Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/May 2004

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Easy-to-install wiki software with free links and versioning?[edit]

I'm looking to start a simple wiki for my own purposes, and I need to choose software to use. MediaWiki's install process is scary, and most of the simpler options lack the features I need (free links and version history). Wikipedia-like syntax would be nice, but not required. I would prefer PHP, or maybe Python/CGI; MySQL or flat files would both work.

Does such a thing exist? Thanks a lot. Eurleif 20:50, Apr 29, 2004 (UTC)

Well, if you haven't tried it, mediawiki really isn't as scary as it might at first appear (at least on windows). One really just runs four windows installers (apache, php, mysql, mediawiki) and twiddles two or three config files (a couple of lines in apache, and I think four or five in mediawiki's), all of which are fairly elementary (and pretty well documented). I think I did the whole thing in about half an hour (plus download time) the first time I tried. And I'm as thick as a plank :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:11, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
But to answer your actual question, see Wiki software and Ward'sWiki's list. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:47, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I've personally had good success with MoinMoin and PHPWiki Thunderbolt16 01:26, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

Do you have to run MediaWiki on your own server, or can it be set up on a webhost, if they have Apache, PHP and MySQL capabilities? Catherine - talk 04:54, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You can run it on a hosted server. I believe there were some issues on hosted accounts which lack the root account on the MySQL, but I think those are fixed. And of course if you have virtual hosting there's no effective difference between that and a dedicated machine. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:06, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks Finlay! It'd be great if the m:MediaWiki User's Guide had step-by-step instructions for installing on a hosted account -- it would make the whole thing less intimidating for those who just want a wiki on their own little website... I'll go suggest it over there. Catherine - talk 20:59, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

blood group O recessive, thus dominant?[edit]

It is not clear to me why the blood group O is the more frequent around the world, when it is stated that either A or B alleles are codominant over i (O)allele.


While the A and B alleles are codominant over i, the i allele is very common in many populations. Additionally, people with A or B blood can carry the i allele and pass it on to their children. As an example from real life, my grandfather had A blood, my grandmother has B, yet my mother is O, one of her sisters is A and the other is AB, so geneticly my grandfather was Ai, and my grandmother is Bi. For another example, blue eyes are recessive, yet lots of people have blue eyes because the blue eyed allele is very common in some populations. Gentgeen 10:31, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
PS: I found an article that discribes this better than I did above. Dominance relationship. -gent
Dominance relationship does help explain codominence, but the reason the blood group O is more frequent is a result of gene frequency rather than of dominance. The 'i' allele is much more frequent than the "A" and "B" alleles: that is, it all breaks down to allele frequency and the Hardy-Weinberg principle. For example, among the American white population, blood type frequency is 45% O, 41% A, 10% B, and 4% AB. From this it can be calculated that the frequency of the i allele is 67%, the frequency of the A allele is 26%, and the frequency of the B allele is 7%. So type O blood predominates because 67% of the alleles in the population are allele O. - Nunh-huh 07:37, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Plastic bullets in NI[edit]

are rubber/plastic bullets still used in northern ireland?

May we have the circumstances for this question? Dieter Simon 23:40, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Per Plastic bullet, rubber bullets were replaced by plastic bullets in 1975. I believe plastic bullets are still issued to riot police in northern ireland, but the circumstances in which they were used have (almost) disapeared. The plastic bullet page "in 1999 only 112 rounds were fired, compared to 8,300 in 1996", and that there hasn't been a PB related fatality since 1989 (which is both a reflection increased civil order in the province, and changes in police tactics when using PB rounds). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:48, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Descendants of Cain?[edit]

