User talk:Macdonald-ross/Archive 5

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BHW work[change source]

Big Heritage Weekend

For the co-ordinator:

Thank you for making our Big World Heritage Weekend such a success!

Osiris (talk) 07:49, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

White Heron Castle
DYK: I noticed that you were the one who selected the Heron Marked Barnstar. This gesture caused a smile. In our BWH context, your choice was a good one.

Did you know that Himeji Castle (姫路城) is sometimes called "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior?

When you made this choice, did you know that Himeji Castle is one of Japan's World Heritage Sites?

If you feel like explaining, I'm a little curious about why you made the choice you did? --Horeki (talk) 19:07, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

I did know that the heron was one of the traditional Japanese symbols, but also I wanted something from the natural world on the barnstar. I think the regular barnstars are graphically a bit boring. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:52, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Follow-up[change source]

Following up on one of the issues you helped me to recognize — IMO the best use of a gallery in article is at :en:Himeiji Castle#Gallery. Could this be a format or model for an expanded gallery at Canterbury Cathedral or Westminster Abbey? --Horeki (talk) 19:07, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Today I discovered a gallery format you may like. Please take a look at :en:Maquarie Island#Gallery. --Horeki (talk) 01:36, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do think it's better with larger graphics. Good discovery. I've never liked the idea that a graphic could not be properly seen unless it was clicked; and then the next pic needs to be clicked and so on. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:52, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
In principle, your POV about the importance of images shows good judgment. For example,
"Graphics are a way of encouraging readers with limited language capability to continue looking at a page. They are more important than some editors give them credit ...."
IMO, this needs to be highlighted in our simple:Wikipedia context.

At the same time, I often make specific images smaller. Now that you force me to think carefully the issue of image size, I notice the difficulty in explaining and justifying why one choice is better than another. --Horeki (talk) 17:17, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

talk:Sickle-cell_disease[change source]

I dont intend to get into an edit war. The reverts you made in sickle cell anemia do not make much sense. Kindly discuss in the talk:Sickle-cell_disease about what you felt was the problem that made you revert. --Dr.saptarshi (talk) 16:07, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I'll respond on the talk page of the article when I get a spare moment. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:38, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I want an infobox.[change source]

Please , could you put an infobox in this article United States Chess Federation. 92.136.4.21 (talk) 17:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

New Zealand Chess Federation is an article.

Ndash[change source]

Hey Mac. Regarding this, Creol has retired, so you probably won't get a response any time soon. But I might be able to clarify: it isn't something AWB does automatically, it's something Creol has used AWB to do (using find and replace). Does that help? Osiris (talk) 08:00, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Verb[change source]

I quite liked your use of the verb cystalize here. The word helped me to understand and describe a process which began here in October 2011. In this context, please let me share the fact that

(a) I noticed Auntof6's change here in October 2011, but
(b) my thinking didn't crystalize into a question until now.

In this slow process, your use of the verb "cystalize" was welcome and useful to me -- compare here and especially here. Thank you. --Horeki (talk) 05:34, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts do crystallize in the mind: that's a metaphor, of course. What happens during this process? I think vague, unsayable thoughts in the adaptive unconscious gradually come into the conscious mind. We wake up (another metaphor, = become aware) and have a thought we can actually talk about. In turn, talking about it helps us to make our thoughts clear. [Incidentally, in all such words British English spells as crystallise or crystallize. Americans spell it crystalize.] Regards, Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:54, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Dinosaur species locations[change source]

Hi Mac. What was your rationale behind this? I'm wondering because I was about to add those categories to your new article Oviraptorosaur, but saw that you had previously removed them and then added the explanation to the category page. It's quite a departure from the usual sorting systems applied to animals, since we need some way to find taxa by geography. The convention seems to be to sort classes by continent, and then when there are enough articles per country, to diffuse the continent categories by country. Of course, for prehistoric groups, it'd be most practical to sort them simply by continent or region. On the English Wikipedia, the by-continent categories are companion pieces to the lists of dinosaurs by continent.

