User talk:Parrot of Doom/Archives/2009/December

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Gunpowder Plot (again)

I've had a bit of a hack at the Background section, to try and thicken up that soup a little and give it a bit more of a narrative flow. I want to add a little bit about recusancy fines, as James didn't abolish them when he came to power, he merely relaxed their collection for a while. I think we also need a footnote about Queen Anne's possible conversion to Catholicism in 1604, else the rosary story seems to dangle a bit. Anything else you can think of? Hopefully we'll get a few more supports shortly. --Malleus Fatuorum 15:57, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

  • There's an outstanding question at the FAC about the Latin quotation from Garnet. Do you have a spare minute to check if it's been transcribed accurately? --Malleus Fatuorum 13:49, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Yeah I'll have a look at that. Dick Turpin should shortly be ready for FAC too, would you like a co-nomination for that since you helped out with a lot of the copyediting? The Barlow book is less fearsome than I thought. Parrot of Doom 13:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
      • You should take the credit for Dick Turpin; all I tried to do was to stop it getting any worse than it was. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:59, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
        • I just thought you shared some traits - scourge of the authorities, managing to confound them with every move... :) Parrot of Doom 14:09, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
          • Perhaps. I can certainly relate to his "fuck working as a butcher for a game of soldiers, I'll just go and nick the meat" attitude. A propos of the Plot, by my reckoning we've got 4 supports and one oppose because of the present-day value conversion, which I'm inclined to stick on. An amount of £3,000 in 1601 is meaningless IMO, and any equivalent value (ours is CPI, of course) is better than none. Regular recusants (not the wealthy), paid a shilling a week, which I don't think anyone in 2009 would blink at, much less bother to pay. --Malleus Fatuorum 21:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
            • Objecting on the promotion of an article to FA on such a minor aspect is, I think, a bit silly (but not surprising). I haven't the foggiest what £3,000 was worth all those years ago but its nice to give an idea. If the listing drags on, it'll garner much more comment when it nears the bottom - as The Final Cut (album) did. If things get quiet for a few days I'm nominating Dick Turpin. Parrot of Doom 21:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

If you're ever daft enough to go for RfA, one of the questions you'll be asked is which of your contributions are you most proud of. I really enjoyed the buzz of getting Peterloo Massacre from rubbish to FA in three weeks or so, but I think in a way we've done even better than that with this one, on a subject that everyone (in the UK at least) thinks they know something about. I very much doubt whether there's a better online summary than the one we've produced. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:28, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I can't see it happening. I'm just not interested in having arguments with people, or patrolling pages, etc. I'd rather just write articles and work constructively with editors such as yourself, I've always enjoyed history and writing about things just makes it easier to remember them. I've been very happy to be able to help dispel a lot of the myths in both the above stories. I think my best article so far has been Mary Toft, but I'm hoping Dick Turpin can get close to it. If I carry on doing this for some time, my house will stink like a library :D Parrot of Doom 01:34, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks like we did it. Congratulations to us. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 19:00, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Way to go, guys! Ottava Rima (talk) 19:03, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Blimey, that were a bit quick! Parrot of Doom 19:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Mine tend to take two months and then get archived from lack of activity. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:35, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
That's because they don't contain enough murder, torture, and witchcraft. ;) Parrot of Doom 19:36, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, some of mine have contained murder. You should review sometime. :P Ottava Rima (talk) 21:02, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah but ordinary murder is boring. Have you looked at Jack the Ripper? Now there's an article that would take some work, and it could contain gruesome pics too. Perfect for the "think of the children!" brigade! Parrot of Doom 21:05, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I try to keep to high literature. ;/ Ottava Rima (talk) 21:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago) FAC3

Can you come strike resolved issues at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)/archive3.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:02, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

No problem, I'll return tomorrow. I have the page on my watchlist so don't worry :) Parrot of Doom 22:56, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Pink GA

Symbol support vote.svg This user helped promote the article Pink Floyd to good article status.

