Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 May 5

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May 5[edit]

Voletta Wallace[edit]

Are you sure she is an active member in the Jehovah Witness Organization? Is she disfellowshiped? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shekasmith (talkcontribs) 02:30, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

If you think there is something wrong with this article, then the place to bring it up is at Talk:Voletta Wallace. DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Long Hair Merovingians[edit]

Did the tradition of long hair as a sign of royalty go pass the Merovingian kings of France? I just talking about the Franks not the other German kings. Did the Carolingian, Robertian or even the Capetian have long hair? --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 03:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hard to say. I don't imagine we have very much contemporaneous art from that time period; we would have to go on written accounts, and most of what we have is of the "Such and such a king fought such and such a battle and captured such and such a fort" kinda stuff. Most of the chroniclers didn't necessarily note hairstyle... 04:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Since the last Merovingian king symbolically had his long hair cut off, presumably it was not a tradition of the Carolingians. Adam Bishop (talk) 04:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you are right but I don't agree with you Adam. The last Merovingian had his long hair cut off because Pepin the Short overthrew him and had him enter a monastery. It would only symbolize that the Merovingian had lost the royal power (long hair). Earlier Merovingian kings had relatives who were their enemies tonsured and had the long hair themself. Also for Christians the early Frankish king seem unChristian since they grew the barbaric long hair and practiced polygamy. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 05:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes but the long hair was not a symbol of royal power in general, it was a symbol of Merovingian royal power. Adam Bishop (talk) 18:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

NYSE and NASDAQ listed stocks[edit]

Are there any firms that are listed on both the NYSE and NASDAQ markets currently or previously? Is it even possible to list on both markets? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

There is nothing in terms of regulations preventing a company from listing on both exchanges should it deem the benefits worth the increased cost of administration and reporting to two exchanges. Hewlett-Packard is listed on both. Googling "dual listing NYSE and NASDAQ" will probably find you other examples.
The Wiki article on "dual listing" (Dual-listed company#Dual-listings versus cross-listings) tries to make a distinction between "dual listing" (e.g. Rio Tinto) vs "cross listing", but I'm not sure how real that distinction is in terms of terminology in everyday use. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 06:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Single superpower, single party[edit]

I read in an old Usenet post recently something along the lines of, "If you listen to the arguments for why the US should be the world's only superpower, they sound a lot like the arguments for why the Communist Party should be the only political party in China. Similarly, if you read China's arguments for a multipolar world, they sound a lot like the arguments for multiparty democracy." I was wondering, is there any truth to this? Is anybody able to point me to any pairs of arguments with these noticeable parallels mentioned in the quote? --superioridad (discusión) 07:25, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

as you can see at the top of the page, the reference desk is not the place to start debates. If you're wondering what would make America unique among countries you could read our American exceptionalism article. But this is not the place to debate it. (talk) 07:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe the OP is asking for a book, article or other source that explores this parallel in more detail, not editors' opinions on it. It's a proper ref desk quesiton, and provided those answering don't get carried away with their own opinions, it wouldn't be a debate. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 08:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It sounds plausible to me. Basically the countries in question adopt different views when talking about nations on the international stage than they do for their own domestic politics. There are many reasons that one could use to justify this; interactions within nations and between nations are apples and oranges. It is not hypocritical to think that different philosophies would govern them differently (and more than it would be say that one's company board meeting need not be patterned on national politics either). -- (talk) 13:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Ask the Usenet poster to cite some reliable sources for his claim - you've got his e-mail address if it was a Usenet post. Tempshill (talk) 15:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe. —Tamfang (talk) 03:53, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

When welfare in the US runs out[edit]

I understand that you only get paid welfare in the US for six months after losing a job. I'm curious about what happens next? Starvation? Here in the UK the equivalent of welfare goes on for ever, although you do get more and more encouragement or pressure to get a job as time goes on. And in the US, what happens regarding people who are sufficiently disabled as to never be able to earn a living? (talk) 09:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Social Security (United States) is an enormous article that may be able to help you, and it has plenty of links etc. (talk) 10:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

