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September 19[edit]

10 different qira'ats in this audio[edit]

This is for Muslims only. Sorry. Does anybody or can anybody list the qira'ats that this qari used to recite Ch.2 verse 255 known as Ayatul Kursi? Here is the link: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Why is it for Muslims only? Can't people of other faiths, or of no faith, answer it as well? --Viennese Waltz 07:37, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The truths of Islam are so self-evident, if you know enough Islam to answer this, you'd be a believer as well (ie. there's no way your interest is academic.) Entertaining ideas without accepting them is Western relativism and moral confusion. Or something. Asmrulz (talk) 11:21, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm unclear why understanding beliefs different than mine is morally confusing. I can comprehend the beliefs of others, and I can understand why they believe them, but doing so doesn't mean I have to agree with them. That is, having some bit of knowledge (understanding the beliefs of others) doesn't make me a relativist (agreeing that conflicting beliefs must all be correct). The notion that one must refuse to try to understand other people in order to be morally pure seems odd... --Jayron32 11:58, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
link Asmrulz (talk) 19:16, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
link back atcha --Jayron32 19:33, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I was first. Also, this :) Asmrulz (talk) 20:08, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I can understand why people may want to ask questions about beliefs only to believers (I think that this is rational, because human ability to understand the minds of outsiders is low), but that's right that this one is not a question about a belief, it is merely a technical question, so such request would not make sense. Since I cannot answer this question, I shut up. - (talk) 12:27, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I believe this question should be removed or hidden. Wikipedia reference desk is for everyone, if they want to address only particular people they should go off to an appropriate other forum instead. Dmcq (talk) 13:16, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Why, if someone knows Arabic by ear and knows Quran well, why can't he or she answer the question? It is a request for facts, not for beliefs or opinions, so it is okay. It has been formulated lamely, but this shouldn't be a problem in this case, the asker apparently merely attempted to be polite to everyone (with little luck). - (talk) 13:24, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The questioner said the question was for Muslims only. The questioner should go to such a forum and not waste other people's time. I'm perfectly aware of what you said, I used to know a Dutchman who the local Chinese used to go to when they wanted to know what some obscure Chinese character meant. Dmcq (talk) 13:33, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it was a request. I think it was an excuse. The person apparently felt badly about asking an obscure question, so he just acknowledged this (in wrong terms) and said "sorry". We can simply treat it this way. - (talk) 13:57, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree. The questioner, trying to be polite, excused himself or herself for asking a question that he or she (probably correctly) assumed that only a Muslim might be able to answer. I'm sure that the questioner would be pleasantly surprised if a non-Muslim were able to answer, but I doubt that that will happen. Can the person who asked the question comment on whether you would be open to a response by a non-Muslim who happened to be knowledgeable about qira'at? Unless the questioner responds that he or she would not accept an answer from a non-Muslim, I urge that we assume good faith and let the question and any responses stand. Marco polo (talk) 14:08, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The questioner made the mistake of assuming that RefDeskers were capable of assuming good faith. Some can, some rather voluble ones can't. I made the same mistake not that long ago. DuncanHill (talk) 21:01, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Well they're most probably in the standard order as in our article about them Qira'at, otherwise someone would have listed out the order specially. Dmcq (talk) 00:56, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Duncan, to say of any human being that he is incapable of assuming good faith doesn't sit well with me. We can all do it, but it's a challenge to do it all the time, and I daresay we all sometimes fall by the wayside. Some perhaps more than others, but who's keeping tally? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:50, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

German stereotypes[edit]

What stereotypes exist of people from different states of Germany? Note, I'm not interested in stereotypes of German people in general, only in the supposed differences between people from different parts of the country. And I'm not interested in whether the stereotypes have any basis in reality, either. Thank you, --Viennese Waltz 12:29, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Die Zeit posted a map of negative stereotypes a couple of years ago. The article was "Negative Vorurteile". Many of the attributes were collected from travel guides, and the author comments on their questionable accuracy and the nasty way that stereotypes have of spreading anyway (but you're not interested in that ;-). I will take the trouble of translating the adjectives later on, if no one beats me to it (but I understand you understand German, Vienna Waltz). ---Sluzzelin talk 12:40, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Ok, here goes:
Sylter are decadent.
North Frisians are proud.
East Frisians are dumb.
Holsteiner are taciturn.
Mecklenburger are sluggish.
Hamburger are reserved/aloof.
Low Saxons are sober-minded.
Hannoveraner are boring.
Altmärker are stubborn.
Brandenburger are lower class/vulgar/chav.
Berliner are gruff.
Potsdamer are nouveau-riche.
Münsteraner are conservative.
Ruhrgebietler are simple.
Düsseldorfer are (also) nouveau-riche.
Kölner are corrupt.
Rheinländer are superficial.
Sauerländer are pig-headed.
Westphalians are brittle.
Harzer are lethargic.
Thuringians are hillbillies.
Saxons are cunning.
Erzgebirgler are quarrelsome.
Dresdner are slow.
Eifler are sober-minded.
Frankfurter are snobby.
Hessen are talkative.
Pfälzer are hoggy
Saarländer are petit-bourgeois.
Upper Franconians are silent.
Nürnberger are stuffy.
Middle Franconians are stolid and sedate.
Lower Bavarians are narcissistic.
Münchner are snotty.
Upper Bavarians are conservative.
Baden-Baden is of old money.
Schwarzwälder are uncommunicative.
Freiburger are environmentally smug and petty (don't know how to translate "ökologisch verspießt").
Badenser are withdrawn.
Bodenseer are slow.
Swabians are stingy.
Allgäuer are superstitious.
---Sluzzelin talk 13:20, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Wow, what a great response. Thanks so much Sluzzelin, my German would never have been up to translating all those adjectives. I need to save this somewhere and if there was a RD Response of the Month Award, this would get it. --Viennese Waltz 13:54, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
How amusing! I happen to know a Sylterin. I had never heard of that stereotype before, but she is indeed decadent. On the other hand, I recall making a visit to Hamburg when I was living in Berlin and having the impression, contrary to the stereotype, that Hamburgers were friendly and open (by comparison with Berliners, anyway). But of course all stereotypes are unreliable and basically wrong. Marco polo (talk) 14:16, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
both Hamburgers and Berliners are delicious, though --Golbez (talk) 14:24, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
What do you have against Frankfurters? --Jayron32 14:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The irony here is that a hot dog could be considered snobby --Golbez (talk) 15:56, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
When I think of German stereotypes, this is what comes to mind. Which of the above list does this go with? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:26, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
That is an Upper Bavarian or possibly an Allgäuer, Bugs, but of course that is an outsider's stereotype of a German. Marco polo (talk) 17:43, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course I wasn't familiar with each and every of the stereotypes listed there, and I think they are of varying reach and traction within Germany too. Three stereotypes that resonate with what even most German-speaking Swiss have heard of are the thick East Frisians (we have an article on East Frisian jokes too, and one of the reasons I've known about them since I can remember is probably Otto, an East Frisian with an extremely high IQ, I am certain of that :-), the stingy Swabians (they're our neighbours, after all, and we're very similar: there's a bit under Swabian culture and stereotypes) and the gruff (in a good way :-) Berliners (didn't find anything in our Berlin article, but wiktionary does have an entry on Berliner Schnauze). ---Sluzzelin talk 18:27, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

