Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of humanities.

Welcome to the humanities reference desk.
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. We'll answer here within a few days.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual

August 28[edit]

Church of Scientology in Egypt[edit]

Can someone help me find out what happened to the two Church of Scientology members who were detained in Egypt in 2002? Fitzcarmalan (talk) 00:55, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

The Internet seems to just remember what you linked, at least in English. Five year maximum sentence. If they'd died or were further detained, there'd probably have been an update. Apparently, Scientology still has a toe in the door, but it'd be a stretch to assume that's directly related to these two. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:06, August 28, 2014 (UTC)
Apparently they were freed the same month according to this not-so-reliable source. Is there a way to reach the original AFP article? Because I don't think this one can be used on Wikipedia. Fitzcarmalan (talk) 12:41, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe they were threatening to sick Tom Cruise and John Travolta on them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:17, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
You could try asking AFP. But, judging from this HighBeam copy, that FreeRepublic source copied the whole "brief article" verbatim. Maybe HighBeam is more "reliable"? InedibleHulk (talk) 23:33, August 28, 2014 (UTC)

Arthur Henderson's Nobel medal (and Collingwood's hair)[edit]

Arthur Henderson's Nobel medal was stolen, along with a lock of Collingwood's hair, from the Mansion House in Jesmond in 2013 BBC News story. Have they been recovered? DuncanHill (talk) 10:13, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

As of October 2013, they convicted the crook, but the items "have never been recovered." Clarityfiend (talk) 06:37, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
This story of how two other Nobel Prizes reappeared from oblivion would be incredible if it weren't true, and teaches a chemistry lesson about king's water. (talk) 10:56, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Well I'm glad they got the chap, but would rather have the medal and the hair back. DuncanHill (talk) 20:08, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Black and Jew arguing[edit]

Many years ago, I remember reading a novel or story or play where an African American man and a Jewish man were having a heated debate over whose people had been treated worse throughout history. The tone was broadly comedic, even somewhat silly, with each man trying to "one up" the other one. The only specific line I remember was when the Jewish guy says something like "my people were oppressed by the Tsar Nicholas!" or something along those lines.

I'm thinking it might have been in a novel by Ishmael Reed and I googled it but didn't find what I was looking for. Admittedly, I wasn't quite sure what to Google, exactly.

Anyone know what book this scene is from?--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 06:32, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Not entire sure, but this sounds vaguely like the barbershop scenes from Coming to America. --Jayron32 09:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Fall of the Roman Empire Time Period[edit]

At what time period do people generally mean when they refer to the "Fall of the Roman Empire"? Is it the time period during which the Eastern half and Western half split? Is it the time period during which the Eastern half of the Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire? Is it the time period during which the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks? And why does this page say that the East is considered to be more civilized simply because it's influenced by Greek culture? What would make the non-Hellenized Western culture uncivilized? Are Western countries "civilized" now compared to the Eastern European countries? (talk) 11:02, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Wow. You ask a lot of questions. Lets start from the beginning. 1) Usually, they mean the Fall of the Western Roman Empire to Odoacer in 476 when they speak of the "fall of the Roman Empire". This sort of thinking dates to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, often regarded as the seminal work of Western History. Whether or not this perspective is correct is a debate for another day, but Gibbon is the source of that thinking. 2) The dating of the "start" of the Byzantine Empire is not nailed down to one specific date. The fall of the Western half of the empire is commonly used, but other times cited as the transition from the "Eastern Roman Empire" to the "Byzantine" empire include the rule of Heraclius, who reorganized the Eastern state in a way that some consider a fundamental break from the older Roman empire; or occasionally the rule of Justinian I, who is sometimes consider the "Last of the Roman Emperors". It should be noted that this sort of thinking; that the Byzantine Empire was somehow a fundamentally different state than the Roman Empire, exists only in relatively modern historiography. The Byzantine Empire never called itself that. It just called itself the Roman Empire. 3) I have no idea where you are reading that the Byzantine Empire was more "civilized" I did a text search, and the word civilized never once appears in the text of the article you linked. If you could quote the sentence or direct us to the passage you are referring to, that'd be great! 4) Regarding western vs. eastern cultures and being "civilized"; I'm not sure there is any way to answer that question in the guise of the mission of this desk. --Jayron32 11:34, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Never mind that part. I thought I saw the term. I may have misread it. No idea how the term "civilized" popped up when it should have meant "Hellenized". (talk) 11:50, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It's easy to find "more populous and more prosperous" for the eastern half of the Empire - which is one of the reasons Diocletian picked the eastern half and Constantine ruled from Constantinople, not from Rome. The West also suffered more from "barbarian incursions" - the major conflict in the East was with Persia, also a relatively developed power. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's like ancient history. Somehow, later in history, the West gained a lot of power and spread across the world, including the Americas. The United States and the Soviet Union were considered "superpowers" during the Cold War. I remember watching a funny movie clip "Duck And Cover (1951)" in high school. The '50s must have been a frightening era. (talk) 13:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Not so much. The threat was more theoretical than real. It became a little too real during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Actually, McCarthyism was a much worse threat to us Americans. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't the Western Romans that developed the cultures that spread across the world. It was the Western Germanic peoples, among others. While modern cultures represent an admixture of many ancient cultures (Germanic, Latin, Arabic, Greek, Celtic, etc.) at least three of the major world powers in the early modern period (France, Germany, and England) grew out of ancient Germanic peoples (The Franks, Anglo-Saxons, Goths, etc.) and others (Spain, Portugal, etc.) had considerable influence from same (Esp. Visigoths). It wasn't the Romans per se that led to these developments among the west. There are certain theses among historians that having a large, centralized, cohesive imperial state leads to cultural and scientific stagnation, and that conflict among smaller states drives innovation and exploration. If you look at Western Europe, it was among the least cohesive parts of the world for much of the middle ages and early modern period. There's one train of thought that said it was exactly this lack of cohesion that led to it becoming the hegemony that ruled the world during the modern period. --Jayron32 14:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Cool. Jayron32, can you cite a source to the part where you said "There are certain theses among historians...". I would like to look them up myself. Sounds interesting. (talk) 19:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I might be mistaken, but I think this is in Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond - a good book to have read anyways, although it tends to piss off the social science people no end ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:16, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe that one does. I think Charles C. Mann also touches on it briefly in his books 1491 and 1493. And I know that Niall Ferguson's book Civilization makes the case rather prominently. --Jayron32 22:43, 29 August 2014 (UTC) -- people could have different times in mind even if they confined themselves to just the Western Roman empire. The empire went through a long "time of troubles" in the 3rd century A.D. (see Crisis of the Third Century) and the empire as re-established afterwards by Domitian and Constantine (the "dominate") was very different from the empire of the first two centuries (the "principate"), with more heavy-handed and intrusive government and tax burdens. In the "dominate" period, the Western Roman empire especially seemed to have great difficulty paying for an army which was barely sufficient to keep the barbarians out. The beginning of the end was the famous Crossing of the Rhine in 406, which marked an invasion of barbarians some of whom could not be expelled -- though there were still some further ups and downs before the final collapse. AnonMoos (talk) 14:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


