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January 26[edit]

Relationship between relative age of students and their academic performance[edit]

In most K–12 education systems, the students within a grade differ in age by up to one year. On average, do the older student perform better academically than their younger classmates?

I found two papers[1][2] that claim this is indeed the case.

But then I also found this New Yorker article[3], citing this paper[4], that the opposite is true, surprisingly enough.

So which group of academics is correct here? WinterWall (talk) 04:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It's unlikely you can come to any reliable conclusion with only 3 papers, onlyunless one of them happens to be a review paper (i.e. there are actually a lot more papers). At most, you may be able to decide that one or more of the papers isn't particularly good (but this doesn't mean you can be certain that the others are definitely right even if the research is better, you still only have 2 papers). Anyway these papers seem to be looking at different things. The first 2 seem to be looking at academic performance during the children's schooling years. The other one seems to be looking at IQ at 18, educational attainment, earnings, teenage pregnancy and possibly other things. So it could easily be both findings are largely correct (or for that matter wrong). Nil Einne (talk) 07:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Something besides scholastic aptitude that matters is self-control and emotional maturity, especially in early elementary school. μηδείς (talk) 17:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I’ve had a quick dig through google scholar and found three more papers [5] [6] [7] (that coincidentally come to similar conclusions as your first two) but no systematic review/literature review/meta-analytic review, which is what you want. Some terms for you to keep searching on: “birthday effect”, “relative age effect”, “birth month”, “season of birth”, “birthdate effect” etc. Taknaran (talk) 15:19, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

what if the USA, the EU-Countries, Russia, China and India suddenly disappared?[edit]

what would happen, if, some day about now, the United States of America, the 28 member states of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of India (all these nations territory defined by the territory they claim to belong to them, irrespective of how other countries think of these claims or actual territorial control. Territorial waters count. Airspace and space within earth gravity well included) would, without any unusual preceding signs or explanation suddenly disappear (disappear in the sense, that there are nosigns anymore, that humans ever existed in these places - no manmade structures, no artifacts, even ressources exploited by humans are back) ? What would be the global ramifications of such an event? How would the part of humanity that would still be there (and their gouvernments) act in such a situation with all of the worlds major powers gone? (of course I'm aware that this premise is rather fantastical, but so is Without Warning (Birmingham novel)) -- (talk) 08:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

That sounds like a great question for xkcd What If. I think Randall would also love your exact specifications of the problem. Not that there's anything wrong with asking it here, either. — Sebastian 08:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, the thing wrong with asking it here is that it says at the top of the page "We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." -- BenRG (talk) 08:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
See also Darwinia (novel)... AnonMoos (talk) 08:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The only certain answer is that the USA, the EU-Countries, Russia, China and India would no longer exist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Ukraine Would Rule World! MWAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHaha! μηδείς (talk) 18:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Switzerland might also have an opinion on the issue. Tevildo (talk) 20:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The Swiss will be too busy in their sex boxes for world domination. And don't even mention the Japanese and Koreans with their marriage pillows. Ukraine Rules!!! μηδείς (talk) 22:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the Mongol Hordes would deal with them. Mind you, the swastika is quite popular there, so maybe they might get along quite well, especially at football matches. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:34, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Mongkrainia Would Rule World! MWAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHaha! μηδείς (talk) 18:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't have to take my car to be e-tested anymore... (talk) 18:56, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
And the Canadian content TV quota would be easier to maintain. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:00, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
Not only that, no-one would have to worry about the Eurozone anymore, without the Greeks, Spanish, and Italians to feck it up. Britain would once again be completely independant (though with the OP's premise, no-one would actually be here). Anybody not in the EU would immediately seize the chance to occupy these islands if we all disappeared suddenly, through some bizarre 'rapture' thingy that Christians fantasize about, only to find lots of clothes lying around in the streets, because, apparently, God is into having lots of naked people around him. Or maybe that was just the artists in the old days, where drawing pictures of naked men was a 'fashion'. Oh, hang on, they were Greek, Spanish, and Italians. Is there a pattern here? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 19:25, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


Suppose that you believe the entire Hebrew Bible to be true (like most Christians), but you don't accept the New Testament. You're also not Jewish by ethnicity and haven't formally converted to the religion. Perhaps you were a Christian who got disillusioned with the New Testament, and because you're black, nobody would think you're a Jew. What would you be called? Do people like this actually exist? Under Jewish tradition, do these people have to follow the Law (including all 613 mitzvot), or can they just follow the Noahide laws? --Bowlhover (talk) 08:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

In ancient times such people were known as God-fearers -- kind of hangers-on to Judaism who were reluctant to get circumcised or effectively repudiate their previous ethnic affiliation. Christianity spread in part because converting to Christianity didn't require such steps... AnonMoos (talk) 09:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Our article Noahidism explains that there is a modern concept of Noahidism, but not how many adherents there are. Under Jewish law, unless you're Jewish, you don't need to keep the 613 laws, just the seven. If you wanted to convert, it's notoriously difficult, but I know people who have done this, and this particular motive, which is often taken into account by the Beth Din for orthodox conversion, is extremely noble. There are black Jews. Our disambiguation page has some links. --Dweller (talk) 12:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Many "Christian" Conservatives in the US seems to believe in the old testament more than the new. They believe in the existence of Christ, but don't follow his teachings, like pacifism. They would also like the Noahide law banning homosexuality. StuRat (talk) 15:59, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Um -- theologically, Jesus did not teach "pacifism", but "forgiveness." See theological texts on this, and don't read the "popular religion" books which tend to deal in single syllables <g>. The best example of "Christian pacifism" practitioners I can think of is the Mennonites. John Howard Yoder's discussion about Reinhold Niebuhr and "forgiveness" as not meaning absolute "pacifism" is directly on point. [8] Collect (talk) 16:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Don't forget the Quakers ! StuRat (talk) 16:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
More properly Friends. See [9] for a book which deals at length with the dichotomy between pacifism and civic responsibility for defense in the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in the 17th century. Complex, but the possibility that "pacifism" was not present at the start of the Friends movement is interesting. [10] deals with the slavery issue -- where the distinction between pacifism and anti-slavery actions were rife in the movement. Not a "one size fits all" situation. Collect (talk) 18:10, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks to all! I didn't know that there are former Christians who convert to Judaism, or that black Jews existed.
@StuRat: Jesus' position on pacifism was confusing, to say the least. Everyone knows Matthew 5:38, where Jesus tells his disciples to turn the other cheek instead of resisting evil-doers. But he had no problem with evil-doers being cast into outer darkness or into everlasting fires, with "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Luke 13:27-28, Matthew 13:40-43, Mark 9:47, plus many other places). In Luke 22:36 he tells his followers to buy swords, but then admonishes them for chopping off the ear of someone coming to arrest him. We never find out what the swords are for--perhaps the apocalypse that he thought was coming?
I also don't think Jesus had anything against the Old Testament. In fact, he quite explicitly says that the Law will not pass until heaven and earth pass away (see my blog post here, under "Jesus' teachings: the Law"). Certainly Paul and many other Christians were explicitly antinomian, but Jesus was probably not. --Bowlhover (talk) 05:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

By the way, further to StuRat's comment above, it's far from clear that the Jewish concept of Noahidism includes a prohibition on homosexuality. We're currently discussing the sources at WT:JUDAISM. --Dweller (talk) 10:34, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Questions about Black people in Britain[edit]

Hi Kids. I have 2 questions regarding the history of Black people in Britain.

  • Aside from job discrimination and issues with the police, how did the idea of Black power come to Britain in the late 1960s and 1970s?
  • Secondly, is there a difference between Black Power and Black Consciousness? Are they linked or separate? Thanks guys.

