Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 January 4

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January 4[edit]

I want to know about the B.Ed in India[edit]

I want to know about the B.Ed in India —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

What about it do you want to know?--Shahab (talk) 05:12, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not certain what "B.Ed" means, but maybe see "Education in India". --Milkbreath (talk) 16:22, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I would expect it to mean a bachelor's degree in education. StuRat (talk) 16:28, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Hezbollah and Hamas[edit]

Why do Hezbollah and Hamas don´t fight Israel simultaneously? Both are much weaker but fighting together they could perhaps do some serious damage. (I am not saying that they should attack Israel, I am only asking about the logic of their strategy).--Mr.K. (talk) 13:58, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

A couple of reasons, outlined nicely in this recent news article. Basically Hezbollah lack resources after the 2006 conflict and also the Lebanese army now has a presence in southern Lebanon (Hezbollah's turf). Fribbler (talk) 14:09, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The branches of Hamas can't even fight Israel simultaneously. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:50, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, terrorist groups, which, almost by definition, believe in killing anyone with whom they disagree, have trouble cooperating with each other, even when they have common goals (such a group of civilians both want to massacre). StuRat (talk) 16:24, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually the goals of terrorist and methods groups are usually a lot more subtle then that, including in the case of Hezbollah and Hamas. I won't say more but this is covered a lot in the web and even our articles should provide some detail. Terrorists groups can and do cooperate in variety of ways. The IRA for example has cooperated with some Palestinians groups in the past. Again described in many places although be wary because some people use this to try and just group all groups together as evil without any distinction or analysis of their goals, methods and nature and often set out with the sole purpose of doing so. These are of course usually more cases of mutual benefit then any desire for some sort of shared outcome but they happen nevertheless. This sort of thing is of course hardly uncommon, Israeli cooperated with apartheid South Africa in numerous ways in the past (See Israel–South Africa relations). It's really not surprising that two groups in similar situations will cooperate if it will benefit them both particularly when both can find few others to help them Nil Einne (talk) 12:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

ethnic backgrounds[edit]

It seems like some are hung up on ethnic backgrounds and they seem to appear for no apparent reason. Case in point. Go to the page of Kim Kardashian and all of a sudden you see Armenian, Scottish, Dutch roots. If you go to the father's (Robert) page, all you see is "Kardashian was born to a prosperous American couple in Los Angeles". Mom? "Kristen Mary Houghton (born November 5, 1955) is an American television personality and socialite." Can someone explain how the child of 2 American parents, born of American parents in the U.S. can suddenly be "Armenian, Scottish, Dutch" when the parents aren't? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chuckobrien (talkcontribs) 14:14, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

The source given for "prosperous American couple" actually says "Armenian-American couple." You should discuss this on the Kim or Robert Kardashian talk page, the reference desk is not really the appropriate place. (Though, as with anything to do with Armenians or Turks on Wikipedia, I would have slim hopes for any progress being made.) Adam Bishop (talk) 14:54, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
"Hung up" is your opinion, apparently, but here in the U.S. it's common for people to identify with the national origins of their ancestors several generations back. Some retain the use of languages other than English (Finns in Hancock, Michigan, for example); others simply remember and celebrate roots, particularly in places that were enclaves (as Hamtramck, Michigan has been for Polish-Americans). So someone saying "I'm Armenian" is often saying "(some of) my grandparents (or other ancestors) came from Armenia." Not everyone does this, but it's not at all unusual. Just as everybody's gotta be someplace, everybody's ancestors gotta be from someplace. --- OtherDave (talk) 16:05, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it always comes up eventually. In fact, "what are you?" is not even a rude question hereabouts (southern New Jersey). It's just interesting, that's all, especially the incongruous ones like "My father is Russian, and my mother is Cherokee Indian." Or, "I'm Italian and Swedish." (Me, I'm Slovene, German, French, English, and Irish.) --Milkbreath (talk) 16:29, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Kim Kardashian is in showbiz and her father (joking aside) wasn't; perhaps you should be asking why showbiz journalism is so eager to analyze its subjects' ancestry. I would guess (knowing of her only what I see in WP) that her looks are important to her job, and ethnic ancestry does make a difference in that department. —Tamfang (talk) 05:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

By the way, the "-ian" suffix of names such as Kardashian is known by many people to often occur in Armenian names, so some would assume that she has an Armenian paternal line based just on the name alone... AnonMoos (talk) 16:44, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

