Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 January 19

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January 19[edit]

Earliest film of the oldest person[edit]

Roundhay Garden Scene 1888

What is the earliest film of the oldest person? By that I mean, is there any moving images of, say, War of 1812 veterans? Or Mexican War veterans? Or perhaps any of the General staff of the American Civil War? I have seen film of Civil War veterans taken in 1938 (75th anniversay of Gettysburg) but are there any older films of even older people? (talk) 07:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Let me get this straight, you're asking if all the people who have ever been filmed were still alive today, who would be the oldest? Dismas|(talk) 07:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the question is referring to the oldest person caught on film after filming became technically available (obviously no 1812 veterans would be alive today). I think that's it, but I could be wrong. Best, PeterSymonds (talk) 07:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
In Roundhay Garden Scene, filmed on October 14, 1888, the featured actress Sarah Robinson Whitley was 72 years old, meaning she was born around 1816. I would suggest there may not be too many people born before her recorded on film. Rockpocket 08:08, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
If the IMDB is to be believed, there is some archive footage of Otto von Bismarck, who was born in 1815. Warofdreams talk 11:59, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
And earlier still - Pope Leo XIII, born 1810, was filmed at the age of 88, in 1898. Apparently he also blessed the camera. Warofdreams talk 12:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
He also blessed YouTube. (talk) 14:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
With regard to War of 1812 veterans, I can't find any footage of them alive, but we do have a clip of last surviving veteran Hiram Cronk's funeral in 1905. (talk) 15:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

If you're counting photographic film, not just video footage, then you can get back further, but I don't know how far. Steewi (talk) 23:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

On the German wikipedia, we had a fascinating discussion about the earliest born person of whom a photograph exists. We managed to go back to a birth date of around 1746. You can find our results at de:Diskussion:Geschichte_und_Entwicklung_der_Fotografie#Die_ältesten_fotografierten_Menschen. (The discussion itself is here.)--Wrongfilter (talk) 11:53, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The 1912 film "1812" by Vasili Goncharov was made to commemorate the centennial of the War of 1812 (not the Andrew Jackson version, the War and Peace version). It features two elderly survivors, a man and a woman (picture: for whom the ages of 118 and 115 are given respectively. Barring some geriatric anatomy study by a Muybridge or a Marey (if that would even count), these might be the oldest people ever filmed. These two were walking the earth in the 18th century! To put it in U.S. terms, they were born during the George Washington administration.

How many months in the year were there originally?[edit]

Could someone please settle an arguement for me, someone told me that a long time ago that there used to be 13 months in the year. Was that for the calender system we use today or was it in some other calender system that's no longer used ?

Scotius (talk) 11:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The Hebrew calendar has 13 months... Dismas|(talk) 11:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
For the history of our calendar, see Roman calendar#History of the calendar. The earliest known version had 10 months. --Tango (talk) 11:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The ancient Roman calendar supposedly originally had ten months because its purpose at that time was keeping track of the yearly agricultural cycle and certain religious rituals, and nothing much much happened on either front around January-February in very early Roman times, so why bother keeping up a calendar? Lunisolar calendars (Jewish, Chinese, etc.) will alternate between twelve-month years and thirteen-month years in order to keep the lunar months synchronized with the solar year. In the Roman calendar before Julius Caesar, months had lost any connection with lunar phases, but there was still a 13th month inserted every few years (between February and March), called "Mercedonius" (during years when Mercedonius was inserted, February was only 23 days long!). Julius Caesar's big reform was to abolish Mercedonius, and replace it by a single leap day (originally considered to be inserted after February 23rd). So, since around 45BC, the Julian and Gregorian calendars have always had twelve months... AnonMoos (talk) 11:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
(After edit conflict) The development and variety of different calendars is quite complex. Most calendars seem to have originated with months based on the synodic lunar month of 29.53 days, implemented via a cycle of 29 and 30 day months. Unfortunately, this does not fit at all well into an annual cycle - a year is 12 lunar months plus a bit less than 11 days. Various different solutions to this problem have been adopted:
  1. Create a fixed "short year" cycle of 12 lunar months and do not attempt to synchronise the lunar and annual cycles - this is what the Islamic calendar does.
  2. Abandon the link between months and the lunar cycle, and create an annual cycle of 365 days divided into 12 months of 30 or 31 days each - this is what the Bengali calendar does.
  3. Create a "short year" cycle of 12 lunar months but add a 13th intercalary month every two or three years to roughly synchronise the lunar months with the annual cycle again. Adding 7 extra months in 19 years gives a total of 235 lunar months in a 19 year cycle - this is what the Hebrew calendar does.
To further complicate matters, some calendars have "months" that seem to be unrelated to the lunar cycle. For example, the Bahá'í calendar has an annual cycle of 19 months of 19 days each plus an extra 4 days (5 in leap years) to make a 365 day cycle. And the Aztec calendar had an annual cycle of 18 months with 20 days each plus 5 days running in parallel with a religous calendar of 13 months with 20 days each - these two calendars only synchronised every 52 years. Gandalf61 (talk) 12:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

