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July 17[edit]

Historical names for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, etc[edit]

What were the historical names for the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations? I'm guessing it was originally just called "the Subcommittee on Crime" before buzz words like "terrorism" and "homeland security" got tacked on. So I'm wondering when did the name extensions happen.WinterWall (talk) 00:53, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

For this kind of thing, the Congressional Directory is invaluable; it lists all committees and subcommittees and their membership, as well as tons of other things, ranging from the office of each member of Congress (location, phone numbers, senior staffers' names) to miscellaneous things such as the name, telephone number, and full address (with ZIP+4 code!) for the head of the field office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Lubbock, Texas. The Government Printing Office has Congressional Directories online for each Congress since the 105th (which was elected in 1996), and the 105th's section on House committees confirms your guess that it was then the Subcommittee on Crime. Check the GPO website for more recent Congresses, and check Worldcat to find printed copies of older editions in a library near you. Nyttend (talk) 01:10, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help! By going through the Congressional Directories I found that it was still the "Subcommittee on Crime" on October 2002. By July 2003, it became the "Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security". WinterWall (talk) 01:49, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Where did the "coffee" in the Coffee Club come from?[edit]

Uniting for Consensus is nicknamed the Coffee Club. Where did the coffee part come from?

Among them only Indonesia is a significant producer of coffee and none of them are major coffee consumers on a per capita basis.

So far, I found only two explanations online and neither of them make a lot of sense:

1. "They are known as the Coffee Club because it is reminiscent of the powerful lobby opposing the expansion of permanent membership in the early 1990s."[1]

2. "The group was nicknamed the "Coffee Club", supposedly because its members would rather disrupt the meetings on the subject than engage in effective negotiations."[2]WinterWall (talk) 10:33, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Historical person obsessed with clocks[edit]

I remember my father telling the story of a historical person (king, perhaps) who spent the last years of his life trying to keep all the clocks in his castle or mansion synchronized. I've not been able to identify the person through a web search, and remember little else than what I've written above. Does this fragment of a story ring a bell with anyone? --NorwegianBlue talk 12:31, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Charles I of Spain. Nyttend (talk) 14:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The article doesn't explicitly state that he tried to keep all his clocks in sync. But is it possible he was just trying to get them to clang all at the same time, to avoid what I might call the "row-row-row your boat" effect? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a million Nyttend! That was fast. --NorwegianBlue talk 14:40, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
See also Sandringham time, instituted by King Edward VII of the UK, maintained by his son George V, and done away with by his son Edward VIII. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
An early attempt at "daylight saving time", it would seem. Had he made it an hour instead of a half-hour, maybe it would have stuck. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jack, nice story. I'm sure that Carlos I is the person I'm looking for though. There are many things in the article that fit with what I remembered from the story, but so vaguely that I didn't include them when writing the question. The king had abdicated or been thrown out of office. He lived in a house where there were many clocks. The fact that he was a Habsburger also fits, my father had a special interest for the Habsburgers. Now, all I need is a source for the "keeping in sync" part of the story. I'll do a targeted search in my father's bookshelves at the next opportunity! --NorwegianBlue talk
I found a website that tells the story pretty much as I remember it:
The attempt to make his clocks keep time together is said to have been one of the daily occupations of the retired emperor, and the adjustment of his clocks and watches gave him so much trouble that he is said to have one day remarked that it was absurd to try and make men think alike, when, do what he would, he could not make two of his timepieces agree.
From Historical Tales Spain (Heritage history). --NorwegianBlue talk 23:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
"My Grandfather's Clock" isn't quite in sync with everything else here, but sort of coincides with a lot. Figured I'd mention it. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:23, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Similarly, it put me in mind of "the Prince’s mother had once had a dream that her son would either be killed by a sheep or else by a clock falling on him. For that reason the Prince never kept a sheep in his park or a clock in his palace."[3] Marnanel (talk) 09:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
And that reminded me that a certain prince had reminded me to beware spinning wheels. And since coincidences love company, I also mentioned him (though not by name) an hour or so ago, in a comment about spinning yarns. Weird timing, indeed. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:35, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Even stranger that you were on that talk page, Marnanel. Finland is not Sweden. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:25, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Don't similar harmonic oscillators such as pair of pendulums lock phase when they are loosely coupled? I swear I've heard descriptions of pendulum clocks keeping in sync due to the vibrations carried through the wall they are mounted on. A quick search didn't find actual stories of it happening, just mathematical descriptions of the phenomenon and some simulations. Of course, once you have hundreds of them in your home, especially with different pendulum periods, it isn't the same situation. Katie R (talk) 12:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Malaysian airline crash in Ukraine[edit]

I was shocked to see the air space over the active war zone in Ukraine is not off limits to commercial aircraft. What are the standards the European agency that regulates air traffic uses, to determine where planes can fly safely ? StuRat (talk) 18:02, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I just came here to ask this very question. Is it ever considered standard operating procedure for civilian planes to be flying above a war? If so, I'm amazed. Obviously, the blame lies with whomsoever issued the order to open fire without knowing what they were looking at, but I'm genuinely surprised that the plane was even there in the first place. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:13, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's been discussed on the news. The view was that commercial aircraft fly at such high altitudes that normal weaponry would not affect them. Only highly sophisticated weapons of the kind normally used only by governments would by a threat. Paul B (talk) 18:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, but it seems like a big assumption was made in deciding that the Ukrainian government side wasn't going to decide to be trigger-happy idiots and assume that it was a Russian plane in their airspace supplying the separatists or something... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
How likely is it that a Russian plane would be flying west to east? Regardless, CBS was showing some type of made-in-Russia missile launcher which is capable of hitting targets that high, along with the assumption that Russia has been supplying arms to eastern Ukraine. Far as I know, there has been no official determination of who or what caused the mid-air explosion, i.e. a missile vs. a bomb vs. a fuel tank fault as per that one off Long Island in the mid-1990s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
"How likely is it that a Russian plane would be flying west to east?" - if it was flying back where it came from, having already dropped some stuff off it would be, rite? --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 19:51, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
See and hear
Wavelength (talk) 19:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I meant from western Ukraine to eastern Ukraine. And if it already dropped off its cargo, why shoot it down? Anyway, news reports are now saying it was definitely a missile. If they can prove it was a Russian-made missile, there will be hell to pay. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:11, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
On the bright side, it may lead to technological safety advances. Like last time, with GPS. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:44, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Actually nothing much seems to have come from last time Nil Einne (talk) 23:48, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Right. I meant the last time the Russians did it. If Russians did it. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:51, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Then there's the possibility that Malaysian Airlines itself is the target. Two mysterious incidents within months of each other. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a target. Maybe unlucky. Maybe, like the Washington Post acknowledged that other last time, the pilot simply saw no reason to not live dangerously. The only thing that's certain is we're going to hear a lot about maybe again. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:55, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the Burrows family of Queensland are being targetted. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
If I were an Aussie, I'd only fly where Qantas could take me, since they have a much better safety record. Hopefully they know not to fly over war zones. StuRat (talk) 21:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, Rain Man. Although, to be fair, nobody is suggesting that Malaysian Airlines is in any way responsible for what happened yesterday. Were any of the passengers concerned about their flight path over Ukraine? I doubt it, because I doubt any of them knew. Is this the sort of information airlines normally volunteer to intending passengers? I doubt it, because nobody could have predicted that such an unspeakable crime would ever have occurred, except in hindsight, and we know what predictions in hindsight are worth. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree that nobody could predict it. Certainly nobody could predict an attack was 100% certain, but predicting that there is an increased risk in flying over a war zone where 3 aircraft had already been shot down is a no-brainer. Qantas chose to avoid the area, for this reason: [4]. They didn't obtain their excellent safety record by taking unnecessary chances. StuRat (talk) 03:41, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Most everyone chose to divert around the war zone. As noted in this, posted farther down by another editor, the reason that's liable to get the blame is money - it costs more to fly around Ukraine than over it. So it seems that the bean-counters overrode good sense at that airline. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:02, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
But even considering economics alone, the cost of the loss of a plane with all on board, in terms of the plane's value, the amount they are sued for, the loss of bookings from those who have lost faith in the airline, and the subsequent drop in their stock price, even if there was only a 1 in a million chance of this happening, it might still not have been worth the risk to save that fuel cost. StuRat (talk) 03:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's the thing about risk. No matter what the percentages are, each time is something new. You either fail or succeed, and that outcome influences the number, not the other way around. 100% of the time that taking a risk pays off, it was totally worth it. In this case, it was absolutely not. It's why that "Past performance does not guarantee future results" disclaimer is so prevalent in stock markets. The numbers are mostly for bedazzlement. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:07, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the past record is only one way to determine risk, and not a good choice for infrequent events. For example, we've never had a global thermonuclear war, but that doesn't mean the risk is zero. The Doomsday Clock attempted to assess the risk by other methods. StuRat (talk) 04:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, two minutes to midnight. But does anyone really know whether to plan for the future or live like there's no tomorrow? If the superbomb goes off, then the superbomb will have certainly gone off. Anyway, I agree that people should be guarded more safely than money. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:41, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Sort of like the Jessica Ghawi story. Poor folks. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:19, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Air Canada had apparently been "proactively" avoiding the area for a while. Seems to suggest it's the sort of decision an airline makes, rather than a regulator. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:05, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Ukraine joined Eurocontrol in 2004. However, Eurocontrol only directly controls air traffic in the MUAC area (basically the upper airspace of Benelux and a part of Germany). Deciding on air space design and opening and closing of air spaces is mostly left to the member states. And of course the airlines decide which route they want to fly within the areas they are allowed to. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:12, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Even the FAA only told their airlines to avoid Crimea and the surrounding sea [5] so it doesn't seem that unique to European agencies.
It seems everyone is going to avoid the area now. Some may have been avoiding it before, although it's worth remembering it depends on the route. From comments on the news and elsewhere, I suspect it's a route more commonly used when travelling from/to parts of Europe to/from Asia, particular SEA (and perhaps also Australia/NZ). It may be easier for airlines travelling from/to Canada or the US to/from most destinations to avoid it without either noticeably increasing fuel usage and travel time or travelling over equally risky areas.
Perhaps everyone overestimate how much control Russia has over the breakaway region militants (at least those showing up with sophisticated weaponary), as Russia themselves have been saying all the time, and so believed it was safer than it was.
Nil Einne (talk) 23:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Airliners routinely fly over Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe. Or did until recently, in the case of Iraq - not sure about now. Instructions to pilots dictated that the aircraft remain above 22,500 feet at all times. Note that Man-portable air-defense systems, even recent models, cannot hit an airliner at full cruising height. (Those incidents where airliners were targeted by MANPADs generally involved takeoff and landing). Only fixed, semi-mobile, or vehicle-mounted systems could do it. Most insurgents don't have access to such systems (they're quite hard to hide). Obviously, the rebels in eastern Ukraine are an exception, as the airliner was apparently at full altitude. It's suspected a Buk missile system was used. (talk) 10:26, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The evidence seems to point toward it having been a Russian made missile launched from the rebel controlled area of the Ukraine. This certainly suggests it was Ukrainian rebels who launched it, presuming the target to be a Ukrainian military plane. They may have obtained it either covertly from the Russians, or perhaps they captured it from Ukrainian military depot.

