Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2006 December 13

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December 13[edit]

Acronym for significant other + roommate[edit]

There's a word that has completely slipped my mind. Back in the... like... 70s, people were new to the idea of two people living together who weren't married, so they came up with a bunch of names. One of these was... I'm not exactly sure. I think it sounded like "Qusolque"? "Soquelbee"? -Max

I bet Max is thinking of POSSLQ. Note incidentally the assumption that the two people had to be of opposite sexes for the relationship to be worth considering. --Anonymous, December 13, 02:57 (UTC).
Thanks! That's exactly it! -Max

Jesus being prejudice[edit]

Was Jesus prejudice to anyone? Even homosexuals? Heegoop, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Moneychangers in Jewish Temples. 02:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

The Pharisees. Anchoress 02:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing in the New Testament which quotes Jesus as having said anything about homosexuals. That's all St. Paul. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

He seemed to be rather prejudiced against those who rejected his claim that he was both the Messiah, as well as the son of God. Loomis 04:05, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Loomis, I'd love to see your evidence for that statement. JackofOz 04:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Prejudice implies a judgment made in advance of any relevant facts, a judgment based only on irrelevant considerations. It's one thing to display anger at finding the money lenders desecrating the temple, but where's the evidence that he had pre-judged them before he got there and found what they were doing? Where's the evidence he was prejudiced against the Pharisees? I doubt you'll find any Biblical evidence to support the view that Jesus was prejudiced against any individuals at all, no matter who they were or what they may have done. He was all about abhorring sin but loving sinners themselves. JackofOz 04:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Anchoress 04:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (quote). That supports my point. He wasn't telling them to guard against the Pharisees themselves, but against their teachings. He made a vital distinction between people's behaviours, actions and teachings, and the people themselves. He submitted himself to the will of the Pharisees, to the point of being put to death. That doesn't sound like prejudice to me. JackofOz 05:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with you though. If I tell a bunch of my friends to beware the teachings of homosexuals, or Christians, or liberals, isn't that prejudice? I think it is. It's not just separating the act from the people, it's the fact of grouping everyone together. 'The Pharasees'. They are a homogenous group whose teachings are to be looked upon with suspicion. That's prejudice, IMO. Anchoress 05:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
No, that's prejudice against certain teachings, not prejudice against the purveyors of such teachings. That's the thing that so many people fail to understand. The point of the "turn the other cheek" teaching was not to go out of your way to get violated, but that despite whatever injury one might sustain in an attack, we should never cease loving the attacker. JackofOz 05:28, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
lol Well I guess we'll have to disagree. No probs. :-) Anchoress 05:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)
Well, that's what Luke reports that Jesus said. B00P 07:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
That is from the parable of the rejected king, and is not an expression of 'prejudice' in any meaningful sense. The words are usually interpreted in an eschatological terms, taken to refer to judgement against the enemies of God. The example in question was drawing on the local traditions of the rule of King Archelaus in Jericho. Clio the Muse 08:40, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The easy, simplified answer is no. He used the Pharisees and moneylenders as examples of the inadequacy of a purity-based system of faith, which put excessive weight on dogma. Instead, Jesus suggested that the key tenet of his religion was compassion "As god is compassionate." This (both his open-ended compassion and his revulsion of people who excessively followed silly rules and particular beliefs) would suggest, I, and many Jesus scholars who know a billion times more than me, believe, that Jesus would in no way be prejudiced against, as you asked, homosexuals. If he would, and that's a pretty serious longshot, I can't imagine it being anywhere as important to him as his main philosophy of compassion. The homosexuality issue, regardless of which side you think Jesus might have taken, has been blown far out of proportions. Sashafklein 05:02, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

From Jack's definition of prejudice: Prejudice implies a judgment made in advance of any relevant facts... Chrisitans believe that Jesus, being God, is omniscient. Therefore, by definition he cannot be prejudiced. JChap2006 01:59, 16 December 2006 (UTC) There is a difference between judgement and discernment. It isn't prejudice to hate sin. God hates sin. The actions of Christians towards non-Christians should be what is clearly spelled out in Romans 12.

