Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 December 6

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December 6[edit]


What does "Gabroo" mean in Punjabi and Persian? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Google implies that it is a song style-- (talk) 09:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC) Punjabi,"Gabroo" means a young man, full of youth and somehow handsome as well.--Mike robert (talk) 13:43, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

A name from Beckett/Berio[edit]

At a key point in the "In ruhig fliessender Bewegung” movement of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia the narrator proclaims “and the name of Miakovsky hangs on the clean air!” (The name maybe spelled differently, I haven’t looked in the score.) According to our article the words are from Samuel Beckett’s, The Unnamable. Does anybody know who “Miakovsky” is or why Berio chose to use this as a climactic exclamation in the movement. (Thanks for your help; I really must read The Unnamable sometime!) --S.dedalus (talk) 01:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Mayakovsky, no? Perhaps he liked futurism. On second thoughts, it sounds like a phrase from some piece of Soviet propaganda, extolling the artistic triumphs brought forth by the Proletarian revolution. "Mayakovsky is still the best and the most talented poet of our Soviet epoch. Indifference to his cultural heritage is a crime." So said the Kremlin mountaineer. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
According to a couple references i've found, the middle movement is a collage of Unnamable and musical in-jokes—maybe Nikolai Myaskovsky?—eric 02:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Does any work by Marx or Lenin desribe Communist society?[edit]

I know both Marx and Lenin were sceptical of any description of communism since they were against utopianism but is there any work by Marx, Engles or Lenin that goes into the "most" detail about their conception of communist society? I have read that Marx's concept of an ideal man was of the DaVinvi type, not concerned with labor but spending nearly all time in public life.

Also have any of the scientific claims of Dialectical Materialism concerning atoms, physics, chemistry, evolution and early man been proven wrong by modern science? --Gosplan (talk) 01:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

In relation to your first question, Gosplan, hardly at all, quite frankly. Marx is at his most whimsical, I suppose, in The German Ideology, with some further hints on future society in the Critique of the Gotha Programme. Lenin? Well, there is always State and Revolution, with speculations and theories that fell dead from the pen. On your second point I am not competent to talk about Dialectical Materialism, in the form outlined by Engels in Anti-Duhring, in relation to modern scientific techniques. To my untutored eye I will say it all looks so terribly old-fashioned. Clio the Muse (talk) 01:44, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any scientific claims that are specific enough to be "proven wrong". It is really more philosophy than science. You could say that space is a counterexample to the law of Dialectical materialism that states that everything in existence is a unity of opposites, inasmuch as there is no such thing as anti-space, but that is not a particularly modern insight. While Lenin found it necessary to disown the tenet of the indestructibility of matter in view of the developments of physics, Engels had referred to this in the Anti-Dühring as one of diese alten, weltbekannten Tatsachen ("these old facts, known the world over") – hardly a specific claim of Dialectical Materialism, but merely reflecting the received wisdom of the science of physics of his days. For the early, pre-historical development of society – not really the province of Dialectical materialism – the problem is that we still don't know (and never may know) enough to prove or disprove Marx' (theoretically falsifiable) theories – but many modern non-Marxist writers appear to consider his speculations to be at least as plausible as any other theories.  --Lambiam 15:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Cold Chills / "Heilige Schauer" or "Holy Shiver" in German Romanticism[edit]

Hello, I am trying to start work on a page for Cold Chills or "holy shivers" I was informed that Kant did some writing on this topic. Would anyone happen to know what book it was in or where I might find some other info? Thanks--DatDoo (talk) 01:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I am just bringing this over from the Science Desk, because it helps to clarify what the OP is searching for. I think personally that "Cold Chills" is a bit of a misnomer:
...Not talking about the medical condition but about what the German Romantics (poets, philosophers, biologists etc.) called the "Heilige Schauer" or "Holy Shiver". I wonder if we already have a page on it...Nope - so it is free for you to build/write! Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, even Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel all wrote things but you will probably need to read some German. Good luck. (By the way, if you Google it, the first hit where the guy is relating it to only courage in battle and sports...he's wrong. It's more subtle that that. It's about the Sublime). Saudade7 02:02, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I would have no problem changing the name of the page to "Holy Shiver". Where I am from cold chills has a similar meaning.--DatDoo (talk) 02:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Kalizi, Assyria[edit]

