User talk:Finlay McWalter/archive1

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Hello Finlay, welcome to Wikipedia. I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian.

Here are some useful links in case you haven't already found them;

If you have any questions, see the help pages or add a question to the village pump. Angela 22:57, Sep 14, 2003 (UTC)

Area 51[edit]

Hi there. Be bold! - work on the article Area 51 directly. (and while you're at it -- please give SI units too!) -- Tarquin 23:27, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

As I'm doing a wholesale rewrite, I'll wait until the change is a net positive gain before bulldozing what's there already Finlay McWalter 23:46, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)
'tis done Finlay McWalter 11:34, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Good work on noticing all those dodgy votes at VfD. The user in question has vandalised Karada's user page as well so definitely needs to be watched. By the way, sysops do not have access to IP addresses. Only developers do, and even then I'm not sure it applies to all developers or just some. Angela 23:06, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Re: Shorts -> Short. I'm not sure what the actual name was at the time, but I know that all recent news calls it "Bombardier-Shorts". It appears that the name was "Short Brother" but their airplanes were always referred to as being built by "Shorts". I think it's time I did an article on them, maybe that is a good way to clear it up. User:Maury Markowitz


BTW, I'm currently in the process of cutting HMS Enterprise into separate articles, one per ship, as per usual practice, so you might as well hold off on the tweaks. Stan 19:19, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

All done! As you can see, I avoid permanent stubs by leaving the 1-2 sentence ship descriptions in the generic article, since there is a vanishingly small chance that any article writer will ever want to link to one of them directly. The longer articles will eventually be linked when somebody adds OBs for battles and such. Stan 21:21, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Greg Bear[edit]

re Greg Bear: No, that wasn't me. On the history page, you can see that an IP (62.60.???.???) edited just before and after me. I wouldn't log out, start a page, log in, edit, log out again, and edit some more in a short time ;-) --Magnus Manske 08:47, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Finlay...oh, did I make your day? What context are you taking my contribution on Talk:Duchy? Kenneth Alansson


Re your comments on the village pump, there's free ROT-13 implementations all over the web. See for example -- Pakaran 01:44, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Thank you for your comments on my article about Midoru. This was my first attempt at writing one, so I must admit that it does need some work. I hope I have not embarrassed myself by not being familiar with the accepted scholarly style. (Thanks also for correcting the picture placement – I could not figure out how to do so, well, I was just excited to get something up). I will try to update the article to a more acceptable format as soon as possible. Any further suggestions or corrections would be most appreciated. I would like to present good works. Again, I am learning and hope to improve. There are many things I would like to write about. Infortis

I have rewritten the Midoru article from a less subjective point of view, as you suggested. Any comments would be most appreciated.--Infortis 15:36, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Your improved version is excellent. I've made some further edits, just to tidy things up a teensy bit more. -- Finlay McWalter 16:58, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Thank for the edits and suggestions. I will post an inquiry to the forum you mentioned regarding the image. However, since this person seemed to have wanted to achieve anonymity, for whatever reason, I may honor his intent and not put the photo back up, no matter the ruling (If someone contacts me with a legitimate interest I will probably send a copy). Now, I may be letting my imagination run away with me, but I almost wonder whether the e-mail I received which subtly suggested I should not post the photo may in fact have come from someone representing Midoru. While I do not really believe this, because the photo was only up for one day, but the address was from a UK domain and when I tried to reply it came back with an invalid type error. It is probably just some Wikipedian playing a joke and messing with my head. Question: When you register as a user here is your private e-mail address available to others on the site? Infortis 15:23, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I tried the "email this user" on your userpage, and it says "no send address", which means you haven't set an email address in your preferences screen. So no-one got it via wikipedia. Anyway, wikipedians very rarely use email, particularly for stuff like this - the talk page (or your user talk page) is the appropriate venue, and any wikipedian experienced enough to care about copyright or privacy would have posted there. It's curious that someone found the article so quickly - neither google nor yahoo has crawled the new page yet, so it doesn't come up in a search result. -- Finlay McWalter 16:12, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Hmmm, that is a bit odd. I used to have a program that made mirrors of sites. You could enter search preferences and it would continuously troll looking for sites or mentions of whatever you were interested in. However, it could only find what was indexed on major search engines. As I consider how someone may have obtained my e-mail address I wonder if it could be due to some posts I made while not logged on. I noticed that the IP address was displayed and someone told me that this could therefore be traced. Anyway, I don't really care, just curious. --Infortis 14:53, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Re Finlay's comment to me about my "ECR" commenting-outing.

If you intend to purge the wikipedia of all content you consider to be inappropriate for reason of geekiness, please report your intention on Wikipedia:Village pump first.

I love geeks, I really do. But as much as this is the encyclopedia that Slashdot built, an encyclopedia is fundamentally general interest. The Jargon file element adds a bizarroverse second dimension to ECR where it doesn't really belong. In the grand scheme of things, it's a road. It's the king's road. It's a Spanish relic and it's a Silicon Valley landmark. If you re-read the jargon file text dump for ECR, I sincerely hope you'll see, as I did that's it's (mostly) irrelevant gobbledygok that confuses the issue. It has its place, but, but...Think of the children! 8th graders who come here to do research, and their parents, and every other layperson is going to read that and go: huh?

Simplify. Economize. Edit. :)

If someone reverts, sobeit. It's a wiki, that's how it goes, but editorial judgment is not inherently foolish, and that jargon file stuff is a.) kooky, b.)Not Really The Point.


Finlay - thank you for your welcome. You are right, I did make an effort to follow guidelines with the markup of my first page (not that it was very difficult !) and I am glad to know it is appreciated.

I spend a large slice of my working life writing and reviewing software documentation, so I know how important it is to try to achieve a consistent style and format. I am impressed by the help pages that I have found here, which give clear and helpful guidance without straying over the line into long lists of arbitrary rules. Gandalf61 09:12, Nov 8, 2003 (UTC)


Re: Borders Strike -- objection to latest refactoring

I'm quite new to Wikipedia. While I was frustrated with the refactoring of my first entry, ealier this afternoon - I was impressed with its speed - and, later, validity. I took some time to understand my mistake and re-posted in a way that I thought conformed to Wiki norms. Your latest objection/reason for refactoring, however, leaves me bewildered -- Borders is a huge multi-national company - Ann Arbor is it's headquarters and the store in question is its flagship store - and, while I won't go into it ('cause I couldn't find an article that expressed it just right and haven't had time to write it up, yet) - a strike by service industry workers for a living wage has much broader implications to historcial shifts in the U.S. economy and labor movement. But this is all a digression, I suspect - I won't convince you here -- Please just refer me to whatever editorial principles you were using to decide that the scope of the story I posted did not match with the content desired on wikipedia's "current events". -- Tallison

look at all the other things on the page - major world events that affect thousands or millions of people. While the company is large, the strike is not. A strike at all the Borders _might_ compare with a terrorist bombing, a national election, or an international sports game. You have to understand that wikipedia is here to report things as they are, not to be used to generate publicity for things. This story hasn't made it to the front pages of any major news website that I can find. If the strike spreads, then it might become noteworthy (as, for example, that coca-cola boycott is). -- Finlay McWalter 00:17, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
OK. Point taken. While I do think the significance of this event may well be worth "having noted" - my reasons for thinking this are blurred with my advocacy of it. I very much appreciate your taking the time to explain (and the Wiki's facilitation of this communication - Wow!). Tallison
I'm sorry if I seem harsh, but you see we get rather a lot of folks who try to abuse the wikipedia to agrandise themselves, sell their product, promote their political belief, or just insert crazy shit like you wouldn't believe (take a look at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion for some examples). We tend to give registered users more benefit of the doubt (sometimes), mostly because it's possible to have a conversation with them (on their user:talk page) which really isn't possible for an anonymous dialup user with an ever-changing IP number. But in looking at this I notice something quite surprising - I don't believe we have page about Borders Booksellers (or whatever they're officially called). We do have one for Barnes & Noble (it's entirely coincidental that I wrote much of that, honest - I'm really no fan of giant corporate booksellers). If you think you can write in something approximating NPOV (it's all any of us can do) on the subject, your addition of that page (or any other) is very welcome. In the context of a larger article, labour relations (in general) at the company would be a valid sub-section. A word of caution, however - the giants of wikipedia lurk on the "Recent Changes" page, and you'll inevitably find your prose gets rewritten by ten strangers within the first ten minutes. This is the joy and the pain of wiki. That's why there is no "editorial policy" per se : oh, there's some style rules, and NPOV (which is really the only "golden rule"), but everything else comes down to a lapidary process of edit and reedit and reedit again. Most articles settle down into something quite good, many into some truly wonderful things that no individual could have written, and a contentious few oscillate forever between the opinions of zealots (still, look at Zionism and abortion - they're a constant battlezone, but the pages usually read like Britannica (only better)). Welcome, for better or worse, to the wonderful world of wikipedia :) -- Finlay McWalter 00:58, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Please see reply at my page User talk:Dori Dori 06:21, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)

Testing an anonymiser[edit]

This is Finlay McWalter, accessing wikipedia via - I'm doing this to test how it looks (due to a vandalism-in-progress). This is the first edit I've done this way - all the others that may appear to be the same are the real vandal, honest :) TTFN, 01:03, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Just to confirm, that really was me, but all the other evil done by that IP wasn't. Really. -- Finlay McWalter 01:10, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)


copied from User:Finlay McWalter, which User:kingpr0n blanked and replaced with:

why are you deleting all my work? just because you are prudish does not mean that they are not useful contributions for others. SO BACK OFF. Kingpr0n.
-->response on User talk:kingpr0n

copied from Vandalism in Progress:

  • In his KingPr0n's defense, the alterations on the porn star pages were genuine additions of genuine information, albeit concerned exclusively with anal sex. Of course, that subject's not wildly surprising on a page about a porn star. (Whether it belong in wikipedia is another story.) But it can't objectively be called vandalism, I don't think. By the way, both starlet pages use the euphemism "erotic actress" rather than the more stright-forward and obvious "porn star". Why the weasel words? orthogonal 22:06, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
    • I had nothing to do with his porn-related reversions, nor his initial listing on the vandalism page. I did see them, however, and I wasn't about to take them out, distasteful though I think they were. I left that to User:Vudujava (amusingly a self-styled "crap expert"). -- Finlay McWalter 22:14, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Regarding the stretching... this apparently IS something people actually do. Some people also enjoy anal fisting - I spoke with a man on the soc.sexuality.general newsgroup who did.

Don't google on "anal stretching" or obvious variations - you will find a lot of porn sites, most of which DO provide photographic evidence of the practice. I started the article, to be polite, less than half-seriously - but if kingpr0n wants to discuss it, I figure that's a better place than what he was doing...

