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

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November 13[edit]

The French government[edit]

How much discression does the French president have in appointing the prime minister?

Read over the Government of France, which gives detailed insight to the operation of the French Constitution. By law the President names the Prime Minister, who has to be drawn from the leader of the majority party-or coalition-in the National Assembly. Clio the Muse 00:55, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Though your observation taken from the Government of France article is indeed accurate - "...also the Prime Minister is always from the majority party in that house" - the article itself is surely mistaken. While the French Fifth Republic may indeed never have encountered a scenario warranting it, its constitution must surely provide for the possibility of a minority government (not to be confused with a coalition government). Loomis 17:22, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, this law allowed for the fact that Dominique de Villepin, France's current Premier Ministre, has never held any elected office. He never had to campaign for anything and never had to face the voters. (Nor is it likely that he ever will.) ---Sluzzelin 01:25, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but he is still the party leader. There is really nothing in French law to say that the Prime Minister must be elected. This, incidentally, is also true of the United Kingdom. Though the convention now is to draw the Prime Minister from the majority party in the Commons, in the past many of them only had seats in the unelected House of Lords. Clio the Muse 01:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Again, it would be imprecise to say that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is invariably drawn from the majority party in the House of Commons. For example, not once, but twice, once in 1924 and a second time in 1929, King George V called upon Ramsay MacDonald to form a minority government with MacDonald as PM. Loomis 17:51, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Loomis, you are technically quite correct, in that neither the Labour ministry of 1924 nor that of 1929 had an overall majority in the House of Commons, though on both occasions they were still formed from the largest party;hence the call of the king. MacDonald was able to survive because the Liberals, though they did not support his government, did not actively try to bring it down, which would have meant joining with the Tories. Clio the Muse 23:19, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Just technically? I'm afraid I don't quite understand the distinction you seem to be trying to draw my adding the qualifier overall to the term "majority". A government with a "majority" of the House of Commons is by definition a government whose party (or parties in the case of coalition goverments - which the Macdonald governments were not) has 50%+1 control of the House of Commons. MacDonald didn't have a majority in any sense of the term - overall or not. Yes, Labour may have had held a plurality, but that's an entirely different concept. The fact is that MacDonald was called upon to be PM despite his party clearly not having any sort of "majority" control of the Commons. It was a perfect example of a minority government. Loomis 00:02, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
This discussion could get quite 'technical'. First of all an apology for a factual error: Labour did not have the largest number of seats after the election of 1923; they were only the next largest party after Baldwin's Tories. However, after the government lost a vote of confidence in the Commons in January 1924, the king called on MacDonald to form a ministry. Technically (that word again) MacDonald could also have failed on a vote of confidence; but the Liberals, though they offered no active support, did not vote against him; so his minority goverment survived until the Zinoviev Letter affair later in the year. It was slightly different in 1929 because this time Labour did have the largest number of seats, though without an overall majority they were still dependant on the tacit support of the Liberals. But the first case proves your point: the Prime Minister does indeed not have to come from the majority party in the Commons. But he has to have sufficent support, positive and negative, to survive a vote of confidenceClio the Muse 00:27, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I should explain why I'm seeming so pedantic about this whole thing. In Canada, with a Parliamenary system identical to that of the UK in all respects material to this issue, we're currently being governed by the second of two consecutive minority governments, for well over two years now. The issue of "minority government" is a live one here, and might go a long way in explaining my seemingly stubborn insistance on recognizing what to others may seem like a mere "technicality". Loomis 14:10, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
There's also a section of the Australian Constitution that allows a person who is not a member of the Parliament to be a Minister, for a maximum of three months unless they become elected in the meantime. It was used in 1901 to enable Edmund Barton to form the first government on 1 January - the first parliamentary elections weren't held till the end of March (and one member of that government, Sir Elliot Lewis, chose not to stand for election, so he was the only person one of only 2 people who held Ministerial office in a Commonwealth government without ever being a member of the Commonwealth Parliament); and in 1968, following the presumed drowning of Harold Holt and the short-term government of John McEwen, to enable John Gorton to become Prime Minister. He started his premiership while a Senator (a unique case in Australia); he remained PM in the period between resigning from the Senate and becoming elected to the House of Representatives (to fill the vacancy caused by Holt's death). It's also been used in a number of cases to allow Ministers who lose their own seats, or retire before the election, to retain their portfolios for a short time pending a new Minister being sworn in. JackofOz 02:12, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
In Finland, too, ministers, including the prime minister, need not be members of parliament, although they almost always are. Ditto Sweden. So it's not that unusual.--Rallette 10:13, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Back to the subject of the French prime minister, he is not the "majority party leader". For instance, that role belongs presently to Nicolas Sarkozy. The president has full discretion in choosing his prime minister. Actually, I've been taught (for I am french) that the president could, under the Fifth Republic, appoint a prime minister who would not be from the majority holding the Assemblée Nationale. This was however never done, as it would mean simply rejecting the citizen's choice, and having a locked situation (as the Assemblée would quite surely refuse to work with the government and immediatly vote a motion of no confidence). Tovarich1917 23:42, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. The president can basically appoints whoever he wants, except that the Assembly can overthrow that person if it does not like him or her; so he's in practice forced to appoint a personality from the majority, after some negociation. Things are obviously simpler if the Assembly is from the same side as the president. David.Monniaux 12:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Is President Gerald Ford really a Mason??[edit]