History of progressive income tax[edit]

Recently Progressive tax was edited in a way that I find difficult to integrate because I lack access to dusty historical stuff that if someone has summarized online already, I apparently lack the time to find. Can anyone verify, "The first peace time graduated income tax was actually in Prussia in 1891."? EllenCT (talk) 16:22, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

According to this source, on page 108, Prussia introduced its first graduated income tax in 1851, not 1891. Marco polo (talk) 17:57, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I have found online an article titled The Prussian Income Tax from an 1892 issue of The Quarterly Journal of Economics. I am no expert on the history of taxation so there is a lot there that goes over my head. However, it does seem to provide a detailed examination of the evolution of income tax in Prussia to the 1891 tax - see page 223. This states that the 1851 income tax was not progressive, an 1873 reform brought in something "practically" (but not exactly) a progressive income tax, and finally in 1891 a progressive income tax. Whether it was the first ever, anywhere, may be harder to prove. But the reference should at least be helpful in updating the article to include Prussia. - EronTalk 18:34, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

September 20[edit]

Collective term for "Indian-ish" people[edit]

Is there a recognized term in English ethnographic literature for collectively referring to the "brown" people of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc? A term that differentiates them from the (more or less "white") Middle Easterners to the west and the "yellow" people to the east. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:22, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

In the UK, it's "Asian". That won't work in the USA and Australia, at least. In cricketing circles the term "the sub-continent" is used to describe that area and people from it. HiLo48 (talk) 12:27, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if "cricket playing asians" would make it past a competent ethnography journal editor. :) Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:33, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
South Asian. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I've seen South Asia(n) used to refer to places such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc, so it's not unambiguous. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:06, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I've mainly heard South Asian used to refer to India, Pakistan, etc, and Central Asian for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and most countries ending in "-stan" that weren't former Mughal territory. Since Kazakhstan's about as far north as Mongolia, I can't figure out why anyone would call it South Asian. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:49, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Per Bugs, who is correct here, see South Asian ethnic groups. The countries that Roger names are always referred to as Central Asia. --Jayron32 17:54, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
In my part of the world a lot of folks of Indian, Pakistani, etc., origin or descent refer to themselves as "Brown". But it's not a term I've heard many (non-racist) white folks use. - EronTalk 17:43, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
That would refer back to old colloquial terms for the races: white, black, red, yellow, brown. (What, no green?) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:45, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Tamil villagers of southern India
  • I'll agree with Bugs and Jayron above. The two largest broad ethnic groups of India are the Indo-Aryan peoples, mostly of the north and the Dravidian peoples (pictured,left) of the south, although India is far more ethnically diverse than Europe. The first is a branch of Indo-European and the second speak a linguistic phylum with no proven relations. Many Indo-Aryans of the north are quite fair-skinned. μηδείς (talk) 01:00, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks all, I was indeed misremembering the label used for "the ...stan" countries (formerly part of the Soviet Union), They are indeed usually grouped under the "Central Asian" label, so South Asian makes the most sense. Apparently the Indo-Aryans are related to the Persians and thus are "Caucasians" insofar as that term still has any validity ouside of tv series police jargon. Is there a common (genetic) lineage between Dravidian people and the superficially similar looking "brown" people of the Malaysia/Indonesia region? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:35, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

thumb|right|The 'Caucasians' of South Asia

  • Well, User:Dodger67, the Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages form the Indo-Iranian sub-branch of the Indo-European languages. See our article Afghan Girl (pictured, right) for a very famous picture of a Pashto (an Iranian language) woman from Afghanistan. She would definitely be considered "Caucasian" if she had been born in Europe, and people of her appearance brought the Indo-Aryan languages (e.g., Sanskrit, Hindi) to India. You will find people resembling her in Kashmir and other parts of (northern) India. The Dravidians seem to have entered India from the northwest as well. They may have been related to the Harappan culture and to the Elamites of the Fertile Crescent. The evidence I have seen for this is highly dubious and speculative, but those are the best guesses given the evidence. There has recently been evidence showing a rare Y-haplotype in extreme souther India to one found in Australian Aborigines.
The supposition is that the wave of hunter gatherers that reached Australia did so 10's of thousands of years ago by following the coast of the Indian Ocean eastward from Africa. They would have left behind relatives along the way. The Dravidian speakers probably then brought farming and animal husbandry into India much more recently, largely interbreeding with and simply displacing the indigenous tribal peoples. Then the Indo-Aryan speaking wave entered following the same path, conquering the north with superior war technology, namely horses and chariots. The Mitanni people of the Fertile Crescent are poorly known, but they spoke an Indo-Aryan language, and used horses in war.
There's no linguistic or direct genetic link between the Dravidians and the SE Asians that I am aware of. (But the science advances so rapidly I may be wrong on the genetics.) Skin color evolves rapidly and is subject to biological convergence. The greater Malayo-Indonesian area is subject to a huge influence from the west, with the introduction of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism all coming in waves. One would expect intermixture has been going on for millennia. But I suspect that rather than from Indonesia, that the Dravdians' original closer relatives were from the Indus valley and the Middle East μηδείς (talk) 19:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Is desi too specific? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:45, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Good find User:JackofOz, it appears to be an endonym used by Indo-Aryans, unfortunately the article isn't clear about whether the term includes Dravidian peoples or not. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:47, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
It's a funny one. I remember once asking my partner, a Sri Lankan immigrant to Australia, about this word, but it meant nothing to him. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:53, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
It should not be confused with Desi Arnaz.
Wavelength (talk) 15:04, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
And all these years I've taken you for a nerd par excellence (not a bad thing), without the slightest hint of a sense of humour. Thanks for sharing this hitherto unsuspected aspect of yourself, Wavelength. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:58, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Although I do have a sense of humor, I did post my comment in seriousness. The Hindustani word Desi really can be confused with the given name Desi.
Wavelength (talk) 21:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a fairly popular filesharing forum called DesiRulez. For a while, I assumed the word was about Indian TV, a Desi scene to go with the Bollywood one. Still stuck thinking that, somewhat, despite the evidence. Still a bit weird calling them "pirates", too, as it must have been for Kanhoji Angre sometimes. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:04, September 22, 2014 (UTC)
Usage note: Desi is mainly popular among the South Asian diaspora, who use it as a form of self-identification to reflect a mix of self-depreciation and cultural pride. However the use of the term by "outsiders" (depending on the speaker, audience and context, of course) can come across as (mildly) pejorative; roughly equivalent to calling someone unrefined or a yokel. So don't regard desi as a neutral substitute for South Asian. This Ben Zimmer column goes into some of these issues. Abecedare (talk) 19:23, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Following up, it should be noted that the Austroasiatic peoples, remnants of whom live in eastern India, and who include the Vietnamese may have ben the first rice farmers, and were likely spread through SE Asia before the advent of the Dravidians, Sino-Tibetans, and others. Racial commonalities in the area may be a result of them as a genetic substrate. Note also that the originally Indian Buddhist liturgical language, Pali, survives now largely in Thailand and Cambodia.

