Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free.
Click here to join and contribute
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report

User talk:Milton Beychok/Archive 11

From Citizendium
Jump to: navigation, search

Updated article on TSCF

Milton, I just made small updates to the article on The Social Capital Foundation, corrected links. Could you please approve the new version. Thanks Koen Demol 19:18, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Koen. I moved your posting to the bottom of this Talk page where it belongs. For a new article to be approved, or for re-approving a revised version of an existing article (which is the case with The Social Capital Foundation), requires that it first be nominated for approval or re-approval by either:
  • A single editor who has not participated significantly in creating the article, or
  • Three editors who have participated significantly in creating the article.
In either of the two cases above, the nominators must be editors in the workgroup categories specified in the article's Metadata template. In this case of The Social Capital Foundation. the categories specified in the Metadata template are Sociology, Politics and Anthropology. Since I am not an editor in any of those categories, I cannot nominate the article for re-approval.
You should read CZ:Approval process. In some cases, if the revisions to an approved article are very minor (like adding or revising wiki links or fixing a few typos), I believe that a constable can do a re-approval without going through any formal nomination and approval procedures. I know that Matt Innis has done that in the past. Perhaps other constable have also done that, but I really don't know if they have. Milton Beychok 19:46, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Milt, I did make some *very* minor changes to Approved articles while I was a Cop. But they were incredibly trivial matters, removing a comma, changing two spaces to one space, correcting the spelling within a link, etc. And even those changes generally had to be run pass three or four editors or authors in an informal manner, generally on the Talk pages.... Hayford Peirce 20:09, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


Milt, are you writing or planning to write an article on Valve ? If so, let me know, so I will not bother to do it. Otherwise, I may write a Valve article. I'm trying to avoid interferences between us and duplication of effort. Henry A. Padleckas 05:34, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

We could use an articles about valves ... please go ahead if you wish to write one. We could also use an article about pressure vessels. Milton Beychok 16:56, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

your pH scale pic modified

Milt, I modified your pic Image:PH scale.png. If you don't like it, you can revert back to your old one. The gradient colors I used were supposed to be reminiscent of litmus paper color change.

I got some software that can make linear or radial color gradients. Windows-Paint does not make such gradients (easily). If you ever need any color gradients, tell me whether you want linear or radial, and what colors you want. I can then e-mail them to you. Then you can use Paint to scale them, skew them, and apply them to any drawing you want. Also, if you want them at a certain angle, I have software that can rotate too. Henry A. Padleckas 12:07, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Its a nice improvement, Henry ... thanks. Milton Beychok 16:49, 2 March 2011 (UTC)


Milt, I've looked at your edits on HUBO and see that they are only copyedits, so you can not only join in the approval (you could do that even if they were content edits), but you can still approve as a "single editor approval" if necessary (should Alexander not return to update the version number to include any new changes). D. Matt Innis 23:41, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Matt, I had planned to update the version number when I sign on as a co-nominator. Is that okay? I had always thought that any of the nominators could change the version number. Milton Beychok 23:54, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
All editors have to approve the same version, so if there were some changes since the first editor endorsement, he/she would have to agree to the new version. That way their name doesn't end up on something they may disagree with. In this case, though, since you have not made content edits, you don't need the other editor necessarily, but, should he return, he can join you in the approval as well. D. Matt Innis 00:17, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Query on links to WP

Hi Milt:

The article Schrödinger equation on its External links page connects to the article on WP. Is that a customary practice? It seems to me to go against the notion of linking to a reliable source. John R. Brews 20:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

John, that was a reference at one time and it was created back in 2007 ... and later moved to the External Links subpage. It should be deleted. We do not use Wikipedia articles as references or external links. Milton Beychok 21:05, 26 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi Milt:

As you know, there are a lot of articles about vacuum in physics. They include Vacuum (laboratory), Vacuum (partial), Vacuum (quantum electrodynamic) Vacuum (classical) Vacuum (disambiguation) Vacuum (science) Free space (electromagnetism). I hope I've got them all. I think they should be pared down to three (apart from a revamped disambiguation page): Vacuum (quantum electrodynamic) Vacuum (classical) Vacuum (partial). The first is pretty straightforward and probably is OK as is. The second would be instead of Free space (electromagnetism) and I'd pretty much copy that article under the new name. The third, Vacuum (partial), would be intended to cover terrestrial vacuum as in Vacuum (laboratory) and Vacuum (science).