Bible question - someone once tried to persuade me that (per biblical tradition) there were no surviving descendants of Cain, citing Noah as being descended only of Abel (and all postdilluvial humans being descended only of him). Neglecting the in-the-air provenance of 'er indoors (Naamah), does this theory, er, hold water (in a purely biblical sense)? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:00, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, this isn't my field, but I'm pretty sure that Genesis says that (a) only Noah and his sons and their wives went into the ark, and (b) that all flesh, including "every man", died in the flood except what was in the ark. This would indeed imply that all of humanity now alive is descended from Noah. (Making us really, really inbred, I suppose)
Obviously this contradicts the legend--where did it originate?--that Cain was doomed not to die, but that, as I understand it, has no particular biblical basis.कुक्कुरोवाच
Some popular (pulpy) stories like to explain vampires as being the "children of Cain", their doom indeed being not to die. This doesn't explain how they survived the great flood, but I suppose several months clinging to a log would explain their profound dislike of water :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:08, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
I've encountered related uses of the mythology. It doesn't hold water, I don't think, unless you can call them something other than flesh. Also, the original "children of Cain" (i.e., in some accounts, the nephilim), were definitely killed off in the flood, as that was the whole point of the flood.कुक्कुरोवाच 22:44, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks (I'd forgotten the nephilim). I can't seem to find a wikipedia article like Old testament family tree or Genesis family tree, which is rather surprising. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:28, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
You are being way too scientific! The Bible and Logic Based on Tangible Evidence? Not very hand-in-hand. --Menchi 00:28, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
That's why I said "in a purely biblical sense", hoping to sidestep discussions of out-of-africa hypotheses etc., while still entertaining tall tales of giants and vampires. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:38, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
At least you're making the Bible entertaining -- Something some priests fail to achieve with their numb audience.... But seriously, the Bible is so ingrained in the Western society, it is intransically linked with many elements of semi-secular folklore and culture. Quite intriguing these "pulpy" connections are. --Menchi 00:48, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
Genesis 4:15 says: '[The LORD said] "if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.'. and 4:17 'Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.'. So God prohibited Cain's family from taking vengenace on him, but did not say he would never die. Also Cain had descendants.
As to the question of whether Noah was descended from Abel only, Genesis 5 indicates that Noah is not descended from Abel at all, but from Adam's third son, Seth. DJ Clayworth 17:56, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
Noah may have been descended only from Abel, but is there anything that says his sons' wives (or Noah's wife, for that matter) were so "pure"? Or does the female bloodline not count in this discussion? Catherine - talk 21:18, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
The Noah article sheds much unlight on this: "Noah's wife is not named in the Bible; according to later Jewish traditions ... her name is Naamah". So the distaff line seems to be a "don't know". I dunno about the son's wives. DJ: thanks! -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:03, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

the science of whistling[edit]

Is whistling a voiced sound; that is, are the vocal folds vibrating during the production of a whistle? Please direct answers/comments to Thank you.

Whistling has nothing to do with the vocal folds; it's entirely labial. It is possible to whistle one note and hum (with the vocal folds) another - I can do this (I guess everyone can), although I don't (yet) have the ability to properly control the interval between the two notes. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:11, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

FDR's Four Policemen[edit]

                 02 May 2004 13:48 


Firstly, I just want to say, I'm hooked on Wikipedia! It’s sad! But in a good way! Now, to the question. I'm a Poly Sci major at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) and I'm currently reading Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy and he makes reference to FDR's Four Policemen in Chapter 16. The Four Policemen is a term coined by FDR before D-Day that suggested that the US, UK, the Soviet Union and possibly China would be the only armed nations in the post WWII era that would restore and maintain peace, throughout Europe or so that’s what I get from it. I was wondering if any of you other learnt scholars could perhaps create a page about that, because I would like to learn more about this idea of the Four Policemen, and why it didn't work? Who gave up on it first? And why did Russia play for keeps, rather then simply liberating Eastern Europe. (Maybe I just answered my own question) So can someone make a page about the Four Policemen?


Tony C. Anderson a.k.a. ConsensuOmnium

Medals for Suez Canal Zone Veterans[edit]

imported from Village pump by IMSoP 18:40, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

It has been reported that there is significant delay in issuing these medals although I received mine without too much delay.

Why wait for applications? The M o D must have records of all those who served out there during the appropriate period. Army Navy RAF Records will also have such lists. Why not issue them based on these lists.? Many Veterans will have answered Roll Call elsewhere and their Descendants may not even be aware.

Maurice Scott ex 1 R Lincolns

science assignment - really need information fast![edit]

[original submitter left no text]

Well, as an encyclopedia, this site is chock full of information, including plenty on Science, so you've come to the right place; but maybe you're after some specific information, in which case perhaps you could let us know what, and we may be able to point you in the right direction... - IMSoP 21:04, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

light bulb[edit]

I read the entry on light bulbs but still am confused about what makes the wattage of light bulbs different. For example, what is the difference in the light bulb between a 15 watt bulb and a 150 watt bulb that makes the 150 brighter? Is the filament thicker or does the bulb base reduce the voltage to it? Also if you drop a bulb, it often burns brighter for a short time before burning out. What causes that?

