Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Humanities/2006 August 15

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Fred Phelps[edit]

Are their any truth to rumors Phelps was once arrested for homosexual acts?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

If there was, everybody would know about it, and in any case it wouldn't be a rumor. See rumor and Fred Phelps#Criminal record.--Shantavira 06:38, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Republic of Poland Gold bond[edit]

Please give me any information about Republic of Poland twenty year six per cent U. S. Dollar Gold Bonds bond issue of 1920 due 1st April 1940.The amount of the bond is 100 dollars through The National City Bank of New York.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Applebees (talkcontribs)

I strongly doubt whether you're going to get any gold for it! AnonMoos 23:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
You won't it expired in 1940. AllanHainey 12:06, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
In 1940 up to 1945 Poland was under German occupation so it was impossible to cash it. The previous holders of this bond should have done it right after the war or if the post-1945 goverment refused to pay, you should have tried after the ending of the communist era in 1989. Ask Wikipedia:Polish Wikipedians' notice board for more details. The bill itself should have some collectors value, check out the polish version of ebay (low number of polish users) or allegro [1], a GOLD BOND - POLAND 500$ 1927 RRR is right now worth less than 300 zł (USD/PLN 1/3.0858 1/3.0888) so it is worth around 100 usd right now, but somone may bid higher. Mieciu K 17:19, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Iranian Jews and Christians[edit]

Which provinces of Iran have the most population of Jews alone and Christians alone?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

For jews they are concentrated in large cities such as Terhran

Presumably it would be in the big cities where non-Muslims (tourists, etc.) would be as well as the bits which are closest to non-Muslim countries i.e. near the Armenian border. -- THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 07:19, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Which provinces of Brazil have the population of Spanish-speaking people?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Is the article Portuñol of any help to you?-gadfium 09:22, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
no, the article Portuñol does not help where Spanish-speaking people live in which provinces of Brazil?
as far as I know, there are no "provinces" in Brazil where Spanish is spoken. There might, of course, be Spanish-speaking people in Brazil, but they would not constitute the majority of any "province", the same way that there are Spanish-speaking people in Australia, but they are a few people who also speak English and are scattered around the cities. I don't have a link for that, but I am Brazilian. You might find more people who speak Spanish closer to the border between Brazil and for example Argentina and Paraguai, but the main language would still be Portuguese.

Gay lisp[edit]

Is the gay lisp natural or contrived?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

It appears to be a cultural affectation. There are precedents; in one British Regiment (I've read somewhere or other) /r/ was pronounced /w/, so an officer named Brabazon was nicknamed "Bwab". A more interesting example perhaps is the pronunciation of diphthongs on Martha's Vineyard.[2]Tamfang 06:05, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Without any air of criticism, I suspect it is somehow tied to the general mindset of the gay male, just as one might expect a rough-and-tough sports fan to grunt and speak in loud, declarative sentences. It seems to be a natural consequence of the increased expression and, dare I say femininity? I am by no means homophobic, and this is completely OR, and I'm sure that many of my nay-saying friends would love to refute this, but consider it nonetheless. I cannot, however, explain why the said mindset causes the speech different to be exactly as such-- AdamBiswanger1 15:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
You might not be homophobic, but on this topic you seem to be exceedingly uninformed. And if I don't stop here, I'm sure to run up against WP:NPA. --LarryMac 19:02, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
What's your problem? That wasn't even close to a personal attack. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
Thank you Mac. Larry, I refuse to let the sensitivity of an issue forbid me from exploring or discussing it--and, unless you can provide a more informed hypothesis to contradict mine, there is no harm in speculation and no reason to condemn it.AdamBiswanger1 02:17, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
My point was that I would find it hard to argue against such a completely uninformed "hypothesis" without making a personal attack. Please do explain the "general mindset of the gay male" and how you have come by this information. And while you're at it, feel free to discourse on stereotypical presentations of homosexual men as feminine. --LarryMac 13:02, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
To say that many gay men do not have a higher concentration of feminine qualities, and to dismiss it as a stereotype is blind. I, for one, cannot live with myself suppressing such thought. For the sake of not igniting any hate, let me remind everyone that I do not possess the slightest tinge of homophobia--I'm going to a baseball game with a gay friend of mine later tonight. It's a shame that I have to issue that disclaimer so often. From the femininity article: The common stereotype of homosexual men is that they are effeminate, with perhaps even exaggerated feminine traits. While this is true of many homosexual men, there are many others who do not fit this discription; gay men range from very feminine to very masculine. Agreed. However the feminine attributes of the gay male are much more common and concentrated, and to deny that would be needlessly obstructive. Bell et al. (1981) reported that gender nonconformity was the single most statistically significant difference between predominantly homosexual males and predominantly heterosexual males, and the reason for this association is evident from their data on the "self-ratings" by males (as they were to the age of 17 years) using a "highly feminine to highly masculine" 7-point Likert scale (Table 4). [3]AdamBiswanger1 14:57, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
The article gay lisp seems unreliable to me. I know that what I am about to say constitutes original research and POV, but I happen to be a gay man with lots of gay friends, none of whom have a lisp, and only some of whom might be identifiable by their speech. I have had years of practice and cannot identify gay men by their speech. I can identify likely suspects, but I can't rule out anyone who lacks "gay" speech patterns, because many gay men lack them. Gay men overwhelmingly grow up in "straight" families and communities (except for the small fraction brought up by adult gay men or lesbians). Gay men therefore learn English (or other native languages) mainly from straight people. That fraction of the gay population who adopt other female mannerisms may also adopt certain speech patterns culturally identified as female, probably unconsciously.
While the ability to speak is innate, forms of speech are cultural or learned, as are the sociolinguistic values attached to different forms of speech. Therefore, identifiable gay speech patterns, such as the rare lisp, are not "natural." Nor, in my opinion, are they generally "contrived," but rather learned, usually unconsciously or subconsciously. Marco polo 20:34, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the original question presupposes some things that just ain't true, and I agree our article on the gay lisp is pretty much bunkum. Even having an article called "gay lisp" just feeds a very unuseful stereotype. Is there a corresponding "straight lisp" article? A lisp may be associated with campness, or it may not be. Campness is an attribute of some gay people, but it is certainly not one of our defining features. Campness, with or without a lisp, is also an attribute of some straight people. It never pays to assume camp = gay, or lisp = gay. A lisp may have developed at a very early age (in which case it is very unlikely to have anything to do with sexuality), or it may have been contrived at a later stage of one's life (which might be evidence of campness, but not necessarily evidence of gayness). The majority of gay people have no outward appearances, mannerisms, behaviours or other attributes that distinguish them from other humans. Gayness is essentially an internal thing, although often expressed externally. JackofOz 23:28, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you, although I do believe there is such a thing as a "gay lisp", and it is coherent and notable enough to warrant an article AdamBiswanger1 02:20, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

As a preliminary note for Adam, we assume good faith here. What that translates into in your case is that we assume that you're indeed not homophobic until we see overwhelming proof that you are. Sort of like "innocent until proven guilty". It's entirely unnecessary for you to iterate and reiterate "I'm not homophobic". In fact when I hear similar disclaimers, they tend to only raise suspicion, rather than lower it. I can't help but get that instinctive impression that "the [man] protests to much, methinks". Let your words speak for themselves. Don't take this as a criticism, just a friendly suggestion. I don't believe you're homophobic at all. (Quite the mature Wikipedian I've evolved into, eh? :)

As for the subject at hand, of course as Jack pointed out, the vast majority of gay men "have no outward appearances, mannerisms, behaviours or other attributes that distinguish them from other humans". I'm certain of that. Likewise, things like "the gay lisp" are clearly stereotypes, that only a few gay people exhibit.