There are also some interesting angles on this at our Duodecimal page. Xn4 (talk) 13:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The Pax Calendar reform proposes an annual cycle of 13 months of 28 days each, giving a 364 day year. The extra month, called "Columbus", is inserted between November and December. This creates a perpetual calendar in which a given date falls on the same day of the week every year, and a given day number falls on the same day of the week in every month. To realign the 364 day cycle with the Gregorian calendar, an extra "leap week", outside of the monthly cycle, is added on 71 years in a 400 year cycle. Gandalf61 (talk) 16:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
That's actually just Auguste Comte's old Positivist calendar, rejiggered so as to have a leap week instead of a leap day... AnonMoos (talk) 17:02, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
And without all the names. Algebraist 09:18, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The Hebrew (Jewish) calendar has 13 months ONLY in a Jewish leap year. Otherwise it has 12 months. There are 7 leap years in a cycle of 19 years. In this way 19 Jewish years will be virtually equivalent to 19 solar years. This fact is important since the Festivals in the Jewish year must fall in a particular season and seasons depend on the solar year. For example, Pesach (Passover) must occur in the spring. Simonschaim (talk) 07:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

If this were the Science page, someone would surely have pointed out before now that the lunar month is getting longer and there was a time when it was 1/13 year or less. —Tamfang (talk) 22:30, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Reasons for the Spanish Armada[edit]

For h/w I had to write a report on why the armada occured. I know about the religious side but my teacher mentioned something about piracy between the English (namely Francis Drake) stealing silver from Spanish ships returning from South America. I can't find much on it- any help (talk) 12:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

If you don't need English Reformation, for your beginning please try Anglo-Spanish War (1585), Spanish Armada, Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, and Privateer. Xn4 (talk) 13:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
There was also the rather complicated matter of the legitimacy of Elizabeth's rise to power, vis a vis the fact that Philip II had been married to Elizabeth's older half-sister, who herself was Queen of England. Philip, as a former "King consort" of England himself, supported his Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots as the only legitimate successor to his wife; when Elizabeth had her executed it was a "Last Straw" of sorts. Our article on Philip II (linked above) gives an overview of this. 13:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

do women prefer reading porn to watching porn?[edit]

so romance novels get quite racy, and it is almost only women who read them. porn movies are probably less one-sided (more women watch them I think than men read romance novels), but even so are stereotypically (and probably more than in the simple majority of cases) watched by men.

so, does this reflect something about men's and women's preferences. I'm specifically asking about women (since I'm a man): do they TEND to prefer reading porn to watching porn, and if so, why?