Is there any reason we should not maintain this system here? Osiris (talk) 11:19, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

The main reason is that this was not a single species, or even genus, but quite a large group of dinosaurs. With few exceptions, dinosaur groups were world-wide. A species might be local, but there is no way a larger group would be restricted to only two out of five continents. We are used to thinking of continents as separated, but then they were mostly connected, or close together. When it comes to species or genera I have no objection to continent categories. With the living world we are able to say "Spiny anteater is only found in Australasia", or some such, and so the categories are factual. With Mesozoic fossils, it's more an accidental matter of where we have looked. I would have felt differently if a group had only been found on one continent. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:37, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I see what you mean, well-reasoned. Thanks for the explanation! Osiris (talk) 15:01, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Cladistics[change source]

Cladogram: The red and blue boxes represent clades, i.e. complete branches. The green box is not a clade, but rather represent an evolutionary grade, an incomplete group: the blue clade descends from the same ancestor but is not included in it.
Genealogic tree for the Emperors of Japan, showing the Daikakuji-to and Jimyoin-to branches (Spanish)

Your work to the development of Cladistics and Taxonomy make me think to ask you for help as I try to simplify Japanese history. If this is not a subject you care to discuss, please excuse my interruption.

Will you invest a small amount of time in responding to some related questions about the term "clade":

Paraphrasing the language of the scientific cladogram caption, The family tree of Nintoku's descendants is not a clade, but rather represent an evolutionary grade, an incomplete group: the 26th emperor descends from the same ancestor but is not included in it.
  • B. In the Imperial family tree at the right, the red and orange boxes can be called a "clade", yes?
  • C. In the Nanboku-chō period family tree at the right, the blue boxes are not called a "clade", yes?
Paraphrasing the language of the scientific cladogram caption, The blue boxes are not a clade, but rather represent an evolutionary grade, an incomplete group.

At this stage, my ideas are not fully formed. I don't want to discuss this in depth. In due course, perhaps the process of mulling over this scientific vocabulary will suggest something? --Horeki (talk) 16:45, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

What we do in English is to use the more usual words family if people are connected by birth. A group of kings connected by birth can also be called a house, as in the House of Windsor, our present royals. I'm forced to use words like clade in biology because it has been taken over as shorthand for an ancestral species and all its descendents. Otherwise it is a very rare word, which I would not use out of context. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:00, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Please excuse the inconvenience of my questions. --Horeki (talk) 17:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
See List of Roman emperors for other ideas. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. In part, my questions were sparked by the Emperor's speech at the Linnean Society of London in 2007 here. The speech gives a short history of taxonomy in Japan.

After I noticed your small change in the article about Taxonomy here in March, I re-read the emperor's speech. Your trivial change here today caused a very small Eureka effect or "Aha effect". --Horeki (talk)

I read the addrress with interest. I believe the Emperor's father was an entomologist. Macdonald-ross (talk) 21:39, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Copyeditor's Barnstar[change source]

CopyeditorStar7.PNG The Copyeditor's Barnstar
Thank you for c/e Bullfrog and adding more information! Best, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 23:50, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you! Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Definition of English Spelling[change source]

Hi Mac

Thanks for your points on my user page. I see with interest the changes you have made. I fully agree about referencing reliable sources. I also believe in brevity and clarity, I have copied BEW 850 words after CK Ogden, I seek to start with SE wikipedia for this very reason.

I have added some points about spelling to the orthography talk page. I would be interested in your views.

Most of my working life has been spent teaching English to speakers whose first language was not English and that is why I am interested in the debate on this. Everyday in many ways I bump into the problems caused by the complexity of English spelling.

In short, my students have trouble saying English words which they understand and can read and my children have trouble spelling words they have no trouble at all saying.

I have nothing against English spelling. Indeed I even enjoy it. I would not wish to see it reformed. But I would like to raise awareness about the underlying causes of the difficulty involved in learning how to do it.

I believe these causes to be basically quite simple and also quite well known in academic circles but not well presented to a wider audience.

You wrote:I'm not sure I quite understand why 'spelling' needs a definition. What the word means is surely transparent: the order of letters in a word. Maybe you'll enlighten me.

I am afraid I think that the meaning of this word is far from transparent and that is why a simple definition is needed.

As far as I understand it, letters stand for sounds. Words are a collection of sounds. The same word always contains the same, or nearly the same, sounds (with some variations in dialect or accent). This is how we know what somebody else means. We know that that that collection of sounds signifies a certain thing.

English has 34 single sounds according to the IPA (and I agree with them).

But we use an alphabet with only 26 letters.

There are just not enough letters to go round.

