Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 September 15

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September 15[edit]

Chinese Communist Insults[edit]

Can someone provide a list of Chinese Red insults like social imperialist, trotskyist, running dog, counterrevolutionary, left deviant, wrecker, liquidationist, etc etc --Gosplan 00:03, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not really sure if this counts as an insult, but my particular favourite is Mao Zedong's contention that imperialism was nothing but a paper tiger. When he said this to Nikita Khruschev in relation to the United States he was told "Yes, but it has atomic teeth." 'Revisionist' or 'Capitalist-roader' were probably the most frequent epithets used against Mao's domestic critics. Clio the Muse 00:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Can't leave out "lackeys"! See also Five Black Categories... AnonMoos 17:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
"Hooligans! Gangsters!" Edison 01:44, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
"Capitalist Running dogs" and "splittist" come to mind, its not in the mainspace but have a look through User:Ed Poor/EpithetsKTo288 18:31, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

High resolution scans of portraits[edit]

I was wondering if someone could point me to where old portrait paintings of people might be. Is there a source for high resolution or decent resolution scans of paintings? Thank you. -- 00:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Have you tried our articles and our Wikicommons? Rmhermen 16:08, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
To be more specific, you may want to check Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Artwork and the similar page on Commons. --Ghirla-трёп- 12:01, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


What happened to Japanese people after Russians came?K Limura 02:45, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The article Sakhalin Oblast says that most of the Japanese residents returned to Japan after the Second World War when the Russians took possession. According to the 2002 census, 333 residents - .06% of the population - reported themselves as ethnic Japanese. - Eron Talk 03:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
There were some 400,000 people living on Karafuto when the Soviet offensive began in early August 1945. Most of these were of Japanese or Korean extraction, though there was also a White Russian community as well as some indigenous tribes. By the time of the ceasefire approximately 100,000 had managed to cross to Hokkaido. The military government established by the Soviets banned the local press, replaced by their own Japanese language paper, as well as confiscating cars and radio sets and imposing a curfew. Local managers, bureaucrats and the like were made to aid the Russian authorities in the process of reconstruction, before being sent to labour camps, either on North Sakhalin or Siberia. In schools, courses in Marxism-Leninism were introduced, and Japanese children were obliged to sing songs in praise of Stalin.
Bit-by-bit Karafuto lost its Japanese identity. South Sakhalin Oblast was created in February 1946, and by March all towns, villages and streets had new names. More and more migrants began to arrive from mainland Russia, with whom the Japanese were obliged to share the limited stock of housing. In October 1946 the Soviets began to repatriate the remaining Japanese. By 1950 most had been sent, willing or not, to Hokkaido, though they had to leave all of their possessions behind. They also had to leave behind any currency they had, Russian or Japanese, so arrived on the Home Islands penniless and homeless. Today some keep alive the memory of their former home in the meetings of the Karafuto Renmei. Clio the Muse 01:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Clio the Muse and Eron for good answers.K Limura 02:18, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

More detail is available on the page Evacuation of Karafuto and Kuriles. --Ghirla-трёп- 13:18, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Green in non-western cultures[edit]

I'm really struggling on finding resources for this subject. So far all I have is a little on Islam. Any ideas? Wrad 04:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

In Indonesia, a traveler who wore a green sarong told me that locals told him that that is a colour for women. He didn't care and wore it nonetheless. Anyway, he was Scottish, and Scots have a tendency not to care to much about what other people think about the way they dress. :) (actually, he was from Orkney and would probably be insulted if he read that I called him Scottish .... ) DirkvdM 04:55, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, in many countries it implies Green politics.martianlostinspace email me 10:56, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Or Irishness, I suppose, even outside Ireland.martianlostinspace email me 10:56, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Or envy... or naivete... Could we have some context, Wrad? The Evil Spartan 00:21, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
All I'm looking for is non-Western cultures. You provide the context from there. All I'm getting so far is western stuff... I'm working on the Green article, and I want it to have a worldwide view. Wrad 00:29, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
The Resplendent Quetzal's green feathers are significant in Mesoamerican culture, for one. In addition to a more worldwide view, though, I should point out that the article really needs better organization (and the trimming of some irrelevancies and duplication of similar material that should be group together, like the Celtic symbolism)--Pharos 04:41, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but I can't really see how to organize it until I see the difference between fact and fiction... Wrad 19:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
One potential problem is the lack of blue-green distinction in some cultures or languages. Here are some pages making various claims, which I would not trust without proper reference to a reliable source:
 --Lambiam 14:51, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Both these colours have definite political connotations in Politics of Taiwan.martianlostinspace email me 11:21, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Holocaust order[edit]