Could you please advise me as to where I can find the PA state and federal guidelines that govern child custody appeals online? I specifically need the timeline for filing the appeal along with the exact guidelines for the petition must contain in an outlined detail for my jurisdiction. I was unable to locate it on the Bar Association, perhaps I was not entering the correct search or needed to be a member. Time is of the essence. I appreciate your prompt response and any suggestion. The law library is not is not a feasible option due to time constraints. Thank you for any suggestions.Croberts8997 (talk) 18:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

This is the appropriate document from the Pennsylvania Bar Association website. For detailed advice about your case, you should contact a lawyer - we're not allowed to give legal advice on the Reference Desk. Tevildo (talk) 19:02, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
"Where to find legal requirements" is definitely within our purview, and note that Croberts had already checked the Bar Association website, so he was clearly familiar with them and simply hadn't found the page you linked. Nyttend (talk) 12:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Which is why I answered the question rather than deleting it. Tevildo (talk) 18:03, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Exhaustive list + pictures of every single piece of art ever created by Picasso and Dalí[edit]

Does anyone of you know where I can find something as close as possible to that? --Schweinchen (talk) 20:51, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Here is a whole website devoted to Pablo Picasso: LINK. And I hope this is an exhaustive list of Salvador Dali's works: LINK. (talk) 21:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
For Dalí, there is a catalogue raisonné with images at (click on "Chronological Index"), but at this point it only reaches up to 1964, and, like most catalogues raisonnés, it only covers one medium of his art (in this case oil paintings). For Picasso, who created in so many media, there exist several catalogues, but I couldn't find any of the more recent ones, with images, online. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:51, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that there are probably pieces made by any artist which the public does not have access to, or perhaps even know about. They may have been destroyed, or might be in an attic gathering dust, with an owner oblivious to what it's worth. Or some were painted over. StuRat (talk) 00:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Margaret Mead[edit]

I was wondering how many times Margaret Mead stayed in Lake Papakeechie, IN and what did she do/write there? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2014-08-30T08:43:34‎

Misplaced question moved. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 00:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Why do you think the answer to your question are anything except "zero" and "nothing at all"? --Jayron32 01:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This, perhaps? ---Sluzzelin talk 01:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
What's the Hoosier term for "deja vu all over again"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the answer-pair could not possibly be "zero" and "nothing at all", Jayron32. If she never went there, then the second question has a false premise; to put it another way, "nothing at all" is answer from the Nothing-Something-Everything spectrum, which assumes the answer to the first question was non-zero. (It's already the first day of Spring here, which explains Everything. Or Something. Or possibly Nothing.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:51, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If the answer to the first part is "none", then the answer to the second part is either "not applicable" or "the empty set". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, she _did_ go there, and did whatever 20-something girls did in Indiana in 1923. I suspect it involved dinner parties, gramophone records, and (gasp) dancing. Probably not cocktails, though, the Volstead Act being in force at that time. Tevildo (talk) 19:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

How do people identify the social class of a Christian monk, nun, or cleric?[edit]

What is it called when a devout Christian from a wealthy household gives up everything he owns and pursues a monastic life? Would that be the "Nouveau Poor"? What about the cleric who pursues a career of pastoral work and ends up with a lofty bishop title, and people have to address him with respectful, fancy titles? Are these people part of the same social class as their immediate families? (talk) 02:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

That's one way to put it, but "monk" is shorter. I'd go with whatever title the climber reaches, when addressing him. These people might be part of the same class as their families, if their families did the same things. But unless you're in a caste system, it's not where you're from, but where you go. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:07, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Not that this is much relevant modern day, but there was once this: Estates of the realm. Beside, though some clergy has tons of cash, most monks and whatnot theoretically don't. I'd always assumed that they lived outside the normal class system inasmuch as it still exists (it totally does). Mingmingla (talk) 17:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In case I implied social classes don't exist in "the West", I didn't mean to. Just that social mobility also exists. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:03, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Historically, Clerics were really "off to one side" of secular social class (neither nobility, nor commoners... but in a social stratification of their own, with bishops and abbots at the top, and village parish priests at the bottom). That said, through most of European history, bishops and abbots were chosen from the younger sons of the landed elite... so "family connections" have played a role, even within clergy. In the US, the social status of a a priest/pastor/minister has tended to be determined by the social status of his congregation. The more prestigious the social status of the congregation as a whole is the more prestigious will be the social status of it's priest, pastor or minister. Blueboar (talk) 22:36, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In case I implied social mobility is easy, I didn't mean to. Nepotism, tribalism and racism also exist. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:47, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
See Estates of the realm for the concept of the Three Estates or basic three social classes: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. American clergymen's status can sometimes be in reverse of the general pattern that you mention, Blueboar; sometimes a clergyman's prominence for whatever reason attracts people of status. For example, Clarence E. Macartney was extremely well known because of his preaching; although it was already large and well known, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh jumped quite a bit in social status when he became their minister. Nyttend (talk) 13:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

