Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Humanities/2006 August 22

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commode use[edit]

how to use a commode? with the plastic flap open, or down?

Well you put it up, you pee, than you put it down for the ladies. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
Or, you put the seat up, start to pee, then the seat falls down and splatters pee everywhere, then you pee on the seat, then you manage to pee in the hole inside the seat, then you clean up the seat as best you can, then you get the hell out of there quick. :-) StuRat 04:08, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Such a lively and detailed description has to be based on personal experience. And it's especially nasty if the seat has one of those horrible rugs on it, making it impossible to clean. Damn, I gave myself away there, didn't I? DirkvdM 05:19, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
LOL. There is always one of those damn rugs on it, it seems, that's what causes it to fall back closed during urination, after all. That really pisses me off. :-) StuRat 02:06, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Ahh! I see this is the page where people are hanging out now 8-)--Light current 18:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
My commode has no plastic flap. It's all wood. Actually it has no flap at all. Please help keep StuRat away, thank you. --LambiamTalk 06:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Regal! Let's hope there's not a hole in the bottom, otherwise you'd have a horrible rug impossible to clean. — [Mac Davis] (talk)

hmmm, he asked if the flap (lid) should be open, you are talking about the seat. Maybe it's a trick question. Herostratus 16:56, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Total World Population[edit]

What is the estimated total number of humans that have ever lived?

Estimates are often in the 100,000,000,000 range (100 billion). --Cam 05:48, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
What are these estimates based on? Can you mention a source for that number? Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 11:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Here is a link. Marco polo 13:31, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, thank you! Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 14:02, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Hint: More than 10.[Mac Davis] (talk)

Yuo mean > 10^10--Light current 19:55, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Name of a song[edit]

I often hear this song and I always think I will remember it, or remember lyrics to look up later, but I never do. It sounds like it's from the 80s, like a mellow INXS song, although I don't think it is actually INXS...the singer's voice is lower. There is some minimal percussion at the beginning, perhaps electronic. One of the lines ends in "you" but the singer extends it to "you-hoo-hoo" and the chorus contains the lyric "I'm alive". The chorus also has female backing vocals, just going "ahhh". Does this make any sense to anyone? Adam Bishop 05:50, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

So AliveLove and Rockets (1989)? --LambiamTalk 07:02, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah! Thanks...I should have known that... Adam Bishop 07:04, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The Neanderthal Parallax[edit]

This is kind of an odd request. Can someone who has read The Neanderthal Parallax by Robert J. Sawyer help me out here? I recently finished the first book and I don't really want to buy the next two, but I read the chapter excerpt from the second book and I'd like someone to spoil it for me, either here or on my talk page. Specifically -- what sin did Ponter commit, and does Mary ever get an AIDS test? Help is appreciated. =) 07:12, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I will respond on your talk page so as not to spoil it for anyone else. Nowimnthing 13:06, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Prince or King[edit]

which king/prince always book either Miss Universe, Miss World, or all the runners up to his palace for a couple weeks of visit? I believe that these women make a lot of money for spending time with him. Who is this person? He is perhaps richer than Bill Gates? It seems like its a secret society for the runner up in beauty pageants around the world to make extra cash by selling their bodies in exchange for money. Masterhp 08:12, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

You may be talking about Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, who is the richest person in the world. Get a load of some of the stuff he bought on his page, it is entertaining. — [Mac Davis] (talk)
If I can trust List of billionaires (2006) and List of heads of government and state by net worth (the latter is nor properly sourced), His Highness ranks number 10 or 11, way below Bill Gates. But what is the source of these rumours involving women? Is his brother's lifestyle [1] rubbing off on him? --LambiamTalk 02:35, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Young adult time-travel book[edit]