Note that 2 Ukrainian cargo planes and one Ukrainian fighter were shot down by the Ukrainian rebels in the last few weeks, although I'm unsure of their altitude. So it's pretty clear that the rebels have anti-aircraft weapons, and if those planes were at the same altitude, it's clear that they had AA weapons capable of shooting down civilian jets. If so, then allowing civilian jets to fly over that area seems incredibly stupid.

Also, are civilian jets flying over other war zones now ? Syria ? The Gaza Strip ? Iraq ? StuRat (talk) 17:59, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

According to Pierre Jeanniot, a former Air Canada CEO, they did fly over Afghanistan at those heights, and do for Iraq, Syria, Iran and Egypt. Without the precedent of a disaster, he thinks there was little reason for concern. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:01, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like the classic tombstone mentality. StuRat (talk) 19:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
For a classic, that sure has been unsourced for a while. Should I delete it before or after someone is misled? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:48, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Find a source for it, instead. Here's one from the New York Times: [6]. StuRat (talk) 20:57, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll just leave it be and pass the buck on to you if any catastrophic confusion occurs. Your "advance-knowledge" seems more advanced than mine. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:08, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
What does a 9-11 conspiracy site have to do with anything ? StuRat (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's actually Wikipedia. Figured it tied into the tombstone mentality, the general expert-in-hindsight vibe the news gets in times like these and my telling you about a potential Wikiproblem that you and I are willfully ignoring. Nothing to do with 9/11, in particular. I'll just shut up. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:06, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
CNN showed the missile that struck the plane broken it two. It was at least 25 feet, perhaps longer. Not a shoulder mount. It must have come from a specialized truck. What is a probability that a person who pulled the trigger did not know what he was doing? Such hardware are operated by a crew of ten. Put yourself in the shoes of the commander, perhaps a lieutenant junior grade. Before you fire you take binoculars and look at the aircraft. Aren't civilian aircraft distinguishable? Again if you are a commander of such a machine, would you do it alone? No, you will wait for an order from a superior officer. What is the motivation for the Ukrainian military to do it? Zero. Have they shot down any aircraft yet? No. The Russians have shot down Ukrainian planes in this area. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 20:41, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You can't distinguish planes at 33,000 feet from the ground with binoculars. I believe those were pro-Russian rebels who shot down the other planes recently, although there may be actual Russian military interspersed with them. It will certainly not help either the rebels nor the Russians out to have this on their record. Indeed, I suspect that much stricter sanctions will follow, unless Russia stops providing such high tech weapons to idiots. This fact does bring up the possibility that the Ukrainians did it, to blame it on the rebels, but that would be a very difficult thing to bring off, even if you assume they were immoral enough to do so. They would have to somehow get into the rebel controlled area with the missile launcher, shoot the missile, and get out, without being detected. Also, the serial numbers on the missile may be recovered, from which it could be tracked, and satellite surveillance of the area would likely spot any movements into or out of the area.
If recent news reports are correct, the missile launcher is a "point and click" system, where the radar finds a target, just displayed as a blip, and the operator then decides whether to launch or not. The missile launcher itself does not distinguish between targets, they would have to use other system for that. The rebels may not have access to those other systems. StuRat (talk) 20:55, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
A quick review of various reports and commentaries on bear out the essence of what you're saying. The (unconfirmed) account of voice traffic indicates the rebels mistook it for a transport plane, and they (along with many others) are asking the same question as the OP here: What on god's green earth were they doing flying over a war zone? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:23, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And suddenly the chat room becomes Sturat's own "I believe... " blog. There's a lot of crap here. Worth just reading the mainstream news sources, and avoiding these chat/conspiracy boards. All they do is perpetuate limited understanding. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Lawsuits will be filed in a short order. A bunch of lawyers already count their fees. Russia will be defending those lawsuits in European courts for the next decade or two. Some properties will be impounded. A lot of headache for Mr. Putin and company. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 23:51, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Seems to also be spurring Poland on to increase continue the sanction headache. Not that Poland needed any help in anti-Russian sentiment. But the rest of Europe may need a little help jumping to conclusions about their energy relationships. And who better for relationship advice than this odd couple? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:18, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Correction: Poland seems to have already been officially pissed (via Radoslaw Sikorski) a day before the plane exploded. I apologize if I implied they were easily manipulated. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:53, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
This Štefan Füle guy has had an interesting few days. The day before he appeared in the story above, he was concerned with rumours and today he's helping annex former Soviet republics. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:41, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Malaysia Airlines may not survive the double disaster. Kind of unfair for them but at the same time the second one is a product of poor judgment. Who is going to purchase tickets for their flights now? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
You must be channeling Jason Biggs! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:15, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Those who don't remember their Tweets are doomed to retweet them. Or maybe he's the killer. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:20, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
WSJ this morning has an article: "Compensation Could be Limited." The online version is more expanded. It says the Airline is contractually liable for $174,000 per death. Getting more from the governments may be problematic for a variety of reasons. The Airline's stock is down 11% this morning. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 18:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

The legal precedent set by Iran Air Flight 655 suggests that Putin doesn't have to worry, the statements he made are similar to what was said by most countries in this earlier case (Iran is to blame because of the ongoing conflict, vs. Putin saying that the responsibility lies with Ukraine for starting the military offensive). I didn't hear Putin say anything remotely similar to this statement by the then vice president George H. W. Bush, "I will never apologize for the United States — I don't care what the facts are...". Count Iblis (talk) 20:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Singapore Airlines has apologized for simply reminding people their planes don't fly over warzones like 66 others. Apparently it's insensitive to literally defend passengers. I see no apology for almost causing a disaster at George Bush Intercontinental Airport earlier this month. Russia also hasn't apologized for doing the same in Barcelona, three days later. Corporations are stranger than governments, sometimes. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:42, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

Are these notable in England[edit]

There is currently an AFD discussion about an Englishman named Nicholas Padfield, however, I'm finding it difficult to vote on him because all of his supposed accomplishments are that are unfamiliar to me as an American. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on whether or not these things are a big deal in England. He's listed in Who's Who (UK), is that something special? He played hockey at Oxford and for England. There are so many athletes in America, it's hard to know how big a deal that is. The article also says: He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1972. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991 and was elected a bencher of the Inner Temple in 1995. He was appointed a recorder in 1995 and a deputy judge in 2008. Are these big achievements? Bali88 (talk) 19:57, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

If he played for England, I'd say that's instant notability right there provided sources can be found to verify it. There is no higher level in any sport than representing your country at international level. Mogism (talk) 20:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Being called to the bar just makes one a barrister (a lawyer permitted to address certain slightly higher categories of court, balanced out by not being permitted to do some other things that lawyers in the British system do), and there are many of them, most of whom are not notable (and some of whom claim to be very poorly paid). A Recorder (judge) is a local judge (more important than a magistrate because it requires detailed knowledge of the law.) Not sure about deputy judge but I doubt it would confer notability. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:32, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Okay, so the barrister thing is out as a form of notability. As for representing your country at international level, does that typically count as notability for British BLP's? Because I'm not sure it would be a notable feat for American athletes. There are 530 athletes who represented the US at the 2012 summer Olympics alone. More than 10K from all countries in 2012 total. Add that to all the athletes in the winter olympics and all the various international sporting events around the world and that's a lot of people! That's what's kind of giving me pause. I don't really know how big a deal hockey is and if being on the national team makes you a celebrity over there. Is that typically accepted for British athletes? Also, I kinda feel like if that is the thing that is making him notable, the article should be focused on that instead of it being sort of a side note. Say what year he played, what notable things he did on the team, etc.