As for placing it on internet-encyclopedia - I don't know what the SPOV would be, possibly something about the importance of goatse to /. trolling? :) -- Pakaran 03:08, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Urgh. I need to go wash my brain out with soap now. -- Finlay McWalter 03:16, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Thanks for pointing out my bizarre comments on VfD. I've moved it to the right place now, so hopefully it makes more sense. :) Angela


Original Barnstar.png
Finlay, for your tireless work here, I'd like to award you the barnstar. →Raul654 03:32, Feb 6, 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for expanding and correcting my typing on the HMS Dorsetshire article. I really shouldn't contribute without sleeping first. :-) -Isomorphic 16:36, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

My pleasure. This is what I like about wikipedia - you do something, I expand on it, you fix that, someone else adds something else. All the best articles are written this way. -- Finlay McWalter 16:45, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

noted problem user "Angela" hijacks our hero's beautiful prose for her own twisted purpose[edit]

I hope you don't mind (revert if you do), but I pinched the chicken soup section of your user page for the guide to dealing with wikistress at meta. Angela. 18:01, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

My pleasure. Your "Assume stupidity not malice" link could easily resolve to Hanlon's razor, in the absence of a Life is like a branch of Dixons article. -- Finlay McWalter 18:13, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

[1] :) Angela. 21:22, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

thanks for the welcome(s)[edit]

Thanks for the kind welcome and the links, Finlay. I appreciate both. Thalia/Karen 02:51, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)

I second Thalia's motion. I appreciate newbie helpers! Say, has anyone done an article on that standard graphics teapot yet? Alba 01:24, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

in this weeks episode, Angela destroys finlays freetime forever[edit]

Hi Finlay, I've nominated you for adminship. Please reply on Wikipedia:Requests for adminship if you accept the nomination or not. Thanks and good luck. Angela. 03:38, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Thanks :) As polls should stay open for at least a week, I'll refrain from replying until that time is up. -- Finlay McWalter 18:18, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)


When it comes to the Leanders, it is both a frigate and light cruiser, depending on what time period you are looking at. In fact, from what I can tell, there have been three Leander-classes during Royal Navy history. The first Leander to be the name ship of a class was a late 19th century cruiser. Then comes the light cruiser you are thinking of, during and prior to WWII. The frigate was a postwar vessel, in service from the 1960s to the 1980s.

David Newton 02:28, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I'm honoured :) Muriel Victoria

  • "Wikipedia - also known as Unemployed Ph.D Deathmatch": I like your sense of humour. I'm not yet unemployed, i'm still working on it :) Muriel Victoria


Ackkkkk. Thanks :) Tualha 16:15, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

machinery of freedom[edit]

Thanks for editing the The Machinery of Freedom article for NPOV. Perhaps I should have been bold, but I know the fellow, so I was hesitant. Now if only someone who's read it will expand the stub... Thalia/Karen 22:03, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

poof, I'm an admin[edit]

You're now an administrator. -- Tim Starling 03:16, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)

Congrats! :) Angela. 03:37, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Thanks! Merry Christmas! mythrandir 19:15. 24 Dec 2003 (EST)


Thanks for the information at village pump. Merry Christmas! Ensiform


Good response to the anon comment (re:redirection) on the Village pump. --Raul654 14:14, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it's technically a troll, but I suspect some disgruntled delete-ee or borderline vandal. You know, we should have a wikipedia:Prognostications of Doooom page to keep all these "unless you do X the wikipedia will die!" predictions. Some of them are rather amusing. -- Finlay McWalter 14:22, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

KF on Kahn[edit]

Thanks for supporting my (absolutely harmless) article on Otto Hermann Kahn, and thanks for the compliment. And a Happy New Year to you! --KF 03:14, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)

"remarkably orc-free"[edit]

Amusing, but Tolkien's not my only interest you know ;) — Jor 01:41, Jan 7, 2004 (UTC)

italics song titles[edit]

Per your edit at bagpipes -- albums are in italics, songs in quotes. See music standards. Thanks! Tuf-Kat 21:37, Jan 7, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, I didn't know that (makes sense, I suppose). Per your "two different" question - yes, one is title of the music, the other is the title of the lyric. The two have independent lives, in the same way that the music most commonly used for God Save the Queen is also used for the national anthems of at least two other countries (including Estonia, I think). -- Finlay McWalter 21:51, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

City Lights[edit]

Thanks. I tried City Lights, City Lights Books, City Lights Bookshop, but never thought of bookstore, stupidly. I will, eventually, get linking right and appreciate the fact that you have fixed a number of my errors recently. Bmills 13:10, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC)

no es una problema. I think I'll make a redirect for City Lights Bookshop -- Finlay McWalter 13:15, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Buen idea. Bmills 13:22, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I apologies for the pedantry in advance. In Spanish words ending in "ma" (apparently something to do with being Greek in origin) are typically masculine overriding the normal rule that words ending in "a" are feminine. Therefore "No es un problema".

Clark Air Base[edit]

Thanks for your comment and for spotting the Clark Field entry! I have redirected it and incorporated the other material. Clark Field was a term only used from 1919 to 1948 while it was under U.S. Army control. Clark Air Force Base is also incorrect as (1) I lived there three years and know personally, and (2) the U.S. Air Force has a policy for using "Air Force Base" domestically and "Air Base" overseas -- why, I don't know, but that's what they do.

Anyhow thanks for taking note and helping with the entry!

Jade Hamblyn[edit]

I deleted all content from this page. Thank you for the help and your patience. -- User:Jade Hamblyn

Username trick[edit]

Thanks for the Username trick :-) --Merovingian 23:21, Jan 20, 2004 (UTC)

Images for deletion[edit]

Thanks WormRunner 20:53, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Utah Teapot[edit]

I just finished reading your Utah Teapot article and thouroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the great work! Sennheiser 23:48, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Jack vs Tannin[edit]

Don't give trolls ideas, please. You really shouldn't have suggested that Jack bring up Tannins de-adminship, that was most naughty;-) -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 01:30, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)

Please review my clarification at wikipedia:conflicts between users Jack 02:24, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Misterrick reporting more vandalism[edit]


Please see Wikipedia:Vandalism_in_progress because there has been another incident of vandalism by

I left a reply at your talk page. Not a very positive one, I'm afraid ;) -- Finlay McWalter 03:27, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The mysterious case of the warsaw radio mast[edit]


No, there's no mention about the radio mast on Wikipedia-PL. I've found some interesting and I think trustworthy information on the (Polish) net. As far as I can remember there were no victims and some web pages also say so. Kpjas 00:02, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for dog agility comment[edit]

Yikes, navigation here is both wonderful within Wikipedia and a little harrowing among its various tools and communication devices. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I can't figure out what y'all must be clicking on to get that nifty username link & date stamp at the ends of your posts.

Ha!-- found it in my welcome mail. Elf 00:56, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Thank you for correcting me on HMS Serapis and your welcoming me to the Wikipedia community. Yes, I have posted articles anonymously. -- User:YanA

About Elf[edit]

Finlay, good suggestion. As a rule, I revert any anon edits to real User pages that don't seem altruistic. I did in fact suspect that Elf got logged out and that it was he/she who did the edit, but because it was about being in the military and seemed a bit fishy, better safe than sorry. However, I will indeed drop a note to explain, in case it weirded Elf out. Thanks! Fuzheado 05:06, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

European settlers[edit]

Hello, what an exciting user page you've got ("Wikipedia has crashed" etc.), and there will always be people like me who believe it at first.

Well, back to the European settlers: There is a larger problem looming behind this, and it is also paradoxical. On the one hand contributors are encouraged to wikify their texts so that others can then start writing new articles.

On the other hand, if someone, most likely a newby, actually writes an article and comes up with what has been stigmatized as a "dictionary definition", the deletionists have a field day.

In other words, links should be created very carefully in order to avoid tension and unnecessary work later on. Europeans settled all over the world, so this title is absolutely misleading.

All the best, <KF> 17:16, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for markup on dog agility photos[edit]

Dang, I thought I tried what you suggested but probably fumble-fingered it. Thanks for straightening it out. This wiki newbie is learning wiki standards in leaps and bounds. Meanwhile, do you/anyone have suggestions on more wikilike formatting or presention of the lists of definitions in the dog agility page (faults, games, obstacles...)? If you can point me to a page or pages with appropriate formatting, I'm really good at copying. :-) Elf 21:36, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thanks again & again for your responses on my talk page. *Is* there a CSS for wikipedia that one could reference in markup? Elf 04:48, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC) Also, I tried out the wiki table markup you found; works OK. Elf 05:02, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

div and tables[edit]

Hi, I thought I'd thank you for explaining here, rather than on the village pump, which is a bit bloaty at the moment. By the way, you're "Wikipedia's database server has crashed." message made me curse, not again. Ha ha. Cheers, Fabiform 01:29, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

You're welcome. The real thing that I really want (but daren't mention on VP) is for wikimarkup to be "closed" - i.e. that there is no HTML or CSS, and no need for them. This will come in handy in a few years time when we want to transcode not into HTML, but into XHTML or whatever the latest whizzy post-web technology is. Translating something structural and abstract like wikimarkup into something different will be straight forward (ish), but translating (often browser specific) HTML/CSS into the new new thing will be a lot harder. -- Finlay McWalter 01:58, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Hey, whomever made the stub article MIT Lincoln Laboratory did a good job (most anon new articles are very poor by comparison). Say, why don't you create an account - there are many (well, several) advantages - see Wikipedia:Why create an account?. Thanks. -- Finlay McWalter 03:07, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Whoever made the stub made the stub. Use "who" in subjects and "whom" in objects. Michael Hardy 21:32, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Stirling Uni[edit]

Er, what's happened to the talk page? (no link to edit it)

And I nominate you to climb Dumyat. I am too lazy! I might have some other general pics of the campus on cd somewhere, I'll have to go and have a look... fabiform | talk 23:37, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hmm, I get an edit link no problem. You can always nominate me on Wikipedia:nominations for freezing to death if you want. Incidentally, the photo on Crag and tail is from about halfway up Dumyat (on the most oppressively humid day) and shows tiny scraps of the university. Not really idea, I'll admit. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:43, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
There's still no left hand/bottom of the page when I load it. Every other wikipedia page seems to be working for me. :( Lovely picture on Crag and tail by the way, it almost makes me want to climb it. Almost! fabiform | talk 23:53, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

our hero protects "USA PATRIOT act", and soon regrets doing so[edit]

As far as I'm concerned it's over, finally he let the link standing. As you can see I reverted only once, the other times were attempts to include what apparently he felt was so important. Thanks for protecting it now. Jor 02:24, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Well, I must say I found the tone of the note you left on my Talk page a bit obnoxious; you are not a superior person to me because you're "above" being concerned with the article's content or because you're an admin. In any event, (a) the "revert war" had already ended, which you apparently did not notice (pointed out by Darkelf, too); (b) I did not violate the "more than three times" rule, I made only three reverts; (c) I stand by my characterization that changing "Patriot" to "Pat Riot" is vandalism. In addition, I resent your implication that I need "calming" and would suggest that in the future you be more respectful towards contributors who are working to make Wikipedia a better resource. -- VV 02:44, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you took things that way- please accept my assurance that wasn't the tone I meant to project. When I say I don't care about whose right or wrong that's your guarantee that I'm not going to take sides. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:51, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Don't worry about it - that little warning is far, far too easy to miss IMHO. Pakaran. 02:57, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Ooh... that page was protected? It looked decent to me, and such... sorry if I disrupted its protectiveness :). ugen64 02:29, Feb 6, 2004 (UTC)

