Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 December 3

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December 3[edit]

Dean Koontz Book[edit]

Dear Wikipedia Editors,

I've heard that Dean Koontz wrote a book that contained a fake spider on a spring which would jump out at the reader. Is this really true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

How people look up information[edit]

I am trying to find statistics on how people look up information - by library, internet, buying books etc. In other words how people try to find information to answer something. I can't think of a way to phrase the search query or find to find any relevant statistics. I am writing a paper and need to substantiate the claim that people prefer to use Wikipedia, search engines, google, online databases etc as opposed to going to a library for their information retrieval needs. I know this is true.. but I need statistics to back it up. And don't know how to find them. Thanks for any help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Baalhammon (talkcontribs) 03:29, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Depends. Market research companies and industry reports will have specific market shares for, for example, different modes of advertising (classifieds, phone directories, online sources ilke Google), or specific information providers (market information, weather information, TV schedules). Government statistics organisations might survey entertainment / leisure habits of people (in terms of watching TV, going to the movies, reading, etc.)
You need to ask what kind of information you are really asking about. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 03:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate the heads up - but I already have a conceptual understanding of the topic, I need hard statistics. I wouldn't be posting here unless I already looked using those keywords - what comes up is exactly what you linked to, theoretical papers. I need statistics that demonstrate how many users use Wikipedia, search engines, online databases, other web 2.0 technologies versus library visits. I think its obvious to most people that this is true.. but without the data I can't make the claim in good conscience.--Baalhammon (talk) 05:55, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
If there are any studies about that for Wikipedia, you should be able to find them at Wikipedia:Wikipedia in academic studies‎. — Sebastian 08:56, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
@OP: I wasn't talking about theoretical papers - I mean industry reports would have statistics, as would government statistical organisations. It sounds like ("keyword") you did some online searches. Have you considered contacting such organisations to see if they have proprietary data that you could use? You may have to pay them, but your academic organisation should be able to support that, perhaps? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:57, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Is the above a reply to my post? If yes, please explain how it relates to what I wrote. If not, please correct your indentation. — Sebastian 23:03, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
It's a reply to the OP. Putting it in the same alignment as your post may have made it difficult to distinguish between the two posts. I have added an "@OP" at the beginning of my previous post. I trust that this is satisfactory to you. Please let me know if you have any further queries. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 00:53, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
One of the ways I look up information is on the reference desks. I noticed you posted the same question on the computing desk. It's normal to restrict to asking a question just once. --Phil Holmes (talk) 09:56, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

infant skeletons found in well between convent and monastery.[edit]

I remember reading about a well somewhere in Europe (i think) that was excavated, which had provided water for centuries a convent and monastery that it was in between.

At the bottom, dozens or scores of infant skeletons were found which exposed the hypocrisy of the supposedly celibate monks and nuns.

I've searched for it since, but to no avail. Any one know about it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds way too pat and like a pure urban legend. Tempshill (talk) 06:55, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Among otherr problems, nuns & priests-even Medieval ones-knew better than to dispose of human remains in their water supply-Nunh-huh 06:58, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Besides, wouldn't it just be easier for the convent, nunnery, whatever to simply banish pregnant nuns? Googlemeister (talk) 19:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds suspiciously like the "awful disclosures" of Maria Monk... AnonMoos (talk) 07:08, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

This [1] is only a blog, but it suggests it's an urban legend with a number of variations, including a similar story that preceded the Maria Monk story. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:10, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
The pamphlets of extreme anti-Catholic Jack Chick describe this, but no, there is no evidence to back it up. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:12, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I have heard of stories like this - it reminds me of Jane Fonda's Agnes of God, but also about twenty or so years ago my father had hold of a number of Christian comic books - assumedly based on truth - known as Crusaders, by John Rice, I believe, or, as mentioned, Jack Chick. This exposed many of the actual scandals and real conspiracies of the Roman Catholic Church ( the da Vinci Code is not one of them, since Jesus Christ did not marry, nor did He have children - that was not His purpose, as romantic as it might sound). Many Catholics might not like that ( including some of my own relatives - since one of my grandmothers was a Catholic of Irish descent), but this is what the magazines said, and having read and considered what they had to say, a fair bit, if not all of it, does ring true. By the way, Mr. Chick, whose pamphlets are hard hitting, but to the point, is not so much anti Catholic with respect to people, but just opposed to a monstrosity of a church that drags its people into bondage, when Christ actually wants to set them free. (John 8: 32,36). All of this kind of thing, with poor babies buried for even centuries behind ancient walls, comes about from the Catholic Church tinkering with the real Word of God. NOWHERE in the New Testament does the Apostle Paul nor any of the other writers command anyone serving God - Yahweh, to be celibate. Paul asks that people saved remain as he is ( it is believed, but not proven, that he was a widower), but he also adds that if they do marry, they have not sinned. In addition, the Bible only allows for pastors, or that is, bishops, from the Greek episcopai, meaning overseer, for elders(presbyters), and deacons, all men; "for I suffer not a woman to preach or to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence", (I Timothy 2:12),so sorry, Joyce Meyer, et al., Womens' Lib does not apply to the true Church of Christ, no two ways about it. Those in New Zealand will be aware of Mr.Brian Tamaki of the Destiny Church making himself a bishop in some sort of ceremony. The thing is, as stated, a pastor is a bishop, so it is not meant to be some higher rank in the church, and being a pastor is a calling from God, and even the Apostle Paul states in Galatians that he did not need any official man made blessing to preach God's Word, just the revelation Jehovah had given him in the first place. I may agree with some of what the Destiny Church has to say, so long as it is Biblical, but some of his antics do concern me. The only trouble is, he does not trust the fourth estate enough to explain things to them calmly, and do they give him a fair go ? Perhaps he needs to answer to fellow Christians and let them determine, by Scripture, what is right or wrong, since he cannot deny that as a final authority. Back to the question at hand, the Crusader magazines do make mention of these and many other things where certain perhaps well meaning churches have gone wrong. The idea behind rubbish like the da Vinci Code is to suggest that those high up in the Catholic Church, like some sort of Black College of Cardinals, and I don't mean that in a racist manner, is in the know, as if they are aware of all the " lies " of the Bible, but choose to cover it up, so as to retain their power. But does anyone think that the early martyrs of the Christian Church would have allowed themselves to die for something they knew to be a lie ? As for the idea of the babies buried like that, it may or may not have happened, and yes, one needs proof. It's a bit like the question a few months back about the supposed town in Sweden with 50000 womem and no men, you need to see it to believe it. I believe some things like that do happen, but do I have incontravertible proof ? Na. And sorry for going all over the place, I tend to ramble, and being a Mathematician as well, I like to go off on tangents. If you can find them, check out the Crusader magazines, since they had references for some of their claims, like Gibbon's Decline and Fall, and such like. The Russian.C.B.Lilly 08:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Christopher1968 (talkcontribs)

