Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 July 9

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July 9[edit]

Is there an order to the Arts? If so, what is it?[edit]

I recently read an article that called film "the seventh art." I then came across a reference to comics as "the ninth art." Is there a published order to the rest of the arts? What's the order? and/or where can I find this order? THANKS!JAK7wiki 03:12, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

There's an article called Six Arts. A.Z. 03:17, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
This all reminds me of The Fifth Estate and Sixth Column. --Anon, July 9, 2007, 03:38 (UTC).
Fourth wall. - Akamad 04:00, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The Fifth Element. A.Z. 04:10, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
No, no no no. Those two only go one step past the real or original count. --Anon, July 11, 00:48 (UTC).

The seven liberal arts are: Grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic (or logic), grouped together in the trivium; and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music, a.k.a. the quadrivium, but this question relates to (from rusty memory) Hegel's Aesthetics (early 19th Century) in which he posited six arts in this order I think: architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance and poetry...hence film has been suggested as the seventh. A Certain Muse will swoop by shortly to illuminate us fully! Mhicaoidh 05:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

What about theatre? Didn't Hegel consider that an art? On the order, there is the famous quotation from Walter Pater that "all art aspires to the condition of music." --Richardrj talk email 13:53, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
If we're talking early 19th century, quite possibly not. Theatre was seen as very bawdy. Skittle 15:11, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Martianus Capella's authoritative presentation of the liberal arts, which I'd take to be therefore their canonical order, is as follows: grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, harmony. Wareh 16:05, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The Muse swoops, Mhicaoidh, but on this occasion she does not conquer! Your answer could not really be bettered. I have only one tinsy-wincy caveat. As far as I am aware in the Vorlesungen über die Aesthetik Hegel's evolution proceeds from Architecture, through Sculpture, Painting and Music, before finding expression in Poetry, the art of the Romantics. All art, in his scheme of things, is finally superseded by Philosophy. No dancing, though! Clio the Muse 23:01, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

That's where your sister Terpsichore comes in. -- JackofOz 02:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course, because it forms a central part of our aesthetic, and we all dance together! Clio the Muse 02:27, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

THANKS to all, but esp. Mhicaoidh and Clio the Muse... Time to bone up on my Hegel! Anyone want to venture a guess?: If film is the 7th and Comics the 9th arts, what is number 8? Photography? Theater? ?? JAK7wiki 03:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

A quick google search indicates that there are many competing claims to the 8th slot: photography, television, video games (!),... --mglg(talk)
Its Hegels list, so if the old arts are dead I would nominate the new time based ones,as above, especially dancing! Mhicaoidh 01:43, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

