Page semi-protected

Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities

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

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of humanities.

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

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

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

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

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

February 7

Floor-crossing in UK Parliament

When Douglas Carswell changed parties, he resigned and stood (successfully) in a by-election for his seat. The article notes that he was "not required to do so", so why would he do this? Merely because he thought it the best idea (e.g. perhaps he wanted to know that his voters still supported him), or is this one of those things in UK politics that, while not required, is still considered the proper thing to do? Before Carswell, the last Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds (at least according to our list) who took the office in relation to changing parties was Cathcart Wason in 1902, and before Carswell (who is supposedly the incumbent of both positions), the last Steward of the Manor of Northstead to resign upon changing parties, according to our list, was seemingly Richard Rigg in 1905. In particular, I don't see Winston Churchill on either list, despite his famous floor-crossing from Conservative to Liberal 1904. Nyttend (talk) 01:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I would say that rather than being seen as the proper thing to do, resigning after crossing the floor is seen as rather unusual, as is suggested by our article List of British politicians who have crossed the floor. DuncanHill (talk) 02:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Just noticed the Duchess of Atholl, who crossed the floor five times from 1935-38, which must surely be some kind of record!. DuncanHill (talk) 02:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
ah, and she took the Chiltern Hundreds on the last occasion to stand as an Independent, but lost the by-election. DuncanHill (talk) 02:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I wasn't previously aware of this list. Is Carswell somehow a holder of both stewardships, or is there a mistake on one of the lists? Nyttend (talk) 02:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Mark Reckless took the Chiltern Hundreds to stand for UKIP. Carswell isn't on the list for the Chiltern Hundreds. DuncanHill (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, there are several Manor of Northstead resignations on changing party, Bruce Douglas-Mann in 1982, Dick Taverne in 1972, haven't looked over them all yet. DuncanHill (talk) 02:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm hmm, apparently I wasn't paying sufficient attention; sorry. Nyttend (talk) 02:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No need to apologise, it's an interesting subject. DuncanHill (talk) 02:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
And hence, DuncanHill, does this not make the Dutchess your first MP who was also a street-walker? μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to take care about who you call what. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Or not, given that according to the law of the US, neither are titles of nobility recognized, nor is the obvious parody of public figures (Hustler Magazine v. Falwell) subject to actual libel. μηδείς (talk) 03:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking of a moral rather than legal imperative. "Racist bigot" might have been fair comment however. Alansplodge (talk) 11:09, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
In the UK, (legally) you vote for your MP, not for the party that they represent. Indeed, before about 1960, the candidates' affiliation wasn't printed on the ballot paper. Therefore, if an MP decides to change their party, then they have no legal (but perhaps a moral) obligation to resign and seek re-election. LongHairedFop (talk) 12:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This BBC article about an unsuccessful attempt to force MPs who change allegiance to submit to a by-election, records the cases of Shaun Woodward and Quentin Davies who moved from Labour to Conservative Conservative to Labour without seeking a mandate from their constituents. Alansplodge (talk) 17:07, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
  • In the cases of Carswell and Reckless, the by-election was mostly for UKIP's sake, rather than their own. Bob Spink had previously crossed the floor to UKIP, but by not standing for a by-election his change of allegiance was almost totally ignored - especially because at the next General Election, he stood as a UKIP-backed independent (for complicated reasons to do with the lack of a UKIP whip) rather than officially standing for the party. The by-elections, coming at a real peak in popularity for UKIP, were a trial by fire that proved the party could win elections and helped its national leadership a lot - and it got them all a lot of media coverage. Smurrayinchester 10:14, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
United Kingdom by-election records#By-elections to ratify a change of party has a list of MPs who have resigned when they changed party - only eight since 1900. Some others who resigned to stand as independents are listed in the section above. Warofdreams talk 14:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Paradise for females 2

Thanks to all those who explained the situation to me. So, the first woman started in a garden with one male companion, whom she did not have to look after, while the final women will end up in a very similar place, if they are good enough. Only now, they share it with their husband, plus, perhaps three more virtuous wives, plus more if earlier wives pre-deceased them, plus a number of virgins if the husband's conduct merited them. It seems to me that paradise might end up a female-dominated place. Surely not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenadrienne (talkcontribs) 08:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

If it's not in the Quran, does it still count? For comparison, it's common knowledge that the apple was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and that the Three Wise Men were Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, or some such. However, those "facts" do not appear in the Bible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, logically it would seem that paradise according to Islam is mostly inhabited by women, but most of these would be specially created virgins. However, at least in Sunni Islam there is also a saying attributed to Muhammad that indicates hell will also be female-dominated:
"Once Allah's Messenger went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih Bukhari, 304) - Lindert (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Any treaty against ballistic missiles?