High I am trying to put some info on nl:wiki about the provincial capitals of the Assyrian empire. Kalizi is mentioned a number of times in the eponyms and I found a reference on astrological documents from there, but no clue where this city was. Anybody? nl:Gebruiker:Jcwf (talk) 04:24, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Other sources (for example here) call this city Kilizi. Apparently it was near Arbil. It is mentioned in the German Wikipedia (de:Asarhaddon) and the Spanish Wikipedia (es:Asurnasirpal II), but does not appear to have an article anywhere.  --Lambiam 15:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
It looks like some identify it with Kilis in Turkey. [1] --Cam (talk) 04:13, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Sign languages[edit]

The article on sign languages is somehow poor. Can someone out there tell me how many sign languages are. How easy is the communication between the two. The best options would be a map where all sign languages are displayed. (talk) 04:35, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Cool idea. Try List of sign languages. Wrad (talk) 04:41, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
The intelligibility between sign languages isn't as good as one might think. Although many of the signs are guessable to an extent, there's not enough to work a good conversation. Some are more intelligible than others, such as Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and British Sign Language, because Auslan was based off British Sign Language and both use the same two-handed finger-spelling. But American Sign language (ASL) was based off French and Irish sign languages and uses a one-handed finger alphabet. I have heard of a set of conventions for international communication between sign languages, but I don't know any details. Steewi (talk) 10:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah. There it is - International Sign, also called Gestuno. Steewi (talk) 10:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that International Sign is not intrinsically understandable to signers; although kept simple, it has to be learned like any other sign language, just like Esperanto has to be learned.  --Lambiam 15:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Famous last words[edit]

At the end Kant seemingly said 'Enough!'. Are there any more famous last lines I could add to my collection? Major Barbara (talk) 06:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

The list of last words which previously resided in Wikipedia has been stolen by Wikiquotes: you can see it here. "Famous last words" are notoriously unreliable, of course, but are no less amusing for being fictitious. - Nunh-huh 07:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
There is no mention there of my favourite, the alleged last words of William Pitt the Younger-"I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies." Sourced or not, it's still good! Clio the Muse (talk) 01:54, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Or even sauced or not... :) DuncanHill (talk) 01:56, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
The ultimate in product placement! Skittle (talk) 15:58, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Having worked in Bognor Regis, I can understand George V's decision to die upon being told he would soon be well enough to go there. DuncanHill (talk) 01:59, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

What about John Sedgwick, during the American Civil War? "I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." Right in the middle of the word "distance", he was shot in the head and died. AecisBrievenbus 02:04, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Nero: "What an artist dies in me!"
King Henry VIII: "All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!"
Queen Elizabeth I: "All my possessions for a moment of time!
King Charles II: "Let not poor Nelly starve."
King Louis XVIII of France: "A king should die on his feet."
Dominique Bouhours, a French critic and grammarian: "Je vais ou je vas mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent." (I am going to, or else about to, die; the one and the other is or are correct.")
Oscar Wilde, a month before he died in the Hôtel d'Alsace, Paris: "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has to go" (from Frank Harris's Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions, 1930, p. 572).
Lawrence Oates: "I am just going outside and may be some time."
Saki (November 1916, in the Great War, just before being killed by a sniper in the dark): "Put that bloody cigarette out!"
Anna Pavlova: "Get my swan costume ready!"
Xn4 03:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Then again, Oscar Wilde was notorious for saying a lot of things... :) bibliomaniac15 03:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Marie Antoinette: “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l'ai pas fait exprès.” (Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.) After stepping on the foot of her executioner as she approached the guillotine.
  • Humphrey Bogart: “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”
  • Robert Erskine Childers “Take a step forward lads - it'll be easier that way.” (spoken by Childer as he faced the firing squad―a perfect combination of bravado and insolence.)
  • Christine Chubbuck “In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first -- attempted suicide.” (On live TV―This is just really sad.)
  • Bing Crosby: “That was a great game of golf, fellers.”
  • James Dean: “That guy's got to stop… He'll see us.” (seconds before his fatal car accident.)
  • William Erskine: “Now why did I do that?” (after jumping from a window)
  • James French. “Hey, fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? 'French Fries'!” (To members of the press before his execution by electric chair.)
  • Charles Gussman “...and now for a final word from our sponsor...”
  • Alfred Jarry: “I am dying. Please…bring me a toothpick.”
  • Terry Kath : “Don't worry…it's not loaded…”
  • George Bernard Shaw: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard”
  • Domonic Willard “Why, yes, a bulletproof vest.” (Just before his death by firing squad, Willard was asked if he had any last requests.)