The question is how to approach this project. It requires some reorganization and possibly making redirects out of several articles and putting their content in the surviving articles. It appears that John Stephenson, you and I are the only ones at all interested in this matter. Do you think this has to be taken to a general airing, or shall I just go at it and let you and John pick it over? John R. Brews 18:16, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

If you look at John Stephenson's user page, you will see that he is no longer with CZ ... unless he changes his mind and returns.
So that leaves you and I ... and I think you should just go ahead and do what you think is best. I might also point out that we also have a Vacuum distillation article which I wrote quite some while ago ... altho that really isn't too relevant to what you are proposing to do. - Milton Beychok 18:37, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Milt: I've made these changes, and I hope you will check out the various cross links etc. and add Vacuum distillation to the disambiguation box if you wish. John R. Brews 20:34, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
John, when you redirected Vacuum (science) to Vacuum (partial), you still left the subpages Vacuum (science)/Definition and Vacuum (science)/Related Articles. I will request that those two subpages be speedy deleted unless I hear differently from you. Are there some links in Vacuum (science)/Related Articles that you want to salvage (copy and paste) and use in Vacuum (partial)/Related Articles before I ask for speedy deletion?
Are there any other redirects that left behind some some subpages? Milton Beychok 21:07, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Milt: Thanks for bringing this up. I transferred the Related Articles to the new pages. I didn't find anything else.
The disambiguation page Vacuum uses the definition of the redirect Vacuum (laboratory)/Definition, so maybe that should be kept unless this category is removed from the disambig. Likewise for Free space and Free_space_(electromagnetism)/Definition John R. Brews 22:03, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that only existing main articles (or red links to articles yet to be written) should be listed in the DAMB page. Redirects and/or definitions that exist for any redirects should not be included. Milton Beychok 02:35, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I love this!!

Milton: thank you for all the help so far. Mostly I wanted to let you know I've contacted a good friend and encouraged her to join us. She is also a PhD candidate in philosophy and has an MA in Classics. She's an expert on the philosophy of Plotinus, for whom Citizendium does not have a page. I have asked her to consider creating one. ...said Maria Cuervo (talk) 20:29 April 2, 2011

University host

Milton: I am finally thinking about the request for monthly donations and want to first understand CZ's long term plans. Where can I find details of the efforts to find a university to host CZ? Thanks - Robert Badgett 12:39, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Robert, the best person for you to contact on that is Dan Nessett. He has handled the efforts to find a university. Milton Beychok 15:12, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I didn't know about this effort but I had already considered last week speaking with someone at VU about this. It seems like something my university would really appreciate. I was also wondering if students could work on basic definitions and sections under the supervision of an editor who also happens to be their teacher. But maybe that is too out there. I for one would be tempted to get my students working on this project.--Maria Cuervo 16:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Maria, our current hosting costs are $320 per month. The money we raised in our recent donation drive will carry us through for almost 6 more months. Please contact Dan Nessett on our Management Council about the possibilty of being hosted by Villanova University ... please do so as soon as possible. Milton Beychok 16:48, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Milt, similar as Robert, I was thinking of asking this for some time, but in face of our current discussions I do not want to raise it on the forum right now:
It would be nice to have some information on what hosting options have already been checked and why they failed or were rejected. I am aware that last year a quick solution had to be found, but now there is still half a year, and this information could helpful when thinking about options.
Maria, CZ is open for collaboration with teaching -- the project is called Eduzendium. How this collaboration is organized may be adapted or changed, reflecting past experience (some problems exist) and the needs of the course.
--Peter Schmitt 17:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I am curious why so expensive. Is it bandwidth then? I have my own virtual server that I am setting up through a host for my own web projects and I imagine that the reason it is less than 50 a month is because I expect the traffic to be comparably low compared to something like Citizendium and don't need as much memory, space or other resources. I'll contact Dan and see how I should approach this and who I should approach.--Maria Cuervo 18:18, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Maria, keep in mind that we have the various forums as well as the live wiki and the test wiki. Dan is our computer guru and he has all of the technical specifications for what we need. Milton Beychok 19:29, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Peter, keep in mind that when Larry Sanger was still with us and our server costs were being handled by the Tidewater Foundation, they were $709 per month. The MC did nothing in haste ... Dan considered every alternative very carefully (in the U.S. as well as Europe) and he finally negotiated our current price of $320 per month with Steadfast. He explained it all to the other 4 members of the MC at the time and we all agreed that he made a good choice at that time. Please don't burden Dan with asking him to explain all of the searching he did. We have more pressing problems that need to be handled ... as you well know. Regards, Milton Beychok 19:29, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
All, I have responded to Maria's request for an explanation of our computing service requirements here: CZ service requirements


Hello. I last spoke to Daniel on e-mail chat around April 4th. I made one correction that he pointed out on the spot, but there are certainly more that needs to be done. He asked me to remind him again before deadline. I sent him an e-mail again, but he seems to have overlooked it. I sent him a chat message as reminder just now, although he is marked as offline. I hope he will be able to notice it soon.

But in the meantime, just to be safe, we should extended deadline, but not too far back because that might allow Daniel to procrastinate, and that would mean the article would never get approved.. Thank you very much! (Chunbum Park 02:24, 9 April 2011 (UTC))

Hello. Could you set the article's status to a scheduled approval? Or do I need to repeat the process by asking the other editor for his permission as well? I changed the article per the pdf Dan sent me. He did send by April 15th deadline :) Thank you. (Chunbum Park 01:19, 16 April 2011 (UTC))

Edits on metre

Hi Milt:

I'm happy to see your interest in the article Metre (unit). This article has caused me some problems, as my editing history indicates. I'd like to discuss a few of your changes, and get some feedback.

First, you apparently object to my characterization of LORAN as obsolete. The basis for this statement was a book I did not cite that, of course, suggests the GPS has pretty much taken over. Maybe you can explain to me what you are thinking about here, and why you decided to omit reference to GPS, and the links to the articles on GPS and on LIDAR?