How, when and in what circumstances did Hitler give the holocaust order? Selim the Sot 05:58, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

While directly citable wording may be lacking in its minutes, the Wannsee Conference (20 January 1942) is generally considered to be the first overt discussion attributable to Hitler of the systematic and comprehensive extermination of the Jewish people known as the "Final Solution." See also evidence of a much earlier event (July 31, 1941) when Nazi official Hermann Göring, on instructions from Hitler, ordered SS Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich to implement a "total and final solution" in to the so-called "Jewish Question." This latter link goes on to discuss Hitler's involvement on other occasions predating Wannsee. -- Deborahjay 08:16, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

This question, or questions very similiar to it, have appeared now on at least three occasions since the time I began work on the Humanities Desk. So, trawling back through the archives, here below is an extract from an earlier answer I gave. Clio the Muse 22:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

You have a cool and dispassionate mind, DeepSkyFrontier, and I admire the logical way that you have arrived at your conclusions. I do, however, have some additional information and argument that might be of interest to you, all of which I have based upon Laurence Rees' monograph, Auschwitz: the Nazis and the Final Solution., in the edition published by BBC Books in 2005
By the spring of 1940 it was becoming increasingly clear that the policy of of using the General Government as a 'racial dustbin' was causing huge logistical problems. In May 1940 Himmler addressed the issue in a wide-ranging memorandum, in which he rejects 'the Bolshevik method of physically exterminating a people as fundamentally un-German.' (Lees, p.45) He goes on to say that I hope to see the term 'Jews' completely eliminated through the possibility of large-scale emigration of all Jews to Africa or to some other colony. When Himmler discussed this proposal with Hitler he was told that it was gut und richtig (good and correct). But, as you indicate, the tenacity of England effectively put an end to all such notions by the autumn and winter of that same year. The problem in the General Government remained, and got steadily worse with the arrival of additional deportees.
Moving further down the line to the summer of 1941, when mass killings were already underway in Russia, we have Göring's memo to Heydrich of 31 July, asking for a blueprint for 'the execution of the intended Final Solution of the Jewish question.' However, as Lees says (p.84), the discovery of a document in the Moscow Special Archive casts some doubt on the particular significance of Göring's memorandum. This contains a note from Heydrich, dated March 26 1941, in which he says With respect to the Jewish question I reported briefly to the Reich Marshal and submitted to him my new blueprint, which he authorized with one modification concerning Rosenberg's jurisdication, and then ordered for resubmission. This document has to be taken in the context of the coming invasion of the Soviet Union-which was expected to collapse in a few weeks-and the continuing deadlock with the British in the west. In other words, the new destination for the Jews of Europe was no longer Africa, but parts of conquered Russia, including areas expected to be under the jurisdiction of Alfred Rosenberg. It seems clear that the 31 July document should be read against the background of forced migration, rather than mass murder as such, though in practical terms the end result would have been just the same, as most of the deportees are likely to have frozen to death in the east with the onset of the Russian winter. However, it was the specific actions of the Einsatzgruppen-particularly in the shooting of women and children-that raised yet another set of problems, and a further quest for solutions. The decisive moment here, it might very well be argued, came in August 1941, when Himmler visited Minsk, and saw the work of the killing squads at first hand.
The Minsk killings, and the complaints, amongst others, of Lieutenant-General von dem Bach-Zelewski, that the sheer personal horror involved was having a severe psychological impact on the men in the Kommandos, pushed Himmler along the path of a less 'bloody' solution to the whole issue. He already had before him one possible 'clinical' way out: mass-killing had already been tried and tested in the euthanasia programme, with poison gas being used to kill as many as ten thousand people in mental hospitals in Wartegau and West Prussia between October 1939 and October 1940. The need for new killing techniques-soon to be explored in places like Auschwitz-,the continuing build up of Jewish deportees in the ghettos of Poland, and the unexpected stubbornness of Soviet resistance, demanded that the whole issue be re-examined from top to bottom. Amongst others, Josef Goebbles, the Propaganda Minister, was lobbying Hitler for more radical solutions, urging the expulsion eastwards of all the Jews of Berlin to already grossly overcrowded ghettos, like that at Lodz. The way out of this deadlock was the authorisation of the first mass gassings at Chelmno, close to Lodz, in late 1941.
Given Hitler's method of working, and his dislike of committing himself to paper, we will never know for certain when outright murder took the place of deportation as the favoured solution to the Jewish question. If I were pushed to choose a specific time-frame, on the basis of the evidence as it presents itself, it would be October 1941. By then the decision had been taken to send all of the Reich's Jews to the east, even though the war with Russia showed no sign of ending. In November, in a conversation with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hitler said that he wanted all Jews, even those not under German control, 'to be destroyed.' (Lees, p. 110) Here, in essence, is the agenda of the Wannsee Conference, where the populations detailed for elimination included those living in areas not even under German control, including England. The following month the gas vans of Chelmno began their work.
Against this whole drift of events and policy, the Wannsee Conference has been allowed to carry far too much weight. The decision on mass extermination, it seems highly likely, was conveyed by verbal insruction alone by Hitler to Himmler sometime in October. Wannsee was merely a forum for ensuring maximum bureaucratic complicity. Those who attended, with the exception of Heydrich (and even he was not yet in the uppermost ranks of the party leadership) were by and large men of the second-division, like Martin Luther from the Foreign Ministry, representing Ribbentrop; senior bureaucratic funtionaries, in other words, implementers of policy, rather than formulators.
Anyway, that's it. Sorry to have gone on at such considerable length, but you have raised issues worthy of a thoughtful and detailed response. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Clio the Muse 10:14, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Clio you were amazing as always. I knew that Martin Luther had said mean things about Jews in his old age, but I never had known that he was actually a functionary of the Third Reich Foreign Ministry. Edison 01:43, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Edison; but you see there is that Martin Luther and there is this Martin Luther! The latter, incidentally, ended the war himself in a concentration camp, having unsuccessfully attempted to supplant his boss. Clio the Muse 01:55, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Tudor gender politics[edit]

