Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2011 September 29

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September 29[edit]

date of birth[edit]

Is the resolution of the date of birth one day, one hour, one minute or one second? In other words if someone is born at 11:00PM and enters a bar at 1:00AM can they still order a beer even though the hour of their 21st birth (day) is another 22 hours away? --DeeperQA (talk) 01:44, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

In the U.S., it is the calendar date. If your birth is 12:01 AM on September 1, 2000 and you try to order a beer at 11:59 PM on August 31, 2021 you're 2 minutes too early. Anticipating the followup question, it is the date in whatever timezone the beer is to be ordered in, irrespective of what timezone you were born in. All that matters is the date on your ID, and the date right this second, wherever you happen to be. That means that some people hit their "drinking age" up to almost a day before others, depending on what local time they were born at. It is what it is. --Jayron32 01:51, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
If your ID is a passport from outside America you can drink nearly 11 months early, because Americans think that 1/12/1990 on a foreign passport is January 12th, rather than its actual meaning of December 1st. (My daughter assured me that this worked for her! I wasn't too stressed, because the drinking age here in Australia is 18, so I lost control ages ago.) HiLo48 (talk) 02:15, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
British passports have the date in the format "01 JAN / JAN 90" so such confusion should not arise. The second three-letter abbreviation for the month is for the french name of the month. DuncanHill (talk) 15:08, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I think you mean intended, not actual meaning. In actuality those are simply little black ink squiggles on cloth. μηδείς (talk) 02:50, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah, those little black ink squiggles on cloth. Nearly as dangerous as unlit pixels on a screen. HiLo48 (talk) 03:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I can't find the link that Medeis is correcting to "intended", even though I've read this several times.DeeperQA, just imagine the chaos that would result if they tried to base it on time of birth; aside from birth certificates, the average person probably doesn't have any way to verify time of birth, so they'd have to take your word for it, and you know that's not a safe thing when alcohol sales in the USA are concerned. Nyttend (talk) 11:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The link seems to work just fine, although the article is a little convoluted. The point is that things such as written statements only have meaning if they are interpreted in accord with the mental attitude of the communicating people. Written words don't have any meaning as physical objects. In that sense they are only black squiggles. It is as representing people's mental states that they have meaning. For example, IO can be interpreted as signifying the numeral ten, the Jovian moon Io or the Italian word for the first person nominative pronoun. Those are intentional interpretations. But in actuality, it is just a line next to a circle. μηδείς (talk) 19:26, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
That says on-off but what does that have to do with the OP's question. Rmhermen (talk) 19:19, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Palestinian conflict[edit]

Was the unfulfilled demand of the Palestinian people to have self-determination the reason for 9/11 and if so would the Arab or Islamic people sympathetic with this Palestinian cause go so far as to acquire a nuclear device and smuggle it into the City of New York or Chicago or LA and detonate it to make their point that self-determination and statehood are their right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DeeperQA (talkcontribs) 02:07, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

No. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:30, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
To make it a bit clearer, the answer to DeeperQA's first question is "no" and so all of his followup questions are moot and unanswerable. --Jayron32 02:32, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
DeeperQA -- Osama bin Laden himself never personally really cared all that much about Israel. He sometimes made allusion to it in his rhetoric, but it's quite clear that his main burning grievance was the presence of U.S. troops on Saudi soil following the 1991 Gulf War -- NOT Israel. AnonMoos (talk) 02:43, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I think he talked about Israel as being akin to a Crusader state a few times and cast himself as being like Salah-al-Din (poor Kurds, everyone claims his legacy, but no one helps them, especially not this guy :(). If I remember that correctly from one of our Jerusalem lectures. As for detonating a nuke in one of our major cities. I don't want to think about what the consequences of that would be. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 3 Tishrei 5772 00:31, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
American foreign policy, which is undeniabley strongly in favour of Israel in the Israel-Palestine conflict, was stated to be one of the reasons for attacks on the US. So while Palestine was far from the sole reason, it was one of a hundred straws that led to the attack. For your second question, a non government organization could very well attack the US for its support of the occupation of Palestine. People could attack any nation for any reason if they wanted to.
"In a second fatwā in 1998, bin Laden outlined his objections to American foreign policy with respect to Israel, as well as the continued presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War." - from the 9/11 article Public awareness (talk) 03:14, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Presumably, bin Laden would have felt that Saudi Arabia was holy ground being soiled by the feet of infidels. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:25, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
As I recall it was agreed and approved that US Solders while on Saudi soil going way back to the 60's or 70's were subject to Saudi law and not American law - thus the reason for gated compounds in Saudi Arabia which were the exception to this agreement. The briefing came across like the fictional briefing given to troops arriving on Pandora. --DeeperQA (talk) 03:53, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
My globe may be outdated. I have looked all over it, and I cannot find "Pandora." What are its latitude and longitude? As for nukes, it is only a question of when, not if some nutgroup sets one off somewhere. It is odd that I can find no refs for "self determination" of the "Palestinian people" during the Turkish control or the British Mandate. Edison (talk) 04:16, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
DeeperQA is referring, I believe, to part of the movie Avatar. --Mr.98 (talk) 11:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The concept of self-determination is relatively modern. The first high-profile exposure of the concept was in Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech, however the concept of self-determination there was a Eurocentric one, and didn't really extend in Wilson's mind to all peoples worldwide. However, it got the ball rolling, and the zeitgeist slowly changed through the first half of the 20th century when the concept became an accepted standard in the post-Colonial world. By the time anyone really thought of the sort of "self-determination" that you are asking about, it was during the great independence movements of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. By then, Israel already existed as a state, and did so by disenfranchising a people who already lived there. Which is not to say it is right, which is also not to say that it is wrong, but it is to say that it is. That is why the question of Palestinian self-determination is so wrapped up in Israeli soverignty, and why the idea doesn't make much sense pre-1948. Israel has an unambiguous right to exist and to protect itself, but it also has dealt poorly with the problem of Palestine. Its why the two-state solution has so much traction internationally and within the region, the only tenable long-term solution is a free and independent Palestine alongside a secure and safe Israel. If you can figure out how to do that, there's some folks in Norway that would like to present you with a big shiny medallion... --Jayron32 04:54, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Regarding nukes' attacks by terrorist, there are a couple of points worth considering: 1. they are not easily available, even functioning countries like Iran seem to have problems producing them; 2. they are not easy to smuggle; 3. they won't necessarily cause that much damage. It depends on many factors like exploding it on the air or surface, wind conditions, etc. Quest09 (talk) 00:20, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

1. Poor quality weapons are not that hard to make if you have the materials. Making the materials is hard, but stealing them seems like something that could happen. 2. They probably are not all that hard to smuggle. I bet one would fit into the back of a pickup. 3. Even a fizzle would cause a ton of damage if it was used in a populated area. Googlemeister (talk) 13:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
1. If you mean a dirty bomb (and not a proper nuke), then yes, they are easy to make. However, they'll cause even less damage. For a real bomb you don't need just radioactive material (that can be easily stole), but something really special. 2. smuggling a pickup from <put here any rough state you are afraid of> into countries like the US or UK is a daunting task. 3. A ton of damage are a couple of cars. Is that what you mean? Quest09 (talk) 16:12, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I recommend you read Gun-type fission weapon. Googlemeister (talk) 20:47, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I read the article and I am not even a little more scared of a nuclear terror attack. The article states that "The required amount of uranium is relatively large, and the efficiency relatively low." And even if the engineering task is less complex comparing to a modern nuke, remember that even then you'll need a group of engineers that know what they are doing (besides obtaining the uranium). Right at the moment, terrorists, of any kind, weren't even able to detonate a much simpler dirty bomb. So, how high are the chances of a nuclear explosion in NY or London? However, if you really want to know how difficult it is, please go to the sci. RD.Quest09 (talk) 00:07, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
nuclear bomb, Suitcase_nuke, W54. --DeeperQA (talk) 03:05, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing in these articles that would confirm the nuclear terrorist threat. These articles just explain how the idea that it could happen sneaked into the media. Quest09 (talk) 11:01, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Far-right politics in Africa[edit]