--S.dedalus (talk) 09:21, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

And there are a few more here, [2] Richard Avery (talk) 11:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Goethe: "Mehr Licht!" ("More light!") And Augustus (alleged): "Acta est fabula, plaudite!" ("The play is finished; applaud!") Wareh (talk) 19:28, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I read that some famous religious figure of the past was on his deathbed and heard the people around whispering about his imminent demise. One said "His feet are still warm. No one dies with warm feet" whereupon the churchman said "Jan Hus did" and expired.(Hus was burned at the stake in 1415). Not a clue who the churchman was, but I'm thinking someone of the generation of John Wesley. Edison (talk) 00:20, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

According to this article, it was said by John Holmes. When the nurse felt his feet to see if they were still warm, she explained that noone dies with warm feet. Holmes allegedly said "John Rogers did", and died. John Rogers was burned at the stake in 1555. AecisBrievenbus 00:55, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Tudor poor[edit]

what were the main causes of poverty and unemployment in Tudor England? An overview and some refernces for further research would be helpful. Sincerely, Craig Clarke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

You could start with the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601) (and original text, although modernized). There were two types of poor people, those who were able to work and those who were not. The reasons for their poverty include age, incapacitating disease or injury, being an orphan with no family support, lack of employment (even then there was no such thing as full employment), or, sometimes, some people just didn't feel like working. It's not all that different from poverty today, really. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:56, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Tudor attempts to tackle the problem go all the way back to the reign of Henry VII. In 1495 Parliament passed a statute ordering officials to seize "All such vagabonds, idle and suspected persons living suspiciously and then so taken and set in stocks, there to remain by the space of three days and three nights to have none other sustenance but bread and water, and there after the said three days and three nights, to be had out and set at large and then to be commanded to avoid the town." No remedy to the problem of poverty was offered by this; it was merely swept from sight, or moved from town to town. There was no distinction made, moreover, between real vagrants and the jobeless; both were simply catagorised as 'sturdy beggers', to be punished and moved on.

In 1530, during the reign of Henry VIII, a proclamation was issued, describing idleness as the 'mother and root of all vices', ordering that whipping should replace the stocks as the punishment for vagabonds. This change was confirmed in statute the following year, with one important change: a distinction was made between the 'impotent poor' and the sturdy beggar, giving the old, the sick and the disabled licence to beg. Still no provision was made, though, for the healthy man simply unable to find work. All able-bodied unemployed were put into the same category. Those unable to find work had a stark choice: starve or break the law.

There is some evidence of more enlightened attitudes beginning to develop. In 1535 a bill was drawn up calling for the creation of a system of public works to deal with the problem of unemployment, to be funded by a tax on income and capital. Though supported by the king it was savaged in Parliament. An act was passed in 1536, placing responsibility for the elderly and infirm with the parish or municipal authorities, though provision was reliant on voluntary donations.

For the able-bodied poor things became even tougher during the reign of Edward VI, when a bill was passed in 1547 subjecting vagrants to some of the more extreme provisions of the criminal law. Two years servitude and branding with a 'V' was the penalty for a first offence; death for a second. It was simply too severe to serve its purpose, as Justices of the Peace were reluctant to apply the full penalty of the law. There is no evidence at all that the act was ever enforced before it was repealed in 1550.

Although the government of Elizabeth was also inclined to severity, passing an act in 1572 calling for offenders to be bored through the ear for a first offence and hanging for persistent beggers. But this act also made, for the first time, a clear distinction between the 'professional begger' and those unemployed through no fault of their own. For these people some provision was eventually made in the Elizabethan Poor Law.

For references, Craig, you could try one or more of the following;

A.L. Beier, Masterless Men: The Vagrancy Problem in England, 1560-1640 (1985) A.L. Beier,The Problem of the Poor in Tudor and Stuart England (1983) N Fellows, Disorder & Rebellion in Tudor England (2001) Steve Hindle, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England (2000) John F Pound, Poverty and Vagrancy in Tudor England (1971) Paul Slack, From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England (1998) Paul Slack, Poverty and Policy in Tudor England (1988) Penry Williams, The Tudor Regime (1979) Clio the Muse (talk) 03:03, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I've incorporated your reply into Origins of the Poor Law system. Thanks! Sandstein (talk) 16:59, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Serving military officer should hold a political office. Any supporter?[edit]

Untill what extend you agreed that Serving military officer should hold a political office? (talk) 12:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Is that you, General Musharraf? Sadly, the examples we have, both now and in the recent past, do not inspire much confidence in soldier politicians, at least in a senior role. Clio the Muse (talk) 01:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you Clio. However, there have been quite a few positive examples in the past 100 years of people who have retired from active military service and then later held political office. Saukkomies 16:23, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
The most prominent counterexample I can think of is de Gaulle, whose exact legal status from 1940 to 1945 was very murky (commander of the Free French forces? Leader of the government in exile) but probably counts. Shimgray | talk | 17:25, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

stamps -- north rhodesia, pre-independence[edit]

I am trying to identify a stamp that I only have a photo of. The stamp shows an Austen Healey (British)automobile and the script "K500" and "Zambia."