1745 Jacobite Rebellion[edit]

Could the Jacobites have won in 1745? SeanScotland 03:49, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Nnnno. They had a near military victory, but a military victory and "winning" are very different things. Charlie didn't have sufficient popular support, and, had there been a win on the field, it's very likely that he would have faced the same problems as his beheaded namesake: the mercantile classes, the City of London, and the dissenters starving the crown of funds and probably mobilizing another army. Further, Charlie would have had to pay his friends in France at some point, and that would have resulted in absolutely unimaginable dissent. Geogre 14:19, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't forget that Charlie would not have been King, his father would have been, and James III would hardly have been anywhere nearly as popular as Charles III. Corvus cornix 21:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Quite true. James was a more sophisticated politician than his father had been, but no amount of political wheedling could have made up for having come from France, in both senses. First, English anti-gallicism is never to be underestimated. Second, growing up in France had led James to some peculiarly absolutist ideas. He was very pleasant and accommodating when in exile, but even people like Atterbury thought that he needed to wise up about royal power. I disagree with Clio's estimation of the numbers of people who would have been fine with a Stuart restoration. It wasn't just a Tory fringe. In 1714, even Walpole had corresponded with the Pretender about bringing him over, and people didn't seem that vexed by the idea of a Stuart, but not a French one. Had Parliament invited the Pretender over, the people would have tossed roses, I think, in 1714, and they were not very warmly inclined toward "German George" or "Dunce the second (who) rules like Dunce the first." III was the first one to be an English English king. It's just that an imposed monarch would have meant civil war, at best. Geogre 02:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
That's an unusual view of the Old Pretender, Geogre, whom I always believed to have even less political skill than his unprepossessing father; he certainly had a lot less charisma. When he visited Scotland at the tail end of the 1715 Rebellion he failed to inspire or enervate the dying cause-'If he was disappointed in us, we were far more disappointed in him'. In 1745 he certainly would not have been 'coming from France'; he had lived in Rome for the past thirty years. I rather suspect, moreover, that his 'peculiarly absolutist ideas' were something of a family tradition, to which the French only contributed by way of example. I can detect no enthusiasm in England in 1745 for a Stuart restoration, but I am willing to consider any alternative sources of information (non-Jacobite, that is!). German Geordie may not have been much loved; but he was still far preferable to Italian Charlie! Clio the Muse 05:43, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
First, I have to assume that you regard Atterbury as a Jacobite, instead of another victim of the White Staff nonsense? James II was mild, but the Old Pretender was generally quite skillful in his use of people. During his exile, he was pretty good at picking the ministers to help him, organizing propaganda, etc. Had he been less politically aware than the poxed James II, he would have been an easily defeated menace. Instead, he knew where to throw money. "By 45" is a quite different matter than 15. At 1715, he had been pretty clever with promises and courtly politics. An inspiring figure he was not. Charisma he didn't have. Wiles he did. Charles II had never played the absolutist line, and he was quite clear in knowing the difference between England and France. James II seemed to prefer an absolute line (hard to tell, really...his acts argue both ways), so I'm not sure how Stuart it is. After all, Anne was a Stuart, and she was a realistic monarch.
In 45, the Old Pretender had been in Rome, and yet he was "French" to the English. After all, Charles II had been in The Hague in exile, but he did not seem very "Dutch" to his subjects. In '45, I agree, there is no enthusiasm. What I argue is that there was little opposition to a Stuart restoration. In other words, the nation would not be scandalized, although the Whigs would be. The dichotomy that had surfaced in 1650 was alive still (town and country, aristocracy and merchants, dissenters and establishment, take your pick), but the Dissenters had lost a great deal of their popular support (the charge of "enthusiasm" was devastating) and their fire had been somewhat stolen by the new Establishment variations (Whitefield and Wesley were in full career).
I do not think that the nation was clamoring for the Pretender. In fact, I think he's something of a Red Scare that kept Walpole in power for 40 years and effectively destroyed the religious demurrals to capitalism's expansion, but the question is whether the people would have been horrified by the Pretender being a Pretender. They didn't like the Hannovers, who themselves didn't like England very much, but they would never allow an imposed monarch. Geogre 13:23, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yes, Atterbury was a Jacobite alright, but he died thirteen years before the events of 1745, and there was no figure of similar standing to come in his place. A Jacobite restoration in 1714 might have been possible; in 1727 difficult; and in 1760 all but impossible. I spent some time studying the Jacobite court in its Roman exile, but was never able to detect any high degree of skill on James' part in the management or the motivation of his supporters. He seemed more inclined than not to follow rather than lead, giving his support to a whole range of improbable schemes. I think he was an 'easily defeated menace', and possibly the best political ally that Walpole ever had!
Charles II most certainly did play the absolutist line time and again, from the Treaty of Dover to his dismissal of the Oxford Parliament in 1681, though he was always conscious of the fate of his father, and thus wary of taking matters too far, unlike his brother. He started with the highest political advantages in 1661, a grateful nation and a loyal Parliament. By the late 1670s the bond between King, Parliament and Nation had all but gone. Distrust of the royal government explains much of the political excess of the Popish Plot. We now know from the details of Charles' correspondence with Louis XIV just what fate he had in mind for England. There may be a huge gap between desire and fulfilment; but the desire for absolutism, if it might be so put, is the key factor in understanding the reign. James' built up a large standing army, defied Parliament and the Church, and ruled by the exercise of prerogative power, a fair indication, I think, of his political goals. Anne was certainly a Stuart, but also a child and a product of a revolution which fundamentally shifted the balance between crown and parliament. By 1745 the Pretender was just a remote and alien figure, and I do not detect any resentment of him because of specifically French 'roots.' By that time most of his life had, in any case, been passed in Italy. The Hanoverians? They grew on the English in a way that the Stuarts never did. Clio the Muse 23:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

