Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 June 21

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< June 20 << May | June | Jul >> June 22 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

June 21[edit]

Painting, can you identify?[edit]

Hi. I need an answer rather quickly (for official Wikipedia business) and I'm very much hoping some visual wizard here can help. :D Can you identify the painting in the background of File:Dance03c.jpg? I need to date it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 00:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I can't help with that, but if you're concerned about the copyright of the photograph, I observe that it's watermarked. AlexTiefling (talk) 10:32, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
The question is whether the painting is separately copyrighted, making the photo a derivative work, or if the painting is free to reproduce within the photo. I was hoping it was going to prove to be some well-known Renaissance master, but it isn't look like it. :/ --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:56, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
You're in luck -- 1563. See Prospero Fontana. --JGGardiner (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Thank you very much, visual wizard! :D --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

What inmates do in prison in U.S[edit]

I saw this on movies many times...It seems that inmates in U.S don't need to work at all,they just eat and build a lot of muscles and share criminal experience and techniques,is this true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Btspirit (talkcontribs) 01:43, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

In movies, yeah. --jpgordon::==( o ) 01:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Prison inmates may work in the U.S. For example, license plates are sometimes produced at prisons. But it depends on which prison you're in. "Super-max" (super-maximum security) inmates may be kept in their cells for 23 hours a day, providing little opportunity for them to do much of anything. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 03:13, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds ok, as long as there is a broadband connection. Edison (talk) 03:44, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, but still, one hour away from editing? Cruel and unusual, I calls it. Precious, we wants our Precious... Clarityfiend (talk) 07:47, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
There has been some controversy in the past over the fact that certain private companies have contracted with states and other local agencies which run prisons, to use prison workers to run customer service phone banks, including having access to credit card numbers. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 17:58, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
In the prisons I've seen, prisoners have to work a 40-hour week. Since they don't have to commute and avoid many of the other responsibilities of normal life, this gives them quite a bit of free time, although you also have to take into account the special requirements of prison life (cell checks, etc.). John M Baker (talk) 03:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

As mentioned above,it all depends on what prison a person is sent to,if it is a holding prison,that is a place the inmate is held until a place becomes vacant in another prison which is also related to the offence that person has committed.If serious,he or she goes to a prison that is tough,if a less serious offence,the person will go to a low security or what is called an open prison where they are trusted to work outside in say an orchard every day,or on a farm milking cows.The prsion system is an industry in it"s self,where the government has it"s own farms for milk and produce,also orchards for fruit to be harvested by inmates,all cost effective for the system.CCA is a company that is run for Immigration,so with any company,they run the prison for a profit with inmates as goods in the warehouse. I know it all!


How can we tell if a book is out of copyright? If a book is out of copyright, can it be printed and sold by anyone in any format? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Copyright terms vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There may also be other protections on the book (trademarks, copyright on later editions/additions, copyright on illustrations, etc.). Some books have special rules as well, the King James Bible, for instance. So the answer is, in short, "it depends". (I'm afraid we can't give a better answer than that even if you give us all the details since that would fall foul of our rules against giving legal advice.) --Tango (talk) 03:27, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

what about shakespeare or dickens? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Please check our article on Copyright. Anything published prior to 1923 in the US is no longer protected by Copyright in the US, but he complete rules are hideously complex. -Arch dude (talk) 05:09, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Whether a particular work is in or out of copyright is a legal question - and we don't give legal advice. But check the Copyright article and follow if you are interested in rules for various jurisdictions. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 01:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
This can be answered comprehensively under kainaw's law, so this is a well-phrased question that is clearly not a legal advice question. Yes, if a book is out of copyright in a particular country, it can be printed and sold by anyone in any format. Note that the original works of Shakespeare and Dickens retain no copyright protection, but you should still be careful: consider an edited book of A Christmas Carol published and printed in 1955, with illustrations that had been created in 1940. The illustrations are still copyrighted. Since it's edited (maybe it's abridged, or has somehow been copy-edited to make it fit to the current day by putting iPods and Blackberry references in it), it's a derivative work which has a 1955 copyright. Shakespeare is much more likely to have been edited for modern audiences under the assumption that the current day is filled with dullards who can't handle Shakespearean references or spelling. If you go back to an original for the text and illustrations, then of course you're fine. Tempshill (talk) 06:10, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, the OP didn't even specify which jurisdiction they plan to republish the work in, and you proceed to give them advice about what they should and shouldn't do about various works? And what on earth is Kainaw's law? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 08:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Consider the answer suitably rephrased to avoid the use of the second person. Tempshill (talk) 17:43, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps a variant on Kainaw's criterion? --Kateshortforbob 14:38, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Must be a variant. I don't make laws. I break them. Also, I've expressed no opinion on legal questions, only medical ones.-- kainaw 11:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
If you want to know whether something is out of copyright in the United States, this page is the most comprehensive (and shows how complicated it is). If something is truly in the public domain, then by definition you can reproduce it in any format. The question is whether it is fully in the public domain or not, and that takes a non-trivial understanding of how copyright law works in the particular jurisdiction (but can often be determined fairly reliably without a lawyer). -- (talk) 16:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Russian medals: Order of St.Vladimir - What class might this be?[edit]

