Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2010 February 26

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February 26[edit]

How many layers of government in the UK?[edit]

From the parish council up to the European Parliament and beyond, how many layers of government are there in the UK? I'm not sure if we have Regional Assemblies in the UK - if there are any you never hear anything about them, thankfully. And what is the total number of politicians including councillors? Thanks 78.151.155.128 (talk) 00:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

It varies. Some places have parish councils, some don't. Some have separate town and country councils, some have a combined "unitary authority". Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have local parliaments/assemblies, England doesn't. It's all very complicated! If there is a specific place you are interested in, we should be able to produce a list for you. --Tango (talk) 01:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
We do have Regional Assemblies in England - soon to be replaced by a new and equally obscure set of bodies. DuncanHill (talk) 01:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Irrespective of the fate of Regional Assemblies (currently being superseded by Local Authority Leaders’ Boards), Government Offices continue to exist at the regional level in England. Although they are part of the central government structures, they have considerable powers and influence at the regional level and in many ways act as an unaccountable (or at least not directly accountable) tier of government. They are particularly important in areas like town and country planning, where they have a considerable influence on the levels of new development for which each local authority is required to make provision. Each region also has a minister, supposedly with some coordinating responsibilities, but it is not obvious what those are. This explains some more - we appear not to have an article on Regional ministers (or Regional minister (England)). Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Which places have the greatest number of layers? 78.151.155.128 (talk) 01:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The places with the greatest number of layers in the UK would be certain areas of England. In some rural and suburban areas, you could have a parish council. Above the parish, you could have a district; above the non-metropolitan districts, a non-metropolitan county; and above that, the soon-to-be-replaced regional assemblies. Of course, above those assemblies, you have the UK government in Westminster. Another equally deep set of four sub-Westminster layers exists in some parts of England's metropolitan counties other than Greater London if you count the unelected joint boards of the metropolitan counties as a layer of government. In that case, you have parish councils in some parts of metropolitan counties other than London, above them the metropolitan boroughs, above them joint boards such as the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, above them the soon-to-be-replaced regional assemblies, and above them Westminster. I don't think that there are more than three layers of government below Westminster in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Marco polo (talk) 02:17, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Incidentally, I think using the term "layers" in relation to the split between counties and districts (in those areas that still have them both) is somewhat misleading. In most cases, there are now fairly clearly laid down divisions of responsibility between the county and the districts. It is now not so much a question (though a few years ago it was) of the county council trying to impose its will on the district council - it is more that the districts are responsible for some local services (such as refuse collection and local planning) and the county for others (such as roads and social services). Very confusing to many local residents though. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:53, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is confusing! ... and one more "layer" with governing-type powers (though appointed, not elected) is a National Park Authority which seems to have almost draconian powers over any change in the landscape! (Sorry, this is really just a rant!) Dbfirs 21:29, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
One wonders what's supposed to be beyond the European Parliament?
In practice three to four in most areas given the divisions of responsibilities mentioned above. Parliament is also Sovereign insamuch as it sets the statute law, some of which will be embodying transnational agreements based on treaty obligations, ie the EU doesn't impose laws, the UK parliament enact the policies of the commission, hence the different ways that these tend to be enacted across the member states.
Number of politicians is also a little tricky, since district and county councillors are unpaid and acting on a part time basis without directive powers whereas in central government they are full time and some of them have directive powers.
ALR (talk) 10:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
There's no prohibition on an individual holding elected positions at more than one level - a parish councillor can be a district or county councillor as well. DuncanHill (talk) 11:28, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

In terms of the total number of politicians, this site of the Local Government Association states:- "There are over 21,000 elected councillors serving on 410 local authorities in England and Wales. In addition there are many more councillors serving on the 10,000 parish, town or community councils, which generally exist in rural or semi-rural areas." Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:48, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Metropolitan counties[edit]

All the metropolitan county councils were abolished under Mrs Thatcher, along with the Greater London Council. The GLC has been (sort of) reincarnated in a different form as the GLA with an elected assembly and an elected Mayor. Was there any push to reintroduce elected bodies for the other metropolitan counties, and if so, why was this not done? --rossb (talk) 11:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Not for Metropolitan Counties, but there were plans for elected regional assemblies. DuncanHill (talk) 13:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Unitary authorities fulfil a similar function, and some of them take on a cabinet model of local government.
ALR (talk) 13:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
One of the reasons regional elected bodies were not reintroduced for the met counties was the pride of the individual metropolitan boroughs, who felt (and feel) that they are large enough to take care of all local government functions without the need for a "higher level" of government, and that they are distinctly different places from other boroughs in the same met area. The met counties often tended to be politically dominated by the largest cities in each area - Liverpool in Merseyside, Birmingham in the West Midlands and so on - so that places like (in those cases) Wirral or Wolverhampton had no interest in seeing such area-wide authorities re-established. Generally, there was no electoral support for putting in additional tiers of local government either. In many if not most cases, there remained (and remains) some technical cooperation at the met county level, for example over joint transport policy, waste management and information sharing, with political oversight being given by boards of elected councillors appointed by each of the constituent authorities. Here is just one example. In London, there was a more obvious need for coordination over a wide range of functions at the "greater London" level, which eventually led to the reintroduction of an elected London-wide assembly. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:52, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Socially awkward/inept mentor[edit]

