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December 18[edit]

Does colorado amendment 64 prevent marijuana from being carried out of the state?[edit]

[Posted by] Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 7:23 pm, Yesterday (UTC−5)

I don't think any individual state's laws can have any effect outside of the state. So, while it might be legal to have or use marijuana in Colorado, once you cross a border to, perhaps, Nebraska, then Nebraska's laws, and the federal laws regarding interstate travel and commerce, whatever they are, become the relevant laws. Considering that Colorado is basically a landlocked state, there is really no way for Colorado's laws, which are only relevant to internal matters, would have any effect once one leaves the state or crosses its borders to other states.

Short answer, I would have to say that the amendment wouldn't apply to interstate matters, and the existing federal laws and laws in other states would almost certainly make any attempts to transport marijuana problematic. John Carter (talk) 00:29, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

But does the Colorado Amendment 64 say that marijuana can't be carried out of the state? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

The text of the amendment is available here. There is nothing specifically addressing taking any marijuana out of state, because a state law, by definition, applies only within the state. However, there is also nothing in the amendment which indicates that the amendment is to apply to transport of marijuana over state lines, which legally indicates that the existing laws of those other states and the US government would apply.
In all honesty, the only circumstances I can see the question, as asked, applying to is whether a person could be arrested in Colorado for the intention of taking marijuana across state lines or for having done so in the past. The answer there would be "no." However, that would apply only to specifically law enforcement agencies whose purview does not cross state lines, and would not apply to law enforcement agencies in other states or federal agencies. :I also note that you are apparently, so far as I can see, more or less requesting legal advice from editors here. It should be noted that we are not in a position to offer such. If you have real, as opposed to strictly theoretical, concerns regarding this particular law, your most reasonable course of action would be to ask a lawyer in Colorado familiar with the amendment and its specific legal implications. John Carter (talk) 02:03, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
There are no border patrols on the states, so there would be nothing to stop someone from taking some across the line, no matter what the amendment might say. However, if you get caught with it in a state where it's still illegal (which is nearly all of them), you're fair game for arrest in that state. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:52, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  1. Some states do have border inspections - and most assuredly many states inspect vehicles for carrying cigarettes, alcohol, agricultural products etc. (either for tax purposes, or for preventing transportation of illegal agricultural products or pests - note this is also enforced on entry to the US as a rule) So yes - a state can restrict import and export of certain classes of goods - specifically including agricultural products.
  2. This is also established by the 21st Amendment (The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited. depending on the definition of "liquors" by a current court). Collect (talk) 12:57, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Where are there interstate border inspections on highways? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:03, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Here is a map showing where they are in California. Here is an article for such border stations in Florida. Nearly every state has stations on major highways for inspecting commercial vehicles, some called "weigh stations", some called "inspection stations", and probably some other names. --Jayron32 18:01, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes CA probably has the most border inspection points. In my experience, they're the only state that checks regular personal vehicles. When your state grows ~200 different export crops, you tend to be picky about what kinds of plant material (and associated pests and pathogens) you bring in. I recall being questioned mainly about fruits/vegetables and houseplants my last time through... SemanticMantis (talk) 22:21, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
So that's for cars coming in, not leaving, right? In a somewhat less high-profile situation, Wisconsin sells a much wider (and more dangerous) variety of fireworks than Minnesota does, for example. The places that sell them are often near the state borders. Rumor has always been that cops will sometimes station themselves near these places and watch for neighboring states' license plates. Then they will notify their buddies waiting in patrol cars in the bordering state. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:56, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: yes my experience with CA is that they are more concerned with what comes in than what goes out. There are some examples to the contrary - if you own a plant nursery in CA, you may have to deal with APHIS (or similar federal agency) to export a rhododendron to NC (because it would be horribly tragic if sudden oak death crossed the Rockies.) In that case though, east coast states still have their own procedures for inspection and quarantine of plant material. The fireworks thing is very common - IN has different rules than OH and IL, and they have giant fireworks stores on both borders. Interestingly enough, there was a time in OH when you could buy fireworks only if you signed a statement saying that you were leaving the state with them! SemanticMantis (talk) 18:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I could be wrong on this, but I thought the California ag stops were voluntary, at least for non-commercial vehicles. Last time I went through one, if I recall correctly, there was a bypass lane where you could just drive on by it if you so chose. Of course they don't go out of their way to tell you it's voluntary, and there's a significant intimidation factor (not to mention that most people probably don't want to be the cause of an agricultural disaster). --Trovatore (talk) 19:01, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
?? Has any court ruled that "liquors" refers to non-alcoholic products? --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:41, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • In general, the interstate commerce clause reserves to Congress the right to regualte interstate trade--no state has the right per se to prevent you from taking you property from it. The case of alcohol falls outside this by effect of the 21st amendment's second clause: "Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited." That means that by Federal law, states may regulate the import of liquor. Pennsylvania does this. While it is not illegal to purchase liquor in NJ and to take it out of state, it is illegal to bring liquor into PA in order to avoid Pennsylvania's liquor taxes. In PA liquor is sold only by "state stores" Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and their prices are usually significantly higher than out-of-state liquor, but sometimes are also at below-market prices (see previous link). My understanding is there are exceptions for things like small amounts for gifts, but that is going by memory of a discussion from 20 years ago. Given it's not specifically relevant to the marijuana question, I won't go hunting for the current law. But Pennsylvania has in the past fined individuals for bringing in liquor. In the case of marijuana, the only deterent to taking it out of state would be getting caught be the feds and the authorities of states where it's still illegal. μηδείς (talk) 02:01, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think any individual state's laws can have any effect outside of the state. This is actually incorrect. There's an entire regime by which conflicts of laws are decided in the United States. Though if you want to talk about criminal law, the territoriality question can be complex. Especially once you start talking about the internet. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 07:18, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The link conflicts of laws doesn't say anything about the US, the point is valid, so maybe there's a better link? Of course the Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Jurisdiction Supreme Court has jurisdiction in suits between one state and another or the citizen of another. But the commerce clause is usually determinative, except where the 21st Amendment contradicts it. μηδείς (talk) 20:33, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I saw a report that some of Colorado's bordering states are filing suit in the federal court system, about Colorado's legalization of weed in their state. Presumably, at least in part, due to the extra burden this places on those bordering states, to try to keep it out of their states. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:52, 22 December 2014 (UTC)


Hi, I have three questions relating to the Holocaust.

  1. Regarding the expropriation of Jewish assets and their redistriution to German people, is there any information regarding the effect this had on the german economy? For instance, many businesses had been in Jewish hands for generations and were successful, did the new owners have the same degree of business acumen?
  2. Is there any evidence of Synagogues and other Jewish institutions destroying registers of their congregations, so that Jewish people could not be easily identified? (This question relates more to occupied territories during the war, as I appreciate in Germany many Jewish communities wanted to see how the situation developed, as opposed to doing anything drastic).
  3. If there is evidence of this, how then did the Nazi intelligence services identify people who met their racial criteria?

Thanks in advance --Andrew 18:13, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Elements of your last two questions are addressed in this previous thread from March 2011. Alansplodge (talk) 18:53, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the first question, I spent a bit of time searching and couldn't find a study addressing the impact of expropriation on the German economy. It seems likely that a forced restructuring of Jewish-owned businesses would have hurt the bottom line, but it would be difficult to isolate the negative impact of expropriation on economic growth, since the German economy was experiencing a number of countervailing positive impacts at that time, such as recovery from economic depression and the stimulus resulting from rearmament and creation of a wartime command economy. Regarding the last two questions, besides the responses to the thread that Alansplodge linked, you might take a look at our article Kennkarte. Everyone in German-occupied countries was obliged to obtain a personal identity card and to show it whenever authorities demanded. When registering for an identity card, people had to produce identification documents such as birth certificate and marriage licenses. Christian birth and baptismal certificates were generally issued in Poland, for example, by parish priests, as were marriage certificates, so Jewish documents would have been distinctive. Also, Jewish surnames were often distinctive. That said, our article on Kennkarten indicates that some Jews managed to survive the war by obtaining false documents "proving" that they were Christians. Marco polo (talk) 19:24, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Finnish/Russian border map question[edit]

I was idling away on Google Maps and came across this island which appears to be divided between Finland and Russia. However, it looks like separate islands on Bing Maps.

I've searched for Vanhasaari, the Finnish name on Google Maps, but can't find any mention of a divided island. The ice coverage on the Bing image could conceal that it's one island, but does that mean that Google is showing the border incorrectly? Any insights would be much appreciated. Dalliance (talk) 22:54, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

If you change the satellite view to the regular view in the first link you provided, it shows that they are two different islands. This source also shows two islands. Th4n3r (talk) 23:56, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
But the satellite view pretty clearly shows something connecting the two treed areas. The obvious guess is that there is an isthmus connecting the two islands and creating a land border, but only at low tide. Maps don't generally show that sort of thing, and different satellite photos may have been taken at different states of the tide. -- (talk) 01:16, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The article on the Russian island in the Russian wikipedia says that is "connected by a shoal/sandbank" (соединён отмелью) with the Finnish island.--Cam (talk) 04:07, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
There is no tide in Baltic sea, and this region of the world still constantly gains a lot of land over sea, since the heavy load of ice from ice ages is gone (example the castle of Turku not long ago was still an island, example the city of Vaasa was on the seaside now it's 6 km away from the sea, etc). Anyway, this kind of landscape in this area of the world, typically works the same way it would work if this was one big island. Especially in winter when everything is covered with ice so you can walk through the sea from island to island. Akseli9 (talk) 11:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Using the principle of Occam's razor. The map mentioned above is a Land Survey.[1]. So not showing the orthometric height of the sea (and water bulges at the equator on the geoid sphere and lower at the poles). The Google and bing images both clearly show land and shore line (one under a cover of snow) Therefore, there is a permanent land bridge as shown in the two images.--Aspro (talk) 23:48, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
  • This reminds of me of this website, where this woman will go anywhere in Europe to investigate any questions you have from Google Maps. Bzweebl (talkcontribs) 00:05, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

December 19[edit]

Novella in English?[edit]

