Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 May 29

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May 29[edit]

Play like someone[edit]

I think i may have asked this question before, but I can't seem to find it in the archives at all so I will ask again (if I did indeeed ask it before). I saw a news program that featured a young man that was autistic and could paly the piano very well. The interviewer asked him to play Für Elise by Beethoven and he did so. She then asked him to play the same song as if Mozart had written it. He played it differently, but it had the same tune to it. Actually as I am typing, I am almost certain I asked this question before but as I said before, I can't find it anywhere. Thanks schyler 01:09, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

If your question is about the man's identity, it might have been Derek Paravicini, Tony DeBlois or (less likely) Matt Savage. See also Category:Autistic savants and Autistic_savant#Famous_autistic_savants ---Sluzzelin talk 01:49, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
You're almost certainly thinking of a 60 Minutes interview. The third kid Lesley Stahl talked to had the talents you describe. Clarityfiend 02:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Interesting question: is it appropriate to call a 26 year old man a "kid" if he is on the functional level of a preadolescent or younger. dr.ef.tymac 03:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Hah! Missed that. I automatically lumped him in with the other two, who are kids. Clarityfiend 03:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Boy gets cooked alive[edit]

This one I know I havent asked before. I saw a grusome picture e-mailed to me of a boy that had been cooked alivei n the desert. Apparently he had been climbing in between some rocks in the desert in Arizona/New Mexico/California/... and got stuck. His friend he was climbing with called the Fire Department on his cell phone to get him unstuck. They tried and tried to do so, but they couldn't. One of the firemen had a brilliant idea to use Crisco to loosen him up. As you could guess, it didn't work and he thusly cooked alive on the rock in the extreme heat of the desert. I don't have the picture anymore, so I can't upload it and the e-mail didn't have a story attached to it. I was wonderign if someone could find a news article about htis somewhere. Thanks, schyler 01:14, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a made-up story to me (possibly with a made up pic to match). Crisco would not cause him to be "cooked". If the temp was high he would likely die from dehydration or hyperthermia, but this could be easily prevented, if the fire department was there, by hosing him down periodically. StuRat 02:35, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not listed on the Urban Legends Reference Pages of At least, the search term "Crisco" does not turn this up, and neither does any of "desert rocks", "desert stuck" and "rocks stuck".  --LambiamTalk 07:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
So they happened to have a load of crisco with them, but nothing with which to cover him up?? In any case, crisco has no cooking effect, neither would the sun unless concentrated somehow.--Shantavira|feed me 08:55, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, covered with Crisco one's natural perspiratory mechanisms would be foiled, so you could easily overheat. Vranak
I don't consider a person "cooked" until he reaches an internal temperature of 160 F (70C), and he would have died long before before reaching that temperature, so he couldn't have been "cooked alive." For him to reach even 140 F (60 C) would be rare. Edison 17:30, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the original poster meant 'cooked' in a non-literal way. Vranak
Personally, I like my human a bit rarer. :-) ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 18:11, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Need help with Ontario towns[edit]

I need to figure out whether any of the towns in a list I have is part of a larger regional district/metropolitan area, or if any of them are very near to one. This is the list:

  • Beamsville
  • Brantford
  • Smithville
  • Dunville

I hope someone who knows a bit about Ontario can help me?

NVM I figured out everything but Dunville.

Here is a long list even though you figured everything out.
I did a bit of checking and here is what I pulled up. Brantford, Ontario is a rather large city in Ontario. Beamsville, Ontario is a community in the town of Lincoln, Ontario, which is within the Niagra region. Smithville, Ontario, is a community within the town of West Lincoln, Ontario, which is also in the niagra region. Dunnville, Ontario is roughly 30 miles from the NY border. Dunnsville, is the town farthest to the south. Next is Smithville roughly 10 miles north. Beamsville is 10 miles further up being on the south-west shore of Lake Ontario. Forty miles to the east of Smithville lies the city of Brantford. Hope that helps. --Random Say it here! 01:37, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
User:Random is right about all the towns being in southwestern Ontario. "Dunville" - one "n" is on Placentia Bay in Newfoundland, but "Dunnville" -2 "n"s- is in Haldemand County near Niagara. Bielle 01:45, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Oh yeah, I guess I spelled it wrong. That's useful, thanks. I wonder if anyone knows where I could see a detailed map of the region? So I could see with my own eyes how close the cities are to each other? I'm sucky at finding maps online, and the wikipedia ones don't seem that grea.

