Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 December 5

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December 5[edit]

Is Day of the Dead 1, 2, or 3 days long?[edit]

Our article claims all 3, and I can't seem to find any definitive answer. Kaldari (talk) 01:16, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Entertainment is the right desk for this. μηδείς (talk) 02:42, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Never mind that, sorry, I thought you meant a movie! I am not sure of the answer in Mexico, but in the US Catholics have (mischief night, then) Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Halloween is technically the eve of All Saints Day from the Christian perspective. That would be three days: the eve of and the day after All Saints Day. μηδείς (talk) 17:35, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Mexican dessert cube[edit]

Does anybody know a Mexican (possibly Latin American dish) which looks like a brown sugar cube and dissolves in your mouth? II don't think it was chocolate and I can't seem to find it on Category:Mexican desserts. It is probably available in US since that is where I first tried it.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 01:28, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Are you talking about panela? --Trovatore (talk) 01:37, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Less likely but maybe one of the Latin American flans? Rmhermen (talk) 17:34, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Help finding Lute Song (琵琶記/pipa ji) French translation by A. P. L. Bazin[edit]

Does anyone know where to find an online archive of Lute Song (琵琶記/pipa ji) French translation (1841) by A. P. L. Bazin? I do not know the name of the French title or what the full form of the author's name is.

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 06:23, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Seems to be Antoine Bazin also known as "Bazin aîné". — AldoSyrt (talk) 08:54, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for finding that! It's the translator. Now all I need is a link to his work, which should be in the public domain. Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 23:13, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Susan Sontag quote[edit]

Hi, all - I have the vaguest memory of her giving a speech in which she relates the experience of shock to the experience of finding yourself outside the narrative of your life, as it were - like you're living a story that's familiar, whether it's pleasant or unpleasant, and then suddenly something happens that couldn't possibly fit that story. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

Thanks - sorry to give such vague clues.

Adambrowne666 (talk) 13:05, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Have you tried [[1]]? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:29, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, RedPen - it's not there, but that's a great resource. Adambrowne666 (talk) 23:00, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
@Adambrowne666: - Seems like something she could've said in one of the On Photography essays, which talk about the experience of being photographed and objectified, separated from the subject, visible to and owned by unknown others. Wish I had more ready to hand, but it's worth a read regardless :) --— Rhododendrites talk |  22:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you - I will read it - i've only come to her recently, and she provides a wealth of stuff - but on further reflection, the quote was in a talk she gave on globalisation; I'm going to look into that now. Thanks again 03:47, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Simon Rattle[edit]

What foreign languages does he speak? He's been conducting the Berlin Phil since 2002 so one would have thought his German ought to be pretty good by now. Also his wife is Czech so maybe he speaks Czech as well. Thanks, --Viennese Waltz 13:33, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

He speaks a bit of German in this, but it doesn't sound terribly fluid to me. His son's opinion of Rattle's German is briefly mentioned at the end of this interview. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:02, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Given how many Europeans speak English as a second language... he may not need to speak anything else. Blueboar (talk) 14:37, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
The orchestra's website defaults to an English version (though I suppose it may be detecting my location when doing that). Judging by the names of members, many of them are not Germans, so it's quite plausible that English is their lingua franca. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 10:43, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Words for traitors against independence of a nation[edit]

Harki and Rajakar were used on people who were against the independence of Algeria and Bangladesh. Is there other words to describe people who were against the independence of their own nation? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Have you googled "traitor synonym"? Have you chcked the archives (was it you who asked something similar to this over the summer?) Is there a specific language you want? There are plenty of terms like tory/loyalist, quisling, Haw Haw, Tokyo Rose, Benedict Arnold, depending on exact context and meaning.μηδείς (talk) 9:41 pm, Yesterday (UTC−5)
Quisling is used to denote a traitor to their own country. Rojomoke (talk) 16:41, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Loyalist (or Tory) in the American Revolution. Southern Unionist, later scalawag, in the Confederate States of America. Copperheads is a more colorful term used for southern sympathizers in the North (Union). Rmhermen (talk) 17:28, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
It was the CSA who were the traitors. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:19, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Counter-revolutionary is the generic term. Kaldari (talk) 20:39, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Counter revolutionary is a marxist epthet that has nothing to do with independence per se, just opposition to a marxist revolution. μηδείς (talk) 20:55, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
It didn't mean that originally, but it was hijacked. Arguably, the folks who sacked the Cromwells were "counter-revolutionaries". But instead they "restored" the monarchy, as if it had merely been on probation for ten years. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:23, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