Was a work in English ever called a "novella" by its author or its publisher? Contact Basemetal here 03:35, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Yup. Many works of a length between that of a short story and that of a novel are so described. Steven King is an author who has written many collections of novellas. His collection Different Seasons featured four novellas, three of which were turned into films. You can find many more at Category:Novellas and Wikipedia has an article about novellas at the aptly titled Novella. --Jayron32 03:51, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
That shows there are such things as novellas, but the question is whether their authors or publishers ever call them that. There are some hundreds of examples of stories being described as novellas on their title-pages by their publishers (and, it may be, with the consent of their authors) here and here, and some thousands here.--Antiquary (talk) 10:56, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes this was my question. I am well aware that WP applies the term to a certain class of works in English but I wanted to know how much currency that term has outside WP. Thanks to your examples I now know that the term is indeed used in English for works in English. Until now I had always thought that when the term was used in English it always referred to works in languages other than English (French, Italian, Spanish, ...) I am still somewhat puzzled by the use in WP of the term "novella" to describe for e.g. A Christmas Carol. As to e.g. Different Seasons is that how Stephen King himself describes those works? Note that to simply say that a "novella" fits between a "short story" and a "novel" does not completely clarify the matter. Traditionally English "novels" could be quite a bit shorter than e.g. French "romans", so there didn't seem to be a need for such a term. On the other hand when English "short stories" are translated into French they are usually called "nouvelles" (e.g. J. D. Salinger's volume Nine Stories), so the English and the French term do not seem to correspond. The French WP article describes the works in Different Seasons as "romans courts", i.e. "short novels". Whether that is because Stephen King himself described them as "novels" is what I'd like to know. (Why do people refer to Stephen King also as Steven King? Is that a legitimate variant?) Contact Basemetal here 15:44, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea how Stephen King describes any of his works, but his official site has a specific section for novellas [2]. BTW, I would suggest this is a variant of Rule 34 (Internet meme). Particularly with modern on demand publishing and ebooks, the field of authors and English works is vast. You can be fairly sure that if the question relates to whether these people describe their work as X, and X is well known enough to have a wikipedia article, the answer is surely yes. Nil Einne (talk) 16:45, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
On this site the works in Different Seasons are described both as "novellas" and as "short stories". Contact Basemetal here 16:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Your second point is very important. So I'd like to rephrase the question to "Was a work in English ever called a novella by its author or publisher before 1970?" The web as we know it dates back to about 1990 but a restriction to before 1970 should keep us completely safe. Contact Basemetal here 16:54, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Re: The Stephen King point, you can see here where Stephen King specifically refers to some of his words as a novella [3] [4] ('"The Mist" for years and years and years, and he and I had talked again and again about putting an actual ending on the movie, because the ending of the novella is ambiguous'). In the second case, the term has earlier been used by the interviewer multiple times, but there doesn't seem to have been in the first. Nil Einne (talk) 17:03, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The Hugo Award for Best Novella was first awarded in 1968 and the Nebula Award for Best Novella began in 1966. Rmhermen (talk) 17:55, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Which doesn't directly tell us whether an author or publisher called their book a novella but I would agree is an important point. If you take it in concert with my earlier point, authors and publishers aren't some sort of special subclass of people with extremely unorthodox view points by all members. So if the term is widely used in a non derogatory fashion (although often even then), and used enough to even have awards for it, it's rather unlikely no one would want to call their work that term. And we can be fairly certain authors and people involved with publishers were involved in setting up these awards, it's rather unlikely they'd make an award with a title none would want to call their works. Nil Einne (talk) 18:08, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The earliest proof I can find of English-language authors/publishers calling their works "novellas" are Richard Wright Uncle Tom's Children: Four Novellas, and Eric Knight, Helen Hull et al. The Flying Yorkshireman: Novellas. Both date from 1938. [5] --Antiquary (talk) 11:02, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
(EC) As to the before 1970, well even then the number was still quite high. In any case, it's not particularly hard to find examples which show it is the case, e.g. these appear to be have images of genuine original covers all of which have novella on the cover [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]/[14] [15]/[16] [17]/[18]. I can't guarantee that all of these covers were definitely of editions from before 1970, particularly for the Amazon ones but find it hard to believe none are, particularly as some are first editions and other semi expensive stuff some it's likely the image is intended to be a fair representation of what you're going to get or more likely an image of the actual book for sale. If it's on the original cover, it's very that either the author or someone in the publisher wanted novella in the title, if not both. (There is a slight chance neither really wanted it and it was the best compromise title, but probably not, particularly given the number of likely cases.) Nil Einne (talk) 17:59, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks to Jayron, Antiquary, Nil Einne and Rmhermen, and particularly to Nil Einne for all this data. The upshot seems to be that the word "novella" has probably been applied in English to works in the English language (even by their authors, etc. not to mention secondary sources) for a lot longer than I thought. Thank God for the WP RD. My doubts arose partly due to the fact that the word "novel" is itself derived from "novella" so "novella" sounded like a later borrowing specifically intended to cover a kind of work typical of some foreign literature. But whatever the history of the use of the word is, it seems that the word "novella" has been fully naturalized into English for works in English since at least the 1960s. Whether next to the "novel" and the "short story" it's become a concept fully on a par with the first two that's something else. Wiktionary defines a "novella" as a "short novel or a long short story". It's still a bit unclear to me how short a novel, or how long a short story can be, before they become a novella. Anyway, leaving that aside, if you're curious about use in English here are some ngrams: novella, novel, novel vs novella. Clearly Ngrams can't tell you if the word "novella" was used for a work in English or in a foreign language, or if "novel" is the noun or the adjective. Contact Basemetal here 18:52, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Regarding length, Word count#In fiction gives the cutoff points used for the Nebula Award categories but admits that such boundaries are "arbitrary". Deor (talk) 21:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The author of this this book initially called it "two short stories and a novella", then backed down and agreed it was a novel. (I'm just about to read it for the third time. Very few people have read even it for the first time.) You naughty, naughty literary critic <redacted>, you! Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:32, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Background checking/fingerprinting and foreign criminal records[edit]

If someone had a criminal record in a foreign country, would it come up on a fingerprint background check in the United States? FYI, I do not have a foreign criminal record, I am just curious if illegal immigrants who may be convicted murderers or sex offenders could get jobs in places like schools using someone else's identity. (talk) 04:38, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Surely this would vary based on the thoroughness of the background check. I don't know the extent to which aliens' records are checked upon entering the USA (I'm an American, so the few times I've left the country, returning wasn't a problem), but presumably they'd try to filter out the criminals, perhaps more than the routine background-check companies might, since there's a bit of a national-security interest in keeping out the criminals, as well as an anti-crime interest. It also depends on the foreign country; poorer and more obscure countries like Chad or Guinea probably aren't as likely to have records accessible to American background-checkers as are richer and more prominent countries such as Canada or Japan. Nyttend (talk) 00:19, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

How do I navigate the Quran?[edit]

Whenever I see a Quran, I am intimidated by its volume of text. The bound book is thick. I usually find them written in Arabic or English with the original Arabic script, and I still would have no idea what it's about. Unlike the Bible, where I would have some cultural awareness due to learning about biblical events by watching TV or listening to common hearsay, the Quran is completely foreign to me, except for a few verses that people cite when they make comparisons of narratives between the biblical account and the quranic account. Also, just by speaking English and being a curious thinker, I often get surprised at the various biblical origins of many English terms and phrases (i.e. "Man does not live by janitorial services alone" from Martha Speaks). Again, this really helps with my working knowledge of Christianity and the Bible to some extent.That said, the comparisons make me aware that the Quran has very similar narratives as the Bible, yet they seem different in a way. Are there any English-language picture books about the Quran or some easy guidebooks on how to read the Quran for absolute beginners who are completely oblivious to Islamic culture? I wish there is an Islamic version of DK Publishing's The Illustrated Bible Story by Story. That book was a very helpful walk-through of every story in the Bible. I realize that the Quran is not composed of stories, but a walk-through would still be nice. (talk) 07:36, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

First off, the Qur'an is much shorter than the Christian Bible (i.e. old + new testaments). However, it's not particularly arranged in a manner that's conducive to "cold" reading from beginning to end, since the Fatiha prayer is placed as the first chapter (sura), while the other chapters are arranged roughly in order of decreasing length, with the longest near the beginning and the shortest near the end. The more useful distinction is between the earlier Meccan suras (generally on morality and the nature of religion) and the later Medinan suras (generally more preoccupied with legal matters). There are no real historical books (such as Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles in the Bible), and not too much overall sequential structuring or narrative order (the way that the events in the Bible can generally be laid out along a timeline beginning with the Creation and ending with Paul's arrival in Rome) -- and versions of Biblical stories which have found their way into the Qur'an are usually radically transformed (partially based on post-Biblical Christian and Jewish folklore)... AnonMoos (talk) 12:49, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
The Quran is difficult to understand without knowing the context of the (supposed) revelations. While the Bible more or less provides its own context through historical narrative, the Quran assumes that listeners/readers are already familiar with the characters and concepts it discusses. Remember that the Quran is not actually a book, in the sense that it was not collected in book form by the author (Muhammad was illiterate). Knowledge of the Bible is helpful at least in the sense that many Biblical figures are mentioned in the Quran without any introduction. However, the most important aspect, I believe, is to know about Muhammad's life. Remember that all verses of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad because they were relevant to him or his audience at that particular time. Reading a biography of Muhammad, or at least an outline of his life before you read the Quran will probably be very helpful. And that brings us to the point raised by AnonMoos above: the traditional ordering of the Quran is mostly arbitrary and not really helpful. Reading it in chronological order (i.e. in the order that Muhammad recited it) will reveal a progression that corresponds to Muhammad's career. While the chronology of the Quran is complicated and not precisely known, this website provides a reasonable attempt (based on secondary sources) at giving the chronological order of the Quranic chapters. - Lindert (talk) 13:43, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I attempted to read the Book of Mormon. That failed, because I had no idea what just happened. And seeing that there is no historical evidence for the Book of Mormon, there is no way I can use the cultural background to understand the text. Doing a "cold reading" of the Bible without prior knowledge of Judaism or Christianity, in my experience, just brings confusion and boredom. TV and movie adaptations of biblical stories, on the other hand, make the stories more exciting, meaningful, and coherent, because they may take information from extrabiblical sources that connect the dots. (talk) 19:43, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah, that's helpful. There is also this website called "". It publishes numerous introductory articles on the basics of the Muslim religion, because its goal is to promote awareness and understanding of Islam. (talk) 14:42, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Lindert's probably got the best plan for reading it like the Bible, though a friend of mine read the Quran backwards (that is, read the last Sura, the next to last, and so on to the second, then the first) because it just got easier and easier to read.
Another possibility is the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad. It's not part of the Quran, but has more narrative than the Quran, but there's about a dozen volumes, several Sunni and the rest Shia. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:04, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
AnonMoos, you have given the most succinct formal description of Quran vs. the Bible. I doubt a Muslim could do such a fine job. Bravo! Omidinist (talk) 19:15, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Not sure I deserve an encomium for such a brief summary-of-summaries, but Omidinist is a native Persian (Farsi) speaker, and presumably Muslim or of Muslim background... AnonMoos (talk) 04:02, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Please notice the wording. I said 'the most succinct formal description of...' I think a Muslim would do the job either more expansively or less informatively. Omidinist (talk) 08:43, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't get this question. I found the Qur'an a very quick skim - it only took less than 40 minutes or so - whereas I gave up skimming the Old and the New Testament several times. The Qur'an is incredibly repetitive, mostly about devotion to Allah, and doesn't say much. You can skim it for yourself:

[1] (PDF)


[2] [a text file]

An hour from now, you can say you've skimmed the whole of the Qur'an - every word, at least in the English translation. (talk) 09:30, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Bolshevik statistics[edit]

What was the official membership (either precise or approximate) of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks) (the Communist Party) at the time of the October Revolution? Given that this was the turning point in the Party's history, I expect that it's well documented somewhere. History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union says that membership was 240,000 at the Sixth Party Congress, which began in late July, but Party membership had tripled (just like elephants!) since April, so presumably it was a good deal larger by October.

Second question: do we have any clue how many pre-October Revolution members of the Party outlived Stalin? Obviously some did, even rank-and-file (I remember reading a 1980s book that interviewed a then-living old man who had been an ordinary member in 1917), but it's got to be a small percentage. Old Bolshevik doesn't give statistics later than 1924. The intro in our article on Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich claims that he was the last survivor, dying a few months before the end of the USSR.