German peace initiative of 1916[edit]

Do we have an article on this? And if not (or even if we do) where can I read more about this? DuncanHill (talk) 13:29, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

We may not have an article about it. Here is a book of primary documents related to the peace offer. -- Cam (talk) 13:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It seems to have been in reply to a letter by Woodrow Wilson. The "Lansdowne Letter" is indirectly related. AnonMoos (talk) 22:52, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Architectural terminology[edit]

What's the unknown bit?

What's the technical term for the vertical board below the sill of an oriel window? (See picture). Bargeboard and fascia board seem to apply to roofs rather than windows. Thanks in advance for your help. Tevildo (talk) 15:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

That is the corbel table, which goes above the corbel (the supporters). (talk) 17:13, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Not according to Corbel Table, I'm afraid. Tevildo (talk) 19:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
How about "courses"? Link: (talk) 20:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I found an English Heritage listing for a building, 1 Bridge Street, Chester which has a similar feature... "The corner turret has 3 good pargeted panels beneath a mullioned 4-light canted casement" [1]. Also the Ancient House, Ipswich (although they are bay windows rather than oriels proper): "The panels below the bays have pargetted figures representing America, Africa, Asia and Europe". Either English Heritage didn't know either, or they really are just called "panels". Alansplodge (talk) 21:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
"Panels" will probably do, thanks. I need to complain to my landlord about them, so I didn't want to use the wrong word. :) Tevildo (talk) 22:20, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, in the Bridge Street photo, is that the old market cross that used to be in the Roman Garden in Pepper Street? When did they move it? Tevildo (talk) 22:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I don't know - I haven't been to Chester since I was 13. Here is a better photograph though. Alansplodge (talk) 20:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! It was moved in 1975, according to Chester High Cross. Things don't seem to have changed enormously since my young day - Walton's was there in the early 70's, certainly. Tevildo (talk) 22:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

How do people receive communion at a megachurch?[edit]