. Well done - sorry it was such a rough ride for you! Regards SilkTork *YES! 15:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Admin

Being an admin has nothing to do with patrolling or arguing with people (anybody can do that!). It just means you have the trust of the community with a few extra tools that will help you better to work on building the encyclopedia. People, like yourself, who are committed to the project, are doing excellent work, show good judgment, can work well together with other people, are polite even under stress, are valuable as admins. Having the tools means you can deal directly with incidents rather than simply reporting them. Give some thought to it, and if you feel you won't bugger up Wikipedia by having access to the article protection button, I'll be happy to nominate you. Regards SilkTork *YES! 16:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

And to have this as your first edit is a very good sign. You registered an account to undo vandalism! Awesome! SilkTork *YES! 16:11, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't help but snigger every time I read that vacuous "administrators have the trust of the community" bullshit. I woudn't trust most of them to have the common sense they were born with. I'm speaking generally of course SilkTork, no reflection on you. --Malleus Fatuorum 16:34, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I know what you are saying. However, the only real difference between an admin and a non-admin is that an admin has been subjected to the scrutiny of the community, and their activities, attitude and behaviour have been found to be broadly acceptable and trustworthy at the time of the RfA. Non-admins and admins can both display poor judgement - both are, on the other side of the screen, fallible humans after all! Also, the community can sometimes make mistakes during the RfA process. And some individuals can behave inappropriately after becoming an admin. All these things are possible. It is perhaps some aspects of the system we have that is at fault, rather than a broad swatch of people! An admin is simply someone who has extra tools. In the way way that a registered user has extra tools, and a registered user who has been around for a month has extra tools automatically (without even being aware of it!). By being a registered user you have automatically been trusted with more power and tools than an IP. I'd like to see every user who has been active for two years have access to the admin tools, and to lose them if they have abused them. I am in support of this: Wikipedia:Guide to Community de-adminship - and would like that to replace RfA (a sort of reverse of what we have right now!). The more of us that are admins the better - it might reduce some of this rather unpleasant "them and us" attitude that is sometimes seen! I don't think that I have changed since becoming an admin - I have the same strengths and weaknesses that I had before. I suspect that is the case for most people. The most contentious tool that admins have is the block tool. I think that tool might usefully be separated from the rest of the bundle. In the almost four years I have been an admin I have only used the block twice - and one of those times was against Mattisse. It's not a tool I want - but there you go...The other tools can sometimes come in handy. SilkTork *YES! 11:58, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with you about the block button. The ill-feeling and bad will those who wield it in pursuit of their childishly utopian idea of a perfectly civil society have generated is incalculable. Perhaps what we really need is more admins like you and less like _______ (fill in the blanks). -) --Malleus Fatuorum 14:31, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know. I tend to go with gut feelings, and my gut tells me that there's a murky and not entirely honest clique surrounding Admins. That isn't to say they're all bad, I know some excellent admins like Jza84 and Nev1 and I have no doubt that the majority do a good job, but I don't really want to have to deal with anything other than improving articles. Most online readers care only about what they read, my priority is to ensure they can trust what they read. That's why I did Nick Griffin, for instance, and I think that if I was an admin I'd have had the tools removed a long time ago, because I would have certainly used them over the disgusting abuse I received for trying to improve that article. Parrot of Doom 16:38, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd nominate you for RfA Parrot (so, take that as one support). Ottava Rima (talk) 18:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I've seen no evidence of you losing your cool. I've noted at times in interactions with others that you can express yourself through gritted teeth, but have not lost control. However, you are a better judge of yourself than others, and if you feel you would misuse the tools under stress, then I respect your honesty and integrity and will push you no further. Keep well! SilkTork *YES! 11:58, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

To Parrot of Doom

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
To Parrot of Doom, for his unsolicited assistance with many of my articles (Cheadle Hulme, Merry Xmas Everybody etc), and for being a helpful and genuine editor. Thanks! Majorly talk 22:22, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Majorly, I'd be happy to see the article get to FA and possibly 25th TFA. Anything to not have to listen to the X-Factor! Parrot of Doom 23:03, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Manchester beam pump

Hi, have you contacted the North West Mills Group? They are the group which cover Manchester and area. Mjroots (talk) 20:53, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Trump Tower Chicago FAC3

You did not respond to my criticism section. Also, since most of your enumerated concerns have been addressed, do you still oppose?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 00:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes. It needs a thorough copyedit. My points were examples of the problems the article has. Parrot of Doom 21:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Seasons Greetings

--Sky Attacker the legend reborn... 03:09, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Animals (album)

The article Animals (album) you nominated as a good article has been placed on hold Symbol wait.svg. The article is close to meeting the good article criteria, but there are some minor changes or clarifications needed to be addressed. If these are fixed within seven days, the article will pass, otherwise it will fail. See Talk:Animals (album) for things needed to be addressed. Jezhotwells (talk) 14:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Man on a mission