Since far-right political parties are anti-immigrant and eurosceptic, what about far-right politics in Africa? Are there any political parties that are far-right and what is their common trait? anti-white or anti-immigrant or something like that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Right-left politics is always defined locally, and not globally. Rightist parties are reactionary and backward looking (preserve social order, return to a better time). Leftist parties are progressive and forward looking (improve society, reform, etc.). Whatever those ideas mean where you live will define the local politics on the left-right scale. --Jayron32 04:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Or to put it more succinctly, the left-right scale is total bullshit. --Trovatore (talk) 09:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Nope, it just needs to be defined locally, and also defined on a per-issue basis. It doesn't work if you over-extend it. But if party A has a reactionary position on issue 1, then they can be said to be of a "rightist" mindset on that one issue, while if party B has a progressive position on the same issue, then they have a leftist mindset. Where a party is consistantly reactionary, they may be generally described as rightist, and some parties defy easy categorization because they are all over the map WRT their political positions. Such parties could be described as "centrist" (if their positions tend toward the moderate position) or may simply be uncategorizable (if they hold radical, but distinctly different positions). --Jayron32 12:50, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
If you define it on a per-issue basis, then it's pointless. The whole point of political groupings is an attempt to show how positions of various issues are correlated. That is, you're saying that people with the same position on one issue probably have the same position on other issues. Terms like "right wing" are only useful to the extent that that is true (which isn't a particularly large extent). --Tango (talk) 17:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Jayron, sorry, your proposed definition, though conventional, is total bullshit. There's no such thing as "progressive" or "reactionary". Those terms assume that there's a particular natural direction that the flow of history will naturally go, and some are swimming with the flow and others against it.
Take the early 2000s in the United States, for example, when the Bushies were trying to construct a New American Century, and their opponents were looking back to the Clinton years they saw as better. Clearly the GOP was progressive and the Democratic Party was reactionary, right? --Trovatore (talk) 18:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Insofar as they have any consistent meaning, it seems to me that the Right stands for stability and the Left for equality (in some sense or other). One may note that these are not opposites. —Tamfang (talk) 23:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
(For a still-oversimplified, but much more revelatory, way of characterizing political positions, see Nolan Chart.) --Trovatore (talk) 19:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah, the Nolan Chart. Its a nice piece of Libertarian Party propaganda which is used to convince everyone they are really Libertarians. Brilliant for that purpose; otherwise its not obviously less bullshit than the one-axis left-right grouping (which has its own bullshittiness, for exactly all the reasons you note). The Nolan Chart is merely two-dimensional bullshit. One could similarly devise a political "cube" which had three political axises, and would be three-dimensional bullshit. It wouldn't be less bullshitty, it would just be more of it. --Jayron32 19:25, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
It is, as I mentioned, oversimplified. But yes, it's less bullshit than left-right. --Trovatore (talk) 19:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Jayron32, (but noting obvious edge cases like Napoleon III; neo-liberalism (depending on your definition structure of far-right); or, some kinds of fascism which have at times had a generalising concept of compatible modern nationalism. These edge cases could exist in Africa, it appears as though a few people have criticised some forms of pan-Africanism for right wing bents). Fifelfoo (talk) 04:39, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging is one example. --Roisterer (talk) 07:30, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There are a few other White chauvinist groups in South Africa, like Freedom Front, etc. In general, the only clear examples of far right political movements in Africa have emerged as spin-offs of European movements (white chauvinists in Rhodesia, German Nazis in South West Africa, fascist groups set up under Italian occupation, etc.). The international far right did seek some alliances with people like UNITA in Angola, seen as fighting communism, but there is little evidence to suggest that UNITA actually would have adopted any form of far right ideological approach. On the whole, African politics tend to be quite pragmatic and parties are often not divided along a Eurocentric left-right axis. There are many leftwing movements across the continent, that had clear linkages and identification with Marxist sectors outside Africa, but their opponents were rarely able to construct clear-cut ideological parties. On the whole, the rightwing (not just the far right) has difficulties in finding counterparts in many African countries (parties do join structures like International Democrat Union, but for entirely opportunistic reasons). --Soman (talk) 09:00, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front is somewhat anti-white, but it also identifies as a left-wing party, so that doesn't really fit. Adam Bishop (talk) 09:08, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Vide supra. --Trovatore (talk) 09:14, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Fascism in Africa claims "amongst the indigenous people fascism in its true ideological sense is unheard of" --Colapeninsula (talk) 10:22, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a big [citation needed] to me. Just the same it may be true, if by true ideological sense one intends the specific ideological system of Giovanni Gentile et al. But in that sense there are probably few if any true fascists left in the world; that system was specific to a time and place. --Trovatore (talk) 19:58, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There is plenty of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa. See xenophobia in South Africa as well as here, here, and here. There also has been a number of anti-immigrant policies and violent targeted at refugees and immigrants in Ivory Coast - see ivoirité and here, here, and here. Neutralitytalk 03:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Crime prescription[edit]

