Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Welcome to the miscellaneous reference desk.
Select a section:
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia


How can I get my question answered?

  • Select the section of the desk that best fits the general topic of your question (see the navigation column to the right).
  • Post your question to only one section, providing a short header that gives the topic of your question.
  • Type '~~~~' (that is, four tilde characters) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. Any answers will be provided here.
  • Please be as specific as possible, and include all relevant context – the usefulness of answers may depend on the context.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we'll help you past the stuck point.
    • We don't conduct original research or provide a free source of ideas, but we'll help you find information you need.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
See also:

January 23[edit]

In the United States, can incumbent or outgoing Governors, be part of the Electoral College of a presidential candidate? Thanks (talk) 16:49, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see anything in the article that restricts who the electors can be. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:32, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Article II § 1 of the US Constitution states that "no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector". This restriction applies exclusively to federal officials.  --Lambiam 09:23, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that the Electoral College is not connected to a specific presidential candidate; its task is to elect one (and also a vice) from the pool of candidates.  --Lambiam 18:06, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In fact, it has happened. Andrew Cuomo, then-governor of New York, was one of the Democratic electors in New York for Joe Biden/Kamala Harris in 2020. See [1] for the certificate listing him as an elector. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 20:42, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The members of the electoral college are typically chosen by the party within a given state. With a few exceptions, there is no "pool" of candidates; they are legally bound to vote for the pres and vp candidates the voters have chosen. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:47, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They may be morally bound, but any legal binding is dependent on State legislation; see Faithless elector.  --Lambiam 09:06, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is important to note that the electoral system is state-based. There are some Federal laws and regulations that limit what the states can do. For the most part, it is purely up to the states to do what they want. It is not a Federal mandate that it be done in any specific way. (talk) 13:42, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It should also be noted that while states are legally allowed to issue fines, penalties, and punishments to faithless electors after the fact, AFAIK, there is no way to invalidate the votes of faithless electors or revoke them or replace them once they have been made. --Jayron32 13:43, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't comment on whether it's legal, but some states do do that. See Faithless electors in the 2016 United States presidential election. -- (talk) 08:02, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair enough. I stand corrected. --Jayron32 12:05, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If faithless electors in a very close election flipped the winner, the question arises as to why they would sabotage their own party? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:37, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe the party didn't nominate the person they wanted. You would think that the electors were chosen after the nomination and that they were pledged personally to the nominee rather than the party. You'd think that, but in most states, you'd be wrong. Apparently in most cases the state party chooses a slate of electors before the convention, and they're pledged to whomever the party happens to nominate.
I'm pretty sure in California you can register as an official write-in candidate by providing a slate of electors pledged personally to you. Unofficial write-in votes are also possible, but are not even counted. --Trovatore (talk) 07:06, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In order to induce opinion, prediction, or debate postings on the Reference Desk? -- (talk) 15:38, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They may have been bribed, or they may be sleeper agents.  --Lambiam 15:55, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

January 24[edit]

Is tess marsh a girl or boy?[edit]

banned user
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it. Look at this page above. They referenced all of the kids birth date with gendered pronouns but tess marsh, further confusing the gender. Note Ella marsh is confirmed to be girl. In one video les miserable song on tess marsh channel, tess marsh is shown wearing yellow t shirt and they has short hair, this will assuming that tess marsh is a boy. But please can you answer what is the gender for tess marsh? According to family photo in winter provided by wikipedia tess marsh is wearing yellow color cold outfit with grey hat covering the hair, thus questioning the gender of tess marsh. 2404:8000:1027:85F6:3510:36E:2A0A:6A5C (talk) 14:19, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In my experience, "Tess" has always been a feminine name. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 14:23, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

January 25[edit]

Transporting an elephant[edit]

A the start of the film Babylon, Manny Torres is shown trying to transport an elephant uphill by a car trailer. Now I am aware this is part of the film's plot, but in the case of the real world, couldn't the elephant simply have walked the length of the hill, making the uphill transport easier? JIP | Talk 12:56, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It probably could have, but maybe nobody asked the elephant. The film is a comedy: comedy (and drama generally) often arises from stupid people doing stupid things. If everybody in a film was portrayed as doing the most sensible thing at all times – which rarely happens even in real life – the film wouldn't be funny, dramatic or interesting. In a good deal of drama and fiction, the suspension of disbelief is required. It's a little like a game you and the writer(s) agree to play – you agree not to question the logic of their story in minute detail, and they agree to entertain you while you're watching: it all falls apart if you insist on perfect accuracy, perfect logic and perfect decision making in post hoc analyses. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:14, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which kind of elephant? From memory, African elephants are not tameable, but Asian elephants are. --Error (talk) 14:20, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it's the elephant seen here in a flash, it is an Asian one – African elephants have much larger ears.  --Lambiam 15:33, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's the elephant. The film does not feature any other elephants. JIP | Talk 15:59, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If that is the case, then yes 1) Asian elephants can walk up hills and 2) Asian elephants can be trained to follow human commands. Captive elephants#Training has some information. In places where trained elephants are kept, their trainers are known as Mahouts. So, could a person get a sufficiently well-trained Asian elephant to walk up a hill? Yes. --Jayron32 16:27, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even African elephants can get over hills. Matt Deres (talk) 13:46, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What did Jane say when she saw a herd of elephants coming over the hill? "Here come a herd of plums!". She was color-blind. --Trovatore (talk) 06:50, 27 January 2023 (UTC) Reply[reply]
Surely the elephant was being transported farther than just up said hill. The trailer would have been necessary for the longer distance. Even over a short distance, a trailler would protect the animal from its surroundings (and vice versa). This would ensure the safe arrival of the animal to the site, where a trained handler coulld take over.--User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 11:34, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't seem the film, but I think the destination is the mansion of studio executive Don Wallach, perched atop the hill, and all Manny cares for is getting the elephant there. The elephant actually offered to push the trailer uphill, but the director wouldn't hear of it because it wouldn't look funny on screen.  --Lambiam 18:38, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

