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November 6[edit]

Can five lines of bearing pinpoint a location?[edit]

On a sphere, given 5 starting points and lines of bearing, is that enough to pinpoint a location? Curious about the general case. Also, curious about Project Azorian, where it says it took three weeks to locate a submarine in an area provided by five points of bearing. I suspect in that case it is due to the sub sinking and drifting on its way down and ocean bottom topography etc. RudolfRed (talk) 03:10, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

If I understand your terminology correctly, each line of bearing is a vector along the surface of the sphere. If so, then 2 should be sufficient to define a location on the surface, although the vectors will also meet at the opposite side of the Earth (the antipode). Typically, you know the location well enough to know which of those two is correct. However, in the real world, those vectors can be off a bit, so the more the better, as then you can get an average range where the object may be located (or below which it may be located). Of course, as you noted, if the object changes location and depth after the bearings are established, that complicates matters. See bearing (navigation). SinisterLefty (talk) 03:55, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@SinisterLefty: That makes sense, thank you. RudolfRed (talk) 17:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@SinisterLefty: I'm not sure two always suffice. What if the target is exactly on the great circle passing through both 2 bearing stations...? --CiaPan (talk) 16:02, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, technically I should have said "2 non-identical lines of bearing". Also, 2 almost identical lines of bearing would have a much larger margin of error around the 2 antipodal points. The two being at right angles would be ideal. SinisterLefty (talk) 05:09, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

What to do with a watch I can't set ?[edit]

Pic 1.
Pic 2.