We call it unemployment benefits, not welfare, which has means something else and has negative connotations. Social Security is mainly for retirees (also covers disabilities and survivors). --Nricardo (talk) 11:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Which country do you mean please - where are "we"? (talk) 13:20, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The OP was asking about the U.S. and that's where "we" is. --Nricardo (talk) 03:12, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Jobseeker's Allowance (the official name for UK unemployment benefit) doesn't go on for ever, it just doesn't have a fixed time limit. It goes on for as long as you are genuinely seeking a job. If you make a real effort to get a job - fill in application forms/send in you CV, go to interviews, accept a job if you are offered it, etc., then you can stay on the dole indefinitely, but it is unlikely to go on too long except in situations like the current one when there are very few jobs available. --Tango (talk) 12:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
When Jobseeker's Allowance (a fancy name for unemployment benefit) ends you do automatically recieve another benefit that can go on for ever, unless I think you have too much wealth apart from your own home. Even then, you still get something. And of course, free healthcare all the time for everyone. (talk) 19:27, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I've looked through the article Social Security (United States) and some of its links, it seems that disabled people are given money, but I havnt been able to see what happens after the 26 weeks is up. The article also claims that not many American people are eligible for unemployment benefit. (talk) 13:20, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not surprised you are confused; our article on this is pretty poor. One problem with writing a great article about the US program is that each of the 50 states runs a different unemployment benefits program. The summary: If you are fired from your job for cause, you don't get to collect unemployment benefits. You're on your own. If you have never had a job, same. If you are "laid off" — that is, made redundant because your position at the company has been eliminated — then you can start "collecting unemployment". Every time you receive a paycheck at any job, the employer has to pay some percentage of your wages to the state; this money is pooled and used to pay all the people who currently receive unemployment benefits. This link has a bunch of information for claimants from the state of Washington. To answer the original question, the sufficiently poor can apply for direct payments of money and food stamps. Hm, that article says about 10% of Americans get food stamps. Tempshill (talk) 15:47, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Welfare benefits in the US used to go on indefinitely. In the 1990s, they limited them to a few years, but there were many exceptions to the cut-off date and in practice, few people were entirely cut off when their limit was reached. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

In the abscence of any other information, I assume you just get food stamps unless the unemployment benefit period has been extended in your state. If I may say so, the amount of support for the poor and underprivelidged seems far below what we expect in Europe. (talk) 12:36, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Women and the internet[edit]

(I don't know which is the right desk for this question; arguably it would fit better under computers or science, but I tend to think it's more of a sociology-type question which fits under humanities.)

Have there been any reliable studies comparing the relative levels of comfort, facility and expertise men and women have as end users of the internet, or even of computers in general? Many thanks. --Richardrj talk email 10:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Any differences there might be are caused by society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't suppose you have any sort of study to back that claim up with? -Elmer Clark (talk) 11:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't suppose you have any sort of study to disprove that claim up with? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't matter. That claim doesn't even come close to answering the question. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 12:32, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The person making a claim has to back it up, anon. Tempshill (talk) 15:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
You can't just throw words around like 'society' and 'patriarchy' without providing some kind of coherent argument to back them up. Besides which, simply blaming 'society' for any behavioural differences there may be in men and women's approaches to the internet is quite staggeringly simplistic. --Richardrj talk email 18:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how. Please enlighten me to the other reasons for behavioral differences between most women and men on the net. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually don't bother, I know I'm fighting a losing battle here, it's just for some reason these all sweeping studies really bug me, trying to define me and whatnot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
That's not to say I think you're right and I'm wrong, I just don't see any point in arguing about it, plus ref desk guidelines about debates etc —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, probably. Try this google search (keywords: gender differences internet) and you'll pull up several academic papers in just the first few hits. Hopefully you can narrow down to the specific comfort question. Also, perhaps check the "internet use" section in our article Gender differences. Best, WikiJedits (talk) 13:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Moved follow-up question to own section

Have I broken the law?[edit]

Since people haven't noticed I said this later on, I'm located in England.