--Spoœekspaar (talk) 12:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

2) Our articles treat them separately, but of course there are some links in terms of ideology and goals - see Black_Power#Impact_in_Britain, and Black_Consciousness_Movement. The former is seen as starting in the USA, the latter as starting in South Africa. Both had some impacts around the world. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:22, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Red Army personal firearms in 1918-1921[edit]

What were the main personal firearm models (revolvers, pistols and rifles) used by the Red Army in the Russian Civil War? The ones most often mentioned in fiction are Mauser C96 handgun, Nagant M1895 revolver, Mosin rifle and Berdan rifle. Are these really the main ones, or is this a self-sustaining bias in literary and cinematic fiction? What other types of revolvers and pistols were in use in the Red Army? Dr Dima (talk) 18:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I couldn't find any direct references, but The Soviet High Command: a Military-political History, 1918-1941 edited by John Erickson (p. 9) says that the foundation of the Red Army were the Red Guard detachments, made up from revolutionaries from Imperial Army base depots and "Fighting Detachments of the People's Militia" which were formed by Bolshevik groups in factories. There were plenty of weapons available from the disintegrating Imperial Army (9 million strong with at least 2 million front line troops in October 1917) and the Bolsheviks had control of the munitions factories. However, they had no allies in the outside world to send them weapons, so I suspect that the arsenal of the Red Army would be limited to weapons made in Russia or imported by the previous regime. The US had been a major supplier to the Tsar's forces, selling anything them that was available including the Winchester Model 1895 lever-action rifle. In many armies, officers were responsible for purchasing their own sidearms, which perhaps explains the Mausers, bought commercially pre-war (I believe that Winston Churchill carried one at the Battle of Omdurman). Alansplodge (talk) 22:59, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

australian aboriginals[edit]

Why didn't the Australian Aboriginals domesticate animals or develop agriculture? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The way they lived worked just dandy for somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 years. Far longer than any other known human societies. They were perfectly adapted to their environment, to the extent that they made no distinctions between themselves and the environment. They did not own any land. If anything, they considered the land owned them. They knew nothing of the world outside their country, and didn't need to. This is a bit like asking why Martians don't speak English. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Not really. The people in other places who did domesticate animals and develop agriculture were also adapted to their environment, they just found a new adaptation that worked better for them. Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs and Steel goes into why it was that some cultures made these changes and others didn't; as I recall, the principal reason is the availability of suitable species of plants and animals. -- (talk) 23:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, as I recall it's a combination of several environmental criteria. Only two seasons, always the same temperature, always the same food resources all year long, is not the same thing as four different seasons and the need to store for winter, or the need to migrate thus witness there are different realities out there. The fact that there are four seasons and a sky that changes shape and depth, and a lenghth of day that can be short or long etc, probably suggests more than on other latitudes, that reality could exist in many possible ways? Akseli9 (talk) 10:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
That's a lot of generalisation. Not all Aboriginal people lived in the desert or tropical regions. For example in the south west, the Noongar people recognised six distinct seasons. Various groups did indeed employ forms of agriculture and aquaculture. Hack (talk) 11:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Some Aboriginals had fairly sophisticated routines of fire management (surprising redlink, and land management does not mention fire...). Anyway, see e.g. here [11] or here [12] for some information on what this accomplished. The idea is that by manipulating fire frequency and severity, they could maximize plant and animal resources. Now, this isn't exactly what most people would call agriculture, but it is a way of cultivating plants and animals for human consumption, which is the broad definition of agriculture. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:53, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
We do have an article about controlled burns. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:05, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I would guess that kangaroos aren't as easy to domesticate as animals like sheep. All you need to keep a herd of sheep in line is a few sheep dogs. I doubt if that would work for roos. You'd probably need lots of very high fences. StuRat (talk) 15:22, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the infeasability has been well-documented. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:07, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
User:Akseli9's weather related theory doesn't bear close scrutiny. "Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons..." yet the Aboriginal Tasmanians are generally held to be the society that developed the least forms of technology. They were apparently unable (or unwilling) to start fires, make clothes and in some places even build shelters beyond a simple wind break. This article says, "Tasmania, however, was cut off from all outside input 10,000 years ago, and the sole inventions available were those of the Tasmanians themselves." It also points out that from the archaeological evidence, Tasmanians lost the ability to make bone tools and inexplicably stopped eating fish, despite living mainly on the coast. Isolation seems to be the issue. Alansplodge (talk) 22:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
True. Akseli9 (talk) 22:40, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]

Is it illegal anywhere to surgically assign sex at birth?[edit]

Resolved: ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 04:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Surgery is often performed on intersex infants to conform them to one particular sex. However, intersex adults almost unanimously agree that this is a bad practice, and that's becoming the expert consensus as well. Are there any laws anywhere in the world regulating, limiting, or banning such procedures? Neither the intersex article nor Legal aspects of transsexualism seemed to answer this. ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 00:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Our Intersex surgery and History of intersex surgery mention a Colombian constitutional court decision limited the parents ability to consent to such surgeries. The [13] (which is being a paywall) also mentions that case as the only country where a Constitutional court has ruled against parents' ability to consent to such surgery for their children. Although that doesn't specifically rule out other countries having laws against such surgeries, the only other country it mentions is Germany and the suggestion by some there that it should be banned which hasn't happened (but they do allow an X sex marker on the birth certificate). This makes me think the authors weren't aware of any other countries with a legal ban. There is a case before the courts in South Carolina in the US mentioned in the third source. And I can also find example of other stuff such as the United Nations Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture suggesting it be banned when performed on children.

BTW, it's nominally possibly that such surgeries will become rarely if ever be performed, even if not illegal. There's obviously general community and medical staff views that will affect rates but I'm notedit:actually thinking of more quasi-legal reasons. The earlier sources and plenty of others note that some organisations of doctors have come out against such surgeries when performed on children without their explicit consent (or similar). While it doesn't sound like it's happened, should they be enough against it that they will actively seek out and deregister anyone performing such surgeries (and considering in many countries such registration is required for them to legally be allowed to perform such surgeries), this will likely make such surgeries very rare. To give an example, this (see Participation of medical professionals in American executions and Michael Morales) and other things (like the EU ban on their companies selling drugs for the purpose and the reluctance of non EU companies to get involved) has caused problems implementing the death penalty in the US.

And something mentioned in the third source is a court case in Germany where a person won €100000 damages due to such a surgery [14] [15]. If a clear risk of frequent future damages becomes evident, it may be unlikely such surgeries will be performed even though nominally not illegal. (Perhaps only among a small minority of parents who can afford to pay very very high fees due to insurance. And if the risk is high enough even insurance may not be willing to offer cover, so it may require parents with sufficient wealth such that medical staff are confident in parents legally indemnifying them.)

Nil Einne (talk) 00:14, 28 January 2015 (UTC) Edit at 11:45, 29 January 2015 (UTC) as I used the wrong word.

P.S. I should clarify I'm not trying to demean or underestimate the horrific discrimination intersex people suffer, nor oppose laws banning reassignment surgery when there's no clear cut medical necessities or explicit informed individual consent. Simply pointing out if you're looking at how such surgery may be limited or basically abandoned, there may be other ways that end up having a significant effect when legislators do not directly intervene.

Nil Einne (talk) 03:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much, this is quite thorough and covers everything I wanted to know. ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 04:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm aware of the difference, but I admit it hadn't occurred to me. Thanks ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 04:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

What Happens Next ?[edit]

I recently went to see American Sniper, which I did like, and noticed at the funerals, the U.S. Navy SEALs, including Chris Kyle, thumping their Trident badges onto the coffins of Michael A. Monsoor, and then later Kyle's own coffin. I had also seen this in the movie Act of Valor, and I would just like to know whether the Tridents stay and are buried with the coffin, or they are taken back later, and if not, whether the SEALS get new ones to replace those they put on the coffin, since surely many of the guys who went to Monsoor's funeral must also later have attended Kyle's. Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 08:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC).

I don't know if this is what they actually do, but getting an imitation trident ahead of time for leaving at the burial would be the obvious choice. StuRat (talk) 15:27, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
According to Reddit people, SEALs (or anyone) can buy new badges for $10-15 at the uniform shop. They keep their original on their own uniform or in a box. Apparently every SEAL gets the casket treatment. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:52, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
Maybe, but maybe not.... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
After the only funeral ever held for a Golden Seal captain, what happened next was drinks at the golf course. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:54, January 27, 2015 (UTC)

January 28[edit]

Apostasy in the Jehovah's Witness denomination[edit]

