Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2006 December 5

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December 5[edit]

East Indians and Caucasians[edit]

Hello: I read in the Wikipedia article entitled "Caucasian race", that East Indians are technically classified as Caucasian by anthropologists. Is this true? As a general question, who is classified as being Caucasian, and who isn't? Vikramkr 00:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Do contemporary anthropologists still use this as a mode of classification? I thought it was a residue of nineteenth century taxonomy? It seems to be such an elastic concept that it would be possible to include virtually anything and anyone, including 'East Indians', if by this you mean people from the Indonesian archipelago. By and large the term is no longer in use in Europe; and I think in the US it is simply a generic term for 'white people.' Clio the Muse 00:27, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
According to the last paragraph of that article, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with that classification based on the common sense observation of differences. Fortunately the concept of race is not today what it once was, at least among scientists. -THB 02:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
But, some definition of race is still needed, if we are to have Affirmative Action programs which discriminate in favor of certain races, and against other races. I personally oppose such programs, however. StuRat 04:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it has something to do with skull structure. Did people from the Indian subcontinent immigrate to Europe at a point in time? Vikramkr 05:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe the people who originated in the Caucasus region emigrated both into Europe and India. StuRat 06:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
No! Caucasian people result from a mixing of all the surrounding 'racial types' all the 'autochthones of mankind'.(opinion) 11:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, I give up, what's an autochthone ? StuRat 11:38, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't you get google where you live? try Autochthones (redirect.) 11:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I did, and I only found German pages. BTW, why doesn't the singular form have an article or redirect ? StuRat 11:56, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Now I'm the one who is confused what german? I got Indigenous peoplesInterestingly autochthones means people who sprang from the earth (a bit like 'salt of the earth' I suppose). 12:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Google apparently gives quite different results for different people, even when all the settings are identical. I'd asked about this before, but nobody seemed to know why. Here are my Google results: [1]. StuRat 13:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
You're right. I searched for autochthon and autochthonic - still got a few german results. Autochthone seem to have the same meaning as autochthonic. But the plural of autochthon is autochthons or autochthones. Confusing. And turning to english language search results in google options still returns germanic results..I should have said indiginous but I was quoting from the wikipedia article. 14:21, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
People from the Indian Subcontinent have been migrating to Europe for generations. But I repeat my point: this is fast becoming a highly antiquated form of classification. Properly speaking, Caucasians are only from the region of the Caucasus Mountains. Clio the Muse 06:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Where in the article did you read that? It doesn't say anything like that.? If you read the article again the first two sentences will give you a definition. Other people were (are) classified by some sets of skull measurements as caucasoid This classification basically could include everyone except chinese, aboriginal and welshmen! If you want a really simple explanation of this (in my view ridiculous) classification - look at persons nose bridge - is it high - caucusoid, is it low.flattened - mongoloid. 10:39, 5 December 2006 (UTC) Why not take a look at these pictures of people who are supposed to be caucusoid. What do they have in common - only two arms and two legs as far as I can see. 11:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Why do you exlude Welshmen? Seriously now, I agree with all you have said, 87 102, though I think I would have made the point with a little less passion! I had the misfortune to see a collection of skulls-not ancient specimens-assembled by Nazi 'scientists' for comparative racial studies. Anyway, I anticipate the day when concepts like 'caucasian'-used outwith a strictly geographical description-will be seen in the same light as phrenology and all the other by-waters science has travelled down over the last two hundred years. By the way, I had a look at that paper you linked, with the pictures of the various 'sub-types'. It's a while since I have seen anything quite so scary! I would be interested to know the source? It looks, reads and feels like 'scholarship' with an all too familiar slant. Clio the Muse 12:39, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The home page is the pictures I believe are from Carleton S. Coon The Races of Europe. Dont know why so scary they all look like normal blokes to me.. (ok a bit scary) 13:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Normal blokes? Look at the guy from Southampton: he looks like a psychopath! And he is by no means the most extreme. I know Southampton well; lots of good-looking guys, including a dear friend of mine. Thankfully, I never came across the specimen in that rouges gallery! Clio the Muse 18:47, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
A small supplement to the above. I recently read Cursed Days, Ivan Bunin's diaries set during the early part of the Russian Civil War. He records the day he first saw photographs of the Bolshevik leadership in the press-What a shower of cut throats! Unbeknown to him the photos in question were all prison mug shots! Clio the Muse 00:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with Sturat saying you still need the concept of race for Affirmative action. There can be such on system based on different criterias (often on money). Basing your positive action on a perception of race is completely detrimental to the - only very superficially - existing group in the perception by the rest of the population AND themselves as an actual "race group". Particular qualities you could associated with a few thousand years of evolution of skin pigmentation is beyond my comprehension (beyond some very rare medical differences). Assigning cultural and social caracteristics to a group of humans, geographicaly limited and sharing a culture is one thing picking out one of them and attributing to him these qualities is another completely. I fail to see how the notion of race is a useful and discriminating (except in its usual artificial way). Keria 13:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we don't disagree at all, except perhaps in our definitions of the term Affirmative Action. Our article says "Some groups who are targeted for affirmative action are characterized by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or handicap". Race is a major factor currently used in granting special preferences, under Affirmative Action, at least in the US. As I've said, I'm opposed to such programs. I would, however, support efforts which don't discriminate based on race, such as having the taxpayers pay for college costs for students, of any race, who can meet the academic requirements of their educational institutions. I don't call this "Affirmative Action", however, as that has a different meaning, at least in the US. Perhaps where you are it has a broader meaning than "giving preferential treatment based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or handicap". StuRat 13:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Racial determinations can be made on the spot, when there is no local precedent. According to a TV documentary about Japanese-Americans during World War II, when the Japanese-American troops arrived in the Deep South for training, a delegation from the town leadership visited them and said that it had been decided that for the duration of the war, they would be considered "White" and would be allowed to use the White restrooms, theater areas, and drinking fountains, and to eat in restuarants with White people. On the other hand, "Colored" soldiers guarding German prisoners of war in the South had to eat outside behind the restuarant while the German POWs got to eat inside with the other White folks.
Really? That is truly shocking! I would be grateful for a source for this. Clio the Muse 18:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't have any specific incidents, but apparently German prisoners were treated fairly well and many chose to stay in the U.S. after the war. Certainly a large percentage of the U.S. and Southern U.S. especially population has German ancestry. It is a fact that blacks were not allowed to eat in white restaurants but they could get takeout. Being in uniform would have been irrelevant. -THB 20:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
This was in a cable TV documentary about Black soldiers in the U.S. military within the last year or 2. Sorry I did not write down full reference info for later retrieval (grin). Edison 20:22, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
What more authoritative source could you possibly have than Hogan's Heroes ? (Note who's "in he back of the bus".) :-) StuRat 10:37, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