In an earlier discussion, someone claimed that everyone has broken the law at some point, so there are no true non-criminals out there. I'll admit I've broken copyright law...I was too young to know better (well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). But I've since stopped. I've never broken the speed limit, never gone somewhere I shouldn't by law. So if I hadn't downloaded those songs when I was younger, would I be legally innocent of everything? Can anyone suggest something that I've almost definitely broken? My experience of the Ref Desk would lead me to believe that this is a somewhat unusual question, but I see no reason it wouldn't be allowed... Vimescarrot (talk) 10:09, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

We'd need to know the country you're in first. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

It's likely you've unthinkingly 'broken' some law or another. Crossing the road at a non-designated crossing area is against the law in some countries and i'm sure 99.999999% of the given (adult) population have done that at some point. Copyright law seems to be the easiest thing to break - be it making a copy of a cd for a friend, or downloading music/games/software illegally. Being in a (moving) car without wearing your seat-belt is illegal in many countries and I suspect millions have unwittingly done this out of forgotfulness. Similarly you may be an 'accessory' to a crime, or you may have known of criminal activity and failed to report it. These can often be against the law, at least theoretically even if they are difficult to prove in practice. (talk) 10:39, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

England. Is crossing the road in non-designated areas against the law here? From memory I honestly can't actually remember a whole lot of designated areas around here. I've never been in a car without my belt on to my knowledge. Vimescarrot (talk) 10:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
As long a you don't murder anyone or cause a load of damage to something, you aren't likely to get into trouble. Keep your head down, don't get caught and nobody cares —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Of this, I am aware. That wasn't the purpose of this question. Vimescarrot (talk) 11:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Did you ever ask for anything in pounds and ounces instead of kilos and litres? Ever photocopied a page from a book, or a newspaper? Ever told someone how bad someone else was? (slander)... There are plenty of low level offences that people commit without even thinking in the UK! But it's not against the law to cross the road wherever you fancy - unless you're on a motorway! --TammyMoet (talk) 12:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Some more ideas, since a specific location isn't mentioned. Have you deleted the songs you downloaded? If not, you're still in breach of copyright merely by owning them. Many crimes like assault, nuisance, threatening behaviour, harassment, stalking, and breach of the peace have very vague definitions so that theoretically you could be prosecuted e.g. for shouting at a shop employee or customer service worker, playfully punching someone, moving in a threatening way (could all be assault), shouting in the street (particularly in the evening), swearing in public[1], wearing a t-shirt or badge with an offensive message[2], holding a protest sign or sending emails protesting about animal testing[3], taking part in a political protest or demonstration, or many other things. Public drunkenness is also illegal in some jurisdictions (it's illegal to buy alcohol when drunk in some places, e.g. Australia - see Legal drinking age), so if you ever have more than one or 2 drinks, you could have violated some law. Of course, if you conduct yourself with decorum at all times, never raise your voice, never adopt an aggressive stance, you may be ok. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 12:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
In almost evey state in the United States, you are required to pay "consumer use tax" on any item that you purchase from a merchant in another state (e.g., vis the internet, phone order, or mail-order) if the seller does not apply your state's sales tax. Look up "use tax" on your state's web site to verify this. Almost nobody in the entire country complies with this law. in Virginia, the rate is 5%,and I pay about $1000/year -Arch dude (talk) 12:26, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Woo...Let's see. Never photocopied anything, never asked for anything in any weight measurement. I no longer own the downloaded content. I've never shouted, punched, moved threateningly, or worn offensive clothes or badges, or protested against anything. I don't drink. I don't live in the US so I'm not sure that last one applies to me. Vimescarrot (talk) 12:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