In mentoring relationships, if one person is socially awkward/inept/shy, then it's usually the mentee that's like that. But there may be rare cases where it's the opposite. Do you think such a relationship would work, and will the mentee benefit from such a mentorship? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.68.120.162 (talk) 01:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Depends what they're being mentored on (I know, I know, unhelpful answer) Library Seraph (talk) 02:11, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

True, though. If they are simply being mentored on how to do some technical thing then the social skills of the mentor don't necessarily matter. They need some teaching skills, which are closely related, but you can be a good teacher while being generally awkward socially. --Tango (talk) 02:53, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I had an amazing teacher that managed to teach me some of the basics of programming; something I'd failed to learn alone, or with anyone else's help. She was quite possibly the shyest person I've ever met. So it's certainly more than possible. Of course, it wouldn't be widespread as most people that shy would (probably) not voluntarily apply themselves to a generalised teaching position. Vimescarrot (talk) 06:54, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Questions that start "Do you think" are not usually appropriate questions for the Wikipedia Reference desk. --ColinFine (talk) 18:39, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Know that encountering THAT attitude is what cured me of being a Holocaust denier. -- TheEditrix2 18:04, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Eh? —Tamfang (talk) 21:12, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't know but a mentee will definitely benefit from a mentor who actually fulfills the requirements, regardless of his/her social skills. [1] If the mentor is unable to fulfill the requirements for whatever reason then they should inform the people responsible for the program as soon as they can, regardless of the reasons for their inability. Nil Einne (talk) 09:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

The Holocaust & Compensation[edit]

Say you were a Jewish person in Nazi Germany and all of your assets, your business, your property, your wealth etc had been seized. You're now in Auschwitz and have been deemed fit for work and somehow you survive until liberation. Did the postwar German government do anything to help such individuals rebuild their former lives or just to help them start afresh? --Thanks, Hadseys 02:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, keep in mind that there was not one postwar German government for awhile, and even then it was a West and East Germany government, and even then it was some time before West Germany was really independent (1949) and financially solvent enough (e.g. had built itself up from the rubble). If you go to Holocaust reparations it redirects you to an article about the West German government's negotiations with Israel to pay reparations for the Holocaust that began in the early 1950s. I imagine that what was done with Holocaust survivors before then varied with whatever occupation zone they ended up in. --Mr.98 (talk) 03:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
West Germany "was declared "fully sovereign" on 5 May 1955." Rmhermen (talk) 04:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, but that doesn't affect anything I've written, really. All I meant is that it was no longer being principally run by the Allied forces. --Mr.98 (talk) 05:00, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Allianz#Controversy might be of some interest. Woogee (talk) 05:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Disputes over ownership of art works that went to litigation?[edit]

I am looking for some leads to controversies over who was the rightful owner of a piece of art (painting, sculpture, etc.), but particularly am interested in those cases where the parties ended up in litigation in the United States to resolve their dispute. Particularly "famous" cases or cases that provide references to other notable instances of this would be most appreciated. I am less interested in cases that depend solely on the interpretation of a will (is the brother or sister entitled to the work?) or cases that somehow hinge on determining who the creator of the work was. Instead, I'm interested in cases where we know who created the work, we know who currently has it, and probably even how they obtained it, but another party believes they are the rightful owner and seeks to have it returned to them. 67.102.65.245 (talk) 03:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Lawsuits over paintings owned by Holocaust victims are quite common:[2] Georges Jorisch suing Leonard Lauder over a Gustav Klimt,[3] Claude Cassirer seeking his grandmother's Camille Pissarro from Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza,[4] Claudia Seger-Thomschitz vs. the Boston Museum of Fine Art,[5], the heirs of Jacob and Rosa Oppenheimer against the state of California.[6] Clarityfiend (talk) 03:19, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Another case involving Klimt paintings was Republic of Austria v. Altmann. --Richardrj talk email 08:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Japanese police procedures[edit]