obviously I'm asking for generalities here -- there will be exceptions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I believe men do seem to be more sexually excited by visual stimuli, while women are more effected by certain combinations of words. This is why you don't find many women working on the perfect pick-up line or men putting on make-up. StuRat (talk) 13:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I think that the main difference isn't necessarily a simplistic verbal-vs.-visual distinction, but rather that men tend to be more easily excited by isolated depictions or descriptions free from any meaningful overall context (or placed within a perfunctory and stylized pro forma context which makes little attempt at realism), while women tend to be more excited by whole specific meaningful situations located within a particular realistic background context. The same things that some women would find exciting as part of a whole elaborate "scene" or scenario, they might find to be off-putting or disturbing if presented in the form of isolated out-of-context fragments... AnonMoos (talk) 21:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S. There's a long news article (apparently from the NYTimes Magazine) here.... -- AnonMoos (talk) 23:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The written equivalent of a porn movie would be erotic fiction, which is distinct from romance novels (although the dividing line may be a little blurred in some cases). --Tango (talk) 14:05, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
what...combination of words? So, there are words I could combine, right here, at the Humanities reference desk, and the women wikipidians reading it would get wet just by reading that??? What would some examples be, please, I find this very hard to believe! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Erotic literature is a combination of words, that's what StuRat is referring to. --Tango (talk) 15:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
could you give me an example? I am very skeptical that a mere combination of words (as opposed to images, etc) would have the effect you propose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm guessing you're male, as males find it difficult to believe that females can fall in love with a man based solely on a combination of words. Females, incidentally, find it equally inconceivable that a male can fall in love with a woman based solely on her appearance.
It's going to be a slightly different word combo for each woman, but it will usually include assurances that the man will love and be loyal to the woman, and her children, forever, and can't live without her, ...yada, yada, yada. (You might want to omit the "yada, yada, yada" part when trying to get into a woman's pants.) StuRat (talk) 16:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you're not answering your question, since no one reading this will be sexually excited when they get to your word steam "assurances that the man will love and be loyal". I'm asking for an example of a stream of words that, right here, WOULD have the effect we're talking about -- not getting INTO a woman's pants, but acting like a pornographic image. I just find it hard to believe that you can give a set of words that have the effect you're proposing. I am asking for a counterexample, if it exists (although it doesn't). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The Song of Songs is a good early example of the sort of stuff required. Or some stuff from Romeo and Juliet. I don't suppose too many people can complain about them and block WIkipedia for referring to them! Dmcq (talk) 17:22, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Try reading some Women's erotica, there is plenty available online. It generally involves explicit descriptions of sexual acts with emphasis on the participants' feelings and thoughts. --Tango (talk) 18:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd specifically recommend the writings of Anais Nin, such as the compilation Delta of Venus. Does it for me... --TammyMoet (talk) 19:34, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm still having a lot of difficulty believing that -- could you give me an example?

btw I tried clicking through to the Anais Nin article, it has this quote:

would that be an example? if not that then what?

Maybe, although I think the context is important. A single paragraph isn't likely to have the emotional depth required. (Of course, being male, I don't pretend to understand the female mind!) --Tango (talk) 20:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
how about women reading this? Does the above paragraph turn you on? If not, is there ANY sequence of mere words (as opposed to an image) that you could reproduce here as an example of what does? I remain skeptical! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
You can remain sceptical all you like, but Mills and Boon continue to make money and pornographic fanfic continues to be popular. If you really want to know and understand, rather than disrupt, you might want to look up some fanfic using additional search terms such as 'slash', 'hurt/comfort', 'hot', etc. There are different levels of graphic-ness, catering to different audiences. Part of the secret is using the imagination; it's about fantasy. However, if you wander into a community for this sort of thing and start asking questions in the manner you are doing here, no matter how you intend it, you are liable to find yourself banned. Just a heads up. (talk) 21:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm asking about average women, like the ones who would be reading this, not once who gravitate toward an erotic site. You still haven't been able produce an example paragraph that actually affects average women in the way you propose. Is such an example too much to ask for? You're actually mentioning banning me! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:50, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
No, I mention that if you act in this way on sites where you can find people actually sharing such experiences, you will be banned. I mention this because you need to know that if you are going to investigate this; you are acting in a way that would be considered offensive and aggressive in those places.
I am not talking about erotic sites; I am talking about average women. Mills and Boon sell in huge numbers, fanfic is massively popular and found in places that would never be described as 'erotic sites'. I strongly suggest you read the article on Mills and Boon. At the more literary end, it is common to find women describing crushes on and fantasies about literary characters.
I'm not going to provide you with an example, because that misses the point. Some women have fantasies about Mr Darcy from reading Pride and Prejudice; some of them share these fantasies online, in written text. Some women find these fantasies, in turn, good reading. Other women have and share fantasies about real or imagined characters from all areas. The point is, no example is going to convince you. If you do not wish to believe, you won't believe. Fine. (talk) 22:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
you say "i'm not going to provide you with an example, because that misses the point". Then you go on to mention NICHE fantasies. I'm asking: is there something at affects the GENERAL woman. You ask me to go to specific authors or communities but that tells me nothing about the AVERAGE woman. Either there is an example that would turn MOST women here reading it on, or there isn't. I guarantee you that there are examples of images that would give MOST men looking at it, if I were to insert it here and not have it removed, an erection. Is there such a thing for (MOST) women only it's not an image but just a mere group of words?? I find that incredibly hard to believe, and your refusal to give me an example that works for MOST women leaves me incredibly skeptical. Especially, I already reproduced a paragraph above and nobody has said "yeah that is an example in my case", presumably because the women reading this DONT find it a good example. So, that one isn't an example; are there any? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Sentences like "He plunged his manhood into her rich generosity" (an actual quote from Mills & Boon) might make some women wet in their own rich generosities. But most? No idea. -- JackofOz (talk) 01:02, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Dear readers: I maintain 'not one of you' is sexually excited by the verbiage "he plunged his manhood into her rich generosity". Please reply if this is not the case. If I get no replies, I must assume I am correct: and also, I must remain skeptical that there are streams of verbiage that would excite most women. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally I'm a non-woman who is – speaking broadly (har har) – more reliably aroused by text than by images. Backstory helps. —Tamfang (talk) 22:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