Also, does anyone know anything about the who's who list? Is that something that is notable? Bali88 (talk) 21:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

  • A Queen's Counsel is a senior barrister, and a bencher is a senior member of an Inn of Court, taken together I think that they would argue towards notability, as would representing his country at the top level in any sport. (Hockey, by the way, means the one played on grass or artificial pitches, not the sort played on ice. Britain is generally seen as being in the upper ranks internationally). Who's Who would also argue towards notability. DuncanHill (talk) 21:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Also see Who's Who (UK). People it lists are by definition notable in some sense (which may or may not agree with Wikipedias sense). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:34, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Not sure about Who's Who, but WRT the athletics stuff, see Wikipedia:Notability (sports). To wit " The guidelines on this page are intended to reflect the fact that sports figures are likely to meet Wikipedia's basic standards of inclusion if they have, for example, participated in a major international amateur or professional competition at the highest level (such as the Olympics)." You are free to interpret that, and apply it to this situation, as you see best. However, if you are seriously interested in saving the article, your best shot is to find source text about his life. What Wikipedia needs to write articles is reliable source text, and while the other, supplementary notability guidelines are nice, they are usually debatable as to whether the presumption of notability the supplementary guidelines provide really is there. However, actual, real, reliable, in-depth source text is unassailable. The more of that you find, the more rock solid your case comes in keeping the article around. If no in-depth source text exists anywhere in the world, it becomes harder to defend the existence of an article even if the subject of the article meets some arbitrary criteria, like holding some job or having appeared in some competition. --Jayron32 21:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I really don't have a dog in the fight in terms of keeping it, I just wasn't sure what to do with it!
Can you guys think of a reliable source for this? I don't think the "Who's Who" book is going to count since it's self-written. If I can I'd like to add it to the article. Bali88 (talk) 01:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting point. The content of a Who's Who entry is written by the subject, but the fact of inclusion is decided by the editors, so it seems to me that it should count towards notability. --ColinFine (talk) 15:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I have added six reliable sources, so the page should now meet the general notability guideline of WP:N. Moonraker (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

What was Rhode Island's status before it ratified the Constitution?[edit]

The U.S. Constitution took effect on June 21, 1788, when it was ratified by the ninth state, Connecticut. But what was the status of the other four members of the original Articles of Confederation from that point on - Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island - before they ratified the Constitution? Were they part of the United States? Were they part of a separate United States? --Golbez (talk) 01:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Under the terms of the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution was simply an illegal treaty between the states. "No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled." Congress had authorized the Constitutional Convention for the purpose of writing amendments to the Articles, not a whole new constitution, and amendments to the Articles were only allowed to be adopted if "such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State." The various governments simply found it convenient to ignore those provisions and treat the new Constitution as legitimately adopted—in effect, a bloodless revolution in favor of the new-style government. -- (talk) 02:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You can read in, for example, History of Rhode Island, its refusal to ratify the constitution led to it being treated as a foreign nation by the other 12 states in the union. As far as the other 3 states you mention, those that ratified after the ninth state (New Hampshire, FWIW) necessary to ratify the Constitution and bring it into the force of law, it is likely that they were not treated as independent nations; remember that communication in those days went as fast as a horse could carry it, and as such, there was not an expectation of "instantness" that we have today. See History of the United States Constitution#Ratification of the Constitution, by the time that they got from the "It's been ratified" to "We need to organize and hold elections to form our first government, two additional states (bringing the total to eleven of thirteen) had ratified the constitution. The twelfth state, North Carolina, ratified on November 21, 1789, eight months after the government had started meeting on March 4, 1789, what had been the official inauguration day, though even on March 4, there was not a quorum in either house of Congress, it took some more weeks for representatives and senators from enough states to make it to New York to do so. It wasn't until the end of April that the President and Vice President had been sworn in. I can't find any information to indicate if North Carolina was treated as a foreign nation (or threatened to be) during the months of 1789 between when Congress started performing official business and they ratified the Constitution, but Rhode Island was under that direct threat until it ratified almost a year later. --Jayron32 06:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I had the book Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier out of the library a while back. If I remember correctly, the delay in implementing the new government after New Hampshire ratified was not only due to slow communications and the time to organize elections but also because it was hoped the remaining states would fall into line quickly and avoid any problems such as they actually had with Rhode Island. -- (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Hm. So it seems like the best method is to just consider them all in the U.S. and not do any trickery. (I'm working on new versions of Territorial evolution of the United States etc. and was wondering how to handle this) --Golbez (talk) 06:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In essence, Rhode Island was "gently" coerced into joining the Union. Being surrounded, they were not really in a position of strength. Now, if Virginia or Massachusetts had failed to sign on, it could have been serious trouble. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
If you were doing a progressive map like File:US states by date of statehood.gif or File:Non-Native American Nations Control over N America 1750-2008.gif, you could use three similar but distinct colors to show the "US under the Articles", "US states that ratified the Constitution before it took effect", and "US states under the Constitution". -- (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

jurisdiction & admissibility[edit]

What 's the difference between jurisdiction and admissibility? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

See Jurisdiction and admissible evidence. Moonraker (talk) 04:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Low population density of central inner Spain[edit]

Why is central inner Spain (apart from the Madrid region) so sparsely populated? It's rather comparable with Scandinavia or northern Russia, than with Italy or France.

--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 06:30, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the map in Climate of Spain, a large portion of the center appears to be classified as BSk - cold, semi-arid climate. So the rain in Spain stays mainly ... elsewhere. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You might be right but the precipitation and temperature do not strictly correspond to the density.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
That area appears to be known as the "Meseta Central" or "Inner plateau" (no separate en.Wikipedia article)... AnonMoos (talk) 09:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Geography_of_Spain#The_Inner_Plateau_and_associated_mountains Katie R (talk) 17:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Mountains are also difficult to farm, necessitating building and maintaining ledges, which is rather labor intensive. Also, you can't bring in heavy machinery to harvest such crops, so that is also labor intensive. This has been done in places, such as parts of Asia, where the mountains get enough rain, the labor supply is plentiful, and there is a lack of more accessible farm land. In other areas mountain pastures are used to feed livestock, but those support a lower population, since much of the food energy is lost when it's converted into meat. StuRat (talk) 17:24, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Our article describes the landscape as "barren rugged slopes". So probably not very productive as pasture either. Alansplodge (talk) 17:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
True, but pasture doesn't need to be as productive, as goats, etc., have a knack for finding a tuft of grass here and there, which would be impractical for humans to try to harvest. Obviously more productive pasture will support more animals and thus humans, though. StuRat (talk) 17:46, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Spain also experienced a decent rate of urbanization during the 20th century, including during and after the Franco period (an increase from 61% to 77% between 1965 and 1985, "slightly higher than the average for the advanced industrial countries" Spain: A Country Study, Eric Solsten and Sandra W. Meditz, editors. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1988). Of the top ten cities of Spain, and with the exception of Madrid, as noted by Любослов, only Zaragoza is not at or near the coast, and it's still not in central Spain. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
File:EU_NUTS_2_population_density_2007.svg (linked by OP) shows a similar pattern in Greece and Turkey. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 20:52, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Taking pets to war[edit]

I'm wondering about this World War I photograph (1917) showing "Two American soldiers about to embark for duty, with their pets, a dachshund and a racoon. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" Were soldiers officially allowed (or even encouraged) to bring along pets at the time? Was it still allowed in WWII? What about nowadays? ---Sluzzelin talk 23:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The comma seems to suggest these two soldiers about to embark on duty are with their pets, not about to embark on duty with their pets. I don't know of anything allowing or forbidding it, but it seems like a hassle to take them along. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:14, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
In Britain, when WWII was coming, many people seem to have figured their pets would be better off dead, at the government's suggestion. Seems unlikely those soldiers would be allowed. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:18, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, big green unpalatable one (I actually saw the pic in a local magazine reminiscing on WWI, and the caption claimed it showed the two soldiers after disembarkment in Europe, which isn't what the linked caption says). Sorry, by the way, if the link doesn't work. It's one of those patronizing links that automatically redirects to my country web domain (.ch) and language (de), so I'm not even sure that changing it to .com would work. But people can view it by image-googling American + soldiers + dachshund + raccoon. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Works for me. I can't understand all the German on the right, but I can guess by the context that it's not so relevant to the question. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:32, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
There was the case of Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog in the first one. But he wasn't technically a pet (or a sergeant). Somewhere in between. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:40, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Also Wojtek, a private in the Polish artillery (and a brown bear) who allegedly carried ammunition to the guns at the Battle of Monte Cassino. 08:00, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Unlike Sergeant Stubby, Able Seaman Just Nuisance has an official rank. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:31, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic, but speaking of war dogs, the Russians tried to use dogs with explosives on their backs to attack German tanks at the Battle Of Kursk. Unfortunately, it backfired (pardon the pun), because the dogs had been trained using Russian tanks, so they blew their own tanks up. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Or so the story goes. See Anti-tank dog. Although not terribly effective, they don't seem to have destroyed any Soviet tanks. Alansplodge (talk) 00:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I heard the story on QI, and I trust Stephen Fry and his army of elves. And that article does say, they sniffed out their own tanks, beacause of the difference in smell between diesel and gasoline. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:19, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I think that I first read the story in The Book of Heroic Failures (1979), an amusing but hardly academic work. Our article quotes as its reference The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II edited by Chris Bishop, 2002 (p.205) which Google Books won't show me. The same story is quoted in Colonel Richardson's Airedales: The Making of the British War Dog School by Bryan D. Cummins which quotes it verbatim from Dogs at War: True Stories of Canine Courage Under Fire by Blythe Hamer 2001. So it seems to be well attested but only in fairly recent works and has a hint of the urban myth about it in my opinion. Red Road From Stalingrad: Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman by Mansur Abdulin has a brief eye-witness account of the successful use of anti-tank dogs on the Don Front in November 1942. Alansplodge (talk) 19:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
If we're drifting away from pure pets, here are Seven Insane Military Attempts to Weaponize Animals. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:40, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, thanks again, unsavoury muscular mate (and everyone else), but the animals I was curious about were pets, without any military use apart from their potential of comfort, consolation, and cuddliness to their owner. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:03, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's what I figured. I remember hearing stories of trench soldiers befriending and (often temporarily) adopting cats and dogs, but Google is frustrating. Even then though, they met during the war. I did find this, slightly more relevant than confirmed active duty animals. Funny story, anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:11, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
There's this academic paper about the various ways dogs were seen and treated in WWI. Pretty deep, just skimmed through it. Stuff about pets, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:20, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