Has North Korea broken any treaty or convention by firing a ballistic missile? I am not saying that N. Korea's good intentions can be trusted, but is it illegal per se, or just scary? --Scicurious (talk) 15:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Why are you spelling it that way, instead of as the normal "North Korea" ? Are you confusing it with chorea ? As for international treaties, I doubt if they signed any. StuRat (talk) 17:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, have been reading French all day. Corrected.
The question is also whether a country has an obligation to comply with certain principles, even without signing anything. Or can it just poison, destroy, contaminate, and so on a region as long as it does not agree to not do it? --Scicurious (talk) 17:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The question of what is legal really has no bearing on reality here, as NK will simply ignore any legal decision. It comes down to if China is willing to cut off their supply line. If not, then they can do whatever they want, and will continue to do so. StuRat (talk) 17:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
You are not completely right about NK ignoring everything that happens beyond its borders. They are certainly peculiar and pretty isolated, but not indifferent to the international community. The country seems to be playing a kind of whack-a-mole game. The question remains, is developing and testing ballistic technology a casus belli? Could this justify a preemptive attack? Or should the world wait and see? --Scicurious (talk) 19:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
What NK does certainly is enough of a justification for war, but, as a practical matter, they would be able to wipe on SK at the very least, if attacked, so it won't happen unless they drop a nuke on someone. StuRat (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The category Treaties of North Korea may be help. The country is apparently been signatory to at least 90 international treaties. These are not always transparently named but at a glance, most of them are not weapons-related. According to our article, North Korea was a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but withdrew in 2003. (talk) 19:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC) Posted from talk page Matt Deres (talk) 19:38, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That looks closer to an answer than the discussion above. Thanks. --Scicurious (talk) 19:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
From most sources discussing the tests, AFAIK it's generally accepted by pretty much everyone including China that North Korea is in violation of security council resolutions with their tests [1] in particular United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087 (may not be clear from our article but the text is in the earlier link) and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094 (again see the text). I think United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695 too although it isn't mentioned in that source (again see the full text).

As I understand it (and per the source), United Nations Security Council resolutions of these sort are generally considered legally binding. I believe most of these were issued under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, although only article 41 not article 42 (i.e. there was no authorisation of force). North Korea may reject the resolutions and claim they are not binding. On the other hand they remain a member of the UN and I'm pretty sure most other countries would say that as a member of the UN they are legally bound by these resolutions. (Actually I think quite a few would say they're legally binding even on non members.) Note also that most of the tests were after at least one of these resolutions (and the latest one after all). See [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] for further discussions about whether and when security council resolutions are legally binding.

BTW, I think there's also a question whether NK's withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was actually in proper compliance with the treaty, see United Nations Security Council Resolution 825 (see the text) and [8], as the treat required if "extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country". There's also a question of when they actually withdrew as NK considers they withdrew on 11 January [9] [10] [11] but the treaty requires three months notice and they only gave one day with the argument that they had already given notice in 1993. So some suggest the withdrawal was effective April 10 [12]. Note that entire sentence is correct, i.e. the source disagrees with those who suggest the withdrawal was invalid, and gives examples of similar treaties including the ABM which the US withdrew from. Also, clearly whatever countries may have said when NK withdrew, the general way it's treated now is that NK did withdraw.

Nil Einne (talk) 14:49, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

That is an extremely good answer, yet I have to look at it with some bemusement. Technically speaking the Korean War is still ongoing, and in that war North Korea and the United Nations were (are?) combatants. There are times when the ideas people use just seem hard for me to relate to anything. Wnt (talk) 19:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Musical instrument

What musical instrument produces this sound, like some type of wind instrument? Heard it elsewhere too. Thanks. Brandmeistertalk 16:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

[NOTE: The instrument is audible at 0:10 and 0:23 in the video, not for the rest of the track]. It sounds like pan pipes to me. Tevildo (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
May be. I mean that at 0:25 and 1:03. Brandmeistertalk 08:43, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Why do we need the design right (UK)?