what is the oldest form of the handfasting ritual?[edit]

i have been searching and searching for a document that cites the most original form of the ancient handfasting ritual, but i find so many variations. does anyone know of a document that has consistency and is proven to be both a valid and antique source of information? <email removed>

Have you had a look at the page on Handfasting? It has quite a useful link to a paper on the historical origins of the practice. It seems to have been one of those cultural practices that simply 'emerged' in the course of time. I doubt if you will find a single source for its beginnings, or for a standardised form of ritual. Clio the Muse 08:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
If the woman gets pregnant, is the man legally the father as in an actual marriage? Sounds like a sweet deal for the guy. Edison 15:49, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Marriage by what is colloquially known as 'habit and repute' would still count at the level of common law. Yes, it does have exactly the same status, the same responsibilities and the same obligations. Clio the Muse 20:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Agatha Christie[edit]


I am trying to find out the name of the famous hotel where Agatha Christie wrote most of "Death on the Nile". Hope you can help. Thanks

Mick Errington

Persian inscription[edit]


Does anyone know what the following translated Persian inscription describes: -

"If there is a paradise on the face of the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this."



Maybe they are saying that Persia is paradise? | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 13:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
It can be found at the Red Fort in Delhi, which has this inscription above the arches of its Hall of Private Audience[1]. Proto:: 13:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Proto. I had heard it, but was having trouble placing it. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 13:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Political Activist Organisation[edit]

I'm trying to ascertain the origins and connections of the political think-tank that calls itself The Strategic Issues Research Council, seemingly run by one Benjamin Crocker Works.

The organisation you're looking for is the The Strategic Issues Research Institute. They don't have an article on Wikipedia, however, their website would probably be a good place to start. Then, try Googling them to turn up articles and pages that mention them. Good luck with your research! — QuantumEleven 12:30, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Christmas in Islam[edit]

Hi. My chaplain and I were discussing Christmas today and the conversation turned to Islam. We wondered how Muslims celebrate the day, as Jesus is a prophet. Thanks, Sam Korn (smoddy) 12:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Remember that Jesus is also a Messiah in some religions. I'm not sure what the Islam religion considers Him though. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 13:05, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Not just in some religions, but in Islam. The asker may be interested in the passages discussed on this page (not sure that it's a good discussion, it's just what turned up quickly from Google): "in eleven instances in the Qur'an Jesus is given the title of "al-Masihu Isa," The Messiah Jesus (see Surahs 4:157,171; 3:45) or "al-Masihu ibn Maryam," the Messiah, son of Mary (see 9:31). In all 11 cases this title applies to Jesus alone. Islam, therefore, seems to join with Christianity in declaring Jesus the long-awaited Messiah promised to the Jews through the prophets of old. Not only that, the Qur'an intensifies this title by applying to the title Masihu the article "al." In all cases, without exception, the title is written "al-Masihu." The definite article positively distinguishes him from all the other prophets. But that is where the confusion comes in." Wareh 19:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
It is haraam for Muslims to even say "Merry Christmas". Forget about celebrating it.nids(♂) 13:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
But that is the position of just one radical Muslim cleric. Muslim clerics often differ on these things. However, I don't think that Muslims celebrate Christmas in any way, just as Christians don't celebrate the birthdays of Old Testament prophets such as Moses. Even the celebration of Muhammad's birthday, Mawlid, is controversial among Muslims as it comes uncomfortably close to worship of the prophet, whose instruction was to worship only God. Marco polo 13:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Does anybody celebrate the birthdays of the Old Testament prophets? I have a couple of friends who are extremely observant Jews, we speak often about the various important dates they commemorate, and they've never mentioned anybody's birthdays but their own. Anchoress 00:57, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Ibn Hazm suggested that celebrating the festivals of all other religions is haraam, and went so far as to issue a fatwa. The moderate view is that out of politeness and courtesy however, wishing a Christian with a "Happy Christmas" (Hindu with a "Happy Diwali", etc) greeting does not cause any harm, providing Muslims who wish them so are not explicitly endorsing or accepting the religious aspects. Proto:: 13:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