On the other hand though, I hate to do this but I have to part company with Jack to a certain degree. It would seem to me to be rather intellectually dishonest to deny the fact that the "gay lisp", along with many of the other mannerisms mentioned indeed exist. The article may indeed be bunkum, but at least it makes the effort to point out that much of what it's trying to explain is indeed stereotype.

Tell me honestly Jack, has there ever been any doubt in your mind that Richard Simmons, the very caricature of the stereotypical gay man was indeed gay? Be honest. Loomis 01:32, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I can honestly tell you that I have heard of a TV fitness guy named Richard Simmons, but that's about the extent of my knowledge of him. I am so dimly aware of him that I had to check our article, which shows he has denied rumours of being gay. I assume Simmons has a lisp, hence the gay rumours. Your very question runs the risk of bolstering the stereotype that I'm at pains to destroy. JackofOz 04:39, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok then, I'll switch minority groups for a moment. Has there ever been any doubt in your mind that Jerry Seinfeld is in fact Jewish? He displays almost every stereotypical Jewish mannerism, and even his surname is stereotypically Jewish, yet I don't ever seem to recall him ever making any sort of direct reference to being Jewish. Yet it seems pretty clear (to me at least) that he's obviously Jewish. But I should remind you, just in case you get the wrong idea, that I am by no means anti-semitic. :-) Loomis 13:09, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm really not sure where this is going now. Are you making the point that certain stereotypes exist and are attributed to certain groups? I couldn't agree more. But are these stereotypes accurate representations of typical behaviour? In the vast majority of cases, NO. If we want to exhaustively describe the gay lisp stereotype, let's do it, but let's make sure we label it as that, not make out that it reflects reality. JackofOz 05:38, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused. I agree entirely with what you just said. Entirely. My point was, literally, "that certain stereotypes exist and are attributed to certain groups". In fact I made it a point that I agreed with your statement that "the vast majority of gay men have no outward appearances, mannerisms, behaviours or other attributes that distinguish them from other humans. I'm certain of that. Likewise, things like "the gay lisp" are clearly stereotypes, that only a few gay people exhibit."
Now I'm really confused!
But just to make sure, I'll provide one last example. Perhaps Richard Simmons may not have been the best example as he may not be as widely known as I had thought. And actually no, he doesn't seem to have a "gay lisp". Also, apparently, (despite his non-stop use of homosexual innuendo,) he's never actually come out. Perhaps Liberace would be a better example. He never had a "gay lisp" either. Also, except until his very last days dying of AIDS, he never came out either. Yet I'm just barely old enough to remember when he was alive and well. And from what I remember it was something of an "open secret" that he was gay. When he finally revealed his sexuality to his fans and to the general public, no one was shocked in the slightest. He was clearly gay before he came out, and it only seemed natural, rather than shocking, when he finally did come out. Again, Liberace surely never represented the vast majority of gay people, yet he did indeed possess certain tell-tale mannerisms. No offence, but you're "just a bit" older than I am :) ... what was your reaction to this "shocking" revelation? "Oh my God! Liberace is actually gay? I never had the faintest clue!"
But of course Liberace in no way represents the vast majority of gay men. All I'm saying is that these stereotypical mannerisms are indeed based on something, be it a tiny minority of gays. But as you say, "are these stereotypes accurate representations of typical behaviour? In the vast majority of cases, NO!"
Jack, I think that we're agreeing a lot more than it would appear. I'd just chalk it up to another case of internet miscommunication. I'm pretty sure we're pretty much on the same page on this one. And if you still disagree, Oy veys mir! Vas fur a mishugeneh feigeleh bisti! Come! Eat some gefilte fish, have some bagels and some potato kugel and some matzah ball soup and we'll have a nice, freilicheh conversation over a glass of Manischewitz about all this mishugeneh naarishkeit! Please, please, make yourself at home! :--)Loomis 01:04, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Erattum: I just checked the article on Liberace and apparently he had never "come out" as I had assumed. My apologies for any contrary assumptions I had made. Loomis 01:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

(And note Adam, throughout my entire post I never felt the slightest need to use the "disclaimer": "I'm not homophobic". I'd think my words and my track record speak for themselves). Loomis 01:32, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

If this were a venue in which I knew that I did not have to protect my reputation against childishness I would agree with you. But I, being a realist, acknowledge that many do not assume good faith, and would disregard any logic I put forth if they suspected even an ounce of homophobia. You've seen it in economics-- A rich republican who calls for an unregulated economy and a restriction of welfare is elitist and unsympathetic. But learn that he grew up begging for tablescraps, and suddenly the masses are intrigued. AdamBiswanger1 03:26, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
You make a good point Adam. I really can't argue with what you're saying. It's just that I never for a moment had any suspicion of you being homophobic at all. Whether you're of the opinion that there's a such thing as a "gay lisp" or not doesn't seem to me to be much of an issue of homophobia at all. To me, homophobia, even in its mildest form, is about denying equal dignity and respect to gay people as to straight people. But then again, I'm not gay, so perhaps I'm not one to talk. In any case I still believe that "I'm not homophobic, but..." or "I'm not racist, but..." or "I'm not anti-semitic, but..." disclaimers only tend to raise suspicion rather than lower it. That's why I completely avoid them altogether and just let my words speak for themselves. But like I said, you do have a good point. Loomis 14:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity why is lisping suposidly a femenin trait I went to a series of all girls schools as a child and now teach at a mixed (and huge) sixth form collage and the only girl I ever met who had a lisp had it because of a cleft palet or somthing.

Back to the original question, it has been my personal experience that many straight males also gain this lisp, so it doesn't quite fit that it is a sign of feminine manners. And I agree, since when is a lisp feminine? I know an abudance of guys with speech impediments, and only one girl. Russia Moore 23:11, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

George W Bush[edit]

Bush is not perfect, yet he seems well meaning; why is their there such viseral personalized hate for Mr. Bush??—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


Where do you live? In a bucket? It's not unusual for leaders to be hated, he may even prefer it.