I have read expositions that explain why copyright provides inadequate protection on certain sorts of three-dimensional designs. However, I am yet to be persuaded. Supposedly, copying must have taken place at each stage in production for something to be deemed a breech of copyright, but why? Copyright law applies to inexact copies as well, so how can it not protect the look of a product? Saying copyright only protects art works is risible as academic textbooks are protected under copyright. And saying copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent is also indefensible, as maps are protected under copyright. So, why do we need the design right? What is the limitation of copyright that I am missing?--Leon (talk) 19:06, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Who says that "copyright only protects art" or that "copyright does not cover items made with utilitarian intent"? It won't cover everything produced under the sun, but the restrictions you mention seem kind of misplaced.--Scicurious (talk) 19:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Writing is considered by many to be an art form. Therefore, since the earliest days of copyright protection, authors' works have been protected. Star trooper man, what makes you think textbooks would no longer be protected under someone's (?) proposed changes? DOR (HK) (talk) 09:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that UK design right lasts for 15 (unregistered) or 25 (registered) years, while copyright lasts for "life plus 70" in most cases. So the law isn't separated because copyright provides inadequate protection, but rather to prevent an extrememly long-lasting monopoly right on useful or mass produced goods. The interaction between copyright and design right is governed by Section 51 and Section 236 CDPA, which can be summarised as: "Copyright applies, except for manufacture or copying of a work other than an artistic work or typeface, and issuing of things so made, where design right applies." (taken from my revision notes). There's also an exception to copyright for mass produced artistic works which limits the duration of copyright to 25 years (i.e. the maximum duration of design right). MChesterMC (talk) 10:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Two basic reasons: 1. you need a "lesser right" to give protection to designs which may or may not meet the higher thresholds of copyright or patents but are still valuable. 2. for mainly policy reasons copyright only protects specific kinds of works, not just any "thing". A map is a printed work and is protectable, but a Star Wars stormtrooper's helmet apparently is not a sculpture and does not fit within any other category, so is not. Example: a new design for a tablet computer looks aesthetically pleasing, but it's almost exactly the same as all flat screen devices that have come before it other than being "cooler". But that coolness is pretty valuable and there is a public interest in giving it some protection (but not as much as copyright or patent) against someone else, also working from the same precedent flat screen device designs, who comes up with something with the same look and feel.
Finally, unregistered design serves a specific need: it is acquired without formalities, has a low threshold and a relatively short term of protection, so it's useful for transient designs such as in fashion, where the value of the design will probably only last a short time and it would not be cost effective to make the proprietor go through an application process to get the protection. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:13, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Bernie Sanders' surname origins

Bernie Sanders had a father from Poland, yet why does Sanders not have a Polish surname? --Figerio Addgaf (talk) 21:50, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Various sites (of variable levels of reliability) give his grandfather's name as "Leon Sander", and connect it (not unreasonably) with the surname Sandler - according to our article, this is "derived from Hebrew "Sandlar" (סנדלר) - "sandal-maker". Tevildo (talk) 22:19, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Google treats "bernie sandler" as a synonym for "bernie sanders" as well as "bernard sandler". Many American fathers don't have American surnames, but Polish ones. People travel. It's normal. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:40, February 8, 2016 (UTC)
@Figerio Addgaf: - It's quite normal for immigrant families to change their name to either something more easy to pronounce in English (or wherever they've moved to) or to a literal translation of their previous name. As many non-English speaking countries have less of a tradition of people having one first name and one surname, their original surname may not be something they're too attached to - they may only have a surname because they needed to have something to fill that slot on a form! See Patel for an Indian example of this. Blythwood (talk) 09:27, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Isn't Sandlar more likely to be Yiddish than Hebrew? —Tamfang (talk) 11:05, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yiddish does borrow a lot of words from Hebrew. In this case, there's at least a 2000 year old tradition of the Hebrew name Sandlar, albeit originally it was not a surname in the way we use them now. --Dweller (talk) 12:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that Sandlar was ever used in Eastern European Yiddish? I don't see any reason why it should have. The idiomatic term for a shoemaker is shuster, while sandal-making does not strike me as a reasonable profession in the primordial shtetl. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:56, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The only Yiddish>English dictionary I can consult at present was compiled by Vilna-born Uriel Weinreich and published by YIVO in New York in 1968. It gives shuster for "shoemaker" and sandal for sandal. The Even-Shoshan Hebrew dictionary gives the Greek sandalon as the etymology for san'dal which like the English is an open form of footwear. From this we have the Hebrew sand'lar (shoemaker, cobbler) and sandlari'yah (shoe repair shop). NOTE: the only answer I can support for this query on the Eastern European Jewish surname Sanders is what I wrote below (at 14:42 on 8 February). -- Deborahjay (talk) 12:39, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Some Eastern Europeans have German sounding names. Llaanngg (talk) 11:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
That may be because many modern Eastern Europeans had German ancestors, such as the Baltic Germans. German linguistic influence can be seen as far east as Russia as well, u.e. St. Petersburg, Orenburg, etc. Many ethnic Germans absorbed into the Russian Empire rose to prominent positions of power, (i.e. Levin August, Count von Bennigsen). Heck, some of Russia's tsars and tsarinas were German, Catherine the Great, Peter III of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna, etc. It isn't like there are permanent and never-breached walls between cultures whereby people of one culture never intermingle or move etc. Having a German-origin name in Poland would not be unusual, given the proximity between the nations and the frequent movement of people. --Jayron32 13:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
In fact, for most of the 19th century right up to the bitter end of WWI, Prussia basically was Poland (plus Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast - and of course, Northern Germany) - and even after the war, Germany had most of western Poland until the Oder-Neisse line was drawn after WWII. Many cities in Poland have separate German names for just that reason - Gdansk is Danzig to the Germans, Wroclaw is Breslau and Bydgoszcz is Bromberg, for instance. There was a lot of forced resettlement of various kinds throughout the 20th century, but a lot of German roots still remain. Smurrayinchester 15:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
(By the way, it is to some extent a two-way street. Lots of Germans (according to List of the most common surnames in Germany, 13%) have Slavic surnames, and one interesting thing on the list is that the 67th most common surname is "Böhm" - meaning Bohemian or Czech - and the 90th is "Pohl" - meaning Pole) Smurrayinchester 15:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There are also many place-names of Slavic origin in Germany, such as Leipzig, reflecting the long eastward expansion of the Germans. —Tamfang (talk) 09:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
This reminds me of one of the many linguistic flaws in the Conrad Stargard series. The narrator is embarrassed to reveal his surname – Schwartz – to a fellow Pole, unaware that Conrad is also a German name. —Tamfang (talk) 09:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
A different and more direct derivation of the surname is "Sender's [son]" - "Sender" being the Yiddish abbreviated form of the masculine given name Alexander#Variants and diminutives, popular in Slavic countries. Returning to the OP's query: the Yiddish-speaking Jewish population of Poland were not Polish-speaking ethnic Poles so wouldn't necessarily have Polish surnames. Yiddish surnames in Poland were commonly romanized according to either German or Polish orthography, e.g. Greenbaum, Weiss, Schwarz, Zuckermann vs. Grynbojm, Wajs, Szwarc, Cukierman. -- Deborahjay (talk) 14:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