...While the prophethood of Jesus is not denied (S XIX:30–32, V:75, II:285), to accept that God had a son or that Jesus is the son of God is to be both kāfir and mushrik. Thus:

S IX:30–'...the Christians Call Christ the son of God...they but imitate What the Unbelievers of old Used to say; God's curse Be on them...they are deluded Away from the Truth.’

An example that encapsulates the issue is in an MUI [Council of Indonesian Ulamā] fatwā from 1981 on Muslim attendance at Christian services, especially at Christmas, the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. The fatwā cites seven āyāt: S XLIX:13, '...We made you into tribes and nations’; S XXXI:15, ‘...if they strive...obey them not...’; S LX:18, ‘God forbids you not... with those who fight you...’; S CIX:16, ‘I will not worship that which you have been used to worship...’; SII:42, ‘And cover not truth with falsehood.’

Hooker, M.B. (2003). Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa. p. 81. ISBN 1741140862. EricR 18:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Questions arise especially around Christmastime. Why not let our children have a Christmas tree and exchange gifts, some argue, especially since Muslims, along with Christians, honor the birth of Jesus? Others try to compromise or avoid any observance of the holiday at all. Still others decide that observing Christmas has some advantages. "We celebrate Christmas for two reasons," says one woman. "It is important to get involved with American society, and if you don't celebrate Christmas and if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, to me really you are telling those people you are not part of American society.... The second reason is that we do believe in Jesus. We don't believe that he was a god, but we do believe he was a prophet."

Smith, Jane I. (1999). Islam in America. p. 140. ISBN 0231109660. EricR 18:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Nicely answered. BenC7 01:28, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
There is, however, another dimension to this whole question which has not been considered. Christmas as a festival has no scriptural authority, and a lot of the things associated with it, including trees, holly, mistletoe and the like, do in fact have pagan roots. Indeed, following the Reformation, the festival was shunned by a number of the Protestant churches, and banned outright under the Commonwealth of England during the seventeenth century. Clio the Muse 01:46, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


To what extent are memory capabilities influenced by age and genetics? I can quote large passages from films, TV episodes and books (often minutes or pages), director credits and movie release dates from films I've not seen in ages, and so can my sister; but neither of my parents (aged 43 and 51) can even remember names of movies they saw a week ago. Is this due to their age?

Please see our article on Memory and aging. Hipocrite - «Talk» 13:04, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I would say it's more likely due to the relative importance you place on such things. To most adults, memorizing movie dialog just isn't a priority, so they don't. On the other hand, they probably remember a great number of things for work, etc., which they view as more important. StuRat 06:36, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Why didn't Austria join NATO?[edit] 13:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

See our article on the Austrian State Treaty. Hipocrite - «Talk» 13:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi, there. This is a good question, not fully answered by the above link. The first and most important point is that at the conclusion of the Second World War, Austria was treated as an enemy nation, in exactly the same fashion as Germany, with which it had united in 1938. There were very good reasons for not treating the country as just another victim of Nazi Germany, like Czechoslovakia. Austrians fought on all of the main battle fronts against the Allies, along with other Germans; the country provided many medium and high ranking Nazi officials, two of whom were tried and executed at the main Nürnberg Trial; and it also provided personnel for the concentration camp system, at both a senior and a junior level. The decision was taken at Yalta, therefore, to divide Austria on the same basis as Germany itself, with the four main allied powers taking control of sections of Vienna, as well as the remainder of the country. The Soviets were not opposed to later re-establishment of Germany and Austria as fully integrated nations; but what they were opposed to was reunification followed by membership of NATO, a move they believed to be contrary to their strategic interests. Germany itself was too central to the defence of the west for Britain, France and the United States to agree to the Soviet plan of unification and neutrality, which led to a major division among the former wartime partners. Those parts controlled by the west combined to form the Federal Republic of Germany, which subsequently became a full member of NATO. The Soviet zone was turned into a separate 'socialist nation' as the German Democratic Republic, and joined the Warsaw Pact, the Communist equivalent of NATO. Austria, in contrast, was not considered to have the same level of strategic importance, and all of the occupied zones combined in 1955 to form a free but neutral nation in terms of the Austrian State Treaty. Clio the Muse 19:33, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the thorough answer.

Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans[edit]

What are some of the more important differences in the beliefs and goals of the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans?

Did you read our articles on Democratic-Republicans and Federalist Party (United States)? This appears like a homework question. Is it? Hipocrite - «Talk» 14:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
If I were to try to answer this question in terms of the English political model of the day, I suppose the Democratic-Republicans might be cast in the role of the Whigs, and the Federalists as the Tories. The parallel is not exact, but in general terms the Democrats/Whigs were representative of people-small producers and farmers, in the main- suspicious of conservative elites and 'old money', typically attracted to the Federalist/Tories. But from a specifically American perspective the Democrats took a stand on states rights, opposing such measures as a central US bank, whereas the Federalists looked to create a strong and centralised nation from the diverse interests that had allied against the British during the Revolution. This had a clear bearing on the approach both groups took to the whole area of economic and foreign policy. But for the detailed differences you will need to work your way through the relevant articles. Clio the Muse 20:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

You'll also want to check out Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. They're central to every division between the two parties.

Don't forget James Madison. 06:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

You might want to read our Anti-Federalist Party article, for info on the origins of the Democratic-Republicans. The name gives quite a clue on their politics, as well. StuRat 06:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The bible and history[edit]

It seems that the bible is fairly historically accurate (excluding any debate about genesis), I have a few questions about it (specifically the old testament)..

1. Just how accurate as a historical document is it - say in the case of the 'adventures' of the tribe of Israel, are there any other documents relating to the same time that tell this story from a non Jewish perspective eg Egyptian references to exodus etc. (links?)

2. Many other tribes are mentioned in the old testament (but generally the names don't mean anything to me) - can anyone give a link to a list of the tribes mentioned with a list of their modern day descendants/geographic location (is it clear what I am asking)

3. (Important fo me) Can someone give a geographical range for the full extent of places mentioned in the bible (old testament); do any events happen outside the middle east/egypt/mesopotamia/turkey?

4. Are all peoples assumed to descend from adam and eve - if so is there any mention of chinese/indian(eg indian subcontinent) peoples ie from which tribe/peoples would they be descended ?

Thank you. (This question stems from somebody suggesting to me that gog and magog (or their descendants) where actually meaning central asian and east asian peoples.. 16:38, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi. Interesting questions. A lot of the answers will vary according to POV or, more charitably, interpretation. --Dweller 16:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Q1.
  • Q2.
  • Q3. The first half of Q3 is way beyond the scope of WP, let alone this desk. I once saw a book on the subject. --Dweller 16:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Q4. A traditional (religious) reading of the Bible is that yes, all mankind descended from Adam and Eve. However, everyone was wiped out at the Flood. So the tribes would be from Shem, Ham and Japheth. The Semitic peoples came from Shem - hence the name "Semitic". Someone else could fill in which of Ham or Japheth is the one you're after. --Dweller 16:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Q3: Well, the book starts with the creation of the entire universe, so yes.
Q4: Sons of Noah has more detail. Rmhermen 18:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Re Q3 I was really asking about events after the creation of the universe,eg mentions of places/peoples ouside the middle east/mediteranean/egypt/mesopotamia eg are there any mentions of indian or chinese kings/peoples/lands..etc. 19:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Here is a list and map of biblical places, old and new testaments. Also you can read Israelite for details of the twelve tribes. There is little non-Jewish information about their ancient history but history at the time was often fairly self-centred with references usually limited to barbarous foreigners but here are some Egyptian texts Merneptah Stele, Tel Dan Stele Mesha Stele. meltBanana 20:24, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, the map really helps to give a better perspective. I'd still be interested if anyone else can find any reference (no matter how small) on things further afield (Any foreign ambassadors visiting King Davids court.. stuff like that.) 21:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Queen of Sheba came to King David's court from Africa. There are no mentions of China. In the story of Jesus there are 3 wiseman who might have come from far away, but Bible doesnt mention from where exactly. Shinhan 22:44, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Please for give me for being so pedantic, but the Bible does not specify the actual number of wise men 'who came from the east.' The figure three was arrived at from the range of gifts presented to the infant Jesus, discounting the possibility that the same item may have been given more than once. Almost all of the traditions connected with the Magi, who are thought to have come from Persia, are much later creations. As far as the Queen of Sheba is concerned, there are traditions linking her with Ethiopia and Yemen. Clio the Muse 23:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The questioner asked about the Old Testament... So zero wise men. --Dweller 10:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Here are my takes on the questions: 1) I do not believe there is any secular contemporary evidence of the Exodus. Some finds mentioning the Hyskos hint at a change in dynasty similar to the one mentioned in the book of Exodus, and the Israel Stela (which would date to around the time of the wanderings in the desert) mentions "Israel," but that's about it.

