User talk:Todd Coles

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, our help system and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! --Larry Sanger 00:57, 22 July 2007 (CDT)

Welcome back!

Hi Todd,

Where ya been?

Hope you'll be as productive and all-round useful as you used to be! Hayford Peirce 02:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Hayford! The combination of a new job and a slight lack of motivation kept me at bay for awhile, but I've had a little bit more time lately so I thought I'd pop back in and see what's going on. I'll try to live up to the high standards which you hold me to..:) --Todd Coles 02:32, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
THAT I hold ya to, illiterate! Hayford Peirce 03:29, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Hey, I'm just a small town Okie barely able to read and write. So sometimes I just have to make stuff up. --Todd Coles 03:44, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Makin' stuff up? Welcome to the club! Hayford Peirce 04:15, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Comments welcome on Cooking Utensils

I've just started cooking utensils...and don't know if I have the courage to take on knives, much less some of my stranger gadgets. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure I can add some insightful information such as "knives are sharp." Let me have a read and I'll comment over there.. Todd Coles 03:09, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Greetings. There's a nascent Food science workgroup which might be the best primary home for Anise?Gareth Leng 17:31, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we could cover it under Healing Arts if the herbal side is developed; PMID 18957177; PMID 18852037; PMID 18266149 and othersGareth Leng 19:42, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Phytotherapy, and a more general issue for thought about article titles

Paraphrasing one of the all-time best funny science fiction stories, Arthur C. Clarke's The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch, Arthur C. Clarke observed that defenestration is not quite one's everyday word. We have a persistent and non-trivial issue with words and titles here, and this is a good example. One key misconception is that the title will determine whether things will be found in search engines only if they have the "most likely" title — but redirects, and even strings in the body of an article, still will be found.

There are lots and lots of forms of herbal medicine, some "[adjective] herbal therapy", some less obvious such as Bach flower therapy, and blurring into nutritional medicine. The choice I took, as I think many do in health sciences, is to name the primary article after the indexing term used by the authoritative Medical Subject Headings of the National Library of Medicine, and then have lots of redirects (and links from related articles). Use all the redirects to it you can imagine, and, when a redirect could be ambiguous, consider creative use of Related Articles pages.

As I understand, there's a long-running and somewhat bitter argument in Biology, where the biologists tend to want to use scientific names for organisms of all types with redirects for the common names, while others want "most likely". I understand some biologist have left the Project over the issue.

It keeps coming up. I'm having some bitter disputes in things generally Military, in which people have variously created articles based on how some politician or talking head referred to a topic, often only one aspect of a topic, and resisting renaming (with redirects) to the formal name, or, in some cases, accepting the popular-named topic really belongs as a subtopic of a more general article. Some particularly extensive patterns have me thinking of writing no more content if the popular view will override the editor (even if there's only one active editor, but there are wise people to do "plausibility checks"). If Editors can't make these calls, or at least if qualified authors can't thoroughly support the title choice, how are we different, in accuracy, than Wikipedi? Howard C. Berkowitz 16:05, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Howard, I understand your pain. Before I went on hiatus for awhile there was large debate over how to title history articles (History of vs. , history). I personally find it tiresome and counterproductive, because I believe with the redirect system, once people come to CZ they will be able to find whatever it is they are looking for. And once CZ can build an article base with numerous approved articles (I of course understand that we need more qualified editors here, which is another issue) people will come to CZ in search of accurate articles instead of relying on WP as much, regardless of where things line up on the Google search.
It also seems to me like very few issues are ever resolved here. This article naming thing has been going on for more than a year. --Todd Coles 17:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

cumin, cumin (in French), anis, anise, carvi, caraway, anisette, etc. etc.

This is a plate of spaghetti, at least in French -- there are 3 or 4 overlapping names and mis-names. I've just been looking at the French WP, which has extensive articles (and pictures) of most of the above, with warnings not to confuse one with the other(s) but I'm afraid that I'll probably never get it clear. In Alsace, for instance, they call the caraway seeds they put on bread "cumin", but sometimes "anise". And in Southern France, those are different things. Is a puzzlement! that I'll let you scratch your head over....