Try the following website, Google maps. Once get to the website type in the search box the name of one of the cities you are looking for, and that should give you a map of the area. --Random Say it here! 01:56, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I tried Google for you as I know the area. I couldn't get a scale that showed all the towns. It is either 20 miles or 200 miles to the inch. On the 200, none of the names show; on the 20, they are spread too far apart, and, even then, not all of them show. Lokk. Do this the easy way. Let's step out to my garage. I have just the right map in the car. Sorry Bielle 02:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

That's O.K. I don't like google maps, but it's better thanothing. I know some of the towns are really little, so if I can see the region that's enough. Thanks a lot for all the looking.

To clarify, Brantford is an independent city -- that is, it is not in a county or regional municipality for government purposes. It is geographically in Brant County. Dunnville is in Haldimand County, which is no longer divided into townships. Beamsville and Smithville are parts of townships in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. -- Mwalcoff 04:44, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

If you prefer the Ontario government's highway map, you can find it online (divided into sections) in PDF under this page. --Anonymous, May 29, 2007, 23:23:23 (UTC).

Luya Province[edit]

Where can I found more information about Luya Province? Ej: When it was funded?...By whom?...culture? Thanks 03:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

You can find some information on Luya Province in our article named Luya Province. Assuming that you mean "founded", you can read there that the province was created by law of February 5, 1861. By following the links you can find a bit more, such as that in Luya District you can find ruins of the Chachapoyas civilization. Unfortunately, these articles are not yet in very good shape.  --LambiamTalk 06:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


I came across this incredible painting and I would like to know its name and the name of the arist. it depicts scenes of torture, a man on the left side being hanged from a ceiling, while his arm is being twisted. There is a woman in the right foreground, tied to a post with her back to the viewer, and a girl on her knees by a man in a cap on the far right. Not much to go on, I know, but please help. 05:57, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Where did you come across it (in a museum, as a reproduction in a magazine, on a web page, in your attic)? Is it oil on canvas? What are the dimensions; is it "portrait" or "landscape"? Can you say something about the style of painting – does it for example resemble that of Caravaggio?  --LambiamTalk 07:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

This, I believe, is The Night by Max Beckmann, a German painter often associated with Expressionism, who later became a leading influence on the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) in the 1920s. You will find it depicted here [1]. It was painted just after the First World War, during which the artist, who was a medical orderly, had a nervous breakdown in the face of the suffering he witnessed. The Night is one of his most recognised works, a brilliant but bleak painting, depicting a world of arbitrary violence, violence without redemption or purpose. It is a violence that comes from everywhere and nowhere, and was to be a prophetic image of Germany-and Europe's future. The pictorial vision derives ultimately from Matthias Grünewald and the German Middle Ages. Clio the Muse 07:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

THAT'S IT, thanks, Clio. 22:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Stalin's continuous working week[edit]

I came across a reference to the 'continuous working week' in an overview of the Soviet economy on the 1930s. How did this work in practice? Fred said right 10:20, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

The Bolsheviks had always been great admirers of the 'cult of Ford' and all that it embraced, Including the time and motion studies of Frederick Winslow Taylor. The enthusiasm for the 'high priests of capitalism' became evem nore intense after Stalin introduced the First Five Year Plan in 1928. But, of course, the Soviets had to go yet one step further in the pursuit of maximum efficiency. Although the working day had been reduced from eight to seven hours, what the state gave with one hand it took away with the other. In 1929, not long after the introduction of the reduced working day, all factories were ordered to adopt a three-shift system, allowing them to work day and night. This meant that many had to work at the most undesirable hours. No sooner had this policy been announced than one Yuri Larin devised a scheme for even greater efficiency. All factories were still closed on Sundays. Why not, Larin reasoned, abolish the wasted day by introducing the continuous working week? When this proposal was first raised at the Congress of Soviets in May 1929 it attracted little support. It was only when Stalin took an interst that matters changed. By June the press was full of articles praising the idea; and in August the Council of People's Commissars decreed that it should be brought into immediate effect.
Simple enough in theory, it proved very awkward in practice. Complex shift patterns had to be introduced, and the number of holidays allowed reduced. Workers in each establishment were divided into five groups, distinguished by a colour code, which appeared on the new Uninterrupted Work Week calendars. The scheme was also used to further the regime's atheist policy, because the bulk of the working population were no longer free to attend church on Sundays. The most serious impact, of course, was on family life; but the state argued that the collective good had to come first. This was the Ideal, and like most Ideals, it was universally hated by those that it effected most-the working population. Husbands and wives rarely had rest days that coincided. This grass-roots resentment could be, and was, ignored. Not so the deleterious effect on production rates. With complicated rotas, work teams found themselves performing different tasks on successive weeks. Machines were no longer in the continuous keeping of those who knew them best, with the result that breakages became increasingly common, often put down to 'political sabotage.' Bit by bit the scheme lost favour. In June 1931 Stalin gave a speech, criticising the 'depersonalised labour' brought about by the hasty introduction of the continuous week. This was the beginning of the end. In November of that same year the government ordered the reintroduction of the six-day week, although Sunday remained a working day. But even this last vestage of the 'continuous week' was not to last; and by 1940 Sunday had been restored as the universal day of rest. Clio the Muse 23:52, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Kipling and socialist folksong[edit]