it was automatically reverted but I inserted an example here at the reference desk. now would any of you say you actually find that anything other than long and boring? (let alone sexually exciting, like a pornographic image is.) Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

No one will be able to provide a satisfactory example, 82.120, because you are still thinking with the male mind. You are thinking that the mere sight of a "combination of words" is what is exciting. Alas, no. For instance, simply looking at the words "Then his arms went around her waist and shoulders and she felt the hard muscles of his thighs against her body and the buttons of his coat pressing into her breast" might not be the least bit interesting. But if you have read the 258 pages of Gone With the Wind up until this sentence and you know that Rhett is holding Scarlett while Atlanta burns behind them, and her world is falling apart and she's got a whole group of scared people to take care of, and even though she doesn't like him very much, Rhett is the one solid, dependable thing in her world right now (and really, everybody knows they're supposed to be together)... THEN that sentence, that "combination of words," might set you all aflutter.
Besides which, women are all very different and what turns one woman on might not do the same for another. I know a lot of chicks who get all gooey over The Notebook, but I have never been able to find myself emotionally invested in it. So the words "It's not over. It was never over" or whatever that sappy quote is when they're kissing in the rain might not mean a darn thing to me but that "combination of words" might send another woman's heart racing. I hope I've made this make a little more sense to you. Cherry Red Toenails (talk) 03:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, thank you, it is much clearer... IF swooning overlaps with getting hot and wet. Because if so, then I didn't know that -- I thought "set their heart racing" or "set you all aflutter" = makes them swoon. But I didn't suspect it is the same as making someone wet (hot and bothered; ie the KIND of feeling that is the same kind as moves someone to masturbate right then then and there). If the answer to these questions is yes then you have addressed my questions. (talk) 07:01, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be assuming that there is a single magical "combination of words" that will produce a sexual response in every, or even almost every, woman. Since you seem to have no problem with the idea that visual stimuli have the same effect on men, do you think that there is a single picture that will generate such a response in all men, regardless of context? No, the claim is that *in general*, when a woman wants to get in the mood, she will prefer to use text to do so, while a man will prefer something more like a photograph. The specifics of which text, or which photograph, will depend not only on the individual but also the situation. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 05:41, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes, there certainly ARE images that will make give almost all men a hard-on —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd disagree. I go more for the voice and a smile is good. And a picture doesn't have movement. The looks are more of a cut off point. And I hope I'm not being too female in saying a good sense of humour is pretty essential too. Which is all a bit difficult as I believe women actually make most of the first advances which is one reason men tend to be a bit undiscriminating. Dmcq (talk) 14:16, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
If there are, then the advertising industry hasn't found them. Most of the "sexually-charged advertising" I've seen has women that vary from uninteresting to repulsive. --Carnildo (talk) 00:31, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
It's a generalisation, a truism of a generalisation that is being made here about the men visual/female verbal sexual stimuli distinction, but nonetheless a generalisation. It's ridiculous to think that men are attracted to women on looks alone. I know I'm not. That implies that I'd be content with a woman who was mute or mentally handicapped as long as she was good looking, which is completely false. Whilst the looks of a woman are important to me, her personality and what we talk about is vitally and critically important. Whilst women don't need to use "pick-up lines" (a somewhat archaic concept anyway) as some men will do, some of the things that girlfriends and partners of mine have said to me have been long-lasting and resonated with me. It is important. Likewise, whilst women certainly do take more from the verbal cues and what their partner can provide, I don't think that the looks of their male partner are of no importance whatsoever to them - reduced in comparison with men's preferences, yes, but not non-existent.--Lawless Railtrack (talk) 07:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Nonetheless, I'm still essentially male-brained. I can get turned on by a woman without having to know anything about her. But sex is obviously and critically distinct from love. The idea of 'no-strings-sex' does seem kinda boring to me though. Seriously, I'd want to get to know a girl at least a bit before having sex with her! Not that I would say no if a girl that I found reasonably attractive on first physical appearance impressions threw herself at me and wanted to have sex almost immediately (which has happened to me in the past at least once, possibly several times depending on how you read the context), but it'd be a very lonely and sad existence having a relationship with a girl without appreciating her personality, and just having her for sex alone. I think that many men, or reasonable men, would agree and empathise with my position here.--Lawless Railtrack (talk) 07:42, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Woody Allen is living proof that patter has an effect (note: on his women, not this one). His epilogues may disprove it just as well, but not going there for now. In the Simpsons, Bart's letters to Mrs Krabappel seem to work, and then there's Life on the Fast Lane for more tips for the pickupline-challenged. (Btw, how is any femme on the refdesk "average"?) Julia Rossi (talk) 11:03, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
How is any homme on the refdesk "average"? (talk) 22:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