Let me try to answer that from a few things I remember from school :) A watt (the unit of power) by definition is unit Energy output per unit time. In electrical terms, that makes it 1 Volt Potential difference multiplied by 1 Ampere of Current. But Voltage/Resistance = Current. So, it becomes obvious that one cannot try to alter one quantity independent of the other two. But, on standard power supply lines, the voltage is practically maintained constant, by the huge capacity power grids which can pump in enough "energy" to compensate for any drop in the voltage due to commercial/domestic usage. So, in a constant voltage scenario, the only way to increase your power output is by increasing the current (by decreasing the resistance.)
When the power output increases, one needs to go for a compromise. In the absence of a suitable resisting medium, the excess power gets dissipated to the surroundings in the form of heat and also by raising the temperature of the carrying medium - which can in turn push the medium to higher energy levels and make it glow. The objective in a light bulb is to maximise the power output in the form of light. This also means that the substance that glows (in this case a filament) should be capable of withstanding the high temperature and glow without melting. This leads to a compromise which makes the best conductors of electricity (like silver and copper) unsuitable for the job, while others like Tungsten are better suited.
When we desire lesser luminosity, the power output desired is small and hence the resistance can be kept quite high, employing poorer conductors of electricity and/or substances, which are not capable of going beyond a particular luminosity without melting. The reverse holds good for bulbs, of which we expect higher luminosity. Note that I only mentioned "better" and "poorer" conductors here, because two filaments of the same substance can possess different resistances based on its thickness (the thicker the filament, the lower its resistance), and in most cases it is indeed the thickness of the filament coil that makes the difference. So, it is generally assumed that the wattage of the bulb has a direct bearing on the amount of power dissipated and the luminosity of the filament - all other factors considered equal. It is a complicated picture overall, where the wattage can only give a general idea of the luminoxity that can be expected of the bulb (more determinant in lower wattage operations, while at higher voltages wattage and luminosity are rarely in proportion) and can never pinpoint the exact behaviour of the bulb/luminosity under various circumstances (like the duress of the filament cause by voltage fluctuations, air pressure and the oxygen levels). Much of what I said may be crude/inaccurate, but I guess this is the big picture. Chancemill 13:54, May 3, 2004 (UTC)
Let me offer a shorter answer to the question. The wattage is set by the length and thickness of the filament. The are no extra components in the base to alter the voltage. -- Heron 14:21, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
About your second question, when you drop a bulb, it might develop a crack and allow air to get inside the previously vaccumised bulb. The oxygen in the air aids speedier combustion/oxidation of the filament (oxidation reactions are generally exothermic - they give out energy) which perhaps causes the bulb to glow a bit brighter than normal. However, oxides of almost all the metals possess lower melting points and strengths and hence go crack! Chancemill 14:13, May 3, 2004 (UTC)

original name of China[edit]

Why China is also known as zhong guo (mandarin pronunciation) ie.Middle Why its people were also called Hua ren? China was known as shen zhou or the God's Land, and why does this change and when was it changed. Thank you. --Anon

The answers can be found in China in world languages + Chinese. Shenzhou is not an original name, it is just a nickname. It is still in use in literary occasions. It was never changed. --Menchi 08:29, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
There's a bit more non-NPOV to the story than the Wikipedia article has. China is "中國" (Zhongguo) because in the days of the old Empire, China's official ideology was very ego-centric. They believed that China was the centre of the world, thus theirs was the "Middle Kingdom". I've never heard of China being called "神洲" (Shenzhou), but then, my Chinese sucks pretty hard so I probably wouldn't have. Diderot 19:04, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Economic track time[edit]


I am a keen researcher on economic matters of current day relevance. Presently, I am working on a subject i.e. Economic track time, which essentially mean the effective time taken for the movement of logistics from one place to another and its implication on national economy.

Please refer to educative articles on the subject and if possible, a communication to my e-mail

Do you mean Time and Motion Studies? --bodnotbod 16:54, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Prostitution and singing[edit]

I was reading the article of the day on prostitution and it mentioned in some cultures prostitutes where the only women allowed to sing publicly. I was wondering what cultures (and what time periods) these were.

Speaking of cousins[edit]

I generally have difficulty in comprehending what people mean when they speak of cousins (especially the nth removed jargon). The article on Family says -

Two persons who share a grandparent are "first cousins" (one degree of collaterality); if they share a great-grandparent they are "second cousins" (two degrees of collaterality) and so on. If the shared ancestor is the grandparent of one individual and the great-grandparent of the other, the individuals are said to be "first cousins once removed"

My question - If my grandparent is the great-grandparent of another, will that make us first cousins once removed (from my perspective) or second cousins once removed (from the others perspective)? How did this phrase come into common parlance? Around where I live, regardless of the "removal factor" - the elder is usually considered an uncle or an aunt to the younger person. And while we are at it, is there a "once added" clause too :) ? Chancemill 07:16, May 4, 2004 (UTC)

To quickly answer the first and last of those questions, you are both "first cousin once removed" to each other. If the other person had a child, that child would then be your "first cousin twice removed". The "... removed" part of the terminology uses the word "remove" not as the opposite of "add": it's a technical term in Genealogy describing the number of generations between two people: if you drew up a family tree where each member appeared as high up as possible (given that some people might appear more than once because cousins may be married) people "twice removed" would appear two rows apart. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 12:42, May 4, 2004 (UTC)
On "aunt" and "uncle"--commonly used affectionately for any close adult, usually but not always related to the child because we have no other term for it. My mom's cousin was always "aunt" to us; our great-aunts we also called "aunt"; close family friend of parents who was around a lot and maybe took kids places & did special treats and so on also "aunt". Elf | Talk 23:24, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
And just to further clarify Phil's excellent answer - regarding removed: you are only ever "removed" in one direction - that is, your second cousin's parent is seen as "one step down from a first cousin" never "one step up from a second cousin" - so they will be a "first cousin once removed" to you just as you are to them. - IMSoP 10:35, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks everybody :) Chancemill 12:42, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Towns in Bohemia[edit]

Do you have a source for the names of Towns, Villages etc. in Bohemia in the years 1905-1906?