Somebody I know was given a watch, but they don't know how to set the time, and it isn't obvious from the controls. I tried hitting the various buttons, and couldn't figure it out. No brand name or model is displayed and they don't have any instructions or packaging. It's made in China. The controls are 4 buttons, labelled Light, Reset, Mode and Time (not positive on the last two). I am thinking of opening it up to try to find a model number or manufacturer, then doing a web search for instructions using that. Any other ideas ? SinisterLefty (talk) 07:47, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Before taking it apart, and since you've nothing to lose anyway, try fiddling with all the buttons and see what they do. I had a cheap clock or watch once that combined things kind of confusingly. I would try Mode and see if it presents a menu of some sort. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:20, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I already tried that. Nothing like a menu, just various times and dates display and some portions of them flash. I'm guessing one is an alarm time and date. But I never get the current time (hours or minutes) to flash. SinisterLefty (talk) 08:30, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Are you sure about that? Could you get the seconds of the current time to flash?
Have your trials included holding buttons in for extended periods. I had a clock that required one button to be held in for about 10 seconds before it activated. An image of the watch might help others to recognise it. Richard Avery (talk) 08:38, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Haven't tried holding buttons down yet. I'm afraid holding the Reset button down might reset it to midnight on Jan 1. Right now it's correct except that Daylight Saving Time threw it off by an hour. SinisterLefty (talk) 09:57, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
May I suggest a picture of the watch? We may recognise it and be able to find you a user manual online. Thanks Anton (talk) 09:11, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Pics added. SinisterLefty (talk) 09:32, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I would take it into a shop such as a jewellers where they are used to changing watch batteries which usually involves resetting the watch.--Shantavira|feed me 09:16, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Note that no text ever appears on the display, other than the date and time. That is, no words like "SET TIME HOURS" or "SET ALARM DATE". SinisterLefty (talk) 09:35, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Is one button recessed, so that it is harder to press accidently? If so, that's probably the one setting the time. Try pressing and holding it for a few seconds and see what happens. If that is the right button, then it will go into time setting mode, which will likely work by either: a) holding down the button will rapidly advance the time until you let go when it gets to the correct time, or b) pressing the button again will cycle through data / hour / minute / second, and you use another button to chage that. Iapetus (talk) 09:55, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
No buttons are recessed. SinisterLefty (talk) 09:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Is there a pin sized hole anywhere on it? Anton (talk) 10:45, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
No. SinisterLefty (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Is it ticking? Maybe it's really a bomb lol. --Viennese Waltz 12:27, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Original question was "What to do with a watch I can't set?" Answer, chuck it in the bin. Anton (talk) 16:45, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I think I've seen this kind of watch before, and if it is that kind of watch, I know what to do. Starting from the normal time display, press MODE. This should put the watch in "stopwatch" mode. Then, without pressing any other buttons, press MODE again. This should put you in alarm-setting mode. Because you don't want to set the alarm, but rather the time, press MODE yet again. Then the current time should be shown, with the seconds flashing. Now, of the two other buttons, one should cause the seconds to reset to 00, and the other should cause the flashing "cursor" to move to the hours. Determine by experiment which of those two buttons does what. Once you have the "cursor" over the hours, pressing the other button (not MODE, and not the button that moves the cursor!) should cause the hours to change. When setting the hours, notice the A, P, or H beside the time. Those letters indicate AM, PM, and military time, respectively. When you are finished setting the time, press MODE again. 2600:1000:B143:20EB:E8E0:EBFB:39CC:EC6 (talk) 17:48, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
"H" stands for military time ? But the rest sounds correct. I did press the MODE button several times, and I think it did what you described (although it wasn't obvious that the flashing item was seconds, since it's a two digit number above the time, which is a weird place for it). I will try the other steps as you describe. Thanks ! Would you happen to have a web site with the full instructions, or a model number for one with that logic, so I can look it up ? I would also like to know how to set the date and turn the alarm off, for example. Am I correct in assuming that the LIGHT button never does anything besides turn on the light while held down ? SinisterLefty (talk) 20:46, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, H stands for military time (think "1800 hours" and the like). The display is not physically able to show an M, anyway. And yes, when setting the watch, you are supposed to pretend that the LIGHT button doesn't exist. The LIGHT button is only for the light. It