Hi, can anybody explain me these things of the Japanese police? On June 8, 2008 Tomohiro Kato killed a lot of people in Akihabara and I don't understand these things of that day. This sequence, here the cop is threatening him with a stick?, and here he is arrested, just with the help of that stick?. And last question, why aren't the handcuffs shown?. Thanks all! --Maru-Spanish (talk) 04:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

In the first picture the cop is drawing a gun, in the second he is putting it back in his holster. No idea about the pixelation in the third. Rmhermen (talk) 04:23, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Handcuffs have connotations of guilt so someone who has not been proven guilty, and is thus assumed innocent, cannot be shown wearing handcuffs under Japanese libel law. Therefore, the pixelate them out. It is ridiculous, but the law often is - in Japan and elsewhere. --Tango (talk) 06:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, according to Handcuffs#Miscellaneous, it's about getting a fair trial, rather than libel. That's even more ridiculous... --Tango (talk) 06:09, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
In the UK, and America, that's the same reason you "dress up" to stand trial. Appearing in criminal clothes implants the suggestion to the jury you're guilty. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not a suggestion, it's a certainty - in the UK remand prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothes (perhaps excluding maximum security prisoners), so you would only have prison clothes while on trial if you were already serving a sentence for a previous conviction and the jury wouldn't usually be allowed to know that (they aren't allowed to know about past criminal record). --Tango (talk) 17:54, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Re: your amazement at the police stick - Bear in mind that not everybody is quite as trigger happy as Americans - the Japanese police will in most cases not carry guns, and even when they do, use them only if it is absolutely necessary, which is not often, since almost no regular Japanese carries a gun anyhow. Somewhat unrelated, but I watched both Rec and the American remake, and one point I found interesting was how a scene involving a cop shooting someone was handled in both - in Rec, the cop has second thoughts before firing, and when he does shoot, he seems regretful and everyone around him gives him reproachful stares. In the American remake, on the other hand, the cop just shoots, no questions asked and everyone, including the cop goes: oh well, business as usual. TomorrowTime (talk) 13:43, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Going from movies to reality, I've seen far more non-US police or police-like forces carrying assault rifles that I've seen US police carrying the same. The gun culture of the US is one thing. The gun policy of US police is something else. The two shouldn't be equated. — Lomn 14:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
(Getting off-topic and onto a soapbox) part of the problem with the routine arming of police officers is that if they have a gun, they more or less have to use it; it's not safe for them to grapple with a suspect with a gun on their belt (1 in 5 officers killed in the line of duty in the United States are shot with a police weapon, usually their own), and once the gun is in their hand, they don't have many options if the suspect won't come quietly. FiggyBee (talk) 14:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, pushing things onto the soapbox is my fault. But my point still stands: the OP is amazed at the police pointing a stick at a spree killer, and my point (albeit soapboxy and not too clear) is that in Japan, pulling a gun at an obviously dangerous suspect is not the first thing that will pop into a cops mind - and this is due to different public views on firearm use. To an extent, gun control does play a part as well - if gun control weren't as stringent as it is in Japan, the suspect might have gone on his killer spree with a gun rather than a knife/car combo, and in that case, the cop couldn't really afford to wave a stick at him. And with this, I intend to cease and desist from my European pinko agitation / non-permitted refdesk discussion. TomorrowTime (talk) 15:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Uh, American police carry and use batons just like the one shown in the image. USA cops do not draw their guns unless they're being threatened with a weapon. Many cops I've talked to claim to have gone their entire career without ever drawing their gun while on duty.
I am no expert on police procedure, but I'd be surprised if an American cop reacted very much differently than the Japanese cop shown in the images.
Perhaps you're basing your perceptions of USA cops on Hollywood? APL (talk) 17:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Most probably so. But then, the OP seems to do so, as well. If I offended anyone, I apologize. TomorrowTime (talk) 17:29, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
You also seem to have misinterpreted the pictures. The cop is not disarming with a nightstick. He is using the nightstick to keep distance between himself and the knife while in the process of drawing his gun out of his holster. Rmhermen (talk) 16:58, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

DuPont market shares in India[edit]

Hello. Is there any way to find out the market share of Dupont in India in any of the major industries that it operates in? I have been looking for hours but there's no info. Thanks ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 14:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Here's one: 33 per cent of hydrofluorocarbons in 2009.[7] You might find more by going through the other press releases on that site? Best, WikiJedits (talk) 15:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Actually the hydrofluorocarbons business was the ones we were most sure about in the beginning (my subject group), but just we were about to begin work, we found a bizzare news items that an Indian company and bought dupont's entire hcfn business. It was covered in quite a few known indian newspapers, and we didn't have time to corroborate or disprove it... so we went for the seeds business. It worked out okay for us.
Thanks a lot for your help :-) ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 18:54, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

can dead people be fined?[edit]