You're a man on a mission.[1] For some reason I had it in my head that you'd already got this to GA. Probably got confused with Mary Toft. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm, wrong linky? I presume you mean Cock Lane ghost? Parrot of Doom 01:19, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I did, yes. So many arguments, so little time. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 01:47, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

DYK nomination of Wife selling

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Wife selling at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and there still are some issues that may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Materialscientist (talk) 11:59, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Congratulations seem to be in order (again)

Looks like you've made it through FAC with Dick Turpin. In the spirit of "swooping in on an improved article, dressing it up, and palming it off as your own work" I think I may take just a soupçon of credit for that. :lol: --Malleus Fatuorum 21:59, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Wheee :) Onto Dennis Moore now! Parrot of Doom 22:03, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Wife selling

I've just ordered from Amazon what appears to be the standard reference on this subject, E. P. Thompson's Customs in Common, which seems to have loads more interesting stuff in it as well. I've also proposed a rename to "Wife-selling"; what do you think?

I can't decide about the overall structure of this article either, but perhaps when the Thompson book arrives that'll become clearer. Do you have any thoughts? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:32, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd go with whatever name appears popular in contemporary literature. I'm not sure about the hyphen though. See if you can read past page 219 of the Hill book, if you can please prt-scr the pages, else Google will get clever and 'disappear' them for a bit. I have pages 215 - 219 Parrot of Doom 22:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I have to add, we'll have to be careful not to appear as a pair of misogynists with this article! Parrot of Doom 22:55, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
PS, Wives for Sale by Samuel Pyeatt Menefee would seem to be a fairly standard text on this subject. Parrot of Doom 11:50, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Here's a pic you can't use :-( [2]--J3Mrs (talk) 20:10, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I reckon that's well out of copyright. Published about 1828, the photograph/scan of the report is a derivative work. Parrot of Doom 20:17, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
just a very tiny joke :-( Hope you can use it :-)--J3Mrs (talk) 20:36, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
There's another image here if it's any use.[3]--J3Mrs (talk) 11:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I can't be sure of the authenticity of the image though, it'd certainly get pulled up in FAC. I've looked for online archives of the Illustrated Police News but to no avail :( Parrot of Doom 11:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

My Thompson book arrived today, but it doesn't confirm that 1928 date, so heaven knows where that came from. The latest case he mentions is from 1913, in which a women giving evidence in a maintenance case claimed that she'd been sold for £1 to one of her husband's workmates. Thompson concentrates on sales between 1760 and 1880, what he call "true" ritual cases, and he's quite critical of Menefee's claim of 387 cases (suggests that he's double counted some, and included others that weren't really proper sales), believing Menefee's real number to be nearer 300. But given that Thompson includes some cases the Menefee doesn't, and vice versa, Thompson believes the actual number of verifiable cases is still about 400. --Malleus Fatuorum 16:10, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

In light of that then, I'd suggest writing "as recently as 1913", rather than "the last recorded case...1913". Does Thompson give any indication as to how long it'd been going on for, because it seems very unlikely the start of the practice coincided with the spread of cheap newspapers and pamphlets. Parrot of Doom 16:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
BTW, it seems we're not the only people here with an interest in oddities :) Parrot of Doom 16:19, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
The earliest case he mentions is from 1692, but he's dubious whether that was a wife sale in the sense that we're describing, with a halter and public auction and so on, which is why he focuses in the period between 1760–1880, where the evidence is better. As he also says, wives are no doubt still occasionally sold or exchanged today, so perhaps we ought to make it clearer in the article that we're talking just about these ritual sales? --Malleus Fatuorum 16:44, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
A rename to Wife selling (English ritual) might accomplish that? I think the article is looking good, it needs the topping and tailing though. Parrot of Doom 17:00, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd be happy with that renaming. Once I've digested Thompson there's still a bit to add, I think. He makes the point, for instance, that for a case to be reported it must have acquired a certain notoriety to become newsworthy, so private sales in public houses, which became more common than public auctions from about 1830 onwards are probably under-reported. Even that before 1790 the practice may have been so commonplace that it wasn't considered worth reporting on. --Malleus Fatuorum 17:37, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
... on reflection, I'd probably be marginally happier with Wife selling (English custom). --Malleus Fatuorum 17:45, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
That name is fine with me. I'm sure I read somewhere that local newspapers often didn't report on a wife sale (presumably because it was nothing unusual), and that it was the more distant newspapers, to whom the custom may have appeared strange, who tended to report the matter. Parrot of Doom 17:50, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I've done the move, as you've probably noticed. I take it that you think we should work this article up to FA standard, rather than stop off at GAN? --Malleus Fatuorum 20:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, these little articles are ripe for FAC, there isn't much written about their subject. They're amusing, interesting, and will no doubt get emailed around all over the shop if they hit the front page. They're like little pots of double cream, why put them in the Wikipedia equivalent of Tesco, when you can put add brandy to them and sell them in M&S? ;) Parrot of Doom 20:56, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

