Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 January 6

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Humanities desk
< January 5 << Dec | January | Feb >> January 7 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

January 6[edit]

Atheism and the Devil[edit]

Atheists believe that there is no god. But what about a devil? Do atheists believe that there is a devil?

Republicanism (talk) 00:06, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

As a generalisation, atheists do not believe in the devil, any gods or demons whatever, or fairies. You might actually want to read about atheism before asking more questions on the subject. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
We are, however, quite fond of Invisible Pink Unicorns and Flying Spaghetti Monsters, and of eating Hot Dogs on Friday. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:33, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I would simply point out that, unlike members of organised religions, atheists don't have church leaders in some remote place like Rome or California telling them what to believe. There's nobody trying to stop atheists thinking for themselves, so they tend to come to a wide range of conclusions as to how it all works. Some might believe in a devil. Many certainly don't. HiLo48 (talk) 00:37, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
As well as Discordians, Pastafarians and others who profess interest in parody religions, there are also Satanists, some of whom believe in God and some don't. Some of them also don't believe in Satan in the way that theists are generally expected to believe in their gods. And there are also people such as chaos magicians, who may or may not acknowledge the existence of spirits that might be regarded by others as gods, but that they personally steer clear of or ignore. Are any of these people atheists? Depends who you ask. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:53, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not convinced Discordianism is a "parody religion". I'm not saying it's exactly serious. But I think it's very serious about not being serious. It's not so much anti-religion as anti-earnestness. Pastafarianism and Unicornism, on the other hand, seem to be very direct pokes in the eye at religion, and appeal to people who I find a bit humorless in other ways. --Trovatore (talk) 02:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Atheists don't believe in any supernatural deities. If they did, they wouldn't be atheists. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:09, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Not all supernatural beings are (supposedly) deities. AlexTiefling (talk) 01:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
The conclusions which bring someone to atheism (lack of evidence, no falsifiability) tend to preclude any belief in the supernatural. It's not impossible to find an atheist who believes in such things, but your average atheist tends towards skepticism with regard to the supernatural. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 00:01, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

  • reminds me of when I told a classmate in high school I was an atheist and got in response, "So you worship the Devill!?" μηδείς (talk) 17:30, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
    • They were making the assumption that if you don't believe in God, you must be in the clutches of Satan. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:38, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Most people have no idea about religions other than their own. When I told my mum I was Buddhist at age 16, she said to me, "Oh, so you're gonna stand on street corners, ringing bells and chanting 'Hare Krishna'?" which is completely the wrong religion. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 07:09, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
        • Most people have no idea about their own religion. They are a member of it because their parents were. (And before anyone tries to shoot me down by saying that THEY have studied their religion in depth, please note my use of the word "Most".) HiLo48 (talk) 07:24, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
          • You'll have to imagine Senator Claghorn's voice here: "Son, I don't have time to study my religion; I'm too busy defending it!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:04, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia, the definition of Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Here we should look again what is the meaning of Deity. But if we only look the etymology, Atheism meaning is lack of God. Lack of God can only have one meaning, but it may have lots of interpretations, like lack of religion or believe in the Devil. And like some one said above there's no one organization that setup the doctrine for atheists, so each person believe to their own personal belief that's without God. roscoe_x (talk) 00:36, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
An early Woody Allen his standup routine comment - he was dating an atheist, and he was an agnostic, and they broke up "because we couldn't agree on what not to believe in." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:01, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Nontheism, the Devil, Good, and Evil[edit]

When religions believe that there is a god, they also believe that there is a devil. God and the Devil symbolize and represent good and evil. God symbolizes and represents good. The Devil symbolizes and represents evil. God is good. The Devil is evil. What do nontheists, athiests, agnostics, deists, secularists, and people who don't believe in any religion think that?