related question[edit]

This isn't what was asked by the OP above... but are their common pejorative terms for people from the sub-continent? Blueboar (talk) 16:16, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

See List of ethnic slurs, particularly under P and W. The latter term (but not, unfortunately, the attitude behind it) is rather old-fashioned in the UK. Tevildo (talk) 16:48, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh great, I've been calling them Pakis my whole life. Are there any other "slur" abbreviations I should know about (aside from the J-word)? InedibleHulk (talk) 22:04, September 22, 2014 (UTC)
Many, Lebo, Abo, Jap (unless you mean this by the J word, in which case while Jew isn't really an abbreviation per say and is perfectly acceptable in some cases, it's best avoided in other circumstances), Indon. These are mostly from memory but are in our list, there are one or two others I didn't mention. Of course there are some not in our list. And some depend on the circumstances. E.g. referring to Bangla even though Bengali is the more common English transliteration for the people, is probably acceptable in Bangladesh and some other places. It's best avoided in Malaysia where the term usually refers to Bangladeshis anyway rather than Bengali people per se [1]. Nil Einne (talk) 22:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
How about Pom, the popular Australian term for English people? (As a keen vegetable grower, there's a variety of pumpkin called Jap. No idea where it comes from I always bothers me just a little.) HiLo48 (talk) 23:20, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
In the sans-serif font my browser uses to render these things, your edit summary appeared to me to ask "Is Porn OK?". This is a rather different discussion from the one I was expecting. --Trovatore (talk) 23:53, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Pom is short, but I don't think it's clear Pom is an abbreviation of anything Alternative names for the British#Pommy or Pom. I presume, but I'm not sure, IH is also excluding abbreviations of slurs them, e.g. fag and nig are clear slurs, but if anything the full word is often more offensive. Only one of these is ethnic, but IH didn't seem to specify only ethnic slurs. (Yank is a more complicated case.) Nil Einne (talk) 20:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I would have never even thought to say Lebo. Wrong vowel. Adding an -o suffix to things feels like a taunt (sicko, wino, lesbo, preggo). Maybe I'm just a weirdo. Abo, maybe, but probably not. Not now, anyway. Any reason in particular it became offensive in the '50s? That was indeed the J-word. I'd like that one to be cool again, but I've agreed elsewhere that Wikipedia isn't the place. I call Bangladeshis "Bengals". It's not really a good excuse to blame the TV, but "Bengali" makes me think of them as hybrid human bengal tigers more than that exact word makes me think of them as completely dehumanized. Hybrids are more offensive, humans generally agree. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:05, September 23, 2014 (UTC)
Although both of those only seem common in the UK. The one covered under C (which our article used to say refers to East Indians but I changed to South Asian) is I think used in more countries (well according to our article and I know it's also used here and a search seems to confirm it's also used in the UK). Nil Einne (talk) 14:51, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Playing sasa[edit]

In a West African context, what is "sasa", and what does it mean that someone is "playing sasa"? It's clearly not Sasa (dance), seemingly not Sasa (plant), and definitely not Solvent-accessible surface area. In 1988, Liberia issued a stamp captioned "Sasa Players" (image), and I can't figure out what's going on. The catalogue is unhelpful; it says only "Sasa Players" as well. Nyttend (talk) 22:37, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm wondering whether "sasa" is a variety spelling of sansa/sanza/sanzu, a type of thumb piano (see also mbira). ---Sluzzelin talk 22:52, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Does this help? It appears to be a Liberian percussion instrument, possibly a pot full of stones/beads in a string bag. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:53, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
"A percussion instrument with a loud, sharp sound. Made from a gourd covered in a net of beads". From Cracking the Code: The Confused Traveler's Guide to Liberian English. [2] AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:33, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Now I really feel silly — I work for IU Digital Libraries, and I'm in the middle of setting up an online image collection that (when finished) will be available through Image Collections Online. I never thought to look in our own online documentation!!! Thank you for finding that, and Andy, thanks for bringing up this book. My only textbook of Liberian English is Warren d'Azavedo's Some Terms from Liberian Speech, and I don't remember ever seeing this book or anything else like it. Nyttend (talk) 03:42, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

September 21[edit]

Christians in Iraq and Syria[edit]

Are there any Christians left in either Iraq or Syria? -- (talk) 14:11, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, sure. Syria used to have about 10% Christians in the population. Iraq has less by percentage, but a larger base. See Christianity in Iraq. ISIS is a bunch of assholes, but I neither do they control all of Iraq and Syria, nor do they operate organised death-or-conversion camps. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:27, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Although the mainly Christian city of Qaraqosh, which is regarded as Iraq's "Christian capital" has been overrun and a large proportion of the population have fled into Kurdish territory according to BBC News - Iraq Christians flee as Islamic State takes Qaraqosh. Alansplodge (talk) 16:15, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but that's still in Iraq, and for political reasons, it's quite likely that it won't become a recognised state in the foreseeable future. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:02, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
"For political reasons..." Sure, like the "politics" of public beheadings. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:56, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
You seem to misread what I wrote. I was referring to the Kurdish areas, which likely won't become an independent state because it would piss of Turkey, which is one of the few countries friendly to the West in the area. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