2) If you're talking about the Israelite tribes, see Ten Lost Tribes. (Today's Jews are presumably the descendants of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and part of Levi.) If you're talking about all of the other groups mentioned in the Bible, some are clearly historical, while others, such as many mentioned in Genesis 10, are uncertain. By the time of Josephus and the writers of the Talmud, there was disagreement as to who peoples like like the Cushites, Ludim and Lehabhim are.

3) Sheba and Cush may have been near today's Sudan or Ethiopia -- we don't really know. Greece is mentioned in Daniel. India is mentioned, in passing, in Esther. Some people think the book of Isaiah mentions China. Jonah was on his way to Turkey when the whale swallowed him. But for the most part, the events of the Hebrew Bible take place in an area stretching from Egypt to today's Iraq. (Esther takes place in Persia.)

4) All people are supposed to be descended from Noah and one of his three sons -- Ham, Shem or Japeth. One theory is that the Chinese are the "Sinites" mentioned in Genesis 10 as sons of Shem's son Canaan. But a footnote at this Jewish Bible translation says the Sinites were most likely Phoenecian. -- Mwalcoff 00:25, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

About the most eastern country mentioned in the OT, as far as I know, is India, mentioned in Esther 1:1 and 8:9. It doesn't give any information or specifics, though - it is just mentioned in passing. BenC7 01:34, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
The main events in Esther are located in Persia, an Empire that stretches from "hodoo ad koosh", usually translated as "India to Ethiopia" --Dweller 10:15, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Once again thank you all for your help, your answers have been useful. The main unanswered question that might have significance to my question seem to be the whereabouts of the lost ten tribes and an identification of gog and magog - these things are in general unsettled/topics of debate/unknown/ etc? 11:16, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Those issues won't be covered in the Old Testament text. There's plenty of speculation, learned and unlearned, but nothing textual as you ask. --Dweller 11:38, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Who is charles switzerland?[edit]

Who is charles switzerland? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blahblah006 (talkcontribs) 16:54, 13 December 2006

Which Charles Switzerland are you referring to? Can you supply some context?--Shantavira 18:11, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Châbles, Switzerland?