See the article Public perception and assessments of George W. Bush, which lists some of the reasons behind criticism of Mr Bush. --Canley 02:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Read 1984. Of course, if you live in America and you read newspapers, you've read the first few pages already. It must be obvious by now that by declaring "war on terrorism", Bush has condemned our country to an a priori unending state of warfare? How will this war end? When all the terrorists are dead? How can we possibly kill all the terrorists in the world? Bush knows perfectly well that the war on terrorism is immortal, and it is a justification for the continuation of the power structure. It's just such a sinister, deceptive way to mislead a country, and it is slowly, slowly sliding into newspeak (read the book). War is peace! Peace is war! We are at war with Iraq. We have always been at war with the terrorists in Iraq. We never supplied Saddam Hussein with oodles of weapons as an ally only fifteen years ago. The terrorists have always been in Iraq. Did you notice (for instance at the end of the movie WTC) that the war in Iraq has recently become a way of "avenging" the 9/11 attacks? It's total mass amnesia!! Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11!! For got sake people...if you don't use your ability to think, you soon won't be allowed to!! *Shudder* Be afraid. Be very afraid. --Bmk 03:52, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
PS: Sorry for kind of ranting. I guess it was inevitable. Bravo to anyone who has resisted the urge to rant one way or the other - I wasn't strong enough.  :) --Bmk 03:52, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
It is easy if you accept that no matter what your opinion is and no matter how strongly you feel about it - at least half the world disagrees with you. They don't hate you. They don't want to beat you into submission or brainwash you. They just disagree for whatever their personal reasonings may be. --Kainaw (talk) 13:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Depends where you're asking.I'd imagine in the Bible Belt and deep Texas,there'd be considerable support for Bush... Lemon martini 19:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

And in The Bush. Quite possibly also, down the old Bull and Bush. Maybe at the Burning Bush.--Dweller 13:11, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that part of the reason why people dislike Bush is because he is a) ignorant and b) ignores everyone that disagrees with him. These may be useful traits in some circumstances however a the leader of a country that is such a major player in world politics they are not even remotely attractive attributes. Something like 75 million people across the world marched against the Iraq war and he went ahead anyway!!! Not only that but the UN also told him not to do it and he did it anyway. Iraq is a disaster, and will continue to be they can not hope to turn it into a democracy when every person they put in power is going to be blown up. Even the people in iraq that want the Americans their are to scrared that they to will be blow up or kidnapped top want to help. Oh and Bush brought God into politics which is NEVER under any circumstances a good idea.

medical and law degrees[edit]

Why is it in the UK and the commonwealth these are offered as undergraduate degrees, where as in the US they are almost always only offered as graduate degrees?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • Becuase American universities are about 2 to 4 years behind the rest of the world, we're really quite pathetic, I blame the greeks, and the romans, I really wish they'd stop invading Gaul already, it wasn't funny the first time around-- 16:52, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe it is as a result of the decision of U.S.A. universities on the acceptance qualifications for their courses, they require a you to already have a (usually completely unrelated) degree. In the UK this isn't the case as they view law and medical degrees as just another degree, albeit degrees with a longer course than most (I think 7 years for Doctors inc practical work experience). In the UK we don't have "graduate degrees" unless you take that to mean things like Phds where you need an existing degree in the subject. AllanHainey 11:56, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
We do have graduate degrees in the UK, although in British-English they are called post-graduate degrees. They are master's degrees like MSc, MA, MBA, MPhil, etc., plus PhDs or DPhil etc. I've got one of them, and my undergraduate degree was, as it happens, in a completely different subject.

Seth Macfarlan[edit]

Which characters voice is his normal voice; Peter Grifin, Stewie Grifin, Brian, or Stan smith? which character does he most personally identify with?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Well none of them are his normal voice, but he sounds more like Brian or Stan Smith. Adam Bishop 06:10, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Listening to him on the commentaries, I have to agree, he sounds most like Brian in his 'normal' voice. You would have to ask him about his identification, I'm sure like most authors he identifies closely with all his characters in one way or another. 15:46, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

New age music[edit]

Who is the leading new age artist?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Leading in what sense? Most successful? Most financially successful? Most influential? Most avant-garde? Ziggurat 04:01, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Earliest? —Tamfang 05:59, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
The most successful is probably Enya, though Enigma could arguably give her a run for her money. However, this is, as has been pointed out, a very subjective question. The Jade Knight 07:14, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
This article may help give an idea of traditionally significant New Age artists and songs: Key_songs_of_the_new_age_scene. The Jade Knight 07:19, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Who is the greatest currrent world leader[edit]

Who is the greatest currrent world leader??—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Jimbo Wales AdamBiswanger1 15:08, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Someone's after a bonus in their pay packet. Oh, wait... Tony Fox (arf!) 15:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Greatest in what sense? Most popular? Least hated? Most successful domestically? Most successful internationally? You'll have to give us a clearer criterion, as the reference desk is not supposed to be a discussion board. Ziggurat 04:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
The questioner clearly wants to know which world has the highest amperage and who leads it. —Tamfang 05:59, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Venus. Answer to both questions. The Jade Knight 07:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
World leader? No article, so doesn't exist. Alas the world is not that united yet. Then again - Kofi Annan? DirkvdM 08:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure there are many "World Leaders", but most people choose to ignore them - or lock them up in institutions to help them accept that they are not leaders of any kind. --Kainaw (talk) 19:53, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

can you identify this song[edit]

My friend asked me if i could identify a song and i couldnt hwlp him so i posted it here. First the song is heard on classic rock stations and has lyrics that go something like this "Hey there, don't you know? Hey there, I don't know. something something something take me out." i know thats vauge but thats all my friend gave me.

Franz Ferdinand maybe?
I say don't you know
You say you don't know
I say... take me out
I say you don't show
Don't move time is slow
I say... take me out
See (link removed) here. Ziggurat 04:07, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Google is a great tool. Next time try searching the lyrics on there. Or any search engine.

Lost tribes of Israel[edit]

Is their any historical evidence of their existence? If so what likely happened to them?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

What about reading our article Lost tribes of Israel first, and see if you have any (answerable) questions left? --LambiamTalk 06:38, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
for the Indian connection, i would love to tell you that one of the lost ten tribes of israel was traced to the indian state of Mizoram. This connection was verified in 2002, by a series of genealogical tests, by eminent scientists.nids 10:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah and I'm the emperor of China. 18:54, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Holy spirit[edit]