Sorry to ask another question again so soon -- but this is driving me NUTS! Pretty much my favourite book ever is one written for teenagers. I think it was originally written in French by a French-Canadian but I'm not sure. It's about a girl (whose name I forget, lovely) who gets into a fight at school then goes to hide in the janitor's closet to avoid getting in trouble. There she is electrocuted by a faulty floor-polishing machine. Her spirit is accidentally joined with that of a time-travelling being called Entity. The girl doesn't want to die and Entity doesn't want to drag her around, so they have to try to find a new body for the girl. However they can only take someone's body at a time where they do not wish to be themselves anymore, so she winds up trying to get out of various horrible mishaps including being eaten by a dragon. Eventually they discover that they can change time, so they go back to where the fight happened and prevent the girl from going into the janitor's closet, but in doing so they cause the boy she had the fight with to go there, so he gets electrocuted and joined to the entity. As you can see I have a very clear memory of the book, it's just the title, author and main character's name that escape me. (I know, the three things that would have helped me identify it!!) If ANYONE knows anything about this book, please let me know!!! 08:42, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

So, this is your "favourite book ever", but you can't remember its title, its author, or the main character's name. I guess when you come home at night you say to your spouse something like, "Hi, whatever your name is, I'm home" (Sorry, I'm not taking the mickey, but I just think this is absurdly funny, or vice-versa).  :--) JackofOz 01:16, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Eventually found by the requester: "Lost Time" by Charles Montpetit [2] 05:32, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


HI, just wondering is there an instrumental version for the song WE BELONG TOGETHER by MARIAH CAREY? Thanks alot, Jo!!

This page suggests that there is. --Richardrj 10:13, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Can the queen of England kill somebody?[edit]

My friend claims that if the queen of England kills her husband, she can't be arrested or punished. I'm pretty skeptical about that, but I'm not certain whether it's true or not. Is it? --Bowlhover 16:32, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Dear god man, what
All criminal cases in the UK are brought in the name of the Monarch - e.g, Regina v. Webber. In order to prosecute the Queen, the case would therefore have to be the logical absurdity of Regina v. Regina. In practise, however, if Elizabeth had done such a thing, she would probably be forced by public pressure to abdicate (probably... people might be happy to get rid of Philip ;-)), in which case Rex v. Elizabeth Windsor could easily proceed. --Mnemeson 16:43, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
They have executed a monarch or two in the past, haven't they? I'm sure Parliament would cut through any legal fictions and handle it. That raises another question: In the US, the President has pardon power. Couldn't he tell some of his Secret Service agents to shoot his opponents, and then pardon them? Not that I'm suggesting this. Herostratus 16:52, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
As the example above explains, Congress would certainly impeach the President and he wouldn't be able to pardon himself. Also, he cann't pardon himself for crimes he is impeached for. See Nixon's near-impeachment. He did not pardon himself. He was pardoned by Ford. If I remember correctly, he couldn't be pardoned for a crime he wasn't convicted of and which he said he didn't commit. So, Ford pardoned him for any and all crimes he may or may not have committed in the past. What a way to get out of those old parking tickets! --Kainaw (talk) 16:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Congress would first have to impeach him and remove him from office. Then, the police could charge him with murder, and he would be unable to pardon himself. Of course, whoever his VP was, they could pardon him, just like Ford did. This is a problem that was created with the 12th Amendment, after which the VP became of the same party as the Pres. Before that, the VP was the person who came in second for the presidency, so almost guaranteed to be from the opposing party, and not likely to pardon them. The only way I can think of to fix this situation is to grant the power of pardon to a nonpolitical leader, much like the Queen is in England. StuRat 21:19, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Where is it written that the pardon power of the US President does not extend to himself? There is no such verbiage in the Constitution: Article 2 Section 2 says "he (the President) shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." This appears to mean he cannot by a pardon undo an impeachment and conviction and keep someone in office, but it places no restriction on his pardon power for federal crimes. Perhaps conspiracy to murder would be a local crime undere state law at the place the offense took place, and he does not have the power to pardon violations of state law. The article on the District of Columbia does not make clear whether a murder there is a federal crime or if their limited home rule power makes it a "state" crime in that non-state. What would prevent a President pardoning himself, if he cared nothing for public opinion?? Edison 18:34, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Because the president's power lies in the people (or so i'd like to believe). Both congress, the judiciary, and the wrath of the people would force him to either leave office or mobilize the armed forces and take the government by dictatorial coup. It just isn't realistic. --Bmk 02:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Since this thread moved pretty fast from the British queen to the US president I might as well bring up the Dutch royal family (closer both thematically and geographically :) ). The former queen's husband Bernhard took bribes from Lockheed. In stead of the staus of the royal family suffering from this, quite the opposite happened. Bernhard stated he was "above such things" and the queen said she would abdicate and her daughter (the present queen) would not take over the throne, which would have effectively meant the end of the Dutch roayl family. Good riddance, one would say. There was even a fairly socialist government at the time, headed by a socialist with very strong principles, Joop den Uyl. But they decided not to act, so the bastards could live happily ever after (well, not really, they're boith dead now). I still don't understand how this could happen. But the point is that in stead of the royal family being punished, they actually started threatening! And got away with it. Unbelievable! DirkvdM 08:55, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Wars have been fought on the subject of whether the British Monarch was above the law, and have come out in favour of 'no'. Some way would certainly be found to ensure that she was prosecuted. The simplest one would probably be for parliament to depose her and then prosecute her. DJ Clayworth 17:19, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I very much doubt that she would be prosecuted. Apparently according to some mad shopkeeper the royal family had something to do with a car crash in recent years. I cannot imagine the Queen nipping out to the garage with a hack saw one night. HM is beyond reproach. Yes, she farts and no doubt coughs up a little bit of sick at times, but I don't think she would stoop to going downstairs for the red snapper filleting knife --russ

