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September 13

Sound of Silence

(Inspired by a related discussion on the Language desk) Was the Simon Garfunkel song The Sound of Silence influenced in any way by Jean Cocteau's play of the same name? And/or, do they have any main themes in common? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:992F:DDCF:CD34:2A70 (talk) 03:08, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Almost certainly no influence that way around. The title Cocteau gave his play was Le Bel indifférent, and the English translation was only published in 1992. That doesn't prove that it wasn't performed under the title The Sound of Silence earlier, but I can't find any mention of it by that name on Google Books before the Simon and Garfunkel song. Maybe the question should be whether the translator was influenced by Simon and Garfunkel. Also, FWIW, the song was originally called "The Sounds of Silence" according to our article on it. --Antiquary (talk) 09:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Just to further clarify, the English title of the play is not a translation of the French title. The French phrase lacks any good direct English translation, perhaps "the aloof beauty"? Maybe? The phase "the sound of silence" has nothing to do with the original French title. --Jayron32 11:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Paul Simon has told the story repeatedly [1][2][3] that he wrote the song at night, in the bathroom, with the lights off. The phrase "hello darkness" is in reference to sitting in the dark. The images of the song came from his imagination of the running water from the tap and the cold tiles. He imagined being in a subway station or on a damp stone street. The entire aspect of the singer knowing what's right and everyone else being wrong was, as Simon put it, just teenage angst. (talk) 11:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Hence the line about "I turned my collar to the cold and damp". But as far as the last 2 verses, I have a different take on those -- I think it could be a statement on commercialized pop art vs. authentic folk art -- hence the line "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls". 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:3DB7:8D6E:A762:14CC (talk) 11:41, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
For prophesy being written on walls, see Belshazzar's feast. Alansplodge (talk) 19:45, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Another twist is that there had been a legal battle in the US at about that time over scripts for the TV series, The Twilight Zone. Apparently a script called "The Sound of Silence" was submitted to the producers in 1961. In 1963, screenwriter Rod Serling wrote a similar story for the same series called "Sounds and Silences", which was only shown once before Serling was successfully sued by the original author (see A Critical History of Television’s The Twilight Zone, 1959–1964 p. 185 by Don Presnell, Marty McGee). Alansplodge (talk) 20:00, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Stones gap in Ottawa

I believe the Rolling Stones have performed in Ottawa twice - with a 42-year gap. Is this true, and is this a record for their history? Hayttom (talk) 19:50, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

On This fansite's page about the concert at the "Frank Clair Stadium, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, ON, Canada, Sunday, August 28, 2005" a reviewer writes: "the last time they played here was way back on April 24, 1965 at the YMCA Auditorium", so that would be a 40-year gap. With this info on date and location it should be possible to find links in local or national newspaper archives, for solid reference. Unfortunately not all the "Newslinks" listed there work. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:05, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
(No idea whether this is a record in time gap between performances in the same city) ---Sluzzelin talk 20:14, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia, interestingly, has an almost complete list of Rolling Stones concert tours indexed at The Rolling Stones concerts. The April 24, 1965 date is listed at The Rolling Stones 1st American Tour 1965 and the August 28, 2005 date is listed at A Bigger Bang (concert tour). It would take some work, but by perusing all of those articles, you could answer just about any question from those lists. There's a fansite here that promises a "complete concert log" for every Rolling Stones concert ever, it may fill in the few gaps the Wikipedia articles have. --Jayron32 20:21, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Just checked that site and it does indicate the same as noted above, the only two concerts listed for Ottawa are the two above, 40 years apart. According to This page at same site, they also had a 40-year gap (1966-2006) between concerts in Wellington. --Jayron32 20:27, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Here shows a 40-year gap between shows in Warsaw. --Jayron32 20:29, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I point out that at 40 years and just over 4 months, the gap shown for Ottawa is longer than those other two. -- (talk) 21:28, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
They could still theoretically return to Statesboro and beat the record soundly. They didn't like it 52 years ago, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:42, September 13, 2017 (UTC)
So they had the Statesboro Blues? --Jayron32 22:39, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I think Honolulu is another one like that. They toured in The Rolling Stones American Tour 1966 and The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973 but from what I can tell, haven't been back since. Strike that, found Bridges to Babylon Tour. I suspect there may be other American and other cities like that, but I'm not sure. Nil Einne (talk) 13:05, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

September 14

Anime fight - sword slashing a speeding bullet

Do you remember any anime fight scene where a fighter uses a sword to slash a speeding bullet?