Republicanism (talk) 00:21, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

What is your reliable source for "When religions believe that there is a god, they also believe that there is a devil". HiLo48 (talk) 00:25, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Atheists in general don't believe in the supernatural. Recommend you read the article on atheism, as recommended in the previous section. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:30, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You might also want to check how often an individual personal devil is mentioned in (for example) the Torah. (Hint: the answer is zero.) Then reconsider your assumptions about even so-called Abrahamic religions and the devil, much less other theists. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:32, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Not really a good example. If you limit it to the Pentateuch (Torah), then the answer might be none. If you whgen the Jewish Bible/Tanakh (Torah) the answer is certainly not none. Try the book of Job. (talk) 02:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
The adversary in Job is not necessarily "The Devil". That interpretation may be a later innovation, and I'm not sure that many mainstream Jewish thinkers equate the two. Book of Job#Satan discusses the distinction between the character of Satan in Job according to Jewish tradition and the Christian Devil. --Jayron32 02:27, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
This question is based on a couple false premises. Not all religions believe in a devil, and not all religions believe god(s) are good. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Jews aren't really too fussed about "the devil". There is a concept of Satan which is radically different from the Christian view (see Jayron's link on the Book of Job) but even then he doesn't get much of a lookin in everyday prayer, speech/philosophy etc. Jews are much more bothered about the Yetzer hara, which is an altogether different thing. As our article points out, in opposition to Christian view, when the yetzer hara is conflated with Satan, it's a demythologising of Satan, ie, it's just powerful human urges, not some supernatural force. --Dweller (talk) 01:12, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

His Dark Materials, God, the Devil, Good, and Evil[edit]

God is good. The Devil is evil. God symbolizes and represents good. The Devil symbolizes and represents evil. But in His Dark Materials, it is the opposite. God is evil. The Devil is good. Why? Republicanism (talk) 00:33, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Because the author (an avowed atheist who was brought up in an Anglican household) chose to write it that way. Whether that's ingenious, offensive, or just weak is a matter of subjective interpretation. But don't expect HDM to bear any resemblance either to reality or to the theology of any significant religion. And seriously, read the articles on these topics before badgering us. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I question the certainty of your initial assumption of "god is good". Many religions have some pretty mean and nasty gods. And many question the goodness of even the Christian one at time, what with letting all those innocent people suffer in natural disasters and the like. HiLo48 (talk) 00:42, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I think many Christians would question the idea that God is 'good' in the everyday sense; God (if there is a God) is cosmic and intangible, and even if God wants something which may ultimately be viewed or understood as good, it's quite obvious from the state of the world and the fate of many of God's own followers that 'preventing natural disasters' is not part of what God does. And given that most Christians regard a man who was tortured to death as being God himself, it's clear that they think either that God has a radically different sense of justice to practically any human, or that one of God's functions is to be down here in the blood and dirt with the rest of us. Often both. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
User:Republicanism -- I haven't read the Pullman books, but from what I've seen written about them, it seems to at least partially correspond to the Gnostic "Demiurge"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:52, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I've read them all, and I don't recognise myself at all ... except in the occasionally dim-witted polar bears :) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:23, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

As far as I remember, there is no devil in His Dark Materials. Wrad (talk) 01:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
His Dark Materials is based on the premise of an oppressive god. God is not necessarily evil, but demands strict order. There is no direct "Satan" figure; rather, the protagonists take on the role of the adversary figure by defying the rule of this god in pursuit of freedom. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 00:17, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Older name for the "Korean peninsula"[edit]

I'm looking for a name for the Korean peninsula, or a similar area, that predates the term "Korean peninsula" that is ubiquitous today. Apparently, the name "Korea" comes from the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), whose northern border was the Taedong River rather than the Yalu River as is the case with modern North Korea. It may be unlikely or impossible that Europeans had a name for the area before then, but there is a good deal of Chinese historical writing about the area—particularly the treatment of the Dongyi in the Book of the Later Han, Records of the Three Kingdoms, and Book of Wei. I know that Liaodong used to be a generic name for all the lands east of the Liao River (which would include both today's "Liaodong Peninsula" and "Korean Peninsula"). But I want to know if there any more specific and ancient term for today's "Korean peninsula". Shrigley (talk) 00:35, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Names of Korea covers this pretty well, I think. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:45, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Reginald Brentnor[edit]

In your article about brentnor, I found no mention of his writing mystery short stories. I just finished the July 1990 issue of Elerry Queen Mystery Magazine containing a short story entirled "The Photography of the Dearest Dearest Defunt" Which appears to be one of a series of stories about a San Francisco used antinque dealer named Alexandrovitch Timifoff. Has anyone heard of this series?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

This appears to be a collection of his short stories, though that one doesn't seem tp be in it. --Jayron32 02:21, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

3rd, 4th and 5th and other largest Bangladeshi Americans[edit]