Operation Overlord[edit]

What was the name of proposed British plan to build a pontoon airfield off the French coast for use in Operation Overlord?

How many of the 92 early warning stations were put out of action in the NEPTUNE area of Operation Overlord?

I've never heard of the pontoon airfield plan, and it seems an unlikely one given the immense logistical effort involved and the fact that it would, according to expectation, only be needed for a few days until an airfield was captured or built on land. If the Allies had really wanted air support closer than the British coast they had aircraft carriers available.
The second question is much easier. I don't have the exact figures but the answer is 'most'. I believe there were virtually no German radar stations left working in the Normandy area, resulting in a low in-air casualty rate for the airborne assault. However a few were left working in the Pas de Calais so that they would pick up large fleet of aircraft specifically sent there as a decoy. I think I got that from Keegan's "The Second World War". DJ Clayworth 16:49, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Washington State Name[edit]

I heard somewhere that Washington (the state, I mean) was originally going to be called "Colombia" or "Columbia" or something like that. Is this true?

If you look at Washington Territory, you'll see that you're exactly right! :-) Richard Stanton was the one who proposed "Washington" as a name. Jwrosenzweig 22:39, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
That's fairly ironic, considering Washington, DC stands for District of Columbia :-) --WhiteDragon 15:19, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Rare Beatle Recording[edit]

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been trying to track down an extremely rare (in 24 years I haven't found one person, Beatlemanic and or whomever that has ever heard of it?) recording done by a Belgian Pianist around 1979/1980/1981 of various Beatle Songs (this is all intrumental Piano) done up in the style of the Great Composers.

ie; Obladi-Obblada was performed by this Pianist as if he were interpreting a composition written by Mozart and so on. A Day in the Life was performed as if Rahmaninoff had written it and so on. This pianist covered Chopin/Bach/Shubert and most of the biggies?

I can't for the life of me remember his name? My father bought it for me as a Christmas present around 1980 I think? He purchased it through at that time what was called: "The Book of them Month Club" which at that point was also offering various LP's for sale.

I have never come across it anywhere? I have never seen any reference to it in even the foggiest details and I have been searching for 20 years. I lent it to a musician friend back in '82 and never got it back. Naturally, I lost track of him and have not been able to locate him either.

I would pay handsomely to find a copy of the LP (better yet on CD?) and or Cassette.

If you have any info on this and or could direct me to an internet url or what have you that might provide any clues what-so-ever, I would be grateful. Better yet, I would like to buy a copy, albeit from you and or one of your connections.

Thank You.


Kip Long e-mail 516-690-1206

I may be way off, but this sounds a lot to me like Richard Clayderman. I have no idea if he's Belgian, but I know he's from Western/Central Europe, and my recollection is that he did albums like this for a number of years. Hope this helps. Jwrosenzweig 07:17, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Clayderman is French. --Auximines 09:41, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Alternatively, how about the details of the musician friend, we could try to track them down! Mark Richards 01:08, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm emailing my brother about this. We had a record of similar description in our house many years ago, I just looked for it, but it wasn't there. The cover of the vinyl LP was a painting, possibly airbrushed, of - presumably - the pianist sitting at his piano. Eleanor Rigby was one of the tracks. I didn't used to play it much cos the cover scared me as a child. I'm pretty sure Bach is in the title. But I'll report back when my brother answers my email. --bodnotbod 15:14, May 6, 2004 (UTC)
I can answer your question : The name of the Belgian pianist you are looking for is : François Glorieux. The tracks on that recording are :
  • Yesterday (F. Chopin) listen
  • Let it be - Help (R. Schumann) listen
  • Can't buy me love (G. Gershwin/S. Prokofiev) listen
  • Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (W.A. Mozart) listen
  • Hey Jude (J.S. Bach)
  • Michelle (M. Ravel)
  • Yellow Submarine (L. Van Beethoven)
  • Girl - Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (J. Brahms)
  • Norwegian Wood (D. Milhaud)
  • The fool on the hill (S. Rachmaninoff)
  • In my life (C. Debussy)
  • Eleanor Rigby (B. Bartok)
  • Something (E. Grieg)
  • When I'm sixty four (J. Strauss) - I want to hold your hand (J.P. Sousa)
  • Penny Lane - Eight days a week (F. Glorieux)
  • You've got to hide your love away - Lady Madonna (F. Liszt)
  • Here there and everywhere (F. Glorieux)
  • Please, please me - All my loving (P. Tchaikovsky)
  • Lucy in the sky with diamonds (F. Glorieux)
  • Nowhere man - I will (F. Mendelssohn)
  • With a little help of my friends (F. Schubert)
  • The long and winding road (A. Scriabin)
  • Hello Goodbye (E. Satie)