I have searched all through Wikipedia and the internet with no results...any ideas? Many thanks!

Ke498rr (talk) 13:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Zambia is the post-independence name of Northern Rhodesia. The Zambian currency is the Kwacha, abbreviated K.
According to this link [3] it is a 1998 "Exotic Cars of Yesterday" 500 Kwacha issued by Zambia. DuncanHill (talk) 13:45, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your assistance, Duncan...I tried the link with no success..any ideas on wher to find the current value of this stamp? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ke498rr (talkcontribs) 14:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I have found the stamp on ebay for about US$14. Hope this link works! [4]. DuncanHill (talk) 15:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
You can find out more about the car here - Austin-Healey Sprite. DuncanHill (talk) 15:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
yes, I followed the ebay link, thanks so much agai! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ke498rr (talkcontribs) 16:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
That's quite alright - we aim to please! DuncanHill (talk) 16:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

War spy doll maker[edit]

I am looking for the name of a woman war spy, i believe from germany during WWII, she was also a doll maker, and her first name starts with a V. I heard the name on antiques roadshow years ago, but now can't find anything, any ideas? (talk) 14:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Not exactly a spy, and I am unaware if she made dolls, but Violette Szabo begins with a V. DuncanHill (talk) 14:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Also not from Germany. But she was a woman during WWII, those parts fits. Velvalee Dickinson, an American spy for Japan during WWII, based in New York City, was known as the "Doll Woman". She operated a doll shop, and sent steganographic intelligence information masquerading as doll-related business messages.  --Lambiam 17:08, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Generation Y[edit]

Is my sister (born in '95) part of the same generation as me (born in '92)? Some sources give the end date of Gen Y as early as 1994 and some as late as 2000. What is the generally agreed on end date for Generation Y and the starting date for the next generation? (Generation Z?) --Candy-Panda (talk) 15:20, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone really use these terms? (talk) 15:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I have been (jokingly) accused of being in generation Z. I had not thought anyone used such terms seriously, but we do have an article Generation Y. Algebraist 17:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Obviously people really use these terms - the original poster did, after all. However, people seem to mean different things when they use them. I hesitate a bit to link to our article on Generation Y, as the number of tags at the top suggest it is less than authoritative. It proposes 1981 to 1995 as the boundaries, which would make 1996 the start date for the next generation. Generational boundaries are always a little fuzzy though - for example, some definitions call me (1966) a boomer and some Gen X. I think they also tend to shift depending on where people are born, as demographic trends vary globally.
Personally, I think the 1981 to 1995 dates "feel" right, as they basically represent a post-PC / pre-Internet world. But I'm not a professional demographer. List of generations has some other proposed start and end dates. - EronTalk 17:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Having been involved in the writing that article a little, I'm aware that those dates are disputed. Generations aren't ever clearly defined until they're about to die off, but you can depend on that being roughly correct. Also, Generation Y has been called The Millenials or The Internet Generation (some don't like to be given a name relating them so directly to Generation X). Wrad (talk) 17:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Is it, then, an American thing? I have never heard anyone using such phrases as Generation Jones or Echo Boomers, for example. Most of the stuff in those articles seems very much on the cusp of Wikipedia's notability guidelines. (talk) 10:34, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure if this is an "American thing" or not. I know that living in America, and being an American, the terms "Generation X", "Generation Y" etc are pretty commonly accepted and part of the normal parlance of everyday speech. However, I cannot speak for whether these terms are used in other parts of the world or not. As per being on the cusp of Wikipedia's nobability guidelines, I would say that they are quite within the lines - not at all on the cusp. Saukkomies 00:50, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering why, in Islam, you can't name a teddy bear Muhammad, but you can name a person Muhammad? --Ouzo (talk) 16:41, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