This was closed as trolling, along with the two following unsigned questions. I suggest seeing the talk discussion. μηδείς (talk) 20:55, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

census scared or not allowed to publish ethnicity and religion[edit]

In France, they don't publish ethnicities and religions in numbers by departments or cities in their stats reports. Israel don't publish the term Mizrahi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi or Haredi, reform, or cconservative when it comes to which population has highest in number of these groups. In US, they don't publish religions in numbers by states, or cities in their stats report. What other nations do like this? Please answer this. don't delete it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

No conspiracy in the U.S. - they don't publish it because they don't ask the question. In fact, they are forbidden to.[2] There are other non-Census attempts to answer the question though like the American Religious Identification Survey. Rmhermen (talk) 16:51, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
One of the reasons why the U.S. doesn't ask the question is the constitutionally guaranteed protections for freedom of religion in the United States. There's a good chance that an innocuous question which wasn't used for anything except data collection probably doesn't violate either of the freedom of religion clauses of the Constitution (the free exercise clause and the establishment clause). However, information is power, and there is a real threat that, with information those in power may abuse that information (c.f. the current NSA data mining controversy). For this reason, to prevent the Government from potentially violating the law, the data is not collected at all. It's easier just not to collect it, since it, by the constitution, serve no official purpose. However, as noted, there are non-governmental agencies that do collect and publish that information. Besides the one noted above, the one I know that has a good reputation is the Pew Research Center, see --Jayron32 19:16, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
As states that are secular (albeit with different nuances to their secularism), the governments of the United States and France don't consider religion a relevant category and thus don't collect data on it. In France, there is a public myth that ethnic origin is irrelevant to the French republican identity, so for ideological reasons the state formally ignores it (but informally and arguably hypocritically takes it into account). In Israel, there are similar official blinders about Jewish ethnicity and religious sects. (talk) 19:35, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Is it not the case that France specifically doesn't ask about race and religion because of the whole Nazi occupation thing, where such information was used to round people up? It may be that the deeper point or justification is to do with republican principles, but isn't that interpretation of the republican principles generally considered to be motivated by horror at what was previously done? (talk) 23:33, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I think that it is a part of the reason, but France didn't collect this data even before WWII and even before the Nazis came to power. Also, as a side note, the odds of Nazis coming to power in and/or conquering France nowadays are extremely tiny. Futurist110 (talk) 00:37, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Regarding that side note. It's not the risk of Nazis or their likes coming to power that is the point. It's that categorizing people by religion is something that Nazis do. / (talk) 15:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

The article Race and ethnicity in censuses could help answer a part of your question here. Futurist110 (talk) 03:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