Thinking about gender politics, what impact did sexuality have on the governance of Queen Elizabeth I? Shelly Carey 07:42, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, her position as "Head" of the Church of England, for one thing. Some (imho silly) people seemed to think a lady couldn't be a "head" of the Church, as Henry had been. So she had to convert herself, from being a Head to a Governor. QEII still is the Governor. I think her decision to remain celibate provided a few more problems, though, in finding an heir.martianlostinspace email me 10:51, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Might want to rad up on the article: Queen_Elizabeth_I#Virginity. The Evil Spartan 00:20, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
To begin with you have to remember that a female sovereign came to the throne faced with a whole set of preconceptions about the weakness and limitations of women. Some sources liken rule by a woman to that of a king in his minority. In other words, a queen in sole authority was best governed by her counsellors 'like a child'; that wise men were needed to compensate for her perceived 'lack of judgement'. It was also suggested that since women were less able to control their passions than men, they were all the more likely to turn into tyrants. There were certainly forms of 'discrimination', if that is the right word, though it is perhaps not quite accurate to suggest, as martain does, that the shift in Elizabeth's title from Supreme Head to Supreme Governor was entirely 'silly'. This was a time when women were not allowed preach or deliver the sacrements; so any 'sacredotal' element had to be removed from the Queen's functions. In practical terms, though, she still held all of the political power over the church enjoyed by her father, including the right to appoint bishops. She was never hesitant in expressing her views, moreover, on matters of detailed clerical proceedure, as her disputes with Matthew Parker and Edmund Grindal attest.
The other major issue that has any bearing on 'gender politics' was the question of her marriage. This was an area where Elizabeth had to proceed with extreme care. While a king could marry a subject, she could not, or at least if she did she risked serious discontent among the others. While a king could marry a foreign princess and not risk compromising the national interest, she could not, because her power would pass wholly, or in part, to her 'sovereign lord.' The marriage of her sister Mary to Philip II of Spain had shown the political and strategic dangers of a foreign alliance. And while the king could take lovers and have illegitimate children, she could not; for the scandal and outrage that would have ensued would have been impossible to contain. It seems to me that her relationship with Robert Dudley, though close, was never consumated. Elizabeth had too much political sense for that.
For any monarch marriage was a political issue; never more so for Elizabeth. She had before her the the example of her sister and the even more disastrous example of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, who moved from one catastrophic marriage to another, that in the end lost her the throne. Elizabeth teased her counsellors, and her subjects, with the prospect of her marriage, though it seems clear that she intended to retain the hold on power to the end that she could only enjoy as the 'Virgin Queen'. She may, as Robert Cecil claimed, have been "more than a man and in truth somewhat less than a woman", but people were to look back on her time with some fondness as they lived under the 'manly' and disastrous rule of the Stuarts. Clio the Muse 00:36, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll just underline some of Clio's wise words above by adding that when Elizabeth I became Queen, the concept of a woman as a national sovereign was fairly novel, at least for Europe. In the Middle Ages, a country's king, emperor or prince had been both a political and a military leader. No English monarchs had faced no foreign wars, and many had had to fight off rebellions and invasions to hold their thrones. It was only as the modern world emerged that a reigning queen became a possibility. The English political and military system consisted wholly of men - and it stayed like that until the twentieth century. All electors, all members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, all commanders, officers and other ranks of the army and the navy, all members of all of the professions, all bishops and all clergy, all members of corporations, were men. The universities did not admit women. There was an institutionalized view that men were capable and rational beings, and women were not. So Elizabeth faced a masculine Establishment which found it hard to come to terms with her, not just as Queen but even as a political being. Like most monarchs of her time, she faced constant challenges to her authority and struggled to establish herself as a figure commanding loyalty. She never really felt secure against a succession of plots and intrigues, and of course she faced the threat of foreign invasions as well as threats nearer home. Xn4 01:21, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
The above is so comprehensive, I won't even attempt to add any substance, but I had to jump in when I realized that no one had called to our attention The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by good old John Knox. Even a cursory familiarity with the text would give you a nice idea of the challenges facing any woman of power in that era. User:Jwrosenzweig (editing anonymously) 06:41, 16 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
The said work, J. W., had an unfortunate counter-blast for the dear old Scottish fire-eater: Elizabeth refused to allow him to set foot in England. Clio the Muse 23:52, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
She may have had the body of a weak and feeble woman, but she had the heart of a king, and of a king of England too, apparently. Cyta 09:16, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