January 26[edit]

Why "sweet sixteen"?[edit]

What is the origin of the North-American tradition of "sweet sixteen" birthday celebrations? I wonder specifically how this got pegged to 16, and not for example to 15 as in Mexico, or 18, the general marriage age in the United States.  --Lambiam 20:54, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looking at (pay site), I'm seeing the expression "sweet sixteen" as far back as the 1820s, in both the British Isles and America. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:21, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It may be relevant that the Age of consent is 16 in the UK, and in many US states. It has been 16 in the UK since 1885, except for Northern Ireland between 1950 and 2008. Age of consent reform in the United Kingdom. ColinFine (talk) 22:34, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is spitballing and not based on any research but 16 is the driving age in the US, at least. - Purplewowies (talk) 00:07, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The rules vary from state to state. For example, some places require you to take a driver education course if you're to get a license before age 18. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:03, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's the old song "Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed", which sort of suggests that 16 is the age by which a girl can generally be expected to have been kissed. Not an earth-shattering event in the overall scheme of things, but pretty important in the life a girl of 16. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:51, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Historically, "middle teens" is usually considered an important coming of age milestone for girls. While "sweet sixteen parties" are a thing among certain demographics in the U.S., you also have the tradition of the quinceañera in much of Latin America. These kinds of traditions often date from a time period when the transition from childhood to adulthood was considered younger than in modern times; 15 or 16 was considered an age when a person reached sexual maturity, and were thus ready for marriage. That's what made someone "an adult". This kind of thing can also be seen in other similar traditions such as the Debutante ball, etc. The meaning of all of these is clear: It signified that a female was no longer too young to court, and was now "on the market" if such a crude phrase can be used. --Jayron32 13:17, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's alliterative. "Sweet fifteen" just doesn't cut it. (In American college basketball, final four is also good, elite eight, not so much.) Clarityfiend (talk) 23:25, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

January 28[edit]

Brett Christophers[edit]

I love Wikipedia: my question is not a criticism. I am genuinely curious about why Brett Christophers has no Wikipedia page. An assistant professor at the University of Uppsala, Brett Christophers has published 11 books, with his most popular a piece on rentier capitalism. Today economic issues of this nature are profoundly important and gaining in popularity. I consider this a very positive indication in terms of the reading level at which students in the public school system in the United States are graduating (5th garde level is the latest I've seen. A decline since the 8th grade level reported some time ago, and interesting for many reasons (the loss of reading skills and popularity associated with increased electronic media in society and the essential skills necessary for adults' skills necessary to our founders' goals for democrasy in the United States.) Abuses noted pertaining to "addictive" algorithms used in the creation of Facebook, and the consequences of the management of personal information, the criteria for account development and practices using the network, influences upon various political outcomes in several countries and gaining notariety, etc. make issues relevant to how the economic changes in the United States are enormously pressing. I just do not get why Wikipedia is not coverng this man's activity. I do not have the time or talent to contribute myself, or I woud. I am in fact working on a thesis regarding human development and my interest is also driving the question. Amazon reports the author as not having a 'page'. That is actuallt what sparked my interest. Thank you. My email address is [redacted; --L.] Linda Linda A. May 2603:301D:22F0:C000:75ED:36CB:33BF:AFD4 (talk) 11:49, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The content of Wikipedia is created by unpaid volunteers; any given topic may have flown under their radar or not be in the scope of their expertise and interest. One fundamental question is whether this person is notable in Wikipedia's sense of this word, whether as an academic or as an author. The volume of an individual's output is not relevant; the only thing that counts if there is enough material, published in independent reliable sources and covering a topic in sufficient depth to base an article on. If you can find such material, you're welcome to write a draft for an article (see Help:Your first article) and submit it. It may just be a "stub" and need not much work; other editors who stumble upon it will expand and improve it. Alternatively, you can submit a request at Requested articles and hope somewhat picks it up, but know that there is a huge backlog. Adding links to usable material (such as book reviews and interviews) may somewhat expedite this.  --Lambiam 14:02, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sky News presenter[edit]

What's the name of this woman presenter? Appears regularly in Ukrainian war map analysis. Thanks. (talk) 22:47, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's Penny Smith. --Viennese Waltz 07:55, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

January 29[edit]

starchy veggies and fruits[edit]

Why do some organisations recommend against starchy veggies and fruits and to choose non starchy veggies and fruits are starchy veggies and fruits bad for you? (talk) 05:06, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which organizations? Have you read Starch#Food? Shantavira|feed me 09:46, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Too much of anything is bad for you. A healthy diet will contain both starchy veggies (including beans) and starchy fruits. There is nothing wrong with that; just don't overdo it. Calorie overconsumption has become a problem of epidemic proportions in the modern world, leading to serious health problems; see Diet and obesity. The main culprits in a diet of often ultra-processed food, such as is readily available from the supermarket shelves or dished up in fast-food restaurants, are too much fat and too much sugar and starch.  --Lambiam 10:16, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]