Coin Act 1696[edit]

Where can I find the full text? "Google" isn't the answer. I'd like to know about section 8 of the act, which isn't mentioned in the article. Section 6 prohibited the mixing of copper and silver. Did this apply in all circumstances, or just in a numismatic context? It would be a shame if natural philosophers were prohibited from carrying out chemistry experiments on the properties of the two elements. Nyttend (talk) 04:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

According to the virtual Parliament, your paper is somewhere behind this hyperlink. I'm not sure. I don't have Javascript on. Good luck! InedibleHulk (talk) 05:41, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
As for Part 2, I'll just guess it only meant coins. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:42, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Found the text through your link, and expanded the article. Thanks! Nyttend (talk) 12:22, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Passports during aircraft accidents[edit]

Why the passengers' passports aboard the downed Malaysian MH17 flight (and some other accidents) didn't burn out (if they were inside passengers' cloth, which burned together with the bodies)? (talk) 11:10, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

What's the basis of your premise? Who says all the bodies burned? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:14, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
They must not have, since there are apparently lots of intact bodies (and body parts) on the ground, along with lots of intact baggage and plane parts. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:29, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
The missile would have fractured the plane and lots of people could have simply fallen out. The fireball occurred when the fuel tank portion hit the ground. There is a widespread debris field, so a lot of the entities probably did not burn. I wonder, though - on an international flight, do the passengers keep their passports, or are they stowed in a safe or something? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:33, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
On an international flight, passengers keep their passports with them at all times. I can't imagine why it would be otherwise.--Shantavira|feed me 12:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd heard jokes about Americans being "insular", but this is bizarre... perhaps I should've known better in this case :S --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:00, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
A senior citizen who has never travelled overseas is not all that uncommon, and certainly not "bizarre". From about 18 onwards, the older people are, the less likely they are to have travelled (OR), and if they have, the less likely they are to have travelled multiple times (OR). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I've seen footage of a witness describing seeing bodies falling out of the sky. And there's plenty of unburnt personal effects in amongst the burnt wreckage. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:39, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
There are actually pictures or largely unburnt bodies if you look in certain places too. I don't suggest the be linked to from here. As for the photo with lots of passports piled up. I'm not sure if this was mostly for the photo. It wouldn't be surprising if someone thought it would help identify victims to gather all the passports even if it wasn't necessary and probably made things worse. Nil Einne (talk) 21:17, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if the OP has seen pics, similar to those I've seen, which are passports piled up after tragedies like this. I think there's a term for news photographer setting up pictures like this but I can't remember what it is right now (e.g. deaths of young children so the photographers set up a scene with a teddy bear) (talk) 13:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what the term is, but I'm fairly certain I saw a clip of seemingly pristine passports being shown kind of the way you're describing. Actually from the crash, or file footage, I'm not totally sure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

When I've travelled long haul, I tend to keep my passport in a shirt or jacket pocket, or if I'm not going to sleep, in my hand luggage nearby. There are plenty of pictures of intact baggage from MH17. There's no reason to believe that passports stored within such intact baggage would have been spontaneously destroyed. Therefore passports can and regularly do survive such accidents. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:27, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

When the plane breaks up suddenly, anything that is not very tightly fixed to the plane will be blown out of the plane. Initially, there is a big pressure difference between the inside and outside air which causes the air to rush out, and then everything gets exposed to the outside air, but at a relative speed of more than 800 km/h. The friction from the air at that speed leads to small objects being blown backward very fast. In a matter of seconds there will be a speed difference of hundreds of km/h between the severely damaged plane and the people and objects that have been blown out of the plane. Count Iblis (talk) 18:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

This is true—it's not uncommon for bodies to be found naked (or nearly so) after this sort of disaster—but it doesn't mean the passports will be destroyed, only that they will be separated from their owners' remains. -- (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

List of current constituent African monarchs[edit]


first, I must commend this article and other articles about traditional rulers.

Does anyone have any information about how many traditional rulers (kings, sultans, emirs etc.) that exist in the world today? I am sure they must be some sort of list that contains such info as it is known how many tribes/peoples there are.

Thank you,

with best regards

Morten Norway — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mortennorway (talkcontribs) 15:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by "traditional rulers"? The 1905 referendum restored the traditional rulers of the House of Oldenburg instead of the French rulers of the past 87 years. However, your link makes me guess that you're more interested in tribal rulers, so it would help if you'd clarify what you're asking about. Nyttend (talk) 21:51, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
From our List of monarchies article:
African constitutional monarchies
African absolute monarchies
African subnational monarchies
There may be others that haven't made it into our article, perhaps somebody else can think of some. Alansplodge (talk) 23:12, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if this is germane to the discussion, but Hugh Quarshie traced his ancestry and is possibly the current Chief of Abe in Ghana, according to this article. Is the OP more interested in rulers of larger tribal areas? --TammyMoet (talk) 08:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Missing from the list are at least three traditional monarchies in South Africa: Zulu, Bafokeng and Balobedu. These just off the top of my head, there may be other tribal leaders with royal status that I'm not aware of. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


Why would a store (I've observed this in Walgreens and CVS, pharmacies, and Food Lion, a grocery store) sell 20 oz bottles of soda for $1.79 and larger 1.25L bottles (42.2 oz, over twice as much) of the same soda for 99 cents? Is there evidence that the price premium for the less soda is due to the increased handiness of the smaller portion size? (talk) 17:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

It's not any sort of convenience fee, it's just prices being raised on people either not paying attention or not caring. The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers know that the smaller bottles sell better so they throw on a ton of mark up. One of the guys who filled the soda fridges at my last job said you can get the 20 oz bottle for pocket change at the factory. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:29, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the bit about customers who don't care or pay attention (or aren't able to do the math). These seemingly illogical prices are in reality part of a price differentiation strategy. In the US, we also have a mixture of ounce and liter measurements, making it rather difficult to compare the cost of a 20 ounce bottle with a 2 liter bottle. I suspect that this is intentional on the part of the bottlers, who don't want people comparing to find the best price. Constantly changing prices also make it more difficult to compare, as you would have to run continuous comparisons of all sizes in each place you shop. StuRat (talk) 12:41, 20 July 2014 (UTC) -- Are you sure they're in the same state of refrigeration? It's quite common for convenience stores to charge a high premium for instant cold gratification... AnonMoos (talk) 20:04, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

And quite common for the supplier to pay supermarkets for the privilege of having its wares sold right next to the tills. --NellieBly (talk) 03:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I used to buy the 650ml "contour bottles" (one per day, refrigerated) from the work restaurant. The work restaurant, cleverly but certainly not inappropriately, stocked neither smaller nor larger sizes of the same cola. (This is similar to how larger supermarkets have such bottles, and often the smaller cans, in the "ready to go" refrigerated area near the door, with the better value large sizes in more distant areas of the store.)
One of my colleagues who had a bit of a problem with excessive sugar intake, would instead bring in his own 2 litre bottle of cola, and just swig straight out of the bottle, which looked a bit odd in the workplace. I'm not sure how many he got through in a day.
These days I buy 330ml cans in the supermarket, in packs of 8, 12 or 20 depending on whatever the best offer that week is, and carry them into work myself, two per day. Another thing that's changed (in the workplaces I've seen in the UK that have externally serviced restaurants) is that such places no longer permit the employer to locate a (free) water cooler in the eating area. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:25, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Also note that most people won't finish a 2 liter bottle in one day (and shouldn't, due to the amount of sugar/corn syrup), so it will tend to go flat. This might explain why it's a less popular choice. StuRat (talk) 12:41, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I prefer 1.5 or 2 liter containers to aluminum cans or glass bottles for home consumption, because once you open a can or glass bottle, you have to drink it all fairly quickly or throw it away, while with plastic screw-top containers, you can take irregular swigs as you choose. For some reason apple soda here seems to have a different style of carbonation or interaction with carbonation, and doesn't go flat as quickly as some others... AnonMoos (talk) 15:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Once that goes flat you would have something similar to apple juice, which is still drinkable. With normal soda you end up with just sugar water (corn syrup water, actually), which doesn't taste very good at all, unless you're a hummingbird. :-) StuRat (talk) 17:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