Can dead people fined or otherwise have criminal or civil proceedings done against them? If not, what's to stop someone stealing a lot of money, then getting out of having the law take it back by simply dying? Thanks. 84.153.239.187 (talk) 14:51, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

As far as I know dead people cannot be sued (because there is no hope of any restitution, and hence the case would be pointless) or prosecuted (for similar reasons). However the estates of dead people can be sued. Also stolen property can be returned to its owner no matter who has it - as various cases of art stolen by the Nazis and currently owned by people who bought it in good faith. Finally, it seems fairly pointless to plan on escaping justice by "simply dying". DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Unless you are only dead in a legal sense and not a physical sense... Googlemeister (talk) 16:09, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
...as in faked death.--Shantavira|feed me 16:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
...or the character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who was "spending a year dead for tax reasons". DJ Clayworth (talk) 18:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Hotblack Desiato Mitch Ames (talk) 05:33, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
What's that Indian association of the fraudulently dead? —Tamfang (talk) 22:03, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Oddly enough, Association of the Dead. —Tamfang (talk) 04:36, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Illegal acts can receive restitution even after the death of a criminal. worst case, if someone dies and has a lot of money or property in his estate that was gained illicitly, then the estate can be sued and restitution made before the property is transferred to any heirs. Of course, if some penniless person steals a thousand dollars from you, spends it all on fried chicken and french fries, and then dies of a heart attack, then you are probably out of luck - they have no estate to sue, and dead people generally have little in the way of future earnings to take a lien on.--Ludwigs2 17:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Unless it was Elvis. I think he is the highest earning dead guy for the past 20 years or something, though MJ might give him a run now. Googlemeister (talk) 17:23, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
John Lennon probably earns quite a bit. --Tango (talk) 22:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, who knew? Yves St. Laurent led the way last year by a country mile, with MJ and Elvis only third and fourth respectively.[8] Clarityfiend (talk) 02:57, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Posthumous execution used to be (or still is) a form of punishment. According to our article it's practised as recent as 1986. --Kvasir (talk) 18:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The tagline for the sequel to The Sixth Sense: I sue dead people. Clarityfiend (talk) 21:22, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
That's nothing. What about Posthumous birth?  :) -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 21:24, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure that's not as punishing as normal childbirth. pun intended --Kvasir (talk) 22:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I swear, you guys are going to be the cause of the zombie apocalypse. there's only so much a dead person can take, you know... --Ludwigs2 03:03, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

This goes to prove:

1. You cannot take it with you.
2. You have to die!
3. From there; these questions are very unimportant.
4. Our efforts here should be redirected.

Socrates said that it is better to suffer murder than to murder. He held the soul / spirit is such regard!

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:02, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Read: Answer to Job, by Jung, and of course: The Book of Job. It has been aired.
The answer? Study Socrates. Or, lest I forget, The Gospels. Only God can sue, dead people.

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:17, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

On a legal (eathly) point of view: American law can differ from European law here, as if one is missing for more than 4 years, one can be considered dead (financially) by USA law. Not so by European law, some 12 years, and can still be overturned if a reappearence occurs. So, if you are declared dead (USA law), then you cannot own anything (from the previous life).
This is as I understand it.

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:59, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't know about other legal systems, but at least insofar as the Federal Criminal law works in the United States, death extinguishes all criminal actions. For example, when Ken Lay died, prior to sentencing, the fines that would have been imposed as a result of his sentence were extinguished (technically, never imposed). Tort actions can survive, depending on the action. At common law all actions (or at least most) were extinguished at death. In most modern systems, the estate is vulnerable to all non-personal claims. But some claims, like defamation, privacy, and criminal actions don't survive death. That's at least true in the areas I know about. Other countries, and even other U.S. states might vary in their individual interpretations. Shadowjams (talk) 07:17, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I think this was aired very well in the film, whose name escapes me, referring to The Fidex chief who was stranded on a desert island for over four years and did come back to find all gone.
I think in Europe the estate of the deceased can be claimed against, for finances. Hence, if a criminal dies (As the case of Dr. Shipman), his estate can be claimed against for restitution. Dr. Shipman (Harold Shipman) had this very thing in mind when he killed himself.
MacOfJesus (talk) 23:16, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
The Harold Shipman situation is particularly apt here as, after his death, an establishment of which families belonged to which jewellery was aired. More than was understood belonged to known relatives came up, so a time was made for others to claim their belongings. (As I remember it).
MacOfJesus (talk) 12:49, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Trade directories and trade organisations in the UK?[edit]