Can anyone tell me what is, in Christian terms, the Holy spirit? Though I try to understand the term's meaning, I simply can't... I easily see that the Father is God, the dude in heaven that created the universe; the Son is Jesus, the one claiming to be the son of God and the main figure in Christianism... but what or who is the Holy Spirit? The group of believers or what? Please, help. Thanks in advance.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The Holy Spirit is really just what it sounds like-- a spirit that infuses you with the spirit of God and leads you to faith in Christ. Christians usually like to think of the Holy Spirit as a person, or at least an active force, rather than just some ethereal presence. So, whereas Jesus and the Father are more concrete beings, the Holy Spirit's realm is the human heart and emotional reaction to God. If someone is worshiping fervently or praising God, one might say that she is filled with the Holy Spirit. I hope that helps although I know many of my fellow editors are cringing at the POV language-- (I forgot God was dead) AdamBiswanger1 14:40, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
While not directly cringing, I'm wondering at your use of the word "concrete". --LambiamTalk 18:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
My line of thinking is that the Holy Spirit affects the spiritual world, whereas the Father and the Son have physical manifestations, and affect physical things (not to say that they are in any way unable to do anything, such as affect non-physical things). Your thoughts? AdamBiswanger1 18:25, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Sounds like a physical manifestation or at least affecting physical things. Still, is it not Christian doctrine that God is transcendent, and so has no material substance? --LambiamTalk 01:56, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Logic doesn't apply here--I was trying to get the idea across that the Holy Spirit centers around our hearts--that's all AdamBiswanger1 02:21, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Try reading Holy spirit, then get back to us if there's anything you don't understand. Isn't it amazing? Wikipedia is not only a reference desk, but also an encyclopedia!! Anchoress 09:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
That's pretty ironic-- I think you might want to read it as well 15:56, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I did, last night. What's your point? --Anchoress 22:35, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The Athanasian Creed sums it up pretty well. Personally, ever since I first heard the Holy Spirit referred to as the Paraclete and that he "descended like a dove" when God proclaimed Jesus his son, I have pictured the Holy Spirit as something like a parakeet in the same way that I picture God as an old man with a white beard and Jesus as a hippy looking long haired dude.Edison 18:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

A conventional iconographic representation of the Holy Ghost is a white dove, at least that's what I thought it was, but perhaps it is an albino parakeet. --LambiamTalk 02:04, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
The Nicene Creed is also helpful. Most Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is a person -- an individual -- distinct from the Father (also a person) and the Son (you guessed it -- another person) yet in a way humans can't understand, all three are one God. So we speak of One God in Three Persons. Christians argue that, while this doesn't make logical sense, we shouldn't expect it to. God is very different from His creatures. How can we expect to fully understand what He is like? So we simply choose to believe about Him what He tells us about Himself in the Bible (as we see it, of course). This would be that there is only one God and yet the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. I don't know if that helps, but it's how I explain it all. --CTSWyneken(talk) 20:02, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course it makes sense i dont even belive in God yet it still makes sense. Example. A woman "Ann" she has a daughter and a husband and she is a swimmer, so she is Ann the wife, Ann the mother, and Ann the swimmer the Holy Trinity is merely showing if you like three different facets of God, whois lets face it any all mighty being that is so vast, beyond time and space, and splitting him up into the Holy trinity makes him more manageble. God the Father is the creator, woh is all seeing etc, Jesus is the saviour and because of his pain and suffering our souls can be redeemed no matter what the crime and the Holy spirit is the bit that covers everything else. if your still confused, try asking a vicar/priest may be they can help, you dont have to go to their church, they will be happy to help a confused sheep

When was the first airline ticket created?[edit]

My name is Josh and i am 35 years old and i would like to know when the first airline ticket was created for one of my students.

Thank you for your time and effort to help me =)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

According to (link removed) this site, it was on January 1, 1914 in St Petersburg, Florida. --Canley 13:00, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
35 is a nice age isn't it Josh? I wish I was 35 again.--Shantavira 13:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

If you would please help, the answer above says 1914 but i have a timeline saying the airline ticket was created in 194__ i need some help please?

thank you for all you do

Then I guess your timeline is wrong. Depending on your definition of airline, it could have been even earlier. See our article on airships.--Shantavira 13:21, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
According to this site [4]the world's first flight ticket booth was built in 1911. Tickets for passenger flights around the area cost about 1 pound. I don't know whether Keith Prowse Ltd qualifies as 'airline' though.Sluzzelin 13:28, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, this seems to depend on how you're defining an airline ticket, which the 1911 and 1914 suggestions seem to mean a paid-for docket for travel on a passenger aircraft. If the date you are after is in the 1940s, then you are probably after the origin of the printed airline ticket as we know it today: those produced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which formed in 1945. The modern IATA airline ticket (not an e-ticket) with multilateral agreements between airlines to honour each other's tickets on a reciprocal basis originated in 1947.[5] --Canley 01:52, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

We would need to know more about your student if we were to determine a date for the creation of a ticket for him.-- 02:37, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Geography in France[edit]

I've been trying to find the exact date that the first Chair in Geography was added to the Sorbonne. I know it was Napoleon that added it, but I can't find a year (or for that matter the first professor to occupy that chair). Any ideas?

Thanks, Dana140.247.40.134 13:39, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

In 1806, I suspect. In the eighteenth century the Sorbonne was a theology faculty, which closed down after the revolution. Napoleon reopened it in 1806, and created faculties de Lettres et de Sciences. That may very well have included Geography. David Sneek 16:15, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Am I the only one that wants to say 'The same year they added the first Table and Sideboard? :) Lemon martini 19:14, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


There is a statue outside of the museum where I work that is referred to as "The Sausage King". It is a figure of a man dressed in 18th century waistcoat and breeches with a crown, and around his neck is a ring of sausages and he is holding a scepter in his hand that looks like a large bratwurst of sorts. All searches for sausage king don't give me any answers to who the Sausage King is supposed to be. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 13:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

It would seem highly likely that someone at the museum would know. I would suggest asking them. DJ Clayworth 13:53, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, could you tell us what city and country you are in, or the name of the museum? It would really help narrow it down. --Canley 01:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Semi colon usage[edit]

Am I right in thinking that after 'AAV' is an appropriate place to put a semicolon? "There are a few disadvantages to using AAV, mainly the small amount of DNA it can carry and the difficulty in producing it". --Username132 (talk) 14:39, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe the clause after the semi-colon must be able to plausibly stand by itself as a complete unit (independent clause), and as such it could not. But more importantly, I think it sounds better with a comma than with the abruptness of a semicolon. But, if you think you must have some form of punctuation, a regular colon might be best--this indicates that a list is coming AdamBiswanger1 14:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
No. Only use a semicolon where you could have also placed a period. The following would be correct: "There are a few disadvantages to using AAV; it can carry a small amount of DNA, and it is difficult to produce." Alternatively you could have used a colon, as the first part of the sentence sets it up: "There are a few disadvantages to using AAV: the small amount of DNA it can carry, and the difficulty in producing it." - Rainwarrior 15:19, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I do think this would have been better asked in the Language section. And to answer your question, I don't think so. Viva La Vie Boheme!


what is the motivation behind most vandals?