I read that New York City has the largest Bangladeshi American community and the 2nd is Paterson, New Jersey. Which city has the 3rd largest Bangladeshi-American community? Which has 4th and which has 5th? and who else?--Donmust90 (talk) 02:29, 6 January 2013 (UTC)Donmust90

The Wikipedia article titled Bangladeshi American lists several cities with large Bangladeshi American populations after those two, but it does not rank-order them. --Jayron32 02:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Here we go. Start at this page. Search for the word "Bangladeshi". After that search, on the left side, select the "Geographies" option. A new window will pop up. Select the "Name" tab. Select "city or town" from the list on the left of that menu. Select the check box in "All Places within United States". Then click the "add" button. Close the "Select Geographies" window. Select the first "Asian alone by selected groups" option. This will give you a giant table with every Asian nationality for every city or town in the U.S. You can narrow this down using the "Modify table" button. When you select that, you can uncheck everything except "Bangladeshi". The "Transpose rows and columns" thing may make it easier to read as well. That website can be used similarly to look for estimated populations for any nationality within the U.S., just follow the same procedure. --Jayron32 02:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Arab American cities of New York, New Jersey, California, Michigan and Florida[edit]

Which city in New York state has the most Arab Americans? Which city in New Jersey has the most Arab American? Which city in Michigan has the most Arab Americans? Which city in California has the most Arab Americans? and Which city in Florida has the most Arab Americans? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Donmust90 (talkcontribs) 05:50, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Dearborn, Michigan. StuRat (talk) 06:06, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
See the instructions I gave you above, Donmust? Go to that same website. Don't put anything in the search box. Select "Race and ethnic groups" on left. A new window opens up. Select "ancestry group" from the little menu on the left. Select "Arab" from the middle menu. Close that window. Select "Geographies" from menu on the left. A new window opens up. Select "City or town" from menu on left. Select any individual state you want. Close that window. Select data set B01003, "Total Population". You'll get a nice table for estimates of the number of Arab-Americans living in any city in any state you choose. You can go back and adjust whichever states you are looking for. --Jayron32 06:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Alternatives to London ca. 1900[edit]

In, say, 1900 a country squire was interested in Society (with a capital S) and shopping, was there ANY alternative to London? (talk) 04:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Paris certainly had the shopping part down, and I believe a few Society families managed to survive the French Revolution. StuRat (talk) 04:45, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
What does the French Revolution have to do with 1900 England? And, although it wasn't clear, I meant, where would English families go other than London, for au courant Society? (talk) 05:02, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You seem to have an unstated assumption that English families couldn't leave England. StuRat (talk) 05:47, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
In the UK, there's probably nothing equivalent to London, London is (and has always been) a place unto itself within the UK, especially in the past no other city or urban area compared to it. In 1901 (the nearest year when there was a UK census), according to this, London had a population of 4,536,541. Liverpool, the next most populous city, had a population of 684,958, and Liverpool has always been a working-class town, especially at the turn of the 20th century. I'm quite sure that there was no other large city in the UK where the upper class congregated in large numbers or where there was significant upper class society life. There were probably numerous cities on the Continent where one could go, but in the UK it was London. --Jayron32 05:05, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
For Society, how about resort towns like Brighton or possibly Bath? Can't speak to shopping. Also, why would you assume that English families wouldn't leave England? I'm not totally clear who you mean by "squire" but certainly the upper class often spent weeks in the French Riviera, Rome and yes, Paris. Taknaran (talk) 05:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Why are you and StuRat assuming the OP is assuming that English families couldn't leave England? It seems clear to me that he's limiting his enquiry to places in England, and I assume he has a good reason for that. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 06:01, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
The OP asked about alternatives to London, and it wasn't clear in their original post that they were excluding the rest of the world outside of England, but now it is, based on the OP's first response. StuRat (talk) 06:06, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I think almost by definition a country squire was not interested in Society and shopping. They would have found amusement with the local "county set". Sons who wanted to see a wider world had a lot of options: university, the Army or Navy, the colonial service or the Church. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:25, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

For much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, London set the male upper-class fashions, and Paris the female upper-class fashions... AnonMoos (talk) 09:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