RE: ORDER OF ST.VLADIMIR - What class might this be?

I have two St.Vladimir crosses and I would like to know what class they are. The owner of those has not served the Russian (or Sovjet Union) state or army so they cannot be the 3rd or 4th class. The tiny cross seems to be taken loose from some bigger entity. The ribbon is only a very tiny one, nothing to hang some medal on. The surname of the owner of these two crosses differ with one letter (written in our letters) from the surname of one of the most historical persons of Russia and he was born already around the year 1880. The parents of this person are not mentioned probably because of some security reason and not even the exact place of birth. He fled in the times of the Russian Revolution and his roots may go to Polen or Ukraine.

I have read (in the book ”Country of Memories” here) that those medals that were of higher class used to be very unique - there was probably not two similar ones. Men of high ranks had a lot of order crosses, but they didn’t carry them… and one reason was that it was dangerous to carry medals of higher class. I have also understood from some material that St. Georg was lower than St. Vladimir opposite to what can be usually read but this confusion might also be because of the same fact that it was dangerous to carry medals of higher ranks and the value of St. Georg might have changed after some year.

Please, let me know if you have any information in this matter about medals of order of St. Vladimir crosses. I look forward to any information and I thank you very much in advance.

I have a picture that I can send to anybody interested in this matter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Julia of Aragon/Sicily[edit]

Who is this person? She was either a princess of Sicily or Aragon or both, was the aunt of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and was the wife of John George, Marquess of Montferrat. She was born in 1492 and died 10 March 1542, but I don't know who her father was. It doesn't seem to be Ferdinand II of Aragon since the article doesn't list her as a daughter. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 09:37, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

What's your source for her existence and relationship to Charles V? Louda and Maclagan's Lines of Succession doesn't show any such person. AlexTiefling (talk) 10:28, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
According to History of Piedmont (by Antonio Carlo Napoleone Gallenga), Julia of Aragon was the daughter of "Frederick, the last of the Aragonese kings of Naples". This Frederick could only be Frederick IV of Naples, being the last Frederick of the House of Aragon to reign in Naples. However, this Frederick was not the last member of the House of Aragon to rule in Naples; after him there was Ferdinand II of Aragon (Ferdinand III of Naples). Perhaps "Frederick, the last of the Aragonese kings of Naples" is not really Frederick but Ferdinand. Note: I am not sure how credible this 19th century Italian author is. Surtsicna (talk) 15:22, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I've just noticed that our article about Frederick IV of Naples mentions a certain Giulia among the children of Frederick IV and Isabella del Balzo. Surtsicna (talk) 15:26, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Tip for Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy: trying using Google Book Search to find out more about this woman, who is also known as Giulia of Naples, Julia of Naples and Giulia of Aragon. Surtsicna (talk) 15:28, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Reference to Germany in the title of the Prince of Liechtenstein[edit]

I seem to remember a reference to Germany in the title of the Prince of Liechtenstein. If memory serves, it was removed during one of the world wars rather like the renaming of the ruling dynasty in Britain from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor. I couldn't find anything in your articles, could anyone give me a nod in the right direction or at least confirm my vague memory... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:46, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Are you thinking of the land in Czechoslovakia the princes used to own? "At the close of [World War II], Czechoslovakia and Poland, acting to seize what they considered to be German possessions, expropriated the entirety of the Liechtenstein dynasty's hereditary lands and possessions in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia" according to History of Liechtenstein. Adam Bishop (talk) 13:00, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. No, I was actually thinking of a reference to Germany as a nod to the princely family's former association with the Holy Roman Empire. As mentioned, I believe this reference to Germany was specifically removed as a result of anti-German sentiment (possible due to one of the world wars) or possible simply the decline of pan-Germanism. Sorry I don't have more info, but this is driving me mad! :) -- (talk) 13:23, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Are you referring to titles other than Herzog von Troppau und Jägerndorf, Graf zu Rietberg? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 18:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm pretty sure it was an actual reference to "Germany" not one of the Prince's titles...-- (talk) 19:05, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