old photographs[edit]

why doesnt anyone smile in very old photgraphs?thanks, k.rain

Because they were not told to do so by the photographer?--Light current 01:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
That may have more than grain of truth in it. The abominable practice of a group of people posing for a camera, saying "cheese" and playing "happy families" is relatively new. I can't think of a single classical painting of a front-facing person or group of people where they're all smiling. Or, if they are, it's for a good reason, not because the painter told them to. JackofOz 01:55, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
What about La Joconde? -THB 02:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it's because the cameras they used in the early days of photography had limited light-gathering capabilities, so exposure times were very long - up to a minute, I believe. It's nearly impossible to hold a smile that long without moving or looking stupid, so people tended to wear a relaxed expression. Also, photographs of dead people were popular in Victorian times - they didn't move and mess up the picture. --Shuttlebug 02:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Also could be that they didnt have much to smile about in those days? 8-)--Light current 03:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I thought it was because they knew the picture wasn't colored. Moonwalkerwiz 03:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
?????--Light current 03:53, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe this has something to do with it. -- Churchh 16:23, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

As instinctive as it now seems to "smile for the camera", this came about relatively recently, I believe right after WW2, when returning soldiers couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. Then, anyone not smiling looked to be suicidal by comparison, so fake smiles became the norm. Note, however, that professional photographers despise such photos, much preferring a natural expression. StuRat 04:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

People had dignity back then...? Theavatar3 05:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, yes, for photographs they did. Having one's photograph taken was quite a formal (and expensive) procedure, so people wanted to look their best, which in those days meant dignified.--Shantavira 08:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Another surprising thing is how many people have dirty, unwashed hair in old photos. I realize that people rarely bathed back then, but you'd think they would have made an exception for "picture day". StuRat 09:13, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Few subjects smiled in painted portraits (Mona Lisa being a noted exception) and photographs were seen as a similar formal exercise, fairly expensive as noted by Shantavira. Someone who grinned big in a portrait gave the impression that they went around with a big fake grin plastered on their face all the time, which was a characteristic of idiots. Smiling in photos didn't become common until the early 20th century. As noted by Shuttlebug, it was hard to hold a smile for the 30 second exposure of say the 1860's, and it would possibly have slipped into an even more manic grimace as the exposure proceeded. Stu's comment about dirty hair is puzzling. People in the 19th century in the U.S. generally bathed every Saturday (whether they need it or not!). Women were likely to have waist-length or longer hair which took a very long time to wash and dry, so it was not washed daily. It was done up in a bun or other "do." Pomade or macassar was applied to mens' hair to slick it down. How is that "dirtier" than the mousse applied to hair today? Do you have "smellovision" photos where you can detect it is dirt and not pomade stiffening the hair? In earlier times, bathing was far less common, and perfumes were used. In Mona Lisa's era, bathing was uncommon. Does her hair look dirty? Or that of elegant ladies and gentlemen in renaissance portraits? For washing, they had soap and water, and not the array of fancy shampoos and conditioners of today. Edison 15:27, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
They washed their hair with bars of soap? Or did you mean soapy water? In any case, they didn't have much in the way of sanitation. Both London and Paris had severe pollution in their rivers (most notably "The Great Stink" in the Thames), because people "washed" there. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 16:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
My g-g-grandmother had hair to her waist and she never washed it. She powdered it and then brushed it with hundreds of strokes daily. Apparently this was not uncommon. -THB 19:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
There were doubtless special sope preparations, but bars of laundry soap made from animal fat and lye, or a softer version of the same product, were what was available before detergents were introduced. Women would use a barrel to catch rainwater from the roof runoff to reduce the undesirable residue from soap and hard water. In the PBS television series "Colonial House," "The 1900 House," "The Edwardian Country House" and "The Frontier House" on public television and the lack of modern hair care products were a major problem for the women. I do not recall if the problem was fixed by "The 1940 House." Edison 20:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