At this time the Cote d'Azur was the place to go for Society. Bear in mind the major role British society played in the invention of Nice as a holiday destination. --TammyMoet (talk) 10:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You mat be interested in our Season (society) article. I believe that you would have to be a particularly wealthy and well-connected country squire to be accepted. As Itsmejudith says above, most people in that position would have stuck to being a big fish in their own small pond. I don't think that a gentleman would have gone shopping, apart from visits to his bespoke taylor, bootmaker and gunsmith. This probably holds true for people of a certain class today. Lobb's the bootmaker still make an individual last for each of their customers feet and store them forever, so there was never a need to shop around, you simply tell them what sort of shoes you want and they make them for you. Alansplodge (talk) 15:21, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It's quite wrong to suggest that a country squire in 1900 was "not interested in Society and shopping". He would indeed have found amusements in the country, but few of them in England during the summer months. He was certainly interested in horses, probably in horse racing. At his public school (probably Eton) he learnt Latin and Greek, and the chances are that he spoke some French and perhaps some German, too. In his youth he had probably served overseas in the Army or the Navy and more likely than not was a member of one or more London clubs. When he travelled during the summer months, his most likely destinations included the Scottish Highlands, Italy, Switzerland, and the spas of Germany such as Baden-Baden. If he had time to spare he might have gone further afield for some big game hunting. Moonraker (talk) 15:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Would it have been the Highlands for the hunting? And Baden-Baden for the gambling as well as the spa? (talk) 23:41, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
For the younger squires, there was the Grand Tour. Although our article says this persisted only until the 1840s, people still travelled only it had more desinations and became possible for a wider selection of society. I believe it gradually morphed into the Hippie trail of the 1960s/70s, through the tour by InterRail of the 1980s/90s and now the gap year. Astronaut (talk) 18:08, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

XKCD comic[edit]

It may just be my chronic not-too-brightness flaring up again, but I really don't get this XKCD cartoon. Is it purposely nonsensical, or is there something I'm missing here? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 10:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

The idea is that, if people drive through your neighborhood with throbbing bass pounding, the birds and squirrels will think there is food, and swarm their cars, presumably pooping on them. Actually I'm not sure the squirrels help much. --Trovatore (talk) 10:26, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that was my best guess. Seems like it would just result in more roadkill, though... Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 10:32, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Confirmed by explainxkcd. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 11:00, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I interpreted it differently, that this trains the wildlife to no longer fear loud noise, so it no longer bothers them. StuRat (talk) 08:21, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
How does that help solve the problem of loud cars? Nil Einne (talk) 15:14, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
It solves the problem, if you interpret the problem with loud cars being that they scare the wildlife. StuRat (talk) 21:41, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

What medal is Alexander wearing?[edit]

[1]. Presumably Sir Alexander John Arbuthnot, KCSI, CIE. Kittybrewster 11:02, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

It bears a resemblance to the Order of Merit, but he doesn't seem to have been a member. Alansplodge (talk) 15:05, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
What a dour lot of men! They seem to have forgotten to take their happy pills. Or maybe they were just extremely unhappy about having to wear full gentlemanly clobber in the oppressive Calcutta climate. Maybe that's why their terms mostly seem to have been only about 2 years. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:41, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I am quite sure no Arbuthnot has been a member of the OM. Kittybrewster 19:23, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm quite confused, since the image you linked to which is captioned on the site as Alexander Arbuthnot, doesn't look like the image of Arbuthnot that is on our page. --TammyMoet (talk) 19:38, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
The source of the wikipicture is "Memories of Rugby & India" by AJA. Kittybrewster 19:44, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You beat me to it, I had a look round to see if he had any other awards but I did think it was unlikely to be the same person in the image. MilborneOne (talk) 19:43, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Are you saying Calcutta Univ has posted a picture of someone else or that the Vice- Chancellor was a different Alexander? Kittybrewster 19:47, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

2012 Inflation Data release?[edit]

Hi all, I left a note here asking if and when wikipedians with much more knowledge than I will be updating the coding for the inflation formula many articles use. Haven't gotten a response yet and it seems few check that talk page every month. Any editors here know if the official stats have yet to come out and when they do? And also have any knowledge of when wikipedians that have the coding skills usually do this. I realize this may actually be more of a helpdesk issue but trying it here first. Thanks! Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 11:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

The "only two cars in Ohio" story[edit]