Has anyone got a really detailed resource on click(h)imin, also is there any way of knowing if it was once tall like the brochs of scotland and islands? 09:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

We have a short article at Broch of Clickimin, which calls it 'well-preserved'. A web page at here says it was reconstructed in the 1850s, but there's a better page at here which says "The broch itself was built around 200 AD, and originally consisted of a tower some 19.8 m in diameter and probably some 12 - 15 m tall." I hope this helps you, and I'll add a link to this site to the Broch of Clickimin page. Xn4 02:19, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Female editors[edit]

Are there many female editors here or is it mostly guys? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there are many, many female editors here. Why shouldn't there be?--Shantavira|feed me 11:30, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
As regards the proportionality, there was a similar question a number of weeks ago. Someone arrived at the figure of about 10% female, by checking how many people were displaying female userboxes. Obviously that's guesswork, though: most users don't tell us what gender they are, never mind user boxes. You can't see anything on my page, for example. Isn't this for WP:RD/M, though? martianlostinspace email me 12:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I have the impression that far more than ten per cent of the most active editors here are women. Of course, only a small minority choose to say which sex they belong to, and there's no reason why anyone should. It would be very hard to arrive at a reliable figure for the English Wikipedia, and I don't think it matters, but it would be much easier for Wikipedias in some other languages. People who write about themselves in French, Spanish, or Italian, for instance, usually tell you their sex quite soon through using the masculine or feminine forms of the adjectives which refer to themselves. If someone knows the answer to your question for any of those Wikipedias, then I'd be surprised if the proportions were much different here. Xn4 00:29, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

No user box, but female and proud! Clio the Muse 00:57, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand why the defensiveness ["Why shouldn't there be?" (Shantavira)] and negativity ["I don't think it matters" (Xn4)]. The questioner never suggested there shouldn't be female editors; and obviously it matters to them otherwise they wouldn't have asked it - whether any one else agrees or not is neither here nor there. -- JackofOz 04:04, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Sure it matters. What doesn't matter is "to arrive at a reliable figure". Xn4 01:00, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I use a deliberatly neutral name to stop people making assumptions about me..hotclaws 06:51, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Apart from the miaow-association, you mean? DirkvdM 08:47, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I think an estimate was made about a year ago that the majority of wikipedians are white American males. Not 100% sure about that, but quite possible... · AndonicO Talk 00:57, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