It's possible, of course, but I think it very unlikely. One can think of scenarios in which they did better: perhaps France delivers on its promise of invading England with 12,000 troops; perhaps the Jacobites decide not to invade England and remain satisfied with defending Scotland; perhaps in December 1745 they march on London and capture it. See Jacobite rebellion#The 'Forty-Five'. The fundamental problem for the Jacobites was that they had no support among the people of southern England, so they could only have prevailed by applying military force through the kingdom — merely holding the capital would not have been enough — and this would be infeasible since they were outnumbered by the government forces commanded by Cumberland. And France would have had great difficulties in launching an invasion because of Britain's naval superiority in the channel; see War of the Austrian Succession#Naval Operations. So if you want a scenario in which the Jacobites win, you have to come up with some way in which a significant part of the English ruling classes can be persuaded to turn against the Hanoverians. Gdr 14:46, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The ruling class was not so against the Pretenders, if you mean the aristocracy. However, the aristocrats were no longer ruling. In effect, all the money was already coming from "trade." By '45, Walpole's policies of Warehouse England were paying off, and the National Debt had been sunk in the South Seas, so there was money all over for the very people who were most antipathetic toward the Pretender, while those in favor were having trouble maintaining their positions. Utgard Loki 17:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It is certainly true that the Jacobite adventure exposed both the fragility of the Hanoverian state and the incompetence of the British government of the day. Charles came to Scotland with no troops and few arms; yet within a matter of weeks he had taken control of most of the country, sweeping aside an army of inexperienced recruits at Prestonpans. Yet the invasion of England that followed in early November was one of history's great gambles. It was, moreover, contrary to the assertion of generations of armchair Jacobites, never more than a 'reconnaissance in strength'; a way, firstly, of testing the resolve of the English Jacobites, and secondly, of prompting the French into launching a cross-Channel invasion. On both of these points Charles had given lavish but vague assurances to the Highland chiefs who followed his banner. No commander in Charles' army, even the most sanguine, believed that the Stuarts could be imposed on a reluctant English nation by arms alone. By the time the army reached Derby in early December the illusion was gone: the English did not rise and the French did not come. At a council of war all of the Jacobite commanders, Charles excepted, decided to return to Scotland and wait there for the promised French aid.

But what if they had continued, as Charles wished? What if the rebels-no more than 5000 strong- had taken London, what difference would this have made? Very little, for the simple reason that the fall of the capital is unlikely to have ended the struggle. During the War of the Spanish Succession Madrid was temporariliy lost to Philip V, just as Frederick the Great lost control of Berlin for a time during the Seven Years War, though both monarchs fought on successfully. The armies of General Wade and the Duke of Cumberland, coming down from the north, were more than three times stronger than the force at Charles disposal; and it is highly unlikely that many Londoners would have joined the rebels, judging by the example of Manchester. Of course, the capture of London would have entailed serious logistical problems for Cumberland, in terms of pay and supplies, which could have encouraged desertions from his army. This, however, is clearly one of those historical imponderables that cannot be quantified in any meaningful sense. But in the end, the one chance for Charles, indeed his only chance, was a successful landing by the French.

By December 1745 this was a very real danger. An invasion force under the Marshal-Duke de Richelieu was poised at Dunkirk, ready to make the crossing. With favourable winds, a landing could have been affected in much the same fashion as that of William of Orange in 1688. Admiral Vernon, commanding the British fleet in the Downs, was well aware that the French might have slipped westwards, unobserved by his own ships. But even if the French had landed, and advanced in support of Charles in London, England would still have to have been conquered as thoroughly as it had been in 1066; for there is no evidence at all that the nation, beyond some of the Tory fringes, would have settled down to a fresh period of Stuart rule, one that would have reversed all of the prevailing currents of English history. Also the French bill, in political terms alone, is likely to have been extraordinarily high, as Geogre has indicated, the payment of which would have transformed the country into a client state of the Bourbons. A Jacobite victory would almost inevitably have entailed permanent French occupation. It could not have worked any other way. Clio the Muse 00:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

If the British government hadn't been ruthless about imprisoning potential allies for the Jacobites in England, if they'd left the British forces (including the Black Watch) engaged in the war on the continent instead of bringing them back to face the threat, if Charles had been right in his delusion that all would rally to their true prince and refuse to fight his forces, if... may I suggest reading The Man in the High Castle as being more productive? .. dave souza, talk 21:26, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

"Die at the flagpole"? From which verse?[edit]

Years ago I heard a poem/verse with the line (as I remember it!) - "Give me one good man to die at the flagpole with me" - It was a war poem. I have searched to no avail. Can anyone help please? I would be so thrilled to find it. PS I've not used Wikipedia previously. 07:30, 9 July 2007 (UTC)Sarah.

You could try asking at the Wikiquote Reference Desk. The Jade Knight 03:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

German atrocities in the First World War[edit]

Was this really just Allied propaganda? General joffe 09:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

See our article on the rape of Belgium. Gdr 14:11, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The short answer is that no, it was not just Allied propaganda. The Germans were responsible for the deaths of a number of Belgian civilians. At the same time, the scale was much less than depicted in British propaganda efforts, which cast relatively isolated incidents as standard operating procedure for the advancing Germans. Carom 17:55, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
In basically any war atrocities are committed on all sides, even if you don't count waging war as an atrocity by itself. I don't believe World War I was an exception.  --LambiamTalk 19:40, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Although as they say, the victor writes the history so you only tend to hear about atrocities commit by the losers (also in many cases the level of atrocities increases as the side gets more desperate) Nil Einne 22:35, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It is perfectly true that, throughout history, war and atrocity have walked hand in hand, though the Great War is possibly the first occasion in which the question of misbehaviour by one of the combatants became a significant political issue, an issue deeply tied up with the emergence of propaganda as a weapon, more effective, in its own way, than guns and bombs. Indeed, the British might have been said to have been carried into the war on a wave of propaganda, centering on the rape of 'Gallant little Belgium.' As practitioners of the new art the they were far more adept than the Germans, and the weapons was to be used time and again to explain Prussian barbarism, from the execution of Edith Cavell and the sinking of the Lusitania. Whereas the early campaign had been for the consumption of a domestic audience, later activities were aimed at influencing public opinion in the United States. Many of the main accusations against the 'Huns' were summarised in The Bryce Report of 1915. As a political tactic the whole thing was quite masterly, later earning the respect of Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf.