The source I used for the "prosperous American couple"quote is the Wiki page, just as is. Yes, hung up is my opinion, obviously, but when people ask me"what I am", I tell them American cause that's what I am, born and raised here. Yes, my grandparents came from Ireland, Italy, Germany but I don't introduce myself as an Irish-Italian-German American. IMHO, that's dumb. Technically the only ones who can be hyphenated Americans are the recently arrived immigrants. Once born here, sorry, it's all pc. And that ain't me! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chuckobrien (talkcontribs) 22:00, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes but I meant the source given in the Wikipedia article, which actually says "Armenian-American." Click the little "1" and it will take you to the footnotes where there is an external link. Our article itself says American for whatever reason. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:03, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Have you considered that you might be hung up on avoiding references to ethnic roots? What is the source of this technicality by which only recently arrived immigrants can use a given label? Since Congress may make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it shouldn't surprise you to find Irish Americans, Russian Americans, Armenian Americans, or people who acknowledge and highlight virtually any national or ethnic origin. Using a stricter standard, many individuals born in the U.S. nevertheless hold citizenship in other countries, despite how politically correct you might find that fact. --- OtherDave (talk) 00:26, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
An O'Brien surely has great difficulty in hiding Irish roots. --Nricardo (talk) 02:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I know one who's Swedish by birth. —Tamfang (talk) 05:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
1. I am not clicking an external link, I am taking for granted what is written on the page. if the source is otherwise, it should be mentioned as such, not as a footnote.I don't want to waste the time clicking on little numbers-they seem to hide something of the truth. Why can't it all be quoted as truth in advertising?

2. Being hung up on avoiding ethnic roots, it's a new thing to which I doesn't subscribe. 40 yrs ago, didn't exist but we all got along together. It's linguistic. A ***-American is someone who came off the boat from another country, as did my grandparents. The offspring of such people are Americans---that means NATIONALITY---where they wuz born. If you be one, your passport saiz you is American ('Merican, in the words of LBJ). Hyphenationizm is a pc critter, not a reality. It's like asking your gender. Hello, gender is a grammatical term for nouns in those languages that differentiate between masculine and feminine (or neuter),like the Romance and Germanic languages. A human is distinguished by SEX. Or are we back in the Victorian era? 3. Being an O'Brien, I am proud of my roots, as with my Italian side. Both are great cooks and drinkers. But I don't hold my roots badge on my heart. I am a fucking proud AMERICAN. If someone asks me about my predilections regarding food and drink, yes, I start out with the background. However, it ain't the total picture. My best dishes, after Italian, are Spanish. 4. Dual citizenship is granted when one of several instances are met- born in another country, parents of 2 countries, etc. Don't see what freedom of speech has to do here, it's a common fact. Lots of love to all. Chuck

Do you have anything for the refdesk there, or are you just here to rant? Algebraist 02:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
In any event, you're confusing ethnicity with citizenship. They're very different things. There may one day be such an ethnic group as "American", but that isn't the case at the present time. All American citizens belong to one or more ethnic groups, none of which is American. Yes, it's not the first thing you generally mention about yourself when you meet someone, but in certain contexts, such as encyclopedia entries, it's relevant information about a person. -- JackofOz (talk) 02:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I notice that the article in question doesn't say she is Armenian, Scottish or whatever; it currently says (ungrammatically) Of Armenian (father) with Scottish roots, Dutch and Scottish (mother) descent ... It doesn't even say whether she's as proud of those roots as Chuck is of his. —Tamfang (talk) 05:54, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I am not here to rant, I asked what I thought was a valid question regarding nothing of ethnicities in the parents and the mention thereof in the offspring. I am only answering questions addressed to me. Regarding "ethnicity with citizenship"... citizenship, in the old term, means comportment. There used to be a class in citizenship. As I mentioned above, it's nationality (not citizenship) or ethnicity. If born in the US, your nationality is American. Your citizenship may suck, but you are an American. Ethnicity equates to cultural background of ancestors. I don't mean to rant, but I feel I can answer questions directed toward me, or am I wrong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chuckobrien (talkcontribs) 02:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like the WW1 and 1920's campaign against Hyphenated Americanism. Of course, the 1920's was the most openly "scientifically" racist period in American history... AnonMoos (talk) 03:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)


Does Wikipedia have what is know as a virtual portfolio trading platform to assist in learning about the stock market?