When you say vandals.... do you mean vandals or vandals..-- 18:25, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Since you are a known vandal, he may be referring to you. What's more, he may even be you. I smell a sockpuppet. DirkvdM 10:12, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Probably the goal was to conquer Spain and North Africa to secure a new homeland free of the Roman yoke. If you're talking about vandalism it could be some combination of making a political point, having fun, impressing buddies and venting anger.--Pyroclastic 18:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Note This user, Bengurion, who has about 30 edits, has a history of asking random, obscure, and difficult questions that do not belong at the reference desk. If the user disputes this, please contact me. AdamBiswanger1 18:05, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Their motivation in their greatest triumph was both a desire for conquest and a desire for amusement. Thus it was that on June 2, 455, their leader set alight a paper bag of excrement in front of the gates of Rome, knocked loudly, and ran away. The ruler himself came running out and stomped on the bag to put out the fire, leading to great merriment among the vandals as they entered and sacked the city.Edison 19:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

To score more touchdowns than their opponents User:Zoe|(talk) 22:00, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

races of the the bible[edit]

What happened to the hittites, babylonians philistines, caninites ect, who are their descendents?

Note This user, Bengurion, who has about 30 edits, has a history of asking random, obscure, and difficult questions that do not belong at the reference desk. If the user disputes this, please contact me. AdamBiswanger1 18:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Have you read our articles Hittites, Babylonia, Philistines, and Canaan? Gdr 21:06, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

  • a) they died out or dispersed

b)we all are

Next time try "etc"


What is name of the Russian archelogist who claimed to have visit shambala during the 1920's?

Note This user, who has about 30 edits, has a history of asking random, obscure, and difficult questions that do not belong at the reference desk. If the user disputes this, please contact me. AdamBiswanger1 18:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Well,this was neither particularly difficult nor obscure. A google search of "Shambala" & "Russian archaeologist" reveals him to be Nikolai Roerikj or in English Nicholas Roerich who claimed to have visited in the summer of 1926 Lemon martini 19:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


I am sorry about contacting you this way but I saw know other way. I am a highly curious person. I do ask a lot of difficult questions only because I am curious about the answer. I am intrested in anicent and bibical history as an avocation, that is why I ask these questions. Adam, you do not need to attack my questions.

Very respectfully Bengurion.
Granted, but why ask questions such as "Their is user who seems to have a crush on Jo Swinson; she seems an antiBlair extrmest!"? I just had an IP exhibiting the same behavior blocked a little while ago, and I can't help but wonder if it is you. But I will assume good faith and leave you with one piece of advice: Please limit your questions, and do research before asking. Thanks AdamBiswanger1 18:23, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Note: You can respond to a single user on their talk page. Click on the user's name and then click on the Discussion/Talk tab. --Kainaw (talk) 19:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
And please sign your posts with four tildes, as specified at the top of this page: ~~~~. DirkvdM 09:37, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

U.S. Violations of U.N. Resolutions[edit]

Has the United States ever violated a U.N. resolution? If so, which ones?

They don't really need to, because they can veto UN resolutions. David Sneek 21:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
It should first be specified whether we're speaking of a General Assembly resolution or one of the Security Council. From what I understand, General Assembly resolutions aren't "binding" while those of the Security Council are, not that it really makes much difference. I'm also pretty certain that the US only has a veto in the Security Council, not in the General Assembly. In any case, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Americans violated quite a few General Assembly resolutions, and to be honest, I can't say that I'd blame them. On the one hand, you have a country with universal adult suffrage. The system isn't perfect, but perfect democracy is impossible. As Churchill put it: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others". On the other, you have a gathering of the representatives of some 200 states, most undemocratic, most dictatorships, all smartly dressed in suits and ties parading around as the legitimate representatives of their people and claiming to represent the people of the world, when in fact, representing a rather tiny, elite minority, all voting to "condemn" this democracy or that. If the US in fact violated any of these resolutions, good on them! The UN is a farce; a kangaroo court. Which state is it that chairs "The United Nations Committee on Human Rights" (or whatever it's called)? I'm pretty sure it's Libya. But perhaps Libya's term as chair expired and it's now some other misfit country like China or Iran, or maybe we got lucky this time and it's actually chaired by a legitimate, democratic state like Sweden. It doesn't really matter much. In fact the UN doesn't really matter much. Loomis 01:04, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
No offense, but with that view, the world will burn to ashes while we wait for a perfect solution. The US critically disables the first glimmer of hope for human unity when it flouts UN conventions and rules, witholds dues for political leverage, and uses its veto powers to exempt American citizens and personnel from equal treatment and prosecution. How will we ever end this hell of people pitted against people under flimsy cloth patterns if we don't learn to live with and trust each other? Quite frankly, Americans would do well to accustom themselves now to the "bitter taste" of equality - because our hegemony (speaking as US citizen) is quite short lived. Even if Americans feel like they are welcoming and worldly, this (America) is a wildly, uncontrollably xenophobic country. It will be an enormous national shock when we wake up one day and find that we are no longer militarily and economically able to force our will on the world. That's why we need to learn to cooperate now, so we'll be used to it when we are forced to. And i'm done. :) --Bmk 01:27, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Loomis, with your background as a Jewish lawyer, I'm surprised you have such an attitude to integrity and justice. You're saying that, having joined an association and agreed to abide by the commonly-decided rules, it's OK to flout them whenever it suits? Isn't that the approach the Nazis took? JackofOz 02:27, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Au contraire, mon ami. (Nice to see you back, Jack!). I see it as quite the opposite. The UN General Assembly is an insult to integrity and justice. You mention the Nazis. The German people under Nazism were actually quite splendidly devoted to the laws passed by their government, the government they voted in. The problem is that the Nazi "system of justice" was too a farce. (Actually, I shouldn't be comparing the UN to the Nazis, while the former is but a joke, the latter were evil incarnate). That said, what would be the right thing to do for the common German citizen? Follow the law, the law it should be reminded that was written by that party that they misguidedly (to be extremely generous to the German people) voted in (in a sort of analogous way to how the US, by joining the UN, misguidedly gave it a mandate to pass judgement on the rest of the world)? Or show some actual "integrity" and respect for real justice and disobey these completely, totally and absolutely unjust laws? I'm totally and absolutely dedicated to integrity and justice. It's just that sometimes, the "law" and real justice are in complete conflict with one another. All these things (such as the inevitable degree of disconnect between "law" and "justice") are covered rather quickly in first year. :--) Loomis 03:20, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
If "the UN General Assembly is an insult to integrity and justice", then this is an argument for the USA not belonging to the UN at all. But since it does belong to the UN, surely it has an obligation to pay more than lip service to its rules. JackofOz 04:15, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Then perhaps it should withdraw. Of course the political fallout of such a move would likely be infinitely worse. Perhaps the cure (withdrawing) may be worse than the disease (the phoney legitimacy of the UN General Assembly). I don't know...quite the tightrope to be walking. Loomis 04:54, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be having a bet each way. When countries act inimically to Israel (ie. not playing by the rules of international behaviour), you're not happy. But apparently the USA should have carte blanche to make up the rules as they go along? Where's the consistency? And what if the USA suddenly decided it didn't like Israel anymore? Would you be defending her right to be a loose cannon then? JackofOz 06:01, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Who said anything about defending the right of the US (or any country) to be a loose cannon? I still strongly believe in the concepts of right behaviour and wrong behaviour, justice and injustice. I just feel that the UN GA has proven itself to be an extremely poor, and an extremely illegitimate arbiter of these concepts. If the US acts wrongly, it's acted wrongly. Same goes for Israel. I just can't have much respect, and can't help but smell the stench of the utter hypocrisy of when a large group of countries who themselves routinely flout the rules of decent, just behaviour, turn around and pass judgment on the activities, wrong though they may be indeed be, of democracies. It's funny how the "glass houses" proverb seems to be applying so well in so many different ways in the recent few discussions. Let's forget the US or Israel for the moment. Would you honestly not see the absolute hypocrisy going on in having such backward and oppresive regimes such as, say, Gabon, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, North Korea, the PROC, Haiti, etc. etc. etc. all getting votes, passing judgment and condemning this or that Australian or Canadian policy, even if it were indeed an unjust one? Let's say the PROC or Iran sponsored a resolution condemning the treatment of the indigenous populations of either of our two countries by our respective governments, even if the treatment was indeed wrong on some level. Would you not see the utter absurdity of it all? Indeed, Australia and Canada are rarely if ever targetted by the GA, as their is little if any political capital to be gained in criticizing them. Indeed, that fact, in and of itself, the fact that countries only seem to be "condemned" when some political capital can be gained from it is proof enough that the idea of the GA as being a "fair and neutral" arbiter is pure farce. I would even say that giving these misfit regimes votes in the GA is indeed counterproductive, as it only serves to give them a completely undeserved air of legitimacy, one that can only further stifle any possibility of change from within. Don't you see absolute ridiculousness of having a country like Libya chair a UN committee on human rights? I just can't see these activities as having any positive impact on bringing about a more just and peaceful world. If anything, for the reasons I've mentioned, I can only see them as hindering any progress in that direction. Some say "well, the UN may have its faults, but surely it's better than nothing". To that I say: perhaps it's actually worse than nothing? Loomis 11:14, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I should probably make my view a bit clearer. I don't think all of the UN's functions are worthless. In fact, as a forum for allowing states to communicate their grievances before rushing to war, I think it's actually a pretty good thing. It's just the rest of its functions that I question. Loomis 14:42, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I've always been wary of anything coming after one of the most disingenuously used phrases in the English language: "No offense...". :) I have to say though, that I find your argument a bit too unwieldy to deal with all at once, no offense of course! So I'll just deal with one of your arguments. You call America "a wildly, uncontrollably xenophobic country." Fair enough. So how about a fun little friendly challenge. (I like to keep my debates as friendly as possible. I don't see anything to be gained from hostile rhetoric, and I hope you realize I'm being dead serious here, not sarcastic. I truly and sincerely want this debate to be friendly). As a friendly chalenge, and without mentioning Canada, Australia or New Zealand, I challenge you to name just a couple of countries that are less xenophobic than the US. I'm sure you'll find one, or two, or perhaps even half a dozen, but my point will be all the same. Look around the globe. Iran? Saudi Arabia? Of course not. Better to look to the democracies. France? Hmmmm...don't think so. What with all the banned religious symbols in public schools, a rather xenophobic policy I'd say, one that the American public wouldn't stand for, not to mention the Supreme Court. The UK? Maybe...that one's a possibilty. Just think about it and offer a few examples. I bet it'd be a bit harder than you originally thought! But please, I know I'm repeating myself, I don't know, maybe it's the Canadian in me, but please, let's keep this friendly. :--) Loomis 02:52, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