Nyttend (talk) 19:07, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

December 20[edit]

Do average German people speak English?[edit]

^ --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 18:30, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Most, yes. More than in Southern Europe, a little less than in Northern Europe, with quite a good school level and happy to speak it. Akseli9 (talk) 21:50, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
In what sense? In the sense that 51% of Germans speak English? In the sense that the average German person has slightly less than one testicle and one ovary? This German-sourced article says that only 16% of German adults claim proficiency in English. List of countries by English-speaking population says 48 out of 80.6 million Germans "speak" English as a foreign language. I can tell you from experience in West Germany (in urban and tourist areas) in the Eighties that the only people who did not attempt to speak English to me when they discerned I was American were foreigners also visiting Germany. μηδείς (talk) 21:53, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
The compulsory foreign language in German schools has been predominantly English for many years, so the majority of younger German adults will have some familiarity with English, but may well claim to be "not proficient" in the language. (I spent seven years learning French, many years ago, but I don't claim to be able to speak French.) In tourist areas of Germany, almost everyone will be willing to speak English, but in more remote areas, and amongst older German people, proficiency might be rare. Dbfirs 22:11, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
I admit I don't know how many years of English they do in German schools, but it is easier for them to learn English than for you to learn French. That is just because of the closeness of the languages, although French and English are not totally different either. The extreme case that illustrates the situation is that Chinese students do 10 years of English, but the distance between the languages means they do not reach the level of Germans, as far as I can tell, and are often reluctant to try it. Chinese, likewise, is frightfully difficult for me, and each new word is hard-won. IBE (talk) 03:00, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
English is easier for another reason. It is easier because it is everywhere. Akseli9 (talk) 12:33, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

where does the government get the money to pay maturing T-Bills?[edit]

So, treasury bills mature and turn into their face value. Where does the government get the money to pay these? 1) from sales of t-bills maturing later 2) from taxes 3) from ohter markte activity (things that would fall under 'sales' if anyone else did it) 4) out of thin air, i.e. increasing the money supply by changing a database value?

Thanks. Q1q2 (talk) 21:40, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

I assume you are talking about the United States, correct? (talk) 22:25, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes. And of course the US government collected about $3 trillion in taxes last year (about 18% of the U.S. GDP), so it certainly could pay them from taxes. I'm asking the source that it actually pays them from. i.e. in practice, if the government transfers you dollars by maturing a t-bill into its face value, then where were those specific dollars immediately before? :) thank you. Q1q2 (talk) 22:54, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
If the government did not have any source of income besides T-bills, they'd be in trouble. But there's taxes, tariffs, and people buying bonds and bills, so it works out. It's mostly the same principle as bonds (either government or corporate), or even student loans. Say the government's income is $15 a week (extreme oversimplification), usually needs to pay $5 a week to their employees, but they need to make an additional $50 payment right now for some contract. You buy a $100 T-bill for $50 from the government, and it comes with the condition that you can't collect it for ten weeks. During those ten weeks, the government sets aside $10 every week to pay you off. It's not really any different than my college loans: I couldn't afford to pay $50,000 for college upfront, but I'm paying it off bit-by-bit over the next decade or two instead. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:34, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
So are you stating that the source of government t-bill payments is taxes that had been collected? Q1q2 (talk) 22:54, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm saying there are a variety of sources of income, among which taxes are but one. Did you mean to ask "what are the specific sources of income for the United States government, and which of those goes toward repaying t-bills?" Because your question does require knowing which government you are talking about, since they all operate differently. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:59, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, close - I didn't ask for the list of all government sources of revenue, so you can rephrase my question as "what specific sources of income [or other sources of dollars] goes toward repaying t-bills?" or alternatively,: 'immediatley before they were used to mature a t-bill, where were the dollars that the government uses to do that? Walk back through their lifetime including the immediate previous possessor.' I think this question is simple albeit technical. And yes, I mean in the United States! Q1q2 (talk) 23:10, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
There are no specific revenue streams committed to debt repayment. Instead, debts are paid from general government funds. Those funds include all general government revenues, consisting of taxes and fees. In the event that those revenues are insufficient to cover expenditures, government funds are supplemented by additional borrowing. So, in effect, the government borrows new money to pay off part of its maturing debt. When quantitative easing was underway, the Federal Reserve System created new money to lend to the government. Now that that program has ended, the money is lent by banks, corporations, and individuals. Some of those lenders are foreign, and part of the money they lend is dollars they hold as a result of the U.S. current account deficit. Note that in recent years both the federal deficit and the current account deficit have been shrinking fairly rapidly, so an increasing proportion of debt service is coming from revenues. Marco polo (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Marco Polo, thank you so much for your extremely detailed response. I've found it extremely helpful and you've also given me some more articles to read, e.g. about the current account deficit etc. I've left a message on your talk page. Q1q2 (talk) 17:00, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

NOT about wealth: exact way and point the money supply increases[edit]

[EDIT: this question is not about wealth, but officially mandated US Government money supply, i.e. official U.S. dollars both in printed form and recognized accounts. It is a question strictly about official us government currency called U.S. Dollars and its representation.]

assume at some point there were 3 trillion actual dollars in existence. (including in databases etc.) How did this become 3 trillion and 1 dollars? at what point does the number of dollars increase? (other than through counterfeiting.)

try to walk me through the exact place and time where the fixed money supply becomes a slightly larger fixed money supply. I don't mean debts - I mean actual money in accounts. Q1q2 (talk) 21:42, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

See Money creation, Money supply, and Monetary base. And WP:CIVIL. Tevildo (talk) 23:36, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. The first link is extremely helpful and is what I was asking about. Q1q2 (talk) 23:59, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Okay, so Tevildo, it sounds, with fractional reserve banking, that banks are allowed to lend out dollars they don't possess (which don't exist until the moment they lend them out, which didn't get created by the government and transferred to them, but which only start existing in a monetary-base-inflationary way when they start lending them out). Is this true - did I read this right? Q1q2 (talk) 00:09, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

It depends what you mean by "possess" and "exist" - see the distinction between M1 and M3 described in the money supply article, and, of course, Fractional-reserve banking. The banks cannot give a piece of paper, let alone a lump of silver, to everyone who has an account with them - if we restrict the meaning of "dollar" to pieces of paper and lumps of silver, your statement is correct. However, if we allow it to include numbers in a spreadsheet, we have to interpret "possessed" as a much more abstract term, meaning something like "the maximum value that a particular number in a spreadsheet at the Federal Reserve is permitted to take", for your statement to be true. Tevildo (talk) 00:57, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Tevildo, thanks, I think you actually understand that article better than me. No, I would not like to just ask only about pieces of cotton and metal, but also accounts at parity with the same. If my bank account shows $1000, then that is clearly "real, actual" dollars. They're part of the dollars in existence, surely. (Unless the bank is being run fictitiously run.) Of course, I could pretend to be a bank and send the world's 7 billion people an ATM card, and when they check it I could reflect a balance of a hundred thousand dollars each. In what sense is that not 'real, actual dollars'? Because the US Government does not authorize it and I will end up in jail as soon as this is discovered. BUt if the US Government did let me do this, then clearly it would entail the actual creation of an actual 7 billion * 100K = 700 trillion actual, real US dollars. If other banks were forced to accept my transfer and treat them as real dollars, then they really would be real dollars. This is the sense in which I mean. Intuitively, it has to be obvious that there are strict limits on how many actual dollars of this kind banks can have in the sum of all their accounts. My question in part concerned the way in which these extra balances are generated. Oh, by the way, I'm now a bank and you have a balance of a quadrillion dollars with me - simply reply to my talk page with your signature if you would like me to transfer it to any bank account of your choice. See? The only sense in which I did not just create quadrillion dollars is that other banks would not accept my transfers, since I am not an actual banking institution and just made this up. But if they did accept my transfers, then I would have just created quadrillion dollars (which hopefully you wouldn't blow all in one place causing massive hyperinflation, as the current money supply is only in the single-digit trillions. of dollars worldwide.) Q1q2 (talk) 04:40, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