Thanks YXYX 02:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Read the page on Gerald Ford, who is, of course, a former president. Does it really matter if he is a mason or not? Clio the Muse 02:05, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
It seems to matter to YXYX. In the U.S., former presidents are still referred to as "President xxx". JackofOz 02:11, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I thought it was X President! Clio the Muse 02:14, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
heh! JackofOz 02:17, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
X. Clio the Muse 02:21, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

So is he?Because I think its very important issue,even if he is an X President hehe.

YXYX 04:36, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

There is no cabal. Dismas|(talk) 05:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't be mortarfied to find out that he was a Mason, would you ? StuRat 06:32, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't. I'd be petrified. Loomis 22:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
We may still not know every US President who was a Mason. In other words, these facts aren't chiseled in stone. StuRat 06:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I know Washington was a mason, as well as FDR. I can't remember any more, but there were probably a few. Now the big question: who cares! | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 11:56, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I do. YXYX 17:04, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Amazingly we don't seem to have a "Presidential list" for that. But this source says that yes he was a Mason. Rmhermen 17:48, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have known. Here's what Wikipedia has to say. By the way, are you a conspiracy theorist? ;-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 17:42, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, List of United States Presidential religious affiliations mentions that Washington had a Masonic funeral, but says nothing about Ford's connection with Masonry. JackofOz 00:54, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Btw, a face-slap to those who are saying "who cares", "does it really matter", or suggesting conspiracy theories. This is a reference desk, we're here to answer questions without passing judgments on the importance of the information being sought. If the subject matter is unimportant to you, leave it for others to answer, but don't mock people. That is all. Have a nice day. JackofOz 00:54, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Rmhermen ,you said that "he was".Does that means that he isnt any more? YXYX 01:12, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

He probably is; I doubt he would have stopped being one. By the way, that slap in the face hurt, but I've learned my lesson. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 10:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
My pleasure (no, not really).  :) JackofOz 00:56, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

The Pennsylvania Grand Lodge seems to think he is. [1] Oops, forgot to sign. --Charlene 13:09, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

No one ever mentioned List of Freemasons. -THB 07:13, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

   * George Washington, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4; Alexandria Lodge No. 22, VA
   * James Monroe, Williamsburgh Lodge No. 6, VA
   * Andrew Jackson, Harmony Lodge No. 1; Past Grand Master of Tennessee.
   * James K. Polk, Columbia Lodge No. 31, TN
   * James Buchanan, Past Master of Lancaster Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, PA; Past District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
   * Andrew Johnson, Greenville Lodge No. 119, TN
   * James A. Garfield, Magnolia Lodge No. 20, OH
   * William McKinley, Hiram Lodge No. 21, VA
   * Theodore Roosevelt, Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, NY
   * William Howard Taft, "Mason at sight"; affiliated Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, OH
   * Warren G. Harding, Marion Lodge No. 70, OH
   * Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Holland Lodge No. 8, NY
   * Harry S Truman, 33° Belton Lodge No. 450, Belton, MO; Past Grand Master of Missouri
   * Lyndon B. Johnson
   * Gerald Ford Columbia Lodge No. 3, Washington, DC, courtesy to Malta Lodge No. 465, Grand Rapids, MI

And th-th-that's all, folks. -THB 07:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Art Appt.[edit]

Where was the oldest neolithic city found, what was it called, and what kind of sculpture and painting did it produce.