My to do list:

  • Tie in the Mayor of Casterbridge reference, give it some context
  • Add something about wives buying themselves
  • General tidy up
  • Add a sentence or two about Australia
  • Finish off the lead

Anything else you can think of? --Malleus Fatuorum 01:38, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I'm going through it now and fiddling with a few bits. A few things I noticed:
  • "way of ending an unsatisfactory marriage by mutual agreement that began in the late 17th century" - well we don't really know if it began at that time, or earlier, do we?
  • "Although the custom had no basis in law " - I think "legitimacy" would be better, the custom was clearly modelled from a livestock sale, and therefore did have a basis in law, however illegitimate it was.
  • "In March 1766, a carpenter from Southwark sold his wife "in a fit of conjugal indifference at the alehouse". Once sober, the man asked his wife to return, and after she refused he hanged himself." - taking care to avoid synthesis, that may be the place to put the Casterbridge info in, if another place can't be found. Parrot of Doom 11:30, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Cock lane ghost value of money over time at FAC

Annoying political economic comment: CPI isn't the measure to use; go for average earnings. Otherwise stuff looks good. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

The same objection cropped up during the Gunpowder Plot's FAC, and we resolved it by introducing notes giving the basis for the calculation. --Malleus Fatuorum 02:24, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

And another thing

This reads rather strangely: "As the executor of Fanny's will, Kent ordered a coffin, but for fear of prosecution should the nature of their relationship become known, asked that it remain nameless." The coffin was nameless? Do coffins usually have names? --Malleus Fatuorum 12:59, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the coffin was stored in a vault. They put the names on so that Scooby Doo would know which coffin was which :) Parrot of Doom 13:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
So, come the day I die I can have a coffin called "Bond, James Bond" can I? --Malleus Fatuorum 13:22, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
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DYK for Wife selling (English custom)

Updated DYK query On December 21, 2009, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Wife selling (English custom), which you created or substantially expanded. You are welcome to check how many hits your article got while on the front page (here's how, quick check ) and add it to DYKSTATS if it got over 5,000. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

Materialscientist (talk) 11:42, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Superbly done. Not easy to write but I believe you've done an excellent job! Warmest congrats on Dick Turpin too!! Dr. Blofeld White cat 12:18, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, although Malleus is also responsible for equal, if not more praise. If you're interested, I'm working Cock Lane ghost up to FAC next :) Read all about the exploits of Scratching Fanny! Parrot of Doom 12:20, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi PoD. The exact quote from A Sussex Miscellany is: "The village inn was frequently the scene of these bargains [...]", which is perhaps a little vague. In the article, the wording "a regular venue" might be more appropriate, on reflection. Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 19:38, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, it seemed a little unusual. Parrot of Doom 20:06, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

More fascinating reading of Cock Lane. Thanks to you and Malleus again! Ooh I really do enjoy old english scandals. Perhaps you could write a full article about the Jamaica Inn which has a fascinating history of hauntings and highwaymen. Dr. Blofeld White cat 13:06, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

London map detail

Greetings, Parrot of Doom. I have noticed that File:John rocque house of lords gunpowder plot cropped.jpg is much clearer than File:Palace of Westminster from Roque's map (1745).jpg, and it has the added advantage of being correctly oriented (the latter confusingly places the north to the right). I am therefore wondering whether you have retained a version of this image without the red highlighting of the Parliament Chamber, so that I can use it as a general map of the Old Palace of Westminster where needed in the relevant articles. If you have, could you upload it? And if not, would you consider re-creating it? The source may be public, and I'd love to be able to create a map out of it to my own specifications, but I have neither the tools nor the knowledge to stitch together the two pieces which have been so awkwardly placed on different sheets.