See here. --Richardrj talk email 16:45, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --Ouzo (talk) 16:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
To sum it up, it's basically a Sudanese, conservative thing, and not an Islamic thing. Most Muslims could care less what you name your teddy. Wrad (talk) 17:29, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I heard a Sudanese diplomat on the radio the other day, who was clearly embarrassed by the affair, but he pointed out that the teddy bear is a western cultural thing that other cultures don't have or necessarily understand. In most cultures a bear is not a sweet, cuddly child's toy, but an aggressive wild animal, and in that context it's not too hard to understand why someone might regard it as disrespectful to call one after his favourite religious figure. Thankfully, we don't have laws that put people in jail for being disrespectful to religious figures, but unfortunately the Sudanese do. It'd be nice if they took cultural misunderstanding into account though. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:32, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

rectangle flag of nepal[edit]

Flag of Nepal rectangular.svg

Does this [5] really exist? is it someone's imagination? was it created in school in a day? Is it a new variant? If you know anything about it please let me know. thanks --Kushalt 17:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for formatting the picture. --Kushalt 17:50, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

It's close to a proposal made here, but that's the closest I can find on Google. Algebraist 18:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks again! So, I gather, the removal of this image is on Nepal is justified because there is no (as the blog says) official decision or discussion on it.

If something emerges or if you find something on this, please let me know. either here or on my talk page. thanks--Kushalt 18:10, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Fernão Mendes Pinto[edit]

Is he still remembered in Portugal, if so by which means. And how is he regarded in Portugal as national writer more important or equal to Camoes and the Lusiads? Finally, is it true to say that his Pilgrimage is Portugal`s, internationaly, most successfull book?-- (talk) 19:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

computer questions[edit]

Moved to computing desk

Syphilus in Europe[edit]

In my previous question on leprosy in Europe Clio the Muse mentioned that by the sixteenth century it had been surpased in the scale of dread by syphilus. I would be interested to know how the advent of this disease was perceived at the time? Thanks again. Pope Hilarious (talk) 19:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Our syphilis article has a small amount of material in its history section. Rmhermen (talk) 23:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

In essence the disease was 'distanced', much like AIDS-the 'Gay Plague-when it first appeared in the 1980s. For a long time it had no generally recognised name at all. The English called it the 'French disease'; the French called it the 'Neapolitan disease'; the Neapolitans called it the 'Spanish disease'; the Portuguese called it the 'Castilian disease'; and the Turks, not surprisingly, called it the 'Christian disease'! Dr Ruy Diaz de Isla, the Spaniard who was among the first to treat it, called it 'the Serpent of Hispaniola', being the first to recognise that it had originated in the New World, brought back to Europe by the crew of the Nina. It first became endemic in 1494, during the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII of France. From there his mercenary army carried it to all parts of Europe. In 1495 the Emperor Maximilian issued a decree against 'the Evil Pox', taken to be God's punishment for blasphemy. Voltaire was later to write of Charles' Italian adventure, "France did not lose all she had won. She kept the pox." It was Girolamo Fracastoro, an Italian poet, who gave the ailment its abiding name, when he composed some verses about a shepherd struck down by the French disease. The shepherd's name was Syphilis. Clio the Muse (talk) 01:17, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I should add, for lovers of trivia, that treatment in the early days called for amputation of the perceived source of the problem. I won't dwell on this for fear of upseting the males among you. Suffice to say it would have been possible to build a mountain with them in the sixteenth century! Clio the Muse (talk) 02:02, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Another common treatment was sitting in a fog of mercury vapours. Toxic, but apparently with some therapeutic properties, iirc. And more importantly it gave us the wonderful phrase "One night with Venus; a lifetime with mercury." Matt Deres (talk) 18:40, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Really great replies here :) --Taraborn (talk) 08:48, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, and one rather unfortunate side effect of the treatment was that it had a tendency to turn one's teeth green. At Oscar Wilde's trial, his habit of covering his mouth with his hand when he laughed was used as evidence of his effeminacy, but he was actually doing it to hide the rather unfortunate state of his teeth following mercury treatments. Another interesting bit of trivia is that one of the most effective remedies for syphilis before penicillin arrived on the scene was to infect the poor person with malaria. The malarial fever would kill the syphilis, and then the malaria would be treated with quinine. Julius Wagner-Jauregg won a Nobel Prize for figuring this out. GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:30, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Nationalist objectives[edit]

At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War did the Nationalist have any clear political objectives beyond defeating the republic? (talk) 19:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