I am mainly wondering how the denomination deals with apostates, be they inactive members or disfellowshipped members. Are inactive and disfellowshipped members still allowed to communicate with their family members, or are they kept from communicating with their JW families too (like some Amish families)? Please do not cite Wikipedia, because I already checked that page, and it doesn't really say much about people who leave the denomination. It does say that the denomination has a somewhat low retention rate, so most individuals who are raised by JW parents probably de-convert from the denomination. It also basically talks about the grounds and process of disfellowshipping someone, including shunning. My main question is, is this shunning method of disfellowshipping someone personal? I mean, do the parents and relatives of the disfellowshipped person stop writing to the apostate or stop all communication? (talk) 01:40, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Are you looking for the official position of the clergy of the denomination, or are you looking for individual anecdotes for how people were treated by their families? The one may have more to do with the religion, while the other may have more to do with the dynamics of the individual family, and may not have any official religious reason. Something to think about in your research... --Jayron32 02:08, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Official documentation as well as personal anecdotes. (talk) 02:51, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Update: I chatted with the local librarian, and the librarian directed me to EbscoHost, Proquest, and the Library Catalog. At least I found two biographies titled "I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness upbringing" and another book titled "Awakening of a Jehovah's witness: Escape from the Watchtower Society". They sound interesting, and may shed light on the lives of some ex-Witnesses. (talk) 04:47, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
From personal experience, inactive is a pretty broad spectrum from believer who for whatever reason isn't active in the ministry to non-believer who has avoided being disfellowshipped or has chosen not to disassociate themselves (a separate state on a level with disfellowshipping). An apostate may be just about any where on that spectrum (or even an active Witness - not that they would usually last long). The treatment of a disfellowshipped person, in my experience, varies depending on 1) living arrangements - if the person is a minor or a parent, they can't exactly avoid contact with them, 2) the infraction that caused the person to be disfellowshipped, 3) the level of "spirituality" (devoutness) of the family 4) the attitude of the disfellowshipped person toward their offence. (talk) 05:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Their official website has information about apostasy indexed at, and information about disfellowshipping indexed at Information specifically about how to treat disfellowshipped relatives is at
Wavelength (talk) 03:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
They have published the movie "The Prodigal Returns" (1:34:45) at
Wavelength (talk) 04:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
So, what does the movie have to do with the question? (talk) 04:47, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
There is some discussion in our article Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline#Shunning including how to treat family members linked to a variety of sources. Alternatively a simple search for something like 'jehovah witness shunning' should find sources such as those above or [16]. Perhaps more importantly considering the question, it should also find anecdotes like [17] [18] [19] [20]. Add 'anecdote' or similar and you'll probably find more like [21] [22] [23] Nil Einne (talk) 08:19, 28 January 2015 (UTC) Edit: [24] may also be of interest, as the person discusses how they found relatives who had already been shunned. Nil Einne (talk) 15:25, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article generally discusses the process of the shunning practice. Also, I found a more academic source. [25], in which the researcher poses as an ex-Mormon and joins an ex-Jehovah's Witness website, with a large nonreligious community. The researcher interviews the people on Skype. (talk) 14:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Towards the end of that article, the author indicates that she is actually an ex-Mormon. (talk) 04:54, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

about drama[edit]

If it is for solo performance for 10 minute drama, how and what can be the best to perform ? What exactly should it be like? Any suggestions. I hope my sentences are understandable.

Learnerktm 08:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

There is not enough information in the question for us to give you a meaningful answer. How many people are in the audience? Are they children, adults, or a mixture of both? Is there a specific theme? If this is a school/university assignment, why not ask your teacher? Please be a bit more specific. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:55, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
KägeTorä - () Thanks, once again for your answer. I was thinking to participate in 10 minute drama festival next month here in Nepal. Yes, I am from Nepal and there is going to be drama festival. They have said it for no particular age groups and themes can be any. And, one should not need be from theatrical background.

...hope the spelling "theatrical" is correct. Confused :(

Learnerktm 12:50, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

You might consider part of a dramatic poem or other monologue. For example, you might consider part of The Song of Hiawatha, which is particularly good for people who are learning English as the grammar and vocabulary are both very clear. Alternatively, if you (and your audience) speak exceptional English you might consider part of John Dryden's translation of the Aeneid: the scene of the storm at sea in Book 1 is particularly good to read out loud, as you get all of Juno's wrath and all of Neptune's power on full display.
Another possibility would be to consider doing part of a dramatic monologue such as one of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. It might be worth seeking further guidance by cross-posting this question to the Entertainment section of the Reference Desk. RomanSpa (talk) 13:48, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You don’t say what language you will perform in, Learnerktm? Just in case here are some non-English ideas. Taknaran (talk) 15:20, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Yorick is a good one. You'd need to find some props, however. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 15:25, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't everyone have a spare human skull in their crawlspace ? :-) StuRat (talk) 21:08, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I have crawlspace inside my human skull, where a brain would normally go. Does that count? :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:35, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You might want to buy a copy of The Faber Popular Reciter, edited by Kingsley Amis, a collection of poems that work particularly well when read aloud. It includes dramatic monologues. --Antiquary (talk) 16:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

"Al-Mrrajjam", Jordan[edit]

This article (Al-Mrrajjam) was created in 2009. It is almost totally uncited. Googling "Al-Mrrajjam", I can't find any reference to it that isn't liked to the Wikipedia page. There are no Google books results. Does anyone have any idea if this places exists? Might it be a transliteration issue, and it's usually spelt differently in English? Sotakeit (talk) 12:09, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

The link at the bottom of the page links to a site which has an arabic translation of the name [المرجم]. Googling that leads to results that confirms that the place exists, such as this random article from Al-Dustour newspaper [27] "Oldest man has died in Al-Mrajem in Ajloun province". I could not find an article in the arabic wikipeida, but the village is mentioned in the article about Ajloun province [28]. Al-Marajem would be another possible transcription. --Xuxl (talk) 13:31, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
This website also gives details of the Al-Mrrajam Secondary Comprehensive Girls School, including its phone number. If you speak Arabic you could try ringing them up. --Antiquary (talk) 13:37, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Interesting that the directory above puts a shadda above the "r", so it makes "Al-Merrajem" or "Al-Marrajem" a more correct transcription. Neither spelling gets any result in English however. --Xuxl (talk) 13:44, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
It's probably the place called Merjam on this Bing map.--Cam (talk) 14:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Agnes of Rome[edit]

Does anyone know why Saint Agnes (Agnes of Rome) has two separate feast days in the Roman Catholic calendar? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:12, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

"Her feast day is 21 January. In pre-1970 versions of the General Roman Calendar an additional feast of the same saint is given one week later, on 28 January (see Tridentine Calendar). The 1969 revision removed this as a duplication of the 21 January feast." [29] Alansplodge (talk) 01:44, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, But, I had already read that in the Agnes of Rome article. So, I am not sure how that answers my question. Why was she given an additional feast day (two, in total) to begin with? The 1969 revision basically said "OK, we don't think she needs two. One is plenty. So, let's remove the second one." But the question is why did she "merit" two, to begin with? In fact, today (January 28) is called the "Second Feast Day of Saint Agnes" (on my Catholic calendar of 2015). And, on the same calendar, last week (January 21) was marked as "Feast Day of Saint Agnes". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:03, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Supposedly, 28 January is her birthday and 21 January is the anniversary of her martyrdom. --Antiquary (talk) 10:21, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess I am not articulating well, and I am not making my question clear. Let me try again. She has two feast days; most saints have only one. In fact, if I am correct, all saints (not "most"") have only one feast day. So, why would she "merit" having two instead of the "regular" one? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
We understand what you're asking but are just forwarding the information that we've found. Everything that Google could find me seems to point to 28 January being an alternative (rather than additional) feast day, now officially abandoned. There may be another explanation, but if so, it eludes me. Alansplodge (talk) 17:19, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. All of the links given above are copies of the Wikipedia page (or vice versa). And, on my calendar, she specifically has an "additional" feast, not an alternate. In fact, Wikipedia has an article (redirect) specifically for "Second Feast of St. Agnes", which is listed on the "Feast Days" for the January 28 article. If it were an "alternate", it would not specifically bear the name "Second Feast Day". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:12, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that it's odd. As a matter of practicality, it seems that all the action with the Pope and the lambs etc seems to take place on 21 January. We Anglicans only have 21 Jan [30], but I expect that doesn't help much. Alansplodge (talk) 22:08, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Bingo! I Googled "Second Feast of St. Agnes" and got 28th January, the second Feast of St Agnes, The Restoration and Organic Development of the Roman Rite by Laszlo Dobszay (p. 129) and the simplest explanation; "This feast commemorates the apparition of St. Agnes to her parents who came to pray at her tomb eight days after her martyrdom." [31] A footnote (No. 21) at the foot of this page says; "The second feast of St Agnes on 29th January is not generally called an octave, but certainly resembles one. The two feasts, of great antiquity, are described respectively as of her ‘passion’ and her (heavenly) ‘nativity’ in the Gelasian sacramentary and the Würzburg gospel list; their designation as ‘primo’ and ‘secundo’, used in the 1962 calendar, comes from the Gregorian Sacramentary, where the feasts are also found. See W.H. Frere Studies in Early Roman Liturgy Vol. I: The Kalendar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1930), p. 89.". Mystery solved. Alansplodge (talk) 22:23, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That's helpful and interesting detail. But, my question still remains. Why does she get two, when every other saint under the sun only gets one? In other words, there are many other saints who are martyrs. What is different about her that merits her two feast days in the Roman Catholic Church? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:30, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Catholic practice so I may be missing something, but it looks to me like there are quite a few saints who have, or used to have, more than one feast day. Looking at some of the more obvious ones I find two or more feast days for John the Baptist, St. Paul, St. Joseph, St. Peter and the Virgin Mary. In mediaeval England 10 saints had two feast days, one had four, and one had five (see p. 94 n. 52). Is the case of St. Agnes really so very unusual? --Antiquary (talk) 11:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, there is still a distinction. Those others have multiple feast days, but they are usually for some specific event in the life of that saint. For example, John the Baptist: (1) his nativity; and (2) his beheading. Saint Paul: (1) his conversion; (2) his shipwreck; and (3) the dedication of his church . Or such. Saint Agnes doesn't really have some specific "event", as far as I can tell. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:40, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, from the sources that I quoted above, the first seems to commemorate her martyrdom and the second, her apparition to her parents eight days later. Alansplodge (talk) 19:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I understand. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Third Crusade[edit]