I'd like to look up the bona-fide trade directories and trade organisations and bodies for a particular type of business in the UK. Where could I find them listed please, online or otherwise? Thanks 78.146.242.196 (talk) 15:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

One option is the Yellow Pages - or online at Yell.com. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I've given your suggestion a go but unfortunately it did not give any useable results. Just to make clear - I do not know what their names are, that is what I want to find out. Thanks 78.146.242.196 (talk) 16:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
You don't need the company name to search Yell.com - you put in the type of business, and the location (eg UK if you want the whole country), and it lists the results. If you could give more information on the type of business, or the location, we could provide more useful answers. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:40, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm not looking for a business or company, I'm looking for trade directories and trade organisations specific to a particular business type. 89.242.83.202 (talk) 18:40, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

OK. Would any of these help? Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

They are better. That did give me the idea of looking for trade directories on Google Books, and I found some possible leads. But I'm still looking for information about trade organisations and trade directories too. 92.29.32.229 (talk) 20:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

To the OP: if you tell us which the particular industry is we might be able to point you at the publication you seek. In the meantime, maybe the industry has an Institute or a Governing Body, which you could search for? I'm thinking of the Institute of Civil Engineers, or Federation of Holistic Therapists ([9]) ... you get the picture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TammyMoet (talkcontribs) 09:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

britishchambers.org.uk is a website for various different chambers of commerce in the UK (there are scores of them, from Aberdeenshire to York). Or; search “chamber of commerce” and the name of a city or product / industry, and specify the URL end in .uk. A list is at britishservices.co.uk/associations.htm. DOR (HK) (talk) 07:41, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Sodomy in Dante's Inferno[edit]

I read the Inferno a few weeks ago, and I'm curious about something. When the term Sodomy is used, does it just refer to a man raping another man, or does it have a broader meaning? I'm only asking because both Wikipedia and the footnotes in the version I read refer to the sodomites as "Those violent against nature" and I don't think that the term sodomy is ever actually used in the text (or at least in the text of my translation) Anything that could shed light on this would be greatly apprecciated Library Seraph (talk) 15:48, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Technically speaking, sodomy refers to any socially/religiously unacceptable sexual act (for instance, in some US states oral sex falls under sodomy laws). The modern world uses it almost exclusively for homosexuality, but in older usages it was as likely (if not more so) to refer to bestiality. Dante probably was aware of both senses, and probably did not distinguish between them.
Interestingly, the idea that the inhabitants of Sodom had any odd sexual behaviors is contested, and suspect. basically, it all stems from one passage which says a mob of people gathered outside of Lot's house in Sodom and demanded to see the three strangers/angels that Abraham had brought with him, so that they could 'know' them. the word 'know' was interpreted as a sexual innuendo, basically because Lot offered his virgin daughters to appease the crowd in the next line, and that is pretty clearly sexual (incidentally, these are the same virgin daughters that get Lot drunk and have sex with him in the cave outside of the ruins of Sodom - Lot's family needed some serious therapy). But the mob doesn't ask to 'know' Abraham or Lot, and refused the virgin daughters (which you'd think might appeal to a crowd of sexual deviants). My own sense is that they were worried that the three strangers were spies of some sort, which - given the whole fire and brimstone thing that followed - might not have been an unjustified worry. --Ludwigs2 17:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
In the Hebrew Bible, the term translated "know" often has a sexual sense — consider the following quotes from Genesis 4 in Young's Literal Translation (not very good for converting the text into English, but it's great for converting individual words into English):

(v. 1) And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, `I have gotten a man by Jehovah;' (v. 17a) and Cain knoweth his wife, and she conceiveth, and beareth Enoch (v. 25) And Adam again knoweth his wife, and she beareth a son, and calleth his name Seth