What does Catholicism say about certain types of sexual deviance/behaviour?[edit]

I have a friend who's married, Catholic, and works as a phone sex operator. Would that be considered adultery? What about prostitution? She occasionally encourages her callers to act out fantasies that include homosexual acts and sex outside marriage. What would this be v/v her faith? Anchoress 02:43, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Personally, as a Christian, I believe that's perverse. I'll come back with scripture. bibliomaniac15 02:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Anchoress 03:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
See venial sin and mortal sin. Lust is a mortal sin. Does she enjoy her work in a lustful way? Is it adultery or prostitution? Of a sort. It would be best to ask a priest these questions, just like legal and medical questions should be answered by a professional. I doubt that the the church is going to look favorably on someone encouraging others to commit horrible sins like homosexual acts and adultery. Is she having trouble reconciling her work with her faith? -THB 03:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if she always enjoys it carnally, but she sometimes does. And no, she's having no difficulty reconciling her actions to her faith, but she's being very judgemental about other people's actions v/v their faith, that's the problem. Anchoress 03:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I like your friend. Moonwalkerwiz 03:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that choosing to prostitute oneself has little if anything to do with sexual "lust". Tragically, in the vast majority of cases, it's got all to do with scoring some cash for a fix. Believe me, hookers haven't chosen their vocation simply because they're "horny". Loomis 03:53, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Since she enjoys it sometimes, lustfully, that's a mortal sin. Can't she just confess and have the slate wiped clean? As far as her being judgemental, it certainly sounds like she has no more right to be judgemental than any one else does. I would think that is hypocritical. Personally, people can do whatever they want as long as they aren't harming others and I have no problem with it, but hypocrisy disgusts me. Encouraging others to commit adultery is harmful to the adulterers' spouses and families. I'm sure she does the best she can with her life, as do we all, and that some mental accomodation is necessary to be a telephone sex worker, maybe more so than in other service jobs. Some of that accomodation may be denial. -THB 04:11, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I just want to ask a question, does it really work like that, confess and the slate will be automatically wiped off clean? Like, if your sin score is 150 it'll go back to zero? Moonwalkerwiz 04:34, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
~To THB after EditCon~ I agree with you. But about the confession, Jesus said 'Go and sin no more'. The concept of repentance cleaning the slate is not a 'get out of jail free' card that allows for repeated infractions. Jesus expected us to do our very best not to sin, and (like StuRat), he hated hypocrisy (and avarice) above all. I am not a Christian, I don't believe most of what she does, but I know the Bible well enough to know that suborning others to sin for money, repeatedly, is sinful, and confession alone isn't enough, without a sincere and wholehearted intent to 'go and sin no more'. And BTW I'm not arguing with anyone or dumping, just feeling a little self-righteous here. Anchoress 04:42, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't think it worked that way anymore. It wouldn't be very sincere. -THB 05:16, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe the position of the Catholic Church is that the sole purpose of sex is reproduction, and that such sex should only occur within marriage. As such, phone sex would not be in accordance with their beliefs. What amazes me is how many people totally reject both these arguments, yet still remain with the Church. I can only conclude that the Church serves a social purpose for them, not a moral guidance purpose. StuRat 04:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