168 asks Finlay to vote[edit]

Take the Sysop Protection Pledge Poll?168... 00:54, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The problem with umlauting the titles is that when people search for "Laocoon" - which is what 99% of searchers will do - they are not led to the articles. There must be redirects from the unumlauted forms. Adam 04:08, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

There are. When one moves a page, the software automagically leaves behind a redirect. So there is Laocoon and Laocoon and his Sons. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:42, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Then why does the Google-Wikipedia search device not lead the reader to either article? Adam 12:05, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Because google doesn't have a real-time image of wikipedia. It crawls us incrementally, on roughly a weekly basis (and even then, doesn't always crawl everything). Their search is based on the pages in their last crawl, so it might take a week or two for the pages to appear in Google's copy. Note google's cache of your user page [2] doesn't contain the Laocoon reference that you subsequently added to it. If mediawiki's own search functionality were turned on, then a search would find both articles (but then mediawiki's search function isn't nearly as smart as google's, particularly with respect to misspellings and accented characters). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:31, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I see. Adam 12:58, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Shorts Sunderland[edit]

Thanks for the note. I moved Short Sunderland to Shorts Sunderland. Sennheiser! 22:20, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

U.S. Highway 110[edit]

It looks pretty good, I added a little, but it wasn't outrageous. Thanks for the heads up. RickK 02:53, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Great, thanks for checking it out. I was worried it was another non-existent one. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:55, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Hi, Finlay. I was just wondering: is there some kind of tutorial/FAQ that could explain how to actually use sysop powers? For example, I don't appear to be able to edit protected pages; there's no "Edit this page" anywhere on the main page, or on other protected pages I've visited to test. Also, how does one go about deleting a page? Thanks. the only admin with a sillier name than yours

Not really. There's some stuff linked from Wikipedia:Administrators, but I see on the List of administrators part of that page that you aren't listed, which would suggest that you've not been "sysoped". When you are, you can edit protected pages (it's rather too easy to do so without noticing), you'll see that anon accounts have a "block" option on "recent changes" and your watchlist, and there's a couple of new things in "special pages" (it's really _vastly_ underwhelming, frankly). (I do see that you're on Wikipedia:Recently_created_admins#Meelar). If you can't edit the main page then you should leave a message for Tim Starling, as you may have fallen between the cracks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:23, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Mara Jade, Emperor's Hand[edit]

Just in case you're not still watching Mara Jade, I've done my best to explain the "Emperor's Hand" bit. Think it works? Jor 15:35, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, that's a lot better. This is the trouble with all too many of the "deep subject" wikipedia articles (tolkien, bible, starwars, science, etc.) - that one doesn't get decent context from the opening sentence, or that too much is assumed about the reader's knowledge of the subject. I pity the poor alien archeologist who picks out a CD of wikipedia from the ashes of earth and spends his life trying to figure out whether Angmar is part of Scandinavia :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:50, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Re: "Rosenzweigian calm"[edit]

Thanks? :) Assuming it's intended for me (or both Vicki and I), and assuming it recognizes the kind of reasoned dialogue I strive for, and not simply near-comatose sloth. :) Happy editing, Jwrosenzweig 17:34, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It was indeed you, and I think your awesome ability to deal with idiots whose necks I would gladly snap has gone unpraised for much too long. I don't know how you do it, although I've discovered that pumping out some reps with my (long neglected) barbells does seem to alleviate wikistress - and I swear it's giving me discernable "wikipedia muscles" :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:50, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Thanks--sometimes I surprise myself. :) I almost lost it with Anthony a couple of nights ago, but somehow I keep reminding myself that we can keep this ship righted if we don't all become trolls (as some accuse us admins of being). I do fume, though, and so a well-placed word of praise does much to keep my particular style of conflict resolution humming. :) I really do appreciate it: thanks again. Jwrosenzweig 18:26, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean ;) Try the dumbells thing! -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:41, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
While I'm here, I should take time to note that I've really appreciated your own contributions (not the least of which is, as many have said, a great name). :) I hope that your Wikimuscles allow you to type ever more proficiently so that we can get refining edits out of you at even higher speeds. :) See you around the Wiki, Jwrosenzweig 18:39, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Shucks :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:41, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Statute of limitations[edit]

Did I understand you correctly on the Reference Desk? In the UK, if I, for example, shoplifted a sweater in 1965 and admitted it to a policeman today, I could be brought into court on charges of theft? I had no idea the concept was fact I'd always suspected it was one of the many things we borrowed from Britain. Jwrosenzweig 21:19, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Well, yes and no. Yes, in theory, but no (or almost certainly not) in practice. In both the UK and the US one has the right to a fair trial, but the US legal system is keen to define what "fair" is, using supposedly objective terms. So the US system carries an assumption that after a certain point in time it is impossible to receive a fair trial (that one cannot locate evidence, witnesses, or that the memories of those concerned will have decayed too much). So even if one stole that sweater during the international memorisation championships, where 100 noted memory-champions all clearly saw you, your actions were recorded by dozens of independent documentary film makers, and all present (including yourself) made immediate comtemporanoues affadavits (with the presence of counsel) you still couldn't be tried. British law just doesn't have this mandatory assumption. But the upshot is largely the same, as plenty of jurisprudence exists to say reliable evidence has to exist, and that the same recourse to reliable testimony be achievable, and any court will place (fairly commonsense) limitations based on the circumstances. So the lack of formality will give as much as it takes, and your case might very well be dropped after only 18 months due to the difficulty in proving anything after even that timeframe. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:59, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
What a remarkably enlightened system. Thanks for the response, which is quite informative and more energy on your part than I could have reasonably asked. :) I will be in the UK briefly this July, and based on your advice, will confine my illegal procuration of knitted goods to towns in which no memorisation championship is taking place. :) Thanks again, Jwrosenzweig 22:02, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
On a less enlightened note, the UK now has far more cameras (street, store, bar, traffic, speed, etc.) than anywhere else, mostly because local councils heavily subsidise them (on the unproven theory that they deter crime), so the memory champions won't be there, but the documentary film makers will. So caveat raptor. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:15, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
What's this British law? My training hammered into me that there's English law and Scots law, which is different, but comes to much the same thing. Shouldn't make a difference in this case, I hope. P.S many thanks for the excellent geology in Prehistoric Scotland, dave souza 23:04, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Different systems, and different bills, but enacting enacting the same law. The only substantive differences I know of are Scotland's silly "not proven" verdict, and Scotland's enlightened view that car-clamping is a species of extortion. I have some real geology (rather than mere tectonics) to add to "deep prehistory", but summing it up in two sentences is proving to be tough. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:30, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
you've presumably not tried buying / selling a house in both countries then- remember gazumping? IANAL, but recall verbal contracts being different, building regs have always been very different; not usually big issues. Trivially, I think you'd a reply earlier that's vanished about being in Houston, tempting the question "Houston, Renfrewshire?". Await geology with interest--dave souza 13:06, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

the mysterious case of the weird comment alterations[edit]

Thank you for the heads up regarding changes made to my words on that talk page. I have removed my comment. OneVoice 02:37, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

No problem. It's one of wikipedia's great weaknesses that one's words can be subtly altered, sometimes in an invidious manner. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:44, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Screen readers[edit]

I tried a Google search ([3]) which turned up a few possibilities. HTH HAND --Phil 14:41, Feb 12, 2004 (UTC)


Firstly, thankyou for the nomination - it is appreciated.

You are aware of the problems we've been having over at DNA. As you are not involved and the presiding admin User:Cyan has, hopefully temporarily, left Wikipedia maybe you wouldn't mind unprotecting the page and inserting the following intro passage which we have agreed upon:

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid which carries genetic instructions for the biological development of all cellular forms of life and many viruses. DNA is sometimes referred to as the molecule of heredity as it is inherited and used to propagate traits. During reproduction, it is replicated and transmitted to offspring.
In bacteria and other simple cell organisms, DNA is distributed more or less throughout the cell. In the complex cells that make up plants, animals and in other multi-celled organisms, most of the DNA is found in the chromosomes, which are located in the cell nucleus. The energy generating organelles known as chloroplasts and mitochondria also carry DNA, as do many viruses.

I think that it would also be wise to add a comment into the source saying something like, "Please do not modify the first two paragraphs. Instead, suggest putative modifications on the talk page."

Thanks! Stewart Adcock 17:26, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Followup: Don't worry about my request... it's done. Stewart Adcock 17:48, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'm glad you guys came to an agreement, and the agreed upon passages appear to be a triumph of specificity. Rozenweigian calm, by the way, is explained above. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:14, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

A Kiss Before Dying[edit]

Just read your summary of A Kiss Before Dying on the reference desk and I just about died laughing! You think the shirker got an A on his/her paper?Elf 23:54, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. You never know (perhaps he has a lazy teacher too). If you've not found it, there's some side-splitters in Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense (four or five pages of nonsense). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:12, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

my apologies[edit]

I realize that my past actions have been juvenille. I take full responsibilites for my actions, but I would like you to know that I never meant to hurt you or anyone else. I am truly sorry for what I have done, and I would like to start with a clean slate. Please forgive me, as all I can do now is promise not to repeat past mistakes. This apology comes from my heart. Once again, I am extremely sorry. Sincerely, AlexPlank

Stirling Uni[edit]

I saw the new picture earlier, and you're right that it's a better picture for the article. I do note however that you chose not to freeze your ass off climbing Dumayat - what a cop out! If I ever get around to fleshing out the article (it's very stubby at the moment), my "artistic" shot might do for a second or third picture further down the page, which is all it was ever really meant to be. Thanks for letting me know, by the way. And with the new syntax you can't offer links to other pics, you have to use the old methods (a table or div) which is all a bit clunky! :) fabiform | talk 18:10, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I added three alumni that have wikipedia pages (there's probably more, but that's all I could find). I can't really think of what else to add. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:53, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well, I'm not handing you a to-do list here you understand, but things that leap to mind are: the subjects/faculties the university specialises in, the teaching and research evaluations/inspections results; more about the main campus (cotrell & pathfoot; facilities on campus, bookshop, pharmacy, doctors, akrams, etc; golf course; elements open to the local community (library for example); more info on the highlands campus; why was the university needed?; what's the mixture of local v. rest of UK students, and v. students from abroad; what's the balance between undergraduates and postgraduates; how does stirling rank compared to other scottish/uk universities?; one could get down and dirty with a mention of the GP at the campus practice who was jailed for molesting male patients; or one could delve into the history of airthrey estate before it became home to the university; who's in charge; have we mentioned Diana Rigg?; etc. I haven't looked at the articles for other universities in particular, so they might give even more ideas. :) fabiform | talk 19:34, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)
"Trivia: Michael Connarty's wife was my primary 7 schoolteacher." If I had a favourite quotes page, that'd go on it! :) I guessed that someone had done stubs for all Westminster MPs, but I was a bit surprised to see that no one had done the same at least for the Scottish Executive (if not all the MSPs). fabiform | talk 20:42, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for reverting the caption ("A Landseer painting of a Landseer.")