So as for my question above -- when a respondent used terms that to me mean swooning, does that mean being turned on sexually as well? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

To answer that question--I wasn't particularly talking about being sexually turned on. I guess my examples were leaning more toward, as you say, "swooning," but I think the points I made still apply: it's the not the visual sight of the words but rather the meaning, and not everyone will be turned on by the same things.Cherry Red Toenails (talk) 04:33, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


WHAT COUNTRIES CURRENTLY ARE NON-EXTRADITING TO THE UNITED STATES FOR ANY REASON? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

All EU member states aren't allowed to extradite to countries where the suspect would face the death penalty so it would depend on the nature of the crime. (Obviously there's extraordinary rendition but that all a bit hush hush..) (talk) 15:08, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Usually the US gives assurances that they death penalty would not be used when requesting such an extradition. --Tango (talk) 15:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
According to Extradition, "No country in the world has an extradition treaty with all other countries; for example, the United States lacks extradition treaties with over fifty nations, including the People's Republic of China, Namibia, and North Korea." --Tango (talk) 15:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
of course none of the above is legal advice of any kind, and is only for entertainment purposes. Please consult with an attorney if your question is serious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
But UK extradites to USA -not every crime is a capital offence in the USA (I hope). Itsmejudith (talk) 16:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The extradition of the NatWest Three received a lot of public attention. We seem to have an article on the Extradition Act 2003 but not one on the US-UK Extradition Treaty 2003 and the list of US extradition treaties does not include it either. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Plenty of countries without the death penalty extradite people to countries that have it, even when the person is charged with a capital offence. As I said, they receive assurances that the death penalty will not be used. If a country used the death penalty in spite of assurances otherwise, the diplomatic fallout would be enormous. --Tango (talk) 18:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't the ECHR forbid the death penalty from being used? Also, what law allows the UK to be able to extradite to the US (as in with Gary McKinnon)? Whatever law it is, it's a draconian one.--Lawless Railtrack (talk) 07:44, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, which is why European countries require assurances that it won't be used before extraditing anyone. Itsmejudith linked to the relevant act a few comments up. --Tango (talk) 14:06, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