Thanks Gordon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nodrog500 (talkcontribs) 15:53, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of changing "finance" so it appears as a separate question. --- OtherDave (talk) 15:57, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure we don't, because it doesn't really fit with our nature as an encyclopedia, although we have articles on the stock market that you may find interesting. It sounds like something for Wikihow or Wikiversity. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:26, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
You can google "fantasy stock market" to find places where you can sign up and trade with fake money. If there is an order type or term that you don't understand "" or "" are ok resources.NByz (talk) 23:16, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Supposed British spy[edit]

If there are any military or espionage history buffs out there, perhaps they can help me with this one. Back in the 1950s, the story of a supposed British agent in Germany who posed as a German General, UK Col. Alexander Scotland, was told in the Jack Hawkins movie The Two-Headed Spy, which supposedly was based on Scotland's wartime exploits. Scotland was also notable for heading a Abu Gharib precursor called "The London Cage," and wrote a memoir of that title. I think he may be notable on that basis alone, and worthy of a wiki article.

I was wondering if there might be more information available on Scotland? I've searched through Google, Google Books and Google Scholar and found virtually nothing apart from his experiences with the London Cage. I have a suspicion that his supposed "spy" and general-impersonation explots were made up out of whole cloth. If a reliable source says as much, that should be stated in the Two Headed Spy article. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Stetsonharry (talk) 17:36, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

He's not in Who Was Who, but he seems to be mentioned in Rupert Butler's SS Hitlerjugend and in Tony Foster's Meeting of Generals. Strawless (talk) 20:11, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Really? I'm curious to know if those books mention his supposed espionage or instead deal with his undisputed role in the "Cage." Stetsonharry (talk) 20:30, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't have them. This may be the same man. A Sergeant John Alexander Scotland was commissioned into the Royal Air Force's General Duties Branch as a Pilot Officer on 22 July 1944. See London Gazette Supplement dated 26 September 1944 here. Strawless (talk) 20:42, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
See also this page, The Murderers and their Accessories at, which refers to the Cage and calls him Lt. Col. A P Scotland. Strawless (talk) 20:53, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Scotland, A.P. The London Cage. London: Evans Brothers, 1957. 195 p.

Scotland's service to British intelligence began when he enlisted in the German Army in West Africa (1904-07) , and climaxed as head of British prisoner of war interrogation during and after World War II. These memoirs only discuss selected periods of the two world wars and the postwar search for war criminals. House, J. M. (1993). Military Intelligence: 1870 - 1991 : a research guide. OCLC 231577495

22 September, 1940...I have just been told that the officer from MI9 who was present at the interrogation of TATE yesterday took it upon himself to manhandle the prisoner without saying anything to Colonel Stephens, Dick White, or Malcolm Frost.The interrogation broke off at lunchtime, when Colonel Alexander Scotland left the room. Frost, wondering where he was, followed him and eventually discovered him in the prisoner's cell. He was hitting TATE in the jaw and I think got one back for himself. Frost stopped this incident without making a scene, and later told me what had happened. It was quite clear to me that we cannot have this sort of thing going on in our establishment. Apart from the moral aspect of the whole thing, I am quite convinced that these Gestapo methods do not pay in the long run. We are taking the matter up with DMI and propose to say that we do not intend to have that particular military intelligence officer on the premises any more. I am told that Scotland turned up this morning with a syringe containing some drug or other, which it was thought would induce the prisoner to speak. Stephens told Scotland that he could not see TATE, who was not in a fit state to be interrogated. Actually there was nothing seriously wrong with TATE.

After the war Colonel Scotland published The London Cage, an account of his experiences as an interrogator questioning prisoners of war in Kensington Palace Gardens.

West, Nigel ed. (1995) The Guy Liddell Diaries: Mi5's Director of Counter-Espionage in World War II. p. 98

TATE was Wulf Schmidt.—eric 21:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
here there is a photograph of a "Tribute to Lt Col. Scotland at the Military Intelligence museum" in which he is Alexander Paterson Scotland OBE. Strawless (talk) 21:22, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The London Gazette for 25 July 1916 (here) has him as Private Alexander Paterson Scotland of the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps. So it seems he was a barrister. Strawless (talk) 21:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
According to, here, "Alexander Paterson Scotland worked as an undercover agent for Britain in German South West Africa" (Namibia National Archives Database). Strawless (talk) 21:37, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Snippets on Google books suggest there is quite a lot about A. P. Scotland in Roderick De Normann's For Fuehrer and Fatherland: SS Murder and Mayhem in Wartime Britain (Sutton, 1996, ISBN 0750912820, ISBN 978-0750912822). Strawless (talk) 21:47, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The Biography Index‎ for 1979 says "SCOTLAND, Alexander Paterson, d. 1965, British spy" and points to "Juvenile literature, Knight, David C. Spy Who Never Was and Other True Spy Stories Doubleday '78". Strawless (talk) 22:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