You've never shouted? I really don't believe you... --Tango (talk) 12:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I shouted across the warehouse I work in once rather than sprint towards the person whose attention I needed. Does that count? Other than that, I haven't raised my voice for many years. Vimescarrot (talk) 12:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
For a little context, shouting is the standard way of communication with someone far away. Vimescarrot (talk) 12:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
There are a number of laws in England and Wales which have not been enforced for many years which I suspect you have broken at some point. Supposedly, these include prohibitions on [eating mince pies on Christmas Day, and sliding on ice or snow. Note, though, that nobody seems sure whether or not these have been repealed at some time. Warofdreams talk 14:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've done both of those. Onoes. I'm going to be locked up for a million billion years D= Vimescarrot (talk) 15:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Never idly murdered anyone or unthinkingly robbed a store? Nah but seriously given the sheer volume of laws in the UK Law of the United Kingdom - or try perusing it'd be amazing if you've not infringed one of them. Tax-law would be something you've potentially broken unwittingly. Things such as gifts are a tough law - a value of more than £250 is potentially liable to inheritance tax. I reckon your easiest place to find a broken law is in copyright though - intellectual property has huge numbers of rules about 'sharing' that are well beyond what (most) would consider reasonable. (talk) 15:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

By some interpretations, just loading a webpage that contains a copyright violation is itself a copyright violation. --Tango (talk) 15:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Ever pick a coin up off the footpath, or in a car park? I bet you did not declare that income on your taxes. (talk) 16:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd consider that to be more like gambling winnings in their unpredictable nature - are they taxable in the UK? Vimescarrot (talk) 16:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've just realised that I've never picked up a coin from the ground as a tax-paying adult (since I was 16). I don't get out much. But to be fair, had I seen one, I would have picked it up. Vimescarrot (talk) 16:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Returning to copyrights, it's very hard to not break the law. Being in one room with someone who listens to downloaded music, or checking an e-mail on a friend's computer makes you the user of copyrighted material, and accomplice if you don't call the police on them. Playing your own songs on your own guitar for yourself seems to become crime as well, as I already heard of cases where a band was playing his own songs without asking for any payment: they should have copyrighted it, payed the price for it, so that the money can then flow to those on the top of the billboard. (They redistribute the money based on the number of listeners, so those who's one/time hits play on every radio station ten times a day, will get the most of it). And if one of Bill Gates's early ideas would have come in practice (still don't know if it's just an urban legend, it seems plausible to me) it would be illegal to write a computer program for yourself without a license. So if you are in the way and they want to fine you, they can. The only thing I think that stops them, that is more waste to hunt down those tax evasionists who find a coin or do nut plug in their ears when hearing a possibly pirated piece of music, than what could be won, so the law enforcement typically concentrates on more serious
You say you are in England. Have you ever taken a photograph of a police officer? That has recently become illegal -- lots of quite innocuous things may fall foul of the Serious Organised Crime Act, such as reading out a list of war dead in front of the Cenotaph. So you see that what is criminal can change over time as well as jurisdiction. The sexcrime in George Orwell's 1984 was just a man and a woman in non-adulterous love. BrainyBabe (talk) 23:17, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Ever advocated abolition of the monarchy? (According to Charles Stross in a Usenet post some years ago, that was made a capital crime in 1848, non-capital some little while later when the panic subsided; still on the books, though no one has ever been prosecuted.) Ever said anything that could be construed as disapproval of (e.g.) homosexuality or Islam? —Tamfang (talk) 04:07, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like you may well be Vime's Carrot. Pfly (talk) 07:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Similarly ... the 1940 Smith Act in the US made it a federal crime to "knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise or teach the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence". I heard that on an early Saturday Night Live show, one of the monologuists mentioned this, and then said "I hereby advocate the overthrow of the government of the United States by force." This was not a particularly brave test of the law, as it took place several decades after the height of McCarthyism. Tempshill (talk) 20:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Bridge types[edit]