Do people ever receive communion at a megachurch, and if so, how do they do it? What about the people who watch church service at home on their TVs? Do megachurches hold any opinion about people who do not receive communion because they are at home, watching the service on TV? (talk) 19:51, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Megachurches are a Protestant phenomenon, and communion is a Catholic ritual. So megachurches don't do communion at all, AFAIK. (talk) 19:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Many protestant churches do celebrate communion, so you're wrong there. I'd imagine that the larger the church, the more communion servers you'd need. They'd serve it like any other church, there'd just be more people passing out the bread and wine/juice. You can find a full description of the various methods of celebrating communion at the article titled Eucharist; if you know the denomination of the "megachurch" in question, you can find out what they do. --Jayron32 20:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Most mainstream protestant denominations celebrate communion, even if it's not as central to their liturgy as it is in Catholicism. I grew up Methodist, and we had communion once a month. We knelt at the communion rail, and were given a piece of sliced white bread cut into small squares, and a shot-glass of blackcurrant juice. I later went to a (large, but far from a megachurch) non-denominational evangelical church for a while, and communion was very rare, but it happened occasionally. They had a number of servers, probably the elders, bring a basket of small pieces of bread and a cup of blackcurrant juice to the end of each pew, they were passed down the pew and whoever wanted to partake did so. If megachurches celebrate communion, I suspect the latter method would be more likely. --Nicknack009 (talk) 20:11, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Are there megachurches' opinions on the inclusion of TV viewers in the Eucharist? (talk) 20:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Origin of the Eucharist notes that the founder of christianity instituted the eucharist by telling the persons present what to do with one loaf and one cup. The 3rd image here shows Pastor Pam Bryan administering communion at Cedar Park Assembly of God, Bothell, Washington. This is a megachurch of 1,412 members. There is no sign of restrictive privacy nor of human blood or pieces of flesh that would result from Transubstantiation. (talk) 21:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
From your last remark, I suspect that you are misunderstanding Transubstantiation: "The Catholic Church teaches that the substance or reality of the bread is changed into that of the body of Christ and the substance of the wine into that of his blood, while all that is accessible to the senses remains unchanged" (from the lead paragraph of our article). However, rejection of Transubstantiation was a main issue of the Protestant Reformation, so you wouldn't expect an evangelical Christian to believe in it. Alansplodge (talk) 21:41, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Plenty of Protestant denominations do communion, they just don't buy the transubstantiation bit. Jesus said "Do this in remembrance of me." That's the part that Protestants honor. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
A conveyor system could work. Not saying it is or isn't currently used, just an idea. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:53, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Sort of an outdated and clunky idea, now that I think about it. A team of those tiny drone helicopters is probably more the way of the future. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:58, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
In the distant future, Christ's body will probably be transubstantiated and teletransported into the living room (or virtual reality helmet). InedibleHulk (talk) 23:05, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Google the subject "communion at megachurch", and you will see various ways the churches handle the obvious logistical issues this ritual would present. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. Reformed and Pentecostal churches often celebrate communion by preparing individual glasses of wine and tiny squares of bread which are loaded onto trays/plates and distributed by deacons. Bigger church, more deacons, problem solved. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 08:51, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
How many megachurches have deacons? Since so many are self-founded and not part of any denomination, I'm left wondering how many of them have no ordained positions and run only with paid staff, including a preacher who's basically just the CEO who talks weekly. To answer the original question, go to (the authors examined a lot of American megachurches, and this book publishes the results) and run a search for "communion". Among the more relevant results is that it's definitely celebrated less often (page 94) and abandoned completely by some (28), and the authors give an example on 97 of a megachurch where communion is functionally replaced by a person operating a little station among many, where you can come and get some if you feel like it. Nyttend (talk) 13:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I now have the image of a bunch of guys with trays and paper hats going up and down the aisles of a Mega Church yelling "Body of Christ!... gettchyer Body and Blood of Christ here!"... like beer and peanut vendors at a baseball game. Blueboar (talk) 13:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's pretty funny, but how many non-Catholic churches believe in transubstantiation? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The various Anglican/Episcopal Churches believe in transubstantiation... and (I think) the Lutherans. These denominations may have subtle differences in the fine dogmatic detail over exactly what occurs during transubstantiation, but the basic concept is there. Blueboar (talk) 12:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
The Orthodox churches believe in something similar if not identical (particulary compared to typical Protestant views). Protestantism is actually the anomaly for downplaying or denying the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
And the Protestant view is that Jesus' words were symbolic rather than literal. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:30, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That idea reminds me of something that's a big practical matter — open communion is basically the only possible route to take. Closed communion is ridiculously difficult to practice in a megachurch context, although its obscurity in 21st century America means that tons of megachurch leaders are probably completely unfamiliar with the concept. In the latter situation, members of the congregation and outsiders known by the leaders are the only ones who participate; imagine how difficult this would be, especially in megachurches that don't have a concept of formal membership. Excommunication, moreover, would be impossible to practice if anyone can come and get some, although the obscurity of church discipline in 21st century America means that it, too, is probably largely unknown. Nyttend (talk) 13:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Surely it depends what you mean by closed communion?
The Catholic church is generally accepted to practice closed communion with some complexities as per our article. But in a large church, unless you're famous or happened to be recognised by someone, whether you're a divorced and remarried Catholic, a doctor who still performs abortions, or a Hindu or Muslim or whatever rather than a Catholic, or otherwise someone who's denied communion; it's unlikely you'll be physically denied. It's still generally considered a closed communion since it's clear that these people aren't generally welcome to take communion even if it's not something they can easily enforce. (And from their POV, the person is committing a further sin.) In fact, as I understand it, even if you are recognised it's complicated. Particularly if you aren't an extreme case, you may not be denied straight away, instead advised privately to stop approaching. In fact, they may even make that advice public before they start stopping you. See e.g. [2] [3] [4]
Of course being a member in good standing eligible for communion in a megachurch may be complicated. But I imagine it's possible some may restrict it to those who have sufficently helped fund the planes, mansions, personal servants and other components of the preacher's lavish lifestyle tithed.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:20, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In Churches that don't acknowledge transubstantiation, closed communion would be a nonsense. This video shows a posh Church of Scotland communion (the actual communion starts at 29ish minutes). Normally those too far back to share the cup are given thimble size glasses of wine, (or grape juice/blackcurrent cordial in the Happy Clappy Churches), passed along the pews in special trays that stop them from sliding around. As the deacons are volunteers, and occasionally press-ganged on the spot, there is no theoretical limit to their number. Does this help? Fiddlersmouth (talk) 19:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

It's not either nonsense. In many churches, membership in that particular congregation is required, which includes tithing or at least paying some sort of dues in order to support the expenses of the church - one of which is communion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd be interested to hear which ones. Here in the UK pretty much all of the protestant Churches that practice communion invite all members of whichever church to partake at the beginning of the rite. Welcoming a Christian who is far from home is a duty, and welcoming newcomers to the neighbourhood is a no-brainer. There is a collection, and communion isn't a three course dinner. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 22:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Here in the USA, it's largely smaller independent churches and congregations of smaller, more conservative denominations that practise closed communion or some variation of it; my own church practises a variation, in which a congregational leaders will allow a non-member to commune if they think his faith is similar enough to theirs. I don't know the UK scene, although I expect that the various Presbyterian denominations of Scotland (other than the Kirk) would generally practise some variation of the concept. See communion token — tokens are distributed to members before the communion service, and only people with tokens are allowed to commune. It's theoretically a simple way of practising close communion, although it's not good if you're willing to allow visitors to commune, and someone with a token can of course give it to someone else who wouldn't have been allowed in. Nyttend (talk) 22:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The Communion Token isn't even used by the Wee Frees anymore, and I've never heard of them in use during three generations of my family. The article you quote shows they were of mainly historical interest in 1908 (see references). The main qualification for attending a Free Church communion is the stamina to sit through a one hour sermon. Thanks for the information on the USA. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Except that per our closed communion article, some baptists practice it. And per our Eucharist#Baptist article, baptists don't generally believe in transubstantiation. Similarly our article mentions some Lutheran churches practice closed communion and they don't generally believe in Transubstantiation#Lutheranism either. (I'm lazy to check, but I doubt Confessional Lutheranism are exceptional in believing in transubstantiation. And I'm fairly sure a number of those mentioned under other groups don't believe in transubstantiation either.
As per BB and others, I don't understand why you think closed communion wouldn't occur without believing in transubstantiation. The fact that some Christians may believe that it inviting them to communion is important to "Welcoming a Christian who is far from home is a duty, and welcoming newcomers to the neighbourhood is a no-brainer", doesn't mean all will. Communion can still be regarded as sacramental, or otherwise sufficiently important that it may be reserved for those they regard as sufficiently connected to god, or whatever. It doesn't mean they won't welcome new members (although some may not), simply that they may feel you need to fulfill some requirement before you can partake fully in their service.
As I emphasised, in the particular case of mega-churches, with their frequent emphasis on tithing or donating to the church, and adherance to the prosperity theology, it's possible they may argue communion is something reserved for those who have shown sufficient faith in god by having tithed as much as the church argues is necessary (which may be a percentage perhaps with exceptions for those sufficiently poor). And this could be the case regardless of whether you accept their likely argument that god wants the tithing so the church can do their good work, or you think it's more likely my struck out example.
As I mentioned, they may not do much policing of this policy. However, probably even more so in the case of a megachurch, it's likely faith and believe of adherents and their acceptance of church theology is an important part of how they work. This theology may not be as complicated or extensive as more traditional churches but in the parts they do emphasise, it may still be important. So the members belief that if they want to participate fully they need to fulfill what the church argues is required of them may often be enough.
Yes this may be a lot of 'if's', and I'm not saying it's definitely the case some church has their theology. My point is with over 1300 churches that may qualify in the US alone List of the largest Protestant churches in the United States, it's difficult to rule any possibilities out.
P.S. Even the historic practices would seem to reaffirm the view that there's no particular reason it won't happen without transubstantiation.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