What does "Art Appt." mean? JackofOz 03:09, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Just the question I was about to ask! The oldest cities include places like Eridu, Uruk and Ur. There are older stone age settlements, like Knossos in Crete, but these are far smaller in scale. You could also have a look at Cities for some general background. You should be able to get some information on sculpture, but precious little on painting, far less enduring as an art form. Clio the Muse 03:20, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Those are some of the oldest literate cities -- for actual oldest cities, look at places like Catal Huyuk and Jericho... AnonMoos 04:48, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Purple Clothes Incident ?[edit]

What is the Purple Clothes Incident, mentioned here: Emperor Go-Mizunoo#Life ? StuRat 06:27, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The incident by itself was that a commoner (the wet nurse) visited the Imperial Court, which apparently was embarrassing to the Emperor. I don't know why this is called the Purple Clothes Incident. There is a notion that purple clothes are reserved for high nobility, but I don't know whether that applied to 17th century Japan. This is speculation: perhaps the wet nurse donned purple clothes, which was considered a scandal at the Court.  --LambiamTalk 09:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I think to sentences have been jammed together for no reason but they both relate to the power of the shogunate challenging imperial power. A commoner, related to the shogun, visiting the court would be seen a slight and a mark of the emperor's powerlessness. The Purple Clothes (aka "purple robe incident"), apparently designating high eminence, were conferred upon several buddist monks by the shogun; a gift only the emperor could give. MeltBanana 17:17, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I puzzled over this, and could find no specific reference to it in any of the standard sources; I even find it difficult to 'deduce' an explanation from the context. I think the above a reasonable assessment of the facts. Purple, it would seem, is the royal colour, cutting across both time and culture. In ancient Rome it was reserved for the emperor. For a more detailed-and sourced- explanation you might be best to examine the history of the page in question, and then approach the author, assuming she or he is still around. Clio the Muse 23:37, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I seem to remember that purple was reserved for the Roman emperor because the purple dye was very difficult to obtain, coming only from some sea creature found only in a distant location (but nowhere near Japan). Curious that Japan had a similar tradition, if their purple dye was relatively easy to obtain. JackofOz 01:00, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I tracked down when that info was added (along with most of the article):
03:20, 13 November 2004 user:Nik42 (Extended based on Japanese text)
I take this to mean that the info came from the Japanese Wikipedia article of the same name. I will post a message on that user's talk page. Perhaps I should also post to the Language Ref Desk to find someone who can translate ? StuRat 01:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Australian Prime Minister - hypothetical question[edit]

In Australia the Prime Minister is drawn from the majority party in the House of Parliament. We don't directly vote for the Prime Minister; we vote for our local representatives. The Prime Minister therefore has to win the race in his (or, maybe one day, her?) local electorate before being appointed Prime Minister. So what would happen if the Prime Ministerial candidate belonging to the majority party doesn't win in his electorate? After doing all the campaigning as the face of his party, participating in the televised debates and so on? I assume the party would normally choose a Prime Ministerial candidate who is running in a "safe seat", but what if there is some kind of landslide, hypothetically? This could even be a real concern facing Australia's Liberal Party, as I have heard that the district John Howard currently represents was earlier a safe seat, but is now classed as marginal. --Grace 08:34, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