The thing stopping you from issuing the zillion ATM cards is the reserve requirement. Q1q2 (talk)
No, the thing that stops me from telling you that you now have quadrillion dollars with me and sending you an ATM you can use to withdraw as much as you want of it, is that I'm not actually a bank, not set up to wire anything, and have nothing to wire from. Even though the quadrillion dollars you have with me are 'real' in the sense that I can claim you have this money sitting in your account, it's not real in the sense that I don't actually have the means to wire it to you because I'm not an actual bank or even participate in the interbank transfer system. So you can say that "reserve requirements" are what's stopping me - but I can add, and, you know, actually being a bank, following rules, having dollars, etc. So there is a HUGE difference between a bank's real dollars that it shows you in your account, and my fictitious quadrillion dollars that I claim as your banker I have, also in your account, and ready to withdraw at any time (although we are closed 7 days a week through 2017). Huge difference. Q1q2 (talk)
"If my bank account shows $1000, then that is clearly "real, actual" dollars. They're part of the dollars in existence, surely. (Unless the bank is being run fictitiously run.)" No, they aren't part of the dollars in existence. That's the essence of fractional-reserve banking, what you call "fictitiously run". Various books explain this, and I would recommend The Future of Money by Mary Mellor. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:23, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Could you summarize the sense in which they're not 'part of the dollars in existence'? To me (by my definition) they are - there is no risk that they're not 'really there', I can transfer them to you or withdraw them, they are in every sense real. Just like if I tell you that you now have a quadrillion dollars with me, just ask for any portion and I'll transfer it to you - that is a total fabrication, no part of it is true, those quadrillion dollars don't exist. By contrast every part of dollars in accounts exists in every way. Now, I guess you're taking about something like 'high-powered' money (monetary base)? (the original money that is somewhat multiplied?) But when I have dollars in my own account, I don't care if they have been multiplied or not. They're totally real dollars. (For my purposes.) Thanks for explaining anything I'm missing. Q1q2 (talk)
The point is that there _is_ a risk they're not "really there", that your bank will _not_ be able to give you the cash. See bank run. It's not a large risk (which is why other banks are prepared to consider the money in your account as "real"), but it's not zero. The risk that the "Bank of Q1Q2" will be unable to pay out its depositors is, of course, much closer to 100%, which is why other banks will not accept transfers from it. But, get that risk down to an acceptable figure (and what is "acceptable" is a question for the politicians), and you _can_ create money in that way. Tevildo (talk) 19:15, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why you say my bank has to 'give me the cash' (i.e. cotton or metal) - it's enough for another bank to accept its wire transfer, and then that other bank can give you the cash. Likewise, doesn't the Central Bank act as a lender of last resort, in case in some sense the bank needed more liquidity to cover its database entries? (Though I'm not sure of the details here.) Tevildo, since they're database entries that are accepted by other banks, how can it possibly not actually be paid out? Q1q2 (talk) 20:31, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but can you be sure that every other bank will accept the transfer? At this time of year, I'm sure it's impossible to switch on a television set in the USA without It's A Wonderful Life being on at least 15 channels, so you can watch that to see a fictitious (but still fairly realistic) depiction of a bank run. Or see Northern Rock for a recent example. The risk factor mentioned above increases, for any number of reasons. Corporate investors begin to doubt that the bank can meet all its obligations. Private investors get wind of this, and stop trusting the bank - they all want their cash instead. The various branches of the bank don't physically have enough cash to pay all of them at the same time - the risk has eventuated! The corporate investors call in their loans in the hope of recovering some of their money - the "virtual" cash has gone, as well as the real cash. Now, at this point, the government (or Mr Potter) may step in and give the private investors _some_ of their money - probably all of it if it's $1000, probably not very much of it if it's $2000000. But there isn't some universal law that says they have to. Without those lumps of silver, your money isn't as safe in a bank as you apparently think it is. Tevildo (talk) 21:14, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
This scenario doesn't seem very accurate to me, because the government would provide those necessarily dollars since the banks are too big to fail; it's also the lender of last resort. More to the point, any individual can withdraw all of it without the bank having to shuffle around the rest. The fact that it's sitting in accounts but not quite ready to be given out doesn't make it less real for this reason. It truly is real money. Let's make an analogy. Suppose some spore came on earth all at once and made all bills extremely brittle and very hard to handle, they disintegrate. People are advised to just set their bills down until a replacement process is worked out. The bills remain easy to identify, but handling them too much causes them to disintegrate, so people collectively just keep them in situ for a while. The government ends up giving out slips of plastic to put the bills into. You can then bring it to the government, who can easily and exactly identify the bills and replace them with equivalent ones. So, now what if the government's capacity is in some sense limited - what if there are only so many machines that have been built, today, that can identify the crumbling bills accurately and quickly? Then even though the dollars that can't be touched for a bit aren't QUITE as good as normal replacement dollars immune to the spores, is it fair to say they're not 'actual' dollars? They're still actual dollars because they're recognized as such and can be traded as such. (Specifically, they're recognized by the government.) Since they retain their value (parity with a newly printed dollar bill) it is hard to call them anything but genuine dollars. But what else retains parity with newly printed dollars: the numbers in bank accounts do. They are literally at parity with printed dollars, and banks do not actually fail and make it impossible to withdraw these actual dollars. So in my view, since they are so obviously and clearly withdrawable as dollars, they simply are some. These bank account database entries aren't subject to an exchange rate, or the vagaries of the "market for dollars" or anything else . Each number literally just represents that many dollars. I mean, if you need to go to a bank during bank hours to get your dollars out of your account, then would you say the money supply dwindles on the weekend (since it doesn't include your inaccessible database entries) but increases during working hours (when they are included)? It just doesn't make sense to me. If you can completely rely on getting an exact amount out, then that really does exist. I don't see how I can view it in a different way. This isn't 10,000 dollars that Uncle Bob says he will pay you one day - which doesn't make 10,000 extra dollars exist - it's actual entries in a bank which it is prepared to withdraw to you at any time without further contingencies, and banked by a central bank which agrees to help it do so and has access to unlimited dollars out of thin air. Q1q2 (talk) 23:54, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Your initial statement is just not true, I'm afraid. Have you read bank run? Tevildo (talk) 01:35, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Surely you are not saying a bank run can occcur in 2014 in the United States? Although withdrawals may be suspended briefly, there is no way the government would fail to bail out these banks so they could meet their clients' withdrawal requirements. When was the last time banks lost money from checking accounts due to a bank run in the United States? It just can't happen. THe government would prefer 70% inflation to the failure of the Dollar and loss of faith in the banking system, ATM's not working. They would just print money and give it to the banks - in fact, exactly as they did under the controversial "quantitative easing" regime. Don't you agree? Q1q2 (talk) 02:23, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
It's getting a bit late for a bank run in the USA in 2014, but there could be one in 2015. Because this could so easily happen in any country during the current economic crisis, the UK government guarantees individuals' savings - up to a point. A generous point, because no-one really needs to have such a large amount deposited with just one bank. You can read about it here Itsmejudith (talk) 14:24, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
If the government has a willingness to hand us dollars - which it controls unlimited amounts of - to banks to keep them from failing, then logically the only way for a bank run to cause a bank to fail is for the bank not to ask for a bail-out. This is impossible. Therefore, it is completely logically necessary that a bank run in 2015 or anytime in the near future, that causes a bank to fail, is simply impossible. At worst money can be delayed by a few days or weeks. If you don't see this, then you haven't been keeping up with news about the bailout, or the government's willingness to lend money at near 0%, or to print money and use it in 'quantitative easing' to simply give to commercial enterprises like banks. What you're describing is completely outside of the realm of possibility. Please do a modicum of research and you will agree this is the case. Q1q2 (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
[unindent] Bank failure certainly is possible in modern times. Consider the case of Northern Rock. Nationalization as a last resort to protect guaranteed depositors is a form of bank failure. Marco polo (talk) 21:35, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Did normal account holders (checking accounts etc) in Northern Rock actually have their money 'destroyed' (in my sense - it existed before, and stopped existing) due to a bank failure? The article says that it had to borrow money from the Bank of England.. . Q1q2 (talk) 02:15, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
The legal position at the time was that personal deposits were guaranteed up to £20,000, so any balance in an account above that figure was indeed destroyed. The government made a _political_ decision to bail out the bank, but they were under no obligation of any other sort to do so. Depositors in Northern Rock _could_ have lost their money (and not just in some abstract theoretical sense, it came very close to actually happening). This, in my opinion (and, I would judge, the opinion of other contributors to this thread and the writers of our various articles on the subject, mentioned already), means that such sums have, at least, a precarious or contingent existence, and can't be described as "real" without qualification. Tevildo (talk) 11:17, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
That the government tends to make a political decision to do so is precisely what gives these accounts this status. If my opinion is that they will choose to do so 100% of the time in case of a bank run, then I can consider these accounts quite real without contingent existence. We're not talking about being able to withdraw gold, and the government deciding to give the bank gold. That would be a different kind of "contingence." We're talking about being able to withdraw FIAT - official scrips by decree, something literally invented by the government. So I think there is no case where the government would ever make a political decision to let a bank fail and cause loss of faith in its scrips. I mean scrips are pieces of authorization by government decree, that it has unlimited, infinite supply of. The government could create quintillion pounds without having to relocate a continent - unlike mining quintillion quintillion pounds of gold, which is the amount of gold in the galaxy. (I'm making up the numbers but you get the idea - it can just write "One quintillion quintillion pounds" and it would be true, you can't do something that isn't by decree.) So the fact that no bank is allowed to fail while holding holder's accounts, due to a bank run, and there is no incentive for the government to do so, is quite strong evidence for me that it's as good as if the government ran the bank itself and printed any money that was required on demand. Because, in fact, it does do so. Q1q2 (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
All that you are saying is that bank failure has different consequences today, when governments issue fiat currency and act as guarantors of the financial system, than it did in the days of the gold standard and laissez-faire. And of course that is correct. Marco polo (talk) 15:31, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that is what I'm saying. If it's more likely that pieces of cotton are burned irrecoverably (in a hypothetical fire - give this a probability) with the possessor and government unable to determine how many pieces and what denomination had been burned from the ashes (or they are scattered etc), than it is for checking accounts to have sums disappear due to a bank run that the government refuses to ease through its mechanisms (because in practice it always will) -- then I am simply justified in considering the latter to be actual dollars as much as (indeed, more than) the former. Checking account values may be more so actual dollars than cotton pieces of paper. Because pieces of cotton can be destroyed or lost, but checking accounts really can't (probability in actual reality is lower). Remember, the subject wasn't really what the effects are of a bank failure. It's whether bank accounts are 'actual' money. (part of the 'actual' m2 money supply.) Q1q2 (talk) 22:48, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Gurkha soldier language issues[edit]

How do the various countries who field Gurkha units handle the language issue? Let's take UK for example. Are the Gurkha fresh recruits proficient in English? Or does the UK MoD provide them with English lesson after they're recruited? Or do the Gurkha soldiers communicate in their native language with their commanding officers (who, in effect, doubles as a translator)? I'm mostly interested in the UK and Indian Gurkha units. WinterWall (talk) 22:30, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

The British Army appears to set potential Gurkha recruits proficiency tests in English and mathematics - see the sample documents at the bottom of the recruitment page. [20] They also give non-Gurkha officers training in the Nepali language if needed. [21] AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:40, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
I used to teach basic English to Gurkhas at a barracks in England. Mostly they start with a little English but they are very quick learners. I can't say how they communicate with their COs though. --TammyMoet (talk) 22:42, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
"All Officers are expected to speak Nepali and will attend a language course in Nepal." Ministry of Defence - The Royal Gurkha Rifles. Alansplodge (talk) 20:48, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Andy, I didn't see that you'd already linked to that page. Learning Development Wing is also pertinent; I suspect that the shorter Nepali courses are for those who will have dealings with Gurkhas but won't actually command them. Alansplodge (talk) 20:51, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

December 21[edit]

Prehistoric wars[edit]

Do women ever die in wars among hunter-gatherers? -- (talk) 10:54, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