religious fanaticism in ancient times[edit]

I was reading Religious fanaticism and I wondered why it didn't mention religions which flourished in ancient times, like ancient greek religion, norse religion or Zoroastrianism. Was there fanaticism in those contexts?--Nickanc (talk) 12:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Most of the ancient religious were non-exclusive, either acknowledging the existence of other gods with different geographic, political, or thematic spheres of influence (see Henotheism), identifying foreign gods with their own gods, or, in educated circles, considering all gods as different aspects of the same supreme god. This does not very much lend itself to fanaticism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
With polytheistic religions, individuals could be very dedicated (even fanatical) in their devotion to a particular god... what was missing was the exclusivity inherent in monotheistic religions. (The fact that I might be fanatically dedicated to Apollo, for example, did not make you "wrong" for being fanatically dedicated to Hera, since it was accepted that both gods existed.) Blueboar (talk) 13:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
More than that they existed: it was accepted that both existed and were worthy of worship and dedication. Monolatrism (unfortunately a poor article, devoted largely to advancing a single POV about ancient Israel) says that multiple gods exist, but we should only pay attention to one of them; it would be more likely to produce religious fanaticism than would henotheism, which is what your Apollo devoté practises. Nyttend (talk) 14:03, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Plus, if/when members of non-exclusive religions were fanatic, it's usually treated as political (Roman persecution of other religions, Confucian persecution of foreign religions around the 10th century) or economical (Viking raids of monasteries) instead of religious (even when religious language was used to justify those persecutions). Ian.thomson (talk) 14:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
It's possible that we tend to understate this. For example, one of the main charges against Socrates, for which he was sentenced to death, was impiety -- "not believing in the gods of the state". The ancient Hebrews were notoriously intolerant, and Herodotus describes the Egyptians in his time as the most religious people in the world, living lives that were entirely dominated by religion.Looie496 (talk) 14:46, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The wording of the Ten Commandments entry about having no gods before God implies the existence of other gods. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:47, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I suggest that it does not imply the existence, but rather the supposition of other gods, and regard for them. Other verses outright denies the existence of other gods, saying that they are manifest in no other form than dead stone and wood. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Nickanc -- Before the rise of "cosmopolitan empires", most religions were localistic and/or ethnic, closely tied to the details of the way of life of one particular tribal group, or the inhabitants of a small region or city-state. Under those circumstances, most people really didn't care one way or the other about the outlandish religious customs of outlandish foreigners. As empires grew and people belonging to formerly autonomous small groups interacted with people from other groups more and more, there was a process of roughly equating gods in different pantheons (see Interpretatio Graeca and Interpretatio Latina), and many of the old rituals lost their meanings as the ways of life of peoples incorporated into the large empires changed. You could say that it was a good thing that there were relatively few claims to have an exclusive monopoly on truth, and often effective tolerance for other religious systems, but in fact many people felt a tremendous void as old religions offered no real spiritual or moral guidance for living in the new social circumstances, so that many people in the Hellenistic world and the early Roman empire turned to innovative quasi-oriental "mystery religions" or the castrating cult of Cybele etc., and there was also a huge rise in belief in fatalism and astrology (in fact, for a large number of people, astrology pretty much replaced religion). This was the situation in which universalistic "religions of personal salvation" arose, with appeal to the mixed populations of the internally-diverse empires. Christianity and Buddhism are the paradigm examples, but of course there have been many other early competitors and later offshoots. The good thing about religions of personal salvation was that they were not tied to any particularistic local or ethnic identity, they offered guidance relevant to the personal struggles of individual believers in the circumstances in which they found themselves as subjects of a cosmopolitan empire, and they had a solid core of universalistic morality (as opposed to the myths of unedifying petty squabbles among the Greek gods, or Zeus boinking every nymph in sight in animal form, etc.). The bad thing about religions of personal salvation was that they lent themselves much more easily to fanaticism than the old particularistic religions.
P.S. You're quite wrong about Zoroastrianism -- the history of the Sassanid Empire involved a very high degree of religious turbulence as traditional "orthodox" Zoroastrianism and some of its variants and offshoots (such as Zurvanism, Mazdakism, and Manichaeism) went in and out of favor... AnonMoos (talk) 17:01, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Not to entirely disagree with you, AnonMoos, but the claim that "many people felt a tremendous void as old religions offered no real spiritual or moral guidance for living in the new social circumstances" is a rather outdated viewpoint in modern scholarship about Roman-era religion, at least when put in those extreme terms. Ramsay MacMullen and Robin Lane Fox attacked that assumption in the 1980s, arguing that conventional religion was very much alive. There are still scholars who argue that the mystery cults filled a spiritual need that civic cults did not, but from what I gather, they believe the mysteries mainly served as more of a supplement to conventional religion than a replacement for it. (Here I am basing my statements primarily on Romanising Oriental Gods by Jaime Alvar (2008), supplemented by lots of other books I have been reading related to the Greco-Roman cult of Isis. On that same basis, regarding the original question, I mostly agree with the replies already made here, especially Ian.thomson's.) A. Parrot (talk) 19:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
A. Parrot -- of course such generalizing statements don't apply with equal force to all members of a complex society. Most of the old civic religious rituals remained in place, and a few new ones were invented (such as acknowledging the genius of the emperor), and some people didn't feel much need for anything else. But it seems pretty clear that many people felt that official religion didn't provide much moral guidance for the problems of their lives. The Iliad was a fine work of literature, and exemplified the aristocratic warrior code of a long-defunct age, but it didn't necessarily have a lot to offer to spiritual seekers in the cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman empire, and some were openly scornful of the religious and moral value of tales of the petty squabblings of the Greek gods and Zeus nymph boinkings. The sheer variety of alternative systems embraced by many -- from philosophical schools (Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.) to orientalizing mystery religions, to fatalism/astrology, to Mithraism, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, "god-fearing", Christianity, etc. etc. -- would seem to indicate that there was significant dissatisfaction with official religion (though of course few refused to participate in traditional rituals if this would imply political disloyalty or cutting oneself off from society, unless they embraced strict monotheism). AnonMoos (talk) 08:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree that the move toward unconventional religions was motivated by a feeling that they offered something civic cults did not. But MacMullen and Lane Fox have, from what I gather, argued that civic cults still mattered to people. They didn't just participate because they felt social or political pressure to do so. Whatever philosophical or mystical system struck their fancy may have filled the "spiritual void" left by the civic cults, but the civic cults were still valued for what they did provide (public spectacle that brought the city together, in honor of gods that people, by and large, still revered). I may be overstating the case here, because I'm reading the arguments secondhand. But in any case, scholars reject, and may be overreacting against, the simplistic Franz Cumont narrative that dominated the scholarly world for decades. (Putting Cumont very crudely: Hellenization shook up the ancient world and made the old cults seem less relevant, mystery cults and whatnot came in to fill the spiritual void, and they prepared the way for the True Religion that everybody accepted because it was obviously better.) I should read MacMullen and Lane Fox sometime to see exactly what they're arguing. A. Parrot (talk) 23:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Akhenaten was pretty fanatical about erasing the old gods to replace them with just one, until they erased him. Then a "restoration" period followed and Akhenaten ended up being remembered as a heretic. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's true, which is why many Egyptologists have seen Akhenaten's religious changes as a sort of spiritual precursor (though usually not an ancestor) to the more exclusive religious attitude of Judaism and its offshoots. But Akhenaten's reign is so confusing that it's difficult to discern what was actually going on. For part of his reign, the traditional gods coexisted with the increasing emphasis on the Aten; even after that, the erasure of divine names was rather spotty; and nobody knows what the general populace was doing at the time, or how much of Akhenaten's beliefs were pushed on them. The selective nature of Egyptian records makes it practically impossible to discern if there was any religious persecution in Akhenaten's reign. There are signs that courtiers had to pay lip service to his beliefs to stay in favor (no surprise), but I find it hard to imagine that he tried to force all of Egypt to reject the other gods (and to my knowledge, no Egyptologist that has suggested that he did). Doing so would have been highly impractical and, I think, too far out of line with the Egyptian worldview for even Akhenaten to conceive of it. A. Parrot (talk) 19:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Why was Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory published three years later in the UK than in the US?[edit]