British (most likely) coat of arms identification[edit]

Looking to work out what a coat of arms that I've seen represents. I don't have a picture of it, I'm afraid. It's most likely British, and given context most likely represents a city/region/county. The background is green. The central figure is a large cross bottony in gold, with in each of the quarters made by the large central cross a smaller cross pattée in gold as well. Any ideas? (talk) 16:58, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Royal Arms of Edward the Confessor
Nothing immediately obvious at List of British flags. The arms of Edward the Confessor (see image), perhaps? The colours are wrong, though. Tevildo (talk) 17:48, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Arms of Abingdon
Got it! It's the coat of arms of Abingdon-on-Thames. (See image). Cross patonce rather than bottony according to the blazon, but the Abingdon cross doesn't look very much like our reference image. Tevildo (talk) 22:13, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Excellent, that's the once for sure, just slight colour variations. Cheers, that makes sense actually. (talk) 06:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Daughtes of Tsars[edit]

Why did most of the daughters of Russian Tsars traditionally remain unmarried until the Petrine reforms?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 17:18, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, if you look at the sisters and half-sisters of Peter the Great, (you can find the list at Alexis_of_Russia#Family_and_children, most of them got caught up in the wrong side of the various intrigues in Russia leading up to the rise of Peter the Great; i.e. most sided with Sophia in the Moscow Uprising of 1682. As a result, when Peter took power many of them were shipped off to convents or otherwise barred from Marriage. The one sister that remained loyal to Peter, Natalya, appears to have been close enough to him to have remained unmarried so as to remain at Court rather than be married off for diplomatic purposes, which would have been the fate of other royal females. Peter's grandfather, Michael Romanov had many daughters, but only three lived to adulthood: Irina, Anna, and Tatiana. Wikipedia only has an article about Irina, who (like Natalya and Peter) seems to have been the "head of the household" during Michael's reign, and as such, was kept unmarried to keep her around the court. Prior to Michael Romanov was the Time of Troubles, when things were a bit confused regarding the Tsarship; a variety of pretenders and foreign princes claimed the title, but in reality, no one held widespread control of the country. Prior to the Time of Troubles, Boris Godunov had one daughter, Xenia. Boris tried TWICE to marry her off, but the first engagement was broken off, and the second was ended by her fiancees death. After that, she got caught up in the Troubles, and never married; she seems to have lived a rather unfortunately life being raped and imprisoned. Before Boris, Feodor I of Russia only had one daughter, and she died at age 1: [3]. Before Feodor was Ivan the Terrible, the first Tsar. Ivan had a large number of wives and children, but from our list in the Wikipedia article, it appears Ivan the Terrible had no daughters to marry off; they all died before reaching marriageble age. So, the answer to your question is there was no such tradition. In the entire list of Tsars from the first Tsar to Peter the Great, there aren't that many daughters to establish a "tradition". At least one was engaged to be married twice, two others were kept at court because they were close to their brother, who wanted them around rather than married off to a foreign prince or some important Boyar, the rest of the ones that lived to adulthood ended up on the wrong side of a rebellion or political intrigue, and all the rest (the majority of Tsarevnas indeed) died before they reached marriagable age. If there's any tradition to be garnered from this, it would appear to be the tradition of dying as an infant. --Jayron32 17:53, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
There was simply no incentive for marrying them. The princesses spent their entire lives in a female chamber of the palace. They had next to no opportunities to meet young noblemen. The Tsar was far above his subjects. To marry a tsarevna to one of the Tsar's "slaves" was not a desirable prospect. The relatives by marriage were expected to claim positions in the government, and this prospect was not welcomed by the existing cliques. To marry her to a foreign prince was diffucult because of a religious difference, a difference in culture, and the bride's lack of education. It was expected from a would-be husband to convert to Orthodoxy, an unthinkable prospect for most Catholic and even Lutheran princes. That's the reason why the marriage of Tsarevna Irina Mikhailovna of Russia and Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein never happened. This matrimonial failure was viewed by the Russian government as a major international humiliation. The Orthodox suitors of royal rank could be found only in the distant kingdoms of Georgia. The prospect of a Russo-Georgian royal marriage was contemplated but ultimately fell through. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
There was a comparable situation with the Makedonioi princesses, by the way. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:04, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

September 22[edit]

Historically speaking, what did people with gender dysphoria do before the sex reassignment surgery was ever performed?[edit]

Did they just live as members of the other sex? Or did they unhappily accept their birth sex? Did they attempt to remove their external sex organs because they thought it was not theirs? (talk) 04:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

If Kathoeys, Hijras, and other Third gender individuals are any indication, they would at least try to live as their desired sex, if not become eunuchs. I've previously been given the impression that Two-Spirit peoples would apparently figure that being a man in a woman's body or a woman in a man's body just meant double the fun. Elegabalus offered a lot of money to any doctor who could turn him into a woman. Ian.thomson (talk) 04:32, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
  • If you look up berdache and shamanism, you will see there is a phenomenon among tribal peoples where certain people going through puberty become "sick" (we would say acutely depressed) and often with the consultation of an elder shaman (who may not himself be transgender, but who has been taught the phenomenon) will emerge as the opposite gender after some transitional period. This is known throughout Siberia and North America. The transformed person doesn't have to become a shaman himself, sometimes they simply take up the opposite gender role and often shack up with someone of their own sex but live as husband and wife. I don't think we have an article, but among the indigenous Mexicans until today there is the concept of a mallate who is a man who is respected and treated as a heterosexual who has an effeminate/transgender homosexual "wife". I have met some myself. One relevant source would be Studies in Siberian Shamanism by Henry N. Michael, although I am not sure if that's the book that tells of the Siberians who change sex role, but who don't become shamans, and simply live as the opposite sex in a normal two-person couple. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Possibly related: Enaree, Galli, and Gala. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:03, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
So... are there any indigenous Western European populations that recognize a third-gender or have some sort of special status for third-gendered individuals? (talk) 18:46, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
There are homosexual and trans Roman Emperors, but Christianity seems mostly to have pushed that underground. See Hadrian, Calligula, Heliogabalus, Homosexuality in ancient Rome, Homosexuality in ancient Greece and Bog body, the last of which may in some case involve sacrificed/ritually executed homosexuals. See also, Triple Goddess, Marija Gimbutas, Dama de Elche, Ganymede for other interesting facts and speculation on the rule of females and the place of male homosexuality in the West before Christianity. μηδείς (talk) 20:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