It's likely that a member of his party holding a safe seat would resign, the party would nominate the Prime Minister as its candidate in that riding, and a special by-election would be held for that riding. That's what happened when Progressive Conservative premier Don Getty lost his seat in the 1989 Alberta provincial election. Brian C. Downey resigned and Getty ran in the riding of Stettler, a safe Progressive Conservative seat. Edited for typo. --Charlene 09:13, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Another possibility: if the Prime Minister felt they had lost such face and could not suffer the indignity of a by-election - especially if they were nearing the end of their tenure - then it is likely that either the Treasurer-elect or Deputy-Prime Minister Elect would be appointed Prime Minister by the Governing party. Jpe|ob 12:12, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
But all that would happen only after the by-election had taken place, which would take some 4-6 weeks to organise. In the interim, the winning party would elect a new leader (perhaps but not necessarily the existing Deputy Leader; Peter Costello would almost certainly be voted as the new Liberal leader, but I can't imagine Jenny Macklin getting the Prime Ministerial nod from her Labor colleagues - nothing to do with her sex, just her general lack of appeal), and that person would be commissioned by the Governor-General to form a government. Btw, this very nearly happened. In 1929, not only did the incumbent Nationalist Party lose the election, but the incumbent Prime Minister Stanley Bruce lost his own seat (the only such case in Australian history). Had his party still won (in coalition with the Country Party), they would have had to elect a new leader. Depending on how long that would have taken to organise in 1929, Bruce's coalition deputy Sir Earle Page may have been commissioned as Prime Minister for the interim period. JackofOz 01:26, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Here's a good point: Does the Prime Minister of Australia have to be in the House of Commons at that moment? Is there anything in the Australian constitution that says somebody has to be Acting Prime Minister if the PM isn't in the House for a couple of months? Wouldn't it be more likely that the Prime Minister, being leader of the party still, would continue to be Prime Minister, but his duties in the House would devolve upon the Deputy Prime Minister? After all, the PM has duties in Cabinet and nationally that don't necessarily involve the House.
This is an interesting question, because in Canada there's no rule that says the PM or any other cabinet memeber has to be an MP. It's tradition and there's precedent that the PM has to be an MP, but if he lost his riding they'd just have a by-election and the deputy PM would act on his or her behalf in the House until he won his seat. (It would also be traditional for the other parties to only put up token opposition in the riding that he were to run in, but then again that's simply tradition as well.) This is moot right now of course, because our PM has a Calgary riding, and they could run a diseased wombat here in Calgary under the Conservative name and it'd win by 20,000 votes. --Charlene 13:01, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
There is nothing in the Australian Constitution to prevent a Prime Minister from being a member of the upper house (Senate). However, what determines which party forms the government is the majority in the lower house (House of Representatives). So it would make little sense for the governing party to have its parliamentary leader (Prime Minister) sitting in a different chamber, which might not even be within the control of the government (it has been since July 2005, but that's very uncommon).
However, there has been one case of a Prime Ministerial Senator - when the Liberal PM Harold Holt drowned in 1967, the Deputy PM John McEwen (leader of the Country Party in the coalition) was appointed PM as an interim measure pending the Liberal Party electing a new leader. McEwen made it clear that the Country Party would not continue to participate in the coalition if William McMahon, Holt's Deputy Liberal leader, were elected (his reasons were never to my knowledge made known; it must have been something personal between them). The Liberals did not have the numbers to govern in their own right, so they chose as their leader John Gorton, a senator representing Victoria, on the understanding that he would resign from the Senate and contest the by-election for Holt's lower house electorate of Higgins, also located in Victoria (presumably he was prepared to relocate to live within that electorate if he didn't already live there). The plan worked. Gorton commenced his premiership as a Senator, then for a few weeks he was a Prime Minister who was not a member of the parliament at all, then he was an MHR after that. We never had to answer the question of what would have happened if the people of Higgins had preferred another candidate. Constitutionally, Gorton could only have remained a minister for 3 months unless he somehow got back into the Parliament. JackofOz 00:47, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Which two African countries would you consider regional powers?[edit]

Which two African countries would you consider regional powers and/or emerging great powers/superpowers?

Several factors, in order of importance, include: -Economy -Political -Geography/demographics -Military -Culture

Well, Morroco gets a lot of tourism from "Les Frenchies". :-)
I'd say Egypt too, but they look like they're dumping their recourses on Israel. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 12:02, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I think South Africa is a local power, but they probably have too many domestic problems to be considered an emerging superpower. Are there any oil-based economies in Africa, or are these Sheikhdoms mostly found in Asia? (Excuse my ignorance...) 惑乱 分からん 13:07, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
The possible nuclear test would be found at Vela Incident. X [Mac Davis] (DESK|How's my driving?) 17:38, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Nigeria has a powerful oil-based economy. --Kainaw (talk) 13:41, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Zimbabve,because they have such a great president. YXYX 17:05, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