I've been somewhat confused by the various types of concrete bridges. I can understand arch bridges, but what exactly is a deck arch bridge? The arch bridge article mentions a few types of deck arch bridges, but it doesn't spell out exactly what a deck arch bridge is, and I'm quite confused about Commons:Category:Concrete deck arch bridges in the United States. If you look at its parent Commons:Category:Concrete arch bridges in the United States, you'll see just three pictures (all of which are mine, because I didn't know if I could classify them further), while there are dozens in the deck arch bridges category, many of which (to me) don't seem to fit the definitions of "suspended deck arch bridge" or "supported deck arch bridge" given at arch bridge. Nyttend (talk) 12:15, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Just as a start to your question, the main load- and traffic-bearing element of a bridge that is not an arch is generally referred to as the deck. This term is used to varying degrees by particular civil and other engineering and highway maintenance disciplines. Deck arch bridge is another way of saying that, although the "arch" is part of the construction, it is not the construction, or the main load-bearing element. It is the actual concrete deck which is carrying the traffic, but the deck and the arch work in conjuction as the structure. A deck arch bridge comprises both the suspended and supported types, I would assume, though there may be other design possibilities which don't fit very well into either category. It is possible, for example, for an arch to be present but for it not to be a part of a working bridge. Here in the UK, some smaller arches that are understrength can be over-slabbed with concrete. No one ever sees the slab on top of the arch, because it is largely hidden by fill, but it is, technically, "taking over" the loading from the still-present arch. I'm sure others will be able to explain or help more fully! Maedin\talk 12:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and a concrete arch is different from a deck arch bridge. With a concrete arch, the structure is still more or less operating as an arch, and as a single construction type. It still disperses loading by means of fill over the top of the arch. Looking at the three bridges you say you placed in that category, I would suggest that the Hayden arch is a supported deck arch bridge, the Melan Arch is just a concrete arch, and the Twin Bridge, I don't know, as the elevation isn't shown. Maedin\talk 12:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

If this hasn't answered your question, by the way, it is probably more suited to the science desk than humanities. Maedin\talk 14:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Stafford Hospital scandal, UK[edit]

Where is the article about this? I cannot even find an article about Stafford Hospital. According to this url, up to 1200 people died in shocking circumstances. Surely this is noteworthy. I will not write the article as I know little about it. As an original-research aside, when I was involved with another public organisation nearby in the Midlands that was also (literally) unbelivebly badly run, I found that even people in responsible positions were apathetic, apparantly believing that things would run themselves. It was as if they had not discovered the necessity for feedback, and their management model was that of a strong-willed person forcing or frightening subordinates into lip-service or silence (like omerta), like hydraulic pressure radiating from the centre, with no upward communication. (talk) 12:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The only mention I can find in WP is here in the last line of the second paragraph. If what the Mirror has charged is true (and I know nothing about the reliability of it as a source) then there have to be other stories about, and in the fullness of time, someone will start an article. See also the BBC's recent report on the matter and on reports on the matter. // BL \\ (talk) 13:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(Sorry, writing at same time as you, Bielle.) There is a reference to the report in the Stafford article. If you don't write a new article yourself,, you can list your request at Requested articles. If you do decide to write something yourself, the Reference Desk can help you find good sources if you get stuck. For example, a good source would be the NHS report itself, available here [4], plus newspaper reports such as the one you linked to and the Prime Minister's apology that show it became a major scandal. Best, WikiJedits (talk) 13:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've created a stub: Stafford Hospital scandal. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Strange fertility pattern of Anna of Bohemia and Hungary[edit]

At seventeen Anna of Bohemia and Hungary married an eighteen year old. They had no children for five years, but thereafter she was extremely fertile. Has anyone at the time or since pointed out that this is rather odd, or am I the first person to suspect that someone other than her husband was fathering her children? Based on his article, her husband Ferdinand had no mistresses or illegitimate children. Perhaps he was just away a lot early in their marriage, or perhaps she was reluctant to grant him conjugal rights, but later discovered that she loved babies. Perhaps she started to ovulate at an exceptionally late age. Perhaps she had some miscarriages that aren't mentioned in the articles. Whatever the truth, I think the babyless era at the beginning of her marriage requires an explanation. Mowsbury (talk) 14:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