"Duke of Half-"[edit]

In several articles about 14th/15th century Polish noblemen, they are described as "Duke of half-placename". For example, Henry V of Iron, is said to be "Duke of Duke of half-Głogów, and ... Duke of half-Ścinawa"; Konrad VII the White is described somewhat confusingly as "sole Duke of half of Ścinawa"; Bolko II the Small is "Duke over half of Brzeg and Oława from 1358 ... and Duke over half of Głogów and Ścinawa".

Does anyone know what is meant by this? Was there another duke of the other half? Was it that they only laid claim/controlled one half? Was being "Duke of half-placename" an actual contemporary title? Or is this just a bad translation, that would benefit from a better explanation? Sotakeit (talk) 14:10, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

See Duchy of Głogów for an explanation. Under the Polish hereditary system at the time, the lands were partitioned between claimants, meaning duchies and fiefs split, reunited, and attached themselves to other lands as various births, marriages and deaths took place. Mogism (talk) 14:20, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Such "splits" occur in other systems as well. See Partible inheritance, Gavelkind, Salic patrimony, Abeyance, etc. Such systems generally predate primogeniture systems. The Lord Great Chamberlain office in the United Kingdom is one such subdivided hereditary office. There are currently 14 people with some share of the office, ranging in portion from 1/2 ownership down to 1/100 ownership. This is also why so many Germanic duchies ended up excessively hyphenated. The duchies got split and split again into smaller and smaller portions, which is why we get duchies like the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach. --Jayron32 14:30, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

September 23[edit]

Shanty houses in Hong Kong[edit]

Has this slum been demolished already in that area or does it still exist? -- (talk) 01:52, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The file description includes the photographer's name and a link to his "personal website". You might be able to contact him there. Btw, here is an internal link to file page: File:Shanty housing in Hong Kong.jpeg   — (talk) 04:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)


In the late nineteenth century, the United States Board on Geographic Names decided to standardise toponyms throughout the United States, a process that resulted in places such as Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania and Alburgh, Vermont losing the "h" on the end. It provoked a particularly strong response in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, which unlike the other Pittsburghs, decided that it wanted to keep the "h". Do we have an article on this process? I didn't see anything in the Newburgh articles that I consulted (Indiana and New York), and while Etymology of Pittsburgh addresses the situation, it doesn't link to any articles. Nyttend (talk) 03:19, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about WP articles, and I'm away from my books; but as I recall, there's a fairly extensive treatment of the Board on Geographic Names's principles and their implementation in George R. Stewart's very interesting book Names on the Land. Deor (talk) 03:34, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Originally, "-burg" was actually a German spelling, not the ordinary or usual English spelling. However, if such names were pronounced with [bɜrg] (and not as in "Edinburgh"), then dropping the "h" in the spelling made sense. Nowadays, most American placenames with original "-burgh" pronounced as in "Edinburgh" are spelled with "-boro"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:00, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Which is not how the Scots or most other anglophones say it, but that's neither here nor there. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:27, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
So how do Anglophones pronounce "Edinburgh"? Americans may tend to pronounce the ending like "burrow", but isn't it more like "burruh" or maybe even "bruh"? Keeping in mind that the trailing "gh" might have originally been more of a guttural sound, in which case everyone is mispronouncing it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:23, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Aha, at last we have confirmation that Americans are not anglophones!  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:56, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly; I'm just trying to discover whether we have an article that's about the spelling-change process, rather than one that just mentions it, rather than one that supports it, and rather than a book by someone who studies it. Nyttend (talk) 11:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I scrolled through all of the articles that link to U.S. Board on Geographic Names, including articles that link to its redirects, and did not find such an article. A competent article on your subject would have that link. So, the answer seems to be that we do not have a competent article on this subject, and probably there is no article. Marco polo (talk) 17:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

American birthday or lunar birthday[edit]

For Hu Jintao It cites his birthday is December 21, 1942, is that his lunar birthday or is that his American Gregorian birthday. Also Yasuo Fukuda's birthday is cited July 16, 1936 do they do lunar calendar in Japan. Is July 16 Fukuda's American Gregorian birthday or it is his lunar birthday? Because I found a website you can convert American Gregorian to lunar birthday. Can we legally define our birthday to be lunar birthday instead of American birthday in USA? Lets say somebody's American birthday is June 18 then can they use their birthday as lunar birthday documenting May 3 (If that is the right match)? Can I use my lunar birthday as legal birthday in USA instead of American Gregorian birthday? For East Asian Politics do WP present them as American Gregorian birthday or lunar birthday?-- (talk) 06:10, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

There is no such thing as an American birthday. Birthdays are defined in the Calendar System that is used. Your question should be "Is the birthday for Hu Jintao given in the Gregorian Calendar System". Or prehaps you are asking if Hu Jintao celebrates his birthday in the Chinese Lunar Calendar System. If you want to use a converter, you can do it at [4] (talk) 06:18, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Given that the official calendar system in used in China is the Gregorian Calendar System, I think the answer is pretty obvious. (talk) 06:29, 23 September 2014 (UTC) -- I think you're a little confused between "birthday" and "date of birth". In the context of China, a date like "December 21, 1942" can only be a Gregorian calendar date. The time of actual birth will be the same day in any calendar system (only the names and numberings of the relevant chronological periods in each calendar will be different). It's the annual recurrence of the date of birth which will be different for different calendars. The annual recurrence of Hu Jintao's date of birth according to the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar will vary about a month in terms of Gregorian calendar dates, depending on the alignment of lunar phases in any particular year (just as Jewish Calendar dates of religious celebrations, such as Hanukkah and Rosh Hashana, vary by about a month in terms of the Gregorian calendar). NOTE: Traditionally in Chinese culture, people did not celebrate "birthdays" on the annual recurrence of their individual date of birth in the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Rather, everybody was considered to add a year to their age around the time of the Chinese-calendar new year (see East Asian age reckoning)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:50, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