Here's an odd one.

Rudyard Kipling published a collection called The Seven Seas in, I believe, 1896. In it, he contained a poem called "The Song of the Dead".

We have fed our sea for a thousand years
And she calls us, still unfed,
Though there's never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead...

There is a song attributed to "an unknown socialist worker", first published in 1908, entitled "We have fed you for a thousand years".

We have fed you all for a thousand years
And you hail us still unfed,
Though there's never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the workers' dead...

On first glance, the latter is a pastiche of the former. But is it? 1908 is only twelve years subsequently, and this sort of thing has a tendency to float around for ages before being collected. Couple that with the fact that Kipling had a tendency to himself lift various bits of existing verse and twist them in his own way - often without ever stating that he had done so, or where it came from, in the assumption his readers were as obscurely well-read as he was.

So, I guess the question is - does anyone know of a pre-1896 source which could be a common root for these two? Shimgray | talk | 12:10, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

...because it just couldn't be cribbed from Kipling? this is more interesting as a case in the psychology of evidence: you must look into your own indoctrination to find the source of yourdenial of the evidence. The Kipling poem's first appearance in print may have been in a journal or magazine prior to its collection in 1986. The 1908 publication may easily have been consciously intended to remind readers of Kipling's familiar original. --Wetman 16:52, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
It's very likely to be an adaptation of Kipling. Given that Joe Hill and other members of the socialist International Workers of the World very, very, very consciously adapted hymns with socialist lyrics, the habit spread. It became a sort of detournment to be fancy about it or a "repurposing" to be banal. Given the Kipling was regarded even then as a voice for the Establishment, he would be a prime target for defacing and rearranging. (Hill and the other union socialists did what they did because the Bosses would send the Salvation Army band to drown out the organizers. By coming up with socialist/union lyrics for hymns, they could use the SA band for their own purposes.) No doubt this was an effort to fight back against a pietistic quietism. (The various churches allowed themselves to be used far too readily at the time.) Utgard Loki 17:40, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. I guess the part that surprised me is what an odd thing it is to pastiche - it's obscure even by the standards of run-of-the-mill Kipling, as far as I'm aware, and in retrospect it seems a pretty unusual bit to end up lifting - hence why I began to suspect a third work. Shimgray | talk | 17:44, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
You're probably right about the obscurity, but it's really hard to tell. Given how close in time it is, it's possible that the poem enjoyed a brief life as a popular item and faded soon after. It might be "the latest #1 hit from Rudyard Kipling," in other words, and enjoyed multiple reprints and quotation immediately after its publication. In a few years, other "#1 hits" of his poetry eclipsed it in popularity so strongly that no one much remembered it. I know that it's flip to compare to popular music, but the analogy isn't insincere. Public poetry like Kipling's had a functional life separate from its literary quality, and 1890 - 1910 may be the heyday of such public poetry. (Think of the American "poet of empire," Longfellow, and how quoted and quoted and memorized his verses were, and how quickly they received that kind of attention in the industry of public education.) This is why we really needed more reception aestheticists (followers of H. R. Jauss). Utgard Loki 12:56, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Taxation of dividends - International perspective[edit]