At the English Wikipedia, most probably, but not on Wikipedia as a whole. Follow the links at the bottom of the hme page. The English Wikipedia has 2 million articles, the German one 600,000, the French 560,00, the Polish 425,000, the Italian and Dutch 350,000, the Portuguese 290,000, the Spanish 280,000 and the Japanese will probably be big too, but I can't read that. So those languages together have many more articles than the English and there are Wikipedias in many more languages. You also have to take into account that many non-English speaking editors are partly or even mostly active at the English Wikipedia (such as me), while the reverse will be much less likely. DirkvdM 06:40, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Medieval calendars[edit]

How did they count or keep track with time during the medieval ages? Did they have months? Days? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

They used the Julian calendar, which is essentially the same as our own (the Gregorian calendar). They had all the same months and weeks and days, although they were not as dependent on it as we were. The differences really come down to the way they expressed the dates. In the written documents that we have, they were more likely to refer to a day by the name of the saint or church festival associated with it (today is apparently the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows, so they would probably write that rather than "September 15"). They often also used the Roman system of Kalends, Nones, and Ides, so today would be "the sixteenth day before the Kalends of October". For years, they used the same years as us, although sometimes it is confusing because the year started on different days in different places - the calendar is essentially the same as ours but New Years wasn't always January 1, sometimes it was Easter (which varied from year to year as it does now), or the first day or spring, or some other day. But rather than specifying the year, they often used the regnal date of a king (an English writer would use the English king) or the Pope (religious writers and especially, of course, the Papal bureaucracy). So for example, if you wanted to write today's date in the style of the medieval Papal bureaucracy, you would say "the sixteenth day before the Kalends of October (or since it's a feast day, "the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows", and everyone would know what that meant) in the third year of the pontificate of Benedict XVI". As for hours of the day, that actually was very different. There was no such thing as midnight; the day started at sunrise, or sometimes sunset, depending on the time and place, and they would say "three hours from sunrise" or whatever time they needed. I'm not sure if there is a good book about this topic, but there are books like "A Handbook of Dates for Students of British History" by H.R. Cheney that deal with it in the introduction. Adam Bishop 16:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
What really threw me when I first started work on Medieval and early modern history was the way in which years were calculated. For example, an event I knew had happened in, say, January 1293, was falling according to the sources I was examining in 1292. It was only on further examination that I found that the calculation of the year was not from January to December but from April to March, so January 1292 was really 1293! Clio the Muse 23:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The Old Style year began in England on 25 March (viz., Lady Day). This is the Feast of the Annunciation, marking the day on which the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary she would conceive the Son of God, and is exactly nine months before Christmas Day. Thus, the argument ran that the Christian era began with the Annunciation of Jesus and not with his birth. In the Julian calendar as observed in Russia, the year began on 1 March when first adopted in 988, then from the late 15th century on 1 September. This was different from the regular Julian calendar, established in the Roman Empire before it was christianized, in which March was the third month, although in former times it had been the first month (hence the Latin numbers in September, October, and December).
In most of Europe, 1 January was adopted as the first day of the year during the 16th century. Scotland fell into line in 1600, and Russia in 1700, but in England and the American Colonies, the calendar year ran from 25 March until 24 March until 1752. Xn4 23:35, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Satan Star[edit]



Is there any official or true name for the 5 pointed star in a circle associated with satan (not nessercerily(spelling?) any one like this one with a goat in it but any 5 pointed star in a circle)?