This request would best be answered on the talk page of the article, unless you are volunteering to do the research yourself. There may, of course, be no verifiable explanation, in which case, speculation is inappropriate. There are lots of marriages that are childless for any number of years, and then fruitful thereafter, and for a host of different reasons. // BL \\ (talk) 14:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Please be very wary of adding WP:OR into the article. Bielle's suggestion of posting at the article talk is a good one - a RS may have discussed this issue (sorry for the pun) in the past. --Dweller (talk) 14:46, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I posted the question on the talk page first, but she's a rather obscure figure in the English-speaking world so it isn't likely that many people will read it. What I was hoping is that someone who has some knowledge of what the secondary sources (perhaps in German, Czech, or Hungarian, which I can't read myself) say about the issue would answer my question. Please pardon me for trying to use the reference desk as a reference desk. I thought that questions about obscure issues are what this page is for, but it seems I was mistaken. Mowsbury (talk) 15:45, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Whoah! I've not noticed anyone slap you down for posting here - all you've had is helpful suggestions. And if you're prepared to wait, without getting angry, you may get more. --Dweller (talk) 15:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
And I've not noticecd anyone refer to the idea that Mowsbury was slapped down except you!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
There's also a fairly well-known medical phenomenon called "adolescent infertility", "adolescent sterility" etc., referring to when teen girls seem to be sexually developed by most criteria, but they don't get pregnant. (Having difficulty figuring out whether there's anything in Wikipedia on this.) AnonMoos (talk) 15:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe Anovulation, third paragraph - but it's not referenced. The sources I found "adolescent+infertility"&source=bl&ots=d2gT16fP8x&sig=cYRdpUlZUYz5qSngsgbSg2B79ic&hl=en&ei=9mIAStWiDp-yMaThlN8H&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8 Evolutionary principles of human adolescence, "adolescent+infertility"&source=bl&ots=ofg3fXaSyh&sig=YTL7f5F13NhH7huzxTeImqpH_qc&hl=en&ei=W2MASrbjFp2xmAezxISuCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#PPA483,M1 Encyclopedia of human ecology don't quite confirm what it says in the article, but they do say that adolescent infertility is a natural period of 12 to 18 months after menarche during which most (though not all) teens aren't fertile. In societies where poor nourishment delays menarche until 16 or 17, a person could easily not be fertile until as late as 19. (However, Anne was 22 when she conceived her first recorded child.) WikiJedits (talk) 18:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
My mistake - menarche is the better article, with more detail. It says "In most girls, menarche does not signal that ovulation has occurred. In postmenarchal girls, about 80% of the cycles were anovulatory in the first year after menarche, 50% in the third and 10% in the sixth year" and this statement is referenced. WikiJedits (talk) 18:27, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Not a complete answer to your question, but the German wikipedia points out that Ferdinand and Anna were inseparable, always travelling together. I would say that that makes it rather unlikely that she had fifteen children with someone other than her husband... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Why are we assuming something was wrong with Anna? Maybe it was Ferdinand's problem. Adam Bishop (talk) 18:31, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
They married in 1521 and the children we know of are born in and after 1526, when Ferdinand became king of Bohemia and Hungary on the death of his brother-in-law Lajos II. Perhaps there was a change in their living situation at the time he became king; perhaps children born before he assumed the throne were not meticulously recorded, and those afterwards were. And perhaps five years just elapsed before they had children. - Nunh-huh 18:38, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Fertility often increases after conceiving the first child. Ask women you know - most will be able to tell you of all the friends and relations who discovered that (often by mistake). I could tell you of several I know who struggled to conceive the first, and got caught out afterwards. Gwinva (talk) 01:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it took them 5 years to find out how to have sex properly? This is not a facetious suggestion: about ten years ago I heard a talk given by a fertility councellor, who said that something like a quarter of cases of apparent infertility she dealt with in the USA were due to the couple literally not knowing how to perform sexual intercourse correctly; insertion of the penis merely between the thighs, into the navel, or in one case into the urethra (ouch!) were some of the variants. If this is true for 20th/21st-century America, it must be a possible consideration for 16th-century Europe. I'd think, however, that if the actual reason isn't already known it's unlikely to be discoverable. (talk) 04:18, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