The Catholic Church has been getting more and more lenient on such matters over time. Just recently I read something about the Vatican easing up their position on condom use. I do doubt though, that we'd ever hear them condoing phone sex fantasies -- it is too particular to us white devils. Theavatar3 05:04, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I would take the Bill Clinton Defense on that one--phone sex isn't sex. Or is it? Is masturbation sinful in wasting seed, etc.? -THB 05:16, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi, Anchoress. Since some people are clearly inclined to pontificate about Catholicism and sexuality without having a clue about the subject, I thought it might help you and your friend if I quoted a passage on the point under consideration from the Catechism of the Catholic Church-Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of the participants (actors, vendors, public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offence. I make no judgement at all about your friend; but if she is sincere in her beliefs she really should discuss the matter with her priest. I'm sorry, I know this is not very comforting; but in such matters one must be absolutely frank. Clio the Muse 09:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
That looks like a postmodern advert for "sex for reproduction only, all pleasures and love heavenly". Keria 13:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
What a wonderful summation! Theavatar3 17:38, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Clio, what does that definition of pornography have to do with this subject of phone sex? Anchoress never mentioned third parties eavesdropping on the phone sex. I agree with you, and I stated in my first comment, that her friend should seek professional advice from a priest on this matter. -THB 15:48, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
That definition seems to be applicable here (especially if she is getting calls from people who are not her partner) - ie she is being involved in pornography in terms of the official classification given by the church. The third party would be the caller. You didn't get that a third party is the caller - the first and second parties are husband and wife87.102.32.250 18:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I must have missed the part about the callers listening to her having sex with her husband. I assumed she was having "phone sex" with the callers without her husband participating. -THB 19:39, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
You were right the first time I think - she's having phone sex with callers (I expect - why would her husband do it?) - so thats at least a simulated sex act - either prostitution or pornography or adultery - depending on how you want to classify them - I'd say all three. 19:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
(in response to the "wipe the slate clean" question) Actually, your sins are only forgiven (in the Catholic Church at least) if you are sorry, and try not to commit them again; this would mean you must stay out of temptations (including phone sex). Furthermore, if you omit one of your sins during confession, you have an extra sin, of sacrilage. If you are sorry, try not to commit them again, and do not omit any sins (unless if you forgot them), then your slate is wiped clean. I think your friend is neither being faithful to her religion, nor to her husband (unless he tells her to do that, but it would still be against the Church). This would mean that she is not in a state of "Sanctifing Grace" (according to the CCC), and she is in grave sin. Wow, all those years of Catechism are paying off. Finally! | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 16:31, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
When you say sex outside marriage do you mean adultery or swinging (or maybe even pre-marital sex)? Personally, being an agnostic ex-Catholic, I have no problem with the later two. While obviously the Catholic faith in general frowns on all thre, I would assume the first is worse then the second and third. Nil Einne 18:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Sex with someone who is not your spouse. I'm not a priest, but I think that you put the three in order of greatest to least bad. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 20:47, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Weddings rings are basically as strong as the One Ring. What else is there to say? Theavatar3 23:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you AndonicO, Clio, StuRat, THB and others for the awesome replies. Anchoress 03:08, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
You're very welcome. :-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 13:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes basically that would go against scripture, and in the Catholic faith it would be considered a Venial sin, but I am not 100% sure. — Seadog 04:18, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually Seadog, it's a Mortal sin in the Catholic Church. By the way, good to see you here. :-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 17:46, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Musical Modes[edit]

There are many different musical modes of the diatonic scale existed. But how come nowadays only major and minor key are prevalent?

--Cpcheung 04:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

There's some useful information in Musical modes and Tonality. Cheers, Sam Clark 15:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe all the chords suggested or needed by these modes can be simulated by using the appropriate chords defined by the noraml major minor augmented and diminished scales. Therefore they are more flexible than modes. But Im not an experts so take with salt.

So: for the diatonic major scale of C, the modes are

  • MODE Starts on Harmony

Some jazz artists experimented with modes, notably Miles Davis. John Coltranes 'Impressions' is one of the more tuneful offerings using the Ionian and Dorian modes. 8-)--Light current 15:36, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Start a 1 octave scale on each succeeding white key of the piano, playing only white keys. You have just played 8 classical modes. Edison 15:39, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
ER Seven actually 8-)--Light current 16:05, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Our article Diatonic scale states the following:
"What we now call major and minor were, during the medieval and Renaissance periods, only two of many different modes formed by taking the diatonic scale to begin on different degrees. By the start of the Baroque period, the notion of musical key was established, and major and minor scales came to dominate until at least the start of the 20th century."
By way of explanation this is a bit unsatisfactory; there is no obvious relationship between keys and scales. I think that fashion played a major role. Why exactly something gets to become the fashion, and not something else, is largely unfathomable.  --LambiamTalk 16:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I suppose just because no composers like to write for them now. They're just out of fashion.martianlostinspace 16:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion into the list of developed countries[edit]

Why does Vanuatu not want to be included in the list of developed countries? See paragraph 4 on page 4 of 5 at --Patchouli 12:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps because the GDP (and the PPP) figure show that they aren't developed (and therefore will recieve development aid?): 2005 estimate - Total: $726 million (175th) - Per capita: $3,346 (121st). Developed countries aren't that poor (at least none that i know off) and don't recieve foreign aid. The Happy Planet Index mentioned in the text is...disputed to say the least (in my own honest personal POV it is largely worthless) Flamarande 12:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
To qualify for certain kinds of Development aid (see also the other articles referred to on that page). From the article on Burma: To qualify for least developed country status by the UN in order to receive debt relief, Burma lowered its official literacy rate from 78.6% to 18.7% in 1987. -- Seejyb 16:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Now Burma is back to 85.3%[2].--Patchouli 18:56, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Haven't read the PDF, but as has been stated, given their GDP per capita and HDI, I don't know how anyone would think Vanuatu could be a developed country. Malaysia is significantly higher on both counts but I don't think many Malaysians or people outside Malaysia would call it a developed country. (I'm a Malaysian BTW) Nil Einne 19:05, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Musical modes and The Beatles[edit]

