too could be wrong. My gut feeling is that the current version (3 weeks between break ins) is correct. Rhobite 00:12, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Rhobite --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 10:35, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)

A question please[edit]

I would like to be able to learn to interpret English words into sanskrit written dialect. Particulary the three words, Love, Guru and Master. Can you direct me to the site?

Anne Jory Ryland-Anderson 1130 Ivy Lane Ashland, Oregon 97520 U.S.A.

Email Address is

NASA really far go out mission[edit]

There was a NASA mission a few years ago where they launched a craft that was supposed to get its speed from light from the sun and get faster and faster and go out of the solar system. what was this mission called, and how is it doing? I cant remember the name of it--elpenmaster

No such mission has ever been launched. The propulsion method you describe has an article at solar sail, which includes details of an upcoming mission to test solar sails. It's a sound idea for the future, but it's not ready yet. --Robert Merkel 04:00, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

i read about it in popular science magazine a few years ago. the article must have been talking about a future mission, but i thought it had already been done--elpenmaster

Well contrary to popular belief, there are other nations at the forefront of space technology. You may be thinking of this Japanese mission which tested a solar sail last month. There was also a failed mission called Cosmos 1 by the American Planetary Society in 2001. Alternatively, you might be wanting this mission by the European Space Agency which tested an ion drive last year. -- Solipsist 18:00, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Malaria antibodies[edit]

I am Neil Johnson. I have had a postive result back on my blood for the presence of malaria antibodies. Does this mean that I am likely to have the pathogen still in my blood stream? Does it also mean that I now carry a degree of immunity to the pathogen? I have had malaria three times and lived in west africa for two years.

Copied from email to Neil
Malaria is not usually diagnosed with antibody testing. It depends which antibody the doctor requested. IgG antibodies stay high after infection, even if this was years ago. IgM antibody would denote recent infection. Seroconversion explains the principles.
Malaria is usually diagnosed by "thick blood film", where the Plasmodium parasites are noted inside red blood cells (where they live).
Any blood test is meaningless outside a clear medical history. Have you had spiking fevers and sweatiness and/or travel to endemic areas? JFW | T@lk 12:26, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
At the risk of stating the obvious, I suggest you go and see a doctor. DJ Clayworth 16:45, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You're right, DJ. I told Neil to do just that after he replied to my email. JFW | T@lk 19:34, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Origin of the statement/fact claim dealing with Horus and the resurrection of El-Azar-us[edit]

To Whom It May Concern:

When I encountered the passage of El-Azar-us being resurrected by Horus, I went searching for its' source.I spent 4:47 hrs looking for confirmation.I became tired after all that time.All I kept finding was "cloned" page, after page, mentioning the Miracle in a truncated fashion;as a qualified reference refuting Jesus.

Might I trouble anyone to clarify/qualify the issue.Perhaps,point me in the right direction. I'm far from being accepting of having bumped into LOTS of pages, basically parroting each other,without at least; one solid piece of verifiable corroboration.I find it odd,that nearly the entire world has conciously "looked the other way", when considering the probable cultural influence that Egypt had on Judea/Israel.It's quite unlikely,that it was the OTHER WAY AROUND.I feel safe, assuming that there will be several Egyptologists on board. I'm an amateur explorer, enjoying the tremendous weight of all the things I need to know! This one has got my attention, because of the HUGE similarity between Lazarus & El-Azar-us. In my mind, it's too great a coincidence. I realize this is "old hat", to many a person. Many may know the name of the Egyptian "holy" book, which contains the passage. I'm still intrigued, nevertheless.

Yours Truly, Lance.

It would help if you linked to, or at least named, the wikipedia articles in question. As I understand your concerns, you have identified a problem that crops up within wikipedia, and indeed within the larger body of scholarship: statements are made and repeated without external verification from original sources.
There are several ways wikipedia guards against this, but it all starts with someone who knows better than the current material. Is that you? If so, at the least, you should post comments on the talk pages of the relevant articles requesting citations, or referencing countradictory sources. You might modify the questionable material with qualifiers such as "it has long been accepted that..." (though there are editors who bear strong opinions against such "weasel words"). In the extreme case, you could put one of the "disputed" templates on the articles. That last option should really only be used if the talk page cannot reach a consensus.
In the best case, you give us the benefit of a rewritten article with better completeness, objectivity and source citations. But: wikipedia is not meant for publication of "original research". It does sound like you are proposing some novel theories—may I say even speculation? That's not what wikipedia is for.
Sharkford 15:37, 2004 Sep 21 (UTC)

Finding back issues of newspapers[edit]

How I can I get back issues of newspapers (as in really really back, from the 60s and 70s) for free, online? Getting them in real life is unfeasible considering I need Malaysia. And these papers are vital, because two nominations on Featured article candidates (I Want To Hold Your Hand and The Long and Winding Road to be exact) depend on the interviews therein. For example, say I want the headlines from the Evening Standard on April 22 and April 23 1970. How can I get those for free? Online would be very nice, but if they're free, that's good. Johnleemk | Talk 15:37, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You're not likely to find this on-line. Even Lexis-Nexis, last time I checked, only had text back to 1980 and then only on a few papers. I'd try your public library's inter-library loan service. My library is a member of OCLC, a library co-operative, and can supply copies of articles from publications for the cost of copies. If there aren't any American or Canadian libraries holding the newspapers in question, it's still possible to get copies from abroad, but it takes much longer. If you mean the London "Evening Standard", the Library of Congress has it (see their catalog at When I was in college, my university's ILL office many times arranged for copies of old newspaper articles. I'd be happy to try to help you further; let me know on my talk page. PedanticallySpeaking 19:23, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
If you have a good public library near you, they may be able to help. Otherwise, you'll probably need to recruit someone to do this for you. It's likely that any good librarian can at least get you a comprehensive list of where these materials would be available, so you can put out a call for help.
Assuming you mean the Evening Standard of London, there is a first-rate periodicals library in London that I can promise would have everything (and lots of Wikipedians in London); I've done research there on documents clear back to the 19th century, but I won't be in the UK anytime soon.
The Evening Standard, while not generally considered a "paper of record", is still pretty major, and I would imagine that even if the material isn't on line anywhere, microfilm or microfiche is in hundreds of libraries.

-- Jmabel 19:17, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

I guess you could also ry writing to the newspaper itself. They might agree to send you scanned images of articles if you can sound suitably desperate about it. Sorry, that's facetious. What I mean is, they will surely not want to invest resources in dealing with such enquiries unless you can communicate a powerful requirement for the material. Not sure writing an article for Wikipedia would really fall into that category, however... --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 10:43, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
For what it's worth, in Cambridge, UK, the local library service provides access via library card to an online archive of The Times 1785-1985, and 29 other UK/US newspapers 1996-present [15] (including the Evening Standard, although not back to 1970). (The hostname is Not much help for Malaysia, though. --JTN 18:35, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)

World music by language : Chinese[edit]

Does anyone know of any wiki page or set of pages that contain information on Chinese classical music?

Is Music of China what you're looking for?* 16:52, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

Changing Your Password[edit]

Hi, I am a new user and i would like to know whether I must ask administrators to change my password or can i do this by myself? Thanks a lot. --Wikipedius 19:17, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Click on "preferences" at the top of this page. -- Arwel 21:49, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

US Senate - Class 1 and Class 3 senators[edit]

I've been browsing some Congressional delegates on Wikipedia pages and in the table listing that state's Senators, one of them is often designated "class 1" and the other "class 3". I can't find an explanation of this in the US Senate article, so I thought I'd ask it here :) What is the difference between those two positions?saturnight 21:44, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

Can't tell you for sure without context, but every 2 years, 1/3 of senators are elected for a 6-year term. I'm guessing that it's the three different groups, depending on expiration date of term. -- Jmabel 01:33, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
Article 1, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States declares, "Immediately after the Senate of the United States shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year." Those elected on November 2, 2004 are from Class III. Those elected on November 7, 2006 are from Class I. Those elected on November 4, 2008 are from Class II. Election cycles keep rotating the classes. --Gerald Farinas 03:05, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Each time a new state was added into the Union, lots were drawn to determine which states' senators belonged to which classes. --Gerald Farinas 03:07, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)



I think reading koan may help you both understand and not understand the questions you are asking. Certainly I can think of no better answer you are likely to get. Good luck, Jwrosenzweig 00:17, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You must achieve a state of bodhi to receive the answer to these questions - to do this follow the Noble Eightfold Path. Unfortunately, the answer to your questions cannot be emailed. The Buddha 02:56, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Erm, actually, we should be able to do better than this. An article on sound of one hand clapping might well be worthwhile. Our only current reference seems to be in nonsense, which doesn't really do this justice. Volunteers? The Buddha 03:37, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

#REDIRECT [[Koan]]* 17:28, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

The road to enlightenment is hard to follow, but not complicated to find. I am not a Buddhist either, but as understand it, Buddhists believe that the Way is open to all who wish to follow.

To clap with one hand, merely take your hand, and hit it with itself flatly. The material properties of flesh and bone ensure the production of a clapping noise. As for the way to jump over yourself, start jumping in an upwardly direction, inclined towards yourself, and be careful not to hit yourself on the way over. If you know where you are, you will have no difficulty determining which way to jump.

Alas, the true Way is not to be e-mailed like some 401 scam, but, like Wikipedia, has always existed under a spiritual GFDL license. Thus, like most spiritual matters, it is archived for the ages, lost only through lack of effective indexing and edit wars.

(公案很容易 - 鬼佬真奇怪) :^P Diderot 14:09, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I need A picture of Amerigo Vespucci Can you help[edit]

  • Our Amerigo Vespucci article has one. Ðåñηÿßôý | Talk 00:45, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • There's another portrait by Cristofano dell'Altissimo, which (I think) is at the Uffuzi in Florence. A small reproduction of it can be found in the March 2004 issue of the magazine History Today, page 54. Loren Rosen 21:26, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Isaac Asimov - science fiction short stories[edit]

Recently I have discovered Wikipedia and I find it very helpful.

Currently I'm researching on science fiction short stories. I have found a list of short stories by Isaac Asimov - which is what the movie "I, Robot" was based on. But this only tells me general information about these stories. I cannot find the short stories itself.

Please help me as I am very eager to read these stories.

Thank you very much!! Any help would be much appreciated!!

You must achieve a state of bodhi to receive the answer to these questions - to do this follow the Noble Eightfold Path. Unfortunately, the answer to your questions cannot be emailed. The Buddha 02:59, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Erm, nevermind... The Buddha 03:15, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Because his stories are still under copyright, I suggest you check your favorite online retailer (Amazon, eBay, etc.). —Mike 03:39, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

(darn edit conflicts...) Well, I really don't think there are going to be any short cuts here to simply going to a book store, (or possibly a library), and obtaining collections of Asimov's works. It is unlikely that you will find the stories somewhere on the Internet, since they are popular and under copywrite. Asimov's works have never gone out of print since... well, for a really long time. Any general bookstore (or library) that you go to today has tons of his collections. You may want to check your listed stories on google to see which anthologies they have appeared in, you could then look for these books at your local library. Also, I can tell you that one of the last comprehensive collections of his robots stories was in a paperback called Robot Dreams, which I happen to own and love. :) func(talk) 03:50, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Possibly a library"? I'd be pretty surprised if there was any lending library that didn't have this, especially since it was recently made into a film. I'm sure there is a movie tie in reprint too. The Buddha 04:01, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I meant that he might possibly want to go to a library rather than a bookstore, depending on how much money he happens to have. :) func(talk) 15:46, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
A brief plot synopsis of each of the shorts in the book I Robot can be found here. [16] DJ Clayworth 16:36, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Bold textOk! Thank you very much!! I didn't think it would be available in the library and i didn't want to go and run around book stores to search for it. But thanks for the good news! =D

I actually have to prepare an oral presentation on Robotics in science fiction. My other team members are doing it on film & novels. So I'm doing the short stories side of it. Do you know any other science fiction short stories that will be good for my oral presentation???