Sorry for the rapid-fire questions, but I'm really curious about this at the moment. I first encountered this story via this book a good number of years ago, but have heard it in various forms since. It has been recounted at several websites, including: [2] [3] [4]. The basic idea of the story is that around the turn of the century, there were a grand total of two automobiles in the state of Ohio (or the city of St. Louis, but Ohio is the more popular location), which somehow defied the odds and managed to collide with each other. The problem is, I haven't been able to locate a reliable source that lays out the story in any detail, or any record of contemporary news accounts. I'm curious as to whether or not anyone knows more about this story. It sounds like it could very well be apocryphal, but I'd like to think it's not. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 11:43, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I expect it to be apocryphal, at least for Ohio, but probably anywhere else. Elwood Haynes of Indiana invented the first American design for an automobile in the mid-90s; while their sales were slow in the earliest years, they sold well over 200 in 1901. Since some made it to New York, I'd guess that more than two made it to Ohio. What's more, cars were so ridiculously expensive (the latter link estimates that they were taking 4200 man-hours of work per day, and it took more than a day to produce a car) that only the wealthy could buy them; this means that it might be hard to find an area where there were two (especially since the slow speeds means that you couldn't easily go from distant place to distant place), and surely the owners would be particularly careful not to run into things, especially since the slow speeds means that you'd have more warning time. Nyttend (talk) 15:24, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
According to Ohio History Central, the state was the first place to commercially manufacture cars in the USA. "Alexander Winton, a bicycle manufacturer in Cleveland, Ohio, had become interested in designing an automobile. He built his first motorized vehicle in 1896. It looked rather strange by modern-day standards, as Winton used bicycle tires in his first design. He organized the Winton Motor Carriage Company on March 15, 1897, and on March 24, 1898, became known for the first commercial sale of an automobile in the United States." We have an article; Winton Motor Carriage Company, which says that 100 had been made by 1899, and although many may have been exported across the state boundary, it seems unlikely that 98 of them would have. Alansplodge (talk) 17:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
See also our Packard article; "Packard was not completely satisfied with the Winton car he had recently purchased. He wrote Alexander Winton with his complaints and suggestions; however Mr. Winton, offended by Packard's criticism, challenged Packard to build a better car. Packard responded by doing so, his marque outlasting Winton's by many decades. Packard runs his first automobile in Warren, Ohio on November 6, 1899. In September, 1900, the "Ohio Automobile Company" was founded as the manufacturer, while the cars were always sold as Packards." Also, the Baker Motor Vehicle Company was making electric cars in Cleveland, Ohio from 1899. Alansplodge (talk) 17:55, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
And yet more... the Elmore Manufacturing Company of Clyde, Ohio made bicycles, but "the company began to build automobiles in 1898."[5]. There was also the 1900 "Cleveland Runabout" (also electric?) from the Cleveland Machine Screw Company of Cleveland, OH, who started manufacturing in 1899 and finally, the 1900 "St. Louis Gasoline Buggy" by the St Louis Gasoline Motor Company who also started in 1899. And finally, the Thresher Electric Vehicle Company of Dayton, OH were up and running by 1900. So the place seems to have been fairly crawling with cars by 1900[6]. Alansplodge (talk) 18:12, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
  • So, in other words, this happened in St. Louis? μηδείς (talk) 19:54, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
A 1956 newspaper story said it was Kansas City at "the start of the century." [7]. A 1967 Mobil Oil Company ad in Life magazine stated that there were only 2 cars in Ohio in 1895 and they collided: [8]. It was in a 1988 "Book of blunders" as well :[9]. I have read the statistic in many places many years ago. There were certainly cars in operation in Ohio by 1894: [10]. A variant published a few years later said it was Kansas in 1905:[11]. A 1994 writer placed the accident in Indianapolis: [12]. A 2005 book placed the accident in St. Louis:[13]. Many of the later writers may have been lazy and writing down some factoid they vaguely remembered. An 1895 collision is quite credible, since reach driver would have been surprised to see another driver. Snopes also looked into the story: [14], without really saying yes or no. Edison (talk) 00:27, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses! I suspect Snopes is right in that they're won't be a definitive answer anytime soon. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 22:39, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Why do flight attendants insist that in case of crashing into the sea you open the lifebelt once you got off the plane?[edit]

Excuse English spelling mistakes. Not my first language. Kyxx (talk) 14:21, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