The question 2 above reminds me of a brilliant British-made TV programme (possibly shown on Channel 4 in the UK) I saw some months ago. It was part of a series, looking at the music of different composers and one programme was devoted to The Beatles. It looked in a serious way at musical structures etc. Can anyone tell me what this programme was? One of the Beatles songs Penny Lane perhaps?) was highlighted as using a system of modes or perhaps scales (I'm no musician!) that was medieval and very different from our modern system. The presenter then played the song as it would sound using the modern system. Fascinating. Any further information gratefully received. --Dweller 14:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Probably Howard Goodall 20th Century Greats there is also How Music Works meltBanana 15:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Fantastic... and quite right. Some digging around found this, Eleanor Rigby works so well as "an urban version of a tragic ballad in the Dorian mode". ([3]). So it was Eleanor Rigby, not Penny Lane. Thanks. --Dweller 16:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Yup its only got 2 chords Em and C. Its written in Eminor. and the chord of Em would fit the D dorian mode.--Light current 16:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
It's ambiguous, which in my opinion accounts for its beauty. E Dorian would have a C#, and Eleanor Rigby does, in the melodic line, so that makes it Dorian: but the C chord, which cannot exist in E Dorian, takes you back to an Aeolian mode.
As another modal example, Norwegian Wood is mostly in the Mixolydian mode. Antandrus (talk) 17:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, modes were the subject of one of Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, and Norwegian Wood was, in fact, the very first piece he mentioned. B00P 23:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Registers of the saxophone[edit]

There's a discussion at Talk:Evan Parker that I would appreciate RD views on. An anonymous editor has several times removed a (sourced) quotation from a jazz critic which describes Parker as "playing in all three registers of the instrument at the same time". The anon's objection to this quotation is that it is factually incorrect since the number of registers a saxophone has is impossible to define. Any comments? How many registers does a saxophone have? --Richardrj talk email 16:23, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know. Doesn't it depend on the size of the sax? In any case, disagreement with a sourced quotation is not grounds for removing it. However, I see the discussion of this point on the talk page is longer than the article itself, so perhaps there is something to be said for dropping it and moving on. (Come back in a few months time and slip it in when no one's looking.)--Shantavira 18:38, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
This is the same kind of senseless hagiography that one can find in reference to Mariah Carey's voice supposedly having, say, a six- or seven-octave spread. You can certainly cite plenty of articles on the Internet stating such a thing but it is a fallacy. A saxophone is a single-reed instrument, and like other reed instruments such as the clarinet, is capable of producing tones in several registers. An upper register fingering on the clarinet might use the same keys for Bb as the low register does for Eb, as the first register jump on a clarinet is a twelfth rather than an eighth or octave. As far as I know it is impossible for a single reed to vibrate in two or more registers at once. However, it is possible for double-reed instruments, such as a bassoon, english horn, or oboe, to vibrate the two reeds in different registers simultaneously, producing what are called polytonal notes. A similar effect can be noted with the human voice as there are two independent vocal folds. Register "leaps" are also a phenomenon of wind instruments such as flutes, as one can change the pitch by force of breath alone (overblowing), in the order of overtones (octave, fifth, fourth, major third, minor third, flat minor third, etc.). dreddnott 06:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


Is moderation the key to a happy life? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

See moderation and deadly sins for a start. -THB 16:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Balance, wisdom, humanity, compassion are the hallmarks of a good (happy) life. In hard times, bravery is critical as well.