More bank bailouts[edit]

Hello Wikipedia,

Today (or was it yesterday) the UK government announced another few hundred billion to bail out the banks and underwrite still more of their toxic debt. RBS has recently lost something like £25 BN(the highest loss in UK corportate history) so why can't it just be allowed to 'do an icesave' whereby the savers are compensated by the government but the bank goes bust? Why do we keep writing blank cheques -aren't we supposed to cut-throat capitalists these days? (talk) 15:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Because banks going bust is a very bad thing. It's not just savers you need to worry about, there are all the other financial dealings that banks have. Also, it would probably end up costing more - all these bailout plans aren't donations, they're loans and guarantees. The actual cost to governments making them will end up being much smaller than the enormous numbers being quoted in the media, in fact, they may even make a profit (eg. the UK government now owns large portions of various banks, when the recession is over those banks will recover and their shareprices will rise and the government will probably be able to sell them at a profit). --Tango (talk) 15:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
There does seem to be a disconnect between the capitalist ideal and recent actions. If businesses are so large they can't ever be allowed to fail, then it can also be argued that they should be government owned, or at least heavily regulated, to prevent the need for such catastrophic bailouts. If not, and if the owners of those businesses know the government will pay for any mistakes they make, they have little incentive left to behave in a cautious manner. Why not just pay the CEO as much as the taxpayers can cover ? (One billion a year ? Ten billion ? A hundred billion ?). StuRat (talk) 15:47, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Many have blamed the current problems on lack of regulations and then is something that is likely to improve in the aftermath. A lot of the bailouts have included restrictions of executive compensation - the money is going towards keeping the banks afloat, not paying the managers (although one could argue that they should lose their jobs entirely, not just their bonuses). --Tango (talk) 18:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
"There does seem to be a disconnect between the capitalist ideal and recent actions." Not at all. There is a disconnect between the free market ideal and recent actions, but they are perfectly aligned with capitalism. - Jmabel | Talk 02:56, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Strictly speaking bringing banks under state ownership/control is not aligned with capitalism. I know that the UK government is avoiding getting involved with the management of these banks, but in theory they could do. -- Q Chris (talk) 13:57, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
So would you say that mercantilism was not a type of capitalism? And that the Bank of England is not a capitalist institution? - Jmabel | Talk 06:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Regulation increases and decreases much the same as anything. During times of major trouble in an industry/sector we see calls for regulation - then after a while and confidence builds in stability the firms seek de-regulation or self-regulation. Then eventually (it seems) inevitably we end up with a tipping-point, regulation becomes too weak and problems bubble up under the surface, a big event occurs it all comes out and we start again. The struggle for optimum regulation goes on. (talk) 16:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately no amount of control can prevent all bad events, and when a bad thing happens the enemies of private autonomy can always accurately say "this wouldn't have happened if we controlled X" (though other bad things, perhaps unknown, would). It's not by regulatory neglect that banking, for example, is dominated by a few huge firms. —Tamfang (talk) 22:15, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Regulation can only deal with problems we've foreseen. However many problems we foresee, there will still be plenty we don't. You can easily argue that we should have been able to foresee this one, but it's always easy to say that with hindsight (I don't know how we missed it, personally, but clearly we did and that seems to be the way life is). --Tango (talk) 22:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I think regulation can deal with some unforseen problems. Let's say there is some fancy new "financial instrument" that banks want to sell. If they first must convince regulators that the current disclosure rules are adequate before they can sell it, and if those regulators are actually intelligent and alert, they shouldn't approve any questionable practices. If, however, there's a prevailing attitude of "banks know best, who are we to question them ?", the results are predictable. StuRat (talk) 04:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Unitary state or federation or neither[edit]

Which Caribbean nations are unitary state and which are federation and which are neither?