February 9

Just William

I just read an article (not on Wikipedia) about the Just William books by Richmal Crompton. William remains 11 years old throughout the decades that the books were published, and apparently he has two birthdays during that time - but continues to be 11. One of these was obviously the story called William's Birthday. But I can't recall another. The article hinted that it may have been a story featuring a flower show and/ or a prize marrow. So can anyone remember the title of, or any details about, William stories featuring

  • William having a birthday, or
  • a flower show, or
  • a prize marrow

Thanks! Amisom (talk) 07:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

William gets involved in a flower show (with predictable consequences) in "Boys Will Be Boys" (William Does His Bit, 1940), but there's no reference to his birthday as far as I know. Tevildo (talk) 08:51, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
According to our article, William_the_Conqueror_(short_story_collection) has a story called A Birthday Treat, where 'The Hubert Lanites ruin William's birthday party'. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 09:33, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, that's odd because it's the wrong synopsis, the eponymous birthday treat is for Ginger's aunt's birthday in that story... Hmm. Amisom (talk) 10:45, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Paradise for females (3, I suppose)

The above questions have prompted me to ask: what do religions other than Islam offer to women after death? And, relatedly, how do or did women (ordinary women for their time and place, not Joan of Arc anomalies) envisage paradise? I was working on the biography of Louisa Capper, who ran a household so smoothly that hypochondriac Jane Carlyle describes it as a sort of Eden:

a perfect Paradise of a place, peopled as every Paradise ought to be with Angels. There I drank warm milk, and eat new eggs, and bathed in pure air, and rejoiced in cheerful countenances, and was as happy as the day was long, which I should have been a monster not to have been, when every body about me seemed to have no other object in life but to study my pleasure.[1]

Is there a book about this? Descriptions of what the laity thought the afterlife would be like? Not reincarnation but the Heaven and Hell aspects, especially the Heaven. I'm equally interested in Victorian Englishwomen and current Korean Christians and everyone in between. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 14:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm going to digress a bit from the actual question here to observe that compelling descriptions of Heaven, for either sex, are pretty hard to find. Rarely do the preachers make it sound like a place you'd actually want to go. I think the human imagination is a lot better at conceiving extreme horror than extreme joy.
I can think of two exceptions: First, C. S. Lewis in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I guess they didn't actually get to Heaven in that book but they got close enough to give you a taste and make you know you'd like more.
The other is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy is back from the dead, and all her friends assume she's been in Hell. (Such good friends.) Near the end of the episode, she confesses her actual experiences, but only to Spike. Her Heaven sounded, not very stimulating, but certainly restful. --Trovatore (talk) 19:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Carlyle, Jane Welsh (Sunday [20 September 1835]).  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
Not sure if your final question is asking just about women's descriptions of paradise, or descriptions by the laity in general. For a famous and extensive treatment of this subject from a Christian layman, see the third part of La commedia. I'll agree with Trovatore on the "hard to find"; I've typically heard the subject addressed in terms such as "any human activity will eventually become wearisome, but for the sinless human, service to God in his presence will be eternally joyful, far beyond our imagination". Nyttend (talk) 19:51, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure about Victorian Englishwomen but many Christians' imagery of the afterlife is not only taken from scripture but also from hymns. I once did a language analysis of a set of gospel songs years ago (I believe it was on the theme of forgiveness) and it was a very interesting project to do. This might be especially valuable for the most commonly song hymns, the ones that the laity didn't need a hymnbook to sing, that they had memorized. Vivid and imaginative song lyrics can leave a lasting impression on ones memory that filters into ones belief system of what heaven or hell might be like. Additionally, at least in the United States, many hymn writers were laity and quite a few were women so it wouldn't necessarily be a clerical or preacher's view of the afterlife. Liz Read! Talk! 21:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That's a great point. The Cyber Hymnal has tons of Protestant hymns, including 400+ by Fanny Crosby. Go to her biography there and scroll down to find a lot of links; presumably there will be a good number of heaven-related ones. My background doesn't use hymns, so I'm not as familiar with good examples as most Protestant editors would be, and I doubt I can make any other suggestions, but you could always ask for help at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity/Noticeboard if you need more assistance. Nyttend (talk) 01:36, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, all. The point that we humans are better at imagining terrors and torture than the specifics of bliss rang home. A linguistic analysis of hymns is a direction I would not have thought of, but yes, music is likely to penetrate and populate the subconscious. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 22:28, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Ghee in 10th century Japan