As an aside, regarding the remark that Jesus Christ didn't marry or have children-- we don't know whether he did or he didn't. The Bible doesn't say that he did, but the Bible doesn't say that he didn't. I'm not advocating for either viewpoint, and I'm certainly not trying to begin a theological debate, but to assert that he didn't seems a bit arrogant, especially when the last verse of John says that "there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." One of those many other things could certainly have been marriage, and another could have been fatherhood. Kingsfold (talk) 21:27, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether Jack Chick is a good man or a bad man, the consensus of mainstream scholarship in the fields of the history of religion etc. firmly rejects his unique assertions which fall into those areas. He simply has zero scholarly credibility. AnonMoos (talk) 14:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Although we do not seem to have an article on the Crusader comics, we do have some articles on Chick Publications and Alberto Rivera (the source of most of Chick's wildest anti-Catholic allegations). I particularly recommend the article on Rivera, which lists some of the things Chick and Rivera claim the Catholic church is responsible for (Nazis AND Homosexuals AND Communists). This article also has references, but, unlike the references in a Chick Publication, they are actually relevant to the information presented. Seriously, have you ever tried actually looking up a reference given in a Chick tract, for example? Even the Bible quotes are rarely relevant. Why on Earth would a reference to Gibbon be relevant to claims of super-secret commie-nazi Catholic priests? (talk) 02:29, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Gibbon was actually of the opinion that the adoption of Christianity generally was a symptom of the degeneracy of the Roman empire, and facilitated its further decline. I doubt whether Gibbon was anti-Catholic specifically... AnonMoos (talk) 02:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

What do you mean by "excavated", please?- I suspect archaeological excavation of wells is a very modern practice indeed, and generally, nobody excavated wells that were already producing water (as opposed to dug the well in the first place) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Osama Bin Laden's Gun[edit]

The topgun is often shown carrying a very short and sophisticated AK 47 type gun. It is certianly not AK-47 or AK-56 or AK-97. What model it exactly is ?  Jon Ascton  (talk) 17:05, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

This one[2]? Alansplodge (talk) 17:50, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, exactly ! That is what I meant. And my ! what a beautiful gun. But exactly what model is it ?

 Jon Ascton  (talk) 17:57, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

To me it looks like an AKS-74U. There's a couple of pictures on the page, see what you think.Tobyc75 (talk) 18:39, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
As much as I can tell, the gun was given to him as a gift from his subordinates during the Afgan war against the Soviet Union. It was taken as a loot from the body of a Russian special forces officer.--Gilisa (talk) 08:24, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it is an AKS-74, but with the magazine from an RPK-74. --Leivick (talk) 19:00, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

national geographic nature movies[edit]

I was wondering; how do they make these kinds of clips: It seems impossible to me to film this in the wild. Does anyone have an idea? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Lots of patience. It has certainly gotten a lot better in the age of digital cameras, but nature photographers and cinematographers can wait days or weeks to get the right shot. There may have been hundreds of hours of footage to put together that sequence. Keep in mind that nature films like this aren't put together any differently than other films, in that the sequence is not a single shot, or likely even a single day, but rather put together from dozens of shots that are edited together to tell a story. --Jayron32 21:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Not only are such films put together from dozens of different shots of different bees and spiders, many of the shots in such films don't feature animals quite as 'wild' as you might think. David Attenborough series often feature 'making of' segments, and some of the most striking shots (a bird in flight, shown from right next to the bird as it flies, for example) are shot using trained or prepared animals. These are used to illustrate something (such as how a bird flies), and then spliced in with other footage of similar animals, usually arranged so as to tell a story. It isn't deception on the scale of driving lemmings off a cliff (it does, at least, aim to show typical behaviour), but it isn't raw footage of a single animal in the wild. (talk) 02:07, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
There's a lot of arguing that has been done about what a "true" nature film should be over the years, what sort of liberties are allowed the filmmaker, etc... Gregg Mitman's Reel Nature: America's Romance With Wildlife on Film is an interesting book on this subject for those who want something of a comprehensive view. --Mr.98 (talk) 03:34, 4 December 2009 (UTC)