I used to drink a lot of Pernod -- now I put a 1/4 teaspoon of it into some of my "Polynesian" rum drinks for subtle flavoring... Cheers! Hayford Peirce 17:10, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Black caraway (nigella, I think) is South Asian, looks quite different from European caraway, and is immensely better in rye bread than European caraway. (For that matter, mixing dill seeds and caraway seeds, and maybe dill weed [leaf]) in rye bread is even better).
Star anise (Chinese) and anise (Mediterranean) look completely different, I'm sure are biologically different, and have different but sometimes overlapping culinary uses.
I think of European cumin, caraway and anise as three completely different seeds (dark small disks, larger brownish comma-shaped, often greenish ovals). Black cumin (South asian) is quite different, as is black caraway. Fresh chervil arguably gives what I'll call an anise flavor. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:23, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, looks as if you've mastered the intricacies, Howard! Good for you! I *do* have star anise in my cupboard (dingle, as we old New Englanders call it) and use it in Chinese cooking. Used to put in a couple of drops of Pernod if I didn't have the stars. A number of old Bearnaise recipes call for fresh chervil but I was never able to find it when I *wanted* to try it, and now that I can find it in specialty markets I don't bother. I'm sure that the late, sainted Waverley Root in his magisterial Food, probably has straightened out the cumin problem also. I suppose that I ought to go take a look.... Hayford Peirce 17:53, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Air-dried chervil is useless; some freeze-dried work. Nevertheless, chervil isn't that hard to grow, even indoors. In a cool climate — the plants go to seed very quickly — if you like it (or do it indoors), you can get good quality by harvesting the leaves, mixing with a little water, pureeing in a blender, pouring into an ice cube tray, and popping an herb cube into the cookpot. Note that I didn't say dry-frozen (as opposed to freeze-dried) herbs but frozen in a puree -- that seems to conserve the delicate tastes. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:03, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Maybe Luther Burbank could grow things in Tucson -- I sure can't. I've wasted 15 trying to grow basil and chives. For a couple of years I had basil fleakin' trees they were so big and beautiful! Then they died and I could never get new plants to last more than 8 or 9 months. Chives were even worse, indoor, outdoor, in the pool house, in the family room, in the shade, in the sun, impossible. Black Thumb Peirce they call me.... Hayford Peirce 18:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm personally not a huge fan of anise or anise flavoring. I'm a fan of Jagermeister, which led me to try Sambuca which I couldn't stand. Of course I was drinking it straight so that could have been a problem... I have been using Gary Allen's The Herbalist in the Kitchen for some reference in all of this and he has numerous names for it used around the world. I don't know if dumping said plate of spaghetti into the article will really bring any value to it - perhaps this is something that could be added on a catalog subpage, various names for the same thing. --Todd Coles 18:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I'll let you make that decision (and implementation) 100 percent! It's too brain-twisting for me. Although I'd throw in Waverley Root's contributions if you got it started -- he's pretty authoritative. Hayford Peirce 18:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
In a weird sort of way, indoor and even moderate outdoor culinary herb gardening is one of those challenges for CZ. There's not much sourced, but there's a lot of things I've learned, over the years, in keeping, say, arugula and chives and basil and such for kitchen use. Many techniques were things I learned by word of mouth, and then adjusted. We may be experimenting with a small business of putting in mini-herb-gardens, possibly hydroponic, for restaurant or foodie-with-too-much-money homes.
Much of my knowledge came from Tom DeBaggio, a sixties radical who became a self-taught herb expert, with species named for him. One of the saddest journeys, being followed by PBS, is Tom's developing early-onset Alzheimer's at 57, and desperately trying, with collaborators, to share the knowledge before it is all gone. He deserves an article. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Now that I have skinned the tree, whistled a dirge for friends gone, waggled a finger in disgust and anger, it is time to be silent and wait for the next tear to fall. This is the way the world ends, with clouds of spit ringing your mouth and stuttering screams of helplessness, as it was in the beginning. Go on. Keep going on. Struggle to stay alive, even as the dark night falls with angry shouts and burning tear

Draft of the week

Thanks Todd, this makes me feel very welcome to CZ. A really nice incentive. Dalton Holland Baptista 03:27, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Odd things with redirects

There are some techniques in development, such as having Definitions and Related Pages associated with Redirects, which are quite deliberate and have specific functions. The Lemma Template also can have multiple redirects. Please check with me or with Chris Day before you assume something odd in this area should be deleted. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:50, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