I understand that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in the US in 1964 and in the UK in 1967. I believe that in 1964 Roald Dahl was already a successful children's author, having published James and the Giant Peach in 1961. Why then was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory published three years later in the UK, compared with the US? Why wasn't the book published in the UK in 1964 when it was completely written? (talk) 15:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

According to this, no UK publisher wanted it. "But his main problem at this point was getting published in the UK. All the "top-tier" firms turned him down. In a 1964 letter to Alfred Knopf's wife Blanche, Dahl blamed the literary establishment's "priggish, obtuse stuffiness". A former publisher at Bodley Head, Judy Taylor, told Dahl's first biographer, Jeremy Treglown: "I could see that Dahl would be popular with children, but publishing for them has to involve more than that somehow." Another editor told Donald Sturrock, Dahl's most recent biographer, that she remained proud to have turned the book down twice." Nanonic (talk) 17:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't speak for Judy Taylor, but just to give some possible meaning to that sentence, a children's book must also be popular with parents, because children don't buy books. I'm no expert on "British sensibility", but it feels like the thing to blame. Probably actually only factors in, somehow. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:34, September 1, 2014 (UTC)

But his main problem at this point was getting published in the UK. All the "top-tier" firms turned him down. In a 1964 letter to Alfred Knopf's wife Blanche, Dahl blamed the literary establishment's "priggish, obtuse stuffiness". A former publisher at Bodley Head, Judy Taylor, told Dahl's first biographer, Jeremy Treglown: "I could see that Dahl would be popular with children, but publishing for them has to involve more than that somehow." Another editor told Donald Sturrock, Dahl's most recent biographer, that she remained proud to have turned the book down twice.

It wasn't published in the UK until a US version was given a founder of Allen & Unwin by his daughter. CS Miller (talk) 11:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Knowledge Singularity[edit]

Hi there,

In this weekend issue of Financial Times there is an article: "Irresponsible gods." It is a book review. The book is by Y. Hirari "A brief history of humankind." I found the book naïve and not worthy of attention, my opinion is based on this review, of course, but one point is interesting. He talks about exponential growth of human knowledge and especially of Ray Kurzweil’s (Google's director of engineering) idea that the growth of human knowledge will result in a knowledge singularity whereas the human brain will merge with a type of artificial intelligence more powerful than anything we have seen before, etc, etc, etc.