Daigo (dairy product) is a slightly weird article. It says that daigo (ghee) was made in Japan in the 10th century. The reference cited is a Japanese dairy association website about cheese. The only primary source referred to for this assertion, is an Indian-Chinese religious sutra, which talks about the various dairy products, in a figurative sense as an analogy for spiritual advancement. The sutra is not itself evidence that ghee was ever made in China, let alone Japan. The article also makes a weird claim that Emperor Daigo is named after the dairy product (also referenced to the dairy association website), whereas the orthodox view is that he is named after his burial place, which itself references the religious / metaphoric meaning of ghee. The article then concludes that daigo is no longer made in either Japan or China.

So, was daigo or ghee ever made in China or Japan, or is this just a fanciful story made up by the dairy association to make themselves (and cheese) seem ancient? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 18:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

It seems like there's a lot of muddle in our article. First, if there's a reference in the Nirvana Sutra, our article on that says it's most likely that that work originated in South India. The sentence quoted has a logic - from cows to milk etc. And then from butter, where can you go but to ghee? And ghee would be familiar to a South Indian readership. The Nirvana Sutra seems to have been a very important Buddhist text in East Asia. So the text had to be translated. They had to find a wording to express the "beyond butter", and used "daigo". I don't know if it relates to "dai" meaning "great". I saw on the Internet an explanation of "creme de la creme" which is an interesting parallel. The idea is one of successive stages of refining. The way that "quintessence" is used figuratively in English is another parallel. As a solution in Wikipedia, I would think merge with ghee, since it's supposed to be the same thing. I doubt whether much can be kept after the merge. There is nothing so far to indicate that ghee was made in Japan. 22:14, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

To establish Buddhism and its cuisine in Japan, Korean artists and architects built temples and monasteries to house monks from Korea and China. Nineteen expeditions made the dangerous crossing to China in unstable, flat-bottomed boats between 600 and 850, returning laden with monks and scholars skilled in cuisine, literature, politics, and theology, with seeds and cuttings, including tea and sugar, ferments, rotary grindstones, pottery, lacquer, chopsticks, spoons, silk, art, musical instruments, and Jia Sixie’s Essential Skills for the Daily Life of the People (quickly translated into Japanese)...The Japanese court adopted the typical Buddhist trio of butter, sugar, and rice. The government bureau of milk production was producing cream, butter, and an unknown product known as daigo, which logic suggests may have been ghee, by the beginning of the seventh century, a practice that continued for at least three hundred years.

Rachel Laudan. (2013). 'Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. (p. 128).—eric 03:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, based on that at least there was something called daigo in Japan, although whether it is ghee is uncertain.
The Chinese Wikipedia article on daigo/ghee has a quote from the Compendium of Materia Medica: "Zongshi [Song dynasty author] said: when making lao [at least in modern usage, a junket-like dessert], the top congealed layer is su, and the oil-like substance on top of the su is tihu [Japanese pronunciation: daigo], which is extruded when cooked, and there is not a large amount, it is sweet and delicious, but there are few [medicinal] uses for it." Chinese Wikipedia describes tihu as similar to yak butter. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:25, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

February 10

Subpoenas vs. non-disclosure agreements

Tonight's episode of NCIS features a federal agent interrogating employees of a private company who gets interrupted by the company's lawyer with a reminder that the employees signed a non-disclosure agreement. The context is a death that occurred on a US ship offshore. It makes me wonder whether, in real life, such individuals would be required to testify in court if subpoena-ed.