Antique furniture Gainsborough chairs[edit]

Hi I was wondering why a Gainsborough chair was called a "Gainsborough" chair ? Thanks J

Our articles chair, history of the chair and list of chairs have no mention of Gainsborough. If an answer is found, an update may be necessary. It appears to be a 20th century term for something earlier called a "French.." (you need a subscription to Britannica to read the rest). Perhaps it was commonly shown in Thomas Gainsborough paintings or invented by his mechanically skilled brother Humphrey Gainsborough. Rmhermen 18:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
My university has a contract with EB ... the rest of the article reads chair,” a term that covered a variety of designs, the most elaborate based on French Rococo chairs of the Louis XV period. --frothT C 19:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd guess it's either associated with Gainsborough, Lincolnshire or invented by Humphrey Gainsborough. --frothT C 20:04, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Funny, in the U.S. that is called a Martha Washington chair, except they're covered in fabric, and a Gainsborough chair is usually covered in leather. -THB 22:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

quote in front of book[edit]

Is there a name for the passage or quote that an author sometimes puts in the front of a book? --Wyckyd Sceptre 17:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Epigraph (and perhaps a dedication as well).--Shantavira 18:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Many thanks! --Wyckyd Sceptre 18:11, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Ancient people[edit]

Going from Aristole to Plato to Socrates, I started to wonder who the oldest, non-fictional named historical person is? E.g. an ancient pharaoh (Tiu?) or a king mentioned in some ancient text. Things like ancient humans remains (like, say, Lucy (Australopithecus)) don't count. Thanks in advance. Sum0 18:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

We just had this one recently - I think Tiu was about the first. Rmhermen 18:10, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Tiu or Serket (Scorpion King) were the previous answers conclusions. [2]. Rmhermen 18:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
When you get into ancient texts, questions of myths, history and fiction become very difficult. I suppose many people would answer your question by saying Adam. --Sandy Scott 18:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah, strange coincidence. Thanks for the answers anyhow. Sum0 18:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Lucy 02:40, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Identify Piano Music[edit]

Can anyone give information regarding this peice of music played on just the piano?. --Username132 (talk) 18:09, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't recognise it. But the chord progression is extremely simple and predictable, it might just be an improv riff over a basic progression (or the chords for another song). Anchoress 01:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I haven't heard it either, but I'm pretty certain it's from a movie, tv show, or (most probably) video game. My money's on a final fantasy, though i couldn't verify this. You're going to have serious trouble finding what this song is, because it certainly isn't by a famous composer. Sashafklein 04:53, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Salem witch trials[edit]

Hello, could someone help me with my US history project. I need to know some ideas for The Salem WItch trials. All I have to do is come up with an idea to help me represent it. So far I have come up a broom witha brochure. Please help me.

The reference desk is happy to help you find information on the trials, but we can't suggest how you should do your homework. I explained this to you twice before. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:26, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi does anybody know what some project ideas for The Salem Witch Trials could be. SO far I have thought of a broom. It has to be somthing "out of this world" as the teacher put it. Please help me think of something. It can be somthing with a report additionaliy. or somthing else. --Devol4 18:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