BTW I had considered photoshopping in the drool that Landseer, for some unaccountable reason, omitted to include in his painting, but decided that I'd better not overdo it since I'm not sure everyone considers drool encyclopedic. At least one press account of Champion Darbydales's All Rise Pouchcove's victory [4] refers to him as "Josh, a slobbering 155-pound Newfoundland" and notes that "Due to loose lip flews, which allow them to breathe while they are dragging something in their mouths, Newfoundlands drool a lot. They can fling slobber up to six metres." Dpbsmith 02:34, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The caption (while I think it is trying to be funny) turns out to be somewhat confusing. Perhaps "A Landseer, painted by Edwin Landseer" or something like that. Or maybe I've been fighting vandal too long, and can't see the humour in anything. I just recommended wikipedia to a friend of mine, and she raved over it, telling me of of humourous it was - I wanted to ask her for the locations of this supposed hilarity, so that I might crush it immediately. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:48, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Did Finlay quit? A mystery appears, and is (partially) resolved[edit]

What was the blanking for? You're not leaving I hope. :( Angela. 00:19, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)

Totally agreed! Finlay, please do stick around. We need you and more like you! Jwrosenzweig 00:24, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Amen to that. This place needs your sense of humor! Meelar 00:26, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Finlay - thank you for the very timely information on my talk page. And don't let the situation with Plautus get you discouraged - it was my call, and I'm going to stick to my guns. →Raul654 03:59, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)
Dearest Finlay, our finest named and best sense of humoured sysop! Thank you for your concern. I am out of here but i forgot to add "for the following two weeks" since i was in a hurry to catch a plane. I just hope you dont leave!! Hoping to hear from you, Muriel 15:02, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Thanks everyone for your kind words. I'm taking a wikiholiday, I suppose. I'll come back when I have something constructive to do. Muriel: another international trip? Remind me not to be reincarnated as your neglected cat. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:12, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Nice to see you here! I have the blessing of a job that makes me travel a lot. From the pictures i intend to contribute when i return, you can find where i am now. :) Muriel 14:27, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC) (Ps: MG is indeed real - who would invent something like it, to cite somebody i know - although misspelt on purpose; not ginger, fortunately.)

Welcome back[edit]

Welcome back Finlay. It's good to see you again. →Raul654 17:36, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks (although I'm not really all that back). I see the wiki remains in the same state of benign misrule that it was. Penny Arcade has a cartoon that seems to accurately sum the wiki up perfectly: [5]. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:53, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hope you can stick around now and then, though! It is a better, saner place when you are here. Good to see your name on the Village pump... Jwrosenzweig 16:54, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. Anywhere that is saner when I'm here must be very troubled indeed. I plan on contributing mostly by making up more facetious replies to folks wanting their homework done for them (I'm very tempted to write some baloney about seabirds to the "U-Tern" guy on Wikipedia:Reference Desk :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Voter ambiguities[edit]

Thanks, I moved it. Danny 01:01, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

ChrisO's images[edit]

Hi Finlay,

I've added a catalogue of my images as requested - see User:ChrisO. More to come over the weekend... -- ChrisO 02:33, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Super, thanks. That's quite a portfolio - you should add yourself to Wikipedia:Wikipedians/Photographers. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:06, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Invisible teapot[edit]

For some reason (at least for me) the Utah teapot image on the POV-Ray article is invisible (as it is on the Utah teapot article). On the image page, clicking on the image link brings up blankness. Strangely, the thumbnail on your user page works, though. Is the image visible for you? -- Wapcaplet 19:24, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it is. I just checked it on mozilla, ie6, opera7.23 (all win32) and konqueror and galleon (linux-x86) and it looks fine on all. I'd usually say "cacheing", but the image in question was uploaded months ago. The most likely remaining explanation is that your computer is posessed by evil and should be stoned. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:51, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. I'm using Mozilla Firefox 0.8 on Linux. Indeed, clearing the cache (just in case) did not help. Anyhow, I downloaded the image and it displays perfectly in another viewer, and it even displays perfectly in Firefox when viewed from the local copy I downloaded, which makes it unlikely that it's a Firefox PNG-rendering problem. And get this - when I view the blank image (or the articles which contain it) in Firefox and hit "Page info", the "Media" tab shows me a nice description of the image, along with the image itself, which displays fine there too. Exceedingly strange. Evil possession is the only reasonable explanation. -- Wapcaplet 23:12, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I just installed firefox 0.8 (ugh, ugleee) on my RH9 box and both the POV-ray and Utah pages render the image perfectly. All I can suggest is that you do lots of redcarpet updates (or stoning, like I said before). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:35, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Much thanks[edit]

Thank you for taking my nomination down. As I said when I requested it be taken down, I was surprised at how different what the stated guidelines are from what people actually give as reasons behind their vote but rest assured, I do not take it personally. After witnessing what sometimes bordered on the fallacy of the ad hominem attack in the voting process (aimed at someone who met fully the posted guidelines and who had never gotten into an edit war) it was refreshing to have someone go out of their way to say something considerate and I appreciate it. I will continue to add to the project as this relatively minor incident has not dented my enthusiasm for the goal here. However I will go on with the occasional typo or mistake of course :) In my meanderings though wikipedia I hope to cross your path again. Qaz 00:14, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I should say, in defence of the ad-hominants (!) that we do get a lot of trolls, freaks, and assholes of various sorts. The trouble is that those who daily fight off the undoubted hoard of bigots, degenerates, fascists, trolls, and escaped psychiatric patients lose the ability to distinguish between the normal and the abberant. It does make one somewhat hard to the world, occasionally to the detriment of normal human relations, and I think you may have fallen into that space between those who folks trusted and those of whom they had suspicions. I'm of the firm belief that only the dull toiling masses of wikipediadome should be gived adminship - because they're so boring one can be sure they won't abuse it. Go fix some typos. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:02, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The guildline should maybe be changed then. Why have it say one thing but have that just be setting people up for getting shot down? Change it to say: You must have little to no life outside of Wikipedia. You must be a dullard to the nth degree and your dullness should be a marvel to the entire community of which you are a denizen. To reiterate, the undull need not apply. If you are at all lacking in dullness please move along. You must provide months and months.. and some further months (not that silly 3 month bit of propaganda) of practical evidence of your supreme abilty to bore and disintrest. If you have met all these conditions, please go get yourself a little dulled down before proceeding further.
If the guildlines bared such truths to the masses, it might prevent some of the boarderline interesting from wandering into the crossfire. Then again, maybe not :) Qaz 02:45, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Scotch pics[edit]

Thanks for the photos in the Single Malt article. They're great! I've moved them around, as the "div" was causing problems on my browser, the text was overlaping the photos.

Thanks again, Gentgeen 02:05, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Pelagic zone[edit]

Hi.. I'd just like to say, great work on pelagic zone! It's very much appreciated. :) -- Hadal 03:52, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Praise from Caesar. Of course I forgot the neritic zone, and I regret not calling it "Pelagic realm" (but there'd be too many double redirects to fix if I were to move it now). And I'll need to split photic into euphotic and dysphotic (although I don't think I'll make two articles, just two sections in photic). And lastly (and worsely) there's the mucho zones of the benthic realm. All of this needs a diagram, which is turning out to be rather hard to draw well. Damn, I wish I'd never watched Finding Nemo now. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 13:09, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Village Dump[edit]

Just wanted to say thanks for your answer on the village dump page (concerning opera browser). BrianHansen 21:38, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Libyan Air on Arab[edit]

It would be nice if you could add arabic writting of Libyan Arab Airlines. BTW I added picture of Hands of Victory -- Avala 18:33 5 Apr 2004

I'd love to, but unfortunately I don't speak a word of arabic. You can find someone who does at m:Wikipedia Embassy - perhaps try User:Isam, who is listed as an arabic ambassador and who also seems to be active right now on the en: wikipedia. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:52, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

i'm not sexy[edit]

Finlay McWalter blocked "I am sexy" with an expiry time of infinite (account created only for trolling, conduct clearly indicates a reincarnation of an old, bad wikipedian)

Which old, bad Wikipedian? — 22:06, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

who can say. all these sociopaths look the same to me. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:02, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Fortunately, (or hopefully) you are not employed in a clinical setting that requires diagnosis and treatment of people exhibiting sociopathic behavior. From my often accused point of view, all humans look pretty much the same to me, with minor differences in approach and in the ability to use language to relate with other humans. Sometimes all prejudice looks the same to me, which usually invokes in my mind childhood memories of pointy white hoods beneath which empty eyes peer outwards; thoughts that often bleed to scenes of a revered leader who tried to bring some humanity to a troubled world dying on a Memphis balcony.
Anyway, if you are a fan of copyediting, maybe you could do some more on the strategery article. I frequently copyedit for hire, and I know the date formats do not conform to style, but I had not the patience to improve my donation to a community where members who are licensed physicians use colloquial insults to categorize those they do not understand. Dubya's donations 20:31, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)


I like the improvements that you made to my revisions of pelagic. Good stuff. User:Magicmike 08 April 2004.

Thanks, I'm glad you approve. We really need a diagram, showing the dimersal and neiritic stuff too, but I've tried and failed to produce anything worthwhile. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:02, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Special Air Service[edit]

Thanks for the input, I'm new around here and I thought that I was signed on

yeah, it's easy to not notice. I check the "remember my password across sessions" box on the login screen, and configure my personal firewall to make sure it allows the persistent cookie that wikipedia sets. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:22, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Thanks, I'll fix it. RickK 02:39, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Voila: Mr Benn. It probably needs a copyedit and a bit more wikification, and a few more pages linking to it. I now know more than anyone could ever need to know about Mr Benn. :) fabiform | talk 16:00, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Wow! That is fantastic! I never knew there was so much to it - lets face it, its only surviving impact on modern culture is the "as if by magic...appeared" line which (like "and here's one I made earlier") is probably used by lots of people who have absolutely no idea from where it comes. If we could find a photo this should surely be a featured article. Thanks, and well done ! -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:22, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not sure it's quite feature-worthy, but we could probably nab a picture or two from the external links. There's a few things I didn't manage to find out, so I worked around them - how long the episodes were (10 or 15 minutes?) and when was it first broadcast (70 or 71?). fabiform | talk 09:13, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I don't mind being a he, or even a shhe... I just thought I'd correct it while I was there - thanks for the compliment, by the way. Oh, you never replied to me here, did I remember correctly? :) fabiform | talk 15:59, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I believe it was "I can't believe he's not better". In my defense, that was April Fools Day. I think it's the science fiction novels of Iain Banks which featured a language with nine different personal pronouns, to accomodate its society's plurality of gender. But sie/her is ugly (sounds horribly german). From now on, I'll call everyone "it". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:54, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Mr Hass's trips[edit]

Hello, Finlay. A Matura trip (Austrian and Swiss original: Maturareise) is a journey made by former classmates more or less immediately after taking their final exams, almost always some time in June (so that former teachers are usually not able to come along as they have to teach other classes). In the good (?) old days when I went to school it was, say, a three-week coach trip through Greece (including Crete and all that); today it is mostly one (rather pointless) week in an all-inclusive club on a Turkish beach without any sightseeing. I've seen videos advertising that kind of holiday, and they practically guarantee you that during your stay there'll be no time for you to sober up and that the mess you make will be cleaned away immediately. Getting drunk and (possibly, hopefully, tentatively) laid also used to be implicit parts of the trip decades ago, but now they are the only reasons people go there and mentioned explicitly.