doesn't do anything else. (On some watches of this type, there is no light.) And, as it turns out, I had a watch which works like yours lying in a drawer, so here are more detailed instructions. Starting from regular timekeeping mode, press the MODE button thrice. The seconds will then be flashing. Assuming you don't care about the seconds, press RESET to move the "cursor" to the hours. Press START (repeatedly, if necessary) to change the hours. When you are satisfied that the hours are correct, then press RESET to move the cursor to the minutes. Then press START to change the minutes. Lather, rinse, repeat. After the minutes come the date and day of the week. Press MODE once you are finished. Beware that this watch is too stupid to handle the extra day in a leap year, meaning that on February 29, 2020, your watch will show that the day of the week is Saturday (which will be right), and that the date is March 1 (which will be wrong). Then, on March 1, your watch will show March 2, and so forth, making it necessary for you to once again set the date. Now, as for setting the alarm: it works much the same as setting the time, except that you begin by pressing MODE twice rather than thrice. To disable (or enable) the alarm: In normal timekeeping mode, holding the RESET button down should cause the alarm time to be shown. While holding RESET down, tap START. This should cause an "alarm" or "bell" symbol to either appear or disappear. The symbol appears when the alarm is on, and disappears when it is off. Then let go of the RESET button. To enable or disable hourly chime: While holding RESET down, tap MODE. Then let go of the RESET button. That is about all I can figure out for now. 2600:1000:B143:20EB:E8E0:EBFB:39CC:EC6 (talk) 23:42, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the info ! Do you have a model number I can look up to find more ? SinisterLefty (talk) 06:23, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
No. All I know is that they have been around since I was a child in the 1980's, and that even today, they are very common. Wherever you see cheap digital watches for sale, chances are, you will see at least a few which behave exactly as yours does (except for the possible absence of the light and its corresponding button). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1000:B12D:2644:EC49:E6E8:463D:F87C (talk) 06:38, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I've noticed that with consumer electronic devices, whether basic calculators, watches, radio alarm clocks, etc., they all seem to copy each other's electronics, so no matter how much they change the appearance, there's only a few mechanisms inside. I was hoping that fact would allow somebody to recognize this type, and give me hints on how to set it. Myself, I haven't worn a watch since cell phones came out, so don't have much experience setting them. So is your watch brand also too afraid to show their name on the product ? Is it also made in China ? SinisterLefty (talk) 06:50, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I already gave you extremely detailed instructions on how to set the time, date, and alarm, and how to turn the alarm off and on. Isn't that enough? What more do you want? What are you really after? Compared to (for example) a cell phone, these watches are very, very simple devices. To the best of my knowledge, it is utterly impossible to "brick" such a watch by pressing buttons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1000:B15A:5849:830D:472A:3E4F:6CDD (talk) 23:24, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
UPDATE: I used your instructions and was able to set it, thanks ! There were still some things that didn't make sense to me, though, like under the alarm it seemed to have two days of the week alternate as I pressed buttons. Maybe there are two alarms ? I don't know about bricking it, but the elderly owner had managed to get it into a mode where it was totally useless, I think it was a timer. I hope they don't get stuck in that mode again. Somebody had attempted to set the date, but had the month and day of the month reversed. I fixed that. BTW, which button do you press to display the date, the TIME button ? SinisterLefty (talk) 03:20, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
I'm glad you were able to set it. As for the alarm: I am sure it has only one alarm. The only other features the watch has are an hourly chime (which can be turned on and off -- probably best to leave it off, unless you want to hear "beep-beep" once each hour, day and night) and a stopwatch (which does pretty much the same thing as the stopwatch app on your phone). These are ubiquitous, cheap, Chinese watches, which have been around for at least the past 30 years, and I've owned many of them. And I can tell you this: if the watch appears "frozen" or "bricked", it isn't: chances are, you pressed a button by accident (very easy to do) and it is in the wrong mode (probably stopwatch mode). Just press MODE, several times if necessary, until everything looks right. And these watches are so cheap that you could shell out $5 or $10 to get your friend another watch, set it one hour ahead of the current time, and instruct your friend to wear one watch in the winter and the other in the summer. 2601:180:C:2FFA:A057:5E52:9501:3284 (talk) 06:57, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
That's not a bad idea. Or maybe have a half dozen set to each time, so when he messes up the settings on one he can just change watches, until I get around to fixing the messed up one. The most unexpected behavior I ran into was when the time toggled from A(m) to P(m) to H (military time). I'm glad you warned me about that, or I would have been quite confused by it. Again, thanks for all your help ! SinisterLefty (talk) 07:07, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Phone maze[edit]