It was only after the war that the doubts began to set in; and, as the attitude towards Germany began to change in the inter-war period, many of the accusations were considered to be outright fabrications, including arguably the most infamous of all, the alleged crucifixion of a Canadian soldier by the name of Harry Band. In Britain a strong pacifist mood took shape in the 1920s, which argued that 'atrocity propaganda', as it was called, had been used to manipulate people into supporting the mass slaughter on the Western Front. A classic example of this is Falsehood in Warfare by Arthur Ponsonby, published in 1928. In Germany, a commission set up by the Reichstag to examine the issue, published a report in 1927, denying that any atrocities had ever taken place. And so the matter passed into popular consciousness, making it difficult to get people in the Allied nations to accept the truth of the stories that filtered through from occupied Europe during the Second World War.

So, was it all just fabrication, propaganda and lies? No, it was not, as the Germans tacitly admitted themselves in the White Book of 1915, which justified actions in Belgium against what was described as Francs-tireurs, alleged irregular forces. The simple fact is that Belgian resistance was tougher, and more prolonged, that the Germans had expected. The invading army became ever more anxious as it advanced, often attributing enemy fire to civilian irregulars. Because of this they began to take pre-emptive measures against an imaginary enemy. Civilians were shot on suspicion alone. The Kaiser himself justified the actions of his troops in a note to President Wilson of September 1914, "My generals were finally compelled to take the most drastic measures in order to punish the guilty and to frighten the blood-thirsty population from continuing their work of vile murder and horror." Over 6000 Belgian civilians were shot, sometimes in large groups by machine gun, in a brief ten-day period during the second half of August 1914. Whole villages were destroyed. In Louvain alone 248 people were killed by nervous German soldiers, convinced that they faced a civilian uprising. On the basis of these very real incidents it became possible to weave stories of mass rape and mutliation; of murdered nuns and disfigured children. Allied propaganda, in other words, may have exaggerated, but it was not without substance; it was not a complete lie. Harry Band? Well, in 2002 Channel Four in England screened a documentary claiming that this story, long considered to be pure invention, was indeed based on a real incident. Clio the Muse 02:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Clio, I copied your reply to our very confused article about the German war crimes. --Ghirla-трёп- 19:52, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The Devil to Pay in the Backlands[edit]

hello, i am Rohit and i am located in India. About to complete my M. Phil. in English. I am looking for this book "The Devil to Pay in the Backlands" by Joao Guimaraes in English translation from the last 8 years. Can you tell me how to procure it?

By eight years do you mean a recent translation? 1963 seems most recent. To buy it, [1] have it and can post it to you, but it is expensive. I would try your country's libraries, your supervisor could advise you. Mhicaoidh 10:45, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Seems it is a difficult book to translate, I suspect a more recent English translation may have a different title since even my non-existent Portuguese detects a difference in the titles of the 1956 original and 1963 Knopf English edition. Mhicaoidh 10:57, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the same Portuguese translator as English as She is Spoke? In the Backlands we shall craunch a marmoset!  :) --TotoBaggins 12:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Maybe Rohit has been looking for it (any translation) for 8 years. —Tamfang 22:41, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding "cutting and pasting"[edit]

I've noticed many of the Guggenheim Fellowships years of names were directly cut and pasted from the external link GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP website. Is this alright to do without any legal glitches? If it is legitimate then one can easily cut and paste for the years that are not yet pasted quite readily. Pjt48 13:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It depends on how they're doing it. Facts can't be copyrighted, but the presentation can. The names are going to be the same, but the words around the facts, the table, even the font can be copyrighted. Geogre 14:16, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I've cut and pasted your question, and the reply above, to the help desk, which is the best place for queries like this. --Richardrj talk email 14:18, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The information is not in any way "creative" — it is a list of who has received an award. It is almost certainly (though one is rarely ever 100% certain with copyright law!) not copyrightable. See, i.e. Feist v. Rural. Now if those lists themselves were sellable commodities (like "Top 10 lists" or "Best rock n' roll songs of all time") with a high degree of subjectivity/creativity, then it becomes quite possible that they are copyrighted, but in this case the list is a secondary artifact of the prize-giving, not copyrightable content itself. -- 02:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Interesting people in history[edit]