I'm not sure if this happens in many animes, I'm pretty sure I've seen it happening at least once. Thanks. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 13:33, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Supposedly, Isao Machii has done it, there's videos of him doing it, see [4], though it's really a plastic BB, which is I guess technically a bullet (a projectile fired by a gun), though at much slower speeds, but he really does cut it (if the vidoes aren't faked). --Jayron32 13:56, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
The genuine classical bujutsu technique of deflecting arrows with a sword is called yadome-jutsu. [5] Alansplodge (talk) 17:12, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
TVTropes has a Parrying Bullets page. Seems there's a fellow in Gun Sword who's so slick, he can even cut machine gun bullets. Don't try that at home. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:46, September 14, 2017 (UTC)

September 15

The need for a time signature and measures

Why do we need a time signature and measures in order to write/perform music? Is writing/performing music possible with just different note value and a metronome mark (using a quarter note, which already determines how fast one should perform the song because it determines how many quarter notes should be played in one minute)?

Also, if we do need time signatures, if one were to change the time signature of a song from a 4/4 to a 2/4, would the song sound different when performed? VarunSoon (talk) 06:36, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Indeed it would. By convention, time signature communicates additional information about the feel of a piece besides just the number of beats per measure. By stressing certain beats and making extremely tiny alterations to the timing, each time signature communicates a certain way to play the piece different from all others. Watch the first 2 minutes of this video which explains it quite well. The example used there (starting at about 0:57) compares 3/4 time to 6/8 time, which is different than the two you asked, but still captures the concept well. I found this video as well that explains the conventional difference between 4/4 and 2/4. --Jayron32 10:57, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
There is indeed some music written without time signatures, ranging from the unmeasured preludes of Louis Couperin (notated in only whole notes, and intended to be executed freely without regard to meter) to the sonatas of Galina Ustvolskaya (which usually involve relentless and completely even quarter-note beats), and weirdly passing through the music of Erik Satie (many of whose pieces are written without time signatures, but correspond fairly clearly to simple ones like 2/4, 3/4, or 6/8). But this is not the norm, because time signatures are useful for the reasons Jayron32 mentions (and in fact the absence of a time signature itself communicates additional information just like the presence of any one is – namely, that there should be either no real differentiation in stress between beats, or even no sense of a consistent meter or beat at all). Double sharp (talk) 13:27, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Movements in fighting video games

Some time ago I noticed that characters' movements in modern fighting games are somewhat unnatural, as if they were on roller skates. When quick approaches, etc. are required, the characters often move as if by sliding, in contrast to older Mortal Kombat-like games where you can see individual leg movements. Why is that? Is it because developers don't want complicated animations? (talk) 10:33, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Well, the movement is unrealistic in any number of different ways, but one of the things I have noticed as a longtime player is that the desire to simulate making contact (fist to jaw, say) is very difficult to space out correctly. In real life, you would extend reach, re-plant feet, re-position the body, etc. in a multitude of ways nearly automatically and almost instantaneously. That's hard to simulate. In most fighting games, the visual attention is focused on the upper portion of the body, which generally means that any cheating should be done down below. So, that is what happens. The alternate would be jarringly improbable limb lengths or angles. Having the character slide forward or back is a reasonable trade-off against all the computational and graphical heavy work otherwise required. Matt Deres (talk) 17:22, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
There's also the fundamental issue that hyper-realistic graphics and animation is an end-to-itself in gaming, or that such graphics and animation improve gameplay. Games like Nethack still enjoy high levels of popularity and are not necessarily improved by such changes. Game designers are primarily concerned with making their games fun and playable, realism can, of course, be used in service of that end, but should not be used to the detriment of that end. Unrealistic physics can actually make for more playable games. --Jayron32 18:12, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Many cheat up top, too, by drawing a flashy starburst deal ("hit sparks") at the point of impact. When viewers see that, they're distracted from realizing they didn't see realistic contact. Somewhat like noticing a pro wrestler stomping the mat with a punch, instead of noticing the silence of the punch itself. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:24, September 16, 2017 (UTC)
Note that walking is particularly difficult to get from tweening, where you create just a few frames and have the program interpolate between them. Consider two tweened scenes:
A) A fist starts 10 inches from a face and ends up on the face. The tweened image shows the fist 5 inches from the face. No problem.
B) The person is standing 10 feet from their opponent and then right in contact with them. The tweened image shows them 5 feet from their opponent, but the feet are in the same position. This looks like they are sliding, not walking.
Of course, there is a fix, by manually creating more key frames with the feet and legs in every position, but this is expensive and time-consuming. StuRat (talk) 21:53, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