US foodstamps[edit]

Are there restrictions on what people can buy with foodstamps so that they get basic nutrition requirements? Can someone take $50 of foodstamps and buy 100 snickers bars? Or 5 cases of Pepsi? Or can they only be used on vegetables and meat and milk and stuff other then junk food? What about beer? (talk) 16:14, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The standard food stamps (now called SNAP) have few restrictions. Basically they're good for any groceries. There are other programs like WIC, that are much more specific about the types of foods, their nutritional value, and their price. APL (talk) 16:46, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
To answer your specific question, alcohol can't be purchased on food-stamps. I don't know if snickers bars can be counted as a grocery. Check the FAQ here. APL (talk) 16:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(ECx2) According to Food stamps "The eligibility for purchase with food stamps of all items intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages and imported foods (the House version would have prohibited the purchase of soft drinks, luxury foods, and luxury frozen foods) and "These stamps could be used to purchase any prepackaged edible foods regardless of nutritional value (for example soft drinks and confectionery could be purchased on food stamps). In the late 1990s, the food stamp program was revamped and actual stamps were phased out in favor of a specialized debit card system known as Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) provided by private contractors. Many states merged the use of the EBT card for public assistance welfare programs as well. The successful replacement over time of all paper food stamps by EBT cards enabled Congress to rename the Food Stamp Program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as of October 2008, and update all references in federal law from "stamp" or "coupon" to "card" or "EBT". This was effectuated by H.R. 2419, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (a/k/a "2008 Farm Bill") passed into law as Public Law No: 110-234, over President Bush's veto". From what I can tell this hasn't changed although there is nutritional education as part of the plan Nil Einne (talk) 17:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I may totally wrong, but it was my understanding that SNAP only covered ingredients, and not pre-packaged materials. You can buy macaroni, cheese, salt, etc., but you can't use SNAP to buy a package of macaroni and cheese. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 00:12, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
From the FAQ at the SNAP link above:
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
  • Foods for the household to eat, such as:
    • breads and cereals
    • fruits and vegetables
    • meats, fish and poultry; and
    • dairy products
    • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.
  • Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:
    • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
    • Any nonfood items, such as:
      • pet foods;
      • soaps, paper products; and
      • household supplies.
      • Vitamins and medicines.
    • Food that will be eaten in the store.
    • Hot foods
In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. SNAP benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

Tempshill (talk) 16:31, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

So it would appear that beer is definatly out, candy is probably out. Chips, Pepsi, etc maybe. It seems there are a lot of things sold in the store that don't fit any of the categories. (talk) 18:20, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Chips and Pepsi are "food for the household to eat", so they qualify - the agency just didn't want to list junk food in the list as if it were a suggestion. Tempshill (talk) 20:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

John Hersey's Books[edit]

I just read your article on John Hersey ( and looked at his list of books at the end of the article. I know he wrote another book -"Under the Eye of the Storm," but I do not know the date it was printed other than in the 1960s, I think. Perhaps someone can verify this and update the book list in this article.Ronkriel (talk) 16:47, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you.

Ron Kriel

Feel free to click "edit this page" at the top of that article, and add it yourself. If you're uncomfortable adding this stuff yourself, the discussion page for the article (Talk:John Hersey) is probably the best place to mention this, rather than the Reference Desk. Tempshill (talk) 17:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Ronkriel just said that he/she didn't have all the information needed to update the article. APL (talk) 18:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Probably this book here? 1967. APL (talk) 18:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I added a worldcat ID external link to the page. You can follow that link to a list of hiw book available in libraries and thense to the listing for this particualr book. Published in 1967. -Arch dude (talk) 19:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Great x ? uncle[edit]