Didn't the alleged high-jacking that George_Wright_(criminal) committed prescribed? Quest09 (talk) 15:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm having trouble parsing the grammar of your sentence. Are you asking if it is outside of the statute of limitations? It probably is, unless they indicted him in absentia. In any case, the articles I have read (e.g. this one) say that he still has a nice chunk of time left on his previous sentence, which would carry him along until his was 90 years old by itself. --Mr.98 (talk) 16:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
You are right on that: my sentence is convoluted. So would be better: isn't the hijack accusation against George_Wright_(criminal) already prescribed? And yes, I know he has a sentence to serve, besides this hijack. Quest09 (talk) 16:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Ordinarily yes. There are some cases like that of D.B. Cooper where a grand jury indictment was done at the time which keeps it from being outside the statute of limitations. I see no reason to think they've done that in this case though. --Mr.98 (talk) 17:10, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
As a side note: hijacking planes was much, but much more common at that time (end of the 60's, beginning of the 70's). So, possibly this particular hijacking didn't get all the attention - from the police and judicial system - that it would get today. Wikiweek (talk) 20:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
It's also because nobody had used a hijacked plane as a suicide bomb before. It ups the ante a bit. Most of the hijackings in the 1970s were like the Wright one: hijack a plane, demand a bunch of money, fly it to Cuba/Algeria/wherever, everyone goes home with an adventure. In a way the rate of terrorism in the 1970s is astounding compared to today (they had hundreds of bombings per year at the height of it), on the other hand, it was also a lot quainter: the body count was very low, at least in the USA. --Mr.98 (talk) 00:41, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
For those who, like me, still could not make sense of Quest09's question even after they reworded it, the OED lists a meaning of "prescribe" in Scots law: "Of an action: to suffer prescription (prescription n.1 1); to lapse, to become invalid or void through passage of time. Of a crime, claim, debt, etc.: to be no longer capable of being prosecuted." I conjecture that this is the meaning intended, and that it must be used somewhere else besides Scotland. --ColinFine (talk) 22:48, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe you can use the word this way. There is no such thing as "crime prescription." There is a Period_of_prescription#Prescription for civil lawsuits, in the sense of a period of time set by law after which a right is unenforceable. However, in criminal law, there is just a statute of limitation. Wikiweek (talk) 23:02, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The statute of limitations article explains that statute of limitations is the term used in common law countries (that is, most English-speaking ones), whereas prescription is the term used in civil law countries. They don't seem to be very different, so it's not clear why a different word is used.
Still, Quest09, please do be aware that this sense of the word prescribed is likely not to be understood when speaking English. --Trovatore (talk) 23:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

OK, I'm re-rewording: is the hijack accusation against George_Wright_(criminal) already outside the statute of limitations? Quest09 (talk) 23:54, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

My understanding is it is kind of a complicated question. The statute of limitations for federal crimes (like hijacking) is 5 years. However there are a lot of complicated ways in which this can be rendered irrelevant by clever lawyers. The fact that he is explicitly a "fugitive fleeing from justice" in the hijacking may invalidate any statute of limitations on the crime, but this seems to be a tricky and nuanced legal issue. See [1]. --Mr.98 (talk) 00:45, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The link Mr.98 provides gives certain types of terrorism and being a fugitive as possible applicable reasons to stop the clock. Rmhermen (talk) 01:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Africans in Belgium[edit]

How many Rwandans live in Belgium? How many Burundians live in Belgium? How many Zairians live in Belgium? and in which cities? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Lots. Over there *points* -- Obsidin Soul 18:55, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
On this page is a link to a study that will answer your questions. It is a bit old, but the situation is unlikely to have changed dramatically since its publication. The study is in French, but if you are clever, you can find the information you want without knowing French. Marco polo (talk) 19:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh my god, are we going to get this stuff again? Looie496 (talk) 22:54, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Why would any Rwandans, Burundians, or Zairians want to live in Belgium ... Luxembourg I could understand... but Belgium??? Ok, I apologize to any irate Walloons out there. It was just too good an opportunity to pass up - Blueboar (talk) 03:42, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Because Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire were colonized by Belgium, duh!

Indonesian Muslims in the Netherlands[edit]

How many Indonesian Muslims live in the Netherlands? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

According to this study, approximately 800,000 people of Indonesian descent live in the Netherlands. This includes Eurasians of mixed descent. The study does not distinguish among Indonesian Netherlanders of different religions. Indonesians who have migrated to the Netherlands are likely to be disproportionately non-Muslim. While Indonesia's population is predominantly Muslim, based on my understanding of the migrant population, the number of Muslims in this group may not exceed 500,000. However, this is pure guesswork on my part in the absence of real statistics. Marco polo (talk) 19:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Note: OP has asked this question (and variations thereof) numerous times before under different IP's. -- Obsidin Soul 22:00, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

What is meant by "Indonesian Muslims living in the Netherlands"? ... Are we talking Dutch Muslims of Indonesian heritage, or are we limiting it to Muslim citizens of Indonesia, currently residing in the Netherlands. Do we count tourists from Indonesia who are Muslim? Should we see check the Dutch Universities to see if there are any American exchange students of Indonesian heritage, who happen to be Muslim? (in short, I don't think we can give a definitive answer). Blueboar (talk) 03:20, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