In short, in theory, she would get away with it and cannot be prosecuted. As a serving police officer she is the only person I cannot arrest. Even diplomats, although immune from prosecution can be detained until their credentials are verified. The Queen is the embodiement of the law and is where constable's powers stem from (we are crown servants etc). A more realistic example might be the fact that the Queen does not require a driving licence and has and does drive on public roads. Dibble999 02:18, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Since when has the Queen been a serving police officer? Also she has passed her test I believe in the Forces during WW2 I think. Also hers is the only car allowed not to have a number plate. I wonder if she pays road tax, insurance etc.--Light current 18:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I think Dibble999 is the police officer. WP 00:40, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah I worked it out. Its just the grammar that confused me!--Light current 02:02, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
The future Dutch king's wife, Maxima, once knocked over a cyclist with her car when coming out of a driveway. She had to be told she wasn't allowed to do that sor of thing. She's the duaghter of a minister under one of Argentina's dictators. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. DirkvdM 08:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Cutting through all the legalistic nonsense, if the Queen actually committed murder, she'd be tried as a murderer as well as sentenced for that crime. The British monarchy is, almost literally, hanging by a thread. In fact, though Lizzy 2 may be respected for her poise, tact and decorum, I can't see the monarchy of King Chuck having much chance of survival. Charles might be best off abducating early, as King Billy would seem to be the only hope for the survival of the British monarchy. Loomis 20:58, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

The thing I'm looking forward to is seeing what they do when we get rid of them. If Britain were legislatively turned into a Republic tomorrow, Liz would still be Elizabeth, Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia, New Zealand, and a whole load of other places. Would the other countires rapidly follow suit and denounce them, or would the family just up sticks and move into say, Rideau Hall, and continue to reign with their other titles? --Mnemeson 21:21, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Putting the anti Royal feelings aside for a moment displayed by the above two answers, I would just point out that your incorrect. Its not legalistic nonsense. The Queen would not and could not be prosecuted for murder, if in some surreal world she actually ever did the deed. At present with our laws and un-written constitution she is the embodiment of the law and as I said before cannot be arrested or prosecuted. More realistic examples of her being outside or above the law is that she does not have a driving licence or passport though drives and travels abroad. While I'm at it, I'm not sure the monarchy is hanging by a thread, but thats another discussion! Dibble999 11:21, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