James Harden-Hickey[edit]

James Harden-Hickey had a handmade crown. Whatever happen to it after his death and what did it look like and what was it made of?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 04:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

In answer to the second question: In the scanned (not wikisource) version of the Real Soldiers of Fortune book, there is a picture of a medal issued by Harden-Hickey [7] along with the statement "For himself, King James commissioned a firm of jewelers to construct a royal crown. In design it was similar to the one which surmounted the Cross of Trinidad. It is shown in the photograph of the insignia." (talk) 13:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
So very similar to St Edward's Crown. Alansplodge (talk) 19:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
According to a newspaper article; BACK IN THE DAY: Story behind Corona's name involves a baron, the town of Corona, California was named by Harden-Hickey who had bought a ranch there. Neither article mentions an actual crown, but perhaps there's a link? Alansplodge (talk) 19:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

First World War medical report[edit]

I have obtained copies of my grandfather's enlistment papers from 1915. I'm fascinated by the standard form the Medical Examiner had to sign, which said:

"I have examined the above-named person and find that he does not present any of the following conditions, viz. :-
Scrofula; phthisis; impaired constitution; defective intelligence, defects of vision, voice, or hearing; hernia; haemorrhoids; varicose veins, beyond a limited extent; marked varicocele with unusually pendent testicle; inveterate cutaneous disease; chronic ulcers; traces of corporal punishment, or evidence of having been marked with the letters D. or B.C.; contracted or deformed chest; abnormal curvature of the spine; or any other disease or physical defect calculated to unfit him for the duties of a soldier."

I'm glad Grandpa passed the test, but I'd love to know why people of his generation in Australia might have "been marked with the letters D. or B.C.". Anybody? HiLo48 (talk) 05:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

According to this, D meant "Deserter". The other seems to mean "bad conduct". Even worse for business than an unusually pendent testicle, I'd figure. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:08, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Yep, gotta watch the latter though. Never know where they'll lead. What's described in that link seems a nasty way to brand a deserter, but I guess they weren't popular. And Grandpa wasn't a deserter. Though I did find later in his record a few days AWOL in France. One can only wonder.... HiLo48 (talk) 06:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Nasty, but effective. Can't exactly take "I promise I'll never hurt you" at face value, especially without knowing who's already dishonest. This way, they either have the mark, or a suspicious scrape where the mark should be. Gentler now with central databases, biometric ID and impaired constitutions.
Speaking of impaired, nasty and promises, your grandpa likely did the same things in France mine did in the next war to end all wars. Maybe even the same women. If I'm in the area for World War III, I'll raise a glass to both of them before finding the wisest mademoiselle left. She'll know what to do. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:27, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if they used brands or tattoos. If tats, then that doesn't seem particularly cruel to me. It seems to imply that they couldn't otherwise keep track of who each person was, presumably meaning they would accept recruits who couldn't produce a birth or baptismal certificate, and they had nothing like a Social Security number at the time to uniquely identify people. StuRat (talk) 12:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Australian War Memorial: Enlistment Standards: First World War: "On enlistment recruits were examined for BC or D tattooed on their skin. These were British army tattoos. BC stood for bad character and D for deserter." (talk) 12:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Which authors used the most adjectives and which ones used the least[edit]

In most writing classes they teach you overuse of adjectives and adverbs is a bad thing, and that use of nouns and verbs is the best way to get your point across. I have been reading HP Lovecraft, and while I believe is he is a very effective teller of scary stories, he uses way too many adjectives. Which other famous authors used way too many adjectives and which ones used them the most sparingly?-- (talk) 07:19, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

According to one count [8], there isn't much of a variation. King of purple prose Edward Bulwer-Lytton and adjective-hating Mark Twain both came out to 6.8% adjectives in the samples tested. The counter concludes that "Calculating the relative percentages of adjectives and adverbs in texts tells us nothing useful about their readability, clarity, or efficiency." (talk) 12:51, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, in general, Ernest Hemingway was known for his economy of language. Herman Melville springs to mind when I think of authors who used many adjectives. ceranthor 23:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
When forced to schlep through Moby-Dick in English class, I strongly suspected that Melville was being paid by the word. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

'Lives of the saints'[edit]

The following passage is from Isabell Hapgood translation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. This passage has a reference to a book or work called 'Lives of the saints'. This is not the only place that I have found someone referencing to it. In Robert Graves 'Goodbye to All That' he alludes to it as well. The impression I got is that it is a well known work of the western canon, but on looking up in wikipedia, though there are a few works listed having the name "Lives of saints", the most prominently listed one is a novel dating from circa 1990. So what is exact work that is being refereed to as the "Lives of saints" without any qualifications in Les Miserables, and in 'Goodbye to All That'.

"The children ate in silence, under the eye of the mother whose turn it was, who, if a fly took a notion to fly or to hum against the rule, opened and shut a wooden book from time to time. This silence was seasoned with the lives of the saints, read aloud from a little pulpit with a desk, which was situated at the foot of the crucifix. The reader was one of the big girls, in weekly turn. At regular distances, on the bare tables, there were large, varnished bowls in which the pupils washed their own silver cups and knives and forks, and into which they sometimes threw some scrap of tough meat or spoiled fish; this was punished."

Gulielmus estavius (talk) 14:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Upon reading Hagiography, I wonder whether a specific book is meant, or whether the term is a catch-all for any book in the hagiographic tradition, of which there were many. The French wikipedia, for example, gives this list: Vies de Saints. You might also like to look at Acta Sanctorum, a 68-volume work published from 1643 to 1940. I do not, however, have a reference that this is the book intended by Hugo. (talk) 15:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The most famous single work was probably the Golden Legend, but presumably there were a lot of repackagings over the centuries to satisfy various styles of Catholic piety. The Charlotte Bronte novel Villette has a classic passage expressing the reactions of an English-speaking Protestant to a French compendium of saints' lives read out for the edification of young girls (see Chapter 13 at Wikisource... -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

How are former French, Spanish, Portuguese and English colonies performing economically?[edit]

Can we say that the colonies of the one or the other are much better off than the others? It's clear that the US and Australia will skew things up for England, but there is also India to skew it down. OsmanRF34 (talk) 15:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

No one here will stop you from reading the relevant Wikipedia articles and coming to your own conclusions. You can find the lists of the colonies at places like Spanish Empire, British Empire, French colonial empire, and Portuguese Empire. You can find measures of economic strength based on any measure you want at Wikipedia, for just one example, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita (that's just the first I grabbed. By linking it, I am not recommending that measure over any other you want to use). Using articles like that, you can research the answer to your question. --Jayron32 15:50, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The question is much more if it is meaningful to compare the present economical situation than to know if former colonies of one are more developed.OsmanRF34 (talk) 18:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Which measure of development do you wish to use? Wikipedia has articles about most of the important ones, for example the Human Development Index would work for you. Again, I (and no one else here) is going to stop you from cross-referencing that article to the articles which list the colonies of the European powers. --Jayron32 20:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that there's much point in comparing colonies of settlement (where the majority of the population is European-descended, and which are culturally largely overseas extensions of Europe) -- such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Argentina etc. -- with colonies where the majority of the population remained local (not forgetting a third type of colony, such as Fiji and parts of the Caribbean, where there was a huge infusion of non-European non-locals from distant areas). Russia also had comparable colonial zones of expansion, even though geographically adjacent (not overseas). At one point, it was commonly said that former-British colonies in Africa were doing better than former-French colonies in Africa, but I'm not sure that's still true... AnonMoos (talk) 15:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
A common observation is that colonies that were largely populated by the British seem to have done better than those which were largely populated by the Spanish and Portuguese. One difference is that the British colonies tended to develop renewable resources, such as tobacco and cotton, while the Spanish colonies and Portuguese colonies extracted nonrenewable resources, such as gold and silver. With renewable resources, it makes sense to invest in infrastructure and set up a stable, long-term local government. With nonrenewable resources, you want to keep all those expenses minimal, so you can extract the resources from one colony and then move on. This might also explain why those nations which possess a more recent nonrenewable resource, petroleum, and have thus undergone neocolonization as a result, haven't done particular well, either.
One colony largely populated by the French, Canada before it was taken over by the British, did OK, as they relied on a semi-renewable resource, beaver pelts (renewable only if hunting is kept at a low enough level). Their Haiti colony, on the other hand, did very poorly, despite it's reliance on a renewable resource, sugar cane. (It did well while under French rule, but their over-reliance on and mistreatment of slaves led to a successful revolution, after which nobody would trade with them. If the US had solely consisted of the South, then it might have suffered a similar fate.)
Disclaimer: No colony relied solely on one or two resources, but I tried to list some of the major exports of each. StuRat (talk) 16:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Note also that both the US and Canada include large areas colonized or controlled first by France, by Britain, and for the US, also by Spain; and in some cases large territories passed from one colonial power to another; and each of these areas had its own resources. So although it was Britain that both countries eventually gained independence from, any analysis as Stu does above according to colonizing power becomes complicated. -- (talk) 19:57, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The short answer is, it depends on which colony you're talking about, to whom you're talking about it, and when you're talking about it. Dependency theory holds that poverty in postcolonial nations is largely a result of their economic dependence on larger nations. The outside economic interest that organized their economies during the colonial era has now resulted in an economy and infrastructure that is oriented toward outside support, without the means to be self-supporting or self-sufficient. Dependency theory can probably explain poverty in many countries, but certainly not all of them. As advocates of world systems theory note, not all poor nations are former colonies, and not all former colonies are now poor nations. Evan (talk|contribs) 19:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
And if you go back far enough, the colonial powers were themselves colonies, specifically, of the Roman Empire. StuRat (talk) 22:31, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's one academic paper that looked at this question for Africa: [9]. The abstract says: "We investigate the impact of 20th-century European colonization on growth. We find that colonial heritage, as measured by the identity of the metropolitan ruler and by the degree of economic penetration, matters for the heterogeneity of growth performances in Africa. Colonial indicators are correlated with economic and sociopolitical variables that are commonly employed to explain growth and there are growth gains from decolonization.". If you need the article to improve wikipedia articles, you can ask for a complete copy at Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request; otherwise it's probably a matter of visiting a university library or asking if your local reference library can get a copy. (talk) 20:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Going back to the Sodanomics section, is there any correlation between a given country's economic strength and the amount of soda sold there? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:36, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
First we would have to do some linguistic work. What Americans call soda is not called soda in Australia. Soft drink would be the descriptor for a similar category of beverages, but I'm not sure if the boundaries are the same. HiLo48 (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Colored fizzy syrup. --Jayron32 04:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Some of it isn't coloured. Or colored. HiLo48 (talk) 09:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Your previous comment could have been "What some Americans call soda". Names for soft drinks in the United States. Hack (talk) 09:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