So you were right about the lager but not about the duration. I don't think you could compare a Matura trip with a gap year, let alone a Grand Tour.

All the best, <KF> 15:46, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. Yes, this really isn't the grand tour :) In Britain we call this a "Sun Sea Sex" holiday (which a government health video once described as a "Sun Sea Sex Syphillis" holiday). It's nice to see that at least Herr Hass used is more productively. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:40, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for image list[edit]

Thanks for the list of my Image uploads -- I want to make sure everything is tagged correctly. You're a kind soul! Catherine - talk 05:09, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Your sense of humor[edit]

Finlay - I love your sense of humor. Your comments always crack me up. Your recent ones over at the reference desk re:Bridget Riley were great. Since you already have a barnstar, I hereby award you the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (although since we don't have a suitable picture, the Hero of Labor pic will have to do)... and may god have mercy on your soul. →Raul654 06:07, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Well, thanks. I'm cursed, you know: people think I'm kidding far more often than I really am. Almost all Bridget Reilly pictures really are a bunch of zigzag lines, and an exhibition of dozens of the things at the Tate Britain really did give me a migraine. And I believe I did see some defense contractor was trying to use large projection systems to draw annoying moving patterns on things, to make snipers' jobs more difficult. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:31, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Yanbu' al Bahr[edit]

You are very welcome. Your articles are great already.. my additions are barly called touches :) -- Isam 19:30, 5 May 2004 (UTC)


Your homepage has provided me with nice wallpapers for one good many week. :-) The flowers are a bit flashy, but the winter scenes are my favourites. --Menchi 23:12, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Wow, so you're the visitor of the week. I'm glad you liked 'em (although they're really a bit small for backgrounds - there's a proper background page here, although it's mostly more flashy flowers). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:23, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh[edit]

Good edit! - It certainly reads much better than it did - thanks. A good article about a great designer. -- Agendum 23:12, 8 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks - I mostly added text to fill up the gaps between my photos :) This has the makings of a really interesting article, but there's so much to do, and several hard-to-get images to find. I added a TODO to the talk page, just as an aid to my own memory. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:13, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

very nice extended metaphor[edit]

That's a mighty nice extended Wild West metaphor you used on the Village Pump. Where's do all the dance-hall gals and widder-women hang out? <G> - Nunh-huh 01:34, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

I think there aren't any - I kinda suspect the real wild-west wasn't full of 'em either. One can take extended metaphors and allegories too far - witness those who watch The Lord of the Rings and try to figure out who is supposed to represent Jesus :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:47, 12 May 2004 (UTC)
We'll leave that aside (is there really any question?<G>). But I'm disappointed that Gunsmoke has so misled me about the widder-women! - Nunh-huh 03:15, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

Byzantine art[edit]

Thanks for fixing the caption, I couldn't see what the problem was. Why does putting a colon in a caption cause the font to change? Adam 04:32, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't entirely know - it's either the parser mistaking it for the namespace separator, or it mistaking it for the paragraph indent mark. It's a bug, either way, and I'll probably file a bug report accordingly. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 09:32, 12 May 2004 (UTC)


"oink" not "ink". Oh, and I slightly prefer moink (lowercase 'm') to Moink. moink 22:16, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

okay dokey. dare i ask why this is the case? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:18, 13 May 2004 (UTC)
The rhyme or the lowercase? Doesn't matter, I don't have a good answer to either. It's just my chosen name. moink 22:19, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

Weather pictures[edit]

A couple of questions:

1> Image:mackerelskybig.jpg and Image:redskyatnight.jpg are my images (I appreciate Jwrosenzweig's kindness in nominating them) and while I am happy to allow general non-commercial use, I do not want them showing up at some point as part of a Burger King commercial. The whole business of which license to use on an image has become substantially more complicated in the past few weeks, to the point where, IMHO, only those people who regularly do this have any kind of clue what's going on. All I want is to ensure no one can make money off an image I've given for free, and that when someone uses it, I get at least 'Photo: DWindrim' added. How can I do that and meet your requirement for featured pic?

2> You say 'As a secondary issue, the images are a bit small, and the image pages aren't wikified.' Since these are my images, I can make them pretty much any size I like. How big would you like them? And how does one wikify an image page? Short of linking to my talk page, I don't see much to wikify.

3>While I have your attention, it seems to me you've worked a bit with images, so a question. Wiki is quite insistent that you take care in naming your images, because, it seems, uploading an image with the same name as one which is already on file replaces that image. I wish I could get that feature to work for me. Several times, I've made modifications to images, tried to upload them with the same name, and find when I go to use them that even though the page indicates a new image has been uploaded, the same old image is the one that pops up. My only option currently is to rename the image and redirect any links to the new image, a frustrating and picky process, I'm sure you can understand. What am I missing? Denni 01:22, 2004 May 15 (UTC)

Firstly, don't get me wrong - they're both great images, and they pass my biggest FP test (that they really help the article). I really need to cross-examine you for filter advice, as I have a thousand crappy sky pictures :)
No problem. I'm a FirstAssumeGoodFaith kinda guy. WRT filters, always happy to help. With photos showing up more and more often, I've begun the (probably dangerous) task of editing them as boldly as I would text. (See Images of Mumbai and Mumbai (Images) for before/afters of what I have no qualms in doing.)
Regarding licences
I know exactly how you feel regarding commercial exploitation, and I've taken a conscious decision not to upload the "better" of my own photos (gallery at to wikipedia, instead only uploading some workmanlike but plain ones as needed for a specific article.
There's also the issue that a GFDL (or, I think, the noncommercial licence you use) doesn't stop the picture being reused for some very unseemly purpose, so it's always possible they could end up on "" or "" something - but that's the tradeoff you make with "free" licences, I guess. A similar issue exists for wikipedia:Facebook - there's nothing to stop some disgruntled troll from taking someone's photo and making up a wanted poster, or a crude collage ("that's my head on jennifer aniston's body"), all quite legally.
I do think that commercial exploitation should be allowed. If nothing else, Wikimedia really has to be able to sell copies (paper or digital) of wikipedia, and its a consequence of the licence that anyone else can too (it's a commodity, so the cost-to-consumer will quickly be on a cost-plus basis, and so there won't be too much ripping-off of consumers). We need the not-just-wikimedia provision so that, if wikimedia is taken over by crazies (assuming it isn't already) we can publish (and sell, if need be) a sane fork. If there were a "no commercial exploitation in any form other than as part of a nontrivial portion of an encyclopedia" licence then I'd be perfectly happy for FPs to be licensed that way too (it would solve your Burger King concern, without making sale of the encyclopedia impossible). But there isn't such a licence option now.
There are, however, "Attribution" {{msg:cc-by}} and "Attribution-sharealike" {{msg:cc-by-sa}} (infact, I think I'd rather the wikipedia was cc-by-as than GFDL, but that's not my call). Both satisfy my desire that they be commercially exploitable while addressing (to some extent) your understandable desire for credit.
Regarding size
With the advent of the thumbnail image syntax, I've taken to uploading at 800x600 or so. This is large enough to provide interesting detail, but not too big to waste bandwidth, and not big enough for anyone to make a decent hardcopy. That's just my preference, not some fiat I've decided to impose via the FP process. I tend to find it frustrating when I click on a thumbnail and get an image that's just the same size - even if it were double the size of the thumbnail then it'd be worthwhile clicking on it to see more.
Regarding wikification
Again, I'm not in a position to insist on this, but I do think it helps (I confess I've only been doing this lately, but I think it's a good idea - stuff like Image:Wfm glasgow wolfson.jpg seems to be a worthwhile page in and of itself). I've personally taken to putting in the place and date (and time, sometimes) the image was taken. I try to name the things visible in the field (buildings, mountains). So you could say where you took the photos, and when (I think that's relevant and interesting, as those affect the weather), or perhaps link to the appropriate cloud page (stratus cloud or whatever). A good photo might well end up on several pages (like, for example, the cloud page) and a wikified image page makes for a decent bridge connecting the two. Some folks also add information about photographic equipment they used (e.g. Image:Wt9 schleuse3 augustus locks.jpg), which also seems like a good idea to me.
Regarding moving images
I have to confess never having done this, so I don't know of a good way to avoid or fix the problem.
Please forgive me for intruding -- this sounds like a caching issue. Try the suggestions at Wikipedia:Clear your cache. Great pictures, both of you! Catherine - talk 05:06, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Catherine - I'll give it a try. Cache cleaning is an onerous, not-often-enough-done task (like resetting the desktop).
In conclusion
So, to cut a (very) long story short, I'd vote in favour if you licenced the photos under one of the two CC licences above (or GPL, GFDL, BSD, or PD). I'd like it (but it won't influence my vote) if the image were a bit bigger and there was some interesting textual content on the image page. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:59, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
Thank you for your erudite response! I like your idea about using images of adequate quality, but not posting the best. And I will not only change the permissions to the one CC which I found passably acceptable, but begin to employ your excellent idea for annotating images. BTW, one thing I do not do is post thumbs unless the image is bigger than what a thumb already shows. Reason? There is zero control over the size, style, or font used by a thumb box for text. I prefer a small italic to set it off from body text, not some honking big 12-point Geneva or whatever it is. Now I'm off to play. Thanks again, and three cheers for Wikipedia!