Moderation presumes that you know something about the world. Balance doesn't say anything about anything, except that you are not careening out of control. Theavatar3 17:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Aristotle argued that moderation - the golden mean - was what lead to eudaimonia, that is happiness. If this (as I suspect) is a homework question, I suggest starting with the linked articles. Cheers, Sam Clark 20:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
For a happy life, all things must be excerized in moderation, even moderation itself. Beat you to it this time, Jack!
He he. Go to the top of the class. But go moderately. JackofOz 05:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Invoking this expression is exactly the same as boiling water until there is no water at all. :) Theavatar3 23:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course another perspective worth considering is that conveyed in the following quote: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" Loomis 20:47, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. Extremism always, without exception, does more harm than good.
In practice, yes! In theory -- who cares about theory? :) Theavatar3 23:11, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
This sort of "means justifies the end" argument has been used by fanatics throughout history to defend every excess from the Spanish inquisition and the crusades to the present day proponents of global terrorism and those who advocate extreme measures to combat such terrorism. Gandalf61 22:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it was Sinatra who said that he pitied people who don't drink, he said "they wake up on a morning and know that's the best they're going to feel all day". Perhaps, alas, the key to a happy life is to drink in the company of good friends. Personally I believe the key lies in perspective. AA Gill noted the thing that scared him most in poverty stricken parts of Africa was children flirting and having fun. I firmly believe that life is what you make of it and that sadder people have much 'better' lives than me and yet people with infinitely worse circumstances have had much better. ny156uk 22:05, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Uptight - Relaxed: manifestly distinct
Theavatar3 23:14, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
What I see here is the error of false causality. It is not that we practice moderation that's why we become happy. It is because we are happy, living a good life that we tend to moderate. Moderation is the end, and happiness, the means, not the other way around. Similarly, it is because we are in unfortunate circumstances that we tend toward the extremes. Extremism is the end, and unhappiness, the means. First comes the situation of things, then the action concerning it. First comes the economic poverty and the Islamic culture of Iraq, then comes suicide bombings and civil war. It is not because there are suicide bombings and civil war that something like Iraq takes shape. First comes American economic prosperity, and then comes democracy and the temptation to "export" it. Moonwalkerwiz 00:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course it would have to be a moderately happy life. Clarityfiend 01:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Is moderation the key to a happy life? - Yes, but moderation should not be taken to extremes. StuRat 21:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The collection of fragments by epicure is a great read about moderation and the happy life. Keria 21:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Re the anon Extremism always, without exception, does more harm than good. I agree. The thing is, an action that is classified as "extremism" by some people in one circumstance might be called "a fantastic effort" by other people, or by the same people in other circumstances. Eg. the people who perpetrated 9/11 would not have called their actions "extremism", but the victims certainly do. JackofOz 01:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Progression of Ideals[edit]

I think it is safe to say that through the ages, different epochs have held different ideals.

What would you say the highest ideal, and gravest sin, of each of the past few epochs has been?

I can only speak to the last few: the eighties, early nineties, mid nineties, late nineties to 9/11, and post 9/11.

In order for the question to be earnest, I shall not go first. :) Theavatar3 18:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Comment:(an epoch is something like the age of the dinosaurs or the middle ages - generally - you are talking about decades) - I think it's too early to have sufficient hindsight on the ideals of these recent decades - however convention tells me to say that during the eighties the ideal was to get rich (ie yuppies) personally I don't believe that - this only applies to a small group of people. Could you explain what you mean by gravest sin - sin of the entire society or the worst personal act one could perform...? Please continue. 19:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

The gravest sin has been the relentless shortening of historical periods as we approach the present day. Compare the Zhou Dynasty with Post 9/11 period and wonder what use referring to the last five years as an epoch is. 19:11, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

If that is the gravest sin, then surely there is no sin at all. Theavatar3 18:08, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
As the anwers above show, the question is not clear. Does the original question end at the question mark?
Indeed! Theavatar3 23:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
If so, then the definition of epochs is critical to any sensible answer. Culture and place would be most pertinent. -- Seejyb 19:38, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
If you want epochs - I'd say the last epoch has been one of science replacing religon (or one of religious science) - so the highest ideal would be I guess a usefull scientific discovery and the attempt to explain the universe etc and to come to an understanding of it. And the greatest sin (excluding the misuse of science eg wars) would be the loss of tolerance to non scientific ideas and the suggestion that existence can by explained purely in terms of scientific reasoning. So no great difference from other eras except science replaces the church(eg reformation) 19:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks -- that's exactly the sort of answer I was hoping/looking for. :) Theavatar3 23:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if you've read a newspaper lately but only a small subset of very educated people really believe that science has replaced religion. The rest of the world keeps on being religious like they have been.
In any case if you are looking for a good intellectual framework for thinking about changing "ideals", check out The Order of Things. -- 20:54, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
These sorts of people don't even talk about science or religion. It is a non-starter. Theavatar3 00:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


when is the new form available for part time law programme in jibowu campus.

Presumably you're referring to Lagos State University? Information on requiremetns for admissions for their law programme is here, there is a 'Contact us' link that you'd be much better off asking at. --Mnemeson 21:22, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Origin of no meat Catholic days[edit]

My father recently told me that during the Middle Ages the Catholic Church began requiring its members to not eat meat on certain days of the calendar (i.e. every friday and holy days) in an attempt to help the failing fishing industry. I've been looking for confirmation of this factoid, but can't find it anywhere. Does anyone know if this statement is true?