In US admiralty law, and/or any other applicable fields of law, how do subpoenas balance out with non-disclosure agreements? Is this an established exception to contracts (i.e. testifying when subpoena-ed isn't considered breach of contract), or is this an established exception to subpoenas (i.e. this is one of those situations when testimony isn't required, comparable to how spouses can't be compelled to testify against each other), or is the situation not so cut-and-dried? Finally, note that I'm intentionally ignoring a taking-the-Fifth-Amendment situation, which would probably be relevant in this TV episode; I'm only interested in something in which the witness isn't going to become a suspect. Nyttend (talk) 01:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

According to Non-disclosure agreement, "Typically, the restrictions on the disclosure or use of the confidential data will be invalid if [...] the materials are subject to a subpoena – although many practitioners regard that fact as a category of permissible disclosure, not as a categorical exclusion from confidentiality (because court-ordered secrecy provisions may apply even in case of a subpoena). In any case, a subpoena would more likely than not override a contract of any sort". If NDAs superseded subpoenas, then the subpoena would become effectively useless in the field of corporate law since companies would just ask their employees to sign NDAs as standard. Smurrayinchester 12:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
In general, the purpose of NDA's is to protect trade secrets or other legal confidential activity which an organization is engaged in. I would be shocked if you could use an NDA to stonewall a criminal investigation. But it's well to keep in mind that TV crime shows don't necessarily reflect reality. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:32, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Some come closer than others. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:36, February 11, 2016 (UTC)

Did all slaves get American citizenship in 1865?

Regarding citizenship, what happened to slaves in the US in 1865? Did those who had recently been brought to the US gained citizenship too? The last known slave ship was the Clotilde (slave ship) (this is disputed by some) and the Wanderer (slave ship) was the last documented ship to bring a cargo of slaves. Anyway, there were slaves in the US who were not many years in the US as slavery was abolished.--Scicurious (talk) 01:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

An interesting question. As a practical matter, many could probably not document the fact that they were born in the US, or brought to the US as slaves. Records, at the time, seemed to consist mainly of the first name of the slaves, and their ages, listed on census forms, and many former slaves probably lacked even that. I doubt if this was enough to prove citizenship. And since southern states were looking for any excuse to keep former slaves from voting, this would seem to be a good one. After the Reconstruction Era, there was no serious opposition from the north, until the 1950's, so the South could do as they pleased.
However, during Reconstruction, many blacks were elected to southern state legislatures, and this implies that they were able to vote. Note quite sure how they were able to legally register, if they couldn't prove citizenship, though. StuRat (talk) 04:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As I understand it, it was considered questionable at the time (1865) whether even those born in the US were citizens of the US. See Dred Scott v. Sandford and [13] for example. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was supposed to make them citizens, but not everyone agreed and it was only with Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (ratified in 1868) and its Citizenship Clause that it became fairly definite. As to what happened to freed slaves who weren't born in the US after the fourteenth amendment, I'm pretty sure they were treated as naturalised although I admit I couldn't find a source which explicitly states this. (One of the problems is I get a lot of sources talking about how birthright citizenship is a myth or children of undocuments immigrants aren't entitled to birthright citizenship or whatever. The other is many sources simply say the fourteenth amendment granted citizenship to newly or recently freed slaves without explicitly talking about former slaves who weren't born in the US.) I can't find any evidence this was ever tested in the Supreme Court, perhaps because the numbers were small and the southern Democracts decided there was no point fighting it when they could just use various means to stop them voting etc despite them being citizens and the northern Democrats wanted them to be citizens even if they were actually being denied the full rights of citizens via various means. P.S. For the avoidance of doubt, I'm only referring to the understanding at the time. I'm pretty sure most modern commentators would argue legally they should have been treated as citizens even before 1865 even if unfortunately not actually treated as such. Nil Einne (talk) 06:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
As StuRat indicates, this was one of the important issues of Reconstruction. Here's a good article that goes into why it took several years to establish that the former slaves were citizens, and how it was done. -- (talk) 04:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
An interesting pre-1865 tangent is the Three-Fifths Compromise. Not directly answering the question, but if your interested in attitudes towards slaves and their citizenship rights, that's another interesting thread to follow. -Jayron32 15:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Voter registration doesn't address this aspect, but StuRat, remember that registration hasn't always been required for voting. In many places (especially rural areas and small towns), local residents would know each other, so there wasn't a need to verify the residency of the guy to whom you sold cabbages a couple of weeks ago. Of course, as far as black voters were concerned, there was room to disqualify them in some circumstances, but if the people at the polls were friendly toward blacks, or afraid of those who were, there wouldn't be any reason to reject them even if they didn't have paperwork. Nyttend (talk) 19:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
It should also be noted that the very concept of voter registration is also entangled with other, now illegal, voter qualifications practices and voter intimidation methods such as "civics tests" "literacy tests" "poll taxes", which were rigged to exclude black voters (that is, the white power elite who were assessing the tests or taxes would simply "fail" black voters on the qualifications, while simply ignoring the fact that white voters never took the tests or paid the taxes). Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era covers much of this, as do articles such as the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made the practices explicitly illegal. Also the term Grandfather clause, which originated as a way to allow white voters to be exempt from such qualifications, since their grandfathers had the right to vote. --Jayron32 19:54, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Bureaucrats tend to require formal proof of things that are entirely obvious, like that an elderly person is old enough to vote. StuRat (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Slava Kurilov

Hi all. Has Slava Kurilov's book, One with the ocean (Odin v okeane), ever been translated? Splićanin (talk) 02:05, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

According to worldcat, no.—eric 04:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Human life-span before the 20th century