If these Indonesian Muslims become citizens of the Netherlands, do they stop being Indonesian in the mind of our OP? What if they have kids in the Netherlands? Does he want us to still count them as Indonesian? The same questions apply to the Africans in Belgium above. Or is our OP really just talking about dark skinned people seemingly from somewhere else? HiLo48 (talk) 03:47, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Many "Indonesians" in the Netherlands are actually Moluccans, who are not usually Muslim, and are not necessarily fond of being referred to as "Indonesian"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Myth of choosing a husband by his feet[edit]

I recall when I was young a story about a woman or princess choosing her husband by looking among the feet of suitors. I seem to recall that years earlier, she had placed a ring into a wound into his foot and this is how she found her hero again. I can't find this story anywhere, but it seems like a combination of the story of Skaði and also of Odysseus, with the former having the choosing, and the second having the scar on the foot. Neither has a ring, however. It might not necessarily be a related epic or mythology, but a work of fiction based on mythology. I heard it in 1985, but haven't found it anywhere. Gx872op (talk) 19:50, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like the story of Hadingus and Regnilda, as told by Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum. Our Hadingus page, which doesn't go into enough detail to mention this episode, says that Poul Anderson retells the story in his 1997 novel War of the Gods, but that seems too late for you. --Antiquary (talk) 21:47, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There's a translation of Book 1 of the Gesta Danorum here. You'll find the Hadingus and Regnilda episode (translated as Hadding and Ragnhild) about three-quarters of the way down, in the paragraph beginning "Hadding chanced to hear". --Antiquary (talk) 21:58, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

This reminds me of Cinderella, Robert Graves' The White Goddess, "Fairies Wear Boots" by Black Sabbath, and the Mabinogion. μηδείς (talk) 03:15, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

That's the myth exactly. Too bad they don't teach this in second grade anymore. I am very familiar with Fairies Wear Boots, but until now I had not made the connection. Gx872op (talk) 13:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Resolved: Nice find, Antiquary. – b_jonas 16:40, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Fraud and Common Knowledge[edit]

This isn't a request for legal advice, but... In a fraud case, if the misrepresentation of fact is common knowledge, does that still count as a misrepresentation? What if the plaintiff still relied on the misrepresentation even though it was common knowledge? Thanks.-- (talk) 20:29, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

It would depend upon how common the knowledge was, especially with reference to the position and expectation of savvy on the part of the plaintiff. It's not a question that can be answered in the abstract. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
This may or may not contribute toward satisfactory answers, but the questions remind me of Santa Claus and The Emperor's New Clothes.
Wavelength (talk) 20:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm fairly confused about whether the fact or the act of misrepresentation is being considered here. Could you give us slightly more concrete example of what you mean? --Mr.98 (talk) 20:51, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The Catholic Church was sued for claiming to be the legitimate representative of God on Earth. Every misrepresentation can get you in trouble, no matter how evident it is that you are just joking. Wikiweek (talk) 21:03, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Basically the case is that a moviegoer goes to a movie and makes sure in multiple ways that the movie starts at 1pm. Not the programme but the actual movie. And then he wants to sue the movie theater for fraud because there are 20 minutes of commercials before the the movie. Now, obviously the fact that there are advertisements or whatever before any feature presentation is common knowledge but suppose that the plaintiff didn't know that. Would that count as a misrepresentation of fact/reasonable reliance as an element of fraud? It's been a while since I took business law... (talk) 21:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I would guess that the movie house has a disclaimer somewhere stating that all showtimes are subject to change without notice. Googlemeister (talk) 21:11, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
We'd need to unpack "makes sure in multiple ways that the movie starts at 1pm." On the face of it, this is not a question revolving around the supposed common knowledge that adverts form the first part of the programme, but - at least according to your narrative - one revolving around exactly what representations, if any, has the movie theatre made to the would be plaintiff that the movie itself would start at 1pm? And, per googlemeister, did any of those representations disclaim the likely disclaimer? --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:40, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Unless there was a written or oral agreement that the theater would pay a penalty if they failed to show the movie on time, there was no actionable damage. (talk) 23:00, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
References, please. It's easy to show there would be actionable damages if the theater were 99999 hours late to show the film. One relevant topic is false advertising. Comet Tuttle (talk) 01:51, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
See quasi-contract. Neutralitytalk 03:10, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The moviegoer has paid to see the movie. Unless they fail to show the movie, how can there be "fraud"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:20, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The moviegoer has paid to see the movie, and the theater decides to show 48 hours of advertisements before the movie actually starts. Surely a judge would say that it is fraud in most countries? --Lgriot (talk) 08:13, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The first thing the judge would ask is, "Did you ask for a refund of your ticket?" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:39, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
If the answer is "yes," then the second question would be whether you asked for the refund after watching the movie. (talk) 18:18, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
And if you watched the movie, the judge would dismiss the case. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
And if you hadn't watched the movie, you would have to convince a jury that a quasi-contract (1) existed, (2) was violated, (3) harming you, (4) financially, assuming that the defendant's summary motion to dismiss was not granted. But it would be granted, because no jury who have ever watched a movie would find that, and every judge knows it (that is where the "common knowledge" applies.) (talk) 20:04, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Common currency, uncommon debt[edit]