I am busy with a treatise and need the following information with regard to the taxation of dividends? I am a South African Master's student in Income tax41.240.18.210 14:09, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

a. What: i. The theory of dividend taxation ii. South African historical perspective iii. International comparison – United Kingdom and Australia iv. Developing countries Estonia and India

b. Why: i. Changes in approach to taxing dividends Budget Speech 2007 ii. The effect of taxation on preference shares iii. Optimisation of design options an International perspective iv. The value of international comparison on Fiscal policy

c. How: i. In coordination with SA National Treasury ii. Desk research on historical perspective iii. Market trends on preference share values iv. International comparison on design options and experience v. Direct enquiry, University and National Treasury database

“Most countries have a dividend tax at the shareholder level. We have a secondary tax on companies collected directly from a few thousand companies as opposed to millions of shareholders. To further improve the transparency and equity of the tax system, we are proposing that it be phased out and replaced with a dividend tax at shareholder level. This reform would consist of two phases. We propose reducing the rate from 12,5 per cent to 10 per cent and that the base be redefined to apply to all distributions. This will come into effect on 1 October 2007, except for standard anti-avoidance measures that will commence on conclusion of this speech. The conversion to a dividend tax collected at the shareholder level will be completed by the end of 2008 subject to the renegotiation of a number of international tax treaties”. Budget Speech 2007 Minister of Finance Trevor A Manuel, MP 21 February 2007

“Preference shares have seen prices decline recently, prompting investors to question whether they are a good place to put their money. Though they are usually chosen for their strong tax-free yield, the capital value can — and does — fluctuate. However, André Roux, the head of fixed interest at Sanlam Investment Management, says the preference-share market could be bottoming out. “I wouldn’t sell now. Prefs are becoming cheap and investors should be better off than in cash [where the yield is now similar] after tax — even after the 10% withholding tax that has been introduced.” Chris Needham Preference punters feel the pinch Sunday Times 29 April 2007

I know I can't answer any question on this topic, but I, and perhaps those who could help you, would like to know what the question is. Bielle 20:02, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Madame de Pompadour[edit]

What impact did Pompadour have on the history of France?

See Madame de Pompadour. --Kainaw (talk) 14:29, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm surprised that she didn't have "big hair". :-) StuRat 16:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

The article itself does not really go quite far enough in explaining her true political significance. In many ways she was a quite extraordinary woman, a commoner and a member of the Third Estate, who grew to be one of the most powerful political figures in eighteenth century France. She established her position by beauty; and when beauty started to go, she maintained it by intelligence. She gave an added brilliance to the court of Louis XV that might otherwise have sunk under the diffident character of that unimaginative and melancholy man. Yet, in the long-term, the 'Pompadour effect' was damaging for both the monarchy and for France. After the War of the Austrian Succession, when economy was the thing the French state needed most, she drew more and more resources into the lavish court. Her influence over Louis increased markedly through the 1750s, to the point where he allowed her considerable leeway in the determination of policy over a whole range of issues, from military matters to foreign affairs. Her importance was such that she was even approached in 1755 by Wenzel Anton Graf Kaunitz, a prominent Austrian diplomat, asking her to intervene in the negotiations which led to the 1756 Treaty of Versailles. This was the beginning of the so-called Diplomatic Revolution, which ended long antagonism between France and Austria. It also led to France's disastrous involvement in the Seven Years War against England and Prussia. After the defeat of France at the Battle of Rossbach in 1757, she is alleged to have remarked après nous, le déluge. France emerged from the war diminished and virtually bankrupt. By the time of Pompadour's death in 1764 the waters were already pushing hard against the walls of the dam. Clio the Muse 00:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know an Anansi story where Anansi is helpful to someone? DuctapeDaredevil 17:27, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Here you go: [2]. You can also check out the archive here - [3]. If you need a Jamaican-to-English translation, let me know :) Zahakiel 20:00, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much! I had been going through that book, too, but couldn't understand the first few chapters, so I stopped. This one I understand fine, though. Weird. 00:59, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Nude Bowl[edit]

I noticed that there was no article for the Nude Bowl. I created it, but I only have distant memories of going there in the 80's and skating. Then, I went in 1993 and it was a skinhead hangout (no skateboarding). Does anyone have any valid sources about the history (a nudist resort) or articles about the closing the bowl by the police - other than songs claiming the police tore it up? --Kainaw (talk) 17:38, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Female pilgrims in the Middle Ages[edit]