I take it you mean did. Anyway this is another case where we can take the lessons of Rule 34 (Internet meme). Given the number of wars there must have been, and the number of women, the answer is surely yes. Nil Einne (talk) 12:35, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
On the contrary, our article on Prehistoric warfare claims that there was probably no warfare during the prehistoric hunter-gather period:
This period of "Paleolithic warlessness" persisted until well after the appearance of Homo sapiens some 0.2 million years ago, ending only at the occurance of economic and social shifts associated with sedentism, when new conditions incentivized organized raids upon settlements.
Of the many cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic, none depict people attacking other people. There is an equal paucity of skeletal and artifactual evidence of intergroup conflict in the Paleolithic.
I suppose I could answer that absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but there's a stack of respectable-looking cites against me there. --Antiquary (talk) 14:48, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
It probably comes down to the definition of war. Certainly there would have been deadly battles over scarce resources, but perhaps only with a few dozen or hundred people on each side. Is this enough to call it a war ? Fighting between modern humans and Neanderthals may have also taken place. As for cave paintings, maybe those were pictures of what they wanted to happen, a sort of prayer, and they did want to hunt animals but wanted to avoid war. StuRat (talk) 17:46, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
See WP article on Lawrence Keeley's War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (Oxford, 1999) for a countervailing view. Two selective citations in WP's Prehistoric warfare article do not appear to do his arguments and evidence justice.
An abundance of scholarly reviews of that book may be a better source for assessing the naturalness and ubiquity of violent scholarly conflict. (You're free to read 3 such articles every 2 weeks via JSTOR's Register and Read option.) -- Paulscrawl (talk) 15:55, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Scan ch. 6, "The Harvest of Mars: The Casualties of War" (pp. 83-97) of Keeley's book, War Before Civilization, for the most relevant passages on OP's question of female war casualties in hunter-gatherer societies. p. 92 has numbers garnered from best evidence available, studies of once surviving prestate societes studied in the last couple centuries:
The male:female war death casualty "ratio for prestate societies range from about 1:1 to 1:15 (with a median of 1:7)" (p.92), citing (n.19), T. Pakenham (The Scramble for Africa) 1991: 609-15; R. Edgerton (Like Lions They Fought) 1988: 210-12.
At the least, this book reinvigorated a perennial debate, too long silenced by anthropological mythmakers.
If you like cognitive linguist Steven Pinker's snarky writing style, and don't mind that he is writing essentially as a journalist in a field in which he has no particular authority or academic qualifications, you might be interested in his The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) - at least it is good for culling contemporary citations. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 17:39, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
lamellar armour of the type worn by native Siberians and Eskimos. These are Koryak people
  • The current death-by-violence rates among male hunter gatherers like the Amazonians and indigenous New Guineans is comparable to that of Pan troglodytes, about 30%. See Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn. This does not amount to systematic warfare but in societies where the only division of labor is between men and women (maybe with a shaman) you don't have full-time soldiers per se. Warfare was well known among the Eskimo before Western contact, and they were not farmers. The Tlingit people were so fierce they were never fully subjugated by Europeans, but they might be considered sedentary. Battle of Sitka. μηδείς (talk) 17:49, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Neither most Amazonians nor indigenous New Guineans are hunter-gatherers. 18:20, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
See Carlston Annis Shell Mound and Ridgeway Site, a couple of Archaic sites (predating sedentism) in the eastern USA with numerous burials. Evidence of violence is present in many of the burials (Ridgeway was originally thought to be a prehistoric battlefield), and while it's not mentioned in either article, I think I remember rightly that there's no suggestion in the sources (I wrote both articles) that violence was restricted to males. Indian Knoll likewise has a large number of violent burials, but as I'm not familiar with the sources, I can't comment on it there, although archaeologist W.S. Webb's book Indian Knoll apparently has lots of data that would be relevant to your question. Nyttend (talk) 20:23, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
PS, Antiquary, the bit that you quote may be accurate for the Old World, but it's grossly inaccurate for the New; I've added a {{globalise}} to the article, since the whole page seems to ignore the existence of the New World, where evidence of Archaic-period warfare is overwhelming. For example, speaking of the Green River Shell Middens Archeological District and related sites in the area, Cheryl Claassen remarks about the "obvious evidence of raiding and violent death in the shell mounds" on page eight of "Archaic Rituals: Rebalancing with Dogs". Nyttend (talk) 21:01, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
When will I learn that Wikipedia isn't an authority? --Antiquary (talk) 21:26, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
The problem isn't what with Raymond C. Kelly says; the problem is that the article applies his words universally, and misuses it somewhat. Run a search for "Otterbein argues that" — Otterbein says that agriculture developed in places where war wasn't likely, i.e. war necessarily predated agriculture, at least in some places. Nyttend (talk) 22:07, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

The Bloody Falls Massacre was part of the ongoing warfare between the Inuit and First Nations. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 00:17, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Nyttend, I've added some balancing references (Gat, Keeley - not Keely -, LeBlanc, Lambert, Vencl) for starters) and a bit of content (using Gat & superb Vencl article in Paleolithic section) to that lopsided article.
Including an informative and accessible literature review on North American archaeology of war (Lambert) -- you might look at & incorporate where you will.
Overall, article needs to address the long-standing controversy head on, in lead, which I'm working on.
Thanks to OP's question for making us see this sorry article with fresh eyes. One of the best reasons to hang out on Ref Desk! -- Paulscrawl (talk) 01:23, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I just want to point out in case there was some confusion that I wasn't suggesting that women necessarily died often (nor the contrary) nor that wars were necessarily common (again nor the contrary). Simply that if there was even 20 "wars" among such people, it's very hard to believe that in none of them did a single women die. This would require a degree of care and protection which is frankly unrealistic. Therefore the answer to the OPs stated question is "yes". Even if "wars" were relatively very uncommon, given the length of time we are referring to, it's not hard for there to have been 20 "wars" although it does depend how you define the term, which is probably the first issue here. If you define "wars among hunter-gatherers" to require a degree of organisation etc in these wars then perhaps under some scenarios you really can't come up with 20 "wars" (although considering the examples given like Inuit for example, I'm not sure even then. If you use it more loosely to refer to somewhat sustained violent conflict between groups (perhaps either until they come to some sort of "peace", one group gives up in some way, or one group is destroyed), then I would suggest even under the most generous views of peaceful hunter-gatherer society, it's quite hard to imagine there wasn't at least 20 "wars". P.S. I started this reply with 200 before considering this was way more than necessary. I cut it down to 20 but I feel even that's way to generous. I would suggest even if there were only 5 wars, it's difficult to imagine not a single woman died in any of them. Nil Einne (talk) 12:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Why is it hard to imagine? In most battles in history, zero women died. There were no cities in prehistoric times. If a woman wanted to be perfectly safe from a war, she could simply walk 5 kilometers in a random direction and the enemy wouldn't find her. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:09, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
If anything, women would have been more likely to die in prehistoric conflicts. The beginning of history coincided with the emergence of writing and civilization. Since the emergence of civilization, wars have largely been conducted between male military specialists from two opposing states meeting on a battlefield. In this context, few women die. (Though this pattern never extended to regions that did not develop states, and the rise of asymmetric conflict and guerrilla warfare over the past century or so has probably increased women's share of war-related deaths.) Before states with military specialists emerged, conflicts between groups would likely have pitted entire communities against one another. Yes, it would have been primarily males who undertook the aggression, but if a community's defense was breached, then its women would have faced aggression, too. Most typically, this would have involved rape and abduction, but surely some women who tried to resist would have been killed. The suggestion that women "simply" needed to flee into the woods to survive ignores just about everything that we know about human nature and real societies. In times of danger, people, and especially women, band together for mutual protection. Also, while the men were fighting, it was typically women's job to look after and protect children. It would have been counterintuitive, frightening, and probably quite dangerous to head off alone in such a context. The chances of being found are greater than you think. People who live by hunting are extremely good at following tracks, especially those of as large an animal as a human being. And what would such a refugee do if she returned to find her community destroyed and/or abducted? Very few, if any, people are able to survive for long completely on their own. We are social animals. Marco polo (talk) 21:29, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I have to disagree with the statement "In most battles in history, zero women died". Women may not always have been soldiers, but they have been involved in pretty much every war, in some way or another, in recorded history. Sometimes they were wives, servants, or camp prostitutes following the army. If their camp was attacked or their men were defeated some of these women most likely were killed or abducted. Field hospitals full of nurses were not exempt from being bombed. Some women disguised themselves as men and joined the fighting (see List of wartime cross-dressers), and some women sat at home waiting to be raped, enslaved, or murdered if their side lost. These days women have been almost fully integrated into the US military and stand just as good a chance as being killed in combat as men do. If women throughout recorded history have been involved in warfare, then why should prehistory be any different? See Women in the military for further reading. (talk) 17:27, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
How often did armies have female camp followers? I was under the impression that it was the exception rather than the rule, but I don't actually know.
Your statement that "women [...] stand just as good a chance as being killed in combat as men do" is definitely false. Only 140 American women have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to a total death toll of 5200. 140 out of 280,000 female veterans is extremely low. Women in the US military are extremely safe by any military standard, and even by historical civilian standards during peacetime. --Bowlhover (talk) 09:11, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Who is the minister Nelson Mandela names in this interview?[edit]

At this juncture of the Evita Bezuidenhout interview with Nelson Mandela, the then-president names a politician he admires for having paid serious attention to the ANC. I can't even transcribe the name he says, and searching as been fruitless. Who is he? ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 20:42, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

It's Kobie Coetsee, the article on him is a bit short on detail. -- Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 22:00, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Hierarchy in the Roman Catholic Church[edit]

In the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, which title is considered superior and which is considered inferior, when comparing the positions of cardinal and archbishop? Specifically, I am referring to Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster and his two titles: Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:16, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Cardinal is a "key person" in the church, and only Cardinals elect a Pope. Archbishops are far more common, and lower in rank than Cardinal. The Pope, though, is "Bishop of Rome" as an historical title. Collect (talk) 23:25, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. So, his position/title as a cardinal is more important/more prestigious than his position/title as an archbishop. Correct? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:48, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying Collect's answer is incorrect but there were cardinal-bishops, cardinal-priests, cardinal-deacons, and even (in the past) lay cardinals. Are you saying that say a lay cardinal or a cardinal-priest who is not even a bishop had/has precedence over an archbishop who's not a cardinal? Maybe you're right but I'm wondering. Contact Basemetal here 00:01, 22 December 2014 (UTC) Never mind. I've just realized cardinal-priests etc. were not really priests etc. but could be bishops or even archbishops. The question remains for lay cardinals but those do not exist anymore. Contact Basemetal here 00:34, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
To be extra clear, the Pope isn't just Bishop of Rome as a historical title: that is what it means to be Pope. In the same way, all archbishops are "Bishop of (Somewhere)". In terms of ordination, there are only deacons, priests, and bishops. When the old Catholic Encyclopedia, which Medeis links, was written, there were also some ordained ranks below that, but they were done away with: the Catholic Encyclopedia information on this topic is outdated. Titles like "Archbishop" and "Cardinal" and "Monsignor" are administrative and honorary, in that they don't really exist in a heirarchy with the terms "Deacon", "Priest", and "Bishop": they form a sort of separate hierarchy with little, if any, religious significance. These administrative and honorary titles have also been reduced since the old Catholic Encyclopedia was written, so one must use any information on this topic cautiously. (talk) 09:06, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Although an archbishop has charge of an archdiocese and the bishops therein, and so has a clearly defined role. Alansplodge (talk) 11:47, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that would be an administrative role. Being an archbishop doesn't come with any additional religious duties or religious capabilities: in that sense, an archbishop is just a bishop. Administratively, being an archbishop means that your diocese is an archdiocese, which may come with administrative power over other bishops. But a bishop is a bishop, religiously speaking. The Pope is a bishop. He doesn't have any greater ability to, for example, ordain or absolve than any other bishop. The stuff about precedence and prestige is separate from the hierarchy of deacon, priest, bishop, was my point. (talk) 11:09, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
For hours of fun on your own: The Catholic Encyclopedia. μηδείς (talk) 04:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. So, his (Schuster's) position/title as a cardinal is more important/more prestigious than his position/title as an archbishop. Correct? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:23, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

In his diocese and archdiocese, the fact that he's the archbishop matters much more. In Rome (for instance, during pontifical elections) his cardinal status is everything. Here in London, it's customary for the Archbishop of Westminster to be made a cardinal, but it doesn't make him any less archbishop if he isn't, or any more so when he is. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:54, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
By and large, except for those offices which are traditionally also more or less "automatic" cardinalships (or whatever the word is), a cardinal is slightly "higher ranking" than an archbishop. I know for instance that here in the US the title cardinal is at this point only bestowed on the archbishops with the largest archdioceses. Having said that, there is also the apples and oranges question here as well. Archbishops actually have automatic authority over issues in their archdioceses. Cardinals for the most part only display any power or authority at certain times. So the comparison is sort of similar to that of governors of US states and US senators or cabinet secretaries. While the latter may have slightly broader authority in one sense, the former has the most direct and significant impact on his own area. John Carter (talk) 23:59, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

If a cardinal and an archbishop who's not a cardinal both attend an official function (e.g. a dinner), what's the order of precedence? Contact Basemetal here 00:07, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

December 22[edit]

Can someone explain this apparent evidence of time-travel? As you'd see in this link, an ipod shows up in the 1650s.[edit]

The occurrence "ipod" shows up in the 1650s and doesn't again until the 2000s, of course.