Our article says, The campaign was largely successful, capturing the important cities of Acre, Jaffa, and reversing most of Saladin's conquests...
Is there a more accurate account of how many total cities captured and how many people involved?
withdraw--Doug Coldwell (talk) 20:37, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

‘Out-of-body’ and ‘Inside the body’ Experience[edit]


Out-of-body experience is when your soul/spirit is outside your body. I understand the feelings perceived during this momentum. How would you classify similar experiences from being inside the body? -- ( (talk) 21:49, 28 January 2015 (UTC))

Corporal will work, but you need to give an example. See also, St. Theresa. μηδείς (talk) 22:49, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: Think of it as you realised your body parts one day, how the face distinguished with realised you don't belong inside your body. An OBE kind of feeling but you could still control your body... And you are awake when you had this feeling, while you are looking in the mirror, talking to people, and so on... -- ( (talk) 07:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC))
That's disassociation (or depersonalization or derealization). An extreme mixture lies in the K-hole. I don't think you want to find it, but it's probably safe to click the link. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:11, January 29, 2015 (UTC)
Lol. Thanks bro Face-tongue.svg. Wish we done this together, you are the perfect guy... (always helping out...) -- ( (talk) 15:52, 29 January 2015 (UTC))

Exchange of prisoners with ISIS[edit]

There has been a lot of activity recently with the idea of exchanging prisoners with ISIS, in order to get hostages released. And, just today, this has happened with that Jordanian pilot who was captured by ISIS a few weeks ago. So, these incidents have prompted my question. Let's say that the USA exchanges one of our prisoners (for a hostage being released or for whatever reason). So, that means that the federal government is releasing the prisoner from prison. So, my question is: is that (former) prisoner now 100% free and clear? Or can he somehow be sent back to prison? So, in other words, what is the legal effect of the prisoner exchange? Is it like he was pardoned? And he is now 100% free to go on with his life? Or, if he is walking around the streets (in the USA), can he be re-arrested and sent back to prison? Or is he protected by double jeopardy? I mean, what happens in these cases? Practically speaking, I assume, the prisoner is sent back to his home country, so many of my questions are not applicable. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:06, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

"If it is decided to release persons deprived of their liberty, necessary measures to ensure their safety shall be taken by those so deciding." Some more context to that rule and further reading here.
In a very general sense, the prisoner isn't totally free, but given over to another authority. It's then up to that authority to pardon, imprison, execute or whatever. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:23, January 28, 2015 (UTC)
Though apparently, like much else to do with the War on Terror, the "Terror" side is often considered differently from regular soldiers by those on the "War" side. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:29, January 28, 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. All of your links, I believe, apply to prisoners of war and also apply only during war time. So, apparently, there are "rules" for that. And what about situations where it is not a prisoner of war and not during war time? In other words, say that some crazy person (like an ISIS member or whoever) takes a civilian hostage (maybe a journalist or whatever). I don't think Geneva Convention rules apply at all. Right? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:12, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
That's the debate. Is the War on Terror a "real" war? Is every non-Western soldier just a "crazy person"? The issue is kept purposefully muddy, to allow for all sorts of legal and rhetorical interpretations.
As for hostages, the US has made a cliche out of their "We don't negotiate with terrorists" policy. Again, it's not so clear-cut as that.
For clearly non-war prisoner trading, the Geneva Convention means nothing. All about the various extradition laws then. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:33, January 29, 2015 (UTC)
But what is clearly non-war is not clear. I just read a story about an Iraqi-Canadian civilian who allegedly e-mailed two Tunisian civilians in Syria regarding a bombing in Iraq. Four years after he was arrested by civilian police in Canada, he was finally allowed to plead in civilian court last week, in the United States, defended by an American lawyer. Because five non-civilian Americans died while on active duty in a warzone.
Confusion like that is why only lawyers can be lawyers. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:14, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
For another look at how foggy words have become, see how sending soldiers to kill enemies in another country only sort of maybe counts as sending them to do "combat". InedibleHulk (talk) 00:50, January 29, 2015 (UTC)
I like the idea of releasing the ISIS suicide bomber, with a bomb sewn up inside her, and detonate it when when returns to her comrades. Poetic justice. StuRat (talk) 03:18, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think inciting mass murder of an identifiable group is really appropriate on wikipedia considering the illegality of such statements in the developed world, can you please stop making unrelated and offensive posts. (talk) 04:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, nobody captures suicide bombers. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:48, January 29, 2015 (UTC)
That's not true, unless you mean to distinguish between suicide bombers and would-be suicide bombers. Bombs frequently fail to go off, or just fizzle, as in the case of the Detroit underwear bomber or the shoe bomber. StuRat (talk) 04:21, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
For example, the suicide pilots employed by Japan in WWII. Many of them perished, but not all. Like the world's oldest living Kamikaze pilot, "Chicken" Teriyaki. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I count them as suicide bombers in the same way I count LA waiters as actors. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:29, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
That's LA, not L.A. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:19, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
You are easily offended, 70.Lgriot (talk) 03:35, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Two elements of answers to the OP's question. 1) If a country swaps a prisoner they hold for one held by a foreign group, the former prisoner likely has no intention of returning the the country which imprisoned them. Were they to do so, they would likely, at best, be refused entry, and yes, risk being locked up again. 2) The former prisoner may or may not be "100% free" in regards to their past conduct which landed them in prison. If they return to committing imprisonable offences (e.g. terrorism or murder) post-release, they can, from a legal perspective, be put back behind bars for the "fresh" offences. Of course, this will only happen in practice of if they're stupid or unlucky enough to be captured again. (talk) 14:21, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Of course, subsequent conduct of "new" charges ("new" criminal activity) will be handled appropriately. In other words, the "release" (exchange) on the first crime does not give him license to commit any new crimes in the future (without legal repercussion). I am trying to determine the legal status of the "old" crime (the one for which he was imprisoned and eventually exchanged). Is it like that crime is "wiped off the books" and he is free as if he were pardoned? Double jeopardy does not attach? And the real gist of the question is: once the USA agrees to this exchange, is there some legal "loophole" by which they can throw the guy back in jail (presumably, after the USA has received the other prisoner in exchange)? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:07, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The United States (or others in good standing with the World Bank) doesn't need a loophole to kill or capture someone. What's anyone going to do? Arrest a President? Kick down all these doors with warrants? When you're this big, you can wipe pretty much anything off the books. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:56, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
Not sure how that answers my question? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:46, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't directly. But the lack of a need for a loophole suggests they don't use a loophole. It might still exist. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:57, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
An interesting question of international law (that I'll apparently be researching later this semester) is whether engaging in negotiations with non-state actors for the release of their prisoners hostages is even legal. Apparently it's unclear. As a corollary, the formerly common practice of paying ransoms for ships, cargoes, and crews captured by Somali pirates is explicitly unlawful under US law. If we're talking about non-state actors negotiating with ISIS for the release of prisoners, payment of funds would probably be unlawful under laws prohibiting the funding of foreign wars/terrorism (depending on how you want to classify ISIS). If we're talking about a sovereign state negotiating with ISIS, one thought I have is that if the negotiation itself wasn't legal, any agreement they reach would be a nullity in international law, and so the state could just turn around and recapture the guys. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 06:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