A former president was my great-great-grandmother's uncle. What is he, then, to me? I'm trying to figure this out... Thanks, guys! hmwithτ 17:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

He is your great-great-great-grand-uncle (the brother of your great-great-great-grandmother/grandfather).Catrionak (talk) 17:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Why is there a grand in there instead of another great? From my understanding, they mean the same thing (one generation up each). hmwithτ 18:18, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Because language isn't mathematics, and language isn't logic. Great-uncle and grand-uncle are synonyms; you can use either term, and people tend to use the one they're used to. - Nunh-huh 18:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm aware of that. I was just curious why he chose to use both. hmwithτ 18:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I mentioned it because I wasn't sure that you knew that using both is perfectly standard, with grand used only in the last instance. It's "great-great-grand uncle" or "great-great-great uncle", but it isn't "grand-grand-grand uncle". - Nunh-huh 18:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've never heard "grand-uncle" just "great-uncle". Is it really standard? --Tango (talk) 19:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is, really :). In the dictionary I use most (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate) the main definition is for granduncle ("an uncle of one's father or mother") while the definition for "great-uncle" simply refers you to "granduncle". "Granduncle" is apparently the older term, though not by much (the date for "granduncle" is "15th century" (i.e., the 1400s), while that for "great-uncle" is 1547). I'd be very surprised if there were dictionaries in which "granduncle" doesn't appear. - Nunh-huh 20:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but it's usually hyphenated "grand-uncle", isn't it? Otherwise, the temptation is to perceive it, and pronounce it, as gran-DUNCLE. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've usually hyphenated it, but...Merriam-Webster doesn't. - Nunh-huh 22:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I've now looked it up in the OED, it mentions both (both hyphenated, the unhyphenated forms don't appear, although the old quotations sometimes write them as two words). Great-uncle dating back to 1438 and grand-uncle from 1475. Great-uncle is the main definition. You learn something every day! --Tango (talk) 12:26, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Wow, I missed all the exciting part! I use grand-uncle or granduncle only in conjunction with one or more additional "greats." Because all the greats together sound funny to me. And you would most frequently be using it with only one other "great." Catrionak (talk) 21:33, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Renaissance handwriting[edit]

I've been for some time interested in the beautiful handwriting of the past ages, mostly renaissance or at least classicist. Does anyone know about some book, or other resource (preferably online and free) where one could learn it? I've searched a lot, but by just looking at images containing that kind of handwriting I could not get very far. Is there a guide, or are there exercises for it? I remember as a kid, we had to exercise by drawing small angled dashes or other simple shapes before actually drawing letters. -- (talk) 19:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

you might have a look at Reading English Chancery Hand and some of the other pages at Medieval Writing. (Though medieval, they should be some help with regard to Renaissance Chancery.) The Paleography Exercises there may be helpful. Also The Handwriting of the Renaissance sounds promising, though I can't personally vouch for it. - Nunh-huh 20:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Edward Johnston's Writing & Illuminating & Lettering is a classic of the subject, with information about everything from preparing your own pens to making strokes in the correct order to produce letters in different styles to making gilded initials. Judging by Amazon, it's out of print, drat it; but used copies are fairly easy to come by, and many libraries have it. Deor (talk) 21:39, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
For online material, do a Google search for calligraphy +tutorial or calligraphy +lessons. You'll find a bunch of stuff like this and this, which should be quite adequate to get you started. Deor (talk) 21:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thanks a lot, you have pointed me to the right direction :) -- (talk) 22:28, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I have always been confused about the use of the name copperplate for the old common handwriting style - and our article is poorly referenced. Rmhermen (talk) 23:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It was called "copperplate" because the copybooks were printed from copperplates. Liek talking about a "textbook performance". Gwinva (talk) 01:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
But wouldn't every style have been taught from copybooks printed from copperplates? Why is only this one style called "copperplate"? Rmhermen (talk) 15:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Also try palaeography and the links to the different scripts there (these articles are not the greatest, but they are a start). Adam Bishop (talk) 00:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)