I'm not sure what luck you will have finding them, but some of the really fascinating stories come from before Asimov's time. One of the earliest stories is Moxon's Master, written in 1894 by Ambrose Bierce. The story featured an automata come to life. I have this story in an anthology called War with the Robots. If you can find this comprehensive collection in a book store or library, it is well worth the read. One of the most famous robot stories is Farewell to the Master, written by Harry Bates in 1940. The movie The Day the Earth Stood Still was, um, very loosely based on it. There is no shortage of good robot stories, this theme has been an important part of science fiction from the very beginning, (even Frankenstein's Monster, written by Mary Shelly, has been thought of by some as a type of "robot run amuck" story). func(talk) 02:27, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'd also recommend The Cyberiad (ISBN 0156235501), a short story collection of Polish author Stanislaw Lem -- should also be readily available at a good library or bookstore. Many classic sci-fi themes explored in whimsical and (usually) easy-to-read prose. Catherine | talk 03:09, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series has more robotics per page (robotic density if you will) to my memory than many. For a more darker-side read the *ware books by Rudy Rucker. - [[User:Bevo|Bevo]] 21:37, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)


  1. What is Acid#Acid number talking about, and what do all the abbreviations mean?
  2. How is pH related to molarity?
  3. How is molarity related to a concentration expressed as "x% solution", and is the latter related to mass per unit mass?
  4. Regarding making up solutions, can a 4M solution of sulfuric acid be made by adding 216mL of acid to 700mL ice water, then adding water to dilute to 1L?

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 03:45, 21 Sep 2004

  1. Don't know OTOH.
  2. Molarity is a unit of concentration, and the concentration of protons (H+) in a solution can be used to measure its pH. Namely, pH = -log [H+]. For example, for a weak acid, [H+] = sqrt( Ka[HA] ), where Ka is the dissociation constant for the reaction and [HA] is the molarity of the acid.
  3. % solution could either be % by volume or % by mass. To get from % by volume to molarity, convert the % into a fraction (e.g. 5% turns into 5/100) and then convert the numerator (e.g. 5 ml) into moles, and the denominator (e.g. 100 ml) into liters. Divide the numerator by the denominator, and you'll have molarity. A similar procedure can be done for converting % by mass into molarity.
  4. Yes, as long as you use the right concentration of acid, which is 9.26 M I think:
n.b.: This is OTOH, and I hope to have some more info tomorrow. HTH, Diberri | Talk 06:21, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

Parenthases/quotes--what order?[edit]

If one is writing a sentence with a short story in quotes, and a comma, for example: The short story I am reading, "The Monkey's Paw", is a short story, does it go like this: . . .Paw",. . . with the quoteation mark first, or like this: . . .Paw,". . . with the comma first? i could have sworn that the quotes came first, but my English teacher says that the comma comes first. is there a definitive answer for this?--elpenmaster

I dont see my exact question there.--elpenmaster

  • Under Quotation marks:
When punctuating quoted passages, put punctuation where it belongs, inside or outside the quotation marks, depending on the meaning, and not rigidly within the quotation marks. This is the British style (Fowler has good guidelines for this). For example, "Stop!" has the punctuation inside the quotation marks. However, when using "scare quotes", the comma goes outside.
Another example:
Arthur said the situation was "deplorable". (we're quoting only part of a sentence)
Arthur said, "The situation is deplorable." (full sentence is quoted)

In other words, if the comma isn't part of the title then it should go on the outside. However, it should be emphasized that this is the Wikipedia style. —Mike 05:30, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

It should be strongly emphasized. This is not universal. U.S. style generally favors comma inside the quote here, UK style I believe tends the opposite way, but each publication is liable to make its own decisions on this, and I'm sure it would be easy to find counterexamples. -- Jmabel 08:03, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

elpenmaster mentioned writing a short story, not a Wikipedia article, so pointing him in the direction of our style guide isn't nessesarily helpful. In formal writing, one system is used in the U.S., while another system is used throughout the English-speaking world. In less formal writing, the British style tends to trump the U.S. one, as people find it more logical. If the short story is published for sale in both the U.S. and U.K., there will be two different versions with two different punctuation styles, as well as spelling changes. (You know, it really bugs me that Terry Pratchette's novel was sold here as The Color of Magic.) func(talk) 15:43, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

[Just as long as he wasn't credited as "Terry Pratchette" - then I would be worried! Makes him sound like some kind of country singer! ;) - IMSoP 20:22, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)]
Whoops... oh, um, yes. I was enacting the Law of the Conservation of Vowels: if a u disappears, an e must be created. You know, they should have looked at it from a marketing point of view: so an American is walking along in a book store, when out of the corner of his eye he sees "OH, NO! Someone misspelled Color!!!" So he stops, picks up the book, and a new Pratchetta fan is born. ;-) func(talk) 22:29, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's not the worst - they often change the title, usually dumbing it down. Eg Northern Lights / The Golden Compass The Philosopher's Stone / The Sorcerer's Stone etc. Intrigue 20:26, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

So, if i am in America (which i am), then i should write . . ."The Monkey's Paw,". . ., while if i am in England i should write. . . ."The Monkey's Paw",. . . The second way seems much more logical to me! --elpenmaster

Nicotine Absorbtion[edit]

Hi everyone, thanks for being here. I wanted to know how much nicotine the human body on average can absorb. I vaugely remember it not being that much, thus 'light' cigarettes don't really make it easier to ease off smoking because the amount of nicotine in each cigarette is huge in comparison to what your body can absorb. Is there any truth in this? JoeSmack (talk) 06:52, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

I gather some studies have shown that if there is less nicotine in the cigarette, people just suck harder and get about the same amount. But I have no sources handy. -- Jmabel 08:06, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
I can't help but just wanted to say that "thanks for being here" made me laugh, since we're all over the globe. It's nice, in the morning, to feel welcomed to the world. And reassuring too, since I'm often accused of being on another planet... --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 10:54, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)

Stereotypical egyptian music[edit]

In several places, specially cartoons, when you see Egypt, they place a song in the background, oftenly with some character dancing "egyptian style". Fortunetly, I have here a MIDI of a song from the game The Lost Vikings that starts with it. :)

The Lost Vikings - Egypt

Now, I wanna know the original title of that song... Anyone knows? Kieff | Talk 08:54, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

"In the land of Oz, where the women wear no bras?" I don't know what that's called, it was probably originally some incidental vaudeville melody, or something. (Maybe it has something to do with Little Egypt?) Adam Bishop 14:09, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Precisely. Believed to date back to the World Columbian Exposition (1893 World's Fair in Chicago). -- Jmabel 23:07, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)
There's a detailed history of it here. Its original name was "The Streets of Cairo, or the Poor Little Country Maid". --Heron 17:42, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Is there an article some of this could go into? Snake charmer song? Mark Richards 19:53, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Specific gravity of semen[edit]

What is the specific gravity of semen? (It is easier for me to measure the weight of my semen than the volume, and I want to estimate volume.)

User: signed this post as follows: --Juuitchan
The density of human semen is about 1.028 grams per millilitre [17] (i.e. about 2.8% denser than water). --Heron 21:04, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
<ROT13> Fb zl svir tenzf bs frzra jrer bayl svir zvyyvyvgerf. Sebz jung V unir urneq, abzvany vf gra zvyyvyvgerf. Fb V thrff V'z bayl unys n zna. Gung gnyyvrf jvgu bgure haznayl guvatf nobhg zr. </ROT13> Thanks for the info. --J
You're one-and-two-thirds of a man according to snopes] (see the last line, and recall 1cc = 1mL ) -- DrBob 21:22, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Which half are you. The top or the bottom? Theresa Knott (taketh no rest) 21:28, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Which do you prefer? ;-) (I couldn't think of any clever euphemisms) func(talk) 22:09, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Environmental concerns when buying sofa[edit]

What are the environmental issues to bear in mind when buying a sofa? I think origin of any hardwoods might be one, but are there issues around stuffing and chemical use? Are there organisations that work on this? The Recycling Troll

Maybe the Eco-Tex mark. As far as I understand, it is a rather wide-spread label certifying that harmful chemicals have not been used when procuding clothing items. I'm not sure about details and think, we could use an article about it. If I find the time, I'll give it a try -- unless somebody else steps forward. Simon A. 07:58, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wire Measurements[edit]

moved from Wikipedia:Help desk

I am looking for a way to convert inches of copper wire to a certain gauge. The wire I am speaking of is a main wire with close to 20 small wires wrapped around it. This wire is used for grounding large tanks. Can you help me? The wire has been cut and we are trying to replace. Thank you, Amy

You need a chart like this one. If you're in the U.S., use the "AWG" column to find the closest diameter (in inches) of the wire, then the gauge is given by the corresponding "wire number". -- DrBob 20:33, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Or use our own table at American wire gauge. --Heron 20:53, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)


What is the orgin of the word of, and where does that word come from?

The Oxford English Dictionary says it's from Middle English (originally spelled off), from Old English as an adverb & preposition, and akin to Old High German of (away); also, more distantly, from the Latin ab (from, away), or the Greek apo. It was first used in its present form before the twelfth century. "The primary sense was away, away from, a sense now obsolete... all of the existing uses of of are derivative; many so remote as to retain no trace of the original sense... From its original sense, of was naturally used in the expressions of the notions of removal, separation, privation, derivation, origin or source, starting point, spring of action, cause, agent... and other senses, which involve the notion of taking, coming, or arising from." Ðåñηÿßôý | Talk 04:13, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Name of unusual percussion instrument?[edit]

What is the name of this instrument sometimes used in an orchestra?: It consists of a set of small metal bars graduated from maybe 4 inches to 10 inches long hung next to one another. A metal wand is typically used to strike them in a quick swiping motion, producing a "zing" sound as an accent. --R. S. Shaw 03:26, 2004 Sep 22 (UTC)

Sounds like a glockenspiel to me, or chimes. Ortolan88 03:31, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Those are much larger instruments on which individual notes can be struck. This thing has small bars so close together that the player must really hit many at (nearly) the same time. R. S. Shaw 06:12, 2004 Sep 22 (UTC)
Not all chimes are large, not all permit the striking of individual notes. Browse in this catalog here and you'll see a number of things that are probably what you are talking about, chimes with many small pipes all bunched togeter sometimes called chime trees and meant for swiping for a percussive effect, not for playing "bells" in church. (I found this by Googling on "percussion chimes".) Ortolan88 17:32, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Bar chimes seems to be the commonest name for the instrument. R. S. Shaw 22:24, 2004 Sep 22 (UTC)

Type of game[edit]

I seem to recall there being Internet games where one takes the part of a world leader, and interacts with other players through e-mail, thereby dominating the globe or whatever... Anybody heard of this, or know what it is called? Tuf-Kat 05:14, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

  • I know of a game in which 7 powers fight over the control of Europe called Diplomacy. I know this game to have variants in which different parts of the world (or the entire world) are used. Although originally a board game, the game is also often played online. If that's not what you're looking for you might want to ask games experts here on Wikipedia. Mgm 12:18, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)
Are you referring to []? There's a Wikipedia article on it here. --Gelu Ignisque
It sounds like a type of play-by-email (PBEM) game, a development of the older play-by-mail (PBM) games. Though unfortunately I don't know any that match your description, but I'm sure there's a list somewhere on the web. -- DrBob 20:24, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

two main function in one c program[edit]

can one c program have two main functions ? if yes how we can achieve it.

No - the compiler depends on there being a unique main, and it uses that to align the starting segment of the code. →Raul654 06:39, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)
What do you want to achieve? After all the main function is the function you want to be executed first upon starting of your program. So, what do you want to do? Start two functions simultaneously? Or allow to choose between two? Simon A. 09:21, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(See our article on multi-threading if you meant simultaneous execution.) • Benc • 00:34, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Maybe he is thinking about Event handlers in some languages? func(talk) 16:31, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You can, for example, have a main and a WinMain, the latter of which will be the top-level funciton in a Microsoft Windows environment. -- Jmabel 19:13, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Also, you can use the C preprocessor for conditional compilation:
#define DEBUG_MODE 1 /* comment this line out to disable debug mode */

int main(int, char**)
   /* debugging-only version of main() */
int main(int, char**)
   /* non-debugging version of main() */
Note that in the compiled program, only one main() function will ever exist. Hope this answers your question. • Benc • 19:36, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You can't have two functions named main, but you could have two functions that could be main (but with different names), and have the real main choose between them. Unix sometimes does this and has the real main figure out which one to call by looking at argv[0]. --ssd 00:12, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)


WHat happend at the louvre durring WW1 and WW2? Im sure the art was stolen, or placed for safe keeping, but by whom and where?