September 16

Connie Smith

Is Connie Smith a truther? One of my Farcebook friends said he is unfriending her for this reason -- but I have trouble believing that she's a truther (although I know that Willie Nelson is, so there is precedent). 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:3DB7:8D6E:A762:14CC (talk) 11:07, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

What have you found on Google so far? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:54, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Here's a 9/11 "truther" named Connie Cook Smith: (Could THAT be the one who got unfriended?) 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:3DB7:8D6E:A762:14CC (talk) 06:52, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
There is a Connie Smith who seems to be a "truther" here: [6]. However, as far as I can tell the singer is apolitical, so this is probably another person with the same, rather common, name. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
The truth (or "the truth") about 9/11 interests apolitical people, too. It's fascinating on media, crime and death levels. Many country songs are about illusion, outlaws and heartache. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:46, September 16, 2017 (UTC)
Smith's post-9/11 album seems quite heavy on the latter. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:52, September 16, 2017 (UTC)

September 17

Chained to the rhythm

Katy perry's music video, is that considered just retro or retro-futuristic? I'm wondering what the culture depicted is called, their outfits are 50s-60s yet futuristic. Thanks for any tips. (talk) 00:08, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

The subsection on the music video mentions futuristic (for the theme park). It's not considered 'just' retro, but it has indeed been called retrofuturistic. You can find a number of reviews mentioning The Jetsons, for example ("The Jetsons meets Hunger Games" ... Pleasantville gets mentioned too ...). ---Sluzzelin talk 23:14, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Deliberately losing National Basketball Association games

While I was at the gas station this evening, their "at the pump TV" played a short clip of some ESPN talking heads. One of the personalities started discussing a practice in the NBA, whose pronunciation sounded like "plinking" or "pinking", saying basically "the NBA needs to do something about [verb]. Any situation in which losing games benefits your team is quite problematic". He wasn't talking about coaches or players throwing a few games; he was careful to note that this is something done by team managers, and it's not prohibited by league rules. So...what is this practice called, and what is involved in it? A search for <nba losing plinking> returns mostly pages talking about target practice with firearms (nothing related to basketball), and the results for <nba losing pinking> are mostly unrelated (e.g. "lovely views of a sun pinking the sky behind Box Springs Mountain") or typos ("I'm pinking the C's to win on a whim"). Nyttend (talk) 00:10, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Maybe "tanking". That article mentions the NBA several times too. And googling tanking + NBA gives a number of recent reports and plans for tanking reform etc. ---Sluzzelin talk 00:26, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Letting only your worst substitutes play to try to get a better position in this? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:20, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
That's why there's a lottery rather than THE worst team automatically getting the top draft pick. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:10, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
More losses still improves the odds. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 05:57, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
It is definitely "tanking." See the Philadelphia 76ers and "The Process" (read more here) which was their plan of trading talented players to stockpile high draft picks. It wasn't outright telling the players to lose games but it did have the very intentional outcome of fielding a non-competitive team. uhhlive (talk) 20:48, 18 September 2017 (UTC)


Whilst reading some cheapy teen kids book (Hey,even a brain this brilliant needs to snooze sometimes),two of the characters are getting ready for bed and say:

'Night,Costello...' 'Night,Morton...'

It's not their names,or nicknames or anything like that.It looks like it's supposed to be some sort of catchphrase or in-joke that should be picked up on,but I'm danged if I can find any trace of where it comes from.Any ideas? Lemon martini (talk) 23:15, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

See Morton & Hayes and Abbott and Costello. --Jayron32 23:17, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
But why are the characters getting ready for bed whilst reading? —Tamfang (talk) 08:27, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Because they thought it cruel to shoot the elephant, wearing their pajamas ? :-) StuRat (talk) 21:24, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

September 18

Major vs. minor keys

The key signatures with 4 sharps through 3 flats in the circle of fifths are commonly used for making arrangements to everyday songs. However, the key signature with 4 flats is interesting. Its major key is A-flat major, as we know. But arrangements for everyday songs with this key signature are more likely to be in F minor. Any actual reason the minor key is more common than the major key with the same key signature (not for compositions, but for arrangements of everyday songs) in this case?? Georgia guy (talk) 18:41, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

DO you have some examples, just so we can rule out confirmation bias on your part? --Jayron32 18:45, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
I commonly do Google image searches that reveal pictures of song arrangements that come from a site called Beth's Notes Plus. It appears that most arrangements that have the 4-flat key signature are in F minor rather than A-flat major. Georgia guy (talk) 18:50, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Ask Beth. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 02:40, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
This must be restricted only to one particular collection of arrangements, then. Double sharp (talk) 04:33, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

September 19

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