The Wife of Bath is an example of a medieval female pilgrim in fiction. Are there good real life cases that we know of? Thanks

This sounds like something you might be interested in: Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance by Susan Signe Morrison, ISBN 0415221803, although at $130 you may want to try to find it at a library intead of purchasing it yourself. ( Corvus cornix 20:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Egeria is a famous female pilgrim from the 4th century (maybe a bit early to really be "medieval"). Adam Bishop 00:42, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The one person that leaps into my mind is the wonderful Margery Kempe, the author of The Book of Margery Kempe., arguably the first English autobiography. After a twenty-year marriage, and fourteen children, Margery, now in her forties, began the first in a series of pilgrimages in 1413. Unlike the Wife of Bath, who only went as far as Canterbury, Margery made it all the way to the three great centres of Christian pilgrimage: Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem. Despite the spiritual benefits attached to pilgrimage, it was not considered advisable for women at the time, because of the perceived dangers to their 'chastity' in travelling to foreign places. By Margery, against all the odds, and in the face of the dangers, persisted, though, among the other hardships, she had to endure some 'lousy' fellow-travellers-"Through mixing with them, she caught some of their vermin and was dreadfully bitten and stung both day and night, until God sent her other companions." Clio the Muse 01:24, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The Seven[edit]

In medieval times God was sometimes called The Seven. Why? When was this term used exactly (i.e. 12th Century, 14th Century)?--Doug talk 19:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with that term for God... where did you hear about that? That might provide a starting point. I did find this on a website, however, that is interesting, even if not exactly an answer to "when" this name was applied:
Seven Names of God Of the many names the ancient Hebrews had for the deity, the seven names of God were those over which the scribes had to take particular care, the names being: El, Elohim, Adonai, Yhwh (Jehovah), Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyer, Shaddai, and Zebaot. Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987) ( Zahakiel 19:54, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Not saying it couldn't be true, but I have never seen nor heard of the use of that particular circumlocution for the divine Name. Pastordavid 20:27, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Great answer and appreciate you finding a website with this information. I couldn't find anything. I stumbled across this in a 50 year old encyclopedia called The Reader's Encyclopedia. It says basically what you said, however they say also "In medieval times God was sometimes called simply The Seven." I believe since there is not a Wikipedia article on this I may just start one - what do you think? If you stumble across anything else on this(i.e. further medieval dating) let me know. Thanks again for your help!--Doug talk 20:37, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a plan. I'll keep my eyes open for further information. Let me know when you have started the entry. Zahakiel 20:49, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Started the new article on the Seven Names of God. I am not a religious person, so maybe you could help me on #5, #6, #7. The wording of my article is almost word for word with just minor differences.--Doug talk 22:02, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

"Almost word for word" sounds like plagiarism to me. Bielle 22:34, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I figured somebody would jump on this. Its really a reworded (i.e. paraphrase) between the two references. Since there is few words involved, some words had to be kept to hold the general concept (i.e. "to excersise particular care"). Otherwise I believe it is far away from plagiarism to not qualify as such. If you would like me to e-mail the exact article I'll be glad to. Used that phraseology so that others knew I didn't just dream this up. --Doug talk 22:50, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Are you aware of our article Names of God in Judaism? "Shadai" is more commonly "Shaddai". "Zebaot" is actually the Hebrew word Tsebaoth (צבאות), which means "host" (the heavenly army, of which God is the Lord). Many other transliterations are common, generated by {Ts|Tz|S|Z}{e|a}{b|v}ao{t|th}, for example Tzevaot or Sabaoth. In Christian circles Sabaoth is most common, because that is hwat is used in the Vulgate. See also Names of God in Judaism#YHWH Tzevaot/Sabaoth.  --LambiamTalk 00:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

No, I was not aware of the Names of God in Judaism, because as I pointed out above "I am not a religious person". That's why I did not recognize the misspelling of Shadai - I linked it, however it didn't work because of the misspelling. Also that's why I didn't know the proper categories this should go in. Thanks for all the improvements you made.--Doug talk 11:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, yes; and the Names of God in Judaism actually seems to cover much of what might be said in the "Seven names" article after it's expanded. It might be a good idea to make the "Seven Names of God" a sub-section of the pre-existing article in order to avoid redundancy. A redirect to that article with some integration of whatever else we can find might be best. What do you think? Zahakiel 13:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. --Dweller 15:08, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, I'll work on this the next few days.--Doug talk 16:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC) Just moved article and redirected.--Doug talk 19:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Duke of Wellington[edit]