Where is the Louvre and why is it famous? What are some of the famous works? what happened to the Louvres works durring WW1 and WW2? What has the louvres been used for over the years? What is some other information?

  • Most of these questions are answered in our article on the Louvre. Warofdreams 14:52, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Not all the questioned are answered in Wikipedia's article, specifically the World War looting questions. According to Let's Go Paris, "Curators at the Louvre, sensing the inevitable Nazi Occupation, removed many works of art, including the Mona Lisa, and placed them in hiding." For a full rundown of what happened to what works, I would try to get ahold of the book Nazi Plunder: Great Treasure Stories of World War II. According to the book synopsis, the artwork looted under Hitler's direction "exceeded the combined collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the Louvre." Salasks 15:39, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

If this information is not the article, it's because no-one has added it yet. Please feel free to do so. DJ Clayworth 16:26, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Two really good books on this topic are:
  • The Battle of the Louvre by Matila Simon. New York: Hawthore, 1971.
  • The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspirarcy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art by Hector Feliciano. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

You should look in your library's catalog under the subject heading "World War, 1939-1945--Art and the war" for similar books. Ave!PedanticallySpeaking 20:33, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Who invented alphabetical order?[edit]

I imagine that it might have been invented more than once, and I'd be interested in the details. I remember reading somewhere that it was discovered (or rediscovered) in Europe in the Middle Ages, and that the author who thought it up had to include a preface in his lexicon explaining how it was arranged, and that he himself made a number of alphabetization errors in the 'A' and 'B' sections of his book, but that the errors got fewer as he got more practice with his new system. But I can't remember who it was!

I'd also be interested in hearing about the history of alphabetization in other languages and scripts. For example, did the Hunmin Jeongeum define an order for the hangul? Did Koreans alphabetize things? What about Arabic?

-- Dominus 13:49, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Elements of the order of the Latin alphabet predate the alphabet itself. Note how the Greek alphabet starts with alpha, beta, gamma (which evolved into "c"), delta, eta. That sequence goes back to the Phonetians. In recent years, national language institutions control alphabetical order in most places. Some languages hava multiple or overlapping conventions.

But, I'd be interested in the in-between period too. I don't know either.

Diderot 14:58, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Concur with Diderot: the Phonetian alphabet was already in a standard order when other peoples starting adapting it. Also, it just seems logical that anyone who would have to teach the alphabet to someone else would have a canonical way of representing the symbols, ie: I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet the Sumerians, (who are generally put forward as having the first comprehensive writing system), had an order in which they taught the cuniform markings. func(talk) 15:06, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A clarification: I am not asking about the order of the alphabet itself. I am asking about the use of alphabetical order as an organizing principle in lexicons and other reference works. -- Dominus 15:41, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have found some details about the history of alphabetization in Europe on pages 160--167 of When Information Came of Age, by Daniel R. Headrick; I will try to summarize the relevant parts on the alphabetical order page. I'm also obtaining a copy of Contributions to a history of alphabetization in Antiquity and the Middle Ages by Lloyd W. Daly. More updates as they happen. -- Dominus 15:48, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Dominus, in that case, you're looking for a history of dictionaries. Ordering words in an alphabetical or quasi-alphabetical sequence started with bilingual dictionaries. Their roots go back as far as the classical Greeks at least, and I suspect much earlier. Ordering other things that way followed. For libraries, modren organisational schemes go back to the mid-19th century only. For encyclopedias - they grew out of dictionaries in the Renaissance. Diderot 16:08, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Apparently part of Pliny's Historiae naturalis has an alphabetic listing of plants, so the technique was not confined to dictionaries or bilingual dictionaries; the story is more interesting than that. -- Dominus 17:32, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Chasing the Sun: Dictionary-Makers and the Dictionaries They Made by Jonathon Green (ISBN 0712662162) has a chapter on this subject. It says that alphabetization was used by the Alexandrians around 250 BC, but Europe didn't catch on until the Middle Ages. Ordering by the first letter only (called "A-order") and first and second letters (called "AB-order") came in with the Corpus glossary (8th century or earlier; owned by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge). Then ABC-order and ABCD-order (sorting by first three/four letters) came along in a pre-Norman manuscript (MS Harley 3376, British Library). Full alphabetization was first seen in English in 1066. It would be interesting to know the corresponding dates for other languages.

Green says that alphabetization was slow to catch on in Europe and the Arab world because it was antithetical to the prevailing religious teachings of the early Middle Ages, which preferred to organize knowledge thematically according to the scriptures. Alphabetization was seen as a dangerous new fad that threatened to democratize knowledge. --Heron 18:01, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's very interesting! Thanks for the references. Apparently James Fuchs makes a similar point in Vincenzo Coronelli and the Organization of Knowledge:
The topical encyclopedia became for [Coronelli] a symbol of all the hierarchies on earth that he opposed, and correspondingly, he thought that by arranging his encyclopedia alphabetically, he was striking a symbolic blow against them. The alphabet was the great leveler. Religious matters would not be ranked above secular ones, mechanical skills would not be placed below intellectual ones, and articles on princes would appear side by side with articles on peasants.... Protestants and heretics would be placed side by side with Catholics, and this rhetorical ecumenicalism reflected the “spirit of ecumenicalism” that characterized Coronelli’s career and that placed him in the context of Leibnitz and other seventeenth-century ecumenicalists. What a wonderful justification for an alphabetical encyclopedia!
(Quoted in When Information Came of Age, Daniel R. Headrick, p.163.) But Headrick also points out that there may have been practical reasons for avoiding alphabetical order:
The reason the alphabetical order was seldom used, though it was known and understood, is quite simple. Creating an alphabetical list of any length requires much time, effort, and costly parchment, and for texts that were intimately known or even memorized, such effort simply did not pay. Not until the advent of cheap paper and especially of printing, with its larger readership, was the effort justified.
Here he cites Robert K. Logan, The Alphabet Effect. I have the Daly book from the library now and will investigate futher. -- Dominus 18:16, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Alphabetical order is a form of collation. I have also heard of the anecdote about the author who alphabetized a book partly to teach himself how to alphabetize, and I thought I'd read that on Wikipedia, but I may be mistaken. (One would expect to find it either in alphabetical order or collation.) Unfortunately, the article about collation focuses mostly on its use in computer science, despite that field being centuries younger (see Wikipedia:Village pump#The Encylopedia that Slashdot Built Awards). --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 22:10, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There is also, as I remember, some interesting discussion of this in Michel Foucault's The Order of Things: he views the increased acceptability of such an arbitrary order as part of the ending of the medieval worldview. -- Jmabel 00:31, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

This isn't the place to mention that Wikipedia's "Categories" are an example of "all the hierarchies on earth" (see quote above), and that alphabetical order is "the great leveller", so I won't. --Heron 10:37, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't know when alphabetical order was invented, but I can tell you that it was quickly followed by Bogosort. Rhobite 23:03, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Right, and Indian mathematicians invented the zero so that they could zero-pad numbers in filenames. ;-) func(talk) 13:51, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

OK! According to the Daly book cited above, examples of alphabetized lists start to appear in Greek scholarship around the 3rd Century B.C. Many of the examples are from Alexandrian scholars, and related Cosian documents, suggesting that the librarians at Alexandria may have used the system to assist in cataloging the library.

Many of these lists are not fully alphabetized, but they are grouped by initial letter, and sometimes by second letter as well. Use of alphabetical order is not common, and for every document that does display alphabetization, there are dozens that could but do not.

The tax accounts in Ptolemaic Egypt also display a sophisticated organization in which daily chronological records of payments were transferred to permanent records that grouped payments by the payer's name, in alphabetic order.

I will do some more research and then summarize the most relevant and interesting points in the Wikipedia article. -- Dominus 14:31, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Are STC's notebooks available online? Are any commentries of them available? Thanks! Intrigue 20:35, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Will two paragraphs do? (It's the best I could manage. You could get more than that by browsing through's preview of the book.) -- Itai 21:10, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Saffron Growing and Hydroponics[edit]

Does anyone know any more information about hydroponics specifically involving saffron, spices or flowers, or any information about the regular growing of saffron?

I don't know if this is helpful: Hydroponics Classroom Salasks 15:24, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, anyone else got any more info?

World War I and Encyclopædia Britannica[edit]

Was the Encyclopædia Britannica affected by anti-German sentiment following World War I? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 23:15, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I assume you mean the Encyclopædia Britannica as a whole, and specifically editions subsequent to the 1911 one; not that particular edition. — Trilobite (Talk) 23:33, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Dah, right. I keep thinking that war ended around 1910, for some reason. Were later editions affected? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 02:05, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Affected in what way? Having a world-changing event occur just after they published their 29-volume description of the world certainly affected the EB. Three supplementary volumes were published in 1921, which with the existing 11th edition was called the 12th edition. In 1926, a six-volume supplement was published with the 11th edition and called the 13th edition. A new 24-volume edition was publlished in 1929 which lasted, with annual supplements and other editorial changes, until 1973. I got all this from the article Encyclopedia Britannica. The 12th edition, which I own, is full of diagrams and maps and graphics illustrating the course of World War 1. Ortolan88 16:01, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Bottled water vs. municipal water[edit]

  1. How do regulations for the cleanliness of bottled water typically compare to city regulations for the municipal water supply?
  2. What levels of contaminants are generally permissible in each?
  3. How long will the two remain potable?
  4. Is it healthful to drink only totally pure water?

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 01:37, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't know about regulations, but you might have a look at this NRDC study on bottled water. While most of the bottled waters were safe, a considerable number of them were actually sourced from municipal water schemes, and some of those without any further treatment! Dasani, for instance, comes from municipal water supplies, though it is filtered further.
You might also note that the range of tests applied to municipal water by the EPA in the United States, in cities at least, is greater than that required by the FDA for bottled water. You might want to check the FDA and EPA sites for specific maximum contaminant levels, I suppose. --Robert Merkel 02:45, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The potability of water from a municipal source would presumably depend on the conditions it was stored in; this was discussed on the village pump some time ago, but I don't recall anybody having a good answer.
As to your final question, what alternatives do you have in mind? If you removed fruit juices and milk from your diet, for instance, you might be putting yourself at risk of scurvy or osteoporosis if you didn't find alternative sources of Vitamin C and calcium. However, to the best of my knowledge there is no reason not to drink completely pure water over unpurified sources; the minerals present in other waters are present in adequate quantities in food. Completely pure water does taste quite odd, however. --Robert Merkel 02:45, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Not directly related but interesting: Creating water out of thin air Salasks 00:14, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)

Full Wikipedia syntax[edit]

Question moved to Wikipedia:Help desk. See top of page: "This is not a help page for problems with Wikipedia."Trilobite (Talk) 13:29, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The City of Los Cerritos[edit]

About 10 years ago or more, there use to be a city in California called, "Los Cerritos." I do not know what happen to this city. An Internet search turns more links about Cerritos, California than the now "Lost" "Los Cerritos." My guess is two things happen to the city: It merged with another city, or it changed it name to avoid confusion with "Cerritos." My question is what happen to this city? For reference, "Cerritos" and "Los Cerritos" were never the same city. The mall that was built, called the Los Cerritos Mall opened in Cerritos, California not Los Cerritos, California. I think as the Los Cerritos Mall got popular, the City of Los Cerritos disappeared or renamed itself or something... Anyway, I've lost all track of it. A map of California from between 10 and 20 years ago may reveal that Los Cerritos did indeed exist. If you read the Cerritos, California article, you'd discover that the city was originally the City of Dairy Valley. This is why I believe there was no name conflict at the time between the current Cerritos, California and Los Cerritos, California. --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 12:31, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Rancho Los Cerritos would appear to be a historic cite near or in Long Beach, California. Is this possibly what you mean? {Ανάριον} 12:52, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No, Los Cerritos was a city. As I stated before, this can not be done through a regular Internet search. --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 08:53, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I have a German atlas from the 1920s, which does not list any Los Cerritos in California, so evidently either the city was renamed before that, was named differently in German, or was never seen as an independant city. {Ανάριον} 08:59, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Los Cerritos High School was renamed Hillview. There's also a Los Ceritos Wetlands. Salasks 15:11, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)
I swear, Los Cerritos was a city. What happen to it, I have no clue. --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 08:53, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, biophysics, cell biology[edit]

Can you please explain how these fields differ in what they do and don't include? --Molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, biophysics, cell biology

It seems like they would have a lot of overlap...can you clarify?