No offense, but I believe you mistook the meaning of "xenophobic". You are referring to internal interactions; the banning of muslim dress in schools isn't really a xenophobic for France - the muslims are part of France too! It's just the stereotype that France is equated with white Catholics. I suppose xenophobic isn't really the appropriate word for the intended meaning, although I hoped it would be clear in context, but I don't think it was. What I was trying to say was that in my opinion Americans are so used to be continuously on top of the world that they (we) have grown extremely afraid of other countries. Why else would we exempt Americans from prosecution in international courts? I understand that such an exemption clause is practically manditory in any resolution mentioning international courts. I just don't know what would happen if the US one day were forced to accept a security council resolution led by China or France or India to disarm our nuclear program! Imagine it! One day it might just happen, and I'd prefer that we (Americans) learn to be "part of the team" before then, rather than going psychotic when it happens and nuking someone. -- 03:45, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

"Manditory"? Another English word I hadn't been aware of? Is this perhaps a proper variant of the word "mandatory"? Glass houses! :) But like I said, everyone makes typos, it's only human.

You ask why Americans should be exempted from prosecution in international courts. I'll tell you why. It's because international courts are biased against America, just as they're biased against Israel. I suppose it goes back to that neverending debate of about a week or so ago as to why "Everybody Hates America". You apparently aren't a big fan of your President, and you have every right not to be. But would you go so far as to call him a "war criminal"? I don't know, maybe you would, but I doubt it. I don't. But I wouldn't put it past the Belgians or those kind folk at The Hague to decide that he is, just as they decided to indict Ariel Sharon. Nevermind the REAL war criminals out there. The ones that actually target civilians for death, the Saddams, the Gaddafis (those this one's been acting rather bizarre lately, once upon a time he'd be blowing up planes full of civilians, yet these days, by comparison, he's been acting like some sort of peace loving hippie...very odd. Yet he is responsible for many deaths of many innocent civilians and despite his recent "conversion", he should still be held accountable for his past acts) not to mention all the leaders of all those "NGOs" like Hezzbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qu'aida, the Tamil Tigers, those responsible for the massacre of 800,000 in Rwanda, those responsible for the Tiananmen Square slaughter etc etc etc. But no, none of those guys seem to be the least bit interesting in Belgium or The Hague. Just as long as they can get their hands on Bush and Sharon!

Of course the Americans should exempt themselves from yet another kangaroo court, motivated purely by politics, not justice. Loomis 04:46, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

As much as I'd love to weigh in on this argument (I disagree with Loomis on a number of points of fact and opinion :) maybe a discussion board would be the best place to take this? The ref desk isn't really the area for discussions unrelated to answering the question. Ziggurat 04:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Aww you're no fun Ziggurat! All we're doing is having a friendly debate. I consider Jack a good friend and hopefully once I get to know Bmk better I'll feel the same about him/her. I think these debates are perfect for the RefDesk. The RefDesk is actually very poorly defined by Wikipedia. The admins say it's for asking questions like "What does 'Lorem ipsum' mean"? Well there's an entire article on lorem ipsum! No need to go to the RefDesk for that! Just punch in the words "lorum ipsum" and you'll have your answer! I'm here to learn, not to argue. Yet according to the Socratic Method debate is the most effective way to learn. It's not about "pushing" my view over others, it's more about discussing important topics with intelligent people to get a better understanding of them. I'm just a very curious person, and I'm here to learn. If this learning requires a bit of debate, so be it. Loomis 05:17, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Your right, Loomis, America should stomp down on the israelis for thier involvement of killing thousands of palestinians and lebanesse, cowardly hiding behind tanks killing those with hand guns and complaining about how horrible they have it true, Israel is sorrounded by countries who dislike them, but I won't go to Iran or North Korea expecting open arms one mans freedom fighter is another's terrorist. If people democracy or otherwise (hopefully not) they can easily do so. The United Nations has started less wars and less sorrow then America, I can say that

