Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2008 September 5

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September 5[edit]

Vaudeville hat[edit]

Does anybody know the actual name of the distinctive round, flat-topped hat worn by vaudeville performers?


Also, would anybody happen to know of any reputable dealers of said style of hat? Not this costume stuff, real legitimate hat. Thank you!! Kenjibeast (talk) 04:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Searching for "straw hat" led me to the boater article. --Kjoonlee 04:32, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
But that's not right. Pork pie hat looks closer. --Kjoonlee 04:48, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
It is a boater. (talk) 08:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, a boater is commonly worn by such performers, including traditional barbershop quartets.Gwinva (talk) 09:56, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
OP here. <--- that is the exact model of hat I'm looking for. So is that a pork pie or a boater? What exactly is the difference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kenjibeast (talkcontribs) 20:03, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
The most obvious difference is that a porkpie hat is made of felt, while a boater is made of straw. --LarryMac | Talk 20:07, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

BTW, you can link to images by using [[:Image:Porkpie.jpg]]: Image:Porkpie.jpg --Kjoonlee 02:42, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure they are not the only source, but a quick Google of "traditional straw boater" found me this hatter on London's Jermyn Street which seems to be a long-established dealer selling the genuine article. Karenjc 12:30, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

When I think of vaudeville and hats, the Susquehanna Hat Company comes to mind. This was an (Abbott and Costello routine,[1] Youtube link]] wherein many straw boaters get destroyed one after another. A fist punches so nicely through the top of one. Edison (talk) 19:26, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

The boater that I used to wear when punting in Cambridge indeed looked just like the second picture in the boater article. But what that article does not mention is that it was heavily lacquered, so that it was rigid and fairly heavy. You would not find it easy to punch the crown out of one of those! --ColinFine (talk) 20:04, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Czechoslovak hijacking[edit]

I read in Petr Sis's book The Wall that there was a hijacking of a plane to West Germany on June 8, 1972, by a bunch of Czechoslovaks. Unfortunately, I could not find any more information. Vltava 68 (talk, contribs) 09:26, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

This is mentioned briefly at 1972#June and here. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 09:36, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Limitation on electing Presidents?[edit]

This is something I remember reading (at some point in my life, not recently) but I can't find it anywhere now. There is, or was, or was being considered, a rule/law to the effect of "Two people from the same State may not be elected President of the United States in successive terms." So (for example) Gov. Rick Perry of Texas legally couldn't be elected President in 2008 because he's from the same state as George W. Bush.

It isn't in President_of_the_United_States#Qualification.2C_disqualification_and_common_practice, so it's clear to me that the aforesaid rule/law is not the case, at least not now. As I (incorrectly) recall, it was in the U.S. Constitution; but I'm wrong about that. The closest I find in the Constitution is part of the 12th Amendment which requires electors to vote separately for President and VP, at least one of which "shall not be an inhabitant of the same state as themselves."

Any idea what I'm talking about? (If this isn't the proper place to ask this type of question, please point me in the right direction.) Thank you.Fitfatfighter (talk) 09:58, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

It's a confusion between candidates and electors. See this article from Article II requires that at least one of the persons chosen by a state's electors "shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves." In other words, if McCain and Palin were from the same state, under the constitution no more than half of any state's electors (not voters, mind you) could choose them. --- OtherDave (talk) 11:36, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think your explanation is correct. If McCain and Palin were from the same state (say, Arizona), then electors from Arizona only (not "any state") would be able to vote for only one or the other. This is really only an issue if you're looking at either a close election or a state with a high electoral vote. Were McCain and Palin both from Arizona, the Republicans would be sacrificing 5 EVs (10/2) for the pair, or 10 for Palin if they were willing to risk a Dem VP. Were they both from Alaska, it'd be a 1-2 EV drop, which might be entirely acceptable -- if you can win by even 5, who cares if you give up 1 or 2. If they were both from California, having to split those 55 votes would likely be too high a price to pay. This precise scenario is why Dick Cheney is currently a resident of Wyoming -- splitting Texas' ~35 EVs in 2000 was a ludicrously high price and would have cost the Republicans the election. — Lomn 14:17, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
You're right, I misstated. Article II says "The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves." You could in theory run two candidates from Alaska (assuming you could find a second person with the outstanding qualifications of having been a small-town mayor and a moose hunter) and throw away the whole state's electoral vote.
The main point was to clarify the meaning of Article II. --- OtherDave (talk) 15:45, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
If Alaska is out of moose-hunting mayors, perhaps they have some "community organizers"—apparently that qualifies one for high office these days. ;-) —Kevin Myers 16:10, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Of course, the "same state" requirement is pretty much a dead letter in these days of high mobility. If a candidate for president picks a candidate for vice-president who happens to live in the same state, one of them can just move to another state. --Anonymous, 01:13 UTC, September 6, 2008.