His official website is : François Glorieux

In case you would ask : no, I don't possess any recordings of him. I still remember his performances on the VRT, the Flemish Television. A real remarkable man. JoJan 10:20, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Talk and Google[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia:Help desk#Wikipedia Talk and Google - the Reference desk is for factual/encyclopedic information, the help desk is for Wikipedia-specific/technical information. - IMSoP 17:28, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Bridget Riley Questions[edit]

To Wikipedia: I read your text about Bridget Riley, and I had a couple of questions for you. 1. Which of Bridget Riley's art pieces would you believe to be her masterpiece? Why? 2. How is Bridget Riley important to modern day life, and how has she effected the course of art and culture? Thank You.

1) the one with all the zigzag lines 2) having personally experienced a Riley-exhibition induced migraine, I can attest that her works surely have a future as non-lethal weapons for riot control or crushing political dissent. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 03:39, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
In case you have missed the point here, your questions sound awfully like a request to write a homework essay. We're not here to do your homework for you. -- 05:58, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Thatcher?: 'any man who finds himself on a bus at the age of 26 can account himself a failure'[edit]

I have come across this quote, at least twice at different sources, but wonder if the attribution to Thatcher is correct? -- Kaihsu 09:26, 2004 May 5 (UTC)

Google returns one hit for the quote, attributed to That cher. Anárion 09:44, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

The attribution is correct. She said it in 1986.

Mrs Thatcher was a snide conservative. Seems to me there is another word for her attitude, one that rhymes with "itchy", but it eludes me for the moment. (I am over the age of 26 and ride the bus to work, so I may perhaps be a bit POV.)

If you need an attribution, you can find it in refered to in the UK Hansard [1] on 2 July 2003 by Mr. Don Foster, MP for Bath. The exact time and place of the original speech I have not been able to identify, but my guess is that it is in the 1986 Hansards, which are not online. Diderot 09:49, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

I have made a tinyurl out of the above link: and will add her quote to Wikiquote. I hope to eventually locate the Hansard source (1986). -- Kaihsu 09:59, 2004 May 5 (UTC)

The earliest reference I can find is (with Factiva) in the "Observer", 26 July 1998, article by Joanna Walters, as "if a man finds himself a passenger on a bus having attained the age of 26, he can account himself a failure in life". Would love to see a photo of the Hansard page. Given the outrageousness of the quote I'm surprised it didn't make the press at the time, so feeling a bit skeptical. -- 2005-12-22

Writing in The Daily Telegraph 30.10.06 Philip Johnston states "it has been attributed to Thatcher, principally by people on the left who seek to give the impression that this is something that she would have said, when the oppostite is the case". It goes on to that this quotes like this are put out by cavalier Labour ministers with scant regard to the truth.

Lindi and Malindi[edit]

(from Village pump)

Dear Ms/Sir

Is Lindi the new name of the ancient city of Malindi in Tazania?

Some one had said that Malindi is the name of three ancient cities located in Kenya, Tazania and South Africa. Is this true?

Malindi has been mentioned in Zhenghe's navigation chart as the last port of call in East africa.

kk Tan

Venomous snakes[edit]

To my fellow Wikipedians, I'm researching a piece of fiction and stumbled upon a problem. I need to find info on a venomous snake, its venom highly neurotoxic to humans, causing death in about 5 seconds (preventing someone from making a quick defensive move). The catch is: this particular snake needs to handled by a skilled herpetologist and temporarily put in a briefcase - so its size is limited. Also, I'd like the signs of poisoning to be minimal, besides the bite marks. I have no clie where to start. Can anyone point me to some relevant info?

Rest assured, I'm not intending to handle snakes or use them to kill someone. - MGM 12:24, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