Those items are perhaps matters of taste. However, the reinsertion of the wavelength of the electron as λ = c0 / f is actually an error. This wavelength in fact is related to the electron beam energy, and the relation to the metre has to be established, say by comparison of two measurements of the same object using both electrons and photons. For example, this article discusses traceability of standards, which I take to mean connecting to the basic definition of the metre in terms of wavelengths of light. John R. Brews 20:31, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

John, I am completely confused. I made no edits having anything to do with LORAN, GPS or LIDAR ... at least not intentionally. If such edits occurred, they must have happened accidentally or through some strange software bug. Please feel free to undo them.
The only edits I made to Metre (unit) were to correct an incorrect conversion, add some wiki links, and a few other minor copy edits. Regards, Milton Beychok 21:55, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi Milt: As you can see, my attempts at metre (unit) took me past any pretense of considering myself an "expert". I do believe I have properly understood the sources and made a reasonable presentation. It must be said, however, that the basis for the switch in definition of the metre in 1983 is described by the officiating BIPM and NIST in a very confusing manner, and I am led to believe what we are seeing here is "a camel is a horse designed by a committee". John R. Brews 20:47, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not criticizing the 1983 resolutions, but the incoherence of the explanations for it. John R. Brews 22:45, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
John, in my book, you are still an expert and I would still urge you to apply for an Editorship in the Physics workgroup. Milton Beychok 23:14, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Category:Sailing Subgroup

Hey Milton, I was looking at CZ:Engineering Workgroup and the template that is at the top of the page has items that do not appear on the Sailing subgroup template, especially the auto-generated cleanup lists. Have you any idea how I add to the Sailing template, or do you know if the template is fixed in that position? David Finn 10:10, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

David, I didn't even know there was a Sailing subgroup. Is it a subgroup of the Engineering Workgroup??? Should it not be in the Hobbies or the Sports Workgroups instead?
In any event, I don't know the answer to your question. That is something that Chris Key normally took care of. Since he has now resigned, you may have to ask Dan Nessett for help or perhaps even Peter Schmitt. I don't have any Sysops privileges and I really don't know how templates are created. Milton Beychok 14:36, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'll look further. Yes, the Sailing subgroup falls under both sports and engineering, sports for the recreation side and engineering for the technology. Nowadays sailing is more recreational, at least in the West, but a little further back in history it was much more utilitarian. David Finn 15:48, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Article moved.

"Vacuum cleaner" has been removed. Thank you for the Editorial ruling. I hope the EC comes up with a way to deal with this kind of "painful case," as Joyce would call it, wholesale. Bruce M. Tindall 00:40, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Bruce. Milton Beychok 01:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)


Sed tantum dic verbo! Done, avec plaisir. Bruce M. Tindall 02:56, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

"Avec plaisir" I understand. But my three years of high school Latin were in the 1930s (about 72 years ago) and I have forgotten all that I may have learned. Merci! - Milton Beychok 03:03, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
"But only say the word." Bruce M. Tindall 03:05, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Boiling points

Milton, I would really like to end this practice of having multiple separate subpages for each element with one datum only. It seems like a really huge waste of computation/storage space to have these pages. Do we really need separate subpages for melting point, boiling point, molecular mass, etc?

However, I see that you have been busy working away at these singleton pages lately and so would like to know your thoughts on this before I consider annilating them all and fixing all of the elements in a more manageable "manual" fashion. David E. Volk 02:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I was going through some of them to correct that same dead hyperlink to LANL. I found the correct link. But going through all of them was going to be a very tedious job that would take me days. If you can find a way to delete all of those singleton pages, it would be great. It would also be quite job for the constables to delete all of them, would it not? Or do you have some other way of deleting them?
I will finish the few I started on and then quit to await whatever you can do to simplify things. Milton Beychok 03:02, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
See also CZ:Chemistry style guide on which I have now included actual text that one can copy and paste to start one's own chem infobox or elem infobox for new articles. One simply types in the correct values for the variables. David E. Volk 03:48, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
David, please look at the talk page of CZ:Chemistry style guide, where I explained some changes that I just made in the writeup about the Elem Infobox. I hope that you will agree with my changes. - Milton Beychok 20:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
As for that very large number of multiple subpages with only one datum, the problem with removing or deleting them is that the properties tables in the Properties subpages of each element would disappear. The tables would then have to be reconstituted one-by-one. That would be a really big, tedious chore. None-the-less, I agree with you that it should be done some day by someone ... but who?
As matters stand now, those properties tables are not visible on the Edit pages of the Properties subpages and therefore cannot be easily edited. If some value (say a boiling point) of some element needs to be changed, the user must find the specific single datum subpage to make the change. What a mess!!! I think that somebody in the past just got carried away with using templates and transclusions to automatically generate tables without thinking about how complex it would be for future users. Milton Beychok 20:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

See my query

Milton: See my query at Technetium Talk Page. —Anthony.Sebastian 00:31, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


Hi Milt, thanks for the heads up on HUBO. We're going to use the article as an opportunity to walk Bruce through an approval tomorrow. D. Matt Innis 01:56, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