To begin with, 81.152, it is important to understand the historic role of the Spanish military, which since the early nineteenth century was to protect Spain from its 'internal' as well as its external enemies. This dual role was incorporated in the constitution of 1812, the very first in Spanish history. It was also incorporated into the army's own constitution in 1878, and remained in place in 1936. In the course of the nineteenth century the military got into the habit of intervening in civilian politics by means of pronunciamientos. These declarations were liberal in nature, intended as a defence of the state and constitution against the Carlists, the chief internal enemy.
By 1936 the army had come to see itself as the guardian of the national tradition, of the integrity of Spain itself. However, by this time, the enemy was no longer on the right, but the left; the forces of socialism and liberal democracy that were threatening, in the army's estimation, to tear Spain apart. After the assasination of Calvo Sotelo, the right-wing political leader, the army issued a new pronunciamento, intending, as they put it, 'to restore the principles of authority' against the defenders of the Republic, who were to be tried by military tribunals for 'the crime of rebellion.' History, and reality, was being made to stand upside down.
It is difficult to determine if the generals had any clear political objectives to begin with, beyond 'restoring order.' Emilio Mola, the chief architect of the rising, seems to have envisaged a temporary military dictatorship, intended to eliminate the Marxist 'danger.' What tends to be overlooked is that the Nationalists, in much the same fashion as the Republicans, were an unstable coalition of forces, who could not agree on common political objectives. Some were monarchists; some were not. Even the monarchists were divided between Carlists and supporters of the exiled Alfonso XIII. In the end, after the death of Mola, Francisco Franco emerged as the military and political head of the rebellion, the one way of unifying disparate forces. What he created in the course of the war was the Estado campamental-the battlefied state. And so it became, and so it remained; after victory, and in to the peace; all the way to the Caudillo's death in 1975. Clio the Muse (talk) 00:39, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Relient K and homosexuality[edit]

Does anyone know if the Christian rock band Relient K has made any public statements about homosexuality? Thanks (talk) 20:07, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Please do not cross post. If a differnt person there is already a disscusion on the Entertainment section. Esskater11 22:16, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

They're a Christian rock band?! Oh shit I used to like a couple of their songs... --Candy-Panda (talk) 08:51, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Executions in the Past[edit]

Why were these accompanied by such gross levels of brutality, thinking specifically of hanging, drawing and quartering? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Qurious Cat (talkcontribs) 20:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Hanging, drawing, and quartering was made specifically made to be painful, as punishment of the criminal and to set an example for the people who would come to watch. Paragon12321 (talk) 21:28, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

And they were real crowd pleasers. - Nunh-huh 22:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
And what is considered brutal today was, historically, perhaps not considered so. Remember ethics & morals etc. change with the times - though of course torture and inhumane executions still exist across the world today. ny156uk (talk) 22:48, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Many of the Dominicans of Spain thought of severe punishment and torture as a way of cleansing the sin out of the person. They did it for the person's own good, in their view, so that they'd have an easier time in the hereafter. Wrad (talk) 23:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

It is, of course, undeniable that the public tolerance and acceptance of cruelty, obvious and terrible forms of pain, was far higher in the past than it is today. Even so there were certain forms of punishment, including the one you allude to, that were extraordinary and meant to be extraordinary, reserved for high treason, the most heinous crime of all. In this context suffering was meant to have a didactic purpose, directed as much at the audience as the recipient. Where the treason was most aggravated was in the assassination, or the attempted assassination, of the reigning monarch, which gave the crime the equivalency of parricide. Here I am thinking of the execution of Robert Damiens in 1757 for the attempted assassination of Louis XV. For his action he was condemned 'to make honourable amends' with his body, the details of which are explored in all of their horror by Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish Clio the Muse (talk) 23:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget the common practice (promoted by the Church) of burning heretics, either dead or alive. In an age which believed in the literal truth of the resurrection of the dead, this was really the last word in destroying your enemies. Xn4 01:52, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
So they really thought that burning prevented a bodily resurrection? Fascinating... Is that why the church exhumed and burned John Wycliff's body? Wrad (talk) 01:56, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The noted historian Barbara Tuchman discussed this very issue in her very wonderful book A Distant Mirror, which covers the history of England and France during the 14th Century (a very bloody period of time, by the way). She posed the theory that much of the extremely brutal violence of the Middle Ages was perhaps due to the young mean age of the population. She cited some studies about how younger people tend to be more violent from one society to the next, and because in the Middle Ages there were so many more young people as a percentage of the population (due to much shorter life expectancies), that the result was that there was a lot more violence as a matter of publicly accepted behavior than we are accustomed to today. It is a theory, but an intriguing one... Saukkomies 00:57, 8 December 2007 (UTC)