P.S. In Japan, the old lunisolar calendar was abandoned for almost all purposes in 1873, and is almost solely of antiquarian interest nowadays... AnonMoos (talk) 07:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Also in traditional Chinese Culture, the very moment you are born, you are at the age of one year old. However this practise is no longer in vogue. Mathematically this does not make any bloody sense at all, anymore than Americans declaring the ground floor of their multi-story building First Floor instead of Ground Floor. (talk) 11:10, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

It's not nonsense at all; this is simply saying the child is in his first year of age, which is completely accurate. Nyttend (talk) 11:39, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
If you are considered one year old at birth, then you have begun your second year. As to how floors are designated, that's a matter of individual choice. In some cases, ground floor = first floor (which to me makes logical sense). In others, first floor is one story up from ground floor. Then there's the situation where ground floor = basement; or where basement is one floor down from ground floor (and/or first floor). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:17, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
When living in Hong Kong (admittedly as a child, many years ago) I was told that the Chinese "one year old at birth" convention was because the period of gestation was considered as part of one's life. (OK, it's only up to 9 months or so, but calculating the actual date of conception was historically rarely possible.) {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:09, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting because I was told something similar in Malaysia, and even found sources (see for example our article talk page), but others primarily from China have said they've never heard of such a thing and it's because of the first year thing mentioned above. This is the first I've heard the same claim coming from outside Malaysia/Singapore. Nil Einne (talk) 20:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Because most of the Western world has arbitrarily decided counting ages must start with "1" designating 12 months from date of actual birth, the Chinese tradition that Lunar New Year's Day is everyone's birthday must be completely wrong . . . except for the Chinese. DOR (HK) (talk) 13:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Check out Thoroughbred and Queen's Official Birthday. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:50, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Both China and Japan have officially followed the Gregorian calendar for 100 years or more. Japan adopted that calendar in 1872, while China's government officially adopted the calendar in 1912 but was not able to enforce it nationwide until 1928. For any dates after those, there is not even an issue of conversion from the lunisolar calendar, since the date would have been recorded under the Gregorian calendar. The traditional lunisolar calendar continued to be observed for certain holidays or religious rituals, much as the Christian liturgical calendar underlies moveable feasts in the West, but birthdates were recorded using the same calendar used officially in the United States and other Western countries. Marco polo (talk) 15:41, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

solar power plant[edit]

Been looking at the cost of solar panels for a house, there's some nice levels of income for selling the electricity, but the roof space I have isn't enough to get much. I was thinking, then, assuming I had plenty of money, could I buy a patch of land in the sahara somewhere, just to cover it in solar panels and sell the electricity? Reckon it'd pay for itself in about five years and we'd only need a patch about 150 miles a side to supply all the world's electricity.

Thank you, (talk) 11:55, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Transporting that electricity might be a problem. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Another issue with the Sahara is that much of it is rather lawless. Even assuming your piece of land was near a power line so that you could sell the power, unless you were living on the spot and had good relations with the locals (which might entail sharing your profits in some way), you could face a serious risk of losing your solar panels to theft. On the other hand, this might not be a bad idea if you bought a piece of desert land near power lines in a country with more robust rule of law, such as the United States or Australia. Even then, the local power company would have to be willing to strike a deal. Marco polo (talk) 15:33, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
List of solar thermal power stations has information on many large-scale solar power plants around the world. --Jayron32 17:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Desertec is (or perhaps was) a specific project to set up a solar power scheme in the Sahara. The idea is also examined here and here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:40, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Do men ever join the YWCA in the same way women join the YMCA today?[edit]

I notice that the YMCA is open to everybody. Men, women, boys, girls, Christian, non-Christian. But the YWCA is only open to . . . women? (talk) 15:52, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

YMCA and YWCA are independent of each other despite their names, iirc. Men can join YWCA as Associates, which, according to this site from greater Los Angeles, holds all the same benefits as regular members except they cannot join the Board of Directors ~Helicopter Llama~ 16:10, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Multiplier of covering a progression losses[edit]

Did it been acceptable to crediting a constant geometric or arithmetic progression of multiplier of covering a progression losses?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:01, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I believe, that the Soviet Union (USSR) could used a similar national economic system to gross covering a progression losses.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 02:50, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

why do few academics study ayn rand[edit]

Why are only a few academics interested in ayn rand? What is so controversial aabout her199.7.159.55 (talk) 17:21, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Many academics study Ayn Rand. As for what is controversial, you can read all about it at the Wikipedia article titled Ayn Rand and follow links to other articles about her philosophy and find criticisms thereof. Immediately below me, you will find many people engaging in their own political diatribes either in support of or in opposition to Rand, and will include no links to information to be found at Wikipedia or elsewhere. This is against the policies of this board, you can pay them no mind. --Jayron32 17:40, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, the impression i have is that most philosophers consider her to be fringe. And i don't know the reason why. But I could be wrong. (talk) 18:03, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