I'm trying to figure out how long people lived before the 20th century. I came across Wikipedia's list of kings of Jerusalem. I noticed that a majority out of every King of Jerusalem on the list died in his thirties or forties. If that's the case, I assume that this was how long people normally lived before 1878. So does this mean that people who were 50 or older were rare before the 20th century? Ebaillargeon82 (talk) 02:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Our article about Life expectancy has very good information addressing this very question. make sure the read the whole "Variation over time" section, not just look at the numbers. The answer is a little more complex, because in the past if you survived until you were 21, your life expectancy was actually quite "high" (60+) even as far back as the 1200s. So people who were older than 50 were not really "rare", but overall your chances of making it to 50 from the time you were born were significantly lower than they are today. Vespine (talk) 03:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
See the Sword of Damocles for one reason why judging average lifespan by the life of royals doesn't work. (Also, kings historically were expected to lead armies, and they travelled a lot exposing them to extra dangers). Of the kings who died in their 40s or younger, they mostly fall into two categories: murdered, or caught a disease while leading the army (another medieval risk factor is shown by the two queens who died in childbirth). You have Godfrey of Bouillon (either shot with an arrow or poisoned), Baldwin III (either poisoned or caught a disease while travelling), Amalric of Jerusalem (caught a disease while travelling), Baldwin IV (leprosy), Baldwin V (unknown, died at age 9), Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem (caught a disease while travelling), Guy of Lusignan (can't find any sources), Conrad of Montferrat (assassinated) and his wife Isabella I (unknown), Henry I (balcony collapsed), Maria of Montferrat (childbirth), Isabella II (childbirth), Conrad I (malaria), Conrad II (executed), Hugh (caught disease while travelling) and John II (unknown, possibly poisoned). Smurrayinchester 11:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
If you mean to ask if the typical ADULT human lifespan before 1878 was 30-40 years, the answer is no. In 1841-1877 mortality statistics for the total population of England & Wales, the most common adult age at death (yes, most people died before age 1, but we're talking about adults here) for most of those years was 70 (sometimes it would be 69, 71, or 72) years. 70 years is stated as the human lifespan in the Book of Psalms, which is the earliest text to state how long a human lifespan is. Many Roman Emperors lived to their 70s. So 70 years has been pretty much always been the original human life-span. VRtrooper (talk) 09:14, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
When researching for writing the Plymouth Colony article many years ago, I extensively used John Demos's book A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony, which has in the appendices all sorts of great demographic information gleaned from the official colonial records (birth and death certificates, for example). In the 17th century, Demos notes the same basic stats as noted above. 1) For adult men (those 21 and older) the average life expectancy was 69.2 years, and over half lived into their 70s 2) For women, the figures are lower because many women died in childbirth. If women lived past their childbearing years, however, they tended to live as long as men. 3) Children tend to drag the overall averages down because they died of childhood diseases we tend to vaccinate for today. So, more data points, but yes, the average adult human lifespan by which time one dies of Senescence-related causes rather than infection, war, or childbirth has not changed a lot in the centuries. Most adult humans can expect to live into their 70s until old age takes them off this mortal coil, and that has been the same for a very long time. --Jayron32 15:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Number of Remote workers

Is there any statistics out there on what's the percentage of workers who telecommute to work a majority of the time in the US? If there's no US data then statistics from any other G8 country would also work. Johnson&Johnson&Son (talk) 06:31, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Does This help? --Jayron32 15:49, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Paying to renounce citizenship

According to this BBC article, the USA charges $2,350 to her citizens who wish to renounce their citizenship. Do any other countries charge for this, and if so, which and how much? DuncanHill (talk) 08:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Hong Kong is the only part of China where, in practice, a Chinese citizen always has to take positive action to lose their Chinese citizenship. The fees vary depending on the mode of loss:
- HK$145 (US$19 if applying from overseas) for "reporting a change of citizenship" (this is where someone has settled abroad and acquired foreign citizenship, so under Chinese law would have automatically lost Chinese citizenship, but in Hong Kong an extra administrative step is required).
- HK$575 (US$74 if applying from overseas) for applying to renounce Chinese citizenship (this is for people who do not qualify for the first route). --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
This Forbes article has an interesting infographic comparing fees across countries. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
PalaceGuard008 Thank you, that's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! DuncanHill (talk) 13:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
For Romanian citizenship there is a 605 Euro nominal fee + many other forms and bureaucratic procedures which also cost money, see e.g. [14]. Basically one cannot renounce Romanian citizenship if he/she will remain stateless. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:44, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