HUBO has been approved -- at least it looks like it to me. But as you know, this is the first time I've done this complicated process so if something doesn't look right, please let me know! Bruce M. Tindall 18:03, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
If it was done correctly, Bruce, then you can thank both Matt for the hands-on and me for the *really* detailed instructions that I wrote over and over and OVER again so that I myself could understand what the hell I was doing (or trying to do) with this incredibly unintuitive process! And I'm sure that you can tweak them a little yourself, to make them even clearer.... Hayford Peirce 18:21, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Yep, the instructions were probably more fun to use than they were to write! Thanks! Bruce M. Tindall 18:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
That's fer sure! Hayford Peirce 19:14, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you all for getting the approval complete. :) (Chunbum Park 20:30, 25 April 2011 (UTC))

Boiling point?

Hi again Milt,

I see from that you have been updating the boiling points of the elements. At the moment, it looks as though you have made it into the "lanthanides", going more or less by atomic number.

If you could take a peek at the "Tables" on the link above, you can see what the {{Unit}} template was made for. When the data (boiling point, electronegativity, whatever) is available as a "number" instead of as "text", the wiki software can do some simple math operations to it.

In those graphs, the cells colors are based on the electronegativities and boiling points. Being "unitless" electronegativity has no problem, but the boiling point graph is currently sort of incomplete.

It will be simple for me to add this feature back in, and I will be happy to do so at some point, but I figured I'd check with you first to make sure there were no objections.

I updated Tin/Boiling point as a prototype/example of what I was trying for David Yamakuchi 17:36, 29 April 2011 (CDT)

Hi, David: I have not been changing the numeric value of the boiling point or the melting point. What I have been doing is:
  • Adding the comma to the temperatures as a delimiter. That is, for example, changing 2590 to 2,590
  • Making changes in the two pertinent subpages (the "ElementName/Melting point" subpage and the "ElementName/Boiling point" subpage) so that the reference to the LANL website does not get transmitted to the main article subpage as a reference. By the way, your original links to the LANL website such as no longer work. The current, correct link is
  • Expanded the shortcut electron configurations such as [Neon]3s1 to the full configuration.
  • Changing the two pertinent subpages so that the smaller font in °C* and °C are transcluded to the properties table in the properties subpage as the typical, normal and usual size of °C and without the asterisk. If you can do whatever it is that you do behind the scenes with those undersized symbols and still have them show as the normal size symbols (without an asterisk) in the properties table in the main properties subpage (as I have now done) ... then I certainly have no objection whatsoever to that.
I have also been changing all of the articles so that they all use {{Elem_Infobox}} instead of {{Basic elemental info}} and David Volk agrees that is more desirable. That way the lede in the articles is editable. Please see CZ:Using the Elem Infobox template for the reasons for doing this.
David, you did a tremendous amount of admirable, ingenious work on those chemical element subpages and infobox templates. I have only managed to understand a small part of what you have done ... and it has taken me many, many hours to do so. However, in the end, it became just too darn complex to understand and it made it impossible to edit the ledes of many of the element articles and to rid the main article page of the link to the LANL. The primary purpose of what I have done was to simplify things. For the 64 element articles that I have now modified, the main article ledes and the infoboxes on the main article page are now editable.
I hope this clarifies what I have done so far and intend to do with the remaining element articles. Please let me know if you need further clarification. Just be aware that it is now approaching our dinner time in California and I may not be able to respond any further for the next few hours ... or perhaps until tomorrow. Regards, Milton Beychok 18:46, 29 April 2011 (CDT)
Great news! I love what you're doing. :-) I had always hoped that someone would take the initiative and make the {{Basic elemental info}} obsolete. I even said so in the instructions. I only used it to get some of the elements articles started quickly, (it was kind of a "gimmee" once some of the other properties stuff was in place.)
As for the "small" c, I will try and fix it.
Also, the comma in the number might pose a problem for the arithmetic unit as well. A comma is not a number, and that could make it confused if we try to treat it as one. I'd like to try and stick that (the comma) in a 'unit' template too. That way, I think it should display on the properties page as you desire, and still do what I want.
David Yamakuchi 22:26, 2 May 2011 (CDT)
Hi,again. As I said before, if you can stick to those guidelines of mine,then I really don't care what your do behind the scenes. If not, then we will have problems to work out. Milton Beychok 22:34, 2 May 2011 (CDT)
OK, it looks like there is a compromise. The units are now typical, normal and usual size of °C and without the asterisk, per your request, and we can still make neat graphs from them.
The commas are coming thru same as the units. Problem solved.
David Yamakuchi 23:14, 2 May 2011 (CDT)
Very good. Milton Beychok 23:18, 2 May 2011 (CDT)


Hi Milt:

I'm scratching my message - thanks, Milt. Don't want to be a bother. John R. Brews 18:03, 12 May 2011 (CDT)

Search function


I searched for "citation templates" in the CZ search box, but it didn't turn up CZ:Citation templates, so I used the WP page instead. It appears that you have to put the CZ prefix in the search box to find it, which never occurred to me. It would seem that a writer would find it useful to be able to find this kind of info when a question comes up, so these pages should be aliased without the CZ prefix. John R. Brews 13:10, 13 May 2011 (CDT)

I am not enough of a computer geek to know how that could or could not be done. As I recall, even in Wikipedia, you have to put the WP prefix in the search box to find such articles. Now that you know about the CZ prefix, you probably will remember it in the future.
Also, some of our Help articles require the prefix Help ... so watch out for that as well. - Milton Beychok 13:30, 13 May 2011 (CDT)
After four flippin' years here I *still* can't ever find anything! The CZ prefix continues to baffle me.... Hayford Peirce 13:53, 13 May 2011 (CDT)


Hi Milt:

I made some changes to Help:Index/Formatting/References without consulting you. Please take a look and make any modifications you see fit.