Merry Christmas. Waltham, The Duke of 17:43, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Here you go, just copy the info from the highlighted map onto this. Parrot of Doom 17:57, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
And done, info and all (including, to my mild surprise, the metadata). Thank you for your trouble.
Love your Flickr nickname, by the way. Waltham, The Duke of 19:44, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
No problem, there's a larger uncropped version in commons if you need it. Parrot of Doom 16:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, FAC

Hi Parrot of Doom. You kindly reviewed the Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, article at WP:Featured article candidates/Lock Haven, Pennsylvania/archive1 a week or so ago. We think we've addressed all of your questions, but three are still unstruck. Would you mind having another look and either striking the remainder or letting us know if anything still seems amiss? Thanks. Finetooth (talk) 03:40, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Pink Floyd Names

the pink floyd names, they actually went by those names for a little while go here http://www.think-floyd.com/thinkfloyd/trivia.shtml to see what i am talking about.

I know, but all of the sources used in the article mention them in a throwaway fashion, which leads me to believe that they were used fleetingly, and hence do not warrant inclusion in the infobox. By the way the website you've linked appears to make several mistakes. Parrot of Doom 17:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Wife selling at FAC

I don't think there's much more we can add to this now, so I've nominated it at FAC. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:33, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Good stuff, I'll keep my eye on it. Parrot of Doom 22:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
heh, you forgot to add it to the FAC page :) Parrot of Doom 22:44, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I got distracted. Thanks for fixing it. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:05, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

A rich new source?