If life vests were inflated inside the plane, everyone becomes effectively much larger. So it'd difficult for them to move easily around in the cramped interior of the plane, and particularly through the rather tight emergency exit doors. And there's the danger that, in the crush, the vest could be torn, rendering it useless. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:32, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Note that most instructions I've seen say to inflate one side at the door just before you jump and one side after you touch water (or at least after you jump out). Inflating before you reach the door caries another risk besides those already mentioned. If the plane is already starting to fill up with water you may find it difficult or impossible to reach the door due to the bouyancy of your vest. Premature inflation may have caused some deaths on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, see our article or [15]. Nil Einne (talk) 16:13, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 May 14#During emergency landing, why blow air in life jacket only after getting out of airplane?, Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2008 October 10#Turning off all electronic equipment during take-off and landing, Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2011 September 19#Arctic Survival, Part Deux Nil Einne (talk) 16:18, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Is it true that god is present ?[edit]

we don't do opinion or debate
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Is there any god ? Who created this universe ? (talk) 18:37, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

You're going to need to work that out for yourself. --Jayron32 18:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Woody Allen once said, "Not only is there no God, but just try to find a plumber on a weekend." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:43, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
If you really want to know if God is there, why don't you ask him? Wrad (talk) 18:47, 6 January 2013(UTC)
I don't know how to ask, you ask on behalf of myself. (talk) 19:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
That won't work if God exists but doesn't intervene in our daily lives. In regards to the OP's question, I think that a Google search would at least bring a little clarity into this question, and then one can take it from there. Futurist110 (talk) 19:00, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
See Existence of God and cosmogony. (WHAAOE, remember!) --Tango (talk) 19:28, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
See also [16] a computer determined years ago that 'GOD DOES NOT EXIST' ;-) Dmcq (talk) 21:55, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

This isn't helping anyone. (talk) 01:16, 7 January 2013 (UTC)}}

Yes, there are Three. Of those three, only One created the universe. Plasmic Physics (talk) 22:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Got a reliable source for that? HiLo48 (talk) 23:02, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
He hasn't even got a reliable source to say that most Christians believe that. The Nicene Creed refers to 'God the Father, maker of Heaven and Earth'. The Athanasian Creed states that "There are not three Gods but One God". PP's interpretation seems to derive from a wholly wilful misreading of John 1. Please don't assert your opinion as facts, Plasmic Physics, nor your heresy as orthodoxy. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:53, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It is not my opinion, it is what is written. Plasmic Physics (talk) 23:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It is the opinion of whoever wrote it... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:00, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
It is written in the Bible, the only primary source. Plasmic Physics (talk) 00:05, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia rates primary sources pretty low as reliable sources. Primary sources are usually more interested in influencing potential customers than in facts. HiLo48 (talk) 00:09, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Where in the Bible does it say that there are three gods, or that only Jesus, and not YHWH, created the world? And I think you'll find that the creeds are primary sources for the beliefs of most Christians, and that there are a wealth of secondary sources to back them up. We also have the writings of the early church fathers as primary sources as to what the early church believed. Please stop lying. I don't care what you believe, and I don't expect you to care what I believe. But it is simply a matter of fact that neither of your claims is to be found anywhere in the Bible, nor in the beliefs of any major church. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:14, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
John 1:1-4,14-15 Gen 1:26,27. Plasmic Physics (talk) 00:33, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
And is that "internally in harmony everywhere within Scripture"? I'm applying the test you told us to use up above in God and the Devil. HiLo48 (talk) 00:37, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (Nine verses omitted.) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me." and " And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
There simply is no mention of more than one God here. And if you can't parse the italicised verse (John 1:3) correctly, you have no business even trying to instruct anyone else. It really does not say "Nothing came into being through anyone except him". No amount of trying will make that change. What St John is saying is that the Word participated fully with God in the creation. Not that God did not create things, but only the Word. Are you a Gnostic, perhaps? AlexTiefling (talk) 00:43, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Verse three says that "All things were made through [the Word]." Note the word 'through' is used, in conjunction with Genesis, it is evident that all things were made by the Word at the behest of another (the Father). Moreover, Jesus is repeatedly refered to as the Lord, the Angel of the LORD, and as God in other places within the Bible. Plasmic Physics (talk) 01:08, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Simple answer to the OP's question: If you believe He is, then He is. If you don't believe He is, then He isn't. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)


I was looking for Jonas Jonasson, and searched for Jonasson in Wikipedia. The page that appears with people whose surname is Jonasson does not include the writer Jonas Jonasson, for which a page does exist in Wikipedia ( (talk) 18:38, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