1) Why is there no article on phone maze? 2) Who invented the phone maze? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1000:B143:20EB:E8E0:EBFB:39CC:EC6 (talk) 17:51, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

The answer to question 1) is because you didn't write it. 2) Sorry, I don't even know what a phone maze is, so I don't know who invented it. Just more details on your first question: Everything at Wikipedia exists because people exactly like you, none of whom are more important than you, saw something missing from Wikipedia, and added it themselves. Nothing at Wikipedia ever gets added unless people like you add it. So, whenever you see something missing, and want to know why, the answer is: no one added it yet. The responsibility to add things to Wikipedia is borne equally by every human on planet Earth: Literally not a single person on Earth is more responsible for improving Wikipedia than you are, so if you want to know who to blame for something not being written, there's literally no one who has more blame for that then you. It's also an easy thing to fix. To write the article, go through these steps: Step 1) Gather reliable sources of information you can use to help you write the article. Step 2) Read those sources, and in your own words, write the Wikipedia article using what you researched from those sources, being sure to cite the sources you used. Step 3) Sit back and admire a job well done. You can find more information at Wikipedia:Your first article. --Jayron32 18:51, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Apparently it's what you and I might call "the runaround".[1] I doubt there's a need for a separate article on this bit of minutia. Maybe a [sourced] sentence in an article about Customer service or something similar. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:30, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Given that there exist Wikipedia articles on minutiae such as: individual characters from, and individual episodes of, TV series; and individual backwater towns with single- and double-digit populations; and even individual tongue-twisters; why should a common, everyday thing such as a phone maze not get its own article? 2600:1000:B143:20EB:E8E0:EBFB:39CC:EC6 (talk) 20:39, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
How many times a day do you fall into this "phone maze" situation? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:51, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
This is simply bureaucratic red tape applied to telephones, no different from waiting in line to see someone only to be told to go to another line and fill out another form to take to another person, etc. --Khajidha (talk) 12:48, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
We likely have an article on the phone answering system that has you pressing numbers to step through menus, but I don't recall what it's called. Automated telephone answering system doesn't seem to be it. The painful bit I've encountered most is it asking for my customer number repeatedly, including yet again when I finally get a human. Or it makes me step through many menus, then when I finally get to the option of speaking to a human, I get a "Sorry, we're closed now" message, or it rings and nobody answers, or it just disconnects. SinisterLefty (talk) 20:35, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
A little hunting turned up Automated attendant as the likely target. As an article, it could use some love, but that appears to be the concept you're after. --Jayron32 20:45, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Jayron32, May also be Interactive_voice_response MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 20:53, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
See [2] for the best phone maze comedy skit I've seen, on Married with Children. Be sure to follow up with all 9 parts to get the full effect, including the Field of Dreams references at the end. SinisterLefty (talk) 21:18, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I believe part of the problem with such systems is that companies must have secretaries set them up, when it needs a full computer programmer environment, complete with unit testing, customer testing, etc. For example, you would need to plot out every possible path through the tree to see if it makes sense (avoiding asking questions it already knows, for example, and presenting options that don't apply in this case). Also, error handling is critical. For example, in the above skit, after hours on the phone, Al Bundy fell asleep and it started over again, when it should have stored his responses and offered the option to resume there, when he called back from the same number. SinisterLefty (talk) 21:28, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't think computer systems are necessary to create this type of situation.
40-odd years ago when I was a student in Scotland, and entitled under the then-prevailing benefits (welfare) system (funded by taxes which I myself had previously and would subsequently pay) to claim some financial support during university holidays (which periods my grant's living allowance designedly did not cover), I spent hours (and much call-cost money) over several days ringing various offices (not located in the same town, so I couldn't readily visit in person), in each of which someone would instruct me to call another, different number in a different office. After being bounced between multiple numbers in each office, it would get to the end of the offices' working day and I'd be told to start over the next morning. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:45, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the old run-around doesn't even require phones. They can do the same to you in person. But this is more of a feature of bureaucracy than a misapplication of technology. The combination of the two is the worst. For example, they may well want to ask you a huge number of highly intrusive questions, but having a human do so would waste their time as well as yours. But with technology, it is now possible for them to waste a great deal of your time without wasting any of theirs. Maybe consumers need to join the "arms race" with AI's of our own, that can navigate through endless menus, repeat our customer number forever, wait on hold for hours at a time, and call back the first thing in the morning every day, until we get results. SinisterLefty (talk) 04:59, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Also, if you can't find your way through all the red tape, an ombudsman may help you deal with bureaucracies. SinisterLefty (talk) 06:16, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