If that's the case, constables should be aware of it and ignore my request. And also, if I have to check with someone before I do anything around here, I will probably not do anything at all. So for what it is worth, I will stay away from these issues in the future. --Todd Coles 18:53, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Todd, certainly correct a typo or error when you see it. I'm merely suggesting that is continuing development in structuring, navigation, etc. When you see something unusual, rather than a double redirect, it is worth checking before calling for deletion. Now, moving forward, I'm willing to put edit notes into unusual structures — there isn't always a talk page for making such notes. Having definitions and related articles subpages on redirects, as well as the "lemma template" where having a definition transcluded to a mainpage having nothing but {{subpages}}</ref>, are things that were introduced to deal with specific issues of Related Pages, especially R-templates. ::I'd only ask that when you see something that seems to have involved considerable setup, check the version history, and, if there are active contributors, check with them. Feel free to raise a flag on the page, but <nowiki>{{speedydelete}} can be drastic. I've used them, but often only after months of talk page discussion.Howard C. Berkowitz 19:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
So is there any documentation into any of this stuff out there? I have no idea what a "lemma template" is, probably something introduced during my inactive period on the wiki. I would hope there is some kind of documentation on these sort of things, because not many people are willing to do "maintenance" type issues and in situations like this it actually discourages me to continue doing them. Another question would be is should the subpages template be showing up on these pages? Because it isn't - and I was only alerted to this fact through a list that Chris Day made and placed on the Write-a-Thon page for cleaning.
Edit notes will definately help. Is Third Indochina War the only thing you noticed I did wrong? --Todd Coles 19:12, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Benjamin Franklin

Hi Todd, I read with pleasure Benjamin Franklin. I have one comment: I don't believe that Franklin invented the electrical battery. Everybody always credits Volta (1800) for this and Faraday, Oersted and such people called the battery a "Voltaic pile". From your description it seems to me that Franklin invented an improved version of the capacitor. The "Leyden jar" can be seen as a primitive version of the capacitor. --Paul Wormer 15:54, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

In the evnt of a tie

According to the rules, in the event of a tie, the first one in alphabetical order gets chosen first, Please see this discussion here: I believe the correct procedure was followed with Battle of La Drang winning over Wisconsin v. Yoder. Since Oliver Cromwell is currently tied with Wisconsin v. Yoder, then Oliver Cronwell should be the next article if the tie is achieved, as in alphabetical order in comes before Wisconsin or Yoder. Meg Ireland 23:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

The Battle article did correctly win over Wisconsin, however, as a result of that tie Wisconsin was guaranteed it's spot. The Cromwell article did not become tied with Wisconsin until your recent vote, which was done this week, so it was not in play when the original two articles tied. --Todd Coles 02:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Civil wars

There is a subsection of Insurgency#Civil War from which the disambiguation page, or a catalog, could branch. As it is, if you look down to a table of insurgencies, you'll find a column of civil wars. I was new to CZ at the time I wrote that and hadn't thought about disambiguation pages or catalog subpages. Now, we certainly could break out a generic Civil wars as a subarticle. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:16, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

French and Indian War(s)

Thanks for getting those started. I hope to contribute if I can find the time in between other projects. As far as approvals go, should we start working on Thomas Paine? --Joe Quick 14:50, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice to have someone else look at Thomas Paine. I asked Jensen about it back in 2007 around the time he approved Nathanael Greene, he made 2 changes but didn't really offer any other opinions on it. --Todd Coles 15:02, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I can talk to some specific military aspects as a Military editor, but I can't say I'm an expert on the whole war. Coincidentally, I was just going to examine the biological warfare claims for the BW article (i.e., the claims of deliberate spread of smallpox). I also have some sense of the tactics. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:49, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Haven't seen you for a long while!

Sending a quick ‘hello’ out to all of you who wanted a weekend write-a-thon. Also, a nudge, push, and a shove to all those who haven’t made it out in a while. This Sunday, 10th January, is your Big Chance. Party theme is ‘stubs’. Now, what could be easier? Write about anything you want! (At least come on over and say ‘hi’—we’ve all been much too quiet lately and I rather miss everybody.) Aleta Curry 21:34, 7 January 2010 (UTC)