I don't know very much about snakes but I believe that even the most dangerous kill with in hours rather the seconds. (well they kill their prey much more quickly but a rat is a lot smaller than a man) I don't know of any snake that can kill within seconds. What about man made poisions. There are plenty, I think many of the cyanide typew compounds would work. theresa knott 13:34, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
In Kill Bill, author Quentin Tarantino uses a black mamba for this purpose. It is the fastest moving land snake, and has fairly fast-acting venom. (in the movie the speed was perhaps slightly unrealistic, but hey, it's fiction) -Anon
Yes poetic licence is a wonderful thing. According to this web site at U of C San diego 30 - 120 minutes is a more realistic timing. theresa knott 19:47, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, in the movie, it could have been that much time. Half an hour is certainly within the time frame of the movie. Two hours might be stretching a bit. --WhiteDragon 14:59, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps this explains why real assassins rarely use poisonous insects, venomous spiders, sawmill blades, runaway trains, burning ropes suspending heavy objects, or teenage japanese girls with katanas, but stick instead to a prosaic diet of bombs, rockets, and particularly guns. The "mercenary" manual for the ancient Traveller role-playing game gave sage advice in killing people. Despite technological innovations, it said, the easiest way to kill someone is to inject their body with a large amount of kinetic energy, ideally imparted by a large chunk of metal moving at speed. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:00, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
The fierce snake produces the most toxic venom of any snake. LD-50 is 0.025 mg/kg [2]. Trouble is, there are no recorded deaths. All recorded bites to date have been snake handlers, who generally have some anti-venom handy. [3] The Black Mamba venom has a toxicity of 0.32 mg/kg. Unfortunately readily-available toxicity data isn't particularly closely related to kill time. Hydrogen cyanide, when injested, has a toxicity of about 1 mg/kg, but kills much faster than snake venom. Perhaps you should pick some exotic snake that nobody has ever heard of, and claim it kills in 5s. -- Tim Starling 02:20, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

Are we decided on snakes? I think there are types of sea creatures that are more poisonous - what about the Blue-ringed Octopus, or the Pufferfish? Mark Richards 03:12, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm, for some reason whenever people talk about poisonous animals, the discussion turns to Australian native wildlife. Blue-ringed octopuses aren't particularly dangerous, they take many hours to kill and even then I don't think they kill 100% of people. Pufferfish aren't really dangerous unless you eat them. No, if you wanted a truly dangerous poisonous sea creature, the obvious choice would be the Box jellyfish. They can kill in half an hour or so, fast enough that the victim might not be able to get medical attention. -- Tim Starling 01:56, May 7, 2004 (UTC)
It's true about Australia! It has a reputation ;) Mark Richards 16:46, 11 May 2004 (UTC)
  • Please keep discussing, your ideas so far have been great...- MGM 19:38, May 7, 2004 (UTC)
I just remembered some information about snake bites that I learnt in school. In most cases, the snake venom is not injected directly into a blood vessel. Instead it's picked up by the lymphatic system. Unlike the circulatory system, material is moved by a ratchet effect, with help from gravity and muscle movement. The huge majority of snake bites are to a limb. Applying a pressure bandage to the affected limb, immobilising it with a splint or similar, and keeping the patient still can slow progression of symptoms by a large factor. I heard on the weekend about someone dying from a Black Mamba bite in a couple of minutes, because he sprinted away to get help. If the snake bit a person and by chance struck an artery, and the person had a very high heart rate at the time, perhaps death could occur in seconds. -- Tim Starling 02:31, May 10, 2004 (UTC)

Join venture 100-yen shop in Bangladesh[edit]

Hello! Last November03 I've visited some of the 100-yen shop Japan.I'm really interested to establish such type shop in Bangladesh. In this regard, I hope to get your assistance.Your experiance can guide our footsteps.I'm looking forward.Thank you. Major Rahman Bangladesh

I think you may be in the wrong place. We are an encyclopedia and have no money. DJ Clayworth 17:07, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Who knows though, there may well be people here with experience that can guide this gentleman's steps. Mark Richards 18:48, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
A name change would be a start. But I can't seem to determine how many Bangladeshi Paisas are in 100 yen (or vice versa). This venture sounds like what we in Britain call "Pound Shops" - everything within the shop costs £1 and stock consists of piles of buckets, rickety picture frames and gaudy plastic ornaments. --bodnotbod 20:18, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Well, a brief look seems to show that 100 Japanese Yen = approx 56 Bangladeshi Taka, which would make the equivalent a '56-Taka Shop'. Of course, I'm not sure what the buying power of the Taka is in Bangladesh - it might be wise to set the value either higher or lower depending on the relative cost of living / earnings. Perhaps this is what Major Rahman needs advice on? Mark Richards 00:29, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Some of you may be amused (or dismayed) to hear that in Romania they are "dollar stores", based on the value of the U.S. dollar. The Romanian leu is too volatile to provide a useful denomination for this purpose. -- Jmabel 01:45, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
...So does Israel....heaven knows why, as the currency is fairly stabel...I guess theres just nothing to sold for a shekel, and it sounds better than 4.3 shekel shop...I remember before the Euro, in the Netherlands I knew both of a couple 5 gulden shops, and few 2.5 ones....I always thought that was funny for some reason...Datepalm17 18:47, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Interesting, that may be a good approach for Major Rahman. A quick and crude estimate (Bangladesh's per capita GDP is 1,800USD, Japan's is 28,700USD), I calculate that a 6 Taka shop might be more appropriate - it's possible (although I don't know) that there is a 5 Taka note or coin, which might make a more convenient value. Bear in mind that there is 40% unemployment in Bangladesh, so a low value is probably better than a high. Best wishes, Mark Richards 15:30, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Indeed there are 5 Taka notes here for a picture! I think we're in business - all we need now is to know how to write 'Everything for five Taka' in Bangladeshi, and we're away! Mark Richards 23:33, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I think this would be the place to ask about translation - Bengali Wikipedia, but I can't read their main page to know where to ask... Mark Richards 19:45, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Talk and Google (2nd Post)[edit]