November 7[edit]

Construction companies[edit]

(Moved from Science Desk. SinisterLefty (talk) 04:42, 7 November 2019 (UTC))

Why is it that construction companies have a tendency to not follow rules and regulations and just focus on profit? (talk) 23:19, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

(I assume this refers primarily to the USA.) You would need to confirm this with statistics, but what I've heard is that many were owned by Mafia families, since construction provides an ideal way to get rid of bodies (buried in foundations and such). Also, construction contracts are quite subject to bribery, since bribing a small number the government officials can produce millions in profit. And that industry is heavily unionized, with unions also having a tendency towards corruption, as in the current UAW and former Teamsters scandals (has anyone seen Jimmy Hoffa lately ?), forming a proper nexus. Finally, construction is heavily dependent on illegal immigrants, and hiring them is, well, illegal. SinisterLefty (talk) 23:26, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Blanket accusations like that are not appropriate here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:28, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) [citation needed]On every single word of the OPs question and your response. At no time has the OP presented any evidence that his assertion that construction companies as a general classes or as standard price all ignore regulations, and we should refuse to answer any question to that end without that evidence. We should also never answer questions with idle speculation. Let the OP first show is where he learned this, and then let us provide referenced answers. For the love of God, this is not what this desk is for. --Jayron32 23:33, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
SinisterLefty, Idle speculation with no evidence is not suitable for the reference desk. MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 23:36, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Let's start with the union/Mafia/construction nexus: [3]. SinisterLefty (talk) 23:37, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Here's the high percentage of illegal immigrants in the US construction industry: [5]. SinisterLefty (talk) 23:39, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Here a source showing that unionization is higher than average in the construction industry: [7]. SinisterLefty (talk) 23:55, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Here's a source showing higher than average rates of criminal activity in the construction industry: [8]. SinisterLefty (talk) 00:03, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Here's a source on corruption in labor unions: [9]. SinisterLefty (talk) 00:16, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Cherry-picking specific material just to confirm your own prejudices is worse than saying nothing at all. How bout you just stop and go away.--Jayron32 23:46, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
You asked for sources, and I provided them. Now let's see your sources showing, for example, that the US construction industry does not have a larger than average proportion of illegal immigrants or of unionization, as those should be easy to verify with stats. You have now made a claim, that my sources are not representative, and you must backup that claim with sources. SinisterLefty (talk) 23:50, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Due to the power of school web filters, I cannot check these sources myself. Going to need confirmation from someone else. --MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 23:44, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Precise wording matters; it's only illegal in the U.S. to knowingly hire an unauthorized alien, or to fail to request and retain documentation of work authorization from employees, but not independent contractors. ([10] [11]) -- (talk) 10:24, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Also note that corruption has the effect of increasing costs, since everyone "gets their cut". This simply wouldn't work in many industries, like in fast food restaurants. If one restaurant's food was twice as expensive due to corruption, the customers would go elsewhere and it would shut down. But government-funded construction projects can, and often do, often go well over the projected cost, without being cancelled [12]. Thus, the construction industry is more able to "support" corruption. SinisterLefty (talk) 00:31, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
[Edit Conflict] Could the OP clarify if they are just interested in the USA's construction industry, since all of the above contributions seem to focus on that country? We have numerous individual articles titles "Construction industry of [insert country here]".
In my experience, some companies (or employees thereof) in any industry anywhere will try to increase their profits by ignoring rules, regulations and laws if they think they can get away with it. The likelihood of doing so successfully will depend on the strength of relevant regulatory bodies' inspection regimes and enforcement powers and, I suppose, the general level of corruption in the country in question (see Corruption Perceptions Index). {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 00:45, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
The OP has only posted once in the last 5 months. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:46, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Please refer to the page header: We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions, or debate. I also fail to see what this has to do with science, being posted on the Science Ref Desk. -- (talk) 04:37, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it doesn't belong on the Science Desk (Misc would be better, and I've now moved it), but we can certainly supply refs that relate to the Q, as I have done. SinisterLefty (talk) 04:40, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
The null hypothesis is that construction companies are as likely as companies in general to "not follow rules and regulations and just focus on profits", and I'm not aware of a strong consensus that this has been refuted. If there is strong evidence against the null hypothesis, I'm all for hearing about it, but until then, it's a debate over opinions about the construction industry, which is not what the Ref Desk is for. -- (talk) 10:24, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Refuted by my links above and Iapetus below. Apparently, it depends on how you measure it.SinisterLefty (talk) 13:58, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
See cherry picking. Your sources have established that a number of individual construction companies are corrupt. Starting with a hypothesis, and then only selecting that evidence which confirms your beliefs, is not intellectually honest. To make the statement that the entirety of the industry, without qualification, is corrupt, requires more than "I found some articles about some corrupt construction companies". --Jayron32 16:48, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
And you have provided zero evidence of cherry picking. You can't make it true just be repeating it. Prove that the sources we provided are wrong, or go away. As before, you should focus on refuting those sources with statistics in them, as those are more objective. SinisterLefty (talk) 17:11, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I didn't say they were wrong, I said that you were choosing sources that confirm your hypothesis after you'd already assumed the hypothesis was true. That's what cherry picking means. --Jayron32 17:18, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
And you've provided no evidence of cherry picking. Let's take just one of my sources: [13]. What evidence do you have that the info it contains is not representative ? SinisterLefty (talk) 18:35, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Good luck proving that your null hypothesis is valid. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
You've missed the point entirely. The null hypothesis is the only hypothesis that doesn't have to be proven. The null hypothesis is the hypothesis that proposition is not proven, so we do not treat the proposition as true. That is, in the absence of evidence to confirm the proposition, null hypothesis, that the proposition has not been proven, is what we hold as true. --Jayron32 16:45, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I question the validity of the assertion that "construction companies are as likely as companies in general to 'not follow rules and regulations and just focus on profits'." What is the basis for that claim? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:25, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the chances of that industry turning out to have the exact same corruption index as the average for all industry is very low. SinisterLefty (talk) 01:59, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
I think the point of the null hypothesis isn't that its more likely to be true, but that if you are making specific claims about something being different from the norm, its best to start from the assumption that it isn't, and then look for good evidence to disprove that assumption. Otherwise you run the risk of letting freak occurances (or your own personal experiences) bias your analysis. Iapetus (talk) 11:09, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
It's not that complicated. The idea behind the null hypothesis is just that any assertion needs to have sufficient evidence for us to accept it. The default assumption is that assertions without sufficient evidence are not taken as true. --Jayron32 13:05, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
However, substantial evidence has now been offered to support the assertions, and none to refute them, so at this point that no longer applies. SinisterLefty (talk) 14:42, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Apparently, construction is one of the most corrupt industries in the world (along with resource extraction, transportation and storage, and information and communication). Sources: [14], [15]. Note though that this is as measured by total amount spent on bribes. As measured as % of transactions that are bribes, construction ranks much lower [16]. (And of course, this is all just talking about foreign bribes, not domestic bribary, or other forms of corruption). Iapetus (talk) 10:47, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
That's some good information Iapetus. Thank you. --Jayron32 17:18, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