Lots of overlap. Molecular biology and biochemistry are virtually the same field with the two terms being more a matter of fashion and generational preference. Those who claim a distinction would have trouble describing a research report that would be identifiable as biochemistry but not molecular biology or vice versa. I doubt any institutions grant equal degrees in both biochemistry and molecular biology: some call it one, some the other. Biophysics focuses on the more "physics" related phenomena of biology such as electrical gradients and potentials, with much overlap with biochemistry. It is often offered as a separate degree from biochemistry/molecular biology. These three are the fields that have in the last 2 generations yielded most of our new knowledge about genetics and cell biology, so that much genetics and cell biology research is conducted with the methods and knowledge base of biochemistry/molecular biology. Genetics is the field of knowledge related to inheritance; it has been enormously amplified in the last 50 years by the techniques and knowledge of biochem/molec biol, and this new knowledge has in turn revolutionized physiology, medicine, and evolutionary biology. Cell biology focuses on the function of the parts of the cell, but these are primarily investigated and described by the methods and terms of biochem/molec biol and biophysics. Does that help? Alteripse 17:09, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

my almamater (SJSU) grants degrees in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Both are concentrations of either a biology or chemistry degree, respectivly. So a Biochemisty student takes the core Chemistry cources, with electives and requirements in Biology, and recieves a BA or BS in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry; while a Molecular Biology student takes the core Biology courses, with many chemistry electives and recieves a BA or BS in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology. However, about 80 or 90 percent of the cources required for each are the same, many of the differences have nothing to do with the science requirements (for example, I took 10 units of Russian because a Chemistry degree required study or either Russian or German, while the Biology degree doesn't have that requirement). Gentgeen 23:03, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The fields are indeed very close. But they have different points of focus and methods of researching things. Nevertheless, I'm studying biochemistry and I might be getting involved in a Biomolecular project. And Cell Biology focuses on biological processes (not chemistry) It's all about how you see it. [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 13:59, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Is there any significance (weather) when three 2's (i.e.222) are in alignment with hurricanes?[edit]

I understand how to read numbers relating to birthdates, but when binary numbers are aligned three in a row, in this case, specifically 222, does this have any specific meaning when relating to the weather? I ask this because I had specific insight into the last three, the last being Ivan, now I am questioning Jeannie.

Does the lineup of numbers 222 mean anything at all?

Thank you, Lauren (loves to learn)

Um... what? I will address the only part that I understood: "2" is not a digit used with "binary numbers". "0" and "1" are used in the binary number system. func(talk) 23:50, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm guessing this question is astrology-related. Rhobite 02:02, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
Sounds more like Numerology --Kundor 05:42, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
Or kabbalah, or mysticism. --Gelu Ignisque

Stomach protector[edit]

I read a novel about an American translator in China recently (I can't remember the name) but she had a thing about romanticising historical China. She had an 'antique stomach protector', which was described as a piece of silk tied in some way so as to cover her stomach as a piece of underwear. I cannot find any reference to this. Is it real? Can one buy one? Thank you. Gretchen Gardner.

I have a flannel "thing" that wraps and ties around the stomach and over the kidneys that was worn by German soldiers (so says the war surplus catalog) to keep them warm, those two areas being the ones that the body most desires to keep warm. I have two, actually, but you can't buy mine, although it's possible that these surplus items are still available. Good luck, winter is coming! Ortolan88 02:23, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think the book is Lost in Translation (novel) by Nicole Mones. A picture of the woman wearing the item (from the rear) is on the cover - you can see it here. I don't think the German army item is the one Gretchen is looking for, but I have also been unable to pull up anything. Mark Richards 12:52, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Motorcyclists sometimes wear kidney belts that serve a similar purpose. adamsan 14:40, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The kidney belt seems to serve the same purpose as the German military thing, but be unrelated to the Chinese thing, which, so far as I can see, serves a primarily spiritual value? Can anyone find any references to this asside from this book? Mark Richards 18:06, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Anterior and nonanterior consonants[edit]

In Vowel harmony#Consonant harmony, the article refers to anterior and nonanterior classes of sibilant consonants. What is an anterior consonant? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 02:26, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I believe an anterior strident (or sibilant) consonant is one pronounced in front of the alveolar ridge, e.g., an alveolar ([{IPA2|s}] as opposed to a palatal [?] ("sh"). --Gelu Ignisque

Two syllables in squirrelled[edit]

Part of Talk:List of the longest English words with one syllable:

I'm think there are two syllables in squirrelled. [ 19:43, 23 Sep 2004]

Me too. [ 19:39, 23 Sep 2004]
Me three. However, speakers of some dialects, notably Canadian English, pronounce the word as a single syllable. • Benc • 20:43, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'd love to hear an mp3 or something of someone managing to say squirrelled with only one syllable, I'm not sure how it can be said that squirrelled is the longest english word with one syllable when the correct pronunciation of the word has 2 syllables. Suppafly 23:20, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
First of all, since I'm a descriptivist at heart, I don't believe that there is such a thing as a "correct" pronunciation. Everyone talks differently; no pronunciation is more "correct" than another except within the context of an established dialect (e.g., Received Pronunciation).
But I do agree that an mp3 would be an excellent addition to the article. It's a vital piece of evidence; many sources I've read claim that squirrelled is a single syllable, but I've never actually heard it being pronounced, myself. Any Canadians (or folks from anywhere else) out there who pronounce it in a single syllable willing to give it a shot? • Benc • 00:56, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I assume it sounds something like "skworld". — David Remahl 02:45, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Would it be unhelpful at this point for me to mention that I've never heard the word at all? ;-) In any case, as I look at it, my impulse would be to pronounce it as a single syllable, in the way that David Remahl suggests. What would be the alternative, "squirrel-lead"? func(talk) 03:02, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, when I try to pronounce "skworld", it comes out with a schwa, as in "skuh-world". I'm thinking some folks can do it in a single syllable, though. • Benc • 03:03, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Im Canadian, and I would concur with the the one syllable pronounciation, it would be like Skwurlld with the r-l combo being pushed into a slight extenstion over the second L. ( West Coast Canadian )Bob535 03:16, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm Canadian, and I would pronounce it like "skworld" as well, but I don't think there is a schwa there (nor is there with squid, or squall, or anything else that starts with squ-). If there is a second syllable there, it's with the -ed at the end, I guess. Adam Bishop 03:21, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think it's possible for the schwa to appear in either (or neither) place, depending on the dialect: "skwir-uhld", "skuh-world", or "skworld". Or even the archaic-sounding "skwirl-ed" (long e instead of a schwa). I definitely use the "skuh-world" pronunciation, myself. I'm from the southeastern United States, by the way. • Benc • 04:11, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
As a Canadian, I'd pronounce it as two syllables, although I can imagine a possible pronunciation which would be one syllable. -Josh Raspberry, 3:38, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What's the mystery? If you pronounce "squirrel" as one syllable, you'll pronounce "squirrelled" as one syllable. Enough people do the former: Merriam Websters Collegiate offers both a one-syllable and a two-syllable pronunciation for "squirrel". - Nunh-huh 04:16, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, not necessarily. Some people see that it's such a long word on paper and have a mental block, forcing themselves to split it into two syllables somehow. I think that's what I do. :-/
Anyway, I didn't really do a good job of stating the question in the first place, so I'll try to do so now. Would someone who pronounces squirrelled using a single syllable be willing to upload a recording of their pronunciation?. If you could, please pronounce the word three times into the microphone. (This is a standard linguistical technique to account for variations in pronunciation due to being at the beginning of a sentence.) If you have any technical questions, feel free to ask (e.g., how to convert and upload audio file). Many thanks, • Benc • 04:11, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Just in case anybody (Canadian etc.) is wondering where the "two syllable claim" comes from, let me explain that British English is one of the dialects in which squirrelled has two syllables. --Heron 09:20, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm a South East Londoner (England). We'd pronounce it Skwih-rawled. [Before doffing our cap to you, leaping in the air, clicking our heels and then doing a jovial dance down a poorly lit cobbled alleyway.] --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 11:25, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
Don't you rhyme it with "twirled" and then say "baton"? Anyhow, I would say that "squirrelled" rhymes exactly with "twirled" and "whirled" and "world" (the latter two being identical in my pronounciation). Just put "sk" on the front of "world" and there you are, stashed away in a hollow oak. I would say the vowel is a schwa, or whatever a schwa becomes when it's with an r. Sharkford 16:10, 2004 Sep 24 (UTC)
Rhotic, or r-colored. And I would say that the syllabic nucleus in squirrelled corresponds to orthographic <irr>, a syllabic [r] (symbolized in IPA as an [r] or upside-down [r] with a small vertical line underneath). The sounds I hear in the word are [s], [k], voiceless [w], syllabic [r], [l], and [d]: a single syllable. --Gelu Ignisque
"Squirls?" ...I guess if ya shoots 'em an' eats 'em in a squirl pah. ...Our President refers constantly to "terraced attacks" a terrifying thought for those living in fancy high-rise apartments: "Now they're smashing the flowerpots, and there goes your market umbrella, Agnes"... Wetman 05:40, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Oh, is that what he means? I thought he had a thing against tourists. ;-) --Heron 21:31, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The word squirrelled has two syllables, just like 'squirrel'. It's kinda difficult to pronounce because an r between two vowels, so it's often shortened to 'skwurl'. At anty rate 'skwurld' looks completely different, and what happened to the i anyway? It's clearly

skwi - ruhld, and even that's difficult. In some dialects maybe, but not the one I speak. It's silly to give it one when it should be two.

Oh look, it's a skwurl. I'd think it was some kind of

Three syllables in squirrelled[edit]

Part of Talk:List of the longest English words with one syllable:

I don't wish to be willfully perverse in raising this alternative, but to my untrained ear there are clearly 3 separate sounds in squirreled.

Sound one: scwi Sound two: rell Sound Three: duh

  • I don't think a trailing 'd' is usually, if ever, regarded as a syllable. You wouldn't argue, for example that "wood" has two syllables. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 12:52, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)

You're right, Bodnotbod (Gawd bless yer, mite), and our own article on syllable agrees. A syllable has a vowel or quasi-vowel in the middle, with optional consonants on either side. However, from a purely phonotactic point of view, this does make it hard to justify calling squirrelled a single syllable, unless you classify the whole of uirrelle as a single quasi-vowel. Perhaps our "syllable" article needs to say that the definition of a syllable depends on the dialect of the speaker, if this is true. --Heron 13:05, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What you think you say and what you actually say is usually different, so everyone who has commented here (including me) is probably wrong about how they pronounce this word. Even if one of us were to record it and post it, that pronunciation would not be normal speech, because we would be thinking about it and saying it more slowly and purposefully than in normal speech. Adam Bishop 16:40, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's probably true. I said above I pronounce it skwih-rawled. But I think, if I were saying it less consciously the L would go missing, and I also doubt that my Rs are very distinct. So it would probably be more like skwiwwed. Frightening thought, really. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 14:37, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Well. I'm certainly not Canadian, and I pronounce it "skworld". RickK 06:15, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

I would also like to add that I pronounce it "skworld" and I'm in Seattle, Washington.--Trypsin 08:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm a Minnesotan and I pronounce squirreled "squir-relled" or in IPA, [skʷəɹ.ɫd], with two syllables, but I might pronounce it as one syllable when speaking quickly. Gandalf1491 21:04, 4 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fans, fluorescent lights, orange and blue[edit]

This is something I've been wondering about since I was a kid.

