Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 April 16

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April 16[edit]

police secrets -- so effective it's censored even in the report?[edit]

Were there cases (though obviously we have found out since) where police decided to hide, even from other police officers, (ie in their police reports etc), some particular details of a novel crime method, when the new method is incredibly effective, very interesting and newsworthy (so that the other police would be sure to gossip about it, and it would surely get out) and most importantly, the method is by its nature impossible to guard against. Thanks! (talk) 09:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

If this hypothetical criminal method is impossible to guard against, how did the police figure it out and make a police report about it? Livewireo (talk) 13:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Whilst not perfectly related to this - there are regularly discussions in the media about whether reporting 'how' things are done is a good idea or not. For instance Ben Goldacre notes in his recent article ( that there is good cause to be careful when it comes to reporting Suicide - it seems that if something is reported you'll see a spike in that particularly form of suicide. E.g. His article notes that in Hong Kong in 1998 the media reported a case of carbon-monoxide suicide which had a very specific method used - in the 10 months prior to the media-reports there were no suicides of this type. Over the next year there were 40. Obviously there's more questions to ask of this than pure numbers (is is that those would be committing suicide are just using a prominent-in-their-mind method, or is it an actual increase in the number of suicides? Either is a cause for concern but would be important to understand the issue further). ny156uk (talk) 16:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I read one interview with a pharmacist who bragged that he knew 10 untraceable murderous poisons that would be lethal to humans, ideal for committing the perfect murder; and then coyly stated it would be unethical to blab. Tempshill (talk) 19:53, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
If you are going to murder someone like that, toxins are far better then poisons, especially as toxins can be murder to trace. (talk) 20:25, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about domestic police, but the FBI and CIA have many "sources and methods" that are considered so secret that almost nobody was told about them. Even President Truman was not cleared to know about the Venona decrypts, for example. -- (talk) 21:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There is a related topic (subject of debate) in computer security called full disclosure. (talk) 09:18, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The fever people know how to completly dissolve a body with a nothing but a bathtub and commercially available chemical products or stage a suicide scene the better. That is why Police and other officials will not only hide the details of some crime methods but through mass media the entertainment industry and other means they will also plant misleading details/"advice" on how to commit such an act. Mieciu K (talk) 09:55, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Revealing a Psychopath[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the traits of a psychopath is having little to no emotion/empathy and being a very good liar. Are there any questions that you can ask a psychopath that would "give away" his/her 'psychopathness'? --Reticuli88 (talk) 13:13, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

There are a number of pop-psychology attempts at doing this kind of thing. I'm positive Snopes did a piece on one of these so-called psychopath detector questions. In reality, no, there's no simple way to identify people like that, at least with any kind of consistency. Besides all the usual caveats about the complexity of people and the general unreliability of simple tests, there's the basic issue that psychopaths are either good at covering their tendencies or already in custody. It's a little like asking if there are any simple questions you could ask an expert liar and reliably identify them as such. Matt Deres (talk) 13:24, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a link for that Snopes article? --Reticuli88 (talk) 13:29, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it's probably this one. - EronTalk 13:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
You can simply give the subject a Voight-Kampff Empathy Test. See here [1] for the startling results of such a test.... (talk) 02:46, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Green Hindu figure[edit]

While in Amsterdam this week, my wife took a picture of three figures standing on separate rostrums in the middle of what appears to be a square or marketplace of some sort. And they seem to have tip jars in front of them like it was some sort of performance piece. One is Darth Vader, another is Batman, and the last is a green figure. She only sent pictures of the first two due to my geekier tendencies :-) but I'm curious who the third is. She described it as a "Hindu guy". I'd post an image but I doubt it would do any good. He's standing in the far background and is out of focus. So, he's green, seems to have some sort of head-dress, is holding a staff, and her description of "Hindu" might not be completely accurate. Anyone know who this might be? Any Amsterdamers here who might have seen the people in question? Dismas|(talk) 14:54, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't spend too much time in trying to identify who the person was pretending to be. Touristy European cities are filled with people who dress up in strange costumes and make-up, pretend to be statues and pose for photographs in exchange for small donations. Some of the disguises are based on historical or well-known figures, but many are simply a result of the actor's imagination and materials available to him or her. --Xuxl (talk) 15:24, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Green seems like the wrong colour – blue would make more sense for a "Hindu" figure, because Lord Vishnu and his avataras Lord Krishna and Lord Rama are generally portrayed with blue skin. Vishnu and Krishna wear hat-like crowns in a great deal of art. Rama is sometimes shown with the ascetic's matted topknot in his hair. None of the three carries a staff, but Vishnu has a mace (also a conch shell and a discus) and Rama a bow; Krishna would also have peacock feathers somewhere. So Rama is one guess, though if "Hindu" is wrong none of this would apply :) Best, WikiJedits (talk) 15:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There is also the Green Tārā, but she's a female Buddha or Bodhisattva, not a Hindu guy. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:11, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There is Shiva who uses a trident, not a staff. Jay (talk) 12:09, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
For green "Hindu" superheroes, there is Nagraj from "The Home Of Indian Superhero Comics". ---Sluzzelin talk 12:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