I've merged this with the question it was a continuation of - please just edit a section to continue a discussion, rather than starting a new one. I've then moved the whole discussion to Wikipedia:Help desk#Wikipedia Talk and Google, as this page is for finding facts, whereas that one is for asking about Wikipedia itself. - IMSoP 17:33, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Languages[edit]

I would like to know how many languages the Wikipedia articles are available in and which ones they are.

Check the "other languages" links at the bottom of every page theresa knott 20:02, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Since all the translations are done manually, it depends on the article in question. You can also see a list of languages an article is available in at the top of the page.. - MGM 22:39, May 5, 2004 (UTC)


In sociolinguistics, what is a lect?

"any variety of a language: family lect, village lect, etc." [4] -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:58, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

How do I refrence this website if I need to use it as a source for a research project?[edit]


see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia - IMSoP 17:19, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Sorted list meta tag[edit]

I feel we should extend the Wikilanguage to include a meta tag for specifying that a section is going to be a lexically sorted list, so that in whatever order Wikipedians add entries to the list, the list will always be rendered in a lexically sorted order.

I don't know if this is the right forum to ask this question.

Sundar 06:31, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

Of course it isn't. You're not even asking a question. Put it here. And make sure nobody else has already listed it or similar. --bodnotbod 15:44, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

I'd have been a bit more polite than that, but yes, that's the best place for this kind of dicussion. I also think that feature would be a bit magic and unwikilike, but that's just my opinion - the main problem would be dealing with the formatting of the list, which would vary from article to article. Once I'm not officially too busy, I intend to offer my services using Perl to sort lists that are badly out of order, and other similar jobs that are easier for a computer than a human. - IMSoP 17:13, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks both of you. -- Sundar 12:02, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

definition of "dramatic programming" ?[edit]

Hi, could someone familiar with entertainment industry terms give a short definition of dramatic programming? (as used in BBC World Service for example, we stumbled over it while trying to translate that entry into German.) I understand that it is sort of an umbrella term for comedy, sports, sitcoms, movies...? thanks, High on a tree 13:46, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not British, the definition may be a bit different at the Beeb, but I would define it as programming produced from a teleplay - e.g., there was a script, a director, and actors playing parts. This excludes sports, news, reality TV programs, award shows, stand-up comedy... that sort of thing. There is, to my mind, a strong implication of work commissioned for television, or at the limit theatre films being broadcast on TV. I would include sitcoms but not variety programs like Saturday Night Live or The Man Show, even though they are scripted and have actors. The sense I have is that dramatic programming ought to have a dramatis personae, along with a plot and a denouement.
However, there could be regional difference. This term is not often heard in America. Diderot 14:24, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
'programming' in BBC speak just means the making of programmes. 'dramatic programming' would be the making of programmes that are 'drama'. Drama shows (almost) are always scripted and fictional (so sports, news, reality and game shows are not drama). Drama is usually used in radio and TV to mean 'serious' or 'not comedy'. So a sitcom is not usually considered 'drama'. However it isn't a unniversal rule; a production of a classic play would normally be 'drama', even if it is funny. Miniseries are often 'drama' even if they are comedies. And some organisations may consider sitcoms 'drama'; it depends.
In the US I believe there is a very simple guideline - half hour shows are comedies; one hour shoows are dramas. But that's just hearsay or maybe common usage. DJ Clayworth 14:52, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm British. Diderot is right. At the BBC there is a job description Head of Drama (various posts throughout the regions). Instead, maybe, of trying to condense Diderot's reply - which is hardly short - perhaps you could red link it and someone else can make an article later on? Alternatively Google BBC "Head of Drama" to explore this topic. --bodnotbod 15:52, May 6, 2004 (UTC)
thanks for your replies! I googled a bit further (1920 hits for "dramatic programming"). Most hits seem to be for Canadian TV, there is a mandatory v-chip program rating system there which defines among other categories drama programming: dramatic series and soap operas, made-for-television movies, comedy series. That is in accord with Diderot's definition. Btw I'm not sure it is an official BBC term. Also, the article BBC World Service uses it in a radio (not TV) context: In addition (to news broadcasts), the World Service provides educational, dramatic, and sports programming.. regards, High on a tree 16:20, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I'll write a stub. -- Jmabel 19:08, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Church of Ireland dioceses[edit]