January 29[edit]

What style of architecture is this?[edit]

What style of architecture is this File:Mistletoe house, Jekyll Island, Georgia.jpg? The info is for Jekyll Island Club#List of remaining resort homes. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 06:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Since it has the characteristic gambrel roof with curved eaves, I'd say that it's basically Dutch Colonial Revival. Compare the Pearce-McAllister Cottage. Deor (talk) 09:51, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Check out Mansard_roof as well. (talk) 13:16, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Nope. Gambrel it is. A gambrel has vertical gable ends. (talk) 13:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
" Europeans historically did not distinguish between a gambrel roof and a mansard roof but called both types a mansard" (from gambrel). This probably being why 196 mentioned mansard. --Saddhiyama (talk) 19:14, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I put that in the article. To me it looks pretty similar to the Victorian style of the Moss Cottage, but I don't know anything about this type of thing. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 19:20, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, "Victorian" doesn't really denote a specific architectural style, which is what you asked for. It's more of a catch-all term for styles popular in a particular period. Many of the Jekyll Island Club buildings are "Victorian", but they were constructed in a variety of architectural styles. I'd say that Moss Cottage was also Dutch Colonial Revival. Deor (talk) 22:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Another commonality: Mistletoe Cottage and Moss Cottage both appear to be built in the shingle style. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Definitely Dutch Colonial Revival. Don't know about in Georgia, but in Indiana, the SHPO and other historic preservation agencies pretty much universally refer to gambrel-roofed houses as being Dutch Colonial Revival. See the houses in Commons:Category:Dutch Colonial Revival architecture in Bloomington, Indiana for examples (categorisation was all based off the City of Bloomington Interim Report), or the National Register form for the Walter Allman House at the other end of the state. The only other common style with mansards/gambrels is the Second Empire, and its structures generally look different: I can't quite explain how, but you can see that the Second Empire Al Hayes House is significantly different from the Thomas Sare House one block away. Gables with big windows appear to be rather common, as do big dormers, while the dormers of Second Empire seem to be less of a presence, not quite as important of a factor in the overall appearance. PS, Sluzzelin has a good point: Shingle influences are completely out of place in a Second Empire structure, as the style's popularity collapsed rather suddenly before the rise of the Shingle. Nyttend (talk) 01:02, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you everyone. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:15, 31 January 2015 (UTC)


other proposed Taiwanese flags[edit]

Recently, I've searched on Google for a proposed flag of Taiwan. There were several images of others which looked really nice. One in particular stood out. It happened to have a light green background and the "hearts-in-harmony" inside the middle. The original "hearts-in-harmony" was bright red. But there was a suggestion it should be a dark red. I was wondering if any of the other proposed Taiwanese flags could be posted with the coordinating article. (talk) 08:07, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

There are a few in relevant Commons categories (commons:Category:Taiwan independence movement, commons:Category:SVG flags of Taiwan), but if they haven't achieved much prominence, or reliable sources aren't available about them, then they probably don't belong on the article... AnonMoos (talk) 08:57, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Legal voluntary euthanasia and life insurance policies[edit]

I was once reading about insurance policies for racehorses. One of the things mentioned is that insurance generally will only pay out for a euthanized racehorse if the insurer-appointed veterinarians agreed beforehand (i.e. before the euthanasia was carried out) that the horse's condition was hopeless and gave the go-ahead. I assume there may be exceptions for "emergency" situations (e.g. a sudden horrific injury), but that's the general rule.

This got me thinking about a rather similar-but-different situation: Voluntary euthanasia on a human being performed in accordance with the law, in a jurisdiction where it's legal.

Pretty much all life insurance policies have exclusion clauses for suicide - sometimes for an initial period, sometimes permanently, I believe. How do such policies treat voluntary euthanasia - the same as any other suicide? Or are there different rules, and if yes, what are they?

(Please note that this is a totally hypothetical question, and I hope it forever stays that way. I don't plan to die anytime soon. :-) ) (talk) 14:32, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Since the Netherlands is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal, I'll refer to this website (in Dutch), which is from a Dutch insurance consulting firm. It says that, unlike in cases of suicide, all insurers pay out in cases of euthanasia if conducted after an initial period of two years, and most will even pay out within that two-year period. Do however keep in mind that euthanasia must be approved by a medical panel, and that insurers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of initial medical conditions when it comes to their fees. In order for euthanasia to be approved, medical experts must confirm that the person is suffering unbearably. - Lindert (talk) 14:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
This blog from someone in the insurance industry does suggest these issues should be consider, it doesn't mention any particular examples [32]. (It does suggest exclusions have become less common, although I think this may be more in a change away from a permanent exclusion to a defined period one.) Nil Einne (talk) 00:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


After reading godparent, I have some questions on how this concept may have worked in practice, especially in unusual circumstances. Traditionally, why were parents replaced by other individuals to serve as godparents? (This may be where the secular definition of the term came about, as the secular definition exclusively refers to other individuals.) Was having a godparent absolutely required at a baby's baptism? What would happen if the parents and godparents died off? Where would the orphaned kid go now? Also, in a situation where the mother and father were both converted Catholics (rather than having a familial network of Catholics), it may not be so easy to find a godparent who must be an observant Catholic, because the parents' friends and relatives are all non-Catholics or non-Christians, and they may not be so intimate with their fellow parishioners to allow them be a godparent. (talk) 18:18, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Baptists don't do infant baptism. So, do they eliminate the godparent role too? (talk) 18:24, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The godparent is meant to provide additional support in religious upbringing, and adopt the child if the parents die. The parents providing additional support would be like building a table that has one leg in two different spots (although I'm quote aware it's possible to build a table with a single leg, literally and metaphorically, it requires a slightly different arrangement than a table with four legs). Parents who are capable of adopting their own children aren't dead enough for it to matter yet.
Whether or not godparents would be required for baptism varies from denomination to denomination. Calvinists often allow the parent to be the baptism sponsor (and so would not require a godparent to sponsor the baptism). As I recall from what my parents have told me about my Christening, it was just me, my parents, and the Methodist minister. I still had godparents, who were Catholic.
If the godparents die, the adopted kid would probably go with the godparents' kids (if any) to those kids godparents. If not, they would (as in the rest of human history and society) go with some other relatives of their birth parents.
Baptists don't have godparents as sponsors of any sort of baptism, but they are free to have (or not have) godparents any of the other roles godparents might serve. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think that the bit about "adopt the child if the parents die" is a sort of folk custom added on to the actual religious requirements, at least in the Church of England. The Book of Common Prayer, also used by Methodists, only requires that godparents "...promise by you that are his sureties, (until he come of age to take it upon himself,) that he will renounce the devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's holy Word, and obediently keep his commandments".[33] It is a purely religious commitment, to support the child in his or her spiritual development. As a practical matter, if both parents die (as I understand it), the custody of the child would be decided by the contents of the parents will, which may be a relative, godparent, friend or whatever. If there was nobody specified, a court would have to decide; I can't see that being a godparent would carry particular weight in law. Some less-than-reliable references are here, here and here. Alansplodge (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The CoE specifically notes the difference between a legal guardian and god parent [34]. (Actually plenty of other Anglican websites say something similar [35].) And these also not very RS sources (one from a Catholic POV) note additional problems with the god parent/guardian thing in modern times. [36] [37] [38] Beyond often carrying little legal weight nowadays it has other problems including that courts will often try and keep siblings together and of course there will generally only be either a couple in a relationship or an individual as guardian. Yet siblings will often have different god parents and the god parents will often not be married to each other, so there will be multiple choices (I guess not necessarily a bad thing as one may not be able or willing to be guardian, but there's no order for the court to decide which one if multiple are willing). It's generally suggested people who will be legal guardians in the event of death be properly named in the parent's will [39] [40] and of course speak to the people first and make sure they are happy with the arrangement. Of course the courts will still consider the best interest of the children, but it's likely to carry much more weight than god parents. And perhaps just as importantly, unless it was made clear to the god parents this was an expectation (that they be the legal guardian if needed), I think many won't expect it even if it was the tradition in some places. (Of course some may be confused in various ways e.g. [41] and the god parent could also be named in the will as legal guardian if everyone is happy with this arrangement.) Nil Einne (talk) 23:36, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the converted thing is as much as a problem as you seem to think it would be. Firstly particularly in older times with smaller communities, no internet etc, which you seem to be referring to, it's likely there would often be a resonable level of community involvement in the church/parish. I would suggest this would be particularly so for converts who would we presume be trying to embrace their new found faith. In the particular case of the Catholic church, I think it would be difficult to get through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults without getting to know other Catholics who could be a god parent (remembering you only need one per child), I suspect even if you're shy or avoid it, it will be sort of forced upon you in most circumstances and if you really completely refuse and have no good reason, there may be doubt that you're ready to become Catholic. So even in modern times, I'm not sure it's likely to be that difficult. If the parents really can't find anyone, the parish priest or someone else may introduce the parents to people perhaps as part of encouraging greater involvement in the parish. (An exception may be in places were Catholics were or are persecuted, I imagine there may sometimes be lower levels of community/parish involvement out of fear. Although there could also be higher levels.) Note also depending on the country, upbringing including schooling and person, whether someone is a convert may have limited influence on whether they have many Catholic friends. For example, in a place like Paraguay, it would seem difficult to not have any Catholic friends, convert or not. Nil Einne (talk) 23:50, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Funny how traditional practices, that a god-parent would assume the role of parent if the child should be orphaned, would be described as folk beliefs. That's recentism. It is modern custody laws that have interfered with the older long-standing practices. One might as well argue that before the dole, widows and children simply starved to death, ignoring the charity of the community, church, and wider family. μηδείς (talk) 19:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