BenGurion, I presume? :--) Loomis 09:52, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

police jobs[edit]

I have a law degree would, in the U.S., it possible for me to join a police force and start out as a detective?

you could probably do that with a middle school degree-- 21:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but detective in the US is a rank. I don't know whether you can or not, sorry. Ziggurat 21:16, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, detective is a rank in the US police force, not a job. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
Well, it's both actually. I would only imagine that those ranked as police detectives would more likely than not actually work for police forces and get paid for it, in their capacity as "detectives". Sounds like a job to me. I'm just curious why the questioner would assume that having a law degree would in any way be a qualification, on it's own, to do police work. Criminal law is just one of a vast array of subjects dealt with in law school. I got through having taken only one mandatory course on the basics of criminal law. Even as such, law schools naturally teach the subject from a legal rather than a "criminological" perspective (which is the perspective required to be a decent detective). Loomis 23:49, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
With a law degree, no. With a masters in criminology including a high-profile or unusually relevant thesis, yes. In certain jurisdictions. Some law enforcement agencies rigidly promote from within based on whatever criteria, length of service, performance etc. But some jurisdictions will place significantly skilled or educated people in higher-level positions on merit or necessity. Anchoress 00:12, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Chief Justice of Banglisdesh[edit]

I need to knoow the name of individuals who were Chief Justice of Bangladesh back in the 1980's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Is "Banglisdesh" a proper variant to refer to that country, once part of India, then known for a while as East Pakistan, and finally today most commonly refered to in English as Bangladesh? If so, I've learned something new today. If not, what on earth is "Banglisdesh"? Loomis 23:22, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
He spelled it correctly in the question, you know. And besides - people in glass know the saying. Is refered a new word in English? Or are you referring to the word referred? In actual answer to the question, the Chief Justice of Bangladesh up to 1982 was Kemaluddin Hossain. From 1982 - 1989, it was Fazle Kaderi Muhammad Abdul Munim (quite a name, no?), and after that, Badrul Haider Chowdhury, but only for the last month of 1989. Read all about it on banglapedia, specifically here. --Bmk 01:51, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually "he" (if it is indeed a he) didn't spell it correctly in the question. Just click on the "history" tab and you'll see that s/he made the correction only after my post. In any case, is the inadvertent ommission of an "r" in the word "referred" anything close to the completely incomprehensible word "Banglisdesh"? As I've said over and over here at the RefDesk, everyone makes typos. I do it all the time. It's only human. However "Banglisdesh" is no typo.
As a matter of fact, I wasn't at all being sarcastic when I said "If so, I've learned something new today". I don't have the slightest knowledge about languages spoken in that part of the world. For all I know, "Banglisdesh" may have indeed been the more proper term, better reflecting the word's actual pronunciation, Try not to be so quick to judge. Loomis 02:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
My apologies for misinterpreting your post. I will indeed try not to be so quick to judge. --bmk

Don't worry about it Bmk. Just an honest mistake on your part. In fact "glass houses" actually does apply here. I've been known to rush to judgment on far too many occasions. Ask anyone who knows me here. Loomis 09:57, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

the wikipedia is communism vandal[edit]

How can the "wikipedia is communism vandal" call wikipedia communism. Communism is compulsory, where as wikipedia is voluntary, sort of like kibutz.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Vandalism is not always rational. David Sneek 21:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not (outtakes)#Wikipedia is not communism. Ziggurat 21:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Up the Wikirevolution!Wikiworkers of the world throw off your shackles and unite! Lemon martini 22:08, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem here is the definition of communism. Usually it is taken to mean 'what Cuba and China and such have'. But that should be more correctly be called state socialism. The more correct (at least original) meaning of communism is more like what they have in communes (!) like kibutzim - everyone does what they can and takes no more than what they need. Which is proabbly the reason for calling Wikipedia communist. But Wikipedia and the Open Source community go beyond that. Here, everyone contributes as they please and take as much as they please. The reason this works here is that the product is information, which is much chepaer to reproduce once someone has produced it. And in the last decade or so it can be spread instantly and worldwide at virtually no cost. So Marx's ideal is surpassed in a way that Marx himself probably never saw coming. Whether this will lead to more equality, I don't know, but my hopes are high. There is still a serious need for physical production, though and this advantage doesn't work there. Or could it? Could we reduce all physical production to information? In principle yes, I'd say, but I'd be deviating a bit too much. DirkvdM 09:50, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The Electoral College[edit]

I am 47, have lived in this country my entire life, gone through the traditional public school system and some college courses, but I am very confused by the electoral college and the voting booth votes. Who actually elects the President etc? Sandra Willis <email removed>