No problem. Did you look at Salem witch trials? At the bottom you'll find a box with the names of many of the people involved. If you look at a couple of the articles about the specific people, some of whom were very young, it might be easier to come up with ideas, instead of looking at the entire trial, which can be overwhelming. Good luck with your project and if you have any more questions, feel free to post them here. We would also be interested in knowing what you decide to do. -THB 18:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Witch hunting was often done to punish outspoken women that "didn't know their place". Is your teacher a woman? Put her on trial as a witch, heck, even if your teacher is male then try him. Fabricate all kind of phony evidence. Just like the good old days (we don't do that anymore, right?) --Justanother 19:09, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Some Salem witch trial postcards at [3] might lend themselves to dioramas] Edison 19:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Responding to the point made by Justanother, Salem, as I understand it, was a 'witch-hunt' (yes, for once an exact description!) of both men and women who did not know their place, outsiders of one kind or another. It was, in a sense, the first major act of political persecution in American history, a point being made by Arthur Miller in The Crucible, with a more contemporary parallel in mind. Devol, if you really want to impress, and do something a little bit different, forget about the broomsticks and all the obvious-and fictitious-stuff. Take up Justanother's suggestion: put your teachers, male and female, on 'trail', with a group of your friends drawing up the accusations. Try to focus on the issue of political persecution, of attacking someone for acting and talking in a different way. And don't make your indictment too wild! Clio the Muse 20:25, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Bring one of those inflatable kiddy pools into the classroom, fill it with water, and throw a student in. If he/she floats, he/she's a witch. If it's a sinker, at least the victim goes to heaven. There's an offchance your teacher would get a kick out of it. Or show that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You'll know the one when you see it. Or you could re-enact the scene. That's probably your best option. Do it to the teacher, as Edison suggests. Sashafklein 04:51, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Also, although the Salem Witch trials may have left both men and women burned, like most other witch trials, women bore the brunt. You can make this point in class by accusing more females! :)Also, make sure that if you run a mock trial, anyone who comes to the defense of the accused must also become a subject of inquisition. Sashafklein 05:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Nobody was burned at Salem, Sashafklein, neither men nor women. The favoured method of executing those guilty of witchcraft in the Anglo-Saxon world was death by hanging. Clio the Muse 06:27, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
You mean that was more common than burning at the stake? | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 11:19, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
During the period of the Salem witch trials, yes. Burning at the stake (as a punishment for witchcraft) was practiced during the Middle Ages, for instance, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for being a witch. However, it was no longer a method of execution used in late 17th century America. See Burning at the stake#Historical usage. — QuantumEleven 12:20, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi, guys. Burning had been used in England for the execution of witches, though the favoured method was death by hanging. See [4], particularly the section dealing with burning at the stake. Burning was reserved for heretics and women accused of treason, in the main. You do not want to know what the punishment for male traitors was! However, you are quite right, Quantum Eleven, burning of witches was widely favoured in Continental Europe, especially around the time of the Reformation. It was also the favoured practice in Scotland, where the last public witch burning took place in 1722. As far as I am aware, no-one was ever burned for witchcraft in North America, at least in the Anglo-Saxon part.Clio the Muse 14:18, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, hanging was used almost exclusively as the method of execution for those convicted of witchcraft in the colonial Anglo-Saxon portion of North America. StuRat 14:25, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Giles Corey was pressed to death. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:33, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, he was, Zoe; thanks. But, absurd as it sounds, he wasn't 'executed', merely killed for refusing to plead. They really were two quite different things. In English law, from the reign of Henry IV onwards, if a defendant refused to enter a plea in a felony case, she or he could be pressed under weights until a plea was admitted, or until they died. This practice, known as peine forte et dure, was not finally abolished until 1772. In England the last person to be killed by this method was in 1741. Corey's is the only recorded case, I believe, in America. Clio the Muse 23:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I was wondering why he would choose to die that way, but the article seems to imply that it was so the government couldn't take his property from his family, due to the lack of a court conviction. StuRat 00:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I see Wikipedia calls it crushing. I that the right name? --Seejyb 12:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I always thought it was called "trial by weights". StuRat 14:02, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Real Estate LAW[edit]

I heard there was an attempt to pass a law or amendment to the First right of refusal law for tenants in Montgomery County Maryland recently that was suppressed. My question is what exactly did this amendment say or change from the original, and also what does the current first right of refusal law state for Montgomery county MD. Also I believe the amendment favors the tenant? But I am not sure? And is there a chance that this amendment will surface again and possibly get passed??

Any help would be great and I would appreciate it greatly.

Thanks a bunch.

This is from 2001 (does that count as "recent" ?): [5]. StuRat 06:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Someone doesn't want to pay attorney's fees. If you need help and cannot afford a lawyer, Montgomery County, Md probably has legal services available for needy people. Having graduated from a national law school and passed a bar exam, I will not touch it with a ten foot pole. You are also asking someone to foretell the future. Some legal websites such as may have general landlord/tenant law sections. They are general, however. Law varies by state. Every factual detail-and procedural details too-counts in law. All the best. —75Janice 03:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)75Janice 10:32 UTC 14 December 2006

Bible inventions[edit]