A request[edit]

Finlay, althought you don't explicitly say it, from your image gallery, I suspect you're Scotish. Could you add some relavant pictures to History of Scotland? I'd like to make it the featured article for Sunday. →Raul654 03:44, May 15, 2004 (UTC)

Urgh. It's not that good an article, being rather short and skipping some really important stuff. Worse, we don't have at least two of the pictures I think it needs. Don't feature it. If you feel like using a scottish article, Single malt Scotch is featured, has decent photos already, and actually covers the subject fairly completely. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:25, 15 May 2004 (UTC)


Great work with the circlestrafing article! It's absolutely fascinating to see such a good article about such an obscure topic emerge in only a few minutes :) Fredrik 19:27, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, although my experience largely dates from the classic-quake era, and undoubtedly has dated badly. I'm a teensy bit concerned that this stuff isn't already in some other article somewhere, as I remember some discussion on VfD many months ago about a bunch of (one-line) quake-techniques articles. I'll search. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:37, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

There's plenty about jumping in Quake, but I haven't seen anything about this. Fredrik 19:42, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

maybe it was that there were specific (one-liner) articles, and they ended up getting elided into quake. Some stuff certainly belongs there, as it's about exploiting bugs in specific versions of quake. Other stuff, like circlestrafing, works on dozens of games (quake-related and not). So, after reading quake, I'm not worried that circlestrafing is excessive after all. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:43, 18 May 2004 (UTC)


Thanks! Elf | Talk 16:35, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Marshall, Texas Map[edit]

If you can make the map, I will be happy to provide the information; such as the city limits shape and location within the county. -JCarriker 01:36, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

Super, thanks. I think it should resemble the map shown in Wikipedia:WikiProject Cities or at least like Annapolis, Maryland. I'll need to find the blank Texas map, so I've asked on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Cities. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:07, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm uploading a blank map of East Texas that I have edited to portray Marshall, I hope it will assit you in creating your map. You can find it here. I am also going to construct one of TK's word pictures on my sandbox to help you.
-JCarriker 02:42, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

Axial tilt[edit]

Howdy. I've made some updates to Image:Earth tilt sample.jpg. Interested in your comments. -- Wapcaplet 14:44, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Portuguese language[edit]

I've put on the article the sound files you've asked. I'm searching some of Galego and of other areas of Brazil. I know a Galician reintegrationalist site that had somethink like that If you hear let me know your opinion about the dialects, some you can hardly hear. Compare Carioca with Saotomense. And hear the different Portuguese dialects with Nordestino -- its a mixture. Most out-Europe dialects are a mixture. Thanks for the idea! --Pedro 00:35, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

  • You didnt change your position after the update of the article. -Pedro 23:26, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
    • Sorry, I've not been paying much attention today. Yep, I think that makes for a big improvement - I can wholeheartedly support now. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:03, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Wolfgang Borchert and learning project[edit]

Hi Finlay, thanks for your help with the Wolfgang Borchert article. Since you seem to be somehow interested in the portuguese language, as am I, you may want to check may page, where I describe and discuss a project for learning, mainly vocabulary. Please let me know there what you think about it. Get-back-world-respect 20:17, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

No, I fear I'm not especially interested in Portuguese (I just seem to end up editing articles mostly at random). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:46, 28 May 2004 (UTC)


Dear Finlay, i have a favor to ask :). Can you delete Henry IX Pumpnickel, Duke of Pupkewitz for me? it was just a silly thing i created to make a point in VfD, now it should go. I hope i dont get a lecture for disrupting wikipedia from you... Thanks, MvHG 07:46, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

tsk tsk. done. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:28, 28 May 2004 (UTC)


I always can use a good laugh; enjoyed your "no more vacations for you" comment in requests for adminship. That was what I was afraid of the first time I turned down the adminship, too-- :-) Elf | Talk 23:20, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Obscene material[edit]

I would appreciate your not returning obscene material that I have removed. User: Felix F. Bruyns

replied at User talk:Felix F. Bruyns -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:23, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Samson Agonistes[edit]

Thank you for the help on this article. I've edited a few spelling errors but this was the first time I created a whole article from scratch. Being so new to this wikiworld I have to admit I was a bit nervous. It was comforting to see that someone was able to come behind and make sense of all that. I spent a couple hours pulling my research together, so I'm sure it had a couple of tangents, etc.

Thanks again. --Long, Tall Texan 22:17, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

It's an excellent article, and you've gotten the writing style and the level just perfectly. You also use some features I've never done (I especially approve of the wiktionary link). As I don't know anything about the subject (I rarely edit articles I do understand) I'll confine my revisions to formatting etc., and I think I'm already mostly done. It's a great article, and you should be rightly proud of it. A lot of people (vain, arrogant bastards like myself) put an "articles I've edited" section on their user page (this has the side benefit that one can go to that page and hit "related changes" on the sidebar - and one gets a personalised list of changes to articles one has edited). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:35, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Brass Bands[edit]

That didn't take you long to notice! For the moment I've just tweaked a couple of minor things and spolling mistooks, until I get used to it/into the swing of things.


replied at User -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 15:38, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

moved colliery band discussion to Talk:Brass band


You're most welcome for the userpage assistance. :-) It was certainly an odd situation, made perhaps more odd by the fact that I would place you on the short list of Wikipedians with a sense of humor quirky and absurd enough to be amused by anon-vandalizing your own user page. I would place myself on the same list most days, especially if the wind is out of the northwest. I confess I can construct no reasonable explanation for why this person would choose your userpage out of thousands of more accessible and understandable pages here to spam with a link, unless it was the reincarnated spirit of Muriel Gottrop's last cat, wreaking a mild form of vengeance on you for making light of her neglected situation.

While I'm here and in the bizarre mood I seem to be in, here's a tangent. You were kind enough long ago to teach me about the United Kingdom's laws (and to warn me away from pursuing my penchant for theft of woollen items while visiting your country). I wonder if you would answer a few questions for me, if you can/wish to? I will be honeymooning in Rutland this July (is "honeymoon" acceptable British English, btw?) and know little of the county. Are you aware of any sights/sites I should see while in that fair land? And I am having difficulty finding information about public bus transportation in Britain (we will not be renting a car, as I can barely keep one under control in my own country, where I know how long a mile is and I'm used to the side of the road I drive on) - is there a standard fare? Is it simply impossible to find much in the way of bus schedules online, especially for a mroe rural area such as Rutland? If this is outside your expertise, please don't go to any trouble on my account. I just thought to ask it while here. Best wishes as always, and please keep the good sense of humor -- it is always welcome to my eyes, at least. :-) Jwrosenzweig 22:10, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it's called a honeymoon here too - plainly our two languages haven't entirely speciated. Congratulations, btw.
I'm afraid this "England" country of which you speak is largely foreign to me - I can give chapter and verse of where of where to go in Scotland, but I confess I had to read the Rutland article just to figure out where it is (and even then I'm not entirely sure). If you're really into closed coalmines then it's probably the best place to go, other than that I don't believe it's much of a tourist destination.
Other than big cities, I really don't think driving in the UK is terribly hard (the only thing that vexes the visitors is roundabouts - watch mintguy's excellent diagram thereof (on that page) and you'll know everything you need to. British roads are generally better built and much better signposted than their US equivalents, and British freeways are vastly easier to drive (okay, maybe this is just my anti-Caltrans POV, maybe Washington is better). I really think a car is the best idea. One of the UK's most popular (albeit mostly inter-city) bus companies is Stagecoach, while the local bus companies (many privatised municipal companies) have a plethora of unlikely names. Most run between villages and larger towns (for schoolkids and commuters) so they're not really very useful for the tourist. I'm pretty sure there won't be a standard fare, although there are various traveller tickets targeted at the backpacker set. You can't beat the Rough Guide for cheapo stuff like that. I think Rutland's size and the relative modernity of its name will make searching for info on it harder - try Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire.
If you're into castles and stately homes and stuff like that, many (most) are operated by the National Trust, and I believe they sell multi-day tickets that let you into all their properties for a given period. Lately they've taken to buying more conventional properties like apartments and factories, which they preserve in some state of antiquity (if you really are into closed coalmines).
So assuming you're not going to take my obvious advice (don't go to England: it's flat, smelly, and dull, and hopelessly infested with english people), you're probably best asking someone south of Hadrian's Wall. I figure the nearest wikipedians to Rutland are User:Angela, User:G-Man, and maybe User:Pigsonthewing.
Sorry I'm not of more help. Why in the world would you choose Rutland (unless your selection process involved a blindfold and a pin)? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:41, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That's all right -- foolish of me to make such an extensive inquiry without first confirming your location. Thanks for what you have provided. Rutland was, in fact, chosen very much by pin and blindfold. Or rather, a friend offered us a free week's stay anywhere in the world her timeshare operated properties. We said "the UK" instantly. Sadly, all the resorts were booked (this was a year in advance) so we were put on a waiting list for the best available property -- the result, a hunting lodge on the northern shore of Rutland Water. We'll also have several days in London at the end of the trip. We're trying to make the best of apparently ending up in the middle of nowhere. And sadly, the decision not to get a car has been confirmed by news of gas prices ($6 per gallon, according to what passes for newspapers over here). Financially, we simply can't swing it. So we intend to take buses and trains on a couple of days, and otherwise enjoy a walking/bicycling vacation among the charming villages of Exton and Barley, and the pleasant town of Oakham. Interestingly enough, among the three users you mention are two (G-Man and Pigsonthewing) who are currently in a fairly heated dispute which I attempted to get in the middle of and dispense calm (you know, my usual). So I think I may not solicit their advice until I'm certain neither of them hate me at present, lest I find myself guided to some dark alley. Angela, though, is an excellent suggestion, and I'll drop her a note -- thanks for the advice. And regarding your disparaging remarks against England, you should know that my fiancee would have much preferred Scotland, so some day we'll visit that fine ancestral land (her maiden name is McMonagle and I trace one strand of my ancestry to a mayor of Montrose) and I'll get your advice then, if not arranging to hoist a pint of something together with you in the pub of your choosing. :-) Thanks again, Jwrosenzweig 00:08, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC) P.S. Washington's freeways are dreadful (around Seattle, at least) - worse than Los Angeles, according to some. But the smaller state highways are lovely and far less crowded.
If you're close enough to the train station, it makes a pretty central place for railway based adventures. Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath are all lovely (although none are terribly close). Lincoln is nice too, I hear. But Leicester and Nottingham probably don't make ideal destinations. I hear Birmingham (the locus of the aforementioned dispute) is much nicer than it used to be (but then it used to be horrible). I think Angela lives in Slough ("come lovely bombs, and fall on Slough, it isn't fit to graze a cow...") which is maybe 50 miles (for some value of a mile) away. Definately don't go to Slough :) I think the management of your timeshare should be able to email you bus timetables or whatever, and most have mucho tourist advice (as lots of people do the timeshare-swap thing). And remember - just 'cos it's July doesn't mean you won't need a raincoat. In britain, rainwear isn't so much for keeping rain off, but for acting as a totem for the raingod - if you have a raincoat, it won't rain, but if you don't, it will. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:32, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

<the unnamed>[edit]

Yes, he was famous for uploading copyvios.Unless you want to make a claim for fair use, you might want to list it for deletion. --Angela. 23:20, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. I've found a better photo of the same subject, obtained permission, uploaded it and replaced <tu>'s, and put it on Images for Deletion. Urgh, I wonder how many others of these there are, lurking around-- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:01, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Another World featured article candidate[edit]