February 11

Third Lady of the United States

Of all the wives of the Speakers of the House (we know that the first 2 ladies are the wife of the President and the wife of the Vice President,) how many are there total and how many have Wikipedia articles?? Is there any reason this position is not notable?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Why things don't matter is subjective, of course, but I think living in the White House does a lot for the First Lady's prestige. The Second Lady was pretty much born out of wordplay. Sort of clever, but trying to get a Third Lady to catch on would be stretching it too far, and a tough (but not impossible) sell. Like how only Eighth Wonder of the World really works. Everybody's at least vaguely aware of the Seven, but if you call yourself the Ninth, you have to explain to too many that André the Giant was the Eighth. There's a diminishing return on these trickle-down allusions. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:35, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Also kind of ruined by Paul Pelosi's penis. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:45, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Is that the real Eighth Wonder of the World? Nancy is a lucky gal... --Jayron32 15:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
As for biological ladies, we have Callista Gingrich, Mariette Rheiner Garner (also a Second), Alice Roosevelt Longworth (liked William Borah better), Ellen Maria Colfax (also a Second) and Sarah Childress Polk (also a First). Linn Boyd was a guy, just had George W. Cate's daughter's name. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:18, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
  • Just to pile on: The First Lady has always had some (unofficial, but traditional) duties that make the position "a thing". As noted at First Lady of the United States, these duties often include things like managing the household of the White House, and has an official Office of the First Lady of the United States with its own staff and duties. The "Second Lady" is to the First Lady as the Vice President is to the President, and I will only provide the most cogent quote about the Vice Presidency as a means of understanding the importance of the Second Lady. Sayeth John Adams, the first man to hold the office "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived..." --Jayron32 15:54, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
That could just be sour grapes, considering that in his mind, he wasn't measuring his post against one with a term not exceeding most groundhog's natural lives, but against "His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of Their Liberties". Self-imposed or not, that's a hefty shadow to mope under. Thought it may not have been "a thing" yet, it seems many of his peers hailed him with the same respect and admiration that modern society bestows upon its reigning and defending Drama Queens. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:01, February 12, 2016 (UTC)

Foule sluts in dairies

In Richard Corbet's The Fairies Farewell we read "Farewell rewards and Fairies!/ Good housewives now may say;/ For now foule sluts in dairies/ Doe fare as well as they". Now, my question is were dairymaids regarded as particularly dirty in the 17th century? One tends nowadays to think of them as rather well-scrubbed. DuncanHill (talk) 06:31, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Google Books seems to be flooded with just the poem and not much commentary on it. WP:OR guess: I could see it being a pun of a few different sorts (like "get thee to a nunnery" in Halmet), as a euphemism for brothel. Ian.thomson (talk) 06:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not aware of it being used for brothel (neither is the OED), and I think slut here means "A woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance; a foul slattern" with perhaps a shade of the rare meaning "A kitchen-maid; a drudge" (both from the OED). After asking the question it did strike me that Corbet may simply be contrasting "good housewives" with "foul sluts", and the dairies could be common to both. The verse continues "And though they sweepe their hearths no less/ Than mayds were wont to doe,/ Yet who of late for cleaneliness/ Finds sixe-pence in her shoe?" so it does seem that physical, rather than moral, cleanliness is the issue here (and I doubt the Fairies were overly concerned with a young woman enjoying a little, or even a lot, of what she fancied). DuncanHill (talk) 07:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I found several 18th and early 19th century references which hint that dairy maids might have been less than models of moral rectitude, or at least available for the use their social superiors:
Alansplodge (talk) 16:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
The "physically dirty" meaning might be the correct one, as hygiene in a dairy would be difficult to maintain at the time, with cow manure being likely to be on the milk maid's clothing, or shoes at the very least. StuRat (talk) 16:39, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think the "physically dirty" reading is certainly correct, but DuncanHill already knows that. Dairymaid was considered a relatively respectable line of work, and dairymaids had more status and a better reputation than household servants. Dairymaids also had a reputation for being pretty (possibly because they tended to get cowpox, which was not disfiguring and gave protection against smallpox), so some references to amorous activity must be expected, but there are far fewer than for, say, chambermaids or seamstresses. Although dairymaids do not seem to have had a special reputation for dirtiness, it would have been difficult for a dairymaid to avoid manure, so the imputation seems reasonable. John M Baker (talk) 16:56, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
The info that your research has turned up DuncanHill, Alansplodge and StuRat is quite interesting. As I read your posts I started wondering if the "six maids a milking" in the venerable (or unending depending on your point of view) The Twelve Days of Christmas (song) might have a meaning that I had never known about. That article had a link to WikiP's milkmaid article where I found this section Milkmaid#.22As smooth as a milk maid.27s skin.22 which might have some relevance to this discussion. I also wonder if any of your findings might be worth adding to that article. Thanks to everyone for your time and efforts. MarnetteD|Talk 17:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
John M Baker you made your post while I was adding the above. The link I found confirms your info so nice work on your part as well. MarnetteD|Talk 17:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Of course, Corbet might just have put his foule sluts in dairies, as opposed to anywhere else, to get the rhyme! DuncanHill (talk) 17:11, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I can't help thinking of this joke, frequently seen in London. Alansplodge (talk) 17:17, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

February 12