Also what do the symbols mean at the points of the star and what language are they? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plague of Death (talkcontribs) 12:21, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

See Pentagram. Dismas|(talk) 12:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
In the Satanic symbol, the five symbols are supposed to be Hebrew letters which spell "Leviathan". (I cannot verify that as I can't read Hebrew.) - Eron Talk 12:57, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The Hebrew letters בזנרץ, transliterated, form bznrts, in which ts is a single letter. This can be vocalized in many ways, using only a and e(i, o and u would have shown up as a mater lectionis), for example Abezenerets or Bezanarets. Presumably one of these is an alleged name for Satan.  --Lambiam 13:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The pentagram article seems to be showing a symbol with different letters, these ones:לויתן. How would that transliterate? - Eron Talk 13:30, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Those shewn in the article (under "Satanism") match those on the cover of The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, in which (as in the article), it is said they spell Leviathan. DuncanHill 13:40, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
...and there it is in the first line of the Leviathan article. (Apparently my problem may be an inability to read English, as well as Hebrew...) - Eron Talk 15:25, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Short vowels aren't marked with matres lectionis except finally, and classically there are no initial vowels (though the consonants aleph and ayin are now silent). —Tamfang 03:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
  • How would you know to start with the B? --Sean 12:26, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
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You might not, but the "Ts" letter appears to be shown in its special word-final form... AnonMoos 13:37, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Since you ask, necessarily. —Tamfang 03:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
The image was uploaded on August 1, 2007 with the summary Old symbol originally used in Medieval times, and immediately used to replace an older logo with the text לויתן in the Template:Satanism. As these two actions are the only edits of the editor in question, it would seem pointless to ask this editor for an explanation, but it smacks of a joke or "original research". It appears in the logo of a website dedicated to "the world’s first Black Metal porn film", and here it is suggested that it has been used by the band Cradle of Filth, a claim of which I could not find a confirmation.  --Lambiam 11:51, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Nice work tracking that down and fixing the template. Now afte spending so much time on this particular question, I'd better be off to confession. - Eron Talk 16:52, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The pentagram actually used to symbolize Christ, anciently, so you may be just fine. Wrad 18:38, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

The official name for the "Satan Star" is the Sigil of Baphomet.

Nude celebrities![edit]

What's the big deal with pictures of nude celebrities? I'd imagine men who look at pictures of nude women care more about the way the women look than who they are. They can't get them for themselves anyway, so what's the point? If Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Paris Hilton came to me and said one of them was going to strip for me, I'm sure you'd guess my choice. On the other hand, when it comes to these two women as themselves, my preference is the exact opposite. JIP | Talk 12:38, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I imagine somepeople have a thing about celebs... 14:39, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think modern society as a whole has "a thing about celebs." Any activity is more interesting when done by a celebrity, getting naked included. See Celebrity as a mass media phenomenon. --The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 14:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
As a proud Brit, I'd pick the queen any day! --Montchav 15:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Isn't it like blasphemous or something to be saying this stuff about the queen? ;) The Evil Spartan 00:17, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I think it's that we know something about them. There are lots of very pretty anonymous nudes, but their anonymity is a sort of veil; with a celeb, we know something of the personality that goes with the titties, and that makes the image more alive. – What I don't get is folks who collect explicitly fake celeb nudes. —Tamfang 03:46, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this. It's not "a thing about celebs", it's that we know something about them. If there were a picture of, say, some hot guy from college nude, this would be much more exciting than a picture of some anonymous guy, even if they look the same. A.Z. 04:35, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
And that's why porn movies that are basically just with two naked guys having hardcore sex are so extremely boring. When we don't know anything about them and there's no story, it's just two silly moving bodies. However, if the guys actually have a life besides having sex, and do more than just fucking, and talk and go to work, etc, then it's interesting to see them having sex. A.Z. 04:42, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Anonymous porn stars may be boring, but celebrities have opened their mouths and removed all doubt... FiggyBee 18:19, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Helen Mirren who played the Queen blatently took her clothes off all the time in her earlier films and was always walking around nude apparantly. I'm rather shocked that she did all this but is still regarded as a respectable establishment figure who AFAIR has been made a Dame I think. It makes me wonder if attitudes to nude modelling and acting have changed in the last decade or two - it used to be akin to prostitution and shameful, but now it seems perfectly respectable. I'm confused. (And I'm rather disapointed that people who had a hedonistic delinquent lifestyle in their youth get to be rich and respected as well like for example Felix Dennis - I was brought up to think that they were on a path to self-destruction and it was the boring respectable hard working types like me who would succeeed - now I realise I've been duped!!!!) 19:22, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Total number or Americans in uniform in 2007[edit]