UK Fraud Investigation[edit]

In the UK, what is the difference in the remit between the police and the Serious Fraud Office, in terms of investigating fraud? Does one have more powers than the other? Does more investigate more complex cases than the other? Does the SFO only investigate particular types / areas of fraud? Thanks. asyndeton talk 18:28, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Please can any comparisons in remits also discuss the National Crime Agency? Thanks. asyndeton talk 18:47, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I'm sure that they rub along somehow, but I can't find an easy answer. The City of London Police have traditionally been the national lead police force in fraud investigation. They operate the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau; one of their senior officers is the ACPO National Coordinator for Economic Crime. The National Crime Agency also operates the Economic Crime Command. I'm more puzzled now than when I started. Alansplodge (talk) 21:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Book recommendations for Roman Republican history[edit]

I've recently enjoyed reading Tom Holland's book Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic, which was a very entertaining read, and managed to illuminate both the social trends of the period and the personalities involved. Can anyone recommend any books that deal with the earlier periods of the Roman Republic in a similar way? I appreciate that the sources for late Republic are probably unique for including things like Cicero's letters, which really bring the period to life, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Any suggestions? --Nicknack009 (talk) 19:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Perpetual stew vs pottage[edit]

Perpetual stew vs. pottage. What's the difference, if any? -Modocc (talk) 23:49, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Don't think you will get any clear answer. In culinary terms a thin gruel could be called pottage by people living in a different location and what is exactly is a proper stew. In olden times it was more economical in terms of firewood to keep a pot with anything left over from the last meal and add more to it for the next. If one added grain, it had to be boiled to enable the enzyme action to make it sweet, yet any meat, had to be added early so that it slowly warmed and became tender. Perpetual stew, pottage, gruel and porridge, in actuality, probable blended in and out of each other, since the ingredients depended on what was available at that time of year and how much liquid was added that particular day. And who wants to eat exactly the same thing everyday. So, in answer to your question: I don't see any clear demarcation line between any.--Aspro (talk) 01:13, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The perpetual stew article is sourced, but didn't mention pottage until I added a see also link, and the pottage article is unsourced and claims that pottage originates in Great Britain [42]. Seems dubious, but maybe there is a source for that if that was due to the nature of local cuisine? Or perhaps these are synonyms or near-synonyms, which seems likely, such that the articles are redundant and need merging. I just don't know, which is why I ask. -Modocc (talk) 01:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You're right. These articles grind with me also. Pottage (as I understand it) is more of soup and a stew does not have added liquid (as in Lancashire hotpot) & gives rise to the saying or idiom to Stew in your own juice. The noun potage may have been brought to Britain by the Normans. Feel free to update these articles. There must be some books on Google books that give good refrences.--Aspro (talk) 21:08, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
See also Mess of pottage. Alansplodge (talk) 10:10, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I've literally never heard of "pottage" except in the "mess of pottage" context. Nyttend (talk) 00:50, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
How do/did the cooks prevent spoilage? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Just keep boiling it to kill any microbes. StuRat (talk) 04:16, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say about $7-8 in an snooty restaurant. Clarityfiend (talk) 11:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Having worked as a cook, I know that a pot that's been brought to a boil, has a good seal, and is not opened while it is not boiling, will not spoil unless the seal is broken without reboiling. We'd normally prep soup and rice this way, checking it while it's cooking, but not taking the lid off after it had been left to boil a little more, until it was ready to serve or portion. It frustrates me to no end that certain people will make enough soup for three days, have it boiling on the stove, and then turn the fire off and take the lid off, because "it has to cool down before you put it in the fridge" (when it reaches room temperature) so that it won't spoil. Such people have a magical view of kitchen hygiene, one that does far more harm than just leaving the soup untouched. μηδείς (talk) 19:24, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
May I also mention the Pottage vs Potage issue? Alansplodge (talk) 21:02, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

January 30[edit]

Alternatives to Bible Gateway?[edit]

I am interested in reading English (and potentially French) translations of the (Christian) Bible, since I have an intellectual interest in the trappings of Christianity and Judaism. The internet has generally been a good source for this sort of thing -- if I'm not mistaken, there's a Wikisource upload of the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Tanakh, and I can find a lot of New Testament material on Bible Gateway.

However, I also feel at-odds with the people who run Bible Gateway; for instance, they run adverts catering to the evangelical Christian crowd and seem to support politics that I disagree with. In a pinch, I'm fine with using the site, but I'm wondering if there's a similar site elsewhere, preferably run by a nonsectarian group. It's really not a big issue though - in the worst case, I can probably just live off of the JPS translation and public domain uploads of the KJV translation (assuming that the KJV translation is any good). --Morningcrow (talk) 04:45, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Personally, I like the Skeptics Annotated Bible: [43]. StuRat (talk) 04:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I haven't spent enough time on any of them in order to recommend one, but there are a couple more listed in our Category:Online Scripture Search Engine. ---Sluzzelin talk 04:52, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
In addition to the ones in Sluzzelin's link, here are a few more: Regarding the KJV, that is not a bad translation, but the underlying Greek text for the New Testament is the Textus Receptus, which is based on a small number of rather late manuscripts. Modern translations use a Greek text reconstructed from far more and earlier manuscripts. So although the differences are not all that great, I'd recommend using a more recent translation such as the ESV or NIV if you want a New Testament that is as close as possible to the originals. For the Old Testament, the KJV is fine if you don't mind the dated language. - Lindert (talk) 08:13, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I just want to add that different Christian groups have and promote different bible versions. The King James Version is considered authoritative by Mormons and some other Protestants, as King James was a Protestant king. It's definitely not a Catholic or Orthodox version, because it skips out the deuterocanonical books entirely, treating them as if they are not inspired. The Bible is not one holy text; rather, it is a collection of texts that is considered to be inspired by Jews and Christians. Jews reject the entire New Testament, and mainstream Christians reject the Book of Mormon to be inspired. So, when you are looking at the Bible, you are not looking at a book. Instead, you are looking at theological tradition. (talk) 20:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The Studylight site might interest you. It's obviously a site run by evangelical Christians, but the range of translations is impressive, starting with Wycliffe, and covering the early editions such as Coverdale and Geneva, with a good range of the modern ones. My only quibble is the absence of the marginal notes in the Geneva bible. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
That I'm aware of; honestly I guess you could just say that I'm interested in a translation of the Tanakh (for which JPS will most likely suffice) and the standard Protestant New Testament (which was the main thing I wasn't as sure about, particularly since JPS obviously don't have a translation of that, and I wasn't sure how good KJV (which I can definitely find on nonsectarian sites) or any of the other standard "word for word" translations were). --Morningcrow (talk) 01:19, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you are more in need of a commentary written by somebody that understands Hebrew/Greek, and can tell you where Tanakh translators were guessing, or why John 21:15-17 only works in Greek. I'm guessing you'll have to find these on a book by book basis. Alternatively, I've always worked on comparing modern versions with the King James and looking up the differences in a dictionary. KJV is useful if your Hebrew is as bad as mine - as you say, it's almost word for word. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:31, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Third Crusade and people on ships[edit]