The Church Temporalities Act of 1833 degraded the archdioceses of Tuam and Cashel to dioceses. It also merged ten dioceses with other dioceses: does anyone know which dioceses were merged together? -- Emsworth 22:43, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

List of Church of Ireland dioceses -- Jim Regan 21:13, 11 May 2004 (UTC)

exact size of DVD-R[edit]

The DVD-R article gives the capacity of DVD-R media as the commonly reported 4.7GB. Does anyone know the exact size in bytes? I want to burn an ISO 9660 filesystem with one file on it. What is the largest file size I can use?

thanks, WhiteDragon 18:05, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

(not really answering your question directly) I dunno about the actual size of the disk (if it's anything like CD then it's horribly variable) but if you _really_ want to squeeze the max from it, don't burn a filesystem at all - just burn the file you want directly to the disk. The only way to read it back would be with dd, but you'd save some (rather trivial) amount of filesystem space. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:55, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
Look at this

According to a DVD has 4.7GB space. However, this is missleading as the manufacturers use the term GB differently to how Windows(tm) uses it (Windows is in the right for once).

DVD-R can apparently store 4,700,000,000 bytes, although there might be minor variations in this size depending on your media.

4,700,000,000 bytes == 4,589,843 kbytes == 4,482 Mbytes == 4.377 GB

But because the disks can hold 4,700,000,000 bytes, manufacturers (incorrectly) call thier disks 4.7GB when in fact they can only hold a max of 4.377GB


Anyone know about the derivation of the word tuberculosis? And about old children songs that include disease?

"tuberculosis" means roughly "tubercle-disease". A tubercle is a tuber-like little lesion on the lung tissue, which the disease causes. It's called that because it looks a bit like a tuber. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:41, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
urgh. Well, "tuber" in latin is, I believe, "a lump". So really it means "lump-disease". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:46, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

  • Tuberculosis is so named because of the "tubercles" (bumps or nodules) it causes (specifically the nodules of greyish matter (characterized as caseating necrosis) in diseased lungs). The word originated in the Latin tuber, meaning a bump or swelling. When first used (in English, about 1860) tuberculosis could mean any disease characterized by the formation of tubercles. Since the discovery by Robert Koch in 1882 of the tubercle-bacillus it is restricted to diseases caused by it. -- Nunh-huh 23:48, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
  • I can't think of any British children's songs about tuberculosis, not that I'm claiming there is any special reason I should know them, or that it's my field. You may be thinking of (what I call) Ring o' ring 'o roses - documented there in a number of different forms quite different to those I sang as a child and, apparently, NOT related to the black plague as I've thought for many years. How disillusioning this knowledge business can be. I quite liked the idea a song I sang at school had sinister origins. --bodnotbod 12:54, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Who were the romans and what were their effects on modern life?[edit]

from the pump

P.S. this won't be a huge rabling on commentary article, unlike the title! Please participate in this discussion! ==

So we all know who the ROmans were, but what is their relevancy to modern day technology and life? They certainly were interesting folk, letting the most part of their P.O.W.s actually become citizens of their empire, which lasted over 2000 years!!!! The aqueducs are another sign of their ingenuity and originality. So, what do YOU know about the Romans, who influenced our life today? Where would we be without them? Comments, please!

This might be somewhat more appropriate on a page about the Romans? Mark Richards 01:59, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
  • Excellent for the minority view is Petr (sic) Beckmann's A History of π, if you can find it: chapter 5 is titled "The Roman Pest". A flavor: "Rome was not the first state of organized gangsterdom, nor was it the last, but it was the only one that managed to bamboozle posterity into an almost universal admiration. Few rational men admire the Huns, the Nazis or the Soviets; but for centuries, schoolboys have been expected to read Julius Caesar's militaristic drivel and Cato's revolting incitements to war. They have been led to to believe that the Romans had attained an advanced level in the sciences, the arts, law, architecture, engineering and everything else....What the Romans excelled in was bullying, bludgeoning, butchering and bloodbaths. Like the Soviet Empire, the Roman Empire enslaved peoples whose cultural level was far above their own. They not only ruthlessly vandalied their countries, but they also looted them, stealing their art treasure, abducting their scientists and copying their technical know-how, which the Romans' barren society was rarely able to improve on. No wonder, then, that Rome was filled with great works of art. But the light of culture which Rome is supposed to have emanated was a borrowed light: borrowed from the Greeks and the other peoples that the Roman militarists had enslaved." Well worth reading just for the prose style. - Nunh-huh 22:09, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

Semantax and Layering[edit]

In linguistics, what do the terms semantax and layering mean?

Semantics (if that is what you meant) is the study of meaning. I'm not too sure about layering, but you may want to check out the series of articles related to linguistics. -- Wapcaplet 04:09, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Try a Google search on "Semantic layering" (over 500 hits), include the quote marks. Here's the top hit. It's all greek to me. --bodnotbod 13:01, May 7, 2004 (UTC)