The fascinating question above Trebitsch Lincoln and his world-traveling, eventful life above got me wondering. One of the links from the article, Bernard Wasserstein in the NY Times, said "He is one of those types, notorious in their own day, who sink rapidly into obscurity after their deaths, sometimes hovering briefly in the footnotes of history." If I may be permitted to ask such a broad question, who do you think are some of the most interesting people who've lived? I mean the type of person who you might not come across in history classes – not the Julius Caesars or the Marxes or the emperors or the presidents or other influential political figures – who nevertheless had fascinating lives that today are only footnotes in the broader picture of history? zafiroblue05 | Talk 15:23, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

If you want a Soviet counterpart to Trebitsch, check Yakov Blumkin. --Ghirla-трёп- 14:08, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest Charles Lightoller as someone who interested me as a child when I first read about the Titanic. (The second person I thought of after I read your question was, oddly, Reginald Barclay. I think he would be a fictional version of the same question - a little off topic but I hope it might serve to illustrate the sort of character you are referring to.) Lanfear's Bane
Emperor Norton of the United States! Isabelle Eberhardt! George Dyson! I love these kinds of characters and can't wait to see whom others suggest. --TotoBaggins 15:42, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Godric of Finchale, medieval pirate-turned-saint? (Or Eustace the Monk, who was just a pirate...) Adam Bishop 16:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

William Dampier (1651–1715), pirate, captain, explorer, and naturalist, who sailed three times around the world. Gdr 16:40, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Talking about pirates, I would settle on Cheung Po Tsai or Ching Shih. I wrote the Russian Wikipedia page about them. --Ghirla-трёп- 23:05, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I think a lot of us will have some colorful examples from our areas of expertise. In music history, I can think of some names of interest: Carlo Gesualdo, melomaniac, one of the most brilliantly talented musicians of the late Renaissance, who murdered his wife and her lover, putting their bodies on public display, and who later employed servants to beat him "at stool", as a penance; Pierre Alamire, the finest copyist of the age, whose illuminated manuscripts preserve the music of the Habsburg court, and who was also a diplomat and prodigious spy; the enthusiastic nut Anthony Philip Heinrich, contemporary of Beethoven, the first American composer of orchestral music, and the first to conduct a Beethoven symphony in the young United States (in Lexington, Kentucky, no less--bet you didn't know that), and composer of some of the weirdest music of the nineteenth century. I'm sure this thread will generate lots of interesting suggestions. Antandrus (talk) 16:46, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
For me, it was Jonathan Wild, but I've also been very interested in Ann Cargill and Elinor James. There is very little to be known about these last two, but they're both absolutely perfect for a fictionalized account, if one were inclined. Poor Ann Cargill and her Romantic death, and the civic minded "London godmother," Mrs. James, wagging her finger at Parliament at a time when it was seriously speculated that women were incapable of reason. Geogre 19:30, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Juan Pujol (alias Garbo) has a special place in my heart. Pure genius. Skittle 19:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I would suggest Edward Bernaise. An incredibly influential man who led a very interesting life, who no-one has heard of. I highly recommend the documentary 'Century of the Self', which is on google video. Willy turner 19:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