She was a fourth-rate novelist. That's why no-one studies her. DuncanHill (talk) 18:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The simple answer is that she scares and enrages the left, the perfect example of that sort of reaction is directly above.
One relevant answer that avoids the POV issues is that she did not engage academics on their own terms, scorning them as a group, instead. She often referred to pieces from her own novels when making and argument (i.e., quoted herself) but while she would attack various philosophers like Kant, she never gave a book and page citation. There's also a huge problem with her "orthodox" followers associated with the Ayn Rand Institute not allowing access to her papers to people the see as personae non-gratae, and actual well-documented fraud in publication of her posthumous works (I'll avoid BLP, but you can google "rewriting ayn rand posthumously" for a perfect example).
There's also the problem that she did meet but often fell out with intellectuals, politicians and philosophers such as John Hospers and Isabel Paterson. She did not brook criticism and would not engage in debate.
I'd also contest the lack of interest. Plenty of people attack her. But she had two scholarly biographies published in the last decade, four unauthorized ones in total. This book published by Cambridge University Press is one of technical scholarly philosophy, and its Amazon listing links to dozens of others published by doctorates and in university settings. μηδείς (talk) 18:23, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
As I recall, she also offended the contemporary right (particularly William F. Buckley, Jr.) for dismissing religion as useless, and for what they perceived as a dehumanizing focus on capital and lack of ethics on her part. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
My understanding from hearsay is that Rand told Buckley he was too intelligent to believe in God/be a Catholic. It's funny how much Rand parallels Aquinas, Rabbinic Judaism, and Jesuitry minus the supernatural element. μηδείς (talk) 18:49, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, what on earth makes you imagine that I'm in any way scared or enraged by a crap novelist? Is that something you just made up again? DuncanHill (talk) 18:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact that you resort to insults without evidence makes me know, not imagine anything. Yours is the same as the hissing growl of a cornered animal, and produced by the same fear-regulating primitive brain we share with reptiles. μηδείς (talk) 18:58, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, if I was a crap novelist then maybe I'd feel threatened by her - after all, that can't be that many people willing to read such appalling prose. You need to stop sharing a brain with passing reptiles and get one for yourself. DuncanHill (talk) 21:48, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Can you provide evidence that anyone outside of the U.S. gives two hoots about Ayn Rand's 'philosophy'? Can you provide evidence that 'the left' outside of the U.S. has actually heard of her, in order to be 'enraged'? Personally, it is only through encountering her advocates online that I have become aware of her existence - and nothing that they have said has given me the slightest inclination to look into her ideas further. Just plain uninteresting... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:07, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It's you who come across as "scared" Medeis - snapping and thrashing around with the "hissing growl of a cornered animal", as you put it, at the thought of such criticism of someone who has next to no influence on international political debate, and so is no 'threat' to anyone, on the political left or anywhere else. Paul B (talk) 19:18, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The article covers it, particularly the section Academic reaction. In short, those who find her fringe see her work as self-contradictory (particularly her ethics and politics) and incomplete (including her denial of obvious influence from Locke and Neitzsche). Even Michael Huemer, a libertarian anarcho-capitalist (so, similar politics) claims that her ethics lack logical coherence.
A bit of original research on my part to elaborate, but Rand said that her philosophy was based on the idea of A=A. She also decried selflessness (me<you, consistent so far), and further advocated selfishness (me>you). The latter part contradicts A=A unless one holds that human =/= human (which means that A =/= A) or that one is defined by their wealth ($ = humanity). Ubuntu (or at least the application of being charitable provided one can afford it) appear to be the ethical follow-through of A=A (me=you). There's also the consideration that her works feature the people paying the folks who pay the workers as the folks holding society together, nevermind what happens to society when you simply don't have any workers. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:20, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
She's a so-so novelist, and is not generally taken seriously by professional philosophers. Pop-Nietzsche. Paul B (talk) 18:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Rand was not an anarcho-capitalist or an anarchist in any way, although every satanist from Robert Nozick to Anton La Vey has misappropriated her thought in a very warped mirror. She fully supported a minimal government "minarchism" as per the US constitution, with a few changes, such as striking the interstate commerce clause. (She thought the US was freest between the Civil War and the railroad grants and anti-trust. She explicitly denies that people are to be judged on their wealth, see her interviews with Mike Wallace where she denies this explicitly, and says a man's value to others in friendship or love is based on his virtues, not his wealth. And A=A is a logical axiom from Aristotle, not the basis of her philosophy, and not a claim that any individual person is equal to his wealth or any other individual. Her notion of selfishness, or egoism, is that each person has a right to earn her own happiness, not that you can enslave or want to be enslaved by others or they you Thieves and lifelong government officeholders are not selfish--they depend on your productivity taken by them, ultimately at gunpoint. Misrepresenting Rand's philosophy and giving our personal opinion of her novels is not what the OP has asked for. μηδείς (talk) 18:45, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
@Medeis:Where did I say that Rand came up with A=A? I said that that was, for her, the basis of her philosophy. Did I say that Rand was a complete anarcho-capitalist, or that her views were closer to that? Especially when compared, to say, anarcho-socialism? Or fascism? Or communism? While she denied advocating money grubbing selfishness and by "selfishness" meant individualism instead of the negative opposite of selflessness, the conclusions even within her own love life, are ultimately the same. My post was an elaboration of common criticism. Whitewashing by her followers is no more factual than criticism by detractors, but the OP did ask why people either don't read her or have a problem with her, which means explaining the latter perspective. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:26, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, this is getting way off-topic, but I gotta know: Are you seriously calling Nozick a Satanist? Or is this just part of the Rand-thinks-libertarians-are-intellectual-property-thieves rubric?
Medeis, I hope you know, I admire Rand in a lot of ways. She threw a much-needed monkey wrench into the intellectual conformity of her times. But on this point (as on a number of others) she was way off-base. She was not nearly as essential to the intellectual basis of the American libertarian movement as she thought, and I don't recall that she ever acknowledged her own predecessors, like Auberon Herbert, or for that matter even John Locke. --Trovatore (talk) 20:50, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
OP asked why she is not studied - Rand was a crap novelist and that is why she is not studied. There are plenty of third-rate novelists that Eng Litt departments can pick the bones of before having to resort to her. No-one takes her "philosophy" seriously except for a few more-than-usually deranged Americans, in my experience. DuncanHill (talk) 18:49, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
With regards to DuncanHill and Paul Barlow's points, I suppose it'd be fair to make the comparison to psychologists studying Carl Jung but not George Lucas. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting you should bring up Lucas. Many have compared his first film THX 1138 to Rand's novella Anthem. --Jayron32 19:13, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Are you gentlemen did not find any of mysticism in the literature works of Ayn Rand in particular in her author's ideas?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 20:07, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

No, not really. Could you define your term 'mysticism' more clearly or give a counterexample if you think there was any mysticism? 20:39, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
OP 199's two questions are incommensurate. To be controversial (Q.2) would require many people to have read her, and to hold conflicting opinions about her. But the premise of Q.1 is that only a few have read her. Most seem either unattracted or indifferent to her writings. That's the antithesis of controversy. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:51, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would anybody bother? For starters, hardly anyone outside of the US has even heard of her. Within the US it's a certain (distinct minority) group of obnoxiously vocal people who are obsessed with her for no good reason. Her writing is appalling (and yes, I've tried to read it to see just what the fuss was about), her politics offensively stupid/shortsighted, and self-contradictory. In short, nobody cares and there is not reason they should. I'll let Randall Munroe do the rest of the talking for me: [5] Fgf10 (talk) 21:03, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the answers. How is ayn rand a crappy novelist though? i guess i would have to read for myself. The bottom point basically is that ayn rand is rejected by most academics mainly because of her personality, not so much her actual philosophy. (talk) 21:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