When a fan is running under some fluorescent light, it leaves a trail of blue and orange. This happens with any object moving fast enough, actually, under fluorescent lights. Some kinds of lights don't produce this effect, though, but I have no clue of what differs them from the rest.

I know fluorescent lights oscilate in high frequencies (120Hz, I think), but I was never able to relate this fact with the appearence of the colors. Interestingly, the colors don't vary, being always orange and blue.

Anyone knows what I'm talking about and why this happens? Kieff | Talk 04:28, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

You might be seeing some variant of the Benham's disk effect. (Seems like a ripe topic for a Wikipedia article.) --Matt McIrvin 13:31, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

...Ah, I see there is one for "Benham's top". I'll make a redirect... --Matt McIrvin 13:40, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hey, look at this online demonstration (Java required). The effect is called Fechner colors; I just made a stub. --Matt McIrvin 14:04, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This is not, I think, the Benham's disk effect; this is more about how fluorescent lamps work. The fluorescent powder does not fluoresce white (ie, broad-spectrum); rather, it's a mix of phosphors that each fluoresce a single wavelength, and which have been mixed to produce an acceptably white light. More expensive lamps have more kinds of powder, more carefully chosen; for example, those that simulate sunlight for raising plants. Cheaper ones are just two primaries that add up to approximately white; eg, yellow/orange and some kind of blue. Further - and I'm not sure why this might be so - the different phosphors light up at different points in the phase (perhaps they fluoresce at different temperatures, or intensities of RF, but I'm guessing). Thus your fluorescent lamp is not a solid white light, but rather an alternating orange and blue strobe. Your eye freezes the sequential images accordingly.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco has (or had) an exhibit, in an out-of-the-way corner of the acoustics section, in which a guitar string tuned to 120 (or perhaps 60?) Hz was illuminated by a single fluorescent tube. It appeared to the eye as two strings, each showing the opposite extreme of waveform, one red and one green. Sharkford 15:04, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)
  • "Thus your fluorescent lamp is not a solid white light, but rather an alternating orange and blue strobe. Your eye freezes the sequential images accordingly." - My God! No wonder people complain of headaches! I don't usually get a headache from fluorescent light, but I used to work long hours under them and sometimes start to feel rather... odd. Sort of as if the world around me were at a slight remove. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 18:00, Sep 26, 2004 (UTC)
There is a solid base of non-fans of fluorescent light, especially for reading and studying. I don't know how well this has been studied by "mainstream" researchers but every so often you may see an article or documentary on possible negative side effects of fl. light. I think I saw one once (there's scholarly rigour for you!) claiming a relationship with hyperactivity in the classroom. Of course, fl. lighting is on the upswing owing to its energy efficiency. As I hear it, California now mandates that the "primary" light source be fl. in kitchens in new home construction.
After posting the above ("This is not..."), I'm now thinking that what the original poster is seeing are orange and blue afterimages of the fan blades, after they were strobed blue and orange, respectively; not that that adds materially to the situation. Sharkford 13:27, 2004 Sep 27 (UTC)

does less or more testosterone increse or decrese insghtfulness ina person?[edit]

does less or more testosterone in a person increse or decrese insghtfulness ina person? can this hormonal difference be stated as the reason for women being more thoughtful and better at analysing situations and people than men?-Anita

Dear Anita, if I understand you correctly, you are asking if testosterone somehow "decreases" insightfulness, since you have this bizarre, sexist, and probably totally accurate idea that women are "more thoughtful" and "better at analyzing {social--right?) situations and people?"

A tantalizing array of possible answers come to mind, ranging from a Dave Barry-type response about the apparent neuronal toxicity of testosterone, a plea to forgive whichever haplesss guy in your life just blew it again (since he couldn't help it due to his testosterone handicap), to quibbling about whether "insightfulness" equates to "thoughtfulness," "analyzing situations" and "analyzing people" -- in other words, dodging the question. Reluctantly, I'll opt for the straight answer.

  1. What are the cognitive differences between men and women?
  2. What role does testosterone play in these differences?

As it happens you are not the first person to wonder about this and there is a lot of research on the relationship of testosterone to various aspects of personality and cognitive skills (e.g, Halpern DF, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities. 3rd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwaw, NJ, 2000, plus dozens of other books and thousands of research articles in the psychology literature). The short version of the answer to the first question is that research, repeatedly, and across cultures, shows that sex differences cannot be found in general intelligence, but in patterns of cognitive abilities. On average, females outperform males in measures of verbal fluency, verbal memory, emotional perception, and perceptual speed. On average, males outperform females on measures of spatial, mechanical, and mathematical abilities.

So to what extent can testosterone be blamed for these differences? In 1970, if you asked any psychologist, social scientist, politically correct academic, or card-carrying feminist this question, the answer was a big "NO! There are NO biological differences in brain function. Any appearance to the contrary should be attributed to sexist expectations, culture, or social learning or a patriarchal plot..." (I am not kidding here, as neither were they). There is in fact much evidence that these differences are largely biological whatever we might wish. Testosterone is a good candidate for being a major factor in these differences. T levels between males and females vary during 3 periods in life: from the 8th week of gestation to delivery, from 2 weeks to 4 months after birth, and after the onset of puberty (average age 12 years). The brain has both testosterone and estradiol receptors present from the first half of gestation onward. Conditions in which T levels are atypical for age and sex shed some light on when and how testosterone might work these differences. For examples, girls with high prenatal and childhood testosterone levels due to CAH show some of the "male" cognitive advantages such as better spatial abilities than ordinary girls. Conversely, boys with congenital forms of hypogonadism show less spatial abilities than ordinary boys. What seems to be important is prepubertal testosterone, since men and women do not lose or gain these abilities if testosterone is removed or added after childhood. Luckily, losing testosterone does not improve a guy's social skills. For more on this type of research, see one of Sheri Berenbaum's reviews (e.g., Berenbaum SA. Prenatal androgens and sexual differentiation of behavior. Chapter 13 in: Eugster EA, Pescovitz OH, Developmental Endocrinology: From Research to Clnical Practice. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2004). A final caveat: many factors that contribute to brain differentiation. One of the most important changes in our understanding of brain biology is our realization that brain reshapes its capabilities in response to experience and use in a way that can make partially environmental or experiential factors appear to contribute to "hardwired" functions. Alteripse 12:38, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'd also add another caveat - the differences in abilities Alteripse refers to are statistical averages and there is wide individual variation between people that can swamp the gender differences.
One final thought. If I recall correctly, psych research has shown that the "male" approach to psychological disturbance (bottling it up) can actually be healthier than the "female" approach (nattering on about it endlessly), in at least the cases of depression, and dealing with trauma. So give us men a break the next time we're not interested in discussing your feelings. We're doing you a favour :)--Robert Merkel 12:57, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Can you back that up with any references? I find it rather surprising that not talking about depression is an effective way of treating it. My understanding was that research actually pointed at the exact opposite conclusion. [18] On the other hand, if you are trying to say that different people have different methods of coping and that it isn't constructive to try and get them to utilize other methods, I could see that, but would still be interested in seeing the references. Cvaneg 15:04, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It's what I recall from my undergrad psych lectures. I'll try to see if I got it right, and go look it up in the textbooks...

Question about color film[edit]

I had a problem with my camera recently: it wouldn't "click" anymore (probably because of low battery). Now, when I rolled back the film (plain vanilla Kodak 35 mm color) and took it out, the whole film was inside the cilinder. I don't take photos very often, so I may be wrong, but shouldn't there be 2 or 3 cm of brown foil sticking out (like it is when you buy it)? At the development lab, do they need those 2 cm to take out the film or can they develop it anyway?

Thank you in advance and keep up the good work, 12:11, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC).

This is normal and helps protect the film frombing ruined by stray light. Rmhermen 12:33, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, light issues aside, you can tell whether film is exposed by whether it has been fully wound in, preventing mixing of used and unused film.

Let's be more detailed on this: the lead-out on an unused film allows you to easily load it into the camera. When winding back the film (unless your camera has an electric winder) you will continue until you feel the film first tighten and then loosen; this looseness is the entire film rotating freely inside the cylinder - you can carry on turning the handle forever, and it will have no further effect. You can then store the film with no worries about light getting at your precious prints, and no risk of mistaking it for undeveloped film.
In a professional photo lab (or a well-equipped amateur one) will be a tool for breaking open the film canister to get at the developed film. Less well-equipped amateurs often try to leave the lead-out sticking out of the canister (by knowing the feel of their winder very well, I guess; leave too much out, and you could ruin photos at the start of the film) so they can pull it out in the darkroom. If they fail, they may have to fiddle for a long time with a special hook trying to fish it back out. (Really ill-equipped amateurs get a photo lab to develop the negatives, and just use an enlarger to do some fancy prints). - IMSoP 21:37, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Rupert's Land map[edit]

I would like to use your map of Rupert's Land in a book. Is it possible to get an image copy with a higher density scan? Is there a fee for service? Thanks. Peter Murphy

There's no fee; the Reference Desk is a free and volunteer-done service. --Gelu Ignisque
Peter, the map in question was created by User:Decumanus, and has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which means it can be used by anyone as long as several conditions are met, including giving attribution to the copyright holder and that any derivative works are also licensed under the GFDL. I am not a lawyer, but I don't think including the map in a book would make that book a derivative work, but you might want to check with your publisher's legal department. You could also contact Matthew Trump (Decumanus's real name), and ask if he'd grant you a seperate license to use the map or if he has a higher quality version available. Gentgeen 21:03, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Beat LA sign[edit]

I'm looking for a picture of the "Beat LA" sign from the Braves 1991 march to the playoffs for a blog post. Salasks 14:44, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC) (blog)

This is an emergency—how would you say "Down with the officers" or any other "down with" in Latin? Thanks! --Gelu Ignisque

You would "pereat (whatever)" (or pereant for plural). That really just means "may he/she/it (or they in the plural) die/perish/be ruined." I'm not sure what kind of officers you mean, but "pereant magistratus" is I suppose what you are looking for. Adam Bishop 16:16, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thank you so much. The subjunctive of perîre fit the meaning I was trying to express perfectly. (Although it's an irregular verb, what a terrific coinage: per-îre, "to go-through" (across, beyond, etc.). The officers was just a noun I stuck in there so that the intransitive verb would have a subject, so what kind of officer I meant is irrelevant. --Gelu Ignisque
Down with Latin teachers! Dunc_Harris| 21:43, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Old Latin teachers never die... they just decline and fall. Ðåñηÿßôý | Talk 23:21, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I love people who know Latin: how would one translate "red star", referring either to the planet Mars or to, well, a literal red star, like the stars from Soviet-era flags? P.S. This is not an emergency. :) func(talk) 05:34, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, for "red star" I guess I would say "stella rufa," and for "Mars" I would say "Mars" :) Adam Bishop 09:03, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
LOL! I apologize. I understand that "Mars" is itself Latin, but I have also heard that the ancients called it (in a descriptive or poetic sense) the "red star". When I've tried to look this up on the Internet, I have found that there are, like, a billion different names for "red" in Latin, and the whole system of declensions is just way beyond comprehension for me (I took a little Latin in junior highschool, but not one bit of it has stuck in my head). "stella rufa" is interesting. I had guessed something like "stellum rubellum". I guess I was wondering if there was a canonical spelling "red star" in general, for instance, several actual stars were called "red stars", such as Sirius. P.S. Still not an emergancy. ;-) func(talk) 16:19, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, and you could also say "ruber" (or rubra in this case), along with rufa or rubella. And star could also be "sidus" or "astrum" (which are neuter so "red" would be rubrum, rufum, or rubellum). My dictionary says "stella errans" (wandering star) for "planet", I guess that is just a literal translation of "planeta" which means the same thing in Greek (and was borrowed into Latin too). Adam Bishop 16:30, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Other adjectives meaning "red" include rutilis (neuter rutile), rubeus (neuter rubeum), and rubidus (neuter rubidum). So with all the possible translations for "red" and "star," that works out to a lot of permutations, but I don't really care to calculate how many ... --Gelu Ignisque
Oh, I forgot—the masculine form is irrelevant if you're translating "star" as stella. If that's the word you're using, then your possibilities for "red" that have been listed so far are rufa, rubra, rubella, rutilis, rubea, and rubida. If you'd rather use astrum or sidus, then your possibilities are rufum, rubrum, rubellum, rutile, rubeum, and rubidum. Nice, huh? --Gelu Ignisque
I'm glad I'm not "Latin." ;-) Thanks, everyone. func(talk) 15:56, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

