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September 27[edit]

Seal Cove Bluff[edit]


Geologists and earth scientists refer to the bluffs connecting in the north from the Pillar Point Air Force Station in the south as "Seal Cove Bluff". But the state of California, after turning the area into a protected park and trail in the mid 2000s, instead refers to this area as "Pillar Point Bluff". I'm just curious about the reasons for the different nomenclature. One would think there would be a basic consistency in the literature, both scientific and governmental. Does this kind of thing happen a lot, or could there be a good reason to call the same geographic feature by two different names in different fields of expertise? Viriditas (talk) 00:18, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feature names do change, but GNIS is an attempt to standardize them for the U.S. You can see from the record that Pillar Point was once called "Miramontas Point". If you scroll down to the map, you can see "Pillar Point Bluff Trails" as a feature from The National Map, but since 2021 transportation features such as trails have been removed from GNIS. Some features are not prominent enough and could have multiple names based on local usage.
"Fitzgerald's Own “History Detective” Delves into Seal Cove's Mysterious Past" however, leads me to believe these are not the same feature. "Pillar Point Bluffs" would be south of Seal Cove, and "Seal Cove Bluffs" would be to the north, from Seal Cove Beach to San Vicente Creek. But that is just a guess on my part. fiveby(zero) 01:33, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, as that wonderfully illustrates the problem I described in my initial query, namely the perceived differences between the natural sciences and the physical sciences, in this particular example, that of geographical nomenclature that differs at a most basic level. It is my opinion, that the link you posted above is "correct" for the natural sciences, in the sense that this is what life scientists believe to be the approximate location of what is commonly referred to as "Seal Cove Bluff", and the habitats that reside there. But, wait, the physical sciences have their own convention! Take a look at Figure 2 on p. 1160. These earth scientists combine Seal Cove Bluff and Pillar Point Bluff into one large landform that they call Seal Cove Bluffs, and in a weird way, it kind of makes sense that they do this, because they are dealing with giant rocks, not small habitats. It’s still super confusing because I want to write about the geological history, and now I have to change the naming conventions. Hopefully, you now see the problem. Viriditas (talk) 11:15, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see, and think you may be encountering a specific instance of a more general problem which WP editors sometimes lack awareness of and policies and guidelines do not really seem to address. As Michael Frank Goodchild is quoted as saying in this paper:

We work in a world with words like "hot" and "cold", which have very vague meanings, and our vernacular geography is also vague. I come from Santa Barbara, and I don't worry about the precise definition of the footprint of Santa Barbara. In fact, I don't come from the municipality of Santa Barbara, if you wanted to be fussy about it, but you know what I mean when I say that I come from Santa Barbara. On the other hand, our GIS's are exact and "scientific"; they are in a very different, precise world. In many ways a gazetteer provides the linkage between those two worlds. It provides the linkage between the vernacular terms we use to talk about the world and the precise coordinate systems we use when we need to be exact…. [I]f one wants to combine vague and precise, then one has to deal explicitly with accuracy. The accuracy of a placename specification has to be an explicit part of the future gazetteer. We need to know how vague "vague" is.