In Third Crusade#King Richard and King Philip's departure it says, Shortly after setting sail from Sicily, King Richard's armada of 100 ships (carrying 8,000 men) was struck by a violent storm. Do we have a reference source that verifies these numbers?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 12:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

A useful source is The Later Crusades: 1189-1311 edited by Kenneth M. Setton, Robert Lee Wolff, Harry W. Hazard which has a substantial Google Books preview. Annoyingly, the relevant pages, 61 and 62 "are not shown in this preview". It does make it plain that our article is wrong; Richard and Philip did not "...set out jointly from Marseille, France for Sicily", they met at Vézelay and set out together on 4 July as far as Lyons where they parted, Richard to Marseilles and Philip to Genoa where he hired a fleet to transport his force (p. 57). Richard's fleet that had left Dartmouth went straight to Sicily via Portugal, rather than meeting Richard in Marseilles as our article says; Richard hired ships in Marseilles for his retinue of 800, which may be an overestimate. I haven't found the answer to your question yet though. Alansplodge (talk) 17:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the lead. It will keep me busy meanwhile.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 18:26, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
No need for Google Books - all 6 volumes of the "Wisconsin History" (as we like to call it) is available online here. Page 61 of volume 2 says Richard had "180 ships and 39 galleys". There was a storm after they left Sicily, and Richard briefly landed on Crete. A footnote on page 62 gives the primary sources for Richard's journey. Adam Bishop (talk) 19:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, well done sir! Please note Doug, the caveat on page 57; "When a medieval writer had to guess at a number, he did so with lavish generosity. When he was an eye witness, he made his estimates with dashing carelessness. The figures given by contemporary writers are usually magnificently improbable round numbers." Alansplodge (talk) 19:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Great. You guys sure know your stuff. Thanks. This will keep me busy for some time studying it.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 19:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Not really; a cursory grasp combined with Google I'm afraid (speaking only for myself of course). It's not what you know, it's knowing where to look. Good reading! Alansplodge (talk) 02:06, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
It looks like you have a better grasp on this than I do. Just one more question and I will get back to my reading and stay out of your hair. If you were to guess (as I haven't found it yet), how many people on King Richard's armada of 180 ships and 39 galleys? A guess is fine, if you don't stumble on an exact number. Thanks.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 16:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Forge, Rev Charles (1870) Richard the First and the Third Crusade, Wyman & Sons, London (p. 91) gives a figure of 20,000 men but gives no sources. That equals 100 men on each ship. Bearing in mind that they had to bring horses as well and given the reservations quoted above, you can be sure that it was probably a lot fewer than that: perhaps half? BTW, I have amended the Third Crusade#King Richard and King Philip's departure section using the references above. Alansplodge (talk) 19:00, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Some of the ships would have transported horses exclusively - since Wikipedia is blessed with people who love to write about horses, we have a pretty informative article on Horse transports in the Middle Ages. Adam Bishop (talk) 19:45, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That will keep me busy reading and studying all this.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 21:25, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Everlasting punishment[edit]

Other than Christianity, which religions believe that everyone who doesn't share their religion receives everlasting punishment in hell? Does any exist today? --Bowlhover (talk) 17:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Islam, for one. Google "islamic view of hell" and you'll get plenty of hits that seem to square with the traditional Christian viewpoint. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:04, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Seems you get to wait till the Last Day before going to Jahannam, if your only crime is not believing, and some say you can work your way out. So it's maybe not quite eternal. They have their own version of the Chinvat Bridge, so good deeds alone can help. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:20, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
And does Islam have the same flaw as Christianity, saying that people who lived before Jesus or Mohammed, or otherwise never even heard of Christianity or Islam, can't get into heaven ? Same is true of Judaism too, I suppose. Reincarnation seems the only convenient way around the assumption that "You can't get into heaven unless you accept X", for those who never even heard of X. StuRat (talk) 17:28, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You get resurrected first. That alone should make you aware that something credible is happening. Just a matter of asking someone younger what the deal is. Once you're convinced (assuming you weren't a terrible person), should be smooth sailing. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:32, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
According to Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, dead people are unconscious.
Wavelength (talk) 17:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I question the OP's premise in relation to Christianity. Which Christian denominations teach that "everyone who doesn't share their religion receives everlasting punishment in hell"? Because I know of quite a few major denominations that teach nothing of the sort. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 17:35, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Says you can't be saved without the Church, but not necessarily damned. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:43, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
See also Fate of the unlearned. Alansplodge (talk) 17:52, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
And, with regard to those who lived before Jesus' nativity, see Harrowing of Hell. Deor (talk) 18:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
No, InedibleHulk, it doesn't say that you can't be saved without the Church. See the section "Inculpable ignorance":
  • In its statements of this doctrine, the Church expressly teaches that "it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God";[6] that "outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control";[6] and that "they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life."[8]
  • Inculpable ignorance is not a means of salvation.[21] But if by no fault of the individual ignorance cannot be overcome (if, that is, it is inculpable and invincible), it does not prevent the grace that comes from Christ, a grace that has a relationship with the Church, saving that person. Thus it is believed that God would make known to such a person before the moment of death, by either natural or supernatural means, the Catholic faith, since "without [such] faith it is impossible to please God", and this entails, for even the unbaptized, at the very least baptism of desire.
Given that those who never even heard of Jesus and the Church WAY outnumber those who have (since the beginning of humanity), this means that Heaven is full of mainly non-believers. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:02, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
That says God would give the invincibly ignorant (I like that phrase) a crash course, before the moment of death. So they'd still be in the Church, briefly, but long enough. And mercy is at God's discretion. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:09, January 30, 2015 (UTC)
I'm ashamed to admit that this is a surprise to me. I thought the damnation of non-believers is almost universally accepted by Christians. Which major denominations don't teach it? --Bowlhover (talk) 17:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The Catholic Church, for one. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:02, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Might that depend on your local church's teachings? I mean some Catholic churches ignore Vatican II. I attended a Jesuit high school as a non-Catholic. Nobody outright told me I would burn in hell (that's usually more the game the evangelical christians play), but I recall them telling me that John 14:6 was about non-Christians not being able to be saved [44], straight from the mouth of Jesus. I'm way out of my element here, just wanted to point out that, outside of formal dogma and creeds (of which many of the faithful are ignorant anyway), you'll find a lot of variety in interpretation even among one Christian sect. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:10, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I think we're misunderstanding each other. My question was really about the modern world, not people before the founding of the religion or in remote uncontacted regions. Almost everybody today has heard of the major world religions, albeit not necessarily in any detail, so they're surely not "invincibly ignorant". (BTW, thank you Baseball Bugs for pointing out Islam. I thought I understood Islam's views on hell, but obviously not.) --Bowlhover (talk) 04:48, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that people who died without knowing Jehovah will be resurrected and will learn about him. (
Wavelength (talk) 21:30, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It's taught pretty unambiguously by the Athanasian Creed, which is accepted by many denominations (see Ecumenical creeds):
"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. (...) Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. (...) And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.". - Lindert (talk) 18:21, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
At risk of the obvious: have a good look at Hell. Many Jewish people don't believe there is a hell, so of course they don't think non-Jews get eternal punishment. The Unitarians aren't big on exclusion or fire and brimstone either, inclusion is central enough to be part of their name. Taoism has no concept of Hell as far as I know, and only some parts of Hinduism acknowledge hell. I suppose there might be concepts of eternal punishment that aren't Hell-like (e.g. endless reincarnation into lives of suffering), but our article is pretty comprehensive. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:16, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know much about the Sikhs but Sikhism#Liberation makes it pretty clear that they're not down with heaven, hell, or reincarnation. So it doesn't look like they think I'm going to be tormented for not being a Sikh. Like Judaism, Sikhs don't aggressively recruit, and may actually dissuade would-be converts. My general rubric is, the religions/sects that aggressively recruit are the most likely to think everyone else will burn. It's a compelling argument (to some) - "join us, or suffer eternally". SemanticMantis (talk) 20:23, 30 January 2015 (UTC) (P.S. Oops, sorry, I misread the question, and was answering as though there was a "does not believe" in there. I'll leave these links though, as they at least rule out many candidates :)

Colonialism in Africa[edit]