IBM PS/2 series backup battery[edit]

Hey, does anyone know where the clock/BIOS backup battery is on an IBM PS/2 motherboard? I have one of these (ancient) computers in my basement and when I boot it up, I get error codes 161 and 163, which I have determined to mean the BIOS battery is dead. However, I cannot find the battery's location in order to replace it. Does anyone know where the battery is on one of these boards, or have a link to a site telling one how to change it? Thanks! Suntiger 22:12, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, according to this list the battery you want is probably one of these; I wouldn't be at all surprised, however, to find it is actually some fairly standard model of button battery that you could buy at a high-street store if you could look at it and read a more generic part number (like what you get in watches, PDAs, digital cameras, etc; there's plenty of types, but none seems to have ever become unavailable).
As for locating it, I didn't manage to turn up a very good diagram: the "Systems" section on this site has them, but doesn't label the battery; the image on this wonderfully ancient hardware tutorial seems to suggest the battery is somehow bundled in with the "speaker assembly" and then wired onto the board. It's worth noting if you want to keep searching that IBM appears to have called the motherboard the "planar board".
There also appears to be a still-active newsgroup for PS/2 owners: news:// (Google archive) Good luck! - IMSoP 15:54, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, that looks like it should help. Suntiger 13:45, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Julius Streicher at Nuremberg[edit]

Why was Julius Streicher, publisher of Der Stürmer, at the Nuremberg Trials? He was just a publisher of the Nazi German equivalent of a tabloid newspaper. Why was the publisher of the Völkischer Beobachter not also on trial?

What he did just seems minor in comparison to the doings of people like Rudolf Höß, who were not at Nuremberg. [[User:DO'Neil|DO'Иeil]] 22:39, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Um... did you actually read the articles that you wikified above? The publisher of Völkischer Beobachter was put on trial, and Rudolf Höß was at Nuremberg, before being sent off to Poland; and after reading Julius Streicher's article, it seems entirely clear to me why he was put on trial. Der Stürmer was not just a tabloid, it was an active advocate of the vilest of Nazi propaganda. Have I misunderstood your questions? func(talk) 00:22, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What are the most commonly used auxiliary verbs and copulas in the English language? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 00:31, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

To answer half of your question: I'm not sure that it's possible to give you an answer beyond what our auxiliary verb article already says. The three verbs have, be, and do are the only auxiliary verbs used in standard English. However, there is such a thing as a modal auxiliary verb, such as (pairs of words are the non-past and past forms of the same verb):
  • can, could
  • shall, should
  • will, would
  • may, might
  • ought
  • must
There are a few others. Interesting factoid: grammatical sentences in standard dialects never have more than three auxilary verbs, plus at most one modal. Example (auxv underlined, modal italicized): "He could have been being beaten up, but he got away." Additionally, some non-standard dialects use the double modal, as in "I might could have caught him." • Benc • 10:13, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think you've said it all. Additionally, in tree diagrams, modals are placed in the I or infl node (standing for inflection and signifying an abstract category specified by a subject noun phrase and complemented by a predicate verb phrase); when there is no modal present, the I category—which is mandatory, like all heads—is realized as a silent tagmeme containing information about the infl phrase's tense, which in English can be past or nonpast. On the subject of copulas, a copula is a linking verb, one that takes not a direct object (complement noun phrase) but a predicate nominative, which is a restatement of the subject. English copulas include be, become, seem, appear, smell, taste, etc. --Gelu Ignisque

HTML colors[edit]

Δ ο
<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3">
      <th align="center" colspan="2" bgcolor="#fda">α</th>
      <td bgcolor="#fed">Δ</th>
      <td bgcolor="#fff">ο</th>
  1. What is the lowest version of HTML this table conforms to?
  2. Which browsers cannot interpret three-character color codes?

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 03:29, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it conforms to any HTML version, since the colors are in three-character format, which AFAIK is only valid in CSS (though some browsers obviously have no problem with it). I'm afraid I don't know what browsers will or won't accept that notation, though chances are it's correlated with whether or not (or how well) a browser implements CSS. As for the rest of it, the table elements have been around since HTML 3.2 I believe. -- Wapcaplet 03:45, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 PR has no problems with it, which is odd. -- Alphax 15:55, Sep 26, 2004 (UTC)

In IE6, #123 outside of CSS is equal to #010203. Goplat 16:47, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Opera correctly ignores the colour values, and thus presents illegible black-on-black text. As noted above colours must be six characters or a known name in HTML, the three-char notation is only valid in CSS (which also offers other mechanisms to define colours such as rgb) {Ανάριον} 21:59, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Norton LiveUpdate[edit]

I have Norton installed as part of my defence against viruses. Every day it seems to download around 700-800k of virus definitions and updates. This seems to me an extraordinary amount of data per 24 hours. Is someone able to help me account for this? --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 18:25, Sep 26, 2004 (UTC)

  • It's not all that much if you realize how much new virusses are discovered every day. It's only the big ones that get media attention, but Norton needs to protect you from all of them. You don't need to be worried about the content of the files anway. Norton is definitely a source you can trust. Maybe you can send in a question straight to the creators of the files? ? [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 12:07, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)
    • Are there really that many every day? And even if there are, surely most of them are just minor tweaks to existing ones. I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with that answer (though thanks very much for giving it, of course). Any other takers? --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 01:33, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
      • I also use Norton, and my updates only come down the pipe two maybe or three times a week. I can't say what size they are (small enough to not be noticed on a high speed connection), but it does seem a bit odd that you would be getting a higher frequency of updates than me. Cvaneg 17:26, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
        • Ah. I think I might have an issue around a (seemingly non-critical) error message that has been appearing and I keep meaning to investigate. I'll look into it. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 16:30, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)


I read some where that the number 0 wasn't use in Europe untill I think the 17th century. Before the Europeans used the number 0, for example for writing the year 1600 how would they write it? Where was the number 0 started and when?

We have a bit of info on this in 0 (number). Before Arabic numerals, they would write years in Roman numerals (MDC for 1600, for example). And before they used that system of dating, they would refer to the year in a number of different ways (the fifth year of King So-and-So's reign - but they would still use Roman numerals for the numbers). Adam Bishop 18:14, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What are you talking about? King So-and-So only reigned for 4 years.... ;-) func(talk) 04:11, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Actually he reigned for 4 and a bit years. Which takes him into the fifth year of his reign, so Adam is perfectly correct ;-) Theresa Knott (taketh no rest) 14:24, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Right. I had been thinking about his son, Crown Prince Thiss NThat. func(talk) 15:35, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Or maybe he started his reign before his new year started but after ours in February. To give an example of how they used to write dates (this is, sadly, from homework I had to do last week): "Anno ab incarnatione domini MCLXIII, Era MCCI, Indiccione XI, Ciclo XVIIIVI, Feria V, X Kalends februarii." That's the normal year 1163, the year 1201 in Spain (since they used a different dating system at the time), the 11th year of a 15-year Indiction cycle (whatever that is), I forget what Ciclo is (something about Easter, probably), and Wednesday (the fifth Feria, or festival day, just a day of the week for them, but they started on Saturday), the 10th day before the Kalends of February, i.e. January 23. So, no zeros at all, and a bunch of other crazy kinds of dates that we don't use anymore. Another example is "III Kalends Iulii pontificatus domini Honorii pape III anno primo," which is the third day before the Kalends of July (June 29), in the first year of Pope Honorius III's reign. If you look him up on Wikipedia or anywhere else, he began his reign in 1216, right? But he wasn't pope yet in June of 1216, so the year here is actually 1217, but still within the first 12 months of his reign. Anyway, my point is, there is a lot more to know about figuring out dates than their lack of the number 0. Adam Bishop 16:47, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's been a while since I did much with my graduate thesis, but as I recall the Arabic numerals were used for dates in the account books of English churchwardens in the mid-1500s. I'd suggest that the questioner's suggestion of the 17th century is too late by 200-400 years, depending on location and other variables, as a reference point for when the 0 was put in use for dates in Europe. Jwrosenzweig 22:15, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor introduced the zero in bookkeeping clear back in the 13th century, but it didn't spread at that time. -- Jmabel 00:47, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

The article on Roman numerals says that the Arabic numerals (and hence 0) came into common use in Europe in the 1300s. Before that Roman numerals were used there. -R. S. Shaw 00:20, 2004 Sep 29 (UTC)

Necker's cube[edit]

What is Necker's cube? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 19:00, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's more commonly referred to as the Necker cube. - 19:15, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC) Lee (talk)


I had a question in my anatomy and physiology class can you help me?

Which of the following is "heat given off as particles or waves"?

a. conduction b. convection c. radiation d. evaporation

A good idea would have been to read the articles on conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. You can think of heat transfer like this: imagine I have a load of cakes and I want to give them out to people. I could pass them along via other people (conduction), take them to people myself (convection), or throw them (radiation). Of these, evaporation is most similar to convection. — Trilobite (Talk) 17:46, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Trilobite are you sure? Particles and waves sounds more like radiation to me. Isn't convection more like "conduction by a flowing substance" (such as air or water)? Alteripse 18:54, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Numbers Again[edit]

 The way we write the number system we use today, where and when did it originate?
Try the article Natural number. --Heron 18:04, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Also look at Arabic numerals for the specific glyphs we use to represent numbers today. Cvaneg 18:35, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

And look at numeral system. Note that there is a difference between numbers and numerals. I haven't looked at the article titled natural number, but that's definitely not the first thing that comes to my mind in response to this question, since natural number is about numbers rather than about numerals. Michael Hardy 21:16, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Temples at Abu Simbel[edit]

Can anyone offer a contact where I can purchse a film in dvd or video format (UK version) of the dismantling and reconstruction of the temples at Abu Simbel when the Aswan High Dam was built.

  • I don't know with certainty, but you might ask New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, who salvaged one of the other temples and brought it to New York. -- Jmabel 00:50, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
    • A web search turned up a documentary specifically on this, called 'Abu Simbel', made in 1966 by William MacQuitty. It's available (though "temporarily out of stock") from No idea about video formatting issues. Various possibly easier to find videos on Ancient Eygpt appear to cover it at least briefly; I found one from the (US) National Geographic Society, for instance.
    • MacQuitty also did a book on Abu Simbel, and other documentaries on Ancient Eygpt. The photo of King Tut's funeral mask that was much-used for the king Tut exhibit back in the 1970's was by him. He also produced the film "A Night to Remember". Loren Rosen 07:27, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A look at tomorrow's papers[edit]

On late-evening radio and TV news discussion programs (e.g. Newsnight), there is often a section where presenters read tomorrow's newspapers. In a column in the Guardian, I once read that part of the night editor's job is to look out for stories that they can poach from such editions of rival papers. So why do the papers bother making these early editions public at 10PM the night before? How did this tradition begin, and what's in it for the publishers? - IMSoP 00:18, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, I'm just guessing here, but I would be willing to bet that night editors don't poach stories so much as they syndicate them from the original copyright owner. For instance, I know that my local paper often runs stories from the New York Times and Washington Post, occasionally adding some locally relevant content. This makes more sense to me than the liability involved with stealing the story in its entirety or the effort and money necessitated by having a reporter rewrite it so as to be unrecognizable. The benefit to the issuing paper comes in their syndication costs, and maybe in creating a wider reader base for their writing. Cvaneg 00:51, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You've obviously not seen the UK tabloid circulation wars! :) -- Arwel 21:52, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm well due to be off to bed now, but I found the column I was remembering. The relevant quote is:

"...while the home news night desk might spend the evening chasing stories in other newspapers that need to be investigated (the night editors usually get their first look at rival publications at about 11pm, leaving little time to react)."