Is it correct to view the 1st duke of wellington merely as a 'political reactionary'? 20:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

No, it is not. In many ways the political career of Wellington is not that different from the military: in both he sought to preserve the existing order of things from dissolution and chaos; but just as a good general knows when to advance and when to retreat, so too does a good politician. In political terms he was a Tory, by both instinct and conviction, anxious to preserve the old order in both church and state, and deeply suspicious of all suggestions for radical reform. The political divisions in Lord Liverpool's cabinet between the admirers and opponents of George Canning, the Foreign Secretary, placed Wellington firmly on the anti-Canning right. Canning was in favour of Catholic Emancipation and Wellington was against it, because of the dangers this presented to the 'Protestant Ascendancy' in Ireland, of which the Iron Duke was a part. The contest between tradition and reform saw Wellington emerge as the champion of tradition, resigning when Canning emerged as Prime Minister in 1827. In the political confusion that followed Canning's early death Wellington himself became Prime Minister at the beginning of 1828.
Wellington now held all the keys; but unlike a true reactionary he sought to manage change, rather than resist it altogether. This became apparent when the issue of Catholic Emancipation could no longer be set to one side after Daniel O'Connell, a Catholic, won the County Clare by-election in July 1828. With British authority in Ireland in some doubt, the Duke brought an Emancipation Bill before Parliament, though he tried to mitigate the full effects of the measure by raising the property qualifications for voting. He likened the passage of the Emancipation Bill through Parliament to a military campaign, the political equivalent of the Battle of Waterloo. And for this operation none was better placed that the Duke. He persuaded George IV to accept the measure, and he drew on the Parliamentary support of the Whig opposition against the die-hard Tories who refused to fall into line. His notorious indifference to public opinion, usually harmful for any politician, was of distinct benefit; for he simply put the deluge of anti-Catholic petitions to one side.
Later, while in opposition, he was strongly opposed to Whig attempts to extend the franchise in the Reform Bill. But even here pragmatism came before principle. When Earl Grey, the Whig Prime Minister, threatened to push the disputed Bill through the House of Lords, where the Tories were in the majority, by obliging William IV to create a large number of new peers, Wellington withdrew his opposition, rather than have the King face this humiliation.
As the 1830s developed Wellington gave his full support to Robert Peel, now the Tory leader, in his attempts to give the party a more modern face. Peel's Tamworth Manifesto, which saw the beginnings of the modern Conservative party, would never have succeeded but for Wellington's assistance. In the Lords, moreover, Wellington continued to act as a restraining influence to his fellow Tory peers, who sought to oppose every item of Whig legislation, thus further assisting Peel in winning over moderate opinion in the country at large. Later, when Peel became Prime Minister, he was ably assisted by the Duke in the Lords, despite his advancing years. Both men sought to subordinate party interest to the interest of the country as a a whole. Wellington even went so far as to support Peel over the highly-contentious repeal of the Corn laws, though he was personally unconvinced by the economic arguments. It was only by Wellington's influence that the Corn Law Bill made it through the Upper House. He may not have been the greatest statesman in English history, but to the end of his life he preserved all of the qualities that made him a great tactician. Clio the Muse 02:48, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Term for Lost in Translation[edit]

I am looking for the word or term for when information in general (i.e. ancient history) goes from one generation to another and each time this happens a bit of information gets lost. Ultimately (i.e. 1000 years - 5000 years) enough information gets lost in the "little bits" that some important historical facts are no longer in the history books of modern times (i.e. detailed construction of the Colossus of Rhodes or the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza).What is this "term" or "word"? Is there a term for the opposite of this where then the "original" information is found again (i.e. detailed engineering plans for the construction of the Great Pryamid of Giza found in the center of the structure carved into the walls of a hidden chamber) or another example might be the Rosseta Stone of different languages to be able to then read Hieroglyphs, a skill (knowledge) once lost but then retrieved. This opposite "term" or "word"?--[[User:Doug Coldwell|Doug]] talk 20:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I quite get it, but you might be thinking of semantic augmentation (though google only turns up technical uses of the word. Anyway, try posting questions like this on the language reference desk Llamabr 21:07, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Excellent idea! Did just that.--Doug talk 23:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Masonic lodges[edit]