Abraham isn't an option for the men of Sodom, since he lives far away, and Lot is a man of reputation in the community, so it's not as likely that they'd want to rape him. Nyttend (talk) 17:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Have you read the other two parts of the Comedy? There are also some Sodomites in Purgatorio; they're in the seventh and highest cornice of the mountain, where the lustful are cleansed. In Canto 26, you see two groups of souls: one that cries out "Sodom and Gomorrah", and the other that speaks of Pasiphaë. As the annotations in my edition note, there's a clear distinction in Purgatorio between the Sodomites and those who engage in beastiality, so I'd assume that the same is true in Inferno. Nyttend (talk) 17:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I just want to point out that sodomy does not imply rape. It often refers to mutually consensual activities. "Violent against nature" just refers to something that violates the supposed laws or attributes of nature. Marco polo (talk) 18:00, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
True, but in the case of Sodom, the angels obviously wouldn't have consented to it, so in that specific instance it would have been rape. Nyttend (talk) 19:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The concept of raping an angel (!), i.e. the angel having no say in the matter or any means of escape, eludes me completely, I have to say. What's the point of being an angel if you can't just dematerialise at will, thus escaping any would-be rapists? Being raped by an angel, now that would be a different story. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 21:02, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Can angels consent, if they don't have free will? Adam Bishop (talk) 21:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the text says that the angels told Lot to take his family to the mountains, but they changed their minds and agreed to let him go to Bela/Zoar when he asked; the main thing is that angels aren't able to violate God's will. Nyttend (talk) 00:02, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Unless they really want to. Matt Deres (talk) 04:48, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
When you're dealing with fantasy, you can make up whatever rules you want. And if angels don't have free will, then what are they, slaves of God? So much for benevolence! Vranak (talk) 18:02, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I've always figured angels were manifestations of God is some sense, a form of God comprehensible by humans, not truly separate from God. Because if they are separate, it raises questions about the veracity of monotheism. Regardless, being immortal and presumably impervious to harm, the Sodom situation would not have been a problem for them. It would be like the Klingons thinking they had killed off the Organians, when in fact they hadn't been harmed at all. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, assuming Dante used the term "sodomy" (I don't know the original Italian), in 14th century English "sodomy" meant any kind of outre sexual practice, as far as I can tell from the OED. It didn't necessarily mean anal sex between men and it didn't necessarily mean rape. However as our "sodomy" article points out, its exact mean varies a lot by language, and probably varies by time period, and assuming that it means the same thing in every language leads you into trouble. (It is a "false friend", as the linguists say—it resembles a word we know but has a different definition.) --Mr.98 (talk) 05:41, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Socrates said it is better to suffer murder than to murder, to be robbed than to rob. He held the spirit / soul in such regard.
All these things "weigh down the spirit".
Angels do have freedom for there are good angels and bad, i.e. "fallen angels".

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:39, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you all! (In answer to Nyttend's question, I haven't read the other two yet; my libray doesn't have the other ones, which I might use as an excuse to get a big swanky omnibus vesion ;))Library Seraph (talk) 22:20, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Look up telephone number tariffs, UK?[edit]

Is there anywhere online where you can type in a telephone number in a box and be instantly told how much it costs to call it? The information given by BT http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=25502&s_cid=con_FURL_calls_tariffs is byzantine in its complexity and takes a long time to find a number. I wanted to find the cost of dialling an 0845 number but I gave up. Such a site could be a nice little earner for someone. 78.146.242.196 (talk) 16:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

It's crazy isn't it? I was thinking of complaining to the OFT over the difficulty of working out these prices. Other phone companies are just as bad.--Shantavira|feed me 17:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Freakily complex, but the info is there. 0845 numbers are charged at the "Local NTS" rate, which is described as 3.948p/min (daytime) and 1.000p/min (eve, night & weekend). The hard part comes if you have a calling plan. In that case, the charge is 0.0p for calls inside the plan's time; and 2.0p/min (daytime) or 0.5p/min (eve, night & weekend) for calls outside the plan's time or after the first hour of the call. There is also the "call setup fee" of 9.3p (which is waived if the call tariff is 0p). All prices include VAT at 17.5%. There are exceptions for ISP dial-up services still on 0845 numbers and people on the "low-user" scheme.
Interestingly, the list the OP provided is copyrighted. IANAL, but you might get into trouble if you created a derivative work (ie. a website to do the hard work of looking it up for you). Astronaut (talk) 06:19, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad that I can copy all the information I want in my country. Nyttend (talk) 18:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Erskine May Parliamentary Practice[edit]

Does anyone know of an online service (preferably free, but for-fee if necessary) where I could access the complete text of Erskine May? Perhaps the Lexis site? Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTagquaestor─╢ 19:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

It is an expensive book to buy, but I’d still be surprised if it were not freely available online these days. The Australian counterparts are freely available online: Odgers' Australian Senate Practice and House of Representatives Practice (both updated to January 2010). You can also buy these in hardback, but then you lose the continuous updating, and a week is a long time in politics. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure there is an online site. The book is published by Butterworths so there is a LexisNexis link, but I think it's too specific that they don't put it online. So far as I remember it's not on the internal Parliamentary website either. Sam Blacketer (talk) 22:44, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Correlation between Sloboda, Slobodan and Slobodian[edit]