If a US state, but not one of the biggest, much more one as (un)important as Greece in the EU, would start to accrue lots and lots of debt, would the dollar be at risk? Would someone try to expel it from the dollar? Wikiweek (talk) 21:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Probably yes to the first, no to the second. Yes to the first for much the same reasons as we see in Europe, of the risks falling on the creditors of the indebted state, and the associated contagion effects. FWIW, I think - especially in terms of pension liabilities of city and state authorities, the US is pretty much there already. The idea that Greece or southern Europe are the only basket-cases would be somewhat delusional. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any references for any of these claims? Comet Tuttle (talk) 01:47, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
A US state defaulting might create a risk of recession but it would not be likely to have a serious effect on the dollar. Certainly nobody would try to expel it from the dollar -- the only question is whether the federal government would bail it out or allow it to go bankrupt. Most likely the federal govt would bail it out in exchange for taking control of the state's fiscal apparatus -- this is a lot easier than in Europe because the US is much more unified than the EU. Looie496 (talk) 22:51, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
References, please, not just crystal ball speculation with your opinion when possible. This is a Reference Desk. Although no state has gone bankrupt, counties and cities have; we have a category, Category:Government units that have filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. There have been "under 600" municipal bankruptcies since 1937, according to our article Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which sounds like, well, there have been more than 500. With this history, I don't see why the federal government would bail out a state, particularly when Republicans are in control of one of the two houses of Congress. Comet Tuttle (talk) 23:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Note however, chapter 9 bankruptcy is not something available to states and there is no bankruptcy protection available to states in the US. There has been proposals to allow some sort of bankruptcy protection for states but the proposals don't seem to have gotten very far [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. Notably states apparently generally don't want the option of bankruptcy protection out of fear it will make things worse by scaring creditors. In other words, there are big differences between states and municiplities under current law. This isn't something I understand or care about that much but from the earlier refs I believe (I made some statements which I not believe wrong which I've removed as no one replied), but as I understand it states can just stop paying their creditors meaning they are effectively bankrupt and as they are soverign, they can't be sued (except as allowed under state law which can of course be changed) to recover debts. Of course if this goes on, this means no one is going to want to lend the state any money. In such a case, it's possible the federal government will step in and put the state into receivership. To put it a different way, a default of a US state's sovereign debt has some similarities to a sovereign default of a national government but the options available to the state are more limited so it may ultimately be necessary for the federal government to step in. For example, as we've been discussing unlike in the Greece case, it's isn't really possible for a US state to give up on the US dollar and start issuing their own currency nor is it likely they will simply be kicked out of the union as could likely ultimately happen with Greece. (However as Mwalcoff has mentioned below the problems for US states tend to be smaller.) Incidentally, as perhaps a reminder against crystal balling [10] Nil Einne (talk) 09:22, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

A couple things to keep in mind: One, state governments can't generally run budget deficits. They can issue bonds, but they can't pass a budget with $1.50 in expenses for every $1 in revenue the way the federal government can. That limits their overall debt. Two, European countries play a much larger role in the fiscal situation of Europe than do the states in the fiscal situation of the U.S. Most taxes Americans pay go to Washington, but the EU gets only a small portion of the taxes paid by Europeans. So the problems of a single U.S. state government have a much smaller impact on the whole country than, say, the Greek crisis in the EU. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:27, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

The position of a state in the United States is very different from that of a nation-state in the EU, as Mwalcoff correctly explains. As a result, a state's default, especially the default of a state as relatively insignificant as Greece in the EU, would have little effect on the dollar and would not result in the state's ejection from the "dollar zone". Creditors would simply go unpaid, except for any payment they might be able to gain from a court settlement. A major difference between the EU countries and the United States is that European banks bought massive amounts of peripheral (Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian) sovereign debt, and their solvency rests on the integrity of that debt. US banks are much less dependent on state debt for their capital base, so the default of one or even a few states would not seriously threaten the solvency of major US banks. In fact, there is a historical record of a US state default, that of Arkansas in 1933. Compared to the other economic and financial difficulties of that time, Arkansas's default was so insignificant that many have forgotten it, and it is little more than a historical footnote. Marco polo (talk) 15:53, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I understand that EU and US states are in a different position when it comes to (accruing, repaying or defaulting) debt. So, in the European scenario, what sense does it make to expel a defaulting country from the currency? A country can always stop lending its funds to governments which won't payback, therefore limiting the damage. But in the case of expelling a country from a currency, it will be in an even more weak position to pay ever its debt. So, where's the advantage? Wikiweek (talk) 01:53, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I always thought it was a kind of empty threat to force certain countries like Greece or Portugal to behave (that means, to make them pay their debt and not spend the money elsewhere). Indeed, if they are expelled from the Euro and get a new currency (which will be much weaker), they will have serious problems to repay anything. Quest09 (talk) 11:10, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Books similar to...[edit]