You could be right about the syndication thing though; I'll reply again when I've slept and can think properly... - IMSoP 01:29, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
To answer the other part of your question, major newspapers are often available to the general public on the evening before the 'date of publication'. So it's not that the TV shows have got a paper eight or nine hours in advance. Obviously there are good business reasons for your paper being first on the streets. DJ Clayworth 13:44, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
So why do the papers bother making these early editions public at 10PM the night before? Geography is the reason. It takes time to get the papers from the printing plant to the newsagents' shops (and remember, in the UK the papers have to reach the shops by about 5 am in order to be sorted into delivery rounds in time for breakfast deliveries). I don't know current printing practice, but a few decades ago the national papers were printed in London, Manchester, and perhaps Glasgow, so the first editions would be produced by about 9 pm in order to get the overnight trains to the far end of Cornwall in time. Many's the time I've bought tomorrow's paper at Euston Station at 10 pm. -- Arwel 21:52, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • This practice of making the front pages available is of long-standing. I recall reading in someone's memoirs about working for the New York Times or the Washington Post in the 1970s of how those papers and I think the LA Times sent copies of their front pages out to one another. I don't recall exactly how, whether it was as a wirephoto or telecopier or what they did, but it's nothing new.
    As for poaching stories, Richard Kluger's book on the old New York Herald Tribune talks about the competition between them and the Times. He writes of how each other would get the first edition, find some story they missed and write a front page story for their own editions. Sometimes, he claimed, they would wind up bumping the story the other guy added. The Associated Press will often send out a short story if one paper has a big story, say the results of a big investigation, so editors will know what's out there and possibly request reprint rights.
    The Cincinnati Enquirer, which Aaron Brown shows from time to time, goes to press around ten p.m. So that front page is locked well before he does his round-up. A great site for looking at front pages from around the globe is at the Newseum site. They receive PDF files from about 200 papers every day and post them on the web. If you couldn't tell, I'm a newspaper junkie. Ave! PedanticallySpeaking 16:54, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)
If you see the London Free Press in Newseum, it used to be my job to send the front page there :) I'm not sure this will help answer the question here, since in London we were really the only major paper in a fairly minor market, but I do know that the paper had to be finished by about 1:30 am. There was a regional edition as well that had to be finished around midnight (the city paper would have updated sports scores and a late story or two). They would be delivered from then on, until about 6 am - so, there was never a paper available the night before. And since there are no other dailies to steal stories from, stories come from wire services or local reporters. I don't know specifically how the Toronto Sun works, but I assume they do compete with the other three major newspapers in Toronto...the Journal de Montreal has early and city editions like London, but the Journal de Quebec doesn't, and they don't seem to compete with each other but they often have the exact same stories (and apparently share some columnists). Anyway, there's some useless info for you, I hope that's not too irrelevant :) Adam Bishop 22:55, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Organizational Structures[edit]

I need to find specific information about organizational structures/models. Models such as a Federated Models of Service, an Amalgamation and outsourcing of administration tasks to larger organizations. What I am getting at is I need information about organzational structures as a non for profit organization I am doing work experience for is looking to change its management structures and possibly amalagamate with 3 other organizations. I need clear answers about what types of organizational models exist. For example an organization with a CEO and a Board of Directors and then its management is called.... I wonder if you could help it would be greatly appreciated.

  • The article Organization has lots of interesting information. [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 07:33, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

I think Ferrari is cited not correctly here, but I do not know, where the mistake has been made (I cross-checked twice if I made a mistake when I copied the formulas to my caculator...).


they cited him correctly, I think...

Does anybody see the mistake quickly (I would need at least several days, because: I am not so good in mathematics)...


There is indeed a mistake somewhere. I think the solution of the nested depressed cubic is wrong. I wrote a note on Talk:Quartic equation; hopefully somebody will take it up. -- Jitse Niesen 16:07, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Day-glo colours[edit]

How do so-called day-glo, fluorescent, or neon colours (as used in hi-vis jackets, packaging, signage, highlighter pens, and what have you) achieve their high visibility?

Mechanisms I can think of include: real fluorescence from ultraviolet light, similar to the effect achieved by "whiter-than-white" ingredients added to washing powder and toothpaste; or some particular quirk of human colour perception. I've not been able to find anything explaining it (in Wikipedia or on the web).

(I've noticed that one time when I scanned a document with highlighter pen markings, they came out as a rather ordinary yellow. Would it even be possible to display "day-glo" colours on a computer screen using ordinary display technologies? I'm guessing not.)

Possibly related: there seems to be some disagreement among people I know as to whether "fluorescent yellow" is perceived as yellow or bright green.

--JTN 01:53, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)

This person claims to have tested highlighter ink under UV, and says that it is fluorescent. This is a more scholarly paper that says the same thing. If you Google for "highlighter ink fluoresce" you get a few other sites. --Heron 13:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It's likely to be real fluorescence, probably the items have various organic dyes (such as fluorescein for yellow/green, or rhodamine for orange/red) added to them. -- DrBob 17:07, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks both. If it's real fluorescence, then presumably under purely incandescent lighting, it shouldn't look special (assuming that bog-standard incandescent has negligible UV content? Is that right?). Unfortunately most of the lighting here is compact fluorescent (which I'd imagine might have noticeable UV), so I can't check easily - I suppose I could use a torch. --JTN 17:25, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)
There is some UV emitted from an incandescent light, but you can reduce it by passing the light through thick glass (or water would work, too). Bear in mind that you don't actually need UV for fluorescence, any shorter-wavelength light can (potentially, depending on the material) be converted to a longer wavelength. So the yellow fluorescent materials might work by absorbing blue light and emitting yellow, for instance. -- DrBob 17:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Filenames in websites, length of...[edit]

If I'm building a website, and I don't care about people with browsers older than a couple of years old, do I still need to worry about the length of filename for the HTML docs and images? --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 02:16, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

No, not for any major browsers. -- Jmabel 05:25, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
It looks like you're talking about something like the 8 character limit for old DOS file names. Well, you don't have to worry about that today. Rest assured you can put a filename up to a hundred bytes long, without big issues regarding to browsers. Unless, of course, the server is really, really, really old, then it could have some filename size limit. Kieff | Talk 06:04, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
Excellent. That will help me a lot. Thanks folks --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 01:46, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

apa referencing[edit]

How would I APA style reference something from this website?

see Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia Kieff | Talk 07:54, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

Sulphuric acid[edit]

How would you test to identify a fluid as sulphuric acid? I already know it's acidic, so I only need to differentiate between common acids. Could this be done with simple household chemicals, or would I need to go to a laboratory? [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 07:38, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

Sulphuric acid is a powerful dehydrating agent, so it will caramelize sugar. --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 14:09, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Only true for concentrated sulphuric acid. Theresa Knott (taketh no rest) 14:47, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Also, if you happen to have barium chloride, adding it to sulfuric acid will produce a white precipitate (also hydrogen chloride gas; use ventilation and small amounts of chemicals). Also see stoichiometry. --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 14:35, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
For this test to be effective as a general test for sulphide, add something like HNO3. (Nitric acid) This is to rule out the possibility of a carbonate precipitate. The precipitate in this case is of course Barium Sulphate.--Fangz 16:02, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Lacking nitric acid, could sodium chloride be used to differentiate between sulphuric and other acids? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 22:18, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No it won't produce hydrogen chloride gas, because HCl is highly soluble in water (hydrochloric acid) Theresa Knott (taketh no rest) 14:47, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Name of a pendulum trap[edit]

There's an ancient kind of trap that was a pendulum with a large and heavy axe-like blade that moved around, chopping whoever and whatever was in the way (I'm sorry but this is the best description I can give). What is the name of this trap? Kieff | Talk 08:00, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

Ancient as in 1993? Play less videogames. Read more books. Yrs trly, Inlocoparentis.
Don't forget The Pit and the Pendulum from 1842 by Edgar Allen Poe. Rmhermen 13:24, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
OK, that's pretty close, but if I remember right the guy was immobilized. However, it's actually from a book, so good suggestion! Inlocoparentis

The Pit and the Pendulum is available at Wikisource. --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 16:43, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ha! Amazing! I thought it was an actual ancient trap. Thanks everyone :) Kieff | Talk 03:49, Sep 29, 2004 (UTC)

Futurex Coal[edit]

I'd like to find out the composition of Futurex coals. Google links to Futurex weren't about coals and the Coal and Coke (fuel) articles didn't help. Does anyone have any other ideas? [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 11:35, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

A slightly more sophisticated Google search [19] gets you to SSM Coal, the manufacturers of Futurex coal, which turns out not to be coal at all. I'll leave the rest of the solution for your browsing pleasure. DJ Clayworth 14:12, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
While you're there, take a look at the whole site: it took me a moment to realise that my eyes were not playing tricks on me, those little people really were moving about :-) --Phil | Talk 14:26, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)
What a strange, but fascinating, user interface. DJ Clayworth 19:38, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks! I haven't found the composition yet, but I'm sure having the official site handy is gonna be helpful. [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 20:57, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

Need help re: old Gibson Mandolin[edit]

We have an old Gibson Mandolin which belonged to my wife's grandfather. The label inside bears a hand-written serial number 50737. The style entry seems to be A2 1.

Can you provide data as to when it was made and possible links to learn more ? Thanks.

Max Young

According to Gibson Serialization (found by googling for "gibson serial number", your mandolin would appear to be from 1918-1919. Their customer relations department seems quite willing to help you pin down more information about your old instrument. --Jpgordon 02:11, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Carpet History[edit]

  What is the history of carpet?

Wow. It looks like our article on Carpet needs a bit of work, as do some of our other articles relating to Textile_arts, especially in the area of history. func(talk) 16:20, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree. I've put carpet up for Wikipedia:Collaboration_of_the_week. It needs to get five votes every week to stand a chance of making it so go and sign your name Theresa Knott (The torn steak) 22:20, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Abbreviation and pronunciation[edit]

Is there a word to describe initialisms, such as IEEE (pronounced "eye-triple-e") and IEE (often pronounced "eye-double-e"), which are pronounced with a "shortcut" ("-double-", "-triple-" and so on)? Are there other famous examples of such initialisms, especially with more than three occurrences of the same letter? --Edcolins 21:47, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC)

NAACP - N-double-A-C-P. Intrigue 22:40, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't know the word for this linguistic quirk, but I imagine it's similar to the phenomenon of reading off of certain numbers, such as addresses, in two digit groups, (e.g. 1452 becomes Fourteen-Fifty-Two). As for other examples of this: AAA Triple-A, NCAA N-C-Double-A Cvaneg 23:47, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Double-D? ;) Intrigue 05:23, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Slightly related is the abbreviation i18n for internationalization (because 18 letters are omitted). --Heron 13:54, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have never heard of a standard coined word or phrase to describe this. Incidentally, my American friends seem to consider this habit a Britishism—especially in numbers, as in "dial eight double-zero triple five double twelve"—so it's interesting that these very well-entrenched examples come from the U.S. As a data point, I have never heard the Canadian Auto Association called the "C double-A". Sharkford 16:11, 2004 Sep 29 (UTC)
Certain combinations of 2 or 3 letters are just difficult to say, like "A A A," which usually is just "triple A." Contrast with "AA," one attends "A A meetings," and not "double A" meetings. My preference for IEEE would be to pronounce it as "those damn Americans who don't know how to properly round a number!" ;-) I can't recall the context, but I've heard people spell out the word "hell" as "h e double hockey sticks." func(talk) 15:46, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

See also: Acronym and initialism, where I inserted the above information to a certain extent... --Edcolins 12:28, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)


ॐ सह नाववतु Om saha navavatu
सह नौ भुनक्तु Saha nau bhunaktu
सह वीर्यं करवावहै Saha viryam karavavahai
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु Tejasvi navadhitam astu
मा विद्विषावहै Ma vidvishavahai
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः Om shanti, shanti, shanti
-- Krishna Yajur Vedataittiriya Upanishad 2.2.2
  1. Line by line, what is a literal translation of this verse?
  2. Is this the complete verse?
  3. How is it written in other writing systems?