While idly playing with gong farmer earlier (which I'm not now sure there's been enough written about to make much more of an article about it), I came across a Guardian piece on lost professions. Like schrimpschongers, scavelmen, wanters, and whackers. To be fair though, I was surprised that quite a few did have a wikipedia article, like whitesmith, for instance. --Malleus Fatuorum 03:40, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I'm beginning to change my mind about gong farmer, as there isn't even an article on pail closet. The world needs to know what we did with our shit before the days of flushing toilets. --Malleus Fatuorum 08:26, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm willing to bet there's plenty knocking around, but not books which specifically cover those topics. For instance, I'm having a hard time knocking something together for Thomas Rowlandson, but I began to find a lot more when I started looking for books about caricaturists, rather than the man himself. Parrot of Doom 12:22, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
As I said, I'm changing my mind about gong farmers. I'm now thinking it's a matter of looking at the subject in a more general way, or, as you say, looking at more generalist sources on medieval sewage. --Malleus Fatuorum 12:29, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Much of the infrastructure around Manchester is still there, just. The loading bay off the Irwell, here (there's a handy sign there also which tells people what it was for). In Manchester Library I found a few bits and pieces about Carrington Moss, and the reasons for its purchase - initially the council was going to go with pail closets, but something forced them to change their mind. Official reports may be a good source of information, as they won't be afraid of upsetting the delicate reader. They'll all be at the library, I may hunt them down the next time I'm in. Parrot of Doom 12:32, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Interestingly that Guardian article doesn't even know the name of a candlestick maker, which is a chandler :) Parrot of Doom 12:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The profession of gong farmer though is claimed to have been a Tudor thing, which I'm beginning to believe isn't entirely credible. Pail closets weren't introduced in Manchester until the late 19th century, so what were the guys who cleared out the cesspits until then called? What are the guys who do it today called? So many questions ... --Malleus Fatuorum 12:42, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Blaster Bates? --Fred the Oyster (talk) 14:18, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
You know I'd forgotten about that Blaster Bates story. I'm sure I've got it in vinyl or tape somewhere, have to look it out. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:21, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
It may be worth asking Nev1 if in his research for Castle he came across reference to the Gong Pit. Parrot of Doom 12:51, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
No such luck I'm afraid (although I did come across an interesting reference to something called "blood rain"), and jstor draws a blank for either "gong pit" or "gong farmer". Nev1 (talk) 12:57, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually I did come across a reference to gong farmers and castles (where the "night soil" was often dumped in the moat, which needed cleaning out from time to time) in the context of a determined enemy who might sometimes climb up a sewage pipe from the garderobe to the cesspit if it was made too large. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:08, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
... which has made me wonder why the subject of sewage disposal is hardly ever dealt with in medieval buildings. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:11, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
There was a legend that that's how attackers got into Château-Gaillard, and although it's now thought they got in through a window, it does show that people at the time thought it could be done. It wasn't really something I looked for, but I'll have a look through the indexes of what books I've got left (only two or three). Undoubtedly waste disposal must have been an issue in castles – and a consideration during sieges to prevent disease in the garrison – but it didn't really stick out when I was writing the article. It's hardly the most glamorous part of buildings associated with chivalry! Nev1 (talk) 13:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I think that PoD and I have done enough to demonstrate our fascination with history's less glamorous underbelly. Not saying that's healthy, but it's certainly under-represented. :-)
I really don't think it's credible though to suppose that defenders stuck their asses out of garderobes during a siege, do you? And a cesspit inside a castle would probably have got pretty unpleasant after a month or two. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I made that nasty red link turn blue. I think I'll expand it a bit more, over the next few weeks. Parrot of Doom 18:48, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
PoD, I love you. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 19:21, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I think It'll probably need a move or redirect to Pail system (waste removal) or similar at some point, as the closet is just a wooden hut with a shitting bench. I think Manchester MoS&I has a pail closet so I'll probably get pics from there. Parrot of Doom 19:23, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I have a pic of a privy taken at Wortley Top Forge, I can upload it if you like. Don't ask why I have a pic of an outside loo, I just do. There's a link here you might find interesting [[4]]--J3Mrs (talk) 20:12, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll have a look at the book in the link (its online here) J3Mrs! Parrot of Doom 20:31, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
What do you have on middens and privvies Malleus? According to several sources Manchester was one of the first cities to convert from privvies to pail closets, so obviously there will need to be a bit of history here. Also, I wonder if they used bog roll. Parrot of Doom 22:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh my. Only Wikipedia could substitute "wiping one's arse" with Anal cleansing.... Parrot of Doom 22:07, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't have anything more right now than we already used in Chat Moss and Carrington Moss, where last night I had a very agreeable meal at the Green Dragon. I'll see what I can get hold of though. I'm a bit dubious that those who emptied the pails were call gong farmers though, but we'll see. Manchester seems to have kept fairly good records of its waste disposal in the late 19th century. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
PS. I've always believed that the typical Coronation Street back-to-back terraces were built to allow those colecting the night soil easy access via the lane separating the rows of terraces. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:18, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Is the Green Dragon still open then? The one around the corner closed a couple of years back. I'm often to be found cycling around those roads. I agree about gong farmers, but they must have had a name, even if it was a nickname. I've got my fingers crossed that its a "shit digger" or something equally encyclopaedic and offensive :) Parrot of Doom 22:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The Green Dragon was open last night ... Stella was off though ... anyway, I'm becoming determined to get at least one of these sewage articles to FAC. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:10, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Theres tons of stuff about pail closets, which seems to be mostly a Manchester invention. This is a definite for DYK, I'll have it doubled by tomorrow. Parrot of Doom 23:42, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
We lead the world again. :-) I guess that's because Manchester grew so fast during the 19th century, and without a major river like The Thames running through it had to be rather inventive in finding ways to get rid of the sewage from so many people living in so many small houses, so close together. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:08, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Apparently the vans used to take the pails away and return them were nicknamed "Lavender Wagons". I have a pic, only small, but I'll find a bigger version soon enough. Parrot of Doom 00:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
In a similar vein. Have you ever noticed the rather curiously-named credit for "Honeywagon Driver" at the end of films? Well that's the guy who drives round the Portaloo vehicle when they're out on location. --Fred the Oyster (talk) 00:45, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, that could be related. Parrot of Doom 01:02, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I've never noticed that, interesting. What amazed me when I was writing Chat Moss was that farmers were charged for having shit dumped on their fields. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:17, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Have you seen the soil up there though, and at Carrington Moss? Its the sort of stuff that gardeners dream of. When I get my allotment (bah, 6 months waiting now), I'm going up there and nicking some. Parrot of Doom 01:25, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The pic is here [[5]] if it's any use, I didn't put it in the article as I know you take much better pics than I do :-) which is not difficult. When I was teaching anything lavatorial was a great way of getting the kids interested :-( --J3Mrs (talk) 11:33, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Bleargh, one would hope that back in the day the seat was polished! Parrot of Doom 12:20, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Happy New Year!

Cathedral of our Lady 7 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul."

—"A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman

Happy New Year Awadewit (talk) 05:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)