William Walker (soldier). Not that I admire the guy, of course. Corvus cornix 21:54, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that what you're getting is a bit euro-centric (indeed a bit US-centric too). Assuming you haven't studied non-European history that well, you might want to take a look there since even some fairly famous people there may interest you but be unknown. Two that come to mind are Hang Tuah or Zheng He (although the later is probably famous enough that you would have heard of him). Unfortunately, I can't remember any others at the moment Nil Einne 22:09, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I could come up with a bunch of names of famous adventurers, such as Chevalier d'Eon, but, for the purposes of answering so silly a question, I shall single out Móric Beňovský, a Slovak adventurer, globetrotter, explorer, colonizer, writer, chess player, confidant of Benjamin Franklin, participant of the American Revolutionary War, Polish military commander, and Austrian count who was incidentally one of the first Europeans to treat with the Japanese authorities, after his escape from a Russian prison on the Kamchatka Peninsula. He was killed by the French while defending the capital of his own kingdom in Madagascar. Among Russian people, Nikolai Rezanov is a fascinating personality. --Ghirla-трёп- 23:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Someone whose article I'm working on is Bok de Korver, the first Dutch football celebrity. He refused to train before a match, because he believed that training would give someone an unfair advantage over an opponent, who may not have had the opportunity to train. He never made a foul, or even touched an opponent, because he believed a player should use speed, agility and technical skills to win a duel. He had the same mindset as John Charles, the Gentle Giant. Another name that comes to mind is William McCrum, the inventor of the penalty kick in football (soccer). AecisBrievenbus 23:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, along those lines, there is Hank Greenberg, a baseball player who refused to pitch in the World Series on the sabbath because he was an observant Jew. I've been attracted to crooks and disasters. I'd like to add, to my previous, Edward Pilgrim: a man "killed" by bureaucracy. Geogre 02:47, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Sir Thomas Malory was a pretty interesting character—a real swashbuckling adventurer (sort of), and a major contributor to the Arthur Cycle. I also think Rollo of Normandy was interesting, but that may just be me. The Jade Knight 04:05, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Almost on-topic... my favourite character from history is Saladin, who taught the Crusaders a thing or two about chivalry, as well as warcraft. Sadly, many school curricula in the Western world tend to skim over Saladin and dote longingly on Richard the Lionheart. I wonder why? (Actually, I don't). I know which of the two I'd have preferred as my leader, whether as civilian, soldier... or even minstrel. --Dweller 13:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I seem to recall reading that Saladin is much better thought of in the west than in the areas inhabited by the descendants of the people who fought under him. But, since I can't recall where I read this, I'd take it with a pinch of salt. Skittle 18:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Saladin and Richard are both pretty romanticized. Saladin is probably remembered more for re-establishing Sunnism in Egypt...he defeated the crusaders, but not totally, and it wasn't until Baibars that they were completely pushed out. Baibars is actually a lot more interesting, if you are interested in shady historical characters! Anyway, neither Richard or Saladin were particularly chivalric, this was only the 12th century after all, and that sort of thing did not really develop until the 13th or 14th. Saladin had no problem with taking revenge on his enemies, slaughtering prisoners when necessary, trying to completely eradicate the Templars and Hospitallers, enslaving poor Christians who couldn't pay for their freedom, etc etc (although at the same time, he was known for his generosity, and supposedly bankrupted himself by giving so many gifts). He was definitely remembered better in the west, and in the 19th century, Kaiser Wilhelm had a magnificent tomb built for Saladin in Damascus, because the modest little one that already existed was not good enough for such a wonderful chivalrous personage as Saladin! Yet no one in Damascus cared enough to build anything like that in the previous 700 years. Adam Bishop 22:08, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Contemporary christian chroniclers in the holy land, not known for their admiration of muslims, write in almost awestruck terms of Saladin's behaviour on various occasions, at the 1183 siege of Kerak in Moab (where William of Tyre tells us how he ordered his siege engines not to target the tower where a newly-wed couple were residing), after he captured Jerusalem (1187, Ernoul tells how the christians were allowed to leave, unharmed and with some vestige of honour), after the battle of Hattin, when he personally served the (desperately thirsty) elite prisoners with rosewater, iced with snow from Mount Hermon... except for Reynald of Chatillon, whom Saladin was personally to decapitate some moments later (one doesn't butcher one's guests) (Ernoul again). The view of Saladin isn't a post-dated romanticising, but one of reluctantly admiring enemies. One cannot judge historical personalities by the standards of today, but by those of their own times. Saladin exceeded the standards of his time - a simple comparison of what happened in Jerusalem when captured by the 1st Crusade and then by Saladin tells its own tale. --Dweller 14:24, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
So far as crusaders go, Bohemond I of Antioch has always been an interesting character. So far as unknown Americans, I'm partial to Adriaen van der Donck of course. — Laura Scudder 15:04, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Ch'in Chiu-Shao: Lustful, corrupt, boastful and fiercely intelligent. Depressingly, our article makes him seem like a good guy, but he was a flamboyant, egotistical rogue, of the good sort, though. 20:00, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

How about "Lawnchair" Larry Walters? AecisBrievenbus 23:04, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

More explorers: Ernest Shackleton. In my opinion one of the most heroic explorers of all time. Sir Richard_Francis_Burton, and Captain James Cook as well.

What about Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. There's far more evidence that he was the author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare than there is evidence that Shakespeare ever wrote anything at all. To quote from Mark Anderson's book "Shakespeare By Another Name: The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man who was Shakespeare" (ISBN 1-592-40215-1), "As far as is known and can be proven, Shakespeare never wrote a sentence in his life". Apart from that, de Vere led a fascinating life in its own right. -- JackofOz 01:57, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

unconditional love and free lunch[edit]

I think these two things, unconditional love and free lunch are different things. But let it be two different questions. 1)Is there unconditional love in this universe? 2)Is there free lunch in this universe? Can you explain a bit in detail both of these things and say more about these things.