Are Eton, Harrow, Westminster, Rugby and Winchester each associated with their own masonic lodge? - CarbonLifeForm 20:34, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I can tell you that my older brothers are both Old Wykehamists (Winchester College) and neither of them have ever heard of such a thing. I have a feeling that this would be contrary to school policy, though individual teachers may very well belong to local lodges. Clio the Muse 00:07, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


please can someone tell me why "upper heyford" (oxfordshire) was called "heyford warren"? thank you my email address is ... please send answers to there thank you in advance

email address removed (read the directions, and sign your questions) Llamabr 21:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
You can find the information in Margaret Gelling's The Place-Names of Oxfordshire. Parts i and ii English Place-Name Society, Vols. xxiii and xxiv 1953-1954, Cambridge University Press. I don't have access to the book myself, but you may be able to get it from a good library, or you can buy it here. Rockpocket 07:16, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • A "Warren" was where rabbits were "farmed" so place names sometimes contained that word.hotclaws 11:00, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

An 1848 'Topographical Dictionary of England' says it's named after Warine Fitzgerald, but I wouldn't be sure this is right without checking. Placenames with 'warren' may refer to 1) rabbit warrens as hotclaws has already explained, 2) the more general meaning it once had - a piece of land set aside for breeding a variety of small game, and/or 3) the right of warren. --HJMG 18:04, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

In a large fraction of English two-part place names, one element is the name of a former owner or feudal lord of the place. Warren or Warenne was a prominent noble family, which once held the Earldom of Surrey. —Tamfang 06:58, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

A painting[edit]

Hello, and thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question.

I recently heard of a painting that is called "Who is afraid of red, blue, yellow?" but when I go and do internet search on it, I don't seem to find any information pertaining to it. Did I get the name of the painting wrong, or am I just doing my search wrong? Where on Wikipedia can I find a reference to this painting? 22:43, 29 May 2007 (UTC)Nadia

Hi, Nadia. This is part of a series by Barnett Newman, an American abstract expressionist. Clio the Muse 22:53, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
You may have more luck if you search for "Who is Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue". Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III (note the contraction (grammar)) is port of the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (image), and was in the news when in 1986 a mentally deranged person attacked the painting with a Stanley knife and seriously damaged it. Next it was the centre of a scandal when the restorer Daniel Goldreyer, hired to repair the painting for the sum of $800,000.==, was accused of fixing it up using house paint and a paint roller.[4][5]  --LambiamTalk 23:49, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

How tall was Abe Lincoln?[edit]

I've heard he was unusually tall, but I'd like an exact measurement. Thank you. 23:35, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I can't tell you his length, but I did find this on, suggesting that Lincoln may have suffered from Marfan Syndrome. A friend of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, recalled "I had never seen Mr. Lincoln up close and I knew he was a tall man, however nothing could have prepared me for the sight of him. A long shadow did he have. And his arms, when at his sides, touched near his knees." [6] AecisBrievenbus 23:54, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
According to Marfan Syndrome: It was once believed that that Abraham Lincoln suffered from Marfan Sydrome, although recent research has demonstrated that he probably didn't. -Czmtzc 12:36, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I found Abraham Lincoln's Classroom, of the Lincoln Institute, which quotes someone as saying that Lincoln was "over six feet in height." If I recall my anthropometry courses correctly, that was massive, in a time where the average was around 5'. AecisBrievenbus 00:00, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The average height of American males in the 19th century was certainly not five feet zero inches...AnonMoos 03:25, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Many sources say 6'4". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 01:25, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Totally useless, but an alternative diagnosis, if one were really needed, would be acromegaly. As I say, "pathologies of the famous" is rarely very fruitful, but it is another possibility for his height and arthritis. Utgard Loki 13:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think his hands touched his knees. In any case, according to The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln: A Narrative and Descriptive Biography with Pen-pictures (1913), Lincoln wrote in 1860 that:
If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said, I am in height, six feet, four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing, on an average, one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and gray eyes. No other marks or brands recollected.
Which is probably about as precise as you're going to get, outside of an autopsy report! -- 18:39, 30 May 2007 (UTC)