(restoring indent) You know, gents, I think that we have come close to exposing a literary (and film) hoax. The Knight book does indeed describe Scotland as posing as a German general. The full text of the AP Scotland chapter was published in a message thread at the Internet Movie Database discussion thread on Two Headed Spy[1]. That appears to be the original and indeed the only reference to Scotland as a spy, and it is a book for juveniles that contains no references, footnotes or sources. That appears to be the basis for all references to Scotland as a spy (though I would like to get ahold of the Butler book to see what that says and how it is sourced).

Now, the JM House book Liddell diaries indicate very clearly that Scotland was employed in the UK in 1940. This further seems to indicate that Scotland was in the UK, interrogating prisoners, and not posing as a German general. I think we can be quite sure that if he did indeed do so, his story would have appeared somewhere in the fifty years since Two Headed Spy. I think the Tribute to Scotland in the Military Intelligence Museum would clinch it. Lamentably the text in the photo is illegible.

I think that I may contact the museum myself, to see if it can shed any light on this subject or point to some sources. Many thanks for all the good research done on this. Stetsonharry (talk) 03:15, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Here's a postcript: according to excerpts of the Liddell diaries available on the web[2], Scotland was interrogating prisoners in England in 1943 as well as 1940. I think this demonstrates fairly conclusively that the movie story is utterly fictional, and that the chapter in the Knight book is an a fabrication. I've a reference to the Liddell diaries to The Two-Headed Spy. Thanks again for pointing me toward that. Stetsonharry (talk) 21:42, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

international reaction to current Israel action[edit]

What is the international reaction to the current Israel action please? Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

See our article International reaction to the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Algebraist 23:29, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
that's kind of dry. could you tell me in a more lively way? or do people really not care much around the world, one way or another? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it's dry, and people do care. They also care not to start debates as such on the desk. But, if you can raise a question from the article, or invite further information or comment through something that needs more explaining, there'll be more comment. (Unless I misunderstood your post.):) Julia Rossi (talk) 01:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure how we could tell you something "in a more lively way". You could try re-reading the article again, but imagine there are exclamation marks instead of periods. Here's a livelied-up version of the Canada section:
Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Lawrence Cannon, also issued a statement in which he pointed to Israel’s "clear right to defend itself" against continuing attacks by militants he accused of "deliberately" targeting civilians! "First and foremost, those rocket attacks must stop! At the same time, we urge both sides to use all efforts to avoid civilian casualties and to create the conditions to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need in Gaza"! Cannon also urged renewed efforts to reach a truce! Yowza! Matt Deres (talk) 01:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! This worked nicely! Someone should make a firefox extention that replaces all periods with exclamation points :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

There are two reactions: (1) Hamas attacking Israel is justified, but Israel attacking Hamas is not justified. (2) Israel attacking Hamas is justified, but Hamas attacking Israel is not justified. Although, I might have it backwards.DOR (HK) (talk) 03:54, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

MD, a headline for your yowza with subhead for DOR:
Canada points big gun at ME! Avoids civilians, aims at militants! Truce in reach!
related articles— Take your sides, by Our man in Hong Kong
— ;) Julia Rossi (talk) 05:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Piggly Wiggly[edit]

How did the Piggly Wiggly grocey stores get name? --Christie the puppy lover (talk) 23:44, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Nothing definitive, but the inventory was almost exclusively foodstuffs as opposed to other retail shops at the time, and customers followed a circuitous one-way route through the short narrow aisles from entrance to checkout aisles—'wiggling' through the store.—eric 00:15, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
According to their website,

Saunders' reason for choosing the intriguing name Piggly Wiggly ® remains a mystery; he was curiously reluctant to explain its origin. One story is that he saw from a train window several little pigs struggling to get under a fence, and the rhyming name occurred to him then. Someone once asked him why he had chosen such an unusual name for his organization, and Saunders' reply was, "So people will ask that very question." He wanted and found a name that would be talked about and remembered.

Algebraist 00:18, 5 January 2009 (UTC)