Thanks! 20:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

The reason I was given was fasting - as far as I know the fishing industry only started failing recently? (Have you any reason to believe you have been misled?) In my experience not being allowed meat was a good enough reason to eat fish instead. 20:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
It certainly helped the capybara industry. -THB 20:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
If I eat the capybara that is not fasting.. or does the bible say "eat not the meat of the animals on the holy days, but the meat of the capybara thou shalt feast on continually etc"???? 20:39, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
TBH is refering to the Catholic church declaring the capybara a fish, so that people could eat them on Fridays. Or at least, I think he is. Skittle 01:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, Friday is because of Good Friday, and no meat probably because of the Jewish traditions (ex. The Last Supper had no meat). Jesus was Jewish you know, and many Jewish traditions are incorporated into his "reform of the Jewish faith". | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 20:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that Jews are vegetarians? The last supper was a Passover Seder, and as such, a central aspect of it would have been the eating of the Passover sacrifice (usually a lamb, I believe). Of course the practice was abandoned some time after Jesus' death, after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. Now we just eat brisket. :-) Loomis 21:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
No, I wasn't saying that Jews are vegetarians, but I didn't know that they had lamb on Passover; I thought it was herbs. Also the Jews wouldn't eat pork (a long time ago). But, of course, brisket or bacon would be just fine for a 21st century Jew. :-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 21:43, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
An entire meal consisting of nothing but herbs? Not the most filling of "feasts", I would say! I'm a 21st century Jew, and not nearly as observant as I should be, yet still I never eat pork, in accordance with Deuteronomy 14:8.
But guys, please take it easy on AndonicO. I have good reason to believe that he's a true good guy, and I bear no ill will towards him. So he blundered. Who here hasn't? I was just kidding around.
Yet I'm still confused about the whole Christianity thing. From what I understand, with the coming of Jesus, the slate was cleaned. The harsh rules of the antiquated Old Testament no longer applied. The Kingdom of Christ spelled a new beginning for mankind. A virtual Tabula rasa. Pork is now ok. Circumcision no longer necessary. (Ouch!) The harshness of "an eye for an eye" was replaced by the kindness of "turning the other cheek". Fair enough. But why then, do some Christians still look to the Old Testament for authoritative guidance on certain (I would say, arbitrarily selected) issues? For example, many interpret the Old Testament as defining such practices as, for example, homosexuality and masturbation, as mortal sins. But it's the Old Testament! I thought the "old rules" no longer applied! The Kingdom of God was no longer restricted to "the chosen people", the Jews, but now open to all. "Sinners", such as the prostitute Mary Magdalene should no longer be shunned for her "sins", but embraced as a disciple of Jesus. Why is it now perfectly ok to eat pork (a clear violation of the law of the Old Testament), yet the supposed Old Testament sanction forbidding one to "lay with another man as with a woman" still applicable? Shouldn't homosexuals who embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour be in like fashion embraced by ALL Christians, no matter their supposedly "sinful" behaviour? I suppose I just don't understand Christianity as well as I should. Loomis 02:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Some of the old rules still apply I guess. Which ones? Easy answer: only those that we wish for. These "Christians" (self-righteous hypocrites) are in fact justifying their hatred and bigotry with passages of the Old Testament because they simply want to do so. Justify your prejudice with religion and BEHOLD (a true miracle indeed): It is righteous ! (it works with other excuses too; like the early "scientific proofs" that showed some races were inferior to others. As churches (with a few exceptions) teach that Homosexuality is a serious sin (one that several priest seem to enjoy) so are Homosexuals shuned. Flamarande 23:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC) PS: Mary Magdalene is not the prostitute; that one seems to be Mary of Bethany. Flamarande 23:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Surprisingly - or perhaps not - for someone I'd take for being nominally Christian, it is obvious that AndonicO has not actually read the New Testament. The gospels clearly indicate that the Last Supper included lamb. He is also quite deluded if he thinks that 21st century Jews would have bacon for their Passover meal. B00P 00:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Returning to the original issue; I remember vaguelly reading about the Church selling exceptions to the wealthy who really wanted to eat meat on such days. I also read somewhere that debates existed about animals like the Otter, as some ruleslawyers argued that it was fish (as it lived mostly in the water). I will not vouch for either issue though. Flamarande 22:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Yep - the first led to the reformation and martin luther etc (that is just corruption though really not policy..).. As for the second it's true what you say.. but the topic is still being actively debated and no I'm not kidding. 23:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I thought brisket was beef, not pork. -THB 22:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
It is. (Someone doesn't know what he's talking about.) B00P 00:08, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I knew it was beef; I just thought that that Jewish tradition isn't observed very strictly anymore. Excuse me if I was wrong. Also, I have read the New Testament (the Gospels many times over), my memory failed in this occasion though. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 00:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Also returning to the original question. First of all, the abstinence from meat on Fridays had absolutely nothing to do with the condition of the fishing industry, which was flourishing throughout the Middle Ages. In Catholic tradition, the injunction is to abstain from red meat, not specifically to substitute it with fish, though in practice this is what it often entailed. It was intended as a small act of atonement, and Friday was chosen because of the Crucifixion. The interdict was lifted not specifically for the rich, but for proven reasons of health. Even in monasteries sick monks were allowed meat on Fridays, if this was considered necessary for their well-being. There was for a lengthy period, moreover, quite a 'catholic' interpretation of what was and what was not 'meat'. This included many animals that lived chiefly by water, what would now be considered as red meat, if people still ate beaver and otter tails!. The tradition of meatless Fridays, incidentally, is no longer strictly observed. Clio the Muse 00:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