No conspiracy in France either. "Ethnicity" and "Religion" are quite simply outside the range of things considered important by the republic hence - as for shoe size and favorite color - no information is ever gathered by the government on these subjects.2A01:E34:EF5E:4640:5A2:577D:7DF4:AF7C (talk) 14:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say "no conspiracy" because racial data has indeed been misused in a wide variety of ways useful to one side or another in the U.S., and choosing not to collect religious data avoids the same. For example, the internment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II, the creation of "minority-majority districts" (which reduces the number of districts at issue, yet effectively gives illegal aliens voting power because the districts are allocated according to total number of residents), and the practice of siting undesirable public facilities in minority neighborhoods. There's a lot more politics that could have occurred in response to religion had more data been available. Wnt (talk) 16:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
It should be noted that the data is still availible, just not collected by the government. There is still nothing to stop unscrupulous public officials from abusing their power in regards to that data. They just have to get it from non-Governmental sources. That is, gerrymandering and Environmental racism would still happen even if the government didn't collect the relevent data; the data is still collected by private agencies and exists. Once it exists, people will still use it. Ostensibly, the reason the government collects said data (at least on ethnicity) is to ensure that violations of civil rights DON'T occur (that is, how can agencies of the government protect the civil rights of disadvantaged groups if it has no data on where those groups live and what their living conditions are like!) Whether that occurs as intended, or if the information is abused, is a matter for another discussion, but there is at least a real justifciation for collecting it in the first place. --Jayron32 17:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The U.S. Census has been collecting data about basic racial classifications of the U.S. population uninterruptedly from 1790 to the present... AnonMoos (talk) 06:56, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
No...they have been trying, but that doesn't mean everyone is complying. I didn't in the last census and my neighbor didn't help them when they tried to get the information from them. Heck...Wikipedia has more information about my ethnicity than the US census. They actually used that information to round up Japanese citizens in California to take the property of these individuals and confine them in internment camps. This is not an exaggeration and I find the whole thing rather stupid. But that is just me....and a lot of people.--Mark Miller (talk) 07:04, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
As far as a "conspiracy"...that is an opinion and one I actually believe. When people get rounded up and their personal property stolen and they are jailed over hyper paranoia....conspiracy is the least of the issues.--Mark Miller (talk) 07:07, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Lying on your census form is an unfortunate approach to take. 72 years from that census, when you're long gone and the census becomes public record, descendants of yourself and/or your relatives might be interested in knowing the true facts about their family trees. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:39, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that's purely hypothetical either - in 2001 I remember thinking it was a good thing that the government didn't have a database of who all the Muslims were. Sure, there were many databases, public and private, but bureaucrats act differently when they think they have a complete and authoritative list than when they only have a partial list. Wnt (talk) 12:26, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, the French government knows where all the Muslims are, at least roughly, which is good enough for policing purposes. And it knows where the Islamist activists are, and activists of all stripes. Censuses and surveys are only a tiny part of that. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Have to agree with Jayron32 and Itsmejudith here. The idea that governments or legislators are inherently more restrained on what they do when they don't have census or 'authoritative list's doesn't seem to be supported by any actual evidence of historic practice etc. If anything, it just makes the government etc panic more that they don't know where all these 'evil' people are or even how many of them there is allowing the panic mongers to claim that there are way more then there are and makes it easier for them to blame all problems on them (both of which they will do any way but at least with decent data it's easier to expose clear bullshit). In the case of France for example, it doesn't stop people with 'funny' names being discriminated against, it doesn't stop the rise of immigrant heavy areas with high levels of crime and poverty and alleged police misbehaviour in said areas (along with ID checks which seem to be depends at least partially on what someone looks like [3]), it didn't stop the French Roma expulsion. In other words while there is an obvious risk of misuse of census data and historic examples of it in a number of countries, there's no real evidence the lack of such data makes governments less likely to to engage in such misbehaviour rather than simply use what data they do perhaps combined with collecting more data or not even caring about the quality of the data before engaging in such misbehaviour. I would say this is even more so in our data centric modern world. Perhap in the case of a moment of insanity sort of thing where it might be imagined when there is the data but in 3 years time by the time there is good data (if there really is no data which is rarely true) people would have realised it was an insane idea there is some greater risk, but in other cases, it seems to either make the government just collect the data when they decide they need it or use the flawed data they do have, whatever the consequences of that. (And one thing I'm not sure of in the US - Japanese case is how much it was based on ethnicity and how much it was based on where you were born. I'm aware many second or more generation Japanese were detained, but how much this came from the census or came from other ways like the detention of their parents I don't know.) Nil Einne (talk) 03:21, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
There are plenty of white, "Christian" terrorists in the world too. I'd like to see some evidence that census data from 1940 was used to round up Japanese-Americans during WWII. It would be much more obvious to simply check the phone books for any Japanese-sounding names... along with going to neighborhoods and looking for them. This is why Chinese-Americans took to wearing "I am Chinese" buttons in the hope they wouldn't be mistaken for Japanese. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:39, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Um check out our article? United States Census. As for phone books what percentage of people even had phones in 1940? Nil Einne (talk) 03:21, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Muslim majority African states has non-Muslim leader since independence[edit]

Which African nations that has a Muslim majority population has been ruled by a non-Muslim leader since independence? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Boutros Ghali was Prime Minister of Egypt, and a Christian. --Jayron32 16:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Maurice Yaméogo was President of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), and converted to Christianity from a local Anamist religion. In fact, many (possibly most) of the people listed at List of heads of state of Burkina Faso, including the current president, Blaise Compaoré, seem to be from Christian backgrounds, according to Islam by country Burkina Faso is 58% Muslim. --Jayron32 16:59, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Siaka Stevens was head of state of Sierra Leone, a majority Muslim nation, and a Christian himself. --Jayron32 17:01, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
François Tombalbaye was head of state of Chad, a majority Muslim nation, and a Christian himself. --Jayron32 17:03, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Tanzania has no majority religion, but Islam, at 40%, is the most prominent religion. Julius Nyerere was a Roman Catholic. --Jayron32 17:07, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Léopold Sédar Senghor was a Catholic president of Sénégal, which has a large Muslim majority. --Xuxl (talk) 09:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

House of Cards[edit]