Have you read the article on altruism? That might point you in the direction of an answer. Zahakiel 16:58, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
See also Unconditional love and Free lunch (and TANSTAAFL). In both cases, there is a problem with testability. For a positive answer, how could you prove the love is truly unconditional, and the lunch truly free? For a negative answer, how would you go about to prove there is no whatever (e.g. unicorn) in this universe? This does not mean the concepts are meaningless or useless; it just shows there is no point in elevating them to a level of absoluteness.  --LambiamTalk 19:11, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
For reasons I've never understood, if you are really filthy rich like Trump or Paris Hilton, restaurants do indeed give you free lunches. Gzuckier 15:37, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
On the surface that practice looks like mindless fawning. But I think the quid pro quo is that celebrities have a good chance of being spotted by paparazzi and photographed while at the restaurant, and the restaurant will then attract more customers wanting to dine at the same place as Paris did, or eat the same meal she ate. Why they would actually want to do this, or emulate any of her behaviours at all, escapes me entirely. -- JackofOz 23:24, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
It has been said that the universe itself is a free lunch, i.e. a quantum fluctuation of vacuum. —Tamfang 22:42, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average[edit]

Does anyone know why the opening value of the DJIA for one day is different from the closing value for the day before? I had always assumed that the DJIA opening value for any day was exactly the same number as the DJIA closing value for the day before. Is that assumption wrong? In other words, if the market closes on the afternoon of June 4 at exactly 13,000.00 -- why doesn't the market open on the morning of June 5 at exactly 13,000.00? What happens to the number in the interim between one day's close and the next day's opening? Thanks. (JosephASpadaro 18:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

Your question could be recharacterized as "Why does a given stock open at a different price than the previous close?" The stated prices reflecting actual sales. The last sale of a day need not be at the same price as the first sale of the next day. Also, a change in an expensive stock (such as IBM) has a larger effect (about 3 times as large) than a change in a lower priced stock, since the DJIA is the sum of 30 stock prices divided by a carefully chosen denominator. I looked at closing and opening DJIAs from April 3, 2007 through July 6, 2007. The largest change was from the April 4 close of 12,530.05 to the April 5 open of 12,505.73, a decrease of -24.32 or 0.194%. The largest increase was July 2 to July 3, when the open was higher than the previous close by 21.44, or 0.158 %.The average change from close to open in this approximate 3 month period was 0.010 %, which really isn't all that large. Edison 20:30, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Is the opening price the price of the actual first sale of that stock on that day, no matter how small the volume? If so, I could (in theory) set a record for greatest jump in overnight price by simply buying one of each of the DJIA stocks for twice their closing price, and making sure I'm the first post! buyer. --TotoBaggins 20:51, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The morning opening price of a stock will reflect the information available to buyers and sellers (regarding that stock, alternative things to invest ones money in, interest rates, currency exchange rates, economic indicators, etc.) at that time, which may be more than was available at closing time the previous evening. Imagine, for example, that the CEO was arrested for fraud in the early morning... --mglg(talk) 20:51, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I am not understanding (or following) any of these above answers. So, let me rephrase my question. This is how I think that the stock market works. It closes at 4:00 pm (or whenever) and that's that. There is no activity again until the next morning at 10:00 am (or whenever). To me, that's what the open and close means. (Think of a WalMart store opening its front doors for customers and closing its front doors to customers each day for business.) My assumption is that nothing at all happens after 4:00 pm, since the market is "closed". No activity at all will occur until the market reopens at 10 am the next day. That is my premise for how the stock market works. As such, I cannot understand why tomorrow's opening value does not exactly match today's closing value. So, where is my thinking incorrect? If there is indeed "activity" (whatever that may be) after 4 pm and before 10 am ... what would that activity be? And, if indeed there is activity, what does it even mean to say that the market "closes" at 4 and "opens" at 10? What does open and close mean if, in fact, the market is really open all the time (24 hours a day) and never really closed? Thanks. (JosephASpadaro 21:27, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