Is there an unbiased source who can answer this question: how many active and reserve troops does the US have? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Robertastar (talkcontribs) 16:42, 15 September 2007 (UTC) Robertastar 16:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The U.S. Department of Defense says they have 1.3 million on active duty, and 1.1 million in the Reserve and National Guard. Not sure whether that's considered an unbiased source or not, but one assumes that they would know. - Eron Talk 16:54, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure that Jane's could tell you, but you have to pay for a subscription. Corvus cornix 22:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The department of defense is about as unbiased of a source as you'll probably find. I'm not sure what you would necessarily consider unbiased though. The Evil Spartan 00:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
That would make an interesting article - for every country, how many (and what percentage) are on active duty (and in combat zones), in reserve and 'on call' (ready to join the armed forces within a certain period of time). I suppose the US and especially Israel would score very high. Although it could be hard to use comparable definitions for some countries. In Cuba, everyone receives military training of some sort, just in case the US attack again despite their promise. They even have a special day for that every year (dia de defensa), when the whole country simulates repelling an invasion. So there, 100% would be 'on call' (and what is that called, btw?). DirkvdM 08:55, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Humans and Iambic Pentameter[edit]

I am looking for works (either fiction or non-fiction) that shed light upon the human condition. In other words, literature that explains the motivations and complexities and ambiguities and puzzling emotions which being a human involves. That is a rather broad category, but I'm sure that you won't disappoint.

On a more specific note, I really like works of prose that could have been poems: prose-literature which, if you break it down into lines, proves to be in the form of iambic pentameter. Much of Moby-Dick, (of course), is written this way, as are a number of Bradbury stories and James Thurber's children's classic The Thirteen Clocks. Where are the works of iambic pentameter in prose?

Thank you all!! 20:02, 15 September 2007 (UTC)MelancholyDanish

1. Light on the human condition[edit]

In the case of fiction, all of the really major novelists do just what you describe. Among them are Balzac (see La Comédie humaine), Dostoevsky, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. M. Forster, Boris Pasternak and Graham Greene. Much the same is true of the major poets, though poetry tends to cast its light on the human condition in metaphor and riddle. Xn4 23:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

2. Iambic pentameter[edit]

I believe that Beloved has portions in iambic pentameter. It certainly has something to say about the human condition. --Sean 22:29, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

This isn't iambic pentameter, but it's some of the best writing in the English language today. Corvus cornix 22:49, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Intellectual Property/Copyright[edit]

Does IP/copyright exist within a legal contract?

That is, is the contract document itself able to be protected from use by other than the parties who developed it (i.e. the lawyers or the party commissioning the lawyers to develop it), and/or the parties who eventually put the contract to use (i.e. the signatories to the contract in its final format)?

Example: Organisation A commissions Law Firm B to develop a generic property leasing contract for Organisation A to issue to it's subsidiary companies to use in their property dealings.

Does copyright exist, and who owns it?

--Alan2008 21:29, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, you can certainly claim copyright over things like copyright licenses themselves (the GPL, for example, begins by noting that the document itself is (c) the FSF). As a consequence I wouldn't be surprised if contracts themselves could be copyrighted, but remember that the language, not the ideas, would be what was copyrighted. As for who would own the copyright, that would be decided like any other copyright — it would depend on the contract between Organization A and Law Firm B in your example, whether it was "work for hire" or not. -- 21:49, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Copyright can subsist in the most banal of creations, including legal contracts. I should have thought it was even more clearly the case for a contract that was commissioned to serve as someone's standard terms of business (although lawyers in these circumstances, like in most others, will usually want to start with a precedent document rather than a blank page).

Who the copyright in the commissioned standard-form contract belongs to will depend on the contract under which the commissioned standard-form contract was commissioned :) It could belong to the lawyer who wrote it, or the firm they work for (if any), or the client who commissioned it, or the provider of the drafting (if it was taken by one of the providers of legal materials, such as LexisNexis), or a combination of them. -- !! ?? 14:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Red China's aid from defeated Japanese[edit]

I've read that an important part in the development of the PLAAF was training from captured Japanese in 1945. I'm looking for info in post-WW2 relations between captured Japanese who became advisors and Red chinese. What role did the defeated Japanese who were captured in Manchuria in 1945 play in advancing Red China's military and industry? How did they view each other? When were the Japanese returned to Japan? If anyone knows any print or online resources Id appreciate it. --Gosplan 23:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)