That's only because you (specifically you) didn't add it to the list. --Jayron32 18:40, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Same-sex marriage and the persecution of Christians[edit]

Some Christians not in favour of same-sex marriage seem to name the suffering Church as a counterargument. For example, Justin Welby, the Archbishop-designate of Canterbury said in his opening statement: "We also face deep differences over the issue of sexuality. It is absolutely right for the state to define the rights and status of people co-habiting in different forms of relationships, including civil partnerships. We must have no truck with any form of homophobia, in any part of the church. The Church of England is part of the worldwide church, with all the responsibilities that come from those links. What the church does here deeply affects the already greatly suffering churches in places like northern Nigeria, which I know well. I support the House of Bishop's statement in the summer in answer to the government's consultation on same sex marriage. I know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT communities, and examine my own thinking prayerfully and carefully. I am always averse to the language of exclusion, when what we are called to is to love in the same way as Jesus Christ loves us. Above all in the church we need to create safe spaces for these issues to be discussed honestly and in love." (Emphasis added.)

Can someone explain the line of argument that links the two, please? – Kaihsu (talk) 19:08, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

At a first guess, if you want tolerance towards your mores, you should show tolerance towards those of other people. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Nigerian culture is notoriously harsh on homosexuals, see LGBT rights in Africa, which shows that there is the death penalty for being gay in Northern Nigeria. Gay Christians in Northern Nigeria thus suffer in that they could be legally killed for being gay. As Anglicanism is a world-wide communion of churches which share a common history and theology (the Anglican Communion), and historically the Church of England is considered the "mother church" for all Anglicans, the actions it takes can have a profound impact on the world-wide Anglican communion. The article Homosexuality and Anglicanism has a bit on a schism between the Church of Nigeria and other Anglican churches over this very issue. --Jayron32 19:18, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
By "Northern Nigeria" do you mean the part where the Episcopalians run it as a religious dictatorship based on a strict interpretation of Leviticus? μηδείς (talk) 04:03, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
No, not sure where you got that from, perhaps you could read some information about Nigeria first before making such statements. There must be some articles around here somewhere. --Jayron32 04:25, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I think Medeis was being rather sarcastic... AnonMoos (talk) 13:27, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Sadly, I think not. --Jayron32 14:03, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The question is rather clear, what is it about northern Nigeria that makes it so much deadlier to its citizens? Is it the Mossad? The Church Lady? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir? The aforementioned Episcopal Suppository Bomber? The mere difference in latitude? What is this hate that dare not speak its name? μηδείς (talk) 16:58, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
So, here's the deal for those of you who don't follow the strange twists and turns of Anglicanism. The bishops of the Church of England last summer came out with a statement opposing same-sex marriage. Welby says he supports that statement, while also claiming, incoherently and self-contradictorily, that he opposes homophobia. He then refers to the situation in northern Nigeria, where Christians of all kinds face violent attacks from radical Muslims. I'm not sure how that situation is connected to same-sex marriage unless one of the reasons these Muslims give for attacking Christians is that some Christians in Western countries support same-sex marriage, which is surely anathema to many Nigerian Muslims (as well as many Nigerian Christians). There really is no logical coherence to Welby's statement. It reflects the tortured position of the Anglican Communion, trying to appeal to the liberal congregations that are its financial underpinning, particularly in the United States, as well as to very religiously and socially conservative Africans, who are providing most of the Communion's growth in membership. Marco polo (talk) 18:06, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
It's not self-contradictory. It's a verbose way of saying "hate the sin, love the sinner". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:27, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
That "hate the sin, love the sinner" line might possibly make some kind of sense when it refers to "sins" that involve actions that aren't essential to a person's happiness and well-being, such as committing theft or murder. However, hating the "sin" of a person loving another person because doing so is essential to that person's happiness and well-being amounts to being opposed to the happiness and well-being of that person. Opposition to a person's happiness and well-being does not qualify as "love". In this case, it qualifies as homophobia. So Welby's statement is self-contradictory. Marco polo (talk) 15:52, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
To you, it's self-contradictory. To him and/or his belief system, it's consistent. He would probably argue that your own premise is false - that you're using (or mis-using) "love" as a euphemism for sexual behavior and that that type of sexual behavior is sinful. Sincerely believing that homosexual behavior is sinful may be wrong-headed, but it's not automatically "homophobic". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:01, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
For a start, it's worth mentioning that the Church of England has shown a lot of opposition to loving but sexless same-sex relationships. In particular, all of the controversies over Jeffrey John, who is in a celibate same-sex relationship, but was pressured to step down immediately after being appointed as a bishop, as well as the church's strong opposition to same-sex civil partnerships (which they always liken to "friendships", rejecting that they should be sexual in nature). As for whether opposing same-gender marriage/sex is homophobic (or biphobic or transphobic) - I know that opponents invariably insist they are not prejudiced against LGBT people (and often claim that prejudice against LGBT people does not exist at all), but then people very rarely admit to being prejudiced, and I think most people here would agree that anti-LGBT prejudice is very widespread. I don't think it is at all unreasonable to describe people who oppose same-sex relationships as "homophobic", and I strongly suspect that the vast majority of English-speaking LGBT people would agree with me (lots of people say that "homophobia" specifically refers to an "irrational fear" of gay people, but it has been used in a far broader sense than that ever since it was coined). (talk) 17:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks to User:Marco polo, whose response adequately resolves my query. – Kaihsu (talk) 16:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I think claiming to oppose homophobia is more an attempt to limit the damage to their reputation that their (very strongly stated) opposition to same-gender marriage is causing. The church is perfectly well aware that its position on this (and female bishops) is unpopular, particularly with the younger people it needs to attract to survive in the long term, and that its relationship with the government is strained (two examples: the Church's second-in-command, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu saying that the government are acting like dictators by trying to introduce same-sex marriage, and the Church's representative in the House of Commons, Tony Baldry MP, saying "the Church of England no longer looks like a national church, it simply looks like a sect like any other sect" after their decision not to allow women bishops). Also, as well as trying to maintain relationships with other Anglican churches, there is a lot of dissent within their own church: at one extreme, there are avowedly homophobic people like Sentamu and former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, who both pointedly refused to sign the Cambridge Accord. At the other extreme, you have Giles Fraser, the former Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, who says that marrying a same-gender couple against the will of the church would be "a cause worth going to prison for". Trying to balance all of this is inevitably going to lead to some erratic statements.
Connecting same-gender marriage in England and Wales to the treatment of Christians in northern Nigeria without any explanation does seem a bit nonsensical, but then the church's statements on same-sex marriage often are (at one point, they even tried to claim that the government cannot change marriage laws without the church's permission). Possibly it's just an attempt to portray his church as oppressed to garner sympathy. (talk) 16:52, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Now we know what he was trying to say: Guardian: African Christians will be killed if C of E accepts gay marriage, says Justin Welby. – Kaihsu (talk) 16:54, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Primary Education in the United States[edit]