First cousins once removed's child[edit]

It doesn't explicitly state the name for that relation in the cousin article, and it gets pretty complicated. What would the child of my first cousin once removed be to me? hmwithτ 18:17, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

According to the chart in consanguinity, it would be your first cousin twice removed. --Gadget850 (talk) 18:33, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Hm, that still doesn't make sense to me... haha. Somewhere else online (not a necessarily reliable place), someone interpreted the situation as we'd be second cousins twice removed. It's the child of my parent's first cousin. hmwithτ 18:55, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The person you speak of, the grandchild of your first cousin, is your first cousin twice removed. Your grandchild would be that person's third cousin. Except in some backwoods regions, or among royals and nobility, where they might also be additional degrees of cousinship. Edison (talk) 19:09, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I think I made a mistake in explaining the situation. My grandmother is the sister of this person's grandmother, so this person isn't the grandchild of my first cousin. However, I am the grandchild of this person's great-aunt. hmwithτ
Haha, maybe I'll just give up. I'm more confused now than before. hmwithτ 19:29, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
That means that you're second cousins. I presume that by 'First cousins once removed's child', you mean that you and your cousin are each the children of people who were themselves first cousins. AlexTiefling (talk) 19:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, yes. That's what I mean. We're just plain & simple second cousins? Then what am I to my father's cousin, my second cousin's mother? hmwithτ 19:54, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
No, there's something weird there. If your grandmother and this person's grandmother were sisters, that makes you and this person second cousins, and their child is your second cousin once removed. But if you're the grandchild of this person's great-aunt, that makes you second cousins twice removed, and the child of this person is your second cousin, three times removed. It can't be both. -- JackofOz ( talk) 19:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
How did you get at that? If the OP and this person have grandmothers who are sisters then the OP's grandmother is the person's great aunt. A second cousin twice removed is a second cousin's grandchild or a grandparent's second cousin. Do I have it wrong? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 13:07, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The last bit (grandparent's second cousin) is wrong. Kittybrewster 13:38, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not. The relationship works both ways so your comment below is wrong. See cousin. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 14:33, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Quote please Kittybrewster 14:47, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The article actually specifically states what I said:
"My second cousin's grandchild and I are second cousins twice removed"
"My grandparent's second cousin and I are second cousins twice removed" Zain Ebrahim (talk) 14:51, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
What you said is that where A has 2 children B and C, where B has grandchild D and D has a grandchild E and where C has grandchild F, you say C is 2nd cousin to E? Not so. They are great great great uncle and great great great nephew. Kittybrewster 15:17, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say that at all. Read what I said then read those two extracts from the article. They're both the same. I basically explained the two types of "second cousin twice removed" - you say that the one type is wrong. But it's not. Consider the relationship between E and F both ways. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 15:35, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I mistook you. Sorry. My contention is that F says "E is my 2c2r" while E says "I am F's 2c2r". Kittybrewster 17:54, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
But there's nothing wrong with that. According to cousin, E is F's 2c2r and F is E's 2c2r. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 18:05, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I am disagreeing with you on the detail. I am JackOfOz's British friend (or at least, I would like to think so). He is not my British friend (because he is upside down). My uncle is not my nephew. I contend a relationship is "attached" at one end. Kittybrewster 18:10, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, the article disagrees with you. For cousins (and removed cousins), the relationship is not attached at any end. Do you have a source saying otherwise? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 18:14, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
JackofOz, I don't want the child of that person. I want who that person would be. I want the child of my great aunt's child, who is the grandchild of my great aunt. I don't want anymore generations down from that; I don't need the granchild's child. hmwithτ 17:22, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Second cousin. Kittybrewster 17:54, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
OK. Clear now. I've struck out my comment below. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:25, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
It might help to think of the "removed bit" by itself. It means one generation's difference from you, either older or younger. Your father's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. That person's daughter is your second cousin (no removal, because you are at the same generation). You have great-grandparents in common, because your grandparents were siblings. BrainyBabe (talk) 19:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, okay. You finally made it clear to me. Thanks everyone for your help! I know I was a bit confusing. :) hmwithτ 20:28, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay, now that we've cleared that up, let me just point out that the question as originally asked was ambiguous. If A and B are first cousins once removed, they are one generation apart either way. A is B's first cousin once removed but B is also A's first cousin once removed. So "the child of my first cousin once removed" is "my first cousin twice removed", as Gadget said originally, if we're talking about cousins of a later generation than mine. But if I'm the one in the later generation, then "the child of my first cousin twice removed" is "my second cousin", as Babe said. --Anonymous, edited 00:39 UTC, April 17, 2009.