A philosophical difference that may crop up is this: the phrasing of the original was focused upon corroboration, which also is a preoccupation of Peter Schmitt. My experience in reading technical work is that references do serve this purpose, but also are used very often and especially in the preamble to technical papers as a way to supplement a terse outline of the present status of the topic discussed. Of course, in that context, one has a word count limit, so ways to get the context across with only a few words is paramount.

Nonetheless, I believe there is also this role for footnotes on CZ. For one thing, the reader needs some context, but different readers will have different questions, and footnotes can provide a flexible method to fill in background or find discussions pitched at a more technical or more popular level than the CZ article itself. As the number of CZ article proliferates (which looks like it may be a quarter century or more) there may be so many extensive articles on all phases of a topic that links to other CZ articles can fill in for such discursive references, but that day seems far away right now.

It is possible to separate discursive or amplificatory references from corroborative ones, if that seems desirable. The pro is that the reader would know which was which, the con is that it makes authorship more complex. John R. Brews 09:53, 14 May 2011 (CDT)

Well Milt, I've now spent an inordinate amount of effort on this Help page and rearranged it quite a bit. At this point I can't see it anymore with any objectivity at all, so it might benefit from your scrutiny. See what you think, please. John R. Brews 21:16, 15 May 2011 (CDT)
I agree that you would do well to move on to other things now. You have given the article a thorough going over by now. When I get a chance I will take a final look at it. Milton Beychok 22:05, 15 May 2011 (CDT)

CZ:List-defined references

Hi Milt:

To bring you up to date on some recent activity of mine:

  1. I reformatted the article Set (mathematics) to be in CZ:List-defined references format. When the edit window on this article is opened, there is an alert that this is the formatting used, and on the article page at the very bottom there is an editing note referring future editors to CZ:List-defined references.
  2. I added a link to this article following the examples on the page CZ:List-defined references.
  3. I created some re-directs to CZ:List-defined references so that it is easier to find, and shows up in the search engine. John R. Brews 10:01, 14 May 2011 (CDT)

Thank you

Milt you and I may have had our differences but the one thing I think can both agree on is how much good you've done for CZ by establishing a donation fund to keep us going. Thank you for putting in all your hard work and maintaining the financial records. Let's hope we can get people to donate, I will try once I get some financial matters settled. Thanks so much for all you do! Mary Ash 22:47, 15 May 2011 (CDT)

Thank you Milton for the nomination

Milton, Thank you for nominating me for the MC election. I do appreciate it. I accepted the nomination today and created a statement page. I have always enjoyed working with you on articles and look forward to working together on the MC should I get elected. David E. Volk 09:42, 16 May 2011 (CDT)

13 digit isbn

Hi Milt: Apparently CZ is not set up for 13-digit isbn codes.

Here are two citations:

Harald J. W. Müller-Kirsten (2004). Electrodynamics: an introduction including quantum effects. World Scientific, p. 223. ISBN 9789812388087. 

Harald J. W. Müller-Kirsten (2004). Electrodynamics: an introduction including quantum effects. World Scientific, p. 223. ISBN 9812388087. 

The first is the 13-digit isbn, the second is the 10-digit isbn. The 13-digit is just the 10-digit with 978 stuck in front.

If one clicks on the isbn link, they both take you to the search page with various vendors listed. If you click on the vendor, the 10-digit isbn takes you to the book location at that vendor. The 13-digit isbn takes you to a "We're sorry" page. John R. Brews 19:51, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

I always use the 10 digit ISBN because, the last time I checked (over a year ago), the Library of Congress search function accepted the 10 digit version but not the 13 digit version.
Also, the 13 digit version is not always simply the 10 digit plus 978 ... in my experience, it is rarely that simple. I use this url to convert from 13 to 10 digits and vice versa, and also to hyphenate correctly: and I keep it in my favorites. Milton Beychok 20:07, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
It looks as if they are the same, except for the leading 978, *if* you leave off the check digit -- that is, if you use 9- and 12-digit ISBNs, as John did. But the (respectively) 10th and 13th digit is the check digit, which is usually different between the two.
Apparently Amazon will recognize the ISBNs with or without the check digit, but LOC catalog search, for instance, won't. Bruce M. Tindall 21:48, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

possible reformat?

Hi Milt:

Please take a look at this reformatted version of CZ: list-defined references. I'm trying to make clear the steps involved and avoid too much garble. Maybe the logic is clearer and the "clutter shock" is less in this reformatted version. John R. Brews 15:13, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

John, I have responded to you via personal, private email. - Milton Beychok 18:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Milton, for the Google search!