> I’m looking at one of your publications Primary Education in the United States which was reviewed in December of 2012 to the present. > > I appreciate the very highly detailed document with the remarkable number of facts about the education of young people in the United States, however, I am very interested in comparisons with other nations and the international exam or or competition you want to call it that examines such attainments for the years 17 to 18. Every year the results of this examination are in newspapers, and if I remember rightly the most recent one placed us 24th among the nations. > > Although I cannot say I’ve examined word for word everything that’s in your report, I have examined each section for content and cannot find any report of comparison with other nations. > > Have you made such a comparison? If not I think it’s a mistake to leave that out and one of the things that matters in our strength as a nation is the education of children. The fact that our young people at 17 to 18 perform in a way which is more characteristic of a less well developed country than ours concerns me and I would hope that in future documents you would bring out that exam. > > Could I ask you whilst also talking about education in the United States if you know of this famous yearly competition and if you do where may I obtain knowledge about it in greater detail than which I have from the newspaper? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tlschulz (talkcontribs) 20:03, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

You may have come to the wrong place. This is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. We don't issue publications. We do have loads of articles for anyone to read (and edit), including an article called Primary education in the United States. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 20:33, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I think they are probably talking about our article, just using slightly unusual terminology. --Tango (talk) 20:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I suspected so too, which is why I said "may have come to the wrong place". The article has existed since 2005, yet the questioner says "... which was reviewed in December of 2012 to the present", so I dunno what that's about at all. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 02:56, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
May be the OP means they read the article between December 2012 to now (probably fairly sporiadicly)? Nil Einne (talk) 07:18, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe even sporadically.  :) -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 19:19, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Programme for International Student Assessment may be useful to you. --Tango (talk) 20:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)