Not sure if you had gotten too busy, but I did reply to your last comments on the article. TheCustomOfLife 00:28, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, the new version resolves my objections, and I've voted in the affirmative. This is what I consider to be the ideal kind of featured article - initially one says to oneself "why should I care about such a mundane subject" and then it drags one off and one discovers all kinds of reasons one should care, and that it wasn't mundane after all. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:01, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Eh, I feel so resigned. Apparently I've written too much of it, and that's why someone else is objecting. TheCustomOfLife 23:03, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Oh, don't worry about it. The featured-article process is often a dramatic one, and occasionally results in major changes to articles (and very occasionally their being deleted, when someone finds they're utterly unsuitable or copyvios). If it doesn't get nominated this time (the standard is, rightly, high), put it on the peer review page and forget it for a while. It's amazing how an article one thinks is finished can be dramatically improved by a few fresh pairs of eyes. Frankly, I'm frequently disappointed to find that most of my original creations haven't been significantly changed since I wrote them. Doesn't anyone care about Grim Fandango and the Pelagic zone? Apparently not ;) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:10, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't know if I want it on the peer review page. I already got pounced on for calling it my article, so I'll try to refrain from doing that. Personally, I'd rather have people who've watched the show review the article (after this is all said and done), then I'd feel comfortable giving it to Peer Review. TheCustomOfLife 23:14, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Featured article candidates is essentially peer-review with added voting. I've seen several people get (unduly) disheartened by their articles being eviscerated on FAC - perhaps we should insist that articles have been through peer-review first (where things are generally more informal). If you're feeling bruised, take a look at the discussion for fellow FA candidate Gay bathhouse - now that's a fight :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:30, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
True. Maybe it should have went through Peer Review first. Well, it's already happened...can't turn back now. TheCustomOfLife 23:46, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

name mangling[edit]

Hi, Finlay. You said you have a half-assed version of "name mangling" — not having anything better to do, if you wanted to put it up somewhere I'd probably take a look at it. (Could this be part of a larger article on ABI issues for languages like C++?) Lady Lysine Ikinsile 10:02, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

I tell a lie, it's not half-assed, it's almost completely assed :) I've uploaded the current thing, which is more a bunch of todos than a real article, at User:Finlay McWalter/name mangling. I'll slowly work though it over the next few weeks (relearning C++ after a decade off as I go), but any additions or suggestions you may have would be most welcome. I fear, incidentally, that our ABI article is rather pathetic too, and there's only so much one can do in name mangling without having a worthwhile ABI article to which to refer. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:01, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Tilde has a reference to filename name mangling by the way -- Yath 13:24, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hi, sorry for the delay in the answer, but I'm mostly offline these days - and I'll be for the next two weeks. I see no problems in integrating the name decoration artile with the name "mangling" one, but unfortunately I won't be able to contribute. BTW Lady Lysine Ikinsile is correct with the explanation of my example... I saw it on windows-specific code when writing a dll, and just assumed that it was the C convention. Turns out I was wrong... good luck with the article! Alfio 08:39, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)


(cross-posted to several user talk: pages)

I noticed that you participated in the discussion regarding reorganization of this page. I have written a proposal for a new format and would like any comments, criticisms, or feedback you may have to offer. Thanks, —No-One Jones 14:27, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the laugh[edit]

I needed one today. I'm thinking of tying a string around my waist and affixing the other end to a Royal Mail collection box in Leicester. If I don't arrive back at Wikipedia by late July, please do contact the authorities and ask them to follow the strand of green yarn that extends into the outer darkness of Rutland, where there is watersports and gnashing of teeth. Jwrosenzweig 20:16, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC) P.S. The real question, of course, is this -- shoudl I meet GrazingshipIV in Rutland, ought I to rescue him or abandon him to his fate? Consider it carefully.

Perhaps "gone to Rutland" should be the new euphemism for wikipedians "disappeared" in this manner. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:21, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Excellent! I'll make use of it. If you refer to my talk page, however, you'll see that Graz apparently requested and was granted this status -- he traveled to Rutland voluntarily, in other words. A quick check of my talk page's history confirms that his note from early June is now attributed to a "Former user". Jwrosenzweig 20:54, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for yet another laugh at the reference desk (I spoiled your joke, I'm sorry to say with the real answer) re: dodge ball. The thought of "deathbrick" was hilarious, as was your explanation of the original name (Clarence-Hubert, was it?). :-) Reminds me of a time I once convinced two friends of mine that table tennis was nicknamed ping-pong because the ball was made of a curiously lightweight plastic invented by accident in a South Korean laboratory by Doctors Ronald Pong and Harold Ping. It hadn't occurred to me at the time to compound the joke by suggesting it was called Harold-Ronald at its inception. Brilliant stuff. Simply brilliant. :-) Jwrosenzweig 17:16, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I confess I was ripping off the Ping-Pong joke, but the version I saw had it invented by Liu Ping and Pan Pong, and thus their initial name for it was Liu Pan (where "loo pan" is britspeak for "toilet bowl"). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:58, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Skyline pictures[edit]

Hi, thanks for nominating my panorama pictures of Skyline Blvd. I used "PTAssembler" which is a GUI that is based on the PanoTools you mentioned. This way you don't actually have to deal with PanoTool's notoriously confusing interface.

Apollo 15 Space Suit David Scott.jpg

This is another panorama I've taken that may interest you. What makes this one interesting is that it was taken at very close range.


temp: this page is to big!, but thanks for you clarification on copyright policy, re my (Faedra 22:08, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)) Vfd on Faversham munitions/solomon holbourn and other items I wish removed or seriously edited. I will do this my self eventually, but I had hoped to make a significant contribution to an active family of editors, not find myself picking the splinters out of other peoples attention to my unfinished works.

Wikipedia administration waistes to much time arguing about rubbish, dismissing useful imput, thinking the obscure and personal stuff more important.

I would have a WikiSpeculate site where anything not 100% kosher can be redirected for deletion or modification later. Deal with people who are making a real contribution first.

I am happy with you explanation of copyright terms, and have submitted all of my articles with the hope the facts become apparent and included, the mere word and style used to portray the facts do not matter, beyond good grammar and spelling, and I admit I am not the best at this.


Suffering from depression[edit]

I wanted to put this here, out of the way, I know you to be a long-time contributor but dunno if you're a sysop. After my thread on the village pump about a proposed article about suffering with depression...

Essentially it strikes me I can add any number of sub-pages to my own space. With that knowledge come various difficult ideas.

I could, in theory use my subpages as unencyclopaedic article space. I could do my little "depression" project and then put links to those articles on the bonafide article pages.

Now, I would (I like to think) do this in a spirit of providing more info to readers that might benefit them.

However, I realise that I would be piggy-backing off of Wikipedias servers - in effect getting free web space.

I guess that's not allowed, even if done with the best of intentions, but I'm the sort of bloke that needs to be told.

I think I'm answering my own question really by damning myself throughout this idea, but what frustrates me is that, in order to set up my own wiki I have to, apparently, sort out php, some linux style software and a multitude of technical gubbins that are way beyond me... so I'm curious to know what you think.

Feel free to say "don't do it" and... well, some links to similar discussions on the theme would be welcome. Some f&%*er must have attempted it before --bodnotbod 03:56, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Adam Carr[edit]

Hi Finlay! Thank you for letting me know that Adam has declined nomination - for the third time now. No, I didn't know he had said "no" previously. It would be great to have him on board - but then again, it's entirely up to him. See ya later:-)David Cannon 02:11, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

British grammar?[edit]

I'm not sure if you were joking when you wrote [6] that:

british articles take british grammar.

but I found it funny. Do Russian articles take russian grammar? How about sign language? Thanks for lightening up my day! :-) --Amillar 17:43, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

it means that british articles don't take american grammar. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:52, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Paul is Dead[edit]

Before you go on Wikivacation, do you feel like looking at William Campbell to see if you can make it more accurate? You seem like you might have the facts to be able to say once-for-all that he never existed? - Nunh-huh 23:43, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't know anything about the subject at all (I'm only watching Paul is Dead because the vandal damaged some other things I did know about before killing Paul) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:50, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ah, well. The mystery continues! <g>. Bon voyage! - Nunh-huh 00:19, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Cyril Lowe[edit]

Sorry, forgot to add this one to my watchlist. Lowe's record of career total 18 tries for England was a record from his retirement until 1989. A few other players have gone past that number now, see [7] It's a bit late now for did you know though? Dunc_Harris| 16:47, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I am constantly impressed by your breadth and depth of knowledge, and assistance to people on the Reference Desk. Good job! Mark Richards 21:14, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, but largely I sound wiser than I am. That and the knack of google can get a guy pretty far (okay, I confess I knew the telephone stuff rote already). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:20, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Whisky stills[edit]

Nice photo of copper stills at Image:Sjb whiskey still.jpg but unfortunately the distinctive curve of the pipe is cut off at the top of the photo... something for SJB to remember for his next trip? Gdr 13:02, 2004 Jul 25 (UTC)

paddle steamer Waverley[edit]

having come across this missing page, I've put some effort into filling the need and have taken care to use the title Waverley (boat) already on the disambiguation page. The result has an inelegant and inappropriate title at the top - the P.S. Waverley is referred to as a ship, but never in my quick research as a boat. Ian McCrorie's Clyde Pleasure Steamers uses ship throughout, with the sole exception (at a quick glance) of "The 'teetotal' boat" Ivanhoe (1880), which he refers to in the text as a ship or as a steamer. May I request that someone who knows how to do these things moves or redirects the page to paddle steamer Waverley, or even steamer Waverley? Would be most obliged, --dave souza 00:11, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Boat does sound rather undignified, but I'm not sure sure ship is technically correct (there's some rule about being able to put to sea or cross the ocean or something that qualifies a vessel as a ship - but I'm no expert). While you're quite at liberty to rename it yourself (with the "move this page" option, which requires no special qualifications other than one's account not being split-new), I'd recommend discussing this on the talk page of Wikipedia:WikiProject Ships. It's important that we use a standard naming scheme across the whole wikipedia, and I suspect the ship dweebs and boat nerds who hang out in that wikiproject will already have formulated a standard naming for paddlesteamers and the like. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:51, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Carole Stone[edit]

Regarding Carole Stone - I've wikified the article and replaced the obviously copied text; I'm not too sure on the subject's notability, maybe someone more au fait with the British networking scene can provide a balanced view. Ianb 19:59, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for my little welcome message :D Parkour 21:40, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Tomorrow's featured article[edit]

Just to give you some warning - History of Scotland will be tomorrow's featured article. The introduction looks like it could use some wikifying, as well as the summary at Wikipedia:Tomorrow's featured article. →Raul654 04:31, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)

Wikification done, and cut'n'pasted into Wikipedia:Tomorrow's featured article. Is that summary too long? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:44, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It was much too long - I've shortened it now. You can change what I have there as you like, but please try not to make it substantially longer. →Raul654 16:49, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)
Man, what a newbie error :) I've reworked it a bit, keeping it brief. Thanks. Oh, and don't come back from Beantown without a photo of the Stata Center. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:08, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the help with the captions on History of Scotland! -- ke4roh 16:06, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. Urgh, I'm not looking forward to spending tomorrow fending off the inevitable partisans and weirdos who will molest our humble article. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:44, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I'll do what I can, though I'm not sure I'd recognize partisan rancor on Scotland if I saw it! :-) -- ke4roh 19:31, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)

added some tweaks I'd been working on, hope nothing contentious - dave souza 20:00, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

one thing I've not edited is the Rise of Scotland statement "This remains the south-eastern border to this day." - cries out for "except round Berwick upon Tweed", but that seemed too much of a complication. - dave souza 20:21, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think you should add that, it doesn't make things too complicated. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:30, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia in WSJ[edit]

Nope-- sorry, I don't know how to get a free version of the WSJ article about Wikipedia. Perhaps best to suggest people subscribe or go to their library. (I'm not even sure that the link to the subscription version of the article will stay valid over time, which is why I listed the title of the article)

Good thing I looked-- I got the date wrong. Here are some excerpts:

`Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together By Kara Swisher ( 29 July 2004 The Wall Street Journal


A wiki is a type of Web site that many people can revise, update and append with new information. It's sort of like a giant bulletin board on an office wall to which employees can pin photos, articles, comments and other things.