Thanks, Milt -- it took a little while to set up: there were a couple of tiny little things that didn't seem to get copied correctly but eventually, by opening two windows and jumping back and forth from my page to yours, I found the differences and got them changed. Then, after refreshing, it seems to work perfectly. Many thanks -- I have always been baffled by how hard it is to find anything at CZ! Hayford Peirce 20:24, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Guidance sought on Astrophysics article and creating a 'dating' article

Dear Milton: Thank you for the email notifications. John Brews has also left a pleasant note on my User talk page. It's a little intimidating observing the tremendous achievement among contributors, such as yourself and John. As a technician and later an engineer working night shift much of his professional life I cannot claim such distinction.

The Astrophysics article has an error which seems elementary to me, though. Discussing the density of ordinary and dark matter, it states in effect that ; essentially, that both put together aren't sufficient to close the universe. And yet it says this means that "if that is all there is, the universe would eventually stop expanding and collapse". Isn't this exactly the opposite of what's intended?

Most of my professional contributions related to analysis of other people's designs of boilers, pressure vessels etc. to the usual industry standards (ASME VIII,1 and BS5500). As such they are hardly original, though for lifts and cranes I actually wrote my own space frame code on an old HP 9845B; and now I think about it, a special bit of code which did a thin-plate finite element analysis of heat exchanger endplates. This was quite primitive by modern standards (I had to create the mesh by hand, for example).

Such computational shortcuts allowed me to certify some designs as safe - or otherwise, in the case of certain French cranes built to a Norme Française, which were probably perfectly designed but which were a bit too cutting edge for me. Either they weren't conformal with the usual ASME or BS standards, or there was some special threat (like earthquake or wind loading).

So I was at one time fairly technically proficient in my field(s) but except for the 1986 Lift (elevator) code for NZ, not the author of anything like a reference work. With one exception: I did actually once get co-opted into writing a paper jointly with two other gentlemen on carbon dating (I had skills in signal processing which they lacked). One project I had in mind when joining Citizendium was to write about the calibration stochastic distortion associated with nonlinearities in radiocarbon decay.

But there's no radiocarbon dating article I can add to! There is one in Wikipedia, though it's patchy. Should I create a new one?

Also, should I include a mathematical formula with LaTeX? When it comes to LaTeX my favourite shortcut is to import LaTeX into AbiWord but that converts it to MathML. Besides I've never created an article before, let alone one with equations in it.

--Terry Richard Linter Cole 10:18, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Terry, I have no expertise whatsoever in astrophysics, so I cannot help you regarding the Astrophysics article. At the moment, I am very busy with other matters and I suggest that you contact John Brews with all of your above questions.
However, I will tell you that any mathematics should be either in LaTeX or html ... with LaTeX being preferable. Also, we have a policy against importing WP articles. So, if you want to write an article about radiocarbon dating, please create a new one.
Again, please contact John Brews with your above questions. You might also contact Daniel Mietchen who is one of our active Physics editors. Regards, Milton Beychok 15:03, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

You might to check these contributions

Milt I sent a message to a Constable to review these contributions but since you are online you might want to take a look. The contributions are from a new contributor so I am sure he needs a bit of guidance. See: [[1]] Thanks for checking this out. Mary Ash 04:30, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Assistance on photographs´ authors

Regards, Mr. Beychok. I am the new man in the town, and I published the article White Argentine in this encyclopedia, and I uploaded many photos that are planned to appear in it. Most of them are from Wikipedia, and they are in Public Domain according to Argentine law. Nevertheless, I have found hard to get the name(s) of their author(s). For example, a very well know photo of F1 car racer [Juan Manuel Fangio taken in 1952]; I looked it up in a collection named "Photograph in Argentine History" published by Clarín newspaper from my country, where most photos had their sources and authors, and it displays the label "Unidentified author". In the case of photos taken from Argentina Presidency official site, they are all credited to the official photographer of the Casa Rosada, but there are others taken by anonymous contributors to Wikipedia whom I cannot get their names. Other photos of Argentine Presidents from the XIX century have a similar difficulty, for they only display the history book they were taken from, all the sources for ALL the photos appearing in that book. Other authors here adviced me to contact you for guidance. Thanks for your attention. --Pablo Martín Zampini 13:47, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Pablo, I am sorry but I have too many other matters to attend to at the moment. Please discuss your problems with one of our Constables and ask them to contact Stephen Ewan who set up Citizendium's original policies on images imported from Wikimedia Commons. As I recall, his policy stated that we must obtain the real names of the image creators for any images imported from either Wikimedia Commons or from Flickr. Lacking a real name, then I would guess that the name of an entity like a U.S. government agency, a company name, a museum name, etc. should be sufficient.
I repeat, ask one of our Constables to contact Stephen Ewan ... or perhaps Larry Sanger, our original founder. I am fairly sure that the constables should be able to contact one of them. Milton Beychok 15:11, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Apollo program