I am trying to research the Family surname Slobodan. From what I have found, it was dirived from the word Sloboda which ment freedom or Peace. I know that the name Slobodan is a very comon first name but from what I read and understand from speaking to people in the so called "Old Country" the name Slobodan is rare as a last name. All I know is they came over from Galicia, Austria in 1909 and setteled in Canada. Can someone please more information on the last name Slobodan and where it may have originated. I have found information on the name Slobodian and most of the reference are from approx 1650 and refer to the Slobodian Kozakc(Cossacks) as an army. Did the name Slobodian come from a person or some other ref. Is there any correlation between Sloboda, Slobodan and Slobodian. Thanks very much, Terrill Slobodan —Preceding unsigned comment added by Slobodan1 (talkcontribs) 19:22, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

For a start, have you read our articles, Sloboda and Sloboda Ukraine? — Kpalion(talk) 19:57, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes I have and the information has been great. I am guess I may be looking for something that can't be found. I have not found anything that confirms or indicates that Slobodan was a person, or if the name Slobodan came from a person who lived in a Sloboda settlement or if Slobodan is refering to the individuals (Cossacks) who freed the settlers of the villiages. I am new at doing this sort of searching and appreciate any information of lead. Thanks again.Slobodan1 (talk) 20:53, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Begin with the known full names of your immigrant ancestors as they entered Canada in 1909 and see what additional information about them is given in the registers. Name-chasing won't help you, but the Galician village where the individuals were born may be noted in the Canadian records. The Ships List may give you some guidance. --Wetman (talk) 01:52, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
If your family came from Austria, I think you might consider the origin to be Serbian - Austria had more connections to (granted, at the time Ottoman) Serbia than Ukraine. Slobodan is a common first name in Serbia, the most (in)famous bearer of it being Slobodan Milošević (as you no doubt know), and it does in fact mean something along the lines of Freeman. Not sure I heard of Slobodan as a surname, though. TomorrowTime (talk) 03:32, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Slobodan does sound like a Serbian name, but don't agree that the Austrian Empire had more to do with Serbia than with Ukraine. All of Eastern Galicia, also known as Western Ukraine, belonged to Austria. It's far from Sloboda Ukraine, but it has had Ukrainian population nonetheless. — Kpalion(talk) 11:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)


One of my great grandfathers, Harry Zablotsky (Zablotski), born in 1892, came to Canada in 1904 from the village of Hryhoriw, Halychyna. I am unable to fine the Village of Hryhoriw on any map. It is hard to pinpoint places of birth due to the changes in territories and variations in possible spellings of names due to translations. Back in time around 1187, the Kyiv Ghronicle is reported to have coined the term "Ukrain" to define the southren area of what was know as Rus Land. This area included the provinces of Kyiv, Pereiaslav, Chernihiv, Halychyna, Volyn and Podilla. These areas have been under the control of Poland, Russia, Austria and Serbian rule at one time or another in its history. I found these ref on this site; Slobodan (Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан) is a South Slavic given name which means "free" (Serbian: Sloboda/Слобода means Freedom, Liberty). AND http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloboda_Ukraine refering to the Sloboda Cossacks: http://books.google.ca/books?id=-t8RAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=Slobodian+Regiments&source=bl&ots=KovJOMg86d&sig=jbQknwp55g6dUva5D21v0vVTCEA&hl=en&ei=xWSJS4_0PIP2M-mM6aYB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CA0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Slobodian%20Regiments&f=false: http://books.google.ca/books?id=HkANAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=Slobodian+Cossacks&source=bl&ots=XC0kF0o0w0&sig=FqAUc4WopyoVFoHJc0fSfawTRnE&hl=en&ei=FmaJS-38HIP-NZSh0aYB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Slobodian%20Cossacks&f=false

If Slododa is a settlement and Slobodian Cossacks refer to the warriors who gaind the freedome for the peoples of those lands, could Slobodan be a ref to a single Cossack(Kozak), hence Slobodian is multiple warriors and Slobodan being a single warrior.