type of gun[edit]

[17] What kind of gun is this (caliber and general characterization)? Don't particularly care about the exact make or model, but am basically wondering if it is a saturday night special, whether the type of person to own this gun is likely to be clueful, etc. Thanks. (talk) 10:49, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Looks like one of the compact varieties of Smith & Wesson M&P. Someguy1221 (talk) 11:11, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Wow, thanks. Can you tell the caliber from looking at the bullets? (talk) 11:25, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
The ammunition looks like 9 mm Parabellum/Luger/NATO to me (going from the proportions; the M&P is also available in .40 S&W). -- The Great Zaganza (talk) 18:01, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! (talk) 19:49, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Watching TV while you pump gas[edit]

I'm not sure how to include this in an article, but I did make a note after seeing a newspaper article on the concept to come here and ask. Unfortunately, I forgot to list which paper. — Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:42, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

To come here and ask what? -- (talk) 22:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
How should Wikipedia cover watching TV as you pump gas?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:33, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Ask the "tiger" from the picture on your very own userfrontpage. I bet he has a fitting answer! --Kharon (talk) 22:52, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Kharon I have no idea where that serious kitty came from. I saw it somewhere and I liked it so I copied it.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:58, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Come closer, i want to whisker something in your ear...
As The Little Red Hen said, I'll just do it myself, so no one complain if I did it wrong.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 23:20, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
As opposed to putting a Tiger in Your Tank? :) These types of things, sometimes called GSTV (gas station television) are basically a little bit of something possibly useful, wrapped in commercials. I don't see how it could merit an article by itself, but it could be a sentence or two in an article about advertising. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:06, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Or maybe the article about gas stations. SinisterLefty (talk) 03:24, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Here's the GSTV home page,[18] And here's some wry commentary on it from 11 years ago.[19]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:20, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
I would have to be at a library that allows me free access to The Wall Street Journal'.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:37, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
And here's an article from last year about the dark side of this thing.[20] It's not just an annoyance, it's a Big Brother. So maybe the subject is worth putting in an article, maybe something about marketing analytics. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:25, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
I say the gas pump or filling station articles would be the place.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:37, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Unrelated pro-tip: Pressing the second-to-last button next to the screen of one of those godforsaken gas station TVs mutes the blighter and stops it from blasting unwanted advertisements and tabloidiums into your ears.--WaltCip (talk) 15:11, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Interesting idea. I'll try it next time. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:18, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
And this is actually useful information for the article. Unfortunately at this point it's only comments by individuals.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:34, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
You could try moving this to the ref desk talk page and see if you can get some kind of agreement on where this belongs. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:37, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
It probably belongs on the talk page of an article. Anyway, what I've done so far has not resulted in reverts or objections. I need to add more.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:56, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
I added more yesterday and it would be helpful to know how to start a section. I'm not sure whether it fits under "pump design" in the gas pump article. And I had an experience which, If I can find a source, would be useful in an article about advertising. I was at a McDonald's which shared a building with a convenience store with gas pumps. But the TV screen played a Burger King ad.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:44, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

November 9[edit]

Same buildings[edit]

Hi! I've always wondered if there are same building bought in different places. For example, a school/hospital/airport has been built and people realize that the lay-out is almost perfect for its purpose and they decide to "clone" the building somewhere else. Thanks for your answers! (talk) 03:57, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Many modern housing developments use a limited number of basic floor plans. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:06, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
You might be interested in the ancient city of Petra, where they tried to copy the architectural styles of all the surrounding civilizations. SinisterLefty (talk) 07:22, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
There are plenty of examples, both ancient and modern. Check out the Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh, which was reproduced almost exactly in both Rabat and across the Strait of Gibraltar in Seville. A more modern example is Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal, which is basically a scaled-down reproduction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Xuxl (talk) 12:09, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Class A airfield for the attempt to create a standard form in WWII. Rmhermen (talk) 17:30, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
I heard this story some years back: An architect designed a house for Palm Springs (desert). The customer was so pleased with it, he used the same plans to build another house in the mountains, where snow collapsed the roof. The customer sued the architect and, if memory serves, won. —Tamfang (talk) 10:27, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
Most architectural firms will have a staple template for various types of building. This can either be sold, used as is, or altered to suit the client's requirements. It is more common than not to have properties built on a copy paste basis. Cite? I work in and have done for many years the funding of property developments. Thanks Anton (talk) 11:25, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Many new nuclear reactors are standard, modular designs. Some of the major assemblies are even built in off-site and then delivered and installed on location. See for example PRISM (reactor) and AP1000.Tobyc75 (talk) 18:33, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

November 10[edit]

Spiro's catchphrase?[edit]

In 1970 there appeared in Pogo a hyena representing Spiro Agnew. In his first strip he said, "I can sit very heavy." And maybe he repeated it soon afterward.

The line did not clearly fit its context, so I wonder: did the real Spiro famously say something similar? —Tamfang (talk) 10:34, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Does it mean something in some other context? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:56, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
sit on as in to repress or stifle, or sit heavy suggests Richard III 5.3 "Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!". Is there a publication date for the stip? May help in finding it.—eric 14:52, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
I found a smallish copy of it in Google Images. It's dated 2-4 (February 4), with no year readable, but obviously it had to be during his VP tenure. The actual quote is "I can sit mighty, mighty heavy", as the turtle is checking the hyena's mouth for dentures. Sometimes Walt Kelly could be too obscure for his own good. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:06, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
From our article on Agnew: "In 1973, Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on suspicion of criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. Agnew took kickbacks from contractors during his time as Baltimore County Executive and Governor of Maryland. The payments had continued into his time as vice president. After months of maintaining his innocence, Agnew pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office. Nixon replaced him with House Republican leader Gerald Ford."
We tend to forget about this scandal, because it was so immediately and thoroughly overshadowed by the Watergate scandal. However, for a brief period of time, it can be said that Agnew "weighed heavily on the Presidency". So, I assume your quote is related. (Note that if Agnew had managed to "keep his hands out of the cookie jar", he would have become President when Nixon resigned over Watergate, not Gerald Ford. So, there's a lesson to be learned here, one must wait until one becomes President, to engage in massive corruption, and even then, it's best to wait until near the end of the 2nd term, when there's not enough time left to impeach.) SinisterLefty (talk) 11:51, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I think we are looking for the hyena of 1970, not 1973. The only strip I can find from February of that year has everyone thinking he is a bear, but it turns out he is just a hyena with a missing upper plate, and not yet wearing his uniform. Agnew by then had begun attacking the media and television networks, there is plenty of material there if you would like to connect the question to current events and give us all a lesson.—eric 13:40, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I remember being amazed on hearing the small size of the bribes Agnew took while in office as VP. I had never realized that the favors of such a high public official could be so affordable. Even in 1970 dollars, $10K seemed awfully cheap for national-scale influence peddling. Agnew was a true man of the people, democratizing public corruption away from the patrician Kennedys and Roosevelts and bringing even the humblest local mobsters into the ranks of the DC well-connected. (talk) 07:01, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