To make any comparison meaningful, I would think one would have to compare former colonies that are relatively close to each other geographically, as well as similar in size and resources ... for example: comparing Guyana to French Guyana and Surinam ... or Ghana to Togo, and Benin... or Kenya to Tanzania, and Mozambique. Blueboar (talk) 10:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Although Guyana has a thriving agricultural sector which French Guiana does not. Also, you could argue that French Guiana is still a colony since it has been made a département d’outre-mer and is dependant on French subsidies and the European Space Agency. Alansplodge (talk) 21:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • This is further complicated in regions like the Caribbean where some islands (now nation states) were at various times under the colonial rule of England, France or Spain, sometimes split between two and shuffled back-and-forth during times of dispute and conflict. To which colonial power do you give credit for the positives and to which do you assign blame for the negatives? Stlwart111 07:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

$23.6 billion jury award in tobacco lawsuit[edit]

A Jury awarded $23.6B to a widow of a smoker who died from lung cancer years ago. This is surreal. If this goes through the plaintiff's attorney stands to get a third of this money, almost eight billion dollars. I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place. It seem some people have no concept of large numbers. Perhaps many cannot count beyond a hundred. What are the internals of such a trial? Who suggested such a crazy figure? I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I read about that case, very quickly. Presumably, the attorney for the plaintiff is the one who suggested the amount of damages (money) that should be awarded. I read that such an enormous amount is illegal and unconstitutional. (I will try to find a link to that article.) What I suspect happened is probably something like this. The plaintiff's lawyer said to the jury: "Let's look at the profits that the tobacco company made during the period of my client's lifetime. That comes to $ XXX billion dollars. I think a fair amount is to award my client a mere 1 percent of that tobacco company's profits. That amounts to $ XXX billion dollars. After all, this tobacco company made these profits by killing all of these smokers, my client included." Or some such. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, by the way, you have to take account that this award consisted of two types of monetary damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. The first award, compensatory damages, is money that is supposed to make the client "whole" and compensate him for all of his injuries, medical treatments, lost earnings, etc. (This relates to your question: I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money?) In this case, that amount was rather small. I think it was around a million dollars or two or so? The second award, punitive damages, is money that is supposed to punish the wrong-doer (defendant) appropriately so that the company won't repeat this wrong again. It is based on a "punishment" that will appropriately hit the defendant in the pocketbook to such an amount that will deter him from wrongdoing in the future. This award amount has nothing to do with the value of the plaintiff's life or his lifetime earnings. And, in this case, the punitive damages award was the bulk of the overall award. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Source: [10] As to what motivated the jury to make such a large award, this isn't a forum, and we shouldn't engage in speculation. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump, the original poster asked a legitimate question. Namely: what are the internal legal machinations that could account for such a bizarre award? (In other words: how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?) That is not asking for speculation. That's a legitimate question for this Reference Desk page. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" doesn't look like a legitimate question to me. Or at least, not one that can possibly be answered without speculation. Of course, if you can prove the contrary by citing reliable sources on the subject, feel free to do so... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this Reference Desk Help Page is to help people with their questions. Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" is simply another way of asking exactly what I stated above ("how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?"). I am sure that you knew that. Also, the original poster did not simply ask: "did the jury have their marbles in place?". Rather, he (or she) used that wording in the context of the rest of the wording in the post. Which – at the end of the day – amounts to a legitimate question. I think we should be encouraging, not discouraging, people from coming here and asking legitimate questions. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the original poster never asked "did the jurors have their marbles in place?" The original poster merely commented (not asked): "I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place." And that statement was couched in amongst all the other legitimate questions: (1) What are the internals of such a trial? (2) Who suggested such a crazy figure? (3) I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? All three very legitimate questions. The "marbles" comment was not a question; it simply placed the actual questions in context (i.e., that the original poster was quite surprised at such a verdict). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Back to your original question: The compensatory damages were a mere $16 million dollars. Thus, the punitive damages were $23.584 billion dollars. Clearly, the "punishment" award was the great bulk of the total award. In this case, the jury felt that the plaintiff's life (medical expenses, lost earnings, etc.) was valued at $16 million dollars. He was a rather young guy (age 36) and presumably had 50+ more years to live, had he not died ("at the hands of the tobacco company", according to the plaintiff). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
This isn't the first time a jury has awarded incredibly high punitive damages. These awards get overturned or drastically reduced on appeal. The N.Y. Times article mentions a previous award of $28 billion that was reduced to $28 million on appeal.
It is very tempting to speculate that the jury simply misspelled "million". -- BenRG (talk) 01:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Very unlikely about the misspelling. After all, they spelt it correctly in the compensation award (16 million). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Joseph Sparado clarified the issue a bit but only partially and I am very grateful. I am a psychiatrist and psychological aspect is what I am after. Is it possible that the jurors were intimidated? Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? What else can one suppose? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting that you ask about their being "intimidated". Why do you suppose that? And intimidated by whom? Intimidated of what? I would not suppose intimidation. My best guesses are as follows. (1) I would think they were acting on emotion, sympathy, and compassion, far more than on intimidation. And that factor (i.e., a decision arrived at through emotion, sympathy, compassion, etc.) is exactly why this award is illegal and will not stand. I am sure that the jurors "felt sorry" that a young guy of age 36 lost his life, a young woman lost her husband, and a few young kids lost their dad. And I am sure that the lawyer "played upon" their sympathies and emotions. (2) I also suspect that juries are more inclined to "side with" the small, helpless underdog as opposed to the big, bad, greedy (and faceless) multi-billion dollar corporation. Akin to siding with David in the "David and Goliath" dispute. (3) I also suspect – as you theorized – that most jurors do not really understand large numbers. They can't fathom what that "billion" really means (much less, 24 billion!). For example, let's say that you asked the average person this question: What is the length of time represented by 24 billion seconds?" And you gave possible multiple-choice answers: "100 years; 1,000 years; a million years", etc. I suspect most average people would have no idea whatsoever what the "billion" really means. And, in answering that question, would simply be taking stabs in the dark and simply guessing. I also expect that the lawyers capitalized on this quantitative weakness of the jury. Those are my best three guesses at the moment. I don't see intimidation as a part of the equation, as I understand it. Which is why I asked you to clarify about the intimidation aspect. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say you gave a brilliant analysis. Thank you. I should have phrased the intimidation hypothesis differently. The court atmosphere with a barrage of unfamiliar words may be too much for an average person: a lot to memorize and put together. Thus people may be intimidated by the milieu. I've never been on a jury that is why I am ignorant. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Glad to help. No, I sincerely don't think that the intimidation aspect (as you describe it) is a significant factor at all. Definitely not. Also, some quick answers to your other questions. (1) Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? The answer is absolutely "yes". The lawyer for the plaintiff picks jurors that (demographically) he feels will be helpful to him and will serve to his advantage. However, the lawyer for the defendant does the same exact thing. This is called voir dire. Basically, both lawyers look at demographics (age, race, income, gender, occupation, marital status, education, etc., etc., etc.) and try to pick the jurors that they think will "side" with them. (2) Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? A lawyer always knows the strengths and weaknesses of his case. That is Lawyering 101. At the end of the day, if the tobacco lawyer truly felt the deck of cards was stacked against them, then he would have likely pushed for a settlement of the case, rather than taking the case to trial. Now, of course, for that to be successful: (A) the plaintiff would also have to agree to the settlement; and (B) the client – the company – would also have to agree. Actually, I don't think it is necessarily the case that the deck was stacked against them. When I was reading about that case, many readers (ordinary, average citizens) posted comments such as this: "That guy was smoking for 25 years; he obviously knew it was dangerous to his health; he's an idiot; there is no way he should get a penny, let alone $24 billion dollars". So, a lot of people out there feel like that. Those people would side with the defendant (the tobacco company). So, I don't think it's necessarily true that the defendant had the cards stacked against him at all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If you take the punitive damages to be enough so "they won't do the same thing again", and here "the same thing" means to sell a product known to cause cancer, then you would indeed need to award multi-billion dollar fines to have any hope of getting the tobacco companies to stop selling tobacco. Also, as I understand it, the citizens of the state were prohibited from forming a class-action lawsuit, which would be the obvious way to go, and the jury may feel that the tobacco companies "bought" the judge who decided on that issue, and wanted to punish them for that action, as well. StuRat (talk) 03:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, I generally agree with your comment. However, I want to delineate an important distinction. You (essentially) said that the crux of the case is: "the tobacco company sold a product known to cause cancer". I think that is oversimplifying the "real" issue in this case. In the link provided above (by AndyTheGrump), it says: "Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer." So, the real issue that was being litigated here is not that the tobacco company was selling a product known to cause cancer. The "real" issue in this case was that the company knew it was dangerous, but they did not pass that knowledge on to its customers (the public). The widow would be claiming that the company should have made these risks known (and they were negligent in not doing so). Her (winning) argument is: "my husband should have had all that information at his disposal, so that he could make an informed decision about whether or not he would choose to smoke". So, the tobacco company did not violate the law by selling cigarettes; they violated the law by not disclosing known dangers. An important distinction, I think. Back to the punitive award: the award is designed to punish the company, not to dismantle the company. Again, an important distinction. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There have been warnings on cigarette packs since the late 1960s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs, do those warnings really go back that far? I thought they were much more recent? I was guessing maybe the 80's? Also, didn't they used to allow cigarette commercials on TV, but then they disallowed them? (I am referring to the USA.) In any event, what do the cigarette package warnings have to do with this jury award? You lost me. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
1966, as noted in Tobacco packaging warning messages#Cigarettes. By 1985 they were saying cigarettes cause cancer. These warnings are typically used as a defense by the tobacco companies against these kinds of suits. Surprisingly, that fact seems not to have been made in this case.[11]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But, that is where you are losing me. Where in that article does it mention anything at all about the cigarette package label warnings? It does not mention them at all. (Or did I miss it?) Since it does not mention it, that does not necessarily mean that the arguments were not presented in this trial. It simply means that the article is silent about this detail of the trial. Therefore, the argument may well have been made at trial; the article simply did not discuss that specific detail. No? Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am likewise mystified. I think more research is needed, to discover how the plaintiff successfully argued that the warnings on the packaging were somehow inadequate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading between the lines, I think their argument was that the warnings don't go far enough, as they don't talk about the addictive nature of the product, and that Reynolds engaged in some kind of conspiracy to hide the fact of that addictiveness. Never mind that Surgeon General Koop, at around the time the deceased took up smoking, was declaring nicotine to be as addictive as illegal narcotics. Another hint is that the Reynolds appeal will be based on precedent, i.e. that the award is extremely excessive, rather than on denying the issues of addiction and conspiracy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that the plaintiff's argument concedes that the label warnings do in fact exist, but that they are insufficient. I can't imagine that the defendant did not bring this issue to light. The defendant's argument is likely: "The federal government specifies very clearly what warnings we are required to offer our consumers, and we fully complied with all of these requirements." And the plaintiff's retort was: "Yes, but even so, that was insufficient and negligent." Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Cigarette ads were banned from TV in the USA starting in 1971. There's a lengthy article on this general subject, Tobacco advertising. Over the course of time, other forms of tobacco were banished from the airwaves, one by one. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That is what I was looking for. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I had overlooked that part of the question. :) It's worth pointing out that there were many clever and creative TV ads for these noxious products. You can find a lot of them on youtube if you want to take a somewhat dark (tobacco-stained) nostalgia trip. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