From what I have read, this leads me to believe that the name Slobodan was given as a first name to either honor the Cossacks who fought for these settlements or people that lived in theses settlements.Slobodan1 (talk) 18:59, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

This person claims to have been to Hryhoriw. Check out Zakarpattia Oblast. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
There are two villages called Hryhoriv (Григорів) in Western Ukraine; see articles in Ukrainian Wikipedia: Hryhoriv, Rohatyn County, and Hryhoriv, Monastyrys'ka County. In Polish they probably would have been called Hryhorów or possibly even Grzegorzów. As to the origin of the name Slobodan, I wouldn't be sure whether it's related to Sloboda Cossacks. In Ukrainian, the adjectives derived from Sloboda are Slobids'kyy and Slobozhans'kyy, but not Slobodan. I Google search for Слободан in Ukrainian returns mostly Ukrainian-language websites about Serbs. Zablotsky would have been spelled Zabłocki in Polish and Заблоцький in Ukrainian. — Kpalion(talk) 21:50, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

So Slobodan could be Ukrainian, Serbian or Slavic in origin. (SLOBODAN, Gender: Masculine, Usage: Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian, Other Scripts: Слободан (Serbian, Macedonian)From South Slavic sloboda meaning "freedom".) (Slobodan, Gender:Male,Meaning: The Free [man],Region of origin: Former Yugoslavia)

One would think that somewhere on the WWW I would find someone with the last name of Slobodan prior to the 1900's. So far the only references have been Sloboda and the Slobodian Cossacks and those date back to around the 11th & 12th Centuries.Slobodan1 (talk) 23:10, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Music Sales Data[edit]

Can anyone suggest a source for data on consumer music sales volumes (and/or $s) over the past 10-15 years? Global would be fantastic, but regional would be fine too.174.6.8.42 (talk) 19:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC) ]

Our well-cited article on the music industry to the rescue. If anyone's interested: [10]174.6.8.42 (talk) 19:40, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Help about ships[edit]

I was wondering if I just don't know what it means, or if it's actually wrong. But I've noticed on a lot of pages for ships in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II that it shows a date for when the ship is struck and then a date for when the ship is sunk. What I don't understand is why almost every single ship has a sink date before the stuck date. For example, on the page for the Japanese destroyer Kasumi, the struck date is 10 May 1945, while the sink date is 7 April 1945. If that's correct in the way that it was struck by something on 10 May 1945 and then sunk on 7 April 1945, it doesn't make sense. I'm thinking (and hoping that I'm not just too stupid to understand this), that there is some other meaning for the word "Struck".

--ABickerstaff 23:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by ABickerstaff (talkcontribs)
Naval Vessel Register says (about the US navy, but I guess the Japanese was similar) that "struck" means being removed from the register of ships. That's when it officially ceases to be a ship in the fleet. I guess they wait a little after the sinking to be sure the ship actually sank and didn't just lose contact. --Tango (talk) 23:17, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes. See Struck off. Comet Tuttle (talk) 23:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Seigneurs of Sark[edit]

I am aware that the husband of a female ruler of Sark (the Dame of Sark) is a ruler (Seigneur) himself, ruling iure uxoris. I am a bit confused, however; when the reigning Dame of Sark marries, does she cease to reign or does she continue to reign alongside her husband? A user claimed that the Dame ceases to reign when she marries at Talk:Sibyl Mary Hathaway. I also recall reading somewhere at Wikipedia about it but I don't know where. It's neither Sark nor List of Seigneurs of Sark. I am also curious about the succession rules; does Sark apply male-preferance cognatic primogeniture (daughter inherits if there are no sons) or Austrian-like succession rules (daughter inherits if there is no male agnatic relative)? Surtsicna (talk) 23:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Why is the "ruler" of an island with 600 people of any encyclopedic significance? Edison (talk) 04:54, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Because it meets our notability policy, with hundreds (if not thousands) of news and scholarly articles on the subject. How is the last remaining feudal state in Europe, in the 21st century, not of any encyclopedic significance? ╟─TreasuryTagmost serene─╢ 15:16, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Someone doesn't have to be of encyclopaedic significance to ask a question about them on the ref desk, so I'm not sure your question is relevant. If you wish to dispute the notability of an article subject, you know where AfD is. --Tango (talk) 07:28, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Was there even a rule? Before Sibyl Hathaway, there had only been two previous Dames of Sark - both had bought the Seigneurity (?) not inherited it, and reigned for only 2-3 years. If both were widows, the situation had never come up before. That said, there's a book out there, published before the reforms, that might have the answer: The Constitution and administration of Sark. Best, WikiJedits (talk) 15:08, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. Interestingly, the book is written by the present Siegneur. Anyway, I don't understand why Edison put quotation marks around the word ruler; de facto, the present Siegneur was until 2008 (and probably still is) more powerful within his/her dominion than any European monarch (save perhaps for the Prince of Liechtenstein). Surtsicna (talk) 15:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I doubt the Seigneur's as powerful as the brothers Barclay... ;) ╟─TreasuryTagco-prince─╢ 16:14, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome, and I've taken out my own quotation marks.WikiJedits (talk) 15:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)