None in Africa are "superpowers" or remotely close, but Egypt and South Africa are countries with significant population and level of development. Nigeria has a high population and significant natural resources, but is a corrupt mess, feeling the after-effects of a long line of military coups and ethnic conflicts. AnonMoos 18:29, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, South Africa is also important. It's the only African nation to have developed a nuclear bomb (I think), but they are also the only nation to have given up their bomb. By the way, is this a homework question? ;-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 18:44, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Now that Libya has agreed to leave terrorism behind, they are in a good position to become a regional power. StuRat 23:03, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

And, like Nigeria, it has oil. DirkvdM 05:46, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
In terms of sheer economic clout-and relative population-the answer would have to be Nigeria and South Africa. Having said that, Nigeria's importance as a regional power is in large measure dissipated by corruption and internal political divisions (perhaps this is increasingly true also of South Africa?). Egypt remains the leading power in the Arab world, though, perhaps, no longer quite as significant as it once was. Clio the Muse 01:48, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Old Comic Strip with main Character named "Chink".[edit]

I am looking for an old comic strip that used to run in the Chicago Tribune Syndicate that had a character in it that was named "Chink". This would have been sometime between 1920 - 1950, as my grandfather ended up with that as his nickname and we are trying to find what comic strip this was taken from.

I've been searching for this for a couple of weeks and come up with nothing.

Do you remember any more about it, was "Chink" used as a nickname for a Chines character? =S 惑乱 分からん 14:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

My grandma can't remember anything more about it, other than the character apparantly made reamrks and had quirks about it similar to how my grandpa used to be.I know, that is of no help whatsoever.

I don't know if you've found this link, hopefully it could be of help: http://www.toonopedia.com/tribune.htm . I'd like to know some more about the kind of characters appearing, catchphrases etc. 惑乱 分からん 16:05, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Civil and criminal responsibility[edit]

In 1992, an Airbus A320 crashed near Strasbourg in France. Ever since then there has been a judicial case winding its way through the French courts to decide who was to blame. The judge reached a decision last week (sorry, in French), saying that the airline (Air France) and the aircraft manufacturer (Airbus) were not criminally liable, but still had to pay damages because they were "civilly liable". Could someone explain the difference to me? (the article on liability wasn't much help, unfortunately) — QuantumEleven 16:10, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe this link can help you out: Criminal Liability in Aviation. (Though it's U.S. American and probably doesn't apply to France.) ---Sluzzelin 16:31, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
When one does harm to another, in law, the action of harming another can be characterized as a crime and/or a tort. In fact, with the exception of several so-called "victimless crimes", it's pretty safe to say that (almost) every crime is a tort, yet not every tort is a crime.
A crime is considered an offence against the state, even though the victim of the crime is the one who actually suffers. Criminal law is therefore considered "Public Law". When a crime is suspected to have been committed, it is the State, and not the victim, who "prosecutes" the alleged offender. The burden of proof in criminal matters is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". The penalty for being found "guilty" of a crime is generally a fine and/or prison time. One found guilty of a crime is said to be "criminally responsible".
A tort, on the other hand, is a completely private (civil) matter. The victim, rather than the state initiates a proceeding, not in the form of a "prosecution", but rather in the form of a "lawsuit". The burden of proof in civil cases is not "proof beyond a reasonable doubt", but rather the much less onerous "proof on a balance of probabilities". In plain English, what this means is that the Judge or Jury must simply "believe more than disbelieve" that the defendant is "liable". Another way of comparing the burden of proof is that whereas in criminal cases, you have to be as certain as is (reasonably) humanly possible that the accused committed the crime, in a civil proceeding, all that's necessary is for the "plaintiff" to convince you (as a judge or a jury member) that the defendant is 51% likely to be in the wrong. Another difference is that whereas the penalty for a crime is a fine and/or imprisonment, the penalty for a tort is usually "damages" (i.e. $$$ to be paid to the "victim").
In the case you mentioned, what the court is essentially saying is that the airline did not break any laws, yet nonetheless is required to compensate the victims finacially.
A great example of the difference between the two (and a rather bizarre result) is to take a look at the two O.J. Simpson trials. Loomis 17:03, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
That's an excellent explanation, Loomis. I always wondered how come one court said OJ "didn't do it", but another said he "did it". Same event, different charge. JackofOz 01:42, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, as I'm sure you've gathered by my explanation, what the respective courts were essentially saying was: "While we're not 100% sure he did it, we're more than 50% sure he did it". Of course the two trials involved two separate juries, so it's really impossible to know whether the second jury, the one that said "we're more than 50% sure he did it", if it were presiding over the criminal trial, would have felt comfortable saying "we're pretty much 100% sure he did it". Although the result may be bizarre, and may lead to a sense of bizarre injustice, throwing someone in prison (and who knows, maybe even executing him) is a far more serious matter than ordering him to dole out a bunch of cash, no matter how much, and so it warrants the higher burden of proof. Loomis 13:59, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
This news article about the verdict is in English.  --LambiamTalk 00:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much everyone, that has really cleared things up. Cheers! :) — QuantumEleven 09:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
As I've probably read at least a good thousand plus judgments written in French, (no wonder I've never had time for the classics or Nietzche!) should you have any particular questions about the court's holding, I'd be glad to look it over. Loomis 00:06, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Film identification![edit]