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 22:04, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Om saha navavatu; ("May we be protected together.
Saha nau bhunaktu; May we be nourished together.
Saha viryam karavavahai; May we work together with great vigor.
Tejasvi navadhitam astu; May our study be enlightening.
Ma vidvishavahai; May no obstacle arise between us.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti; Om peace, peace, peace.
Asato ma sada gamaya; Lead us from the unreal to the real.
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya; Lead us from darkness to light.
Mrityor ma amritaam gamaya; "Lead us from death to immortality.")
- I have this - but there are a lot of translations on the internet, just type the first line into Google. Intrigue 22:38, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks! --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 02:51, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What kind of writing systems do you mean? (Probably not Tengwar, right? ;) [[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 01:06, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Hee, that at least looks somewhat similar. Would this usually be written in Devanagari? --[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 02:51, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I found it! It's so hard to find actual Unicode-encoded Hindi text online (or even accurate transliterations). It'd be easier if I could actually read Devanagari, I suppose. X)

--[[User:Eequor|η♀υωρ]] 18:53, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

qulifications for a cartoonist[edit]

Two articles that may be what you're looking for:

-Salasks 23:07, Sep 29, 2004 (UTC)

None, really. You need talent, not eduction.Nelson Ricardo 02:18, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Marques and makes[edit]

I happened to read the marque article and learned that it described what I would call the make of a car. Are they really the same thing? [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 01:26, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

I've never heard of this term, perhaps it is realted to 'maker's mark'? Is it a USism? The Recycling Troll 19:22, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A citation in the OED2 says that marque entered English from French around the early 1900s, probably through international motor racing. --Heron 19:34, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Marque" is used in the U.S. auto magazines; I've always taken it to be a ten-dollar word (the "qu" alone is worth at least $8.50) for "brand" or "make". The three are interchangeable in casual use, but on closer inspection, "make" has a problem: the name on most cars is not that of the company that made it. Chevrolet, for instance, is a brand/marque, but isn't (today) a company; it's a brandname of GM's, and appears on cars made by GM factories and on cars they buy from others. Of the U.S. marques, only "Ford" is the name of a company and a name found on cars.
In usage, "make" is used on registration documents in the U.S. and Canada, and is what I'd expect to use with a car salesperson or mechanic; though the salesperson might use "marque", especially with high-end models. "Brand" is perhaps in the domain of marketing professionals. Sharkford 20:37, 2004 Sep 30 (UTC)
Same goes for British English. Make is vernacular, and marque is used by specialists. --Heron 21:40, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Anthocharis Sara and English common names[edit]

I'm trying to untangle the different Sara Orangetip butterfly subspecies and what their English common names are. Web pages aren't helping one bit. Does anybody know where I can find the current concensus about them? Williamb 04:29, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Are you talking about Sara's Orangetip (Anthocharis sara)? The Recycling Troll 21:15, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What is the difference between cultural anthropology and sociology? Neither one of our articles about the topics makes any mention of the other. I'm guessing the subtle differences between community, society, and culture are involved, which I roughly understand. I'm no expert though, so I figured I'd best ask here. • Benc • 06:47, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The differences are mainly historical, in that they came out of two different disciplines. Their subject matter has tended more and more to overlap. Sociology began in the study of contemporary societies in the developed world. Cultural anthropology began in the study of cultures characterized at the time as "primitive". -- Jmabel 07:09, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Operating system[edit]

What is the algorithm in C for to find page faults in paging scheme?

Well, for starters, any such thing would be operating-system specific. On anything but an open-source OS, this info would be proprietary. What OS are you asking about? -- Jmabel 18:49, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)
Page faults aren't handled detected in software, so there isn't a C algorithm for it. When your operating system is setting up a program (or allocating memory, or a couple of fancier things we'll skip for clarity) it puts your program and its data into memory, and sets up the CPU's memory management device (variously called the TLB, the hardware-pagetable, and other things) to permit your program to read, write, and execute from the appropriate pages of memory. If your program subsequently tries to access memory outwith these pages (or to do something else that's silly, like writing to a read-only page) the processor's memory management chip will notice and will immediately throw an error. That error is handled by a piece of the operating system, which often (it depends...) forwards the error to your program. So, while there isn't any software to detect the page fault, there is :
  • software in the OS responsible for loading your program, and binding the correct page-table entries
  • software in the OS which handles the page-fault signals from the CPU, and does the "appropriate" thing
  • software in your program (in unix, it's usually a signal handler) which runs when the fault is detected. As (from an application's perspective) a page fault is generally a fatal error, all this software can really do is tidy up a few things before the application is finally torn down by the OS.
Now, if your question is instead how to find memory errors (which isn't the same as page errors at all: CPU page sizes vary, but they're generally several kilobytes, whereas a given malloc might be only a few bytes) the page hardware is only rarely going to find your problems. You can use an ICE (a super-expensive hardware thing), the CPU's trap functionality (some have this, many don't), an alternate allocator which inserts "canaries" (little markers which bookend allocations, and which it periodically checks to see are still intact) (there are versions of MSVC and GCC which do this, and you can rebuild using Rational Purify on many OSes) or you can use an allocator which (rather inefficiently) puts only one allocation per page (I think this is how ElectricFence works, but I'm not sure). If you've got the money for it, Purify absolutely kicks butt. - John Fader
Oh, and for windows only (I believe) there's also NuMega's BoundsChecker, which works like Purify, but which you might get cheaper (I've never used it). - John Fader

Riggs Bank[edit]

I am trying to find out information about the original Riggs Bank family. Yes, the family that found the Bank. I know that they were a very wealthly family in the Washington DC area at the time. I am not interested in know about anyone that currently owns the bank. I am basically interested in knowing who they were, where they lived and how they became to the founders of Riggs bank. Also I might like to know where they are buried and if there are any important landmarks or structures still standing that represents the life and times that they had in the Washington DC area.

Thank you Stephen Hosmer

  • Riggs Bank's own timeline should get you started. Thanks for asking this -- my Dad always banked with Riggs, and I was always curious (though never curious enough to actually look it up) what the history of this bank is. --Jpgordon 16:58, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • The Riggs Bank article actually has a lot of info on the original founders, including:
The earliest incarnation of Riggs Bank was formed in 1836 when William Wilson Corcoran opened a small brokerage house. In 1840, Corcoran and George Washington Riggs, the son of a neighbor, formed "Corcoran & Riggs", which offered checking and depositing services. The bank got a major boost in 1844, when The U.S. government assigned Corcoran & Riggs to be the only federal depository in Washington. In 1854 Corcoran retired, and the bank changed its name to "Riggs & Co." After accepting a government charter, "Riggs National Bank" was born in 1896. By 1900, Riggs was twice as large as any other bank in D.C. Riggs embarked on a successful project to become known as the bank of embassies and diplomats, and by 1950 most embassies in Washington were customers.
Salasks 19:32, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

The same question was answered on Google Answers here. It mainly discusses the bio of George Washington Riggs. Salasks 19:40, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Clark Griffith[edit]

I am trying to know where Clark Griffith the one time owner of the Washington Senators lived in Washington DC. I would like to find a map that would show me this. Does anyone know if his home is still standing today. Also I would like to know if there are any memorials, monuments or plaques in his honor that might still be around in the Washington DC area. I believe that he is buried in a mausoleum but I really would like to be sure. I would also like to know why he buried in such a large mausoleum. Is he buried alone or with other family members. Any help you could give me on theses items I would greatly apprecaite it. Thank you Stephen Hosmer.'The%20Old%20Fox'%20Griffith - that website lists his burial site as:
Fort Lincoln Cemetery
Prince George's County
Maryland, USA
In the list of deadball era owners' burial sites, it says he's buried in the Griffith Family Mausoleum.
I'm not sure how big it is, but it seems Clark's adopted son Calvin was also buried at Fort Lincoln Cemetary, possibly also in the Mausoleum.
Salasks 19:10, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

East Chicago data, source desired[edit]

Greetings and fabulous site - I bookmarked. I found census data for East Chicago, Indiana. The last graph talks about poverty data - precisely what I was seeking. But it does not reference the source. I'd like to know how to find that source so I can be very sure of the data. The rest is cited as Census - but not the graph I want! It's very important my information be accurate. thank you if you can help - Darby

The statistic was put in by User:Ram-Man (talk). You can leave a message on his talk page to ask him directly. Salasks 19:21, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)
According to the last item on Ram-Man's talk page, the statistic should actually read "33.3% of those under the age of 18 are in poverty and 15.6% of those over the age of 65 are in poverty" and not "Out of the total people living in poverty, 33.3% are under the age of 18 and 15.6% are 65 or older." Salasks 19:26, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

If in ancient Greek an orator is rhê-tôr and a word is rhê-ma, then is the process of oration called rhê-sis? Thanks in advance, Gelu Ignisque

My lexicon of New Testament Koine Greek gives rhêma and rhétor as you say (the former is also "saying, expression" and the latter in Koine has a different meaning but was originally "public speaker, orator"). Rhêsis is "word, expression" and no differing "original" meaning is given. Nothing conclusive, but a start. [[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 22:46, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Your best synonym in Attic greek might be agoreusis. Rhesis is given a synonym for rhema by Langenscheidt and would mean oration secondarily as a metonymic figure of speech. In Homeric greek the primary definition of rhesis is "speaking or speech." Alteripse 23:29, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Brainy kids and dots and stuff[edit]

Years ago I remember seeing a documentary about parents trying to turn their kids into geniuses by showing them flash cards with dots on them and saying the number of dots out loud and making the kids listen to classical music etc.. Did any of these kids turn out to be geniuses or was it just a big waste of time? Mintguy (T) 21:39, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, regarding the classical music aspect: A small study done with college age students showed a temporary uptick in performance in certain tasks (Short term memory and IQ, IIRC) while they listened to classical music. They named this quirk "The Mozart Effect" which the press jumped on and turned it into "Listening to classical music makes you smarter". The general populace took this and interpretted it to mean "Listening to classical music must produce child prodigies". The problem is that, even if you accept the giant leap in logic required to correlate college students performing better to producing a mini-einstein, no one was able to reproduce the results of the original study. So, in regards to your initial question, I'm going to say that in all likelyhood, none of those kids turned out to be geniuses, or at least no more than would be statistically significant. Cvaneg 22:48, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In general, exposing children to a wide variety of different stimuli is good for their development, but it's not a simple relationship. The Recycling Troll 03:09, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'd still like to know what happened to all these kids and the dotty flash cards. Mintguy (T) 10:33, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

There's a book out there called "Einstein Never Used Flash Cards." The authors are early childhood education experts. You can guess which point of view they took. moink 01:35, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is the term "balkanization" offensive?[edit]

I used the term "balkanization" on another message board, and I was scolded by someone of Balkan descent, who said that the term offends him. My impression is that it references the historical division of the Balkans, as opposed to some characteristic of people from that region. I didn't believe it was offensive. WP's article, although short, doesn't mention that it's offensive to some people. Should I stop using the term, or is this just more PC policing? Rhobite 23:03, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

I say it's PC policing. That doesn't mean you won't offend someone, and it certainly refers to the breakup into small countries, nothing more sinister. For similar reasons, in Spanish (and, I believe, in several other reasons) a salad of chopped up mixed fruits or vegetables is a macedonia. -- Jmabel 23:07, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Is there even a similar word or term with the same meaning? I'm all for altering my vocabulary as necessary to be more sensitive to others, but in this case, I don't think you could without becoming unecessarily long winded or losing some of the meaning of what you are trying to say. Incidentally, the American Heritage Dictionary which usually denotes if a word is offensive has no such note for balkanizationCvaneg 23:19, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's about as offensive as "Finlandization". --Jpgordon 00:49, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It's a matter of opinion, some people in that part of the world preffer the term 'South East Europe' to 'Balkan', because the word 'Balkan', and 'Balkanize' have come to be associated with the (often violent) breakup of regions into smaller areas. It certainly has taken on negative conotations. I think it is acceptable to use the word, but be aware that folks that come from these places may not like the term. Mark Richards 15:48, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)