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Have you tried reading our articles on each of those countries? --Tango (talk) 15:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Bahrain and Palestine[edit]

I notice that you guys didn't put Bahrain and Palestine in neither both of your articles "Unitary State" and "Federation"? What type government do they have that is so unique? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

You are one of you guys. It is people like you who edit the articles. You have managed to write something on this page, you can manage anywhere else. If you are interested in those countries you probably already have a very good idea of what they are in this respect. Dmcq (talk) 17:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Palestine is unique because the Palestinian Authority is not a recognized (or even declared) state. - Jmabel | Talk 02:58, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

which eastern european country is chomsky's grandfather from?[edit]

Chomsky says " grandfather, who was an ultra-orthodox Jew from Eastern Europe..." but I can't seem to find which country. Anyone know? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Chomsky's father, William Chomsky was from the Ukraine (then a part of the Russian Empire), so it is likely that his father was also from the Ukraine. I do not know where Chomsky's mother's family came from. DuncanHill (talk) 16:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
If you look at the history of Eastern Europe, you'll see why vague terms like that are used: the land in question has changed hands frequently and often. --Carnildo (talk) 00:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Which chinese provinces/regions have the most christan protestants?[edit]

Which chinese provinces or regions have the most christan protestants in China today? (talk) 16:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Here is a map: [1] you can order that has the information. 19:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
There are a lot of churches in China that are nondenominational, due to Watchman Nee's influence. bibliomaniac15 19:10, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
It can be hard to judge, in some ways, because there are official churches and unofficial churches. The official churches will be easy to count, but counting the unofficial ones is difficult because they have to maintain their anonymity. Steewi (talk) 23:37, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
China allows its people to worship Christianity now. Watchman Nee died long time ago. He doesn't discourage the chinese people from worshipping Jesus today.
Jayron32, why don't you order the map and tell me the answer. (talk) 03:36, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[edit]

Were the daughters and male-line granddaughters of Prince Albert Princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha? Other than her granddaughters who were daughters of Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 23:06, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure of the technically correct answer to this question, but I have some thoughts on it. I suspect Albert's children were entitled, so far as his own family's protocol was concerned, to the titles of princes and princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. I've seen (for instance) Eudoxia and Nadezhda, daughters of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, called princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Ferdinand of Bulgaria, although a Coburg, was only a great-grandson of a ruling Duke, whereas Albert was the son of one. I think your question is complicated by the fact that in the UK a British subject needs a royal licence to use any foreign title, and it seems to me rather unlikely that Victoria would have granted such a licence to any of her children unless there were a need for one. Nowadays, this rule no longer seems to be observed (or, at least, not enforced) but the courts of the Hanoverians were stuffy on such matters. Xn4 (talk) 14:47, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Also speaking of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, were his daughters, granddaughter, and ect., the current Bulgarian royal family, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha? The same question with the descendants of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha princes, who became reigning monarchs in another land, Leopold I of Belgium and Ferdinand II of Portugal. One other think I think all male line descendants of Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were Princes/ princessses. The male line descenandts of Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield became Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after Duke Ernest I change the name from Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 19:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Serial Killer Andrei Chikatilo: Russian, Soviet or Ukranian?[edit]

Andrei Chikatilo. Why is on the article "Ukranian native who was arrested as a Russian serial killer" ?????? what's that????. He was born in Soviet Union, when it fell he already was in Russia as a Russian citizen. What do you think? In my opinion he never was Ukranian.-- (talk) 22:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

It seems entirely reasonable to say that someone born in the Ukraine is Ukrainian, regardless of any political super-entity which may have contained the Ukraine at the time. Similarly, I'd call anyone born in Ireland "Irish", before or after independence from England. StuRat (talk) 23:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

You don't understand... before the falling of the USSR he already was in Russia as a Russian citizen! -- (talk) 00:58, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

He was born in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, he lived there through the great famine and everything. He's a "Ukrainian native" as the article says. If you mean "Ukrainian" as "a citizen of the modern-state state of Ukraine", then yes, he wasn't that. But culturally and by birth he was Ukrainian. When people say someone is "Ukrainian" (or anything else for that matter" they are usually referring to their nationality, not necessarily their citizenship (ambiguous as that is). In the case where the governmental regime changes one rarely decides that somehow invalidates a nationality. -- (talk) 02:15, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
It wouldn't matter if he moved to Brazil and became a full citizen, he'd still be a Ukrainian native if he is from Ukraine. -- (talk) 05:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)