I'm looking for novels similar to Louis Bromfield's The Rains Came. Similar in that they contain a good story in a tropical setting. Thanks in advance! Sadly our article is more about the films than the book. (talk) 21:43, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

The works of Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham (especially the short stories in the latter's case) immediately come to mind. Depends what you mean by a "good story" though. Tropical settings are very frequent for espionage and crime novels not otherwise particularly notable for their literary quality. --Xuxl (talk) 10:19, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions! Joseph Conrad's novels set in Indonesia/Malaysia, or Maugham's short story collection The Casuarina Tree seem to be what I'm looking for. As for your comment, yes, I'm not really looking for bad writing/cliche stories just on account of their setting. It's the OP, apparently I have a different IP now :P (talk) 10:57, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
If I was on the rihgt track with the suggestions above, I could add a lot of Graham Greene's novels, set in Africa or the Caribbean and William Boyd's in Africa, for something more contemporary. Rudyard Kipling was one of the originators of that style of fiction, and many of his stories are quite good. --Xuxl (talk) 11:25, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Those look interesting as well, thanks a heap! I have taken the liberty of fixing your William Boyd link, because it led to a disambiguation page. (talk) 17:46, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Why are Alpine regions so rich?[edit]

Austria, Switzerland, Bavaria, Northern Italy... --Belchman (talk) 22:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Easily accessible rare mineral resources, difficult terrain for would-be plunderers, and limited opportunities for expensive recreational activities. (talk) 22:57, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
A long history of being at the fore-front of technological development, caused by war and private greed, and allowed for by private property laws and education, a climate which made nice homes a necessity (Bushmen in the alps is impossible), law systems, currency, and today, their businesses have a strong foundation and can get into new markets in foreign nations before native businesses have a chance, also see neo-colonialism. No Côte d'Ivoire company could ever out compete Lindt & Sprüngli the way trade rules are currently. Public awareness (talk) 23:22, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
In addition, perhaps the nature of these mountain areas as waypoints for trade of high value items or technology between different societies, while still not being attractive as lands for over-populated hordes to settle in, may have brought advantages in early history - Ötzi the Iceman was an example of someone passing through while laden with the best technology that the Bronze Age could supply.
And also; did the long-established traditions of Alpine agriculture (alpiculture is also redlinked elsewhere, surely we have an article on this somewhere? - the links from Pastoralism are no help), mainly pastoral farming where the cattle grazed on the pastures high on the Alps during the summer, but were brought down during the winter, give a form of social cohesion that ended up promoting concentrated wealth more so than, say, areas devoted to mass cereal farming such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, or nomadic pastoralism such as Eastern Europe and southern Africa? (As a comparison, some have argued, I think, that the ancient Athenians were forced to be innovative because their land was relatively poor agriculturely; but also drew concentrated wealth and requirements for long term investment from its silver mines and its suitability for cultivation of the olive.) The highly profitable Swiss chocolate industry presumably required ready availability of dairy products. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think the word you are looking for is transhumance, "the seasonal movement of people with their livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures". Many regions practice(d) this Heidi-dairy system - not for nothing does Kyrgyzstan bill itself as the Switzerland of Central Asia - but that doesn't necessarily make them rich. BrainyBabe (talk) 21:25, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Minor factor - ready access to water power towards then latter part of the 19th century not only gave cheap hydroelectricity - but in Switzerland and Sweden also spurred the development of world beating electrical engineering industries (comparable to having a world beating computer industry nowadays).
Someone more familiar with the historys might be able to tell you that pre-industrial revolution these places were not specifically rich (if I recall correctly). I'm fairly certain that Austria in the whole (including alpine) areas was and remained quite poor after the industrial revolution.
Yes, Austria-Hungary was kind of poor on average, but as you can see the Austria we know today only makes up a very small part of the old empire which included the land which now belongs to Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, and parts of many more. I think the question I answered was more why did European nations develop more than other places in the world. The question of why Austria is doing better than Hungary in many ways is a different question, and could come down to the luck of good leaders, politicians, and business men, or culture. Public awareness (talk) 01:58, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Are they? I think the OP's question is seriously flawed, as it presumes that Alpine regions are wealthy. One can cherry pick the wealthy ones, but it doesn't mean that the mountains made those areas wealthy. I can name an equal number of very poor, mountainous regions (Appalachia, Tibet, etc.) so I don't think that the premise is a sound one. --Jayron32 02:39, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I thought that "Alpine" in English meant in the Alpes region...