I would like to think that a time-traveler visited the 1650s with his MP3 player and somehow forgot it there when he left.

Wikipedia existed in the past too?[edit]

By the way, as if it's the same clumsy time-traveler again? How would our beloved project show up in the early half of the 20th century?

But what is your explanation? -- (talk) 03:54, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

They're just graphs. Can you find a specific reference? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:03, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, does Google Books draw upon the same resources as that ngram tool? I'll look and see what it digs up. If not, where else ought I to look? -- (talk) 04:11, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Google Books scanning error -- Paulscrawl (talk) 04:09, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

"Culturomics" via the Google Ngram Viewer Science PDF with gory details We are talking of many, many very, very large numbers - and very imperfect book metadata and OCR technology. NOT to find a coincidence would be news.

You can have as much fun with this as some hyper Orthodox Jews do with numerological coincidences in the Tanakh. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 04:26, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Randall Munroe of xkcd geek comic fame has a great sense for extracting inspired nonsense from ngrams.
Stumped for a gift? Buy a couple copies of his truly fantastic great new book (warning: almost all words), What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. Keep one for yourself, you won't get a chance to borrow it once given. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 04:50, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Or you could get one of these for a Wikipedian. I don't wear T-shirts myself, but that one did make me smile. Deor (talk) 18:34, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Agree with what's stated above: "Wikipedia" is presumably an OCR error or a weird typo in the original. As far as "ipod", have you ever looked at a written work from the mid-17th century? You'll note that some of them don't use the spelling we do now (compare a verse from the original and the "traditional" [from 1769] versions of the King James Bible), so it's also possible that "ipod" is a differently spelled word. Nyttend (talk) 15:33, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Never mind on ipod. When I searched for the term in books published between 1650 and 1665, I found this page from a book about Alexander the Great by Quintus Curtius Rufus: this is a reprint of an ancient Roman text, and "ipod" is an OCR error for the Latin pronoun quod. I didn't realise that the Ngram examined non-English books. Nyttend (talk) 15:40, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
When I run a search for "Wikipedia" and restrict it to books published 1900-1935, the results all seem to be publications with descriptions copied (with attribution) from Wikipedia. See Sultana's Dream, for example; click "More" at the bottom of the description to get the attribution. I wonder if they gather all text for the Ngram, figuring that page descriptions are so minimal and so insignificant statistically that they might as well include them — it's probably a lot simpler than having the Ngram attempt to exclude them. Nyttend (talk) 23:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Yep, I spend a lot of time reading 17th century stuff, searching Google Books for references for a range of articles here. I'm constantly frustrated by the "false positives" for words that aren't really there but have been incorrectly read by OCR scanners. That said, the fact that we have any of them makes the broader task of referencing 1600s articles much, much easier. I'd far sooner chalk something up to a (relatively common) OCR error than proof of time travel. Stlwart111 06:12, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
There's a whole bunch of "proof of time travel" photos online. They are quite amusing. Stlwart111 06:29, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I just noticed something interesting in that xkcd page that Nyttend linked to above... about half way down the page, there is an ngram search result for the word "hope"... now compare that to the one just above it (which also searches "hope", along with some other words)... the two graphs don't match. Same word being searched... different results. Makes me wonder how accurate ngrams really is. Blueboar (talk) 15:57, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Danish Act of Succession[edit]

Do we have any sources as to how Knud, Hereditary Prince of Denmark and his sons felt about being displaced by Frederick IX's daughters in the Danish Act of Succession?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 04:41, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

This Danish text describes him as "bitter" about the change. Marco polo (talk) 19:57, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I found this (in a biographical encyclopedia):
Tronfølgeloven af 1953 medførte at K. fik titel af arveprins, men indførelse af den kvindelige arvefølge berøvede i realiteten ham og hans afkom arveretten. K. søgte da også med bistand af højesteretssagfører Leif Gamborg til det sidste at hindre ændringen.
Rough translation:
The Act of succession of 1953 gave K. the title of hereditary prince, but in reality, the intruduction of female succesion robbed him and his offspring of the right to inherit the throne. With the assistance of Supreme Court attourney Leif Gamborg, K. tried to the last to prevent the change.
--NorwegianBlue talk 20:15, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

5th Amendment and Miranda Rights[edit]

If the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution states that you cannot self incriminate, then why in the Miranda rights are arrested told that 'anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law'? (talk) 05:05, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Read the text of the Fifth Amendment in the links I have created in the title. You have left out an important verb starting with c. If it is still unclear we can explain further. μηδείς (talk) 05:14, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive; they are not contradictory. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government cannot force/require you to incriminate yourself. In other words, if they (the government) want to prove that you committed a crime, they have to do the job themselves; they can't force/require you to do their job for them. As far as Miranda warnings: despite the Fifth Amendment, a person can freely choose to incriminate himself (of his own volition, without the government forcing or requiring him to do so). The Miranda warnings are simply "reminding" you that if you do choose to make statements (which you are not required to do), then those statements can be used against you later on in court. Makes sense to you now? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:11, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah thanks for that. (talk) 05:14, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome. You stated: "If the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution states that you cannot self incriminate ...". This is where your error in thinking lies. The Fifth Amendment does not say that you cannot self-incriminate. It says that you cannot be forced to self-incriminate (by the governmental authorities). However, without force, you can freely choose to self-incriminate, if you want to. For example, by confessing to a crime or by placing yourself at the scene of a crime. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:15, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
This is covered in Miranda v. Arizona and offshoots. The idea was to prevent coerced confessions. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

December 23[edit]

England & Wales Police Structure[edit]

I would like to know more about the policing structure in E&W but can't find any helpful sources. Specifically, I would like to know more about the trade-off between management and specialisms within, say, the Met. If you're a detective, how much is your career limited in terms of doing the most penetrating interviews by ascending the ranks to chief inspector than if you stay as a constable? Or is it the case that you can do a broader range of detective work but the actual volume that you do is reduced and you spend more time managing people to compensate for this? Thanks. asyndeton talk 12:51, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

WP has an article on Police ranks of the United Kingdom, which might help you, as might TV Tropes' page on British Coppers. Can't be any more help than that I'm afraid. --Nicknack009 (talk) 18:11, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I tell a lie. Just found an interesting site, the Policing Professional Framework, which breaks down the skills and qualities required for the various ranks. Might be of some assistance. --Nicknack009 (talk) 18:19, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Southwest Church, Windsor, Ont.[edit]

It seems with a lot of church articles First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana, etc you are careful to be honest and fair. However I feel you dropped the ball in not explaining where Mr. Rock got his 35 starting members. If you had done your homework you would have found that as assistant pastor Aaron took them and a secret way and without approval of the Senior Pastor of Campbell Baptist Church, an established church. Besides most church that start with 35 unchurched people usually grow to over 400 any way. So I don't see the need implying it was an unusual accomplishment. (talk) 20:59, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

If you've got valid sourcing, you could add that info to the article. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:49, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
What article? Contact Basemetal here 22:56, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Believe it or not, there is an article First Baptist Church (Hammond, Indiana). That one seems to be a coatrack about various nefarious activities there. I don't see an article for Southwest Church, Windsor, Ontario. I wonder if the OP is in the right place? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:17, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
It's Southwood Community Church in Windsor Ontario. Should I correct the section header? Contact Basemetal here 23:48, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Btw this post should be at the talk page to the article not at the RD. Contact Basemetal here 23:49, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
This is the IP OP's only edit in the last 5 years, so it might be best to move the whole discussion (such as it is) to that article's talk page. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:27, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

December 24[edit]

Oil price drop - Saudi Arabia & USA[edit]

I'm trying to understand the background to the sinking oil prices and Saudi Arabia's insistence on continuing to produce at the same level as before, even if reaching very low levels such as $40. So I read this week that there is a happy willingness through this to let Saudi Arabia's antagonists (Iran) or the USA's (Venezuela, Russia, Iran) suffer, which seems to make sense considering the long and good relationship between the USA and the Saudis. But the Süddeutsche is today reporting that Saudi Arabia is also disappointed with current USA-Saudi relations and is aware that this price drop will adversely affect the USA (which seems then a contradiction). So I'm asking here about, what is the background to the Saudi production & pricing tactic and how will it negatively affect other countries (or not)? ZygonLieutenant (talk) 00:42, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

NPR has reported on this from time to time. It seems that OPEC has taken a page from John D. Rockefeller's business plan: They are trying to compel other oil-producing nations to cut production as being not-cost-effective, and hence expand OPEC's market. One example:[23]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:35, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Regarding lower gas prices hurting the US: In the short run, the opposite is true, since it helps consumers, who then have more money to spend on other things. It could hurt American oil companies, but probably not much, as they sell more gasoline if the price is lower. But, in the long term, it could indeed be bad for the US, if alternative energy production, hybrid and electric cars, and other energy conservation efforts are abandoned, leaving the US in a desperate condition when prices inevitably rebound past where they were. One long term benefit, though, might be if the pipeline they are trying to build through the main water aquifer in the US gets cancelled as not financially viable. Otherwise, 30 years from now, when the pipeline gets old and starts leaking all over, the aquifer would be ruined and farming in the plains states would no longer be possible. But that aside, the smart US reaction would be to slap taxes on gasoline to keep the price where it was, and use those taxes to invest in alternative energy, but politicians will never go for that.
Regarding US-Saudi relations: The Saudis were quite angry that the US didn't actively fight the (Iran friendly) Syrian government, so started covertly funding "freedom fighters" like ISIL, but I think by now they realize they've created a monster, and are a bit more willing to accept US leadership again rather than go off on their own, but I don't know that this would affect their OPEC stance. StuRat (talk) 05:10, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
My understanding is that this is primarily a business decision, motivated mainly by a desire to maintain or recover market share. Saudi Arabia's market share and its role as marginal oil producer able to set the oil price have been undermined by the expansion of production in the United States through fracking (as well as tar sand extraction in Canada). The Saudis' primary goal is to allow prices to fall to a point at which expensive extraction methods (such as fracking and tar sand processing) become uneconomical and have to be abandoned. At which point, production will fall, the Saudis will regain market share, and prices will rise. A secondary goal may be to allow lower prices to stimulate the global economy and increase demand for oil. In the short term, this policy will hurt Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, whose economies depend on high oil prices. In the medium term, conventional oil exporters (including those three countries) will benefit, and the United States and other oil-importing countries will suffer, when production falls amid steady or rising demand and prices rise again. In the long term, it won't matter, as high prices will restart fracking and tar sand extraction in North America, albeit perhaps at lower volumes than before, so as to keep prices well above production costs and not to restart this cycle. The Saudis are just looking out for their own interests. They don't care much what happens to other countries as this cycle plays out. Marco polo (talk) 15:06, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Your summary is excellent. --Ghirla-трёп- 15:48, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Chinese Buddhism history question[edit]

The article on Cintamani states one of the Chinese terms for the object is ruyizhu (如意珠). Does anyone know of a source that mentions the earliest usage of the term? Thanks. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 01:59, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