Had there actually been a rule in the Constitution that "Two people from the same State may not be elected President of the United States in successive terms", the first person to suffer from that rule would have been the "Father of the Constitution" himself! Early in American history New Englanders were concerned about the dominance of the Virginia Dynasty, and in the Hartford Convention proposed such a rule. This was perhaps the rule (though never adopted) that the original questioner was thinking of. —Kevin Myers 15:59, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

It looks like the Hartford Convention/Virginia Dynasty thing is what I was talking about. Thank you Kevin (and everyone else).Fitfatfighter (talk) 21:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm slightly intrigued by the wording of the amendment: "... one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves". Is "the same ... with" a recognised construction? Normally, it would be "the same ... as", wouldn't it? Or is there some subtle legalistic gobbledygookesque nuance I'm not seeing? -- JackofOz (talk) 21:36, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

It does seem strange, but remember the amendment was written over 100 years ago, so the language might have changed slightly. The use of "with" does make some sense, you live in a state with another person. It's probably correct English, just uncommon these days. --Tango (talk) 23:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
It's mostly the change in the language, Jack; the twelfth amendment was ratified in 1804, so that's 200 years. And if you want some linguistic fun, try parsing the second amendment. The founders were a comma-happy bunch. --- OtherDave (talk) 02:29, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Erk. The version with 3 commas is nonsense, basically. I feel sorry for you guys. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:38, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, 2008-1804=204, not 104... I always say mathematicians can't do arithmetic... --Tango (talk) 04:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

pre-marital sex[edit]

How is 1.) premarital sex and 2.) pregnancy regarded and treated by various religions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Premarital pregnancy, or just pregnancy? — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 10:28, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I meant to ask only about sex so both 1.) premarital sex without pregnancy, 2.) premarital sex with pregnancy but no birth prior to marriage, 3.) premarital sex with pregnancy and birth prior to marriage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to bother you again, but your second one gets me—is there no birth before marriage because the mother had an abortion, or because the couple got married before the baby was born? Or would you like to know both cases, in which case there would be four cases:
  1. Premarital sex without pregnancy,
  2. Premarital sex with pregnancy and birth prior to marriage
  3. Premarital sex with pregnancy, followed by marriage, then childbirth
  4. Premarital sex with pregnancy, followed by an abortion,
Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 10:56, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
No bother, in fact,
  1. Premarital sex without pregnancy,
  2. Premarital sex with pregnancy and birth prior to marriage
  3. Premarital sex with pregnancy, followed by marriage, then childbirth
  4. Premarital sex with pregnancy, followed by an abortion,
  5. Premarital sex with pregnancy and birth prior to marriage, followed by adoption
  6. Premarital sex with pregnancy, followed by marriage, then childbirth, followed by adoption
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:06, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I was tempted to ask about paid premarital... but forget it.
And there are a few religions not too crazy about pregnancy -- such as the United Society of Believers -- though this is perhaps not the best strategy for passing on your beliefs to future generations. --- OtherDave (talk) 11:40, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but they did believe in adoption as a viable alternative to reproduction themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Did they take too much to heart the maxim "If your parents didn't have children, there's a good chance you won't either"? -- JackofOz (talk) 21:28, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget about premarital pregnancy without sex, which is a topic of much import in some religions. -- (talk) 19:38, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
This question doesn't appear to be well answered. I once saw a page that listed the different religions and who considered what a sin. Your answer:
  1. Islam considers all premarital sex to be sinful.
  2. Christianity almost always does.
  3. Judaism does not explicitly prohibit it, but generally hints that it's bad. explicitly prohibits it (Deuteronomy 22:21.
  4. Dharmic religions tend to be neutral on the issue.
  5. Animistic religions of course are too widespread to pin down.
  6. It's generally important to note the fact that marriage exists in every society, and religion often works to enforce morals. Thus, any religion, even if not specifically prohibiting it, has normally discouraged it in the past. Does this answer your question? Magog the Ogre (talk) 19:05, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
That still doesn't answer how it's treated. In the Baha'i Faith sex out of wedlock is forbidden, as is abortion as a form of birth control, but, other related parts of the particular circumstances aside, those actions are normally viewed as being between the individuals and God. Coreligionists close enough to them would probably offer support as friends and others (including the administration) would most likely stay out of it. I cannot speak for the other religions but I would guess that it largely depends on what the particular group of the religion is like and what the prevailing culture is like. - Lambajan 19:39, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I thought maybe other people would weigh in with how this is treated. I looked and found a pretty good list of how it's viewed, and it even breaks down different Christian denominations, but I couldn't find anything about treatment for Islam from the link but we have a page here. Most of the others don't have full blown jurisprudence, so I figure the treatment probably involves some rites or counseling or something, or maybe expulsion, but the write-ups make that seem unlikely. - Lambajan 15:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
All I can say is that us atheists screw like bunnies, and we're loving it! (talk) 22:46, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
On the Baha'i Faith, taken from the Kitab-i-Aqdas: God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine mithqals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence. The authorised notes state that this applies to unmarried individuals, not to married persons doing the deed with someone other than their spouse. It is not, however applied at the moment, and is reserved "for a future condition of society" (quoted from the notes to the standard edition). It's been emotional (talk) 15:31, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... I stand corrected. - Lambajan 01:45, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Does Barack Obama speak a language other than english?[edit]