Ok so you live in a country. Which country? You're probably from the US right? Americans are always thinking it is "the country," and seem to forget often there are other countries. To answer your question though Sandra, the United States Electoral College, which is voted in by the populus, votes for the President and Vice President. The vote that you do is only to tell your representative in the electoral college what you think. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
Assuming you are from the US, you should look at United States presidential election, Elections in the United States, and United States Electoral College. The Jade Knight 22:26, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Extremely brief overview: You should have elected your state government in a direct election. The State government chooses electors. If you don't like how they are chosen, elect a different state government until they change their elector law. You then vote for the electors to send to Washington DC to vote for President and Vice President. Electors are required by state law in most states to vote for the President and Vice President they pledged to vote for long before you cast your vote. This is completely unlike Congress, where you have a direct say in the election of 2 Senators and 1 Congressman - 3 people who make laws, make budgets, increase taxes, refuse to increase minimum wage, increase their own salary, continue to limit the little power the President has, ... --Kainaw (talk) 23:30, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
No, the state government doesn't choose the electors. Each party chooses a slate of proposed electors. See United States Electoral College#How states currently assign Electors. The people who are seated as the members of the Electoral College from that state are those whose party or candidate received the plurality of the votes in the official count. (In two states, the statewide vote is used only to select two electors; the others are chosen based on the plurality in each Congressional District.) I think that the state government would have the power to prescribe a different method for the selection of electors (i.e., other than popular vote), but in practice none do. (From Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress....") JamesMLane t c 10:01, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't clear. I wasn't discussing who goes out and writes down the name of the electors. I was discussing how the people's votes are reflected in the electors' votes. I live in an all-or-nothing state. Whoever gets the most votes statewide gets all of the electors votes. My point was that if you didn't like that, it is your responsibility to keep voting against politicians who support that system until it is changed. However, if it never changes, perhaps most of the people in the state disagree with you - the hell of a democratic system. --Kainaw (talk) 12:55, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
See also Faithless elector for another aspect. Rmhermen 20:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Kainaw might have been clearer than he thought he was. The Constitution simply allocated electoral votes to the states. The states, through their legislatures, can choose their electors any way they want. Until the Civil War, South Carolina had no presidential elections -- the legislature just chose the electors. It would be perfectly constitutional for your state legislature, before the 2008 election, to cancel the presidential election in your state and choose whom they want to be the electors! There's a movement gaining headway in several states to pass laws to award all of the state's electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. Had this been in effect in any red state in 2000, Al Gore would have been elected president.
Anyway, to answer the original question, no, you do not technically elect the president. When you voted for Bush or Kerry (or Nader or whomever), you were actually voting for a slate of electors who, had the candidate won, would have formed your state's delegation to the Electoral College. Each state's electors send their votes to Washington, and all the states' votes are counted in Congress. Whoever gets 270 votes wins. If no one gets 270 votes (because of a tie or a third-party candidate winning states), the House of Representatives chooses from the top three candidates, with each state's delegation in the House getting one vote. -- Mwalcoff 23:25, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Some have demanded direct popular election of the President. This would violate the compromise made in the Constitution, whereby smaller states were induced to ratify it by a promise of some overrepresentation in the form of each state getting an elector for each of the 2 senators. It would also reward ballot box stuffing. A diehard Republican state may be a lost cause for Democratic Presidential candidates. It may be expected that the Republican will get the most popular votes and thus the total electoral votes for that state. But in direct national elections, there would be a strong incentive to keep stuffing the ballot box far beyond the count necessary to award the electoral votes. As mentioned above, there is no limit on how a state awards its electoral votes. The Supreme Court has said that a legislature could appoint some individual to cast all the electoral votes. They could decree the votes go to their favorite candidate. They could call for a game of poker, a footrace between the candidates, or a coin toss to determine the winner. More reasonably, they could award an electoral vote for the winner in each congressional district, with the two statewide votes going to the state popular vote winner. Some states are looking at awarding their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, and have passed legislation to do exactly that when sufficient other states pass the same bill.Edison 18:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales[edit]

Is Mr. Wales available for interviews?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Ask him. Press contact information is on his user page, here. David Sneek 21:32, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

articles on wikipedia[edit]

how many articles are there on wikipedia?

In English? 5,462,800 Ziggurat 22:01, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Total? About 5 million. The Jade Knight 22:22, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

people editing[edit]

has any one person ever edited all of wikipedia's articles

No. Not gonna happen. There's over a million articles and new ones are added every day. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
I seriously doubt that any bot has edited all of the articles. --Kainaw (talk) 23:23, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Trivially, whoever created the first article had, as of that moment, edited all of Wikipedia's articles. In any meaningful sense, though, no, as per the other responses. JamesMLane t c 10:11, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
And up till that momentous event, everyone (including you) had edited all of Wikipedia's articles. --LambiamTalk 16:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
And I wouldn't advise trying it, Anonymous Question-Poser. I would take a loooong time. But you'd have over a million edits, though, so... -- THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 07:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

article experiance[edit]

do people usually have to have experiance in a subject before they write about it here

Not necessarily, but most articles have someone with experience watching over them to make sure that added information is correct. More importantly, contributions should be properly sourced, so theoretically anyone should be able to check whether information is correct or not with a little extra reading. Ziggurat 22:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I am extremely anti-bastardization. I guess that comes from my personal situation. That's why I have a quote by Jimbo Wales, the founder of Wikipedia on the top of my user page.
"To me the key thing is getting it right. And if a person's really smart and they're doing fantastic work, I don't care if they're a high school kid or a Harvard professor; it's the work that matters." — Jimbo

Its the work that matters, not who did it. — [Mac Davis] (talk)

Make sure you truly understand yourself what you write. Some areas of science and mathematics, such as relativity theory and quantum physics, attract people who try to contribute based on some popularized and not particularly accurate account they read and only half understood, with predictably dire results. You don't need to be an expert yourself if you use good source material. The best sources are those that have been written by experts. --LambiamTalk 06:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, only I think you mean quantum mechanics-- 13:08, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Really? I thought he meant quantum physics. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
Usually I don't know what I mean and rely on other people to explain it to me. --LambiamTalk 16:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

lawyers and copyrights on Wikipedia[edit]

  • if you were a lwayer could you write about lawyers without it being a conflict of interest

I am a lawyer and let me tell you that lawyers write about lawyers all the time, that in it self would not constitute a conflict of intrest.

  • does wikipedia retain any lawyers to deal with copywrite laws?
  • if i was a lawyer would wikipedia hire me to work for them
  • if i was a lawyer and wikipedia was hiring lawyers, what would be the best way to go on a job interview with jimbo wales?
  • does jimbo wales like trial lawyers?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

To answer your question I am a lawyer and my own mother does not like me I doubht Jimbo would!

  • if jimbo wales doesn't like trial lwayers do you think he could put it behind him long enough to judge me on my merits during a job interview?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

If he needs a lawyer he needs a lawyer, a lot of people hate lawyers, few however would allow that hatred to stop them from hireing a lawyer, if they need to protect their rights.

Can I suggest that you slow down, stop adding new questions for the time being, and have a browse around Wikipedia's help pages first? Most of the questions you're asking are answered there. Ziggurat 22:05, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Any job interview will probably end quickly when the subject of "copywrite laws" is brought up. --Kainaw (talk) 23:22, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
There is already a lawyer for the Wikimedia Foundation: User:Brad Patrick. —Daniel (‽) 10:08, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Where I'm from, you have to know how to spell before becoming a lawyer. - ulayiti (talk) 23:41, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

White people[edit]

What is percentage of white people living in the Caribbeans in total, that includes Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Hmmm... this site shows Caribbean demographics, but it doesn't include ethinicity. Will continue looking. Anchoress 23:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
This site has the data, but per country so you'll have to do some looking. Anchoress 23:45, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

That is tough question because it depends whether hispanics count as white. In jamaca it is about 10%.

Hispanics not white? How on Earth would you define 'white' then? And that is indeed a serious problem here, but in a different way. I don't know about the other islands, but Cuba is a true melting pot. The 'races' (skincolours) range from the black extreme to the white extreme due to centuries of crossbreeding (I have the feeling that is not quite the right word, but I suppose you know what I mean). So how white does one's skin have to be to be called 'white'? If you mean pure white ancestry, there aren't any. If you mean at least one white ancestor, that would be almost everyone. DirkvdM 10:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
The question cannot be answered accurately, because racial standards vary among cultures. See the article race, which explains that race is a cultural construct, not a valid biological category. The article does a fair job of describing the construction of race in the United States, but does not offer much information on the very different constructions of race in the Caribbean countries. I suspect that what the person asking the question wants to know is "What percentage of people living in the Caribbeans would be considered 'white' in the United States?" But the U.S. government does not collect such statistics, nor do the governments of most Caribbean nations. Marco polo 14:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)