There is a chart in consanguinity that should be of help. --Gadget850 (talk) 00:46, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
If the chart is confusing to some, then try this formula. Find the nearest common ancestor to both of you. The shortest distance of that ancestor to either of you determines the COUSIN NUMBER, and the difference in number of generations between the two of you is the REMOVAL NUMBER. Thus, if you and a relative share an ancestor who is your great-grandmother, and her great-great-great-great-grandmother, you are second cousins (because the CLOSEST is a great-grand relationship) who are three-times removed (because there are three generations difference between you) 04:06, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
True. When you have the shortest distance, you count the "G"s. So if the shortest distance is Great Grandparents then they will be 2nd cousins. Plus (whatever) removed. Kittybrewster 13:17, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
But we haven't cleared it up. See my post above. The OP has provided conflicting information, and at most one of the two things he said about this relationship can be true. -- JackofOz (talk) 12:59, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I think we have. OP is 1st cousin once removed of OP's 2nd cousin's mother. That is not the same thing as OP's 2nd cousin's mother is OP's 1st cousin once removed. Kittybrewster 13:27, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
See -- Wavelength (talk) 18:36, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
That is one-sided and doesn't show my uncle/aunt. Kittybrewster 20:45, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
So? It still shows that your comment (3 posts up) is wrong as I explained above. Start with a common ancestor's great grandchild (the OP) and grandchild (OP's 2nd cousin's mother) - the common ancestor needs to be their nearest common ancestor. The table then shows that the OP and the OP's 2nd cousin's mother are each other's first cousin once removed. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 00:52, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
It also shows my uncle is my nephew - which he isn't. Kittybrewster 08:25, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
My point is that it shows us that your comment is wrong. Unless you have a reliable source saying otherwise, please stop contradicting Wikipedia. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 11:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Afghanistan History between 1983 and 2000[edit]

Hi I have to give a Presentation on the history of conflicts in afghanistan concentrating mainly on the civil war and the time period of 1983-2000.

Could you please provide me with the major events between this time period and also anything you think would be of interest for such a presentation.

Many Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It is the policy of the Reference Desk not to do your homework for you. However we have an article History of Afghanistan which contains much helpful information and links to other articles. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi, its not my homework, its research for my presentation.

Many Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm curious about your presentation. 1983-2000 seems like a very arbitrary set of dates, beginning in the middle of the Soviet war, and ending before the post-9/11 invasion. Perhaps if reading Republic of Afghanistan and History of Afghanistan since 1992 don't help, you can give us some more detail on what you're looking for. --Sean 21:57, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It's to do woith work, I'm in the forces. We've split into 4 groups, two groups are pre 1983, in seperate time periods my grouping is 1983-2000 and then the final grouping is 2000 to modern day conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

So, its work...that you are doing from home. Please read the articles that were given earlier, they have some excellent sources. Livewireo (talk) 13:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The reason we don't do homework for you (whether it's for school or for your job) is that the point of these tasks is to get you to go and find things out for yourself. There is no benefit to you if your presentation consists of you repeating things other people told you. DJ Clayworth (talk) 13:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

How Many people are evangelical?[edit]

I'm not sure I understood correctly Evangelicalism#Global demographics. Are there 420 million evangelical Christians? 22:43, 16 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Evangelical christians is a broad umbrella term generally used to refer to christians who self-identify as actively working to convert others to Christianity. Given that there are roughly 1.637-1.923 billion Christians in the world (see List of religious populations), using that range, 420/1627 gives 25.8% and 420/1923 gives 21.8%; so roughly 1/5th to 1/4th or so of christians are evangelical. I do not find that number hard to believe. 01:49, 17 April 2009 (UTC)