If it helps, Giles has ruyi mani as the year title for 692. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 22:33, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Where can I find the Virgin Mary in a contemporary Catholic Church?[edit]

I once checked out a picture dictionary, which displayed cross-sections of some religious buildings - including a traditional, gothic-style church building. I went to a local Catholic church, and the layout was too contemporary and didn't match the illustration. I also couldn't find a statue of the Virgin Mary, and the people there seemed to walk in, sit in the big room with traditional pews, and walk out. I didn't see any statues of saints or paintings of saints, let alone an image of the Virgin Mary. I suspect the picture dictionary portrayed an outdated view of what a church is supposed to look like. Or perhaps, churches keep images of saints in safe places? (talk) 04:18, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

I am confused by your question. In any – and every – Roman Catholic church that I have ever been in, there are plenty of images/statues of the Virgin Mary. What exactly are you looking for? An image/painting? A statue? If the very first church that you visited had none of these, I am quite sure that the second or third that you visit will. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:13, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
But it seems that Catholics, in my one-day experience, ignore icons. No kissing, no praying. (talk) 05:53, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Why would you expect to understand even the minor points of a major world religion in just one visit to a church one day? Like Joseph, I don't think I've seen any Catholic church that didn't have a statue of Mary. I suppose that there might be one somewhere but even then I would expect a painting or some other portrayal. And Catholics do pray to Mary. After all, she has a number of feast days. Many Catholic saints have feast days which would satisfy your desire for praying. Dismas|(talk) 06:19, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
You would need to sit through a service, or listen to someone praying using the Rosary, to hear the prayer to St Mary, called a "Hail Mary" or an "Ave Maria". It's not that they go to her statue and pray in front of her. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:44, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, they may well pray to Mary in front of a statue of her, but rarely out loud. It's very common to have stands of candles, and even kneelers, in front of or near statues, to provide a focus for prayer, but it would be unusual for someone to be demonstrative about it in public. (talk) 12:55, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
How does Catholicism justify what appears to be a violation of the Ten Commandments, i.e. "idol worship"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:31, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
See Catholic_doctrine_regarding_the_Ten_Commandments#Graven_images. Dismas|(talk) 15:34, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
(ec) The same way mainstream protestantism handles the contradictions of the Trinity - by a mixture of hypocrisy, and religious re-definition. In particular, I think the saints, including Mary, are not worshiped, but venerated. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:39, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
To misquote Huck Finn, "It's OK, because they done it themselves." Also, the term "venerate" originally referred to the worship of the goddess Venus,[24] who I'm guessing did not qualify as a virgin. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:45, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
The same way you've had it explained to you, every single time you decide a question on Catholicism is an excuse to post your own personal take on Christianity. They would reply that a statue is a not an idol unless you worship it, and you'd have to be very confused as a Catholic to think you were meant to be worshipping statues. They would reply that the commandment is against having other gods before God, and worshipping those, and that they do nothing of the sort. They would reply that the English word "worship" has had several meanings which have evolved over time, so you must be clear which meaning you intend: that the Latin words "latria", "dulia", "hyperdulia" have no such ambiguity, although they can all legitimately be translated as "worship" in English, given how the English word has carried different meanings. They would reply that latria is due to God alone, whereas dulia can be paid to the saints (or people in general who you honour), and hyperdulia to Mary. But the statue of Mary is obviously not actually Mary. Since this has now been answered, and you have an answer, does this mean you will refrain from asking the same question the next time someone is discussing something where you think the question might appear relevant? Since you already know the answer? (talk) 16:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Statue of the Virgin Mary at the Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation
The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio might be a convenient place for you to visit. Thincat (talk) 15:49, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
  • The word veneration comes from trhe same root as "Venus" but it doesn't mean specifically to worship Venus. "Wean" as in "overweaning" comes from the same PIE root. (See BBB's link above, and follow the link there for Venus.) Second, the RC church I attended for much of my youth had an alcove with a white (marble-appearing) statue of Mary with a kneeler before it. You'd occasionally see people kneel and say a prayer (never touching, that's more Mediterranean), but it was much more common to see people arrive early to Mass and sit and do a Rosary. Finally, an atheist since I was 16, I still say three Hail Mary's when I hear someone I respect has passed. It's a way of marking the moment to myself, not that I expect it will gain them entry to heaven.
Oh, and specifically, walk around the outer perimeter, and if you don't find a statue of a woman, ask the priest. There may also be a grotto outdoors. μηδείς (talk) 17:36, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Do you say Hail Mary in Latin or in the vernacular, and which vernacular language? (talk) 18:19, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I say the Lord's Prayer in the Ruthenian Recension as well as English, but since the closest Byzantine Catholic Church was at an onerous distance we attended a Roman Catholic church during most of my grade school years, except for holidays or when visiting relatives. Since the Hail Mary is not said in mass (as is the Lords Prayer) we learned it in English, as I was post-Vatican II. -- 02:27, 25 December 2014 Medeis
Oddly enough I don't seem able to find a text copy of the Church-Slavonic influenced Rusyn language liturgy on line. This is not the best quality video recording, and I hardly expect anyone to listen to the full 1:15:00 of it, but it will give you an idea. -- 02:44, 25 December 2014 Medeis
Interesting info. I read that many Latino Catholic immigrants in the United States can't find enough Catholic churches, so they join Protestant churches instead. When you say you recite in English, do you mean Middle English or Modern English? (talk) 10:12 pm, Today (UTC−5)
I'm not Latino, Rusyn is Slavic, and the prayer is archaic modern English. μηδείς (talk) 03:56, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

We do have an article on Lady chapel (and probably should have a separate article on "hyperdulia")... AnonMoos (talk) 17:58, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Did anyone ever make a story like this (probably don't read if you've lost someone) or who knows, maybe there's an Aarne-Thompson number for this exact story[edit]

I was watching a black and white movie (on the retina of course, does anybody watch video on extra-eyeball screens when they're dreaming?) while I was dreaming. An 8-9 year old girl in the Old West wanted her mother pregnant (presumably she either wanted a sibling or a kind that she lacks). She and her friends tried but had highly misguided ideas of how pregnancies happened so it never would've worked, but managed to accidentally get mom pregnant anyway (thankfully knowledge of the details wasn't given (and the last sentence given by false memory)). Then imparted by unjustified belief is that her mother wouldn't have died without this happening (now this wasn't given in the dream but maybe from suicide or maybe it caused her to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got killed by Indians) and it shows her hanging at a rather slight angle without a broken neck and lying on a wood thing which meant her feet probably touched the ground (as you can die with only 13 pounds of pressure on your neck or something like that). And a narrator said that she [girl] doesn't know that her [mum] brain is not getting enough oxygen. She still looks light brown (is that possible? Maybe she was unconscious, then entered the sleep cycle from being up all night and got above the "turning-blue level of air", while the coming dream-level metabolism combined with settling or something would kill her? (I'm not a doctor) If so, that's be sad), implying that she could've saved her but didn't realize she was in danger. So presumably she didn't want to bother her sleep (Are kids that naive?) or was in semi-denial and whoever "rescued" her was too late. Fin. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 16:38, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Um, SMW, were you dreaming when you wrote this? Maybe you should actually wake up first next time and then post your refdesk q :-) --Trovatore (talk) 19:37, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I once had 23 false awakenings in a row, after several times thinking this feels so much more like awake than the last one (knowing that this was how you tell), I must be awake now. Then I gave up and started counting awakenings. Soon afterwards, it became a drill - as soon as I wake up I look for errors as fast as I can so I can get it over with and get annoyed when a reality mistake doesn't come quickly. Sometimes I'm not in my room. Once I was like, "Wait, I don't live here anymore. How could I forget that?" "Okay, the bed is not quite where it was. Next!, [explore, wake up], This is a casino. Next!, [explore, wake up], It's daytime in the real world. Next!, [explore, wake up], My building is on my old place's street. Next!, [explore, wake up], There's a hotel on the ground floor. Next!, [explore, wake up], That woman makes me horny, and they never object when I'm dreaming, but I can't risk it, I MUST look for a certain continuity error [explore, wake up], Am I awake now?!? I've been dreaming for at least 20 minutes by now, so only 10 more minutes until I can't be asleep anymore" When I reached the outermost level I was like "how could I have ever thought those awakenings were real, it's like comparing an elephant's weight to an ant's in the level of realness. I'd have bet my life I'm awake the first instant, just like always." I'm awake now. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 00:10, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Also, I didn't watch this video on purpose, clearly when it's in your eyeball you don't have much choice what you watch, sometimes it's comedicly inaccurate 360° documentaries, sometimes it's 0 to low-free will Matrixes with you as prophet/psychic and character, sometimes a holodeck.. maybe this is strange to those who only watch films in living rooms or cinemas if sleeping. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 17:15, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

What? Evan (talk|contribs) 19:16, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes when I dream I get shown ridiculously inaccurate documentaries by, um, myself (or more accurately, the parts of the brain that come up with this stuff). They're documentaries since I'm not a character can't affect it and I know it, but having access to more advanced graphics means that I don't have to watch on a screen, it can be pretty much how PBS or the History Channel would do it when people have 360°x360° TVs with a clear force field to stand on. Sometimes I can even take a few steps so it's a holodeck. There are anachronisms or other errors every few sentences but I watch for the lols . As you're being shown this in your eyes and not a dream theater, TV etc. your only choice is to watch or not pay attention and they're never boring so I always watch. Also, just like on Google Earth can have elevation exaggeration often there's emotional exaggeration compared to if this happened to you awake (not possible with our technology) so you can really get into it. If I'm aware I'm dreaming I watch for logical inconsistencies and um, interesting new facts (steam trains in Ancient Egypt..) though I have to wake to catch the least obvious. This time it was fiction. Sometimes it's a holodeck play so I the only free will I have is what's not in the script but I know the story from being a prophet of the Greek myth type guess. More like a dream of a universe with too much fate to suspend disbelief so I have to follow the script even if I get horny or am somewhat scared of the ending. It's kind of awesome if you were religious growing up it's kind of awesome because that's the only time you can feel what a prophet feels. Sometimes it's repetitively boring or tediously long (often involving flying/levitating long distances and I'm like it at least it'll be over within 30 minutes cause that's the maximum amount of time a dream can last.. Often it's a normal dream on the free will vs fate scale (but half are lucid), though sometimes somewhere in between. Also I'm aware that being in a TV room or theater and watching is not the usual form of dream, but most probably have at least had one (I have). Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:14, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Strangely enough, I had not read/seen Ancient Greek, twisty, tearjerker, horror, Native American or Westerns fiction in ages, nor had them on my mind, and have never used drugs. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:26, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Is there an age limit to join the monastery?[edit]

In a biography of Ikkyū's life, Ikkyu was trained as a Buddhist monk somewhere in his early teens, though the popular portrayal of him in the mass media makes him look like a child. In a lengthy film adaptation of Journey to the West, the Buddhist monk protagonist is adopted by a Buddhist monastery as a little baby, and he's raised to be a monk all his life. But when I watched a film adaptation of Thérèse of Lisieux's life, it seems there was some concern of admitting an underage girl into the monastery. Nevertheless, she entered the monastery with the pope's permission, and she was 15. So, what do Christian monasteries do if they discover a little baby at their doorstep? Do they adopt it and raise it as monastic, or do they send it to a local orphanage? (talk) 21:18, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Nuns often ran the local orphanages. See also Baby hatch. Rmhermen (talk) 04:34, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