A wiki can gather, in one place, the data, knowledge, insight and customer input that's floating around a company or other organization. And it's a living document, since workers who are given access to it can make changes constantly.


The prospects of moving wikis into the office are good, especially since they are already working well in nonwork situations, such as the well-known Wikipedia. This free online encyclopedia, compiled since early 2001 by volunteer writers, now has hundreds of thousands of entries, making it bigger than any other encyclopedia.

"Once people try a wiki, they begin to like the idea that they can be empowered, which feeds into the idea of what a good manager does for his employees," says Wikipedia's creator, Jimmy Wales, who is now working on creating wiki-generated textbooks. "The Internet started out with a lot of communities coming together and that remains its greatest strength."


Stata Center pics[edit]

Stata Center1.jpg

Here are some pics for you (non-pornographic this time). Pick your favorite an add it to the article. And then yell at Moink - her office is (literally) on the next block down. →Raul654 21:18, Aug 1, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments[edit]

Thanks for your comments and tweaks on my articles. I'm getting in to it and I think Wikipedia is great. Still finding my way around the help pages etc. I love the fact that people fix things up. Try as i might I am bad at proof reading myself. And I am learning how to make pages work properly from other people's tweaks.

Yes I'll keep contributing when I can. Burst of activity due to being in holiday mood. In general I think its a good idea if you cant find things on Wikipedia to come back when you have found it out somewhere else and start an article, even thought it might just be a stub.

Billlion 13:30, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Programming stuff[edit]

Hi again :-) After your comment regarding ABI I've rewritten it as a slightly better stub, and then noticed that we don't even have an article on calling convention! (or iBCS for that matter.) Would you be interested in a WikiProject Computer Science or something similar, to try to get some decent coverage of things like this? Kate | Talk 17:28, 2004 Aug 3 (UTC)

Urgh. I still haven't done the stuff I said I would on User:Finlay McWalter/name mangling (I will, soon, I promise). I actually had a sketchy version written for calling convention, but I think I destroyed it in a fit of "I hate stupid wikipedia" pique a while back. In practice I try to avoid computing topics like the plague, as I really can't be bothered arguing with ill-informed freshmen who've read something kewl in some magazine (so it must be true). You could ask User:Stan Shebs (who actually does GCC stuff at cygnus) but Stan seems even more CS averted than me ;) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:44, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, on reading that back it might appear that I'm accusing you of being such an ill-informed freshman, which isn't at all what I meant (quite the opposite), honest. Sad Compiler Dweeb yes, but not ill-informed freshman :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:47, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I resent that remark! I am quite clearly a sad filesystem dweeb. Kate | Talk 19:30, 2004 Aug 6 (UTC)

Links to maps?[edit]

Finlay what is your opinion on adding links to maps, eg multimap or streetmap, in articles about places? As it is hard to get good map, eg OS maps, for free in sufficient quantity for Wikipedia it seems like a good (but perhaps temporary) measure to me. It did occur to me that I could walk around the coastline of Holy Isle with my GPS to get the outline. Well that would be fun once, but wikipedians are not about to re map the entire planet. Maybe aerial or satelite photos another option? Billlion 10:47, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Maps are a great addition to any geographical article, and indeed it's harder to get hold of useable ones than it is for someone to just write text. But all is far from lost - there's a surprising amount of geographic data that's freely available, some from US government sources (which includes a coastal database of the whole world) and others from volunteer groups. Here's some resources:
In the meantime, the multimap links (or their other country equivalents) aren't a bad link (but naturally one can't copy the map itself into the wikipedia). Other approaches include:
  • a link to a USGS infoserver (such as the topographic map on Area 51) - technically I think I could copy the map itself into the wikipedia, as stuff that's produced by the US government isn't copyrighted (not true in the UK, where OS maps are "Crown Copyright")
  • NASA is your friend (but ESA isn't) for the same reason - I added NASA shuttle photos to Kansai International Airport, which are a pretty cool substitute. One has to be careful about NASA and other US government stuff, as things they do in cooperation with other institutions (such as US universities or ESA) aren't necessarily solely the product of the US government and thus aren't necessarily uncopyrighted. Wikipedia:Copyrights covers this in some detail.
  • Lastly, some people are actually drawing maps themselves. User:Morwen has produced hundreds of UK political maps, such as Image:ScotlandStirling.png (and the US guys have a similar effort, showing every county and getting on for every major city). And graphics genius User:Gsl has produced a bunch of fantastic maps such as Image:Scottish clan map.png.
So, in conclusion, it's hard, but not that hard, to get a decent map. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:23, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh, and there's always old maps that are out of copyright. You could either post them, or trace over them and add modern stuff schematically from memory (heck, I recon you could look at an OS map, so long as you don't actually copy or trace it). And someone in that bunch of links above is the wikipedia maps project, who intend (at some point) to add extensions to the software so you can generate maps on-the-fly for anywhere on earth. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:30, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Hi. I was in the process of changing "Abbotsford" to a proper disambig page when you changed it. Please give me some time to finish the prep work when I move an article in preparation for disambiguation. I try to resolve the links first before I actually update the original article to include the disambiguation text. Thanks. RedWolf 18:45, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)

Ranulph Fiennes[edit]

I saw your question on Emsworth's talk page, and thought that I'd answer for him; the PNLs "Bt" signify a Baronet, which is, indeed, a form of inherited Knighthood (well, not really; they're not knights, but they get to be called "Sir <firstname>", like a knight).
Apparently, he's the 3rd Baronet Fiennes, of the town of Banbury.
James F. (talk) 20:22, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Ah, my bad. Both he and Proteus replied here, which I moved to Talk:Ranulph Fiennes. Sorry to make you do unnecessary typing, but all is not lost:
  • first, that Banbury fact is new. How can I work that into the article? Perhaps the sentence "On his birth Fiennes automatically inherited the Baronetcy" would read "...inherited the Baronetcy of Banbury" or "...inherited the Baronetcy, making him the Baronet of Banbury" - is there a proper way of saying that?
  • secondly (and rather tangentially), am I correct in saying this same type of honour was awarded to Walter Scott and Denis Thatcher, making their (rather less deserving) offspring baronets too, in time.
-- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:37, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Search engine[edit]

My java applet has been improved; I think I address now your concerns. David.Monniaux 06:01, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

name that butte (redux)[edit]

On my page you said: Thanks for your help with identifying Monument Valley. I'm going to upload an annotated version, the work-in-progress version of which is at {undisclosed location}. Before I update it proper, I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:58, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

And in return I say:
Wow! This is the neatest annotated Monument Valley map I've seen. At first look, I can't think of any suggestions, except for one you might not want to heed. I think that the colors look different from your original - it's likely just an illusion due to the titles you added or due to the resizing. The colors look funny to me. The reason you might not want to do anything about it is that my color vision is substandard. I'm not colorblind, but I'm not as sensitive to colors as most are. I shouldn't be judging things on color. On content, it's just excellent.
Were you going to include this as part of the Monument Valley article? Thanks for asking my opinion! Catbar (Brian Rock) 02:33, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Your colour vision isn't as bad as you think. The unannotated one I first showed you wasn't how the photo came from the camera. To overcome the haze of the invervening atmosphere, and frankly to tart it up to make it look more "artsy", I did some rather radical photoshop work (significanly enhancing the saturation, and adding quite a lot of contrast too). For the annotated one I went back to the naked original. It's a bit hazier, and certainly less dramatic, but the artsy enhancements detracted from the clarity quite a bit. I figured an encyclopedic picture had to be as accurate as possible, not as pretty as possible. I'll upload it later this evening, and I'll add it into Monument Valley (although quite how it'll look as a thumbnail I'm not sure). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:28, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yep, clear is better. It will look great. Catbar (Brian Rock) 23:59, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It's done, linked from Monument Valley. Thanks again for your invaluable photoreconnaisance efforts (I now have about a dozen large-size printouts from that USGS topographic site, all sellotaped together into a rough map of the area. It's so cool I think I'm going to keep it). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:02, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Spanish Translation[edit]

Sure I'll have a go at translating some Spanish on Point_Arena,_California#History however, I must warn you that there may be things in Latin American Spanish that don't correspond to the Spanish of Madrid that I learned. I've been caught out on that a few times. But I suppose it is like a Spanish speaker getting caught out on the differences between British and American English. I'll have a look at it this evening. --Colin Angus Mackay 16:38, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Okay I've had a look and it seems okay - a minor correction and one addition. I was considering adding a translation of the name of the ship but there isn't really enough context to place it. The imagary of "Sonora" is mostly to do with a richly resonant sound (I imagine like a great concert hall) but getting that into a nice snappy translation rather than a literal one isn't my forté. It can also mean echoing or loud depending on the context (which has, in my opinion, less appeal) --Colin Angus Mackay 20:20, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Super, thanks. Yeah, I wouldn't translate a ship's name (unless, for some article-specific reason, the translation was significant), nor would I bother to translate someone's name. Place names, particularly in the new world, are something of a toss-up. The irony of Las Vegas, NV, being so profoundly un-meadowlike (or un "fertile valley" like, if one believes who ever did that page) certainly justifies its mention there (and heck, Point Arena is so tiny that I'm glad I could find anything at all about it). Thanks again. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:35, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Meelar's remark works just fine on my keyboard for the pipe/vertical bar. However, the image on the key looks like an elongated colon rather than a solid line and I'd never tried it. Thanks for your help. Ave! PedanticallySpeaking 17:45, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)