My reasoning was:
1) The jury had to be aware that, based on the age of the deceased, he would have had adequate warning of both the cancer risk and addictive nature of cigarettes.
2) Therefore, they did not believe the company guilty based on that, but, in a form of jury nullification, they found them guilty anyway, and added a huge punitive award, since they believe that selling an addictive product known to cause cancer should be stopped, despite the law permitting it. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it might be jury nullification, but it might also be that they decided the company had actively engaged in a conspiracy to hide the additional dangers of the product, i.e. its addictive nature. It's also possible that they made that ginormous award on the assumption that the appeals process will whittle it down to something that's still significant but less likely to bankrupt the company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you say. And that is exactly why the award will not survive on appeal. "They" (the jury) gave the award for "all the wrong reasons" (legally speaking, that is). And, believe me, these facts are not lost on the defense lawyer and/or the defendant company. Thanks. I will check out some YouTube videos. They must be something to look at, in hindsight and in retrospect. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It is kind of a rambling, sorry, but I sympathize with the company. They have been thrashed and thrashed again in the past. So many lawyers have made fortunes suing them. What is their guilt? I am not a smoker but looking objectively, tobacco is a cultural phenomenon in this county. They inherited a product that sold well and a business and it all goes back hundreds of years. Are they guilty of not warning people? The warnings are regulated by the law and I am sure they complied. Many risks of tobacco had not become known until about 25 year ago. Even in the early 90th doctors smoked openly in the hospital halls. The life expectancy in 1900 was 50 years so the tobacco related death drowned in all other causes. The cases of lung cancer and emphysema were not that prominent statistically. It all became apparent late in the century after Surgeon General began to stir emotions. Smoking declined rapidly partially through awareness but more through taxes. A pack of Marlboro, I was shocked, costs $10.00 now. And what about a personal responsibility? Shall Lauren Bacall sue RJ. Reynolds for Humphrey Bogart's lung cancer and death? To a significant degree it is all in the genes. Not everyone gets addicted to tobacco. Not everyone even dies or gets sick after years of smoking. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 21:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying. The problem, in this particular case (from the defendant's point of view), is that the time frame does not go as far back as you cite. Yes, back in the 1940's and 50's and 60's, far less was known about smoking and its dangers. I believe that I even read that some doctors actually used to suggest or recommend smoking to some patients. But – as you state – in the more recent past, more of the risks of smoking became known. The smoker in this case was smoking from age 13 to his death at age 36; this was from 1973 to 1996. During that time frame, the risks were well known. In a post above, another editor even mentioned that it was the early 1970's (1971) when cigarette commercials on TV were banned. So, all of these facts (essentially) work to the advantage of the plaintiff and to the disadvantage of the defendant. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, in this case, the deceased smoker started smoking when he was just 13 years old. That's quite young. And, presumably, he became addicted at such a young age. It's quite possible, in this case, that the plaintiff made a big deal of the smoker's youth. And they probably alleged that the tobacco company appealed to impressionable youths, who did not/could not know any better. I imagine that his age came up as an issue in the trial. A 13-year-old cannot be expected to make decisions in the same way that an adult would. The plaintiff likely argued that once the smoker reached adulthood – and had the ability to make better decisions – it was too late; he had already been addicted for some 7+ years. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a period of decades after which the cigarette companies knew it was addictive and caused cancer, and lied about it. Also, they did things like manipulate the nicotine level to cause addiction (you get a stronger than usual batch, then after smoking the normal amount of those, you are more addicted and have to smoke more after it drops back to the normal level). Then there is their attempt to cause addiction in kids, by fighting to keep cigarette machines legal, so kids can buy them, and using advertising themes like Joe Camel which appeal to kids. Finally, saying they "complied with the laws" isn't the whole story, as their lobbyists controlled what was legal and what wasn't. For example, they didn't have to disclose all the additives to the cigarettes, because they lobbied to prevent it. (One of the additives forms ammonia when burned, and I am allergic to ammonia, so that one really bothers me in cigarettes, but it's not in pipe tobacco, which therefore doesn't bother me at all.) StuRat (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That reminds me of this story from decades ago. A cigarette company learns that this one particular guy has smoked more of their brand through the years than anyone else. They decide to give him an award of some kind. They call the guy's house and tell the wife about it. They want to come out the next morning. The wife says, "Better make it later in the day. He doesn't stop coughing until noon!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say, tobacco is evil. It causes all sorts of problems, it creates physiological dependence that dominates your life even before you got cancer or emphysema. Sure the tobacco companies CEOs and other executives were torn apart in those days. You must preserve a business, but on the other hand... I remember a congressional hearing whereas a senator asked an executive of a major company if he believed the cigarettes were not addictive. He said, yes, under oath. It was a horrible moment. He then had legal troubles for months because their own research clearly showed and documented that he was lying.

You must recall a wave of tobacco related lawsuits when the settlements were in billions. It was a decade back or so. The punitive damages went to the states ostensibly for anti tobacco education. To begin with education never worked. Nobody bothered to prove with a test run. So, the states misused the money, most likely hired hundreds of new bureaucrats and that was it. This is what I am talking about. People should leave the tobacco makers alone. This business is too old to tinker with. Fighting smoking should be done on individual level. And now we have the e-cigarets in the picture. What could be more confusing?