This is the first thing that spelling is (there are several others of course which you include).

Spelling is using 26 letters to write down 34 sounds. Spelling is not being certain which letter goes with which sound.

If we had a 34 letter alphabet with one individual letter for one sound then there would be no need to learn spelling. A word could be written exactly as it is said.

I appreciate the question of differences of dialect and of accent etc but all native speakers of a given language who can understand each other must by that definition be able to figure out which sound a speaker of a dialect is getting at because if they did not they would not understand them. In the language of phonetic science the existence of allophones (variant realization of a phoneme (IPA 1999) does not override the phonemic principle.

What do you think about a separate page perhaps that addresses just this one basic issue?

Onevoicein10billion (talk) 05:14, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I replied on the talk page of Orthography. I mentioned that the page was not just about spelling, nor just about English, though they were the most important issues. I am not against having more pages on subtopics. I repeated my previous comment about the central role of reliable refs on wikipedia. Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:54, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Non-default image size?[change source]

The map at the top right corner of Meiji Seamount is default-sized. Also, there are other articles about seamounts in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain; and each uses the same map. Do you see a good reason for using a non-default image size in these contexts? If so, what would you propose? --Horeki (talk) 05:47, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

An interesting question. Default on this wiki is 220px, but editors are free to do what they think is best. Personally, I have an interest in art and graphic design, and I make judgements based on what I think is needed by the image and the page. On your Meiji page I note these points:
  1. The graphic is quite obscure at 220px. I tried it out at 250px and 300px. I think 300px is needed to give the reader an idea of what is in it. Then they can decide whether to spend time clicking to & fro. It's 'your' page: you decide.
  2. I think I would make changes to the text. I would not call it just "a volcano". That suggests potential volcanic activity. I would always call guyots "extinct volcanos" [volcanoes is old-fashioned spelling, but equally correct]. There is not the slightest chance they will become active again, since the hot spot is no longer under them. And I would keep telling readers (in a footnote) that guyots are flat-topped because they were once above sea level, and were worn down by the sea. The reason is, they may chance on the page without having read the more general pages on seamounts, guyots etc.
  3. This series of pages are an excellent contribution to our wiki!
Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:15, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for helping me figure out what size to make this image of the seafloor. As you may have guessed, I turned to you for advice because of your thinking here.

The articles about the Hawaiian-Emperor chain are made better by the changes you suggested. I appreciate your comments. --Horeki (talk) 16:46, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Scheherazade (composer)[change source]

Hi Macdonald-ross, just curious, was there something you were going to do here? I've QD'd it as its blank but not sure if you were intending to do something else with it? Kennedy (talk) 11:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

No, I just thought it was nuts to have a page under a name which was not that of the artist, so I moved the content onto her chosen stage name. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Thats fine but you left the page blank. It should have been redirected or QD'd. Regards, Kennedy (talk) 15:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I am a little confused as that is the common english name of the composer. -DJSasso (talk) 15:26, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Really? I had never heard of her. If she is notable under the English name, then we could redirect the blank page to her Turkish name. Macdonald-ross (talk) 15:40, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Personally I don't care what the article title is, but it should at least be a redirect. If you notice on the infobox the title of the article is one of her "Also known as" names. -DJSasso (talk) 15:51, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Admin?[change source]

Hi Macdonald-ross, this is one of those cliche "I thought you were one already" moments. When I linked in that above thread I thought it might be deleted before you get a chance to read it, so checked to see if you were an admin to read the deleted page. I was surprised when I saw that you are not, and have not yet run. You have been here some time and done some great work. Would you be interested in applying to be an admin? I would also offer a nomination from myself if you are interested? Regards, Kennedy (talk) 11:46, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

No thanks, but thank you for thinking about it. I can do most things as it is. And I have an objection to a system which has about 40 administrators for about a dozen regular contributors. At least 25 of those admins do no work except to come back once a year for a week or two to do enough to prevent their being de-admined. Even then, our regulars do more in two days than those 25 do in two weeks. Although I do comment on some of the central pages, my main interest is to add content. Mr. Content, that's me. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:01, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, I understand your thoughts on the admins, I do think there are too many who are not actually active. Having an extra one who is active is a good thing, rather than a bad I'd say. I understand your pov though and my offer stands if you change your mind. Regards Kennedy (talk) 15:20, 14 June 2012 (UTC)