Of course the ambiguity in definition of "Santa Barbara" is not the same problem you are facing and you're not having to solve the problem of a digital gazetteer to decide on exact and "scientific" polygon(s) for the feature(s). But you want to be accurate and consistent in the text content you're creating and that problem is somewhat akin to drawing a map of the area being described. There are probably many possible ways we've ended up with The National Map labeling a "Pillar Point Bluffs Trail" and and your paper labeling a feature "Seal Cove Bluff". Maybe there are earlier maps which conflict in the labels, maybe someone once made an "error" in interpreting a map is now going against the grain of common usage. If you are seeing a split between usage in the biological and physical science on usage, well authors usually cite from papers in their own field, and would very rarely bother to tell us from where they are taking a placename or its boundary. They provided you a map in the paper, and that's enough for you to understand what they mean by "Seal Cove Bluff" within the context of their paper.
The WP policy most applied when some of these ambiguities arise is WP:COMMONNAME, but that and WP:GEOLAND, WP:GAZETTEER, WP:NOTGAZETTEER, and just overall application by some editors i think are pretty facile and not recognizing many of the issues with placenames and presentation of geographic information. It's a minor feature(s), and you might not be able to find anything that might rise to "authoritative" to resolve the issue. On the other hand you might be able to do something, look at enough maps to determine what is the most common usage here and is best for readers in minimizing the conflicts in the ways others have labeled the feature(s). That's might be a pretty big effort for such a minor feature. By default i would say for the U.S. don't conflict with The National Map if it can be avoided, which means there would be a "Pillar Point Bluffs" feature because there is a label for "Pillar Point Bluffs Trail" and if you need to get more specific you can add a "Seal Cove Bluff" feature based on what seems to be common usage among those at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. fiveby(zero) 15:03, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Putting all that aside for just a moment, I wanted to address the problem with Miramontas Point, the first point you raised. I don't understand why the USGS lists this as a variant when they are two different landforms located some distance away from each other. Today, Miramontas Point is famous for the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, so it is well known. I think there's some logic behind why the northernmost part of Seal Cove Bluff is separated from Pillar Point Bluff in the life sciences but not in the earth sciences. However, since the county acquired Pillar Point Bluff, I wonder if it is solely an issue of legality. The scientists using the term "Seal Cove Bluff" to refer to the entire landform (not just the northern portion as the sanctuary does today) were writing in 1997, more than a decade before Pillar Point Bluff was established as a park. I think this might go a long way towards explaining the problem in that instance. I'm thinking that the USGS should update their database listing for Pillar Point and list Seal Cove Bluff, not Miramontas. It makes little sense why Miramontas is listed as a variant when it is so far away. Viriditas (talk) 21:54, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks like someone once made an error and swapped the names of the promontories? Don't see any of the historical USGS products making the error, probably made at the United States Board on Geographic Names or in compiling for GNIS. Was once able to download a BGN work card, but the link is no longer working and can't seem to figure out how to do it again. As i recall though they did not seem to be a very meticulously compiled bit of documentation. fiveby(zero) 00:13, 29 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for looking into it for me. Viriditas (talk) 23:32, 29 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fiveby I just found this: "The point was originally named Miramontes on the U.S. Coast Survey chart of 1854 but was also known as Point Corral de Tierra in 1859. When Half Moon Bay was charted in 1862 by the U.S. Coast Survey, the point was renamed Pillar Point."[1] Viriditas (talk) 00:36, 3 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

September 28[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Is Northern Ireland this a flag of Northern Ireland? I just added that flag to an article. --40bus (talk) 11:43, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Flag of Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland flags issue. -- (talk) 12:12, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But specifically, Ulster Banner, which discusses its current status. Alansplodge (talk) 13:02, 29 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

September 30[edit]


banned user
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Walking in Tottenham this afternoon (necessitated by the match at White Hart Lane) I passed a street sign reading "LA ROSE LANE Formerly Black Boy Lane". There's something at John La Rose but neither the Chestnuts Primary School signboard nor Chestnuts Park acknowledges the change. The name has possibly been unchanged for centuries. What's the history? (talk) 17:04, 30 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Black Boy" is a very common nickname for King Richard II. There are multiple Black Boy pubs and bars strewn throughout England. It is believed that Black Boy Lane passed a popular Black Boy pub. It is highly unlikely that it referred to a child of African descent, but that is what an ignorant person might assume. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the name. There are similar name changes in any country you might visit. It is not new. Every generation finds something that is vitally important to them but deemed silly by others. It is almost always based on ignorance. (talk) 19:34, 30 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Partial shade plants[edit]


What are the best plants to grow in containers that only receive 3-4 hours of direct sun per day? I've been trying to find answers to this question, but aside from specific varieties of wildflowers, I haven't found too much on this subject. Viriditas (talk) 21:13, 30 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Viriditas: The Sunset Western Garden Book is a good resource for this, it covers various climate zones and shade/daylight conditions. It might help you, even if you don't live in the Western U.S. RudolfRed (talk) 03:39, 1 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is what happens when you get old. I actually own that book but forgot about it. I don’t currently have it with me, but I will make arrangements to get it back. Thanks. Something similar happened to me the other day. I did a Google search on a question, and the top hit came back from someone who wrote a great explanation of the answer I was looking for on Reddit, and it got a lot of positive feedback. I was impressed by the exposition and I wanted to thank the author for such a great answer. I went to email them when I discovered that I was, in fact, emailing myself. Yes, it turns out I had written it. Things are becoming more exciting by the day now. Viriditas (talk) 03:54, 1 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

October 4[edit]