According to medeis, not to most of the otheres24.207.79.50 (talk) 21:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I do think you should read for yourself and judge for yourself. Anthem is a very quick read and gives you the gist, so if you don't like the flavor, you're not out a lot of time. Similar remarks hold for Night of January 16th.
If you like classic Russian novels (not my personal cup of tea, but some like them), then We the Living is very much in that genre.
If you like pulp (which I do), Atlas Shrugged has that as a strong influence. Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, it drags a bit — could and should have been cut by about half. In particular, John Galt's speech, which goes on for sixty pages, could easily have been given in five.
In my personal opinion, her best work is The Fountainhead. If you don't want to commit to reading 700 pages — just start with the movie, which is very good, in spite of obviously not being able to treat intellectual issues in the same level of detail. --Trovatore (talk) 21:13, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict)No, there are plenty of people who have complaints about her philosophy, too. My mom's one of the few people who didn't mind her as an author (only skimming the giant speeches though), but (upon reading about Objectivism) decided she didn't like Rand. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:26, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

But doesn't every philosophy receive complaints? (talk) 21:37, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

"The bottom point basically is that ayn rand is rejected by most academics mainly because of her personality, not so much her actual philosophy" could have been read to mean that they wouldn't have a problem with her philosophy, or that no one did have complaints about her philosophy. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:44, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Well of course every philosophy is going to receive criticism from academics, even aristole and plato, i'm sure. But the main reason why most academics don't study her is because of her personality. Her philosophy does not seem like the main reason why she is considered fringe. If i'm correct. Do you understand? (talk) 22:04, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

No philosophy is going to be "correct" (talk) 22:09, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I think the point is that most academics don't consider Rand to be sufficiently original as a philosopher to be worth discussing. (I would compare her to Jack Vettriano - technically third-rate, hated by the critics, but still very popular.) "Why is Rand popular among people like Medies?" is a legitimate question for a sociologist, but a philosopher would study Nietzsche rather than Rand if they wanted to be taken seriously. Tevildo (talk) 22:20, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I'll agree with User:Trovatore above that The Fountainhead is Rand's best artistic work, and that Atlas Shrugged is a great pulp fiction novel. I am a huge fan of Rand's, as well as a big fan of Nietzsche, and a critic of both. But I find the nonsense about, "she's not big in Europe", and so forth speaks for itself NPOV is NPOV and the rest is useless.. Indeed, she's illegal to read in Cuba, and wasn't legal to read in the Soviet sphere of influence until the late nineties. What more could one want? 22:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not "nonsense" about her not being big in Europe - she's not big anywhere except among a small, excessively vocal, section of Americans. Unfortunately, they are not the sort of people to allow reality to interfere with their thought-processes. DuncanHill (talk) 22:39, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I wonder why medies is the only one who speaks positively about ayn rand? (talk) 22:55, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Not entirely accurate. I spoke somewhat positively about her, while not withholding my criticism. --Trovatore (talk) 23:46, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a lot about Medeis that is inexplicable. DuncanHill (talk) 22:59, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Seems like the wikipedia community is very biased against ayn rand24.207.79.50 (talk) 23:28, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

In some ways Wikipedians actually are representative of the world at large. DuncanHill (talk) 23:51, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually in the earliest days, articles about Ayn Rand made up a large part of Wikipedia. [6] Rmhermen (talk) 01:11, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I feel oddly prescient. --Jayron32 02:15, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I would say that both medeis and tevildo gave the most helpful answers. They were the most relevant and neutral in my opinion. (talk) 02:36, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Ian thomson too was helpful24.207.79.50 (talk) 02:59, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

September 24[edit]

Why does the United States support Israel?[edit]

It seems like we do is make jhadists mad, waste money, and compromise our principle of Liberty. What is the practical benefit to supporting Israel? Why do we do it?

To clarify, I am asking the reason the United States does this, not whether it is morally right or justified. This is neither subjective nor a matter of opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radioactivemutant (talkcontribs) 00:27, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

This surely goes back to the days of the creation of Israel, the number of American Jews who were part of that, and the number who emigrated there. It was a large number. Those people and their descendants would still have a lot of personal and financial connections with the USA. HiLo48 (talk) 00:50, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Radioactivemutant -- before 1967, the U.S. supported Israel in limited ways, but was very careful to avoid any appearance of a U.S.-Israel military alliance (and was very strongly opposed to the U.K.-France-Israel military actions in the 1956 Suez Crisis). However, in 1967, the combination of loose inflammatory reckless wannabe-genocidal throw-the-Jews-into-the-sea rhetoric by many Arabs, bombastic grandiose military threats and flirtations with the Soviets by Arab leaders, and the pathetic ignominious Arab battlefield performance when the fighting actually started, created an overall extremely negative opinion of middle-eastern Arabs in the United States -- and from that time forward there was an open U.S.-Israeli military alliance.
In any case Osama bin Laden personally barely cared about Israel at all. He sometimes uttered pro forma anti-Israeli rhetoric expected of someone in his position, but Israel was not a significant motivating factor for why he took up terrorism... AnonMoos (talk) 01:58, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

An influential segment of the United States population supports Israel for a variety of reasons, mainly religious. See Israel lobby in the United States. In addition, US-Israel relations are influenced by strategic thinkers who value Israel as a military ally and bridgehead in a region whose oil and gas resources are crucial to the global economy. Marco polo (talk) 02:00, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
The entire Middle East region is a valuable piece of real estate, as an oily bridge between continents, wide open for various development. If a state were (hypothetically, of course) trying to conquer the world, it would want it before facing China. Sometimes it would need a little help from its friends in the area. Friends cost money. Making jihadists mad makes them buy weapons, which lets states who sell weapons pay their friends (often in weapons). The concept of universal liberty, like all Americanism, is imaginary. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:16, September 24, 2014 (UTC)

arabic and persian names[edit]

Zohreh is Persian version of Arabic Zahrah and Yassaman is Persian for Yasmin. Is there a website that shows the list of Arabic names, both boys and girls with their Persian counterparts? Also, is there a list of Persian names based on cities (Shirazi), tribe (e.g. Ahmadinejad) or based on Arabic names (e.g. Hussaini, Hassani, Karimi, Hamidi)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 24 September 2014 (UTC)