What situations to use letters after your name?[edit]

I have four sets of letters, academic and professional, which I am entitled to use after my name. Normally I never use them. But I am writing a long complaint about a serious matter. Should I use them, even though they are irrelevant to the complaint? On the one side, they may should indicate I am a competent person, that I'm someone to be reckoned with, and the extra authority they give may appeal to some. On the other side, their use may suggest snobbery, pretensiousness, or self-importance. (talk) 16:09, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

It really depends on context. What is the complain about and who are you writing to? --Tango (talk) 16:25, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
The authority is what matters. Does it really matter if they think that of you if they act on what you say? Dmcq (talk) 16:48, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
It depends on the context. If these are people you are going to have to work with in future it may be best to risk them ignoring the complaint in order to maintain a good relationship with them. --Tango (talk) 17:08, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Being ignored over something important is no basis for a good relationship. I would caution though if something is long it needs to be well structured so the relevant points are up front othersise you can run into Wikipedia:Too long; didn't read. Dmcq (talk) 17:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Personally I find that adding a long string of initials after a name looks rather crankish—it is always those who have dubious degrees who put "M.A., Ph.D., M.D., J.D." after their names in such a fashion. I'm not sure it adds authority or guarantees an implication of competence. If the institutions are themselves prominent, I would consider putting "Ph.D., Yale University, 1997" and so forth UNDER the name, but just stringing together degrees looks dubious on the whole, just because the primary people who do such a thing in our day to day lives are cranks. -- (talk) 18:59, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't specify a degree under my name like that unless it was actually relevant to the letter. If you want to say where the degree was from you usually put it in brackets after the appropriate letters, usually as an abbreviation of the name of the city in Latin with a strange "-ensis" ending, which I can't find the name for but is similar to the English "-ese", eg. MA (Cantab) or BSc (Dunelm). --Tango (talk) 21:33, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I reckon just put one, the most important one. I guess if you have a PHd you could just sign yourself Doctor instead and not bother with it. I think it you put them all you will sound like a crank. I think it's ok to put at least one, maybe 2 after your name, but as part of the letter heading... Nixonnelle (talk) 14:22, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, on business cards anyway people usually only put their highest degree. TastyCakes (talk) 14:25, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
That makes sense for degrees, but not all postnominal letters are for degrees. Membership of professional associations, for example. --Tango (talk) 14:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. University letters with everything on look rather strange. Dmcq (talk) 17:12, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The only serious context in which I've seen all the letters regularly given (although I've not seen many serious contexts where one might expect such a thing) is in Northern Ireland — my family receive a church magazine from there, and every time a minister is mentioned in the magazine, all his degrees come after his name, even if it's just a bachelor's and a master's. Nyttend (talk) 17:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
There are certain rules of precedence and format for post-nominal letters; generally, only the highest of each type is displayed (eg. you wouldn't put both MA and BA; or OBE and MBE). For degrees, you can list them all - but only if specifying where they're from. eg. PhD (Oxon), MPhil (Cantab), BA (Bangor Poly), and not is they're all from the same place. But think about context. If you're writing to the dog pound, then MBE MBChB FRCP FRCS would be a little over the top. If you're accepting a Chair at Oxford Medical School, then it might be quite appropriate. Gwinva (talk) 09:47, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Does that apply even if your bachelors or masters degrees are in different subjects? And what about other post graduate qualifications that are a) in a different subject and b) not a master's degree or bachelor's degree and c) taken after a master's degree? Is there an authorative online 'rule book' about this anywhere please? (talk) 11:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The letters rarely specify the subject, so I don't think it makes any difference what they are in. If you have multiple degrees of joint highest status you would probably list them all. Qualifications that aren't degrees will depend on the details. The letters after your name shouldn't contain your entire CV! --Tango (talk) 12:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
My opinion... I never put anything after my name. I let others do that as necessary. (checking...) The nameplate on my door doesn't have any letters after my name. However, my degree is noted in the directory just outside the elevator doors. I figure that if someone else thinks it is important, let them do it. -- kainaw 12:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I do occassionally use my only official title after my name, when I feel that it is relevent. For instance, I wrote a letter to Senator Carl Levin on behalf of a soldier who was having an issue with the Internal Revenue Service, and since I knew he happened to chair the Senate Armed Services Commitee, I chose to sign the letter <my name>, 2nd Lieutenant, United States Army. I believe that the important thing is if you need to convey a sense of authority, either intellectual or otherwise. Zharmad (talk) 21:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