My understanding is that there's also a degree of after-hours trading; I've run across references to this (or something similar) numerous times in business news. I suppose that all those transactions queue up and execute instantaneously with the next market opening before any regular-hours transactions can go through, thus effectively changing the new opening value. — Lomn 22:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Think of it as reflecting two different transactions, with a matchup between what someone is willing to sell for and what someone is willing to pay. It fluctuates all day; why should the last trade of one day be at the same price as the first trade of the next day? Financial news is often released after the market close and is reflected in the next day's price. At 3:59 pm I offer 100 shares of Widget at an asking price of $100 and you buy it. No more is sold that day, so the closing price is 100. During the night, you hear a rumor that the widgets they make have a lethal defect and the government will likely require an expensive recall. In a panic, you offer the shares for sale at 90 first thing the next morning and someone buys them, thinking he is getting a bargain. The opening price of 90 is thus lower than the closing price. No one is required to pay or to sell for the same price at open that it sold for at the previous close. Every sale has a buyer who seeks the lowest price and a seller who seeks the highest price, and there is a constant fluctuation. Edison 22:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
My understanding of the above is this. The closing price for the stock is the price it was trading for when the market closed. The opening price of a stock is the price it is trading for when the market opens. Given that things change between the closing and opening, it is likely that there will be a difference in these two values. (Indeed major annoucements are usually after the market closes) For example, if overnight, it's revealed that the iPhone has a major problem which results in it combusting in some instances, it is rather likely that people are going to be selling Apple shares when the market opens at a far lower price then they were buying them before it closed. The index of any share market of course depends on the values of the stock in it. Therefore, if these values change, so will the index Nil Einne 22:30, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
(This is but another version of the preceding, with a few added bits. I hate to waste all the typing on a possible edit conflict.) Some of the discrepancy is accounted for in “after-hours trading”. See [2] and [3]. What used to be restricted to institutional investors is now much more widely available. It is also true that many stocks available on U.S. markets are also available in international markets where the business days do not coincide in hours or sometimes even in days. (The NYSE is closed on July 4th, but the rest of the world keep on trading and that trading information is what establishes the number at which the DJIA opens on the 5th.) Open or closed, the NYSE, FTSE, CAC and the like are all receiving information 24/7; in that sense, then, it never closes. The daily “close”, aside from being a ritual at many exchanges, may be not much more now than the marker for the time at which the staff gets to leave for the day. The “open” and “close” times also affect many business deals, and so have a specific meaning when used, for example, to note to whom dividends are payable: to the shareholders of record as at the close of the NYSE on such-and-such a date. Bielle 22:45, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

OK -- this makes sense to me now. So, basically, the "market" is at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (the free market forces in equilibrium price through supply and demand). The daily opening/closing values of the DJIA are merely snapshots in time taken (rather arbitrarily) at 10 AM and 4 PM. Does this sum it up pretty accurately? And, as such, the open/close values are not particularly relevant -- other than to gauge general patterns and to have a consistent starting/stopping time to take the daily snapshot. Is this thinking accurate? Thanks. (JosephASpadaro 17:41, 10 July 2007 (UTC))

I'm looking for an unusual (English) word I can't find anywhere[edit]

The past few days I have been scouring the internet looking for this stupid word. I know it has an article page on wikipedia, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what it is. I've described it to my friends and they all have no idea. It's not a common word, and although I consider myself well-versed, it's not one I've encountered before, or since. Its a small word, maybe four or five letters, and I'm almost positive it begins with the litter 'm.' Now the important part, the definition. It's hard to describe, but basically it is a noun that refers to a cultural phenomenon; moreso, it compares cultural phenomena to a virus. That's basically all I have. Can anybody help? 20:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC)Dan S.

Meme? --mglg(talk) 20:19, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe it is meme. It always reminds me of a GB Shaw quote: "A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic." -- Kainaw(what?) 01:41, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Benjamin Disraeli[edit]

I couldn't find an answer to my question in the article on Benjamin Disraeli (which would make sense, since it's basically a factoid). Is it true that he is the only Jewish head of state/head of government of a country other than Israel? AecisBrievenbus 22:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Hello, Aecis. On a point of information, Disraeli may have been Jewish by background and tradition, but, under the guidance of his father, he converted to Anglicanism at an early age. Jewish people were not admitted to the British Parliament until 1858. Of course, there have been Jewish people who have headed governments elsewhere. Leon Blum springs to mind, and there are probably others. Clio the Muse 23:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Just came across Laurent Fabius as well. AecisBrievenbus 23:20, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
You can also have Kurt Eisner and Bela Kun! Clio the Muse 23:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Janet Jagan in Guyana is another.--Pharos 23:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Jewish heads of government or state have included Julius Vogel (New Zealand), Leon Blum (France), Ruth Dreifuss (Switzerland) and Bruno Kreisky (Austria). -- Mwalcoff 23:27, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Also Roy Welensky (prime minister of the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1957 to 1963). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:22, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Came across [4] (yes the title sounds fishy but from the discussion it seems fine. You can always check any claims on wikipedia) Nil Einne 01:05, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
That link refers to the 2 Jewish Australian Governors- General, Sir Isaac Isaacs and Sir Zelman Cowan. They don't strictly satisfy the question because they were neither heads of government nor heads of state. We consider our monarch to be our head of state. -- JackofOz 01:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
The Australian Governor-General could be described as the Efficient head of state, and the Queen of Australia as the Dignified head of state, if you were to follow Walter Bagehot's division. DuncanHill 09:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
True, one could do that. But as to the formal designation (which is not actually formal because the term "head of state" appears nowhere in our constitutional documents), see Government of Australia#Head of State. -- JackofOz 21:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)