... --Belchman (talk) 10:15, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
No. Well, I mean, I suppose it can; it's not completely ridiculous. But the word wikt:alpine in general just means in or of the mountains. --Trovatore (talk) 17:59, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
"Alpine" as a proper noun (which is how it was used in the section heading) refers specifically to the region of the Alps in Europe. This is the origin of the more general meaning of "alpine" as any mountainous region. --Carnildo (talk) 01:23, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Right. The premise is actually not correct. Switzerland is wealthy mainly due to banking and tourism, but the other mentioned countries are all only partly alpine, and the wealthy parts are not the alpine parts. In northern Italy, for example, the wealthy part is the Po river valley, which is flat as a pancake, though surrounded by mountains. Looie496 (talk) 02:53, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Considering the OP only meantioned Alps nations, I belive he meant Alpine as in relation to the Alps, not mountainous regions; the other definition of Alpine. Public awareness (talk) 03:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
In addition to those already mentioned (natural reasons, historical reasons, large banking and tourism sectors) - These are largely knowledge economies. Think about all the luxury goods companies with headquarters in the area (Milan fashion, Swiss watches). Or think about the headquarters of some huge multinationals (pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, or conglomerates like Nestlé, for example). Neutralitytalk 03:17, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Trade is important. Bavaria has long been a major trading centre due to its location on overland trade routes. In the Rhône-Alpes region of France, Lyon was historically a big trading city involved in silk production and food, but more recently has like Switzerland pursued high-tech industry; geographically it is well-placed for links to Germany, northern Italy, Paris, and the east. Switzerland has got rich by offering banking services to its neighbours. However Austria isn't particularly rich compared to the rest of Western Europe (i.e. the non-formerly-communist nations): its nominal GDP per capita is below Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, and Norway, amonst others. --Colapeninsula (talk) 09:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think it is something of a coincidence. I think that each of these regions is wealthier than neighboring regions mainly for a different historical reason. The only thing that the regions have in common is that the Alps have always formed a border between different European culture. Regions in or near the Alps have benefited from their location along or at the ends of trade routes linking these different cultures and from the multiculturality and multilingualism that a location along those trade routes entailed. Entrepreneurs in these regions have thus been able to benefit from innovation in neighboring countries to a greater extent than regions less exposed to foreign ideas, such as central Germany or the interior of the Italian peninsula. Incidentally, however, the same trade-related wealth effect occurs in the Netherlands and other regions along the Germanic-Romance frontier, such as Luxembourg, and it occurs around the main trade entrepots of countries such as England (London) and Denmark (Copenhagen). Marco polo (talk) 15:38, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think mineral resources (mentioned by are a red herring. Like Neutrality has mentioned, Switzerland makes watches exactly because those don't require much mineral resources. In this respect, they're similar to Japan or Terminus (planet), which also don't have mineral resources and so produce small but technologically challenging devices. – b_jonas 16:15, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
This has been discussed by economic geographers. The context is the potential "convergence" in wealth of European regions. I recall that it has been argued that it goes back to the medieval trade routes as Colapeninsula said, but can't find the refs I'm looking for at the moment. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:31, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Alpine Switzerland was very poor for most of its history. The alpine valleys could only support a limited number of residents. All the 2nd and 3rd and later sons had to go some where else for work. During some eras it was mercenary service, and for centuries a major source of income came from soldiers in foreign service. During more peaceful times, thousands of Swiss from the alpine cantons worked as painters, architects, builders or chocolate makers for the wealthy of Europe. It is only in the last century or so that banking, precision machines, luxury goods and tourism has made Switzerland's Alps wealthy. In Switzerland's case, these industries mostly came as a result of neutrality and stable governments. Tobyc75 (talk) 23:11, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Argentina nickname[edit]

Nickname for Argentina? Looked all over and couldn't find one from a RS. Albacore (talk) 23:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

There are some nicknames with a Google presence, most of them casual or jocular: La tierra de plata, el país argento, la tierra del Che, la tierra del tango, gaucholandia, pampalandia, etc. And naturally there are phrases involving famous Argentines: la tierra de Martín Fierro, la tierra de Borges, etc. See also Allegorical representations of Argentina. LANTZYTALK 03:01, 30 September 2011 (UTC)