November 11[edit]


Why was Wikipedia first created? Just asking for a friend. Also, where are the primary servers located? Again, asking for a friend. Finally, how large is Wikipedia? Asking for a friend, (talk) 19:31, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

See Wikipedia. Is this three different friends or just one? MarnetteD|Talk 19:39, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
(ec) Hi, did you try to see the Wikipedia article...? --CiaPan (talk) 19:42, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
The servers are located on Mars. --MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 19:51, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
not yet but there is a backup copy on the moon. Rmhermen (talk) 05:08, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Apparently a very flat copy, due to the crash. SinisterLefty (talk) 06:24, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
To be fair, flat files have their place. —Tamfang (talk) 02:30, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

November 12[edit]

vibrating buildings[edit]

I've noticed over the past few months that every building I've spent much time in has its floor continuously vibrating, e.g. from some kind of HVAC machinery in the basement. It's real vibration (mostly felt rather than heard) and not a semi-mystical hum or anything like that. But, it seems independent of the weather, including in apartment buildings whose management wouldn't spend money running heating or AC unless external temperature requires it. It persists well past midnight and starts in the early morning hours, though it sometimes stops in the wee hours like 3am. It is detectable outdoors near the affected buildings (like in the parking lots) and I guess I should go check further away. Any idea what is going on? This is in multiple locations around the SF Bay area. Thanks. (talk) 04:06, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

The timing implies it's a human activity which ceases, or at least reduces, at night. One thought is that vibrations from passing traffic may cause resonance in the buildings. Also, the fact that it's San Francisco, which is prone to major earthquakes, may be relevant. Buildings can be designed in such a way as to alter the resonant frequencies, but in an earthquake zone, they likely put all their effort into avoiding resonant frequencies which would be triggered by quakes, as those could collapse the building, and meaning that avoiding resonant frequencies caused by other sources, like traffic, would be a low priority. SinisterLefty (talk) 04:58, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
I've noticed it in SF and also where I am now, in the east bay. Resonance of road traffic? Hmm, maybe. There is no open space to speak of in SF but in the east bay there are some parks that I might visit to check for this. OTOH I remember noticing a vibration and hum in Ed R. Levin County Park that got louder and stronger as I got nearer the summit of "Mount" Ascension or whatever they call that hill in the park (about 1200 foot vertical iirc). Sure enough, right at the summit, there was a shed full of vibrating equipment, presumably diesel generators powering the radio transmitters that are also up there. (talk) 05:17, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, there may very well be multiple sources for the vibrations, with traffic being just one. SinisterLefty (talk) 05:48, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
It could also be from pumps that maintain the water pressure in a high-rise building. This could be pneumatic tanks in the basement or reservoirs on the roof. It could also explain why there is less vibration at 3 a.m. - people are typically sleeping so water demand is low and the reservoirs and tanks are full. See: (talk) 07:20, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, this is sort of possible. There aren't really high-rise buildings outside of downtown SF, but maybe there are water pumps in these 3 to 5 story buildings. It's odd that they run almost all the time though, rather than turning on when the tank level gets below X, and stopping when it gets above Y. Thanks for the new (to me) idea since I've been thinking more along the lines of heating and ventilation. I'll keep looking around since it is really puzzling me now. (talk) 08:35, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
For max cost efficiency you'd want pumps that barely meet the demand, so must run nearly constantly. The tanks would provide a buffer for when demand exceeded the pumping rate. SinisterLefty (talk) 03:01, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

Does this phone voice amplifier exist ?[edit]

My elderly mom has a quiet voice, which is a problem on her phone, which works just fine when I speak into it. Specifically, many phones she calls think her quiet voice is background noise and filter it out. I am hoping there is a device she could screw into the receiver part of her phone, which would amplify her voice, without distorting it. Ideally it would have a power cord, not batteries, since if the batteries went dead it might be worse than nothing. Does such a device exist ? If so, what keywords should I use to find it in a Google search ? Alternatively, are there phones specifically designed for people with quiet voices ?