Well, R. Feynman, I believe talked about the end of Physics, we have seen recently how much it cost to find the Higgs boson. Experiments in physics are getting more and more expensive and involve teams of scientists so large that the list of authors is almost as great at the papers themselves. Soon, if not already this business will have run into cost limitations. Testing anything about strings will require such massive amounts of energy, everyone understands it is a hopeless idea. Theoretical exploration of the subject runs into zillions of options, I believe it is 10^{500}. Social impact of scientific knowledge is negligible. Just look at what is going on in the Middle East or Ukraine. The golden era of humankind was in Europe at the end of the 19th century although the life expectancy was not what it is today but who needs this life :-) --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

We have a very detailed article on Technological singularity... -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:21, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Rather surprising. It looks like the Wikipedia is the true, and only Knowledge Singularity, he he, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 19:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Handedness in chess[edit]

I've noticed that when I play chess I tend to favour the right-hand side of the board, and am more vulnerable on the left. I am right-handed. At higher levels of play, has any difference in style, etc been observed between right- and left-handed players? DuncanHill (talk) 23:24, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, the board isn't quite symmetrical, with the king and queen each on one side. So, unless you played the game with a mirror image setup, you really can't switch between the left and right sides without changing the game. (It might be an interesting test to play with that mirror setup to see how you cope.) StuRat (talk) 00:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In starting position, the strong side is the side with the queen. And that is different depending on whether you are playing white or black. Perhaps the OP tends to play one color more often? --Jayron32 03:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I've noticed it whichever colour I play. DuncanHill (talk) 03:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Color vs. colour. How humourous. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Colour all the way! InedibleHulk (talk) 04:05, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
I'll go with kuller, but then I am a non-conformist. Blueboar (talk) 12:57, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
"What d'you mean? Spell bolour with a K? — Kolour. Oh, that's very good, I never thought of that." -- (talk) 19:55, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course, changing color also changes who goes first, so that changes the game dynamics, too. StuRat (talk) 13:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm far from a chess expert or fan. Most of my games last as long as they do for the rule against moving my king into check. But as a generally smart guy, that sort of thing seems like a significant and exploitable weakness. Even in games involving far more luck (boxing, soccer, skiing), the further you go, the harder you're going to feel it on your "soft side".
To be observed, even failing, at higher levels, one must use the whole ass. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:00, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
User Bubba73 is a resident expert on chess. You might want to run your question by him. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I found this abstract, paper discussed here which suggests that high level players are less likely to be right-handed than the general population. DuncanHill (talk) 09:59, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • But that may relate more to using the creative side of their brains rather than the left side of the board. I might expect ambidextrous individuals to be the best chess players, if they can successfully integrate the creative and logical sides of their brain and apply both to the game. StuRat (talk) 13:42, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

not Gini[edit]

(Unsure whether economics is a humanity, a science, an entertainment or miscellaneous, I throw caution to the winds and post the question here.)

Income and static wealth are correlated but distinct. The Gini coefficient measures the distribution of income. Is there a word for the analogous measurement of the distribution of wealth? —Tamfang (talk) 05:29, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is helpful, but according to our article, Distribution of wealth § Statistical distributions:  Pareto Distribution has often been used to mathematically quantify the distribution of wealth, since it models a random distribution.   — (talk) 06:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Tamfang -- as far as the basic mathematics goes, the Gini coefficient is an abstract indicator of degree of evenness or unevenness, and is not tied to any one concrete measured thing... AnonMoos (talk) 07:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
However, wealth will tend to be more unevenly distributed than income, as poor people may never accumulate any of their income at all, as it is all spent on daily survival. Of course, there are always idiots who, despite multi-million dollar incomes, manage to get deep into debt (and business owners who took a risk that failed). StuRat (talk) 13:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
[In "List of Dewey Decimal classes", "Economics" (330) is classified under "Social sciences" (300), so economics is a subset of humanities.
Wavelength (talk) 17:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)]
The Gini coefficient is also applied to wealth distributions. See for example the first sentence of the third paragraph of the Gini coefficient article "The Gini coefficient was proposed by Gini as a measure of inequality of income or wealth" and List of countries by distribution of wealth, which has a column for the wealth Gini.--Wikimedes (talk) 18:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

People who are "almost" saints[edit]

Does Wikipedia have any type of list or category for people who are "almost" saints? That is, those people who have gone through some (but not all) of the steps in canonization; as such, they are "one or two steps away" from being named a saint. I can't seem to find this. I am referring to saints in the Roman Catholic Church, named by the Pope. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

The stages are venerable, blessed, saint. A lot of "list of saints" articles appear to incorporate venerables and blesseds (e.g. List of Mexican saints etc.). -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) List of blesseds may be a start, though, as the hatnote says, I don't think that list is exhaustive. People who have been beatified may reasonably be described as "one step from being named a saint". Deor (talk) 17:26, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Bl. Bronislava[edit]