If he does, is he a fluent speaker? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

When in Indonesia, he went to a school taught in the Indonesian language. That does not mean that he could understand the language. Even if he did learn it at that time, he doesn't necessarily know it now. Also, nearly all U.S. colleges require an introductory level of foreign language (usually French or Spanish). Students do not become fluent at that level. That is what was required of his education. I do not know what he learned beyond it. -- kainaw 12:12, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
This source has Obama saying that he is not fluent in languages other than English. However, this secondhand source indicates that, though not fluent, he has a 'smattering' of Spanish, Indonesian, and Swahili. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 12:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC).
Thank you both. I didn't expect such a quick response. (talk) 12:23, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure he is very fluent in the Political dialect of Doublespeak (as is John McCain). Clarityfiend (talk) 18:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
If a politician couldn't speak that, we'd never elect them. C'est la vie! Fribbler (talk) 18:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Probably. But that proposition has never actually been tested, to my knowledge. :) -- JackofOz (talk) 21:24, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Queen Victoria's funeral cortège: Edward and Wilhelm?[edit]

Caption for this image is: "Detail from the photograph above of Queen Victoria's Funeral Cortège. King Edward VII is clearly seen in the centre immediately behind the coffin, with the German Kaiser to his right."

I'm not up on my turn of the century royalty. It seems to be indicating that Edward is dead center of the image (in dark dress) with Wilhelm to the left of him (also in dark). Or are they the fellows behind those fellows (with "Wilhelm" dressed lighter tan the others)? -- (talk) 14:12, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Edward's the rather dumpy one with a dead bird on his hat, Kaiser Bill (rather skinny) is to his right (our left), with his left hand resting on his sword, and another dead bird on his titfer, and excessively large lapels. DuncanHill (talk) 14:16, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps a lot! -- (talk) 14:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify (in case anyone is still confused), your first interpretation was the right one, both in dark dress, Edward's left hand is obscured by the head of the gun-carriage attendant, and you can make out the Kaiser's over-groomed moustache. DuncanHill (talk) 14:39, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
So in this photo , the red arrow points to Edward, and the blue arrow to the Kaiser. Any idea who the slightly more dumpy guy is that the yellow arrow points to, or the exceedingly dumpy one shown by the green arrow? - Nunh-huh 15:03, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Oscar_II_of_Sweden was probably there, and i just get the general feeling that he's the guy by the green arrow. It kind of looks like him, comparing to the picture in his article. Complete guess on my part though, so don't trust it in any way..../Coffeeshivers (talk) 17:47, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Reading the linked old Times article it turns out he wasn't there, only his son, the future Gustav V. I don't think he ever had a particularly large beard, so green arrow probably isn't him /Coffeeshivers (talk) 09:32, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Yes, yes, and looks vaguely Russian? I'd like to know who the frankly portly chap to our left of the yellow arrowed-fellow is too. DuncanHill (talk) 17:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, but I think the protocol of 1901 would have some trouble in arranging Victoria's two surviving sons and an assortment of emperors and kings in the correct order in the wake of the coffin. Somewhere near the front will be the Duke of Connaught. Kaiser Bill, although only a grandson, seems to have got up to the front because he was also an emperor. Strawless (talk) 12:38, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
He was her eldest grandson, and had attended her at her deathbed. DuncanHill (talk) 12:41, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Is it Connaught to Edward's left? DuncanHill (talk) 12:53, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
It's too blurred to tell from the picture, but he was entitled to the plumes, and it's hard to think who else would be there. Strawless (talk) 13:13, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
It's Connaught, per [2]. DuncanHill (talk) 13:20, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
For whom were plumes reserved? - Nunh-huh 13:50, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Could a minor face life imprisonment if committs murder in the UK?[edit]

If a minor kills his parents (example). Could he face life in prison? Being minor... -- (talk) 21:42, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

See At Her Majesty's Pleasure - "Where a person convicted of murder or any other offence the sentence for which is fixed by law as life imprisonment appears to the court to have been aged under 18 at the time the offence was committed, the court shall (notwithstanding anything in this or any other Act) sentence him to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure". This is not to be construed as legal advice, rather as an educated layman's comment. DuncanHill (talk) 21:45, 5 September 2008 (UTC)