I did find this device: [21], but it's $120 and uses a battery that only lasts for 20 hours of talk time, so I would need to go to her house and replace it for her maybe once a week. I'm hoping there's something both cheaper and better. SinisterLefty (talk) 08:24, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Look at some of these. It could also be that her existing phone has low mic level (especially if it's an old phone with a carbon mic), in which case a normal new phone could help. Here is a weird old page that you might also like. (talk) 08:53, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Also this. Relevant search term seems to be "weak speech" along with "outgoing voice amplification" and the like. Note that if your mom has hearing loss, you might be able to get this assistive phone stuff for free from state disability programs. (talk) 08:59, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, the Clarity XLC4 at the first link looks like the best option. (I can't figure out why their XLC3.4+ costs almost twice as much. The only advantage I can see is that it amplifies incoming calls 50 dB instead of 49. Am I missing something ?) SinisterLefty (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Don't know. Some of them say "digital" which might mean voip phone? You could call the company and ask, maybe. I don't like that they are all DECT i.e. cordless. I like landline phones to actually plug into the phone jack. I'd consider keeping on looking. You can probably homebuild something very cheaply, but it might not be worth the effort if you can afford the ready made stuff without straining. Or you could look at a headset mic, if your mom is willing to use one. I had one for a while (used for work related conference calls when we had those) and it was great for that. (talk) 18:29, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Voting systems in the FLA precincts in 2000[edit]

Hi, I corrected my request: even if this system was widespread in only 24 out of 67 counties, is it possible that the punched card system was the most widespread method of voting at the state level, what about the general precincts? I say this, because these machines were the ststemi also used in the most populous counties, and this affects. I would have found the source to be reliable, I need a confirmation. If you go to this link on page 633 (9/74) there is a table with the voting systems and the numbers expressed with the systems themselves. Out of 6 million votes in total, 3.7 million preferences were expressed with punched card systems.I need the percentage of the precincts, but I think it's a forbidden request, however it is easy to presume that the majority of state voters in that year used and voiced their votes with the Votomatic machines, the sucittate ones. It is the first table. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Did you know...[edit]

How often is the front page "Did you know..." section updated? Thanks Anton (talk) 15:26, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

See WP:DYK. It's a chaotic institution prone to fits of drama but you can see its output on the relevant project and talk pages. (talk) 18:31, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Once per day. See Template:Did you know/Queue#Local update times for the specific times when it is changed. --Jayron32 18:41, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Latest cameras using photographic film[edit]

What are the most recent camera models to use photographic film? Thanks. (talk) 18:09, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

There are dozens or hundreds of film cameras still being manufactured today. Here is a list from Amazon; I am not endorsing that seller, merely posting it for examples. --Jayron32 18:44, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Nothing on that page says that these are newly manufactured cameras. One of them is even identified as "vintage". -- (talk) 20:13, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, one of them is. Not all of them though. --Jayron32 20:37, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
It appears that the Nikon FM10 is still being made. And according to Google, there is still film being made for film cameras. One funny thing, checking in Google, is that there are guides on how to use film cameras. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it shows how dominant digital has become. The situation reminds me of the "buggy whip" speech from Other People's Money. But there is still a market for buggy whips. Just not a large one. Like with vinyl records, which appeared to be dead but have made a comeback in a niche market. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:51, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
And newspapers (the physical kind) are becoming a niche market, too. SinisterLefty (talk) 21:29, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't think we're there yet. That niche is still pretty good sized. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:05, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
If you've got a deep pocket, the Leica M-A is still being manufactured. (They also offer a digital camera in their famous M series.)
Or if you're on more of a budget, you could get a Fuji single-use ("disposable") camera.
Plus there are still instant cameras being made (not by Polaroid, though), and I think a few pro-level large-format cameras are still available, but I'm not sure where to look for those.
ApLundell (talk) 23:27, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

The Nikon FM-10 (actually made by Cosina) was introduced in the 1990s and the ones being sold now are surely from inventory manufactured quite a few years ago. Yes there are lots of film cameras that you can buy off-the-shelf new with warranty (Nikon F6 is probably the most serious of these in 35mm format) but I thought the question was what models were introduced the most recently. And I'd guess that the answers for ordinary photography at the pro level would be incremental updates to medium or large format cameras. Plus there would still be new special purpose scientific or medical cameras like x-ray cameras, and disposable and Holga-like cameras that are always coming out in new variants (Flintstones logo or whatever). But yeah it's mostly a dead medium.

I still have a bunch of 35mm gear that I haven't used in maybe a decade. Ironically it includes a Nikon FM-10. I'd advise against buying one of those since the film advance mechanism breaks very easily. Mine was fixed under warranty but if you're thinking of buying a mechanical Nikon as a keeper, look for a decent FM2. (talk) 23:48, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

X-ray (film) cameras are practically extinct now, in favour of digital. The instant image availability is one aspect, but the reduced operator (or patient) X-ray exposure with more sensitive digital sensors is the main advantage. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:07, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

November 13[edit]