On my Roman Catholic "Calendar of Saints", the entry listed for August 30 is: "Bl. Bronislava; died 1259; Virgin; patron saint of happy death; patron saint of disease prevention". Does Wikipedia have an article on her? I can't seem to find anything. (I believe that the name is also spelled as "Bl. Bronislawa", with a "w" at the end instead of the "v".) Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Nothing beyond that in Blessed Bronisława Chapel it seems. Other info here. Nanonic (talk) 17:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See Bronislava of Poland (I cheated and made one up). Perhaps somebody could check her places of birth and death for me, as there seem to be an awful lot of towns with the same name in Poland. Also, I'm not sure if she's technically a saint or not. Alansplodge (talk) 19:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. She is definitely not a saint. That's why she is referred to as "blessed". She is in the process of becoming a saint, but she has not yet completed the process. She has been beatified; hence, she is "Blessed Bronislava". But, she has not been canonized; hence, she is not "Saint Bronislava" Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay. I have edited the lead paragraph to say that she is "venerated in the Roman Catholic Church". Alansplodge (talk) 19:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the new article. However, the article has many inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and concerns. I listed some on the article Talk Page. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
"Venerated" is also not accurate; that relates to the stage of "veneration" (Stage #2 in the chart below). "Beatified" is the correct term; that relates to the stage of "beatification" (Stage #3 in the chart below). Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See chart below. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:28, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm... we have Saint Bronislava Catholic Church in Plover, Wisconsin and Saint Bronislava Parish in Chicago. Alansplodge (talk) 19:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Those are churches. I don't understand why you are mentioning them? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In response to your statement 'she is not "Saint Bronislava"' above. However, I defer to your greater knowledge. Alansplodge (talk) 20:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, I see what you mean now. I think they are using the word "saint" loosely. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Given that Bronislava is said to have been born in 1203, they are definitely not using the word to mean a defined stage in the modern process of canonization. (Their website calls her "Blessed Bronislava, acclaimed as a saint in Poland"), And indeed, before codification of the canonization process, acclamation was the means by which one became a saint: if there were enough people who believed, or said, someone had been a saint, they were called a saint. It's only much more recently that there's been an effort to clean up the calendar of saints, by removing those (at least) who had clearly never existed. - Nunh-huh 01:00, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. Yes, I agree. Even the church's websites refer to her as "Blessed", rather than as "Saint". They are using the term "Saint" very loosely. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:55, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Israel Defense Force rank distribution[edit]

List of Israeli soldiers killed in 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict gives the rank of each IDF soldier who died in the conflict, and all are sergeants or higher. No one is identified as a private or corporal. How can this be? It is common for snipers to target high ranking officers in any war, and it was a tradition in some armies for there to be high casualties among officers leading charges, but the lack of low ranking casualties is still puzzling. Does every soldier in the IDF get quickly promoted to sergeant, like in the US military (musical) bands? Do those killed in war get posthumous promotions? The Jerusalem Post memorial article used as a ref for the memorial article lists Meidan Maymon Biton and Niran Cohen as corporals, but in the Wikipedia article they are listed as sergeants. Edison (talk) 16:37, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Our articles on Israel Defense Forces and Israel Defense Forces ranks both say that lower rank promotions are awarded for time served. Sergeants are those that have served 18-24 months, Corporals from 4-12 months. Nanonic (talk) 18:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
So in combat, if a lieutenant tells a sergeant to "Take your squad and reinforce the left flank" the sergeant will likely command a squad of several other sergeants? That seems a bit odd, compared to armies where the sergeant would command a squad of privates. I don't find mention of the frequency distribution of various ranks in various armies. The casualty breakdown is still puzzling, sonce there should be some soldiers who haven't put in their 18 months to make sergeant. Edison (talk) 19:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I seem to remember posthumous promotions being standard. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 22:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

19th century Great Britain - No dowry, no marriage?[edit]

Is it true that in Great Britain in the 19th century that if your daughter had no dowry, then no man would want her? Could this have been the scenario behind A Christmas Carol? There was this girl who did say that she was "dowerless". How much money would be sufficient? Did really poor, rural people had to prepare dowries for their daughters too? What would happen to empty-nester parents who had married off their daughters? Would they live with one of their daughters and her spouse? (talk) 20:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Dowries in the strict sense (a payment by the bride's family to the husband's family, as in India today) were only the concern of a narrow aristocratic elite at that time. What was more broadly true was that it was considered imprudent and "improvident" for a couple to marry unless they had enough resources to set up a household in the manner expected of their social class. Both men and women who were socially ambitious often sought to raise their status by marrying someone with wealth; the difference was that women had extremely few opportunities to acquire wealth by working. So if a woman had land or money to bring to her marriage, it certainly potentially increased her choices... AnonMoos (talk) 20:51, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Scrooge still should have married that girl when he had the chance. He could have had children, and the children could be very profitable in the long run by earning money for the family. But that's more of a collectivist approach to gaining wealth. (talk) 21:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Does the president read and check all bills he signs?[edit]

As I went through the Law Books of the US federal government (Statutes at large), I was really surprised how much legislation is passed. Particulary in the 20th century, when there was not so much gridlock in Congress. By such a large amount of legislation, did the president read and check all bills before he signed them into law? Sometimes there are more than a hundert pages of laws, that were signed the same day. Even around 500 pages in a week or so. Does the president have so much time to read, check and understand all that, or is there a large staff to read all this? With making recommendations to the president whether to sign it or not? -- (talk) 21:26, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

There's a staff, and it's part of their job to check bills that the president signs... AnonMoos (talk) 22:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the name of this musical instrument being played on this sound file?[edit]

Check this link, there is a 30 second sample of a song, where some instrument start to play. What is the name of this musical instrument playing? (talk) 23:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

It could be one of several double reed instruments. An arghul comes to my mind, though that may be because Egypt takes up so much of the space in my brain these days. A. Parrot (talk) 23:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
It's definitely double reed, and my own guess would be some class of bagpipe, as the player doesn't stop to draw breath. The key appears to be E flat minor, which you could get by cross-fingering Breton small-pipes (Binioù), but I think it's too low, and something more exotic. On the other hand, it could be a specialist set custom made by a modern maker (I saw a custom chanter in York recently with an extra thumb-hole to give a minor third). There's a lot of echo, so this won't be easy to nail down unless you can find a match in another sample. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:06, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]