You're terribly mistaken if you interpret my words as anti-monarchist. I'm no republican (small "r"!). I'm actually particularly fond of the monarchy. That's why I rue the day when Charles will certainly turn it into a laughingstock, and why I think it would be best if he quickly abdicated and turned the throne over to William, who, unlike his dad, (and his bro Harry, who thought it might be "cute" to dress up, for a costume party, as a Nazi...swastika armband and all,) is virtually untainted by any scandal whatsoever. I actually pointed out that Elizabeth II couldn't get away with murder to actually stick up for the monarchy, showing that the royals are not above the law, but ultimately subject to it. They serve a function, an important one, and those who may claim that they may, in some tyrannical sort of way, literally "get away with murder" are actually dead wrong. Loomis 22:27, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Sound of the 808 drum machine[edit]

There's a lot of talk in dance music circles about the supposedly unique sound of the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Our article mentions this as well. But what I'd like to know is what it actually sounds like. How would I recognise the sound of an 808 if I heard one? Can anyone provide me with a sample? Many thanks. --Richardrj 17:18, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

A while back there was a great program called Rebirth which had an amazing recreation of the 808. Umm, I don't know what kind of music you listen to, so I could name songs, but... I dunno, ever heard "Santified" by Nine Inch Nails? That's an 808. Why not visit [3] and check out their sample sounds? - Rainwarrior 04:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Obtaining an online copy in Latin of the Papal Bull "Ad Extirpanda" issued in 1254 by Innocent IV[edit]

Can you point me to a verified online source where I may be able to obtain a copy in Latin of Pope Innocent IV's Papal Bull "Ad Extirpanda"? I have already tried Google without success and I have searched the so-called secret Vatican archives, such of them as are publicly available, again without any success. Any assistance you can provide would be most gratefully appreciated. Thanks, Duane Larrieu

Hmm. There's a short extract of it [here] - our article, Ad_exstirpanda has a broken link at the end of it, which isn't gonna help (and is possibly spelt wrongly)... Unfortunately, I can't immediately find anything more :( There isn't even a copy available in any of the articles on [JStor] (you can't log in without a subscription, but if a Papal Bull isn't anywhere in there, it's probably not anywhere online. Sorry! --Mnemeson 18:55, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Look here for a version. Scroll down to Statuta apostolica contra hereticos. / [p. 19]. It ends with the text Dat. Perusii, II Kalendas novembris, pontificatus nostri anno primo. on [p. 39]. Apparently this is the version "confirmed" by Clement; I don't know if it was redacted or is identical to the original bull. Maybe someone can put this up at Wikisource. The text has Ad extirpanda without an s. Many words are broken by hypenation, like pra- vitatis, which should simply be pravitatis. --LambiamTalk 03:07, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Category:Accuracy disputes[edit]

I know this is not the usual use of the reference desk, but I was looking over T-Z in this category and thought that people here could help clear up the accuracy of these specific articles.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk

did you?--Light current 02:41, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Classical music[edit]

What's the piece of music that appears halfway through this clip? I think I also heard it in some King Arthur film. Anyone know? — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 19:15, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

It's "O Fortuna" from the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. It's used in very many films. David Sneek 20:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Vietnam War Sept 1966 - Sept 1967[edit]

Where would I find a list of the locations/actions of the 101st Airborne, 1st Brigade, B Company, during the Vietnam War from Sept 1966 to Sept. 1967? Thanks for your help in advance! 19:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Well there is a short history of them in vietnam at... suprise! 101st Airborne Division I'm sure you can find more detail in the external links. A lot also came up in a simple google search for them. Nowimnthing 13:55, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Well it does not answer my question, I tried that and a ton of google hits before I tried the reference desk....Suprise!!! Thanks any way