And to just elaborate on the theology involved: it goes back to commerating Good Friday, and the idea that Christ is God incarnate, a word that comes from the Latin for "flesh, meat". Abstinence from meat reminds Catholics of the event of Christ's death, and what, to their eyes, a sacrificial act it was (based on the Passover sacrifical lamb in particular). Abstinence/fasting in general is seen in Catholic theology not as promoting specific alternatives to something, but reinvigorating one's personal spirituality, contemplating what is seen as Christ's ultimate sacrifice, and personally experiencing redemptive suffering. Not anything at all about propping up the fishing industry; everything about being "fishers of men". -Fsotrain09 01:06, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

To add to Clio the Muse, from what I could find: The injunction against red meat as such - as a symbol of atonement - was not initially a rule made by the church authority, but seems to have started as a "grass roots" custom that spread, and was late assimilated into formal rules. Vatican II does not give clues as to where the rule came from, and I cannot find a reference for the first such church law. -- Seejyb 01:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you both for those useful amplifications. You wont find one, Seejyb. As you quite rightly say, it emerged from tradition rather than canon law. Clio the Muse 01:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
One thing that always intrigued me was that if a Catholic went to Mass on a Friday and took communion, they would have been violating the no-meat rule, since under the doctine of transsubstantiation the communion wafer had become the body of Jesus Christ. Bodies are made of flesh = meat. No? JackofOz 05:27, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a spiritual union, not a cannibal feast, Jack, as I am sure you are intelligent enough to realize. If the question was lobed in to act as a grenade it failed to go off-sorry. Clio the Muse 10:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Now, now, Clio, no lecturing please. I was raised as a Catholic, but I left the Church as a young man due to irreconcilable doctrinal objections. As a child, it was impressed on me many times that, when the host is consecrated by the priest, despite still looking and tasting like bread, it is actually, really, physically the body of Christ. His actual flesh. And the wine, despite still looking and tasting like wine, is his actual physical blood. I was taught that this doctrine is one of the major stumbling blocks to reunification with other Christian denominations, who believe that no physical change occurs and the communion is merely a symbolic remembrance of the Last Supper. JackofOz 01:37, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
No lecture; honestly! If you were a Catholic then I am certain that you know the dogma, and the reasons for it, whatever objections you may now have. I hope you will forgive me for saying so, but what you wrote above was spurious and misleading, for the simple reason that it was not born of ignorance, by which I mean lack of knowledge. Don't misunderstand me: I do recognize that it was intended for humorous effect; I just feel it was misplaced. God go with you, Jack. Clio the Muse 02:58, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Jack's comment seemed like a reasonable one to me, undeserving of such condescension and ridicule. "According to Catholic dogma, bread and wine are transubstantiated into the real flesh and blood of Jesus, which are then distributed by the priest to the faithful.". Of course the most telling aspect of that quote is that I took it straight out of the article on Cannibalism. Loomis 03:05, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Clio, my question was certainly not intended for humorous effect, as I have more than enough respect for people's religious beliefs not to mock them. If you found it funny, good luck to you. Nor was it intended to be spurious or misleading. I don't believe I've misled anyone, but if you can substantiate that claim, I'd be happy to apologise. I remember asking my primary school teacher something along these lines, and got the same result as I'm getting here. Zero. Oh, the burden of being a literalist! But when it comes to transubstantiation, I really can't see how else to approach the question. The Church demands an absolutely literal interpretation of this dogma, so I'm posing a commensurate question. Maybe human flesh doesn't count as meat. Does the Church say that cannibalism - were it not a sin - does not of itself break the "no meat on Fridays" rule? Anyone here have a clue what I'm on about? JackofOz 05:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for wrongly assuming any degree of humour behind your words, which I now accept were meant to be taken literally. I take it that you have read the article on transsubstantiation that you flagged up? Beyond that there is nothing more I wish to add. Clio the Muse 06:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Duck Test[edit]

Does use of the Duck Test have any legal standing in Court?

Barrylyn 21:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm assuming you mean "If it walks like a duck, flies like a duck, and quacks like a duck; then it must be a duck". StuRat 21:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
See circumstantial evidence. -THB 21:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, any argument at all has legal standing. If it can be said, it can be said in court.

Just because the opposing side might shout you down -- Objection your honor!! -- before you can even utter the first syllable of a 'duck test' invocation, that does not mean that the Duck Test is not as valid and defensible as any other argument or position taken.

Quoth the Healy, "- there is no wrong - there is no right - the circle only has one side." Theavatar3

"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit". But then, there's the Chewbacca defense. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

An ancient Jewish sect.[edit]

I can't remember the name of a Judaic sect in biblical times, who believed in assassinating those who collaborated with the Roman, and Roman officials themselves. They were named for the word for knife, or dagger, but I think it was the Latin word, not he Hebraic.

Leonard Rubin -email address removed-

Could this be the Zealots and their offshot the Sicarii? Clio the Muse 23:54, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Sicarii. 04:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
It wasn't the Essenes? Anchoress 04:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed with above posters, the answer is Sicarii. --Dweller 10:21, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, although at first I was thinking the Maccabees, but that's Hebrew for "hammer". StuRat 21:25, 6 December 2006 (UTC)