Hi there. I was wondering if you could help me out here. The (original 1990) series of House of Cards (UK TV series) is based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. Can anyone confirm if it is just the first four episodes (the original run) of the series that is based on the novel, and not the other two (To Play The King and The Final Cut}. So essentially, if I've only seen the first four episodes (and not the sequels), am I going to 'spoiler' myself if I read the novel before watching the later episodes. Thank you. Horatio Snickers (talk) 18:01, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I can't speak to the question you've posed, but I must comment that if you intend to both read the novel and watch the shows, then a) if they are based on the novel you will spoil it either way, since watching the show first would "ruin" the book, or b) no connection, no spoiler. Either way, you should be able to enjoy it. Mingmingla (talk) 20:24, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I couldn't possibly comment on the novels, but the British adaptations are of much shorter length, so you may wish to watch them before the American. The British version of the first story would have seemed clipped and anticlimactic had I seen if after the first American season. μηδείς (talk) 20:49, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
The later TV series are based on the other Dobbs novels in a trilogy; To Play The King and The Final Cut. So the answer is "yes", it IS just the first four episodes of the series that is based on the novel. Alansplodge (talk) 08:36, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

US presidential bill signings[edit]

Although File:Signing of the Poverty Bill.jpg doesn't show it clearly, I'm holding a picture from the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 which shows President Johnson's desk in high resolution, making it clear that there are at least thirteen different pens on his desk. Since only one presidential signature is required for a bill, no matter how long, what's the point of the extra pens? Is it common to for presidents to use one pen for one letter in the signature, another for the next, etc., on landmark legislation? 2001:18E8:2:1020:FDB3:68AD:F06C:A673 (talk) 19:37, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Here's a previous post that was answered: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2009_March_9#How_many_pens_does_it_take.3F Katie R (talk) 19:58, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Also see This Google Search for more answers. --Jayron32 20:26, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Those are souvenir pens for whoever was attending the ceremonial signing. I vaguely recall that LBJ handed out all the souvenir pens and then pulled his own regular pen out of his pocket and signed it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:15, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Somewhere I recall seeing a signing where just about every letter was signed with a different pen. DOR (HK) (talk) 13:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I think that has been done also. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:31, 8 December 2013 (UTC)


question answered. Seek a spiritual counselor for professional advice
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

How does one repent? And what does repent mean, said as simply as possible? Applies to the world. -- (talk) 20:18, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Read the Wikipedia article titled Repentance. There are many different perspectives on what repentence is and how to achieve it, both from a secular and religious perspective. If you read that article, you can learn a whole lot about it and arrive at your own conclusions. --Jayron32 20:25, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't (really can't) read complicated texts. Does the article indeed give the answer to my question? -- (talk) 20:31, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
We cannot think on your behalf. μηδείς (talk) 20:45, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


question answered, we are not a reading service and do not supply opinions
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Are we in hell? Serious question. Applies to the world. -- (talk) 20:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Read the Wikipedia article titled hell to learn more about the subject. You can then arrive at your own answer. --Jayron32 20:23, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't (really can't) read complicated texts. Does the article indeed give the answer to my question? How could you reply so fast? -- (talk) 20:31, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
We provide sources, we do not digest and regurgitate them. μηδείς (talk) 20:43, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
L'enfer, c'est les autres. Kaldari (talk) 20:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps try the simple English version of the article. Dismas|(talk) 21:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

21st Century Novels with Very High (1000+) Lexile Scores[edit]

Does anybody know any 21st century novels with very high (1000+) lexile scores? It must use long, complex sentences and challenging but vibrant vocabulary. A modern equivalent of Nathaniel Hawthorne. (talk) 22:07, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

See Lexile if (like me) you had no idea what the question was about. Alansplodge (talk) 08:27, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Dishes of Arab World[edit]

Is there websites that shows the dishes in the Arab world, by nation and explains if the dish is a Berber dish, French, Turkish or other European due to influences of Ottoman and European colonial powers, regardless appetizers, main course and desserts and snacks? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia's article is at Arab cuisine which also leads to some more specific country articles while noting that a number of dishes are widespread. (talk) 23:41, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
You know, after significant cultural contact, it might not always be too easy to assign some "dishes" to a single cultural origin (e.g. Chop suey, Vindaloo, etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 06:52, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I'd say that the last wave of colonialism didn't impact Arab cooking that much. Brits might had brought French Fries, to accompany a shawarma, but that's about it. French culinary influences are seemingly much less in North Africa than in West Africa. As per Ottoman influences, all of the eastern Mediterranean (Arab East, Turkey, Greece, etc.) shares common culinary traditions, and origins of different dishes are often hotly disputed along nationalist lines. --Soman (talk) 07:19, 7 December 2013 (UTC)