There are things we cannot change. You cannot undo tobacco damage. There is another issue I want to mention. It has been a belief for years that vitamins are antioxidants and they prolong life. Paradoxically it is just the opposite. They shorten your life by 2-3 years. I know why but this is not a place to go into it. If this is the case who will you sue? The plaintiff attorneys can sue only themselves over it. Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This clip shows seven tobacco CEOs declaring under oath that they believe that nicotine is not addictive. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 07:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

American civil war ten years before[edit]

A request for an original research prediction by Wikipedia editors would indeed be inappropriate. But I wonder if the timing of various major wars and the effects on the outcome has been a topic of "official war games" or scholarly books or papers? Like "If Leader X had waited 5 years to launch a certain war, historical events or trends A, B and C would have greatly aided or impaired his goals." If such research has been published by reliable sources, then it can be the basis for appropriate answers to "what-if" questions. It would be the analyses and conclusions of experts, not of us Wikipedia editors.That said, if such scholarly and authoritative American Civil War war games exist, they are hard to find, buried under mounds of hobby or recreational board games and online games about that war. But I know that it happens that on occasion famous battles and decisions of generals and leaders and fortuitous events are analyzed to see what effect alternatives would likely have had, with our 20/20 hindsight. Edison (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Outback Steakhouse[edit]

Outback Steakhouse is a US-based chain of restaurants that bills itself as an Australian-themed restaurant; its frequent advertising on TV and through venues such as the Outback Bowl (a US football game) make plenty of Americans aware of it, and probably most of us assume that it's based in Oz. Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position? I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant. Places like McDonald's don't count, since they really are US-based. Nyttend (talk) 19:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Somehow I doubt it, because there are so many actual American restaurants there, the locals probably want less American food, not more. Also note that Outback doesn't really serve Australian food. Try ordering some Vegemite or roo/croc meat there and you'll just get a dirty look. StuRat (talk) 20:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Is vegemite sold anywhere in the US? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears that the Vegemite brand is currently owned by an American company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It is available from 17 outlets in New York City alone, according to Yelp - vegemite New York, NY. Alansplodge (talk) 21:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you ever tried it? Is it tasty? It's got me curious. I don't know if they have it in the American midwest. But I'll follow that lead you posted. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Is it tasty?" is not a question that has any truth value. I've been eating it all my life, and I love the stuff (in fact, I think I'll go and have some on toast after I post this). But most Americans I know of who've ever tried it think it's ghastly. So, it very much depends whom you ask. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure. I'm just curious. I'll try most any food item once. I even like lutefisk, which many Norwegian-Americans (and many others) pretty much hate. Looks like the nearest Vegemite source in my neighborhood is Chicago. Rather than drive there, maybe I can order it online. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: American here, also love the stuff. I do have a bit of xenophilia with respect to food though. Any high brow grocery in the midwest will have either vegemite or marmite in stock (think Trader Joe's, World Market and the ilk) the difference between the two is subtle to the inexperienced (the slogan for marmite is "love it or hate it", and I think that applies to both products). Very salty stuff, the newbie mistake is to use too much. Salty, yeasty, beery type flavor, chock full of vitamins and minerals, made from beermaking waste products, popularized in the Great War, what's not to like? After realizing my local grocer sells marmite for nearly $7/125g, I've decided to order on Amazon. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like eating that literally means scraping the bottom of the (beer) barrel. StuRat (talk) 22:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
According to my country, that stuff should be driven into the sea (though they acknowledge it's not exactly unhealthy). That just makes it seem tastier, though, like cigarettes and beer. Still haven't found it, myself. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:16, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
Marmite was banned due to added vitamins and minerals ? That seems odd. I wonder what Canada has against those. (I suppose you can overdose on some, and they can be used as a way to market junk food as if it was healthy, like Hi-C.) StuRat (talk) 23:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
More a bureaucratic thing than a safety one. Something to do with this rule or that. I heard it all neatly explained on CBC Radio, but it didn't stick with me. The basic idea is that the products themselves are not banned. Only variations of them meant for other markets. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:28, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Try it in the following ways: toast with butter, toast without butter, sandwich with butter, sandwich with butter and cheese, dissolved in a cup of boiling water, on a spoon by itself, as a flavouring and salt agent in soups / stews / pies. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
List of restaurant chains in Australia could be a good place to start research.Taknaran (talk) 20:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Certainly here in London there are plenty of home-grown "American diners" and "rib shacks" - we also used to have The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory chain, which had little to do with Chicago. Alansplodge (talk) 21:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Not an answer, but if you're interested in how American culture gets adapted/interpreted/appropriated/mocked around the world, you might like this blurb about American-themed parties in non-USA countries [12] SemanticMantis (talk) 22:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position?" Australia doesn't produce domestic restaurant chains outside of the US restaurant chain business model, importing the cultural elements wholesale. Amusingly Sizzler in the US and Internationally, which imported its business model wholesale to Australia, was for a period owned by Australian capital and is currently internationally owned by Australian capital. "I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant." Australians receive American culture from American capital, the market is full and there's no reason or need to reinvent the wheel. Burger King was for a long time marketed as Hungry Jack's in Australia, due to local intellectual property and local franchisee decisions. "Americana" is celebrated in Australia as fast food, or tacky US chains. We get enough US culture shoved down our throats by invidious free trade agreements in media that the US is not "exotic" to us outside of US regional identities.
Moreover the Australian restaurant scene operates differently to the US. Australia has a sociologically "flatter" consumption of restaurant meals, with most people consuming a mixture of fast food including delivery, cafe type eating with significant elements of migrant cuisine (Australia has independently received Greek, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food; without reference to international food trends). On top of this there's the Returned and Services League of Australia's / football club bainmarie or bistro. In capital cities there tends to be "fine dining". So there's a hole in the market for chains that bill themselves as restaurants. People who know expensive food access fine dining. For everyone else, the market has already filled the space that US chains would fit into. I've only seen the chains in car dependent Australian suburbs btw. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

ISIS Fines for Christianity[edit]

Both CNN and BBC news report that the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul that they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword." CNN also expresses the words in italics as pay extra "jizya" tax and quotes an ISIS governor's declaration that any family not converting to Islam would be required to pay 550,000 Iraqi dinar (about $470). Earlier The Telegraph reported ISIS promising that Christians in Syria who pay Jizya tax will not be harmed and will be allowed to worship privately, maintain their own clergy without interference and keep their own cemeteries. Is there any material evidence of such a "christian permit" tax actually being administered in ISIS controlled areas, such as documents from an office for receiving payments on behalf of christian residents? (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

If I can add a question, is this tax annual, monthly, one-time or what? InedibleHulk (talk) 22:30, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
I see people can pay in two installments per year. Sounds annual. One thing to clarify, it's not that any Christian needs to pay four gold dinars. Middle-class pay two and the poor just one (about $117). At least in Syria. Shouldn't be a difference though, if it's all one caliphate now. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:36, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
See Jizya. This is not a new idea; it's been around since the Pact of Umar, a very early Islamic document pseudepigraphically attributed to the Caliph Umar, who died in AD 644. Those with the status of "dhimmi" (non-Muslims who aren't polytheists, e.g. Christians and Jews) are permitted to live in Muslim lands, but among other things they're not allowed to bear arms and are required to pay a tax, known as jizya, to pay for (among other things) extra Muslim soldiers needed to take the place of the unarmed dhimmis in the army. Nyttend (talk) 23:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Same half-half-half scale all the way through, too, it seems. I wish "Western" tax codes were that simple and consistent. Thanks for the link. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:04, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

pig's skin which covers a Muslim, avoids arriving to heaven?[edit]

Is there a credible origin / reference for the believing that a dead Muslim who is covered with a pig's skin, he will not enter to heaven? (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Like most superstitions, the root source will likely seem incredible to many. Unclean animal may be a good place to start digging. Or Islam and animals#Views regarding particular animals. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:58, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
A common myth, see (I find it odd that many Orthodox Jews—my own schoolmates, for example—believe this myth about Muslims, when Judaism's views of "unclean animals" are extremely similar to Muslims'.) הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Plus, the logical conclusion of that belief would righteous indignation against whoever desecrated the body of a co-religionist, whether or not they believed it somehow affected how God judges their lifelong faith and/or good acts. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As for the "myth" (Snopes calls it undetermined), Wikipedia's own Moro Rebellion mentions it, and it's one of the few claims in that article with a citation. Depends if you can trust a guy named D.P. Mannix, I guess. Doesn't say Pershing did it, just "Americans". InedibleHulk (talk) 01:41, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't say that the porcine contact prevented the dead from entering heaven, though, and there are other explanations besides that (like "the Muslims couldn't bury their dead," or "the Muslims felt that their co-religionists' bodies had been defiled"). Ian.thomson (talk) 01:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
True enough. I agree with "undetermined" more than "false" in this case. Doesn't help that "defilement" itself has various meanings. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the generalization about Muslim belief (which Snopes does debunk, indirectly) not to the particular incident discussed there. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 02:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
All good. Thanks for clarifying. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:25, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Worth considering the Koran: "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision." Open for interpretation, of course, but many take it to mean something like absolution. Touching pig guts doesn't affect jihadis who believe this. Neither does anything. But only Allah can know who truly died in his cause, and not just for war's sake. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]