For academic letters, i would also use only the highest one (without university or subject). Generally if i wanted to sound official, i would just use "Dr." with no letters - most people do not understand post-nomial letters at all, whereas any burauecrat will recognise Dr. The Dr. is also more likely to be kept if they pass your complaint upwards, as it is standard to include a persons title (it is even on my passport), wheras postmnomials can easily get lost.YobMod 09:38, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Unless you are writing to somebody of an equal standing or somebody of importance i would leave them off; (the addage of i have earnt them doesnt really work except to annoy people) i have seen and read many letters/emails were somebody has said something along the lines of; I will be playing golf Respectly Joe Bloggs has been met with a muttering of all sorts of expletives...So basicly if it is on a proffessional matter then ok if it is not then leave them offChromagnum (talk) 06:13, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

wannabe professional musician, 1940 vs. today[edit]

It's the usual story: let's say someone (call him Bob) is highly interested in some contemporary musical genre. He practices a lot with some instrument and gets pretty good, is reasonably talented but not really off the scale, and at age 17 he forms a garage band with some of his buddies who are in about the same situation as him and maybe they get some nightclub gigs here and there. To get from that level into being a fulltime professional performer obviously takes overcoming various challenges. Let's define "success" as making a steady middle-class-level income from performing (this is of course well short of stardom), and having some modest level of recognition from fans and other musicians, without needing any other occupation to pay the rent with in thin times.

My question is: has becoming a successful professional performer (as defined above) gotten any easier since the WW2 era? Harder? Comparable in total difficulty but maybe somehow qualitatively different in terms of the stuff you have to do? Thanks for any thoughts. (talk) 21:27, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd posit that it's probably got easier for the following reasons (which are not intended to be comprehensive).
  1. On average, people (especially children, teens and young adults who are the biggest consumers of 'contemporary music') now have relatively more disposable income, so they can and do spend more on interests like music, so the market demand for gigs and records is bigger.
  2. There are now many more radio and TV channels needing to fill their airtime with, amongst other things, musical acts, so the media demand for 'product' is greater.
  3. Consequently, the music industry is larger overall, necessarily creating more opportunities in its lower regions.
  4. Recording techniques and equipment capable of producing professional-standard recordings are widely available all the way down to DIY levels: therefore it's much easier for artists to have records (i.e. CDs) produced, which they can then market directly to generate income and help build a fan base.
  5. The Internet now provides important new avenues of publicity and marketing, in particular band websites and general sites such as YouTube.
As an illustration of point 4 - most of the new recordings I used to buy (starting in the early '70s) were vinyl LPs, necessarily recorded in expensive Studios, manufactured in large factories, marketed by a few large Labels, and bought from mainstream record shops. Nowadays they're mostly CDs bought directly from the artists themselves at gigs or from their websites, not infrequently self- recorded and engineered, and marketed by themselves or by much more diverse minor labels. This can apply to up-and-coming new artists, well-established though not so far famous ones (e.g. Blue Horses), or no-longer fashionable but still performing veterans (such as Fairport Convention, Caravan, and many others). (talk) 00:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, can you give an idea of what percentage of today's mid-level professional performer's income is from pure live performances, as opposed to CD sales and other such sources? Maybe that is one thing that really changed. I'm thinking of a couple old jazz guys I knew, who were successful (per above standard) professionals, but whose entire living came from the dance hall/wedding/restaurant circuit, essentially zero from recording. I think (not sure) that the ones who got significant income from recording were already celebrities (at least minor ones). (talk) 04:35, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure there were very many garage bands in the 40s. Music then was Big Band or solo artists, in the main. I don't really know how people got the attention of record companies. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 17:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Oliver North's Medals[edit]

What medals did Oliver North earn during the period of his lifetime? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pennsylvania Proud (talkcontribs) 22:47, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

See Oliver North - there's a list of medals in the infobox at the top right of the article. Exxolon (talk) 03:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Also as he's still alive, it's possible he could earn more medals. So "his lifetime" is a bit of a misnomer. Exxolon (talk) 03:22, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Yah but the period of his lifetime must mean something else, or those words would have been omitted. :P —Tamfang (talk) 18:41, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
In addition to what's in that article, this newspaper story lists a few other minor medals. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:38, 22 June 2009 (UTC)