"Holy Spirit" in Greek Gospels[edit]

The Holy spirit article has the hebrew that the Tanakh/Torah uses, and also the Arabic used in the Qur'ran, but what is the Greek uses in the orignal-language Gospel? (and maybe original-language Aramaic term as well) I can't seem to find an original language, non-translated Bible, which is suprising considering how important a book it is. (I would actually be interested in buying an all-original-languages Qur'ran.) Also perhaps an IPA pronounciation as well.Scientus (talk) 21:46, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

See Holy Spirit (Christianity). Any university with a religious studies program or the like should have original-language books of scripture via its bookstore, but Amazon and the like will, too. Try "Koine Greek New Testament" for that particular one. My understanding of Islam is that any text marketed as the "Holy Qu'ran" ought to be in the original Arabic, as translations don't retain the sacredness of the original text. — Lomn 21:59, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Try for a Interlinear Greek-English New Testament if you don't read Koine Greek.[25]--Aspro (talk) 22:33, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
It's Ἁγιον Πνευμα Hagion Pneuma, as in the Trinitarian formula. You can probably acquire a student (UBS) edition of Novum Testamentum Graece at a reasonable price. AnonMoos (talk) 22:04, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes. πνεῦμα equates to the modern neopsyche ego state.--Aspro (talk) 22:09, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Biblegateway includes a modern edition of the Greek new testament (SBLGNT), see e.g. Luke 1:1. The text seems to be courtesy the Society for Biblical Literature, about which I knowknew nothing else ;-) (But Wikipedia does, at Society of Biblical Literature. It seems to be quite a good source). The society does offer a free download. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:38, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Christmas Day moon eclipse[edit]

Was there a Christmas Day moon eclipse in 810?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 12:00, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

This might be the right place to ask in terms of historical records, but you might also ask at the science desk, where they can use astronomy tools to see exactly where the Earth, Moon, and Sun were on that day, although the change in calendars between the Julian and Gregorian may complicate things. StuRat (talk)
I asked also at the science desk. Thanks for hint. --Doug Coldwell (talk) 15:44, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I found it in The historie of Cambria, now called Wales: a part ... . Caradoc, of Llancarvan.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 15:48, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
The NASA eclipse website doesn't list one, though it does list a total eclipse of the moon on 14 December 810. It also says "Eclipses of the Moon can only occur during the Full Moon phase", so that seems to rule out December 25. --Antiquary (talk) 15:53, 25 December 2014 (UTC) I've only just noticed your comment about the Julian calendar, Stu. Doubtless that explains it. --Antiquary (talk) 15:59, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, according to Conversion between Julian and Gregorian calendars 14 December 810 in the Julian calendar was 18 December 810 in the Gregorian calendar. Not a Christmas bullseye then, but very close. --Antiquary (talk) 16:09, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully my last revision here: the NASA website linked above uses the Julian calendar for all dates before 1582, so the eclipse really was on 14 December for everyone who witnessed it. --Antiquary (talk) 16:15, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Is it possible that:
A) Some places were using yet another calendar then ?
B) Christmas was observed on a different date in some places then ?
C) It fell within the "twelve days of Christmas" ? StuRat (talk) 17:47, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge it's No to all of the above. I've never heard of any calendar other than the Julian being used during the Middle Ages in Wales, or indeed in any other part of western Christendom; the date of Christmas was perfectly uncontroversial in Britain, whatever dispute there was over Easter; and the Twelve Days of Christmas begin at Christmas rather than ending then. I imagine the explanation is more simple: at some point in the transmission of this eclipse date to the Historie of Cambria the word "about" got left out. --Antiquary (talk) 18:29, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
There are average 2.4 moon eclipses a year a year, let's call it 2 since that excludes the ones under the percentage limit that people can see. So there should be an average of 183 years between eclipses on a specific day. For people of a specific point in the world out should be no more than 365 years on average. If half are blocked by clouds, it should be 730 years. No, let's call it 1.8 eclipses a year since anything less might not be casually noticed by people who don't have an almanac and don't use the "eclipses repeat every 18 years, 10 or 11 days and 8 hours later (depending on leap day count) rule" to look for it. But an average visible eclipse lasts about 3½ hours and Christmas nights are at least 15-16 hours at Europe, so there's at least 18½ hours of chances to be on Christmas. Take off some time since many eclipse types can't be seen near the horizon, more math and it shouldn't be more than 640 years between Christmas eclipses. It's certainly possible that Wales hasn't had one for 1204 years (or even 2000) so if that's the last then you're due. But no eclipses this winter, sorry. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 20:48, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Who is the audience in a Roman Catholic funeral mass?[edit]

I would assume it would just be the family members and close friends of the family with the deceased family member, who happens to be Catholic, going to be Catholic, or raised in a Catholic family, and who is also in good standing with canon law. Yet, I've seen popular portrayals of it, which seem to suggest a huge celebration of the death, with the men and women all dressed in black, and the women wearing veils. After the funeral service, the dead body would be carried by horse and buggy to the cemetery. That's the movie portrayal. In real life, are Catholic families really that big? Does the immediate family invite every single person related to the deceased person according to canon law (which may extend to third cousins)? Or is the Roman Catholic funeral mass a mass for the parishioners rather than a mass for a particular family? I think this is a Roman Catholic funeral mass. The room looks as spacious as a typical Catholic church, which may suggest that it's Catholic. Plus, one does the sign of the cross. (talk) 15:57, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

The Catholic funerals I've attended have all been open to anyone who has known the deceased, which may involve parishioners if the deceased attended the church. (Which is just as well as my family isn't Catholic and neither am I) --TammyMoet (talk) 17:45, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
The only restriction on non-Catholics attending any mass is that they not take communion, a restriction which applies to lapsed and unconfessed Catholics with a sin on their conscience as well. (It does occasionally still happen, the priests don't have sin- or heretic-ometers.) The number of attendants will depend on the person. Veils are an old-fashioned custom related more to class and ethnicity than to any Christian sect. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not Catholic, but have been to both Catholic weddings and Catholic funerals. Those events are typically by invitation, either formal or verbal, that being up to the family. There's no requirement to be a Catholic, just that you be welcome there. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:29, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
So, is the Roman Catholic funeral mass traditionally, according to canon law, done in front of the whole congregation, or was it specially arranged as a private event? (talk) 18:48, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
According to the article Helena (song)#Music video your video was shot in a presbyterian church in LA. The absence of plaster saints is a big clue that the church isn't RC. Don't confuse a funeral and a Requiem mass, which always involves communion and may or may not be attached to a funeral. The mass is usually open for all to attend, but the sacrament is only for Catholics. How strictly this is applied is in practice down to the individual priest. The funeral may or may not involve a mass, and can just as easily happen in a crematorium chapel as a church. The whole thing is down to the next of kin, their budget, and the expected attendance. Most funerals are private events which run in a public space (church/crem/mortuary chapel). There is an assumption that people don't generally go to funerals of other people they don't know, unless they're desperate for a beer and a ham sandwich. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:05, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I found your answer most helpful, Fiddlersmouth. I actually did confuse the funeral with the Requiem mass, probably because they both had to do with death and the celebration of death. Also, every time I see the word "Requiem", I think of Mozart's piece that goes by the same name. (talk) 01:41, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
You won't get any food or drink at a funeral. μηδείς (talk) 23:53, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Technically, not at the ceremony itself, but it's normal for funerals in the UK (and elsewhere, I suspect) to be immediately followed by a funeral reception where ample food and drink is available for the family and friends. Ghmyrtle (talk) 00:02, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
That's often true in America as well. Typically not for everyone, just a few close relatives and friends, to commune and to talk about the deceased and whatever else. (Kind of like a mini-Shiva.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:16, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, if you scroll over my text you'll see I linked to the ham-sandwich mini-Shiva. μηδείς (talk) 01:44, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Looking at the Catholic Encyclopedia and in consultation with my father who was trained by Jesuits, the mass is open to all with a few exceptions. The priest may forbid late entrance once the mass has begun. The mass may be closed or secret due to persecution, and disruptive parties may be expelled. (Personally, I have seen people turned away who arrived late.)
Historically, there was the expulsion of the catechumens which was the exclusion of those studying to join the church after the readings and sermon, but before the Eucharist (communion) which was considered a "mystery" in the classical sense. This is attested to by Augustine in the 5th century and by others before him, but fell out of use by the 800's, when almost all attendees were raised Catholic from birth.
Nowadays the only exclusion from taking communion is voluntary exclusion by the unshriven and exclusion at the discretion of the priest for the excommunicated, etc. Specifically for funerals, over 1,000 believers and not attended my sister's funeral mass, and only a dozen were at the graveside when my grandmother was buried, although the mass in her neighborhood church was full. μηδείς (talk) 02:37, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Born Catholic in the Philippines. Having just attended a funeral mass for a friend's father: it's open to anyone, regardless of background or religion. As for size, it depends on the person (as well as the wishes of the family). Usual size of funerals I've attended is around 150 to 200 people. Usual invitation is in the form of a general announcement that "so-and-so has died and funeral services will be somewhere at _____ on _____" (published in the local paper, local radio, and also in social media sites). Black clothing is not required, though it's traditional for relatives of the deceased. People sometimes also wear white. Black veils (mantillas) are not a funeral-only thing, they are worn on any Catholic mass, but it's usually older and really devout women who wear them nowadays. It's not a celebration by any means. It's normally very very quiet, with people speaking in hushed tones, aside from the mass itself or family members/friends/loved ones getting emotional every now and then. It's basically just like regular mass, except the sermon is tailored a bit more about the deceased's life/death, there are no happy songs, and there are eulogies. If you're not Catholic, you can just sit quietly when they do Catholic things. There is a procession to the cemetery by hearse (if it's not beside the church), final blessings, lowering of the coffin, then everyone goes home as workmen seal it up. Food is provided afterwards usually (especially if the services extend past lunch), but most people forgo it, aside from immediate relatives. Also like everything else Catholic, it's far less strict than you think it is. At least it isn't here anyway. It depends on who your pastor is.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 03:46, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
    • You say people wear white on funeral day in the Philippines. Seeing that the Philippines is near China, could the white part be a Chinese influence? In Chinese culture, white symbolizes death. When my parents saw toilet paper on trees, they immediately thought someone had died in the family; apparently, they weren't aware that they were in the United States, and the concept of toilet papering is just a prank in America. (talk) 04:02, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Heh. But no, nothing to do with Chinese influence. White is nontraditional and it's not common at all, just underlining the fact that black isn't required. It's usually simply the family saying "black is too gloomy" or "[the deceased] wouldn't like us wearing black", etc. I don't know about the Catholic Chinese-Filipino community though. I've never been to a funeral of one (at least not those who still visibly uphold Chinese family traditions). -- OBSIDIANSOUL 04:32, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

similarities in Judaism and Shi'a Islam[edit]

Besides praying three times a day, what other similarities does Judaism and Shi'a Islam have in common? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Do they? In any case, there's a "comparisons" section in Abrahamic religions which you may find useful. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:18, 26 December 2014 (UTC)