I watched a movie that was released sometime in the late nineties to early thousands. I can't find the title of it anywhere. It was about a couple of guys and a girl that finally succeeded in creating a $100 computer. Two guys at an institute of technology are given the job of working on a project developing a $100 computer, which is nearly impossible. With the help of a tuba playing marching band student and an art major, they create a design where the computer desktop is no longer contained in a monitor, but is projected into the air where the user can touch the icons with a special pair of gloves. I need the name of the film, and maybe an imdb link. Any help is appreciated, unless you've also seen this film and don't remember the name of it :) --207.28.81.72 18:07, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know the film, but the plot seems weird. Instead of just building a slow computer (which seems reasonably for 100$, they do some frigging Hi-tech Sci-fi stuff to get around the oh-so-extremely-expensive monitor... @_@ (No offense to you, just the scriptwriters...) 惑乱 分からん 18:46, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I saw a part of another movie (of which I cannot remember the name either) where someone got rid of the monitor too. The movie I saw wasn't like this one though, and the computer was actually more expensive than normal, as it should have been. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 18:50, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest ? MeltBanana 20:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

chivalry[edit]

in terms of jousting and medievaltournaments, what were three kinds of tournaments that took place before the 17th century?

This article should answer your question. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 19:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The most hand copied book of the middle ages[edit]

what was the most hand copied book of the middle ages?

The Bible, most likely. Xhin 19:24, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the Bible in Europe, but in the Islamic World, probably the Koran. In the Far East, I think everything was hand copied. | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 19:40, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Since the printing press (as far as Europe is concerned) was only invented in the 1440s and block printing was never popular, it is safe to say that the most hand-copied book of the Middle Ages (in the West) is the same as the most copied book. (In China block printing was invented several centuries earlier.) Due to the high cost and large volume, it was rare to have the Bible as a single book. The most copied book may have been the Book of Psalms if its inclusion in the popular Psalters counts, and else one of the Gospels.  --LambiamTalk 00:16, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
An important aspect here would be the number of literate people who could read the same language. How did Europe (Latin) and India (Hindi?) compare in that sense? DirkvdM 05:49, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
We can't really know the most-copied book. We can talk about the work with the most surviving copies. Aside from the Bible, The Golden Legend survives in many, many copies, and it may be #1 aside from Scripture. N.b. papal bulls and pastoral letters would also be extremely well copied, since those were required to get to every single parish. Geogre 12:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Sociology and Anthropology[edit]

Hi all.

What is the difference between sociology and anthropology?