Hello hello. I actually happened to read about half the article few days ago because it was so well written. There was quite a bit of fun and excitement in seeing the story unfold in the context of the Cold War rivalry. I want to read all of it again, actually. Thank you. (Chunbum Park 12:05, 23 June 2011 (UTC))

Definition of 'billion' in Apollo program

Milton, Note #1 in Apollo program defines 'billion' as 106. I just checked my American bank account balance and it reads 109 for 'billion'. ;) Anthony.Sebastian 18:46, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Anthony ... I goofed. Milton Beychok 19:01, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
BTW: I love what you've done with the Apollo program. Reads with grace, style, and coherence. I will continue to try adding a little value, just to be part of something great. Anthony.Sebastian 23:35, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Have you looked at the gallery subpage? I could add more photos ... what do you think? Milton Beychok 00:03, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Re Apollo program/Gallery

Milton, nice work with the gallery. Can you think of a way, in the main article, to either:

  • link to a specific image, perhaps by number or image-specific tag, allowing referral to specific images throughout the text
  • create a link that, with mouse-over, pops up the image in a small pop-up window, allowing reader to see an image to illustrate a text statement, obviating need to include image permanently in the article

I use Firefox as my default browser, with the 'Cool Previews' add-in. When I mouse-over a link, external or internal, Cool Previews gives an icon to click to pop-up the linked page in a pop-up small, sizable window that disappears when you roll out of it. You never leave the main article page. Anthony.Sebastian 02:43, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

New functions should really be accomplished with templates (and I don't have the faintest notion how to write them) and should work for any browser. After all, not everyone uses Firefox and, those that do, may not have the same add-ons.
I think it boils down to creating some templates or creating an add-on to our MediaWiki software. You would do much better to take this up with either Daniel Mietchen, Peter Schmitt or Dan Nessett ... all of whom know a great deal about how to create templates. Milton Beychok 02:55, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Obtaining article approval

Hi Milt:

I observe that you are usually eager to obtain final approval for articles you write. I'd like to discuss the utility of this process with you.

A perhaps unrepresentative glance at the approval process for a number of articles leads to my view that approval is rather an informal process involving a limited number of "experts" who may enjoy clapping each other on the back more than reading the article for clarity or accuracy. An example is the article Set theory, which encompasses a number of near trivial defects (like using undefined technical acronyms) that I pointed out months ago on its talk page, and corrected on its draft page, with no apparent interest from the community or the original authors or its approvers.

In fact, I'd suggest, placing an article in the "approved" category and thereby removing all probability of correction of even minor points is quite counterproductive. Maybe it fits in with the CZ conceit of having definitive articles that can be referenced by outside authors, but in fact these articles are often less than definitive and have simply been placed high on a shelf where they can't be dusted off. It is my impression that the main utility of this category of articles is to preserve inaccuracy and obscurity of presentation. John R. Brews 17:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

John, as with many other of our shortcomings, what you describe is due to a lack of editors. The draft of an approved article can be nominated for re-approval. As with its first approval, that requires either one editor in the pertinent workgroup who made no significant edits of the article or three editors (some or all of whom did make some significant edits). With our current lack of editors, it is very difficult to get any approvals or re-approvals.
Set theory is in the Mathematics and Computers workgroups. Two really active Math editors are Peter Schmitt and Boris Tsirelson. Two really active Computer Editors are Sandy Harris and Pat Palmer. To find that out, one goes to those workgroups and displays the so-called "active editors". Then one looks at the "User Contributions" of the so-called "active editors" to see who are the "really" active editors. (I know ... that's a lot of work!)
Then one posts messages on the Talk pages of the really active editors and asks if they want to nominate an article for approval or re-approval.
So, if you really want to get re-approval of Set theory ask Schmitt, Tsirelson, Sandy and Pat to nominate it for re-approval. I am an Engineering editor and I cannot nominate it.
If you think that our current approval process is no good and you have a better way for CZ to grant approvals, then you should present your thoughts to the Editorial Council. But, in my opinion, the real problem is lack of editors. That's why I kept bugging you to become a Physics editor. Milton Beychok 18:42, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
John, as for my being eager to get approval for my articles, the only one I have asked for help on in many months is the Apollo program. I really don't think that is being "usually eager". Milton Beychok 18:47, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
As Milt says, the only problem we have with the current Approval is the lack of active Editors. A couple of years ago, when I was a Constable, I was doing the mechanics of Approval fairly often. Now, either a lot of those Editors are either gone or new articles falling within their fields of expertise are simply not being written. The Editorial Council is acutely aware of this situation. We have had a Motion and prolonged Discussion going on about this for sometime now, and it is probable that a new mechanism will shortly be in place. Take a look at it at Whether it will work any better, however, is something that only the future can tell us.... Hayford Peirce 18:54, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Milt and Hayford:

Thanks for the replies. It seems you both agree that the lack of editors impairs the approval process. If we agree that the approval process is not all it might be, I'd suggest that approval be suspended until a reasonable expectation of adequate review arrives. Because poor approvals do more damage in sheltering poor articles and in showcasing them as the best CZ can offer than any good that may come of them. John R. Brews 00:14, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, I think that Approvals have simply suspended themselves because of a lack of Editors competent in the fields in which they have been requested. A couple of the crazies at Irrational Wiki may say that some of our earlier Approvals were bad (Homeopathy, for instance) but I can't think of any in a couple of years that have caused any controversy at all. Since we're not doing any Approvals, then, by definition, none of them can be "poor".... What you have to understand is that right now at Citizendium there may actually be 500, say, really outstanding articles written by true experts in those particular fields BUT there are no Editors in those fields that can Approve them. I myself would say that the true problem at the moment is not POOR Approvals, but the lack of Approvals for GOOD articles. The new Proposal in front of the Editorial Council may unlock this logjam.... Hayford Peirce 00:32, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
John, there were a grand total of 40 votes in our recent elections. That in itself tell us how much we need more active authors and editors alike. Personally, I am amazed at how much has been done by so few. Milton Beychok 01:33, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
John, excuse my interference: I saw your comments on Talk:Set theory (long ago) but I did not see any need for re-approval. In fact, I do not think that you pointed out any "defect" in the article. (It is a good informal introduction and not meant as an exhaustive survea.) As for your remark that approval is mainly "clapping each other on the back": The article was written by an author who (so far) has only contributed this article. It was "discovered" by Boris, and I copyedited for approval by Boris -- there was now shoulder clapping. --Peter Schmitt 12:05, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi Peter: Personally I think (of course) that I made useful amendments on the draft page accompanied by very clear suggestions on the talk page. No-one deigned to engage upon the subject. And I'd call Boris Tsirelson's comment "Nice work" a clap on the back.
However you want to see the matter, my suggestions were ignored entirely, and I had no indication that you or anyone else ever read them. The net result, of course, was no change at all.
Unresponsiveness is only to the detriment of CZ. Apparently, what is, is, and the approval mechanism sets it in stone. John R. Brews 14:43, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
John, it would be nice and politer if every comment would be answered. But -- even though we are a small community -- not every edit is observed, and not every comment is read. And (unfortunately) not even every read comment can be answered. This, bluntly, may not be expected from a group of volunteers. And if had answered: "Nice suggestions. I shall (re)approve the page at once" then this would have been a clap on the back, wouldn't it? --Peter Schmitt 16:51, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Peter, as often happens in exchanges on wikis, e-mail, and TV talk shows, among other media with narrow bandwidth and soundbite format, the laser-like focus upon minutiae misdirects.
The larger perspective is that the approval process might (under ideal circumstances with many participating editors) result in change to an approved article if egregious errors or embarrassing omissions were found and could be agreed to exist.
But simple changes that would improve the article without great modification of content apparently are not going to happen because the process introduces overhead that no-one feels is worth the bother. And at present, in fact, no-one exists to enable any such changes, however well warranted.
Is requiring a large threshold momentum for change a good thing, especially when the circumstances are far from ideal and participants hard to find? Isn't an article going to have greater appeal with improved grammar, or actual definitions for technical acronyms, or for building a broader context, or adding a figure, or etc etc, all things that (let's say) may be helpful in some particular article? Doesn't approval make such changes harder to accomplish, and even more so under the present limited circumstances?
And so, doesn't the approval process prove an impediment to CZ, rather than an asset, at least at the moment?
I believe the answers are yes. And as that is my message here, and as I seem to find no acceptance for any of my observations, I'll let the matter drop. Thank you, John R. Brews 20:14, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
John, our Chief constable (Matt Innis) will update an approved article to be consistent with a revised draft of the article (without formal re-approval) if, and only if, the revisions of the draft are merely mis-spellings, fixing or adding wiki links , adding or changing photos, and similar trivial revisions. If he is not sure whether the revisions are trivial, he would probably ask the original nominating editors. You may wish to contact him. Milton Beychok 20:34, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Milt: That is a practical suggestion. I was not aware of this possibility. Thanks. John R. Brews 22:39, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Any mistakes, even minor ones, typos, bad formatting, and such, should be corrected, of course. But changes in wording, adding a figure here or a sentence there are not so easy: What one might see as an improvement, another one might see as a "deterioration". A sequence of apparently minor changes may drastically change the "feeling", the style, or the personality of an article.
WP believes in constant incremental change. I do not -- I prefer some stability so that someone who cites a CZ article will still recognize it on a later revisit. Cooperation is fine, but if every now and then another author fiddles with a text (with best intentions!) the text will become sterile. I see "approval" as equivalent to publication -- you do not republish the same article without good reason.
Milt's talk page is, of course, not the best place for such a general disussion (that will have to occur when the EC debates re-approval criteria). --Peter Schmitt 23:06, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Peter, I'm sure some of us think we are amazingly eloquent and, like poets and playwrights, sweat for hours over whether two sentences should replace a compound sentence, or whether a Venn diagram really adds to the concept of a union and intersection or somehow violates the purity of an abstract description. For these authors, the greater the impediment to revision the better, eh? John R. Brews 00:29, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

(unindent)Peter and John, I think you have both now reached an impasse. So let this discussion end now ... or else move it to one of your talk pages. Milton Beychok 01:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Milt: The impasse is yet to come - it's all in the abstract so far. Following your suggestion, I have made a proposal to Matt here. John R. Brews 02:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)