There are many writers and resources that are about the negatives of colonialism in Africa. However were there any prolific writers or books that view colonialism in Africa as a positive, and a good thing? --Preston pig (talk) 18:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Cui bono? I'm sure you can find books by Dutch, British, and French authors of the time who were very happy about how the whole thing was working out for them. For example the directors of the Dutch East India Company were likely very positive about the Dutch Cape Colony. I suppose you'd find some warlords in modern Africa that owe their power to the Belgian_Congo, so they might be more positive on the whole business as well.
Our article on Colonialism has a long section on impacts. Most don't seem very positive for the Africans. I see no comment there on any modern perspectives that think it was good for Africa.
Searching a bit more, I find these three books [45] [46] [47]. None of them say it was generally positive or good for Africa, but they discuss some positives as well as negatives. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:42, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
A more modern study is The Legacy of Western Overseas Colonialism on Democratic Survival (2004); "We find that Western overseas colonialism, a factor often overlooked in recent large-n studies, continues to have an effect on the survival of democratic regimes". You may also be interested in this 2005 article; French angry at law to teach glory of colonialism. Alansplodge (talk) 20:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Is that a positive continuing effect, or just an effect? I mean, are they saying that western colonialism has generally helped democratic regimes to survive/persist in Africa? SemanticMantis (talk) 21:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry! forgot to link it - try this. Bit of a long read I'm afraid. Alansplodge (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

January 31[edit]

Both the president and vice president attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner[edit]

I was watching some old White House Correspondents' Dinner videos on youtube and noticed that the event is never attended by both the president and vice president in the same year. In some years it's president, and in others, the vice president. Is this actually the case? Has there been a recent case where both of them attended the dinner? Has there been a case where neither of them attended? WinterWall (talk) 04:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

They do try to limit the risk of both being killed together by reducing the number of public appearances featuring both at once. Of course, there are events where both are expected, such as the State of the Union address. In those cases, somebody else in the Presidential line of succession is kept safe, offsite, as the designated survivor. StuRat (talk) 05:05, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Lady Windermere's Fan[edit]

So, there's this article about play and it's a good thing that it has recording of the play as well. I want to ask some questions related to it.

  1. How can it be considered as comedy ? Yes, there are some lines spoken which I find it to be comedy. But, in which things a listener should know the play is comedy ?
  2. What aspects should be in a play to consider it s play?
  3. It would be great if there were recordings of the play like this . Are there any?

Learnerktm 07:58, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

I've never read that play, but according to traditional definitions, a tragedy play generally has several deaths near the end, while most other plays are comedies... AnonMoos (talk) 10:02, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
In the theatre it is often the case that "comedy" has a slightly different meaning from other usages. Basically, you know you've seen a comedy if you leave the theatre in a light and happy mood. This doesn't mean that there won't be sad bits in the play, and in a good comedy there will be bits that make you think, but the resolution of the play should be that of a "happy ending", though perhaps not the one that you expect (see, for example, The Merry Wives of Windsor, where the happiness of the protagonist at the end is most decidedly bitter-sweet).
As for recordings of the play, I was able to find a production on YouTube. I was also able to find several other comedies, including several of Shakespeare's - Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Measure for Measure (audio only), and so on. RomanSpa (talk) 11:33, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
AnonMoos, AnonMoos RomanSpa

The play Lady Windermere's Fan has its recording within the article. If there were more like that, it would have been great.

) Thanks a lot for the info.

Learnerktm 12:28, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Japanese Buddhist underworld[edit]

Special:Random led me to Sanzu River and Keneō. How do these concepts fit into the concept of reincarnation, which I thought was central to all of Buddhism? If you're crossing something like the Styx for the afterlife, it doesn't seem like you're going to be reincarnated. Nyttend (talk) 14:36, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Could look at Naraka (Buddhism)... -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:41, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Reincarnation and underworlds (or heavens or hells) aren't incompatible. Most forms of Buddhism usually teach that there are heavens and hells, they're just temporary -- at worst, there to zero out one's karma; at best, a safe spot for someone to achieve enlightenment (invariably a heaven, though heavens present the danger of being too enjoyable to accept that existence is ultimately discontentment). Some Greek mystery religions followed a similar train of thought: the river Lethe was what prevented us from remembering past lives.
Laurence Waddell's Buddhism of Tibet (a touch old but mostly good if one ignores about anything west of Pakistan) has a chapter on of Tibetan Buddhist underworlds, and (IIRC) discusses their relationship to earlier Indian Buddhism as well as East Asian Buddhism. Japanese Buddhism had influence from native Shinto, but was otherwise derived from Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian Buddhism. (As for Greek mystery religions, it's been years since I've read it, but I think Harold Willoughby's Pagan Regeneration covers that topic). Ian.thomson (talk) 18:56, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The real idea about reincarnation is that it happens every millisecond in your life, and even to inanimate objects like rocks. This is not the idea most people have - wishing they will be reborn as a happier person, which is the cause of suffering (or one of them). It's just common sense and common physics. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 02:42, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

How are patron saints supposed to work in practice?[edit]

As far as I know, each town, village, city, and even a person may have or be named after a patron saint. In many Christian communities, these patron saints may be celebrated than an individual's own birthday. Yet, a patron saint may have a specific patronage. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, is the patron saint for academics, because he was primarily an academic. If a community somehow gets St. Thomas Aquinas as a patron saint, then does that mean that the other saints are treated less reverently? Do the other saints serve any purpose at all, even though every saint has its own patronage? If the Virgin Mary is a saint, and she is not the patron saint of a community, then does that mean she would actually receive less reverence than the patron saint? (talk) 17:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

If a member of your church replaced a busted door on your house while a deacon visited you in the hospital, would you treat one better than the other?
People who are likely to ask for a saint's intercession generally don't use a saint as a catch-all just because they're under a saint's patronage. For example, a teacher probably wouldn't ask Thomas Aquinas for help finding their car keys, but instead Anthony of Padua (patron saint of lost stuff, and so probably couch cushions and laundry drying machines by association). God tends to be the only catch-all for prayer. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:49, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Michael is also very versatile, taking calls from warriors and the suffering. He'll raze your village, and then raise it. Maybe the first profiteer. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:45, January 31, 2015 (UTC)
The deacon is most likely going to receive the fancy title of address, while the member of the laity will probably be addressed less formally. The years of training at divinity school, as well as possible practice in the field, should have given the deacon more respect than the Average Guy on the street. (talk) 18:20, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if a person can ask a saint to talk with the other saints in heaven about something. So, even when something falls out of the patronage of a particular saint, another saint - well versed in the subject - can adequately take over. (talk) 18:31, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
That might be how we ended up with camels. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:49, January 31, 2015 (UTC)

Videos of ISIS hostage beheadings[edit]

Perhaps someone can shed light on this for me. This question is regarding videos of ISIS hostage beheadings that have become so commonplace recently. How/why is it that these hostages seem so calm and non-combative, I am wondering? I have heard some theories, but I'd like to know if others can shed some light on this "phenomenon". These are some theories that I have heard. (1) The hostage is resigned and knows the situation to be hopeless. Therefore, what can he really do? (2) The hostages have been through many "mock" executions. So, they never really know that this is the "real" execution versus the many other "fake" ones that they had endured. (3) If the hostage is uncooperative, the captors will increase their brutality towards him during the execution. Those are some theories that I have heard. It always seems to "surprise" me that these hostages seem so "calm", almost oblivious. (Are they perhaps drugged/sedated by the captors?) So, I would think (but I am not sure) that one's instinct of survival kicks in, and they would be kicking and screaming. So, does anyone know anything about all this? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:28, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

When they were captured, they probably kicked and screamed in alarm. For a while longer, they resisted. After a bit, they're exhausted. It's called the General Adaptation Syndrome. Fits pretty much any high-stress situation normal people face.
King Goujian of Yue used to convince his prisoners to line up in the front of battle formations and slit their own throats, mainly to freak out the other side long enough to sneak around back. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:52, January 31, 2015 (UTC)
An interesting read. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're down for something longer, Psychological Operations in Guerrila Warfare is still generally relevant. Much of what guerrilas do overlaps with how they're trained. That's not to say the CIA trained ISIS, just that the concepts still work. Section 3's the most relevant to getting people to accept and repeat your message. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:27, January 31, 2015 (UTC)
Very often they are already dead, after escape attempts. They are shot, then propped up to look like they are still alive, with obviously fake screaming while they are beheaded, because these people who do this think we are stupid. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 02:34, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
When we start seeing videos of ISIS hostage-takers getting beheaded, then we'll be making progress. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:10, 1 February 2015 (UTC)