Much help appreciated! Xhin 19:23, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Disciplinary history, literary style and academic territoriality. Anthropology's roots are in encounters between industrial and non-industrial peoples, and especially in colonial encounters. Sociology's are in the attention of industrial societies to themselves. The two share quite a lot, however: self-conscious attention to their own methods of gathering knowledge; back-and-forth debate about narratives of evolutionary progress; the ambition to be politically as well as academically influential. Clifford Geertz's essay 'Passage and Accident' in his collection Available Light is an interesting personal account of one strand of 20th century anthropology. Cheers, Sam Clark 19:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Sociology looks at social institutions like the state, religion, the family etc. and other social relationships and processes and analyzes these phenomena using different sociological theories or statistical methods. It has many different perspectives that it can use to approach a problem, for example, the conflict perspective or the functionalist perspective. Sociology can look at material resources or symbolic resources, that is, symbolic capital and how they are used in society. Anthropology, on the other hand, deals with the intersection of Human evolution and culture. Anthropology is more likely to speak of culture, human adaptation, biocultural evolution, etc. Sociology is more likely to speak of socialization, class struggle, social agency. Moonwalkerwiz 00:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
So sociology describes a culture and anthropology describes how it came about and how they interact? Or is that too simple? DirkvdM 05:53, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
It is rarely that sociologists will talk about evolution and human adaptation, stone tools showing the advancement in the human mind and human needs, or culture inscribed on the skin through tattoos. Anthropology combines biology and cultural perspective in their studies. Sociology on the other hand, tries to remain in the subject of relationships, whether micro (such as Goffman's studies or macro, like Durkheim's. Anthropology talks about culture more often than Sociology. Because if you just talk about culture in Sociology, you might look too superficial or even denying the existence of other factors like social classes which affect the behavior of people. Moonwalkerwiz 06:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
'Anthropology talks about culture more often than Sociology': well, Cultural anthropology does; Social anthropology, not so much... Cheers, Sam Clark 12:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, based from this article, the anthropologist pioneers were reading a lot of sociology books. Moonwalkerwiz 23:02, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

american retail architecture 60/70s[edit]

Can anyone please identify the avant garde store designs in the US during the 60s/70s typified by the iconic picture of a long building that looked as if it had been torn apart? I've dug and dug without luck. Thanks

The aquarium one is at Best Products and they're some links at the bottom of the page. One that's a church now and the "crumbling" one. You should be able to Google others. -23:04, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Forget those links. Here's the architect's website with all of them: Site. -THB 23:15, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Percentage of Urban Chinese who are non-religious?[edit]

question as stated above, urban Chinese is defined as someone who lives in town/city, with at least high-school education.

Thanks Jpe! Consider the question answered.

It's probably impossible to tell... 惑乱 分からん 22:18, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Check out Religion in China. Even there, though, there is no real distinction between urban and rural statistics. That page includes a breakdown of followers of religions and they come to a total of approximately 10-15% of the population, on my reading. Jpe|ob 22:49, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Leaving up 85% as the possible number of non-religious peoples in that country. Jpe|ob 22:50, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
The Religion in China page doesn't mention the number of Pagan Chinese followers. --The Dark Side 01:28, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

papable cardinals[edit]

Prior to the election of pope john paul II's election have their been any papable non Italian popes recently?

The article on Pope John Paul II says that he was the "first non-Italian Pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s." Jpe|ob 22:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
What exactly do you mean by "papable"? Loomis 23:45, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Probably papabile but that doesn't really make they phrase "any papable non Italian popes recently?" any more meaningful. Rmhermen 00:31, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I think he means non-Italian cardinals considered leading candidates for election as the next pope. The answer is: Yes, in each of at least the last 5 conclaves there have been a number of non-Italians who were rated with reasonable chances. I'd have to dig around to get their names, though. JackofOz 01:48, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The word "papable" is already attested in English in the 16th century. It does come (via French) from papabile, which (obviously) is not recent coinage.  --LambiamTalk 15:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
If you mean non-italian papal candidates pre-JP2, look at Papal conclaves. For example, in the August 1978 conclave that elected JP1, Franz König (Austria) was seen as a possible candidate; in 1958, Armenian Grégoire-Pierre Cardinal Agagianian was seen as a possibility. Hope that helps. Jpe|ob 02:00, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Montgolfier mess[edit]

Was the Montgolfier balloon of ( 17 DEC 1782) destroyed by villagers and how?

In the article it says he said it was "destroyed by the indiscretions of passers-by." -THB 23:14, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I.e. it sounds like souvenir grabbers. What would happen if a UFO landed in a rural village today? Some would call the army. Many others would want to get a piece of that thing. Geogre 12:30, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Many people claim that UFOs have landed in various places, but the people who saw them were not believed, and ridiculed. JackofOz 00:55, 16 November 2006 (UTC)