Another bible question - are there any instances of stories about invention in the bible? Or any examples of man being given inventions eg fire, the wheel, how to make bronze etc by god. Any examples or does the bible typical lack such things? 21:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes there are many inventions, such as the Ark Noah built. The Fourth Testament, the GodMath Testament, explains the invention and discovery ideas in great depth, starting with Faith / Hearing / Word from the Second Testament, yielding the following: Applications (such as invention and discovery) / Logic / Faith / Hearing and accepting the Holy Word of God in agreement: therefore inventions come from prioritized agreement, and the GodMath Testament ( further details that such is not toward selfishness and the Lord (of US Law Article VII) gives freely of how you can make inventions unraveling the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven for the greater glory of the Father as in your position as inventor / missionary for the people helpfully outwardly, lovingly with due diligence pertinent to your position's given situation relative to the required threshold (glory of the entity) of discovery of that invention entity. Further invention obstacles include from above your given talents, and from worldliness any choice of sin even if you did not choose sin, that is, even through sin of people you don't know, such as through generations, for instance lest your inventing help unjust causes, so also have proper priorities of faith in order to properly invent.

The Bible Testament of Holy GodMath of Jesus Christ distinguishes the proper faith trend, that those who would read the Holy Word would recognize this trend. Therefore in the balance and in the world, any not meeting this trend criteria exist by default in selfish or sinful patterns. Also consider that chance and luck happen to them all (of such patterns), therefore choose wisely; here is the modern analysis in terms of archaic formulae [not found in some modern dictionaries]: Logic x Faith = Absolutivity :: Knowledge x Love = Wisdom ::: Innovation x Conditional = So-called-invention.

Consideration the invention in the Second Testament of the conditional cutting of a hole in a roof in order to lower a sick person to Jesus the Lord, since entrance otherwise was prohibited due to the selfish crowd: they were selfish of high priority for being with the Lord, though not high enough priority for missionary work of inventing a hole, stepping aside, thinking of others, to let others enter: they did not choose to lead but only followed, except the inventors of the hole on the roof. A person may not think a hole is much of an invention, yet at the time it (in agreement with the Lord) saved somebody's life, and the reading of the story continues inventing higher faith in people and saving our lives. Submission by Dr. Bob Benchoff 2 December 2007.

You've got God delivering plans for the ark to Noah, and designs for the tabernacle, ark of the covenant, priestly wardrobe and so forth in the pentateuch. I can't think of much along those lines after that point. The creation story could also be interpreted along these lines, with God providing a tree of knowledge of good and evil, but I don't think it parallels your question quite as well. — Lomn 21:50, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, interesting that these are all designs, rather than a new process. What I was really looking for was an example of a new material eg god telling x how to make a dye, or how to make bronze etc, or a story telling how such a thing was discovered.. 22:05, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I've read through the OT six times, and I don't remember God telling anyone how to make something new (excluding designs etc., as mentioned above). In 2 Chronicles 26:15, it is mentioned that some of King Uzziah's workers invented some type of siege engines. BenC7 01:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

There is the story in Genesis 30 of how Jacob breeds superior sheep and goats marked by brown spots. In a couple of hilarious paragraphs it makes a mockery of anyone who tries to use the Bible as a biology or genetics text. alteripse 02:53, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

It is doubtful that anyone thought that seeing stiped bits of wood would cause stripes on the offspring; people who later read the Bible might have tried it and found that it didn't work. From my interpretation of the verse, I think that Jacob was doing something as an act of faith. Elisha, for example, put flour into some stew in a pot when a bunch of men said "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" It was (probably) not the flour that made it suddenly edible, but rather showing faith by some sort of action, rather than expecting a miracle to occur by itself. I don't think anyone takes that verse as a chemistry lesson. That's my interpretation; there are probably others. BenC7 11:04, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Genesis tells us of various people being the "father" of inventions such as musical instruments, tools etc. --Dweller 10:08, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thanks, I forgot to ask - any mentions of magnets or electricity in there?? 12:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

No. BenC7 00:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

No need to invent things. Just use a miracle! lol martianlostinspace 17:23, 14 December 2006 (UTC)